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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Inequality for All

By On March 31, 2013
Ever since the Civil Rights movement became a "Grand Myth", the 20th Century equivalent of wagon trains headed West and the Minutemen at Concord, an activity so redolent of national values that it becomes a metaphor for what being American is, every generation has been given its marching orders to fight for a new equality.

Fighting against inequality requires inequality in the same way that Manifest Destiny needed land
area to work. It becomes harder to spread out once you've hit the Pacific Ocean. Fighting for civil rights becomes a struggle when everyone has the right to vote, drink from water fountains and do everything else.

After that it's all imaginary territory. You aren't really expanding the borders; you're just paving over swamps, slopping split level housing all over them and pretending that the next lawsuit over racial profiling or the article over pay inequities is just like those people in the black-and-white photos marching at Selma.

Racism is a resource and like every other resource, it's in danger of running out. We hit Peak Racism decades ago. Peak Sexism peaked even earlier. Even Peak Homophobia peaked a while back. The cool kids are trying to push Islamophobia while peddling worn copies of Edward Said's Orientalism that the campus book store refuses to buy back at more than 10% of the sale price, but once you get past the keffiyahs and a 10 year-old photo of what looks like a guy in black Klanwear in Iraq, (which looks like the world's most confusing hate crime), the calm waves of the Pacific Ocean are there telling you that maybe it's time to put away that thesis on "Othering in The Simpsons" and enjoy your job as Director of Sensitivity Innovations in the Department of Human Resources.

Fighting for equality stopped making sense when everyone became legally equal. Bringing back the word for a battle over gay marriage was refreshing after it had to be buried for so long during the long march through affirmative action and all sorts of positive discrimination gimmicks. But that's just a blip on the radar.

Equality stopped being the issue before most of the people fighting inequality today on a professional basis were even born. Instead the issue became carving out niches of inequality that would preserve "inequality safaris" for the edification and lawsuits of future generations.

Bigotry is too prized a resource to just watch it drain away in some communal pool of brotherhood and sisterhood. The only thing to do is to find ways to dam it up and create national parks of bigotry that will allow future generations of civil rights warriors to rough it by camping out under the burning crosses while admiring themselves for their artificial courage in defense of a manufactured cause.

So instead of equality, there's diversity that opens up a door for a select few while closing the door for everyone else. Instead of merit hiring, there's quota hiring. That means one black guy in the boardroom, one Asian woman at the meeting and one Latino guy in the White House. (And the GOP, knowing the stats, and having missed out on the black guy, wants it to be their guy.) And that's all you get.

The quota can be increased. There can be two of each in the boardroom. Or four of each. The numbers don't really matter. What matters is that there's a quota. Instead of bringing in people because they can do the job; they are brought in as representatives of their race, sex and creed.

Affirmative action doesn't combat the glass ceiling. It is the glass ceiling. Once the quota has been met, it's been met.  The great goddess of diversity on her pedestal of Made-in-China plastic has been appeased with an offering of a multiracial photo that represents the fabric of diversity. Next year there will be another offering, but that's it for now. And it's all white guys from here on in.

The white guys will talk about diversity and the importance of bringing in new voices and points of view. They'll even hire someone to help them fill the quotas, whose primary purpose is to keep other white guy competitors out of the boardroom. But when the quotas are full, then they are full.

Diversity creates a wonderful snafu in which there can be a black guy in the White House and double digit unemployment for other black guys. Sorry guys, the quota has been filled. There can only be one Obama. Everyone else is out of luck.

The double vision isn't accidental. It looks equal, but it's not. The game is rigged and diversity rigged it. And there's plenty to be angry about for everyone because in a rigged game everyone has just cause to be angry; except the people on whose behalf the game has been rigged. And those people aren't white people or black people. They are the people that the system uses to perpetuate itself.

The system isn't white power or black power. It's just the system. It's a bunch of white guys who despise the South and wish they had a black friend, deciding which black guy to use for their diversity quota. They're doing it for the same reason that they display books they never read and invite interesting people over for boring dinner parties. Because it makes them seem smart. Because it makes them feel like something more than the overseers of the same repressive dreary system that exists to implement unfairness for the benefit of a few.

Black people are interesting, the white guys think, Asians aren't. Besides the Asians are more threatening because they can compete with all those white kids in retro black framed glasses. They are what the Jews were a few generations ago. And the quota stick is good for them too. But everyone gets hit with the quota stick by the system. Except those who are truly inside the system.

So the system can fight endlessly for equality without ever coming close to achieving it because the struggle is the thing that is in the way.

Generations of liberals defined themselves by civil rights and visit a civil rights theme park called the Federal Government to let them re-experience the sense of meaningful activity that they can otherwise only derive from kicking some money over to Microfinance after reading inspirational stories about poverty in India. And they created racism reservations that let them experience it over and over again.

Previous American generations wondered what they would do at the passing of the generation of the Founding Fathers. (It took a while considering that Jefferson and Adams died in 1826.) But by then there was a new generation of heroes who exemplified the courage and perseverance of the American spirit. And when the British sailed away for the last time and the Indians settled down building skyscrapers and casinos and the sun set on the Pacific Ocean, those virtues became harder to recapture.

Modern American liberals never really have this worry. Civil rights marches are never going anywhere. Neither are sloppy disorganized concerts full of overrated bands. Or essays blaming everything wrong with society on your parents.

The Sixties are never going away. They are the establishment. The people responsible for that mess run everything and arranged society so that you can experience their social failure over and over again. Racism and the fight against it is one of the things that they want you to experience, so you will experience it again and again, as they create and destroy racism like some strange racist gods.

Bigotry is always a problem. The problem is maintained so that it can be fought endlessly in the Creation Myth of the New America. Imagine if the Redcoats were kept around in Boston just so that people could throw things at them or the Sioux were paid to ride out scalping every few years. But we don't have that. Instead we have Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton showing up to protest against something or other, while the NAACP compares Struggle X to the Civil Rights movement.

Congressman John Lewis, who on the day when he can no longer stumble forth to mumble something about his time fighting for civil rights, will have to be stuffed as a mummy and wheeled around to meetings organized by white guys in retro glasses who want to experience what their grandfathers felt when marching along the street in Alabama or Mississippi, serves the same purpose as Buffalo Bill's traveling exhibition did. He's there to remind us all of something that no longer exists.

Finding bigotry to fight takes work. The tar sands of bigotry have to be mined in an exhausting process to uncover new forms of bigotry. Bigotry is no longer a fact, but an attitude. It is proven not by its presence, but its absence. The lack of diversity is proof of bigotry. The presence of diversity is proof of white privilege. Everything has to be unpacked and peered at under a microscope to find that precious element of hate that fuels the liberal machine.

Bigotry is no longer about what you do, but how other people feel about it. Discrimination is not about opportunity, but about feelings. Finally it is revealed that bigotry is present everywhere. It is a quality that pervades every economic and interpersonal interaction. As some feminists insisted that all heterosexual sex is rape, so the new theorists of white privilege insist that any interracial interaction is inherently racist.

And when racism and sexism alone aren't enough, there are always new discriminated groups being discovered by the post-apocalyptic civil rights warriors of tomorrow. If Jesse Jackson bleating sonorously about the time someone stole his sandwich bores you, try gay rights. Put an equal sign on your Facebook profile and you're a civil rights hero. And if old gay men stage-kissing for the front page of your soon-to-be-out-of-business local weekly bores you, try trannies. Men who pretend to be women persecuted by refusing to take their pretense seriously. It's just like Selma, if Martin Luther King had been more like J. Edgar Hoover. And there's always your friendly neighborhood Muslim who gets unfriendly stares at the airport when he begins screaming "Allah Akbar" when asked if he's visiting from Pakistan on business or pleasure.

And when not a smidgen of bigotry exists to be colonized, there's always the imaginary territory.
There's a reason that Science Fiction and comic books began to really take off as a generation weaned on cowboy role grasped that the West was gone. The cowboy movie lingered on, but then it went away and what replaced it are big shiny spectacles full of other worlds and superpowers. Who needs to be a cowboy when you can fly to other galaxies or see through walls. And who needs to fight real racism when you can expose the inherent stereotypes in Oklahoma (either the musical or the state will do) in your latest biting blog post about racism, patriarchy and heteronormatism/marchy.

The civil rights movement is dead. In place of any real urge for equality is a determination to perpetuate inequality in order to keep the movement going. It's as if everyone wanted to keep the great feeling of winning WW2 alive by landing at Normandy, shelling random tourists and then invading Paris to liberate it from the Nazis while refusing to listen to the Parisians when they insist that the Nazi armies are long gone and all that's left are a bunch of skinheads listening to bad music.

Inequality in the name of equality has become an institution. It has become the institution that justifies all the other institutions of government and academia. If discrimination ever disappeared beyond the ability of modern eight-wave bigotry researchers to discover it in episodes of classic television shows and random interracial interactions, then the entire modern state would simply collapse.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Bad Good

By On March 30, 2013
Others have already pointed out the absurdity that gay marriage is becoming a right in places where plastic bags and large sodas are becoming against the law. This sort of next wave civil rights step is only an expansion of freedom if you aren't paying attention.

All the arguments over the differences between civil unions and marriage are largely meaningless. Once gay marriage is recognized, then marriage becomes nothing more than a civil union. The real casualty is the destruction of the word "marriage", but the left is adept as destroying language and replacing meaningful words with meaningless words.

There was no word in Newspeak for freedom. We can look forward to an English language in which there is no word for marriage. And what does freedom mean anyway in a country where most things are banned, but we are constantly throwing holidays to celebrate how free we are?

