Wednesday, December 10, 2008
It's not a distraction, MSM, it's Obama's character in spotlights. He has surrounded himself with the worst of the worst. And now he's President Elect. Hmph.
It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
December 3, 2008
The First Terrorist War - Five Years Later
[First published: October, 2003 ]
Sections of "The First Terrorist War"
1. Calling the War By the Right Name.
2. Not Process But Victory Restores Freedom
3. Playing for Time is Playing to Lose
4. The Goal of Radical Islam is Our Destruction
5. The War of Two Religions
6. The Unspoken Role of the Ballistic Missile Submarines
7. Avoiding the Islamic War by Winning the Terrorist War
"[Arabs] were incorrigibly children of the idea, feckless and colour-blind, to whom body and spirit were for ever and inevitably opposed. Their mind was strange and dark, full of depressions and exaltations, lacking in rule, but with more of ardour and more fertile in belief than any other in the world. They were a people of starts, for whom the abstract was the strongest motive, the process of infinite courage and variety, and the end nothing. They were as unstable as water, and like water would perhaps finally prevail." -- T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1. Calling the War By the Right Name.
In a war, "Know your enemy" is one of the first axioms in formulating a strategy for victory. It is an axiom the United States has ignored for over
two seven years. Instead we’ve seen a host of euphemisms and slogans thrown up in the belief that, having had many decades of a life where ugly things are given pretty or neutral names, Americans can no longer "bear very much reality."
In the years between September. 2001 and today, the public has had little asked of it and seen nothing happen on our soil that alarms it. All is quiet on the western front.
Foggy thinking, attractive in politics, means defeat in war. War requires "a mind of winter;" a mind that is precise, cold, and unrelenting. War requires that we call things what they are and cease to skirt issues that make us, "uncomfortable." Vague names create fluffy policies, hamstrung strategies, and wishful thinking. This is where we are drifting.
To say we are "involved" in a "war on terror" extends our infatuation with euphemism and obfuscation into dangerous territory. The phrase lulls us into a state where all dangers seem unclear and distant. The "war on terror" joins an expanding list of "wars on..." such as drugs, poverty, or profuse paperwork in government. The "war on terror" implies a "process" rather than a campaign; an indeterminate series of unresolved encounters rather than decisive actions that lead to an end, to peace.
Peace is the goal of war. To accept a perpetual "war on terror" is to accept a plan for mere "management" rather than victory. The failure to plan for victory is the construction of a plan for defeat.
To those with a clear vision of this war and a knowledge of history, it is a lie that we are "involved in a war on terror." Our presidents, pundits and policy wonks may prefer it that way, but war is not the same as being "involved in a business slump" or "involved in a troubled relationship."
Wishful souls in the West may see the war as a "process;" as an exercise in supply chain management. Our many millions of avowed enemies do not. Our enemies have no truck with vague thinking and phrases front-loaded with vacillation and pusillanimous wishing. Their thinking is driven by an ancient religious doctrine designed to manipulate, exploit and harness societies into servitude.
Our enemies commitment to our destruction is adamantine. It is no accident that many of their spiritual leaders speaking from the centers of their faith call for the death of the "Crusaders." Obfuscation has no place in their plans except as if creates confusion and doubt among us. Our enemies' goals are the same goals they have held for more than 500 years. They are the goals announced several times a week in tens of thousands of mosques throughout the world. For our enemies, the wars of the Crusades and the wars surrounding the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire were merely prologues to this war.
One such wave (and not the least) I raised and rolled before the breath of an idea, till it reached its crest, and toppled over and fell at Damascus. The wash of that wave, thrown back by the resistance of vested things, will provide the matter of the following wave, when in fullness of time the sea shall be raised once more." - T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Our present reality, brought home to us in the cataclysm of September 11 (and last week in Mumbai), is that we are now fighting The First Terrorist War. We had best know it by that name. When we persist in calling it the "war on terror" our implied goal is control and containment; a "management problem". This is a lethal illusion.
In war the only acceptable outcome is complete victory. A negotiation does not end a war - - as Oslo shows. A partition does not end a war - - as we learned in Vietnam. A cease-fire does not end a war -- as we saw in the Gulf War. The Cold War taught us that a wall does not end a war. Only victory, clear and decisive, ends war and creates peace. To date, we have failed to learn this lesson. In life, when a lesson is not learned, it is repeated.
In war, language is a strategic asset. Indeed, we see daily how language,here and abroad, is used to weaken the resolve of the United States. The central problem in calling The First Terrorist War the "war on terror’ is that the phrase soothes us into accepting less than victory; makes us accept war-without-end as a new deal; a new normality where terror is accepted as the status quo. This is the state in which Israel has existed for decades as terrorist violence becomes the scrim screen against which that nation's life lurches on. Although our present foreign policy may impose this on Israel, a garrison state may, over time, prove less popular here at home. We are not yet the kind of country that easily accepts "The Forever War."
2. Not Process But Victory Restores Freedom
An open-ended "war on terror," like a ‘war on drugs" invites a continuing erosion of small liberties. As this persists, once rare infringements on liberty become the norm. If it is to be the case that the shoes of all air travelers are to be inspected from now until the last ding-dong of doom, we will all be wearing sandals on airlines for the rest of our days. In this, many are correct to be wary of the long term effects of The Patriot Act.
Short of military conquest, a free society does not lose its freedom. Rather, freedom is lost through small infringements on liberty and dignity in the name of security. A perfectly safe state is a state without freedom. As our policies look to sustain rather than defeat our enemies, we are to that degree held hostage to both our policies and our enemies. When war is reduced to a process, that process becomes a self-renewing system in the same way that the "war on drugs" has become institutionalized in our lives; a normal part of the background noise that defines our days. A strategy based on "management," on diplomacy rather than victory, leads only to the establishment of internal organizations dedicated to their own perpetuation.
During the Civil War and the World Wars of the last century certain freedoms were, at times, curtailed, infringed or suspended. Following victory in 1945 these freedoms not only returned but even greater states of equality and liberty emerged. Had the Second World War ended in a negotiated stand-off at the Rhine and Okinawa, a state of war would have continued for an unknowable time and, in such a state, a less-free United States would have been a certainty. Only the destruction of the Axis powers yielded a peace out of which freedom surged, not only in America but in the lands of her former enemies as well. Victory yields freedom in peace. An armed process yields only stasis.
3. Playing for Time is Playing to Lose
Our enemies (many of whom have studied and lived or now live among us) know us better than we are prepared to know either them or ourselves. In order to reform, rearm and launch future attacks they depend upon our belief that we are effectively managing the "war on terror." At the same time they know that, absent any large attacks, we will grow weary with small but constant losses tallied daily by our "caring and sensitive" media. They depend upon us being lulled back into the state of slumber we enjoyed on September 10th. And we grant their wishes.
If they are as wise as they are ruthless, our enemies will continue with their strategies of constant attrition and small, distant attacks. They will, for the present, avoid large shocks to the nation in hopes that the ambitions of our political factions and the intellectual lassitude of our major media will result in the defeat of the present administration in the coming elections.[Check... ] The goal of this strategy is the expectation of a more somnambulant administration less invested in war and more inclined towards the failed policies of appeasement, negotiation and payoff. [... and double check.]
