If we had Bach on our side in this modern Crusade, what would he say? Of course he rang several grand changes on Ein Feste Burg, which is an excellent Crusading song. But I suspect JSB would have found a more specific weak point in this enemy's fortifications, giving us a more specific battle hymn.
Here's a bit from his Wedding Cantata, BWV 210,
cast as a sort of dialog between Envy and Music.
Schweigt, ihr Flöten, schweigt, ihr Töne,
Denn ihr klingt dem Neid nicht schöne,
Eilt durch die geschwärzte Luft,
Bis man euch zu Grabe ruft!
Was Luft? was Grab?
Soll die Musik verderben,
Die uns so grossen Nutzen gab?
Soll so ein Himmelskind ersterben,
Und zwar für eine Höllenbrut?
Das kann nicht sein.
Drum auf, erfrische deinen Mut!
Die Liebe kann vergnügte Saiten
Gar wohl vor ihrem Throne leiden.
Indessen lass dich nur den blassen Neid verlachen,
Was wird sich dein Gesang aus Satans Kindern machen?
Genug, dass dich der Himmel schützt,
Wenn sich ein Feind auf dich erhitzt.
This would serve equally well as a dialog between Allah and Jehovah.
Unfortunately we don't have Bach on our side; we have ..... Charlie Daniels.
Technical note: The fact that I am still breathing, not struck down by lightning, after putting Bach and Daniels in the same sentence -- twice now -- is sufficient proof that God is either nonexistent or powerless.
As part of some required report on Patriot Act, FBI reveals that it has been gathering info on thousands of Americans. This is presented, even by Fox News, as some sort of shocking! shocking! shocking! BigBrotherism.
No, no, no. Gathering info is exactly what we want and need the Bureau of Investigation to do. Failing
to gather and analyze data is why 9/11 was allowed to happen.
What makes Big Brother bad is not what he knows, but how he uses the information.
In fact, several current stories illustrate what happens when prosecutors act without
learning enough information first. Consider the Rush "doctor shopping" case, or the Duke "rape" case. Both prosecutors mindlessly forged ahead in blind fealty to the leftist cause, obsessed with pleasing Catharine McKinnon and Jesse Jackson. They didn't pause to check any of the basic facts. Both end up looking silly, but it doesn't really matter because neither will have to pay a price for their tyranny and idiocy. The so-called, and let me italicize, boldface, and underline so-called, quote """legal""" """profession""" unquote exists solely to serve Catharine McKinnon and Jesse Jackson, so this particular brand of tyranny will naturally lead to judgeships for these two idiots.
Question for Issa
Congresscritter Issa appeared on Fox just now, and offered the following 'logic' in defense of a
nonexistent immigration policy:
"We need to give amnesty to the illegals who are already here, because it's not their fault that the broken system allowed them to enter."
Oh goodie! So, if I can manage to get a gun through a malfunctioning metal detector at an airport, this means I can go ahead and board the plane with the gun, because the broken system let me through! Wow!
What's that you say? I won't be able to do that? Why? Oh, because I'm only a lowly American citizen? Amnesty is only for aristocrats
like Mexicans and Arabs? Aw, phooey. I knew there was a catch somewhere.
Tribute to a little house.
I've used this digital model of a house in a couple of cartoons. In fact it's an accurate model of my own real-life hovel, all 520 glorious square feet of it.
Next month I'll make the last
mortgage payment (Huzzah!), so this feels like a good time to pay tribute to a humble servant that has done its job beautifully.
Zooming out a bit:
Most Western towns grew in a series of discrete bursts. If you know architectural styles, you can read a town's history like counting the rings in a tree. The original townsite, down by the river or railroad, fills up quickly then sits around waiting for the next boom. If there is no next boom, the town usually fades out.
In most surviving towns you'll see a 1920's zone representing the Coolidge expansion, and a 1950's zone where the returning soldiers used their GI Bill mortgages. Aside from that you'll find a record of local events like a steel mill, an army base, or an oil-drilling boom, each in its own subdivision, with similar houses within each area.
Spokane didn't work that way. It blasted out hugely and richly at the very start (silver and gold mining, railroads), then slowly and steadily filled in afterward. A 1920 street map looks very much like the current one, so you can't find major zones or rings of growth. Thus every area holds a random mix of 1910 Sullivanesque mansions, 1920 bungalows, 1930 colonials, 1940 emergency quickies, 1950 mass-produced GI modules, 1960 Wrightish ramblers, 1970 bi-levels with awful beaverboard siding, 1980 pseudo-Palladian monstrosities, and 1990 Seven-Gables monstrosities.
