Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Blind and Merciless Sky Above

The post immediately below this one still has me unsettled. I spent the remainder of the week last week wondering about the whole thing. For those of you who made the decision not to expose yourselves to the horror of that film clip, let me just say that neither what happened to the girl, nor the insane act of covering her nakedness that I talked about in my post were the most lasting image I carry with me. It is the crowd of frenzied attackers, many of them with cell phones in their hands, crowding around her, beating her, all the while holding those hideous glowing cell phones up to record the unfolding horror.

I always wondered who it was that took pictures like this

during the holocaust. I suppose that in some deep recess of my heart I had dared to harbor the hope that at least some of those photographers might have been trying to record the horror so that future generations might know and work to prevent such things from ever happening again. It was my naïve hope that the man in this picture might have been glancing up to see a sympathetic figure, a figure who wanted to make his final moment one that would live in human hearts and help to improve them. That despicable film has taken that silly, fragile hope from me.

The girl in that film clip died, as this man did, under a blind and merciless sky, in the savage hands of atavistic murderers, without a hope of any redemption. It is only by freakish accident that you and I, dear reader, have had the opportunity to feel as though we were with them in their last instants of life. The blind enthusiasm and fatuous immorality of their tormentors have preserved those moments for us. We owe it to them to carry their images in our hearts and to make sure that we do our best to prevent such things in the future.

If we allow Western Civilization to lose heart and give in to the bloody advance of the Caliphate, every sky will be blind and merciless for millennia to come.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Look Upon This and Despair

Sol at Solomonia has posted the most obscene film clip I have ever seen. My constant readers know that I have almost never referenced and linked to current posts on other blogs without having a chance to reflect on them and put them into my own peculiar frame of reference. I find I have to make an exception in this case. Sol warns in his post that the video is horrible and it is. I cannot say that I am glad that I saw it but… Well, here is the comment I left on his post:

I watched it- I feel the same way about it that I did the Daniel Pearl Video. If we do not witness we cannot speak up effectively. Here is something that I saw that I think has an even more deeply disturbing meaning than the central action of the clip. Has anyone else noticed that the unspeakable monsters that are doing this repeatedly cover up the panty-clad buttocks of their victim? Anyone who could still hold out a hope that these are aberrational fiends who happened to assemble in a group large enough to outweigh a basically decent society with their murderous blood-lust must finally admit that his society is itself blood-fiendish. What form of propriety is it that blushes at the sight of a woman's buttocks but revels in beating and kicking her until she is insensible and then squashing her head? What are they doing, respecting her modesty as they drop a cinderblock on her head? Let a multiculturalist try to tell me that all cultures are special in their own way after seeing this! He who is kind to the cruel is cruel to the kind.

Just to make my point clear, these are obviously among the "decent and upright" Caliphate Muslims, being ever so careful to cover the god-given nakedness of this young woman- as they desecrate all of creation in their act of savagery.

Update 6/22 12:15Am
I was just notified by Sol that the video referencedc above was not Iranian in origin but Iraqi. I’m not taking my outrage back however- just applying it more broadly. I found this page with the following information and picture. The picture is Iranian and so is the video on the web page…

Photo : this woman is burried up to her waist in preparation for her stoning to death.

Hajiyeh Esmaelvand was killed in such a manner in December 2004. She was accused of adultery. She is but one victim of this law of the Sharia.

The stoning of women is practiced in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

Oops, well, silly us! None of us remembered, In Iran they wrap them up in a sheet and bury them up to the waist before they murder them. Link... Still, it was understandable. There are just so many, quaintly bloodthirsty local customs out there in the Islamic world- sometimes it's hard to keep them all straight.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blood for Oil- The only questions are: Whose? When? and How Much?

The Progressive Left is fond of accusing the Bush administration of trading “Blood for Oil” as if it is an unthinkable and unprecedented sacrilege. I hope it doesn’t shock anyone but, I have to tell you, Blood for Oil is a forgone conclusion. The only issue still to be decided is who's blood will be spilled and in what quantity. What do you think 9/11 was?

It's amazing, this thing never changes. When I was in the fourth grade I was called a kike for the first time. I didn't even know what the word meant. The ignorant bully approached me in a crowded boy’s room at lunch time and said "You think you’re really big, don't you? You kike." I had never been exposed to this kind of assault before. Innocent dupe that I was, I was horrified. I remember feeling his anger and being sure that he was mistaken to be angry with me. I was sure all I had to do was to explain. I didn’t know what he meant about being big- I knew that I was big for my age. I didn't even know what a kike was, although it was clear that it was not such a popular thing to be. I started to try to explain to him that I really didn't think I was so big. I never got to ask him what a kike was because he wasn't interested in the explanation. He demonstrated his indifference by slugging me- giving me my first fat lip at the same time. Bullies always project their rage and homicidal megalomania onto others. They always try to get someone else to embody the rage and disgust they feel for themselves. They are generally powerless, abused or neglected kids who do this because they are demoralized, helpless and depressed.

Oil wealth is the moral equivalent of welfare payments for despots. Just as the liberality of the U.S. and Western Europe’s welfare systems have created a permanent underclass of un-wed mothers and disadvantaged (culturally crippled) children, the un-earned ease, excessive volume and overwhelming power of oil wealth has created a global Jihad complex that is entirely independent of the normal economic restraints that life, nature and the market economy usually put on failed ideas and systems.