When that happens our present "war on terror" will become even softer; will be said sotto voce if said at all. It will be supplanted by something resembling "a diplomatic initiative to ameliorate terrorism." In effect we shall find ourselves, as we have so often in the past under liberal guidance, trying to buy out way out of the "war on terror." Our error will be believing that we are dealing with reasonable extortionists rather than blood enemies. And the measure of our leaders’ cowardice will be how deeply they promote this belief and the false hope it engenders.
4. The Goal of Radical Islam is Our Destruction
The consequences of a political and military stand-down would be to allow our enemies the time, basing and mobility to grow in numbers, advance in training, achieve greater tactical position within and about our borders, and acquire ever more sophisticated and powerful weapons. Once they have advanced to the next level of lethality they will strike us again with an effect on our lives, liberties, property and economy more extreme than 9/11.
The goals of the Radical Islamic forces arrayed against us are the same as their factotums, the Palestinians, have for Israel. In the jihad against Israel we can see what the Islamic forces have in mind for us: the complete destruction of our systems, the occupation of our land, the usurpation of our government, and the death or conversion of all our citizens. These are the goals of Radical Islam as understood by their fundamentalists and as tolerated by the vast majority of believers.
Much has been written about these goals. Most of our scholars conclude they are only fantasies. A nuclear weapon detonated in Seattle does not care if a fantasy set it off.
Whether the goals of Radical Islam can be achieved is a matter for history to determine. It is the belief that they can be achieved that brings the First Terrorist War upon us. To the extent that we fail to recognize the intensity and commitment of our enemies in this war; to the extent we fail to match their passion for our destruction with our passion for victory; to the extent we cast our lot with our "process" as they cast their lot with their god, we weaken our ability to decisively defeat them.
Ours is a "war on terror" while theirs is a "Jihad." Our efforts are a process. Theirs are directed by divine mandate. Whether you are of a secular or religious persuasion, it is well to remember that if you go to war you’d best have God on your side.
It is time to put away the feeble designation of our actions as the "war on terror" for it is not "terror" that shooting wars engage. Wars engage combatants, armies, populations, institutions, nations and religions. It is unpopular, almost unsayable, to designate the First Terrorist War as a religious war, yet all serious people know that this is the case and that this, in the end, is what it shall come to.
5. The War of Two Religions
Through the violent attacks of a Radical Islam, two religions have been brought into conflict. The first is that of Islam, a faith that at its core requires absolute submission from its adherents, and looks towards the subjugation of the world as its ultimate apotheosis. As the youngest of the monotheistic religions, Islam is at a point in its development that Christianity passed through centuries ago. And it is not with Christianity that Islam is currently at war. Islam is saving that for the mopping up phase of its current campaign. The religion that Islam has engaged is a much younger one, the religion of Freedom.
As a religion Freedom has been gaining converts since the success of the American Revolution enabled it to go forth and be preached to the world. Freedom is easily the most popular of the new religions and historically converts nearly 100% of all populations in which it is allowed to take firm root. This is the religion which we have lately brought to Iraq.
The genius of the religion of Freedom is that it allows all other religions, from the venerable to the trivial, to exist without fear of censure or destruction. Indeed, the only thing that the religion of Freedom firmly forbids is the destruction of Freedom itself. "Thou shalt not destroy Freedom" is Freedom's single commandment. And Freedom has been shown to resist efforts to destroy it in the most ferocious way. It’s enemies would do well to ponder the fate of previous attempts to do so.
On September 11, the agents of Radical Islam began their attempt to destroy Freedom by attacking it at its core. The reaction of Freedom to this assault has been, once you consider the destructive power of the weapons systems it possesses, measured, deliberate and cautious. This is because Freedom, although sorely wounded, does not yet feel that its very existence is threatened. A more serious attack at any time in the future will put paid to that specious notion.
Following a second attack at a level equal to or exceeding September 11, any political opposition to pursuing our enemies with all means at our disposal will be swept off the table. The First Terrorist War will begin in earnest and it will not be a series of small wars with long lead times and a careful consultation of allies. The war will become, virtually overnight, a global war of violent preemption and merciless attack towards the spiritual and geographic centers of our enemy. Arguments revolving around the true meaning of ‘imminent’ will be seen as they are -- so much factional prattle. Due to the nature of the enemy, the First Terrorist War will be fought here and there and everywhere. It does not matter when or where the second serious strike on the American homeland takes place, it only matters that on the day after this country will be at war far beyond the current level of conflict.
6. The Unspoken Role of the Ballistic Missile Submarines
Since 9/11 there is one element of our strategic forces that has not been discussed. Indeed, you seldom hear a question asked about its status. That element is our fleet of ballistic missile submarines. We currently possess 18 of these "ships," but a ballistic missile submarine is known not as a ship, but as a "strategic asset."
Each submarine has 24 missile tubes. Each tube holds one missile with from 5-8 nuclear warheads. Each warhead can be targeted separately from the others. The range of these missiles is classified but is thought to be in excess of 6000 nautical miles. The total number of warheads is approximately 50% of US strategic warheads. In sum, any single one of these strategic assets can create the end of a significant portion of the world. At present roughly 40% of this fleet is deployed at unknown and unknowable locations throughout the world’s oceans.
Originally built in order to deter, these strategic assets now assume a more aggressive role in the First Terrorist War. Because of the religious nature of the war, our enemy is unlikely to be deterred by the threat of obliteration. He will view that as highly unlikely since it would, of necessity, involve us in the deaths of large number of civilians in countries known to harbor or be friendly to Islamic terrorists. He believes we would not employ these weapons. This misunderstanding of the history of Western democracies under arms and in a state of total war invites global tragedy.
Nevertheless, the character and goals of our enemy are as fixed as the words of the Koran and he is not to be dissuaded by the threat of annihilation. Only actual annihilation will, in the end, suffice and yield victory. In attempting to achieve this annihilation we can only hope that the political and military situation does not evolve to a level where the submarines would have to play a role.
7. Avoiding the Islamic War by Winning the Terrorist War
Because we are large, lumbering, impatient and somnambulant our enemy depends on these factors to defeat us. He uses the opportunities of Freedom in order to make war upon it. He is able to infiltrate our society and institutions. He is able to be infinitely patient. He plans for the decades while we can barely manage to plan from one fiscal quarter to the next.
This is a war that will play out over years and will not be resolved in months. In order to gain victory and defeat our enemy we must put in place policies and strategies that cannot easily be altered by reports, polls, or election cycles. In order to achieve this we must be, as we were in the Second World War, united in purpose. It is, sadly, the nature of our society today that September 11th's unity was fleeting. To find this unity we must suffer through one more horrendous attack the nature and timing of which will not be of our choosing.
Still, as surely as the next attack will come, so will the unity that it creates in its wake and at that point the full power of Freedom’s Arsenal will at last be used to defend it. This is the social and political conundrum that confronts us in the First Terrorist War. And this is why the war must be divorced from ‘process’ and the goal of victory be cut into the stone of the American soul.
