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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 1912

By On December 31, 2013
The next year  sweeps around the earth like the hand of a clock, from Australia to Europe and across the great stretch of the Atlantic it rides the darkness to America. And then around and around again, each passing day marking another sweep of the hours.

In Times Square crowds of tourists gather in clumps behind police barricades, clutching corporate swag beneath video billboards shifting and humming in the cool air. And the same scene repeats in other squares and other places even if it doesn't feel like there is a great deal to celebrate.

While the year makes its first pass around the world, let us leave it behind, open a door in time and step back to another year, a century past.

December 31, 1912. The crowds are just as large, though the men wear hats. People use the word gay with no touch of irony. Liquor is harder to come by because the end of the year, one hundred years ago, has fallen on a Sunday.  There are more dances and fewer corporate brands. Horns are blown, and the occasional revolver fired into the air, a sight unimaginable in the controlled celebrations of today's urban metropolis.

The Hotel Workers Union strike fizzled out on Broadway though a volley of bricks was hurled at the Hotel Astor during the celebrations. New York's finest spent the evening outside the Rockefeller mansion waiting to subpoena the tycoon in the money trust investigation. And the Postmaster General inaugurated the new parcel service by shipping a silver loving cup from Washington to New York.

On Ellis Island, Castro, a bitter enemy of the United States, and the former president of Venezuela, had been arrested for trying to sneak into the country while the customs officers had their guard down. Gazing at the Statue of Liberty, Castro denied that he was a revolutionary and bitterly urged the American masses to rise up and tear down the statue in the name of freedom.

Times Square has far fewer billboards and no videos, but it does have the giant Horn and Hardart Automat which opened just that year, where food comes from banks of vending machines giving celebrating crowds a view of the amazing world of tomorrow for the world of 1912 is after all like our own. We can open a door into the past, but we cannot escape the present.

The Presidential election of 1912, like that of 2012, ended in disaster. Both Taft and Roosevelt lost and Woodrow Wilson won. In the White House, President Taft met with cabinet members and diplomats for a final reception.

Woodrow Wilson, who would lead America into a bloody and senseless war, subvert its Constitution, and begin the process of making global government and statism into the national religion of his party, was optimistic about the new year. "Thirteen is my lucky number," he said. "It is curious how the number 13 has figured in my life and never with bad fortune."

Americans of 2013 face the lightbulb ban. Americans of 1913 were confronted with the matchstick ban as the Esch bill in Congress outlawed phosphorus "strike 'em on your pants" matches by imposing a $1,000 tax on them. This was deemed to be Constitutional. In Indianapolis, the train carrying union leaders guilty of the dynamite plot was making its secret way to Federal prison even while the lawyers of the dynamiters vowed to appeal.

The passing year, a century past, had its distinct echoes in our own time. There had been, what the men of the time, thought of as wars, yet they could not even conceive of the wars shortly to come. There were the usual dry news items about the collapse of the government in Spain, a war and an economic crisis in distant parts of the world that did not concern them.

A recession was here, after several panics, and though there was plenty of cheer, there was also plenty of worry. The Federal Reserve Act would be signed at the end of 1913, partly in response to the economic crisis.

Socialism was on the march with the Socialist Party having doubled its votes in the national election.  All three major candidates, Wilson, Roosevelt and Taft, had warned that the country was drifting toward Socialism and that they were the only ones who could stop it. The influence of corporations was heatedly debated and the Catholic Church clashed with Socialists.

"Unless Socialism is checked," Professor Albert Bushnell Hart warned, "within sixteen years there will be a Socialist President of the United States." Hart was off by four years. Hoover won in 1928. FDR won in 1932.

At New York City's May Day rally, the American flag was torn down and replaced with the red flag, to cries of, "Take down that dirty rag" and "We don't recognize that flag." The site of the rally was Union Square, presently one of the locations where the rag ends of Occupy Wall Street hangs out.

There was tension on the Mexican border and alarm over Socialist successes in German elections. An obscure fellow with the silly name of Lenin had carved out a group with the even sillier name of the Bolsheviks. China became a Republic. New Mexico became a state, the African National Congress was founded and the Titanic sank. In our time it was merely the Costa Concordia.

There was bloody fighting in Benghazi where 20,000 Italian troops faced off against 20,000 Arabs and 8,000 Turks. The Italians had modern warships and armored vehicles, while the Muslim forces were supplied by voluntary donations and fighters crossing from Egypt and across North Africa to join in attacking the infidels.

The Italian-Turkish war has since been forgotten, except by the Italians, the Libyans and the Turks, but it featured the first strategic use of airships, ushering in a century of European aerial warfare.

There was a good deal going on while the horns were blown and men in heavy coats and wet hats made their way through the festivities.

World War I was two years away, but the Balkan War had already fired the first shots. The rest was just a matter of bringing the non-phosphorus matches closer to the kindling. The Anti-Saloon League was gathering strength for a nationwide effort that would hijack the political system and divide it into dry and wet, and, among other things, ram through the personal income tax.

Change was coming, and as in 1912, the country was no longer hopeful, it was wary. The century, for all its expected glamor, had been a difficult one. The future, political and economic, was unknown. Few knew exactly what was to come, but equally few were especially optimistic even when the champagne was flowing.

If we were to stop a reveler staggering out of a hotel, stand in his path and tell him that war was five years away and a great depression would come in on its tail, that liquor would be banned, crime would proliferate and a Socialist president would rule the United States for three terms, while wielding near absolute power, he might have decided to make his way to the recently constructed Manhattan Bridge for a swan dive into the river.

And yet we know that though all this is true, there is a deeper truth. For all those setbacks, the United States survived, and many of us look nostalgically toward a time that was every bit as uncertain and nerve-wracking as our own.

December 31, 1912 was a door that opened onto many things. December 31, 2012 is likewise, and if a man in shiny clothes from the year 2112 were to stop us on the street and spill out everything he knew about the next century, it is likely that there would be as much greatness as tragedy in that tale.

As the year sweeps across the earth, let us remember that history is more than the worst of its events, that all times bear the burden of their uncertainties, but also carry within them the seeds of greatness. Looking back on this time, it may be that it is not the defeats that we will recall, but how they readied us for the fight ahead. 2012 may be as forgotten as 1912, but 2016 and 2022 may endure in history.

America has not fallen, no more than it did when the clock struck midnight on December 31, 1912. Though it may not seem likely now, there are many great things ahead, and though the challenges at times seem insurmountable and the defeats many, another year and another century await us.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Left-Wing America Stands Alone

By On December 29, 2013
American progressives like to think of their country as backward and reactionary compared to Europe. And they have never been more right than now when Europe and the rest of the First World have gone right while America under Obama has been left back.

In America Alone, Mark Steyn envisioned the United States as a beleaguered hope in a dying West. Seven years later, American politics are much less healthy than those of the rest of the free world.

America does stand alone. It stands alone in embracing the rule of the left.

Recently Australia, Japan and Norway welcomed in conservative governments. Tony Abbott, Australia’s new prime minister, is a former heavyweight boxer who attended Oxford and is putting a spoke in the wheel of the Global Warming ecohoax. Japan is casting off its pacifism and standing up to the People’s Republic of China and Norway gave its left-wing government the boot and moved in “Iron Erma” in a coalition with the libertarian Progress Party which opposes taxes and immigration and supports free enterprise.

Australia, Japan and Norway are not outliers. The majority of First World countries now have conservative governments.

Canada has embraced a patriotic foreign policy and energy exploration under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his conservative Likud party have continued to move Israel’s economy toward free enterprise. And even in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron, for all his follies, is a conservative, even if he is more McCain than DeMint, and has pushed for deregulation and welfare reform.

Sweden’s center-right coalition government has won re-election for the first time in a century. Norway and Sweden, countries that Americans used to consider the very embodiments of Socialism, now both have conservative governments.

In Germany, Angela Merkel will serve a third term as chancellor; although like many European conservative governments, she will have to compromise and form a coalition with the left. The Netherlands still has a conservative government which has come out against multiculturalism and the welfare state.

In Spain, the center-right People’s Party won the biggest majority of any party in three decades and is projected to win reelection. In Poland, the center-right Civic Platform continues to govern. In Greece, it’s the center-right New Democracy. In Portugal, it’s the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Party (somewhat on the right, despite their names). In Iceland, it’s the conservative Independence Party and the Progressive Party (also on the right, despite its name.)

Even Europe’s left-wing parties have had to adapt to the new economic environment. Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, has suffered a severe setback in municipal elections and is scrambling to hold her left-wing government together. And even Thorning-Schmidt only made it this far by embracing welfare reform, cutting corporate taxes and slashing unemployment benefits.