They are constantly being humiliated by serial eruptions of their own irrationality, ineptitude and self-inflicted defeats. Such humiliation would, under ordinary circumstances, be self-correcting- it would lead to bankruptcy, starvation, violent death, disease and dissolution of the society. Or the society would be forced to evolve to a more suitable form. This natural correction can’t happen when we keep sending them ever more vast amounts of money.

It is an odd situation. There has been no disaster they bring down on themselves, and no outlandish and anti-civil action that offends the very principals of civilization that has brought them anything but more misplaced sympathy, more money and more power to behave badly. Even military strikes like those by the U.S. against Libya and Israel against Iraq have had no lasting effect. The Caliphatist world is the pusher to the western oil junkie so they always have even more lucre with which to rebuild, redesign and make ever more devastating weapons. Meanwhile, The West is unable to see them for who they are because to see them that clearly would require that we admit that we have "An Oil Problem". We need a petroleum intervention.

We have to start talking about this. The world must come to understand what the Caliphatist’s and their leftist sycophants already know; they are awash in fabulous wealth that is theirs only by an accident of nature. Their greatest humiliation is yet to come and they, especially their leaders, can see it bearing down on them.

You see, when their oil runs out, as someday it must, their leaders know they will still be sitting there in their dessert palaces knowing that the lights are going to blink off for good, the Philippino servants they have abused and enslaved will be going home and they will have to learn how to ride camels to get around again because their Mercedes are permanently out of gas. The infamous “Arab Street” will be there too, with its short fuse and hysterical propensity for violence. The nadir of their humiliation will be that they know that for sixty years now, instead of using their unearned riches to create a better society and a more permanent source of wealth based on real productivity and creativity, they have persisted in squandering their wealth in chest-thumping vanity, internecine struggles for power and the quixotic quest to destroy Israel- a tiny country that is dwarfed in size by the Islamic world and yet dwarfs the Islamic contribution to modern society and culture.

But the problem with Islam is not just the leadership, the people too are paralyzed. They look up from their aimless lives in the street to the lavish palaces from which the leaders and Imams allow them enough of a subsidy to be essentially idle and useless. Deprived of meaningful engagement in the world by their corrupt political leaders and taunted out of any civilized instinct by their clergy, the “Arab Street” is a behavioral sink- in constant turmoil and anguish. Lacking the will to change themselves into a modern people, they have unconsciously but unmistakably committed themselves to trying to avoid the final humiliation not by growing into a better people and joining modern western culture, but by attempting to drag the rest of the world down to their level- the last resort of the bully. Cases in point are the bestial street scenes last week in Gaza in which Hamas supporters literally ripped Fatah officials to shreds with their bare hands,(here’s one of the least brutal videos)

or the Ramallah lynching of two Israelis-

It is this urge toward degradation, not sincere and spiritual religion, that is the real source of the fervor which informs their sudden renewal of interest in bringing about a world-wide Caliphate. That Caliphate would convert all the grand liberal institutions of Western Civilizations into nothing more than a world-wide network of Casbahs and Shari’a kangaroo courts. Oil wealth today foments death, repression, bigotry and hatred on a global scale.

We in The West are as right and righteous about the moral and spiritual issues as it is possible to be in this imperfect world. We are far more dynamic, free and decent culturally and socially. So why are we always finding ourselves “in the dock”- being accused, questioned and challenged by an obviously less successful and desirable culture? Follow the money. It is the Oil Loot and the Oligarchy of evil it has created. Israel and The West have both become “Davids” forced to fight a Goliath of our own making. As long as that Goliath has the money to finance the global jihad, keep (and arm) the “Palestinians” in their refugee camps and to buy outright toadies like Jimmy Carter and George Galloway, right and reason cannot fully prevail.

Trying to explain our innocence to them, talking with them about their grievances at all, is the same pathetic mistake I made in that boys room so many years ago. Their gripes about our foreign policy, their disdain for our religions and social practices, even Israel and our support of her are not the real issue for them anyway. They are tortured from the inside. Just as that boy's room bully was. The more we permit them to involve us in their crazy world of manufactured slights and endemic humiliation, the more we will get sucker punched.

The Oil Loot, even as it accentuates their feelings of personal inadequacy, has given them a buffer between them and the reality that, were they not so insulated, would force them into awareness. They are already resolved to give us "Blood for Oil". We cannot face them unprepared for it. We may be against "Blood for Oil" on principal but, given the choice, we must be willing to choose their blood over ours.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Parable of The Dogs- Where Politics is Going

Here is a parable for you. It is a tale of four dogs- or more accurately, two pairs of dogs. One pair of dogs I own today and one pair I owned a long time ago. This is a true story of hardships survived, pampered lives and the courage to face danger for the things and people you love. It is also an object lesson in how your philosophy affects your ability to survive.

Recently I had an experience that mirrored one of the most dangerous and formative events of my life. I relived that memory while I was walking my current dogs, Harry and Jake.

