Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our Choice- Live in Incorrectness or Die Correct

I generally dislike sports analogies. They are often overblown and the context of sports is much simpler that real life. But with The Super Bowl coming up and The Perfect Season Patriots looking like they will soon rewrite football history, there is a subtle lesson to be learned from some of the “sports talk” we are hearing.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichik has always been a controversial head coach but this year the controversy has come in waves all season long. He has long been an object of media and fan fascination often called a genius and sometimes called obsessed, cold, ruthless and even evil, but this year the debate has been fueled by forces larger than usual.

From the ‘tape-gate” scandal in the first game of the season to the whining about “running up the score”, the yapping dogs of envy and the devious media jackals that feed on the scraps left by big meat-eaters like Bill and this year’s undefeated Patriots have been trying to diminish his achievements and draw attention to themselves. They alternately, cluck their tongues disapprovingly and rail disingenuously about rules and moral issues that in the end have played no discernable role in this triumphal season. There has even a very earnest debate over whether Belichik deserves to be the “Coach of the Year”.

There is more to this debate than meets the eye. A large part of the animus against him, of course, is the anti-competitive angst of the fans of other teams who would like to find a way of rationalizing their teams as the “better” teams. But, beyond that, I think Mr Belichik is disliked in so public a way because he is very Incorrect Politically.

Here are some of the things about him that are incorrect:

He believes in keeping score.
He does not pander to the press.
He does not mince words.
He wants to win every time he competes.
He shows disregard for the feelings of opposing players and fans.
He thinks winning is more important than the emotions of his players.
He does not allow his own emotion to cloud his judgment.
He is resourceful, self-reliant and self-confident.
He is notorious for never being satisfied just to win- he wants to use it as an opportunity to assure continued winning.
He is famous for being so diligent and dedicated that he simply out-works all opposing coaches.
He knows the difference between inventive strategy and cheating and is not afraid to walk the thin line between them to secure victory.
When he is judged wrong he takes his penalty without complaint.
He is focused on winning because he knows it’s better than losing.
He knows the difference between a reason and an excuse.
He does not want to give in to “you can’t win them all”.

The thing that most offends the general sensibilities of people who don’t understand Belichik is the way he responds to winning. The Tuesday after a win he always has an even longer list of negative notes and film clips of mistakes and miscues to go over with the players than after a loss. This is looked on with a mixture of horror and amusement by much of the press and the general public. There are those who seem to believe that with a great group of individual athletes to lead and a winning system, Belichik might be better advised to celebrate a little longer and give his players a bit more of a reward. But Belichik knows that that is not how perfect seasons happen.

I heard John Madden (the former coach turned broadcaster) on the radio last Sunday morning. He was talking about how the most successful coaches have always been the kind of person who never rests on success. They are driven toward perfection. They are winners.

Madden was talking about the amused, even condescending, attitude with which many people, even inside football respectfully deride such behavior. But he defended it. He explained it this way, he said;

“Whatever you let go when you’re winning, you will have to live with when you are losing.”

I knew just what he meant.

A top flight coach realizes that if he can see it on the film then the opposing coach can see it too. When, for example, a linebacker habitually does not take responsibility for defending against the run in a particular formation, he is leaving his team defenseless against that threat. Sooner or later an opposing coach will design a running play to take advantage of him. The victorious team may think they will be winning forever but the coach knows better. If the coach does not correct that lapse now, he will, in the future, have to live with the result on a day when the team is not winning.

It has become a habit for us in the West to assume that we will be winning forever. We have, after all, dominated the civilized world for several centuries. By comparison the ‘07-‘08 Patriots are a flash in the pan. So it is understandable if not forgivable if we have begun to lose sight of what makes western civilization great.

Having our way so habitually has even made us a little shame-faced about it. We try very hard not to rub it in- not to appear to be “running up the score” on the opposition. In fact, we invented multiculturalism so that we could pretend that there really is no competition- that we are all just the same as everyone else and that there is no reason why any other culture should feel anymore threatened by us than we do of them.

The problem is that our perspective has become warped. We are not afraid of them because we have been on such a long winning streak. They hate us for our success and power- and they despise our smarmy, condescending, back-handedly racist multiculturalism.

At the same time, non western challengers are rising up in the Islamic world and Asia who do not share our values and our scruples. We don’t believe it, but they have no interest in becoming like us. We are so busy trying to console them for being so backward that we cannot comprehend that they don’t see it that way.

Nobody in the west can see this as clearly as someone from the outside. Alexander Solzhenitsyn saw it. In his 1978 commencement speech at Harvard (Hat tip to Jeremayakovka) he delivered a very clear and ominous notice to the western world about this blindness. He said:

“But the blindness of superiority continues in spite of all and upholds the belief that the vast regions everywhere on our planet should develop and mature to the level of present day Western systems, which in theory are the best and in practice the most attractive. There is this belief that all those other worlds are only being temporarily prevented (by wicked governments or by heavy crises or by their own barbarity and incomprehension) from taking the way of Western pluralistic democracy and from adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction.”

Solzhenitsyn was viewed as a crank back then. I remember the polite but troubled way in which most reviewers of that speech backed away from his ideas. They did not engage his observations because they could not find the words to do so in their politically correct vocabulary. And back then the vocabulary was so much broader and unconstrained than it is today. The Correctness mafia has been picking off words and ideas progressively and spreading the blankness of omerta wider and wider.

We actually have become so polite about it that we feel that discussing those things that make Western Civilization better than (or preferable to) other cultures (let alone the measures that might be necessary to defend the west) in public constitute some kind of “bad form”. We even have whole sets of words and ideas that we refuse to use because they sound too harsh, too male dominated, too power oriented, too insensitive or judgmental. This is what is called Political Correctness and if we could put a good coach in charge, a geopolitical Belichik or an American Solzhenitsyn, he would put a stop to it before another game went by.