During the Second World War, our system, with few alterations, brought us through to a peace in which there were greater freedoms than before the war. Victory validated our way of life. Not only were our freedoms intact in 1945 but they were poised, with the economy, for a great expansion throughout the rest of the century and into this. If you had proposed, in the summer of 1946, that within 50 years all minorities would be fully enfranchised, that women would be fully liberated, that homosexuals would be a dominant force with their enfranchisement only a moment away, and that an African-American could be elected President, you would have been dismissed as a socialist dreamer. And yet, here we are.
The same situation can also be envisioned as the result of our victory in the First Terrorist War at the end of a less-clear but no less threatening passage of arms. But this will only happen if we remain clear about the real nature of the First Terrorist War, and committed to unequivocal victory regardless of the costs in lives and treasure. Only by matching the determination of our enemy to destroy us will we prevail. The only thing that can defeat us are a dull reliance on management, a fascination with process rather than victory and the reluctance to believe the extent to which our enemy desires our annihilation.
Beyond victory in the First Terrorist War is a greater goal. What we must seek is not merely the "control" and "containment" of terror, for terror in this guise cannot be controlled or contained. We must come to the deeper understanding that only a complete victory over the global Radical Islamic forces can prevent the onset of a confrontation more terrible than the current war.
What we must press for in the Terrorist War is a victory so decisive that we can, in the end, avoid the larger war lurking on the not-so-distant horizon - - a true war between civilizations. That war, should it come, will not take the name of The Terrorist War, but of The Islamic War.
The Terrorist War is still a struggle that can be fought and won with conventional means. An Islamic War, should it come, would engulf the world and be anything but conventional.
"Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances."T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
*[NOTE: This essay was first published in October of 2003. It has recently been the subject of renewed interest at various places about the net, thanks in no small part to Joe Katzman's : 3 Touchstones, 3 Conjectures. In Katzman's article I find my effort bracketed by Stephen Den Beste's USS Clueless - Strategic Overview and Wretchard of The Belmont Club's 3 Conjectures. Now joined by Joe Katzman with Winds of Change.NET: Our Darkening Sky: Iran and the War]
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Now I find myself similarly perched. President Elect Narcissus somehow got himself elected and we're stuck. We must resist him mightily but I doubt if there is more new to be said. To paraphrase George Herbert "Living free is the best resistance."
We blew it. This is a democracy and we gave up. Shame on us.
Scheherazade Needs A New Tale
November 29, 2008 by Daphne
Watching the latest Islamic terrorist horror in India starts a rolling list in my head that can’t be stopped; Iran, Beirut, USS Cole, Somalia, 9/11, Spain, London. Those are just the big ones, everyday around the world Islamists murder in the name of their politicized religion. They attack women, children, the old and infirm, coreligionists, non-believers, white, brown or yellow, it doesn’t matter. An alarming portion of their fellow Muslims support their grisly agenda, some of them actively, others by dancing in the streets, expressing joy in the deaths of strangers. I hate these bastards.
I find myself increasingly repulsed by Muslim practices and beliefs. Middle Eastern, African, Asian, American, the country of origin makes no difference. Women and children treated as chattel, genital mutilation, child brides, honor killings, culturally accepted pedophilia, the black drapes and head coverings, no rights, no votes, little to non-existent educational opportunities, no voice, no choices, no recourse. Persecution of homosexuals. Imprisonment, stoning and whipping for morality crimes. Lack of free speech. The foul treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic countries. The demented hatred of Jews. Sharia Law. Wahhabism. Madrasas. Blind obedience to Mullahs. Praying towards Mecca - a place on the map few will ever see. Individuality is shut down, originality and freedom of the mind discouraged. Islam pisses on human talents that fall outside the dark walls of its faith. Hell, I even dislike their dislike of dogs.
I don’t believe Mohamed was holy or a prophet. I think he was evil incarnate carrying the words of Satan himself to a crew of desert simpletons. Islam is a barbaric, unpeaceful, vile, unthinking distortion of worship. The fact that the majority of its adherents can’t even read the Koran smacks of mindless ignorance. I see no enlightenment elevating individual singularity or acknowledging gifted greatness in this corner of archaic darkness. My lip curls at their love of theocracies, a willingness to subjugate themselves to the whims of dissolute rulers along side an ancient text they can’t even begin to comprehend, subsuming their divine individuality to a tide of dogmatic mandates. I have no use, or respect, for the people who follow this religion. I’m past tired of their bombing, shooting, acid throwing, coup d’etat loving, rioting asses and it looks like the rest of the world could stand a break from these murdering bastards, too. According to a website that does nothing but track worldwide Islamic terrorism, there have been 12,328 Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11. Don’t tell me this isn’t an Islamic issue, the rest of us aren’t practicing murder on a worldwide scale in the name of religion.
I’m fed up. Please don’t start feeding me that lame ‘Moderate Islam’ load of bull. Sure, I know most Muslims aren’t carrying out jihad, many don’t financially support those activities, millions don’t dance in the streets and rejoice death. Answer me this though, of all of those billions who don’t participate, how many are actively fighting the Islamists? How many are working to moderate and depoliticize the Book, men, rulers and countries who support terrorism? I have yet to see the Middle East street riot to overthrow the mullahs, dethrone the Saudis, crush the morality police or stone the acid throwing scumbags who attack school girls. Where are the millions of women demonstrating for their natural human rights to keep their labias, show their arms and hair, go to school, drive a damn car? Where are the protesters when a filmmaker, writer or cartoonist is killed for expressing their thoughts on Islam? Show me the Muslim groups vocally trying to protect children or homosexuals. There is absolutely no movement among their theologians to modernize, secularize or temper the Koran. I haven’t even touched on Southeast Asia, a predominately Muslim region full of Islamic terrorism that our media regularly ignores. The vast majority of supposed moderates wallow in the same foul cesspool that breeds extremism. They don’t give a shit. Insha Allah.
Moderate Muslims don’t exist. Most followers are quietly going about their lives in this religious toilet, some are trying to remake the globe. I have no use for either group, to coin an old sixties phrase, you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. I’m past the point of trying to understand, rationalize or tolerate general Muslim inactivity to moderate their religion or issue wholesale condemnations for the large, violent arm of their faith.
I don’t care about the epithets that will come my way or the pseudo intellectual arguments defending Islam in general, I’m done with the followers of this grotesque religious abomination that’s wreaking regular havoc and death on the world. I will condemn them all until they give me good reason to reconsider their decency. A worldwide Muslim protest against the perpetrators of the latest Islamic terrorist atrocity in Mumbai would be a good start.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Christie Davies has a good sneer at socialist design at the V&A and explains why socialist economics could not work and made life ugly and uncomfortable: Cold War Modern: Design 1945 - 1970 at the V&A
The exhibition Cold War Design at the V&A is both a disgrace and a joke. It purports to identify a cold war in design between the Soviets and the Americans between 1945-70 and to place it in an historical and economic context but it gets both the history and the economics wrong and quite disgracefully so.
It is a joke because East European design was a joke. As the tragedy of Stalin was succeeded by the farce of Khrushchev, so the crushingly ugly monumentalism of his tyranny was replaced by the badly designed everyday products that were the subject of popular humour. Stalin's architects designed crass buildings, Khrushchev and Brezhnev's designers produced rubbish artefacts. The exhibition speaks of two roads to modernism but there was never anything modern about socialism.
The exhibition tries to reduce all western consumer goods to being items in cold war competition and a by-product of technical advances made by the military.
