Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Soylent Green is coming

It's a while since I said it.

True all the same.

Just not as soon as the movie envisioned.

(We're already past that deadline.)

Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years

No idea how far this "science" can be trusted.

But that's certainly the direction of things, anyway.

Boom for you, depression for me

Why the Economy is Still Failing Most Americans

Robert Reich.

The Commerce Department reported last Friday that the economy grew at a 4.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter of the year.

So what? 

The median household’s income continues to drop.

Median household income is now 8 percent below what it was in 2007, adjusted for inflation. 

It’s 11 percent below its level in 2000.

. . . . 

We’re in the first economic upturn on record in which 90 percent of Americans have become worse off.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Comrade Ogilvy

Who would have guessed Orwell had any sense of humor at all.

Winston Smith's invention of Comrade Ogilvy early on in 1984, complete with his absurd death, is a wonderful satire. 

At twenty-three he had perished in action. 

Pursued by enemy jet planes while flying over the Indian Ocean with important despatches [sic], he had weighted his body with his machine gun and leapt out of the helicopter into deep water, despatches and all - an end, said Big Brother, which it was impossible to contemplate without feelings of envy.

Or maybe it's only amusing after a bit of whiskey.

Morality is the first refuge of the will to power

When you ask why and they say "Justice demands it," "It would be wrong not to," or other words to that effect they are doing several things.

First, they are not answering you; moral reasons are complete hogwash and morality is in the lie of the beholder.

Second, they are throwing sand in your eyes; they are drawing you into useless blather about what does not exist to avoid serious talk about what does.

Third, they are bullying, they are damning anyone who will not obey, they are damning you to your face.

Fourth, they are asserting their dominance; anyone who can talk such rot without fear of mockery or violence is obviously the more powerful.

They begin with moral declamation to prevent thought, discussion, and back talk and stick with it for the same reasons.

Anyone who says "Come let us reason together!" and then talks like that is a fraud.

And he may not even know it.

But he most likely does.

Kids from the start seem to realize this is all about control, all about whose will prevails.

They seem pretty much undeceived by the masquerade of meaning in moral talk.

What do they say to people about to take a step out of line?

Much more often "Don't do it! You'll get in trouble!" than "But it's wrong!"

And what do they say when their friends try to nag them into taking a step out of line?

Again, much more often "I can't. I'll get in trouble." than "It's wrong."

Quite young, as soon as they realize it can succeed, when they decide to disobey authority they just lie about it.

And then when they get caught Mom and Dad, wise to that, deploy extra heavy punishment to discourage lying.

Only as the very last refuge does Mom or Dad say, "Because I said so!"

Or else!

The new Guilded Age

The invisible rich and the immensity of inequality

This county is not ours.

It belongs to the global capitalists and its job is to make and keep the world safe for global capitalism.

That is why we are and morally must remain the indispensable nation.

That is what defines us as a people, what makes us who we are.

Oops.

That's global democratic capitalism.

Yes, well, that's important, I'll bet.

Do they talk to people like that in a free country?

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

JFK

O interviewed on 60 Minutes

He was good.

[T]his week, in my speech to the United Nations General Assembly, I made very clear we are not at war against Islam. 

Islam is a religion that preaches peace and the overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful. 

But in the Muslim world right now, there is a cancer that has grown for too long that suggests that it is acceptable to kill innocent people who worship a different God. 

. . . .

We have to get the international community to recognize this is a problem. 

We've got to get Arab and Muslim leaders to say very clearly, "These folks do not represent us. They do not represent Islam," and to speak out forcefully against them.

He leaned on vacuous, globalist cliches beloved of the classe politique.

Steve Kroft: 

I think everybody applauds the efforts that you've made and the size of the coalition that has been assembled. 

But most of them are contributing money or training or policing the borders, not getting particularly close contact. 

It looks like once again we are leading the operation. We are carrying...

President Obama: 

Steve, that's always the case. 

That's always the case. 

America leads. 

We are the indispensable nation. 

We have capacity no one else has. 

Our military is the best in the history of the world. 

And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing. 

They don't call Moscow. 

They call us.

That's the deal.

Steve Kroft: 

I mean, it looks like we are doing 90 percent.

President Obama: 

Steve, when as issue ... when there's a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who's helping the Philippines deal with that situation. 

When there's an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who's leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. 

That's how we roll. 

And that's what makes this America.

He was clueless.

Steve Kroft: 

But you've said that we are not going to be the Shiite air force. 

We're not going to be the Kurdistan air force. 

I'm not going to be the Iraqi air force. 

But in effect, with the allies, that's what we have become. 

We have become the Iraqi air force.

President Obama: 

With the allies, with their ground troops, and if we do our job right and the Iraqis fight, then over time our role can slow down and taper off. 

And their role, reasserts itself. 

But all that depends, Steve. 

And nobody's clearer than I am about this. 

That the Iraqis have to be willing to fight. 

And they have to be willing to fight in a nonsectarian way. 

Shiite, Sunni and Kurd alongside each other against this cancer in their midst.

Steve Kroft: 

What happens if the Iraqis don't fight or can't fight?

President Obama: 

Well...

Steve Kroft: 

What's the end game?

President Obama: 

I'm not going to speculate on failure at the moment. 

And he was scary.

Steve Kroft: 

Do you think there's any chance of a military confrontation between NATO and Russia and Ukraine?

President Obama: 

No, I don't think there's going to be a military confrontation between NATO and Russia, although we have worked very hard to reassure our NATO allies on the front lines, including some smaller Baltic states like Estonia, where I visited before the NATO Summit in Wales, that Article Five of the the NATO treaty means what it says. 

We come to the aid and assistance, so if you mess with the NATO country, then there will be a military confrontation. 

And Putin understands that.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Overpriced, but good

Reading Hakan Nesser's The Inspector and Silence.

His contempt for religion and pop culture are refreshing, if unexpected in a polar.

The genre, after all, is only half a cut above pop culture, itself.

And how brave do you have to be to shower a white people's Christian sect with contempt?

A black, Jewish, or Muslim sect?

Hindus or devotees of Voodoo?

No, not quite that brave.

And that makes me wonder.

Has anyone, anywhere in the world, written a dystopia of Islamism?

A novel of the horrors of life under Sharia totalitarianism, religious police abusing women in the streets, mass beheadings in stadiums, and all that?

Or is no one with the talent remotely brave enough?

A liberal black stands up for racist anti-patriotic education


Mr. Pitts proposes to retain some rather steamy anti-patriotic propaganda along with the usual patriotic stuff comprising parts of what our schools teach about US history.

