Saturday, September 30, 2006
  Slow and stupid




The theme this week is slow and stupid. Mainly I've been working on graphics projects and simply didn't have enough spare neurons or spare blood pressure to think about politics. That's probably good anyway!

Both the slow and the stupid were amplified by heat: summer decided to stay an extra week after I took down the window air conditioner. It wasn't worth the effort to put it back in and take it back out yet again ... too much heavy lifting involved.

And, for the last few weeks my computer has clearly been ailing more and more, sometimes crashing with a Blue Screen Of Death, generally slowing down. Finally came to a [nearly] screeching halt this morning.

Luckily I'd backed up everything that matters, since I could see the problem coming. Also luckily, I kept the System Recovery disk this time. (When previous computer failed, I had no recourse because I had stupidly tossed the "unnecessary" disk.)

So it's back in order, running fast again. What apparently happened was a hardware failure in the modem, which was issuing more and more junk IRQ's, causing a pileup of automatic debug activity. New modem and fresh Windows install cured it.

However, stupidity is incurable. While I was sorting through CD's to find the System Restore disk, and while I was thanking lucky stars that I hadn't thrown away the Restore disk THIS time, I casually THREW AWAY THE INSTALLATION CD for a new modem I'd bought some time ago but never used.

Yes, that's right. At the same moment when I was intensely aware of the stupidity of tossing CD's, I tossed a CD.

Needless to say, this new modem was exactly what the computer needed.

But Providence was on my side (why, I don't know!) ... because I hadn't yet taken the trash out to the street when I realized the modem was needed. So I just had to wash some coffee grounds off the CD.
 
Monday, September 25, 2006
  Start from the end.




One of the few things I've learned in life: When you want to perform a large task, start from the end, not the beginning. Figure out what the final product should do, what it should look like, and build a trial version that sort of works. Then gradually build and refine the middle parts, planting each in the final version.

If you start from the beginning, planning and building all the subparts before you assemble the total product, most likely you'll never finish. And if you do finish, you'll have a lot of useless features and functions that seemed to serve a purpose at some intermediate stage of your planning.

In our so-called 'debate' about this war, neither side is paying any attention to the final product: Victory.

The big story this morning is a leaked intel report showing that enemy activity has increased since we started fighting.

Well, yes, that's how it goes in a fight.

When the victim just lays back and enjoys it, the attacker doesn't have to fight much. When the victim fights back, the attacker has to fight more intensely. (Paraphrasing an old Confucius joke.)

As usual, our 'debate' is restricted to two sides, neither of which will lead to victory.

The D side says we should stop fighting, enjoy the rape, bear the child, and raise him as a good Mohammedan.

The R side says we should continue struggling in our cautious and sensitive way, being very careful not to actually injure the attacker, because other attackers will be more likely to hurt us if that happens.

What's missing? The V side. A Victorious Vision of what the world should look like when the attacker is dead. In fact, the entire concept of 'finished' is missing in the Rumsfeld / Wilson / Bush model. We just keep on struggling, while the enemy gradually impregnates us.

We could in fact create a 'demo version' of a World Without Allah in our own country if we tried.........

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Sidenote: Yes, I know the picture doesn't match the message. I was going to focus on the disgusting Rule Of Law Circus surrounding Saddam, who should have been killed as soon as we captured him. I ended up writing in a different direction, but Polistra still represents my overall mood today.
 
Thursday, September 21, 2006
  Utterly bamfoozled.



I must confess to being totally puzzled. Absolutely confused. Thoroughly at a loss. Utterly uncomprehending ... about the wall-to-wall coverage of Hugo Chavez and his insulting talk. All the Republican talking-point vendors are repeating his "sulfur" phrase over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and all the Republican talking-point vendors are saying the same things about it.

Look.

Chavez is our enemy. He doesn't like us. He says bad things about us.

We don't like him. We say bad things about him.

This is completely normal. This is dog bites man. This is not news.

I also fail to understand why it's more of an insult when he bites us in New York, as opposed to biting us in Venezuela.

When you see a fierce dog in front of your door, you should leave him outside.

When you see a fierce dictator asking for admission to your country, you should leave him outside.

If you let him in, you really can't complain that he growls and bites.

The problem here is not that an enemy has bad things to say about us.

The problem is that the Bush administration didn't have enough common sense to lock the door and leave him outside.
 