The rule of the radical left in the United States is very much an outlier in the rest of the First World where conservative and center-right parties predominate. The conventional First World response to the economic crisis has been to cut spending and reform welfare, while in the United States has spent more money than ever before and expanded welfare.

Much of Europe now favors less federalism and less immigration. The United States has expanded its federal government dramatically and both Democratic and Republican leaders support amnesty for illegal aliens at a time when immigration is politically toxic everywhere else.

The only major European countries with a sizable population and serious economic problems ruled by the left are France and Italy and both are approaching economic collapse. France’s ruling left has become wildly unpopular and Italy is still imploding in slow motion. While the American left insists that historical inevitability is on its side, it has lost nearly everywhere else. America stands alone under the rule of the left, in uncontrolled spending, uncontrolled immigration and the iron hand of the welfare state.

There are key differences.

America’s massive wealth and resources have allowed the left to act as if it could borrow against them indefinitely to finance its big government schemes. Imagine a billionaire’s fortune falling into the hands of his idiot wastrel son who has no idea that money ever runs out.

Smaller countries don’t have the luxury of running up infinite debts and not worrying about how they will be paid back or pretending that impossible rates of economic growth will compensate for trillion dollar deficits.

America is the left’s economic fantasyland because it has so much that they imagine that it will take a long time to bankrupt.

Most European conservative parties are still much less of the right than even the compromised Republican Party. European conservatives are generally closer to liberal Republicans. By European standards, Jim Huntsman would be a typical conservative. Bloomberg running on the GOP ticket would raise no eyebrows in Europe.

Europe is dominated by parliamentary democracies where it would have been impossible for an executive to stay in office on popularity and racial guilt after his actual policies had been completely discredited. In a parliamentary democracy, the 2010 midterm elections wouldn’t have just meant a Republican House of Representatives, but would have booted Obama out of the White House.

Conservatives denounce populist politics in America, but it’s actually the remnants of the system that safeguards political power from populist elections that has kept the Senate and the White House in the hands of the left while turning over the House of Representatives to the Republicans creating a crisis in which the populist body could do nothing, while Obama unilaterally ushered in an imperial presidency.

European conservative parties are also more adaptable because liberal conservative parties can form coalitions with more conservative parties. A similar system in the United States would allow the Tea Party to function as a junior conservative party while the Republican Party continued to function as its more centrist big sister, making conservative concessions to the Tea Party in exchange for its votes.

There are Tea Party leaders who already envision such a move which frightens the GOP leadership. But GOP leaders might want to consider whether such a conservative coalition might not be in their own best interests. The Republican Party would be freed from its right and could play at being moderates without worrying about accusations that it’s a party of extremists, while at the same time there would be a negotiated system of imposing conservative compromises on it at the legislative level.

A Republican Party-Tea Party coalition would probably achieve a lot more reforms considering that even the UK’s coalition between the Conservative Party and the left-wing Liberal Democrats achieved more reforms than the Republicans did during the Bush administration.

Another major difference is that America has a higher percentage of minorities than most other First World countries. In many First World nations, the left has assembled minorities into a welfare coalition. But such a coalition is much more potent in the United States because of demographics and guilt over segregation and slavery.

Higher minority birth rates also mean that the United States has a larger percentage of the youth vote than many First World countries and a younger electorate is dumber and more vulnerable to bells and whistles. A country with an older population would not have embarrassed itself by running around in Obama t-shirts and weeping and fainting at his rallies. Older people are capable of behaving stupidly, but it takes a country with a lower voter age to elect a man whose only real credential was celebrity.

The ultimate ambition of the left is to alter demographics of the United States and the rest of the developed world to a majority-minority population that will allow them to loot the evil racist white minority of its wealth to finance their Socialist schemes. Despite European open border migration, the United States is closer to reaching this brink than many other countries which makes it more vulnerable. As long as minority groups participate in the left’s welfare coalition, immigration means economic collapse.

As long as minority groups participate in the left’s welfare coalition, immigration means economic collapse. There is no possibility of maintaining national prosperity without drastically limiting immigration. Economic conservatism and open borders to welfare populations with voting rights are utterly incompatible and cannot be made to work no matter how many libertarians and Chamber of Commerce politicians argue otherwise.

Finally, there is the Obama factor.

Hillary Clinton would probably have lost in 2012. Most Democratic hacks would have. But the cult of personality built around Obama by the news and entertainment industry has been very hard to breach. Only the “If you like your health plan” lie has finally put a serious dent in his likability and trust ratings.

Obama is something unique. He’s the end product of a venture by liberal billionaires from the financial and tech sectors to build a radical Trojan horse politician. They invested a great deal of money into their project and the dividends have been huge. No other First World country has been victimized by such a calculated scheme or had so many resources invested in hijacking its democracy.

Some 6 billion dollars were raised and spent in the 2012 election. Those are astronomical amounts of money and they are probably only the tip of the iceberg. Beating that kind of spending isn’t easy.

While the rest of the First World moves on, America remains trapped in the defunct economic and political grip of the left. After dedicating enormous resources to taking over the Democratic Party and then the country, the left has turned the United States of America into its Soviet Union, a country out of time, its economy and society wracked by the discredited political and economic theories of the left.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crowdsourcing the End of Free Speech

By On December 28, 2013
The end of free speech will not necessarily come when there are soldiers in the streets, secret police in the alleyways and a mustachioed man screaming at you on a television set that can't be turned off no matter how hard you turn the knob or click the buttons.

Some of these things certainly existed in totalitarian countries. But they were there to sweep up the hardened dissenters who refused to be silenced. The vast majority of citizens did not have bugged phones or men in trench-coats following them around.

That was what their friends and neighbors were for.

The first line of offense by a totalitarian society against freedom of speech is crowdsourced to the people in the streets. It begins with the imposition of a social norm, escalates to punishments for violating that norm and concludes with gulags and firing squads.

No secret police force is large enough to spy on everyone all the time. Nor does it need to. That is what informers are for. Some of the informers are committed fanatics. Others do it because they accept whatever they are told. And the worst do it for the pleasure of destroying someone else using the power of the law.

Whatever their varying motives, ideology or malice, such people become even more dangerous in groups where they become a morality mob.

The Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell's 1984 is repeated on a regular basis in our society today with hysterical lynchings like those of of Justine Sacco; one of a long list of disposable victims of opportunity. The Two Minutes Hate was a Pavlovian exercise to stimulate the hate reflex. Modern counterparts like #hasjustinelandedyet with its overt malice are the genuine thing.

The process by which these ugly events happen has a good deal in common with any other form of mob violence. There are familiar elements from Shirley Jackson's disturbing story, "The Lottery". There is a ritual aspect to the whole thing. The crowd knows what is coming. Like many rapists and murderers, it derives pleasure from a victim who does not yet know what is about to happen and eagerly anticipates the moment of shocked revelation when that will change.

"When is Justine landing?" they whisper eagerly to each other. Sadism is no good if the victim doesn't know what is being done to her. The anticipation sharpens their appetite for the revelation.


Behind it all is a moral structure. The crowd in the Two Minutes Hate does not randomly lash out. The very name with its time limit is a demonstration of civilization. For two minutes they will become hateful animals in reaction to a profound ideological offense. And then they will turn the outrage machine off.

Anyone can be a mob, but they are a morality mob. They do horrible things because the ends, such as fighting racism, justify the means. They hate for two minutes and then go back to their daily lives. 

Structure maintains the illusion of morality. Like The Lottery, it has to pretend that it isn't random so that the participants can make believe that they are doing this for some nobler reason than the primal joy of bashing another human being's head in with a rock.

Modern social media is The Lottery. You type things into it. You type them in when you're sober or drunk. When you're on top of the world or miserably depressed. You tweet and get retweeted. You like and are liked in turn. The sentiments you express move beyond your close circles of family and friends.

Sometimes you win the lottery and become famous. Your Twitter feed gets turned into a CBS sitcom. Other times you lose the lottery and your equally stupid tweet gets you picked to be stoned to death.

Each time you participate in the global mass of the internet, you are pulling a ticket out of the lottery. And even if you don't participate, a crazy lesbian waitress can tell the world that you refused to give her a tip, a former friend or lover can make your letter, stripped of context, go viral and what passes for reporters in the new media looking for pageviews can make you a target to fill a daily quota.

The Internet is going crazy for, the headlines on the same sites that create the frenzy say. The Internet is exploding. The Internet lashed out. The Internet lynched someone. But it's not the internet. It's the cowardly individuals in the morality mob hiding behind their collective malice in a hashtag who want to hurt someone from the physical and moral safety of the mob.

