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Donald Trump is the end result of every subversive tendency in the Sexual Revolution. He is Justice Kennedy's "at the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life" incarnate and personified. That concept, of course, has nothing to with liberty: quite to the contrary, it is the installation of a tyrannical, uncontrolled ego at the centre of each human being's universe - the invention of a world of a million million tyrants. To "define one's own concept of meaning, of the universe" is to impose it on external reality. It is to say "that is what I want, that is what I order" to the world at large. Now the child of that thought walks into the White House.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
For me, personally, the final evidence of the guilt of British criminal Hanratty, of anarchist Nicola Sacco. and of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg - however different the circumstances - have been a personal shock. They are the undeniable proof that people can lie even in the face of death and eternity, that claims of innocence from the scaffold are no more reliable than from any other point. The case of Sacco's fellow-accused Bartolomeo Vanzetti seems even darker: he was probably himself innocent, but he knew that Sacco was guilty as Hell, and he deliberately died with a lie on his lips, for the sake of his imagined revolution. (And to add a further taste of futility to his false sacrifice, the historical fact is that the only party who benefited from his and Sacco's executions were the Communists, who had organized all the protests against their executions, and who were sworn enemies of Vanzetti's Anarchists and would have murdered him a good deal more nastily if he had ever fallen into their hands.) But perhaps the most significant of these is the lie of Hanratty, because that had nothing of the ideological justifications of Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs. Hanratty was not fighting for any "cause", however bad: he was a rapist and murderer with no ulterior motives. And he declared his innocence right to the point of death with a passionate intensity that deceived generations of activists including myself.

THE ENEMY

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.
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I just had an insight, from the New York Times' disgraceful attack upon the Little Sisters of the Poor. It is this: Freud was right in pointing to transference as a mechanism, but wrong in believing that it is principally a defence mechanism. Here, for instance, we have a classic case of transference: the New York Times claims that the Little Sisters’ suit “boils down to an unjustified attempt by an employer to impose its religious views on workers.” We know perfectly well that that is transference, that the so-called newspaper of record is the place where unshared religious opinions would not long survive. But the point is that there is nothing defensive about it. The Times, even in its current parlous financial state, has nothing to fear from the Little Sisters, any more than Obama has. The fact is that they are simply transfering the company's own standard behaviour on to the nuns because that is what they would do in their place, or in anybody's place. The oppression of conscience and the silencing of religious independence is their way to be. And when you look at cases of transference, you will always find it clear: the person who ascribes to others his or her own standard behaviour does so because it finds it natural. It also explains a streak of paranoia that made Freud see this as a defensive reaction. There may be nothing to defend oneself against, but there would be if the modus operandi that the person sees as natural were actually present. If others behaved to the NYT executives as the NYT executives behave to their employees and to anyone under their influence, they NYT executives would have reason to fear. And the same goes for anyone whose similarly low expectations of human nature are really based upon their own low standards.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
I just had an insight, from the New York Times' disgraceful attack upon the Little Sisters of the Poor. It is this: Freud was right in pointing to transference as a mechanism, but wrong in believing that it is principally a defence mechanism. Here, for instance, we have a classic case of transference: the New York Times claims that the Little Sisters’ suit “boils down to an unjustified attempt by an employer to impose its religious views on workers.” We know perfectly well that that is transference, that the so-called newspaper of record is the place where unshared religious opinions would not long survive. But the point is that there is nothing defensive about it. The Times, even in its current parlous financial state, has nothing to fear from the Little Sisters, any more than Obama has. The fact is that they are simply transfering the company's own standard behaviour on to the nuns because that is what they would do in their place, or in anybody's place. The oppression of conscience and the silencing of religious independence is their way to be. And when you look at cases of transference, you will always find it clear: the person who ascribes to others his or her own standard behaviour does so because it finds it natural. It also explains a streak of paranoia that made Freud see this as a defensive reaction. There may be nothing to defend oneself against, but there would be if the modus operandi that the person sees as natural were actually present. If others behaved to the NYT executives as the NYT executives behave to their employees and to anyone under their influence, they NYT executives would have reason to fear. And the same goes for anyone whose similarly low expectations of human nature are really based upon their own low standards.
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There are few things I hate more than tokenism. It is evil in itself, a manifestation of hypocrisy and cowardice, particularly vile in that it shows itself perfectly aware that the thing it effectively denies its victims is the right, just and proper thing. It just will not do what is right. Instead of making life easier for disabled employees, put some rich friend's disabled son on the Board, or maybe in a management sinecure; instead of treating people according to their merits, make sure that a couple of dark-skinned people and a few women are prominent in every group photo. But sometimes it goes beyond even that; and a few weeks ago there was a news item that really made me scream with rage.

