Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Haters gotta hate, you know.
Oh, and changing the subject, are we, Karoli?
The issue here is not association.
The hell you say.
The issue at hand is that Scalise tailored his speech to Duke's group specifically to cater to the white supremacists in the room.
Oh, is that the issue at hand?
Well, to begin with, it's not conceded that the "tailoring" amounted to endorsement of or sympathy with white supremacism.
The bolded part of the quoted report that's intended to demonstrate that sin - but which does not quote even a single sentence of Scalise's own remarks, anyway - cannot bear that weight.
Here it is.
In addition to plans to implement tactical strategies that were discussed,the meeting was productive locally as State Representative, Steve Scalise, discussed ways to oversee gross mismanagement of tax revenue or “slush funds” that have little or no accountability.
Representative Scalise brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft within the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race.
But if you want we could always look at O's remarks about race issues in connection with Treyvon Martin, the Ferguson Affair, or a host of others, I suppose, though Karoli insists that most certainly should not be allowed and is not relevant, oh no.
And, yes, this part is pretty much just a blatant smear.
Scalise is the third most powerful member of the House of Representatives right now.
He's not just another racist like Steve King or Louie Gohmert.
He's the House Whip, which means that he has the power to shape legislative policy coming out of that body according to his own ideology.
An ideology which, by his own admission, aligns with Duke's in certain areas.
And IKE's aligned with Hitler's in certain areas.
Autobahns, for example.
Scalise was referring to standard conservative agenda items like lower taxes.
The whole liberal attack based on this incident, the attack that's been going on for days, is so far nothing but a smear.
Inflation crushes creditors and also savings of anybody who had any.
For Obama, reunion with pals a link to simpler times
Golf. Lots of golf.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
While I'm willing to concede that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a racist group and nobody speaking before them deserves public office or safety from his morally outraged neighbors, I'm not willing to believe that about the National Organization for European-American Rights until somebody cites proof.
Well, I'll grant you David Duke being its Grand Vizier (or whatever) is a tad suspicious.
Criminals reform, serial killers get tired of it, pedophiles discover the joys of adult relationships, and people change.
Mighty White of You
Anyway, this guy is getting a drubbing from liberals all over the web, this morning.
Well, Woody Allen always did say that 80% of life is just showing up, which is what this guy did.
He showed up.
TPM quotes S urging people not to vote for David Duke as though it proved he (S) is a racist, or doesn't hate racists, or would like to pick up the racist vote, or something else really really bad.
Scalise on Duke
Monday, December 29, 2014
The Queen cannot leave her chamber unless several high lords among the courtiers unlock the doors that only they or the King can unlock.
She cannot play cards except with the King - who is never there - or his relatives who, in the present case and the Queen apart, are all dead.
She cannot read a private note from the King until it is first read, aloud, by that monster of aged female virtue, the Camarera Mayor.
A more maddening and boring prisoner's existence would be hard to imagine.
Ruy Blas, Victor Hugo.
At the local B&N, the most amazing, cheerful latin music accompanied a youthful tenor singing in Spanish.
Though I guessed they might be Cubans, I imagined a white band and someone looking like Desi Arnaz.
I went to the desk and asked who the musicians might be.
Imagine my surprise to discover for the first time, ever, Abelardo Barroso.
Check Wikipedia and You Tube.
Black people make absolutely the best music, classical apart.
What the hell, this is B&N store music?
Somebody at corporate HQ knows what he's doing.
A long way from elevator muzak.
Man, I have got to work on my Spanish.
The question is specifically about Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who seems to spend a lot of time dealing with health issues.
Here in the US we have partially socialized the health insurance business, heavily regulating private insurers and also subsidizing premiums.
Socialized medicine like the British National Health Service, involving commitment to universal access to publicly owned and operated hospitals and clinics and health professionals who are public employees, is not on anyone's radar.
A system like Canada's based on universal coverage through a single public insurer, here generally referred to as "Medicare for all," is the most radical notion that enjoys any noticeable support.
The BBC headline is not very subtle socialist propaganda, blithely ignoring the existence of progressives who are not socialists and solutions that are progressive but not socialist.
In Britain and elsewhere, the more devout left have never learned the lessons taught by economists from Smith (The Wealth of Nations) to Hayek (The Constitution of Liberty) and the wretched economic histories of communist Russia, China, and North Korea.
Competition and free enterprise, whose importance was all but flatly denied in the stupidest work of pop liberal economic propaganda of the 20th Century, The Affluent Society, is crucial for keeping up and improving quality, as well as to encourage and reward innovation.
Writing in 1958, its author thought auto competition, chosen by him to exemplify the situation in general, was about the size of tail fins.
He could, I suppose, be forgiven for missing the progressive introduction under the spur of competition since then of air conditioning, AM/FM radio, window washers, automatic transmissions, power brakes and steering, power windows, the instant-start reliability of computerized, electronic ignition control, numerous safety features including front bucket seats, seat belts, air bags, and rear-view and even wrap-around cameras, constantly more fuel-efficient, cleaner, and more powerful engines even among the smallest, and now even driverless cars.
But he also missed all of the many and important improvements in cars from the days of the hand-cranked magneto ignition to the days of the Thunderbird, or at any rate missed the lesson to be drawn.
Interestingly, when the American president needs care he turns to his personal physician, a serving military officer.
And when he needs hospitalization he generally goes to Bethesda Naval Hospital, more formally known as Walter Reed.
Parliamentary systems differ from our own in at least two interesting respects.
They generally allow both for proportional representation of parties and for unscheduled elections prompted by votes of no confidence or other political crisis trip-wires.