Jake is a very sweet, yellow Labrador Retriever. He is also a Liberal. He is handsome, smart and wants everyone to love him. We bought him from a family on Cape Cod almost a dozen years ago. He was the runt of his litter and had been coddled accordingly. He can be irritatingly dependant at times but, then, he is so endearing you can’t help forgiving that. One night, when he was barely more than a puppy, some neighborhood kids decided to work through their changing identities, assert their newfound strength and maturity and express their uniqueness in this wondrous universe by hauling up one of the landscape timbers that we had just installed in our flower beds and throwing it through our living room window at two o’clock in the morning. We were all asleep when the window shattered and before I realized what was going on I found myself stalking barefoot around the front lawn with an aluminum baseball bat, wearing nothing but jockey shorts and a tee shirt. My wife called the police and as she was dragging me back in the house, I wondered aloud, "Where is the dog?"

Jake, who was pretty well house trained by then, was pretending that he was locked up inside his training crate. The door was wide open but Jake was lying down in there doing his best to look like he didn’t know that something had happened. Even when the police arrived, the usually gregarious Jake stayed in the crate and watched the action from there, clearly he wasn't much of a watchdog. From that moment on, we knew that Jake would always be a peaceful and compliant companion who would never intentionally hurt anyone or anything. For Jake, War is Not the Answer- ever.

Harry, on the other hand, is a Progressive. He was supposed to be a miniature poodle- that’s what the folks at the big breeding kennel told us. He never grew up. He is now six years old and the size of a smallish cat. He is a lap dog. If you have never owned or known a poodle (especially the smaller varieties) you simply can have no idea how entitled, amusing, imperious, adorable, irritating and lovable they can be. Harry struts around the house with the brisk assurance of ownership, always appearing to be on some important errand. If he doesn’t get his way he becomes petulant, often using the odd, strategically placed pile of feces and/or puddle of urine to express his displeasure when he feels slighted. Its not that he doesn’t know the rules, he just holds them in contempt- and he does it with an insolent flair. Ever since I described the argumentative strategies of the modern left as “antic nihilism” in my post about the obfuscatory style of the left, I have been unable to look at Harry without thinking of that phrase. Of course, one of the reasons Harry seems amusing and adorable in spite of the other characteristics is that he is less than a foot long and weighs less than eight pounds. He ordinarily has no real ability to cause pain or disorder. When a human progressive leaves one of their verbal piles of excrement on the floor (oh, say, “no blood for oil”, or “BusHitler” or “Israel is apartheid” for example) it is not adorable, not just because it is untrue but because it causes liberals to become upset and encourages them to behave in ways that endanger everybody.

Harry often plagues Jake. He will push between Jake and his food bowl when a treat is dropped in. When Jake is being patted or getting his belly rubbed, Harry either puts himself between the patter’s hand and Jake or harasses Jake, nipping at his ears and jumping up and down and pawing his face until Jake can’t stand it any longer and retreats from the scene. Most dogs ten times larger than Harry would maul him out of sheer irritation but Harry knows Jake too well; Jake is too sweet and gentle to hurt him. So Harry takes advantage. Worst of all, Harry’s sheer energy and willfulness leads Jake astray and drives him to get into situations he wouldn’t dream of putting himself into otherwise.

The other day I was walking the two of them in the park. We met up with another dog walking with its owner along the way and what happened next made it necessary for me to write this post.

I live in the beautiful city of Newton, Massachusetts, a densely populated but still suburban place on the western margin of the Boston urban core. It was evening and we were headed, in the dusky light, down one of the paths in the park next to my house. There was a big dog and its owner coming toward us from the other direction. I know from experience what to expect in situations like this. Harry is excitable and at the sight of the other dog approaching he began yapping, lunging and dodging hysterically. I pulled him back with the leash and switched hands, putting Jake’s leash closer to the oncoming dog and Harry on the opposite side. Jake, the craven love puppy, had already begun wagging his tail and lunging toward the other dog to make friends.

Now, I had both of them on retractable leashes that have spring loaded reels in the handles. When the reels are released the dogs can have as much as fifteen feet of line to play around with. When you want to bring the dog close to you, you can work them back by alternately pulling and letting the spring take up the slack. The problem is that when they are pulling hysterically and you are trying to get both of them back at the same time it is very difficult to make much progress. So as we approached each other I was yanking on both leashes, trying to get the dogs close enough to control.

The other dog was confused, here was Jake threatening to disjoint every vertebra in his spine in submissive wriggling and on the other side was Harry, a squirrel-sized blur of noisy aggression. The other dog seemed to be a good egg and looked to be inclined to ignore Harry and go for the friendly mutual heinie sniff with Jake; but as the two bigger dogs approached each other, Harry darted in between yipping loudly and repeatedly darting forward right in the stranger’s face. Harry has clearly been spoiled by Jake’s tolerance; he had no idea that a bigger dog could do anything other than bear his ignorant rantings politely. The other dog was not so inclined, however and he was quite overwhelmed by the variety of different stimuli that were being sent his way. He drew back and saw Jake’s bulk rushing toward him; he clearly felt the irritation of Harry’s acoustical assault and reacted out of instinct.

He nipped at Harry. In a lightning move, he grabbed Harry and gave him a quick squeeze with his teeth. It was not a serious bite; he clearly could have bitten Harry in half and had held back. He had merely squeezed with enough force and intent to warn a reasonable dog off.