But if marriage is no longer refers to a natural social institution, but now means a civil union recognized by the state, then why stop at two? Gay rights advocates insist that there is some magic difference between polygamy and gay marriage. There isn't any difference except the number. And if we're not going to be bound by any antiquated notion that marriage is an organic institution between man and woman, then why should we be bound by mere number?

Surely in our enlightened age and time, it can be possible for large groups of consenting adults to tie their confusing knots together in any number from 2 to 2,000.

True marriage equality would completely open up the concept. But it's not actually equality that we're talking about. It's someone's idea of the social good. And the social good is served by gay marriage, but not by polygamy.

The question is whose social good is it?

Equality and justice are words that the left uses to cloud the question of who advocates the causes and who benefits from them. Who decides that the cause of justice and equality is served by limiting marriage to two gay men, rather than four gay men, three bisexual men, two women and a giraffe?

The rhetoric of equality asserts a just cause while overlooking the social good. Rights are demanded. The demand is absolute and the logic for it remains left behind in a desk drawer on the wrong side of the table. Instead there are calls for empathy. "If you only knew a gay couple." Hysterical condemnations. "I'm pretty sure you're the devil", one recent email to me began. And a whole lot of vague promises about the good things that will follow once we're all paying for it.

We aren't truly moving toward anarchy or some libertarian order, but a calculated form of repression in which shrill demands substitute for legal guidelines and those who scream the loudest get the most rights.

The new freedoms are largely random and chaotic. Donate enough money to the right people while helping out the left and a special addition to the marriage split-level house will be carved out for you. Why? Because there will be a lot of yelling. Naturally. And if the polygamists yell loudly enough and donate enough money, they'll get their own marriage expansion as well because that is how things work now.

There is no longer a fixed notion of rights. The trappings of equality and angry causes are hollow. The legal doctrine on which courts make their decisions are targets in search of arrows, emotions hunting around for precedents to wrap them in. These decisions are not rational, but rather rationalizations. Their only anchor is a new role for government in protecting any group that is officially marginalized.

The old Bill of Rights extended rights irrespective of group membership. The new one wipes out universal rights and replaces them with particular privileges. Entire amendments may sink beneath the waves, but a few groups get comfortable deck chairs on the Titanic.

Why is one group protected rather than another? Why do gay activists get a government-bonded right, complete with Federal enforcement, while polygamy is outlawed? The only answers are rationalizations. With morality sinking fast and few common values that the people in charge will accept, there is no longer a common value system to rely on.

Progressive morality is constantly being reshaped in tune to the whims of the left. It can't be relied upon, because it isn't there. The only thing fixed about it is the need to fight for the oppressed, which not coincidentally at all is also the shaky civil rights era legal doctrine on which the whole modern house of cards rests.

Since the nature of oppression and the identification of oppressed groups is open for debate, the legal doctrine means nothing. Every Democratic presidential candidate was against gay marriage in 2008 and for it now. What changed? Nothing, except the money changing hands and sitcoms about gay couples. And the latter is what it comes down to. Instead of church and state, we are stuck with sitcom and state where the existence of a television comedy is a reflection of national values.

And what happens when one of the burgeoning shows about polygamous marriages becomes a big hit? Then we'll have no choice but to ratify polygamous marriage equality because that's the new national values system and the television ratings prove that everyone is clearly down with it.

Once fixed rights made way for identity politics, we traded legal guarantees of freedom for government oversight of a confusing caste system in which some people have more rights than others based on the amount of rights they claim not to have, but everyone has fewer rights than they did before because rights are now arbitrary and the arbitrators work for the government.

Identity politics made rights competitive. The only way to win is to play. And the only way to play is to claim oppression. And if you don't do a good job of it, good luck getting a good spot in the diversity quotas for college, business and government. But it has also made rights meaningless.

The new slogan is that gun control should be enacted because the former Congresswoman Giffords "deserves a vote". Giffords already has a vote. So do millions of gun owners. That's how it works. But votes are no longer weighed equally. The oppressed, even by a random shooting spree, get more votes than others, so long as their oppression is officially recognized and endorsed. The Giffords Vote is supposed to not only trump millions of actual votes, but also the Second Amendment.

And why not? Gay marriage lost in multiple referendums, but those results were set aside by Federal judges for being oppressive. The same thing happened with illegal aliens. Now everyone is evolving on those issues. After all, no one wants to be the bad mean oppressor. And so the actual votes are trumped by the vote of the oppressed and actual rights make way for special privileges.

The grants of new rights are oppressive because there are no longer any fixed boundaries of rights. Instead gay rights compels wedding photographers, cake shops and even churches to cater to gay weddings regardless of their own moral values. Religious freedom, which is in the Constitution, has to take a seat at the back of the bus to the new rights, which aren't.

There is no system for keeping rights from colliding with or overrunning one another. The only
governing legal mandate is preventing oppression and that means government arbitrators deciding who is screaming, "Help, help, I'm being repressed!" the loudest and with the most sincerity.

A system in which the authorities grant rights based on who can best make the case to them that their rights have been taken away is a bad idea. It's an especially bad idea in a system like ours which is rapidly sliding in a direction in which the authorities are the sole arbiters of who should have any rights at all. If your oppressed status depends on your oppressors determining whether you are truly oppressed, then the only people who will have rights are those people whose rights the oppressors have not taken away by certifying them as oppressed.

It would be a dreadful simplification to call this lunatic state of affairs Orwellian or even Machiavellian. It makes even Kafka's worlds seem positively stodgy by comparison. It is a trial where the only people to be found not guilty are those who already been convicted. It's a system that favors the people who claim to be dispossessed by the system. It is an absurd self-negation that exists as a mathematical impossibility and a living satire.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Never Look Back

By On March 29, 2013


A BRIEF PERSONAL NOTE

Due to the Passover holiday and family medical issues, blogging has been lighter as usual, comment moderation has taken longer than usual. I haven't been able to answer many emails, tweets, etc.. My apologies.



NEVER LOOK BACK

Desmond Tutu has been busy lately. Two weeks ago he wrote an editorial calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. A week later he joined an international anti-tobacco campaign. Last month he condemned American drones for killing Muslim terrorists. Last summer he denounced a military-themed NBC Reality Show.

A grinning and giggling social butterfly, Tutu is always going somewhere and expressing his opinion on something. One minute he’s in Myanmar and the next minute he’s weighing in on Bradley Manning. Wait a little longer and there will be a Tutu column, video or letter on climate change, the death penalty or the price of tea in China.

Last week, while Tutu was joining his campaign against tobacco, a 7-year-old girl who had been sent to deliver a set of keys by her grandmother was raped to death in South Africa. Her story ended on a dirty street, but it is not an unusual story in a country where 1 in 3 girls will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday, where 13.6% of the African population is HIV positive and raping children is believed by many to be a cure for AIDS.

Desmond Tutu: Godfather of Hell




ALRIGHTY THEN

The last time Jim Carrey starred in a live action hit movie was 2003 with Bruce Almighty. The closest thing to that since was Yes Man in 2008 which didn’t even cross the 100 million dollar mark at the American box office. Fun With Dick and Jane barely made it across the domestic 100 million mark and that was back in 2005.

Jim Carrey skipped the sequel to Bruce Almighty, his biggest hit, and the job was handed over to Steve Carell. Now instead of Steve Carell taking Jim Carrey’s leftovers, it’s the other way around, with Carrey appearing in a supporting role in Steve Carell’s The Amazing Burt Wonderstone. And that bombed too.

So if you want to understand why Jim Carrey is arguing about you with gun control on Twitter, it’s because his career and personal life have been in decline for a while and he’s looking for attention.

The Decline and Fall of Jim Carrey





NOW WITH MORE GIANT PUPPETS

Warren Buffett has a piece of the rail business, but doesn’t have a piece of the pipeline. And he has a very big piece of Obama Inc.

So Western Minnesota gets a 30,000 gallon oil spill and Obama Inc. supporters get to parade around with signs and giant puppets warning about the dangerous of fracking pipelines and polar-bear killing oil.

Obama’s Keystone Pipeline Block Causes Environmental Disaster





PETER PAN GOES TO THE WEST BANK

Ben was graced with the typical directionless biography that qualified him to do little except express self-righteous anger on a semi-professional basis. He studied religion at Brown and wrote for alternative newspapers. He packed a backpack and went to dangerous parts of the world and wrote self-centered diatribes about the military-industrial complex.

In Haiti, Ben Ehrenreich declared that Obama’s post-earthquake relief effort was “savage and bestial in its lack of concern for human life.” His Post-Katrina article began by suggesting that New Orleans had been deliberately flooded. In Arizona, he compared policing the Mexican border to the war in Vietnam. One can only imagine what the copy would have read like if he had ever made it to Disneyland.

If Ben’s mother had learned to deliberately tamp down her invective in order to be taken seriously, her son went in the other direction, amping up the volume to hysterical levels until every place he set foot in was the worst place on earth.

After plumbing the depth of such atrocities as the relief effort in Haiti, Arizona border patrols and the plot to flood New Orleans, Ben Ehrenreich eventually found his Disneyland in Israel.

A Bad Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Radical Tree




HE CAN'T BE GAY, HE HAS A BEARD

"The beard is a natural sign of manliness and it is a natural sign of distinguishing men from women," Imam Khalid Yassin said, "And among the companions of the Prophet, they used to not even look at a man who shaved his beard for fear they may have desire for him."

Mohammed’s companions only had sexual feelings for men without beards, but not for any men with beards. Muslims growing beards as soon as they were old enough to were putting on “Don’t Rape Me, Prophet” signs.

