Apropos of something
The last three verses of "White Cliffs" by Alice Duer Miller
And then, and then,
I thought of Elizabeth stepping down
Over the stones of Plymouth town
To welcome her sailors, common men,
She herself, as she used to say,
Being 'mere English' as much as they—
Seafaring men who sailed away
From rocky inlet and wooded bay,
Free men, undisciplined, uncontrolled,
Some of them pirates and all of them bold,
Feeling their fate was England's fate,
Coming to save it a little late,
Much too late for the easy way,
Much too late, and yet never quite
Too late to win in that last worst fight.
And I thought of Hampden and men like him,
St John and Eliot, Cromwell and Pym,
Standing firm through the dreadful years,
When the chasm was opening, widening,
Between the Commons and the King;
I thought of the Commons in tears— in tears,
When Black Rod knocked at Parliament's door,
And they saw Rebellion straight before—
Weeping, and yet as hard as stone,
Knowing what the English have always known
Since then— and perhaps have known alone—
Something that none can teach or tell—
The moment when God's voice says; 'Rebel.'
Not to rise up in sudden gust
Of passion— not, though the cause be just;
Not to submit so long that hate,
Lava torrents break out and spill
Over the land in a fiery spate;
Not to submit for ever, until
The will of the country is one man's will,
And every soul in the whole land shrinks
From thinking— except as his neighbour thinks.
Men who have governed England know
That dreadful line that they may not pass
And live. Elizabeth long ago
Honoured and loved, and bold as brass,
Daring and subtle, arrogant, clever,
English, too, to her stiff backbone,
Somewhat a bully, like her own
Father— yet even Elizabeth never
Dared to oppose the sullen might
Of the English, standing upon a right.
And were they not English, our forefathers, never more
English than when they shook the dust of her sod
From their feet for ever, angrily seeking a shore
Where in his own way a man might worship his God.
Never more English than when they dared to be
Rebels against her- that stem intractable sense
Of that which no man can stomach and still be free,
Writing: 'When in the course of human events. . .'
Writing it out so all the world could see
Whence come the powers of all just governments.
The tree of Liberty grew and changed and spread,
But the seed was English.
I am American bred,
I have seen much to hate here— much to forgive,
But in a world where England is finished and dead,
I do not wish to live.
Alice Duer Miller
I don't know why it took me so long....
to find THIS
website. It's the best news compilation on the Western side in the current war. It treats the news in the same way that ALL of our news media did in WW2. (I've seen other our-side news sites, but they're either sporadic or seem to have an odd secondary agenda.)
Also, it took me too long to catch the severe irony in the firing
of John Evans as ambassador to Armenia. He was fired for accurately describing the Turkish genocide of Armenians as the Turkish genocide of Armenians.
What would happen if any American administration fired an official for accurately describing Hitler's genocide as Hitler's genocide? Can't even imagine it.
So apparently we don't really have a problem with genocide, and we don't really have anything against denying the facts of genocide. In fact we favor
such denial as long as the perpetrators are Mohammedans (or Russians or Chinese for that matter). It's only a problem when the perpetrators are Germans.
Looking back at last year's Memorial Day entry, I notice that Polistra's attitude has changed significantly.
Last year she quoted Louis L'amour: "Victory is not won in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later win a little more."
Patience seemed important back then, as it seemed we were
winning, even an inch at a time. The hypothesis of implanting democracy on Arabs looked like a dubious but not-quite-impossible notion.
Now that the Iraq war has turned into a broken record, patience is gone. Each lost life, and each lost billion, has tremendous meaning unto itself. But the meaning is wasted -- even desecrated -- when the sole purpose is to let Mohammedans gain more ground in that region.
Is this trap necessary?
Bush and Rumsfeld like to use Truman and the Soviets as an analogy to justify fighting a slow, careful, long war.
Is that really a beneficial analogy?
In the first place, our current war is hot, not cold. It began actively and aggressively with a long series of deadly attacks, climaxing at 9/11 when we finally engaged to some extent. The deadly attacks on civilization continue unabated.
The Cold War began passively. Russia didn't gain half of Europe by attacking; rather, it was given half of Europe as a reward for its tremendous sacrificial efforts against Hitler. We can regret the gift in hindsight, but at the time it seemed unavoidable and necessary. The Cold War remained mostly passive and indirect, a war of influence rather than slaughter.
Second, do we really want to compare with Truman?
Truman's part in the Cold War made it longer, not shorter. He refused to let MacArthur fight hard in Korea, which left us with a permanent stalemate requiring a massive military presence.
Truman's administration was penetrated at the highest levels by Soviet agents, which meant that we were unable to move ahead of Russia in bomb research, and unwilling to press our advantage. Congress tried to root out the spies and saboteurs, but FBI (which had the needed info) was unwilling or unable to help.
Replace Korea by Iraq, and Soviet by Saudi, and this part of the analogy is fairly close, but it's emphatically not the kind of analogy you want
A third thought: The analogy fails in one important way. Truman supervised the Marshall Plan and the reconstruction of governments in Germany and Austria. He did NOT allow Germany to elect its own leaders, and I think it's safe to say that he would not have allowed Germany to elect a Nazi for the postwar government. Bush is allowing Afghanistan and Iraq to choose Mohammedan governments because, I guess, elections are the only important thing in his universe.
Question for Coach Hastert
Hey Coach! If the Halls of Congress are sacred precincts, and you can't allow law enforcement to search a congressman's office, then how come you allowed the police to swarm all over your office buildings yesterday, searching every office without a warrant, to find the gunman who turned out to be an airhammer?
Among the many scary things going on this week, the scariest was a calm conversation between David Brooks and Mark Shields on McNeil-Lehrer (or whatever it's called) tonight. Brooks and Shields both stated that Bush doesn't really believe in his own war effort.