The morality mob is attracted to pettiness. It rarely takes on big things because it knows its own weakness. A morality mob is a bully without the courage and it needs easy targets that it knows it can hurt. It attacks individuals for minor social offenses. It targets them for perceived sins against their social consensus, but it is truly animated by the perception that its targets violate these norms because they are elitist, because they view themselves as special and above the rules that apply to everyone.

The modern internet morality mob began in China. A country that is not only Communist, but a place where sticking your head out is its own crime. The Chinese version of the Ugly Duckling story doesn't end with the duckling turning into a swan, but being eaten because he was only a foolish duck who had the ridiculous idea that he was a swan.

"It was just the latest example of a growing phenomenon the Chinese call Internet hunting, in which morality lessons are administered by online throngs and where anonymous Web users come together to investigate others and mete out punishment for offenses real and imagined." That is how the New York Times described it in 2006.

The phenomenon has since spread to America, but it predictably enough began in a collectivist society ruled by the iron hand of the Communist Party.


Totalitarianism relies on harnessing the darker emotions in the human catalog; fear, sadism, hate, contempt and the sense of power that derives from causing harm to another beneath the mask of the self-righteous inquistioner whose moral authority allows him to both inflict and enjoy the torment.

Beneath these responses is a deeper sense of helplessness and insecurity. The anonymous mass of  society has become even more chokingly cramped and anonymous on the internet than in the biggest twentieth century cities. For some of the uglier faces in the crowd, the only way to feel real is to hurt someone. And their leftist ringleaders know exactly how the game is played.

The morality mobs on the internet are mostly of the left. That is because the left is better at organization and rhetoric. It also holds the commanding heights of social morality dictating what behaviors are acceptable and which are not.

Morality mobs crowdsource the left's values enforcement. While its activist groups concern themselves with Phil Robertson, its morality mobs band together to target ordinary people. The organized left can make examples out of famous people while the ad-hoc left can make examples out of ordinary people by making their morality mob lynchings go viral.

The left responded to criticism of its actions in the Phil Robertson case by arguing that they are not violating the First Amendment. And they aren't. Directly. Though indirectly their entire culture of activism and the promotion of their values is funded by the government. But free speech can be structurally suppressed without ever officially involving the authorities in the dirty work.

If the outcome is the end of free speech, then the details of how it got that way become academic. If instead of a top-down solution, the actual death of free speech involves a mid-level intervention by an oligarchy of media and new media outlets, activist groups and fearful businesses banding together to make free speech impossible while the authorities go on smiling and insisting that speech is still free; then the destination is the same. Only the road we took to get there will have changed.

The First Amendment was not just a legal safeguard against government abuses, but a statement that an open society is best. The letter of the law protects the people from government intervention, but the spirit of the law is an argument for an open society in which the freedom to worship, to speak and to protest against the government make all our freedoms possible.

The left aspires to a society in which dissent is suppressed. And a society without dissent is totalitarian whether it is ruled by the hateful mob of the Two Minutes Hate or by Big Brother. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Afternoon Roundup - A Government Skeleton Crew

By On December 27, 2013


IT DIDN'T TAKE A SEAL TEAM

Osama bin Laden’s lawyer didn’t live in a cave in Afghanistan. Like so many terrorist lawyers, he was a New Yorker. His law office, which has seen more terrorists and their files pass through it than an Afghan cave, sits above a Muslim 99 cent store that offers discounted napkins, sandals and toasters, and is a four-minute drive away from the World Trade Center.

“If I don’t support the politics of political clients, I don’t take the case,” he once said. A few weeks after September 11, he said, “If Osama bin Laden arrived in the United States today and asked me to represent him, sure I’d represent him.”

Osama bin Laden never did arrive in the United States, though perhaps one day pieces of him will wash up on a California beach, and his wannabe lawyer had to settle for representing his son-in-law, who, after September 11, had appeared in a video threatening that “the storm of planes will not stop.”

America Takes Down Osama bin Laden’s Lawyer




Obama Gives Somalia $1.5 Bil, Somalia Bans Christmas




BDS GANDER

Eighty years ago, the Nazis dispatched thousands of SA thugs to enforce their boycott of Jewish businesses. Stars of David were painted on windows. Leaflets listing the crimes of the Jews were handed out. Cameras were set up outside stores to photograph anyone violating the Nazi BDS campaign.

Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, called the boycott a “great moral victory.” Modern BDS activists echo his rhetoric calling their attacks on Jewish businesses and academics a “moral victory”.

The Muslim boycott of Jewish businesses in Israel began in the twenties and predated the Nazi boycott. It may have even helped to inspire it. This was followed by the Arab League boycott of Israel after the Holocaust. The modern BDS boycott is the direct successor of a Saudi policy under a progressive flag.

Boycotting the Israel Boycotters



With 900,000 Vets on Food Stamps, Obama Cuts Military Benefits



YES VIRGINIA

Yes Virginia, there is an Anthony Weiner romance novel. How does this timeless romance for the ages begin?

    “Weiner was different. He wasn’t afraid to charge in, make enemies and throw dirt across the aisle. I liked that in a man; and to be honest, I liked Weiner too with his delicate face and Mediterranean eyes. The more I read, the more my blue heart throbbed for him.

    “I logged onto Facebook. I sent him a friend request.”

Anthony Weiner Threatens Comeback over Tea Party



Reuters Employed Aspiring Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber in Syria



PEACE OF THE UNJUST

Christians and Jews out-compete Muslims economically in every country. That’s why the Muslim Brotherhood with its network of businesses wants to drive Coptic Christians out of Egypt.

The non-oil Muslim countries who are closest to Israel are Malaysia and Lebanon, 32 and 33 places behind Israel. Both countries also have sizable non-Muslim populations. Muslims make up only 50 percent of Lebanon and only 60 percent of Malaysia. No Muslim country without oil has a better GDP Per Capita than a Muslim country with sizable Christian or Buddhist minorities.

Now if you think rationally, this is a reason for Muslims to keep non-Muslims around. But if you think tribally, the only way that Muslims can get ahead is by getting rid of the non-Muslims.

Economics and Peace in the Palestinian Authority



Ex-UK Chief of Defense Says Obama’s Regime Change in Libya a Mistake




I SEE ROSAS

That might be a bigger deal if Jesse Jackson didn’t compare absolutely everything to the bus that Rosa Parks rode in on. Every time someone cuts in front of Jesse Jackson’s limo on the way to a presidential dinner, he begins screaming about Rosa Parks and doesn’t stop until he passes out.

Jesse Jackson: Duck Dynasty Worse Than Segregation




Chicago’s Muslim Comptroller Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering - Mayor Emanuel said nothing criminal was done in Chicago



ZOOM, ZOOM

The popular Thomas The Tank Engine series has been blamed for the lack of female train drivers by Labour’s shadow transport secretary.

She described the lack of women train drivers as a ‘national scandal’, and said the ‘negative stereotypes’ portrayed in children’s television were partly to blame.

Mary Creagh said the series set a poor example to children and that more female characters should be introduced in order to encourage girls to become train drivers.

But what about gay trains, transgender trains, black trains, black gay transgender trains? What percentage of UK train drivers are black transgender and in wheelchairs?

Lefty Pol Blames Thomas The Tank Engine for Lack of Female Train Drivers




Oliver Stone to Make Movie About Socialist Dictator Who Returns from the Dead in Bird Form



JIHAD CHECKMATE

When Muslims first hijacked the Indian game of Chaturanga, which became the Persian game of Shatranj, they destroyed all the chess pieces because they considered the figures to be blasphemous.

Chess as we know it had to be recreated in Europe once the dark shadow of Islam fell over the chessboard.

Muslim Country Hosts Chess Tournament , Islamizes the Chess Pieces




Huffington Post Still Losing Money



THE I WORD

What it’s really doing is clumsily duplicating the Predator setup, without actually giving them Predators, which is smart because anything you give Iraq, you also give Iran.

But clumsily outsourcing Predator strikes means that intelligence moves much more slowly and is more vulnerable to leaks on the other side. It also means that Al Qaeda and Iran both get a preview of our intelligence resources.

So it’s a bad solution that’s meant to keep Obama at arm’s length from the I word.

Iraq War May Be Restarting with CIA Drone Targeting




Devout Muslim Killer of UK Soldier Also Drugged and Raped 14-Year-Old - ‘I have looked in his eyes and seen the evil inside him,’




SAVE THE OWLS, KILL THE OWLS

So humans weren’t responsible for the decline of the barred owl. Banning logging didn’t do it. The barrel owl just can’t compete. So now we’re going to go around shooting its competitor owl, even though this is how nature works and this is how species change.

That’s a cost of almost $1,000 per owl. I suspect it would be cheaper to just declare a $50 bounty per barred owl than to hire “contractors” to play an owl call and then shoot them with a shotgun at 1K per owl.