Imam Says Muslims Must Grow Beards to Avoid Gay Feelings





LIBERALISM'S WORK IS NOW COMPLETE

Want to Claim Racism? There’s a Federal App for That

 America, as everyone and their racist white grandmother knows, is a very racist country. It’s so racist that the sheer density of racism has been  measured by racism scientists to be extremely racist.

That’s why the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which brought you the economic crisis and urban blight, now offers an App to let busy people concerned about racism report racism while on the go.

Are you writing up your Great Unamerican Novel novel about a disgruntled unemployed college grad who can’t find a job at Starbucks when you spot housing discrimination taking place across the street? There’s a Gov App for that.

Post Birth Abortion: Planned Parenthood Rep Claims Right to Kill Babies After Birth

Soros Donates $1 Mil to NAACP to Promote Voter Fraud

Palestinian Authority Locks Up Second Man for Mocking its President on Facebook

Islamists Rename Prostitution for Terrorists as “Sexual Jihad”

Muslim Lawyer Proposes Using Cyber-bullying Laws to Outlaw Blasphemy

China’s One Child Policy Has Aborted 1,500 Babies Every Hour

7-Year-Old Girl Raped to Death in South Africa






Study Finds Tea Party Rallies Added 5 Million Republican Votes

Before the GOP establishment runs too far to the left on its evolutionary jog away from its base, it might want to take a look at this AEI study about the impact of the Tea Party on the midterm elections and what could have been if the Republican Party had run a populist 2012 campaign instead of working overtime to be centrist.

The researchers conclude that having a Tea Party protest on Tax Day, April 15, in 2009 increased the number of Republican votes in that area for the 2010 midterm elections and caused their representatives to vote more conservatively.

Study Finds Tea Party Rallies Added 5 Million Republican Votes





THE BLOOD PRICE

Lately you can’t help stumbling across an endless series of newspaper articles denouncing Sri Lanka for “persecuting” its Muslim minority. The latest horrifying act of persecution by the Buddhist country is a proposal to ban various Burka like arguments that oppress women and make any country a paradise for all sorts of criminals who can walk the streets in full body disguises.

Meanwhile when Bangladesh Islamists declare that their aim is a “Hinduless Bangladesh” and attack Hindu temples, no one notices or cares.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram, an Islamist group, has destroyed 50 of the 52 Catholic churches in a single diocese, has openly called for the ethnic cleansing of Christians and has killed thousands, but Obama Inc. has refused to add it to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations allowing Muslims in America to continue subsidizing its atrocities.

The real question here is why are Muslim lives more important than the lives of everyone else?

Are Muslim Lives Worth More Than Hindu or Christian Lives?





LIFE IN ISRAEL

Shortly after midnight, Yael Shahak and her 8-year-old daughter Chen were returning from a family gathering to their home in Beit El. Suddenly, the car in front of them slowed down. At first, Yael did not understand what was happening. She tried to signal to the driver with her lights, to no avail. The mysterious vehicle stopped in front of her, blocking her way. Yael tried to reverse her car, but the other car also shifted into reverse and drove after her. She tried to go to the right, but the car blocked her again. Four young men, their heads covered with hats and scarves, got out of the car and signaled to Yael to open her car door. When she refused, they began smashing the car windows with metal rods. Shards of broken glass fell on Chen, who had been sleeping.

 Muslim Terrorists Attempted to Kidnap 8-Year-Old Girl as Hostage





 IT'S OBAMA'S WORLD, WE JUST LIVE IN IT

Moody’s Predicts 40% Chance of Egypt Default in 5 Years

UN to Define Pregnancy Without Access to Abortion as “Torture”

UK Suffers Coldest March in 50 Years, Global Warming to Blame




SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT

Obama’s arrival in Ramallah began with a really horrible musical rendition of the National Anthem, then it continued with a bad rendition of the terrorist national anthem pledging eternal war against the Jews.

And then just to make matters worse the Palestinian band launches into Polyushko Pole aka Meadowlands.

The lyrics for Polyushko Pole come from Viktor Gusev’s “A Poem about a Komsomol Soldier”. The Komsomol was the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League. The music for Polyushko Pole was composed by Lev Kniper, an NKVD agent, a predecessor of the KGB.

The lyrics include such lines as “The heroes ride over the field/Hey, the heroes of the Red Army” and “Hey, while on the collective farms/The work is efficiently progressing.”

Palestinian Authority Welcomed Obama With Communist Song





THE HYPOCHONDRIACS OF HATE

So I’m bumbling along in my grad “training” to be a consummate Marxist; this just means that I wrote what was expected:  Marxist crap painted willy-nilly on every thought, word, and deed.  It was so easy, so mindless, that I didn’t even bother with it too much and would slap out a 25-page Marxist lunatic “analysis” in two hours . . . to rave reviews. (Yes, it was really that pathetic.).  It’s hard not to be good at manufacturing/ferreting out “inequality” in even the simplest prose; once you learn the basic premise, you see it everywhere . . . even though it exists exactly nowhere.   It’s like the hypochondriac who reads about the symptoms of a disease and immediately becomes convinced s/he has “it.”

...from a larger essay at Fuzzy Slippers







THE GREEN WAR

In 1914 Sir Edward Grey said to a friend one evening just before the outbreak of the First World War, as he watched the lights being lit on the street below his office: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

In that instance, it was the Great War that loomed. Now the Great Forgetting looms and, from time to time, it washes across the world. "Earth Hour" is such a dark moment as millions either choose to, or thanks to their compliant or complacent local governments suffer through, an hour in the dark.

Once upon a time we knew enough to curse the darkness. In the aeons long climb from the muck, we have only had the ability to hold back the dark for a bit over a century. Now millions yearn to embrace it and, should they yearn long enough and hard enough, the darkness will embrace them and hold them for much longer than a brief hour of preening and self-regard.

from American Digest: Earth Hour: Click to Fade




A TALE OF TWO REFUGEES IN EUROPE

Abu Qatada could be here for life: Judges admit he’s very dangerous but won’t kick him out… as HIS human rights come first

The judges said that while Qatada’s deportation was “long overdue”, his risk to the public was not “a relevant consideration” under human rights laws.

Home Secretary Theresa May will now lodge a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court. If that fails, it would raise the prospect of Qatada … Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe – never being deported. He could apply to be freed within days.

...but meanwhile

Iranian Christian applying for asylum in Sweden have been denied their request for asylum even though authorities know these Christians face arrest, torture and death if they were to be forced to return. …

Sweden meanwhile is full of all sorts of refugee rapists from the Muslim world. But the Eurocrats don't want any more Christians. From their point of view they have too many already.




THE POWER OF SHAME

 Naturally, a shameless society will fail.  You can make all the laws you want, but without the social norms and mores that force people to be self-reliant, responsible, and respectful units of society, those individual units will revert to their basic human instinct and decay into shameless and parasitical ones.  However, there is a consequence to society failing.  Specifically, those people who are vested in society and are moral, are going to lose the only thing that matters to them - society.  And while a high percentage of them may still be too intimidated or brainwashed to speak out, bluntly and truthfully, a certain percentage of people will realize the cost is too great and start shaming again.  Specifically, those people who have nothing left to lose.

Understand that the reason most people don't speak out against and shame the social atrocities occurring in the US is because they have too much at risk.  They have a house, they have a family, they have a career. Their entire lives have been built within this system and are thus dependent on it.  And dare they get out of line, and dare they publicly shame the wrong group, the political and social cost for them daring to point out the emperor has no clothes is that they will lose it all.  An HR nazi will be auditing your facebook posts.  Your hiring manager will get a complaint.  An Adria Richards will narc on you.  Careers in America are so fragile and employers so spineless, you dare don't rock the societal boat with shaming.  You watch that recent immigrant use her EBT card at your expense and you shut up and like it.

But what if you're part of a group with nothing left to lose?  What if you're young, endebted by previous generations to the tune of $225,000, facing a lousy job market, and no future?

The Return of Shame from Captain Capitalism




1 + 3 = SICK

When the government becomes the biggest buyer of health care through Medicare and Medicate and then uses that position to dictate lower prices two logical outcomes occur:  hospitals shift costs to the private paying patients raising health care costs, and fewer doctors choose to participate in the government programs.

...

When companies get tax breaks to buy health care for their employees that the employees do not get at an individual level then there is an incentive to push compensation towards more coverage, generally meaning lower deductibles. We end up being over insured filing claims for small amounts. This drives up administrative costs.  Low deductibles isolate the consumer from the cost provided and reduce that pressure on costs

...

But the cost issue is better addressed by subsidizing coverage for those unable to afford it- not by inserting control and mandates throughout the system based on an elitist construct and decimating consumer choice.  The health insurance market it too large, too dynamic and too complex to dictate from a central bureaucracy without causing enormous dislocations, higher costs and lower quality.

Health Care Economics





A MORE PERFECT CHAIN

How many Europeans are complicit in their own slavery? A mental slavery that automatically defers to the authority of the state of their individual nations, and then to the authority of the behemoth of the European Union? How many Americans today are complicit in their own slavery? Americans who were not seeking a master and an icon of authority, an authority who fraudulently boasted of possessing the magical means to correct all their problems and satisfy their every want, would never have ever voted for Barack Obama, not the first time, and certainly not a second time, after having available to them ample evidence of the enslaving and destructive consequences of his policies and his multifaceted intention to diminish their freedom.

Like their European counterparts, American slaves may grouse about their masters about promises made and broken, but still obey their masters' commands. They continue to hope for change. And if the "change" is for the worse, they will still obey and follow, and blame the free for the failure.

...