I understood the strange dog’s reaction completely, what I didn’t understand at all was the reaction of my two dogs to this. Harry, scared but unreformed, ran in a wide circle, crossing his leash with Jake’s leash, tying up Jake’s legs and wrapping me in into one big loop of confusion. When he got around behind me he resumed his insane yapping and the infuriating lunging and dodging dance, thereby weaving a very complicated tangle of leash in very short order. Jake, who you might have thought would come to his little friend’s defense or at least have a moment’s pause over the violence, didn’t even seem to register it. The reserve of the other dog and the racket created by Harry just made him more anxious and spurred him to try even harder to “make friends”. He just redoubled his vigorous and subservient greeting. The other dog glanced at him and wasn’t buying it. Struggling as I was to untangle and subdue Harry, I was unable to stop Jake. The other dog growled, barked and then lunged at Jake. Just in time, I took up the slack on Jake’s leash and between the tug I got on him and the effort other dog’s owner, Jake didn’t get hurt.

That’s the best that can be said about it. No one got hurt. On the way home from that encounter I walked through the dusky sunset with these two silly, purebred dogs and recalled an encounter that I had experienced with two very different dogs a long time ago. Looking back on it, It seems a different lifetime really, it was before my divorce, watershed in anyone’s life, and it was before I became aware of The Beast. I was lucky on that day to have been with dogs of a very different political stripe.

Sammy was an odd sort of Libertarian. He was a cheerful, independent mutt who came to us from a rescue agency. He had, roughly, the look of a golden retriever but with shorter legs, a wirier coat and the stout heart of a terrier. Friendly and energetic, Sammy had had a pretty difficult puppy-hood. The story that the shelter people told us was that he had been owned by a local college student who had failed to take proper care of him. She had apparently allowed him to run freely around the campus at night had not neutered, or registered him. He had not even had any of the usual vaccinations. A little less than a year old when he arrived at the shelter, he was clearly used to shifting for himself and he had a jaunty self-assured attitude. If he didn’t get what he wanted from his people, he’d help himself.

We were actually shopping that day for a dog to be a companion for Morgan (more about her later). We found Sammy in the shelter and thought his jolly, independent but friendly personality would be a good match for Morgan and took him home that day. The very night we brought him home, we began to notice that he had become lethargic. He felt warm, and soon began to sneeze and cough. His eyes and nose were running copiously. Within a few hours we knew we had to get him to the veterinarian. It was distemper. Although they had given him the shot against distemper at the shelter, he contracted the disease there before the vaccines had had a chance to establish complete immunity.

We worried over him for three days but he was strong and the partial immunity he had gained from the belated vaccination prevailed. Morgan, our other dog hovered tenderly over him much of the time, often checking on him by pressing her nose against his neck. On the fourth day he began to recover.

Sammy was a true individual, perhaps it was the unstructured environment of his youth or maybe it was just that he was simply a true independent but he was full of quirks and odd-ball traits. Some of his quirks were funny. For instance, somewhere along the way he had conceived a liking for cigarettes. Not lit ones (at least, that we knew of) but stale butts that he would find on the street. You would be walking him down the street and look down to see him stepping nonchalantly along beside you with a butt that he had snagged on the fly sticking rakishly out of his mouth. He also had an extremely odd way of “talking to you”. He would utter a series of gasps, half barks, stifled howls and voiced panting that made it seem as if he were “speaking in tongues”. I have never heard anything like it in a dog. It was so unusual that a researcher at a local University once asked us if she could record it. Some of his quirks were profoundly touching too, as was the way, when anyone in the family was sad or ill, he would find a way of climbing up next to you in bed or on the couch and putting his cold nose against you in quiet, comforting commiseration. Perhaps he learned that one from Morgan.

Morgan was a Conservative. If we could have bred Morgan with another dog of her exact physical type and psychological makeup we would have established a new and sensationally popular breed. Morgan was a pound puppy of mixed ancestry but the mixture was a noble one. She was big. You immediately saw in her the bone structure and regal bearing of a Great Dane, the coloring, soulful eyes and rippling musculature of a Rottweiler and the handsome, broad, floppy-eared, head of a Labrador. The combination was one of impressive size, heart-catching grace and sensitive intelligence.

Her early life had been harder than Sammy’s. The shelter people intimated that Morgan might have been abused to some degree. By the time we met her she was almost two years old and fully grown. She became the most beloved dog I have ever owned. Perhaps because of her earlier deprivations, it was clear that once in our home she was determined to show us that she was grateful and deserving. She did this with dignity and strength in a thousand little ways. She kept watch on us gently, but with a dedication that surpassed instinct. Large enough to stand on all four paws and still look directly out the window, anytime there was the least noise or movement outside on the street or the back yard, she would get up, walk to the window, look out and give a deep, breathy, barely audible, “woof”. That woof said “Morgan is on guard, this is my family and I will shoulder any burden to protect it.”