They talked about this astonishing revelation in an easy matter-of-fact way, indicating that their fellow insiders have understood it for a long time.
Sure as hell explains a lot. Maybe everything.
So where do we go to get a President?
After a bit of thought, I guess this Brooks/Shields conversation isn't really the scary part. It's just a Beltway verification of something the Blogway has suspected for a long time: George Junior = George Senior. Both are elite leftists with a remarkably childish view of the world, who have figured out how to gain office by giving lip service (literally in Senior's case) to conservative ideas.
Putting it another way:
The New Tone is not a tactic. When George Junior appears to agree with Teddy Kennedy on everything, he's not playing a clever game to co-opt moderate voters. He simply agrees with Teddy Kennedy on everything.
It's the other stuff -- the 'Bring it on' and the 'Must fight the evil enemy' stuff. That stuff is the clever game.
The scary part was hearing George Junior admit as much, in the news conf with Blair yesterday.
When a wartime leader admits openly that he doesn't really care about fighting the war, it's time for impeachment. That's all.
Professor Polistra has found an interesting pattern. She has no theories about its cause, but believes we need to pay some attention to it nonetheless.
The problem: we are infected by Fadeoutitis. It's visible in several different realms.
Compare pre-1900 music with today's music. A piece by Schütz, Bach or Mozart has a beginning, middle and end. You know when the end is coming, and you're satisfied after it happens. In some cases a climax of intensity precedes the end, but there's always a climax of expectation for the careful listener.
Nearly every song recorded since 1955 is asymptotically endless. The last bit repeats over and over and over and over and over while the sound fades out.
Same with literature, though the change happened later and less completely. In the lesser
genres like Spy and Scifi, classicism still prevails, and you can locate the end of the story. But sometime around 1980 the fade took over in the 'Literature' section.
A good modern novelist offers fascinating characters, believable dialog, sparkling prose, deep insights, and well-formed plots, up to a point that seems to be 20% short of the expected end, where the book simply
The fade has captured speech as well. Younger folks end like every phraaaaaase????? with a long drawwwwwwwlllll????? and a questioning intonationnnnnn????? so that even when their like wordsssss???? are flat Leninist orthodoxy????? which is usually like the caaaaaase???? the voice sounds like a lost puppyyyyyy????
And they are also unwilling?????? to let the voice fully out of its box????? but instead speak at all timesssss???? in the register known as glottal fryyyyy?????
which resembles the breathing patternnnnns???? of like a marijuana smokerrrrrr???????
So, with all this cultural influence, it's not a bit surprising that our warmaking strategy has taken on a faded questioning drawl. Rumsfeld, who is old enough to know better, proposes a "long twilight struggle". Bush, who is not, shows the fade in everything he does. A good start, fine melody, great rhythm, then the same phrase repeats over and over and over while the equalizer gradually slides down toward zero.
This would be fine if our enemy had the same rhythm. Unfortunately he is classical. He wants a war to have a firm end, as WW2 did.
Underneath all this chatter about Caliphates and Twelfth Imams, our enemy is a Warrior. He believes in absolute victory. Decisive victory. Delirious climactic orgasmic victory. Kill the men and eat their hearts. Take the gold and burn the village to the ground. Bring the pretty women and strong children home to be whores and slaves.
On again, off again
Might as well continue the tradition of marking the various mood swings of drilling in ANWR. The House turned the potential ON again today, but I'm sure it will only be symbolic. The 'Senate' (more accurately known as the Enemy's Front Lines) will knock it down again.
Might as well continue another tradition: If we had a President, he would long ago have ORDERED drilling in all offshore areas and Alaska. The first job of a President is to defend the continued independence of THIS country, not to defend the interests of Mexico or China.
The Emperor visits
Emperor Vicente is visiting Washington and Oregon today, in an attempt to keep the local Governors-General firmly in line. Good coverage here.
One line from that story catches the basic elite misunderstanding of the problem:
"Some say all the talk of immigration reform misses the biggest point: without economic reform in Mexico, any attempts at a border crackdown could be futile."
Some may say that, but it's precisely backwards. The best
reason for tightening the border is that the current setup gives Mexico no reason to reform. With tighter borders to the north, Mexico will have to rely more on its own
resources, which are potentially tremendous.
One basic rule works equally for individual humans or countries: You won't get better behavior until you remove welfare. This applies to a ghetto gangster relying on his harem's monthly checks; it applies to Arab countries where oil money is so abundant that nobody actually needs to work; and it applies to Mexico where remittances from Norteamericano employment keep a corrupt system afloat.
One official who won't receive a visit from the Emperor is the sheriff of Umatilla County in Oregon, who has sent a $300K invoice to the Emperor for the costs of imprisoning illegal immigrants.
Emperor Vicente and Wash Gov Christine Gregoire had a little speechy lovefest event in an orchard in Yakima. Gregoire sounds exactly like Viceroy Jorge ... not surprising since they're both liberals ... but with one exception. Gregoire, to her credit, asked the Emperor for a favor: relief from a Mexican import tariff on apples, since almost everyone involved in producing the apples is Mexican anyway. (Funny, I thought NAFTA was supposed to eliminate tariffs. I guess it only eliminates tariffs that benefit the colony, not those that favor the motherland.)
The Emperor refused to grant the favor, saying instead that the Mexican orchardists in Washington should talk with the Mexican orchardists in Mexico.
Maybe there's hope.
In Russell Springs, Kentucky, a black-robed jihadi (District "Judge" Joseph McKinley) ruled that students couldn't say a prayer at graduation. The students proved him wrong. All 200 of them (except the misguided dummy who filed the suit) stood up and recited the Lord's Prayer, led by the valedictorian. Amazingly, they weren't arrested en masse or bombed by the FBI. Here's
the inspiring news video.
