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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dying to be Green

By On February 29, 2012
Some 8,000 people die in the UK every year due to what is being called "Fuel Poverty", or more simply when it costs too much to heat your home. Naturally the left is already on the case, staging "Die-Ins" outside energy companies and demanding that carbon credits be used to make homes "super-energy efficient".

Left out of the equation is that rising fuel prices can in no small part be attributed to the environmental mania which is at the heart of the movement. It isn't oil and gas companies that are killing the elderly with high fuel prices, it's carbon mania and environmentalism. Energy companies are not run by saints, but they don't have an interest in making oil and gas prices out of reach of ordinary people. It's hard to sell home heat to the dead or the destitute. On the other hand environmentalists do indeed have that agenda.

When Obama's energy secretary communicates that he has no interest in lowering the price of gasoline, instead focusing on energy efficiency and clean energy, he's following the same inhumane line which has made it so expensive to drive a car or heat a home in Europe.

Talk of using carbon credits for "super-energy efficiency" is an admission that a movement using dead seniors as a prop is actually pushing to make energy use as expensive as possible and to reduce it as much as possible. The "Die In" crowd isn't for lowering energy prices, it's for adding more taxes that will benefit energy efficiency and clean energy experts.

Say what you will about energy companies but their business plan generally involves getting a product to market. The energy plan on the government side is to make energy more expensive and keep as much of it off the market as possible. The costs of their policies are not just a talking point, they are a grim reality.

The family that has to choose between feeding their children or being able to afford to drive to work or heat their home is not a talking point, they are the new Kulaks, the victims of ideological government policy that has no problem with watching people die so long as it gets its way.

Stalin killed millions to industrialize the Soviet Union, the New Left will kill millions to deindustrialize the West. It's already doing it. While its activists are trying to peg the blame for fuel poverty fatalities on a government which is badly out of cash, it need look no further than its own activists and celebrities who preach the green life from their mansions.

In a more reasonable world, Lucy Lawless' drilling publicity stunt would be connected directly to high energy prices. Instead the media cheers her on and denounces the government for not diverting enough carbon credits to its latest scheme. But while they lecture on the menace of global warming, ordinary people are freezing to death.

Clear energy has become the new Communism, an ideological program that can never be achieved, but for which we must all strive no matter how many die all along the way. In Scotland, the perennially deranged Scottish National Party has called for generating 100 percent of the country's electricity from wind, wave and tidal power by 2020. He may have only left out the fairies. This plan would add 900 pounds to the average fuel bill. Which is how fuel poverty gets started.

Wales, which has the highest fuel poverty rate in the UK, is working on one of Europe's largest wind farms and has a plan for total clean energy by 2025, if anyone is still alive and hasn't frozen to death. Wind farms don't tend to do too well in the cold and human beings don't tend to do too well without heat.

The current "green" policies will see higher prices for two out of three homes in the UK by the end of the decade. And while it's easy to blame energy companies for that, it's government policies that are responsible, especially when companies and homeowners get saddled with the cost of wind farms and various voodoo measures to fight global warming that mainly end up putting money in the pockets of the well-connected.

Americans complaining about high gas and oil prices can buckle up because what is happening in Europe is only a taste of what is coming this way. Last year UK petrol prices hit 6 pounds per gallon. That's nearly 10 dollars, though for the imperial gallon which is higher than the US gallon. If you think it costs a lot to fill up a tank now, consider that the UK has a better ratio of production to population n than we do. The high prices aren't an accident, they're part of the green program.

The Obama agenda isn't to make energy prices affordable, it's to make them so horribly impossible to afford that we'll use less energy. Fuel poverty is the agenda here and we know that's so because he told us so.

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times  and then just expect that other countries are going to say ok," he said. And, "If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches."

That doesn't mean Obama can't heat the White House at 72 degrees, or as it happens to be Hawaii level temperatures. Or as David Axelrod put it, "You can grow orchids in there." It means that you can't do it. That's what fuel poverty really means. It means you have to freeze and if you die, then the community organizers of tomorrow will use your corpse as a prop in their ghoulish protests outside energy companies which have to not only cover all the clean energy boondoggles, but also take the blame for passing on the costs.

Every clean energy program comes with a rider for ending fuel poverty by 2015 or 2025 or 2255, which would be at least slightly more realistic, but it's the clean energy that's causing the fuel poverty. Which lets the left have its green cake and eat the rich too. A program to create fuel poverty obviously cannot be expected to prevent fuel poverty. A plan that makes energy use more expensive will not end fuel poverty, even with any amount of government subsidies, which fewer governments can even afford to hand out.

Yet oddly enough there was a time when people were able to heat their homes and drive their cars, when they were even able to carry shopping bags, minus Wales' tax on shopping bags, and afford to eat. That brief golden period was stomped out by the friends of the working class, who knew how urgent it was to make life harsh and miserable and who are busy finding ways to make it even worse.

Naturally all this is for the greater good. Someone's greater good anyway. Clean energy is supposed to make for energy independence, but since going green the UK has become a net energy importer. Scotland risks going the same way. Unsurprisingly enough ideological investment in not-ready for prime time technologies leads to people freezing to death and purchases of energy from outside to cover the shortfall.

When all else fails, fake the figures. Promise impossible energy savings from energy efficiency. Obama's original stimulus plan focused heavily on energy efficiency in order to save money and create jobs. It accomplished neither goal, but the right people in the right companies got paid, which is how it always works.

Green is too big to fail, even when people are turning blue. The left from Prince Charlie to Caliph Hussein keep telling us that we have to make do with less and part of making do with less is shivering in homes without heat. You can't make an energy efficient omelet without killing 8,000 or so people a year.

Progress doesn't just mean unsightly factories and people putting on suits and going to work in corporations and all the other things that the left despises. It means the technological progress to keep large numbers of people from dying. If the US or the UK are to embrace the living standards of Africa as Prince Charles would like us to, it will also embrace its mortality rates. A reduction in the standard of living at this scale and on such a comprehensive level amounts to mass murder and fuel poverty is only one aspect of it.

The West is not nearly as rich as the left's 1 percent would like to believe. It is only rich in resources, know-how and technology. Take those away and it very quickly becomes very poor. That is what is happening now as the basic elements which make life possible are being chipped away by the followers of an inhuman ideology who are every bit as ruthless in their dogma as the reddest Red.

The Soviet Union killed millions for its ideology. The Western left has only begun and the day will come when a few thousand pensioners dead in their homes will be weighed as the smallest part of their toll.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Saving Muslims From Themselves

By On February 28, 2012
After September 11 the reasonable thing to do would have been to take steps to save ourselves from Islamic terror, instead we went on a crusade to save Muslims from themselves. The latest stop on that crusade is Syria, where the foreign policy experts responsible for decades of horrifying misjudgements tell us that we are duty bound to save the Syrian people from their dictator.

Rarely do we ask why it is that Muslims so often need saving from their dictators. Or why a party that campaigned on improving America's reputation by promising not to bomb Muslims anymore, is now improving America's reputation by bombing so many Muslims and so often that it makes George W. Bush look like a tie dyed hippie.

The Obama Administration has had a role in regime change in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya all in one year. Along with the other "Friends of Syria" it would like to bomb its way to regime change in Syria. The point of all this regime change is to replace totalitarian Muslim regimes with democratically elected totalitarian Muslim regimes on the theory that will make everyone happier.

The reason why Muslim countries end up with dictators can be seen in the streets of Libya where militias run wild and former members of the regime and anyone with black skin is dragged off the street for torture sessions and a bullet in the back of the head. Peel away the presidents, colonels and other suit wearing tyrants fronting for an oligarchy and that is what every Muslim country will be reduced to.

To understand the problem with Syria, one only need look at neighboring Lebanon where every attempt at coalition building between different religious and ethnic groups has gone badly over and over again. The ruling Alawites have to hang on to power because the alternative is to be an oppressed minority. The Sunnis have to strive for power because the alternative is to be an oppressed minority. This pattern repeats itself across the region.

