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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Education Bubble

By On October 31, 2011
Flip through enough of the 99 percent signs and you realize that the majority of that demographic aren't complaining about the lack of financial regulation or income inequalities, so much as they're upset that they took on loans to pay for college degrees to get jobs that don't actually exist.

The fault here isn't Wall Street's, it's a policymaking apparatus that decided the way to deal with the loss of manufacturing jobs was to get as many college graduates out there as possible to create the industries of tomorrow.

This was Clinton's platform and it's Obama's "Winning the Future" platform, pump enough money into education and the jobs will create themselves. The Dot Com boom in the nineties seemed to back up that policy with entirely new companies springing to life with valuations in the hundreds of millions and twenty somethings at the helm. But a good deal of those companies were nothing more than the foam on another bubble-- and more problematically the cream of the tech companies were created by college dropouts. Even more problematically, the tech companies liked to save money by importing Chinese and Pakistani employees on H1-B visas as cheap labor, while their lobbies insisted that this would protect "American" innovation.

But the real problem was that swapping manufacturing for college degree jobs solved nothing. American companies that manufacture anything become the tip of an outsourced iceberg. All the companies with the shiny logos depend on Chinese manufacturing and raw materials. They can't create anything that the People's Republic of China can't take away from them when the time is right.

American companies aren't outsourcing labor to China, China is outsourcing design and marketing to them and allowing them to serve as middlemen between Chinese manufacturers and American consumers, until a Chinese company decides to buy their product unit or its reverse engineered copies of their products are good enough that they invest the money in a marketing campaign to establish their own trusted brand.

And yet the tech industry is the closest to a college degree success story that we have. The failures are legion.

The problem with the "college degrees for everyone" approach is that creating more college graduates does not proportionally create more jobs, it creates more unemployed college graduates and devalues the worth of a college diploma. Too many college graduates mean that employers will look for higher degree levels. High school diplomas used to be a certificate of competence, then that was devalued through promotion in a system where teachers were expected to move students up to the next class no matter what. When college became the new high school, it was devalued in the same way. There are city and state colleges with students who are barely literate, not in the "kids these days use too many abbreviations" way, but in the "functionally illiterate" way.

If the goal is to move everyone to the highest level of education possible, the result will not be a more educated population, but an educational system with lower standards and a population that is less educated than ever because actual education becomes more inaccessible as the standards are lowered.

Make sure that everyone can "afford" to take out college loans and the marketplace will compete for students with traditional universities offering a large buffet of "educational choices", most of which are not educational or represent any kind of career path outside academia, and private colleges offering useful sounding degrees that no employer will look twice at.

For the liberal politicians it's a triple score. Money pours into academia which they can use as their own think tanks. The educational system gets four years or more to process students through more sophisticated indoctrination mechanisms. And then the students who can't find jobs join the ranks of the usefully disaffected because somebody must be to blame... and it can't possibly be the people pulling the strings of the people shouting at them through megaphones.

Clinton told working class voters that the manufacturing jobs were gone, but their kids would all have college degrees. Obama went one better by telling working class voters that they would be retrained to hold down "Green Jobs", even as they're falling faster than the Green companies and their sweetheart government pork. Those lies are what make the class warfare rhetoric out of DC so doubly despicable.

Politicians have never honestly talked to voters about what happened to the American economy, instead they fell back on the same mantra of opening up new markets through globalization and creating new jobs through education./

None of this is new. The country with the highest degree rate in the world is Russia. The USSR ran its citizens through its educational system at a rate that Elizabeth Warren could only gasp in awe at. But what was its education actually worth? About as much as American degrees are becoming worth. If you throw enough money and manpower at the educational system, you will have a really big educational system. What you will not have is anything of worth to go with it.

Only one country that has a higher degree rate than the United States has a higher per capita income and that country has its own oil industry. The usual handwringing that liberal pundits and politicians engage in over how the American educational system is failing compared to countries with higher degree ratios is wasted noise.These same statistics are trotted out to justify dumping more money into the black hole of an educational system under the pretext of job creation. But do the statistics even matter?

According to the OECD (another useless globalization organization wrapped around a WW2 fossil) the Israeli educational system is a hopeless failure. In its 2009 evaluation claimed that Israeli students were behind Turkey, Dubai and Russia in math and science. Yet peculiarly enough Israel keeps collecting Nobel prizes and turning out minor things like instant messaging, drones and Kinect. When reality contradicts statistics, it's wise to go with reality. That's a skill most politicians haven't learned, but it's a rather valuable one.

The universalization of education is not about remaining competitive in a global marketplace or any of that other nonsense piously repeated by politicians with their hands in more pockets than a thieving octopus-- it's about promoting the homogeneity of ideas across a population. Which is why the importance placed on universal education increases as a country becomes more culturally diverse or internally divided.

The original Department of Education was created two years after the Civil War. The Kalamazoo School Case, which set the precedent for forcing taxpayers to fund public education and created the entire system of property tax school robbery we live under today, took place during the same period. As was the National Education Association whose Committee of Ten played a key role in the standardization of the national curriculum.

A better name for universal education is federalized education, and there is very little difference between the two in the United States. The growing federal control of education is a mechanism for maintaining control of increasingly divided populations. It may be a failed mechanism, but like the rest of the government's boondoggles, it long ago created a class of people who depend on the system and have a vested interest in its expansion.

When this is understood, the failure of innovation in the system is also obvious. The educational system is not a means of empowering thinkers, but of standardizing a static consensus of ideas. It's a great way to learn liberal dogma, but an inefficient way of learning anything else. The expansion of the system is not about remaining competitive with China, just as funding more "Green Jobs" is not about "Winning the Future", it's about shaping the voters of tomorrow.

We're not falling behind due to a lack of college graduates, but because we're smothered by a system of stifling bureaucratic conformity that is far more concerned with its grip on power than with jobs or income. The resemblance to the USSR is not at all accidental.

The system would rather have 10,000 subsidized jobs that it creates than 10,000,000 jobs in the free market. It would rather have a middle class of 5 million college graduates, (40 percent of them government employees), than have a free market middle class of a 100 million, (only 30 percent of them college graduates and less than 0.5 percent of them government employees.) And it would rather have an angry mob camped out near Wall Street, than have a viable economy.

The educational bubble isn't creating a new Middle Class that will keep social security viable, it is creating dissatisfied people who feel that they are entitled to better and don't know who to blame. Like the rest of the government, the education bubble is too big to fail, which means that by the time it fails, so will the whole country.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Colonization of the West

By On October 30, 2011
Once upon a time when you wanted to invade another people's land, you built your longboats, got together some young males with few prospects at home and set sail for greener pastures. Today the longboats are jet planes and the invaded use them to ferry over their own invaders.

Colonization usually required three elements. Surplus male population, the technology to make the journey and the means to subjugate or drive off the people already living there.

Western medicine and aid have helped create and sustain a surplus population which has nowhere to go and nothing to do in its own highly stratified societies. At home they start Arab Spring like revolutions,  which is one more reason for China's One Child policy. With few economic opportunities in an oligarchy, they have to move elsewhere to get ahead.

The ability to colonize distant parts of the world usually required a certain level of sophistication. Any barbarian could walk a few miles, grip an axe and smash the heads of the equally backward people who lived there. But eventually they would either come up against a more sophisticated empire or the sea, natural barriers that they couldn't cross without advancing further up the cultural ladder.

The West however has generously exported its technology to the point that it is ubiquitously accessible and while that hasn't made the world a more civilized place, it has made travel to the West easier for the less civilized parts of the world. Pakistan no longer needs to have a functioning society or intellectual inquiry to be able to reach the United States. It just needs some used Boeings and enough education to be able to maintain and operate them without dying in the process.

Using second-hand technology is much less demanding than creating it, it requires less of the original thinking that marks the more advanced society. You can train someone to use the fruits of a society with a spirit of open inquiry without actually sharing in that spirit. You don't need to think like a 20th century physicist about the world to be able to grasp the atom, you only need to follow the instructions that were stolen by the Soviets and then passed to the Chinese, that trickled down to the North Koreans and from there to Pakistan and then to Iran and from there to whichever terrorist group asks nicely.

The jet plane is if anything, a good deal more dangerous than an atom bomb. A single dirty bomb might kill a few hundred thousand people. Ten of them could account for under two million. But a jet plane can wipe out our entire civilization.

You can't colonize a continent with nuclear weapons, but you can do it with people. And people can't ride bombs, but they can fly jet planes. The Muslim airline hijacking industry was one of the more perverse campaigns of terror because without those jet planes, they would be back to the 7th century and with no access to those rich pulsating Western cities. Had the United States airline industry collapsed after September 11, the Muslim colonization industry would have been in big trouble with no way to ferry all those upper middle class young men or their young female "cousins" over to Jersey City, Dearborn or Islamberg.

