fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
From now I shall use a new word. The kind of people who argue against a minimum wage are neither conservative (how DARE they?) nor libertarian. They are starvationists. Remember the word: STARVATIONISTS.


Jul. 21st, 2014 10:48 am
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
The narrow defeat of the Obama administration in the Hobby Lobby case has sent its supporters into ecstases of rage and hate that have to be seen to be believed, and that in some cases can only be described as murderous. I am glad I don't live in the USA. But this fury, that bewilders many conservatives and independents, does not bewilder me. The Mandate was criminal from the beginning, criminal in its prehistory. Remember how deliberately the President lied to poor Bart Stupak and destroyed his career. And the Mandate is really much more basic to the Obama project than people realize, because they can't see its actual purpose. Le me draw a historical parallel.

Ireland has one of the saddest modern histories of any country in the world. Repeatedly invaded and devastated by the larger neighbouring island, its Catholic majority was reduced to a pulverized peasantry, paying tax they could not afford to Protestant landlords and being tithed for Protestant parsons; a miserable swarm of penniless, ignorant and leaderless grubbers of the soil, fed by potatoes, with no middle class or aristocracy or any consistency. But what you have to realize is that, the destruction of the Irish educated classes, in spite of the frightful massacres and repeated wars, were not the result of military oppression or even of mass murder; they were, in the main, the result of laws. England wrote dozens, indeed hundreds,of laws, to destroy the Irish nation as elaborately and as legally as possible. As the Irish Protestant Edmund Burke said, the English laws against Irish Catholics - or "penal laws", as they are shamefully called - were "a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

The Mass, of course, could not be said: to have it said or to say it meant life imprisonment. But neither could Catholics be educated: to set up a Catholic school was equally a matter of life imprisonment. And Catholics were to be robbed by law: "Every Roman Catholic was... to forfeit his estate to his nearest Protestant relation, until, through a profession of what he did not believe, he redeemed by his hypocrisy what the law had transferred to the kinsman as the recompense of his profligacy." The law encouraged Protestants to steal from their Catholic relations, or even pretended relations; and not just large amounts, but everything - every bit of property they had. "When thus turned out of doors from his paternal estate, he was disabled from acquiring any other by any industry, donation, or charity; but was rendered a foreigner in his native land, only because he retained the religion, along with the property, handed down to him from those who had been the old inhabitants of that land before him."

"....Catholics, condemned to beggary and to ignorance in their native land, have been obliged to learn the principles of letters, at the hazard of all their other principles, from the charity of your enemies. They have been taxed to their ruin at the pleasure of necessitous and profligate relations, and according to the measure of their necessity and profligacy,"

"Examples of this are many and affecting. Some of them are known by a friend who stands near me in this hall. It is but six or seven years since a clergyman, of the name of Malony, a man of morals, neither guilty nor accused of anything noxious to the state, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment for exercising the functions of his religion; and after lying in jail two or three years, was relieved by the mercy of government from perpetual imprisonment, on condition of perpetual banishment. A brother of the Earl of Shrewsbury, a Talbot, a name respectable in this country whilst its glory is any part of its concern, was hauled to the bar of the Old Bailey, among common felons, and only escaped the same doom, either by some error in the process, or that the wretch who brought him there could not correctly describe his person,—I now forget which. In short, the persecution would never have relented for a moment, if the judges, superseding (though with an ambiguous example) the strict rule of their artificial duty by the higher obligation of their conscience, did not constantly throw every difficulty in the way of such informers. But so ineffectual is the power of legal evasion against legal iniquity, that it was but the other day that a lady of condition, beyond the middle of life, was on the point of being stripped of her whole fortune by a near relation to whom she had been a friend and benefactor; and she must have been totally ruined, without a power of redress or mitigation from the courts of law, had not the legislature itself rushed in, and by a special act of Parliament rescued her from the injustice of its own statutes..."

It says enough about the power of brute prejudice, of a kind we see in the highest places today, that this unanswerable attack on a disgraceful law lost Burke an election he should have won. The English had been taught to hate Catholics so much that they evidently thought that nothing done to them could be wrong or unjust.

What the Mandate is designed to do, mutatis mutandis, is exactly this. This is why the political and media leadership of your country has fought for it so obstinately, so savagely, and so underhandedly; this is why it took even a narrow defeat with murderous rage. It is because the real purpose of this abomination is to exclude Christians and especially Catholics from economic life. In a world in which money is the only power that can really affect politics - as Obama and his people know all too well - it is intolerable to them that there should be a number, however small, of rich people and of company owners who take their Christianity seriously. In this day and age it is not yet possible to make it legal for a man of the government's party to simply steal the property of his dissenting relatives; and besides, there is not - or not yet - a simple test of identity to separate the government's friends from its enemies, as membership in the "Protestant" church was in Burke's time. But they can impose a tax for a purpose that no Christian can accept, and then savagely penalize them - not by jailing them, which is not what they want, but by fining them into ruin.