Our own system of fixed terms and districts represented by a single member chosen by plurality-voting allows neither.
Proportional representation makes it practical for many parties significantly differentiated by agenda to compete, with all getting seats in the legislature proportional to their shares of the vote.
Both left and right then tend to spread out over multiple parties, voters choosing their personal "best fit" from among sometimes four or more.
On the left one might have separate Progressive, Socialist, Communist, and Trotskyist parties while on the right one might have separate parties of fiscal conservatives, libertarians, Christian Democrats, and (once upon a time) fascists.
Given the possibility of unscheduled elections and the common lack of a single majority party, governments survive only by making coalitions and they can do that only by making significant concessions to fringe parties on agenda items that otherwise could not pass into law.
Too, when parties across the spectrum refuse the voters some agenda item they strongly desire a fringe party with an agenda very few actually favor as whole can nevertheless pick up far more than its share of votes based solely on its willingness to give the increasingly exasperated public its way on that one item.
Anti-immigration sentiment, for example, has made fringe parties of the right winners in much of Europe.
Note the Greek "Golden Dawn" neo-Nazis.
And anti-austerity sentiment right now threatens to hand a legislative majority and with it power to a radical left party in Greece, come the unscheduled elections on the way for January.
The thing about radicals is that they often think of sheer destruction as a good thing, clearing the way forward to their own idea of a brighter future.
Provoking a global depression, for instance.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Interest and happiness can certainly clash.
Glad Neal didn't die.
As he did in the misstep series finale some time back, he faked his death and escaped.
This show made New York beautiful and sunny as does no other, fixated as they are on stories representing the city as a vast, hopeless human sewer.
Neal's early 60's outfits and Peter's not so different contemporary suits were perfect for a city of art museums, investment firms, theaters, and elegant restaurants.
Good wines, gourmet dining, and fine jazz when jazz was at its finest.
Clean, shiny yellow cabs and safe picnics in the parks.
And the most amazing views of Manhattan and Lady Liberty.
Not the world of Doris Day, however.
It didn't altogether repeal the sexual revolution.
But it showed us a New York not of the riffraff who populate the city in other crime shows almost exclusively.
America's capitol in everything but politics.
Did you notice?
Even the permanently dressed-down Mazzi never wore jeans or T-shirts.
Chinos with button down the front sport shirts were as casual as he got, this brilliant con man with a taste for conspiracy theories and good French wines.
I dressed that way for high school in the early sixties.
At work, these days, I wear jeans and polo shirts, in the last few months before my retirement.
Half the American lower middle class is proud it threw away its chance at real education on vocational training, and will go to its grave telling itself it made a better choice than those who studied art history, French literature, or philosophy, regardless of economic outcomes.
This show did not share those stupidly, desperately philistine views that so dominate American pop culture.
Well, not consistently.
The PC story.
Black Americans freed themselves from slavery, no thanks to Lincoln or the generations of white abolitionists before him or the hundreds of thousands of Union dead.
And they fought and won the battles of the civil rights era, no thanks to IKE, Nixon, Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon again.
Not to mention the Supremes and a multitude of inferior federal courts from 1954 right up through the 1970s.
In fact all the political heavy lifting was done by whites with at most street-theater support from blacks.
But admitting that would destroy the preferred race narrative of the left that pits whites against everybody else and depicts America as a morally revolting society of permanent, all but irresistible, and unrelieved white racism piling hate and violence and disability on everyone else.
Joe Califano isn't playing along.
The right politicizes murders: How it exploited tragedy, told de Blasio how to raise his son
And yet Afro-Americans overwhelmingly self-identify as black alone rather than black and white.
But some there are who refuse that particular deception.
And still their remarks reveal confusion.
10 celebs who say they are not black
Friday, December 26, 2014
Russell wrote "Scott was the author of Waverly" in 1905, in exposition of his theory of definite descriptions.
Did anyone at that time even like Waverly?
Ivanhoe is a masterpiece, but Waverly?
Thursday, December 25, 2014
By no means is this character an image of the people, as he is said to be by that bourgeois political intellectual, Victor Hugo.
He is a portrait of the bourgeois political intellectual, a man convinced his education, intelligence, and personal insight uniquely fit him for power amd fame, but born to smolder in a station of powerlessness and obscurity.
In an age and country where careers are not open to talent, he dies as soon as his lack of qualifications is exposed.
Reading Ruy Blas, by Victor Hugo, 1838.
Perhaps, though there are some tens of millions of Christians in China, and this could be them.
An interesting way to make celebration of a religious holiday appear a mere imitation of commercial Western "kitsch."
A smokescreen handy for both sides, perhaps.
Christmas is not a traditional festival in officially atheist China but is growing in popularity, especially in more metropolitan areas where young people go out to celebrate, give gifts and decorate their homes.
Western culture, particularly in the form of U.S. pop culture, is wildly popular with young, educated Chinese, which occasionally causes discomfort for the generally quite conservative ruling Communist Party.
Wenzhou, a city in the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang, has banned all Christmas activities in schools and kindergartens, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Inspectors would make sure rules are enforced, it added.
Looks like openly pro-Western, Christian behavior is in at least this respect a little better tolerated in China than in many Muslim lands.
Their Factbook says 1 in 10 Americans is black and 8 in 10 are white.
So why are two of the six people pictured on this page black?
Look like America?
No, if you decide to represent America with only six people all of them should be white (one of the whites should be a bit tanned), except one who should look Asian/black.
At least they got the sex ratio right.
The PC misrepresentation of reality is not much like either the real thing or what the PC folks actually want the real thing to become.