The colonization of the West is unique in that the invaded are providing the invaders with their means of transportation, providing them with more social serves when they land and moving them up to the top of the social ladder in the foolish expectation that they will become Westerners even as it's painfully clear that this will never happen. Lenin talked about the capitalists selling him the rope with which he will hang them, but the West is giving the rope away for free and offering gratis knot tying seminars in their universities.

All the Muslim world has to do is provide their surplus population and for a small fee, we will ship them here, offer them scholarships, an education and the position froms which they can subjugate us. Half of Europe is on the brink of the abyss because its transnationalists decided that immigration was the way to break down national identity, without contemplating the possibility that the immigrants might have their own identity and would have little interest in being the raw clay for a Euro mold.

The worst stupidity of the 20th century was the peculiar belief that progress had unchained the world from history and set mankind free to achieve a new plateau. And no sooner had the bodies fallen in one war, then the same generation that stood in the trenches and their younger brothers insisted on repeating the same nonsense. And then when half the surviving young men of Europe had cleaned up the bloody mess, they learned nothing from the lessons taught to them by a handful of ugly men in cheap uniforms, except that their own nationalism which had been the only thing standing between them and a spot on the lower levels of the Thousand Year Reich, was a deadly disease.

After two world wars the Germans were no longer interested in sending the troops across the border, but much of Europe went on insisting that the Russians weren't going to cross the border either, just as fervently as their fathers had insisted that the Germans wouldn't. And when the Russians decided to give it up as a bad deal and try to grow some wheat for a change instead, then everyone assumed that history really was over and we could all get down to attending international conferences and vacationing in odd parts of the world where certainly nothing bad could possibly happen to us.

But the German birth rate is now the lowest in Western Europe and the Russian birth rate is nearly as bad. That explains the lack of wars. It's hard to have a war when you don't have the population for it. The present day German birth rate is less than half what it was in the 1930's. Pakistan's birth rate on the other hand is even better than Germany's was back then. And the Turkish birth rate almost perfectly matches Germany's birth rate in 1930-- no wonder then that Turkey is colonizing Berlin.

About the only militant countries anymore are the ones that have the birth rate to back up their bluff. Japan's low birth rate neatly meshes with its pacifism, while  China's fertility is a strategic reserve that its rulers intend to unleash when it is safe. Russia may shake its stick, but its only surplus population is Muslim, and the day when the Red Square resounds with the Muslim call to prayer is not far off. That leaves the Muslim world, Latin America, India and Israel.

The United States isn't gone yet, but it also isn't capable of competing with the Mohammeds' and the Gomez', and with open immigration, immigration driven demographics are its destiny. Europe with its welfare states, extended vacations, late marriages, low rates of religion and high immigration rates is all but doomed.

Western societies with falling birth rates import their own colonizers just to be able to balance the birth rate books and pay off the retirement benefits for the previous generations. The only jobs left in the empire involve maintaining the byzantine human machinery of the empire and you don't have to speak English or know what you're doing to get one of those jobs.

Imagine of the Indians had sent boats to Europe for English and Spanish colonists who would come over, learn how to build teepees and pay enough taxes to keep the tribe set. That's the absurd scene here and it's bound to end the same way, with a lot of dead Indians, others living on reservations and a whole bunch learning to scrub floors and speak English and Spanish. Except we're the Indians.

Texas was originally part of Mexico, back when Mexico didn't have the population to fill it and the settlers did. Now the balance has shifted and Texas is sliding back into Mexican hands. The old logic of settlement is that land belongs to those who populate it. This is why countries have borders when they don't have the surplus population to expand beyond them. If they don't have borders or a surplus population, then they're a culture of the walking dead.

The West doesn't have a surplus population or borders and so it's being opportunistically colonized by those who come first. Of the colonists, the Muslims have a sense of manifest destiny to take over the world and rule it in the name of Islam, and with wealthy and influential backers in the Gulf, they have a death grip on Europe and are licking their lips at the thought of North America. There is a ridiculously simple way to stop it, but in a civilization obsessed with its own idealism, simplicity is vulgarity. It is much better to develop a convoluted plan for the brotherhood of all mankind, than to guard your own borders.

If the West were at least being colonized by competent cultures that were coming over because they had the technology and skills to make the conquest, then the end result wouldn't be a dark age.But the West is lending its technology and skills to its own conquest.

Having developed the oil that gave the Gulf its wealth, and then built its cities and its companies, it welcomes in their bastard children to raid its cities and rule over it. The West is not being defeated by cultures that are better than it, but by an ideology with a third rate copy of its religion which was in the right place at the right time when petroleum became a key element in its economic infrastructure.

The successful colonization of the West can only end in another dark age, but the resistance to it may yet give it another lease on life. The West may be facing dark times, but its prospects are better than the slow decay of Japan which lacks a demographic threat that can shake it out of its stupor.

Islam has pushed the West into a fight or flight mode, for the most part its leaders are fleeing and seeking for some terms of accommodation in the clash of civilizations. But enemies who were stupid and arrogant enough to burn their own longboats to kill a few thousand of the natives are making more mistakes.

The greatest miscalculation of any nation or force is the belief in the inevitability of its outcome. The transnationalists believed in the inevitability of their form of progress and refused to see anything that contradicted their assumptions. The Islamists, like all fanatics, are making the same mistake. Their sense of inevitability and invulnerability is a form of denial that masks their own cultural failures. The transnationalists and the Islamists have been lying to themselves and to their followers but the moment of truth is coming when the lies can no longer be sustained. For the transnationalists that day is coming sooner than it is for the Islamists, which is a good thing, because it gives the invaded a chance to wake up before the invaders.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Materialism of Environmentalism

By On October 29, 2011
There is no understanding environmentalism without also understanding the function of religion as a means of infusing spirituality into the material. The politicization of consumerism is an attempt to mimic the religious dimension of life without a guiding deity.

Environmentalism provides the believer with the grandiosity of a human centered existence, in which the actions of individuals can lead to massive catastrophes, floods, extinctions and hurricanes. It's the old biblical epic of Noah set in what pretends to be a rational scientific universe, but actually borrows the religious significance of human ethics placed at the center of life.

Sin and the Lord will bring a flood, says the Bible. Drive to work and the icebergs will melt and bring a flood, say the environmentalists. The only difference between the two narratives is that the latter has taken G-d out of the equation and replaced Him with a couple of think tanks.

Environmentalism rationalizes the "flood" as a purely scientific phenomenon and elevates it to dogma, driving out the heretics with stones and namecalling. The sin is no longer disobedience of G-d, but disobedience of the left. The new sinners are industrialists, SUV owners and large families. But the true nature of the sin is not in deed, but in faith. They who believe may fly jet planes around the world and be exempt. They may enter into cap and trade schemes to pass on their sinful pollution on to others because it is the dogma that matters, more than any supposed climatic effects. If you believe then you may ride in as many limos as you like.

Adding an ethical dimension to consumerism is meant to be a secular religion, substituting moral labels for moral precepts. But whose revelations is it following? The politicization of consumerism comes from the anti-capitalist left, which has an innate dogmatic opposition to middle-class prosperity. Its science comes from a field that had always been overlooked when it came to funding and whose PhD's had a weakness for sandals and hikes. The thing they had in common was a dislike of industry and a need for a cause.

The fusion of science and politics gave the left what it had always been lacking. An apocalypse. Marx had warned that the specter of class warfare was haunting Europe. But the revolution he had been predicting never came. Instead the Burghers and their bureaucracy successfully stole his thunder to create comfortable welfare states funded by industry that even the left had trouble objecting to.

Human apocalypses, wars and revolutions, had been the left's stock in trade. It predicted them and than rallied its followers to come to power so it could ward them off. Environmentalism gave it its own apocalypse. Its old arguments against capitalism depended on the oppressed rising up. Its new argument was that capitalism would destroy the world.

The old left had borrowed social justice from religion, while discarding everything but the moral imperative. The new left combined it with the grandiose spectacle of apocalypses while replacing the deity with the mechanics of consumerism as a vehicle of climate change. What the left created was an irreligious religion with a moral imperative encompassing every aspect of life.

The left's economics had been based on a pseudo-science. Its flood was equally pseudo-science. Pseudo-science was its substitute for miracles and its own thinkers were the new prophets. Their god was the mechanics of their pseudo-sciences which made things happen through the inevitable force of their own constructs. Once Marx or Gore posited the inevitability of an event, then it was bound to happen. Their constructs had become massive towering idols of dogma to which everyone bowed.