Just as the small and overly legally-minded have continued caviling about Bill Belichik’s tape-gate peccadillo and crying that it should invalidate his body of work, so the tiny minds and shriveled souls of the progressive wing and their surrogates in the media have been harping on Abu-Ghraib, Guantanamo, inflated collateral casualty figures and fabricated public-relations incidents like al Durah, Jenin, Gaza Beach and Qana and implying that they make us, “no better than” those who want to destroy us.

Political Correctness is Unilateral Cultural Disarmament. As bad as it is here in the U.S. it is even worse in Israel. In December Caroline Glick wrote about the aftermath of the Lebanon War:

“This week the IDF distributed ribbons to its soldiers and officers for their service in the war with Hizbullah in 2006. The ribbons were a source of embarrassment. Soldiers and officers, who like the general public view the war as Israel's greatest military defeat, are loath to pin them on their uniforms.

While the soldiers and general public view the war as a failure, one sector of Israeli society sees the war as a great triumph. For Israel's legal establishment, the war was a great victory. It was a war in which its members asserted their dominance over Israel's political and military leadership.

The legal establishment's ardor for the Second Lebanon War was exposed on Tuesday with the publication of the testimonies of Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz and Military Advocate-General Avichai Mandelblit before the Winograd Committee which the Olmert government established to research the war's failures. In their testimonies both men shared their perception of the war as a great victory of lawyers in their campaign to "lawyerize" - or assert their control - over Israeli society.

In his opening statement, Mazuz extolled the war as "the most 'lawyerly' in the history of the State of Israel, and perhaps ever." He explained, "The process didn't begin in Lebanon 2006. It… is a gradual process of 'lawyerizing' life in Israel."

Mazuz responded negatively to the question of whether legal considerations superseded operational and strategic goals during the war. He claimed that the government and the IDF restricted their plans from the beginning to conform with perceived legal restrictions.

As he put it, that preemptive limitation of goals was "the result of a sort of education and internalization that have taken place over the years. I remember periods where there was a great deal of friction with the senior military level regarding what is allowed and what is prohibited. But today I think that there is more or less an understanding of the rules of the game and I can't identify any confrontation… or … demands to 'Let the IDF win.'"

Solzhenitsyn predicted we would come to this in the west:

“I have spent all my life under a Communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale than the legal one is not quite worthy of man either. A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities. The letter of the law is too cold and formal to have a beneficial influence on society. Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relations, there is an atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man's noblest impulses. And it will be simply impossible to stand through the trials of this threatening century with only the support of a legalistic structure.”

The very idea that a nation fighting for its life could be saddling its combat units with the legal equivalent of the Communist “political officers” who used to be assigned to every unit of the Soviet armed forces is hard to believe. Israel is clearly on the threshold of discovering the point at which she can no longer live with all of goofy politically correct baggage that the west has loaded onto the back of her spectacularly successful society. She is, as is the rest of western civilization, is being challenged now by a new kind of enemy. Funded by torrents of petrodollars, allowed to breed uninhibited by any effective counter-measures and armed with the power of darkness and light through it’s control of our energy supply, this enemy has been studying our films. They know our weaknesses better than we do.

Israel and all of western civilization must face the fact that millions of us, including most of the most intelligent, powerful and affluent of us have already lain down our arms in this struggle. We refuse to talk about a proven threat despite the proof (9/11, Madrid, London, Beslan, Bali, etc…). Or we shrug and concede that we may, in fact, deserve the death with which we are threatened (viz. Vanessa Redgrave, Cindy Sheehan, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Sean Penn, Harry Reid, etc…). Some of us even accede that we should be ashamed to resist. We need to find ways to take back our city walls, to hold back the horde at the gate and to find weapons and rearm ourselves before we are conquered in a war whose existence we still refuse to even acknowledge.

There is yet some faint hope.
Back on December 27 I saw, on Little Green Footballs, a snip of an article by Andrew C. McCarthy who is director of the Center for Law & Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The National Review Online article is clear and comprehensive and you should read it in full but I’ll shorten up the LGF quote to the most important paragraph:

“But we should at least stop fooling ourselves. Jihadists are not going to be wished away, rule-of-lawed into submission, or democratized out of existence. If you really want democracy and the rule of law in places like Pakistan, you need to kill the jihadists first. Or they’ll kill you, just like, today, they killed Benazir Bhutto.”

You read it right. He said “kill”. A very incorrect word, that. In spite of the prejudice in our public life that “you can’t say that” he said it.

It is true. A lot of people have already been killed and many more are going to get killed and we are going to have to learn to talk and think about the prospect of the killing sooner or later. The sooner we do, the better off we will be. We need to be able to talk about it so that we can figure out how to do it with the minimum number of deaths and to make sure that the deaths that do happen, happen to them and not us.

“Surely, there must be another way”, the Political Correctness mafia tell us- “War is not the answer” they say. If you say that war is not the answer to any question, that means you have refused to understand the question.

Solzhenitsyn, our friendly outsider, says that we do not comprehend the danger we face because we think that there will be a point of convergence where all other cultures (he calls them worlds) will overcome their backwardness and corruption and begin to think and act like us…

“…It is a soothing theory which overlooks the fact that these worlds are not at all developing into similarity. Neither one can be transformed into the other without the use of violence.”