He begins,

This is a tale of two countries.

The first country was built on a radical new promise of human equality and a guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That country made it possible for even those born in the humblest and most meager circumstances to climb to the pinnacle of prosperity and achievement.

It helped save the world in a great global conflagration, fed and rebuilt the devastated nations of Europe, planted the first footprints on another world.

The second country was built on the uncompensated labor of human beings owned from birth till death by other human beings.

That country committed genocide against its indigenous people, fabricated a war in order to snatch territory belonging to its neighbor, put its own citizens in concentration camps.

And it practiced the “science” of eugenics with such enthusiasm that it inspired advocates of mandatory sterilization and racial purity all over the world. One was an obscure German politician named Adolf Hitler.

Obviously, the first of those countries is America. But the second is, too.

But neither country is America.

The description of the first is patriotic bilge, from the promise that did not exist to the fiction of saving the world.

The purpose of patriotic bilge is to make proud and well-disciplined citizens and willing soldiers.

The second is liberal anti-patriotic propaganda and its purposes are more complex, including undermining the pride and discipline of citizens and the willingness of soldiers and beating up whites, using the power of the state to pummel them on behalf of non-whites even in the public schools.

The purpose, in other words, is much the same as that of “sensitivity training,” which again is much the same as that of the re-education camps run by communist thought police in various unfortunate countries.

The only surprise, I suppose, if it is one, is that Mr. Pitts left out any charges of theocracy, homophobia, or phallocracy, while emphasizing in his second description messages of racial grievance directed at white folks.

Of course it is true that black African slaves captured and sold by black Africans in Africa were owned by Americans, and of course used for labor in parts of the country for some purposes.

But their labor was very far from achieving anything so grand as building the county.

(Did no one else do anything, then?)

The Spanish conquerors did otherwise in Cuba, but white American settlers did not wipe out the Indians or even, so far as I know, any individual tribe, though some Indian tribes were in fact wiped out, quite deliberately, by other Indian tribes, at various times both before and after the whites began to arrive in the New World.

As for the fabricated war, I suppose that would be the Mexican War.

The “fabrication” was the casus belli; you could look it up.

Angry about that war, is he? Ashamed? He should probably get over it and move on.

(Indians fought wars among themselves for plunder, slaves, conquest, and territory all the time, by the way.)

As for the internment of the Nisei, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and many others including such heroes of the left as Mao did much worse to far more of their own citizens, though the salient feature of the Nisei in this litany of blame is not really their citizenship but their race.

All the same, a little perspective, please.

And, finally, as for the argumentum ad Hitlerum of the last sentence, I think there is no need to say anything about that.

Consider Pitts’ article pendant to Kagan's, discussed below.

As for the role of truth in the propaganda of blame, see these.


Guilt-trip politics

Saturday, September 27, 2014

American fascism

The author is the father of two other famous and scholarly Kagans, and all three are widely respected war lovers.

Democracy Requires a Patriotic Education

How did America survive its early years when multitudes received no education at all?

His talk about democracy is just routine conservative bullshit and his claim that in a democracy the people decide freely whether to serve in war is true of them collectively only in a direct democracy and individually only so long as the government does not impose a draft.

Anyway, he wants education to produce docile - nay, enthusiastic - canon-fodder, and he does not settle whether he means enthusiastic volunteers for service or draftees prepared to serve at least without too much riot, mutiny, or desertion.

Certainly part of what he means is a population rather more supportive of our country and its wars than the population we have, whose shortcomings in that regard are a key part of his essay.

A crucial role of education is, for him, to mold the young into good, loyal, and disciplined soldiers.

His piece on the notorious opinion page of the Wall Street Journal is not about anything as trivial as the Pledge.

He says the currency of anti-war and unpatriotic attitudes typified by Katha Pollitt and academics whose politics he does not approve are proofs that our educational system does not sufficiently successfully inculcate the patriotism that, according to him, democracy requires.

This guy is a dyed in the wool war lover, and makes no bones about it.

And, to be clear, he writes this.

Many have been the attacks on patriotism for intolerance, arrogance and bellicosity, but that is to equate it with its bloated distortion, chauvinism. 

My favorite dictionary defines the latter as "militant and boastful devotion to and glorification of one's country," but defines a patriot as "one who loves, supports, and defends his country."

His idea of what it takes to defend America seems quite on all fours with the ideas we generally find on the WSJ opinion page.

A call for purges of the universities and for government action to make education at all levels shape up does not conclude his essay.

The reader is left waiting for that shoe to drop, convinced it did not only because the ground has not been sufficiently prepared.

Donald Kagan

Robert Kagan

Frederick Kagan

Exactly the sort of immigrant warmongering against which I have repeatedly warned.

The three are notorious Jewish neocons (nearly all the media neocons are in fact Jews).

There are still conservatives who don't turn everything into an hysterical attack on O

The Army Attacks Ebola

That was rape?

Well, yeah. It was.

Scarlett O’Horror

So what do they think of Blade Runner?

God, whatever would they make of Apache Dance?

Lots of women, including my own sainted mum, found it very sexy.

The Tango is a considerably tamed version

Wonder what Salon is like? Joan Walsh is the boss, I understand.

One of their lead stories right now.

The best movie masturbation scenes

This is not the planet I was born on.

Somebody switched while I was sleeping, I think.

The president at the UN

The commander in chief lays out his justification for the war in Syria and Iraq.

If Jonathan Swift had a daughter by Stephen Colbert, it would be Rosa Brooks.

This is really top shelf satire.

What's that?

John Cusack attacks "Whorehouse Hollywood" for sexism

Sort of like calling someone a faggot queer to express contempt for his homophobia?

I like him as an actor, anyway.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Up to you, I should think

Spend your last penny on yourselves or seek a quiet death and pass on a few bucks to the kids.

Your call.

Not the kids' call, not your doctor's call, not your insurance company's call, and not the call of some sickening Death Panel of hand-picked ethicists - secular mullahs - employed by the government to find ways to cut the soaring costs of elder-care.

Elderly couple to die together by assisted suicide even though they are not terminally ill

Americans look de bas en haut

The ignorant resent the educated, the uncouth resent the cultured, the stupid or merely ordinary resent the smart or the truly brilliant.

More often than you might think to the point of violence.

Almost always to the point of revenge or at least Schadenfreude.

You might be surprised at some who harbor the ego-consoling myth that people of genuine genius can't tie their shoes and "have no common sense."

Anyway, this TV show will do nothing to combat such red-blooded, all-American ressentiment.