To the extent that Western multiculturalism works, it does so because Europeans and their descendants have agreed to cede some power and privileges to minority groups while maintaining confidence in the rule of law to protect equal rights for everyone. Such a state of affairs is ridiculously inconceivable in the countries that we are assuming will adopt that same value system.

The only form of protection for a minority in the Muslim world is to either seize power or form a coalition with the ruling party. Such coalitions are inherently fragile because tribal instincts of race and religion always end up overriding agreements. Mohammed's treaties weren't worthless just because he was a duplicitous power-mad figure, but because all treaties are worthless in the region. After his death, Islamic succession wound up being settled with assassination and civil war among his own family members and allies.

Muslims look to Islam as a central unifying principle of universal allegiance, but it's nothing of the sort. It's actually an excuse for constant internecine violence. Islam adds another layer of allegiances and another excuse for infighting that did not exist previously. Underneath the robes and beards and Korans is yet another oligarchy with family mafias clutching their ill gotten gains, as is the case in Iran and as will be the case in Egypt, where the Brotherhood has already gotten a head start.

Under conditions like this how can democracy exist as anything other than a temporary state of affairs? When there is an overwhelming majority in favor of one religion, it becomes nothing more than a rubber stamp for tyrants, as was the case in the Egyptian elections. When the country is sufficiently divided along religious lines, as is the case in Iraq, it becomes a prolonged struggle with both sides marking their positions and building their coalitions in preparation for a civil war.

Acting as if all this can be resolved with a few lessons on democracy is absurd, especially when such problems linger on even in the countries doing the teaching, just ask the Flemish or the Basque. Nations can only overcome such divisions when they have shared higher values to strive for. The only "higher value" there is Islam and it is only another source of sectarian strife.

The modern state did not emerge overnight in Europe and while the colonization of the Middle East has left behind the facades of modern states which employ some of the ritual and custom of their colonizers, they are not modern states. Often they are not even states at all. They are clans operating in cities built for them by foreigners, using technology sold to them by foreigners and going through the motions of a republic built for them by foreigners.

Behind the facade, the clan trumps the state, religion trumps the state and the state exists mainly as a vehicle for the ambitions of influential families who run the whole thing for their own benefit while providing some subsidies to the rest of the country. Overthrow one family and another rises in its place. Some will be more horrid than others. Saddam was a monster even by the standards of the region. The Assads are worse than some, but better than others.

Taking down Assad will not save Syria, it will transfer power from the Alawites, a Shiite splinter sect, to the Sunnis and the Muslim Brotherhood. This won't just be bad for the Alawites, it will be bad for the Christians and the other minorities still in Syria. In Egypt, the ethnic cleansing of the Copts has already begun, though the media won't comment on it. In Syria there have already been some militia attacks. And it will only get worse.

Only one calculation should be used to determine whether we remove Assad from power and that is whether removing him from power will be good for us. It has been amply demonstrated to us that we cannot save Muslims from themselves, we cannot drag them a thousand years ahead in time just because they use cell phones and have prime ministers. Externally imposing progress does not work. Especially across cultures which have to make their own adaptations and their own journey upwards.

The misbegotten crusade to save Muslims from themselves, to act as missionaries of democracy has cost us more lives than September 11 and to no purpose. There was something noble about the belief that we could march our troops in, liberate a people from their tyrant and their spirits would open up and a new world would be born. That belief however was rooted in a secularized religious ideal that was layered over with American exceptionalism. But the whole point of exceptionalism is that it is not universal. America is not the inevitable outcome, it is a series of accommodations and experiments that derive from a particular set of histories. It cannot be generalized or universally applied.

We cannot save Muslims from themselves, we can however save ourselves from their turmoil, their religiously influenced violence and their cultural instability. The more we try to reach out to them, the more we are at risk of importing their violence and instability.

The job of governments is not to sell our way of life to others, it is to protect that way of life from others. It is about time that we stopped being the world's benefactor, psychiatrist and policeman, and began looking after our own interests first. That doesn't mean isolationism, it doesn't rule our friendships with other countries, but those friendships should be in our interest.

Like the homeowner who kicks out his family and fills his living room with drug addicts from the street, for too long the United States has pandered to the violent dysfunction of troubled countries and peoples, while neglecting its interests and allies. It has all but abandoned its traditional ties and become obsessed with fixing trouble spots. These bouts of social work have been expensive and they have not worked.

It's time that we stopped trying to save people from themselves and began trying to save ourselves. While we have been teaching good government to others, our own government has become rotten. While we have spent money on others, we are running out of money. While we have taken in the huddled masses of the world yearning to take us for all we've got, our own lives and families are in danger.

A new age of terror is here. It's time to face up to it. To stop saving Muslims from ourselves and to work to save ourselves and our kin from them.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Very Last Picture Show

By On February 27, 2012
Once again the movie industry is throwing itself a lavish party, one in a series of them, even though there is surprisingly little to celebrate. Movie attendance in 2011 hit a fifteen year low and while the industry isn't doing as badly as its counterparts in the music industry, beneath the greasepaint and glamor, it is panicking every bit as badly.

There's still plenty of money to be made, but the industry has the clear sense that it has lost its audience. And it has.

The movie industry began, as so much else, with the mass production of theatrical entertainment from classical drama to low vaudeville spectacle. Public entertainment no longer had to be an in-person show repeated anew each time and in each place, now everyone across the nation and across the world could hear the same soliloquy, see the same pratfall and thrill to adventures that could not be performed on stage.

For all the technology, the movie took American culture and used film to reproduce it in palatable form to large audiences. Like mass produced suits, the cinema took a unique experience and turned it into a universal one. But selling films was much trickier than selling suits and involved far more risks and while the analogy seems distant, fashion and entertainment have a great deal in common.

When you sell wares that depend on the public taste, you have to try and manipulate that taste while at the same trying to get out in front of it. Both fashion and entertainment frantically chase trends and leap on anything that smacks of youth, while trying to fuse it with their own dated tastes, constantly reviving and retrofitting the old to make it new again. At its worst both end up selling a product with no content, a product that is all hype, but is not remotely wearable or viewable.

While Hollywood has often been rightly blamed for corrupting national morals, it's more accurate to say that it was actually rushing to get out in front of whatever trend it had spotted among the youth market and to desperately claim ownership of it. Underneath the calculatedly transgressive image is a basically conservative industry, which but for its drugs and its eagerness to gamble on trends would be far more staid than it is.

The old moguls whose names are still attached to a number of the studios were not creative men, they were businessmen in a business they did not properly know how to control. Instead they bet on talent, often hoping that bringing together celebrated foreign directors, actors and actresses from their stable, and lowly writers would give them a hit. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. At its best, stories ended up being told that helped define an era. American stories that spoke to people.

That era is mostly gone. While Hollywood was always fairly liberal, as the theater tends to be, liberals had not yet cut their ties with the country. They did not live so fundamentally differently that they were unable to make compelling stories that spoke to them and to their audiences. But it is hard to make movies for a people from another culture. The movies that speak to liberals translate badly to ordinary Americans.

It isn't only a matter of politics, it comes down to culture. With the recession, the industry has tossed out a number of movies which has people dealing with economic troubles. Almost all of them have failed badly. The latest entry, Wanderlust, has already bombed on its opening. To understand why you need only consider the premise, which is that an upscale Manhattan couple loses their jobs and moves to a commune. No one outside Hollywood or Manhattan really needed to be told why this premise would play badly in a country that has fallen on hard times.

The easiest way to bypass the culture clash is to turn out action movies that are all sound and fury. The blockbuster has evolved or devolved into a special effects spectacle with completely disposable characters and increasingly even actors. It is a form of entertainment that can be enjoyed even without the ability to understand a single word. Which makes it a portable commodity that can play anywhere from Beijing to to Bahrain to Boston.