Last April I used a lot more words to say what amounts to the same thing: In my series debunking the American Indian Analogy I wrote,

One of the two cultures, Islam or The West, must conquer the other and, if the end of the conquest is to be humane, there must be a clear winner. Someone has to admit they have been conquered. At the end of the Indian wars there were many moments of despair, bitterness and regret which still haunt America. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe gave voice to the Indian defeat in a speech that is both dignified and noble:
"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

It took several generations a profound transformation of the environment (including the slaughter of the buffalo herds) and much bloodshed to force that speech out of an Indian.
If, as seems to be the case, we cannot get the Calphatists to make that same transition peacefully, we will have to reduce them by some combination of that same kind of starvation and attrition. We will have to make them capitulate the way we did with Chief Joseph.

The good news is that we still have enough power and resources to protect ourselves, if we can find the will, there are a number of comparatively humane and easy ways to render them harmless. One that appeals to me because it addresses the source of their power most directly and would not damage the environment or kill large numbers of them to implement this solution, is to deprive them of the oil money. Without that vast river of cash to float on, they would be on a very short and precipitous downhill slide back to the pit of atavistic oblivion that their honor/shame based culture.

“No blood for oil”, you say? I have already written about that little Correctoid. What do you think 9/11 is? What do you think every honor killing of a young woman in western countries is? How about the slaughter of innocents in Israel? Its all blood for oil.

We must learn how to discriminate among the peoples of the earth. Who shares our cultural aspirations? Who are our cultural equals and who must we help by leading them through the gateways to equality? And who (if they, by their dedication to our destruction, insist) must we conduct, humanely (that is with the least number of collateral casualties)and swiftly as possible, to The Pearly Gates.

Just so there is no room for misunderstanding here, let me say this explicitly, I leave it open that it is possible that America did not have to kill all of the Indians who were killed in the development of the continent. It is probable that a better understanding of the cultural issues at stake and a better grasp of the possible strategies might have brought about a solution to the problem without as much carnage as did happen. No one (at least no one with any power to change the course of events) was able to see and verbalize that the Indians and their way of life were being replaced by the leading edge of western civilization. If they had been able to frame the situation that way, the whole thing might have been handled with out the wasteful and disillusioning hypocrisy of treaties that promised autonomy and coexistence.

Likewise, I am not saying we have to kill a large number of Muslims. It might only be necessary to kill a few- the few that are actively trying to kill us. The fact is, though, that our current approach is without doubt the worst way to handle the problem and will end up costing more in suffering and blood than a more frank and aggressive tack. We must acknowledge that they do not consider us fully human, and that many of them take it as their sacred responsibility to either make us full humans in their eyes by converting us to their primitive and imbecilicly intolerant cult or KILL us.

They will continue killing us and forcing us to kill them until we solve the problem in some way and that solution will be impossible if our rules of discourse continue to outlaw the vocabulary to describe the problem and the concepts that define it.

One thing is for sure, we have to neutralize the oil problem one way or another. After all, before the oil money started to pour into the shabby remnant of the Caliphate after World War II it had been shriveling on the vine for five centuries- dying of its own incompetence ( see here and here).

Or maybe we can either invent a replacement for oil or, perhaps just take it away from them. How we do it is debatable but unless we are able to speak frankly about it and consider the alternatives, we will continue to pretend it’s not really a problem until the Christians and Jews among us are all reduced to dhimmi status and the rest are forced to become Muslims and head the call to prayers five times a day
I’m not necessarily advocating that we take and hold the oil fields, nor am I saying we must invade Iran next. I am merely saying that we have no idea what we can do to stop being picked off a few (or a few dozen or a few thousand) at a time. We have not yet made the commitment to define and solve the problem as it exists. As a result we are forced to make concessions to a parasitic cultural disease. Caliphate Islam is attempting to burrow into and control the heart and mind of Western Civilization. Unless we can reclaim the vocabulary with which to identify and talk about it, we are at its mercy. The only thing standing in our way is our misunderstanding of our own principals.

I remember my step-daughter, at fifteen years old, cornering me after having been denied a bid to attend a "rave" in another state with her seventeen year old boyfriend. She had argued all of the familiar teenage arguments about trust (how can you ever trust me if you don't give me a chance to prove that I can be trusted? etc...) she had made her bid for respect (I'm not a baby anymore, you treat me like a child, etc..,) and she let us know how entirely unreasonable our position was (every other kid I know is going, etc...,) and her mother and I had been united in telling her that it was inappropriate and wasn’t going to happen.

After a while, her mother left the house and she approached me from behind as I typed. "Yaacov", she said, "do you consider me an equal?" With only a moment’s hesitation I recognized the attack. She was employing the fiendishly manipulative adolescent tactic of using an over-simplified version of one's deeply cherished principals to coerce you to give them what they want. Just like a besieged parent dealing with a sociopath (that's what teenagers are) we in the civilized world have to look the rest of the world and tell them "No, you are not yet fully equal. You have the rights but you are not up to the responsibilities that the rights require. Until you are experienced and mature enough that you will not kill yourself and others, I'll have to help you decide these things."

It is a fatal mistake to take "All Men are Created Equal" too literally. This allows the radical left, and the Caliphateists, to torment them by advocating premature equality. There must be a lower limit of civic ability below which a population cannot be trusted to act in their own best interest. The right to self-determination may be inalienable but THE ABILITY to participate in a culture that allows such freedom has to be affected by education, experience and culture. Multiculturalists will ask, “Who are we to pass judgment on another culture?” If the criteria are not obvious enough, I’ll mention a few:
Freedom of speech
Freedom of religion
Freedom of association
Free Enterprise
Legal, social and economic equality for Women
There are more but those will do for a start. If we could just stop pretending that we are all the same and put a real effort into understanding which countries have those attributes and which do not, we could begin to understand who our enemies are and why. The multicultural, politically correct elite want to prevent that discussion. This is how multiculturalism strikes at the heart of western democracy- it insists that the unqualified, the unwilling and the unready nations should never be identified by those characteristics. As a result, they are afforded the same access, independence and respect as the most culturally advanced.