This little house lives in a subdivision called Boulevard Park, platted in 1918 around an electric interurban line that never materialized. The interurban was meant to run northwest toward Loon Lake, so Boulevard Park is a five-block-wide diagonal strip. Boulevard Park didn't thrive at first; only a dozen 1920 houses are still visible. It must have been mighty rural for a long time. The next scattering of houses are a few late '30s colonials, then the 1950 GI modules pretty much saturated the land.
Based on a little research and a lot of guessing: This little house was built in 1943, when building a new house was technically illegal.
The basic square (20 by 20) is identical to a plan found in some 'kit house'
books, and is built plainly and solidly. I don't see any definite signs of kit-itude (no Aladdin or Sears indications), but there are a dozen similar houses around this quarter of town, so it's a fair hypothesis.
It was placed on the back of a corner lot already occupied by a '30s colonial; the owner of that house was listed as a contractor in the City Directory, so I'm assuming he built this place on his own lot to make some rental money from war workers, and later separated the piece of the lot.
The neighborhood must still have been semi-rural at that time, because the house had a septic tank and an oil heater.
The first occupants were Jim and Bertha Willis**. Jim died in '55, then Bertha either died or moved in '61.
The back section (laundry and storage room) was crudely tacked on in 1956. The Directories show only sporadic occupancy until 1968, at which point this house simply disappears from the books and never returns. Was it condemned at that point? Possibly, because it does show signs of a long vacancy.
In 1978 a local realtor bought it. Using Carter's 'weatherization' subsidies, he replaced the wiring and plumbing and added electric heating, aluminum siding and metal storm windows, then rented it out. In 1991 he retired from landlording and put it up for sale.
I moved to Spokane in late '90 to take a programming job at the local branch of WSU. Tired of apartments, I hoped to finally buy a house. Unfortunately my timing was poor. A whole pack of Californians had discovered Spokane at that same moment. They cashed out their wildly overvalued million-dollar GI modules in LA, and bought better houses here for 80K. So my hopes of buying a decent-sized house for a decent price evaporated, and I had to rent an apartment and lower my sights.
The delay was probably a good thing, because it gave me time to learn which parts of town are safe. Friends advised me: "Pick a bad house in a good neighborhood, not vice versa. You can fix a house but you can't fix a neighborhood." Amazingly I followed that advice, and not-so-amazingly it was good advice. The other houses available in this price bracket were nicer or larger than this one, but they were in gang-infested neighborhoods.
So in the end I didn't get what I dreamed of, but I got exactly what I needed. Low expenses, convenient location (walking distance to groceries and WalMart) and relative security.
At this point I've lived in this little house for [approximately] a quarter of its life and a quarter of my life. It will never be featured on HGTV, and it was probably not intended to last very long, but its basic design and construction have held up through six decades of bad weather and bad maintenance. So far it has only given me two expensive problems (septic tank, replaced by a real sewer connection in 2004; water heater failed two weeks ago), and in both cases it waited until I could afford the money and time to fix them.
Does my love for a minimal house make me a CrunchyCon? Maybe so. I frankly don't understand how Livin' Large
became congruent with conservatism; Coolidge wouldn't understand it either.
= = = = =
** 2014 update: Accidentally found Jim and Bertha in the 1940 Census while searching for something else. Traced them a bit further with obituaries. Jim was born in Missouri a few miles from where my grandpa was born. More Census searching (Mo ED 46-11) finds a pile of Willises and a pile of my relatives living in the same township. They were neighbors.
Jim and Bertha moved to Spokane in 1909, and in 1940 they lived a few blocks south of here in a bigger and better house. That house is still intact, and I see it every day on my walks. Jim was 53 and Bertha was 51 in '40, which would make him 68 when he died in 1955. Bertha then moved in with relatives in the Valley and died in 1970. Jim was a mechanic with above-average income, so it's not obvious why they 'downsized' to this house in '43.
Kindler Gentler Georgie is using words to answer the gas-price problem.
Does he actually understand that he occupies the office of President? We humble citizens and bloggers can do nothing but bitch and moan and suggest solutions. The President -- uniquely -- can take concrete
steps to solve this problem, because it's not just a matter of prices but an obvious part of the current war.