Consider the wildly excessive number of skinny and beautiful girls not just in positions of authority but in jobs requiring muscle, girls who can nearly fly and beat up gangs of football players two at a time and are not lesbians, in the world according to TV.
The 2010 census shows a figure closer to 70% for whites in the US population.
Why the difference?
Self-reporting is hogwash, anyway.
People self-reporting as black alone are overwhelmingly mulattoes, in the US.
People self-reporting as Hispanics overwhelmingly self-report as white alone, but a very high percentage are actually mestizos and some are Indians.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Well, why not?
True, the character in the books is white and, for me, the "real" James Bond will always be Sean Connery.
But the movies are only "based on" the books, anyway.
So why not go with a black Sean Connery?
Why does a movie have to be faithful to the books in that particular?
Rush Limbaugh Outraged By Black James Bond
Or would it be better if IE played Bond in whiteface, assuming there is some such thing?
Remember Olivier as Othello?
Heck, as the Mahdi?
He was brilliant in both roles, of course, though the black walk, black butt thing he did for authenticity in Othello was downright comical.
Your neighborhood Santa could be any color, race, religion, or sex.
Santa in the American tradition is white.
Liberals and radicals hate it, I know, but just as this is a Christian country this is a white country.
When forced to face our whiteness that they openly call unbearable, they commence to complain about "white privilege" - the so-called privilege people have who belong to the majority in a country that has a single, overwhelming majority, that consists entirely of the inevitable consequences of being of the majority.
For example, if you are of the majority, in the average street crowd most people have the same skin color and religion as you.
Most of the important cultural or historical figures of your country have the same skin color and religion as you.
And so on.
In the US that would be the privilege of white Christians, even those who are only culturally Christian.
Of course, in Indonesia, say, that privilege would be on quite a different foot.
It's taken BooMan this long to discover what I told you on December 18.
Invest abroad at your own risk, not at mine, thanks.
Nothing in the law or the constitution obliges the US to guarantee private property rights throughout the globe, though that is exactly the central function of US foreign policy in the eyes of the plutocracy.
We are supposed to be the global guarantors of capitalism and, in particular, of their capital.
Still, of course, BMan over lefties the whole thing and his bleating about hypocrisy and the like is just, well, bleating.
Update, December 27, 2014.
All these canaille of political activists, regardless of allegiance, are like so many Tasmanian Devils in the old Warner Brothers cartoons.
You remember, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, the little Martian, and the like.
A repulsive, rage filled maniac of destruction, he was.
The Tasmanian Devil, I mean.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
What would you give up to save your cat?
Or to save the white rhino?
Or the whale?
Or the human?
Americans only, please, on an American government (NASA/Air Force) made, owned, and operated mission.
Those days are probably gone.
Well, for Hollywood and the American hard-core post-nationalists of liberalism, anyway.
Probably a concession to contemporary sensibilities that any of those on board (and officers!) who will make up the entire ancestry of the new humanity on their new planet are not white.
Damn few, though; fewer than in the population at the time and so few as to be all but invisible.
The show was made in Canada, of course, where Asians and even Indians outnumber blacks in a country that is nearly 80% white and only a trace more than 2% black.
So is the US, of course, despite leftist baloney.
80% white, I mean.
But the breakout Among non-whites is different, favoring blacks entirely because of the heritage of slavery for which white America continues to pay dearly, day after day, year after year, decade after decade.
On this spacecraft even the lowest of the lower orders are nearly all white.
The rationale for exclusion of homosexuals is pure liberal smoke.
Under the circumstances, homosexuals needn't avoid, or be allowed to avoid, procreation any more than anyone else.
Recall that in those days homosexuality was illegal, actually prosecuted, and even persecuted.
It was universally regarded with contempt sometimes mitigated by amusement when not worsened by visceral disgust, much as even today society regards cowards and the victims of bullies.
That, too, is hidden from view on this show.
An honest if a little over-heated account of the state of play.
Timothy Carney at the Washington Examiner.
Did the Castros win?
Many conservatives cursed Obama for liberalizing relations with Communist Cuba.
Many other conservatives applauded him for abandoning failed sanctions in exchange for free enterprise.
Meanwhile, an article by Tom Hayden in The Nation, the liberal American magazine, applauded Obama's decision as a "victory for the Cuban revolution" and a final vindication for the Castros.
The Nation article doesn't reflect the majority view on the American Left.
But at the moment that Communist dictatorships Cuba and North Korea come back into the news, its love letter to Castro reminds us how divided the American Left was during the Cold War.
And remains, looking back, about the Cold War.
It was that more than - well, as much as - issues of race that put a fatal fracture into the labor-liberal alliance that was key to the New Deal coalition supporting Democratic progressivism.
Labor as well as some liberals and some socialists like those affiliated with the DSA were resolutely pro-Cold War.
But many liberals were all along as soft-headed on communism as FDR and in consequence as anti-Cold War as Henry Wallace.
The radicals were and remain flat-out pro-communist, from Bill Ayers to Michael Moore.
The line between the liberals and radicals wasn't so much a line as an area of blur.
As then, as now.
Since the close of World War Two, there has always been a kind of "America First," anti-interventionist, isolationist anti-Cold War opinion in play in America, and it was characteristic of many of the mass participants in the anti-war movement of the Vietnam Years.
But the anti-war outlook of the left ranged from the view of many liberals that communism wasn't all that bad (right wing dictatorships were much worse) and anyway was rarely a true threat to the radical view of the children of Marx and the New Left that capitalism in general and America in particular were so awful that communism was better and our enemies, pretty much any of our enemies, ought to prevail.