Scorpion

They seriously need to lower those expectations

Why Obama Is Planning To Use Religion To Fight ISIS

By spending much of his speech talking about the need to shore up peaceful visions of Islam, Obama appears to be breathing life into a component of American foreign policy that often goes unrecognized; that the most effective weapon against terrorism in the name of God isn't just awe-inspiring weaponry and the repeated killing of terrorists, but also a system of robust support for alternative ideologies and peaceful practitioners. 

Or, as General Martin Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month: “ISIL will ultimately be defeated when their cloak of religious legitimacy is stripped away and the populations on which they have imposed themselves reject them.”

Call that Strategy A: attack the theological legitimacy of Islamofundamentalism.

Based on the example of Saudi Arabia I would have to say this about that (as Jack Kennedy used to put it): don't hold your breath. 

And when polls show some 90% of the world's Muslims agree that the ideology of ISIS and its political aspirations are theologically correct, I would not expect much from Strategy A even in parts of the Muslim world least theologically close to ISIS.

Too, apart from God's will there is always simple tribalism to worry about.

Muslims from around the world see it as the West vs. Islam or even the Rest vs. Islam.

Think of the Boston Bombers.

Hence Strategy B: insist we are only at war with violent theocratic extremists who have not only chosen war against us but against most of the Muslim world.

This is the other aspect of the propaganda war O and the West are fighting.

It's the other reason for the endless claims we are not at war with Islam but with crazed, heretical extremists who have chosen to attack us - not to mention large numbers of completely peaceable folk of the Muslim world.

And the same line of propaganda makes an important second point, that it is one thing to think somebody's approach theologically correct and quite another to be willing to see him in power, especially if he is trying to shoot his way to power, and especially if he is shooting at you to gain power over you.

Rouhani: Extremists Want To Destroy Civilization

On the other hand, ISIS is a cat's paw in the constant Sunni vs. Shia struggle, too.

Its radicalism is Sunni radicalism and they have been funded and encouraged all along by Saudi Arabia and states in the Gulf.

Hence the abundant willingness of the Shia leader, Iran, to denounce ISIS and demand regional cooperation against it.

Hence the refusal of Turkey, which could easily crush ISIS, to provide troops.

And the reluctance of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to do much against their pet, ISIS.

A Basket of Snakes

Have I not said it lately?

US out of everywhere!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How on Earth do you do that?

Sierra Leone quarantines one million

Wow.

The women won a long time ago

Look a those numbers.

War on Women

Talk about a post-Christian culture

University Forcing its Fraternities to Admit Women to Ensure Equality

PC cover for a move dangerous to women in service of making sex easier for the kids.

The fact that this took me so by surprise testifies to how long it has been since my own time on campus, I suppose.

Still, who runs this place and what on Earth does it say about parents willing to pay for their kids to go there?

Whaddaya suppose John Wesley would make of this?

Who runs Trinity College?

Not the Southern Baptists, I would guess.

Non-college white male voters: bigoted, resentful, and stupid

Working class white men

Racial, class, and cultural resentments still drive these guys too much.

The zero tolerance pope

Pope sacks bishop

A statement from the Vatican said the Pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, from his post as head of the diocese of Paraguay's Ciudad del Este.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance against Roman Catholic clerics who sexually abuse minors, and accountability for those who covered up abuse, after a series of scandals hit the Church in a number of countries around the world over many years.

In May he called such abuse an "ugly crime" and likened it to "a Satanic mass".

The dismissal came two days after the Pope approved the arrest in the Vatican of a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

Stop the recruiting

Islamic State crisis: UN aims to stop jihadist recruits

No idea what O or other leaders of the Occident will make of this, vis-à-vis their "homegrown" ISIS fans.

Ebola: No time for Antigone

In the play, Creon, ruler of Thebes, decides that the body of Polyneices, a rebel killed in civil war, will be left unburied on the battlefield for the carrion.

Antigone, sister of Polyneices, though Creon threatens her with death, as a matter of religious obligation, steals the body and buries it with the proper funeral rites.

Though warned repeatedly, Creon puts her alive into a tomb.

The gods are unhappy that Creon has denied Polyneices proper burial and also violated religious stricture burying Antigone alive.

Antigone hangs herself and her betrothed, Haemon, Creon's own son and heir, commits suicide.

The play, teaching as it does that divine law comes first, is most commonly trotted out by anti-war religious leftists but also sometimes by others to defend non-compliance with the draft or other forms of refusal to submit to the state out of loyalty to "higher," religious obligations.

(Such folks often are great fans of Lysistrata, too, though you might think the play's humor far too broad.)

Violence against Ebola health workers

Consider how awkward this is for Republicans who have lately taken such extravagant stands concerning freedom of religion in order to undermine Obamacare and liberal and government positions regarding legal protections for gays in matters of employment and public accommodations.

In many cases the Africans are attacking to prevent or avenge health workers' sacrilegious interference with proper burial of persons killed by the disease.

In that part of the world that might even be proper Christian burial.

Truth is the first casualty, not only of war but of politics in general

You and I and Pamela Gellar and anyone who has read the Koran or at least the history of Islam from its earliest days may know the truth.

But governments fighting the green plague of Islamism - as Bill Maher would put it, Islam taken too seriously - are considerably less interested in truth than in preventing the 1.6 billion Muslims of the world from seeing this struggle as a war of religion pitting everybody else, but especially the Christian Occident, against Islam and so, of course, all of them against the world.

Nor would such governments want to even hint that the least religious legitimacy might attach to the Islamist claims of a religious duty for Muslims to fight a war, a Jihad, against insufficiently Islamic Muslim governments and their allies, against Jews, against infidels, perhaps against the West, and even perhaps against the whole world to bring everyone into submission to Islam and to Allah.

And so neither BO today nor GW before him sees or saw fit to admit for a second that Islamism is just Islam, taken too seriously for anybody else's good.

They and every politician speaking for states confronting Muslim violence must and generally can be counted on to firmly endorse and not deviate from the line that Islamism, and especially violent Islamism, is a heresy, an abomination, a travesty of true religion and of Islam, and the enemy of all of us, including the world's Muslims.

Anyone who complains that BO does not and GW did not say the enemy is Islam is a fool or a politically motivated faker.

Any one who thinks BO and GW did not realize the enemy is Islam is the same.

Libertarians and Ebola

Quarantine is not voluntary and not intended for the good of the persons subjected to it.

At the moment and pending mass availability of a vaccine, what passes for care is mostly incarceration by another name, primarily for the good of others.

It is exclusively for the good of others in the case of every person who would actually do better outside the poorly equipped, poorly staffed, and badly managed dungeons that may sometimes be all that's available for isolation and care in the hands of the medical or other authorities.