The usual silliness
All of the usual embedded experts
... including Coach Hastert ... are telling us that the search of William Jefferson's office is somehow unconstitutional, that it somehow violates "Separation of Powers".
There's no such thing
as the "Separation of Powers" clause, and there's nothing in the Constitution that prevents police from searching a congressman's office. The only immunity for members of Congress is this paragraph:They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
This is mainly designed to prevent low-level constables from harassing the members, and to preserve open debate by avoiding libel or slander suits for statements made 'on the floor'. Note especially that Felonies are excluded from the immunity. It's true that Felony was a smaller class of crimes back then, but it assuredly included bribery.
Polistra goes to meeting.....
The year is 1860.
Polistra's town, like others along the Kansas River, is being settled by Abolitionists from New England. A mix of Congregationalists and Quakers, these folks are not trying to start a war, and would rather not be involved in one. They are responding to an 1854 law
which allows new western territories to elect Free or Slave status. So these colonists aim to stack the electoral deck in Kansas, hoping that the Free tendency will propagate westward from here.
Some Abolitionist leaders, though, believe that free and fair elections will not suffice; they believe that slavery is not an open and debatable question. One such leader is Henry Ward Beecher, a Congregationalist pastor. Under his influence, settlers are building a colony and a church. The Beecher colony is about twenty miles east of the Mill; two hours by horse if you can find the right trail.
When Beecher sent his colonists westward, he presented each man with a Sharps rifle "to defend his faith and his ideas of freedom." Hence the name Beecher Bible and Rifle Church; hence also the nice heavy shutters and the fortress-style construction.
The Beecher colonists took part in the Underground Railroad, but in the end they didn't need the rifles for outright war. Fighting in Kansas consisted of sporadic raids and scuffles around Topeka and Lawrence, and then the rest of the country got involved in a much larger way.
The church is still there today. When I visited it in 1966, it was vacant and closely resembled its original appearance,
which I've tried to follow in making this digital version. Since then, judging from various online accounts, the church has been reoccupied and slightly modernized. The nearby town of Wabaunsee [pron. wah-BUN-see] also remains from the Beecher colony.
Now, a little exercise for the reader to ponder.
These pictures are not just the past but the future. Look at them again, this time with your mental calendar set to 2020.
Huh? How can 1860 repeat itself?
Jump back to 1968 for a moment. The Religion of Tolerance and Peace, the very same Religion that enslaved and sold those Africans, the same Religion that still enslaves them openly and legally in Africa, decides
it's time to take over the world. This happens every two centuries, with varying degrees of success.
The 1968 takeover has two special advantages: the Religion owns much of the world's oil, and it forms an alliance with Leninist forces in Europe and America, who are only too happy to assist in destroying Western civilization.
Over the next 30 years, Western leaders witness an escalating series of attacks and infiltrations by the Religion of Tolerance and Peace, and they respond in several different but useless ways. Sometimes the leaders throw a few bullets and missiles into an irrelevant target, sometimes they get paralyzed by scrupulosity, sometimes they respond with Due Process Of Law, sometimes they intentionally cover up the real origin of the attack, sometimes they give land or tribute to the Religion, sometimes they just cut and run.
Meanwhile the Leninists are busy. They take over the cultural and legal institutions of the West, so any defense that requires willing participation by the media or the courts will fail. They take over Venezuela's oil, including a company that operates in the United States. Their Chinese branch diligently leverages its own brand of slave labor through the mechanism of 'Free Trade' (also favored by the old Confederacy) to gain control of America's public debt and many important seaways and ports.
Finally, one attack is so large, so outrageous, that a Western leader can no longer ignore it or displace the blame.
This Western leader misses the ideal opportunity to vaporize the idolatrous core of the Religion of Tolerance and Peace, which would have been the correct first move. He also fails to understand the Leninist jaw of the enemy's clamp, and allows those contaminated courts and media to continue working for the Religion. Instead, he decides to treat the war as a secular conflict between nations, and responds with two strategically excellent opening moves. He takes out two of the regimes that have been helping and supplying the Religion's army. These removals would be important and necessary steps whether the war is treated as sacred or secular. Unfortunately he gets confused or scrupulized after starting those steps, and fails to kill the important players on the enemy side. He also fails to take any steps
toward loosening the enemy's blackmail grip. Western Leninists seize this moment to demoralize the public, making continued war very difficult ... especially for a leader who values the Theory of Democracy more than his own country's existence. So the Religion of Tolerance and Peace has been pushed back slightly, but its main pieces are still on the board and the West is tired and dazed.
Up to here I've been telling plain facts. Now we jump into the realm of raw speculation.
In 2007, after determining that the West is sufficiently tenderized, China and Venezuela collaborate with Persia and the native Leninists to close the pincers. Persia takes out Israel and blocks all oil shipments in the Gulf; China closes down shipping in the Pacific, and Venezuela in the Caribbean. Sons of Allah create medium-scale destruction and havoc all over America and Europe.
Result in 2020, after the dust has settled: A marriage of Marx and Mohammed, who are quite comfy life partners
. Progressives and Mohammedans get employment cards, web connections and energy ration cards from CitgoFordGoogleWalmart, which is another name for the colonial government of North America. Infidels are tacitly permitted to engage in under-the-table work, provided they don't compete with CitgoFordGoogleWalmart. Without energy cards, they must make do with homebrew ethanol or horses. Following the Chinese model of perfect religious liberty, reliable
denominations like Episcopalians, the modern Congregationalists, and Reformed Jews are licensed to continue their normal activities openly, while actual Christians and actual Jews must worship underground in constant fear of the FBI. Slave labor (with colors reversed, of course) returns under the guise of reparations. Every female, even the Progressives, must stay in chador. [Do you think Feminists will object to this? Think again. Feminists love chador, as long as they get to be the enforcers.]