  Going to the well

I notice that Ahmadinejad has been invited to speak at Columbia U in New York. Highly appropriate. Mahmoud's reign is centered on bringing the Hidden Mahdi out of his well. Columbia is the well of leftist evil in the US.

Columbia is where the new left started, and where its intellectual leaders Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward still generate new evil daily. Piven and Cloward are not public figures outside NYC, but historians of the Left like Fred Siegel and David Horowitz have documented their tactics fully. Not surprisingly, George Soros is closely involved in funding Piven-Cloward movements.

From a Horowitz article:

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.


Think about the left and its media 'swarming' on Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the Geneva Convention for a nice modern example, funded of course by Soros.

So it's thoroughly appropriate for Mahmoud the Well-Digger to be speaking at Columbia. Our own apocalypse has been rising from the well of Columbia for decades, and those same leftists have been closely allied with Jihadis since 1968.
 
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
  Battle of definitions



Polistra is still in mourning for la Fallaci, but she insisted on doing this picture. Which definition do you suppose will do more to advance civilization?
 
  The. Clearest. Explanation. Of. All.

Via the Sixth Column blog, a long theological essay, which serves as an extension and exegesis of Benedict's short lecture. This essay, by the pseudonymous Spengler, is absolutely the clearest and deepest picture of the difference between Allah and Jehovah, and the FINAL explanation of why the followers of Allah cannot be reformed.

The core of the essay:

What mankind - Christian, Muslim and Jew, and all - demand of God is irrational. We want eternal life!

But what is it that God demands of us in response to our demand for eternal life? We know the answer ourselves. To partake of life in another world we first must detach ourselves from this world in order to desire the next. In plain language, we must sacrifice ourselves. There is no concept of immortality without some concept of sacrifice, not in any culture or in any religion. That is a demand shared by the Catholic bishops and the Kalahari Bushmen.

We are too comfortable, too clean, too squeamish, too modern to descend into the terrible space where birth, death and immortality are decided. We forget that we cannot have eternal life unless we are ready to give up this one - and this the Muslim knows only through what we should call the sacrament of jihad. Through jihad, the Muslim does almost precisely what the Christian does at the Lord's Supper.

Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to give all men eternal life, on condition that they take part in his sacrifice, either through the physical communion of the Catholic Church or the empathetic Communion of Protestantism. From a Muslim vantage point, the extreme of divine humility embodied in Jesus' sacrifice is beyond reason. Allah, by contrast ... demands that all Muslims sacrifice themselves by becoming warriors and, if necessary, laying their lives down in the perpetual war against the enemies of Islam.

What distinguishes Allah from Jehovah and (in Christian belief) his son Jesus is love. God gives Jews and Christians a path that their foot can tread, one that is not too hard for mortals, to secure the unobtainable, namely immortal life, as if by miracle.

To Christians, God offers the vicarious participation in his sacrifice of himself through his only son.

That is Grace: a free gift by God to men such that they may obtain eternal life. By a miracle, the human soul responds to the offer of Grace with a leap, a leap away from the attachments that hold us to this world, and a foretaste of the World to Come.

There is no Grace in Islam, no miracle, no expiatory sacrifice, no expression of love for mankind such that each Muslim need not be a sacrifice. On the contrary, the concept of jihad, in which the congregation of Islam is also the army, states that every single Muslim must sacrifice himself personally. Jihad is the precise equivalent of the Lord's Supper in Christianity and the Jewish Sabbath, the defining expression of sacrifice that opens the prospect of eternity to the mortal believer.

To ask Islam to become moderate, to reform, to become a peaceful religion of personal conscience is the precise equivalent of asking Catholics to abolish Mass.


-----

There is one further difference that Spengler doesn't quite hit: The Mohammedan is not just required to sacrifice his own blood; he is required to sacrifice the blood of other people to achieve his own immortality.
 
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
  Insane McCain

I've figured out exactly what's so weird about McCain's approach to torture, Geneva, etc.

There are two normal and rational responses when a parent or an older generation has endured significant hardship. Let's take the most stereotypical example.

Hardship: "Son, I had to walk 10 miles to school every day through snow, rain, mud and tornados."

Consequence 1: "So I'm not going to change anything. I want you to have the same experience so you can toughen up like I did."

Consequence 2: "So I'm going to let you ride the bus to school. I want you to have a better life than I did."

