- Cats love fish.
- Cats hate water.
It's irrefutable, I tell you. IRREFUTABLE!
The family was actually from another city, one with a much larger airport than this one. But they had opted to drive the extra miles to receive the coffin here ... so they could avoid the demonstrators who had lately been showing up.
As Advent draws to a close, and Christmas nears, perhaps it would be fitting to perform a spiritual inventory, and consider whom you may have wronged in thought or in deed this year.
On the other hand, this is also your opportunity to demand an apology from any wanker who may really have pissed you off this year.
To have "evidence and no doubt." That is what those that put themselves forward as our "wise men" seem to propose to us day after day from their sterile rooms high above the avenues. They have the "indubitable evidence" from which we should derive, they insist, doubt about all that for which they have no evidence. First and foremost in their blinded vision is their iron requirement that we should doubt the original myths that have made us and sustained us as individuals and as a people across the centuries. In their pointless world, they would have us cast off the old myths and embrace their "new and improved myths -- complete with evidence;" myths made of purposeless matter "hovering in the dark."
And seeing what they have become, we turn. Turn away.
I wrote in a previous post titled "What is Easy vs What is Right," a comment on the most recent Harry Potter film:...Rowling's series has become the metaphor of our times. Whether this is conscious or unconscious on Rowling's part is neither here nor there.
When Dumbledore says to Harry at the end of the movie (paraphrasing), 'Dark and difficult times lay ahead. Soon we will have to decide between doing what is easy and what is right,' he is expressing the critical moral issue of our own time.
There are many people in this country who always demand that we take the easy path. Those are the same people who put enormous stock in opinion polls and make decisions based on how popular they are likely to be. Somehow they have forgotten—if they ever knew to begin with—that doing what needs to be done, the right thing, is not always the popular thing. The hard choices and the sacrifices necessary to see them through, are beyond the moral, intellectual, or physical capacities of such people—unless they can feel the polls are with them—then it magically becomes very easy.
I personally am not easily offended by hearing viewpoints with which I disagree, not because I don’t think the viewpoints are offensive, but because the emotional state of being offended gives one no “added value,” and in fact, is almost always detrimental to one’s spiritual well-being. You see, being offended is one of the tricks the ego uses to justify itself. The ego secretly enjoys and gets a thrill or a “rush” out of being offended. When you are in this state, the ego achieves a false sense of nobility by elevating itself above whatever it happens to be offended about. Most "activists" are people who perversely enjoy being offended -- it's like an addiction to the ego.
Thus, the most low, common, and coarse individual can feel better than others by being in a semi-permanent state of offense, as you will have no doubt noticed that the left tends to be in. If you take away “being offended,” what’s left of the left? Just listen, if you can tolerate it, to Air America, or read Dailykos or the New York Times editorial page. They are “all offended, all the time.” Indeed, we are now in the midst of World War III because a bunch of religious fanatics are chronically offended, whether it's angry jihadis in Khartoum or jihadis angry about a cartoon.
This isn't about religion. Jesus is doing just fine in the United States. Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized American Christianity unique in the Western world. What the rabbi in Seattle and the cops in Riverside are doing is colluding in an assault on something more basic: They're denying the possibility of any common culture. America is not a stamp collection with one of each. It's an overwhelmingly Christian country with freedom of religion for those who aren't. But it's quite an expansion of "freedom of religion" to argue that "those who aren't" are entitled to forbid any public expression of America's Christian inheritance except as part of an all-U-can-eat interfaith salad bar. In their initial reaction, Seattle Airport got it right: To be forced to have one of everything is, ultimately, the same as having nothing. So you might as well cut to the chase.
What, after all, is the rabbi objecting to? There were no bauble-dripping conifers in the stable in Bethlehem. They didn't sing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," either. That's, in effect, an ancient pop song that alludes to the birth of the Savior as a call to communal merry-making: No wonder it falls afoul of an overpoliced overlitigated "diversity" regime. Speaking of communal songs, they didn't sing "White Christmas" round the manger. A Jew wrote that. It's part of the vast Jewish contribution to America's common culture.
But the Woman that God gave him,
every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue,
armed and engined for the same,
And to serve that single issue,
lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be
deadlier than the male.
She who faces Death by torture for
each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must
not swerve for fact or jest.