Look at it in this light, and the whole mechanism becomes lucid, clear, rational and perfectly designed for its purpose. It is intended to make it impossible for Christians to have any independent economic activity in the USA, by making sure that they either have to resign their principles or be taxed into bankruptcy for them. Of course, they could not possibly declare their purpose; of course they lied from beginning to end. But that, and nothing else, is what this Mandate does.

Incidentally, this also gives you an insight into the real view that Obama and his henchmen have of the political process in your country, and of the nature of political power. This law is not meant to strike at Catholic or Christian faith. It does not try to obtain conversions. It does not set up anything like the imposing apparatus by which republican France, after 1875, worked tirelessly to break the ancestral Catholicism of its masses. The only thing that matters, the thing for which they have fought, the thing for which they have lied, the thing for which they ruined Bart Stupak and compromised the word of the President of the United States of America, was to be sure that no rich Catholics or Christians should exist. Wealth had to remain exclusively among people who had no problem with paying tax to distribute IUDs and abortifacients with a shovel. Because in the eyes of Obama and his crowd, only the very rich are politically significant. This attempt to winnow the Christians from their numbers makes it perfectly clear.
fpb: (Default)
Read this - http://townhall.com/columnists/dianawest/2011/11/18/shine_a_light_on_americas_afghan-iraqi_rathole/page/full/ - with a strong brush or with a steel comb to put back your hair, because it is sure to stand on end. UNIMAGINABLE. That at a time of crisis the Washington DC leadership should frivolously waste TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS - and I am not, repeat not, exaggerating - on failed policies simply beggars belief. I was in favour of the Afghanistan war, but unless it is fought as a war ought to be fought - rather than this crazed nation-building waste in a place that does not want to be nation-built - then I say take the soldiers home and we'll take our chances with Al Qaeda and the other swine. We can't afford this trash, and I don't just mean the USA. Unless crazed war spending is curtailed, it's not only the USA that will lose. You can't bribe people into being your friend, especially if you entered their country by force. The WWII parallel simply does not hold: not only in Italy and Germany, but even in Japan, there were considerable forces - ultimately the majority - that ranged from a willingness to put up with, to an enthusiastic support of, democratic governance and American supremacy. Guess what? In Afghanistan there aren't. And that is not just because this is a Muslim country, but because the forces that supported a secular and westernizing policy took the Soviet side in the first civil war and were destroyed. London is thick with Afghani refugees from the old pro-Soviet government, who will never go home again. The barbarous murder of Najibullah represents the utter defeat of these forces, and successive waves of mujaheddin and Taliban tyranny have pushed Afghanistan ever further in one direction and one direction alone. When the Allies entered Italy, Germany and Japan they found whole groups of liberals, Christian democrats, social democrat, republican opponents, coming out of millions of hiding places and blinking in the sudden sunlight; in Afghanistan, they found... tribal Muslim warriors, and more tribal Muslim warriors. The whole hearts-and-mind project is nonsense and must be killed; it has degenerated into the most monstrous festival of corruption and theft in history, in which enormous sums go directly over to the enemy and allow them to go on murdering (what they do is not really fighting) our troops. And if the war can't be fought without this monstrous waste of money, then it must not be fought at all. As for those who allowed it to take this grotesque shape, impeachment's too good for any one of them.
fpb: (Default)
British and other TV networks have a pleasant habit of broadcasting old and famous movies on early Sunday afternoon slots. Today ITV scheduled the legendary Western Red River, which, as it happens, I had never seen.

I switched the TV on. I saw what was being shown. I was horrified. I tried to hold on for a few minutes, but I was forced - literally forced - to turn the horror off, with bitter curses at the filth who had allowed such debauched filth to be broadcast.

It was colorized.

I have no words to describe the visual ghastliness of this obscenity. The best way I can hint at it is to think of an old, cheap postcard, of the kind in which blotches of violent colours have been cheaply overlain on a black-and-white photograph; and then imagine it stretching on in time, minute after undendurable minute.

It is not just that it looked wrong: that the sky, the grass, the flesh of the protagonists, their jeans and shirts and Stetson hats, wore tinges that no sky or grass or human flesh (except, perhaps, one in the advanced stages of some foul disease) is capable of wearing. It is that it wholly destroyed the work. One does not have to be a competent artist to know that black-and-white cinematography is worked differently from colour; for one thing, it lays greater emphasis on contrast, which the colorization simply murdered. The work of the best that Hollywood had to offer at the time, an outstanding director (Howard Hawks) and his equally brilliant cinematographer, not to mention poor old John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, have been butchered, mangled beyond description and repair. And for what reason? Is there any movie or TV executive with brains so feeble - however feeble the average of brains in that world may be - as to seriously believe that a person who would not watch a black-and-white movie could be convinced to watch this pasty, cancerous horror instead?

I am still not settled down. I wish there were words in the English language, or in any, to say just how furious I am. I could vomit, I really could.


fpb: (Default)

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