Executive orders were meant to be a wartime tool. Clinton overused them in peacetime, but that doesn't mean a wartime president should avoid them. Now is the proper
time for executive action.
For one thing, he can open up all offshore drilling by executive order, even if that hurts the feelings of Bro Jeb and Bro Arnold. For another, he can remove all legal barriers to building new refineries with the 'stroke of a pen', and then give oil companies an urgent choice: Build them, or we'll nationalize you. He can do the same with nuclear power. Remove regulatory barriers, enact Loser Pays in all federal courts, and then dare the power companies to get going. (This approach to nukes will work easily because power companies are already well underway with plans for many new nuclear plants. With oil, the forcible alternative might be needed.)
I know that KGG will not do any of this, because he is basically a World Federalist liberal, a citizen of the United Nations. KGG obviously cares more about Mexico, Dubai, and China than about dull old America.
I don't understand why CIA and the media put such emphasis on the question of authenticity when a new Osama or Zawahiri tape comes along. The question would make good sense for a tape that came into CIA anonymously, 'over the transom'. It's totally irrelevant for a tape broadcast by al-Jazeera. Their own sources believe it's authentic, and their audience will believe what it says. If it agrees with Osama, the effect will be identical regardless of who owns the larynx that produced the sound. If it disagrees with Osama in any meaningful way, we can be sure that Osama himself will counter it quickly. So we don't need to check its authenticity at all. For 100% of practical purposes, it's authentic.
Vive la France!
Where has Polistra been lately? France .... at least in spirit.
Our opinion leaders are deriding France for its latest 'surrender', as seen in this
Hold on a minute. It's true that France has surrendered to Germany once
, but these recent developments are the opposite of surrender. Getting rid of bad laws is not surrender in my book. Getting rid of bad laws is common sense.
No American politician has the guts to veto a smoking ban.
No American politician has the guts to veto a Superfund law, even though we've seen how it gives
lawyers total power to steal anything they want.
No American politician dares to give young workers a sense of security, though some claim they would like to. [Granted, it's hard to compare with American circumstances in this case, mainly because French youth acquire something called an 'education' before starting in the workforce, unlike American youth who need to spend the first few years at work learning to read and write. So French youngsters are more likely to pick the right career area, if not necessarily the right job at the start.]
Finally, Chirac has flung down the gauntlet at Allah decisively: Any attack or planned attack will be met with all possible force, including nuclear.
Our opinion leaders also like to deride France's policy of short work weeks. Nonsense. If the 35-hour week was bad for business, France would be dismally failing and we would be triumphantly succeeding. It's the other way around, dammit.
France has about 1/6 of our population, yet it has three major NON-BANKRUPT auto companies (Renault, Citroen, Peugeot) and several smaller specialty firms. France has Airbus, which competes on the same level as Boeing. France runs a large trade surplus with us directly, and France's overall trade balance has been strongly positive for many years. It turned negative for the first time in 2004, at roughly $800 per person. America's global trade balance has been strongly negative for many years, getting worse fast; in 2004 it was $2800 per person.
Yes, I know economists tell us that trade deficits mean nothing. Sorry, I don't buy that line any more. Our specific trade deficit means that China owns us.
What do we have to show for our 70-hour weeks and two-earner families? Oversized and refinanced houses that nobody has time to enjoy.
Casinos and mortgages. That's where the American economy is going: Bets and debts.
Earth is round, part II
A reagent-quality example
of the New Inquisition at work. A school supervisor in Palm Beach has been fired for calling homosexuals a "protected species".
In other words, for saying that the earth is round.
perfectly predictable thing about the firing is that Lynch was actually taking the side of the homosexuals:During the meeting, Lynch brought up the board's discrimination policy, amended in 2003 to protect individuals on the basis of sexual orientation. According to the meeting transcript, Lynch complained that the school district's enforcement of the policy was insufficient.
"So we now added this protected species and we haven't done it to the level we need to," he said.
perfectly predictable thing is that the firing perfectly proves Lynch's own point. This species has so many layers of legal protection that you can't even state the fact
that this species is protected.
Economic common sense
A rare bit of clarity on monetary policy, by Tom Bethell in the Spectator. What makes it rare is that Bethell is thinking about the welfare of savers and ordinary folks in general, so his logic is understandable to savers like me.
The business news on TV is exclusively aimed at the bettors in the Wall Street Casino, who hate savings with a purple passion because savers take money off the Casino's roulette tables.Here.
