Showing posts from August, 2011


The Shawarma Republics are Burning

Syria is burning, not because of the Arab Spring or Tyranny or Twitter, or any of the other popular explanations. The fire in Syria is the same firestorm burning in Iraq, in Turkey, in Lebanon and throughout much of the Muslim world. It has nothing to do with human rights or democracy. There is no revolution here. Only the eternal civil war. Most people accept countries with ancient names like Egypt, Jordan and Syria as a given. If they think about it at all they assume that they were always around, or were restored after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. But actually the countries of the Middle East are mostly artificial creations borrowing a history that is not their own. When Mohammed unleashed a fanatical round of conquests and crusades, he began by wrecking the cultures and religions of his native region. And his followers went on to do the same throughout the region and across the world. Entire peoples lost their history, their past, their religion and their way of life. Th

The Madness of King Gore the Second

They say that everyone talks about the weather, and no one ever does anything about it-- but since the mid-1980's we've been expected to do things about it. Two generations of children have grown up with the mantra that putting the empty soda in the right trash can is all that stands between them and the destruction of the planet, not to mention all the dead dolphins, paddling polar bears and crying indians. There are just too many people, we're told, and too many of them are buying things and eating things and living too long. And all that is killing the planet. Sure you can guzzle Fair Trade coffee until your face turns green, bike to work until you're sterile and smugly lecture everyone else on the importance of saving the planet-- but no matter what you do, you're coughing up carbon into the air like a defective air conditioner. To get some perspective on this, let's visit Tokyo, one of the major centers of the global economy, (not literally of cours

Panic Nation

As I sit here in the sunken ruins of New York City, breathing oxygen through a two mile straw, and shopping by dispatching orders through a helpful school of fish-- I can't help but think that I should have listened to the media when they told me to panic, run to the stores and pay 40 dollars for batteries, and then listen to every weather update while waiting for the end to come. But of course none of that actually happened. There are places where hurricanes are dangerous, but the city I live in is not one of them. Aside from a few downed trees, some power loss and a little flooding near the river, the same things that happen every few years, there was nothing to speak of. Nothing except a vast media driven overreaction. Hurricane Irene is just another entry in the non-stop shriek of media driven panic. The news cycle is fed by three main types of stories, salacious gossip, horrible tragedies and panic stories. All three are culturally destructive, but the third is the most

America's One Child Policy

Vice President Joe Biden, Commissar of the Cracked Head Club, visited China and voiced his understanding of China's One Child Policy. The part that he understood was the forced abortions and the eugenics of baby girls. The part that he didn't understand was how the Chinese government expects one breadwinner to support four retirees. But as usual Biden had it backward. The Chinese government isn't worried about how retirees will be supported, because they have no investment in them. They'll receive whatever social benefits are doled out, and that's it. China's brutal pragmatism and lack of democracy makes rationing health care and anything else easy. Massive rallies and protests happen all the time in the People's Republic, unreported by the media, and are ignored by the authorities. Tienanmen Square showed the limits of popular protest in creating political change. It's a lesson that neither the leadership nor the people have forgotten. Biden shoul

Jews Say Yes

Some 70 years after high school students, shopkeepers and doctors stood with their backs to the wall of the ghettos and sang, "Never Say You Walk Upon Your Final Way" while reloading their pistols, a rally organized by "Jews Say No" gathered to protest against Israel for defending itself. The Partisan's song of the ghettos was a courageous affirmation of life by those who went off to fight in Warsaw and in Jerusalem. And today there are the ugly chants of those who deny that affirmation. Who insist that the Jews are better off dead. Their rhetoric cloaks this agenda in the occupation, Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner wrote on his blog that, "the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us." Of the terrorists who killed eight Israelis last week, "however vile their ideology was, they were justified to attack." Larry Derfner is honest, if equally vile , he doesn't bother justifying the genocidal Islamism of the po

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The Rise of the Oceans Began to Slow

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," the Chosen Zero said in his speech of speeches . Now as we prepare for Hurricane Irene ( known to Congresswoman Shirley Jackson Lee as Hurricane Waneesha) the oceans proved to be as immune to Obama's reality distortion field as the economy. Maybe it was us. If only we had believed in him, then like Tinkerbell, the magic of the Zero would have transformed the planet. But we lost faith in him, and once the rose colored glasses came off, there were mountains of unemployment. And even earthquakes in Washington D.C. Who's to blame? Global warming, duh. "Hurricane another sign of global warming's impact‎," says the New Jersey Star-Ledger, which scrambled out ahead of the evacuation to outsource its headline writing to Al Gore's ghostwriter. "Bill McKibben: Global warming to blame for Hurricane Irene". Who's Bill McKibben ? Glad you aske

Political Messiahs in Tailored Suits

Let's not pretend that the right is any more immune to leader worship and cults of personality than the zombie hordes on the left. The cult of personality as a means of power predates political orientation, it dates back to the first men who understood that leadership is not about doing what the tribe wants, but about elevating yourself above the tribe. Reasoned political involvement is about fixing toilets. When your toilet is broken, you look through the listings, find a plumber who seems to have a good track record, look at his rates and decide if you want to bring him in to do the job. Leader worship is about ignoring the broken toilet and reveling in the greatness of the plumber who doesn't actually fix your toilet, but spends hours talking tough about fixing all the toilets or movingly about the broken toilet inside each and every one of us. To worship a leader you must first turn off the discriminating part of your brain, the one that is able to spot flaws and

An Earthquake Comes to Washington

It took an earthquake to interrupt Obama's golf game. Nothing else until now has. But while the rumbling of tectonic plates comes and goes, the deeper rumbling of millions of voters will not. The rumbling is larger than this election. It is bigger than Obama and larger than his feckless party. It is an earthquake of self-definition. There are two types of earthquake events in the last hundred years. Shocks that made Americans rethink their society, the government and the world around them. Economic depressions and unexpected wars.  The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and September 11 were all shocks to the system that changed the country. That changed how Americans saw themselves. And we may now be in the midst of a fourth such event. Obama's backers expected that a second depression would lead to a second New Deal. His victory seemed to bear out their predictions. The crisis was here, now was the time to exploit it. But instead of another New Deal, the crisis has led to