Monday, May 31, 2010
Reverend Barry Hussein O on the oil spill: "As I said yesterday, every day that this leak continues is an assault on the people of the Gulf Coast region, their livelihoods, and the natural bounty that belongs to all of us," Obama said. "It is as enraging as it is heartbreaking, and we will not relent until this leak is contained, until the waters and shores are cleaned up, and until the people unjustly victimized by this manmade disaster are made whole."
God, what effing BS. Logorrhea. Where's Calvin Coolidge when you need him?
Sun is out again today. Fifth day in a row. Nice.
I miss my car. I hope they throw the book at the drunk who totalled it.
I've seen a few episodes of History Channel's America: The Story of Us. Despite pedestrian writing, I like the take. Fundamentally positive and celebratory; something rare these days. Interesting focus sometimes on items and people not normally at the center. It would be a great intro for kids who are clueless and just take for granted what are in fact astonishing achievements.
Having gotten in touch with my inner racist during my NY trip, I wonder if all those Third World people will ever think of America's story as their story, if they will ever think of themselves as "us" in continuity with all the others who went before them and if that possible "us" will be anything someone like me would recognize.
Took another look at the FTM transgender YouTube section. They all look like 12 year olds and sound the same. Basic response from me: boredom.
Conservatives unblinkingly take for granted the whole ineradicable array of human passions and make political and other arrangements (religion, family, community) to deal with them as best they can. Liberals are horrified by the very existence of the baser passions, project them onto their enemies, and try to overcome, repress and eradicate even their initial appearance, in the service of "evolving" the race.
We know how that turns out, Robespierre.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The story of Adam and Eve's transgression is quite compact, but --therefore?-- rich. The typical reading is that our first parents were expelled from Eden because they disobeyed a command not to eat the fruit of just one tree among many.
Of course, at that point, just one tree is interesting! (Talk about a setup. Did God not understand human psychology? Or did He.....hmmmm.)
But somewhere along the line I have heard another reading of the text. When God confronts Adam, Adam does not say that he ate the fruit and he is sorry. He blames "the woman". And when God confronts Eve, she does not say that she ate the fruit and is sorry. She blames the serpent. Genesis 3:
11 Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?Perhaps that is the original transgression, our refusal to take responsibility for our actions.
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Anyone with half a brain can see that this is beyond delusional.
Welcome to Europe's immigration policy.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
that our first Half-African Prezident would be a proctologist?
Progressive HBO Oracle Bill Maher, however, finds him insufficiently African....
"I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt so you can see the gun in his pants. That's -- (in black man voice) 'we've got a motherfu**ing problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot."Can you imagine the tsunami of racial outrage if a non-approved (aka conservative) pundit or comic made such a remark?
Update. B leaving Shanghai to fly to Tokyo. High speed train from the city to the aiport. Five bucks, nineteen miles...8 minutes. Average 142 mph. As my grandma used to say, "Clever, these Chinese."
Friday, May 28, 2010
by Oliver Cooperman
At fifty-three, I have lived long enough
to see the ghosts of my failures
and understand that they are not
separate from who I am.
Despite my early promise,
I have been so slow
in understanding life.
My jokes don’t seem funny anymore.
I’m tired of myself
and restless with others.
Looking for glimpses of
the master’s hand
behind the curtain,
I clumsily stumble forward,
praying for grace.
- Play is free, is in fact freedom.
- Play is not “ordinary” or “real” life.
- Play is distinct from “ordinary” life both as to locality and duration.
- Play creates order, is order. Play demands order absolute and supreme.
- Play is connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained from it.
I have put off reading the news on the net first thing in the morning. It was making me crazy even before I finished my coffee. Cordoba House, reaction to the Arizona law, and every word that cometh forth from the mouth of Obama.
Wish I had an iPad so I could download books.
What makes me happiest and makes me saddest is the same...
One benefit of being alive as long as I have is that I remember past experiences as a way of helping me deal with current challenges. One thing I've learned is that seasons of happiness and of sadness are just that, seasons. Neither one lasts forever.
It's a great pleasure to me that my metabolism has apparently adapted to my years of regular exercise, so that I can eat pretty well what I want and have little change in my weight. One of the changes in my eating, though, is that I eat less, even if enjoyably. I'm just not as hungry. Nice.
Not everybody can win. Can't be done. Wrong planet for that.
Now that we have to include everybody, a three member group on a TV show, for example, would have a white man, a white woman and a black man. If you look at shows and ads, this is the trend. What this turns out to mean is that the white male becomes a minority in representation. Accustoming him to his demise. And usually at his own hands. Liberalism, the ideology of Western suicide.
Does anyone complain that blacks are overrepresented in basketball, far out of proportion to their percent of the population? Isn't that a disparate impact? So racist.
Prometheus had it easy; Tantalus was the real sufferer.