Hayden's celebration of the Cuban Revolution, for example, looks in part like an argument aimed at liberal fans of the Difference Principle of John Rawls' Theory of Justice, alleging as it seems to do that in Cuba party dictatorship and socialism played a key role in significantly improving the lot of the island's worst off groups and perhaps even a majority or near-majority, relative to what their fate was under capitalism in the past and might well be under capitalism again.
Tom Hayden celebrates a victory for the Cuban Revolution
But the rest of his argument adverts to other liberal/radical values.
Despite the US embargo and relentless US subversion, Cuba remains in the upper tier of the United Nations Human Development Index because of its educational and healthcare achievements.
Cuba even leads the international community in the dispatch of medical workers to fight Ebola.
Cuba is celebrated globally because of its military contribution to the defeat of colonialism and apartheid in Angola and southern Africa.
Joan Walsh and Michael Moore could join this celebration, along with Bill Ayers and very likely Barack Obama.
Carney's stories about Ted Kennedy and the KGB ought to be put side by side with the stories we so often read in the left press about Nixon undermining the Paris peace talks in 1968.
(There are other stories about Kennedy undermining American policy towards Britain on behalf of the terrorists of the IRA.)
With regard to Cuba, the current debate is mostly over the best means for ending a Communist dictatorship, and how to bring political and economic freedom to the island.
As so often, the debate is framed in terms of gratuitous global altruism.
No national security motives?
Then to hell with it.
Besides, if the justification for popular democracy is that it empowers those not in and who do not control the government to in a measure protect themselves from those who are or do there is no justification for imposing it when or in a manner in which it predictably will have the opposite effect.
As it would if, in Cuba as in Russia and in varying degrees in Eastern Europe, restoration of rule by parties led to or was accompanied by restoration of capitalism, itself accompanied by the immediate or eventual loss to the lower orders or the common people as a whole of key institutional supports of their livelihood and general welfare along with a thorough looting of the national patrimony of socialism.
And I do here refer to exactly the benefits brought to the lower orders by the revolution that Hayden himself wrote of.
Those and others of the like ilk.
Yes, I have not forgotten that the counter-revolution against communism not only eliminated the worst features of that system but also features of it that, in certain important respects, made it better than the all too capitalist capitalism to which Russian and Eastern Europe were delivered up.
Not enough better to make it better in net than capitalism, even for the lower orders and ordinary folk.
But better in those specific ways.
What a bunch of pinkoes.
The analogies with other cases are forced by these liberal partisans.
I approve stand your ground, but this fellow clearly did his best to provoke an attack that very possibly would have made him honestly and legitimately fear for his life, in response to which threat he planned from the beginning to shoot.
I understand and share his frustration.
So often and in so many ways the law favors the bullies of this world and refuses defense to the weak.
Interesting question what the law actually says about such a case.
But you can agree with that and still agree that the vicious and hatefully racist anti-cop propaganda of the liberals and black radicals of recent months bears some responsibility for setting off Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a somewhat deranged criminal consumed with hatred for whites and for police.
And I would not breathe easily just yet.
It's not over.
Make no mistake, this will cost the Democratic Party, if they actually go for it.
This is one of those things nobody wants but liberals and black radicals.
This and the movement to subject the police to "reform" by their enemies feed each other, both being portrayed as about white violence against non-whites, though neither is really that.
Reminder, that senate report is a discredited hatchet-job cooked up exclusively by Democrats who did not even bother to interview anyone about whom allegations were made, and did nothing at all to validate but merely asserted their leading claims that what was done was torture, was illegal, and was useless.
On the strength of that The Times makes its righteous demands.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Ann Coulter, Rolling Stone, UVA
This week, Gillibrand dismissed the UVA outrage, saying, “Clearly, we don’t know the facts of what did or did not happen in this case.”
Actually, we know quite well what happened in this case.
A disturbed young woman invented a fake boyfriend and a fake gang-rape to get attention, and an incompetent journalist acted as her transcriber.
It was a total hoax — just like the Duke lacrosse case, the Jamie Leigh Jones case, the Tawana Brawley case, and every other claim of white men committing gang-rape.
Gillibrand and McCaskill: Perhaps the accusations against Dreyfus were overblown, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an epidemic of Jews selling secrets to the Germans!
We are truly in the middle of a rape epidemic: an epidemic of women falsely claiming to have been raped.
It’s said that “women never lie about rape!”
But the evidence shows that women lie about rape all the time -– for attention, for revenge and for an alibi.
All serious studies of the matter suggest that at least 40 percent of rape claims are false.
The U.S. Air Force, for example, examined more than a thousand rape allegations on military bases over the course of four years and concluded that 46 percent were false.
In 27 percent of the cases, the accuser recanted.
A large study of rape allegations over nine years in a small Midwestern city, by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University, found that 41 percent of the rape claims were false.
To put it in terms Kirsten Gillibrand would understand, two in five women claiming to have been raped are lying.
Now there's an inconvenient truth.
So why are we always being hectored: Only 2 percent of rape allegations are false!
That oft-cited number comes from Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book, “Against Our Will” — which sourced the claim to a mimeograph of a speech by a state court judge, who made a passing remark about a New York police precinct with an all-female rape squad.
Nothing more is known about whether this was an actual study, and if so, what was examined, how the information was collected or the actual results.
Nor can any trace of the speech, the precinct or the data be found.
Saudis, Iraqis, Iranians, Palestinians, Syrians, Cubans, Americans, and on and on and on.
In the past and perhaps still, from time to time, Irishmen, Italians, Romanians, Germans, French, and Americans.
And a host of others.
So why did, how could, this liberal write such a transparently false and vicious accusation?
Blindingly stupid hatred of white people born of political brainwashing by their own vicious, stupid propaganda.