US Gov Spending $3.5 Mil Killing Owls to Save Owls



ObamaCare Website Didn’t Recognize Obama

Palestinian Muslims: “We Are All Hitler. Hitler, You Have Brought Pride to the Homeland and Allah,”

Did UNICEF Give Money to Al Qaeda?





UNION POLITICS

This story is about a labor leader I once met whom I did understood. This fellow was named Herr Eichhorn and he'd become dictator in a town in Germany named Dusseldorf.

There'd been an uprising and the Bolsheviks captured the town. Eichhorn had been a street car conductor and now he found himself in the Burgomeister's Palace as a dictator of whatever province Dusseldorf was in. He was running the works.

I met him at the palace to talk. He was a very fine street car conductor who sat there beaming and happy at his desk. I asked him what he'd done since he'd become a dictator.

"Well the first thing O did is two days after I was dictator, I doubled the salaries of all the street car employees," he said.

"That's fine, what else did you do?"

"I doubled the salaries of all the street cleaners. In fact I've doubled all the salaries in Dusseldorf."

"Where do you get all the money to pay all these double wages?" I asked.

He said, "I get it out of the treasury of Dusseldorf."

So I thought for a moment and I asked him, "What'll happen when you run out of the money in the Treasury of Dusseldorf? How are you going to pay these double wages?"

He grinned. "I'm not worried about that, by the time that happens I won't be dictator."

(The Ben Hecht Show Dec 4, 1958)





CHICAGO POLITICS

Politics in my Chicago days was wonderful rampant skullduggery. You could see every crooked bone of it, every rotten piece of its inner working was visible and very gay.

I remember the citizens of Chicago surrounding city hall, three thousands of them, with ropes in their hands threatening to lynch the aldermen who had been bribed. If the aldermen passed the streetcar franchise to Mr. Yerkes, who was what they used to call a malefactor of great wealth.

I remember when Mr. William Hale Thompson was running for mayor. His idea of getting votes was not to make speeches or annoy people with ideologies. He used to put on shows all over town and the shows consisted of one naked lady being chased by an imbecile who had been borrowed from the local loony bin. The audience would sit there, applaud and yell and Thompson always got elected.

There was a violent sort of expression that people had, everything was crooked. You took your life in your hands if you went into a voting booth and voted for the wrong man. You got a bust in the nose.

This story is about voting. The two politicians I most remember out of my youth were a couple of aldermen who ran the first ward in Chicago. This was the ward where all the brothels, all the gangsters, all the dives, all the bums were. The aldermen were called Hinky Dink and Bathhouse John. And Hinky Dink was a little, wiry, nervous man and the Bathhouse was a portly fellow given to writing poetry.

They held their grip on the First Ward in a very practical way. About a week before the election, they would import from two to five thousand bums. They would put them up in rooms, twenty to a room. They would feed them a free lunch at the Workingman's Exchange which was a saloon they ran. And when election time came these two to four thousand bums would go to the polls and vote. Not once.

Each bum was supposed to vote five to ten times. Bathouse John and Hinky Dink always came in by a great majority.

There was one election however where something odd happened and the forces of law and order struck. The two aldermen took the count for a while. About two days before the election, the Workingman's Exchange opened. No sooner had it opened than somebody noticed there was a head sitting on the bar. It was the head of a decapitated bum. Quite a story ensued. The papers all began to talk about who cut this bum's head off.

Around three o'clock in the afternoon, the door opened, a car passed and another bum's head was thrown into the bar. This caused a panic among the bums who started evacuated their crowded rooms and fleeing Chicago like it was a plague spot. As a result of the disappearing, the forces of law and order won. Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink were not aldermen for the next two years.

However, when the next election came around, they prepared for law and order. They engaged the entire police department of the city of Chicago to protect their bums. Outside of every flop house stood five cops watching to see that no heads were cut off.

Ever since this incident, I've been careful not to lose my head over politics.

The Ben Hecht Show, Jan 29, 1959

..........................................................


For some context...

(William Hale Thompson was mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1931)

Early in his mayoral career, Thompson began to amass a war chest to support an eventual run for the Presidency by charging city drivers and inspectors $3 per month. He was mayor during the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and was said to have control of the 75,000 African-American voters in his day.

He declined to run for reelection in 1923 and he was succeeded to the office by William Emmett Dever. While out of office, Thompson organized a "scientific" expedition to search for tree-climbing fish in the South Seas.

He ran again in 1927 during city wide gang war. Always a flamboyant campaigner, Thompson held a debate between himself and two live rats which he used to portray his opponents.

Pledging to clean up Chicago and remove the crooks, Thompson instead turned his attention to the reformers, whom he considered the real criminals.

According to Thompson, at this time the biggest enemy the United States had was King George V of the United Kingdom. Thompson promised his supporters that if they ever met, Thompson would punch the king in the nose.

Al Capone's support allowed Thompson to return to the mayor's office using such tactics as the "Pineapple Primary" which occurred (April 10, 1928), so-called because of the hand grenades thrown at polling places to disrupt voting.

...

The neighboring First Ward, directly to the north, was run by those famous "Lords of the Levee," Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna and John J. "Bathhouse" Coughlin, who became rich collecting protection from the brothels and gambling dens in their district.




A GOVERNMENT SKELETON CREW

Dear Mr. Hecht,

Several viewers of a recent telecast in which you participated have written to tel me how generously you spoke of me at the time. I want you to know of my appreciation. In the midst of a campaign period when brickbacks are more often than not the order of the day, it was most heartening to learn of the bouquets which you threw my way. I can assure you that it provided a real morale builder during some long days of work.

With every good wish, Richard Nixon



That's very effective. It almost instantly turns one into an ardent Republican. It's a wonderful way to get one vote. My reaction is one of pleasure because I did admire Mr. Nixon's antics in South America. He was quite human, bold, brave, nice. But I also admire another thing about Mr. Nixon that may induce him to write me another latter.

He said the only intelligent thing that I've heard during the past six months of political caterwauling.

Mr. Nixon said that his objective was to reduce government to a minimum. To remove as many politicians as possible from the political scene as could be removed. And to work the country with a skeleton crew instead of adding politicians.

That is a great philosophy, and I hope Mr. Nixon is sincere.

From The Ben Hecht Show, October 1958 






Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Allahu Akbar and Ho Ho Ho

By On December 25, 2013
"A flag bearing a crescent and star flies from a flagpole in front of the World Trade Center, next to a Christmas tree and a menorah."

New York Times, 1997

In 1997, Mohammed T. Mehdi, the head of the Arab-American Committee and the National Council on Islamic Affairs, lobbied to have a crescent and star put up at the World Trade Center during the holiday season. His wish was granted, despite the fact that he had been an adviser to Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman also known as the Blind Sheikh.

In the name of diversity and political correctness, an adviser to the religious leader behind the World Trade Center bombing, was allowed to plant an Islamic symbol of conquest in the very place that had been bombed.

Long before the Ground Zero Mosque was even a twinkle in the eye of a violent ex-waiter and a slumlord Imam, the World Trade Center allowed Mohammed T. Mehdi to bully it into flying the symbol of Islam.

By 1997, Mohammed T. Mehdi had become an unambiguously ugly public figure. He had been fired by Mayor Dinkins in 1992 for anti-Semitic remarks. The year before he had proclaimed that, "Millions of Arabs believe Saddam stands tall having defied Western colonialism".

In 1995, the US Attorney's Office in New York had listed Mehdi as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of Sheikh Rahman. Mehdi had already published a book titled "Kennedy and Sirhan: Why?", which contended that Robert Kennedy's assassin had been acting in self-defense.

Because of Mehdi's role in actively working on behalf of the Sheikh behind the wave of terrorism that included the original attack on the World Trade Center, turning down his request should have been a no-brainer. Instead in the winter of 1997 there was an Islamic star and crescent at the World Trade Center. And another one at the park in front of the White House.

Four years before the September 11 attacks; both targets had already been marked.

The previous year had marked the first annual Ramadan dinner at the State Department, integrating the Islamic celebration into the Clinton Administration's schedule of events. Bill Clinton had not visited the World Trade Center after the bombing, but he did make time for Ramadan.

A month after 9/11, Bush went Clinton one better when he became the first president to host a Ramadan dinner at the White House. Many of the Muslim ambassadors at the event were representing countries that helped finance Al Qaeda. Little more than a month after September 11, the President of the United States sat down to break bread with the money men behind the attacks.

The Star and Crescent flying at the World Trade Center did not prevent it from being targeted in a second greater attack four years later. Nor did the Ramadan dinners keep the plane headed for the White House at bay. It took the self-sacrifice of its American passengers to do that. Instead every gesture of appeasement only seemed to make it worse.