Well designed office products by Olivetti and Italian coffee machines alike are regarded as having been made to promote the benefits of the free market. There is a dreadful ambiguity here. They did promote the benefits of the free market. Under no other system would it have been possible to design them in a way that would appeal to customers and fulfil a felt need.
Let us have no nonsense about advertisers promoting false needs. Is coffee a false need? Were the Germans who drank Ersatzkaffee made of acorns during and after World War II as false in their needs as in their coffee? Should the "false" Olivetti typewriter and its successor the word processor be ditched to bring back hunched male clerks on high stools writing copper plate in ledgers? Was it wrong to deskill Mr Pooter, the City calligrapher, and hand his work over to the pert young female products of the Board schools just to satisfy a false need for legibility?
Elsewhere in the exhibition we are asked to admire "Hedwig Bollhagen's
elegant unadorned" East German coffee set 1961, produced by one of East Germany's leading ceramicists. Her work never went into mass production even though she owned one of the country's few private businesses (her goods were traded under the counter) nor that there was never any decent coffee to put in such coffee cups as there were. In East Germany you had to measure out your life without coffee spoons. We were endlessly told during the cold war that the prices paid to peasants growing coffee were too low, never that a key reason for this was the unwillingness of the Soviet block to allow their consumers to buy the coffee they wanted.
Many of the East European designs in this exhibition were mere prototypes that never went into production. Sometimes they are elegant but it is the elegance of a Potemkin village. In an aristocratic society it is possible to admire the craftsmanship of a one-off coffee service for the very rich and to ignore the dirty clay pots from which the poor sup their beer but in industrial societies production ought to be for the broad masses and design must reflect this.
Soviet design could not do so because no-one ever considered the wishes of ordinary people. In fairness, from an aesthetic point of view, it was an egalitarian society. Even the elite lived ugly, though in far more comfortable ugliness than the moujiks. There were no Fabergė Easter eggs, but then there was no Easter either, the key occasion that in Tsarist times had brought beauty into the world of the peasant.
The well-designed Italian goods did promote the virtues of the free market but that was not their main purpose. After they had been produced, no doubt they could be placed in exhibitions and used to illustrate the superiority of the West over Soviet socialism but so what? When you are competing for prestige or propaganda you compete with what you've got.
The curators' waspish comments on the Italian Vespa motor scooter are even crasser than those about Olivetti. They stress that the Vespa was adapted from scooters used by US parachutists during the Second World War in order to portray Western goods as a spin-off of militarism. One of the sillier critics writing about the exhibition, who presumably got his ideas from what he saw, adds that the Vespa was
mass-produced with American money to bind the once-fascist nation to its consumerist cause.But were the Italians ever so enthusiastic for Mussolini and world conquest that they ceased to seek and enjoy well-designed goods? Was it such a wrench to the fanatically militaristic Italians to give up being soldiers of an all-conquering state that they had to be placated with scooters?
Consumerism is not an ideology, not a Weltanshauung in the sense that Fascism and Communism were. Putting the suffix –ism on something does not make it a belief system. In truth there is no such thing as consumerism. Our central belief is that individuals should be free to make choices - that is our ideology; the providers of goods and services merely compete for the attention of free women and men. That is all. A scooter is a scooter is a scooter. It is not an ideology but an effective means of transportation. It only becomes an advertisement for capitalism because it does well what it is designed to do.
It is amazing to see in the exhibition as an example of good East European design a "Trabi", an East German Trabant motor car. On days when the wind blew from the East it was the main source of pollution in West Berlin. After reunification it had to be banned because of the amount of dirt it put into the air. In what sense was it well designed? It doesn't even look good.
The Eastern jokers knew far more about cars than the V&A:
How do you double the value of a Trabi?Everywhere in the exhibition we are told how innovation and design improvements in consumer goods came from the investments in science and technology needed for competition in defence. But in that case why could the Soviets who were very good at designing tanks (better even than the Nazi ones) not transfer their skills to the designing of a decent car.
Fill the petrol tank.
Why has the Lada got a heated rear window?
So that it keeps your hands warm when you push it through the snow.
The Soviets could not even design civilian planes that worked. Their internal airlines were notorious for their bad safety record, something they concealed from their own public by not permitting stories about air crashes to get into the press. If the Soviets could design an outstanding jet fighter for their covert pilots to use in the Korean War, why could they not design a plane that could get their own citizens safely from Moscow to Tashkent or Kiev?
But the exhibition does not mention these grotesque failures that reveal how worthless Soviet design was - instead it highlights Soviet propaganda successes, notably Sputnik the first satellite and Vostok the first space capsule, the one that took Yuri Gagarin into orbit, following the dog Laika. There is a huge Soviet poster of him in the exhibition by Vadim Volikov entitled "Glory to Soviet Science, Glory to Soviet Man - the First Cosmonaut, 1961". Gagarin is flanked by a rocket and holds a red sphere in his hand with a hammer and sickle on it. The idiots running the exhibition comment
perhaps it represents the planet's future as a socialist world without national, social or class divisions.They have no evidence for this. It might just as well mean "he holds the whole world in his hand", i.e. the Soviet Union is omnipotent.
There is one richly comic item though - the full pressure space suit worn by Alexsei Leonov for his first space walk. It was so rigid that he had problems getting back into the spacecraft through the airlock and got stuck, presumably with his head back in and his arse sticking out in space. What a wonderful comedy film that would have made. No wonder the Russians never got to the moon.
It is the principle of the entire exhibition that Soviet posters, prototypes, rhetoric and imagined utopias are placed in opposition to western achieved design. Even the Soviet lead in rockets was a mark of their incompetence in design. The Soviets could not make their warheads smaller, so they had to make their rockets bigger and ended up bolting together World War II style German rockets. Sputnik was a by-product of this and is in essence a triumph of Nazi science and of the Nazi scientists kidnapped and forcibly deported to the Soviet Union in 1945-6.
But no one in Moscow dared to sing the local equivalent of
... the widows and cripples in old London town,The simplicity of the best western design was not an attempt to off-set the horrors of Socialist Realism but a result of the endless pressure due to competition in pricing to make things cheaper by using less raw materials in production and to occupy less space in people's homes.
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun
The only small things the Soviets ever pioneered were the miniature cameras and recording devices for the KGB on display in the exhibition. Even jewellery imitated this as in Vaclav Cagler's Neck Piece (Czech) 1968-9, a piece of futuristic jewellery with mirrored discs for covert observation. Socialist production maximises the use of raw materials because that makes total production look larger which looks good in the figures and socialist design goes for size for a similar reason. Never tell a socialist that size doesn't matter.
It was not that their designers arbitrarily chose clumsiness but rather that a system in which value is measured by cost (as in the British educational system) forced clumsiness upon them.
The transistor was an American invention and the transistor radio a Japanese triumph. If it had been left to the Soviets they would have gone on using valves because for all their investment in science education (some of it better than ours) they could never innovate. In turn their designers would have gone on producing huge boxes to hold the radios taking up half the space in their average working class family's tiny living room. It would have been seen as a suitable outlet for the huge speeches of the Soviet leaders. It would be interesting to know how quickly they phased valves out when the transistor arrived since socialist planners do not like liquidating obsolete physical plant, even though it has become effectively worthless.