Thus, the women, children and non-Muslims of those countries suffer murder, beatings, and all manner of abuse and humiliation while the US who first put those ideals into words for the rest of the world is mocked and Israel who scrupulously reigns in her own power and embodies the finest instincts of the west is branded a pariah.

In the event that the United States continues to dither away our waning oppotunity to reverse the direction of this threat, Israel has to begin to throw off its lawyers and resurrect her self-defence. Seraphic Secret had a very good post last week about the requirements for that effort. Here is part of it:

“Time is running out for Israel. If she doesn't get serious about the jihadist threat, I fear for her existence. Here then our recommendations for defeating the Arab/Muslim threat.

Towards Victory:

1. Jews have the right to live anywhere in the world. Especially in Israel, the Jewish State.
2. Appeasement leads to further aggression on the part of Israel's enemies.
3. There is no peace process; there is a process of war.
4. Israel should cut off all supplies of power and fuel to Gaza.
5. Israel should cease all negotiations with the Arabs. There's nothing to talk about. We have legitimized these genocidal killers far too long.
6. Israel should declare Israel's boundaries; the Arabs can sink or swim.
7. Israel should announce that the next rocket that comes from Gaza will be met with an overwhelming barrage against the infrastructure of Hamas.
8. If the rockets from Gaza continue, Israel should announce that the next attacks will be directed at the civilian population of Gaza.
9. Israel must carry through on these threats. Further: all terrorist attacks must be met with disproportionate responses.
10. Israel must never trade land for promises of peace.”

Here is the text of a comment I left on that Seraphic Secret post:

Jews must stop acting as though we live at the sufferance of others. May I presume to add another point? Since the Arabs seem to value their holy sites much more than their children, and in the light of their desecration of all Jewish holy sites within their reach, I have long thought that Israel should simply tell them that every Qassam that falls on Israeli soil will cause a brick to be removed from the Al Aqsa Mosque. Every Israeli murdered by Qassams, Katushas, drive-bys or suicide killers would be worth a wall. A mass killing should equal a plastique charge. When the Al Aqsa excrescence has been eradicated from our Temple Mount there will be other targets. In fact, if I were free to make policy, I might just tell them that if Israel is attacked militarily, the next time you want to make a pilgrimage to visit the Ka’ba you’d better plan to take a Geiger Counter and a very long rappelling rope. Of course we can afford to do the honorable thing and give them a day’s notice before launch…

Its not just Jews- Western Civilization must stop behaving as if we don't feel entitled to live unless every other culture wants to be like us. We have to understand that life is always and always has been a competition for survival. If we want our children and our values to survive, it is time to act while we are still able to win easily.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why We're in "A Lot of Trouble"

Blogging friend Neo-Neocon always brings both keen insight and a striking honesty about her personal experience to her posts. She has a post up that I just had to comment on. Now, I am usually so spent from The Day Job, The Kids, The Blog and The development of Second Draft that I don’t have the time or energy to comment on other blogs. That’s not a policy, but for the most part it works out that way. This post of Neo-Neocon’s, though, grabbed me. For one thing, it is part of her extended personal story of awakening- what might well be the longest, best written and most deeply considered of what I would call “First Encounter With The Beast” stories. First Encounter Stories are the reason I started Breath of the Beast, so she had me right there. But beyond that she was talking about what my Friend and Mentor (Hereinafter known as FaM) Richard Landes and I have identified as the greatest single obstacle that we all face in understanding the nature of the threats we face, The Mass Media and its warped, inaccurate presentation of events and ideas.

If you haven’t read her post I encourage you to.

She writes compellingly about how she, after all these years, has recently become aware that the two most compelling visual images from the Viet Nam war were not what they had been represented to be back in the seventies when they played a conspicuous part in changing the course of history. She feels betrayed. She describes the shock of learning that the summary execution of the forlorn looking man in the plaid shirt and the desperate fright and pain of the naked little girl were not proof of anything so simple and brutal as a bestial war prosecuted on an innocent people. The
background of the two pictures was much more complicated. They were presented and, therefore, perceived by most people in such a biased and essentially untruthful way as to have been pure propaganda published under the guise of “News”.

But this happens all the time history is filled with examples. I have been reading a book- Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting by Peter Brock Its a real eye-opener on how we were all manipulated to the point of tragedy in Yugoslavia. But then, the same charlatans are out there doing the same things to us today.

FaM Landes has been exposing specific examples of this for years. He started the Second Draft web site in order to have a platform to rebut the pernicious misuse of media power- to expose the media’s betrayal of their own best principals of honesty and responsibility.

And it’s not just quitting in Vietnam, or abandoning Israel to the bloody intentions of the Caliphatist Jihad, nor is it only the cover-up of the Media Pack’s betrayal of truth and responsibility in Yugoslavia, the Media Swarm of leftist activists led by the sacrosanct Public Broadcasting System always push their agenda. I heard this interview on PBS a week ago and couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Its a great example of NPR’s monster machine. It is a short interview in which a scientist teaches a reporter a lesson in objectivity and responsible reporting. Listen to it- If it wasn’t so pathetic it would be funny. Clearly the lefties want to make Myanmar into a pariah state just as they have tried to do with Israel on little to no evidence.

Here’s the crucial exchange between the “concerned” Alex Chadwick and tiger researcher Alan Rabinowitz:

CHADWICK: What did you think when you saw the recent demonstrations by the monks there in Myanmar, demonstrations that were put down quite severely by the military with the imprisonment of, well, reports of thousands?