The slave's notion of a "more perfect Union" is compulsory servitude for all. His notion of "Justice" is an enforced egalitarianism in which no one is "above" anyone else in wealth, income, abilities, or even physical appearance. His notion of "Domestic Tranquility" is not a civil society, but a mutually shared stasis and immobility, with no ripples of dissension permitted that would disturb the calm. And, to a slave, liberty has no blessings.

from Edward Cline's  We the People? Or, We the Slaves?



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Deconstruction of Marriage

By On March 27, 2013
The only question worth asking about gay marriage is whether anyone on the left would care about this crusade if it didn't come with the privilege of bulldozing another civilizational institution.

Gay marriage is not about men marrying men or women marrying women, it is about the
deconstruction of marriage between men and women. That is a thing that many men and women of one generation understand but have trouble conveying to another generation for whom marriage has already largely been deconstructed.

The statistics about the falling marriage rate tell the tale well enough. Marriage is a fading institution. Family is a flickering light in the evening of the West.

The deconstruction is destruction. Entire countries are fading away, their populations being replaced by emigrants from more traditional lands whose understanding of the male-female relationship is positively reactionary. These emigrants may lack technology or the virtues of civilization, and their idea of marriage resembles slavery more than any modern ideal, but it fulfills the minimum purpose of any group, tribe or country-- it produces its next generation.

The deconstruction of marriage is not a mere matter of front page photos of men kissing. It began with the deconstruction of the family. Gay marriage is only one small stop on a tour that includes rising divorce rates, falling childbirth rates and the abandonment of responsibility by twenty and even thirty-somethings.

Each step on the tour takes apart the definition and structure of marriage until there is nothing left. Gay marriage is not inclusive, it is yet another attempt at eliminating marriage as a social institution by deconstructing it until it no longer exists.

There are two ways to destroy a thing. You can either run it at while swinging a hammer with both hands or you can attack its structure until it no longer means anything.

The left hasn't gone all out by outlawing marriage, instead it has deconstructed it, taking apart each of its assumptions, from the economic to the cooperative to the emotional to the social, until it no longer means anything at all. Until there is no way to distinguish marriage from a temporary liaison between members of uncertain sexes for reasons that due to their vagueness cannot be held to have any solemn and meaningful purpose.

You can abolish democracy by banning the vote or you can do it by letting people vote as many times as they want, by letting small children and foreigners vote, until no one sees the point in counting the votes or taking the process seriously. The same goes for marriage or any other institution. You can destroy it by outlawing it or by eliminating its meaningfulness until it becomes so open that it is absurd.

Every aspect of marriage is deconstructed and then eliminated until it no longer means anything. And once marriage is no longer a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman, but a ceremony with no deeper meaning than most modern ceremonies, then the deconstruction and destruction will be complete.

The deconstruction of marriage eroded it as an enduring institution and then as an exclusive institution and finally as a meaningful institution. The trendy folk who claim to be holding off on getting married until gay marriage is enacted are not eager for marriage equality, they are using it as an excuse for an ongoing rejection of marriage.

Gay marriage was never the issue. It was always marriage.

In the world that the deconstructionists are striving to build, there will be marriage, but it will mean nothing. Like a greeting card holiday, it will be an event, but not an institution. An old ritual with no further meaning. An egotistical exercise in attention-seeking and self-celebration with no deeper purpose. It will be a display every bit as hollow as the churches and synagogues it takes place in.

The deconstruction of marriage is only a subset of the deconstruction of gender from a state of being to a state of mind. The decline of marriage was preceded by the deconstruction of gender roles and gay marriage is being succeeded by the destruction of gender as anything other than a voluntary identity, a costume that one puts on and takes off.

Destroying gender roles was a prerequisite to destroying gender. Each deconstruction leads naturally to the next deconstruction with no final destination except total deconstruction.

Gay marriage is not a stopping point, just as men in women's clothing using the ladies room is not a stopping point. There is no stopping point at all.

The left's deconstruction of social institutions is not a quest for equality, but for destruction. As long as the institutions that preceded it exist, it will go on deconstructing them until there is nothing left but a blank canvas, an unthinking anarchy, on which it can impose its perfect and ideal conception of how everyone should live.

Equality is merely a pretext for deconstruction. Change the parameters of a thing and it ceases to function. Redefine it and expand it and it no longer means anything at all. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but if you change 'rose' to mean anything that sticks out of the ground, then the entire notion of what is being discussed has gone and cannot be reclaimed without also reclaiming language.

The left's social deconstruction program is a war of ideas and concepts. Claims of equality are used to expand institutions and ways of living until they are so broad as to encompass everything and nothing. And once a thing encompasses everything, once a rose represents everything rising out of the ground, then it also represents nothing at all.

Deconstruction is a war against definitions, borders and parameters. It is a war against defining things by criminalizing the limitation of definitions. With inclusivity as the mandate, exclusivity, in marriage, or any other realm, quickly meets with social disapproval and then becomes a hate crime. If the social good is achieved only through maximum inclusivity and infinite tolerance, then any form of exclusivity, from property to person to ideas, is a selfish act that refuses the collective impulse to make all things into a common property with no lasting meaning or value.

As Orwell understood in 1984, tyranny is essentially about definitions. It is hard to fight for freedom if you lack the word. It is hard to maintain a marriage if the idea no longer exists. Orwell's Oceania made basic human ideas into contradictory things. The left's deconstruction of social values does the same thing to such essential institutions as marriage; which becomes an important impermanent thing of no fixed nature or value.

The left's greatest trick is making things mean the opposite of what they do. Stealing is sharing. Crime is justice. Property is theft. Each deconstruction is accompanied by an inversion so that a thing, once examined, comes to seem the opposite of what it is, and once that is done, it no longer has the old innate value, but a new enlightened one.

To deconstruct man, you deconstruct his beliefs and then his way of living. You deconstruct freedom until it means slavery. You deconstruct peace until it means war. You deconstruct property until it means theft. And you deconstruct marriage until it means a physical relationship between any group of people for any duration. And that is the opposite of what marriage is.

The deconstruction of marriage is part of the deconstruction of gender and family and those are part
of the long program of deconstructing man. Once each basic value has been rendered null and void, inverted and revealed to be random and meaningless, then man is likewise revealed to be a random and meaningless creature whose existence requires shaping by those who know better.

The final deconstruction eliminates nation, religion, family and even gender to reduce the soul of man to a blank slate waiting to be written on.

That is what is at stake here. This is not a struggle about the right of equality, but the right of definition. It is not about whether men can get married, but whether marriage will mean anything at all. It is about preserving the shapes and structures of basic social concepts that define our identities in order to preserve those very concepts, rather than accepting their deconstruction into nullification.

The question on the table is whether the institutions that give us meaning will be allowed to retain that meaning. And that question is a matter of survival. Societies cannot survive without definitions. Peoples do not go on existing through the act of occupying space. The deconstruction of identity is also the destruction of identity.

And that is what we are truly fighting against.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Nationalism and Internationalism

By On March 25, 2013
Iraq and immigration have one thing in common. Both are founded on the assumption that national political philosophies can be universally applied to any population with the same results.

The same leftists and radical libertarians who mocked the idea that Iraqis could be successfully
transformed through democracy insist millions of illegal aliens from countries every bit as violent and unstable as Iraq can be successfully transformed by giving them legal status and the vote.

Both assumptions were and are wrong. They are both symptoms of an internationalism that assumes  a favorite political philosophy that works in the United States can be applied internationally without regard for culture. And internationalism invariably undermines the nation by prioritizing an ideology over the rights and interests of the citizenry.

Internationalism is always unsustainable. Even the USSR was not able to sustain the call for a World Revolution for very long. Early efforts on the part of American radicals to champion anti-monarchial revolutions across Europe ended miserably with the French Revolution which threw its champion, Thomas Paine into a cell and marked him for execution.

The invasion of Iraq was an attempt to deal with a threat. The reconstruction of Iraq attempted to
transform it in accordance with the belief that democracy could be applied anywhere with positive results. Not only did democracy not stabilize Iraq, it destabilized it and turned it into a playground for every stripe of Islamists from Al Qaeda to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard with our soldiers caught in the middle.

Most Americans accepted the logic of removing a potential threat. And that phase of the Iraq War went cleanly and with relatively few casualties. But few Americans were interested in a prolonged exercise undertaken on behalf of the people we had just been fighting. They saw no national interest in making over Iraq in line with international ideals.

The transition from an invasion for a national interest to an occupation for an international interest shifted the justification away from nationalism to internationalism.

Democracy in Iraq attempted to apply the idea that political representation transcends cultural difference to the Middle East, even though it no longer even worked properly in the United States. The Arab Spring demonstrated conclusively that democracy in the Muslim world would lead to a majority rule that would preclude the human rights and religious freedoms of the minority.

But Iraq doesn't just stay in Iraq. Some parts of California now look like Iraq, as do some parts of Arizona and Texas. Mexican drug cartels have already turned Mexico into a broken dangerous place and they are moving north. El Salvadoran gangs have been here for some time and are expanding. Refugees from every conflict have come here bringing the roots of that conflict to the United States.

Muslim terrorism like the drug cartels is what happens when internationalists fail to realize that importing a population from a troubled part of the world also means that you are importing its troubles. Pro-immigration rhetoric speaks about bringing the best of other countries to the United States or the United Kingdom, but that has meant importing exotic cuisines and less exotic gangs.

If trying to bring democracy to Iraq doesn't work, neither does trying to bring Iraq to democracy. Neither Mohammed nor the mountain are meant to meet and it's a bad idea if they do, on either terms. Importing large numbers of immigrants from countries where democracy does not work will insure that our democracy does not work either. The last election should serve as ample demonstration of that.