The problem of the idol-makers was that their gods had clay feet. Their predicted apocalypses had not happened and their ideological solution states were revealed to be horrifying societies. But their real problem was that their challenges to materialism were not based on any meaningful values.

The old left had the nub of a legitimate argument when it came to the treatment of the working class, but their solution was to replace a hierarchy and oligarchy with a much more repressive hierarchy and oligarchy. The solution was appealing only to fools and those who hoped to be at the top of the new system. And when the oligarchies and hierarchies were done with their internal purges, they proved to be even bigger fools.

Their societies did not elevate materialism by making its distribution more just, they rationed it for the benefit of their own hierarchy, and ran the output through an inefficient industrial system, creating poverty on two different levels.

The environmentalist critique of materialism depended on a philosophy that saw human influence as malignant. If the old left had fired up the steel mills, celebrating industry as a means to a better life, the environmentalists were not concerned with a better life, but a more moral one. And their morality was defined in terms of a philosophy in which human beings were only one species among many.

The posthuman left, with its planetary grandiosity, had already taken a godlike view of human affairs. The endless evocations of the small blue marble came from men who were aspiring to a more than human view of the world-- and a more than human power to go with it. Men who spoke for the planet, whose constituencies were the polar bear and the sea turtle, and they were funded by wealthy men and women who cared about these animals, than they did about people.

If the old left's critique of materialism was that it was unfair to other human beings, the posthuman left's critique of materialism was that it was all too human. That it was a way for human beings to enjoy material comforts at the expense of other species and the entire planet.

The posthuman left's paradox lay in its grandiose condemnation of human grandiosity. Men and women who arrogantly presumed to speak for the planet were condemning the arrogance of their fellow human beings for driving SUV's. But that philosophical arrogance had always been the high ground of the left. Like prophets they presumed to speak for more than themselves, and if they were not speaking for the planet and the universe, then that was their final step on the road to godhood.

Having arrogated to themselves the powers and privileges, the omnipotence and infinite wisdom of religion, and its power to offer redemption or damnation to the human race-- the left made use of it. The irreligiosity of an irrational modern society in which assertion counted for more than truth and passion was the same as sincerity meant that few counterarguments could be made against it.

The left's predictions game had always been played for big stakes. Either the modern industrial society was headed for a complete crack-up or it wasn't. Either the oceans would rise and swallow the world or they wouldn't. The very grandiosity of the prediction meant that it could not be ignored. And once it was noticed, then it had to be debated. Opponents were put into the position of atheists, forced to deny a belief that a growing number of people asserted was true.

Because even its opponents would end up adopting items from its agenda, it could never properly be disproven. And so even in losing, it still won by getting a sizable portion of its agenda through. Through the apocalypse never happened, it still gained power.

What the left understood was that a society without religious conviction could be convinced of religious ideas if they were passed off as irreligious ones. A secular priesthood could rise to power by acting as shamans of social justice and protectors of the planet. The trappings of the thing would do.

Modern industry had made production cheaper by making it more efficient. The beneficiaries of that life believed that manna came down a conveyor belt and innately trusted what the scientific progress that had made so much of their society possible. And that same belief could be twisted into a hatred of the conveyor belt, into the view that the conveyor belt was sinful.

The left had an innate distrust of practical solutions, because it eliminated the need for ideological ones. It despised religion, because it sought to take its place. The strange Luddite faith built on the pseudo-science of environmentalism was a strange thing, but also an inevitable one. It challenged the prosperity by demonizing it and offered a solution in its own form of the sin tax.

The Communists had not made life more just, they had made it more deprived and more expensive and the trick repeated itself with the environmental movement which used the advertising language of consumerism and its up-branding to associate their more expensive and worse products with a higher moral standard. The more money passed into their hands, the more moral the product was.

Passing universal regulations would mean a larger cut from every product and service for them, and lower expectations for consumers. The increasing efficiency of industry had given consumers more for less. They sought to reverse that trend by taking from them more for less. It was a successful counter-revolution to the materialistic bounty of the industrial revolution, a counter-revolution founded on dubious science in the name of abstract theories and polar bears.

The phony priesthood of the posthuman left had catastrophe mongered its way to being a green mafia claiming its share of everything. This time around fairness wasn't even really on the table as the left was leaving behind its egalitarian roots and revealing the nakedness of its elitism. There was no longer any pretense that life would get better for most people. On the contrary it would get worse. That was one of the selling points. Those with the most money would take the least hit to their living standard. Especially if they donated to the green mafia and the phony priesthood.

The religious vacuum of the modern era had not made it any less susceptible to arguments of sin and guilt, only less able to recognize them. Materialism had helped create the vacuum along with the seeds of its own destruction. Material welfare had bred apathy and unease, with the latter born from the former. And these were violins that the left knew how to play. The less there was to worry about, the more people welcomed something to worry about.

Materialism was comfort and worry both. The left fed the worry and took away the comfort, making people pay for the privilege, giving their seal of approval to materialism in exchange for money and power. Its "ethical dimension" was nothing more than it and its many organs getting paid. And we are the ones forced to do the paying to the phony priesthood of the flying thermometer.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Hipsters, Hippies, Homeless and Hopeless

By On October 28, 2011


It's been a while since we've done one of these, but before we get into it, I would just like to mention that Glenn Beck will be at the Freedom Center's Restoration Weekend. As will a far humbler figure, me.


THE HIPPIE, HIPSTER, HOMELESS OCCUPATION CONTINUES


You can't smell Zuccoti Park from uptown, but if you're unlucky enough you can spot the occupiers making their way there. The Hipsters/Hippies/Homeless ratio has made for very poor hygiene and a fantastic opportunity for the rats to make a comeback in Lower Manhattan.


The weather is turning chilly. This morning the temperature was in the 40's and even though tents have been allowed, the hippies and hipsters are about to start discovering how the other third lives. The ones who actually are hopeless.


Hipsters may live in walk ups, but they like to have the heat on and there's a reason hippies usually prefer warmer weather and many of the city's guests from the other side of the coast are about to discover how quickly temperatures here can change and how uncomfortable even mild Northeastern weather can be when you're used to warm air.


Lower Manhattan is a giant heatsink of skyscrapers owned by corporations, and human and automobile traffic from employees of people doing business there. That heatsink is the only thing keeping the three H's from experiencing the weather that they would encounter if they headed over to Long Island.


The irony that the companies and cars they hate so much are keeping the weather warm enough so that they can lounge around in their piles of garbage without freezing would be lost on them. All those winds coming off the water broken by the massive collection of downtown skyscrapers, the sheer mass of people, cars and carbon that lets them pose as revolutionary activists without their teeth chattering are lost on them too.

The left has organized and funded Occupy Wall Street, but it's doing a poor job of controlling it. Its activist chains of command don't flow all that smoothly with the increasing number of homeless people who see it as another encampment and many of the hippies who can't focus long enough to follow the rules.

The problem with OWS is that it attracts people who want to do their own thing without realizing that they're walking into someone else's campaign. The Great Drum Circle Debate which pits the professional activists who understand that getting into fights with local residents will take them down against the hippies who just don't care. Or the Hygiene Hellish standoff with the homeless.

OWS' "innovative" idea of making the protest into a permanent round the clock entity was timed to boost the Obama campaign, but the weather is going to have something else to say about it.

It's also worth noting that while Bloomberg has pussyfooted around OWS, the minority mayors of black cities have taken them on. Mayor Kasim Reed in Atlanta and Mayor Jean Quan in Oakland have been much more forceful about dealing with the OWS trash, while Bloomberg and Menino, white, Jewish and Italian, have pandered to them.

Next up appears to be Mayor Villaraigosa in LA.



SHUT UP AND KEEP QUIET

We begin the roundup with the ADL and AJC's proposed "pact of silence" on Israel in the guise of the usual "don't make Israel into a partisan issue." The ADL/AJC's "National Pledge for Unity on Israel" is actually a call for silence by the Jewish community in an election year. I don't recall any other community being told that it must shut up and not make their issue into a wedge issue.

The Foxman-Harris contention that Israel has bipartisan support is untrue, as Foxman himself knows. While there isn't as great a gap between the two parties as many would like to think, the gap is very real and it is there. Furthermore an administration that has brought an ugliness to those ties as part of a program of disastrous pandering to Islamists in the Middle East should absolutely be held accountable for its shameful conduct.

Do Foxman-Harris really believe that remaining silent is a good strategy? If so why then do the ADL and AJC fill my inbox with bulletins almost every other day warning that they are all that stands between us and the deep blue sea? Their silence is a strategy and it favors only one side.