Hollywood can no longer communicate with audiences, but when it spends enough money or comes up with a clever enough gimmick, it can still briefly dazzle them. But the entertainment being created is completely disposable and forgettable. Cinematic amusement park rides can bring big paydays or big losses, but they don't build loyalty or any meaningful associations. The experiences that earlier generations had in movie theaters cannot be reproduced, because the culture on both sides of the screen has changed.

If the industry wonders why going to movies no longer seems to be very important to people, that would be because movies have become completely disposable. There was a time when movies held a status similar to the theater. The more quickly they raced to the bottom, the less reason audiences had to hold them in esteem.

There are no movies being made that you would dress up for. The very idea is ridiculous. Nor is the theater designed to be anything other than a place to be bombarded by massive amounts of sound and light. It's an experience in the same way that riding a roller coaster is an experience, it just isn't one that stays with you any longer than it takes for the coaster to stop.

The industry treats Americans like foreigners, shoveling out massive 300 million dollar spectacles while reserving its lower budgeted serious films for the subjects dearer to its heart. The spectacles help cover the cost of the smaller films and maintain a moviegoing culture, which mostly consists of a small crowd that shares the lifestyles and politics of the filmmakers.

This version of high and low culture speaks to the ghettoization of the industry which sighing deeply shovels out 88 minutes of explosions for the peasantry, while speaking earnestly to the people who share its values. The Oscars are a time to reward the latter, which is why directors and producers of popular movies generally need not apply. This is a time for elites to pat each other on the back for being artistic, and yet this artistry is equally forgettable.

Few people can name the best picture winners from more than a year or two ago. And that even includes people in the industry. Naming the nominees is a laborious task. Watching them a year or two later is rarely done, because for all their "merit", they are not very good movies. Having seen them once, there is no real reason to watch them again.

Twenty years from now, how many people will be watching Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? For that matter how many people would watch them now? If you are wondering what that list is, it's the Best Picture nominees from 2008. The nominees from this year will be equally obscure a few years from now.

The cultural division has devalued both high brow and low brow offerings, removing their substance and worth, and turning out a sub-par product that does not connect to audiences at either end.

The Oscars are another reminder that we don't live the same way. Nor are we expected to. In a process that began early on and is quickly approaching its apex, the industry itself has become a free source of entertainment. Readers and viewers consume material about Jennifer Aniston, they just don't spend the money to see her movie. The movie industry is just a subset of popular culture which is about personalities, where ordinary people and stars both play their roles in an unreal reality.

Hollywood mass produced theatrical entertainment, using technology to distribute prints of the same edited together performance in theaters across the country. But the videotape made it possible to distribute copies of that same performance in the home. Now even a physical medium isn't needed when a movie can be streamed directly to the viewer on a computer or a tablet.

All that's missing is the theatrical experience and so theater owners have spent a fortune on everything from menu options to digital picture, audio and various form of 3D. But the theatrical venue was an outgrowth of family entertainment. The decline of the family and of leisure time has meant a decline in a form of entertainment that has at any rate become disposable.

Families still go to the movies and without them the industry would be in far worse shape, but the meaning of the theatrical experience has fragmented on both ends of the culture. A changing nation that no longer lives the same way has less room in their schedules and wallets for the movie theater. The moviegoing experience once meant something, now it means nothing and it is too late to even begin to reclaim that experience for a generation for whom the only appeal of the movie theater is it its scale.

The movie theater isn't dead, but it is increasingly irrelevant as a storytelling medium. After generations of chasing trends, the industry has been permanently left behind.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Islam Uber Alles

By On February 26, 2012
The first law of human affairs is force. Before all other laws, the ballot box and appeals to reason is that primal law that enforces submission through violence. Islam is a religion built on that first law, forcing everyone to choose whether they will be the oppressors or the oppressed, whether they will be a Muslim or a Dhimmi.

The organizing force of Islam can be seen in urban gangs which react in much the same way to being 'disrespected'. When your religion is little more than an entitlement to be a thug, to elevate your way of life over that of everyone else, violent outrage over even the most minute sign of disrespect is to be expected. And when your beliefs are little more than an excuse to hate, rioting over a slight is the  sacrament of your faith.

Islam did not expand through the persuasiveness of its illiterate child abusing founder, at least not beyond the initial persuasion that allowed him to gather bandit troops to raid, murder and enslave the multicultural peoples of the desert until there was nothing left but Muslims and their slaves. It expanded by force and it has gone on expanding by force. Faced with advanced civilizations, it has reacted with the violent petulant fury that is its spiritual heritage.

The first law is the only true law of Islam. That is the law being practiced by the Afghan rioters and murderers outraged over the burnings of already defaced Korans, as their counterparts have gone on similar rampages over cartoons of Mohammed, the Satanic Verses, Facebook postings and anything else which triggered their rage. This violence has the same goal of all Islamic terror, to maintain the privileged status of Muslims and enforce the submission of non-Muslims.

There is nothing that serves the first law so well as opponents who compromise or offer gestures of appeasement. Despite their numerical advantages, the society of the sword is too backward and lacking in organizational and technological skills to win a direct confrontation. It is only capable of treachery, of exploiting the humanitarian weaknesses of its enemies, of dressing up as dead men and chanting about their utter disregard for human life, of hiding among civilians, attacking in the dark and running to celebrate even the slightest victory as proof of Allah's endorsement of their cause. And none of this would do them the least bit of good if they faced civilizations willing to slap them down.

The cowardice of our leaders has elevated the Koran and its demented author above freedom of speech, above the rights of Americans and the lives of American soldiers. When Muslims kill, the wounded society hurriedly searches for scapegoats that might have provoked them to the act. Was there an offensive cartoon, was a Koran flushed or singed, did they experience discrimination, are they upset about American foreign policy?

We have become a nation of psychiatrists rushing from international ward to ward trying to calm the lunatics before they go on a killing spree and then again after they have already gone on a killing spree. As a civilization we live in constant fear of a religion that our leaders constantly assure us is wholly peaceful. But if that were truly so, why do we have so much security in airports, why do we grovel so much before Muslim clerics and why do we have so many troops in Muslim countries?

The trouble is not that Islam has been violent, it has always been violent. It has a consistent record of violence that goes back over a thousand years. If history is any guide it will go on being violent a thousand years from now, if the world continues to be plagued by its savage barbarism for that long. Complaining that Islam is violent, that it it abusive, totalitarian and rejects co-existence on equal terms is as much good as complaining that the rain is wet.

Yes all these things are terrible and the people doing them really should know better, but their approach has more history behind it than ours does. Expecting them to change is being unrealistically optimistic about human nature. There is a reason why the First Law came first, because it is easy. Savagery is always simpler than civilization and it operates more frequently in our society than we would like to dwell on.

It is frightfully easy to intimidate someone else into doing what you want. Even the weak are capable of doing it. So much so the strong. Even the society we have built, for all its moral underpinnings, is quick to punish disobedience with a resort to the first law. But it has become equally quick to retreat in the face of the First Law and that is the trouble.

If a nation is good for nothing else, it is good for repelling invaders, burning their longboats and nailing their heads to a pike as a lesson to any who would follow in their path. Unfortunately we are not a nation, nor are we quite an empire, instead we are some sort of postmodern construct that is part human rights empire and part mercantile league of nations, but most of all an inspiration for the global civilization that is sure to follow as soon as we have enough international laws to make for a world government.

First World nations no longer properly represent national interests, they represent the Future of Man, in all capital letters. Invaders aren't sent packing with the business end of a spear, they are welcomed in to be integrated into a wonderfully diverse Republic of Man. Overseas invaders are pacified with tribute aid and democracy programs so that they will mature enough to join our world government and cooperate with us on such issues as global warming, birth control access and sustainable development.

We have the World Government. They have the Caliphate, which many of our leaders have decided is just a regional name for world government. And if we have to make a few compromises to get them on board, so be it. The Dar Al Islam has played this game before. Most of Mohammed's victims did not make a brave last stand, for the most part they were divided and conquered with illusory agreements and coalitions that proved absolutely worthless.

The Muslim world is frightfully clear about its agenda. Islam Uber Alles. They can be subtle about it, but quite often they take the direct route through the First Law.