Neither of these responses is automatically better; either one could be the best for the son, depending on personalities and circumstances.

Is McCain taking either of these paths? No. He is saying:

"I had to endure terrible hardships as a prisoner. So I'm not going to change anything, because I want you [young soldiers] to have a better life than I did."

This is hopelessly nonsensical.
 
Monday, September 18, 2006
  Rush's question

Rush is on a wonderful roll this morning, ripping McCain and Graham a new one or two. He just asked: "When have we EVER become like the enemy?"

Though the question was rhetorical, there is a real and informative answer. Twice in history we did in fact adopt some of the enemy's characteristics. Both times it was part of a 'long twilight struggle' in which we were more focused on 'winning hearts and minds' than on winning the war.

In the '30s, FDR was conscious of the appeal of Fascist ideologies; he was watching Fascism march across Europe without any actual fighting. He introduced government programs like Social Security not because they were the best possible solution to our problems, but because he had to co-opt the desire for big government. (The word "social", though it sounds nice, had a specific connotation understood in those times: avoiding riots and unrest.)

Later, as we competed with the Soviets, we built our Military-Industrial Complex in Soviet form. We felt that we had to match the Soviet emphasis on heavy industry and heavy weaponry, so our industries and schools came under government control and became regimented in an unnatural way. This also gave Soviet agents plenty of time to infect and corrupt our culture and courts, where they still hold power. The trend started to reverse when Reagan decided to use American strengths like innovation and individualism. At that point we were able to win the war, though the damage done by subversion (i.e. Federal judges assuming powers they don't hold) is still sabotaging our current war.

So: If we want to become more like the enemy, we should carry on with the Bush / Wilson / Rumsfeld approach. Fight carefully and sensitively, build schools and water systems for the enemy, focus on 'hearts and minds', obey the Leninist courts, settle in for a long patient competition, give the enemy 50 years to sabotage us and weaken our will.

I guarantee we will end up in Allah's razor-wire embrace if we continue along this path.
 
Sunday, September 17, 2006
  McCain's experience

A minor point perhaps, but it deserves to be countered.

I keep hearing, from commentators like Bill Kristol, the notion that John McCain's insistence on enforcing the Geneva Convention is 'justifiable because of his experience.'

No, it isn't. In fact his experience, processed through a mature mind, should lead him to the opposite conclusion. The Geneva Convention was already in force at the time when the North Vietnamese did horrible things to McCain. It didn't help him a bit, so a rational man would conclude that it isn't going to help anyone else. If he wants to save future soldiers from equally atrocious treatment, he should be looking in other places for the solution.

The best solution of all is to prevent future soldiers from having to fight vicious enemies. And how do we get there? We win this war speedily and decisively, then we strengthen our intelligence and defenses so future enemies will see only futility when they envision attacking America.
 
Saturday, September 16, 2006
  Reading the whole thing

Ratzinger's Regensburg speech is short and readable. He does in fact criticize the Mohammedan way of thinking, but he spends far more time and effort criticizing the Protestant sola scriptura approach and the modern post-Christian social-gospel mindset. Funny, I don't see any Lutherans or Episcopalians rioting or bombing churches in response. Wonder why?

His conclusion tells us what he's really after:

Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: "It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about being - but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss".

The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur – this is the program with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. "Not to act reasonably (with logos) is contrary to the nature of God", said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.


-----

Indeed an excellent point. Dialog is nice, I suppose ... though I've never seen any genuine effect from dialog. However! The middle of a war is simply not the time to propose a dialog.
 
  Welcome back to Civilization, Benedict!

Since I've kicked Benedict XVI up one side and down the other for his shameful moral neutrality between Israel and Hezbollah, I need to praise him now that he has finally come to his senses. Especially because his senses appear to be responding to the irreplaceable Fallaci; and especially because he is doing exactly what I hoped he would do: aligning Rome and Byzantium against Mohammed by quoting a Byzantine emperor.

A passage from Fallaci's The Force of Reason:

Last August I was received in private audience by Ratzinger. A Pope who loves my work since he read 'Letter to a Child Never Born' and whom I deeply respect since I read his intelligent books. Morover, with whom I happen to agree in many occasions. For example, when he writes that the West has developed a sort of hatred toward itself. That it no longer loves itself, that it has lost its spirituality and risks to lose its identity too. ... This is also why I state that, in selling itself to theocratic Islam, secularism has missed the most important appointment offered to it by History.