We have an adversarial political system that benefits from competition. That means every issue is a wedge issue. If it weren't that way, then we wouldn't need issue based elections at all.

Do Republicans and Democrats disagree on Israel? Absolutely. Should that be treated as some dirty little secret? I don't see why. The "National Pledge for Unity on Israel" is nothing more than "Sha Shtil" politics dressed up in colorful bunting and backed by a marching band. The FDR administration is a tombstone memorializing "Sha Shtil" politics. So is the situation in the Jewish community in France.




DEBATING THE DEBATES

There's not much you can say about the debates except that they have been insubstantial exchanges of talking points that have shown most of the candidates at their worst.

Perry has taken the most damage from the debates and his talk of pulling out is reasonable enough, but at the same time his clumsy performance is an image that most people are not going to get out of their heads. And whoever does win the nomination is still going to have to debate Obama.

The debates have teetered between candidates being unsure about attacking each other and then doing nothing but attacking each other. I doubt undecided voters came out of the Romney-Perry exchanges with much affection for either of the two men who have done a great job of providing video that Democratic strategists are feverishly reviewing for weak points on their laptops.

Cain and Gingrich are rising as a reaction to the lack of ideas and the careerist acrimony on stage. Romney and Perry don't come off as two men angry at each other because they both believe in these ideas, but as two men who want the same job and will strangle each other to get it. That's politics but it's also deflating to anyone who thinks in terms of public service.

But Cain and Gingrich have their own problems. Cain is electable on personality and on beliefs, but weak on ideas. Gingrich is electable on ideas, but not on personality. If you somehow blended the two men and combined Cain's breezy manner and Gingrich's wonkiness, you might come out with a perfect candidate. But that's not happening either.

Cain's casual campaign is not about winning. Cain doesn't expect the nomination, he expects to be Romney's VP and his odds are excellent. Gingrich is also aiming for the VP spot, ready to give heft and credibility to whoever the nominee will be.

Cain and Gingrich would be better presidents than Romney and Perry, but they're not likely to get that chance and even if they did, their odds of beating Obama and his praetorian press bodyguard aren't too good either.

But the bigger game at this point may not be the White House, but getting as many principled conservatives into congress as possible. It's a safe assumption that the Republican nominee will not be a principled conservative. The only thing left to do is checkmate him with principled conservatives.

When Bush tried to run the immigration numbers, opposition from congressional Republicans stopped him. If we do it right, Perry will be frozen the same way. And Romney can be checkmated as well. All the complaints about Republican extremism are a good thing. They show the party core is gaining strength and becoming a revolutionary party again. And while it will not be a Tea Party White House, it can be a Tea Party Congress.

But if the race continues to degenerate into the kind of pathetic displays we saw at the last debate, then the competition will be over who will lose to Obama.



THE ROUNDUP

COME ONE, COME MUSLIM MEN

A Muslim group in Denmark has launched a campaign to turn parts of Copenhagen and other Danish cities into "Sharia Law Zones" that would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic law.

The Danish Islamist group Kaldet til Islam (Call to Islam) says the Tingbjerg suburb of Copenhagen will be the first part of Denmark to be subject to Sharia law, followed by the Nørrebro district of the capital and then other parts of the country, the center-right Jyllands-Posten newspaper reported on October 17.

500 years ago this would have been a matter of straight up conquest, but today the invaders aren't coming on longboats, they're arriving on planes and benefiting from social services.



BUT SHE EXPLAINED

After Deborah Orr at the Guardian penned a bizarre bigoted column accusing Jews of racist arrogance for trading a 1000 terrorists for an Israeli POW, she offered an even more ridiculous explanation.

Last week, I upset a lot of people by suggesting Zionists saw themselves as “chosen”. My words were badly chosen and poorly used, and I’m sorry for it. But accusations of antisemitism have also been intemperate.

Zionism has nothing to do with being the "Chosen People", Judaism does.

Orr is lying through her teeth and she's doing it in a way remarkably similar to that done by Muslim spokesmen who use classical Anti-Semitic terminology and then explain that they mean Zionists not Jews.

Append the usual gibberish about Israel's creation harming the Pallies and we're off to the races.

Then Deborah Orr doubles back perversely to claim that, "it would be absurd to believe that Jewish people are any more or less capable of making geo-political miscalculations than anybody else:"

Like most Muslim spokesmen, Orr tries to pretend that she means Zionists not Jews, and then turns around and says Jews anyway.

The Guardian has become a kind of half-assed PC Der Sturmer, trading in Anti-Semitism and then making up the weakest excuse that it can to pretend that it didn't say what it obviously did.




NAKED APES OF WALL STREET

Edward Cline offers his thoughts on OWS at Rule of Reason

Picture a protester, fully dressed, armed with his cell phone, iPod, perhaps with a poncho rolled up in his backpack along with toiletries and other necessities.

Take away his cap – his shirt and tee-shirt – his watch – his jacket – his backpack and all is contents – his sweater or sweatshirt – his cell phone – his camera – any other gizmo he has become dependent on to communicate with his pals or to see what else is happening on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other social sites – his wallet – his pants – his underwear – his socks – his shoes – his shaving instruments – his deodorant (if any) – his hair cut (if he has had one) – his pill box, nasal spray, inhaler, chap stick, or whatever else enables him to breathe without difficulty – his childhood inoculations – his cigarettes – his lighter – his plastic packet of whatever else he may smoke – his glasses or contacts – his tent – his sleeping bag.

Take away his cardboard sign and the length or wood or plastic it may be affixed to, if it is affixed to anything. Take away the marker or pen or spray that printed the words on it.

No Starbucks. No Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. No Zuccotti Park-cooked pasta and stir-fried veggies. Maybe cockroaches. Or silverfish. Or dead rats. But nothing prepared in defiance of Mother Earth. No Poland Spring water. No plastic water bottles at all.

And what have you? You have a naked ape. A protester against corporate greed, an advocate of expropriating wealth and the means of production.

Read it all.



THE UNFAIRNESS DOCTRINE IS COMING

Well it is.

In other words, just in time for the 2012 elections, the FCC will help accelerate license challenges against "uncooperative" radio stations: namely, those stations that feature conservative talk radio.

Operation Rushbo II is a go.



WE ARE THE %100

101 if you count it right



EVITA II

What's going on in Argentina? Nothing good. (Via Western Rifle Shooters and Arctic Patriot.)




THAT'S ONE WAY TO SELL BOOKS

The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama.

Now if the State Department starts buying them and returning them, it can really go up the bestseller lists. Wouldn't surprise me too much if that was happening.



Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The White Aborigines of the Post-Racial Left

By On October 26, 2011
If you thought that political correctness was insane in the United States, take a long plane trip over to Melbourne, Australia, where Andrew Bolt, a columnist at the Herald Sun,  has been sanctioned by a judge of the Federal Court of Australia for "insulting, humiliating and offending" that group known
as "fair-skinned Aboriginal people".

Who might you wonder are these "fair-skinned Aboriginal people"? They are said to come from the Hiberian isle, the plains of Alba, the cities of Albion, the Teutonic forests and even the Hebraic tribes. They boast many fascinating arts and crafts, such as writing dissertations on the structural thematics of metaphor in aboriginal music and receiving aboriginal scholarships to compensate for all the suffering inflicted upon them by the European settlers.

The Federal Court decision creates a new protected class of people, "fair-skinned aboriginals", which is to say white people pretending to be black people are now protected by anti-discrimination laws from pesky newspaper columnists pointing out that they happen to have blond hair, German last names and no amount of kitschy native clothing and beads will change that.

As the decision put it: "The members of the group referred to are fair skinned Aboriginal persons who, by a combination of descent, self-identification and communal recognition are, and are recognised as, Aboriginal persons." Which is a complex way of saying, "aim for the stars, push all the limits and if you want to be an Aborigine, there's nothing stopping you so long as you can claim a great-grandsire or dam who might have been aboriginal or just really tan."

None of this foolishness would matter much in a society where people are judged by the content of their character, not by how many papers they can write on the cultural appropriation of the didgeridoo, but it matters quite a bit when society and government are set up to pay off a debt of guilty to a bunch of people because they were the first bunch of settlers, and they were the second bunch of settlers, and then members from the second bunch of settlers show up demanding to be cut in because even though they need to slather themselves in suntan lotion at the beach, they have decided to identify themselves as aborigines.

It's an even bigger problem when anti-discrimination laws are wielded by the melanin challenged tribe to suppress free speech and silence anyone who points this out.

The entire discussion is a dangerous one because it shows the incentivization of victimhood. If members of the "privileged majority" choose to pass themselves off as members of the "oppressed minority", then doesn't that imply the roles have been reversed?