Mr. RABINOWITZ: Well, I wasn’t there so I really didn’t see anything firsthand. How it was handled by the government is something I actually can’t speak to because I’ve heard different reports. My own people in Yangon tell me that the crowds were not nearly as large as the media reported, that the shooting was not nearly as intense. But I don’t know what’s true and what’s not true.

CHADWICK: You know, Alan, some people listening to this would say right there Alan Rabinowitz is crossing the line.

Mr. RABINOWITZ: I know. I thought that as I was saying it.
(Soundbite of laughter)

CHADWICK: He is saying I don’t know what’s going on there when we have reports and videotape of people being shot and we have many reports of people being imprisoned, and how can you not know?

Mr. RABINOWITZ: How can I not know - you do not have videotape of many people being shot. There’s no videotape of many people getting shot there. There’s videotape of a Japanese reporter getting shot. This is what I get very disturbed about, is that when it comes to Myanmar, people seem to want to deal in a lot of rhetoric, in a lot of pre-conceived notions rather than pure facts.
Yes, this government is not the nicest government in the world, but what I have seen in that country doesn’t match up with what the media tries to portray is happening in that country. And I don’t quite understand why people love to hate Myanmar. I’m not an apologist for them. If anybody reads my books, they see that I talk very strongly about some of the bad things which are occurring in that country. But I balance everything. We’re talking about what - what’s happening that’s good and what’s happening that’s bad. And the government seems to respect that kind of balanced honesty.

CHADWICK: Alan Rabinowitz of the Wildlife Conservation Society based in New York. He's the author of "Life in the Valley of Death."
Alan, thank you.

Mr. RABINOWITZ: Thank you, Alex.

I haven’t cut this or changed anything. This is clipped directly from NPR’s transcript of the interview. I’m just surprised that they still have it available online. I would not have been surprised if they had “disappeared” it the same way France 2 has disappeared several minutes of the rushes in the al Durah affair. Chadwick has no answers, no facts, and no further discussion. NPR wants you to believe that they are the ones who know The Truth but you have to just believe it. When his assertions fail to bully Rabinowitz into agreeing that Myanmar should be a pariah to the extent that even the tigers should suffer, the interview is over.

Some might argue, “What’s the difference?” we know that Myanmar’s government is a dictatorship, why should what Alex Chadwick says in this interview concern us?” To them I would say:
Look at the history of what this kind of journalism has done in recent years. Look at the one-sided lies, misrepresentations and hysteria whipped up against the Serbs (not that the Serbs were angels- but they were no worse than the KLA) and the resulting bombings and military actions.
Consider the abandonment of Vietnam and Cambodia to chaos and mass murder in the wake of the discrediting of the Vietnam War.
Most of all, think about the harm still being done today by the tidal wave of blood loosed by the al Durah affair.

These are all cases in which the media has sacrificed honesty and responsibility for activist aims. They have all ended in vastly increased suffering and tragedy.

Printing or broadcasting news that is not factual in pursuit of activist goals is a particular hallmark of the leftist media. Back in September I wrote this :
Yellow Press was born as an outgrowth of Joseph Pulitzer’s vision as a publisher that, in contrast to the generally accepted ideal of impartial journalistic integrity, journalism should be used to as a vehicle of social change. As Wikipedia has it “Pulitzer believed that newspapers were public institutions with a duty to improve society, and he put (his newspaper) The World in the service of social reform.” Of course social reform is one of the early code words for what we today call progressivism and which is, in reality prototypical socialism. Pulitzer was then, as the newspaper establishment in the U.S. is still (with some exceptions) a left-leaning, self-righteous band of socialistic sympathizers.

It is interesting that the film Network identified this danger but didn’t get the source of the threat quite right.

Here is a clip of the “other” (other than “I’m mad as hell..”, that is) great rant in that film.

It’s not the corporations that are the threat, it is the people who think they know the truth. The reporters and the faceless editors and directors who, when they “present” and repackage reality so that it will “improve society”, are presuming to help us. They are elitists and tyrants of the worst kind.

Neo ends her post with this:

“A bunch of unrelated pieces of information that had previously seemed disconnected and chaotic had suddenly fallen into place like the pieces of a puzzle and formed an image I could now read.
This image said: beware the press with an agenda. Some elements of the press seem to have had one then. Perhaps they had one now, as well.
And I found, to my surprise, that the agenda appeared to be substantially the same: to magnify our wrongdoings and those of our allies, to downplay those of the enemy, to simplify matters that were really complex, and to sensationalize.”

The bottom line is that when honesty and responsibility are sacrificed, only the worst elements win. It never serves the purposes of what is right to lie and deceive. Transparent, honest and responsible media would not behave this way.

If we can't have transparent media, we have to find a way to see through the media we have. The first step is to learn to see the way they bully and manipulate us as Neo has here- but there is more.

In my next post, I will go beyond this realization. We have to free our language of false politeness; we can no longer mince words. We have to unshackle our minds from the bonds of Political Correctness and find our voice and our defense before it is too late.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Progressive Struggle Against Reality

I found this on LGF

Here is a great example of how self-aggrandizing and masturbatory Progressive behavior can be. They really think anybody in the larger society takes them and their "cause" seriously. Faux Indian Ward Churchill gives a speech in which he makes less sense than the 1970's "foremost authority" of erudite double talk, Professor Irwin Corey. Churchill's “speech” is even more like a parody of a real speech with real substance than Professor Irwin Corey’s old satirical routine.

He's trying to pretend there is a struggle where there is none so he can be the hero of it. But what comes out of his mouth is just a flood of inflated talk about "clarity" and "reality". He blabbers about "the pooling of commonalities of our humanities"- about "responsibilities". None of the floating concepts actually land anywhere or point anywhere. Ahhhh- Don't try too hard to follow it, no one in the crowd there was.