As long as women are assumed to be victims, feminism will remain a lie.
Hospitality is a great virtue. My brother and sister-in-law have it in abundance.
If parents are not the alphas, the kids will be, and no one will benefit. It amazes me what some parents put up with from their kids. If I talked to my father the way they do, I'd have been in the hospital. And rightly so.
I really love being out in the woods, the wilderness. A late life pleasure. Looking forward to my next hike.
Funny convo with an old friend of mine who's celebrating twenty years of marriage this year. I remember telling her before her wedding that she was making a mistake. Her husband, whom I knew out of his element, was a real jerk out of his element. Once he got back home, he became a decent guy. Ex Cathedra is not infallible always, I guess. Her quote, "Have I thought of divorce? No. Murder, yes, and often, but not divorce." That's love.
Why do people so often become focussed on wanting from people they love the one thing that those folks are untalented at giving?
I hate leather queens. One goes to my gym. Leather and denim, boots, chains, shaved head, the whole deal...but he opens his mouth and out comes Oprah's costume designer. Why the fuck go to all the trouble of putting on the trappings of masculinity and then act like a queen? Does anyone find this attractive?
If Islam were not a 1400 year old nonwhite religion, but a recent white-based political movement, who would put up with it for five minutes?
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
JACK: Zandra, this is Will and Grace. They're my best friends. Her husband abandoned her. His never existed. Will and Grace, Zandra.
WILL: Hi. We actually met last year. I, uh, I took one of your acting classes. You helped me get through to a very honest place, really excavating those layers that kept me buried emotionally.
ZANDRA: Oh, the crying fag!_________________
PS. Edie Falco and Chloe Sevigny play a lesbian power couple competing with Will & Grace in flipping condos in NY. Will makes a fake play for Sevigny to break the two women up and she goes for it. At episode's end, the women reconcile and Falco says to her about her mini-fling with Will:
Monday, May 24, 2010
I don't know where to begin...so, a mini-fisking.
In response to:
The Pope and the Hedgehog from the May 27, 2010 issue (New York Review of Books)
To the Editors:
Anthony Grafton respectfully dances around Benedict XVI’s manners and abilities with undue reverence [“The Pope and the Hedgehog,” NYR, May 27]. He fails to read in Benedict’s deliberations the disastrous effects on the Catholic communion in the midst of this century’s increasing embrace of secular humanism.
The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. The antithesis of secular humanism. Perhaps Fr. Giuliani visits Western Europe too often and thinks it's the whole world or, despite its suicidal birthrate, a world with a future.
In the meanwhile the Pope has succeeded in offending the world of Islam,
Doesn't take much to do that, and they deserve it a lot more than they get it. They need to be confronted. When he quoted a besieged Byzantine emperor, who noted Islam's use of the sword to convert, Muslims validated the criticism by acting out violently!he has reintroduced into the Good Friday Liturgy a prayer identifying the Jewish people as culpable in the death of Jesus,
Simply untrue. A stupid mistake, or a calculated lie? I have read the texts in question, in the original Latin, and there is no ground for saying this. Praying for the Jews to be saved thru Christ is simply honest and nothing about blame is mentioned.he has insulted the Anglican communion with an invitation to the disaffected to join the Roman Church,
The Anglican communion is busy self-destructing. And might it not be said that the Anglicans insulted both Rome and Constantinople by ordaining women? Disaffected Anglican groups asked for a way to have communion with Rome and the Pope obliged. How could he not? He's the Pope, not the public relations officer for the (moribund) Ecumenical Niceness Committee.and he has demoralized the Catholic community in his divisive attempts to undermine the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council—despite Grafton’s adulatory comment on Benedict’s beautifully performed Mass, as if performance were the intent of liturgical worship!
I have been to Mass at Father Giuliani's church. He might want to rethink that remark about performance...The priest sex abuse crisis is not an isolated concern of the Catholic faithful. Both Benedict and his predecessor, John Paul II, despite the Vatican Council’s clear call for regional episcopal self-governance, have recentralized authoritative administration in the Vatican. Further, and perhaps more devastating, has been their condemnation of the Liberation Theology movement in Latin America, a proven dynamic catechesis for Gospel renewal among the Latino faithful.
Gee, a Pope who grew up in a real, soul-killing, freedomless Marxist country was unhappy about a kind of Catholicism which rendered it subservient to Marxism...
Only when Benedict passes on his miter and staff to another will we Catholics not “despair.” Only when the new pope is elected by the voice of the universal church will we not despair.
He seems to think that "the universal church" will echo the sentiments of his own little very uppermiddle class very Caucasian suburban Eastcoast liberal group. In his imaginary world democracy, he might be very surprised indeed by how folks are outside Fairfield County.