From Steve Sailer's
column this morning:To reach a high position in American life, it doesn't pay to waste time associating with a wide range of your fellow human beings. You are much better off spending as much time as possible schmoozing other ambitious people who can help you out. It pays to adopt whatever conventions they exhibit in terms of what you are supposed to talk and write about. And, for highly verbal people like journalists, it's safest if you train yourself never to even think about anything you aren't supposed to express.
Somewhat similarly, I once noticed when talking to a famous scientist who had decided to write academic articles about race that this person essentially never noticed anything about reality that didn't appear in a refereed academic journal (i.e., something that could be cited in one's own papers). This is an extremely efficient attitude for generating papers of one's own, but it seemed a tad limiting.
This observation isn't fresh, of course; any honest look at careerism and tenure reaches the same conclusion. It's especially bad in academe, where a graduate student quickly understands that he has two choices: enslave every synapse of his brain to his advisor's thinking, or waste 15 years of his life.
Sailer's observation suddenly illuminates a trend I've been half-consciously noticing. Blogs haven't been doing their job lately; they haven't caught any big liars or cheats since Dan Rather.
We caught Dan because we came from a wide variety of backgrounds and mindsets, and brought our varied expertise to bear on one target.
Now the blogworld is dividing into the 'killer apps' and the private journals read only by spybots. The big dogs, the killer apps, are mostly written by folks who started as professional journalists. They are mavericks to be sure, but they still had the same 'professional deformation' as a Katie Couric or a Shep Smith.
Addendum: This trend is completely understandable in hindsight, though I don't think it was predicted beforehand. The essential qualities of a newspaper have evolved over 300 years in response to reader desires. Those essentials remain constant whether the text is set by Linotype and printed on a Heidelberg Rotary, or set by Wordpad and printed on your CRT. A mix of hard news, human interest, humor, and philosophy, united by a recognizable and sympathetic voice. Ink newspapers lost that combination over the years as they became pure carriers for Leninist orthodoxy. Because readers still longed for the original set of qualities, something
was bound to fill the niche. So it's hardly surprising that the folks who do it best are those who have learned the tricks and disciplines of the craft.
Two simultaneous events:
1. A black whore stupidly tries to protect her pimp from an assault charge by falsely accusing some rich boys.
2. A nation that has been warring us (in various degrees) since 1978 declares that it is now beginning the final assault.
Which event do you take with deadly seriousness?
If you picked (1), congratulations! You are an American! For a few more weeks anyway.
Why such despair? Simple. Persians are considerably
smarter than Arabs. We can make 'thousands of tactical errors'
in fighting Arabs and still have a chance of winning. Not so with Persians.
When the enemy ANNOUNCES that he is training 40,000 suicide bombers, the word 'pre-emptive' no longer applies. (Though I don't understand why any rational human would object to pre-emptive war anyway.)
If we had a rational government, now would be Fat Boy time. B-52 time. Time for 40,000 megatons. Time to de-populate Persia.
If we actually have any bombs, that is. If Anorexic Rumsfeld
hasn't already sold all of our nuclear arsenal to China as part of his senile preparation for the 1991 peace dividend.
I no longer believe that we can do anything. Persia wins. Checkmate. A uniquely appropriate word here....
Addendum: the 'dialog' on this subject is even more bizarre than on Iraq. With Iraq, we heard lukewarm defenders of Bush's lukewarm Kindler Gentler War, versus advocates of total surrender. No defenders of serious fighting. On Iran, the Sunday Morning Experts offer a spirited debate between Chamberlain and Chamberlain. One side wants to bombard Iran with Robust Diplomatic Language, and the other side wants to let the UN slam Iran with Robust Diplomatic Language.
Who knows, maybe France will come to our rescue by actually nuking Tehran. In this insane asylum, Chirac seems to have the firmest voice against Allah.
Two stories make me wonder if 'conventional wisdom' has really gone utterly loony.
1. A story about the role of household cleanliness in preventing allergies and asthma. New and 'shocking' research shows that early exposure to a certain amount of germs and dirt is good for the immune system, and leads to less asthma later on. The announcer says "Intuition tells us that cleaner is better." Whoa. Not my intuition, not my grandparents' or parents' intuition. Fifty years ago, conventional wisdom totally comprehended the idea of immunity, which was already a couple of centuries old. When we talked about a kid who had asthma, we assumed that his mother was a Lysol freak, and we were usually right.