Thank God I never had to sit (shuffle, fidget, sleep and doodle) through a lecture by that bore.

This makes more sense and its more entertaining-

That's it- the struggle against reality!

BTW, about fifteen years ago I ran into Professor Irwin Corey working as a shill in one of the smaller booths at a trade show in the Javits Center in New York- My guess at the time was the company could not afford attractive young women in scoop-necked business casual clothes so they hired that old dud. Hmmm… that’s one career option he has over Ward.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Addicted to Sneering: Why The Left Taunts the Tiger

How many times do we have to win the argument? Time and again the left comes up short on ethical, rationality and logic points and long on emotional blackmail. Still, they keep coming back with the same old tired circle of indignation, evasion and juvenile posturing.

Sometimes, the order in which ideas present themselves to you is more important than their individual coherence or importance. Occasionally, the most trivial and unrelated things can serve as stepping stones to a entirely new vista, a new perception of an old, unsolved puzzle. I’ve tried for a few months now to complete my Cultural Insanity series on the dangerous evolutionary dead end that is the progressive, secular humanistic, socialist left. I had put up three posts that were quite well received (I, II and III) in July and August. I was on a roll. But as I approached the last post in the series I stalled.

I realized I had never really got beyond finding innovative ways of explaining how wrong and developmentally immature they are. When I started putting that last post together, the one in which I would put the coup-de-grace on the left by uncovering and laying out the underlying flaw in their philosophy and rational, I could not complete the series. The deep underlying flaw kept receding from my grasp. I knew most of the important pieces of the puzzle:

1. Moral relativism (ethical bankruptcy)

2. Omerta code (political correctness) about certain words (Islamofascism, Negro, oriental, black, etc…, and whole subject areas (Muslim intolerance and xenophobia, the moral and ideological bankruptcy of communism as a political system

3. A suicidal inability to see and advocate for one’s own best interest

4. Emotional volatility

5. Victim worship

6. Unwillingness to discuss or even read or listen to ideas with which they disagree

7. Tendency to “go ad hominem”
(indulge in personal attacks) on anyone who disagrees with them

6. Refusal to be friends (or even associate) with conservatives “shunning”

9. Cynicism toward traditional values

10. A trenchant dislike, mistrust and lack of respect for our parental culture that bears an uncanny similarity to the resentment and disrespect that most adolescents and young adults in our culture show toward their own parents.

But somehow I couldn’t make it all work together. I felt it right there but I couldn’t lay my hand on it. I felt like a badger trying to dig a rabbit out of is burrow. The more I dug for it the deeper it withdrew until, exhausted, I took a step back and paused. Now, thanks to a series of serendipitously found items in the newspaper, I’ve come to kind of a breakthrough. I have been able to go beyond ridicule to a new level of understanding.

My insight began to come together a week ago Sunday. It was a faily innocuous letter to the editor in The Boston Globe that got me started. The letter was in response to a very good article that Jeff Jacoby had written about “The Islamist War on Women”. The letter, written by Amy Senier bore the title, Women mistreated in the West, Too. I’ll reprint it here:

IN APRIL 2007, a man broke into the apartment of a Columbia University graduate student, tied her up, and taped her mouth shut. He proceeded to rape and sodomize her for 19 hours, stopping only to slit her eyelids and burn her with hot water and bleach. According to the Department of Justice, 115,010 women were raped in the United States in 2005. Americans have even joined the war against women in Iraq: Four US soldiers gang-raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl in June 2006.

None of this is meant to excuse the horrible events relayed by Jeff Jacoby. It does, however, indicate that no single culture holds a monopoly on the "subjugation of women" or that such incidents are "unthinkable by Western standards," as Jacoby suggests.

Okaaaay- so, according to Ms Senier, because she can name two terrible things that happened in unrelated contexts somewhere within western civilization, we are supposed to become demoralized and drop our ethical objection to the way the great majority of Islam treats women. Anyone who wasn't educated in our leftist schools under ungraded pass/fail rules has got to bet revolted by this. But, I’m going to restrain myself here and I ask you to do the same.

We could vent our frustration on this pathetic attempt to distract our attention so that I could Fiske the shear stupidity out of it line by insipid line but why waste the time? I could point out the moral relativism and ethical bankruptcy- there can be no such equivalency between a culture in which government and religious leaders clearly and openly advocate the beating and murder of women, the routine beating of wives, marital rape, flogging and murder of rape victims and near universal female genital mutilation with our culture in which protection of women is a high ideal, rape and violence are prosecuted vigilantly and punished by the government (the U.S. Department of Justice even has an Office for the protection of women) and decried by religious leaders. No I am looking beyond that to the obvious and hitherto unanswerable question. I see a way to go beyond beating up on the Amy Seniers of the world in an effort to understand them and figure out how to open a hailing frequency to the Good Ship Moonbat in which she is so clearly orbiting the planet WTF? I’ll leave it at this: when I read the idea in print that there is some sort of equivalence (or any degree of comparability!) between the condition of women in Islam and that of women in western society, I am forced to assume there is something other than pure logic, moral clarity and clear judgment at work in the mind of the writer. Let’s leave it at that for the time being.

Later on in the same day, when we drove my sister-in-law to the airport, I found an abandoned copy of the New York Times Book Review. I took it home with me because there was a review that caught my eye. The book was MODERNISM The Lure of Heresy From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond. By Peter Gay. The review was written by Lee Siegel. I’ll be the first to admit that am not in touch with the fine points and minute distinctions of “cultural history” as it is practiced by messieurs Gay and Siegel but I found many of Siegel’s meditations on Gay book to be very evocative and, in fact, directly related to the letter I had read in The Globe that morning.