The point that the rioters in Afghanistan are making is that the Koran is worth more than any bible and any human life. Once again we have proven their point for them. Just as the media proved their point when they censored the Mohammed cartoons without a single act of violence against CBS, CNN or any of their corporate behemoth cousins. Just as we proved their point when in response to the mass murder of Americans, we sent thousands of our young men and women to rebuild their countries and welcome them into the brotherhood of man.

The First Law is working quite well, both directly and indirectly. Direct violence terrorizes the authorities into cracking down on us. On our freedoms, our independence and our worldview. And indirectly it drives them to meet with "moderate" Muslims who offer to mediate and lay out their demands, which happen to be an incremental version of the same thing. Islam Uber Alles.

The direct approach bleeds us, the indirect approach dismantles our defenses. The direct approach flies planes into skyscrapers. The indirect approach fills voting districts with Muslims and then demands that we dismantle our defenses which make them feel persecuted. The two approaches work hand in glove, the "moderates" blinding us and tying our hands, while the "extremists" chop off our heads.

The only way to neutralize the First Law is with the First Law. It's an ugly business but it eventually gets the point across. Yes it will make us hated, but there is no option to be loved. We have a choice between being hated like the Christian Copts of Egypt or any other degraded and persecuted minority in the Muslim world, or we have the choice of being hated like Israel or the Franks. That means a choice between being hated as a despised underclass, as pigs and dogs, by people who have the ability to harm us on a regular basis, or being hated as the cruel persecutors who kept the faithful from extending the Dar Al Islam by people who have to try very hard to be able to hurt us.

Choices such as these are alien to our own elites who are thinking in terms of a borderless world, who want cooperation rather than conflict, and they are hard at work cooperating us into our graves. They keep trying to untie the Gordan Knot, instead of just cutting it and letting the pieces fall where they may.

The flag of Islam Uber Alles is flying over our cities, our governments and our foreign policy. Every time we submit, retreat and eagerly show the invaders how well we can cooperate with their demands, another flag flies in place of our own.

Islam only seeks one thing. Supremacy. Contained within that word is the sum of its religious ambitions, its collective will to power and its dream of a better world. When infidels bow, their faith in their own creed is strengthened. When the infidels resist, that refusal to submit drives them into a fierce hysteria that is equal parts insecurity and equal parts repression manifesting as violence.

As a religion, Islam is the faith of those impoverished in spirit, deprived of any aspiration but power over others. It is a slave's copy of Judaism, Christianity and the existing religions of the region, turned into a religion of slaves whose goal is the enslavement of mankind. Jihad is the only vital element of Islam because it is the only thing that gives it meaning. It is the means of its reproduction and the incarnation of its mission.

Islam Uber Alles is their code and as we meet force with apologies and terror with nation building, it becomes our code as well.

Uncivil Rights

By On February 26, 2012
The civil rights movement is a success story, so much so that any and every movement has found that it can borrow the narrative and tactics of it to ram through whatever measures it likes. And so we come to the year 2012 where civil rights means men in dresses having the right to use the ladies room and the right of terrorist groups to be free from police scrutiny-- among many other equally insane "rights".

Much as the Civil Rights movement went from trying to reverse legal inequality embedded in law to trying to enforce an equality of outcome in every sphere from the commercial to the educational to the social by depriving others of their rights, succeeding movements have borrowed the narrative of inequality and the tactics of achieving equal outcomes, even when such outcomes are physically impossible.

We are for example obligated to believe that surgical intervention can transform women into men and that the only differences between the two can be eliminated with a few incisions and a few hormones. Applying the civil rights model moves the question from the realms of science and philosophy to the moral absolutism of resisting oppression. And that is the left's home field.

The left is constantly on the prowl for the oppressed, even if the new oppressed are men who want to use the ladies room. And the oppressed can never be denied anything they want, instead there is an affirmative obligation on the entitled people who are not confused about which bathroom they want to use, to prove that they are granting every possible privilege and courtesy to the bewildered and confused.

Guilty until proven innocent is the new approach. It is not enough to not actively discriminate, we must prove that we are not discriminating by meeting our diversity quotas. We are forced to become the Stakhanovites of political correctness, exceeding our diversity quotas as a model to the nation.  That means everyplace must look exactly like "America", a phrase that is best interpreted as meaning that every workplace must look like the ones on television. And every ladies room must have at least one man in a dress.

Very little of this has to do with the kind of rights that were fought for from Appomattox to Selma. Instead individual freedom and equality before the law has been twisted to justify a state of legal inequality and the deprivation of individual freedoms. Rather than a color-blind society, we have achieved a color conscious society in which everyone knows their place on the great ladder of diversity.

Slavery has not gone away, we are just confronted with it on a day to day basis. Our slaves live in China or in Africa. They serve the same purposes that slaves did before the Civil War, they make things cheaply so that they can be sold cheaply. The only difference is that we rarely pass them on the street or see advertisements for slave auctions.

There is still slavery even in the United States. Mexican and Chinese laborers whose families are held hostage back home, and prosperous Muslim families who bring along their tradition of the house slave, often teenage girls who are treated little better than dogs. But the slave owners are generally members of the same race and culture as the slaves, which makes the entire affair beneath the notice of the political commissars of political correctness.

Open borders brings slavery to the United States, as surely as it brings terrorism and drugs, and it serves the interests of the Democratic Party now, just as it did then. The commercial interests allied with the Democratic Party touched off race riots aimed at blacks in New York and other cities to undermine Lincoln and sabotage the Civil War. A century later they were doing the same thing, only from the opposite racial angle. Back then they needed cheap labor inside the country to turn out exports, today they need cheap labor outside the country to bring in imports.

Today slavery goes on in the name of civil rights. As do many other evils. The term itself no longer has any meaning as its only application is to a government overseen caste system which awards certain privileges on a percent basis. The right to vote, to own property and to own arms has given way to a place on a diversity ladder where privileges are granted in exchange for the endorsement of legal inequality.

Any group is now able to represent its agenda as a new civil rights movement, all it has to do is identify a form of access that it wants and to demand that the courts force any and all to grant that access. Even if it to the ladies room.

The farcical pursuit of statistically equal outcomes led to a Dadaistic election in Port Chester where a Federal judge compelled the village to give all voters six votes in order to elect more minorities. The ability to cast six votes for one candidate certainly proved to be a boon for single-race voting, Maybe next time the village can give every person a hundred votes for a truly democratic solution to the inherent racism of the one man-one vote system.

What's wrong with one man-one vote anyway? The proof is in the pudding. If a system doesn't lead to a diverse enough group of winners, that is proof that it is discriminatory. The outcome is the only proof that is needed to convict a person, a company or a system.

If the outcome is impossible, that's all the more reason to demand it. Gay marriage is a contradiction in terms, but thanks to activist federal judges who think the peasants have no right to vote on issues in referendums, it is well on the way to becoming the law of the land. And what if the outcome isn't impossible, just hideously expensive in terms of human life and dignity? That's what a stroll through your local airport is for, where Muslims cannot be touched, but small children and the disabled can.

Once we begin with the premise that Muslims are no more likely to be terrorists than the Amish, any outcome that says otherwise must be tossed out as a random case of workplace violence or telepathically transmitted PTSD. To monitor Muslims and Muslim groups as if they were more likely to fly planes into skyscrapers than Mennonites is discrimination, no matter how rationally based it may be. Better for thousands of Americans to die than for the tenets of liberalism to be challenged by common sense and statistical evidence.

And thus we have gone from a civil rights movement based on rejecting the absurd notion that race should limit voting rights to a civil rights movement based on an equally absurd notion that religious and ethnic differences play no role in religious and ethnically motivated violence.

When you are being compelled to believe absurdities, you know that something has gone very wrong in the process. It is also an easy way to mark the transition from a rights based movement to something else entirely. Generations after the death of Martin Luther King, we are being urged to accept sexually mutilating children as the next civil rights movement, and you can only guess at whether I am discussing sexual reassignment surgery for children or female genital mutilation for Muslims. And it really makes no difference. Either one is an equally valid horror show that shows how far into the ditch we have gone.