Internationalism works both ways and it applies to the mistaken idea that national values are so broad that they can be applied universally to transform large foreign populations-- whether through our invasion of foreign countries or their invasion of our country.

Liberal and libertarian champions of immigration must come to terms with the fact that the very thing that they support makes liberal and libertarian societies impossible.

Europe's growing Islamist minorities are already making basic freedoms impossible. Europeans are learning that they can have cultural freedom and a welfare state, or they can have high immigration, but they cannot have both. Immigration is forcing Europe to curtail religious satire, freedom of the press and its art scene. And it is overburdening its generous welfare system. If the process goes on, then European Socialism will have made its defining qualities extinct.

The European left blindly sticks to its internationalist principles while refusing to see the practical contradictions in its policies. It is so committed to its internationalism that it fails to understand that its political program developed in its nation states and can only exist within the context of its nation states and that a United Kingdom whose population is Pakistani will be a place more like Pakistan and less like the United Kingdom and that this will not be a change wrought merely in its cuisine or its language, but also its values.

Some libertarians in the United States are similarly championing an immigration policy that would eliminate any hope of implementing most of the political feasibility for their program. Like the European left, they insist on acting as if the innate rightness of their political philosophy makes all the practical objections to its implementation irrelevant. And yet the dogmatic implementation of political philosophies is exactly what made the Soviet Union and Communist China such nightmarish places. It is at the heart of so many disasters... including Iraq.

There is a cultural tendency toward libertarian approaches to government in the United States. And that is also why those approaches work in the United States, rather than Iraq. Applying libertarian ideas to Iraq would work as badly as trying to bring democracy to Iraq did. Expecting that these approaches will work if large numbers of immigrants from places like Iraq are brought to the United States is equally foolish.

That is not to say that small government and democracy are not good things in and of themselves, but they are good things because they allow a decent responsible population rooted in rural areas to see to its own affairs.

Nationalists, unlike internationalists, do not need to embrace the left's cultural relativism to understand why the international application of national values fails. A value system that may be true in the absolute sense, may still fail when applied locally because a culture is not ready or able to live responsibly that way.

It is possible to believe that our way of life is best without also believing that it can be applied to any other part of the world with invariably successful results. And as nationalists, it is possible to believe that our way of life is best without feeling the need to prove it by applying that way of life to foreign cultures either through invasion or immigration.

That is not to say that there should be no immigration and that we should never invade another country. But both invasion and immigration should be governed by the national interest, rather than by an international one.

An international interest believes that reforming another part of the world or adding diversity to ours is an end in and of itself. A national interest however looks primarily at how the the citizenry of the nation would benefit from such a step.

If immigration is to serve the national interest, then it should provide maximum benefits to the people already living in the country, not the people who are only now entering it. Immigration should be assessed on a cost-benefit basis, measuring its advantages and disadvantages for the citizenry and immigration policy should be adjusted in such a way as to achieve maximum benefit and minimum loss.

That would mean favoring immigration from countries with low crime levels and high education levels over countries with high crime levels and low educational levels. It might mean adjusting immigration policy with a view toward cultural stability and away from cultural instability. These factors should be put under the control of the citizenry who would be able to select policies that would make life better for them.

By envisioning immigration in national, rather than international terms, we can design an immigration policy that would benefit a country, rather than some internationalist ideal. And the same can be done for most policies with international application, including military action.

A national interest military action would strike quickly at terrorist outposts, whether through drones or rapid mobile troop deployments, and then pull back quickly again. Such actions would be more like the French action in Mali rather than the extended occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Such an action would need to have the approval of the people and their protection from a known threat as the rationale, rather than the unpopular massacre prevention wars of Clinton and Obama.

While internationalist military action is concerned with the global community and international law, nationalist military actions are defense or preemptive attacks meant to deal death to an enemy, rather than to teach him our values or laws.

Wars that are fought in the national interest concentrate on destroying a known threat, rather than transforming populations. Their reconstruction is limited to rebuilding countries that are known allies, rather than trying to win over populations full of known enemies. Advocates of reconstruction rightly point out that instability breeds terrorist nests and outposts, but the scope of that instability is far too global for reconstruction efforts to be undertaken around the world.

The post-war reconstruction of Europe cannot be replicated around the world and trying to do so will only waste lives. The Cold War, defined at its heart by a massed array of tanks and infantry locked across the continent, made that effort a matter of national interest by building a coalition that could oppose the Warsaw Pact advance. But what we are up against now is not even Asian domino theory, but a reality that every Muslim population center is also a potential terrorist center.

Communism was a political ideology, but Islam is an existing embedded religion. We can favor non-Islamic over Islamic governments, but economic and political reconstruction will not convince entire populations to turn their backs on Islam, the way we might have expected them to turn their backs on Communism. And a reconstruction that leaves Islam in place is as futile as the hunger relief effort that Hoover led to the USSR. It is as useless as rebuilding Communist countries in the hopes that they will be moderate Communists. It didn't work with the Soviet Union or Iraq or Afghanistan.

The entire program of reconstruction is inherently internationalist. It uses American soldiers as blunt instruments for reforming another society. In Afghanistan, American soldiers are denied air support or the right to fire first because that would interfere with the internationalist aim of winning over the native population. Once the internationalist aim dominates the national interest then that is a sign that the entire program has gone wrong.

And the same is true of immigration. Once an immigration policy results in native displacement, high crime rates and social dysfunction then it is no longer operating in the national interest, but in the international interest. And that is when it is time to put a stop to it.

Invasions or immigration should not be used to transform countries. The entire idea of national transformation is an internationalist creed.

The internationalist believes in harnessing global events to transform nations, then regions and finally the world, while the nationalist is concerned with conserving the prosperity and integrity of his own nation.

Nationalists need not be isolationists, but they should be wary of any political agenda which expresses itself in terms such as the international community or the common good. Nationalists believe in defined alliances between nations and in policies that are meant to serve the welfare of their own populations. When an idea is grounded in terms of imposing a universal idea on a nation then it will rarely end well.

Successful policies are national policies because they are measurable in terms of benefit and loss. Just
as individual citizens can benefit in defined ways from a policy, so too nations. The best national policy provides defined benefit to individuals. A national policy that cannot be measured in those terms is a bad one. Similarly an international policy that cannot be measured in terms of national interests is a bad one.

By measuring a policy against a constituency we can see it in terms of results, rather than ideals. We can decide whether the policy is a good thing or not because we can see how it affects people. And what is true for people is also true of nations. Internationalists all too easily lose track of people while obsessing over ideals. Nationalists can never afford to lose that mistake because their entire purpose must be defined in terms of known benefits to their people. 

Democracy and limited government constrain policy to the human level. They resist the creeping internationalism that encourages leaders to think in terms of ideals rather than people. Nationalism similarly constrains the international policies of a nation to the human level of its people, measuring activities such as wars and migrations to the level of its people, seeing their real impacts rather than the ideal impacts on the people. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

From Slavery to Freedom

By On March 24, 2013
As another Passover begins, the echoes of "Once we were slaves and now we are free" and "Next year in Jerusalem" resound briefly and then fade into the background noise of everyday life. We can board a plane tomorrow and fly off to Jerusalem. Some of us are already there now. But will that make us free?


Since Egypt we have become slaves again, lived under the rule of iron-fisted tyrants and forgotten what the very idea of freedom means. And that will likely happen again and again until the age ends. What is this freedom that we gained with the fall of a Pharaoh and the last sight of his pyramids and armies?

Freedom like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave, it is the degradation of mind that makes a man a slave.

What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. Had the Jews of Egypt merely been restrained by physical coercion, it would have been enough to directly and immediately smash the power of the Egyptian state. But their slavery was mental. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not of slavery, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks.

The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.

The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superior and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.

The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

Having escaped from Pharaoh, they built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king. Every idol and tyrant was another token of slavery, a desire to put one's ear up against the doorpost and become slaves for life. The idols have changed, but their meaning has not. There is still the pursuit of the master, the master of international law, of a global state, the gods of the superstate who rule over the present and the future and dispose of the lives of men.

There are far too many synagogues that worship the Democratic Party, rather than G-d, that bow to the ghost of FDR, the glittering echoes of Harry, Adlai and John, and the great golden statue of Hope and Change squatting obscenely over it all. And in Jerusalem far too many eyes look longingly to Washington and to Brussels, to the cities on the hill which offer order, truth and peace.

It is easy to slip into this kind of slavery. The pyramids are grand, the slogans are clever and the future seems assured. It is only when the dusty messenger comes along to whisper that "He has remembered". that those who have not forgotten gather and some among those who have forgotten, remember that they are slaves.

In Egypt the system of the state had to be smashed, but not simply smashed, but discredited. It could not be a mere contest of power, but of reason. The war between slavery and freedom could not end until the system of slavery had become ridiculous, until Pharaoh appeared a buffoon and his power no more than organized madness. And yet even so for a generation liberated from slavery, this majestic system, the only one they had ever known, remained their template, and in times of crisis, their immediate instinct was to retreat back to the only civilization they had known.

The slavery of the present is a more subtle thing. It grips the mind more tightly than the body. It still remembers that men enslave themselves best. It knows also that true power comes from making all complicit in its crimes so that they are also complicit in their own degradation. The system only asks that each man enslave himself and kill his own children. And once he has done that, he will only feel it right to demand that everyone else do likewise.

This is the slavery of the system. It requires few whips and many words. It nudges men to be their own taskmasters and to reach out their hands to the new Pharaoh in the hope that he will save them. It is this slavery which is so pervasive, which Passover wakes us from, if it has not already been perverted into the Passover of the system, into civil rights seders and eco-matzas, if has not become yet another tribute to the Pharaoh of Hope and Change.