Everybody knows that the Taliban are only waiting for the announced and timetabled withdrawal of Allied forces to take over Afghanistan, whether by a spectacular second invasion or, more likely, with a smooth deal with existing government. President Mohammed Karzai is well known to have made his deal already, whether or not it will be kept; and frankly, who can blame him? The Allies have completely failed to root up the Taliban from Afghan society, and their withdrawal is an act of surrender. In particular, the all-important security forces are penetrated from top to bottom – just ask the relatives of any of the dozens if not hundreds of Allied soldiers murdered by “men in Afghan uniform”, as the institutional cowardice of the BBC usually has it.

It is at this time, as twelve years of occupation are about to come to an end in effective failure, that the Allies announed that the first women cadets had been admitted to the Allied-established Military Academy of Afghanistan.

I repeat: it is at this time, as twelve years of occupation are about to come to an end in effective failure, that the Allies announced that the first women cadets had been admitted to the Military Academy of Afghanistan.

I would not, perhaps, have become completely distorted with rage if the BBC had not ran this as their standard “ain't it wunnerful, progress for women” story; a dead and stupid way of looking at things anyway, and, in the case of these pathetic sacrificial victims, as heartless as it was inappropriate. Remember, in a year or two at most, the Taliban will be running things in Afghanistan: the Taliban, the people who bomb girls' schools, throw vitriol in teacher's faces, and shoot young girls in the head if they express any great desire to study. And at the time when this has become clear, not any time before, is this gesture to Western ideas made; I would say, this pitiful gesture, were it not that it's not pitiful, it's murderous. These women are called to make targets of themselves in order for some more than usually heartless and mindless Western decision maker to look as though something had been done for the status and rights of Afghani women. If it was so important to train some women in the profession of arms, why not enlist them in an Allied army and train them at West Point or Sandhurst? No: there had to be this tragic shadow theatre, with these few, probably very brave, certainly reckless, female cadets, playing the part of the vanguard of female enlightenment in a country where such people end up dead. In the end, that was all that was needed to put the final polish on the political, intellectual and moral wasteland that this misbegotten invasion has turned into.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
There are few things I hate more than tokenism. It is evil in itself, a manifestation of hypocrisy and cowardice, particularly vile in that it shows itself perfectly aware that the thing it effectively denies its victims is the right, just and proper thing. It just will not do what is right. Instead of making life easier for disabled employees, put some rich friend's disabled son on the Board, or maybe in a management sinecure; instead of treating people according to their merits, make sure that a couple of dark-skinned people and a few women are prominent in every group photo. But sometimes it goes beyond even that; and a few weeks ago there was a news item that really made me scream with rage.

Everybody knows that the Taliban are only waiting for the announced and timetabled withdrawal of Allied forces to take over Afghanistan, whether by a spectacular second invasion or, more likely, with a smooth deal with existing government. President Mohammed Karzai is well known to have made his deal already, whether or not it will be kept; and frankly, who can blame him? The Allies have completely failed to root up the Taliban from Afghan society, and their withdrawal is an act of surrender. In particular, the all-important security forces are penetrated from top to bottom – just ask the relatives of any of the dozens if not hundreds of Allied soldiers murdered by “men in Afghan uniform”, as the institutional cowardice of the BBC usually has it.