Before the star and crescent flew at the World Trade Center, the site suffered only a few dead. After it, thousands dead. The more Ramadan dinners Bush hosted, the more Americans died, because the Star and Crescent and the Ramadan dinners both expressed a deliberate blindness to the threat of Islamic terrorism.

No one who understood what had happened at the World Trade Center in 1993, would have permitted a banner associated with its attackers to be flown there. But while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, let Mehdi have his way with the World Trade Center, other Muslims were working to carry out Sheikh Abdel-Rahman's agenda for a war on America and the free world.

"Cut the transportation of their countries," the blind Sheik had commanded, "tear it apart, destroy their economy, burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air, or land."

While the Star and Crescent was blowing in the cold December wind coming off the Hudson River, an even colder wind was blowing out of Hamburg, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. A year earlier Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had come up with the idea and presented it to Osama bin Laden. A year later the operation began to move forward.

While Secretary of State Albright was holding her Ramadan dinners, other Ramadan dinners were being held out of sight at which more substantive events were being discussed.

While the US was busy bombing Yugoslavian civilians in order to create a separatist Muslim state for KLA terrorists; Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were recruiting the first of the 9/11 hijackers. While the United States tried to appease Muslims, Muslims plotted to murder Americans.

In 1997, the New York Daily News wrote an upbeat story about Mehdi's Star and Crescent, which envisioned Islam blending merrily into the holiday season.

New York may seem a little brighter this holiday season as the glowing Muslim crescent and star symbol nudges its way onto a seasonal landscape of Christmas trees, menorahs and Kwanzaa candles.

Watch out, ho, ho, ho-ing Santas you might get drowned out by cheery folks yelling, "Allahu akbar!"

Four years later, cheery folks yelling "Allahu Akbar" had filled downtown Manhattan with ashen snow and brightened it with the flames of the burning towers of the World Trade Center.
The 9/11 hijackers left behind notes which said among other things, "Shout, 'Allahu Akbar,' because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers".

If there were any Santas on those planes, they were certainly drowned out by the cries of "Allah Akbar". And if that didn't drown them out, having their throats being slit by the cheery folks with box cutters surely did.

On the Christmas of 2001, New York City was a city with an open wound. Muslims had finally made their impact on the holiday season in a truly unforgettable way. At Ground Zero, workers were still searching through the remains, looking for bodies or parts of them.

"It would be like a gift for somebody," a police officer said, who was spending his holiday searching through the debris. A gift for the infidels from Islam.

While Muslims were stuffing their faces in November of 2001, Americans were mourning their dead. While Abdul, Mohammed and Raisa were picking through their lamb stew, Americans were picking up the pieces of their loved ones. But it was they who were told to be sensitive to Muslim concerns.
From Pakistan, Musharraf urged the US to suspend bombing his Taliban allies during Ramadan. In the name of sensitivity. New York City schools were making arrangements for Muslim prayers out of "heightened sensitivity to Muslim concerns after the Sept. 11 attack". Instead of Americans being on the receiving end of "heightened sensitivity", the ideology that had conspired to murder them was.

On the 9th anniversary of 9/11, Islam had another gift for New Yorkers. Having bought up a building damaged in their own attack, they plotted to set up a grand mosque near Ground Zero. Another gift to New Yorkers from the religion that kept on giving. Another Crescent and Star.

The same people who did not learn the lesson in 1997, and allowed the Crescent and Star to fly at the World Trade Center, were eager to let the Ground Zero Mosque go forward in the name of tolerance. But despite the Crescent and Star, appeasement proved to be no defense.

3,000 died on 9/11 because American leaders preferred to appease, rather than confront. And we are still busy appeasing, like never before.
 
Allah Akbar and Ho, Ho, Ho.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rise of the Mediacracy

By On December 24, 2013
A nation where governments are elected by the people is most vulnerable at the interface between the politicians and the people. The interface is where the people learn what the politicians stand for and where the politicians learn what the people want. The bigger a country gets, the harder it is to pick up on that consensus by stopping by a coffee shop or an auto repair store. That's where the Mediacracy steps in to control the consensus.

The media is no longer informative, it is conformative. It is not interested in broadcasting events unless it can also script them. It does not want to know what you think, it wants to tell you what to think. The consensus is the voice of the people and the Mediacrats are cutting its throat, dumping its body in a back alley and turning democracy into their own puppet show.

Media bias was over decades ago. The media isn't biased anymore, it's a player, its goal is turn its Fourth Estate into a fourth branch of government, the one that squats below the three branches and blocks their access to the people and blocks the people's access to them. Under the Mediacracy there will still be elections, they will even be mostly free, they just won't matter so long as its upper ranks determine the dialogue on both sides of the media wall.

The Mediacracy isn't playing for peanuts anymore. It's not out to skew a few stories, it's out to take control of the country. In military empires, the military can act as a Praetorian Guard. In political empires, it's the people who control the political conversation who also control the succession.

In 2008, the Mediacracy elevated an Illinois State Senator who had briefly showed up in the Federal Senate to the highest office in the land. They did it even though he had no skills for the job and no serious plan for fixing any of the country's problems. They did it to show that they could. They did it because they wanted to tell a compelling story and inflict radical change on a country that would have never voted for it, if it had not been lied and guilted into making the single worst decision in its entire history.

Propaganda is a powerful weapon and seizing control of the newspapers, radio and television stations is one of the first things that tyrants do. That wasn't supposed to be an issue in a country where anyone could open their own newspaper. But that changed with the transformation of journalism into the media. The media, plural, embraces multiple mediums, most of them expensive and requiring a license and often, government approval.

Two hundreds years ago, a few friends could open a printing press and take on the big behemoths and often did. Today the only place they can do that is on the internet. Radio and television are walled cities controlled by a small number of interlinked corporations that keep merging together. Their staffers come out of carefully controlled environments, where with the pyramid of indoctrination, political gurus pass down their wisdom to professors who program students with its doctrines, to create the Mediacracy.

FOX News, for all its faults, is under constant attack by the Mediacracy because it is independent of that same rigid coercion. Wrong or right, it represents a view that is fundamentally different from the same mind-numbing conformity to be found everywhere from the weekly news magazine in your dentist's office to the talking heads on your cable channel to the honeyed voices of the anchors giving you the news every 5, 10 or 50 minutes over the radio while you're driving to work.

The real crime of FOX News is not that it's especially right-wing, it isn't. It is far less conservative than CNN is liberal. But FOX News' existence, its patriotic color scheme and attempts at appealing to the heartland while putting a conservative spin on issues, forces viewers to notice how conformist and identical the rest of the media landscape. And that is what makes FOX News truly dangerous. Like a goat among the sheep, it makes you realize the sameness of their generic competitors who all cheer for the same team, shop at the same stores and dream of the day when everyone thinks like them.

They are the Mediacracy and they are the Ministry of Propaganda. They are the smirking people who got tired of telling you how many people died in an earthquake in Indonesia and decided to begin explaining to you why the earthquake is your fault because you don't ride a bike to work. These are the people who longer want to report on a shooting, but want to tell you that it's time for a firearms ban. They no longer want to report on Washington DC, unless they can control Washington DC.

The Memorandum of Understanding for the Town Hall debate was that the moderator would relay questions from the audience, but would not ask the candidates any questions or comment on what they say. Candy Crowley made it clear before the debate that she would not abide by those rules and liberal organizations piled on, deploying a petition against the silencing of Candy Crowley. And so Candy Crowley wasn't silenced, in true Mediacrat fashion, she silenced others.

The Mediacracy's insistence on being the third candidate at every debate, its outrage that anyone would expect it to be silent and let the actual candidates speak, reflects its power and arrogance. Its elites are not interested in the conversation except as a means of controlling its outcome. They are not here to let other people talk, except as vehicles for making their own points.

Candy Crowley, in true Mediacrat style, was not there to facilitate a conversation, but to tell us what to think. Unlike Obama or Romney, Crowley had no legitimate reason for being there. She was not a political candidate and had not passed any of the democratic tests that Obama and Romney had to be able to sit there. Her influence had no basis of any kind in the voice of the people. Instead she was there as a representative of the powerful and unelected Mediacracy which was determined to have its say. She was there to remind the pols that even in a Two Party system, the Fourth Estate acts as the third candidate, never running for office but always winning by controlling the conversation.

It is not in the public interest for the Mediacracy to have its say, no matter how often the Mediacrats trot out their public good routine. Power is either vested in democratic institutions or undemocratic ones and the media corporations and their talking heads are about as undemocratic an institution as can be conceivably imagined. And when Mediacrats try to control the outcome of a popular election, their actions are an attack by an undemocratic institution on a democratic institution.