In the 2020 that looks so much like 1860, will Kansas still be Kansas?
To be sure the land will remain. Wildcat Creek will ripple with catfish and clams and mysterious flatworms, will freeze in winter to support ice-skating kids who will fall as they always have, but who won't dare to laugh at their own clumsiness. No dogs will lick their faces. Limestone cliffs and sharp moraines, formed by the last glaciers, will wait patiently for civilization to return. Cicadas will out-shout the muezzin and will be eradicated with vicious zeal. The wheat will still feed millions because the Mennonite farmers will adapt. They came here to escape religious persecution, but this time there won't be any point in going West. There won't be any West. So they will adapt.
Will Kansas be Kansas? The Beecher colony, the town of Polistra, all of Kansas was founded by Christians for the sole
purpose of saying NO -- with Sharps rifles if needed -- to Mohammed's most enduring invention. When the Sons of Allah impose their dogless, musicless, artless, laughterless, Christless slavery on this land, the purpose of Kansas will disappear.
Kansas will not be Kansas.
Literary note: I was driven to put together this little micro-story by an unsettling sense, bolstered by a scary nuclear dream, that the next crunch is coming soon. While writing it, I realized we don't have any full-scale stories -- no equivalents of 'It Could Happen Here' or '1984' -- about the coming Mohammedan tyranny. In the '30s, as Mussolini and Hitler gained power, quite a few Fascist dystopias were written. '1984' stands nearly alone as a significant Marxist dystopia, since writers then as now were mainly commies. The complete absence of big-name dhimmitopia books tells us all we need to know about modern writers and publishers.
I did find one excellent mid-length piece, which is fully online. Hatred of the Angels,
written by Jane Scully. It's burdened by excess detail, such as constant repetition of the exact Arabic words that the dhimmi must use when begging for mercy, but it's definitely worth reading.
Actually the pictures need a few modifications for the future. To get the full flavor, click on each picture and note the detailed changes. Think of it as clicking the dhimmer switch. Most of the details are self-explanatory, but the red sash (zunnar) may be unfamiliar.
Here is a list of requirements for dhimmi, adapted from Hugh Fitzgerald -- the nearest thing to a Churchill for our times -- who writes for JihadWatch.
Non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness;
(2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
(3) are not greeted with as-Salamu alaykum
(4) must keep to the side of the street;
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, to ring church bells or display crosses, recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
(7) and are forbidden to build new churches.
Dhimming the grid
This morning anti-nukers cheered in Oregon. The only nuclear plant in that state was shut down several years ago, and today the cooling tower was imploded
as part of the decommissioning. Why was the plant closed? Apparently it had problems with water leaks. More likely it had problems with leftist freaks.
Destroying power plants and rendering them un-rebuildable is exactly what an advancing enemy would do. Our enemies are undoubtedly happy to see us doing their job. (Until a few years ago, the official Dem party platform also recommended breaching all the dams in the Northwest; also doing the enemy's job for him. After it became known that al-Qaeda wanted to do the same, the Dems quietly removed the recommendation .... sort of a "Jesus! Do I really want to look like that?" realization.)
More broadly, we need to get rid of our Las Vegas syndrome of 'creative destruction', and turn more toward preserving important facilities even when they aren't presently useful. Same thing with BRAC and military bases. Power plants and military bases take time and money to build in any circumstances; but the land is now so encumbered with envirotyrant regulations and NIMBY lawsuits that building new facilities is essentially impossible.
Giving Jorge the Byrd
Senator Byrd, who hasn't been heard from often since his wife passed away, is on the floor of the Senate now.... he is shaming the Senate, and Viceroy Jorge, for passing amnesty under a false name. Byrd says the House, and the people at large, have it exactly right.
This is the first actual
surprise and genuine
shock in this whole mess, and given Byrd's seniority might actually have an effect.
No, it won't. Viceroy Jorge won't betray his oath of loyalty to Emperor Vicente.
Byrd is always memorable, whether he's right or wrong, and this time he's right:
"Amnesties undermine the great American promise of equal enforcement of the law."
"This is a slap in the face to responsible immigrants."
"Amnesties encourage other undocumented aliens to circumvent our legal process."
"The result is always the same. For every group allowed in, a bigger group follows."
"This bill would actually pardon employers, and repeal provisions in current law that forbid low (in-state) tuition for illegals." (I didn't know that!)
"This bill would allow aliens to bypass State Dept checks in their country of origin."
"It only took 19 illegal visa holders to unleash the terrible destruction of 9/11."
"6000 guardsmen without the power to enforce laws are not going to make a difference."
"Our experience shows that we cannot play games with American borders."
BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO.
Let King be king.
Rep. Steve King is on the House floor right now, telling us how to protect the border cheaply and effectively. He's drawing a casual blueprint of a wall that can be built for about $500K per mile. Compare this to the $3 million per mile PER YEAR that we are now paying for generally ineffective patrols. (He knows exactly how to build a wall because he ran a construction business, doing levees and walls and such, before coming to Congress.)
After building the wall, King wants to divide the border into sections, and ask competent companies to bid on overall protection for each section. Let the companies decide how they want to manage their section: fancy electronics, lots of manpower, whatever they think will work. Let the border patrol be the Quality Control Inspectors, and dock the security companies by the number of known penetrations of their sector.
I'd like to put a Parliamentary Question: Will the Honorable Mr President now explain why he does not abdicate and appoint Mr King in his place?
Or more realistically, appoint Mr King to head Homeland Security, but only if he gets the authority and power to do the job.
