Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crowley WAS stupid

I know, if possible, even less about this foolishness than all the oombahs mouthing-off about it, but since my own view is somewhat different from any I’ve heard so far, here it is.
Gates is obviously a pathetic parasite to whom Harvard has given a wonderful chance to live a beautiful fantasy. That fantasy is based on a more fundamental fantasy, and the Boston police just gave Gates the opportunity to live that one, which he did. It was likewise the occasion for our president to do a bit of vicarious living himself. After underlying that America continues to be a racist nightmare, he stipulated that the cop acted stupidly. The radio hornets are now buzzing furiously.
Now a guy who actually teaches a class on ‘racial profiling’ is not only an Obama voter (which Crowley is) but can hardly be anything less than a full-bore leftist. Leftism, particularly on the contemporary American scene, is fundamentally about something which used to be a religious matter: ‘justification’. Being of the left, having leftist opinions and thinking leftist thoughts, is really about being a good person, in one’s own eyes. Even more fundamentally it is about being a better person than the next guy. So when a policemen, who is mandated to exercise force against the citizenry, is soaked in this attitude, the result is the sort of bumptious and self-righteous snottyness apparently displayed by Crowley. What could possibly be gained by leading away that fool in handcuffs, except some sort of personal gratification? Gates menaced Crowley, and Crowley trumped him. If Gate's behavior was actually illegal (and it obviously must be illegal to behave to policemen in certain ways) was there no way to bring this home to Gates without arresting him on the spot? The robbery issue had been settled; Gates, with infinitely poor grace, had identified himself to the officer’s satisfaction.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Strategy Debate

The best evidence of our president’s affirmation that ‘the record is clear’ regarding Guantanamo having generated more terrorists than it has prevented would be that it is mentioned in jihadist recruitment materials. But that does not prove it is an effective recrutement tool. It might be intended for western consumption, to throw confusion into the enemy ranks, which indeed it has done. The record would be clear if it could be demonstrated that a) such mention actually motivated terrorist recruits and b) that this number exceeded the number of those detained. Does a clear record on these points exist? It seems incredible that a group addicted to kidnapping and slitting throats, not discreetly but on video eagerly broadcast to the world, would get excited, one way or the other, by detention under any circumstances and the sort of rough-stuff practiced which has been inflicted on two or three of them during the past eight years.
In any case, to both donkeys and elephants who condemn Guantanamo I would ask: even if the current crop of detainees can be somehow done away with, what do you propose for future un-uniformed jihadist picked up on battle-fields around the world, even if you are not interested in asking them a few little questions but just keeping them off the streets? What, in other words, should the short-sighted junta of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have done in the first place?
Despite all the yammer, however, most donkeys and elephants seem to side with the junta, given the massive rejection of funds requested by the president to close Guantanamo, to say nothing of donkey declarations to the effect that “terrorists” (NB, not “agents of man-made disaster” or some other euphemism) are not welcome on US soil, even in the restricted area of a US prison.
The obvious solution is to shoot un-uniformed combatants on the field of battle, per the rules of war. In this we would perhaps deprive ourselves of useful information which might be throttled out of such rascals, but it would spare our sensitive souls the sort of vindictive squawk in which Madam Speaker seems to have over-indulged, and which our new president promised would end on his watch. Even Madam Speaker may now be longing for this more civil era, in which we politely ignore past excess.


Their are problems with Anne Korin’s argument (see Strategic Oil).
A) Expanded US oil production would put downward pressure on the international price which, according to Korin’s assertions, would tend to oblige OPEC to make adjustments. Whether or not OPEC actually did make such adjustments, increased US production would tend to reduce thier income flow; either the price would go down or they would be obliged to reduce their own production to maintain the price.
B) America could create a protected national market by eliminating the gasoline tax on fuel produced from US crude, as well as other fiscal inducements, and perhaps mandating a gasoline price higher than what the market would otherwise call for (which might still be less than what it is today), in order to channel all US production into the domestic market, in effect destroying the fungibility problem. Were this not possible though economic inducements internal production could simply be mandated for internal use. If the USA is truly the biggest energy market in the world, this could hardly be an economic hardship to the producers involved. As for international repercussions, apart from finger-pointing, the effect could not be very important, given the universal nature of the market. I am not the one to make the calculations, but surely there would be a way to make this economically interesting to the producers, and given that a great part of gasoline prices are tax, to the customers as well.
C) Surely the tanker loads of crude oil which criss-cross the oceans protected by the US navy are traceable! It seems amazing that petroleum’s fungibiliy could not be interfered with on the basis of this information.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Red and Blue