Many protective dogs are unpredictable but Morgan was smart and under control. She would never hurt anything that did not threaten to hurt her or her family. I recall one day that I was sitting with my wife and kids at the kitchen table. We were waiting for a sales person to arrive for an appointment. Morgan, as she always did when we gathered as a family, was lying on the floor close by. We were talking- involved in conversation when Morgan got up and trotted briskly into the next room. This was odd. Unlike other dogs she never had that “places to go, people to see” walk when there wasn’t something of note happening. My wife and I looked at each other and I got up and followed Morgan into the other room. When I came around the corner I froze. The salesperson was a small, slightly built woman. She had come in through the side door of the house without knocking or ringing the bell. None of us humans had heard the door open, but Morgan had. She had trotted to the side door, reared up on her hind legs and placed one huge paw squarely at the neckline of the woman’s dress. The two of them were standing, motionless in the doorway a statue of homeland security twenty tears before the term came into use. Morgan, was content to wait for me to tell her what to do and the visitor was terrified beyond speech or flight. Many protective dogs would, I think have attacked and hurt an uninvited intruder. Most would certainly have made a terrifying, noisy spectacle out of it barking and snarling menacingly. Morgan didn’t need to make all that noise and she didn’t want to hurt anyone she just wanted to see to it that we were secure. As soon as I came to my senses and said, “OK, Morgan, down!” she dropped her paw, and trotted calmly away.

Then there was the time that I had a violent stomach bug. My first wife had gotten tired of me keeping her awake with my tossing and turning so she went downstairs to get some sleep on the couch. Sometime in the wee hours, I got up and went to the bathroom. I was seized with violent retching for some time. After a few minutes my wife came upstairs and into the bathroom with a look of surprise on her face. She told me how Morgan had gone downstairs to the couch, insinuated her great head under her back and lifted her to a sitting position. Then, when the woman stood up, the dog put her head into the middle of her back and pushed her gently but firmly up the stairs to the bathroom where I was in agony.

Morgan was a perfect walking dog. She adapted to the personality and purpose of the person walking her. When my first wife, who only weighed ninety-five pounds, walked her she was gentle and cooperative. When my oldest son took her out wearing his roller blades, she would pull him down the street at a wild gallop with him whooping his delight and encouragement. When I walked her she was alert, steady and serious on the leash. Walking with her through the woods or fields, even a domesticated suburbanite like me could feel the protective, reassuring, almost primal bond that evolves between a great dog and a man.

Back then I lived in Holliston, MA a much more rural place than Newton. Our regular morning walk took us out across the main road, past the small pond at the top of a hill, out along the margin of an old sand pit that had grown up in scrubby meadow, skirting a horse farm and then back through the lower end of the Sand pit where construction was starting up on a development of luxury homes. We walked at 5:30 every morning. Here in New England that means walking in darkness four months of the year and in the earliest light of dawn for another four months.

One unusually warm March morning, we were walking in the half-light when we encountered a beast of a different kind.

As we passed the horse farm, that morning, both Sammy and Morgan began to behave oddly. Sammy began to emit some of his patented yips, whines and grunts. Morgan was stepping a little faster and both of them turned their heads to look behind us. We had seen deer out there many times so I thought, perhaps they had spotted one.

But the backward glances continued and I began to notice that their demeanor was more like anxiety than the excited alertness they usually exhibited over deer. It didn’t take long for me to realize that something very unusual and threatening was happening. Something was following us. The dogs were now trying to wheel around and face whatever it was. I tightened my grip on their leashes and allowed them to turn me. There, on the trail, not more than ten feet behind us was a coyote. Not your average urban-suburban sized coyote either but one of those that some wildlife observers theorize might be the product of coyotes that have interbred with wolves. The result of that interbreeding is a strain of eastern coyotes that are much larger than normal. I was standing there with Morgan, surely one of the bigger dogs in Massachusetts, on a leash and this thing was taller than her at the shoulder by two or three inches. From that distance it could, I guessed, be on top of us in one leap.

I stared at it for a moment, long enough to realize it wasn’t gong to attack immediately. I thought that our best chance to avoid trouble was to turn slowly and walk, as calmly as possible, away. I went to turn the dogs and as I looked down I saw that Morgan was looking fixedly in that direction already. I followed her gaze and felt every hair on my body stand on end. Another coyote, larger even than the first, had used the few moments I had spent staring at the first coyote to circle around us, cutting off our line of retreat.

Now that I was facing front again, Morgan switched her gaze back to the threat in the rear. She stood with her shoulder up against my hip, a great boulder of reassurance and courage, not making a sound or moving a muscle. Sammy was with me too, on my other side, shifting a little on his paws, but clearly aware of the threat and equal to doing his part. I knew I had to take some action. I had read somewhere that yelling, throwing stones and behaving in an aggressive manner are helpful in these kinds of situations. With my heart racing, I reached down to the bottom of my vocal register and bellowed the first thing that came to my mind, "Get out of here! Get out of the way! Go on, Scram!" The coyote in front of me reacted only with a slight shift of its posture, half a question, half a fidget. I switched both leashes to my left hand and bent down to pick up a rock. I now knew that if the dogs panicked and started to move around I could be tied in a knot instantly by the leashes. I had committed to the rock in one hand but what should I do with it? Would the coyote understand the threat as a dog would? If I threw the rock, would it provoke an immediate attack or prevent it? I knew that the worst thing I could do was to stand still and let the coyotes retain the initiative. The last thing I wanted was to have a wild animal making the decisions. I took aim and threw to rock. The Coyote dodged, moving slightly to the left of the trail. In the same instant I had to make another decision: Pick up another rock or press the advantage that we had gained by putting the coyote on the defensive and making him move? I opted for the latter. Grabbing Sammy’s leash back with my now free throwing hand I started forward slowly but deliberately, continuing to yell at the top of my lungs. The dogs moved with me, both of them understanding the strategy and complying precisely. Morgan trotted sideways, watching behind and Sammy walked stiff-legged with his head down and his tail pointed up and over his head. We advanced down the trail and the coyote, having begun to move off the trail, continued to give us room as we went by. Soon they were both behind us and the tension was broken.