Only when a person of contemporary intelligence cognizant of the inherent spirituality of secular humanism consequently works with and not against the universal concerns of all peoples, believers and not—only then will we not despair. (bolding is mine)
The inherent spirituality of secular humanism? The universal concerns of all peoples? WFT? This boy may be "despairing" for a long time.
Benedict may be “a great scholar,” but the Catholic Church is crying out for an arch pastor with generous human sensibilities capable of healing the divide into which we Catholics have descended.
Someone like himself, maybe? Father, it's not 1968 anymore. Hasn't been for a long time.
Reverend John B. Giuliani
The Benedictine Grange
Why do I care about this? Whilst in NY at a friend's house, I read the NY Review of Books and was overwhelmed with the voice of the Eastern Liberal Establishment. And believe me, they are not friendly to religion and certainly not to Catholicism. And here's a priest giving them fodder for their prejudices.
(Given my own history several decades ago, I could be accused of hypocrisy. Well, all I can say is that I was young and impassioned and I have since grown up a bit. Fr. Giuliani, ordained in 1960 and hence no child, should know better. But he represents a species of Catholic liberal who out-Schliermacher Schliermacher by really preferring religion's cultured despisers to the benighted orthodox in their own traditions. Liberalism, the ideology of Western (and in this case, Catholic) suicide.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
As to the issue of how the homosexual person is judged in an Islamic State, the Companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him differed among themselves on this issue, and this led to different views maintained by Muslim Jurists. For example, in the Hanafi school of thought, the homosexual is punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act, death penalty is to be applied. As for the Shafi`i school of thought, the homosexual receives the same punishment of adultery (if he/she is married) or fornication (if not married). This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times. Hence, the Shafi`i compares the punishment applied in the case of homosexuality with that of adultery and fornication, while the Hanafi differentiates between the two acts because in homosexuality, the anus (a place of impurity) may also be involved while in adultery (and fornication), the penis/vagina (which are reproductive parts) are involved. Some scholars hold the opinion that the homosexual should be thrown from a high building as a punishment for his crime, but other scholars maintain that he should be imprisoned until death.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
But while we're at it, I have often admitted happily to Islamophobia. Islam is no friend to me and carries nothing good for me. If you think I'm being oversensitive, read on.
Here's a fatwa (religious law ruling) explaining why homos should be killed, according to the words of Mohammad, the Muslim prophet...
Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid is a well known Islamic jurist and owner of the well known website ‘Islam Q&A’. One of the most well balanced scholars of our time, he has earned himself respect in the field of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). He has also written full length books explaining many of his fatwas making it easier for the people to understand.
We recommend his site as an authentic source for fataawa insha’Allah: www.Islam-qa.com
Why is the one to whom a homosexual act is done to be executed like the one who does it?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Al-Tirmidhi (1456), Abu Dawood (4462) and Ibn Maajah (2561) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
The Sahaabah were unanimously agreed on the executing of homosexuals, but they differed as to how they were to be executed.
Some of them, such as Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq and ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with them) thought that they should be burned to death. Some of them, such as Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) thought that they should be thrown from a tall building followed by stoning. Some of them thought that they should be stoned to death, which was narrated from both ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them).
See: al-Mughni (9/58).
The reason why the one to whom such an act is done should also be executed is because he is a partner in the sin, because this sin can only be committed if both parties take part, so it is only just to carry out the punishment on both of them. Similarly in the case of zina (adultery), the punishment is carried out on both the man and the woman. Moreover there is nothing good to be gained from letting the one to whom it has been done remain alive, because of the great evil that has befallen him and because of the great evil that may result from his presence.
It says in Mataalib Ooli al-Nuha (6/174): Even though adultery and homosexuality are both immoral deeds and are both evils that go against the wisdom of Allaah in His creation and His command, in homosexuality there are innumerable evils and it is better for the one to whom it was done to be executed than to let him repeat that evil action, because he has been corrupted in such a way that there is no hope of reform for him, and there is no goodness left in him, and after that he will not feel shy before Allaah or before His creation. The sperm of the one who did that will affect his heart and soul as poison affects the body, and he does not deserve to be guided to anything good, and every time he tries to do something good, something will happen to spoil his good deed, as a punishment to him. Hardly ever do you see one who was like that in his youth but he is the worst he can be when he grows old. He does not gain any beneficial knowledge or do any righteous deeds, or repent sincerely, in most cases. Once this is established, the evil consequences of homosexuality are among the worst of evil consequences, so its punishment is one of the most severe of punishments in this world and in the Hereafter.
The companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) agreed unanimously that the homosexual is to be executed, and none of them differed concerning that. Rather they differed as to the method of execution. Some people thought that this difference means that they disagreed about executing him, so they narrated it as a matter concerning which the Sahaabah differed, but it is a matter concerning which there was consensus among them, not a matter of difference. End quote.