The Orwellian switch by which the American Sodomy Party is ‘republican’ blue, and it’s opponent ‘revolutionary’ red, works violence upon a language older and more universal than music, the elements of which, given the color of sky, water and blood, can never be chosen.
The media mandarins who worked this sly trick have savored their success, but with official designation of returning veterans as a vector of terrorism this stagecraft may be collapsing on these heads of the string-pullers.
The culture wars have had this result: the Sodomy Party owns government, education, traditional media, and a claim of control over public discourse. Their opponents have the army and the ideological adhesion of a majority of American citizens. Having color-designated the latter a revolutionary force, given current developments, the former may prove ironically justified.
We know what a ‘blue’ American will look like: the toothless, threadbare models are in Europe, with a prospect of dhimmi status. What would a ‘red’ America look like? One may hope for a restoration of the spirit of the Constitution, but at first it would look like a break-up of the union and military dictatorship. Such situations have been seen in American history, but not in the context of a globalized and nuclearized world.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Once upon a time there was an evil emperor. But a magic spell put an end to him, and the peasants rejoiced. An evil queen of the north, inspired by a misshapen dwarf who was her court jester, vied for the crown, but the magicians and wise men of the empire appointed a beautiful young prince, beloved of the peasants and all peoples worldwide. A new era of justice and peace was inaugurated. 
The new emperor was married to a magical fairy of great beauty. Her close-set eyes, out-thrust lower lip, stiff hair and fine gowns enchanted everyone. The imperial couple boasted two children, and far and wide it was known that the emperor had made them a wonderful promise: if he were crowned emperor he would give them a dog! But after the coronation months went by, and no dog came.
The affaires of the empire were many and urgent. The imperial gold was depleted. The peasants were suffering. Wars raged. One day a great lord brought a dog to the emperor, who gave it to his children. The children gave the dog a famous name, and the entire world greatly rejoiced.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Relativism for Easter

There is no truth, only different views. One is that all religions are equally valid. Another is that they are equally invalid. The view of Islam is that Jesus was not the son of God. The view of Christianity is that Islam is a form of Arianism; the heresy, in this case, that Jesus was not the son of God.
Those serious about their relativism take all these views with equal seriousness--since, in particular, the pretension that science has proven that religion is primitive nonsense is itself only an ancent prejudice, a version Eliatic Monism, the hypothesis that the cosmos is made of grains of matter and that change is an illusion. This view, known today as Scientism, offers no explanation about the source of the cosmos (or, to the contrary, the nature of infinity) or the nature of awareness (which might as well be illusory). This, of course, does not prove it is wrong; and anyway it is not a crime to be mistaken, or should not be. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Our Chrildren's Debt

I have heard this cry my whole life, and Victor Davis Hanson echoed it today: our children and grandchildren for generations, through all sorts of higher taxes, will have to service the mountain of debt and interest for the larger entitlements we’ll soon receive. That, or the system will break down. Loans will go unpaid on a massive scale destroying the trust and confidence which is the basis of economic prosperity, igniting a period of poverty unprecedented in modern times. If the American economy sloughs into 3d world mode Curtis Lemay's bombs will not be needed to shift China and India back into the stone age from which they so recently emerged. Europe, which has demonstrated little economic independence, will strangle.
After the cataclysm Americans would surely carry themselves as quickly as possible to internal recovery. The test might even be a tonic to the national spirit. After such a massive thievery the return to familiar levels of world-prosperity will not be a matter of trimesters but of generations; never before has America betrayed the world. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009


For the American conservative movement 'France' has become a dirty word. Pundits who can quote the Founding fathers on the place of Christianity in the American founding or America's role in the maintenance of freedom in Europe through the 20th century, fail to mention that it was only thanks to France that America exists.
It was Admiral de Grasse who planned the battle of Yorktown, defeated the English fleet, and put almost as many French troops into the fight as there were American. The treasure engaged was that of the French nation. That Louis XVI had larger purposes, if he did, changes nothing: no French help, no United States of America.
My wife was twenty four years old in 1944 when America invaded France. Her father fought at Verdun, a battle in a war whose victory was made possible by an American army. Ariving in France General Pershing famously declared: “Lafayette, nous voilĂ ”. My wife, however, is sympathetic to the new American attitude. She is disgusted at French anti-Americanism, and several other aspects of her country. Her attitude is shared by many but they lack a voice.
France, with less freedom than America, has not seen the emergence of anything comparable to the “conservative movement”. But, even with one side mute, the 'culture war' rages also in Europe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wilson Redux