"Once we were slaves," the ancient words call on us to remember that we have been freed. That it is no longer Pharaoh who enslaves us, but we who enslave ourselves. "Now we are free men." But what is freedom really? Is it the freedom of the system or the freedom of the self? The system proclaims that they are one and the same. And that is the great lie which ends in death.

Like the slaves of ancient Egypt, we are shaken, dragged out of our everyday routine and commanded to be free. But how do you command men and women to be free? You can lead them through the habits of free men and women who think of themselves as kings and queens, who drink wine while reclining, who sing loudly in defiance of all oppressors, who boldly proclaim "Next year in Jerusalem" while the Pharaoh of Hope and Change bares his teeth at Jews living in Jerusalem.

You can unroll the scroll of history and show them how they were taken out, but all this routine is useless unless they understand and are sensible that they are free. Free not in their habits, but in their minds. Ritual is the gateway to a state of mind. A ritual of freedom only succeeds when it invokes a state of mental freedom. Otherwise it is a rite, a practice, a habit whose codes may help some future generation unlock its meaning, but which means little today.

Passover is the beginning and the end. It is the start of the journey and the end of it and we are always in the middle, on the long road out of Egypt, discovering that there are more chains in our minds than we realized a year earlier or a hundred or a thousand years ago. Each step we take toward freedom also reminds us of how far we still have to go.

It is the ritual that reminds us that we are still on the journey, that though we have been lulled by the routine of the system, the trap of the present that like the soothing warmth of an ice storm or the peaceful feeling of a drowning swimmer, embraces us in the forgetfulness of the dying moment, concealing from us the truth that the journey is not over. The desert still lies before us.

This journey is the human journey. It is the recreation of what mankind lost when it defied G-d, when it turned with weapons on each other, when it built towers, created systems and tried to climb to heaven on the backs of slaves and pyramids. It is a transformative road that requires us to not only endure, but to learn.

Surrounded by willing slaves who preach the creed of slavery, we must speak for freedom. Though few seem to remember the journey or the chains, it is our duty to remind ourselves. The message of Passover fully begins only when the holiday ends and its habits carry over into our daily lives. Once we were slaves, now we are free.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Night Falls on Civilization

By On March 23, 2013
Forget the World's Fair, we now have a new way to celebrate human accomplishment. Instead of seeing a vision of the future, we turn off the lights and sit in the dark for an hour.

Earth Hour shows how far we have come from celebrating human accomplishment to celebrating the lack of accomplishment as an accomplishment. For all the pretense of activism, environmentalism celebrates inaction. Don't build, don't create and don't do-- are its mandates. Turn off the lights and feel good about how much you aren't doing right now.

Environmentalism has degenerated into a conviction that all human activity is destructive because the species of man is the greatest threat to the planet and all life on it. Each death, each act of undoing and unmaking, each darkness that is brought about by the cessation of humanity becomes a profoundly environmentalist activity.

Kill yourself and save the planet. Put out the lights, tear down the city and let the earth revert to some imaginary primeval paradise free of all pollution; whether it is the carbon breath of men, dogs and cows or the light pollution of their cities.

Embrace the darkness.

While we take electric light for granted-- being able to read and write after dark is a technological achievement that transformed our civilization. Animals are governed by day and night cycles. Artificial light made it possible for us to work independently of the day and night cycle.

During the recent extended blackout after Hurricane Sandy, some of us had a brief period of reverting to a pre-technological civilization in which work was governed by day and night cycles. And that was a reminder that there is no way to measure the increase in knowledge gained from the conquest of the darkness. There is no better measure of the unthinking contempt of the environmentalist movement for that achievement than a call to turn off the lights and sit in the dark.

Like all environmental gimmicks, Earth Hour is perverse and hypocritical. Far more energy is consumed promoting it, then is saved by practicing it.

Websites switch to black, even though displaying black on television sets or monitors consumes more energy. Turning off electricity to entire buildings after working hours and then turning it on costs more than letting it run. And getting 90 million people across the country to turn their power on and off at a scheduled time is an energy savings disaster. And since power companies draw down on their more expensive 'green' generators first, Earth Hour actually shuts down 'green' power.

But its sponsors don't claim that Earth Hour saves energy or prevents us from polluting the globe. Like every environmentalist stunt from flying rock stars around the world on jet planes to carving thousands of statues made of ice and then leaving them to melt in a public square, Earth Hour is meant to spread awareness.

Spreading awareness is the sole purpose of most environmental activism. Awareness spreading doesn't make anything better, but makes people feel guilty, outraged, hopeful or some combination of the appropriate political sentiments in the face of an imminent armageddon that can only be fought by convincing everyone to be deeply concerned by it and disdainful of everyone who stands outside their Chicken Little consensus.

The WWF, Earth Hour's godmother, has learned that shrill attention seeking is a reliable fundraising method. One of the WWF's more memorable fundraising methods was an ad that showed hundreds of planes headed toward the World Trade Center, to highlight just how much more important their work is than fighting terrorism. Franny Armstrong of Age of Stupid, which was promoted by the WWF, ran a 10:10 campaign in the UK, whose ads featured environmentalists murdering dissenters, including a group of schoolchildren. The ads are just ads, but London's leftist former mayor, Ken Livingstone had said of Age of Stupid, "Every single person in the country should be forcibly sat down on a chair and made to watch this film."

That is the dark side of environmentalism. The most active non-Muslim domestic terrorist group is environmental. The undercurrent of violence finds easy purchase in environmentalism's creed that the only real problem with the world is people. No amount of turning off the lights is enough. Eventually you come around to having to turn off the people.

The Nazis were among the most enthusiastic environmentalists of their day, even the term 'Ecology' was coined by Ernst Haeckel, whose racial views served as precursors to Nazi eugenics. But while Nazi environmentalist believed that we were all animals, they insisted that some animals were better than others. Modern environmentalists believe that we are all worse than animals. In their view we are both natural and unnatural. Natural because we come from the ape and unnatural because we are intelligent. We live on the planet, but our intelligence excludes us from ever belonging to it.

The incompatibility of productive man with the natural world is a fundamental tenet of the environmental movement. Everything we do is destructive, because of what we are. We are tool builders, inventors and producers. And the environmentalist movement is aimed at convincing us to stop being these things. To turn off the lights, make do with less and march back to the caves with a few clever ad campaigns and a catchy tune.

Zero Population campaigns and calls for mandatory one-child families are the eugenics of environmentalism. The old eugenicists were concerned with improving the human breed by promoting the reproduction of some, and preventing the reproduction of others. Environmental eugenics treats all of mankind as an inferior race. We all must die.

Not only mankind must go, but all the animals that man has domesticated and bred-- cows, dogs and cats. That is why PETA kills thousands of dogs and cats a year, promotes the euthanasia of wild cats and pet spaying and its staffers have even been known to kidnap animals and then kill them. It is why the Global Warming crowd has made cow emissions into their whipping bovine.

It's not enough to kill man, tear down his cities and put out his lights. His cats and dogs and his cows and sheep must also die.

Environmentalism is not motivated by a love for all creatures, but by preference for a prehuman world of natural wilderness uncultivated by man. The political leftist romanticizes the noble savage over the civilized man and its environmentalist arm romanticizes the jungle over the thousand acre farm. It prefers the the swamp to the garden, the wolf to the dog, and the tiger to the house cat.

This preference is not scientific, it is emotional, rooted in an antipathy to industrialization and human development. It wraps itself in the cloak of science, but it is a reactionary longing for a romanticized past that never existed.

In the environmental bible-- man is the source of all evil. The transition from the nomadic to the domestic, the village to the city, and the craftsman to the factory, is its version of original sin.

The environmentalist began with a distaste for human civilization and the fetishization of the rural farm life of the peasant. The champions of this "naturalism" were invariably urban artists and writers from the upper classes who were enthusiastic about being in touch with nature. After them came the "Nature Fakers" crafting myths about the high moral standards of wild animals. Domestic animals in such stories were always wicked and dumb, while wild animals lived deep and spiritual lives out in the woods. And so the animal kingdom was subdivided into the noble savage and the uncle tom. 

The world was divided into two polar opposites, the green and the gray, in an apocalyptic struggle. Either man would drown the world in industry, or he would return to a natural way of life through a lethal virus (Mary Shelley, The Last Man, 1826), a devastating war (H.G. Wells), oppressive social policies (Edward Bellamy) or eco-terrorism (The Monkey Wrench Gang). The more civilization grew, the more apocalyptic the scenarios became culminating in the two great environmental myths; nuclear winter and global warming. These apocalyptic myths have served the same purpose for environmentalists as apocalypses do for all religions. They predict a time when the sinful order is overturned and the earth is renewed to make way for the faithful.

Man is the environmentalist's devil. He must be beaten, broken and subjugated. Even the animals he has bred, who are the spark of his genius, must be taken out and killed. Take away his food and his power. Blame him for the natural cycles of the planet and the inevitable extinction of species that goes on whether he is there or not. Take away his technology and his inventions. Tell him that the humblest bacteria is better than him, for it is dumb and follows its natural instincts, while he insists on using his mind. Take away his primacy and his learning. And then leave him in the dark.

The environmental movement is tenacious, fanatical and deceptive. Its creed is the undoing of all human progress. There is money to be made from that, as there is in all revolutions, but beneath the inconveniences of living under an environmental regime, from dirty clothes to high taxes, while being forced to listen to the hypocrisies and false pieties of the Gorean clergy of environmentalist activists heating their mansions while the poor freeze in energy poverty, is the darker reality that environmentalism is an anti-human movement with a vicious hostility toward man and the civilization he has built. Whatever he has built, it must destroy.