The source for this was Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him), who mentioned it in al-Jawaab al-Kaafi li man sa’ala ‘an al-Dawa’ al-Shaafi.
But if the one to whom it was done was forced, then he is not to be punished, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has forgiven my ummah for mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah (2045); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
See also the answer to question no. 38622 for more information.
And Allaah knows best.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
It evokes an incident in his life when he ordered the mass beheading of 800 Jewish men of the tribe Banu Qurayza for opposing him. He sold their wives and children into slavery. Details here.
Fervent Muslim jihadis follow his example:
The point is not to insult him or his religion just for fun. I have better things to do. It is to make a deadly serious point --one for which people have been killed (see above)-- that Muslims, especially in Western countries with a history of criticism and tolerance of impolite public discourse, adapt rather than threaten. Just because their feelings are hurt...well, so what? Grow up. Or get the hell out.
And if you're unfamiliar with "dhimmitude", see here.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
New SF police chief George Gascon went to historically Black Bayview for a town meeting on violence by Blacks against Asians. Of course, the Blacks in attendance wanted to play the victims. Jesse and Al have taught them well.
The response from many African Americans was, "Where were you when we were the victims?"
Of the reward offered for leads to the murderers of fatally beaten Huan Chen, "You ain't never seen a black person offered $100,000," said Ingrid Wynn, to shouts of approval from other African Americans.
"It is an insult to us in this community to see all this police force," said Geoffrea Simpson Morris, a Board of Supervisors candidate. Another speaker, Charlie Walker, said top police commanders have never met with the community after the violent deaths of African Americans, including his grandson in November.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Dennis Prager makes the excellent point that our liberal elites in government and the press seem utterly puzzled about why Muslim men engage in jihadi terrorism (PTSD from non-combat? Mortgage pressures?) but quite sure that the fascist Tea Party folks and conservatives in general are moved by racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, hatred and greed.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Well, I have certainly dipped my toe in those waters from time to time. Mea culpa.
Oh, and "intellectually incoherent".
Well, I don't know if I am intellectually coherent or not.
My political views are mostly grounded in the value of survival.
Coherence is not as important as that is.
I am pretty clear, though, that the Muslim/Arab world is largely my enemy and Israel and the Jews are often, at worst, my neighbor-allies-competitors. (Although I have a particular dislike for Jewish leftists like Chomsky and Zinn, it is their leftism that is the cake; their Jewishness is the icing only.)
My issue with Islam has little directly to do with Israel. Even if there were no Israel, Muhammad and I would never be friends. But it does not escape my notice that Israel is a proxy for the West.
Suppose that Israel was destroyed by the Arabs or Iranians. Would this end the problem between Islam and the West? Not in the slightest. They would continue to hate us for our past support of the now-defunct state when it existed! These are basically tribal people with very long memories, especially for shame. And having tasted victory over the Zionists, they'd only be more charged up to take on the Zionist-dominated Crusaders of the Great Satan, America. Without an external enemy --and as Iraq's Sunni-Shia civil war has shown, even with one-- intra-Muslim hatred and violence is ancient and powerful. Better to keep the focus on an infidel enemy.
And how many of the Western liberals who hate Israel (and usually really hate their own society, too) see this as a repeat of the Passion Play of the post-colonials: White men once again stealing land from Indians? That tired moralism is thin but very powerful amongst the high-minded.*
Can Israel survive long term? Even more daunting, I think, than the hatred of its neighbors is the demography of Israeli Arabs. Jews are 75% of Israel, Arabs 20%. Their birthrate is almost twice as high as is the Jews'.
* I have a Canadian friend who says he is tempted to apologize whenever he encounters an American or Canadian Indian. My reaction is to pray that my people are luckier, stronger, more adaptable and more awake than they were. I wonder if my friend, of English extraction, feels a desire to apologize to the Irish...or the Welsh or the Scots? I wonder if the Iroquois ever feel like apologizing to the Hurons? Zzzzz.
The surprising fact is that the American Left, for all its claims to being “reality-based” and secular, is often animated by the passions, motivations, and imagery that one normally associates with religion. The better we understand this religious impulse, the better we will understand liberal America’s likely trajectory in the years to come.I have long looked at Western liberalism as a secularized form of Judeo-Christianity. One of its main religious projects is atonement by suicide. My image of the Seven Pillars of Progress or Liberalism was consciously chosen to echo the Five Pillars of Islam. Obama worship, however pathetic and embarrassing, is not surprising but is the logical outcome.
Benjamin Plotinsky of City Journal elaborates.
It's funny that the side of the aisle most obsessed with the separation of church and state has the most religious attitude toward the state. Most of that separation stuff is really about the supplanting of the church by the state... and the state-as-church, at that. Jonah Goldberg's comment is apt:
“Conservatism is neither identity politics for Christians and/or white people nor right-wing progressivism. Rather, it is opposition to all forms of political religion. It is a rejection of the idea that politics can be redemptive. It is the conviction that a properly ordered republic has a government of limited ambition.”And if you'll pardon my use of religious language in a public space (Call the ACLU!), "Amen."