There is a curious insert in the middle of the exhibition covering the year 1968. Here for reasons that are obscure is a poster from the radical French Atelier Populaire 1968, telling us "Voter c'est mourir un peu", (To vote is to die a little), showing a coffin with a ballot box on top and marked with de Gaulle's Cross of Lorraine. It is accompanied by illustrations and accounts of the police putting down student riots in France and Italy. But there is also a photo of an utterly empty Wenceslas Square in Prague. In the foreground is the photographer's watch on a wrist, showing the time when a planned rally would have been at full strength. It had been cancelled because the Warsaw pact forces had warned that they would crush it with the utmost violence.
Here we see, though it is not remarked on in the exhibition, the total contrast between the crushed Czechs who wanted freedom to vote and to purchase and the cowardly pampered scum of Paris and Milan who were against voting, against freedom, against consumption and who knew that in a democratic country they could be violent with impunity. De Gaulle was not going to crush them beneath the tracks of his tanks.
In Milan in 1968 Giancarlo de Carlo installed a barricade of freezers and television sets in the Milan Triennale held in the Palazzo dell' Arte
fashioned from the debris of modern capitalism ...[to] draw attention to the effects of modern consumerism on society.Two hours after it opened radical protesters occupied the building! De Carlo who was obviously a devotee of onanism, a complete Kuwaiti tanker-merchant banker, tried to engage them in discussion and was upset when a week later the police threw them out.
There is something sickening about radicals who protested against the goods that were making life easier for ordinary working-class housewives but who loved Mao Tse Tung and the Cultural Revolution and even imitated its uniforms. The mass murders the famines and the total lack of freedom were acceptable to them as were the public humiliation of ordinary individuals on a scale not seen since the Nazis made the Jews scrub the streets of Vienna.
There is also much that is sickening about this exhibition that praises the horrors of socialism with faint damns. The Soviet Union in the cold war was not an alternative road to modernism and modernity but a stagnant society that blocked all possibility of reform. At the time we feared communism because of its military power. Today we despise it for its failure. The cold war was a just war and we won. That is all you need to know. There is only one reason for going to the exhibition at the V and A and that is to sneer.
Christie Davies travelled extensively in the Soviet bloc during the cold war. He is the author of Jokes and their Relation to Society, (Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter, 1998) in which he shows how ordinary people in those countries expressed their hatred of socialism and its failures through humour.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Chart by The New York Times, 1913
Sunday, November 9, 2008
That website made me want to puke. Those head-tilts are now not of compassion but condescension. As if the left has anything to teach anyone about graciousness or moderation in attitude or behaviour.
Of course conservatives will “get along” and make nice - it’s why they knew they could get away with all the atrocious things they’ve said and done the past 8 years. Did anyone hear GWB whining about all the stuff that’s been said and written about him? Has he blackballed a network for asking “tough” questions? Has he querulously queried a news anchor about being a shill for the opposing side?
Do you know why conservatives generally have the capacity for graciousness in victory and defeat? Because, as a rule, conservatives are happy with who they are. There’s no cognitive dissonance going on, because we live what we believe - we like free markets, so we consume; we actually care for our less fortunate neighbours, so we give generously (of our OWN money that we earn) and we buy their stuff so they can gain wealth; we don’t believe the economy works by taking from one and giving to the other (as though a dollar for you means a dollar less for me), so we work hard, pay our taxes grudgingly and rejoice at the success of others while working to secure our own; we don’t believe in AGW, so we don’t agonise over the recycling or flying or driving anywhere. It’s bliss.
If you’re a lefty in a western capitalist democracy, this is impossible because you are living off the wealth created by a system you think you despise. You are inherently angry and bitter all the time, because your life can’t measure up to your impossible ideals, and you are naturally self-absorbed and self-centered because of this anger and bitterness. It’s all consuming.
Of course, I’m generalising. I’m sure some of the head-tilties pictured were appalled at the treatment of the conservatives at the hands of the minority (but vocal) radicalised elements of their pseudo-religion, and in the last 8 years raised their voices again and again in protest at such unprovoked and vicious assaults on the character and person of their political opponents, all the while gently counselling their wayward brethren to focus on critiquing ideas, and having genuine debates rather than resorting to name-calling.
And I know, some conservative once called you a name so we are just as bad. Boo hoo. Go cry in your victory herbal tea, winner, and try to figure out just how to run something and lead something for once, instead of making dopey-hopey-changey noises and singing “How many times must a man blah blah” while wearing your “Abort Sarah Palin” button on your “Sarah Palin is a C***” t-shirt while waving your “GWB is not my President” banner and throwing a molotov cocktail at the McDonald’s on the corner. Oh, and did I forget to mention the “No War for Oil” hat on your head?
This makes me sound unhappy doesn’t it? But the above is what the left actually DID. It’s so bitter, angry, twisted and unhinged that merely stating the fact makes me sound bitter, angry, twisted and unhinged. So sad. (head tilt) But I weally, weally wuv you guys and want to make it work so your heads don’t explode. M’kay?(/head tilt)
JanineV of Perth (Reply)
Sat 08 Nov 08 (06:22pm)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Letter to the Next President
By John Bolton
Telegraph.co.uk | 11/6/2008
Then, of course, they need to learn the intricacies of their respective responsibilities, and, for many, begin the Senate confirmation process, which may take months. Time is already growing short.
The current economic turmoil will consume a significant amount of your Transition Team’s time and effort, and properly so. But in the wider world, our adversaries and even our friends are actively considering how to advance their interests as your January 20 Inauguration approaches.
You will have four full years of foreign-policy issues and problems, such as the rise of China and India, the decline of the European Union, and the role of Russia, but I suggest the following as priorities in your first Hundred Days:
You are the decider.
Although President Bush tried to make this his mantra, his Administration was plagued in its first term by incoherence in national security decision making. Crisp decisions were not made, strong differences of opinion among Cabinet Secretaries were not resolved, and policy too often oscillated between conflicting options with no consistency or direction.
Ironically, the Bush Administration’s second term erred in the opposite direction, almost eliminating differences in advice to the President until there was really only one voice in his ear at critical points. You must avoid both pitfalls, and you must make that clear immediately. You must resolve disagreements among your advisers, and not allow drift, and you must insist on discipline once you make a decision.
If anyone disagrees with this approach, you may invite them to do the honourable thing and resign, or not sign on in the first place. Iran Tehran’s ruling mullahs have no intention of affording you a “honeymoon”. They will move quickly to test your resolve both on their rapidly progressing nuclear weapons program and on their massive support for international terrorism.
Nearly six years of European diplomacy has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear program. Five UN Security Council Resolutions demanding that Iran halt uranium enrichment (and imposing risibly weak sanctions) have had essentially no effect.
Russia in particular is using Iran as the sharp tip of the spear to disrupt our policy throughout the Middle East. Moscow will watch what you do just as intently as Tehran. Any new President will be advised to engage in at least some renewed diplomatic effort. But do not be fooled. Insist on three months of intense, good-faith negotiations, and we will soon find out if Iran is serious.
If not, which I believe to be demonstrably the case, suspend negotiations quickly. Then, ratchet up efforts on the only options, unattractive though they are, that have a chance of stopping Iran from acquiring deliverable nuclear weapons: regime change or the targeted use of military force against Iran’s nuclear program.