There were plenty of biracial people who tried to pass themselves off as white in the 19th and early 20th centuries, because there was an advantage to doing so. These days they usually go the other way and it's not an unreasonable thing to do. Why not pick the identity that offers special advantages over the one that offers guilt.

The aboriginal absurdity has its counterpart in the States where mass immigration after the Civil War brought huge numbers of immigrants of all races who are stuck in a system of guilt that they had nothing to do with. The final surreal twist in the tale was when the country elected a man whose only American ancestors were white and who had no African-American roots whatsoever in order to atone for its racial history.

Aboriginal issues play much less of a role in the United States, where few people really ask how many of the professional Indians are actually Indians, until like Ward Churchill, they become a little too annoying.

Churchill incidentally has variously claimed to be one-eighth Creek and one-sixteenth Cherokee, one-sixteenth Creek and Cherokee and three-sixteenths Cherokee. It's easy to tell you have a racial problem when you need a scientific calculator to figure out your own racial identity.

While a Rocky Mountain News investigation found no evidence of Indian ancestors and no known tribe, besides the Ivory Towarian people has agreed to claim him for their own, to which the Chancellor of Colorado University, which gave him tenure as a "special opportunity position", said that "it has always been university policy that a person's race or ethnicity is self-proving."

Anyone who insists loudly enough that they are an Indian, wears their hair in braids and protests against Columbus Day is now an Indian. Or an Aborigine. Or any damn thing they want to be.

Jews have their own aborigines, like Rachel Cowan, one of the Rabbis for Hamas and a Unitarian from Wellesley. But while you can convert to Judaism, you cannot convert to "Aboriginalism" or "Cherokeeism", that is unless you buy some beads, wear your hair slicked back and accuse as many people of racism as possible. 

The idea of racial purity was a dead letter in Western society until the left brought it back to life by granting special privileges on a racial basis. Combine that with a post-racial society where no one wants to define what race is and interracial marriage isn't unusual, and you come away with a bizarre
cocktail of "fair-skinned aborigines" who insist on privileges through self-identification with a race.

If the legacy of racial prejudice is immutable because it is racial, and must be offset with special benefits, then the "fair-skinned aborigine" receives the best of both worlds, gaining the privileges of both races. Free to be white and black when convenient, a prism whose light particles are resolved in a Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Political Correctness. They are of every race and no race at all.

Martin Luther King did not have a dream that everyone who wants to be black, can claim to be black, just like Bill Clinton, who was our first president of colorless color because he played the sax and felt the pain of black people. Then he became our former racist president once his wife was running against a man who had a better claim on being black because he was anywhere between one half and one quarter black. At this rate you need to start doing quadratic equations to figure out if we've reached the arc of social justice.

The Clinton experience should be instructive to fair-skinned aborigines everywhere. The left has a very bad habit of hijacking other people's identities and cultures for their own purpose, but those people get tired of it sooner or later. Just ask all the former fair-skinned members of the NAACP. Silencing a fellow white columnist using racial discrimination laws isn't too difficult, but silencing the actual aborigines who want blackfella, not whitefella, representation won't be nearly as easy.

Racial and ethnic identity is most meaningful when it is internal and least meaningful when it is external. Like all identities its essence is in the transmission to those who carry it forward. But modern society insists on the deconstruction of all identities as arbitrary constructs and the external assertion of those random arbitrary identities that are internally inconsistent.

Identity is no longer familiar, it is one more letter in a Scrabble bag that you can assemble into any word you like. Identifying with victim cultures is encouraged, identifying with privileged cultures is discouraged. There are no objective rules to any of it-- the assertion alone is all that is needed.

Post-racial identity says that Herman Cain is not a real black man, but Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are. If an aboriginal came forward to support Bolt's columns, then he would be considered less "aboriginal" than the "fair-skinned aborigines". If identity depends on external assertion, then politically correct activism is all that it takes to become a member of any race.

Accordingly leftists are the only true people of color, because they identify with the oppression of every race, and rightists are the only true whites, because they are all privileged rich people driving limos and flying corporate jets to pollution conferences while dropping cigars on native burial grounds.

If this sounds at all fanciful, consider that I receive several emails every week insisting that I write in contradiction to Jewish values, even though they can only articulate and practice these "values" in the terminology of the left and through the organizations of the left. But if you spend enough time wearing your hair in braids and chanting that Columbus is a mass murderer, then you are an Indian even if your genetic line looks a lot like General Custer's. And if you spend enough time insisting that the left's program represents the essence of Jewish values, then that assertion become identity.

In a postmodern world where truth is irrelevant and facts are worthless, all arguments are personal arguments.Your identity is your ticket to ride. All else is privilege. The fair-skinned aborigine steps forward, drops the black ticket in the slot, smirks smugly and takes the roller coaster all the way to the top.

Bolt's article which got him into trouble was headlined, "White is the New Black", but that's not strictly accurate. "Left is the New Black" would have been more to the point. The left has politicized racial identity by equating race with political affiliation, and now it's doing away with race entirely.

You don't need to be black to be "black". You just gotta be left.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Insurgent Incumbent

By On October 25, 2011
Obama's team is nothing if not creative. After running for his first term as a force of change, he's off and running for his second term as... the force of change. Don't like the last change, this will be the change from that change to a whole other change.

"We Can't Wait" oddly echoes with Obama's old slogan, "We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For." Now after having waited for three for ourselves... we can't wait for another four years of the same thing. The problem with waiting for ourselves while waiting to vote again for the man who got us into this mess is that it means we'll be waiting a long time.

But "We Can't Wait" echoes another slogan that the Obama team was extremely familiar with, the left's "We Can't Wait To Drive the Bush Regime Out." This time around Obama might have called it, "We Can't Wait to Drive Boehner Out", but it's a slogan that would have confused most people.

What we really can't wait for is the next phase of the Obama campaign, which has completely swallowed any pretense at actual governing, and is just treating the business of government as the backdrop to a series of negative campaign ads.

"Why do the Republicans hate firefighters, veterans and teachers? Why won't they vote right away on that bill which may or may not actually exist? Why do they make little puppies cry?"

If the voters actually think about the message, instead of chewing the predigested CNN and WaPo memes shipped hot and fresh from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, then they might want to ask themselves why they should elect a man so incompetent that he can't govern unless he controls all the branches of government.

Before the Republicans took back congress, the Supreme Court and the Senate were the arrogant bastards interfering with the greatest reform agenda ever. When Obama lost the House, suddenly the Senate was the last hope of mankind, and the House was a bunch of gridlocked lunatics who were doing nothing while the economy was being destroyed.

Obama's idea of bipartisanship is to denounce Republicans for not having already passed a program that he just announced five minutes ago. It's a fine thing to do before an election, much like stealing your opponent's sign, throwing paint at his house and claiming that his wife killed JFK. But does anyone really want that brand of entertainment to be the approach to governing the country after election day?

The timing of the Occupy Wall Street protests lines up neatly with Obama's class warfare reelection campaign and his weak Wall Street fundraising. Last time around Obama took home bundles of cash from the Street, this time he's reduced to counting matchsticks. All the class warfare shtick serves a dual purpose, find someone to run against and warn the banks and brokers that they better reach into their wallets for the reelection campaign or the mob will do it for them.
The class warfare theme skips the question of whether Obama should campaign against Romney, for his wealth, business connections and religion, against Perry, for his accent, business connections and religion, or against Cain for his business connections, and in the left's time honored way of dealing with black men on the right, his intelligence. Instead he can just campaign on a platform of fighting against corporate control of government-- even while he has his hand so deep in the corporate till there are logos on his knuckles.

Class warfare transforms Obama into the candidate of change all over again-- a position he is much more comfortable with because it comes with lots of expectations and no record. As the candidate of change, he is "born again" to be the blank slate that everyone can project their hopes and wishes on.

From "We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For" to "Greater Together", the slogans once again try to fool younger voters into feeling as if they are part of his story. Back on the talk show circuit, the magazine cover, the smirk is flashed and everyone cheers at the right moment. The change is coming.

The problem with the incumbent as the insurgent is that the public blames the incumbent for the things that happened on his watch. For the incumbent to run as an insurgent, he needs an enemy to blame for everything that came before. The Republican congress fits part of the bill, with constant warnings that electing members of another party has so badly gridlocked the government that the bills he won't submit aren't being voted on.

The whole bill though demands an enemy. A bigger enemy than a bunch of congressmen that most people couldn't name if they were being waterboarded. Capitalism.

Stick to what you know is a belated lesson, but a copy of Rules for Radicals is back on the desk and the red meat is being tossed out to voters. But the meat isn't red because it came from a cow, but because it was taken secondhand from a back alley McMarx joint off the Red Square.