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Some of my friends think that I am paranoid and/or (gasp!) racist because I sense direct threats to the United States from the Muslim Jihad and the Hispanic Reconquista.
This week, a Pakistani immigrant who became an American citizen, then trained with a Taliban force, came back "home" and tried to blow up Times Square.
This week, I watched a Latina high school student in Morgan Hill, California, USA, assert that it was disrespectful to Mexicans for American students at the school to wear American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. And the school administration backed her up.
And I'm paranoid?
Had dinner with my friend G last night and the young woman who was our waiter had quite striking eyes. I said to her that I hoped she would not mind if I told her that she had eyes like Lena Horne. Who? she said. I thought it was the noise in the restaurant, so I repeated more loudly, Lena Horne. She asked, Who's that?
PS. I just checked. She's still alive. 92.
PPS. I just found out (11 pm on Sunday May 9) that she has died today. Strange coincidence.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Got my first hate-comment in a really long time. So of course I want to share it. My post Irked by Urkel was about my being pissed off that President Barry Hussein O was opining about how much money people should make. I don't recall the Constitution enumerating that among his magical powers.
Anyhow, yesterday this arrived:
Anonymous said... Unless you're making several hundred of thousands a year, you're a total dipshit. The people who piss me off the most aren't the reactionary racist "Tea Party" folk, it's goddamn turncoats like you. You're a faggot and a Mexican and yet you don't realize that the people you do side with would crush you like the filthy bug they perceive you to be. Fight for progress not for them.The first thing I noticed was that the spelling, grammar and punctuation are all excellent. Makes me have hope for our country. Well, at least for the editors in our country.
What puzzled me, though, was his assumption that I am Mexican*. Can't figure that one out.
White as white can be is me: French-Scandinavian-Irish genes, with the freckles and sunburn to prove it. My black ex used to call me "melanin deprived".
And as for his final plea, one man's progress is another man's catastrophe.
Well, here I am, Total Dipshit and Goddam Turncoat Faggot and extremely non-Mexican,
*Mr. Freeze figured that one out. I did a post recently in which I proposed a highly ethnocentric, restrictive and authoritarian immigration policy for the USA and then pointed out that it was actually Mexico's law. Do a little research on how Mexico treats Guatemalans trying to cross illegally into their country.
One of the experiences associated with certain kinds of evolved religion and mysticism is a disengagement from identification with the ego and a recognition (or at least an assertion) of transcendental unity. The Sanskrit phrase Tat tvam asi, meaning "That thou art", is often quoted as a marker of this kind of non-dualistic consciousness.
In the words of the immortal prophet John Lennon, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. Coo coo ca chew."
Reminds me of a story I once heard (apocryphal?) about a dialogue between a Christian and a Buddhist.
Christian: "We are taught to love and forgive our enemies. What does Buddhism teach about enemies?" Buddhist: "Enemies? What enemies?"It was supposed, of course, to show the higher truth of the East, which dissolves those pesky Western dualisms. Very cool.
But I am such a Western dualist. (And I wonder how the Buddhists of Tibet under the heel of China feel about the reality of enemies?)
There are things which may be true on higher planes of existence, or in the Kingdom of Heaven, or in Berkeley or Marin, but on planet Earth, in time and space, here and now, as far back as the eye can see, dualism is the order of the day.
And needs to be. It is how we survive, if we manage to survive at all.
For better or worse, it seems to me that all our identities and identifications require an Other which we are definitely not. It was the universal and constant phenomenon of group splitting that made me think of this. What is more common than one tribe hating and warring against its neighboring tribe? Adam and Eve very quickly were at odds and their two sons came to murderous blows. Part of what makes the Old Testament both compelling and offputting is the constant conflict. But this, IMHO, is archetypal truth about who we are, post-lapsarian human on the third planet out from Sol. One afternoon in the schoolyard during lunch should be enough to indicate the truth of things.
Enemies are real and constant. They help to make us who we are. And we return the favor.
Rather than wringing our hands over this --which combines moral masturbation and exhibitionism in one fetish-- I suspect it would be wiser to accept it and then to pay attention to how we handle it. Conscious enmity?
For some reason I remembered the hapless Pope Paul VI* speaking at the UN in favor of the higher values, repeating the elegant pacifist slogan "Jamais plus la guerre! Jamais plus la guerre!". War never again. So Sixties. Such a waste of breath.
Highminded and spiritual people have their uses. Usually in a monastery where they can do little harm except to others of their kind. Not running countries or writing for newpapers or teaching our children. But for the real world of schoolyards and armed tribes of actual humans, Heraclitus is a better guide than the Pope or the Dalai Lama: "War is the father and king of us all."