At last: the progressive vision is in power. Like cats watching a king we are seeing it articulated nationally and internationally.
We are also witness to its non-implementation. However placed the heart, however suave the toung, however good the look, the stars will not be charmed from their paths. It is like explaining the basis of civilization to an armed thief who has you at his mercy. So, to mention only the most contemptible aspect, no entity of substance will oppose even a rhetorical flourish to the comic opera playing at Geneva.
Will this renewed experiment, looming above those with eyes to see like a 20th century storm cloud, be the final one? Will the vast failure, if not conflagration, which stalks us, cleanse at last the utopian contagion from our minds? Even the school of hard knocks can teach nothing to the mindless, as has also been seen again and again.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Strategic Oil

The West is funding jehadi mischief. How can the cycle be broken?
Anne Korin, in a highly coherent presentation, argues that oil is a “strategic” resource because transportation is hostage to it, whereas the US uses virtually no oil to generate electricity. OPEC, she demonstrates, is a cartel which profits no matter who produces or sells the stuff.
With economic and technological arguments Korin advocates a law mandating flex-motors coupled with batteries, after which the market does the rest. 

Monday, April 6, 2009


Torture, we are told, is ineffective. The idea is that the accused will confess under torture but the innocent, strong in the truth, will have the nerve to resist. This might be true, or publicly defensible, in societies of honor but not in societies of physical gratification. But the idea breaks down because some people are beyond innocence and guilt; they just have pleanty of nerve, and this is not written on thier faces.
When it is not a matter of personal confessions the situation is different. Let us imagine we wish to squeeze information about our enemy from tight-lipped captives. Like the accused of the previous case some have nerve and some not. But here we do not care about confession. We want information which any of the captives might have equally. If some have nerves, others might not. Whatever information is culled can then be checked, and is only one aspect of an informational picture being drawn up from several sources.

Ideological Confrontation

The problem of ideological confrontation has recently presented itself to me in a new form: what happens to ideological passion in the after-life? For the sake of this query let us say that Heaven is a reflection of our earthly desire for peace, harmony, joy and perfection.
In this life the only work-around against ideological passions is friendship; it is possible to disagree about abstract matters and remain friends. This is even possible in the face of alleged consequences of the given positions. Americans who believe it is a good thing to bring Democracy to Iraq and those who believe that the war is a bad thing, e.g. might remain friends even as American soldiers take casualties.
Friendship, however, is only for men of good will; even friends must always disagree about some things because each man is unique. Those who mock, who use one standard for thier side and another for the other, are not such men. This takes us to the heart of the question: ill-will defines the situation even when it is unilateral. In Heaven the truth will be clear. Men of good will can accept it gratefully; they can recognize their errors because they subordinate thier ideology to something else. Men of ill-will are not interested in self-perfection but in winning. Their positions are not steps on a path towards truth but a weapon.
Men should recognize the finite character of human intellect, their own in particular, and subordinate their conclusions to the results of honest debate, which perhaps can only be concluded in Heaven, where the truth, in all its splendor, will be clear and undeniable. This apparition will not effect men of ill will because it does not affect their lust for success.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shredding the Constitution

We have heard so much these past years about the assault on liberty (face it: we are no longer free to plan terrorist attacks over the phone), empowerment of the rich and the “mortgaging of our future”, that the smiling silence meeting current trends puts subtle upward pressure on an eyebrow. The turn-abouts on every principle (virtue and new blood, kosher legislation, jail closing palaver and mortgage bloat) might leave us astonished were it not for the auto-flattery of hero-worship which animates the chattering class.
Perhaps most pernicious, and theoretically amusing, is the newly blatant oligarchic coalition ever more boldly seeking to run the economy for the benefit of the happy few under the auspices of the most progessive wing, whose tenancy on the summits will prove maintainable only through sharp practice. Of the latter there has also been much talk these past years but it seems, as always, that the unselfaware (to put it with exagerated charity) accuse in others their own crimes.
These machinations, if successful from the oligarchs’ standpoint, mean the end of USA free-enterprise as traditionally understood, lowering of USA standard of life, and a slip in foreign economic dynamism, American exceptionalism being its keystone.