So it comes that Man, the coward,
when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council,
dare not leave a place for her.
Men have to pretend, to themselves as well as to women, that they are not the servants and supplicants. Women, cunning minxes that they are, have to affect not to be the potentates.
November 29, 2006
Dear Ms. XXXX:
Thank you for your emails of November 22nd. I appreciate your views on the possibility of discussions regarding Iraq with the Iranian and Syrian governments, the Iraq Study Group and the President's nomiation of Robert Gates to become the next Secretary of Defense.
I share your concern about the possibility of conducting negotiations with the Iranian and Syrian governments. Just this week, the President reiterated his position that if discussions are to begin with Iran, they must first address Iran's nuclear development program. Specifically, Iran must suspend it [sic] nuclear enrichment programs. Regarding Syria, I do not know how constructive talks would be, especially since that government continues to undermine peaceful efforts and initiatives not only in Iraq but also in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
I look forward to the publication of the Iraq Study Group's report. Though, I do not necessarily believe that this document should be seen as a strict plan that commits our nation to a specific course of action, I am always eager to examine new proposals and ideas on how we can obtain our goals more efficiently and effectively. This, of course, includes other proposals such as those that are being developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Security Council. However, I will always be suspicious of any plan that calls for the withdawal of our forces from Iraq before the security situation greatly improves.
Another such initiative is due to be published this week: The New Army Field Manual for Counterinsurgency Warfare. This is a vital document that will directly address what I have heard from many returning soldiers, that the Army's culture is one that emphasizes the use of fire-power and conventional warfare rather [than] stability and counterinsurgency operations. This new doctrine will be helpful to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rest assured, irregardless [sic] of the conclusions in any of these documents, including the Iraq Study Group report, I remain committed to a course of action that achieves the goals best articulated by Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, United States Ambassador to Iraq. He stated: "Our goal is to enable Iraqis to develop a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian representative democracy…" that can fully meet its security obligations. Our mission is to provide assistance to the Iraqi government in providing security, defeating common enemies and bringing peace and stability to the nation.
Regarding your comments opposing Robert Gates's nomiation to become the next Secretary of Defense, I must respectfully disagree. I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Gates on numerous occasions and he was an excellent member of President H. W. Bush's national security team during the First Gulf War. This was highlighted by the fact [that] he was nominated and confirmed to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency shortly thereafter. Dr. Gates will also bring a foreign policy perspective to a war that increasingly requires military leaders to use political expertise. Further, he is a pragmatist, who will work with allies and make necessary changes to our tactics and initiatives. Dr. Gates has my full support.
Thank you again for your emails.
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator
Let’s begin our story by noticing that in this country, mainstream Republicans or conservatives have very strong amber/traditional values. Hence, when they say that "character counts," or that they want to "instill values in people," or that they are "the party of values," they almost always mean amber values only, traditional values, ethnocentric values: nationalism, family values, militarism, patriotism, patriarchalism, good ole Biblical injunctions and command morality. They do not mean green values, red values, teal values, turquoise values, etc.
I know of no conservative who values nationalism, or patriotism, or militarism for their own sake. Usually it is because of an awareness that the United States is by far the greatest and most decent nation that has ever existed. In other words, to feel patriotic or nationalistic about the United States is simply based on objective reality. It’s not the same as feeling patriotic about some crappy little country like France, where shame would be the more appropriate emotion.
Wilber seems to conflate patriotism and nationalism with bad patriotism and nationalism, as if they aren’t worlds apart. Iranian nationalism: bad. Palestinian nationalism: bad. Nazi nationalism: bad. If I were a citizen of those places, assuming I wasn’t completely brainwashed, I would hardly be patriotic. Again, this would be an objective assessment of the situation. Those are bad and evil governments that do bad and evil things on purpose.
One of the reasons these color schemes hold no appeal for me is because my primary values are truth and decency. The latter follows from the former, because evil on a widespread scale is usually only possible if it is rooted in massive lies. Nazis murdered Jews because they believed lies about them, just as Islamists want to kill Americans because they believe lies about us. If people simply believe the truth and behave decently, everything else will pretty much take care of itself.