It's fine to stuff the banks full of pork and then throw them under the bus when you need the under thirties to feel something about anything. And that's what Occupy Wall Street is about more than anything else, a voter outreach program to make voting Obama seem cool again.

Occupy Wall Street is less of a movement for political change, than a movement of getting the voters who boosted Obama last time around to come out to the polls once again. Dangling the bait of real "Change" with a small army of professional activists, the homeless and compulsive drummers is one way to do it.

Obama can't run on his record for the same reason that Charles Manson can't apply for parole based on how many murders he was involved in. The negative is all he has left. Teach the people to hate someone else more than him-- and he might as well be toasting his second term.

That's why it doesn't matter if he's at a 43 percent approval rating or a 33 percent approval rating. If he can get his opponent to a lower approval rating, then he will win. And the Republican party has made it a little too easy for him. Whoever wins the nomination won't be a McCain, but neither will he be a Reagan or even a Bush. The problem though is that Obama looks more like Carter or Dukakis and his only stopgap is a press corps that's eager for treats and a scratch behind the ear.

Class warfare is his last best defense because it shifts the discussion from him to an amorphous foe. Who are the bankers anyway? Why is home heating oil so expensive, why are there so few jobs and why are student loans so expensive. The bankers obviously. The more people curse Wall Street, the less they're thinking about how badly the guy with the grin messed up the country.

But on election day, the "bankers" won't be on the ballot, and painting his opponent as a tool of big business interests is a charge that the media will echo, but is likely to only have a limited resonance with the American public. Most people know what crony capitalism is, even if they don't have a name for it, and they know that lobbyists write their checks to everyone.

The flip side of Obama's little game is that when the Mau-Mauing and Mao-Maoing is done, voters still want change and not even the planted grass roots smoking weed at Occupy Wall Street really believe that he is the candidate of change anymore.

Obama has done the next best thing to running against himself, but no matter how how much red meat from the red square he tosses out, or how many drum circles bang their sticks together against the Street, it is his failures and his economic disasters that matter. Bush and the bankers, and every other person and force that he has tried to use a negative repulsion magnet will be there. And the man that will be in there will be the candidate of change, just because he isn't him.

The Left's Worst Crime in the Middle East

By On October 25, 2011
The left's worst crime in the Middle East has been its support for the region's Arab-Muslim majority at the expense of its minorities. It has supported the majority's terrorism, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and repression of the region's minorities. Very rarely has it raised a voice in their support, and when it has done so, it was in muted tones completely different from their vigorous defenses of the nationalism of the Arab Muslim majority.

The left is obsessed with the Arab Spring, which rewards the ambitions of Arabist and Islamist activists at the expense of Coptic, African and other minorities. It is dementedly fixated on statehood for the Arab Muslims of Israel, (better known by their local Palestinian brand), but has little to say about the Kurds in Turkey or the Azeri in Iran. The million Jewish refugees and the vanishing Christians of the region never come up in conversation. They certainly don't get their own protest rallies or flotillas. 

The Africans of Sudan could have used a flotilla, or an entire UN organization dedicated to their welfare, which the Arab Muslims who had failed to wipe out the region's Jewish minority are the beneficiaries of. But they had to make do with third tier aid.

Unlike the Arab nationalists and Islamists of Libya, the French, English and American air force did not come to their rescue. It came to the rescue of the Libyans who showed their gratitude in the time honored way of the Arab majority by massacring the African minority. All under the beaming smiles of the selective humanitarians of the left. But what's a little genocide between friends?

The left embraced Pan-Arabism, a race based nationalism, in line with the Soviet Union's expansionist foreign policy. Pan-Arabism's socialism made it easy for the left to ignore its overt racism along with the admiration of many of its leading lights for Nazi Germany. The same left which refused to see the Gulags and the ethnic cleansing under the red flag, turned an equally blind eye to the contradiction of condemning Zionism for its ethnic basis, while supporting Pan-Arabism, which was ethnically based.

Under Zionism, Israel retained a sizable Arab minority. The Pan-Arabists however drove their Jews out with mob violence, political repression, prisons and public executions. The left's criticisms of Zionism are rendered moot by their own support for Pan-Arabism, and their own longstanding hostility to Jewish national identity, insisting that socialism demands that Jews assimilate into the dominant race, whether in Russia or Western Europe. In the Middle East and North Africa, Arabization has led to repression of non-Arab minorities and the destruction of other cultures through the insistence on unity through race.

As the sun of Pan-Arabism sets, the left has turned its attention to Pan-Islamism with equal enthusiasm. While Pan-Arabism allowed Christian Arabs some representation, Pan-Islamism excludes based on religion. Having endorsed a racial tyranny, the left has fallen so low that it now champions majority theocracies.

The left's fledgling support for Kurdish nationalism has faded as Turkey has gone from a secular ally of the Western powers, to an Islamist tyranny dreaming of empire. This perverse twist of affairs has the left abandoning the national struggles of an oppressed people when their rulers align themselves more closely with the bigoted regional majority.

The War on Iraq, which the left hated, removed a tyrant aligned with the region's Sunni majority and the Libyan campaign, which the left supported, removed a tyrant who had deviated too far from the positions of that majority. So too in Egypt, where Mubarak's excessive tolerance for minorities, led the left to endorse the Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist calls for his overthrow. And in Tunisia, where a government tolerant of minorities has been replaced by the Islamists.

The pattern repeats itself over and over again as the left rises in support of racial and theocratic rule. And for all the left's critiques of American and European foreign policy, its own foreign policy which endorses racial and theocratic rule and works to bring it about is a true crime and blot on the region.

It is no coincidence that the one country in the region that the left hates above all else, is neither Arab nor Muslim. Just as it is no coincidence that the Arab Spring replaces regimes tolerant of minorities with Islamists and Arabists. The left's true regional agenda is the racist agenda of its Arab members. The Arab Socialists and the Islamists who have defined its regional positions have turned the left into a vehicle for their racial and theocratic agendas.

For the left to shout racism when American troops empower the Kurds in Iraq, or when Israeli soldiers stand watch over tiny strips of land where the region's oldest and most frequently oppressed minority finds shelter is the height of hypocrisy. It is the left which is racist. It is the left which backs theocracies and always supports the majority's oppression of the minority.

The idiots in their Keffiyahs eager to give everyone a lesson on the Middle East think the Assyrians vanished in ancient times, have no idea who the Circassians are, or the Arab Gypsies, think the Zoroastrians are a traveling circus, and couldn't begin to tell you anything about the Druze, the Bahai or the Ahmadis-- except that American foreign policy or Israel are probably to blame.

In the meantime they proudly wear a garment associated with the Pan-Arabists and their rejection of Turkish reforms-- while stupidly believing that it's all-purpose garments of revolution. But why should they care that they're endorsing a romanticized neo-feudalism that led to mass murder and the rise of a theocratic reactionary movement disguised as nationalism. Or that these movements have inevitably led to the repression of minorities and the ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide of the region's native inhabitants by their Arab Muslim conquerors.

The left relies on the intellectual laziness of its followers not to notice that the nationalism they support is the nationalism of medieval conquerors and the resurgence of their colonial descendants. The only two nations with any historical roots in the region are Israel and Persia. In North Africa, where the Arab Spring has burned fiercest, the left is cheering the resurgence of an Arab Pretoria, racist regimes turning into even more racist theocracies run by the great-great-grands of the men who invaded the region and destroyed much of its history and culture.

The Arab Spring, with its purges of Coptic Christians and Africans, its outpouring of hostility toward Jews, is as perverse as if the left had suddenly decided that Africa needed proper Boer rule. It's the senseless behavior of racist idiots and totalitarian hypocrites who think that if they call you a "racist" first then they win the argument.

The left has endorsed Arab and Islamic rule over the Middle East, which means that it is in absolutely no position to criticize anyone or anything. It will talk your ear off about Gaza or Fallujah, but it won't have anything to say about Turkish chemical weapons raids into Kurdish areas of Iraq. The tens of thousands of political prisoners in Turkish jails, some there for no other crime than the use of the Kurdish language, don't exist for the left. Erdogan's casual threat to ethnically cleanse the Armenians again doesn't stir their interest.

It is no secret that the left is totalitarian and that it is attracted to totalitarian movements. But few have been willing to say it openly and clearly when it comes to its politics in the Middle East.

The left picked Pan-Islamists over secularists in Iran and Turkey. It picked racialist fascists in Egypt, Iraq and Syria-- and their local Palestinian militias. It backed Islamist and Arabist revolts again in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. And after backing every totalitarian majoritarian regime that wasn't too closely aligned to the United States-- their one great enemy is the region's only democratic state.