The Lure of Heresy, indeed! What could motivate the kind of amoral, twisting of logic that would lead a woman to try to excuse the horrors that are pandemic for the women of Islam by slandering the culture in which a major metropolitan newspaper would print her scurrilous letter. What was she even trying to say? Her point as she stated it was that “no culture has a monopoly on the subjugation of women” as if the two heinous instances of violence that she cites damns a whole civilization in the same way that Shari’a law and its subjugation of women darkens life in the Arab world.

A quick Google of Amy Senier yields plenty of evidence that she is no ordinary idiot. Assuming that the Globe letter writer is this well-traveled, highly educated idiot, she is a heretic indeed. She is, a smart young woman, who has had prestigious academic training and some very interesting life experience and has still managed to keep her heretical dislike of her own culture intact. I used to be disheartened by this kind of thing. Here is a young woman who has had all of the advantages of our enlightened culture, a young woman who in most Islamic families would have been (because I am certain she does not have a fraction of the courage or common sense of a Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish or Wafa Sultan) beaten into submission, deprived of her clitoris in a primitive, bloody and violent way, married off to the wealthiest old man her parents could arrange and confined to the back rooms of his house to spend her time hoping that he doesn’t tire of her to the degree that he gets rid of her in any of the devious and cruel ways that include beating to death for some imagined infraction of decorum and summary divorce and expulsion from the house. And I am left wondering why, when she reads an article in the newspaper, the facts of which she takes no issue with, does she take the time and effort to write a letter the sole point of which is to sling muck on her own culture? It is not a point, it is nothing but a sneer. No one asked her to comment. She went out of her way to do this. But it is half-baked heresy- more of a sort of intellectual Alzheimer’s disease where you forget everything except to sneer.

One paragraph in Siegel’s review of Gay’s book stood out for me. It made me realize why I was so attracted to the review- It had always been my impression that it was the modernists who, looking down their noses at everyday life and the struggles of everyday people, elevated the neuroses and phobias of the individual to political issues. It was modernism, with its amused and dismissive air, that found a way to make the half-baked intellectual poseurs, the Amy Seniers of the world, feel that unless they were always “resisting” tradition, convention and ethical values, that they were not “intellectual”. This paragraph seems to encapsulate the hypocrisy of it all.

“As for Gay’s Parisian modernist “outsiders,” if the French provided the most extreme assaults on Western rationality — Rimbaud’s “disorientation of the senses,” André Breton’s celebration of primal instincts stored in the unconscious, André Gide’s enthusiasm for the “motiveless” crime, Antonin Artaud’s “Theater of Cruelty,” Maurice Blanchot’s declaration of the death of the author — the reason was simple. It was not that French conditions kept creating figures resembling Baudelaire, about whom Gay histrionically writes that he was “an outcast aware of his loneliness” — though, as Gay admits, Baudelaire lived at the center of Parisian cultural energy. In France, civilization is invincible and eternal. Its immutable stability makes opposition to it all the more cheerfully ferocious. You can hurl the most incredible rhetorical and intellectual violence against French custom and convention and still have time for some conversation in the cafe, un peu de vin, a delicious dinner and, of course, l’amour. And in the morning, you extricate yourself from such sophisticated coddling — the result of centuries of art and artifice — and rush back to the theoretical barricades.”

So it is with Amy, she feels free to hurl her rhetorical and intellectual violence and still get her education at the Fletcher School at the same time. Her churlish hypocrisy costs her nothing. In fact at the Fletcher School she is rewarded for it.

Now I was getting the feeling that there was a handle on the problem that I could grasp. I went to bed pondering that apparent contradiction- It has always been the disaffected but spoiled intellectuals who have led the attack on their own civilization but, as Seigel points out, the phenomenon is in inverse proportion to their perceived ability to actually change or harm that civilization. Like the

Then, the next day, Wretchard at Belmont Club posted a pastiche about open secrets that really got me thinking.

His post asked the question, “Why does common knowledge remain unacknowledged within an organization?”- a question with obvious implications for political correctness. At one point in the article, he introduces the term “undiscussable” as explained in the blog Unfolding Leadership. The term is yet another way to talk about political correctness. Here is the definition of undiscussible from Unfolding Leadership:

“An undiscussable is a work-related problem that people hesitate to address with those who can do something about it. It isn't that people don't talk about undiscussables. They talk about them frequently -- in the hallways and parking lots, bathrooms and across the cubicles. But it isn't with the person or the people most often associated with the issues.”

Wretchard begins his post with some tantalizing information about the past week’s fatal incident at the San Francisco Zoo. It seems to be that three young men were taunting the Tigers from out side their outdoor exhibit area and were attacked by one of the tigers that was somehow able to get across the moat and up the wall. Wretchard cites a San Francisco Chronicle article that tells a disturbing story about zoo officials having known about the inadequacy of the tiger enclosure for over forty years.

The story told by David Rentz in a post on his blog is all too believable. Rentz relates how, as a high school student in 1959, he was invited by Carey Baldwin, the director of the zoo, to help him verify if “we have a problem with a tiger”. Here is a snip:

“I forget the tiger's name but Mr. Baldwin had been told by one of the zookeepers that the tiger might be able to escape by jumping across the moat and onto the flowerbed between the public guard rail and the moat. We got a large piece of meat and tied it to a long bamboo pole and approached the tiger enclosure. We were at the other end of the bamboo pole--about 15 ft away from the meat. Mr. Baldwin held the pole at the edge of our side of the moat. Once the tiger saw it, he literally flew across the moat from his position on the other side, grabbed the meat, and sprung back to the grotto all in one graceful movement. It happened so quickly that it was hard to believe what we had seen.”