If you wait longer, you will surely have the worst of all worlds: Iran with nuclear weapons, and an even greater threat of nuclear proliferation as other Middle Eastern states draw the appropriate conclusions from its success at thwarting our non-proliferation efforts.
We are kidding ourselves if we think North Korea will ever voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons program. Even during the campaign, as the Bush Administration was squandering our negotiating leverage, North Korea continued to try to proliferate ballistic missile technology.
As with Iran, there is essentially no chance that Pyongyang will be talked out of its nuclear weapons. Moreover, with the world in near-complete ignorance about the state of Kim Jong-il’s health or plans for regime succession, even more uncertainty surrounds the intentions of this prison camp of a country. Expecting that the long-running Six-Party Talks will “solve” the North Korean problem is a delusion.
Instead, you must deal directly with China as the highest priority in our bilateral relationship, and insist that we act together to eliminate the current regime in Pyongyang and is nuclear program, and ultimately reunite the Korean Peninsula.
China needs to understand that leaving the North with nuclear weapons is not an option, and that their inaction will have an increasingly negative impact on our bilateral relationship. Beijing alone can change North Korea, and it needs to get started.
Do not let global “public opinion” about the United States, from Albania to Zimbabwe, dissuade you from doing what you think is right for America. Your job is to defend and advance our interests and values, a task which invariably will displease our adversaries, and even many of our friends, especially those who wish we were, well, more European in our behaviour and attitudes.
What we must do, however, is more effectively advocate the policies you will be pursuing. Failure at both the political level in Washington and abroad, and at the level of the career Foreign Service, made the Bush Administration one of the most tongue-tied Presidencies in our history. We should try to shift international public opinion to support our policies, not modify our policies to try to satisfy international public opinion. The State Department will not understand this distinction. You must.
A final word
Many U.S. and foreign commentators have been quick to tell us that America is in decline, and that our role in the future will not be what it once was. They will be correct only if you fall prey to their pessimism.
And if you do, rest assured that they will shortly turn critical of “American isolationism,” just as they have been critical in recent years of “American unilateralism.” You will never satisfy them. Defend America and its friends, and the rest will take care of itself.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Aunt Zeituni’s Protectors
By The Prowler on 11.3.08 @ 10:49AM
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Senior aides to Sen. Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick were aware that Obama’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, was living in the United States illegally and in a South Boston public-housing project, and were monitoring her at the request of senior Obama campaign officials, according to a current employee for Obama’s key political consulting firm, AKP&D Message and Media.
Back in early 2007, as Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod was organizing and planning the Obama campaign, he identified Obama’s unique family situation — a number of half-brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, some living overseas — as a potential problem, says an employee for Axelrod’s political consulting firm, and who has done work on the Obama campaign. “Given [Obama's] father’s family history here and in Africa, David wanted the campaign to know who was who, where they lived, and what they were doing. No surprises. We knew she was here illegally. We knew her income levels, but I don’t think anyone from the campaign had had contact with her.”
Instead, according to the source, Axelrod reached out to his former client, Patrick, who had retained Axelrod’s firm for his run for governor. Onyango was living in a state-funded housing project, “so Patrick’s people could just as easily keep track of things, and could do it without drawing a ton of attention,” says the AKP&D Message and Media employee, who requested anonymity as he hopes to get a job in an Obama administration should the candidate win. “If we had Obama people around, the media would probably have found her much sooner. She was in [Obama's] book, it wasn’t like she couldn’t be found.” Indeed, that is exactly how the London Times found her.
While the South Boston housing project is managed by the Boston Housing Authority, it is a state-funded facility, according to the BHA press office, and so it would not be uncommon for state housing officials to be on the grounds or in the area. “Patrick was the go-between, he’s trusted by David and Senator Obama,” says the aide.
In fact, Patrick spent most of the past two or three days stumping for Obama up and down the East Coast. His and Obama’s relationship goes back a couple of decades, and the two actually represented ACORN together in a civil suit back in 1993. Some Republican political operatives believe that Patrick and his political team have been cutouts for un-reported cash distributed to ACORN officials around the country for Democrat “get out the vote” projects.
Some Obama aides believe that Obama was briefed at least twice by Axelrod or campaign manager David Plouffe on the status of family members. “We tracked who was talking to the press, we kept in touch with some of these people,” says an Obama campaign media aide. “Anyone who thinks we didn’t doesn’t understand just how nervous we were about all of these people, particularly the members of [Obama's] father’s family. Axelrod had everything covered.” The aide said she was never present for such a briefing, but “we all knew the candidate’s family was being taken care of, to protect their privacy and try to contain any damage.”
The Obama campaign has denied knowing anything about Onyango’s illegal status or her poor financial situation.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
You can get a scan of the important pages from the same place I did. (I virus scanned it and it's clean but you should do it yourself to be sure.)
So Churchill dedicates his book to William Ayers' girlfriend who blew herself up in a workplace accident.
But again, as with everything Barry, this has no greater implications and we're not to make anything of all these commies hanging around trying to destroy this country.
Cultural MarxismBy Linda Kimball
"All the...large and small nationalities are destined to perish...in the revolutionary world storm... (A general war will) wipe out all...nations, down to their very names. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only reactionary classes...but...reactionary peoples." ("The Magyar Struggle," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, Jan. 13, 1849)
In 1919, Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun regime in Hungary. He immediately set plans in motion to de-Christianize Hungary. Reasoning that if Christian sexual ethics could be undermined among children, then both the hated patriarchal family and the Church would be dealt a crippling blow. Lukacs launched a radical sex education program in the schools. Sex lectures were organized and literature handed out which graphically instructed youth in free love (promiscuity) and sexual intercourse while simultaneously encouraging them to deride and reject Christian moral ethics, monogamy, and parental and church authority. All of this was accompanied by a reign of cultural terror perpetrated against parents, priests, and dissenters.
Hungary's youth, having been fed a steady diet of values-neutral (atheism) and radical sex education while simultaneously encouraged to rebel against all authority, easily turned into delinquents ranging from bullies and petty thieves to sex predators, murderers, and sociopaths.
In 1923, the Frankfurt School-a Marxist think-tank-was founded in Weimar Germany. Among its founders were Georg Lukacs, Herbert Marcuse, and Theodor Adorno. The school was a multidisciplinary effort which included sociologists, sexologists, and psychologists.
Toward this end, Marcuse-who favored polymorphous perversion-expanded the ranks of Gramsci's new proletariat by including homosexuals, lesbians, and transsexuals. Into this was spliced Lukacs radical sex education and cultural terrorism tactics. Gramsci's ‘long march' was added to the mix, and then all of this was wedded to Freudian psychoanalysis and psychological conditioning techniques. The end product was Cultural Marxism, now known in the West as multiculturalism.