The left's worst crime in the Middle East is its craven love for tyranny, for grand empires built on race and religion, over the national and political rights of the minority. These Apartheid states are all they care about. Their greatest effort has been set not on resolving the stateless problems of the Kurdish minority, on the national borders of Armenia or ending the Turkish occupation and settlement of Cyprus-- but on adding yet another Arab-Muslim state to the region.

Palestine, the cynical project of Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist thugs, is the great obsession of the left. Because if there's one thing that the Middle East doesn't have enough of, it's totalitarian regimes built on Arab and Islamist identity. And the one thing it has too much of is democratic state with a non-Arab and non-Muslim majority. And that one thing is what they are committed to destroying.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Tyrant is Dead, Long Live the Tyrant

By On October 23, 2011
The tyrant is dead, and the head of Libya's Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil,  (who was also Gaddafi's former Justice Minister), has declared that Libya has been liberated.

What a glorious day it is when a country is liberated from its justice minister by its justice minister. If only Gaddafi had been quicker on the ball, he could have staged a revolution against himself and liberated the country from himself.

We mustn't laugh. Now that American troops are leaving Iraq and Afghanistan has declared that it will back Pakistan in any conflict with the United States, we must have the highest hopes for Libyan democracy. Didn't we declare an undeclared war on Gaddafi to have a fallback position? Even if Egypt and Tunisia go down the tubes, and Yemen declares an official Bin Laden day, we'll always have Libya.

But don't pop the champagne corks just yet. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, who liberated Libya from himself, has also declared that it will be governed under Islamic law and that laws which contradict Islam will be abolished. So expect to see fewer female bodyguards and more women in need of bodyguards. Out with the uniforms, in with the Burqas. And the champagne is most definitely against Islam.

What can the Libyan people look forward to? In Egypt, a fellow who said something about Islam on Facebook got sentenced to three years of hard labor. Egypt, lest we forget, is a moderate Muslim state. How can you tell Egypt is a moderate Muslim state? He didn't get the death penalty, the way he would have in Pakistan.

Westerners who are always on the prowl for moderate Muslims might take caution from his example. The difference between a moderate Muslim and an immoderate one, is the difference between three years of hard labor for saying the wrong thing on Facebook... and the death penalty. Instead of searching for moderate psychopaths, we might be better off asking whether we really need moderate or immoderate psychopaths at all.

Blasphemy laws in the Muslim world are not really about cartoons of exploding turbans and the free press, those are things that don't exist and never really existed anyway. They're a convenient way to keep down uppity minorities. Back when there were still Jews living in the Muslim world, charges of blasphemy were a common way of depriving them of their property or their lives. Today Christians are the main target-- for as long as they're around.

Take the case of Batto Sfez, a Tunisian Jewish wagon driver who got into an argument during a traffic jam with a member of the Muslim master race. In an argument between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the former always has a trump card, accuse the non-Muslim of blaspheming Mohammed. And so the wagon driver was dragged before a Sharia court by a peacefully religious mob and had his head chopped off.

The year was 1856 and the French were as interventionist as ever, but unsympathetic to Islam. And so Napoleon III dispatched a naval squadron to Tunis to urge the Tunisian regime to be more tolerant of minorities. This led to the Fundamental Compact, which gave Christians and Jews the same rights as Muslims. This horrible act of equality blasphemy has never been forgiven by Tunisian Muslims.

The Arab Spring which overthrew a moderate Tunisian government put an end to the last vestiges of tolerance. And Islamists have already been gathering outside the synagogue in Tunis and chanting the usual cheerfully peaceful slogans about the Battle of Khaybar. Which is the Muslim equivalent of snapping a Nazi salute and yelling, "See you in Auschwitz."

There are less than a thousand Jews left in Tunis, which makes them an ideal target for refighting the Battle of Khaybar. It's easier to go after a few elderly unarmed men in Tunis, than to fight the IDF. And their prospects of refighting the Battle of Khaybar against the Jewish senior citizens of Tunis have been provided by Obama and Thomas Friedman and every pol and pundit who championed the Arab Spring.

Back in Libya there is no Jewish community, and a foolishly optimistic fellow who traveled to rebuild the synagogue there was quickly told where he could shove his liberty, fraternity and equality.

Libya is indeed free. It's free of Jews and it will soon be free of Christians too. It is becoming free of Africans and will be free of rights for women. It will also be freerer than ever of all the freedoms that are against Islam. But don't expect that to ruin the celebrations in Foggy Bottom. Libya has been liberated from itself by itself for itself. And now that it's liberated, it is free to have fewer human rights than ever.

The Gaddafi regime was a money-grubbing totalitarian mafia, and it will be replaced by a totalitarian money-grubbing mafia, many of whose members will be alumni of the original mafia. Whoever runs the new mafia, whether it's a "moderate" like Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, Gaddafi's old justice minister, who wants to abolish all laws that contradict Sharia, or an immoderate, like Abdel Hakim Belhadj, commander of the Tripoli Military Council who's also a veteran of the local Al-Qaeda franchise, will go on hating the Great Satan and the Little, and pandering to the Islamists by tightening the noose of Sharia law around the throat of Libya.

The French, the old French back in Napoleon III's day, at least had the right idea. They understood that tyranny was the only form of government in the area, and that it was best to overthrow overly zealous tyrants and see them replaced with men whose narrow throats fit into a French gloved fist. This is the sort of attitude that the West is often accused of in its interventions, but can anyone who has sat through a Bush or Blair speech on democracy take that seriously?

Of course we want oil and trade and more pleasant relations, but we think the way to get those things is to introduce the locals to democracy until they realize that if they want the whole two cars in every garage and a son with a PhD in Greek Lit on every wall American dream-- then they need to put down the ax and open up the system.

Under our way of doing things, two cars in every garage is a much more realistic dream in Libya and the oil soaked parts of the Middle East, and a less realistic dream in the good old US of A. Forget the UK, where the price of gas would make Americans reach for their shotguns. After spending trillions on wars for democracy, we're deep in debt and the Muslim world is as democratic as mob rule and Islamist terror can possibly make it.

We mean well and that's our problem. Even when we're being greedy warmongering bastards, we mean well. Like gentlemen cat burglars whose sense of manners requires them to sign the guest book we keep invading countries to make life better for them. Looking at all our rows of tanks and jets, it's obvious that we don't quite understand how this invading business works. It's also obvious to the Libyans, who will be our friends almost as much as the Afghans, the Iraqis and the Egyptians.

Iraq has gone from whiskey, sexy, democracy to burqas, sharia and beheadings because the moment we took off our goggles, we put on our rose covered glasses. Now Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are on the way. While the champagne corks are popping in the New York Times editorial offices, in Tripoli bearded men are meeting around a table and working out a timetable.

For all the ugliness in Iraq, it ended with a trial and a hanging. Even if the hanging was overseen by the Sadr boys. Libya didn't even bother with the pretense of a trial. Its pretense of "democracy" will go about as well. But in Libya, the liberals backed a civil war without maintaining any control over the outcome.

The American death toll in Iraq was the result of an attempt to maintain control over the process. In Libya, the liberals are patting themselves on the back for a quick and easy war without the death toll or the control. Before Obama abandoned Iraq, he abandoned Libya, and while it probably wouldn't have made any difference, it is a notable difference between the Bush and Obama administrations, that the latter does not even aspire to responsibility.

Instead Obama went to Cairo, preached revolution, toppled pro-American regimes and then wiped his hands of the mess. If Bush was accused of being irresponsible, then Obama is a lunatic playing catch with a hand grenade. If Bush had a larger vision, then Obama is an arsonist torching American influence in the region and warming his cold hands by the flames. Bush set controlled burns, but Obama is burning everything down because the death of American influence is his doctrine.

The death of Gaddafi does not mean a new era of human rights, only a transition to a new tyranny. The robed maniac was not the first king, sultan, bey and tyrant to be brought down by an armed mob and some foreign backed revolutionaries. This is how it has always been. The tyrant delivers his patriotic speeches, leers into the camera, alternately panders to the mob or shoots it down, and passes down power to his son.

What brought down Gaddafi, Mubarak and the rest of them was not the mythical popular awakening, but well-funded domestic revolutions with international backing and training, and international pressure backed by bombing raids. The Islamists hope the Arab Spring will lead to an Islamic Winter, but it's more likely to lead to more chaos, more splinter tyrannies and more civil wars.