It struck me then and there that there is something compulsive and risky (an analog of gambling, perhaps) in the secretive behavior of the zoo management and staff. Here is what I see happening. Carey Baldwin was (presumably) tipped off by a zoo keeper who “just happened” to know that the tiger “might” be able to jump out of the enclosure. Keep in mind that Baldwin is the guy in charge, the zoo director. He addresses this potentially explosive problem by choosing to involve only David Rentz, a high school student, someone from outside the organization who is impressionable and controllable. He took Rentz, and went to tempt the tiger with meat He was acting on a tantalizing rumor and he was behaving like a man on a secret tryst. When the experiment worked and the tiger, big as life, bounded across the moat and up into the open in all its menacing, predatory majesty and all it did was to snatch the meat and leap back down into its “enclosure” the instantaneous fear and then relief must have given Baldwin (and Rentz) a gigantic “rush”- a kind of “peak experience” of primeval power. Rentz, the eye witness, says, “It happened so quickly that it was hard to believe what we had seen. It scared the hell out of me. It scared the hell out of both of us.”

But then it was over. Like the “high” a gambler gets from risking his last chip and then winning a huge payoff or the “rush” that a skier gets from challenging a steep slope, the exhilaration of merely surviving the encounter must have been both stimulating and arousing. It suddenly struck me that this is the part that is most hidden, and most tantalizing. That secret thrill, that feeling of being in the grip of fear and emerging into safety, mastery and a kind of omnipotence is one of the most compelling feelings in human experience. There is a whole field of inquiry in Psychological research that studies how risk taking behavior fosters addiction. The desire to take risks dangerous enough to cause that feeling is as personal and private as sexuality. For some it might be a winter ascent of a mountain for others it could be making an obscene gesture as the President of the United States.

Undisscussables in organizations (or politically incorrect ideas and words in public discourse) it is probably safe to assume, are indicators that there is some sort of addictive behavior on the part of members of that group that deems these secrets ideas and words “dangerous” to the very core. They are often not just avoided and denied but are stigmatized and execrated. There is often a kind of pseudo-sexual arousal associated with them, a dark, forbidden, omerta.

Rentz’s statement, “It happened so quickly that it was hard to believe what we had seen.” is very evocative. It was a recognition that they had indulged in a kind of insanity in which, knowing that there was at least a real possibility that they were going to come face to face with a tiger, they took no measures to protect themselves against that eventuality. They had arranged no backup with firearms, tranquilizer darts or nets nearby, made no provision for their own safety. They were, in short, indulging in a game of exceedingly high stakes.

The fact that that particular tiger jumped up so quickly and effortlessly was proof that it could repeat the feat at anytime. Moreover it was an indication that more than one of the tigers might be capable of doing it. The fact that the vulnerability had already existed for years and would continue to do so only enhanced the random nature of the threat. This is the very definition of a random reinforcement situation. We know that the combination of random reinforcement, with thrill seeking and risk taking is the perfect scenario for creating a Compulsive Gambling problem.
Amy Senier’s behavior now had new substance for me. Political correctness is risky behavior too- a real kind of gambling. It is a two-fold gamble. First, like the snotty adolescent, who tries to push her parents to the absolute limit of their tolerance and patience, she is daring us to do a justified and detailed refutation (with punishment?) of her ideas and purpose. At another level though, the more powerful stimulant must be that she (and those like her) realize that the “outsiders that they so blithely and blindly ally themselves with are a real and present danger.

Like the tiger in the enclosure, the Islamists would kill or subjugate the likes of Amy Senier first should the west ever become weakened to the point that they could take over. She must understand, even if its only subconsciously, that the Islamist Shari’a regiemes she is so anxious to equate with us find her an affront and a heresy of the most basic kind. So her spiciest thrill must be from taunting the tiger of Shari’a law with her support from the safety of America. It is gambling in the sense that she can do her best to help the progressive movement to demoralize and degrade the spirit of the west, all the while betting that her protections and security will remain intact.

Just as taunting the tiger was an arousing sport for those three young men in San Francisco, Amy must get a smutty little thrill from hurling her insults at our culture and running back to the Fletcher school where she sucks at the teat of Pell Grants and all the other benefits of this culture- the culture which she that she accuses of subjugating women. I think of this and I recall the many times I have observed the sickly, mischevious smiles and disconnected gaze of leftists and progressives as they made their prevaricating and hurtful arguments against the moral basis of our society and I finally understand how they can behave that way. It is not really about ideas and culture for them, it is about their own feelings of boredom, ennui and anomie.

These common knowledge undiscussables remain unacknowledged because as in all addictions truth is always the first casualty of addictive behavior. The thrill of being able to “express” rhetorical and intellectual violence without punishment or consequences relieves the dullness of everyday life and makes a life of study without passion to learn, meaningless jobs and empty, post-modern, politically correct personal relationships bearable. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with it. This is an addictive state; if you look back at the ten “pieces of the puzzle listed above, they have a great deal in common with the lists of “warning signs” of alchoholism and drug addiction published by different advocacy groups. Maybe we should stop wondering why so many otherwise intelligent people in the west cannot seem to recognize the threat posed by Caliphate Islam and begin working on ways to break the cycle of random reinforcement and lethal threat that keeps them in that addictive state and renders them incapable of breaking it themselves.

We must make them see that political correctness and moral relativism are bad gambles. They keep us from thinking clearly about the real dangers with which we are faced. They are, in the long term, Unilateral Cultural Disarmament. There is a fine line between legitimate and constructive self-criticism and Cultural Suicide by addiction to it. Seeming non-sequitors like “no culture has a monopoly on subjugation of women” undermines the ability to discriminate between right and wrong. It is one more attempt to cripple our defense against the evil that is Caliphate Islam.