Now, I am going to tell you- and ask you to believe me- that I am as wary as anyone can be about ascribing human thoughts and emotions to other animals. I spent much of my undergraduate and graduate schooling reading about and doing behavioral research with primates so I have the taboo against that deeply ingrained in me. On the other hand the parallels between animals chemically, biologically and behaviorally are manifest in reality. Used with the proper judgment and qualification they are powerful and accurate tools for understanding humans in all of those dimensions. It is with this caveat that I offer the following observations.

How thankful should I be that, on that morning when I confronted those coyotes, I had a libertarian and a conservative with me? What would have happened had I had Harry dodging around me making his infernal racket and Jake doing his fawning dance of submission instead of those two rock-solid warriors?

After recalling my experience with Morgan, Sammy and the Coyotes, I began to realize that the alternate tale of Harry and Jake in the park can be seen as a nearly perfect allegory for the idiocy of much of what the left wing does. Take Nancy Pelosi’s late trip to Syria for instance. I know I’ve written about this before but its such a perfect illustration of this point…

Pelosi, like Jake, is a liberal. Modern Liberals (it wasn’t always this way, e.g. JFK) have, as one of their guiding principals, War is Not the Answer”. It doesn’t matter to them what the question is, they somehow know that warfare is never the solution. Their operational assumption is that if war is being threatened, you are simply not negotiating (talking) enough. Does a terrorist organization based in another country kill 3,000 of your people on your own soil? Oh well, let’s brew up another pot of mint tea and have a nice sit-down. It would, perhaps, be a nicer world if all that was needed was conversation- but history has proven this to be a delusion. Bloody despots like Assad, Ahmadinijad and Saddam are a reality and, like reality, they have to be dealt with- or they deal with you. Ideological pacifism is a sham, a camouflage- meant either to disguise and to excuse the spinelessness of those who refuse to stand up to an aggressor or to hide the naked political calculation of “leaders” like Pelosi who exploit the fear of confrontation to create and manipulate their power base.

As a professional politician, Pelosi’s first objective is always “popularity”. She has a liberal core constituency that she caters too. Liberals, like Jake, are sweet, friendly people but are not known for their ability to discriminate between friends and enemies. Actually most of them feel that discrimination is a bad word. In fact, one of the deepest problems of the liberal core in the United States is that they have fallen prey to the hyperemotional rhetoric of the far left. Progressives and socialists have always been very adept at “emotionalizing” key words and concepts in political discourse with phrases like “bush lied people died” and “No blood for oil” and “I care about all of the victims of Middle East violence”- and if there is one thing liberals are powerless to resist, it is an emotional appeal. This works especially well if it makes them seem (God forbid!) as though they are unfriendly or chauvinistic if they resist it. The liberals and their leaders have been so agitated and distressed by the rhetoric of the Progressive Left that they have begun to slide further to the left themselves. Liberals who used to stand up for freedom, democracy and the obvious benefits of the open and tolerant Western Tradition are now sunk in the dismal and hopeless swamp of multiculturalism and the attempt to placate and be friends with people who despise them and want to kill us all.

Lest anyone misunderstand, I want to be clear about one point. I love my dogs. That is to say, I am in no way saying that Jake is as spineless as most liberals. He, at least, reacted defensively (if somewhat hysterically- and from the safety of our enclosed porch) by barking loudly and even growling when a raccoon family was treed by a coyote here in Newton. Nor am I saying that Harry is as detestable as Pelosi and the rest of the liberal leadership. At least Harry serves a valuable function in our family. We can laugh at his antics and even I like it when he jumps up into my lap and insists that I pat his head for an hour or so. I do not intend to equate Pelosi’s power and approval hungry motives to Jake and Harry. In my experience, a dog’s motives are always above reproach. They are just doing their best to be the dogs that they are. Politician’s motives are often below contempt- and they are always mixed to some degree. I make the comparison because Jake’s sweet harmlessness is a perfect metaphor for the sadly craven liberal lust to be loved at any cost and Harry’s imperiousness mimics the far left’s antic nihilism to a “T”.

Besides, the political template of my dog’s behavior has no power to kill and enslave people. Whereas, even such a frivolous and silly exercises in tail wagging, tongue lolling and slobbering on the hand of evil as the one Pelosi indulged in Syria has serious implications. As Farid Ghadry, president of the Reform Party of Syria wrote in the Washington Times:

Pelosi's ill-timing undercuts substantive efforts by the opposition within and outside Syria to develop a meaningful democratic alternative to a hateful regime that in the end neither benefits U.S. interests nor those of the Syrian people.
It is a matter of knowing who the enemy is and what they stand for; and as Mrs. Pelosi's colleagues in Congress announced their intention to ban the term "global war on terror," it may come as little surprise that such myopic disdain for this regime's serious ill will against stability and democracy in the region seems to dominate certain policy quarters within the U.S. government.