If the tone of this story truly represents modern 'common sense', then we've truly lost our minds. I wonder if the Precautionary Principle
has penetrated our brains to the extent that we no longer believe in immunity?Here
is the ABC version of the story. [I must have been listening to the CBS version on TV, but couldn't find it on the web for reference.]
2. Various panelists discussing Moussaoui agree easily that he's crazy, because he wants Allah to curse us, and because he had dreams about 9/11 and Afghanistan that turned out to be true. He also dreamed that Bush will pardon him and send him to London. So what's crazy about any of that? Most of what he says is perfectly consistent and appropriate for an enemy soldier, specifically in the Army of Allah. Some people have more accurate dreams than others, and if his dreams were accurate on the first two points, he's probably a good choice for a soldier in that particular army. As for the third dream, I'll bet he's right there as well, even though I haven't had a dream to that effect. In Misterbush's Neighborhood, everyone is forgivable, and Arabs are just good people who we need to understand better.
What would Fallaci say about Comedy Central's dhimmitude?
Well, let's open The Rage and the Pride
at random....The problem is that the solution does not depend upon the death of
Osama bin Laden. Because the bin Ladens are too many by now.
Moreover, they are no longer the bold Moors who conquered Spain and Portugal riding camels and fighting with golden scimitars. Times change. Today they are the shrewd tricksters whom we teach how to pilot a 757 jet, how to use a sophisticated computer, how to fabricate a nuclear weapon. How to destroy or block an electrical system ... how to unleash an epidemic virus. How to blackmail a government, how to manipulate a Pope, how to seduce and exploit the media and the so-called intellectual world. ... They have excellent bonds with our churches, our banks, our televisions, our radios, our newspapers, our publishers, our academic organizations, our unions, our political parties.
Worse: they live in the heart of a society that hosts them without questioning their differences, without checking their bad intentions, without penalizing their fanaticism. ... Which is the reason why these Reverse Crusaders become more and more, demand more and more, boss around more and more. Also, the reason why (if we continue to stay inert) they will vex and boss us more and more. Till the point of subduing us. Therefore, dealing with them is impossible. Attempting a dialogue, unthinkable. Showing indulgence, suicidal. And he or she who believes the contrary is a fool.
Sidenote 1: I find it mildly interesting that this question is being discussed properly and fully in the blogworld, with a proper perspective (i.e., it's just a TV show, but it's evidence of our submission.) Yet I don't hear anything about it on TV. Possibly I'm missing something, but normally when I click around the dial, the various 'TV shows about TV shows' like Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight will be discussing the latest political gimmick by some left-wing drama or comedy. And they'll be discussing it often enough and long enough that I'm bound to catch it at some point. I don't hear a word about South Park's Mohammed episode; not even an attempt to dismiss it as just another political shtick. Only silence. Orwell would call it unthink
. Even discussing whether the topic is discussable is undiscussable.
Even on the pro-American side of this question, we seem to be missing the basic danger. Much of the chatter runs like this: "If we censor ourselves we're failing to use our rights, and we're becoming like them.
No. Wrong. Dead wrong. Self-restraint is usually a good thing, and in wartime even government censorship can be a good thing. It's one of the temporary sacrifices we make in order to have our LIVES and our PROPERTY relatively intact so we can resume our normal way of life after the war. We understood this clearly in previous major wars.
The problem here and now is deeper and simpler. Separate out the whole topic of censorship, and what we have here is a major corporation OBEYING THE ENEMY'S ORDERS. It's just incidental that self-censorship is the primary way for a TV network to obey the enemy. Other corporations could submit in their own ways: Tyson Foods could offer only halal meat; Donna Karan could design only burqas; USBank could stop paying and charging interest. Allah has enough rules for everybody. The fact remains that our media are OBEYING ALLAH in the way that matters most for their particular product. They are sacrificing to HELP the enemy, not sacrificing to assist OUR morale. That's the problem. Censorship is not the problem.
With apologies to Jack Benny
So we have this choice. Should we allow an influx of Mohammedans or Mexicans?
Well, let's examine the pros and cons. With Mexicans we get bad but cheerful art, bad but cheerful music, big families with high morals and a decent work ethic. With Mohammedans we get no music, no art, rape, mutilation, and suicide bombings.
Hmm. Bad music or total destruction. Bad music or total destruction. Let me think..........