Which reminds me, I have to order The Man's new book.
*PS I was a student in Rome in 1973 and heard him preach at his cathedral church of San Giovanni Laterano. He was a pitiful figure, poor man, unable to deal with the storms of the 60's in his Church. I remember a line where he departed from his text and cried out rather pathetically, "Cosa posso fare? Non sono ch'un vecchio uomo." "What can I do? I am just an old man."
I came across this post on a defunct blog (http://www.postmodernclog.com/) and so took the liberty of just copying it here. Well put. Well put.
Wookie Islamist Win
The boys and I were talking about the hypocritical way in which liberals treat Muslims and Christians. The same 'Progressives' who applaud Piss Christ, engage in crude stereotyping of Christians and use 'Jesus' as an expletive even in family programming, react with horror to the mildest slight against Islam. Criticism of Islam in Canada, most European countries and increasingly in the U.S. is considered a form of hate speech. No similar protections are ever extended to Christians. Piggy banks are banned in Britain in deference to Muslim sensitivities, Muslim footbaths are built with government money in U.S. campuses, and sharia family laws are increasingly being acceded to in the West. Meanwhile, even Christmas trees are attacked by the Left as an unconscionable intrusion of religion into public space.
There are two obvious reasons for this double standard. First, of course, is the religion of multiculturalism and the debilitating white liberal guilt which undergirds it. In the face of an aggressive minority lobbying effort, liberals lack the will to defend even their most sacred of cows -- secularism. (My emphasis)
Secondly, the hard Left has made a tacit alliance with radical Islam. The ACORN crowd knows that hygenically-challenged Seattle activists will never stop Big Macs from taking over the world. At this point, the only credible opposition to globalism comes from the Islamic world. While these hard Lefties are small in number, they punch above their weight on a cultural level.
The most important factor in this double standard, however, is much more visceral in nature -- basic liberal cowardice. George Lucas really captured the spirit of the thing back in 1977:
R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing the holographic game aboard the Millennium Falcon
C-3PO: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you.
Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.
C-3PO: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.
Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.
C-3PO: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win.
Substitute Islamist for Chewbacca, CAIR representative for Han Solo and Spineless Liberal for C-3PO and it's a pretty clear picture of current events. In crudest terms, the Left mocks Christians and kowtows to radical Muslims because the Religion of Peace has an ingrained habit of blowing crap up.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
If I ever had to make the awful choice between losing my sight or losing my hearing, I would let vision go and keep my ears open.
I have a vivid memory of one Sunday in August when I was maybe ten. We arrived late to the High Mass, so they sent us upstairs to sit in the back of the loft, behind the choir. The church was filled with people, the chanting of the priests, the choir's responses, the candlewax and the incense, the sweat, the heat, the boredom, the sunshine. And at one point, at Communion, I think, they sang Mozart's Ave Verum. Right in front of me. It wasn't the choir of King's College, but I think that was the first time I was ever transfixed.
Reminds me of Thomas Merton's words about chanting the Office:
The first history essay I wrote in sophomore year in high school was on the Five Pillars of Islam. I have had a lifelong interest in world religions and that has included Islam, long before 9/11. Back in 1989-90, along with reading A History of the Arab Peoples, I read the Koran, whole thing, beginning to end. After all, I thought, many hundreds of millions of people consider this book God's final revelation. It may be poetically beautiful in Arabic, --and in illuminated manuscripts--but in English it was no easy task to get through.
Although descended both from Judaism and Christianity, Muhammad's religion combines some of their elements into a quite new synthesis. A few things, important but hardly exhaustive, that make Islam unique and quite different what what we in the West nowadays understand as "religion":
The Koran. The Koran is not like the Bible, either Old or New Testament, both of which are collections of various documents by various writers inspired by God. The Koran was spoken entirely by one man, Muhammad, repeated from memory by him and others, and written down from memories of his hearers, edited and collected into a final version about 20 years after his death, all other copies being destroyed.
Most importantly, the Koran is considered by mainstream Islam to be the direct voice of God in Arabic, flawless and unchangeable. To make an analogy, in Christianity God the Word takes on human flesh and becomes man in Jesus; in Islam, the sole God takes on human words and becomes text in the Koran. Muhammad is not the Christ of Islam; it is truer to say that the Koran is.
Muhammad, although only a man and not an incarnation of God--There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is God's Messenger--, was the final and highest prophet of God and is considered the perfect and sinless man. Hence, his life and behavior constitute a detailed unchanging standard of Muslim religion and ethics: from prayer, to marriage, to business, to war and personal hygiene.