And in doing so it has opened a void, an abyss, that only spirituality can fill. It is also why in the Church of today I see an unexpected partner, an unexpected ally.... Unless, of course, the Church too misses its appointment with History. Something I don't foresee, though. And I don't becuse, in reaction to the materialistic ideologies which have characterized the century we just left, the century ahead seems to me marked by an inevitable nostalgia or irresistible need of religiousness.


In other words, you can't replace an evil religion with an empty theory like democracy. You have to replace it with a good religion, and the Pope is best positioned to start such a replacement.

-----

Later: Unfortunately, the Vatican is backing off in the face of violence by Mohammedan savages, issuing "sincere regrets" that Mohammedans have "misinterpreted" Ratzinger's remarks.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

The CORRECT response is "I said you're violent savages. Thanks for proving my point so quickly and enthusiastically!"
 
  Traitors

Lindsey Graham, John McCain, John Warner. Yeah, you.

You are all traitors and should all be, at the very least, ejected from Congress.

Preferably tried for treason.

You are attempting to give legal protection to the enemy.

If legal protection isn't a form of aid and comfort, then what is it?

How is this any different from the act of a spy or saboteur?
 
Friday, September 15, 2006
  Fallaci is gone



The brightest light of Civilization is extinguished.


Malkinhas full details.
 
Thursday, September 14, 2006
  Desecrating cemeteries

In general, I don't bother to speak when I have nothing new to say. So I haven't bothered to comment on the story about the Taliban we failed to kill, because even the Republican team loyalists are breaking ranks to criticize this idiocy. Just after the ABC movie properly knocked both Clinton and Bush Junior for letting Osama run free, we hear that Bush Junior still hasn't figured out the basics. Killing the enemy is a pretty good way to defeat the enemy. Shouldn't be so hard to understand, huh?

However, there's one specific application of the same notion that I haven't heard yet.

If we really want to prevent mosques and cemeteries from being desecrated, we should make it a special point to kill the enemy in mosques and cemeteries. After he realizes that these places will no longer serve as shelter, he will stop using them. Then they will be free of desecration.
 
  Try a little pettiness.



News item: All of the Segway scooter thingies have been recalled to fix a software glitch. That's fine... happens to the best of us.

What really caught my attention was that the total number of Segway scooter thingies is 23,500.

Remember the hype when the Segway was introduced? It was The Next Big Thing, The Biggest Invention Since Fire, The Universal Transport Device.

After all that hype, you inevitably have the subconscious feeling that there must be millions of them, even if you've never actually seen one. Nope, not millions. 23,500.

My courseware has sold nearly twice that many copies, without any hype.

Schadenfreude? You betcha.
 
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
  Time capsule


Apropos of nothing in particular.... This little song is neither grand nor classical, but it's simply a perfect gem, perfectly performed here by Buddy Baines and the Blue Seal Boys in 1947. If some future dhimmis want to know what Christianity was all about, this song probably sums it up as well as anything.

Listen.
 
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
  Give us Romney. Now.

Mitt Romney hasn't spoken much lately; must admit I was beginning to drift toward Newt as the more likely candidate in '08. (Right now would be better, but we unfortunately don't have that choice.)

Granted, Romney has been busy governing a big state, with lots of corruption to dig up; and Newt has nothing better to do than to appear on TV. Still, once your hat is in the ring you really have to keep your words in the public ear.

Romney has finally found time to speak on the war, and he has outdone himself. A brief passage:

I'd like to talk about doors for just a minute.

When I was little, my boxer dog's bark meant that Dad was coming through the back door. He was finally home, and the fun could begin.

When I became a married man, walking through the kitchen door was the happiest moment in my day. Everything that had been occupying my concerns was suddenly unimportant.

...

Today, we mourn because of doors that no longer open, open to fathers and mothers fresh from work; open to sons and daughters home for dinner; open to husbands and wives waiting an evening's embrace.

Because crazed fanatics broke down the fragile doors of their Boston-based aircraft, the doors of so many, many lives are now empty and shadowed.

It is hard for our minds to contemplate a human darkness so vile that it celebrates murder and destruction of innocent lives.


The whole thing in PDF form here.