The latest affirmative action case to come before the Supreme Court once again revisits the perversion of civil rights to mean a system of color based quotas. The Court's own rejection of any such system for whites should have innately disqualified such a system as applied to any race or combination of races. Instead we are still having the same old debates over whether discrimination can ever be justified, with the civil rights movement coming out on the side of discrimination.  

We have done an excellent job of creating a society where people can be judged on the color of their skin, not on the content of their character. And the judging is being done by the Federal government to a greater degree than it was before the Civil War. This has not led to the great prize of integration, rather it has deepened the balkanization that the Democratic political machine has always set as its objective, from the days when their thugs were storming black orphanages to when their pet banks oversaw the ghettoization and later the destruction of neighborhoods along racial lines.

Power has always trumped justice. Power is not about race, it is about the exploitation of human beings. It is about playing divide and conquer at every level of society, creating and enforcing permanent divisions, even and especially when they are being carried under the guise of an integration program.

A justice based civil rights program was always unsustainable because it offered too few rewards. Equality was the decent thing, but it was not the profitable thing, neither for the government nor for the activists. Instead the status quo was transformed into a mandate for absolute power, there was to be a permanent crisis of race that could never be resolved, but which always had to receive top priority and which could justify any violation of civil rights.

The only way to save the village was to destroy the village, or to give everyone in the village six votes. The only way to implement civil rights was to destroy civil rights in the name of civil rights so that everyone ends up with fewer rights, but learns to feel good about it. This has been the pattern for every civil rights movement since which demands its special privileges. Having run out of races, we are now pandering to such bizarre notions as sexual identity as genetic and permanently fixed, yet existing entirely apart from the body of the person, and that religiously motivated terrorism exists entirely apart from the religion.

This isn't post-modernism, it's post-reason. It's post-everything. The left has always sought out the taboo and the transgressive, but as a society we are swiftly running out of transgressions to embrace and protect with government legislation. The more tolerant that Americans grudgingly become in the name of decency, the harder the commissars of correctness have to search for some new bigotry to charge them with.

We can look to Europe as a model for the future. In France you can marry the dead. In Spain, apes have received human rights. In the United Kingdom, immigrants from within the European Union are receiving refugee status. Alexander wept because he had no more lands to conquer. The degenerate and demented Eurocratic descendants of his empire weep because they haven't figured out how to marry, give human rights and refugee status to their own tables and chairs.

At war are two models of human rights. The negative model which limits government interference with the individual and the positive one in which government enforces its notion of human rights on everyone to achieve a perfect outcome society. The negative model gets government off our backs, the positive one brings government into our schools, our workplaces, our bedrooms, our trash cans and into our minds.

The negative model limits government seizure of human rights by creating a firewall, while its positive twin not only has no firewall, but is a recipe for the unlimited expansion of government and the unlimited deprivation of legal rights, so long as it is done in the name of ensuring civil rights. The positive rights model puts a system that is built for taking away rights in charge of guaranteeing them. The results are as ugly as they are inevitable.

Rights do not come from the exercise of government power, but from the restraint of government power. Once an infrastructure is created to redistribute positive outcomes, the only true beneficiaries of that infrastructure will be the organizers and the administrators. Even that system will be built to fail because the administrations only fully benefit from the system when it does not work properly. To the extent that it works properly the administrations will always be on the lookout for more excuses to justify the expansion of their power. More groups to protect. More civil rights to safeguard. Until no one has any rights at all.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Drill Barry Drill

By On February 24, 2012


SPEAKEASY

I did an interview yesterday on the Speakeasy with Guy Green and if you want to listen then you can go to their site or try the embedded version here.



THE LIFE OF A KORAN

What is worth more in the eyes of Obama, an American soldier or a Koran? We all got the answer to that when after an Afghan soldier murdered two American soldiers, Obama apologized to the Afghan government because their already defaced Korans were not properly respected, venerated, kissed and tucked into bed.



DRILL BARRY, DRILL

So four years after a serenade of Drill Baby Drill, the cost of gas is climbing through the roof. It's almost like it's impossible to drill for oil in this country. And no amount of Chevy Volts being bought by GM employees is going to save the day.

The tactical policy of the left has been to drive up energy prices to force people to "cut back", but the people being forced to cut back aren't Barack 'Hawaii Temperatures in the Oval Office' Obama, it's actual Americans who don't have their heating bills covered by taxpayers.

"It's the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices," Obama told a crowd at the University of Miami. "What's harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade."

... or you know... ever. Because buying a whole lot of subsidized solar panels or bailing out car companies and forcing them to make energy efficient cars that people don't want, doesn't solve anything.

Sustainable is the key word here and that means following the Euro plan of hiking energy prices and taxing what's left to keep people miserable and deprived. To the left it's a matter of stating the problem. And their view of the problem is not a technological one, but a human problem. The problem being that people exploit natural resources for their own comfort and the only way to make them stop is to raise prices.

Characterizing Republicans' energy policy, he said: "Step one is drill, step two is drill and step three is keep drilling. You know that's not a plan — especially since we're already drilling. That's a bumper sticker."

Now drilling for oil is actually a pretty good plan, because it's how you get oil. Just like you get money by working for it or you get wheat by growing it. It's the actual definition of what a plan is.

But that's too simplistic for Caliph Nuance who thinks plans need to be so ridiculously complicated that they can only be unraveled by a drunken Columbo with a copy of Das Kapital.

Sure we could go out and drill for oil. But that's not a plan. What we need to do is not drill for oil. Then we borrow money from China to buy solar panels from China. Then we wait while gas prices go through the roof. Then we give the people a lecture on saving money by going green. Then we go play golf on the greens. Then we visit China and beg them for more money. Now that's an energy policy that we can all get behind. And by "We", I mean the left and companies getting money from the government to go green.

But don't worry if we get into trouble and by "We", I mean if Obama's election prospects dim, there's always a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Or maybe O will go bow to the Saudi King and offer to overthrow another government to replace it with the Muslim Brotherhood if he'll give a brother a break.

But if drilling for oil isn't a plan, how do you get energy then?

Option 1, drill for oil.

Option 2, make sure to use "sustainability" as often as possible in your speeches.

Liberals like to claim that they are part of the "Reality Based Community". I just have to ask what reality is it based on?





MAKING THE WORLD SAFER FOR EIGHT DOLLAR A GALLON GAS

CBS News has this touching story of "actress" Lucy Lawless who will be climbing an oil drilling ship as part of her campaign for eight dollar a gallon gas.

The Associated Press on Friday that wind gusts were making it difficult to stay put but that she and the other protesters planned to stay there for "as long as we possibly can." She said she had a "little bit" of food and some provisions with her.

Isn't that so touching? It's like she's one of the little people suffering.

And then she goes back to her mansion, after the publicity photos are taken. And the people who actually just have "a little bit of food" have to choose between driving to work or feeding their families.

"I've got three kids. My sole biological reason for being on this planet is to ensure that they can flourish, and they can't do that in a filthy, degraded environment," she said. "We need to stand up while we still can."

Greenpeace spokesman Nathan Argent said the ship was due to drill five exploratory wells during the Arctic summer.

There are two possibilities here. Either Lucy Lawless lives in the arctic and is worried about raising her kids among oil covered polar bears or she's too stupid to know where the arctic is. I would bet on the second one myself.




THE MEDIA MATTERS MADMAN

That a man like David Brock has become the whispering voice in the media’s ear is almost as much a testament to the rot within the mainstream media complex as the power that George Soros has over the progressive left testifies to its own dark heart.

No decent journalist would allow his news stories to be influenced by the propaganda apparatus of a man who openly boasted about being a smear artist. Nor would any serious newspaper, news network or media outlet accept a narrative from a man who disavowed his own reporting as the work of a political hit man. Yet the very centrality of Media Matters in the mainstream media complex shows the utter corruption of the media.