Why capitalism must be permanently regulated, corporations must be kept small and tame, and personal income and wealth must be constantly adjusted by taxation of both to finance public guarantees of the necessities of a decent life for all.
All of this to be done by a government big enough and strong enough to do the job.
All as true today as at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Why the self-advertised mission of the American conservative movement is to roll back and eliminate every trace of progressivism from American government and American life.
To make government small enough to "drown it in a bathtub."
If you really need a million dollars in addition to social security, I'm toast, and so are the vast majority of Americans, whether they saved or not
Additional money has to come from taxes on the rich.
That is not the tune Fox and Friends will sing.
Their lyrics will go, "It's all their fault, we can't reward irresponsibility, and America is broke, anyhow."
What will the Democrats say, who have said nothing for decades as American government policy made the plutocracy ever more fabulously rich while incomes of ordinary folks fell and their savings dried up and blew away, and now in a recession that has ended only for capitalists and the chief effect of which has been to wipe out the best-off segments of the manufacturing working class?
The truth is this: the concept of a do-it-yourself retirement was a fraud.
It was a fraud because to expect people to save up enough money to see themselves through a 20- or 30-year retirement was a dubious proposition in the best of circumstances.
It was a fraud because it allowed hustlers in the financial sector to prey on ordinary people with little knowledge of sophisticated financial instruments and schemes.
And it was a fraud because the mainstream media, which increasingly relies on the advertising dollars of the personal finance industry, sold expensive lies to an unsuspecting public.
When combined with stagnating salaries, rising expenses and a stock market that did not perform like Rumpelstilskin and spin straw into gold, do-it-yourself retirement was all but guaranteed to lead future generations of Americans to a financially insecure old age.
And so it has.
Around the early part of the 20th Century American liberals betrayed what we now regard as economic libertarianism and joined forces with the progressives.
Since and after the era of the civil rights struggle they have betrayed freedom of association in various ways by forbidding social exclusion of, but not by, their client groups in schools, colleges, the military, and private employment.
More recently, with their increasing social radicalization, they have betrayed free expression in matters of politics to protect the interests, endorse the lies, and impose the agendas of a congeries of minorities, not only racial but sexual and cultural.
BooMan, an enthusiastic supporter of the emerging reverse McCarthyism of the liberals, here endorses the views of radicals and pronounces the Republican Party not a legitimate participant in the national debate.
A decision he supports by appeal to lies and the ludicrous, racist, sexist caricature of Republicans essential to liberal hate propaganda against them for some years, now.
Making his accusation that they "started it" all the more grotesque.
O is normalizing relations with Cuba to the extent that he can.
The embargo needs to be lifted by the congress.
Sure, there is outrage in Florida among some of the exiles and descendants of exiles, many of whom are people who lost, or whose families lost, property and wealth to the revolution and still dream of getting it back.
They are today's version of the Russian aristocrats who fled the communists to Western Europe, the French aristos who joined every monarchy in Europe in attacking the French republic that had abolished feudalism and redistributed lands, or some of the Chinese die-hards who fled with Chiang to Taiwan.
For them, the policy of embargo and isolation, which has indeed seriously harmed the island economically for five decades without bringing down the Castro regime, is a tool keeping constant pressure on the communists and the people of Cuba to restore capitalism and, in particular, to give them back their wealth.
And we could say the same for some US business and banking interests that also took losses to the Cuban revolution.
But it is a tool that has not worked in fifty years and has caused hardship not only on the island but for refugees with family both there and here.
And it is a policy that has drastically curtailed the freedom of Americans to travel to Cuba or do business with Cubans.
True though it may be that the embargo has economically hurt Cuba and the Cubans far more than it has hurt anyone in the US, the fact is it has closed for fifty years not only the US market to Cuban products but the Cuban market to US goods, at a not negligible cost to the US economy.
And yet it is notable that the arguments made against O's policy shift do not advert to these things, though they are the true source of grievance, but instead denounce O's willingness to have normal relations with tyranny, forsaking utterly the enslaved masses of the Castro regime.
If this purely altruistic, interventionist argument were any good it would have been equally good against American policy toward China since Nixon and American policy toward Vietnam since 1995.
And it would be good as well against many of the regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere with which the Republicans insist we keep up good relations, even providing military and economic aid, in pursuit of our own interests.
O is right.
Detente is the best way ahead both for Cubans and for Americans.
As to the public at large, we had this ten months ago.
Most Americans Don't Support Cuban Embargo
Nationwide, 56 percent of Americans say they support normalizing relations with Cuba, with the figure jumping to 63 percent for residents of the state of Florida, the poll says.
The figure for Latinos nationwide who support a change was also higher than among the general public, at 62 percent.
"This is a key change from the past: Cuba used to be intractable because Florida was intractable," wrote Peter Schechter and Jason Marczak in a report detailing the results of the survey.
"This poll argues that this is no longer true."
. . . .
The Atlantic Council poll, conducted in January, found that increased engagement with Cuba was relatively popular across party lines, with 60 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans favoring it.
Marco Rubio, not beloved of the tea baggers or the most devout rightists of his party, absolutely leaped at the chance to put both feet into his mouth on this one, fiercely identifying with what is already a minority view with decreasing support as the years go by.
Rubio at WSJ, yesterday evening
[I]t has been the policy and law of the U.S. to make clear that re-establishing diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba is possible—but only once the Cuban government stops jailing political opponents, protects free speech, and allows independent political parties to be formed and to participate in free and fair elections.
The opportunity for Cuba to normalize relations with the U.S. has always been there, but the Castro regime has never been interested in changing its ways.
Now, thanks to President Obama’s concessions, the regime in Cuba won’t have to change.