Glorp, glorp, glorp, glorp, glorp.
Toward the end of this morning's press conf with Australian PM Howard, Kindler Gentler George said something like "Welcoming new visitors into our national household relieves the soul."
Polistra has to relieve her soul after hearing such egregious nonsense.
Seriously, any analogy between a nation and an individual, or a nation and a house, is dangerous. A few of those analogies work, but in general there is just no connection between individual morality and national behavior. Too many Christians make this deadly mistake.
If we take this particular metaphor seriously, Bush is actually recommending that we should welcome burglars who break into our house at night. Visitors
are analogous to LEGAL
immigrants, who metaphorically call first and knock on the door in broad daylight.
Just build a wall.
After reading the previews of Viceroy Jorge's speech on immigration, Polistra thinks it's time to build a wall ... provided the Viceroy ends up on the same side of the wall as his beloved Emperor Vicente.
Come on, Viceroy. Surprise us. Just once????
After hearing the speech: No surprise. Sends National Guard to look pretty in uniform. Emphasis on real ID card is good, but won't happen. Both the religious folks and the leftists are fanatically
opposed to serious ID cards.
He missed the least costly and most effective solution: Stop illegals from using schools, hospitals and welfare services. Require those institutions to check ID and refuse service except for hospitals in genuine emergency. This would instantly eliminate the biggest cost of the illegals, and would shape the nonproductive ones into going home quickly.
The folks at National Review are deeply disturbed
by our restoration of diplomatic recognition to Libya.
I'm not. In fact, I'm beginning to think that Rice may have turned the State Dept into an effective and practical warfighting tool. (Which must have taken some very hard work, considering its natural pro-Arab bias.)
Rice is following the LBJ model: let Qaddafi be as much of an SOB as he wants within his own borders, as long as he does what we need him to do on the international front.
If it turns out that Qaddafi has fooled us, and that he's still supporting terrorism, then I'll eat crow. At the moment I don't see any evidence along that line. But I don't give a flying fuck what he does to his own people. And our government shouldn't either.
The President is not supposed to be a moral exemplar. That's the Pope's job.
When dealing with savage warrior cultures like Arabs, the plain and simple fact is that we are NOT going to turn them into nice meek Unitarians. We CAN turn them into savages who choose not to bother the civilized world. That's all we can ever do, and that seems to be the thinking of the State Department. If so -- provided I'm not missing some hidden agenda -- BRAVO!
Professor Polistra has been looking up definitions again.
The Washington Post is all lathered up about a "Massive Intrusion on Personal Privacy".
Which of these two definitions, do you suppose, has the Post's little panties all in a swivet?
And which of these two definitions would a SANE, NON-TREASONOUS American be more worried about?
I declare, it's a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Can't say it any better than this.....
Hamilton, in Federalist 23.The authorities essential to the common defense are these: to raise armies; to build and equip fleets; to prescribe rules for the government of both; to direct their operations; to provide for their support. These powers ought to exist without limitation, BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FORESEE OR DEFINE THE EXTENT AND VARIETY OF NATIONAL EXIGENCIES, OR THE CORRESPONDENT EXTENT AND VARIETY OF THE MEANS WHICH MAY BE NECESSARY TO SATISFY THEM. The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite, and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of it is committed. This power ought to be coextensive with all the possible combinations of such circumstances; and ought to be under the direction of the same councils which are appointed to preside over the common defense.
This is one of those truths which, to a correct and unprejudiced mind, carries its own evidence along with it; and may be obscured, but cannot be made plainer by argument or reasoning. It rests upon axioms as simple as they are universal; the MEANS ought to be proportioned to the END; the persons, from whose agency the attainment of any END is expected, ought to possess the MEANS by which it is to be attained.
And our current exigency isn't even new or unforeseen. The framers were already dealing with infiltration by various enemies (French, British, native savages), and with Mohammedans hijacking ships.
Would Hamilton have authorized police to listen
when enemies were conspiring, so as to give us better information to "direct the army's operation"? Obviously yes. Hamilton couldn't foresee electronic communication, but other forms of distant signaling like semaphores and nautical flags were common then. Do you suppose Hamilton would have prohibited our sailors from using a telescope to watch the enemy's semaphores? Prohibited our soldiers from trying to read the native savage's smoke signals? Would Hamilton have allowed an enemy-adhering federal judge to interfere with such listening or observation? Obviously not. Only a hopelessly incompetent and weak-minded executive like Jimmy Carter or Kindler Gentler George would even ALLOW such interference.
Ou sont les Neiges d'Antoine?
A competent wartime president would take Ahmadinejad's letter as a grand opportunity
to score propaganda points. Needless to say, all we get from Kindler Gentler George is "Not gonna answer it."
If Tony Snow gets a chance to be himself ... or if he actually gets a chance to serve, which now seems dubious ... he could begin to fix some of these problems. He's proved repeatedly that he understands what's needed.
And what's needed, as usual, is hardly new. We figured it out 60 years ago, but Bush ignores all past experience. Here's
a three-minute snippet of a large and dramatic effort to answer Hitler's propaganda. At that time Hitler was trying to split America and Britain, so BBC and CBS worked together to produce a series of programs that would help Yanks and Brits understand each other as they fought together. The series
was written by Norman Corwin, who is still alive and kicking, and the score was not by Spike Jones but by Benjamin Britten. Other major composers like Copland wrote some of their best stuff for similar radio programs and movies.
Note especially the explicit instructions for handling enemy propaganda, and the detailed description of the difference between our approach to news and the Axis approach.