Yes, democracies war.
I'm just damned tired of this Wilson / Bush nonsense. Bush keeps repeating the mantra "Democracies don't war". No amount of repetition will true this phrase. (If Bush can verb his nouns, so can I.)
Germany and Japan both had parliamentary systems before WW2. Hitler was the product of free and fair elections, as was Tojo. Both grabbed more power than the parliament intended, but they were originally elected the Wilson / Bush way.
What turned Germany and Japan into peaceful nations after
WW2 was not the first coming of democracy. It was millions of deaths. It was the knowledge that we had the A-bomb and were willing to use it. We didn't worry about their hearts and minds until we knew that we owned their sphincters.
In the current situation, Ahmadinejad of Persia is an elected president, and he is most assuredly preparing to war us. Hamas was "legitimately" elected in Palestine, and it is still committed to warring us.
Worst of all, Bush is trying to have it both ways. He insists that the new Iraq government is legitimate, but he is also trying to push Jaffari out of office.
If you're going to Wilson, you have to Wilson all the way. Whatever awful Mohammedan or terrorist regime takes power, it must be A-OK if it got there by an election certified by Jimmy Carter. You have to give it all the money it wants, and let it war you.
If you're going to LBJ, you have to LBJ properly and fully. Tell the Iraqi government that we put them in place, and their job is to do our bidding. It's too late for that, though.
As I've said before, the evidence of the last century is remarkably clear. Wilsoning fails, LBJing succeeds.
Fallaci gives us the larger goal of the Arabs in the current war. (And yes, the enemy is primarily Arabs qua Arabs, secondarily allied with other sons of Allah.)
In her younger days as a globetrotting journalist in 1968, she interviewed Yasser Arafat and his rival George Habash,
alias al Hakim, the founder of PFLP. From Arafat she got nothing but stupid shouting and spitting, but from Habash she got a chilling declaration of the full and final intentions of Jihad:
"Our revolution is a part of the world revolution. It is not confined to the reconquest of Palestine. The time has come to admit that we want a war like the war in Vietnam. That we want another Vietnam, and not only for Palestine but for all the Arab countries. The Palestinian problem is not an aside problem, a problem separated from the Arab Nation's realities. Palestinians are part of the Arab Nation. Therefore the entire Arab Nation must go to war against Europe and America. It must unleash a war against the West. And it will. America and Europe don't know that we Arabs are just at the beginning of the beginning. That from now on there will be no peace for the West. To advance step by step. Millimeter by millimeter. Year after year. Decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy. A strategy that we shall expand throughout the entire planet."
Fallaci expands on this: "In short, the war waged through immigration, fertility, presumed pluriculturalism, EU Agreements. The Islamic holidays, the five prayers interrupting work, the halal meat, the face covered on the driver's license, to begin with."
This Mohammedan revolution by fertility is already well under way in Europe, as France has unfortunately discovered, but it hasn't even started in America. Among the American residents who get counted as Mohammedan, about 80% are actually Louis Farrakhan's followers, a racist cult that has only superficial connections to the Koran and no connection to Arabs. Though they certainly enjoy conducting pogroms against Jews, so far they haven't shown a desire to participate in the larger Arab Jihad. (The Beltway Snipers were not Farrakhanites, but converts to genuine Mohammedanism.)
So: Our local 'invaders by fertility' are instead Mexican. Seen in this light, I'm starting to harbor a heretical thought. Maybe we should be glad that our requirements for cheap and illegal labor are being saturated by Mexicans instead of Arabs or Turks as in Europe. Mexicans are not part of Jihad. They are not bloody Mohammedan murderers but devoted Catholics. The Virgin Mary inspires them to raise strictly disciplined and fiercely loved children. Allah inspires his followers to rape virgins. The Virgin Mary loves music and art, and has inspired the very best
of both. Allah hates music and art, and his followers destroy both.
So: Europe and America both need fertile invaders as we become old and barren. Given the choice between simple Catholics and bloody sons of Allah, I'll take the Mexicans in a New York microsecond.
Sidenote: I'll grant that Mexican BVM-influenced music
are not quite up to Bach or Caravaggio. Still, they do create a whole lot of it, and it's all sort of innocent and sweet. Maybe, just maybe, we jaded post-Protestants could use a pull in that direction.
A couple thoughts about immigration...