Mediacrats fill the airwaves with rantings about corporate influence on politics. The 800 pound gorilla of corporate influence on politics is the media. Candy Crowley's employer, CNN, is owned by Time Warner, the second largest media conglomerate on the planet. Not the country, the planet. The only media conglomerate bigger than it is the one that owns ABC News. But the Mediacrats never report on their own influence, never turn the camera back into the studio while warning about the danger of corporate lobbyists. But the corporate lobbyists sitting in the CNN studio don't just want to chat with a few politicians in a closed room, they do their best to dictate the outcome of elections.

Businesses turn to lobbyists when the times are bad. The media is losing the public, so they are turning from being mere media into Mediacracy. Media is subject to the whims of the viewing public, but Mediacracy subjects the public to its whims. And they are dreaming of a country under the enlightened rule of the Mediacrats. One nation under a thousand channels all serving the interests of a dying media state.

The media, with its expensive equipment and its licenses, is confronting an era when everything is being reduced to a single medium, print, voice and visuals falling into the internet singularity and leaving them with some expensive equipment, exclusive rights to broadcast on frequencies that no one watches anymore and the ability to print millions of papers, when they can hardly move a tenth of them. And like all imploding tyrannies, they are confronting the crisis by grasping for power. They know that they will either be a Mediacracy or they will be nothing.

The greatest challenge to the integrity of our democracy may be the coup of the media corporations. Information is the lifeblood of a free society and the consolidation of information outlets in the hands of a small and powerful elite with no ethics and no boundaries is leading us down the road to a virtual tyranny that will maintain the illusory workings of a democratic society without any of the substance.
The old institutions of elections are becoming a charade, a formal routine where the outcome is determined by the employees of a handful of major media corporations that present the public with the inevitable result. And America is falling into the hands of the Government-Media Complex.

The Mediacracy has directed all its efforts into hijacking the public dialogue, turning elections into a cheap sideshow accompanied by sneering commentary. It has insisted on being the third candidate in every election and turned its corporate shills into the pretend voice of the people. It has stomped all over the traditions of this country, its independent institutions and its freedoms with thousand dollar shoes while wrapping itself in any available flag. And it cannot be allowed to get away with it.

A free society does not only become unfree at the point of a gun. It becomes unfree when its mechanisms of freedom are jammed, when the institutions that are meant to provide power to the people are taken over by unelected forces and twisted into the apparatus of a new tyranny. When undemocratic institutions seize control of democratic institutions then democracy dies, strangled by men and women who keep on smiling while they tighten their grip.

America can be a Democracy or a Mediacracy. It cannot and will not be both. And the only way to preserve democracy is to challenge the Mediacrats and force them out of the public space that they have usurped and back into the private sphere of their financial interests where they belong.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Left is Too Smart to Fail

By On December 22, 2013
The infrastructure of manufactured intelligence has become a truly impressive thing. Today as never before there is an industry dedicated, not to educating people, but to making them feel smart. From paradigm shifting TED talks by thought leaders and documentaries by change agents that promise to transform your view of the world, manufactured intelligence has become its own culture.

Manufactured intelligence is the smarmy quality that oozes out of a New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Frank Bruni and the rest of the gang who tell you nothing meaningful while dazzling you with references to international locations, political events and pop culture, tying together absurdities into one synergistic web of nonsense that feels meaningful.

There's a reason that there's a Tom Friedman article generator online. But it could just as easily be a New York Times article generator that sums up the hollowness of the buzzword-fed crowd that is always hungry to reaffirm the illusion of its own intelligence.

We all know that George W. Bush was a moron. And we all know that Obama is a genius. We have been told by Valerie Jarrett, by his media lapdogs and even by the great man himself that he is just too smart to do his job. And it's reasonable that a genius would be bored by the tedious tasks involved in running the most powerful nation on earth.

But what is "smart" anyway? What makes Obama a genius? It's not his IQ. It's probably not his grades or we would have seen them already. It's that like so many of the thought leaders and TED talkers, he makes his supporters feel smart. The perception of intelligence is really a reflection.

Smart once used to be an unreachable quality. Einstein was proclaimed a genius, because it was said that no one understood his theories. Those were undemocratic times when it was assumed that the eggheads playing with the atom had to be a lot smarter than us or we were in big trouble.

Intelligence has since been democratized. Smart has been redistributed. Anyone can get an A for effort. And the impulse of manufactured intelligence is not smart people, but people who make us feel smart. That is why Neil deGrasse Tyson, another obsessively self-promoting mediocrity like Carl Sagan, is now the new face of science. Sagan made science-illiterate liberals feel smart while pandering to their biases. Tyson does the same thing for the Twitter generation.

 Self-esteem is the new intelligence. Obama's intelligence was manufactured by pandering to the biases and tastes of his supporters. The more he shared their biases and tastes, the smarter he seemed to be and the smarter they felt by having so much in common with such a smart man.

Obama Inc. built his image around the accessories of modern manufactured intelligence, premature biographies, global reference points and pop culture. This marriage of high and low with an exotic spice from the east embodies modern liberal intelligence. Take a dash of pop culture, mix it with an important quote, throw in some recent technological development that promises to "change how we all live", mention your time in a foreign culture and draw an insipid conclusion.

That's not just the DNA of every other New York Times column, TED talk and important book by an equally important thought leader sitting under the floodlights at your local struggling chain bookstore with its portraits of great writers on the wall and the tables groaning under unsold copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, Malcolm Gladwell, Candace Bushnell and Khaled Hosseini.

It's also the DNA of Obama Inc. It is its assumption of intelligence through compassionate self-involvement, progressive insights derived from an obsession with the self and the sanctification of Third World references, real or imaginary, invoking the spiritual power of the Other, the totem of alien magic, to transcend the rational and the pragmatic. It is upscale Oprah; egotism masquerading as enlightenment, condescension as compassion and soothing quotes as religion.

Once upon a time, bright young American men went to Europe and wrote books about the world. That was our notion of intelligence. JFK did it and was widely praised for his intelligence. Today bright young American men and women go to the Third World and write their books about the world, mining the compost of their Flickr accounts, Tumblr updates and Twitter feed for deep thoughts.

Intelligence to a modern liberal isn't depth, it's appearance. It isn't even an intellectual quality, but a spiritual quality. Compassionate people who care about others are always "smarter", no matter how stupid they might be, because they care about the world around them.

An insight into how we live matters more than useful knowledge. Skill is irrelevant unless it's a transformative progressive "changing the way we live" application.

Obama and his audience mistake their orgy of mutual flattery for intelligence and depth. Like a trendy restaurant whose patrons know that they have good taste because they patronize it, his supporters know that they are smart because they support a smart man and Obama knows he is smart because so many smart people support him.

The thought never rises within this bubble of manufactured intelligence that all of them might really be idiots who have convinced themselves that they are geniuses because they read the right books (or pretend to read them), watch the right movies and shows (or pretend to) and have the right values (or pretend to).

Smart is surplus when you have Gladwell sitting under a full DVD set of The Wire prominently displayed on your bookshelf right alongside a signed copy of The Audacity of Hope.

Marxists thought that Marxism was smart. Progressives measure intelligence in progressivism. Its only two qualities are "world awareness" and "progressive future adaptation".

Obama hit both these qualities perfectly with his Third Culture background and the appearance of modern technocratic polish. Not just a politician, but a thought leader, he had the pseudo-celebrity quality of their kind, able to move smoothly from a celebrity panel about Third World microfinance, to a Jay-Z concert to a fundraiser for DIY solar panels for India to a banquet for a political hack.

Everyone who encountered him thought that he was smart because he made them feel smart. And that is the supreme duty of the modern liberal intellectual, not to be smart, but to make others feel smart. Genuine intelligence is threatening. Manufactured intelligence is soothing. And those intellectually superior progressives who need to believe that Obama is smart in order to believe that they are smart cannot stop believing in his brains without confronting the illusion of their own intelligence.

Manufactured intelligence isn't smart. It's stupid. It's as stupid as building windmills for sustainable energy in places where the wind hardly blows, as stupid as calling inflated budgets "investments" and as stupid as believing that a man is smart because he can reference poverty in the Third World.

It's easy to tell apart fake intelligence from the real thing. Manufactured intelligence fakes "smart" by playing word games. It constantly invents new terms to provide the enlightened elites with a secret language of Newspeak buzzwords that mean less than the words they are replacing. The buzzwords, Thought Leader and Change Agent, quickly take on cultist overtones and become ways of describing how the group's leaders would like to use power, than anything about the world that they describe.

Manufactured intelligence is a consensus, not a debate. It's not arrived at through a process, but flopped into like a warm soothing bath of nothingness. It's correct because everyone says so. And anyone who disagrees is clearly stupid and lacks awareness of the interconnected ways that the world synergistically works. And probably doesn't know science, Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson either.