Little or nothing that is now being done, planned, or contemplated in the battle against Ebola is aimed at the good of the sick.

Take that, libertarians.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The writers don't know a codex from a palimpsest.

Forever, the TV show.

What good is diagnosis if you have no cure? Not even hope for palliative treatment?

The new Communism

Even if it were true that various alleged "crises" were "systematic" and not to be dealt with by reform within a capitalist framework, that's pretty far from showing you have the least idea how to deal with them outside a capitalist framework.

And with no such showing available urging people to "smash the state" or "smash capitalism" is just a very clear proof of deep, deep stupidity.

Or fraud behind an absurd and egregious rationalization.

And then it turns out these guys are just peddling the same old same old.

A retirement home for Pinochet?

Reagan Considered Asylum for Pinochet

Carter offered asylum to the Shah, but the man dithered and fiddled until his welcome wore out before he got here.

"Ebola can't happen here."

US hospitals 'unprepared' to safely handle infectious Ebola waste


Earlier this summer, liberals were mocking conservatives over Ebola, joking that they were "wetting their pants" and there was no danger to the US at all, at all.

Well, all that is changing.

Luck has kept Ebola out of the U.S. But that’s very likely to change.

Buckle up

Ebola spreading

Read what Jon Cohen says is absolutely necessary and consider how small is the likelihood it will happen.

Read those worst-case scenarios.

That seems to be where we're going.

China, India, and climate change

The climate march to nowhere

Tenured Radicals

The enemies of free speech at Berkeley

How long would they last at private schools unencumbered by federal controls?

What's wrong with this picture?

Denver area students walk out in protest of patriotic history proposal

Education is not value neutral.

Public education necessarily ignores religion, for example - a situation that in its nature at least to some extent discredits religion in favor of positivism.

And it engages in flat out brainwashing to impose pro-American, pro-government, and pro-war views even by going so far as to coerce participation in patriotic displays like the Pledge.

Even publicly funded private education must comply with numerous federal and state regulations that schools that eschew public funding can ignore.

Should government decide all these values and impose them on the young?

As for kids deciding them, that's a laugh.

They're even stupider and more ignorant than their parents.

Gambling on the next election? I doubt it.

Why Justice Ginsburg won't retire this year

I am reasonably confident she does not expect to live another 6 or 7 years, much less 10 or 11.

So is she gambling on the next president being a Democrat with coattails strong enough to leave the GOP less than forty senators?

That is just totally nuts.

She's trying to stave off the day when her seat goes to someone she would rather didn't get it.

That day is coming.

Just a question of when.

Maybe not as frank as we would like. But better. A step in the right direction.

Obama at the UN today

"Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment," Mr. Obama said in prepared remarks. 

"This is what America is prepared to do—taking action against immediate threats, while pursuing a world in which the need for such action is diminished."

He said confronting this challenge will require a broad international coalition to combat the Islamic State, the Sunni militant group in Iraq and Syria that is also known as ISIS and ISIL, and for Middle Eastern nations in particular to address conditions in the region that fuel extremism.

"That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate," Mr. Obama said. 

"It's time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy, and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down."

Hear, hear.

On Wednesday he said the world . . . is "at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope."

"If we think globally and act cooperatively, we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age," he said. 

"But as we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail such progress: and that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world."

" . . . until you run out of other people's money."

Taxation to support any of the following is theft.

Wars for somebody else's good, not our own

Wars to keep the military-industrial complex in work.

(How many of America's wars were fought entirely with stolen money, then?)

Subsidies or tax breaks for any enterprise "too big to fail" are theft, too.

And tax breaks or subsidies to support the military-industrial complex.

And what about the costs of policing illegal corporate behavior not picked up by the policed corporations but by the rest of us?

And the costs of cleaning up the mess they leave?

Where do conservatives get the balls to label all and only what they hate as theft?

GOP Candidate: Romney's 47 Percent Comment Was True, 'It's Bigger Now'

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Liberal langue de bois about religion from the pope

Liberals, claiming to be "reality based," can be counted on to talk the most utter stupidity about religion in general and Islam in particular.

Pope Francis: You Can’t Use Religion To Justify Violence

And this pope in so many ways is their guy.

Why ISIS Is Not, In Fact, Islamic

Wow. They so live in the inverted world.

If Islam is the religion of peace then Orwell was right and war is peace.

Anti-Islam ads

The post begins,

An anti-Islam group is preparing to plaster New York City buses with advertisements that defame Islam and use images from the recent execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the latest in the organization’s longstanding effort to recast Islam as an inherently violent religion.

The ads "defame" Islam only with the truth.

Need I point out the liars about Islam are the liberals?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Go figure

The best music in America is jazz, the kind of thing they play on the XM station, Real Jazz.

The worst is rap.

The music of black America.

Extremely annoying crackpots begging for more extensive US attack

IS calls for attacks on civilians

Resist temptation, America.

OK, starting to look a little different

White House fence jumper had 800 rounds ammunition in car: prosecutor

This is his second time?

Last time he had a hatchet, a sniper rifle, and a map with the White House marked on it?

Huh?

Shoot the damned thing, of course. What else?

What should you do if a grizzly attacks?

No gun?

Why are you stupider than Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, and tens if not hundreds of thousands of hunters, trappers, mountain men, and wilderness explorers over the last three or four centuries?

Why are you in the wilderness unarmed?

As dumb as people who go swimming to feed the coastal sharks.

Looks like a bit of radical chic, to me, that has not aged well.


And why wouldn't old Saul, at 62, love to bask in the flattery and attention of a pretty, smart, and clearly ambitious young girl on the way up?

She looks to me about as phony as John Kerry did, back when he was denouncing American war crimes in the senate.

Just getting their tickets punched, picking up the fashionable credentials.

But the times, they have changed, and what looked good on the resume back then might look pretty damning now, especially if you're applying for the job of Leader of the Free World (Ta Dah!) - and everybody else, whether they like it or not - as Hillary is.

Femicide

The United States Has A Femicide Problem

If it's legal to have an abortion for no reason why not for this reason?

Because it offends feminist moral sensibilities?

Actually, apparently not, or anyway not yet.

Per the story, American feminists are "in the denial phase," and have not yet admitted this is a significant issue in the US.

And the story's anti-abortion author challenges them to say outright that sex-selective abortion should be kept legal.

Says the story, eight states have made sex-selective abortion a crime, and apparently no federal court has yet just tossed such laws in the trash.

Not yet.