And what do we have today? Bush tells us nothing about what he's doing. It's all between him and God, and we poor outsiders don't need to bother our pretty little heads about the whole business. BBC has been solidly pro-Mohammed since the late '80s. CBS needs no introduction. No music is being composed today at all, so I can't even make a snide comparison in that department. Well, I could,
but I don't want to soil my blog with an explicit mention of that ... creature ... ah, never mind. If I even think any further about that ... individual ..., I'll end up issuing a fatwa.
Our own Waziristan
The latest 'revelation' of a 'surprising' fact: NSA has been running traffic analysis to spot calls to enemy agents. As before, this is no surprise to anyone who pays attention to such matters. If you think for even a few seconds about the purpose of NSA, you can see that they would have to do something like this. I've assumed it for twenty years.
Unlike the previous NSA 'revelation', this one could do some actual harm.
Here's why: The article says that Qwest has refused to go along with this traffic analysis, because Qwest is afraid of legal consequences.
This gives specific and useful info to the enemy.
Without any special knowledge, the Army of Allah could easily assume, as I did, that traffic analysis is a constant part of our intelligence operations. But they couldn't
automatically assume that Qwest phones were immune from surveillance. Now they know it.
One more step: How would Qwest be subject to legal consequences?
Through a lawsuit brought by an enemy collaborator in Federal court, which would be within the 9th Circuit. [Later news report indicates that such a lawsuit was already begun several months ago.] So the enemy now knows for sure that the 9th Circuit is effectively beyond federal control. Our little Waziristan, in other words. Courts in the 9th District will be inclined to serve the enemy, while other areas are more inclined to serve the United States.
This accidentally ties in with a point I was making yesterday. Our victory in WW2 was assisted by mobilization of American companies. In that war, fought with huge quantities of tanks, aircraft and bombs, American automobile and steel makers played the major part. In WW4, fought largely in the realms of intelligence, American phone companies are the critical industries.
So this 'revelation' verifies something I've been worried about for a long time. Kindler Gentler George is unwilling to use the carrot of defense contracts and the stick of prosecution to mobilize the appropriate sectors of American industry.
Addendum: Kudos to ABC News and George Stephanopoulos for stating clearly and flatly, without the usual pretense of some-say-this / some-say-that debatability, that traffic analysis is absolutely legal!
Previous administrations had a rather different attitude toward citizen participation in defense. I've talked before
about the Ground Observer Corps during WW2.
Later, just after Korea, Ike put together something called Operation Skywatch. Here's a one-minute PSA from Fibber's show in 1953: - - Listen - -
If we'd had 400K flying citizens on the alert in the fall of 2001, would things have turned out differently? Would it have acted as a deterrent? No way to tell. But I can guarantee that the Bush approach of PUNISHING citizens who dare to help with defense is, shall we say, counterproductive. No, we shall say idiotic and suicidal.
Today's missive from Ahmadinejad is decidedly interesting. Spencer at Jihad Watch thinks it may be a prelude to an attack, though he's not sure. The letter contains a wide variety of appeals. Some of it is straight from Democrat talking points, but not a lot, especially compared to previous tapes from Zawahiri and Zarqawi.
Ahmadinejad spends considerable time and effort appealing to a Christian sensibility, and to a populist strain common to most European and American cultures.
Now here's the awful thought. When I read this bit - - - - -The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families.
They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion.
The people of the world have no faith in international organisations, because their rights are not advocated by these organisations.
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity.
Today these two concepts have failed.
Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems
- - - - I found myself involuntarily nodding in assent.
If the Green Mist Man is able to click something positive in my mind, it's a bad symptom. And that's putting it mildly. Trouble is, our own government has failed so miserably to keep up our own morale, failed so miserably to give us facts and logic to cling to, failed so miserably to give us any reason for hanging with our own side ... , that a clever Persian can make a fiercely loyal American pause and say "Hmmmmmm."
FDR didn't allow that Hmmmm to happen, even involuntarily. He knew that Fascism was magnetic, especially in tough times. He took constant pains to counter its appeal with words and actions. In the end he managed to implement one piece of the fascist program -- corporatism -- more effectively than Germany, without adopting the racial aspects of fascism. Part of our victory in WW2 resulted from the complete devotion of big business to national purposes; Germany didn't mobilize its industries nearly as well, which contributed to its defeat.
The difference between then and now: populism ---> authoritarianism had a strong local representative in the form of Father Charles Coughlin. Because Coughlin was explicitly trying to run for President, he posed an internal political threat in a way that Hitler or Mussolini could never do.
In our current situation, the Dems and Reps agree solidly on world citizenship, no borders, free trade (another name for outsourced slavery), careful sensitive warmaking, and paying tribute to the enemy.
There is no Big Name speaking on behalf of the basic defense of THIS particular nation. There is no competing institution that could force the two parties to focus on basics. Rush is, I guess you'd say, demographically analogous to Father Coughlin, but he emphatically doesn't want to be a political leader, and he's more elitist than populist.
Such a vacuum will inevitably be filled one way or another. In hard times people need and deserve a leader. The worst possible answer is Ahmadinejad's answer, voluntary dhimmitude and surrender. Next worst would be a hard leftist.
The least-bad answer would be a complete change of personnel at the top without abandoning our system. A bit like castling in chess, you might say....
Rush is making a critical mistake in answering a hostile question about NSA eavesdropping. The caller challenged Rush to specify how the mere knowledge
that NSA is spying on al Qaeda is harmful. Rush bobbled the question entirely, and seems to be missing a basic distinction.
I discussed this matter -- rather definitively -- back in December
when it first came up. Still, the distinction needs to be emphasized. The legality
of a leak is completely independent of whether it does harm or not. As with many other crimes, prosecution depends on context. When one football player smashes into another football player, that's part of the rules inherent in that context. If the same player made the same tackle on a stranger in the street, he'd be properly arrested for assault. Same here. There's nothing automatic or inherent about secrecy. The executive branch makes the decision to treat certain things as secret, and can decide to un-secret-ify the same things at any time for its own purposes. We assume that those purposes include protecting the nation from its enemies, even when the executive is as obviously incompetent as the present one. When somebody outside the executive branch, such as the NY Times, decides to declassify information, that's illegal, just as tackling in the street is illegal.