LIkewise to say that conservatives simply value “militarism” outside a moral framework is seriously misleading. Yes, I would like America to have the most powerful military in the world, for the simple reason that I want the most moral and decent nation to be the most powerful. It’s the same reason why I want the police to be more powerful than the criminals. To suggest that I am merely “pro-violence” would be another serious distortion. I am pro moral violence and anti immoral violence, a distinction that is often lost on the left. Yes, I want to kill bad people before they murder more good people.
Wilber seems to be treating Christianity with some contempt in the remark about “good ole Biblical injunctions and command morality.” If by command morality he is referring to absolute moral standards such as “do not bear false witness,” “do not steal,” and “do not murder,” then I suppose I am for “good ole Biblical injunctions.” They seem infinitely more wise to me than the morally relativistic blather you will hear on the typical college campus.
The blogs seem to thrive, don't they, on the following propositions:
— All progress by those I sympathise with is illusory, and real control continues to be exercised by their opponents. If there are any real gains, they are only temporary.
— All reverses are real and lasting, and more damaging than they at first appear.
— The mainstream media are completely in the hands of opponents, and consistently misrepresent things to the detriment of those I sympathise with.
— We are all going to die.
Conclusion: to feel good, read the blogs of the opposing viewpoint to your own.
Officer Desubijana, Federal Air Marshall Grewenow, and I boarded the aircraft and located [deleted]. I requested [deleted] point out the individuals he witnessed together in the gate area. Officer Desubijana and I asked the six passengers [deleted] pointed out to us to get up and leave the aircraft. Systematically from the rear to the front of the plane, we asked all six to leave the plane. All parties left the plane cooperatively. It should be noted that two of the individuals were seated in the rear, two were seated in the middle, and two were seated in the front of the aircraft; all of which stated they were travelling together.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;...
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Dear Ms. XXXX:
Thank you for contacting me to express your views about the results of the recent election. I appreciate hearing from you.
I have spent many years in the Senate as a member of the majority and the minority party, and I am known in the Senate as one who can reach across the aisle and work with the other party. I can get legislation through, regardless of which party is in power.
One thing that I have learned over the years — and it was a message sent to Congress by this election — is that Utahns and people throughout American [sic] want members of Congress to do something, not just oppose something. I am always grateful when members of both parties work together to move forward on issues that make a difference in the lives of those we represent.
Again, thank you for writing.
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator
I just read your statement on journalistic integrity. It's good stuff. Especially this part:
That means we abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions. It means we will not knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast; nor will we alter photo or image content. Quotations must be accurate, and precise.
It means we always strive to identify all the sources of our information, shielding them with anonymity only when they insist upon it and when they provide vital information – not opinion or speculation; when there is no other way to obtain that information; and when we know the source is knowledgeable and reliable.
So it puzzles me that you frequently use one Captain Jamil Hussein as a source for many of the more bloody stories out of Iraq. There is no Captain Jamil Hussein in the Iraqi police. http://floppingaces2.blogspot.com/2006/11/getting-news-from-enemy.html.
That blogger's query to CENTCOM yielded the following response:Sir:
Unfortunately, we do not have a direct contact into the MOI so we cannot provide you with that. We have to work through a CF organization called the CPATT (Coalition Police Assistance Training Team), an MNFI organization that seems to be made up of retired police officers.
Since September we have been engaging CPATT to verify the legitimacy and employment status of various MOI/IP spokesmen. Our contact at CPATT has been quite helpful, however, I know helping us is not his full-time job. Interestly, MOI has apparently issued an edict that no one below the level of Chief can speak to the media. We have reminded AP of this but without proof that these spokesman are not employees, they have pretty much ignored us. (If you were a reporter, would who give up a primo source because of rank? Probably not.)
I personally engaged CPATT about Capt. Jamil Hussein’s legitimacy within an hour of seeing the burning alive story — which we cannot verify from any source, but how do you prove a negative.
Of note, we definitely know that one IP spokesman - Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq of the city’s Yarmouk police station (a.k.a. police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq) is not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP and the MOI supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning. That happened a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t seen his name recently.
Below is an incomplete list of MOI spokesmen we are tracking since the middle of November and trying to verify.
Given that the Iraqi police have mandated that no officer below the rank of chief is to make statements to the press, you shouldn't even be talking to a captain, real or imaginary. What gives?