Sunna and Hadith. Information about him is called the Sunna, customary practice or habit, and consists of large collections of sayings and incidents collected from witnesses, hadith or reports, and assessed for levels of authenticity. There are a half dozen accepted collections; earliest texts of these hadith, which number in the thousands, come from about a century after Muhammad's 632 AD death. The most religiously respected collection is by the Uzbek Persian, Bukhari, written around 850 or so.
Sacred Code of Law. Islamic theology, that is, doctrine, ideas about God, etc. is pretty thin and simple. Islam's major interest and energy is about behavior. Like Judaism, and unlike Christianity, it is a religion of sacred law and regulation. Hence, the centrality of Sharia, meaning The Path, the code of Muslim law which regulates every aspect of human life in tremendous detail. One of the most authoritative manuals is the 800 page Reliance of the Traveler. Sharia is created out of the vast enterprise of Muslim jurisprudence, based on the Koran and the Sunna. The now famous fatwas are binding legal opinions given by trained Muslim scholars of Sharia.
Land and Power. Islam is an essentially territorial religion. The last ten years of Muhammad's life included his role as a warlord engaged in gaining control of the city of Mecca through military force. Rule by Islam over territory and peoples, taken by the sword if need be, is at the heart of this faith. This is part of the Sunna of Muhammad, the perfect and sinless man. When he died, he was the political/religious ruler of most of the Arabian peninsula. Within just a century, Islamic territory ranged from the borders of India to northern Spain. All by military conquest.
Church and State. Islam may tolerate but does not recognize or condone the distinction between God and the State, between divine law and civil law.
Islam is inherently, and not by accident of history or opportunity, an expansionist (aka globally missionary) theocracy. This makes it unique among world religions.
PS. A weird example of Muslim religious legal issues: killing geckos. This raises the issue about whether Muslims can use Geico....
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
A scene on TV between a guy and his girlfriend. She comes out of the bathroom with clenched fists and moderate shrieking. "How many times have I told you to put the seat down?"
So. Since girls do all their bathroom things sitting, they don't want to have to touch the seat to make it go down. (Because of what lethal danger?)
And since boys do one of their bathroom things standing, if the seat is down, they are supposed to touch it to make it go up.
And this is fair, how?
(Of course it's not fair. It's not supposed to be. It's supposed to make sure males are properly subserviant.)
If I were straight and a woman talked to me like that, before I left her for good I would be very tempted to give her the back of my hand and then go and pee all over the seat.
And yesterday one of the crowns on my teeth fell out.
So I perhaps overreacted when I found that NYC Mayor Bloomberg opined that the Times Square bomber would likely turn out to be mentally ill or against health care and Geraldo Rivera was sure it'd be Tim McVeigh reborn or some evangelical crusader. Of course it turned out to be a Pakistani who had naturalized as an American, nabbed in the nick of time as his flight to Dubai taxied on the runway. And since none of the news stories will say this, he is a MUSLIM!
American Muslim terrorist. American Muslim terrorist. American Muslim terrorist.
But what literally turned my stomach was discovering that the New Mexico lesbians who sued a Christian photographer for declining to photograph their wedding won in court. A replay of the homo fascists who use Canada's vile Stalinist Human Rights Commissions for the same purpose.
If these tyrant-victims were sued on similar grounds, they'd be bleeding self-righteous indignation all over the place.
And yesterday a gay cop in Britain arrested a (white and Christian) street preacher for saying homosexuality is a sin. Why doesn't the prissy faggot coward try arresting some dark and Muslim homophobes?
As Mencken the Wise said: Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin to slit throats.
I really should give up reading the news in the morning.
Thank God it's another beautiful day. I have to call a dentist.
Monday, May 03, 2010
I note that in at least 2 places, SF and Santa Cruz, the anti-Arizona crowds demonstrating yesterday engaged in violence against people and property. Where are the denunciations of the haters? Oh, right. It's the Tea Partiers that are haters. Sometimes I let facts derail the Correct Narrative.
I do like working out. I've been at it five days a week, sometimes more, for the last eight years. The results have been far better than I could have expected, especially at my age. (I only wish I had done this far earlier in my life.) And it is an anchor for whatever mental health I have; gives me a sense of accomplishment even when the rest of a day is barren of that. Plus my gym is homey and has lots of light and air, so even on a gorgeous day, you don't have to sacrifice being out for working out.
I have opined before that each of the Seven Pillars of Progressivism is really a kind of political complex, driven by an intense feeling connected to an image. Listening to supporters of the May Day demos against Arizona, I sense this. And reading about an interview by a liberal Dutch reporter about Islam, it is even clearer.
A feminist society cannot tolerate the existence of men. Manhood and feminism are inherent enemies. A multicultural society must eventually reduce whites to the status of a criminal class.
Redistributionism must include either de facto or de jure government control of the economy and an evisceration of the right to own property (and hence, to own yourself.). A secular(ist) society must seek to destroy traditional Christianity by pathologizing it in public and reducing it to a private vice. Etc.