As I said before (and as Rush's caller said just now), this particular illegal declassification is harmless and possibly even helpful, because al Qaeda is a sophisticated spy-like group, well trained by Saddam's intelligence service. They already know how to play the countermeasures game, but I'm confident that NSA has enough resources to play the same game a little bit better.
Harmless doesn't mean legal, though. The street tackle is still assault even if the victim doesn't need a doctor. The Times fully intends
to aid our enemies, as they have shown over and over in every possible context. So they should be prosecuted for sedition if not treason.
Vices (MORBID ALERT!)
With all the talk on the
cable news channels about lung cancer and drinking and prescription drug abuse, I got to thinking about my own ancestors and acquaintances who have died over the years. Which vice is worst?
This morbid line of thought may also be influenced by John Batchelor's
apocalyptic take on Persia.
Anyhow, I can think of about 20 known relatives and quasi-relatives who died at various ages, ranging from 40 to 99.
Looking first at the youngest end: One cousin died at 40 from mixing alcohol with prescription drugs (and probably illegal ones). An uncle died at 50 from mixing alcohol with prescription drugs. A grandfather (mother's father) died at 62; he smoked heavily and drank heavily.
Starting now from the oldest: The other grandma (mother's mother) lived clean and died at 99. A great-grandpa (father's mother's father, and the man I'm named after) died at 97. [I believe he smoked a pipe, but that could be a false memory. I met him exactly once, when I was about 4 and he was about 94. I vividly remember sitting in his lap, looking up at an extremely wrinkled face that was beaming with pride. Must have been my first look at a very old person, and my first look at an adult face that wasn't just annoyed or preoccupied.] A great-grandma (father's father's mother) dipped snuff and complained constantly about her awful health, until she died at 96. A great-aunt (99's sister) smoked heavily until age 50, when a massive heart attack compelled her to stop. After that, she cruised to 93 with no further health problems.
In the middle range, those who died from 70 to 90, about half smoked and half didn't; none were heavy drinkers. I don't see a clear correlation between smoking and age of death in this set.
I suppose formal statistics might bring out more detail, but the salient point in this tiny sample
Variation in natural durability is always the primary determinant. Beyond that, tobacco will keep you from reaching 99, but drinking, especially mixed with other chemicals, is what cuts you down early.
So that's where.....
Professor Polistra has been hitting the books, to see if she can determine what Kindler Gentler Georgie is trying to do, since it's obvious he's not working toward victory in any normal sense. She found the following illuminating comparison:Victory (n)Def 1: (Old Churchillian origin):Now one bond unites us all -- to wage war until victory is won, and never to surrender ourselves to servitude and shame, whatever the cost and the agony may be.Def 2: (Mod. Bushian dialect):Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.
Apparently the 'Modern Bushian dialect' is an allophonic variant of Old Wilsonic, which became extinct in 1938. It shows traces of semantic borrowing from the Gandhian idiolect as well.
A long article by an Australian Catholic bishop on the nature of Mohammedanism, and its true relation to peace, politics, and culture.
The most immediately relevant section:These two examples show that there is a whole range of factors, some of them susceptible to influence or a change in direction, affecting the prospects for a successful Islamic engagement with democracy. Peace with respect for human rights are the most desirable end point, but the development of democracy will not necessarily achieve this or sustain it. This is an important question for the West as well as for the Muslim world. Adherence to what George Weigel has called “a thin, indeed anorexic, idea of procedural democracy” can be fatal here. It is not enough to assume that giving people the vote will automatically favour moderation, in the short term at least. Moderation and democracy have been regular partners in Western history, but have not entered permanent and exclusive matrimony and there is little reason for this to be better in the Muslim world, as the election results in Iran last June and the elections in Palestine in January reminded us. There are many ways in which President Bush’s ambition to export democracy to the Middle East is a risky business. In its influence on both religion and politics, the culture is crucial.
There are some who resist this conclusion vehemently. In 2002, the Nobel Prize Economist Amartya Sen took issue with the importance of culture in understanding the radical Islamic challenge ..... "The central issue, in sum, is freedom".
This does work for some, perhaps many, people in the rich, developed and highly urbanised Western world, particularly those without strong attachments to religion. Doubtless it has ideological appeal to many more among the elites. But as a basis for engagement with people of profound religious conviction, most of whom are not fanatics or fundamentalists, it is radically deficient. Sen’s words demonstrate that the high secularism of our elites is handicapped in comprehending the challenge that Islam poses.
I suspect one example of the secular incomprehension of religion is the blithe encouragement of large scale Islamic migration into Western nations, particularly in Europe. Of course they were invited to meet the need for labour and in some cases to assuage guilt for a colonial past.
I've never said this before, and probably won't again, because it's trite and overused. Just this one time, though:READ THE WHOLE THING!
More on Moussaoui
1. Abraham Scott should run for some public office. He's not a very good public speaker, but he is a beautifully
2. Another constant theme we hear from the Collaborators is that we should lead by example. We must carefully observe the Rule of Law and Due Process and Elections Certified By Jimmy Carter so that our enemies will see all this and say "Oh, those Americans are so Nice and Wonderful! I believe that I will repent of my Evil Ways and become Nice and Wonderful also!!!!"