Only the left could take a man whose calling card was admitting to being an unprincipled liar who engaged in disinformation and reward him for that by putting him charge of a media operation to create disinformation, while describing it as a program to counter disinformation.


See the rest of the piece on the rotten brain behind Media Matters at Front Page Magazine with my article, David Brock: Media Matters Madman'





WHY WAS PAT BUCHANAN FIRED?

Forget his clamor about a blacklist and discrimination, here's a better question, why was he ever employed at MSNBC and why did his employment continue even when the network went far far left?

True conservatives haven't gotten MSNBC paychecks in some time. Buchanan's contribution was that he allied with the left against Bush on the War on Terror. The value of that contribution expired when Obama came into office.

While Buchanan was denouncing Bush, the top brass conveniently overlooked his bigotry and his views on Nazi Germany. But his usefulness expired and it was only a matter of time until someone on top noticed him long enough to get rid of him. That's something David Brock ought to remember, the left likes its useful idiots, but it has no loyalty to them and it keeps long grudges.





THE ANTI-SEMITIC ALBATROSS

Jews occupy a peculiar position in the Democratic Party: The Jewish vote is part of the Democratic base, but at the same time the party does not represent Jewish interests, either at home or abroad, and of the last three Democratic presidents, two were nakedly hostile to the Jewish state. Now the second of them is running for reelection and is counting on the Jewish vote.

After November 6th, 2012, Barack Obama will either be a leader with absolute control over foreign policy and nothing to lose or the first Democratic incumbent since Carter to lose the White House. For Obama everything hinges on securing the next four years and that requires him to play up his pro-Israel credentials while trying to convince Jewish voters that the animosity and ugliness of his present term never happened.

But there are two things dragging him down: The Center for American Progress and Media Matters.

... see the rest of the piece in my Front Page article, "Obama's Anti-Semitic Anchors"





WE ARE ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE WHO WANT FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE

There seem to be a number of We Are All Catholic articles that suggest the only religious group affected by this issue is the Catholic Church. Spengler writes, "Memo to Jews: After They Come for the Catholic Church, They Will Come For Us".

I don't know about Spengler's religious beliefs, but they've already come for mine. Orthodox Jewish groups have come forward, not just in solidarity with the Catholic Church, but because it's an attack on their religious practices and freedoms as well.

The Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel represent the majority of Orthodox Jews in the United States. I'm not saying their press releases should necessarily get major coverage, but can we have an end to articles that suggest Jews are concerned in this only as a hypothetical scenario that may one day endanger something they really care about? There are a sizable number of Jews who do care about this and are endangered by this. It's not simply a Catholic issue. It is an issue for religious people who want to protect their freedom of conscience.

In a Letter to the Editor at the New York Times, Nathan Diament, the director of the OU's political arm makes a very important point.

For many people of diverse faiths, religious observance is not to be confined to the sanctuary. For many, faith compels engagement with the broader world and service to our fellow man, especially those in need. To say the government will afford religious liberty only to the most insular of religious institutions but not to those that serve, or employ, people of other faiths is a troubling view of faith and what role it should play in America.

Whether this is the purpose of the program or a nice side effect, pushing traditional religious groups out of the public sphere and turning it into a monopoly for the government and their religious allies serves the interests of the left.

The position of Orthodox groups resulted in a vituperative Forward column (what other kind could there be in a radical left-wing paper) by Gavriella Lerner which dripping bile and other toxic fluids, accused them of being blinded by "Obama-Hatred" (her newly invented word, not mine.)

A typical paragraph of the screed runs like this. "Some have speculated that it’s about controlling women, but I believe the answer lies in something even more irrational that has been sweeping the ranks of American conservatives. It is an Obama-hatred so visceral that anything the man supports must be bad, wrong, and shot down."

I didn't read far enough to check if Lerner accuses Jews of eating matzos drenched in liberal blood, but it should be obvious that traditional Jewish denominations are catching the same kind of heat and feeling the smear campaigns for standing up for their freedom of conscience.




THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS

Speaking of smear campaigns being waged against Orthodox Jews, Deborah Feldman's "Orthodox Jews are the Devil" book tour is hitting a bit of a snag as her memoir is proving to be about as truthful as Three Cups of Tea.

What's truly ugly in one particular incident is that Deborah Feldman turned a tragic suicide by a young man into a gruesome story about sexual mutilation by the father, adding terrible pain to a family that already suffered more than enough by losing a son.

I know a family whose son committed suicide in a very public way and they have never gotten over it. The media attention made it that much worse. For Deborah Feldman to have made up the story that she did shows that she is completely devoid of human feeling. That she will say anything to make some money and build a career for herself. And the media is enabling her bigotry and her misbehavior.

Unorthodox is already being exposed by crowd sourcing, but the media will still keep on plowing forward as if nothing is wrong. Now I wonder when The View will get around to hosting Wafa Sultan.




APOLOGIZING IS ALL THE RAGE

The German Chancellor led a memorial ceremony for the eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman believed to have been killed between 2000 and 2007 by the neo-Nazi cell.

Members of the Turkish parliament's human rights committee as well as diplomats, German federal and state lawmakers and action groups fighting xenophobic violence attended the ceremony.

Addressing 1,200 people at a Berlin concert hall, Merkel solemnly read out the names and family details of the 10 people who she said were victims of "cold-blooded murder". Shortly afterwards, businesses, schools, public transport and media observed a minute's silence after employers and trade unions called for a halt to remember the victims.

Quick question is anyone going to be leading memorials for the Greeks and Kurds murdered by Turkey?

Any memorial services for the countless Europeans, Jews, Christians and Atheists murdered, tortured, beaten and raped by Muslim immigrants?

Authorities have faced criticism over how the Far-Right cell operated with impunity for 11 years. Merkel apologised for the fact that, in some cases, relations of the victims were themselves wrongly suspected of involvement in the crimes.

Was that government policy? And if it wasn't than why is the head of state apologizing for something that she had no control over?





TALKING TURKEY

Given all this, should we just cut ties and declare Ankara an enemy? No. What we need is just a more-realistic grasp of what Turkey’s government is up to—rolling back freedom, secularism and democracy, while supporting Islamists throughout the Middle East. And we need to stop preaching to other Muslim states that Turkey’s a “model Muslim democracy.”

...from Ralph Peters' Talking Turkey piece, though how one distinguishes supporting Islamists from being our enemy I don't know, except that these days we're doing the same thing.


THREE FOR THE ROUNDUP...
This time we are the Indians...

And the true ‘foreign belligerents’ in the just-opening North American War Games are the adherents and apostles of socialism, in all of its various flavors.

That is the foreign creed.

Those people are the foreign belligerents, whether native-born or émigré.

Totalitarianism is the enemy we fight, and anyone who serves totalitarianism is an enemy of freedom, regardless of the costume they may be wearing that day.

Twas Our Own Who Betrayed Us

So my fellow Catholics are pissed off, and rightly so, over Obama’s evil mandate that forces them to violate their conscience and the teachings of the Church, but more than half of all American Catholics voted for the bastard, the clergy supported him, and then they supported Obamacare despite the overwhelming evidence that Obama was an evil ungodly man who is an enemy to human life (how else can you explain someone who FOUGHT and fought hard to make sure that no child born alive as the result of a botched abortion would ever know a moment of comfort, love or warmth and would simply be stuffed in a corner somewhere to die, alone, unloved and in pain?) and that Obamacare would force us all to support his evil anti-human agenda. Where was their conscience THEN?

Forget Wax On, Wax Off. Try Prog on, Prog off



BURNING THE PIXEL OIL

Want to burn a Koran without getting your hands dirty or going to the trouble of obtaining one by mail?

Try Virtual Koran burning for a Koran you can burn with the click of a mouse. Furious Muslim mobs not included.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Idiot Cousin Theory of Government

By On February 22, 2012
The first and foremost purpose of government is to create government jobs. Going back to the early days of American history a time honored tradition of newly elected politicians was to obtain positions for their friends, their nephews and assorted cousins. In those more innocent times appointing someone an inspector of something was a cordial way of repaying a favor. But the problem with inspectors is that they inspect things.