Real intelligence is the product of constant debate. It is forever striving to overthrow the consensus and willing to challenge anything and everything. It uses a specialized vocabulary only to describe specialized phenomena, rather than replacing existing words with new words to describing existing phenomena in order to seem as if it understands the future better by going all 1984 on it.

Finally, manufactured intelligence is self-involved. It mistakes feeling for thinking. It deals not with how things are or even how we would like them to be, but how we feel about the way things are and what our feelings about the way things are say about what kind of people we are.

Liberal intelligence is largely concerned with the latter. It is a self-esteem project for mediocre elites, the sons and daughters of the formerly accomplished who are constantly diving into the shallow pools of their own minds to explore how their privilege and entitlement makes them view the world and how they can be good people by challenging everyone's paradigms and how they can think outside the box by climbing into it and pulling the flaps shut behind them.

Perpetual self-involvement isn't intelligence regardless of how many of the linguistic tricks of memoir fiction it borrows to endow its liberal self-help section with the appearance of nobility.

Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.

That is why Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for having good intentions. His actual foreign policy mattered less than the appearance of a new transformative foreign policy based on speeches. Gore promised to be be harsher on Saddam than Bush, but no one remembers that because everyone in the bubble knows that the Iraq War was stupid... and only conservatives do stupid things.

Liberal intelligence exists on the illusion of its self-worth. The magical thinking that guides it in every other area from economics to diplomacy also convinces it that if it believes it is smart, that it will be. The impenetrable liberal consensus in every area is based on this delusion of intelligence. Every policy is right because it's smart and it's smart because it's progressive and it's progressive because smart progressives say that it is.

Progressives manufacture the consensus of their own intelligence and insist that it proves them right.

Imagine a million people walking in a circle and shouting, "WE'RE SMART AND WE'RE RIGHT. WE'RE RIGHT BECAUSE WE'RE SMART. WE'RE SMART BECAUSE WE'RE RIGHT." Now imagine that these marching morons dominate academia, the government bureaucracy and the entertainment industry allowing them to spend billions yelling their idiot message until it outshouts everyone else while ignoring the disasters in their wake because they are too smart to fail.

That is liberalism.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

We Can Have Gay Rights or Freedom of Speech

By On December 21, 2013
What do a reality show star, a cakemaker and a photographer have in common? They're all victims of a political system in which the mandate to not merely recognize gay marriage, but to celebrate it, has completely displaced freedom of speech.

The issues at stake in all three cases did not involve the Orwellian absurdity of "Marriage Equality". The cases of a Christian cakemaker and a Christian photographer whom state courts have ruled must participate in gay weddings or face fines and jail time were blatant violations of both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion in the name of outlawing any dissent from gay marriage.

That is why Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty was suspended. Robertson, unlike Bashir, didn't take to the air to make violent threats against an individual. He expressed in plain language that he believes homosexuality is wrong. And that is something that you aren't allowed to do anymore.

The left sneers that A&E isn't subject to Freedom of Speech because it's a private company. And they're right. But then they insist that a cakemaker and a photographer aren't protected by Freedom of Speech or Religion because they're private businesses.

In their constitutional universe, companies have the right to punish speech in the name of gay rights, but not to engage in protected speech in dissent from gay rights. And that's exactly the problem. It's not just gays who have been made into a protected class, but homosexuality itself. To dissent from it is bigotry that you can be fired for, fined for and even jailed for.

Gay rights were not settled by legalizing gay marriage. We are facing an ugly choice between freedom of speech and gay rights.

In these three cases, gay rights activists have made it clear that we can have one or the other. But we can't have a country where we have both gay weddings and people who disagree with them.

And that's unfortunate because even the most generous interpretation of the benefits of two men marrying each other would struggle to prove that it is more beneficial to a society than the ability to speak your own mind and to practice your own religion without being compelled to violate it.

If we have to choose between gay rights and the First Amendment, the moral arc of the universe that liberals like to invoke so often will not swing toward the bullies who insist on dealing with their self-esteem problems by forcing everyone to consent and approve of their lifestyle.

Gay marriage was sold to Americans by cunningly crafted "gay families" on popular sitcoms. Now Americans are discovering that real gay activists aren't friendly people who just want to make jokes between commercial breaks, but are neurotic and insecure bullies who attack others from behind the safety of the politicians that they bribed with the massive disposable incomes that comes from not having families or long-term relationships.

Most Americans still believe that homosexuality, adultery and a range of other deviant sexual behaviors are sins. They also, like Phil Robertson, believe that disapproving of a behavior does not mean rejecting the person. That's where they part company with gay activists who are unable to tolerate Phil Robertson as a person if they are also unable to tolerate his opinion of their sexual habits.

The American tolerance for things like homosexuality comes from a mindset that is a lot closer to Phil Robertson than it is to Barack Obama. It's that very Phil Robertson attitude which allows Americans to disapprove of homosexuality, while accepting that homosexuals should have spaces for expressing their need for political identity ceremonies. That tolerance led to civil unions and then gay marriage. And that tolerance has been woefully abused.

Americans are far more tolerant of sexual misbehavior than they are of people trying to take away their civil rights. And that is something that gay rights activists need to consider carefully.

American tolerance for homosexuality is not a blank check. It's not the "progressive" endgame that the left believes it is in which tolerance for a thing is mistaken for the Stalinist willingness to punish dissent from that very thing.

When ordinary Americans talk about tolerance, they mean tolerance. When the left talks about tolerance, it means intolerance.

Now the gay rights movement, which is just another pimple on the bony arm of the left, is showing its true colors. It is showing that its calls for tolerance are really mandates for intolerance.

It isn't looking for public spaces in which to be gay, but the elimination of public and even private spaces that reject homosexuality. It's not gay rights that we are talking about, but gay mandates.

If Americans are forced to choose between Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and gay rights; the Pajama Boys of America may not like which way they will vote.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Mirages in the Desert

By On December 20, 2013

 Obama’s NASA Spent $390K on Cartoon “Green Ninja” to Fight “Coal Man”




MIRAGES IN THE DESERT

In the deserts of the Middle East, political mirages appear easily and disappear just as easily. There are countries and armies that exist only on paper. And there are invisible tribal nations that have no flag and never appear on a map, but that have their own militias and govern themselves.

The Middle East as it exists neatly laid out in the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post has little relationship to the messy realities of a region with few clean borders, only messy collections of tribes, families, ethnic groups and quarreling variations of Islam clinging to a few miles of dusty land, a handful of olive groves, some oil wells and their children and machine guns.

Out in Syria, the mirage of the Free Syrian Army, its camps full of soldiers defecting from the military to form a secular liberation force, has dissipated, vanishing into the sand. And all it took to knock down the Potemkin villages of the FSA that never existed was an attack on the only part of the Free Syrian Army that did exist—its warehouses full of American and European military aid.

The End of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian Scam



Ex-Wife’s Response to Wichita Bomber’s Conversion to Islam: “What is Wrong With Him?”



COKEHEAD-IN-CHIEF

While Obama conspires to lock people up for things like collecting rainwater and sends in his stormtroopers to raid guitar factories that use wood not finished by Indian workers, he’s freeing crack dealers from prison.

Solid citizens and future Obama voters pardoned by him include… Ezell Gilbert...

Gilbert, now 41, who has a criminal record that goes back to his late teen years, was observed by Tampa police on a stakeout, dealing drugs in a high-crime neighborhood in Tampa in October 1995.   He was arrested after two customers apparently bought crack from him in the front seat of the car Gilbert was driving, while his five-year-old daughter, Keidra was in the back seat.

Obama Frees Crack Dealer Who Took 5-Year-Old Along to Sell Crack



Drug Dealers Unveil Heroin Brand Named “ObamaCare” - Like ObamaCare, it completely messes you up, takes your money and leaves you with nothing.




Piers Morgan Attacks 1st Amendment after Attacking 2nd Amendment




A WAR IN THE EAST

China is out to kick foreign powers out of Asia and lay claim to any nautical territory that it wants; especially if its waters are enriched by oil. Like the Empire of Japan, the People’s Republic is hungry for oil and obsessed with the strategic weaknesses of building an empire while beset by resource problems.

The PRC’s oil tends to be coastal which makes it too easy for a foreign power to break its economy. And like a great city, it has no hope of being self-sufficient when too many of its vital resources have to be imported from across the water. The only way to protect its economic lifeblood is with naval power.

The next stage of China becoming a great power depends on it pushing the United States out of Asia and forcing Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, not to mention other American allies, to make their peace with its new empire. 