The gap between darkness and light is a profound symbol in every civilization. The light of knowledge pitted against the shadowy dark of ignorance. The light reveals, but the darkness hides.

Civilization and the moral code exist in the light of awareness, but the darkness is home to unthinking bestial things. To call for a return to the darkness is a profound act of symbolism. A civilization that celebrates a return to the darkness for even a single hour is longing for a return to a deeper state of darkness. A darkness of the soul.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Don't Call It Amnesty

By On March 22, 2013


DON'T CALL IT AMNESTY

Amnesty is bad. Everyone agrees on that. Even the senators who support amnesty claim not to support it. Instead they support “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” with “A Path to Citizenship”. They support a comprehensive solution that will be compassionate and work as an immigration policy for the 21st century.

No one uses the term “amnesty” anymore except opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens and their more vociferous advocates. This makes for some confusing speeches and press conferences.

The most bizarre argument that advocates of amnesty are making is that we have “de facto amnesty” now. The argument goes that since we have de facto amnesty now, we should just have the real thing and get it over with.

A lack of proper enforcement is not de facto amnesty. Amnesty is legalization. What Rubio and Rand Paul call de facto amnesty is the difference between not arresting a drug dealer and legalizing heroin.

The big sales pitch for 2012 was overall electability. The sales pitch for 2016 is Latino electability. The GOP only wants someone who has a shot with the Latino vote. And Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are busy polishing their Latino vote credentials. It’s a stupid way to run a political movement, but a great way to get ahead.

Even if amnesty is good for Rubio or Paul, it’s not good for the Republican Party, for America or for Latino immigrants for that matter, who are entitled to a legal system of entry, rather than being told that their best route into the country is by bribing a coyote and trying to make it across the border.

And during an economic downturn, championing mass immigration is insensitive to the majority of American workers. The GOP failed to properly make its case to them in two elections. Now it’s giving them a big middle finger while chasing after the Mexican-American vote, even though far from all Mexican-Americans support amnesty.

And worst of all they’re doing it dishonestly.

Take Rand Paul.

Rand Paul struggled valiantly to tell the media that haggling over terms like “path to citizenship” and “amnesty” gets the debate nowhere.

“[The debate] is trapped in a couple of words — ‘path to citizenship’ and ‘amnesty,’ ” he said. Taking a shot at the anti-immigration advocates, he said later in the call, “Everybody who doesn’t want anything to move forward calls anything they don’t like a ‘path to citizenship’ and ‘amnesty.’”

Sounding a tad forlorn, he then asked, “Can’t we just call it reform?”

Can't we just call it what it is?

Reform tells you nothing about a policy. Obama called Obamacare reform too. Everyone calls their policy proposals reform. It's a brand. It tells you nothing about what it does.

If you were reading conservatives sites this week, you saw the drama of Rand Paul going back and forth over whether he supports a path to citizenship or not.

As for citizenship, he went around and around with reporters, reiterating in response to each variation on the same question that for citizenship the new visa holders would “get in line” or “go to the back of the line.” He referred to the “existing” line but allowed that there had to be discussion about country limits, how many people are in line, how long they must wait, etc.

He also indicated he was open to “rethinking” his opposition to granting citizenship to children brought here illegally if the border security issue can be resolved.

Lines. Lines lots of lines. But at the end of the line is citizenship.

“I didn’t use the word citizenship at all this morning,” Paul said. ”Basically what I want to do is to expand the worker visa program, have border security and then as far as how people become citizens, there already is a process for how people become citizens. The main difference is I wouldn’t have people be forced to go home. You’d just get in line. But you get in the same line everyone is in.”

So Rand Paul's proposal would legalize and eventually turn millions of illegal aliens into citizens... but he thinks it's unfair that the end result be associated with him.

He's not proposing to turn them into citizens. He's just proposing to legalize them so that they can apply for citizenship.

The question for those who supported Rand Paul isn't whether you want amnesty. Everyone is entitled to their point of view.

The question is should politicians be up front about the policies they support or should they hide them because they don't trust the voters?

Even though Paul would clearly make it easier to become a citizen, he said he would rather not label it a “path to citizenship,” because using that phrases means everyone “closes their ears” to the rest of the argument.

Is this what you really want?

This doesn't just apply to Rand, it applies to Rubio, who has been even worse on this out of the gate. The problem is that the Republican Party is overrun by presidential wannabes who don't want to say what they mean and when they're finally forced to take a position that is mainstream to their base, but edgy by their standards, they mess it up badly and blame the right-wing voters for the consequences.




AMNESTY AND LIBERTARIANS

During the debates over this topic, I wrote, 

 Libertarianism, like every other political philosophy, is not an absolute good. Thinking that way leads to totalitarianism.

There are good things about it, but there are also self-destructive things about it.

Proposing to turn 11 million voters who oppose libertarian ideas into citizens is an example of the latter.
Allah and Ace wrote something similar

 Maybe the libertarians are right: Let’s simplify things by opening the borders instead. Offer to hand out voting ballots to anyone around the world who’s willing to pay U.S. taxes. (Imagine what fine libertarian electoral outcomes that would produce.)

Indeed! A mass influx of immigrants from socialist countries with cradle-to-grave entitlements (and broken economies-- gee I wonder if those two are related?) should finally gift us all with Rand Paul and Reason's dream of a public ready for some libertarian economic solutions.

There's a reason that Internationalism doesn't work. It doesn't work when liberals or libertarians champion mass migration and a borderless world because their specific philosophy can turn any group of immigrants around.

Philosophies can be applied to a specific nation. Attempting an international application is how we got the War in Iraq.

Just because a political philosophy works in the United States does not mean it will work in Mexico, El Salvador, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Refusing to understand that by championing international democracy or immigration is asking for big trouble.






HOW TO DESTROY EVERY FAST FOOD JOINT IN AMERICA IN ONE EASY STEP

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, suggested raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour is only logical if you look at the numbers.

With labor costs running to between 25 to 35 percent at eateries and a lot of retail, tripling that would turn labor costs into the majority of business cost and would put many of them out of business.

The majority of McDonald’s fast food joints are franchisees. Franchisees have to pay a 45,000 dollar franchise fee back to McD’s plus 12.5 percent of sales. The price of meat keeps going up thanks to Obama’s environmental games. Here’s what a typical breakdown looks like.

Typically, food costs range from about 25%-28% of sales, while cooking oil and condiments cost 3%-4%. Labor costs vary from 25% to over 30%, not including management.

Now perhaps Elizabeth Warren can explain how a McDonald’s franchise is sustainable now that it’s paying out 90% of its sales to the workers, not including management.

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Tripling Labor Costs for American Small Business




HUSSEIN OF JERUSALEM II

As Obama lands in Ramallah, the city’s central Al-Manara square has filled with 200-300 angry protesters demonstrating against the US president’s visit. Many are shouting slogans such as, “We don’t want anything peaceful, only bullets and missiles,” and, “Go home you devil, we don’t want to see Americans here,”

Many protesters are holding up signs calling for Palestinian prisoners to be released, including Fathiya Ajaji, whose son Ahmed is in jail in the US for involvement in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Before Obama’s trip to Israel, he met with two organizations that support Hamas. And one of those organizations provided him with pro-Hamas proposals.

During his trip, his language suggested that his administration was softening its line on Hamas, calling on it not to engage in violence, rather than condemning it.

On the other hand when it came to Hezbollah, Obama offered a strong condemnation.

What’s the difference? Focus on the last 10 words. "[Hezbollah] supports the massacre of men, women and children in Syria." Hamas is part of the Sunni coalition and linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s on the “right side” of the Syrian Civil War. Hezbollah is part of the Shiite coalition. It’s on the “wrong side” of the Syrian Civil War.


Obama told Israelis, "Four years ago I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want — they’re not so different from what the young people here want. They want the ability to make their own decisions and to get an education and to get a good job, to worship God in their own way, to get married, to raise a family. The same is true of those young Palestinians that I met with this morning. The same is true for young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza."

Again, this is from Obama’s big Jerusalem speech and it proves that he either has no clue what happened in Egypt or is just determined to tell insane lies hoping that college students don’t watch the news.

The outcome of democratic elections in Egypt showed that what they wanted was theocracy, the repression of Christians and women, and a state of sectarian conflict.

They didn’t want to worship God in their own way. They wanted to compel everyone to worship Allah their way.

They didn’t want the ability to make their own decisions, they wanted a theocracy that would make those decisions for them.

Obama’s analogy is dangerously apt. Gaza is run by Hamas, which is the local arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas won the last elections in the Palestinian Authority. If actual elections were held now, Hamas would win them again.

That is why Obama calls on Israelis to trust them, but doesn’t call on his good buddy President Abbas to hold elections that would prove conclusively whether that trust is merited.

 The used car that Obama wants to sell Israel is the beat-up 20-year-old “concessions to terrorists” coupe. It’s got a new paint job, but it doesn’t run because there’s nothing under the hood except paper and empty promises. But every time you turn the key, it blows up and a lot of people die.

So yes, Israel looks great behind the wheel of the peace process. It looks 20 years younger. And 20 years dumber. But strip away the empty compliments and it’s the same dirty old clunker underneath.





EVERYTHING YOU EXPECT IT TO BE

Obama's Israel trip was everything you expected it to be. 40 pounds of flattery with a few ounces of poisonous substance.

In between all the scripted compliments about Israel, Obama pushed a diplomatic solution with Iran, concessions to terrorists and a softer line on Hamas. He hinted at having his own peace plan that he wanted to impose.