But until federal courts recognize such state laws as constitutional the feminists might prefer to keep a buttoned lip, and wait and see.

They might not have to "bite the bullet," as the author says, if they just wait patiently.

Watch what you say in the land of the free

City to weigh immigrant-friendly policies

Baltimoreans - especially white Baltimoreans - publicly opposing this policy are putting themselves in personal danger, and perhaps also danger of arrest and prosecution for hate crimes.

Local officials and the citizens they can bully are encouraged to adopt policies supportive of liberal national aims.

What do you suppose happens to locals who try to resist that or, worse, yet, adopt policies supportive of conservative national aims?

Now those people are shit disturbers.

The rabble of Seattle, all over again.

Communists, Radicals Spotted Throughout Climate March in New York City Demanding ‘Revolution, Nothing Less’

F***ing idiots.

As for the liberals who sponsored this and are today taking bows, you are known by the company you keep.

Not that you didn't realize, or that you give a shit.

Update, later that same day.

Climate justice now!

The Imperial Presidency

"Shoot him! Shoot him as he crosses the lawn! That's the Leader of the Free World in that building! And his family!"

That was Joe Scarborough this morning wetting his pants about what the White House security detail should have done.

Is that what happens to trespassers in the "Free World"?

Is there really all that much reason to fear some sort of "lone wolf" attack?

What if O was only the president of the United States?

What if the United States had not earned the enmity of so many around the world by insisting on maintaining and even extending alliances that only put them in danger and buy them no safety?

Relatives: Vet arrested at White House needs help

Self serving move for which they are praised

They sold the assets they anticipate will lose value and even become worthless owing to public policies they now are free to encourage

Heirs to an oil fortune join the divestment drive

They are betting on that sort of policy, that as a result the series of divesters will absorb the losses they have escaped.

And it gets spun by all concerned as a noble gesture.

A brief tale, well told


(as retold by W. Somerset Maugham [1933])

The speaker is Death

There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.

She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.

I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.

The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.

Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?

That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.

I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A beautiful, not quite fall morning

Sunny, clear, about sixty degrees at 9:30.

Tuesday, September 23, will be the first day of fall, says the Almanac.

Happy equinox.

Fallacies of numbing grossness

Arguments made in propaganda are that.

It is as close to a universal law on the subject as you can get.

On the whole, propaganda aspires to be coarse, ignorant, and very stupid.

That is in its nature.

Is it because it is addressed to people who are coarse, ignorant, and very stupid?

Or because talking such egregious rot to your face demonstrates the power relations at work?

It is a particularly brutal style of talking de haut en bas, after all.

An example is the bland stupidity of the liberal argument that there are no witches because there is no Devil.

Or that witches are harmless because there is no Devil.

Doublethink

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia Eurasia Eastasia.


A month ago it was the liberals in Ebola denial and the conservatives hopping mad nobody was paying attention.

Satanists are funny, and on our side!

So think liberals.

The Satanic Temple’s hilarious response to a pro-religion court ruling

The enemy of my enemy

Is Satanism a religion?

Why, because its adherents say it is?

Because liberals say it is?

The same people who say (wrongly) that Bradley Manning is a girl and (rightly) that atheism is not a religion?

What people say in their propaganda is only incidentally related to truth or falsehood.

That is not a concern.

Free speech for me but not for thee?

The Buckley Program Stands Up for Free Speech

Does Front Page defend the right of Muslim preachers to preach hatred for the West in their mosques in America and Europe?

Hatred for Israel and for Jews?

Praise for young men going off to fight for ISIS and young women going off for "sexual jihad"?

Does the Buckley Program?

Seems like a big effort to avert one or two murders.

OK, so three, maybe.

Australia raids over 'Islamic State plot to behead'

Over 800 officers involved.

Remember the manhunt for the Boston Bombers?

Jeez.

Feed the terror.

The Aussies are sending ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq.

Hmm.

White boy defends the honor of the black race

Charles Barkley on Adrian Peterson: 'Every black parent in the South' whips their children

White boy knows his job, doesn't he?

With scorn and mockery, he damns CB for whatever it was he did.

Was CB defending spanking?

Was he lamenting the practice is common among blacks?

Well, whatever it was, white boy knew it ain't allowed, even for black folks.

So he continued the liberal war on physical disciplining of children while enforcing the liberal commandment, Thou shalt speak no evil of blacks.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A perfect model

At the bottom of the social pyramid are the proles, the little people, the powerless.

At the top are the true elites, the Inner Party.

And in between are the dupes of the regime, the true believers, the serious and responsible, respectable people.

The Outer Party.

Winston Smith, even before he is individually savaged by the state in the person of O'Brien, gets it.

But then again, he doesn't.

Salvation, he thinks, must come from the proles.

And that is like counting on all the molecules of your TV set quite at random to lurch, spontaneously and simultaneously, three feet to the left - thus causing the set to lurch three feet to the left.

And, anyway, they are as close to impervious to moral/political/ideological bullshit as anyone can be, the proles are.

Hence they are not revolutionaries - or at any rate never revolutionaries for something, though the little people, driven past endurance, do sometimes - rather often, historically, really - revolt against their masters, spreading death, destruction, and horror.

As slaves have done, from time to time.

Think of Spartacus's rebellion.

And, anyway, there is no salvation from the human condition.

Reading 1984.

My parents would've been jailed for so many things, had the law then been what it is now

Texas woman persecuted for letting kid play outside alone

We played outside alone for a lot longer than that, when younger, my brother and sister and I.

We rode in Mom's lap in the front (bench) seat of a car, and rode in the back (bench) seat with no seat belt when still quite small.

We were left alone in the car in summer while our parents did errands.

And, oh, there was the occasional spanking or slap, you know.

Older kids could personally own .22s or shotguns, and took them to school in the morning, dropping them off during the day in the principal's office, so they could go hunting straight from school.

Ads for firearms were printed on comic book covers and you could order them through the mail.

BB guns, too; but I mean actual firearms like rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

The past is another country, sure.

But now my past is another country.

Columbine, 9/11. What's the difference?

No as much as you might think.

School insanity

No right to defend your home?

Texas Wants to Execute Man Who Killed Home Intruder Who Turned Out to Be SWAT Member

No knock searches turn the fuzz into home invaders and invite this sort of thing anywhere it is legal for a person to fire in defense of his home.

It is legal in Texas, I'd wager.

No matter.

They guy was a cop.

You have no rights that are good against the cops.

Who controls the past . . . .

RNC Condemns AP Exam's 'Radically Revisionist View' Of U.S. History

It's about whether you cheer or boo. It's about spin.