Obama’s China Bluff




77% of Americans Think Obama Won’t Be Remembered as a Great President




CAUSES PROGRESSIVES CARED ABOUT

“What you had here was a ready-made volunteer workforce,” said Agar Jaicks, who was chairman of the county Democratic Central Committee, the governing body of the Democratic Party in San Francisco. “And you also had in Jones a man who touched a component of the consensus power forces in the city, such as labor and ethnicity groups, and he was very strong in the Western Addition. So here was a guy who could provide workers for causes progressives cared about.”

The Democratic Party is a Cult Worthy of Jonestown




Dem Senator: Cut Pay for Veterans, Not Congress - “We have taken pretty big cuts,” Schumer said.





ENDGAME IN EGYPT

There are two narratives of the Arab Spring. In one of them, the people rose up against the tyrants.  In the other an international conspiracy of Western and Muslim countries collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood to take over Arab countries.

To destroy the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the state has to do more than accuse Morsi of abuses of power; it has to show that he and his organization were illegitimate because they were Un-Egyptian.

That will prove that the differences between Mubarak and Morsi aren’t incidental. Mubarak may have been thuggish and corrupt, but he was an Egyptian patriot. Morsi will be charged with being an Iranian traitor who conspired to take away the Sinai and turn it over to the terrorist proxies of a Shiite state.

Egypt Buries the Brotherhood




Obama Picks Fired Husband of Dem Congresswoman to Fix Healthcare.gov




HAVE YOU STOPPED FORCING MOHAMMED TO BEAT HIS WIFE?
An earlier survey (2011) by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics corroborated the women’s concerns. It found that approximately 37 per cent of Palestinian women in both the West Bank and Gaza had experienced physical or sexual abuse by their husbands in the previous 12 months.

The only answer to the suffering of the people of Gaza, including its neglected women, is for the international community to hold Israel accountable…
Muslim Men Beat Wives, Human Rights Groups Blame Israel




Report that CIA in Benghazi Told to Stand Down, Shot Down by Report that They Were Told to Stand Down




TREADING WATER

What were the odds he would be named Mohammed? About as good as the chances that he would blame the whole thing on a cultural misunderstanding due to his unfamiliarity with swimming pools and the rights of women.

Muslim Claims He Molested Girls in Pool Because He Can’t Swim




FRACTIONS

Call it the Democratic Party’s modern version of the Three-Fifths compromise that counted slaves as 3/5ths of a white person. The modern Democratic Party, unlike its slaveholding days, has upgraded black people to 7/10s of a white person.

The notoriously racist Republicans not only pay women more than the Democrats do, but Republicans pay Blacks and Hispanics 9/10s of their white employees.

Democratic Politicians Pay Minority Staffers 7/10 of What They Pay Whites





STATE OF WELFARE

“It would be a pretty sorry situation if the state tried to prosecute and send to jail everybody from the South Side that took welfare money they didn’t have coming,” he told the Tribune in 1976. “There’d just be nowhere to put them.”

Reagan’s Welfare Queen Whom Liberals Say Didn’t Exist, Existed and Killed





Obama’s FDA Now Plotting to Ban Anti-Bacterial Soap




SURE THING

All the California papers are saying that Jerry Brown is bound to win. “Jerry Brown’s re-election a virtual lock” the San Francisco Chronicle declares.

Why? Because he has an approval rating of 58 percent. And an incredible 52 percent of those surveyed would vote for him.

Republicans shouldn’t even bother running against him because there is no way he could lose. Jerry Brown should instead focus on his presidential campaign. He could run on a platform of letting men in dresses use womens’ bathrooms and a light rail train to nowhere.

Governor Moonbeam may Become President Moonbeam



Kerry Gives $16 Million to Vietnam to Fight Global Warming





GOOD FOR THE BDS GOOSE

It might not be possible to see a bill through in the New York State legislature that would prohibit public funds from being used to in any way fund ASA events or publications… or ASA members and their work.

Considering how much the ASA relies on public universities, such a move might hurt them quite a bit. California would be an uphill battle. But it might be altogether doable in New York.

 Fighting the ASA Israel Boycott with a Boycott





PUNCHLINE AT 11

Is Jon Stewart an obnoxious liberal pretending to be a comedian… or a comedian pretending to be an obnoxious liberal?

What’s the difference between a joke and the news? Not much when both have an agenda. There really is no difference whether the clown nose is on or off. except that when it’s on, you aren’t supposed to get offended or react with outrage. It’s all in good fun.

Jon Stewart has spent a long time hiding behind the clown nose. It’s hypocritical for him to complain about anything else doing the same thing.

Jon Stewart Outraged at Megyn Kelly Using his “Clown Nose” Defense





Are You Ready for a Feminist Programming Language? - There is to be no debugging. We need to do away with functional-centric, bugphobic attitudes in programming. You need to accept the program the way it is.




EXPLORE AND EXPLOIT

We’ve chosen not to have any long range plan for exploiting the moon. We’ve even crippled our deep sea mining by allowing the UN to claim profits from it.

Maybe Chinese exploration and exploitation will shake loose a Sputnik event. But that doesn’t seem likely right now. The deeper problem is that unlike our explorer ancestors, we divorced exploration from exploitation.

That was a fatal idealistic mistake that doomed the whole enterprise. It’s not a mistake that China is likely to make.

No, China Isn’t Restarting the Space Race




Is Harry Reid the Manchurian Candidate? - Nonetheless, one reporter did manage to ask what business Reid “expected to get done with a man he had called a dictator.” Neither Hu nor Reid responded.




THE BUCK STARTS AT THE TOP

After Theodore Roosevelt was the New York City police commissioner back in the 1890s and began walking the beat and yelling at corrupt cops, the role of commissioner hasn’t mattered all that much.

Take Ray Kelly, the man shoved out the door by Bill de Blasio as a dirty racist and fascist. But Kelly and Bill de Blasio both worked for the Dinkins administration and its “Have fun, commit crimes” policy.

Now Bill de Blasio is bringing back Bill Bratton… who was Giuliani’s police commissioner.

Why De Blasio’s Bill Bratton Appointment Doesn’t Matter




RISK MANAGEMENT

The old inequities of the health insurance system were logical consequences of how insurance works as a business in terms of managing risk. They were not arbitrary discrimination, they reflected logical and unavoidable differences that are inherent in insurance and risk pools. The inequalities and waivers of Obamacare are government-sanctioned and politically-motivated creations of favored and unfavored classes of citizens. Probably unconstitutional as well

Neo-neocon writes. That's what happens when you exchange a rational, though occasionally impersonally cruel system, for one that is irrational and personally cruel.

The old system might screw you because that's the way the world works. The new system will screw you because it thinks you deserve it.




INEQUALITY

Never does Cowan publicly list America's richest people. Of the top 10 wealthiest individuals in America, three are self-made (Gates, Ellison, and Bloomberg). Of the next 10, four are self-made (Bezos, Page, Brin and Zuckerberg, who is 29 years old). In fact, if you descend down the Forbes 400 list, you will find self-made billionaire after self-made billionaire and few of the Wall Street hedge fund operators and bankers Cowan so decries.

In fact, Cowan's vaunted income inequality metric has been driven not by Wall Street but by technological innovation and the network effect.

It has given a bright 23-year old the opportunity to turn down an offer of $3 billion for a company he founded just two years ago.

It has given a bright 17-year old the opportunity to sell a mobile app he developed in high school for $30 million.

The left has no response to this except to rant something about white men. Wealth in the United States has to be recreated. The wealthiest men are those who find new ways of making money, whether they inherited it or not. A static business model doesn't survive in the free market.

You may be able to stay a millionaire if you inherited millions without working too hard, but you're not going to be at the top of the heap.




A CUR AND ITS VOMIT

Taken as a whole these are the twenty to twenty five percent of citizens that form It’s irreducible base. They will never know anything other than the fable they told themselves long long ago. The truth will be out there but forever beyond their withered reach. If they could know what all the others now know, they would also know how vile their entire life has been; how colonized their minds; how enslaved their souls. And so they cannot know -- or allow themselves to know -- or permit others to tell them. Like the lost children of Hamelin they will follow their Piper into the cleft in the mountain and the cleft will, in time, snap shut behind them. They cannot be rescued or redeemed. Let them go. They are known as “”dead enders” because, in the end, they are as dead as all their pretty lies.

As for the rest -- the ones that know and know that they know or are coming now to know that they know -- treat them carefully. It will be like watching many millions slowly awaken to the horror of what they’ve done to themselves and to their countrymen. They will be ashamed of themselves and not a little sickened and weakened from their extended experience with political depravity. Not all of them will make it out of the mire. Some will be unable to bear the knowing and so will return to the unknowing; will go slide back into the muck.

From Gerard Van der Leun at American Digest


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