And after he left, he oversaw a phone call in which Netanyahu apologized to Turkey's Islamist thug for the interception of a Turkish pro-Hamas boat on the way to Gaza and agreed to give its Islamist regime a role in Gaza.

It was a disgusting act of appeasement by a man who has become Israel's own version of Bush.

Netanyahu gave Hamas a major victory by making the Shalit deal. He gave Islamist Turkey a major victory over Israel with his apology. He gave Islamist Egypt an earlier victory by calling off a ground operation.

While Netanyahu allowed Obama and Erdogan to push him around, he allowed Barak to demolish Jewish homes and in has decided now to declare war on Haredi Jews. And he presided over an election in which a left wing party became the dominant player in his coalition.

As a technocrat, Netanyahu has done a good job on the economy. But he's been terrible on national defense, maintaining a status quo while repeatedly talking about how someone should do something on Iran. It may not have occurred to him that, that someone is him. It certainly won't be Obama.

The real problem among Israeli conservatives, as among American conservatives, is a lack of leadership. When Netanyahu is the default choice, there is something very wrong with the process. Bennett showed some promise, but has been flailing since. Perhaps he'll grow into it, but that is so long as he doesn't turn out to be another Netanyahu.

After Begin and Shamir, the right needed a technocrat. It needed someone who could talk to foreign leaders and understand some of the bigger issues. But it also needs principles.

The Likud needs a post-Netanyahu plan and it doesn't have one. (And no, not Feiglin. I mean a realistic electable plan.) Instead the country is tied up in the usual factitious politics with no end in sight. Haredi and Dati Leumi leaders shriek at each other as if the country's biggest problem were girls schools. The left exploits social dicontents while the right has tried and failed to steal the Shinui vote by trying to draft the undraftable.

I am unfortunately reminded once again of the Second Temple and the eerily similar conflicts that tore it apart. Then as now, Israel fell because there was a lack of common consensus on maintaining a united country, instead of picking endless sectarian fights. But the fights are the only things that some people care about.

The Haredim want to impose their norms on the rest of the country. The left wants to impose its norms on the Haredim and on the Dati Leumi. The Dati Leumi want to impose their norms on the Haredim. And when enough houses are bulldozed and enough teenagers in black have been beaten up, when enough anarchists in red have paraded around, then perhaps history will repeat itself.

Israel's subgroups have spent too much time fighting each other over cultural and religious differences and over government access and subsidies to stop. And the fight itself has become a political shortcut. Everyone is playing a zero sum game with a finite amount of money and power and running for office on a pledge to win the fight.

While houses are falling, there are celebrations because the Religious Ministry is "in our hands" or in someone else's hands. And Netanyahu? No one cares what he does as long the ministries go to the right people.




FIRE IN THE SKY

When a bomb explosion ripped a hole in the cabin of the Boeing 747 he was piloting between Tokyo and Honolulu, Captain Roy Hawk said that his “job was to fly that plane to safety.” And he did.

The Pan Am Jumbo Ket was carrying 285 people on the “late flight” out of Tokyo.

In the rear of the plane, 16-year-old Toru Ozawa lay on his back in the aisle. His lower abdomen had been ripped open, his intestines seeping out. The explosion had also sheered off one of his legs. He called out for his mother and father; they watched in horror as he died.

On Aug. 11, 1982, Mohammed Rashed, a top 15 May lieutenant, boarded a flight from Baghdad to Tokyo along with his Austrian-born wife Christine Pinter and their child.

Before Rashed disembarked in Tokyo, he activated a bomb under the cushion of window seat 47K. Once on the ground, Rashed and his wife got off the plane, which continued to Honolulu. Ozawa, who was on vacation with his family, sat in Rashed’s seat.

While the FBI waited out Ibrahim, agents did manage eventually to arrest Rashed in 1998 after he was released from a Greek prison. The Jordanian pleaded guilty to bombing the 1982 Pan Am flight in December 2002

But now Rashed is being set loose after spending fairly little time in prison.

Roy Hawk, the Pan Am 830 pilot, said he’s never forgotten the carnage inside the plane. He was dismayed to learn of Rashed’s pending release.

“To tell you the truth, I never figured he’d be released,” Hawk said. “I just figured he’d be in prison the rest of his life, and that was it.”

Muslim Terrorist Who Detonated Bomb on Pan Am Flight 830 Freed from Prison





WHAT SWEET MUSIC THEY MAKE

I would speculate that this was a deliberate insult, except that the Palestinian anthem following it sounds almost as bad.

To be fair though, the Palestinian anthem, composed by a Greek leftist who grew up being taught that Jews drink blood, always sounds bad. Even at its best the Palestinian anthem sounds like the intro to a Broadway musical. At its worst it sounds like a drunken polka group trying to play a medley of old Nazi marching songs without being able to find the notes.

Oppressed Palestinian People Too Busy Training Suicide Bombers to Train Musicians





AND NOW LIBERALISM'S WORK IS DONE

Brown University Helping Students Fight Gay Feelings Toward White People

A group of Brown University students appear to be preparing an on-campus workshop in which “queer” participants will separate by race to work past their sexual attraction to Caucasians.

If You Like Your Doctor, You Can See Him at The Same Time as 12 Other Patients

Soda-Obsessed Mayor of Illiterate City to Convene Climate Change Summit in World’s Rape Capital

Department of Education “Kids Zone” Features Communist Quote from Mao

“Whoever refuses to study these problems seriously and carefully is no Marxist. Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be “to be insatiable in learning” and towards others “to be tireless in teaching”.

... remember kids, if you want to grow up to be a good Marxist, you have to study.

Head of San Francisco Human Rights Commission Claims Iran is More LGBT Friendly than America

Libya Repays Bernard-Henri Levy’s Support by Banning Him for Being Jewish

Islamic Law Allows Husbands to Divorce their Wives on Facebook

Chris Christie Complains Black Democratic Speaker is Blocking Bill That Would Help Black Families, Accused of Racism

Public School Administration Grew 7X Faster than Students and 2X Faster than Teachers





FLYING HORSE ARCHEOLOGY HARDEST HIT

For those who are fans of imaginary archeology, the Muslim claim to Jerusalem is based on the “night journey” that Mohammed took on a flying horse from Mecca to Jerusalem.

Muslims seized the holiest site in Judaism, planted a mosque on the site but Muslim vandalism isn’t just limited to other people’s holy sites. Islamists are notorious for destroying even Muslim shrines. That is how Wahhabism began. It’s what Salafis are now doing in Libya and Mali.

And now the Saudi royal family has destroyed a whole bunch of Islamic heritage sites… including the column from which Mohammed supposedly took off on his flying horse from Mecca.

Saudi Arabia Tears Down Column Marking Muslim Claim to Jerusalem





A VOICE OF REASON ON WHAT THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD DO

Should the Republicans evolve on gay marriage or amnesty? Is that going to save the party? Or how about doing what the GOP failed to do in a whole bunch of elections and go Reagan by focusing on bread and butter issues for ordinary voters.

I'm not endorsing everything in this proposal, but it's far more sensible than most of the GOP makeovers.

 The economic decline of the past few years has led to a rising number of “1099 Moms” or “Etsy Earners” – women who've started home businesses or found contracting work to make ends meet and to stay engaged in their careers in the longterm, recognizing they'll have to go back to full-time work as soon as they are able. The overall 1099 portion of the economy has grown dramatically – Houston alone has seen about a 12% increase since 2009. What are some ways conservatives could approach reaching these women and other work-from-home professionals?

Here are five general approaches to policy areas that can serve as a starting point for crafting an Etsy Earner agenda.

TAXES: Start with a push to end the massive tax penalties on self-employed work. Self-employed Etsy Earners pay 15.3% out of pocket on payroll taxes, and are penalized if they don’t cut a check every 3 months (rather than having it deducted out of your count, and your employer paying half of it). To add insult to injury, those who are married also suffer from a dramatic marriage penalty: they are taxed at their spouse's marginal rate even if they're making a fraction of what he earns.




A DRONE BY ANY OTHER NAME

Sen. Leahy may be interested to know that Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), the first general in charge of Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, has also pointed out the inaccuracy of the term “drones”:

The critics don’t understand the reality of “drone” operations, nor do they comprehend that our adversaries are most certainly conducting an aggressive perception management campaign on this issue – a very effective one if the recent hysteria over RPA [(Remotely Piloted Aircraft)] use is a measure of effectiveness. In military parlance, a “drone” is a flying target.

The media like to use it because it is only one word and they don’t have to explain what a “Remotely Piloted Aircraft” is. But the word “drone” connotes a degree of autonomy that RPAs simply do not possess. It takes over 200 people to operate a MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper RPA orbit for 24 hours. This little-known fact among the RPA naysayers is one of the reasons that the use of “drones” allows for more ethical oversight than any other weapon. Drones allow us significantly greater control, oversight, and review before a shot is fired than occurs using manned aircraft or other operations conducted by soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines.

Fighting Words on UAVs






GREENING THE NEGEV?

The Argan tree

is a very special tree- it has roots that can reach 70 meters (about 210 feet!) into the earth. One of the oldest trees on this planet, it is called "the tree of life" in its native Morocco. It has very specific cultivation needs that are identical with our conditions here in the town of Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev desert.

Besides being a great ecological boon, this tree has been only recently discovered by the West and the market prices reflect the value of its product: precious argan oil.

Argan of the Negev

is a pilot project. We have received a parcel of land in the Negev desert outside of the town of Mitzpe Ramon in Israel. This land was used for military training but is being converted to agriculture. A real example of turning swords into plowshares!

For more information see Argan of the Negev

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