There are only so many idiot cousins you can hire to stamp papers and frown at things until you have to create an entire new department and then a division and then an agency to give them something to do. And that leads to budget drains and an expansion of government authority that interferes with the lives of people who work for a living.

A few centuries later we live in a country where every place that has more than three people living within three miles of each other is overseen by a multitude of agencies with overlapping levels of authority beginning from the locals to the staties and all the way up to Washington D.C. where the swamps were paved over to construct massive buildings full of agencies all descended from the day someone's idiot cousin got a sinecure, a government horse and an inkwell in a city that no one used to take seriously.

Many of us would gladly trade off those buildings and those bureaucrats in return for a few dozen idiot cousins drinking in Washington taverns on the public's dime in a country with no income tax and no one pounding on your door every five minutes because you don't feed your kids arugula, don't recycle your trash and don't care about the latest trendy cause already being written into the state religion.

Unfortunately like rabbits, idiot cousins lead to more idiot cousins. Corruption doesn't stop at a set line, it pushes as far as it can, and when a man with some big ideas gets hold of it, then bar the door because it's DOE/EPA/HUD/DOL time.

The idiot cousins are satisfied to think small. Their ambitions reach as high as a government salary for doing nothing and a few taverns and ladies of the evening to spend it on. A hundred thousand of them can be a problem, but a million of them organized under a creed that has set out to seize power using an unelected bureaucracy is one of those moments when a society must realize that its corruption has become a liability to its own survival.

We are of course far beyond idiot cousin territory. Idiot cousin jobs were handmade, much like Solyndra or other recent examples of crony capitalism. It's mass production that turns a problem into a plague and the mass production of government jobs began around the same time that many other industries were discovering that they could make money cranking out vast numbers of identical copies of things.

The cities were the perfect mold for a new mass produced bureaucracy. Not only did they have social problems and political machines galore, but they also had massive numbers of immigrants who came up the hard way in the industrial age and wanted their kids to have something better than they did. Drop the kids into the mold, then mold them and plop them into mass produced government jobs with the mission of managing the unmanageable aspects of overcrowded cities.

The parable of the industrial age is that of the man who turns on a machine that won't stop. The modern nightmare begins and ends with the question, "What if we can't stop what we're doing?" While this question has been applied to such diverse areas as factories, nuclear weapons and mass culture, it's rarely directed at government. Not government as a vehicle for exploring the bomb, the surveillance state or any of the trendy abuses of authority-- but government itself. What we might ask will happen if the machine doesn't turn off, if government just doesn't stop growing?

It's not a question that concerns those who preoccupy themselves with trendy anti-authoritarianism, marking down the number of surveillance cameras and denouncing some new government program to listen in on people's phone calls, but they never seem to make the connection to the source of the problem. Somehow they imagine that it is possible to have a society where people are compelled to purchase health insurance, where meters determine how often they recycle and where light bulbs are banned not because they are toxic but because they "waste energy"-- that won't put up surveillance cameras or listen to their phone calls. 

Government isn't Baskin-Robbins. You can't choose the flavors of totalitarianism that you want. And idiot cousins aren't very good at making fine distinctions. Give them a script and they'll follow it to their deaths. Ask them to use common sense and you might as well ask them to build a moon rocket, which happens to be one of those things that we can't do anymore, ever since the idiot cousins took over major chunks of the space program.

Over the last century the idiot cousins have turned red and they are often no longer cousins, just college graduates looking for a job in the unreal world, but that hasn't made them any less dumb. Ideological programming is to creativity and flexibility as rat poison is to a fine luncheon. People who are taught to think in political formulations are just reading from another kind of script and it's often a script that they don't even understand.

There's a certain amount of hope in that. When no one in the Soviet Union understood what the point of Communism was, there was little resistance to being done with it. It wasn't so much the courageous struggle of dissidents that brought down the Soviet Union, it was the incomprehension of the ranks of idiots who parroted dogma and slogans that had been coined by men and women who were smarter than them by virtue of receiving a pre-Communist education in an independent educational system.

By the time the Berlin Wall fell, most of the men and women who made up the system did not see any point to all this stuff about Communism. They knew a hundred slogans, but not how they related to their lives. They were all for maintaining the bribes and bureaucracy culture, they just didn't see why it couldn't be done in a totalitarian state with the same standard of living as the West.

The good news is that if the left ever seizes complete control, their system will collapse within two to three generations because at some point no one will understand why everyone has to live without heat or listen to inspirational stories about Caesar Chavez.. The bad news is that by then it will be too late to ever rebuild the country into a workable place to live.

The beauty of the machine is still embedded in the fascist undercoating of progressive government. It is a vision of a dozen wise men pulling the switch while ten million overseers mechanically drive three hundred million people to their tasks. The plan is formulated, the blueprints are drawn up, the smart men look it over through their monocles and then the whole thing is fired up and it falls over a cliff because the theory is all wrong.

The left has rejected the industrialization of mechanical things, but it remains deeply in love with the mechanization of human beings, the mass production of impulses and the programming of their souls. It is constantly drawing up five year plans to achieve one social goal or another, and if the five year plans never succeed, then that just means that it's time for an even more ambitious ten year plan to fight people who use too much water or don't teach their children tolerance.

But the reasons why machines work is because people design them. Machines however cannot design machines. When the average functionary is as devoid of autonomy and innovative thinking as your Windows PC, then the society will begin crashing as it encounters errors not in its programming. Deploying masses of asses to tackle social problems while following a rigid script filled with inflexible assumptions is a surefire way to fail and use that as an excuse to throw more men at the job.

Failure is built into the system. Large armies of men following orders is a good way to grind down equally large armies. It's not a way to run a country. Human industrialization creates bureaucratic hives which worsen everything they touch. It fills the country with functionaries following scripts that require them to confiscate our freedoms for our own good, a good that even in their limited definition they cannot achieve.

The very inflexibility of the idiot cousins guarantees their tenure. The more they fail, the more of them are needed. If we spent X amount of money to achieve Y without achieving it, then next time we must spend X+2. It's the linear mechanical logic of the idiot who can only think in terms of tackling every problem with more resources until it finally cracks. If our last machine didn't do it, then our massive EDUTRON 2000 which is twice as big and costs twice as much will surely educate all our children properly.

We have been throwing idiot cousins are the war on poverty, at discrimination and at overeating. And now we're poorer, more bigoted and fatter than we used to be. Given another generation we'll have trouble getting up out of bed at the homeless shelter long enough to carry out hate crimes. That's not the official progressive party line which says that we are more tolerant than we used to be, even as they discover five new kinds of bigotry over the weekend. And as for poverty, it's tempting to say that the only people who got rich fighting poverty were the idiot cousins, but even they are worse off in a country which is poorer than ever and which can only afford fattening food.

Like the Soviet Union, the progressive agenda never fails, it just succeeds so much that it moves on to fight new challenges, like racist babies, the imminent destruction of the planet and understanding how right wing talk show hosts brainwash people into hating all their programs. There are never defeats, only strategic retreats. Each setback is an opportunity to create a new agency full of idiot cousins with a 40 billion dollar budget in order to "invest in our future".

We have been investing so much in our future lately, that we may not even have a future anymore. Forget peak oil, we are rapidly reaching peak government. Our exploitation of our human resources is unsustainable. Eventually we will have bankrupted the future due to all our investing in the future in such promising present day stocks as Idiot Cousins Inc, better known as the entire monumental structure of government and its assorted camp followers looking for a chance to wash clothes, hold a fundraiser or make off with a fat government contract.

Hoover promised two chickens in every pot, but while the price of chicken is rising, our current leaders offer us two bureaucrats, inspectors, managers, disarrangers and assorted euphemisms for unelected but impossible to get rid of miniature tyrants, to every family that works for a living.