I don't know who's at fault for this oversight, but given that the blogosphere is keeping such a close eye on y'all, doesn't it behoove you to check your sources more carefully? I mean, this is embarrassing.
Good luck getting the egg off your face,
No, no, no….
The problems in Iraq, in the radical Middle East at large—with democratization, with nuclearization, with Islamism—are not, repeat not, a lack of dialogue with Syria and Iran.
We know what both rogue states wish and it is our exit from the Middle East and thus a free hand to undermine the newly established democracies of Lebanon and Iraq—in the manner that all autocracies must destroy their antitheses.
They both sponsor and harbor terrorists for a reason—to undermine anything Western: a Western-leaning Lebanese democracy, a Western-style democracy in Iraq, a Westernized Israel, or soldiers of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Syria, as we see once again with the killing of Pierre Gemayel, is practicing serial murdering in Lebanon. I was on the Hugh Hewitt show last night, and he was right to make the point that Syria is like the Nazi regime of the late 1930s that sent its agents into Eastern Europe and Austria to assassinate and undermine republican leaders, to pave the way for the ‘necessary’ and ‘welcome’ entrance of the order-bringing Wehrmacht into a ‘brother’ state.
Iran is a rogue nation that seeks bombs to use them against the region’s only viable democracy in Israel. Neither Damascus nor Teheran can tolerate a democratic Iraq—no more than the Soviet Union would have allowed the Baltic Republics to have pro-Western democracies or Nazi Germany wished to be a partner in peace with republican Czechoslovakia.
Yes, yes, we need perhaps to have a national “dialogue”, but not over talking to Iran and Syria—but instead whether we wish to continue to fight and win this war.
Tell us it ain’t so?
As I understood the President, whether in his ‘Axis of Evil’ speech or his ‘with us or against us’ construct, the United States is no longer seeking Clintonian short-term, stop-gap palliatives of cruise missiles and federal indictments. Instead we are at war with both terrorists in the field, and the regimes that sponsor, pay, and host them. In such an existential struggle, democracy is as destabilizing to them as jihadism is to us, and so we promote it whenever we can as the right and smart thing to do—especially given the hysterical hatred toward it voiced by bin Laden and Dr. Zawahiri.
And for all the conundrum, the war against the jihadists is still going well. Iran and Syria are striking out because they feel surrounded—democratic Turkey on one side, Israel on the other, with nearby democracies struggling to become established in Kurdistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is being dismantled, and a Europe galvanizing against Islamic fascism. Even the impotent UN is beginning to stir against Iran and Syria. If we can stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq, we can bring enormous pressure on both these two rogue nations. So why give up now—which is what talking to these amoral governments constitutes, given our previous rhetoric and vow to quit the appeasement?
But why would either Damascus or Teheran wish to talk? The answer is plain. The former wants to profess to cool it a bit in destabilizing Iraq in exchange for us turning a blind eye in Lebanon; the latter wants to act like stopping the sending of agents of our destruction into Iraq in exchange for cooling our rhetoric about their bomb. What we would be doing in essence by “dialoguing” is saying to both the democracies in Lebanon and Israel, “Sorry, but we have to find a way out of Iraq, and these fascists will promise to turn away from us if they can turn on you.”
All this is dressed up with realist “maturity” and “concern” but it would be consistent with those who brought us Iran-Contra, aid to both Iran and Iraq in their war, stopping before Baghdad, hugs with the House of Saud that paid money to those who killed Americans, and on and on. If Syria and Iran can be assured of a truce, that we won’t destabilize them at home or stop their adventurism abroad, then they might let us save face in Iraq. That they would ever honor such a deal is absurd, that we would ever believe they would is worse than absurd.
For five long years many of us have praised this administration’s constancy and idealism, in removing the Taliban and Saddam, and then staying on to do the hard, the easily caricatured work of democratization. The liberal hawks have long bailed. The paleos have turned venomous in their criticism. Many of the neo-cons have sought escape by blaming the flawed occupation for ruining their supposedly perfect three-week take-down of Saddam. But there are millions of us still out there who, Jacksonian in spirit, close ranks and will support our troops wherever they are. But we simply cannot ask Americans to die in Anbar province while talking to the Iranians and Syrians who are doing their best through surrogates in killing them.
.... [break for rant about bad apologies]
Which brings us to the concluding thought.