Does China satisfy any of those conditions?
Did it when Nixon and Henry the K flew there?
Does Vietnam satisfy them, and did it in 1995?
Are there regimes elsewhere in the world that clearly don't satisfy those conditions that the GOP wants us to firmly ally with and support?
MR's fury is quite something.
Two more years to 2016.
With every passing day America moves further away from the conservatism that still totally dominates the Republican Party, fractured though it is one way as regards ends between Wall Street and Main Street, between the Christian right and the secularist libertarians, and another as regards means between the radical pundits and tea-baggers who would have shut down the government and pushed America into default and the more moderate leadership of the DC office-holders.
How do these guys manage to keep winning local and state offices?
The racist, feminist, Howard Zinn propaganda of the left drives millions away from the Democrats and toward the Republicans, as though seeking shelter from the Helter-Skelter.
WAPO continues its rightward march, essentially echoing Rubio's complaints and whining about Vietnam, but not China, into the bargain.
Obama gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
"Derelict" meant hobo, bum, or homeless person before 1910.
The Higher Pragmatism, O. Henry, 41 Stories.
"Feel my muscle."
Guys still said that when I was young.
Do they now, or does it seem too queer, like so many other things in these liberated and diversity-loving days?
When homosexuality was unthinkable there were lots of things men could do with the innocence of children that they can't do now.
The political point of trial by jury is to enable the people to prevent the King's men harming anyone except those who have beyond a reasonable doubt broken the law.
It allows the people to protect themselves from arbitrary power.
But juries generally take a different view, "Better safe than sorry."
And so innocent men fill our prisons and unpunished criminals our streets.
Who does not believe the SONY hacks were done by or anyway on behalf of NK?
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Shakespeare's characters of the lower orders are generally comic relief, even if petty criminals.
Ours are never that.
O. Henry follows Shakespeare in Hostages to Momus, though the story is entirely theirs and, the narrator being one of them, all the characters are alike low and comical, even the educated and not low.
In 41 Stories.
Written at the dawn of the last century, before 1910 (O. Henry died that year) but after the Perdicarus Affair of 1904.
What Islam has always been for the devout believers, first and foremost, is an invitation to make bloodbaths of unbelievers.
In this it is unique not only among the so-called Abrahamic religions but all of the world's major faiths.
Only the Aztec heathen were bloodier, and their slaughters had nothing to do with spreading the faith or making it pure.
ISIS is Sunni.
The fellow in Sydney was an Iranian and presumably a Shiite.
Never the twain shall meet?
Muslims just seem to like that method of execution.
Beheading, I mean.
But burning alive, now?
As a spectacle for children?
Truly, if ISIS imitates our methods - a thought that paralyzes anti-torture Americans with moral agony - instead of going on in their normal way it would be a mercy to all who fall into their hands.
"It's immoral," they say, as though that should end the matter.
And some of them really mean that.
They say "It's immoral to argue in favor of torture and immoral to claim it works," and go on to suggest suppression.
Meanwhile, there are others who take a quite different view.
Perhaps they have other moral opinions.
Perhaps they regard moral opinions with the scorn expressed in the military by the dictum, "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one."
I Am Not Sorry the CIA Waterboarded
Bret Stephens rehearses the crimes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who, he says, was waterboarded 183 times, and is dismayed the fellow is still alive.
Having read the list, I think that if he were being kept alive so that he might suffer pains that death will end that would be OK.
But that is not why he won't be executed, if he is not.
And that is appalling.
And yet he takes his turn at playing the moralist, perhaps to show the world he's a good fellow, after all, despite his taste for waterboarding and the death penalty.
I am sorry that Sen. Rockefeller saw nothing amiss with the idea of handing over KSM to the Cairo Cattle-Prod Crew.
This is rightly known as torture-by-proxy.
It is wrong.
He was on the phone and holding an air rifle in his other hand when a cop shot him dead, this past August 5, at a Walmart in Ohio.
Cops kill people out of carelessness or blind stupidity all the time and get away with it.
They interrogated this man's girlfriend looking for something to pin on him and her for 90 minutes before telling her he was dead.
About that blind stupidity, again.
If this is the best we can do by way of recruits that's all the more reason to disarm the irresponsible morons willing to be police.
Naturally, no prosecution, no charges, no indictment, all just a terrible mistake, so sorry miss.
This is one of those cases where the claim a stupid white cop just "made assumptions" because the man he was looking at was black is only too believable.
Thing is, they regularly do this sort of thing to white people, too.
Stupid, you know.
Idiots with guns.
"The officers ran into an aisle, saw a black man with what they perceived to be a gun, and shot him on sight," he [family attorney Wright] said.
The interrogation video, he said, shows how police handled the case from day one.
"They, in their mind, had it made up that Mr. Crawford was a criminal, and they proceeded based on that without doing anything to independently corroborate what was actually happening in the store," he said.
"And they tried to cover it up by interrogating Miss Thomas in such a manner to try to get her to make a statement that would justify them shooting and killing Mr. Crawford that evening."
Most of them children.
The gun battle continues.
The Taliban are in a long war to impose themselves and their Islamofundamentalism on Pakistan.
The army and the government have been playing footsie with them for decades.
As recently as last spring, The Taliban and the Pakistani government were involved in peace talks.
The government released 19 Taliban noncombatants in a goodwill gesture.
But talks broke down under a wave of attacks by the Taliban and mounting political pressure to bring the violence under control.
Final score, 141 dead, 132 of them children.
Peshawar school attack leaves 141 dead
Monday, December 15, 2014
The liberals are already winning the culture war, the war to control the conscience of America.