The human machine that the left keeps building in our backyard doesn't work. It can never work and it refuses to go away. It only keeps getting bigger and bigger. The builders don't understand that it's not the fault of the machine, it's the fault of the theory. The machine does what it's designed to do which is carry out a linear process. It will not however transform humanity. Nor will it clean up after itself.

A machine of ten million human parts is far dumber than any single human being. It is far less competent, far less capable and far more cruel. It will fail at all but the simplest tasks because it has no soul, it has no conscience, it has no mind and it has no common sense. Its very operation creates more problems than it can hope to solve. It is not a solution. It and its operators, the idiot cousins who fill its metal chambers, are the problem. They are our problem.

When Positive and Negative Rights Collide

By On February 22, 2012
The birth control battle is another reminder that entitlements and freedoms do not coexist well, even if we set aside the economic issues, because entitlements end up intruding into the spaces of freedoms. As the United States undergoes the process that replaces the negative right to be left alone with the positive right to be taken care of in every way possible, these conflicts will only worsen.

Americans are getting a taste of life in Europe where social benefits trump individual freedoms, where artificial rights to various government administered benefits and subsidies, along with the protection of national values and social harmony, serve to eliminate most of what Americans have traditionally considered freedom.

While negative rights create safe spaces from outside intervention, positive rights offer a privilege that is overseen by the government. Positive rights are inevitably concerned with social welfare and harmony. They offer universal benefits at the cost of individual liberties.

Every negative right has a mirror image positive right. Freedom of speech meets its evil twin in the right not to be offended by bigotry. Freedom of religion has its evil twin in the imposition of a state religion. Property rights have their evil twin in wealth redistribution and this right is the wellspring of most of the social problems of the state.

The decay of the educational system has created a state of affairs where many can no longer distinguish between the statements, "Everyone has the right to speak their mind" and "Everyone has the right to a home." The inability to make that distinction marks the death of a free society as the former expresses a freedom relative to the state, the latter expresses an obligation on each person to the state.

When people can no longer tell the difference between the right to be left alone and the right to pay for someone else's home, the firewall between freedom and tyranny has successfully broken down. And the most effective way to devalue freedom is by presenting something more seductive in its place, a system that will take care of your needs, that will balance some remaining freedoms with a necessary amount of intrusion that will maximize the collective benefits and harmony of all.

This balance of negative and positive rights is unsustainable, because each new positive rights diminishes the existing negative rights until there are hardly any negative rights left. Each new gift from the government carries with it an invisible price tag in dollars and cents, and in freedoms lost. This loss is often intangible. Like casinos and whorehouses, the progressive way of government is built on befuddling the people so that they don't notice what they are losing.

Positive rights are presented as social obligations, and social obligations are the source of most of the oppressive legislation that exists anywhere. The society is a vague unit which is not represented by a plebiscite, but by the values attributed to it by an elite. It blurs the line between government and the individual by transforming the individual into a collective entity with collective needs and obligations.

Social obligations are often expressed in terms of values. Values are generally code for an emotional appeal to a position that cannot be rationally defended. The values discussed are never individual values, but the collective values of an intangible society as expressed by its cultural and political leaders.

Authentic social obligations and values are not expressed through the state, but through organizations, including religious groups, that reflect those values. A country can and will have groups whose values are in conflict, which is why the universalization and collectivization of values amounts to the creation of a state religion.

Amish values differ from Catholic values which differ from Mormon values which differ from Methodist values which differ from the values of Orthodox Jews, Baptists, Unitarians, Atheists and the whole host of different religious and irreligious value systems that fill the nation. While many of these groups can and do agree on some major points, they don't agree on others, and even when they do, they often differ on the details.

The Catholic Church is strongly in favor of health care for all, it does not however agree on the nature of what health care is with value systems to the left of it. The current controversy is a clash of value systems. Such a clash is easily resolved in a system built around negative rights that leaves all the parties free not to enter into agreements or obligations that they don't want to enter into. However in a system based on positive rights, a clash of values ends with the government compelling one side to abandon its values.

Such clashes are inevitable and so are their conclusions under a system of positive rights. The more positive rights there are, the more clashes develop. And the more they happen, the government begins functioning as a state church enforcing its own values on everyone.

This phenomenon is familiar enough to Europeans where "The Values of the Republic" often replaced the state church and took on an equally sacred meaning. In Israel, Democratic values is often used to mean the same thing, which is particularly confusing as the values involved are never those which have the support of a plurality of the country. In the United States, the progressive Trojan horse way has been to use "American Values" to mean the same thing.

American Values, as used by the progressives to endorse everything from gay marriage to illegal immigration, exists entirely apart from actual Americans who are lectured on the need to do one thing or another in the name of those values. And when there is a conflict between the Constitution and the construct of American Values, then the Values win out over the law. The progressives have done their best to cloak their transformation of the country as a clash between reactionary positions and American Values. Each of their victories is a triumph for the America that they wish to create.

When the state becomes the source of national values, rather than those values residing in religious or other ethical organizations that seek to act out their beliefs in the public space, then the country has taken a significant step toward fascism. The collectivization of values also represents the militarization of a people's beliefs. Such militarization can be found in Muslim theocracies or in any system where allegiance to the nation requires adopting and acting out the values of the state.

The birth control mandate is an example of the collectivization of national values, and the value that every person should have access to subsidized birth control trumps the religious values of major religions. Similar conflicts occur in every arena where progressives create a positive right that conflicts with religious values. The positive right not to be discriminated against conflicts with the negative right of freedom of religion when it comes to gay ceremonies taking place on the property of a church or synagogue.

As the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association found out when it denied the use of their property to two women looking to get married, was sued and lost the case. As the verdict put it, "As to "free exercise," the LAD is a neutral law of general application designed to uncover and eradicate discrimination: it is not focused on or hostile to religion." But that is the genius of positive rights, they do not have to focus on a thing to be hostile to it, so long as the imposition of its guiding virtue is incompatible with the beliefs and values of anyone else.

The decision went on to say: "I do not believe that the facts pose a true question of religious freedom, but were they go, the matter would not be governed by the high bar of "strict scrutiny", but by a much lower standard that tolerates some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals." And that is the progressive tyranny of positive rights in a nutshell which tolerates some intrusion into freedoms for the sake of tolerance and other societal goals.

Similarly for the sake of societal goals, we must tolerate some intrusion into our income, into what we may and may not say, into what we must buy, where we must live and how we must arrange our lives until no safe spaces for freedom actually exist. Only a massive iron wall of positive rights that locks us inside our societal obligations to phantom values that are determined for us by progressive activist groups and the functionaries of the state.

Where does it end? It never does. Values are absolute, they represent ideals and ideals can never be met. To enforce values is to conduct an endless war against all that stands in your way. The wars on bigotry, poverty, greed, bad habits and all the other grave societal ills can never be won. Those wars lead into ancillary conflicts against people who want to hold on to their beliefs and their money, against boys who play with toy guns, the overeaters, smokers and jokers, the cranks who tilt at windmills, economic sharks who take advantage of any situation, and the whole endless list of enemies of the state who stand in the way of its societal goals. 

The unwavering pursuit of ideals ends up destroying the very ideal being pursued. Trying to give everyone a home may have damaged home ownership, particularly among the poor and minority groups, for a generation to come. Fighting bigotry has created bigotry and in some cases even turned it into a matter of state policy, as is the case with affirmative action. But that is why the pursuit of ideals by the state are dangerous. A government has too much power and too little flexibility to pursue goals which involve the touchstones of human nature.

When positive and negative rights collide, freedom is the first casualty, and the second casualty is the positive right which over time cannot survive the pressures of the self-destruction of the system that imposes it. Negative rights which require state inaction can be sustained so long as the state does not become too powerful. Positive rights can only be sustained so long as the money and power holds up. Their fate is thoroughly tied to the fate of the system. When the state that enforces them weakens, so do they.

Negative rights put their trust in people. Positive rights put their trust in the state. All states fall sooner or later. Only the people survive.

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