My only disagreement with Mr. Ghadry is that where he sees “myopic disdain” I see a solid formation of tail-wagging idiots accompanied by a chorus of self-serving, yapping lapdogs. There can be no gainsaying him on one point however, this trip, “…will have serious negative repercussions for U.S. interests down the line.” We are seeing this already in Lebanon and, especially, in Iraq where jihadists and equipment flow in steadily from Assad’s Syria and her mad patron Ahmadinijad’s Iran.

Our cultural enemies are fond of calling us dogs (as well as pigs and monkeys). Well, there are dogs and there are dogs. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about Morgan. She was the finest dog I have ever known and was far too good to have been a human. I think of America in the same terms that I do that dog. Lord Byron said it best so I’ll let him close for me with this description which fits Morgan, America, our armed services, Israel, and it also embodies our hopes for our next president whomever we happen to support in the race:

“…one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.” ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog"

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Terrorism of Deconstruction

There is an old joke about a missionary and a cannibal. If it seems a little silly at first, let it sink in a little…

One day the missionary was trying to explain why cannibalism is bad. He says to the Cannibal, “God created man to be but little lower than the angels. For that reason alone it is wrong to kill and eat people.”

The cannibal thought for a moment and said, “Then why did he make them out of meat?” This joke is not about real missionaries and cannibals, it is about the heart of Western Civilization confronting the Agélaste Left.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” he was setting forth a broad and revolutionary presumption - Humans have rights. Jefferson attributed the source of those rights to God as did many philosophers of his time but they were never actually rights in the real world until they were codified and written into The Bill of Rights which is the cornerstone document of the United States of America- more critical even than the Constitution.

I am not saying that Jefferson invented the idea of rights. He was, obviously, building on the principals of respect for the individual that spring from the book of genesis, derive from Greek Philosophy and were firmly established in practice the Magna Carta. But Jefferson crossed the last significant frontier by turning the view of rights around. He viewed the rights of man as the signal aim of governmental structure rather than an adjunct and a foil to the rights of a king.

Prior to the rise of the United States and the other constitutional democracies of Western Civilization there were no rights for the common man. There were only the divine rights of kings and churches which were enforced by the application of power. The concept of rights evolved slowly as the human race evolved culturally. At every other evolutionary level of cultural complexity, from the family, to the hunting/gathering group, to the tribal society, to the monarchy and all the way up to the despotic rule of the totalitarian state, the rest of human experience has been and is without rights as Jefferson understood them. Until the American experiment there were only functions and duties to be fulfilled with the occasional “favor” of some small freedom. It is only in the upside-down logic of the left that rights are assumed to exist independent of the deity and/or government.

Here is a short definition of the word “citizen” that I like. I found it on a kid’s web site that is run by the House of Representatives. “A native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.” Right alongside the protection, which includes the assurance of the citizen’s rights, there is that often forgotten but crucial bit about the allegiance owed. Allegiance is scoffed at in some circles these days but the protection of rights is a two way street and the government can’t protect anything if it can’t count on allegiance.

Unlike Jefferson, most on the left do not believe in a God that "endows" men with rights, neither do they believe in the government that grants and protects them. They seem to believe that rights exist as inviolable, innate properties on their own. This, of course is absurd. Even a cursory look at any society that is not a western democracy will show that rights are only ephemeral and exist at the whim of the ruler. Without a Bill of Rights, a Constitution to give it detail and strong safeguards including an independent judiciary and controllable military a right is just an idea.

If Jefferson wrote The Declaration today he would find himself having to defend that original presumption in the media. This is because the mass media is in the grip of the liberal left and the left in turn is in the grip of a peculiar, post-Soviet nihilism that has become the prevalent dialogue style of the modern left. The left used to be predictably pedantic. They would lecture you about the coming worker’s utopia and excuse all the excesses of Russia, China and North Korea by telling you that the goal of paradise had to be won over the objections of the vestiges of the capitalist and religious power systems.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, and now with the slow capitalization of China, they can no longer point to the steady evolution of the utopia. To avoid admitting that their ideology is now officially not a candidate for “survival of the fittest” but rather a victim of “extinction of the least fit”, they have sunk into a kind of glib but effective, antic nihilism in which allows them to take advantage of their right of free speech to deconstruct and weaken the culture from within its vital institutions.

The glibness of the left is based on a kind of intellectual guerilla deconstructionism. They start with a patently false accusations and assertions and then, when challenged with information, fall back on a series of lines of defense consisting of reasonable-sounding requests for more information that are designed to eat away at the validity of the assumptions behind the information. A question that one of these might have thrown at Jefferson would be “So if you say the creator endowed us with these rights but later on you insist that there must be no official religion- how can you then use the deity to justify your claim to these rights?” This is an example of a question that is also really an accusation in disguise. Then, if you take the time and energy to argue with them, they just fade back behind more of those kinds of questions . When that last line of defense is breached they simply go back to the beginning and assert some other naive and obviously uninformed anti-western slogan thereby entrapping the unwary and sincere in an endless loop of fruitless talk.

Now, look back up at the joke I began this post with. If you substitute “intelligent citizen” for “missionary” and “modern leftist” for “cannibal” in the joke above, you have the idea.

The effect of this tactic is a “no lose” situation for the nihilist progressive because even while he understands that, if we know what we are talking about, he will be disproved on every point, he has put us on the defensive while engaging us and wasting our time in the futility of “educating the in-educable”. On the off chance that one of his insipid questions stumps us, he wins the whole table without really having risked anything.