As much as I have given time and energy to understanding myself, I am sure that, when all is said and done, there will be dominant themes and patterns very powerful in my life that I will die completely unaware of.
Having watched what life can be like for people over 80, my parents and other family members, I am now thinking that dying in your 70's is really ok. One of the unintended outcomes of our medical science and care is that we live far longer than we ought to and thus with greatly reduced quality. There were two times when my dad could have been carried off by infections, but was fixed up so he could go back and be an unspeaking paralyzed shadow of himself for another couple of years. He really should have died years before he did. Keeping him alive was done out of love, but its effect was cruel.
If you want to get a scary sense of the human race, read the comments on YouTube, on just about anything. Folks from all over the world, with internet access. On another level, just barbarians.
One of American liberal Catholicism's lights is nun Joan Chittester. She recently wrote that the Pope's allowance to use the traditional Latin liturgy was a disaster because the new liturgy and the old liturgy are for different churches. I think she spoke the truth for her and folks like her.
Vatican II provoked a repeat of the Protestant Reformation with a psychological but not an institutional break. Her real religion, I suspect, is liberalism: feminism first of all, and then all the associated isms of the Seven Pillars. And if you pushed it, I suspect that you'd find way more common ground between Luther and Rome than between Chittester and Rome. As I wrote to the guy who runs the website this appeared on, "Don't you get exhausted year after year being the angry unloved son? Unless that's what you really like."
As for ordaining women like her, does she not understand that the Vatican understands that that would never be the end of it? Women like her having access to hierachical power would just be a foothold in the beginning of another war against actual historical Catholicism. What makes her think that ordaining people who engage in a constant campaign of public disobedience makes any sense at all? You don't have to be a theologian or a believer to get that.
One of the Enlightenment's great flaws was its attempt to create truth and value supposedly utterly unconnected to local particular life. In many ways, this ultra-European project was essentially infected with de-racination. You now have many of its descendants passionately holding on to highminded values in utter ignorance of their own real and local interests, to say nothing of local reality. That Dutch reporter is a classic example. Head right up her ass, and feeling totally superior about it.
The sad truth is that human groups of all kinds --racial, religious, political, economic, etc.--- have always warred on and will always war on one another. How many groups do not have problems with their neighbors? It may in fact be one of the unpleasant survival strategies built into our species. And if you do not hold that your group is better than all the others --whether it is or not-- you will lose to those who do.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
I also woke up one morning in 2008 --February 14th, to be exact-- and realized that I had fallen in love. Again.
1964. I am 14. I am riding home on the bus with my best friend in high school, T. I look at him and he seems all covered with light and I feel happy and as if my insides are turning into jello.
1974. I am 26. My new friend J is someone I find myself thinking of a lot. Almost all the time. When I turn a corner and run into him, I stop breathing. When he first kissed me --the first man ever to kiss me-- I almost passed out.
1980. I am 32. A younger guy comes to stay at the house for a while because he new in town, trying to get away from family troubles. When I bring towels and stuff to his room, he turns around and smiles at me. I have to steady myself so I don't lose my balance. A few weeks later when he asks me if I want to see a movie with him, I get that jello feeling inside again. P.
1984. I am 36. I meet a guy at a community event, W. We start to chat. He is short, furry, wiry. Over the next weeks we talk on the phone. I learn more about him. At a Christmas party, someone comes over whom I know he dislikes and almost fears. I put my arm around W and lean into him, proprietary. The other guy changes course. W smiles at me. I feel like I am falling into his smile.
1987. I am 39. At a meeting in Ottawa, I look out the window and see a tall man playing with his kids in the park across the street. I go out on the porch to get a better look. He stops and looks at me from across the street. I think, "Uh, oh". Turns out he is also there for the meeting. I ask a friend who knows him to introduce me. I later find out he asked the same friend to introduce us. Three weeks later, I look over at him, lying asleep in my bed in Toronto and think, "I love him." J #2.
1993. I am 45. T and I have been seeing each other, on and off, for several months. We work together. We are as different as you can be: age, race, temperament, interests. One night he comes to the door to get me for us to go out to dinner. He has a brown suit jacket on, a new haircut, a smile. Something inside me melts and I feel as if I am in the hands of fate.
2008. I am on the cusp of 60. I met B eight months before and what started out as casual fun has progressed to real pleasure and a unique sense of aliveness just by being in his company. I wake up and he's the first thing I think of, and something in my heart feels like it opens up and I realized that I love him.
Love and tinnitis. Tinnitis, however, appears to be incurable. Also.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
This gives the game away. EVERYBODY knows that the problem is with brown people, Hispanics. The country is not overrun with Black or Asian or European illegals.
Can we have just a little bit of reality once in a while?