The tyrant is dead, long live the tyrant.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

No Victory But Defeat

By On October 22, 2011
The most common justification for the Shalit deal is to wear it as a perverse badge of moral nobility. "What other country would exchange a thousand terrorists for one man." This is a close cousin of the argument that says the United States treating terrorists with kid gloves proves that it is nobler than them. Both of these insufferable arguments are symptoms of the moral decline of civilization.

If the life of a single soldier is more important than the battle, then why have battles or soldiers at all? We don't send soldiers out to fight because we think that their lives are worthless, but because the objective of war is to save even more lives than those that will be lost in fighting it. Or to preserve that liberty and independence from enemy oppression which are the qualities that make life worthwhile.

There is nothing to be proud of in a moral confusion that puts the soldier before the battle. Even less in a country whose commanders and politicians think nothing of sacrificing soldiers in order to preserve the lives of enemy civilians.

All the kvelling over Gilad Shalit would be a trifle less dishonest if the pundits, politicians and generals did not believe that sending a dozen boys like Shalit into battle without air and artillery support to avoid harming enemy civilians was also evidence of moral superiority.

If the moral equations say that the life of Gilad Shalit is worth a major national defeat and that the life of a Gilad Shalit is worth less than that of an enemy civilian, then it's no wonder that the terrorists are thriving. Israel's own idiot elites have laid out a formula under which the IDF must lose every battle to preserve the nation's morality. It's Masada as practiced by left-wing lunatics.

This peacenik logic makes it appearance at rallies protesting against terrorism when someone breaks out into another round of, "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu", to show that we really want peace. Whom do we want peace with? The people killing us. The people we are protesting against. But like teachers' pets we have to keep reminding the teacher that we really are good students.

Armed pacifism is a contradiction in terms. Reluctant warriors who believe that peace is the ideal state are forced to blame the lack of peace on someone else. "We would love to put flowers in our guns and let the birds nest in our cannons, but those people over there keep shooting at us." It's true, but it's also besides the point. Expediency is a weak and unconvincing argument against an ideal.

If you view war as an unfortunate response to violence, while the enemy views war as a moral act-- then the moral weight of the argument will always be on their side.

The Muslims declare that war is their ultimate ambition while the Israelis counter that peace is their ultimate ambition, but they just can't make it work when the other side is trying to kill them. In a rational world they would win the argument. In a world where emotional arguments that appeal to ideals are more compelling than pragmatic 'shades of grey' positions, the people who believe that purity of arms comes from the righteousness of their cause win out over those who believe that purity of arms comes from avoiding killing civilians. 

Or take that famous Golda Meir quote. "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us." The insipid quote assumes that people who love their children don't hate other people. Or don't hate them enough to send their children into battle against them.

Nazi Germany was not a nation full of honor killings and suicide bombers. It may be assumed that they did a reasonably good job of loving their children. That didn't mean that they loved other people's children. It didn't mean that they were unwilling to risk their children to achieve their objectives.

The Islamists have built up an image of a cult of death and there is some truth to that. Islam as ideology disdains the life of the individual, as much as the mass parades of the Nazis or the Communists did. Does that mean Hamas leaders don't love their children?

Suicide bombers rarely come from the ranks of the leadership. The Nablus junkie or the high strung teenager who thinks she wants to die, is a useful tool for Hamas and Fatah leaders. Suicide bombers are no different than the canon fodder in any other war-- taught that their acts make them glorious, when actually it means they were disposable all along.

The Golda quote appears to be a simple moral equation, but what it leaves out is the risk factor. The majority of Arab Muslims don't expect to be wiped out by fighting Israel. Some of them will die in the battle, but that is true of all wars. The individual risk factor is small enough that they can easily love their children and hate Israel, without having to make a hard and fast choice between the two.

The assumption that pacifism is the only true form of love is a dangerous one. Take the Golda quote at face value, and you have to question why Israelis send their sons into battle at all? Many of the fathers and mothers of the left no longer do. But if you don't send some of your sons to battle, then all your sons will die anyway, or end up second-class citizens or slaves.

All of Israel is expected to love Gilad Shalit enough to die for him at the hands of the terrorists who are his blood price. But then why must IDF soldiers second-guess themselves in a combat situation to avoid being sent to jail. And why have soldiers been sent to the front line underequipped and without the proper support. Is it really Shalit that the country is expected to be willing to die for, or pacifism? The willingness to deal rather than fight. The Korbanot Shalom, the Sacrifices for Peace, that have defined Israel in the Oslo age. With Yitzchak Rabin, acting out the role of a secular version of the patriarch of that same name, as the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of peace.

There are more rational ways to reword the Golda quote. For example one might say that, "Peace will come when the Arabs do not see any advantage that they can gain for their children by hating us." The New Middle East plan was loosely based around such thinking. So is the One State Solution. Eliminate any practical reasons for the hate by minimizing Israel as an economic and political entity and the hate will stop.

It's a condescending approach that completely ignores the function of such hate for the haters. The Third Reich did not hate Jews for any of the reasons that appear in Mein Kampf, but because hating Jews allowed Nazi Party members to seize their belongings, and gave their supporters an identity. Hating an outside group fulfills that function for Arabs and Muslims, who cling to Anti-Semitism in times of doubt-- and no amount of peace songs will change that.

Arabs and Muslims love their own children by hating Jews. It is a perverse kind of love, but it is  love nonetheless. Lacking a meaningful identity beyond the family and the tribe, they build one of hate instead. Hate is what they pass down to their children. Hate is their prophecy for the future. If their children do not hate enough, then they will kill them. Out of a love that is so mixed with hate that there is hardly any difference.

Alternatively one might say. "Peace will come when the Jews love their own children enough to hate the Arabs." It's not a pretty thought, but a relevant one to an Israeli political system where soldiers are sent off to die in avoidable ways for the sake of enemy civilians and Israeli civilians are forced to absorb terrorist attacks by a security establishment that is unwilling to do everything it takes to protect them.

Israeli leaders have treated their own people as "Sacrifices for Peace" in a liberal holocaust, a fire offering to the gods of pacifism and international law. Israeli leaders traded a relative peace for a constant war in the name of what they called peace. But the "Peace Process" had no more to do with peace, than another round of "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu" or the withdrawal from Gaza. It was an act of ritual sacrifice for reasons moral and political.

The Shalit exchange was more of the same. One life traded off for many more who will die at the hands of the freed killers. But it was necessary for political and moral reasons. The political reasons are obvious. The moral ones are even more obvious. To remind us that we are better people, no matter what the final cost of that moral morale boost may be.

But true morality isn't found in ritualized self-sacrifice, it's localized in moral priorities. Ritual self-sacrifice is not moral, no matter how much it may seem that way in the light of the cameras. It is profoundly immoral to act without considering the consequences and all the rationalizations in the world do not change that.

"Peace will come when the Jews love their own children more than they need to be loved by their enemies." That is perhaps the most rational formulation of the Golda quote. And it seems as equally hopeless an expectation as Golda's original quote.

The Muslim world expresses its dysfunction by violently rejecting the outside world and the free world expresses it by seeking external validation. The collision between the two is the essence of liberal dysfunction which makes the way that we treat outsiders into its highest standard of morality and then abuses its own people to showcase its broken telescopic morality.

If we must feed rabid dogs and starve our own children to show how moral we are, then only through such suicidal behavior will we ever feel good that we are truly good people. If the essence of feeling good about ourselves is to feel bad about ourselves, and to feel good by feeling bad, then we become the ASHamed Jews of Jacobson's novel, The Finkler Question, who find redemption in this warped form of Jewish identity.

The question however is not only a Jewish one. In a civilization where the national ethics of Western nations demands that they find their moral center at the bottom of a grave pit, the old moral code of "Love the Stranger" has been transformed into "Hate your Brother". The socialist position that the stranger is the stranger because your brother has his boot on his head, means that it is your mission to love the stranger by hating your brother. And once the stranger is your brother and your brother is the stranger, then the inner becomes the other, and your nation and civilization are on the edge of a cliff.

This isn't morality or ethics, but a mockery of them that twists them to the furthest possible extreme until they become a suicide pact. But the balance of power is on the side of the suicides who have the purity of idealism on their side. And everyone to the right of them huddles in their shadow, devising weak compromise arguments that fail against the extremity of their positions.

By accepting the moral validity of the pacifist argument on any level, the purity of any extreme form of that has also been validated. Accepting the pacifist argument nullifies the morality of self-defense and paradoxically means that only those who reject it have morality on their side.

The terrorists who have never accepted that position in any way, shape or form have become the heroes of the left. Their very rejection of peace testifies to their credibility as their intractability proves their suffering and their ideals. Conversely the more Israelis talk of peace, the more they discredit their own moral case. Once you admit that you would rather not die for your ideals or your country, then you have lost the emotional argument to those who will.

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