Most in the West profess, albeit secretly, that these particular, regional and perceived Middle East grievances really are connected. We nod in approval to each pundit and expert as they deceive us by convoluted exegeses—the West Bank is not Lebanon that is not the Taliban that is not Iraq that is not the Iranian bomb-making that is not Wahhabism, that is not…
But inside perhaps we know that they are really akin to the generic hatred that our fathers battled in Nazism, Italian fascism, and Japanese militarism—disjointed, often unconnected ideologies of evil that, nevertheless, found their common purpose—surely enough to go to war together—in hating liberal Western society.
And we all know, for all our self-doubt and self-loathing, that the West really is strong, at least strong enough to smash jihadists and their patrons.
So apparently we are in another Phony War circa October 1939 to May 1940, awaiting the provocation—another 9/11? A nuclear strike on Israel? A full-fledged brazen Syrian invasion of Lebanon? A terrorist killing of the Pope or mass murder in Paris or Berlin?— that sets us off.
And we know that like a Nazi Germany that invaded Russia and declared war on the United States, or a Japan that bombed Pearl Harbor and hoped for our instant surrender, that these jihadists have not a clue about the danger they are courting, apparently thinking that most Americans care only about Mark Foley’s email or Britni Spears’ divorce.
But tragically time will tell for these naïve and self-destructive killers. Their clock is ticking…
The social constructivists [a group of humanities and social science professors] claimed that the scientific community is no more rational or objective than any other community of human beings. This is not how most scientists view science. We tell our students that belief in a scientific theory must always be based on an objective evaluation of the evidence. Our opponents in the debate argued that our claims about how science works were mainly propaganda designed to intimidate people into giving us power, and that the whole scientific enterprise was driven by the same political and sociological forces that drove people in other fields. -- Lee Smolin. The Trouble with Physics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, xix.
Now we have yet again the ubiquitous Jimmy Carter. Not content with a failed Presidency, he is determined to turn his legacy into even a greater failure, lecturing us in his new book about an apartheid Israel.
Carterism is a new postmodern pathology in which smug piety, dressed up in evangelical new-age Christianity, pronounces from afar moral censure on the more righteous party—on the theory that acting well but not perfect is worse than acting badly. Carter reminds me of the timid parent who spanks hard the good son for the rare misdemeanor because he takes it with silence while giving a pass to the wayward son for the daily felony because he would throw a public fit if corrected.
One way you can usually tell that psychological displacement is being used is that the emotion being displaced (e.g., anger or fear) is all out of proportion to the reality of the situation. The purpose of displacement is to avoid having to cope with the actual reality. Instead, by using displacement, an individual is able to still experience his or her anger, but it is directed at a less threatening target than the real cause. In this way, the individual does not have to be responsible for the consequences of his/her anger and feels more safe--even thought that is not the case.
And, in the case of the MSM, the side effect of the displacement is that they can safely denounce "evil" and be the "brave rebels" without having to risk anything! From their perspective, their courage and daring knows no bounds! Why, at any minute, the fascist, torturing, despicable regimes of Bush, Blair etc. etc. might come for them and put them in death camps! Yeah, right.
In order for them to be brave, they must, of course, play up the evil of the forces they are "speaking truth" to. Hence all the exaggeration of mistakes that Bush and Blair have made. Exaggeration all out of proportion to reality--while almost completely ignoring the real atrocities that are committed on a daily basis by those we fight against in Iraq.
You know you are a member of the Remnant if you realize that a genetic man is merely the raw material for a human being; ….
Members of the Remnant "are everywhere; everywhere they are not so much resisting as quietly eluding and disregarding all social pressure which tends to mechanize their processes of observation and thought." You might say that the Remnant is an order of Cosmic Raccoons "unassociated in any formal way, living singly or nearly so, and more or less as aliens, in all classes of our society…" Yes, you are a member of the vertical aristocracy, but you don’t make a big deal out of it.
For while we all know that the illiterate cannot read, it would be a gross misunderstanding to hastily conclude that the literate can. We should never confuse knowing psychology, or history, or religion, with understanding it. Most any ignoramus can be trained — not educated — to become a university professor. Which is not to say that all professors are idiots, but that all idiots are ignorant of their ignorance and therefore halfway to tenure.