Splendid writing. He's not trying to sound like Churchill, not trying to sound like Lincoln [which Bush unfortunately tries, only to sound foolish], not imitating anyone except himself. Still, the subject and tone resonated with something I'd read before ...



This was part of a long series of ads by Nash during the war. Various subjects, various goals, but all written perfectly, and all had those eyes. Romney's father took over Nash after the war, and pulled it up from a marginal 'independent' to [briefly] overtake Chrysler as the #3 automaker.

I suppose the similarity could be coincidental, but I suspect there's a sort of cultural inheritance at work here. Connected or not, this is the type of speech we need from our leaders. Emotional, yes. Teddy bears on the fence, no.

-----

I want Romney, and I want him NOW!
 
Monday, September 11, 2006
  That's better.



One little superstition I've acquired over the years: bad things and good things don't come in isolation. Bad things tend to come all at once, and good things come all at once.

This morning I finally heard from the publisher of my courseware, asking me to start revisions toward the next edition .... thus calming my fears about the future of the courseware. This afternoon I finally got a reply from IRS to a request I sent many months ago, for a photocopy of my last 1040. In the meantime, the need for the photocopy had gone away, but the long delay had me worried. Wasn't sure if I had signed the return, etc, etc, etc.

Two long-term nagging worries relieved in one day. Not bad.
 
  Undiscussables

Last week Tammy Bruce did a two-hour interview on C-Span. Interesting from start to finish, because she's one of the few genuinely independent thinkers in the public realm. One small point, though, made a tremendous impression. It's an idea I've never heard before.

Discussing the importance of free speech, she mentioned that Germany has made all discussions of Nazism illegal. Why is this a problem? Not just because it drives such discussions underground; that effect is well-known.

Bruce's new point: the prohibition prevents Germans from knowing whether they have actually changed their mind.

If an idea is no longer heard, there are two possible causes: either the culture has truly abandoned the idea, or the culture punishes such discussion. If the silence is caused by legal or cultural prohibition, there's no external way to determine whether this idea has actually gone out of common currency. This is a recipe for unpleasant surprises when the idea gets re-ignited.

Starting with the McCarthy hearings, our Leninist masters have succeeded in turning off discussion of a wide range of subjects. Not quite punishable by law, but certainly punishable by loss of career and credibility. Using Bruce's logic plus a bit of engineering mentality, this is a severe problem because a representative system needs to have good feedback about what the people are thinking. You can't really tell whether your laws are working if entire segments of the world are undiscussable.

As long as such prohibitions are only cultural (as they are in America) they can be broken by a rare courageous public figure, who may end his career but won't end up in jail. For instance, Newt broke the prohibition on discussing how welfare ruins black lives. He paid a heavy price for breaking the rule, but his truth led to a real change in laws and thus to a real improvement in black lives. More recently, Tom Tancredo broke the prohibition on discussing illegal immigration. It remains to be seen whether this new discussion will lead to any action.
 
Sunday, September 10, 2006
  No user-serviceable parts

Apologies for lack of posting. I've been busy with graphics projects, trying to develop a second source of income. So far I've survived well enough on the royalties from college courseware. And the product continues to sell well, so by the normal workings of a free market I could count on it for a few more years. But it looks like the allegedly Republican Congress is getting ready to investigate the textbook industry for daring to earn a living. This won't kill the industry, but it will do harm. So I'm trying to get ahead of the potential long-term loss.

-----

I'm voting all Democrat this year. Better to have honest Commies than Commies posing as capitalists. Both parties are in a race to ship our entire economy to Mexico, but at least the honest Commies will give us welfare afterward.

Who knows, maybe the alleged Republicans will actually learn something ... No,that won't happen.

-----

Anyhow:



Polistra is demonstrating two of the models I'm developing.

Making digital models is not only fun but (slightly!) educational. In researching the wringer washer, I learned that Maytag continued making them until about 1988, and Speed Queen is still making them in Saudi Arabia. I also learned that two of our major appliance factories are about to move to Mexico. Thanks, alleged Republicans.

Wringer machines, though they've become iconic of that bygone age when Americans actually made and repaired things, weren't around for all that long in America. They became popular in 1920 and faded soon after the first spin-dry automatic machine was released in 1940. It wasn't so much the 'automaticity' of the new type as the danger of the wringer that impelled the change. Amazingly, this happened without the assistance of lawsuits or Consumer Product Safety Commissions! How in the world could housewives have figured out on their own that losing fingers was no fun? Come to think of it, the washing machine would never have been invented if lawyers had been in charge back then. We'd still be beating clothes against rocks in the river, because you can't sue a river.