They have already wrested that power from the Christian churches.
That is to say, pop culture, public education, and academic culture have proved, together, to be more potent in molding hearts and minds than churches and church affiliated schools.
Especially when supported by politicized federal courts all the way to the top.
But these are far more subject to influence by powerful corporate interests than churches ever were.
Where will it go, I wonder?
Will the political bearing of these changes advantage or harm the working masses, I wonder?
I fear the latter.
If so, then after I am dead, I hope.
From about 12 years old to 70, human lives are overwhelmed and absolutely possessed by the sex drive.
And then it slacks off and we almost recover the freedom of children.
But then so few are the years remaining!
It is a common observation that allowing the president to nominate persons for various offices and the Senate merely to take or leave his nominees makes the president far more powerful than the Senate, with respect to that process.
But it could have been worse for the Senate.
And much worse for each senator.
Imagine that for each job he sent them two persons of whom they had to pick one.
That would make the president even more powerful vis a vis the Senate.
And now imagine there were eighty million senators.
And imagine you were one of those senators, and had not the tiniest shade of influence on the votes of others.
If nobody paid you to show up to vote, why would you, no matter how much you cared about the outcome?
And now consider the case of ordinary legislation.
Again, if you were a senator and there were eighty million senators and you had no influence on the votes of others and nobody paid you to show up to vote, why would you?
Henry Maine points out the vote is so contemptible the people commonly sell them for drinks, where this can be done without fear.
I once sold mine for a six-pack to a Democrat who wanted me to vote for Bill Clinton.
And I did.
And he paid on election night as we watched the returns.
Hunter about torture
Because of political pressure from people opposed to it, as only a fool would even claim not to know.
But then he asks a dozen or so other questions to which the correct answer is "Figure it out. Do your own research. I don't take homework assignments from you."
Later that same day.
Sydney crisis over, hostage taker dead
It was an Iranian immigrant several times linked to sexual assaults.
One other dead, others wounded.
Let the recriminations begin.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Maine thinks government has fixed tasks which may be done better or worse, and forms of government - e.g., monarchy, aristocracy, democracy - are better or worse according as they carry out those tasks better or worse.
This is a delusion.
While there is some overlap, the different forms carry out different tasks.
And even the same form can attempt different tasks according as cultures differ.
And, anyway, the ancient division of the forms of government is little more than a narrow prejudice.
There is no doubt that, in popular governments resting on a wide suffrage, either without an army or having little reason to fear it, the leader, whether or not he be cunning, or eloquent, or well provided with commonplaces, will be the Wire-puller.
The process of cutting up political power into petty fragments has in him its most remarkable product.
The morsels of power are so small that men, if left to themselves, would not care to employ them.
In England, they would be largely sold, if the law permitted it; in the United States they are extensively sold in spite of the law; and in France, and to a less extent in England, the number of "abstentions" shows the small value attributed to votes.
But the political chifonnier who collects and utilises the fragments is the Wire-puller I think, however, that it is too much the habit in this country to describe him as a mere organiser, contriver, and manager.
The particular mechanism which he constructs is no doubt of much importance.
The form of this mechanism recently erected in this country has a close resemblance to the system of the Wesleyan Methodists; one system, however, exists for the purpose of keeping the spirit of Grace a-flame, the other for maintaining the spirit of Party at a white heat.
The Wire-puller is not intelligible unless we take into account one of the strongest forces acting on human nature-Party feeling.
Party feeling is probably far more a survival of the primitive combativeness of mankind than a consequence of conscious intellectual differences between man and man.
It is essentially the same sentiment which in certain states of society leads to civil, intertribal, or international war; and it is as universal as humanity.
It is better studied in its more irrational manifestations than in those to which we are accustomed.
It is said that Australian savages will travel half over the Australian continent to take in a fight the side of combatants who wear the same Totem as themselves.
Two Irish factions who broke one another's heads over the whole island are said to have orginated in a quarrel about the colour of a cow.
In Southern India, a series of dangerous riots are constantly arising through the rivalry of parties who know no more of one another than that some of them belong to the party of the right hand and others to that of the left hand.
Once a year, large numbers of English ladies and gentlemen, who have no serious reason for preferring one University to the other, wear dark or light blue colours to signify good wishes for the success of Oxford or Cambridge in a cricket-match or boat-race.
Party differences, properly so called, are supposed to indicate intellectual, or moral, or historical preferences; but these go a very little way down into the population, and by the bulk of partisans they are hardly understood and soon forgotten.
"Guelf" and "Ghibelline" had once a meaning, but men were under perpetual banishment from their native land for belonging to one or other of these parties long after nobody knew in what the difference consisted.
Some men are Tories or Whigs by conviction; but thousands upon thousands of electors vote simply for yellow, blue, or purple, caught at most by the appeals of some popular orator
It is through this great natural tendency to take sides that the Wire-puller works.
Without it he would be powerless
His business is to fan its flame; to keep it constantly acting upon the man who has once declared himself a partisan; to make escape from it difficult and distasteful.
His art is that of the Nonconformist preacher, who gave importance to a body of commonplace religionists by persuading them to wear a uniform and take a military title, or of the man who made the success of a Temperance Society by prevailing on its members to wear always and openly a blue ribbon
In the long-run, these contrivances cannot be confined to anyone party, and their effects on all parties and their leaders, and on the whole ruling democracy, must be in the highest degree serious and lasting.
The first of these effects will be, I think, to make all parties very like one another, and indeed in the end almost indistinguishable, however leaders may quarrel and partisan hate partisan.