And of course the RNC is right that this does represent a change in attitude toward the American past, though it is by no means a sudden or unexpected one.

Think of Howard Zinn smiling in his grave.

Nothing quite so blatant or crude as omission or fabrication of events or persons.

Nothing outright Stalinist or Maoist in method.

Anyway, not yet.

Time to read 1984, again?

The man has immense staying power. Nobody's listened in years, maybe decades. But he keeps on keepin' on.

What Will Victory Against ISIS Look Like?

Pat Buchanan against the war on ISIS.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

O Tempora! O Mores!

Hitting a child is always wrong

Actually, I don't think for a second that that is the view of most American parents.

But it seems to be the view of those who are best positioned to control the view of most parents, given time.

And in any case to control the outlook and behavior of government officials.

This piece sounds like it was written by some liberal about torture, doesn't it?

As if to say, "It doesn't work and it's always immoral and disgraceful."

Hmm. They say that about the death penalty, too.

On Spanking and Abuse

This article as much as admits spanking is OK in the hearts and minds of a decisive majority.

The lesson he draws?

We need to change that, and it should be flat criminalized in the US despite majority opinion.

Why are we in this at all?

From D.C. to Syria, a Mess

Phooey.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran could easily finance and carry out everything necessary on their own.

They don't need us at all.

But maybe Turkey and SA don't really want to help take down ISIS, a Sunni organization at the throats of non-Sunnis?

Well, then.

Allies of the US, are they?

Really?

The religion of peace in Australia

Authorities thwart beheading plot in Australia's biggest ever counter-terrorism raids

Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Kings Cross bouncer and part-time actor, is understood to have made the instruction to kidnap people in Brisbane and Sydney and have them executed on camera. 

Reportedly, they were supposed to be beheaded on the street.

That video was then to be sent back to IS's media unit, where it would be publicly released.

Omarjan Azari, 22, from the western Sydney suburb of Guildford, was one of 15 people detained during the operation in Sydney and is accused of conspiring with Mr Baryalei and others to act in preparation or plan a terrorist act or acts, court documents show.

Immigrants all, I would guess.

None of them look like euro-white converts.

Nothing quite like an open door.

Anybody can come in.

The things people say with a straight face

The Woman ISIS Wanted To Trade For Foley, Then Sotloff

Personally, I would have thought if they want her that much she's fine where she is.

Anyway, the piece says this, apparently in support of the idea that she should be freed.

Four British parliamentarians (Lord Ahmed, Lord Sheikh, Lord Patel and MP Mohammad Sarwar) called the trial a grave miscarriage of justice and demanded Siddiqui’s release. 

In a letter to President Barack Obama, they pointed to a lack of scientific and forensic evidence tying Siddiqui to the weapon she allegedly fired. 

Groups like the British-based Reprieve took up her case. 

Personalities such as the former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan also rallied behind her. 

One of her former attorneys described her as “the ultimate victim of America’s dark side.”

Maybe the article is a reprint from The Onion?

The enemy of my enemy

Lately liberals - secularists and Jews, mostly, I imagine - have been much amused by Satanists harassing Christians, taking them to court over issues of establishment and religious liberty.

Recall that Satanists, if they aren't frauds, are psychopaths who worship the Lord of the Flies, the Prince of Darkness, the Father of Lies.

Much as voodoo devotees are people who are glad to pay others who claim to be able to make their enemies develop cancer, die of heart attacks, shrivel with sterility, or suffer major reverses in business affairs.

Much like others known to history as "witches."

Nice folks.

Religious liberals should start a dialogue, maybe.

Why is ISIS picking a fight with us?

It puts them in the big time in the competition for recruits and money.

And Islamism thrives on chaos, anyway, generally.

The more we stomp around the area, the more recruits and money for Islamist terrorists, militias, guerrillas, political parties, schools, hospitals, radio and communications organizations, Internet operators, and so on.

Recent polls indicate American women have been successfully driven into wetting themselves by those videos of beheadings and weeks of war hysteria in the media and among our classe politique.

Many of them have moved away from O and the Democrats, despite their warlike noises, toward the Republicans.

November will be a very cruel month for Democrats and all whom they defend.

This is not the first time the Democrats have pissed off half their own party while gaining nothing among the uncommitted by aping the apes of war.

The first time in my memory was Vietnam.

Watch Hillary come as close to being the new Lyndon as anybody would ever hope to see.

My God, imagine her calling for a draft!

O tempora! O mores!

When I was a kid the most shocking thing films could do to show the insane Nazi dehumanization of Germany's victims was to represent on screen their troops and camp guards forcing people of all ages and sexes into parades of public nudity, herding them and moving among them as one would among cattle.

But since Abu Ghraib we know we have adopted their methods.

And there is that photo of Johnny Walker Lindh.

We are Nazis in this movie.

Two questions, confused

Le mythe de Sisyphe.

Camus writes as though life is worthwhile just in case it has meaning.

But the two claims are not generally equivalent.

The shepherd's pie at my local Cheesecake Factory is very worthwhile.

(Camus to the chef, with contempt: "Your shepherd's pie is meaningless.")

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Not a hunchback? Then it wasn't him.

Bones reveal brutal truth of Richard III's death

Trust the Bard of Avon to get it right.

:-)

More and faster, please

UN needs a billion to fight Ebola

No, it certainly doesn't all have to come from the US, and plenty of other people who will whine endlessly if this continues out of hand for long need to pony up, right now.

"Exponential contagion" is well on its way to nudging "existential threat" off the short list of cliches the media use as substitutes for both information and thought.

Obama Presses Leaders to Speed Ebola Response

Far from exaggerating, he and most others continue to understate the risks and the extent of the ravages that are already inevitable.

The piece says,

Even as the president announced a major American deployment to Liberia and Senegal of medicine, equipment and 3,000 military personnel, global health officials said that time was running out and that they had weeks, not months, to act. 

What do you suppose they meant by that last bit?

If it didn't scare you, it should have.

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank and an expert in infectious diseases, said in a telephone interview hours after the bank’s board unanimously approved a $105 million grant as part of its previously announced assistance to the most affected of the countries. 

I'm guessing the son of a bitch makes that much a year, all by himself.

Even the people who sound sort of like they get it are not getting it.

In Washington, New York and Geneva, health experts expressed astonishment and alarm at the virus’s rapid spread.

“The pace of the disease and also its impact have taken our breath away — it’s been that massive,” said Shanelle Hall, director of the supply division at Unicef[.]

. . . . 