It is at this time, as twelve years of occupation are about to come to an end in effective failure, that the Allies announed that the first women cadets had been admitted to the Allied-established Military Academy of Afghanistan.

I repeat: it is at this time, as twelve years of occupation are about to come to an end in effective failure, that the Allies announced that the first women cadets had been admitted to the Military Academy of Afghanistan.

I would not, perhaps, have become completely distorted with rage if the BBC had not ran this as their standard “ain't it wunnerful, progress for women” story; a dead and stupid way of looking at things anyway, and, in the case of these pathetic sacrificial victims, as heartless as it was inappropriate. Remember, in a year or two at most, the Taliban will be running things in Afghanistan: the Taliban, the people who bomb girls' schools, throw vitriol in teacher's faces, and shoot young girls in the head if they express any great desire to study. And at the time when this has become clear, not any time before, is this gesture to Western ideas made; I would say, this pitiful gesture, were it not that it's not pitiful, it's murderous. These women are called to make targets of themselves in order for some more than usually heartless and mindless Western decision maker to look as though something had been done for the status and rights of Afghani women. If it was so important to train some women in the profession of arms, why not enlist them in an Allied army and train them at West Point or Sandhurst? No: there had to be this tragic shadow theatre, with these few, probably very brave, certainly reckless, female cadets, playing the part of the vanguard of female enlightenment in a country where such people end up dead. In the end, that was all that was needed to put the final polish on the political, intellectual and moral wasteland that this misbegotten invasion has turned into.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
Nothing could be more stupid than the mass negative reaction from every Tory, Republican and Conservative I know to the rising anger about income inequality. Let me explain something to you brain-deads, in the unlikely event that any of you should be able and willing to listen: We have been through five years of HELL caused purely by the idiot greed and purblind optimism of both sides of the ruling classes, left and right. You are both guilty. The majority of the population, middle and working classes and the lumpenproletariat below, were all made to pay to restore some sort of order to the ships of states that the top one per cent had driven straight into the storm; and all this time, not one banker has gone to jail or ended up in the unemployment queues, not one broker had his ill-gotten gains confiscated, not one politician has been convicted or impeached. We all know that we are the victims of the crimes of others and that the criminals are all "too big to fail" or jail. And now, on top of it, we are told to rejoice and give thanks to our wise leaders because larger numbers of McJobs, paid a pittance and as secure as a fungus-eaten tree branch, are becoming available, and the scum on top call this a recovery. Now I know that the left are as guilty of this as the right, and Obama and Labour just as much to blame as Cameron and the Republicans. But if you Stupid Parties allow Obama the monopoly of hypocritical compassion and of tokenistic but visible efforts to raise the bottom wages, then you will be punished at the polls once again, and, you pathetic shower, you will have deserved it. What I think of a continued rule of that gaggle of sexual antinomians and elite ignorami that dares call itself the left, I had better not say. (And Italy just managed to find the worst leader for its own Democratic party it could possibly hope for - but that is another story again.) Roll on the dark ages, come the barbarians, I don't think there is any health left in this world.
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Today Cameron and Hollande declare the omnipotence of corrupt politicians. "IF WE SAY THAT GAY MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE, THEN IT'S MARRIAGE." Everybody bend their heads to the almighty deities Corruption and Mendacity, thundering down their law from the mountains of Davos.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
Today Cameron and Hollande declare the omnipotence of corrupt politicians. "IF WE SAY THAT GAY MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE, THEN IT'S MARRIAGE." Everybody bend their heads to the almighty deities Corruption and Mendacity, thundering down their law from the mountains of Davos.
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This election has already given us a historic moment; a moment which, I think, may well feature in future histories, become the centre of scholarly debate, and perhaps even be remembered as one of those factoids that everyone remembers about historical figures - like Pontius Pilate washing his hands, or Washington's troops starving at Valley Forge, or the fat figure and six wives of Henry VIII.