"In Aug., 2003, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the results of their $1.2 million tax-payer funded study. It stated, essentially, that traditionalists are mentally disturbed. Scholars from the Universities of Maryland, California at Berkeley, and Stanford had determined that social conservatives...suffer from ‘mental rigidity,' ‘dogmatism,' and ‘uncertainty avoidance,' together with associated indicators for mental illness." http://www.edwatch.org/ ‘Social and Emotional Learning" Jan. 26, 2005)
"Critical Theory, as its name implies, criticizes. What deconstruction does to literature, Critical Theory does to societies." (Intellectual Morons, p 15-16)
"Obedience is the result of force...Force is the antithesis of humanizing actions. It is so synonymous in the human mind with savageness, lawlessness, brutality, and barbarism, that it is only necessary to display an inhuman attitude toward people to be granted by those people the possessions of force." (The Russian Manual on Psychopolitics: Obedience, by Laventi Beria, head of Soviet Secret Police and Stalin's right-hand man)
"I believe in nothing and am tolerant of everything!"
The linchpin of Cultural Marxism is cultural determinism, the parent of identity politics and group solidarity. In its turn, cultural determinism was birthed by the Darwinian idea that man is but a soulless animal and therefore his identity is determined by for example, his skin color or his sexual and/or erotic preferences. This proposition rejects the concepts of the human spirit, individuality, free will, and morally informed conscience (paired with personal accountability and responsibility) because it emphatically denies the existence of the God of the Bible.
Consequently, and by extension, it also rejects the first principles of our liberty enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. These are our "unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Cultural Marxism must reject these because these principles of liberty "are endowed by our Creator," who made man in His image.
"identity politics-the politics of radical feminism, queer revolution, and Afro-centrism-which is the basis of academic multiculturalism...a form of intellectual fascism and, insofar as it has any politics, of political fascism as well." (Mussolini and Neo-Fascist Tribalism: Up from Multiculturalism, by David Horowitz, Jan. 1998)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
He Really Hates Us.
No, seriously. What does Barry love about America? (We'll skip Michelle, she really really hates us.)
How can a man such as this be president? In the entire, albeit short, history of America we've never had a president who so dismisses the principles the country was founded on, and frankly, as I've said for months, I'm not convinced he likes white folks. When has he ever said anything good about white people although he's certainly found opportunity to demean us. Typical White People like his left-leaning grandma, even she couldn't pass muster. Her big sin? Fearing for her safety when threatened by a man who incidentally was black. (Barry could be in therapy longer than Woody Allen and all his issues would never be solved.)
Can you imagine Barry willingly DYING for America? I can't. How could we elect a man who couldn't do that? Who wouldn't take a bullet for us?
John McCain did. He was tortured for over 5 years. Who really has steel in his spine?
What bad thing ever happened to Barry in his cushy protected, drug taking life? This has been a picnic for him. And I don't believe for one second he was demeaned for being a mulatto boy. Poles have jokes told about them, Jews, Italians, Irish, blondes. Everyone hears things said that may not be so pleasant. Why if he heard anything at all was it so soul-crushing? Because if it wasn't he couldn't use it against America and Americans.
No, Barry went on his merry way learning at his mama's knee that America was a bad bad place and the seeds of this hatred were planted in Stanley Ann's womb. Neither he nor Michelle know anything about us. They are aliens in our midst. They think the Constitution is flawed, that we're flawed and only someone as unflawed as they can put America on the path they envision.
What Barack Hussein Obama exhibits is a kind of pathology. He needs to take something good and turn it into something bad. He needs to find fault. And you can't find one person in his life who didn't and doesn't hold these same pathologies.
We right thinking Americans don't want to change paths, we think America was right from the beginning. America is a shining example of what's possible when people are free. America has always been a blessing and curses will accrue to those who believe it's a curse.
Friday, October 31, 2008
You should be scared tonight. We are 4 days away from the possibility of having an unrepentent socialist in the White House. This will change our country, our laws, our lives, the lives of future Americans. It will be hard if not impossible to unscramble the egg. Don't think it's not a big deal if he gets in, we can get him out in 4 years. Maybe we can but how many Supreme Court Justices will be appointted in those 4 years? How many lesser court judges? How many laws and policies will be pushed through if there is a super-majority? How many giveaway policies will be created? How many have been instituted in the past that we're not still dealing with today?
Vote. Convince your friends and neighbors that Barry Obama is a dangerous man. How? By telling them the truth. This is not the X-Files but the truth is out there. It's here, that's why I started this blog so all the important articles and vids I saw would be in one place for you.
What do I think the outcome will be? I think we've been lied to. Has Barry told the truth about anything? No. Is the MSM on his side? Yes. Are the pollsters on his side? Yes. Are the polls skewed? Yes.
Why do you think Barry went back to PA? Why is Gov. Rendell sweating bullets?
Because he's not walking away with this thing. It's nowhere near as close as they've said this past week. For all we really know, McCain may be ahead. There was an insider saying the pollsters are getting an 80% refusal rate when they call to find out who the resident is voting for.
People don't want to say they're not voting for Barry. Why invited the hassle and the insults? They've seen what's happened to Joe the Plumber. It's been said loud and clear if you don't vote for Barry you're a racist. Who wants to hear that when the reason we don't want him is that he's an inexperienced socialist jerk who has done one thing in his adult life, well two, he's made friends with every low-life terrorist he came across and he's positioned himself for just this moment. He has only ever, grand narcissist that he is, wanted to be POTUS.
Deny that to him. Vote. Get everyone you know to vote. Make it a party. Celebrate it afterwards knowing you did your duty as an American citizen and patriot. Send that carpetbagger packing.
Pray if you're that kind of person. Ask God to inspire Americans to do what good Americans have always done--protect this country because it's been a blessing and a gift to all of us. America needs us now.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Obama: Not Man Enough to Be President
Without ensuring safety for America and its allies, nothing else a president does matters at all. And on this subject, Obama has promised us that his regime will be even more disastrous than Clinton's was. - Orson Scott Card
What an enormous number of sheaths!
Isn't the kernel soon coming to light?
I'm blessed if it is! To the innermost centre,
It's nothing but sheaths - each smaller and smaller -
Nature is witty!
- Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt, Act V, Sc.5
When you peel off all his layers of signifying and symbolizing, of blathering and bamboozling, Obama is -- it must be said -- simply lacking in the elemental qualities of manliness necessary for the Chief Executive of the United States of America. Obama is like the onion in Peer Gynt. Once you strip off the layers there's nothing in the center.
There are a great many layers about helping people, about caring, about giving and devotion to the Obama onion. Those pungent peels work well with the poor, the grasping, the gullible, the craven, and the rich-so-rich that nothing dents their days or melts the ice in their cocktails. But the layers are just the common malarky of the con-man who hopes that by stimulating your greed for grub or good feelings now he'll be able to hoover your bank account later. It's an old con and for a lot of people it always works. That's why con-men are always with us; not because they are so smart, but because so many are so stupid. Con-artists (and Obama is a brilliant flim-flam man) not only know this, they depend upon it.
Obama, when we look at the three-card monte money game of his campaign, is very much a man with hand full of gimme and a mouth full of much obliged. Just this morning, as he has for so many mornings, he wrote to me asking for five bucks. This after he squandered so many millions just last night with his noninfomercial for flaming narcissists of all five genders. What can I say except the man and his minions can't handle money.
None of this is probative however. What is essential to me when I think about who deserves my vote is whether or not the person for whom I'm voting has the right stuff to lead this country. Right up at the top of that list for me is manliness. And by that I do not mean a quality exclusive to men. Rather I mean the old-fashioned values of courage and the ability to do the right thing, the strong thing, under pressure - regardless of the consequences. Those who do not know what I mean by "manliness" by now will never know it, but by way of example I'll cite the most recent President to possess it, George Bush.