On Capitol Hill, Dr. Beth P. Bell, the director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the C.D.C., told a Senate hearing that although Ebola did not currently pose a significant public health threat to the United States, “there is a window of opportunity to control the spread of this disease, but that window is closing.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Lawrence Block.

They'll cut a lot of it, I'm sure.

They'll have to.

Good book, very fast read.

Two questions. Or is it three?

Sometimes philosophy is as ridiculous as religion, and its preoccupations just as fantastic. 

There is only one truly serious philosophical problem: the problem of suicide.

To judge whether life is or is not worth the trouble of being lived, that is to respond to the fundamental question of philosophy.

From Le mythe de Sisyphe, by Albert Camus.

The first two sentences, in fact.

My translation.

Can you believe it?

My freshman class were required to read this book the summer before we started at Holy Cross, the fall of 1967.

He writes a scant page later,

The meaning of life is the most pressing of questions.

Mon Dieu!

Freud reputedly said, "As soon as a man asks the meaning of life, he is sick."

Er, that's Bradley Manning. No matter how hard we all pretend . . . . .

Chelsea Manning breaks silence to criticise Obama's Isis strategy

Still not quite ready to surrender to The Guardian's preferences on this matter of what we think of and how we regard men who not only dress up as women but mutilate themselves.

All the same, his advice is not unreasonable.

How to make Isis fall on its own sword

Not a bad 4 point strategy, except we (the US) don't really need to even do that much.

US out of the Middle East!

Burying the lead


Sure, but look at the sub-title.

European Jewish Association cites 80% intermarriage rate among continent's Jewish communities.

Alan Dershowitz some years ago expressed concern about the disappearance of the Jews as a distinct national/religious group as a result of exogamy.

Liberals, Jews included, greeted his views mostly with silence.

And yet, here we are.

Perhaps they have figured out who the real anti-Semites are

Far-right French party sees sharp rise in popularity among Jewish voters, surveys find

Jean-Marie Le Pen is gone and his daughter is not an echo.

The FN is not fiscally conservative but is anti-EU and anti-immigration.

It has no bones to pick with the the nature of the French state or its constitution.

It is committed to a "France for the French" ethnic nationalism, though not to expulsion of lawful and law-abiding immigrants already in place.

Propaganda apart, there is not really much reason to call it "far right."

US to send 3,000 Ebola-fighters to West Africa

This morning’s radio news says they will build facilities and train people to deal with Ebola patients, several hundred a week.


NBC says,

Pesident Barack Obama will announce a major military-led surge in U.S. aid to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa later Tuesday, with as many as 3,000 troops to help organize, train new health care workers and build treatment clinics.

The Defense Department will divert $500 million for the effort, which will include building 17 treatment centers with 100 beds apiece, dedicating 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment and distributing supplies such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer to help 400,000 families protect themselves and care for sick family members.

"The Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the humanitarian crisis there is a top national security priority for the United States," the White House said in a statement. Obama will announce details when he visits the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

. . . . .

The U.S. Africa Command will train as many as 500 new health care workers a week for six months and longer if needed. WHO and aid groups such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) have said medical staff are by far the greatest need.

. . . . .

Eventually, the U.S. will supply hundreds of thousands of the needed sets of personal protective equipment — which include full body suits, gloves, boots, goggles and masks to protect health care workers from the virus. Families will get smaller kits.

"In partnership with the United Nations Children Fund, the Paul Allen Family Foundation, and other key partners, we will immediately target the 400,000 most vulnerable households in Liberia," the White House said.

"As part of this effort, this week, USAID will airlift 50,000 home health care kits from Denmark to Liberia to be hand-delivered to distant communities by trained youth volunteers."

. . . . .

Later Tuesday, the Senate Health and Appropriations committees will hold a joint hearing on Ebola. Speakers will include Dr. Kent Brantly, the medical missionary who was infected with Ebola and survived after a dramatic evacuation; Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Robin Robinson, who heads the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Faster, please. More and faster.

Update, later that same day.

Conservatives are really steamed that O has sent specialized military units to help cope with the Ebola crisis but won't send combat troops to open up a ground war again in Iraq, this time against ISIS.

In my view, he should do more about Ebola and less - very nearly nothing, in fact - about ISIS.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Lawrence Block.

Half way through and I can see it as a Liam Neeson kind of noir thing, done in a film.

I could see that, right away.

But Block's writing just doesn't have that feel to it.

Never did.

Anybody listening?

The Mathematics of Ebola Trigger Stark Warnings: Act Now or Regret It

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.”

Wake up!

Blah, blah. Now we're supposed to think liberals actually care about the constitution?

Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution

These are the people who made a virtue out of "constitutional disobedience," remember?

Why we are endlessly at war in the Middle East.

Yes, I know, it's so Haliburton and the war industry can rake in the dough, I get it.

But the propaganda enables it and so answers the question why in a different sense.

Lindsey Graham: We need troops to fight Islamic State ‘before we all get killed here at home’

Lindsey Graham is pretending to be an hysterical, senile old woman, and doing a very good job of it.

His pants are not on fire, they are fucking exploding!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Devils

Dostoevsky.

Everybody dies.

Excellent, fast read for 750 pages.

The fundamental moral predicate

In my view there is only one fundamental moral predicate and it is “wrong.”

Semantic beliefs of English speakers commonly include that “right” in this connection means the same as “not wrong” and that “a duty” means the same as “wrong to omit.”

These beliefs are false since “wrong” fails to denote.

Or true since, in consequence of being so defined, these expressions also mean nothing.

But they nevertheless tie these terms to "wrong" and make them functional parts of the core moral vocabulary of the language.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What do you think?

This.

Pshaw.

Their position relies on the validity of the following inference.

But the inference is not valid and there is no contradiction.

Had the chip fired he would not have been able to do otherwise.

Had he attempted to do otherwise the chip would have fired.

Ergo, he was not able to do otherwise.

Compare:

Had the bomb gone off the bridge would have been destroyed.

Had he tried to cross the bridge the bomb would have gone off.

Ergo, the bridge was destroyed.

The situation is more like that of Becky and the avalanche than the authors believe.

The avalanche did not independently happen, Becky made it happen.

And Huntington freely killed Bunny, the chip did not fire and make him do it.

Yes, yes. Morality is bunk. But there is logic to it, all the same!

And here I thought we'd got over all that. Communism alive and well at Salon.com

A publicly self-identified communist advocates collective ownership of property

No kidding.

Going to a communist for advice on domestic policy is like going to Dick Cheney for advice about Iraq.

Well, no.

Much, much worse.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The talented crackpot

Dostoevsky, Devils.

The narrator, himself a character in the story, whenever he speaks of Jews calls them "Yids."