Wringer machines remain popular in parts of the world with limited plumbing, because they don't require connections to water lines, or even electricity. You can fill them with a bucket and drain on the ground, and a gas motor or even pedal power will suffice to run the agitator.

Moral of the story: We can't let simple direct technology go extinct.

Operating "off the grid" is the most obvious advantage. We would be less vulnerable to Allah's Army if we could keep running without complete and total dependence on our poorly maintained infrastructure.

Another more subtle advantage has to do with human wisdom and training. Polistra can see what's happening to her clothes, and she can put soap or bleach in at any point or pull out a delicate item at any time. In the process she learns something about clothes, about dirt, and about mechanisms. You can't do that with modern push-one-button technology. The machine decides when to dispense the soap, and when to let you open the door. You can't see or control any of the operation, so you don't learn anything.

People who use simpler technology become wiser and more independent. They acquire COMMON SENSE and humility about the workings of the world.

-----

One last (less important) observation. Look at the levers on the washer and the space under the sink. Kitchen equipment of the 1920s was designed to be used by imperfect people. The levers were big enough to see and hold, and you could sit down while doing dishes. The pipes and valves were out in the open where you could repair them easily.

All modern machines are designed for Japanese youngsters, who have superior visual perception and agility. They can manage a bank of unmarked little rectangular buttons on an unmarked black surface.



Look at the tiny pictures pasted on the surface of the cell phones, not to mention the multitudinous objects on the faces and elsewhere. It's a scientific fact: Japs perceive the world differently. They can see and remember a full range of details all at once, while Caucasians tend to focus on one central thing.

So, why do we continue to buy stuff that is effectively a cruel Jap joke on us [comparatively] big-fingered semi-literate dim-visioned Americans? We need to return to machines that were designed FOR Americans and built BY Americans.
 
Friday, September 01, 2006
  Islamofascism and cognitive dissonance

I've been sort of waiting for Rush or another commentator to make this point. Haven't heard it, so I'll put it on the record.

There's a very specific reason why 'islamofascism' elicits such a screechy response from American leftists.

Any time you hear an explosive and screechy response - [from someone who is normally calm] - some version of cognitive dissonance is usually at work. The screech arises from the friction of two deeply-held but inconsistent beliefs rubbing together in the brain.

In this case, the old left was proud of its role in resisting Hitler, even though it was purely accidental. (If Stalin and Hitler had remained allies, the left would have supported Hitler, but they're still entitled to celebrate.) The new left continues to use the term anti-fascist on all of its protest signs, even though their beliefs are MUCH closer to Mussolini than to Marx. The post-1968 left relies on Identity Politics, which Mussolini called Subjectivism: the notion that different races, classes, and genders have mutually incompatible forms of thought, and can never understand each other. When you start from this axiom, you inevitably end up with some form of genocide. And for separate reasons, the genocided group always ends up being Jews.

This inconsistency has been exposed by several old leftists, such as Todd Gitlin and Fred Siegel, and it's certainly an active 'pressure point' in the mind of every thinking leftist.

Welding Islam and Fascist into one word forces the leftist to think: "I'm for those poor oppressed non-privileged Muslims, but above all else I'm against Fascism, but I know those poor oppressed Muslims are actually close to Fascist, but I know my own beliefs are also close to Fascist ...." Screech!

Somebody in the Second Ford Administration - perhaps Tony Snow ? - is definitely on the ball in choosing and pushing this word.

-----

Incidentally, Rush himself suffered an interesting spasm of cognitive dissonance a week ago, when a caller tried to push the idea that democracy won't work on Arabs. Rush didn't even let him finish a sentence, but started screeching, calling the fellow a racist and a bigot. We can conclude that Rush is worrying about this point, but can't break loose from his team loyalty to fully acknowledge it.
 

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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And some leftovers here.

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Major tags or subjects:

Carbon Cult
Defensible spaces
Ethics
Experiential education
Grand Blueprint
Гром победы
Heimatkunde
Language updates
Metrology
Natural law = Sharia law
New toys
Skill-estate
Switchover

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