In the next place, each party will probably become more and more homogeneous; and the opinions it professes, and the policy which is the outcome of those opinions, will less and less reflect the individual mind of any leader, but only the ideas which seem to that mind to be most likely to win favour with the greatest number of supporters.
Lastly, the wirepulling system, when fully developed, will infallibly lead to the constant enlargement of the area of suffrage.
What is called universal suffrage has greatly declined in the estimation, not only of philosophers who follow Bentham, but of the a priori theorists who assumed that it was the inseparable accompaniment of a Republic, but who found that in practice it was the natural basis of a tyranny.
But extensions of the suffrage, though no longer believed to be good in themselves, have now a permanent place in the armoury of parties, and are sure to be a favourite weapon of the Wire-puller.
The Athenian statesmen who, worsted in a quarrel of aristocratic cliques, "took the people into partnership," have a close parallel in the modern politicians who introduce household suffrage into towns to "dish" one side, and into counties to "dish" the other.
Sir Henry Maine, Popular Government.
One thinks of "Hands up! Don't shoot!" and the spread of "die ins."
On the other hand, he is completely wrong on the historical impact of universal suffrage.
Nobody can say exactly what Nationalism is, and indeed the dangerousness of the theory arises from its vagueness.
It seems full of the seeds of future civil convulsion.
As it is sometimes put, it appears to assume that men of one particular race suffer injustice if they are placed under the same political institutions with men of another race.
But Race is quite as ambiguous a term as Nationality.
The earlier philologists had certainly supposed that the branches of mankind speaking languages of the same stock were somehow connected by blood; but no scholar now believes that this is more than approximately true, for conquest, contact, and the ascendency of a particular literate class, have quite as much to do with community of language as common descent.
Moreover, several of the communities claiming the benefit of the new theory are certainly not entitled to it.
The Irish are an extremely mixed race, and it is only by a perversion of language that the Italians can be called a race at all.
The fact is that any portion of a political society, which has had a somewhat different history from the rest of the parts, can take advantage of the theory and claim independence, and can thus threaten the entire society with dismemberment.
Where royal authority survives in any vigour, it can to a certain extent deal with these demands.
Almost all the civilised States derive their national unity from common subjection, past or present, to royal power; the Americans of the United States, for example, are a nation because they once obeyed a king.
Hence too it is that such a miscellany of races as those which make up the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy can be held together, at all events temporarily, by the authority of the Emperor-King.
But democracies are quite paralysed by the plea of Nationality.
There is no more effective way of attacking them than by admitting the right of the majority to govern, but denying that the majority so entitled is the particular majority which claims the right.
Sir Henry Maine, Popular Government.
A vigorous an interesting writer.
It is in fact the English Constitution carefully adapted to a body of Englishmen who had never had much to do with an hereditary king and an aristocracy of birth, and who had determined to dispense with them altogether.
A more succinct and apt characterization of revolutionary American republicanism, of the governments of the American states, and of the government of the United States could hardly be asked for.
Sir Henry Maine, Popular Government. 1885.
The Online Library of Liberty
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Of course, the Nika riots happened under a regime in no sense popular that nevertheless had to cope with elite and popular parties (factions) sufficiently organized and well-financed to sponsor racing teams, gangs, and rioters.
Friday, December 12, 2014
BBC thinks . . . well, they're BBC, after all.
As for MW, well, combine Hollywood entitlement with the criminal mind.
Next week they will call for an end to atheism, abortion, contraception, and divorce.
They were in on it, particularly the special renditions part, from the beginning.
On the whole, fair and balanced.
This is not to say that in carrying out the program there weren’t abuses, excesses, mismanagement and appalling mistakes (such as the death in custody — unintended but still unforgivable — of two detainees).
About those deaths in custody, who does K think cannot be forgiven?
Who does he think is to blame?
Yes, you're right.
That was just a little hot air escaping through a leak somewhere near his typing fingers.
Chomsky says Reagan was a racist
You have to admit, the discourse of white radicals continues to do more than anything real to foment black hatred of whites.
When the Cold War ended, the left that had bashed America on communism's behalf since 1917 with any stick that came to hand did not change its stripes, and it continues to do that same work decades later, though by now only the brain damaged still believe in alternatives to capitalism.
New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized
A new report on sexual assault released today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault.
In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data.
And the real number of assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than one-in-five.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
More than once in my youth I was saved from parenthood by very sensible and unwilling women who knew me better than I, in a fit of transient passion, knew myself.
Nature clumsily tailors our desires to her purposes, lust, it seems, more clumsily than most.
Her purpose is far from the wellbeing or even the survival of the individual.
We are driven mad with lust that we might reproduce, at whatever cost to ourselves.
Even those who, as we might say, have no vocation for parenthood.
Nature is prodigal and wasteful of us and our lives.
No Republican remained on this committee.
No Republican approved its methods.
No one was interviewed.
The CIA leadership had no input and has flatly denied the principal "conclusion" that nothing whatever was gained through the use of the enhanced interrogation techniques.
The liberal punditocracy is demanding O and Holder prosecute someone and is already applauding leftist efforts abroad to get European courts under "the doctrine of universal jurisdiction" to issue warrants for Dick Cheney, GW, and others all the way down to specific interrogators.
France is a perfect example of how much liberals favor full, free, and open debate of their most cherished values.
In France, it is illegal to publicly say that torture works.
Look up General Aussaresses, whose book I read in late 2001 or early 2002.
Have you noticed that numerous liberals have come out in favor of criminalizing "global warming denial"?
Not in France; here.
Not O. Henry, whose stories are all written to exactly the same formula requiring a surprise ending.
Read the first 6 or 7 stories in this collection last night, and it does get a bit annoying.
Meteor Blades seems confused.