From a writer who calls the Pope "antichrist" and despises Catholicism this is hard to ignore.

Dostoevsky, drunkard and slavophile bigot.

NYT trying to wake up the liberals, I suppose

What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola

Less than a month ago they were damning conservatives for exaggerating the threat in Africa, still repeating the mantra that there was NO threat to the US at all.

Really.

O's war against ISIS

The Forever War

Since the PC lynch mob drove Pat Buchanan off MSNBC it seems no one needs to address his thoughts.

That's a damned shame, given that both parties are in such a colossal hurry for still more unnecessary war.

And he consistently opposes such nonsense, as in this piece.

Update, later that same day.

Elsewhere on the web it turns out none of the "allies" will send ground troops, Turkey will not participate at all, and Germany will not bomb.

What the hell is the point?

American liberty, American individualism.

Government Threatened Foley Family Over Ransom Payments, Mother of Slain Journalist Says

Her claim has been confirmed by others.

So.

Pretty much always the interests of law enforcement and government on the one side and those of victims, witnesses, or victims' families on the other are opposed.

Given the chance, governments will and in some cases have made it a criminal offense for such folks to act in their own interests, contrary to those of the government.

Government can and will always argue it represents "the greater good," or anyway the interests of prospective future victims and their families, loved ones, etc.

But unless we are prepared to allow government to pursue its ends "by any means necessary" we have to insist both that government act only within the law and that the law protect at least some of the very people and interests government would sacrifice, if wholly free.

Unless we are to surrender liberty and the individual to universal serfdom and the hive, unless we are to abandon individualism to collectivism, we cannot allow government such power.

[Aside:

And when you come right down to it, this is all the more necessary as always and everywhere government for each of those governed criminalizes some conduct he cannot or will not entirely eschew and for which he insists on escaping punishment - or demands conduct he prefers to avoid, also escaping punishment.

The whole issue of privacy comes in here, touching everything from the Fourth Amendment and the NSA to Zamiatin's walls made of glass and the child spies of 1984.

But that, of course, speaks to the interests of us all as lawbreakers, or anyway defiers of convention, which is not the issue here.

/Aside]

As to the present matter, so far as I know, it is neither illegal nor unusual for the families of kidnap victims to pay ransom, and that is as I would prefer.

About this particular incident, I would also prefer to see those officials responsible for terrorizing the family of the kidnapped journalist jailed for a bit of serious time, though I expect nothing of the kind.

Arguably, they cost the fellow his life.

But it is only too likely this revolting and tyrannical behavior represents the attitude of the administration all the way to the top, including O.

Recall their contempt for the constitutional and legal rights of that fellow who put on the Internet a video critical of Mohammed, upon which they deceptively blamed the Benghazi incident.

Recall their contempt for the rights of the Protestant Minister who repeatedly publicly planned a bonfire of Korans.

And recall that in both cases their contempt was shared by a very large number of high ranking public figures of both parties who publicly demanded, very high on their moral horses indeed, punishment of people who had acted, or had merely planned to act, entirely lawfully.

Why Ebola can't be stopped

The reason Ebola isn't being stopped

There are lots of reasons and the article lays some out.

But if I had to pick one it would be the unwillingness or inability to use real quarantine methods.

So if we get there at all it will be after a huge - an entirely unnecessarily huge - price has been paid in lost lives.

All those extra dead will have been killed by political correctness.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ISIS and Arab states

Arab states back US push against Islamic state

These are the same states that have been funding and aiding ISIS all along, especially but not only Saudi Arabia.

So he's basically trying to get them to stop supporting the very organization we are now committed to getting rid of.

The Russians are being silly about the bombing.

Reports from Damascus are that the Syrian government is glad of it, but wants "coordination" so that their planes and ours don't get into any awkwardness over Syrian air space.

A bad thing for bad people

The Gambia Passes Bill Promising Life In Jail For ‘Aggravated Homosexuality’

To this I replied,

Hmm. Might we say it isn't Christianity but what these African extremists are doing with Christianity? And might we say it isn't Islam but what those loony Sunni extremists of ISIS are doing with it? Just wondering.

Why ISIS Is Not, In Fact, Islamic

But to this I replied,

Yeah, sure. And the inquisition wasn't Christian.

KOS on the ISIS speech

KOS: Why are we fighting someone else's war again?

A question just as appropriate in 1917, 1941, 1965, 1990, 2001, and 2003.

America sure likes war.

Dealing with ISIS

Chill about ISIS

O on ISIL

Kennedy sent advisers to Vietnam. And then LBJ sent half a million men.

O is Kennedy.

Will the next guy be LBJ?

Will he need to bring back the draft?

Cable news and radio blabbermouths are already talking about winning hearts and minds, using exactly those fateful words.

Transcript: President Obama On How U.S. Will Address Islamic State

He begins with the usual lies about the religion of peace and tells other lies specifically about ISIL.

And then he gets to the nub.

Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy. . . . . American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.

. . . . 

Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters. In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria's crisis once and for all.

. . . . 

Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks. Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into — and out of — the Middle East. And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the UN Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.

Fourth, we will continue providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.

This is our strategy. And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners.

An American strategy for an American coalition led by America.

And I think this is flat untrue.

My Administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL. 

The usual neocons wanted him to fight but the congress did not and does not want to give him a AUMF for this adventure.

Too close to an election and far too unpopular an idea.

If he thinks he doesn't need one because he isn't using combat troops I don't think so.

If he thinks the still valid AUMF for Afghanistan covers the case I think not, as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The argument from incompetence

Bridges, buildings, and tunnels rarely collapse.

Cars don't break down irreparably within a month of being bought.

House roofs generally don't leak or collapse under the weight of snow.

But all these things were purportedly built by people.

Hence the world of our experience - of my experience - cannot be real.

Liberals and nihilists

Reading Devils.

Dostoevsky writes of nihilists plotting a revolution of sheer destruction as a species of liberals.

Proper taxonomy of the age and place or just the sort of conservative slander familiar in our time?

'Our group meets.'

Captain Kirk and the transporter malfunction

Kirk enters the Enterprise transporter room to be sent to the Excalibur.

The machine does its thing and he appears in the Excalibur and walks off to join Scotty for lunch.

But after the machine in the Enterprise does its thing the Captain is still there, standing in the machine in the transporter room.

So there are two guys walking around in different starships, each purporting to be Kirk.

But which is Captain Kirk?

Why, the first guy, if either.

How many times have Kirk-successors let themselves be murdered and replaced in this process?

The real Kirk only did it once.

For the hardware view of personal identity, and against the software view.