No, I don't mean the debate, although the results of the debate may well come to connect themselves with the event I mean. The event I mean is the publication, by the Obama campaign, of the following blog entry:



This is incredible. If it means anything, it means that the Republicans, if elected, would engage in a campaign of tearing out uteri from living women.

I think I can say with a clean conscience that no campaign ever stooped this low. This is a record, and, I would say, probably unsurpassable. My friends who are historians and know what I am talking about can make the mental experiment: project yourselves into the minds of Julius Streicher or Gabriele d'Annunzio. Try to imagine Streicher saying that about Jews, or d'Annunzio about democratic politicians. You can't. You know you can't. They would not think of it; and if they did, they, even they, would laugh at it as at a crazy joke. The evident and rather unpleasant sexualness of the enclosed drawing, featuring a lightly-dressed, apparently underaged young lady with her clothes being blown all over by the wind - the very image of the worst kind of irresponsible male fantasies - makes the thing even worse: it as good as invites women to identify with this near-paedophile fantasy image, and to imagine that there is something there that is worth something for women to keep and that it threatens women to lose. The abyss of abjection in the association of visual idea and depraved gag literally challenges description and analysis.

This does, of course, confirm my old belief that abortion is the central issue and the driving force of so much that seems unhinged and bewildering about modern politics. But it also suggests a desperacy lurking somewhere below the confident gloss of Obaman politics; as though these people felt the breath of the Avenger of Blood breathing over their neck, and feared it even where the rest of us can't begin to feel any presence except theirs. It is like the crazed language of British medical bodies on the subject of abortion - language that a child would know was insane. But it also suggests an essential hollowness at the heart of the Obaman message. If that is the sort of thing they resort to, they must feel they have exhausted every other weapon. Now, add this to the effect of Romney's definite victory in last night's debate, and see what you get.
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Any time I think I've seen the worst, something inconceivably lower and more debased takes place somewhere. Listen to this: "Three of the founding members of the Beach Boys have been unceremoniously dumped midway through their UK tour. Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks were informed of the news via a statement issued by Mike Love - the band's frontman and Wilson's cousin - that the tour would be continuing without them. Their places will be filled by Bruce Johnston - a second generation member - and a selection of session musicians."