Protesters in Seattle are chanting "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us." In case anyone still doesn't understand their overall goal, this should make it clear. They want to undo the Louisiana Purchase. Okay then, if we let them have what they want, which the chickenshit cowardass Republicans in the Senate are perfectly willing to do, what will the net result be? Mexico will contain the entire western half of the North American continent. Which means that the entire western half of North America will quickly descend into abject poverty. And where will the Mexicans go for work then? You got it, they will still go into what's left of the United States.
Stan Marsh and Oriana Fallaci don't look much alike, to put it mildly.
But they say the same thing.
Here's a passage from Fallaci's latest book, The Force of Reason.Today's secular Inquisition is shrewd, you see. It fights death penalty and instead of the body it tortures the soul. Instead of the pincers or the ropes or the axes it uses bloodless tools: newspapers, radio, television, journalists, politicians, unsucecessful academics, movie starlets. Instead of the jails controlled by the Holy Office it uses stadiums, squares, marches which -- taking advantage of freedom -- kill freedom. Instead of cowls (but often you see the cowls too) it uses djellabahs and chadors and the tracksuits of the rainbow-flaggers who call themeselves pacifists, or the blue suits and red ties of their puppet-masters (Members of the Parliament, writers, trade-union ringleaders, reporters, bankers, prelates. The new valets of the Holy Office, in short, the Fra' Accursios who serve a power smuggled in as anti-Power.) In other words, it has changed its face. But its essence is unaltered. And if you write that the Earth is round, you become an outlaw rightaway. A heretic to be burned.
South Park has been illuminating Fallaci's manuscript for the last couple of years, using an art form that may reach more Americans than Oriana's slightly out-of-phase English. At the end of most episodes Stan tells us that the Earth is round.
It will be interesting indeed to see what our modern Inquisitors do with next week's episode.
'Nation of Immigrants'
The pro-illegal side (which includes most of the Beltway Republicans) is fond of saying "We're a nation of immigrants!" as a final and definitive argument.
Well, let's take a look. First, every nation except possibly Ethiopia is composed of immigrants. The human species apparently started somewhere in East Africa and spread over the earth in an uncountable series of migrations. Certainly every country in the Western Hemisphere is a mix of early Siberian immigrants and fairly recent immigrants from Europe and elsewhere. So this phrase doesn't describe the United States in any unique way.
Second, there's nothing in the Constitution that requires open borders or forbids closing borders. Favoring lots of immigration was an important policy in the late 1800's because we had a huge empty territory in the West that needed to be settled. Later on, as the frontier became full, we gradually closed the inlet valve. If we're going to use cultural imperatives from 1850 as the basis of modern policy, we should also bring back slavery and industrial sweatshops, and take away women's vote.
"Give me your tired, your poor..." is a poem, not a law of nature, for heaven's sake. If we're going to use poems from that period as the basis of policy, let's go all the way!
Underneath all the jabber, there is exactly one important and valid reason to favor well-regulated
immigration: our mainly Protestant natives are reproducing below the replacement rate. Only the Catholics from Mexico are still having (and loving) new children. So we need to make it easy for them to settle here and assimilate. Current policy makes citizenship terribly difficult, and makes working illegally very easy. We need to reverse the reward/punishment pattern.
Libby and Wilson again....
The enemy media are predictably knocking Bush for one of the few really good and powerful things he's done: discrediting Joe Wilson. Unfortunately, because of the Byzantine Rove technique, Bush is left without a decent defense.
I've said this before,
and it's even more relevant today:End the New Tone, with its hyperclever attempts to please enemies without enraging friends. This is just another example of what happens when you try to make those 5-corner bank shots.
No more stealth, no more New Tone. Just tell us what you're doing and why. Friends of America will understand perfectly and will be happy; enemies will also understand perfectly and will be unhappy. What the hell is wrong with that?
In this case, the straightforward solution would have been to come out publicly just after Wilson's first article: "I'm declassifying this information to show you how Wilson is attempting to sabotage our war effort. If you in the Democrat media think I don't have the authority to declassify information, you should have criticized Bill Clinton when he declassified massive amounts of data on the following subjects [...] and the following dates [....]. Since you didn't criticize him, your attempt to criticize me will only show yet again that you are Democrat operatives, not journalists. Now here's the declassified information that disproves Wilson's assertions ......"
Because Bush, for whatever incomprehensible reasons, is unwilling or unable to behave like a normal rational leader, he has locked himself into this ridiculous position.