The Western Dynamic

Leo Strauss’ fundamental point about Western Culture is that it is a dynamic of two irreconcilable elements: Greek philosophy and the Bible. The amalgam of materialism, relativism, positivism, darwinism, etc. with moralism however, is, or seems to be, such a reconciliation. Strauss warns that such combination is inevitably a degradation of one side or the other, with consequent enfeeblement of the crucial dynamic.
Contemporary moralism serves almost exclusively to brow-beat ideological adversaries into obedience. As for actual biblical morality, it subverts it.
The amoral quality of materialism & etc. is not faced, and the allegedly evident quality of moralism has a flimsy basis. Even Plato, not once, but again and again, questioned the evident quality of the most obvious tenets of moralism (equality and justice), in the mouths of such characters as Thrasymachus and Callicles. These men claimed that the natural law is the right of the stronger. Socrates confounds them in a context (the presence of other men they are forced to respect and who would hear Socrates out) which forces them to recognize incoherent aspects of thier thinking. But does this undo it altogether?
The biblical side invaded the philosophical side in the 19th century. The concept of progress, which is exclusively biblical, is the basis of Marxism in particular.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Worst Generation

How is it that the obstinate Materialism espoused by the Western elite is paired with a moralizing attitude which contradicts it so flagrantly, for why should the fate of the widow and the orphan--not to say the pederast and person of color--excite folk who ought to be convinced that human emotion is a meta-effect of a chemical reaction? They are supine heirs of Christian moralism--its attitudes, not its content. Fasinated by themselves they are naturally uninterested in the history of who they are or knowledge of what they are. Hypocritically addicted to the sweet sensation of acceptance and justification, which drowns the critical sense and the capasity to act independently, they behave like Cambodian peasants, swallowing simplistic ideas to be led around in crowds by cynical demagogues, commiting foolish acts and eventually horrid ones. The best set themselves up as scolding censors of exactly the type they scold and censor.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Masters?

The new ideological direction prompts several questions, including the eventual 'who?'. I was particularly struck, in his recent address to a group in Connecticut, by General Petreus' exaggerated republicanism. The new direction of US foreign policy includes hostility towards Israel, appeasement of Russia and Iran, softness towards China, N. Korea and Al Caida, abandonment of missile defense, military budget cuts, and a rhetorical rather than pragmatic approach to Afganistan. This can hardly please the prudent Petreus, and yet he combed through the contradictory statements of our top executives for short phrases supportive of his message and used them repeatedly. He ended his remarks by pointing out that CentCom, of which he is the chief, is a territory not only larger than Alexander the Great’s empire but than the old Persian empire itself. Is America running a world empire? Given the stakes in a time of nuclear proliferation and infiltrated stateless armies, it is nice to know that Petreus is at the helm.
Victor Davis Hanson, praising the US military (april 2, 2009) called it the most competent, judicious—and lethal—military in the history of civilization, and of the officer corps said that they are relics of an American past who believe in honor, duty, country, God, sacrifice, and the continuation of the American experiment, and claimed they will do almost anything as outlined in the Constitution to ensure that their country—you and I—is safe and continues on in perpetuity. What will such men, in whose hands lies such power and responsibility, do in the face of the current challenges from within?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

End of the American Experiment?

If Leo Strauss is right America is the acme of the modern experiment, or the triumph of Machiavelli’s anti-philosophy. In this case modern democracy, despite its advantages and innovations, its wealth and power, its dynamism and freedom, remains subject to the classical critique that democracy is only one step better than tyranny.
Modern democracy, however, is not democracy; it is an aristotelian 'mixed regime' in the post-pre-idustrial era, but also a mass society. We are faced with the conjunction of mass society and technology, a problem the founding fathers did not face. The contrast is epitomized in constitutional provisions like the electoral college, an institution which seems to have become not only obsolete and quaint, but even problematic. Are we not capable of counting each voter's vote in real time? But obviously technology introduces technocratic opportunities to cheat far more suave than anything previous - to say nothing of other considerations.
The problem of knowledge, or information, or mental manipulation, has become extreme. A party which can not only fix the vote, but corrupt the thinking of the majority, sabotages the basic formula which made America work: a system, supported by a minimum of public morality, which enforced public collision and resolution of real interests. The new knowledge-technology situation seems, with the election of determined men supporting, and supported by, a mass ideology, to have brought us to a crisis.
Such considerations lead us to wonder if the American experiment is not coming to its close.