This is a wildly bizarre, inaccurate and insane observation of human nature. No social mammal behaves like this. Not cats, not dogs, not monkeys, not human children, not human adults, especially not human communities or nations. When any individual or nation observes that Americans are nice, the natural response is not "I will be like them" but "I will take advantage of them." Even more so when we're dealing with the Arab nation that is already
engaged in destroying us.
3. The Supermax Prison is being described as a hard and torturous place. Sounds pretty nice by comparison with my long-ago prison experience; I would have vastly preferred total solitary to weekly rapes and beatings.
Will he get his message out? You bet. American prisons have chaplains for all faiths including the Mohammedan "faith", and we can be 100% certain that the Imam or whatever will carry his messages to the outside without interference.
4. As usual the blogosphere is chuckling at the French offer to take Zac off our hands. As usual Polistra is not laughing. France differs from America in two relevant ways: France does not
have an ACLU, and France does
have a competent and tough intelligence service, which might be able to gather and use information from Zac.
5. When Zac-babe says "Look at yourselves. I fight for my belief." --- we should listen. We should start fighting seriously to insure our belief survives. As I've said before, you can't start worrying about the heart and mind of the enemy until you own his sphincter. Fighting means throwing bombs and bullets, not examples.
6. AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!! I thought we had reached the limits of idiocy, but obviously not. One of the 9/11 family members interviewed on Fox just said "We need to get out and educate. We need to teach tolerance." No response even needed.
Allah wins one!
Moussaoui will be flying back to London soon, pardoned by Kindler Gentler Georgie, to fulfill his dream
of completing Jihad against Christians and Jews. Bank on it.
I must admit, though, that the specific prosecution argument for the death penalty was totally nonfunctional. Even if he had somehow opened up and spilled the beans to FBI (under what motivation?) there's no chance that FBI would have done anything with the information.
Even in ordinary capital cases I'm fiercely tired of hearing the line: "Well, I think he should have to spend many years thinking about his crime. That will be worse punishment than death." This may apply to a few criminals who ended up killing as a result of a long chain of bad decisions, but those folks (quite properly) are rarely even considered for death. The hard-line murderers are proud of what they did, and 'thinking time' is really 'gloating time'.
The same argument applies here, though with a different twist. Zach-baby is an invading soldier who didn't get to complete his mission. He has managed to engineer us into keeping him alive so that he can plan and finish his mission. And rest assured he will do exactly that. When he says "America, you lost, I win" he is not crazy at all. He's simply stating an outcome that he knew in advance because he understood our weakness better than we did.
A trivial pet peeve: Why do the newscasters insist on pronouncing his first name to rhyme with 'precarious'? That's neither the French nor the Arabic nor the English way of pronouncing Zacharias. In short, it's not any way at all! But it's obviously the official line; I've even heard one infobabe correcting another when she pronounced it the normal English way.
Peters gets it
Via NRO, today's column
by Ralph Peters. Just as yesteryear's aristos did, today's nobility of wealth and culture see themselves as above nationality. Patriotism is fodder for the peasants (unless it can be exploited for profit). They have far more in common with business partners across the globe than with the guy who fixes their plumbing. They intermarry across borders and forge alliances based on their own interests - as the Tudors, Valois and Medici did before them.
This new aristocracy is less attached to a passport than to a lifestyle. As for those who can't afford the price of admission, let 'em eat cake.
There is, indeed, a globalizing class. But the emergence of that super-class doesn't portend the globalization of humanity. For the masses, the flight from flags isn't toward a new borderless meta-identity, but back into old, enduring associations: tribe, faith, family - and bigotry.
Even in our own society - the best-positioned in the world to profit from globalization - there's a worrisome divide between the multinational executive who retires with a $400 million farewell smooch (and who naturally supports globalizing trade), and the worker maxing out a credit card to pay for a tank of gas - to whom globalization means a threatened job, even if it also means cheaper underwear.
However: Peters shows (perhaps unconsciously) that he is part of the aristocracy, when he refers to tribalism as bigotry and sees it as bad.
Sticking to your own is not automatically bad. What's bad is unequal access to tax-provided services like police protection. What's bad is Leninist exploitation of divisions, and worst of all the Leninist habit of creating divisions that aren't natural.
Peters also misses the deadliest consequence of the borderless economy. Because our 'aristos' have allowed most of our manufacturing to go overseas, we no longer own our defenses. We have to buy electronics from Japan, machinery from Korea, and uniforms from China; we have to let Arabs run our ports and inspect our cargo.
Free trade zone
Mexico decriminalizes drugs.... Polistra thinks we'll finally
get the best end of NAFTA.
We get 10 million grass cutters, they get 10 million grass smokers.
We get new Christians, they get new Wiccans.
Maybe there is a God after all.
Addendum after listening to the talking heads on TV, and even some conservatives in other blogs: Why in the world are they upset
that Mexico is finally shooting itself in the foot? (With a needle, that is...) Oh! Peters (see above) explains it. Those folks, including our DEA, are trans-national leftists. They are Citizens of the World.
What a batch of LETHAL rubbish.
Civilization works when groups form naturally and defend their OWN interests, without sticking their goddamn nose into everybody else's business. France shows us the proper way to do this, which is why Polistra likes France so much.
When one group (the Army of Allah, just as a little f'rinstance) pokes airliners into our buildings, our job is to DESTROY them and all their primitive savage friends. This will discourage the few surviving Arabs from poking their goddamn nose into our business again, which will allow the natural divisions of civilization to get along again for a little while.
Update: Ah, poop. Emperor Fox decided to veto the decriminalizing. I guess he must have realized our hippies would not be advantageous to the motherland. Can't have that. In a proper Mercantilist arrangement, la Colonia del Norte must be restricted to its basic job of supplying cash inputs to the motherland, and can't be given any reciprocal advantage. Emperor Fox understands how to defend his own country's interests, even if our elites don't.