The manliness of Bush is, regardless of the perverted souls who look upon him as the source of evil in the world, really not open to question. Some would say that it is, perhaps, too much with him, that he should have been a more subtle player in the fields of power politics. That's for history to decide in the long term. The short history is that nobody has attacked America on its home soil since September 11. This is not an accident. This is because there was, in the minds and hearts of our many enemies, no doubt as to what might happen to them and their countries if such an attack had come. No doubt. None. Niente. Nada. Zero. Zip. The only question was whether the Bush response would be in the form of an airborne division or a small, man-made sun being brought to life about 5,000 feet above their capitol city. This is not a bad question for our enemies to have in mind. The question itself keeps the terrible answer at bay.
In an essay in early September I asked: Does Obama Possess Courage?
What has Obama done that demonstrates real, classical courage? I would really like to know.Since then there has been nothing I've observed that makes me think Obama has a shred of personal courage. Perhaps he does, but if so he has been keeping a very low profile in courage. He's never been tested for this -- even as his opponent has met and prevailed over these tests time and again.
To my mind, courage is a far more necessary element for a leader of the United States to possess than any other. It even trumps experience. I've heard a lot from Obama and his supporters about it taking "courage to vote for Obama." But really all it takes to do that is to get to a polling place in November, go into a voting booth, and pull a lever, push a button, or mark a paper. It takes no courage at all.
Indeed, given the numerous examples in word and deed from Obama and his campaign, there is every reason to begin to believe that the candidate not only lacks personal courage, but is -- in fact -- a coward; the kind of craven gangster who is used to getting others to do his dirty work while he preens before his cult of worshipers and gets fitted for another real sharp suit. Indeed, there's a whiff of something ineffably feminine about Obama. He is, at bottom, the very model of a modern metrosexual. This, of course, accounts for his appeal in the cities and among the youth. It does not reassure. When it comes to the Republic, I'd prefer Caesar over Caligula.
A brief glance around the world will tell those who are not sleeping or in a media-induced stupor that the globe is not only a dangerous place, but is getting more dangerous by the day. The overall temperature of the human race is going up, and hotter is not better. Last month, before they locked Biden in that campaign attic reserved for crazy relations and mouth-shooting wives, the VP to be told everyone that, yes, they're going to test Obama. But he said we shouldn't worry because Obama has "steel in his spine."
Really? Maybe when it comes to running internet porn site standards on his credit-card scams. Perhaps when it comes to getting his minions to try and ruin a plumber in the mid-west. Maybe when it comes to electrifying the weakest of our youth; a youth fattened on a life of peace and circuses.
But a wider world awaits the next President; a world that can kill 3,000 Americans at their place of work in a single morning. A world that wants to see, more than anything, the destruction of American hegemony so that their dreams of conquest can go forward unabated.
After thousands of years of crawling up from the swamp of totalitarianism we can see, at last, in the distance a world where this ancient nightmare is removed from the world. But we cannot get there if America does not stand.
Again. The world cannot rid itself of the terror of totalitarianism if America does not stand.
For that to happen we need to have a leader -- man or woman -- who possesses real, demonstrated courage. For that to become true we need to have a leader who has -- man or woman -- real manliness.
Obama is intelligent, charming, good-looking, stylish, well-educated and slick. He's everything that other people who value such surfaces look for... not in a leader, but in an icon. And that's what they're buying by buying Obama, an icon. A glowing plastic post-modern Jesus for the dashboard of their Prius. They know, as we all know by now, that he can talk the talk. He just can't walk the walk. He's soft talk and no stick.
I keep coming back to the one indisputable fact first spoken in Sarah Palin's acceptance speech: "There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you ... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death."
One of those places where defeat means death is in the Oval Office on a very bad day.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying Obama is not a man. He's just not man enough for the job.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I would never have imagined how determined these women are to work for John McCain now that Hillary is out of the race. They are impassioned and determined. They, unlike Obama supporters, love America and want the best for it. They think (and probably quite correctly) that McCain as POTUS would work with Hillary. They see his health care plan as reasonable. Conservatives aren't so thrilled with everything McCain but Country First indeed.
Thank you, PUMAs for all you're doing for America. You are true patriots.
It's hard to imagine Americans voting for the destruction of America as we know it. Obamabots see everything bad in America and we see it as a force for good in the world. We embrace the Constitution while Barry wants to change it.
How does that work out if Barry's elected President? The oath of office calls for the president to support and defend the Constitution and he's clearly stated he wants to change the Constitution.
What a loathsome individual he is.
If McCain wins, the commies who support Barry aren't going away. We still have a fight on our hands to defend America from these creeps.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Rabbi Shneersohn was the 6th Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch and I was told this story by my own rabbi. In times of difficulty I ponder the wisdom and bravery of this rabbi. There is another way to live. In the coming days and months and years, it will undoubtedly be important for us to remember this incident and see if we can't apply it to our own lives.
First a little background and then the incident.
Dealing with the Communist Authorities
Upon his father’s death on
By that time conditions had greatly changed. As a result of the war and the October Revolution, Russia was in a state of constant internal strife. As usual, the Jews suffered most.
In those days Rabbi Schneersohn found himself practically alone, facing a task that required superhuman effort - the rehabilitation of Jewish communal and religious life in Russia.
He fought his struggle on two fronts, the material and the religious. Russian Jews had been reduced to the most abject poverty and suffering, and the future of traditional Judaism was gravely threatened by the policy of the G-dless Yevsektzia. (The Jewish branch of the Soviet Communist Party, responsible for anti-Jewish activities. It was subsequently dissolved by the Soviet Government.)
During his single-handed fight for the preservation of traditional Judaism in Russia against overwhelming odds, Rabbi Joseph I. Schneersohn realized that a new country would have to supersede Russia as a great
At that time Rabbi Schneersohn had his headquarters in Rostov on the River Don, but because of libelous accusations it was necessary to move from there. He took up residence in Leningrad (St Petersburg) from where he relentlessly continued to direct his activities. He organized a special committee to help Jewish artisans and workers who wished to observe the Sabbath, and he sent teachers, preachers and other representatives to the most remote Jewish communities in Russia to strengthen their religious life.
Realizing the necessity of organizing Chabad communities outside Russia, the
In 5687 (1927) the Rebbe founded the Lubavitch seminary in Uzbekistan, a remote province of Russia.
His stand against those who wanted to undermine the Jewish religion became even more perilous. The Yevsektzia was determined to stop him, and even resorted to intimidation and mental torture.
“One morning, when the Lubavitcher Rebbe was observing yahrzeit for his father, three members of the Yevsektzia rushed into his synagogue, guns in hand, to arrest him. Calmly, the Lubavitcher Rebbe finished his prayers and followed them.
Facing a council of armed and determined men, the Lubavitcher Rebbe again reaffirmed that he would not give up his religious activities, whatever threats might be made. When one of the agents pointed a gun at him, saying: “This little toy has made many a man change his mind”, the Lubavitcher Rebbe calmly replied: “That little toy can intimidate only the kind of man who has many gods-passions, and but one world-this world. Because I have only one