Wikipedia says:

“Those writing sympathetically about deconstruction tend to use an "idiosyncratic" (sometimes in fact imitative) style with numerous neologisms, a bent toward playfulness and irony, and a massive amount of allusion across many corners of the Western canon."

If you consider that "idiosyncratic" can be taken to mean that the style is not just individual but actively counter to accepted styles of thought (usually, but not always known as wrong) and "massive amount of allusion across many corners of the Western canon" is a euphemistic way of saying "overly broad generalizations taken out of context" then this is pretty thin support from your sympathizers.

Wikipedia goes on to say:

"Critics assert that when one takes the time to deconstruct writings about deconstruction one discovers it was not worth the effort. Deconstructionism is ultimately and literally a meaningless philosophy. It is devoid of meaning and is, in fact, a direct attack on any possibility of meaning, because if the reader alone creates meaning there can be no truth; one person’s meaning is equal to another’s so there is no possibility of reasoned discourse leading to actionable conclusions. Deconstruction leads nowhere and means nothing.”

Deconstructionism, as practiced in the arguments of the left, is the intentional reduction of accepted values and ideals through spurious comparisons and arbitrary relativism. Such absurdities as the equation of the moral value of our culture and that of the Caliphate Islamists fall easily from their lips. While it is possible to argue every point that the deconstructionist makes down to the finest detail, it is impossible to make any progress doing so because every time you prove a point, the creative and agile deconstructionist asks another intentionally ignorant question that forces you to go back over the same ground. They don't care about the wasted time because they have nothing to gain the emptiness of their tatics mirror the emptiness of their philosophy. Without some self-evident truths, you wind up stuck defending that which should need no defense while the important work of extending the reach of rationality, liberty and true tolerance lies undefended.

A deconstruction stretches the rights of free inquiry and speech to illogical extreme. (It is possible to over-stretch a right because rights exist within systems and are thus responsible to the limitations of the system they operate within) Denying the power, moral authority and prerogative of the culture that grants that right, it places itself outside of the cultural framework.

At this time of challenge and danger, Western Civilization can ill-afford to be paralyzed by the internal rot that this deconstructionism. As I pointed out on a comment thread at Augean Stables:

This…, all reminds me of Yul Brynner. When I was a kid I remember seeing him on one of the old “talk shows”. I never had the patience for those shows- Merv Griffen, Dick Cavett etc.. My parents were watching and I was floating through the room and the raw charisma of Brynner held me for a little while. The host, whoever he was asked Brynner why he never seemed to get drawn into Hollywood squabbles. Brynner said that he had been given a bit of advice as a young man- (I wish I could remember who had told him this and the exact words) It went something like this: “Never fight with an idiot. When you fight with an idiot, he can’t rise to your level so you have to sink to his level. At his level he will beat you every time!”

We need to find a way to stop wasting our time and effort on the losers of history who have found new and inventive ways of insinuating themselves virus-like into our schools, academies and mainline religions. We also need to guard against doing this without adequate safeguards against losing the benefit that comes from hearing valid criticism that we find painful. The discrimination is not easy but the comment thread I cited above is a good example of they way in which way too much effort is spent by way too many good and sincere thinkers when they encounter just one of these losers who is determined to pervert the process. These discussions become the equivalent of intellectual IEDs that bleed the commitment and energy from honest efforts to understand and persuade. This is really what the left and al Qaeda have in common, they know that they have the weaker (that is to say, non-existent) hand on all rational matters so they just want to blow people up, render rational discussion impossible, hack off heads, frustrate the sincere engagement of ideas and spill blood randomly hoping to drive the intelligent opposition into disgusted retreat. Whether it is physical violence or the passive-aggressive deconstruction of discourse by the flood of words that negates ideas it is terrorism. They call this terrorism “Resistance”. When you see them use the word “Resistance”, they mean resisting the inexorable reality that they are wrong.

It would help if the media would realize that this is their game and stop promoting them to the unwary public. Every time Noam Chomsky is presented to the world as anything but a linguistic theorist whose writings are impenetrable, he becomes a leader of Resistance. When Ward Churchill’s lunatic ravings are published anywhere he becomes a magnet to the loser resistance, a terrorist of words. But, then, the Main Stream Media is rife with leftists and their liberal enablers who pay more attention to losers like Chomsky, Zawahiri, Guevara, Nasrallah and Churchill than to true heroes of progress like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Walid Shoebat, Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes.

The media, as I pointed out in my last post, also appoints obviously biased organizations like Amnesty International as the authority on Human Rights. If they understood rights and their provenance at all, they would realize that while Amnesty and their ilk focus their attention on trumped-up offenses and the occasional (mostly benign flaw) of Israel and the U.S., they are, by weakening the Wests moral authority, actively participating in the murder, torture and enslavement of millions who live under Islamic and other non-Western governments.

Here’s one last unfunny joke:

One day the civilized westerner was trying to explain why terrorism (with words and ideas) is bad. He says to the Resistor, “God created man to be but little lower than the angels. For that reason alone it is wrong to kill people either by blowing them up or by deconstructing their ideals.”

The Resistor thought for a moment and said, “Then why did he make them out of meat?”