WHAT THE HELL? When the Beatles broke up, it was John Lennon against Paul McCartney and George Harrison - not nice, but it was the big beasts of the group locking horns. Ditto when Creedence Clearwater REvival saw John Fogerty go up against all the others. But here, apart from the senile aspects of the thing, you have the equivalent of Ringo sacking Paul, John and George by e-mail. Mike Love may be the founder in a legal sense, but he never was anything. In anything but the legal sense, the Beach Boys were Brian Wilson. Period. Monkeys have no right to try to sack their organ grinders.
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I wonder whether anyone at the BBC has the least idea just how repulsively hypocritical, murderously hypocritical, they look, when at one and the same time they go all lyrical about the Paralympics and disabled achievement, and they promote the old eugenics lies of abortion and euthanasia? Isn't it great that those of the "differently able" whom we haven't managed to kill in the womb or in the hospital are now winning medals! What wonderful people we are!
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My post on "Soldiers and Suicides", a week or two ago, got some considerable response, including one terrible story I am not at liberty to repeat. It seems to have struck a nerve. Now here is another instance of how the ordinary soldier is simply being treated as raw material for the ideological obsessions of men who should never have been let into military academies, let alone given responsible command. The military chaplain played an important role in the US Armed Forces practically since their inception, and many of them became legendary. Now the leadership has decided that their role is too important:
Read more... )
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Egypt's Christian minority has been abused and victimized by two homicidal bodies. One is a closed, elitist, self-satisfied, utterly corrupt group of criminal power mongers, existing on the extorted protection money taken by force from the mass of the people, fond of murder but really driven by graft and status, and ultimately motivated by a savage underlying hatred of Christianity. The other is the Egyptian army.
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Ever since the shameful collapse of the last Prodi government, in which I had originally invested some hopes, I have taken the view that the best thing that I as a free man can do in the current Italian political situation is to refuse to vote. Voting for Berlusconi was out of the question, and after the Italian left had proved both utterly incapable of getting anything done and sold body and soul - including their "Catholic" figleaves - to the poison of PC, I could not but regard the choice as demeaning. However, the degeneracy of the Berlusconi forces is now so advanced, so shameless, and so terribly damaging in the middle of the world crisis, that I feel forced to admit that anything short of Mussolini or Stalin would be an improvement. But then I am also compelled to remember that there are a few things - abortion, marriage, the death penalty, euthanasia - on which I will not compromise, since I like to be able to look in the mirror in the morning without throwing up; and that, while the death penalty is luckily not an issue in Italy, the left are not only the champions of abortion and "gay marriage", but have made a particular battleground out of euthanasia and actually had a few people killed to score political points. I cannot and will not vote for this, especially, I would underline, the so-called "Catholic" judases kept in exactly to encourage people like me to vote against their consciences. And then there is the the third pole - a centrist, supposedly Catholic party opposing both left and right. You would think that would sound all right, except it is not. First, this party is made out of survivors and nostalgic of the old Christian Democrats, who were a failure and whom most Italians would not like to see back. Second, and typical of why I distrust them, they have been publicly hostile to people who "wantonly rock the boat" on abortion, and it seems they are quite happy with the current status quo on abortion, IVF, euthanasia and so on. Third, in order to become a majority force, they are apparently quite ready to make a deal with Fini's splinter party, which is as progressivist as they come. Some choice. But while I contemplate the political choice with horror, Berlusconi's men are using parliamentary immunity to protect villains among them from the judiciary, and Berlusconi himself is stuffing government, parliament and state legislatures with pretty 20/30 year old ladies who distinguished themselves by nothing except willingness to please in bed. Povera Italia

Delirium

Sep. 21st, 2011 05:11 am
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President Karzai appointed a former President of Afghanistan to head peace negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban sent a pretend negotiator - one of two; the other must have known what was going ot happen - who blew himself up along with the ex-President.

You would have thought this would give you an idea of what the Taliban think of peace. But not if you are a BBC "journalist". The wretch sent to Afghanistan concluded his report by wondering aloud what concessions could be offered to encourage the Taliban back to the negotiating table, and blaming the victim for being "a deeply divisive figure". The BBC needs a few dozen of its own people to be bloodily and publicly murdered: they seem to have forgotten the meaning of the act of murder.

Insanity

Sep. 19th, 2011 10:04 am
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http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/18/my-money-i-deserve-to-keep-it-all/
Yes, look at those words. Someone really imagines that he has made the world, given himself birth, created the regulated and protected environment in which he operates, granted his father and mother the great privilege of giving him birth and spending immense amounts of their time and effort bringing him up, policed the streets so that he could go to work safely, set up the opportunity to work profitably, produced everything involved in the transactions, and, above all, created a regulated and lawful environment in which work could be carried out and its results peacefully claimed without dispute or seizure. Someone, in short, imagines that anything in the world is really "his".

A further depth of delirium lies in the probability that this same maniac also imagines himself to be Christian.

It is not I, it's not even Socrates or any other sage, who answers him - and ought to silence him, if he were sane: it's Scripture. And here I will use text-proofing, since there is no doubt that this passage is at the heart of Christian thought. First letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 7: For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? What is Christianity about, if not gratitude: gratitude to God for creating us, but also gratitude to each and every one of the hundreds of people and things to whom we owe debts we shall never repay? Did you make yourself? No. Did you ask to be born? No. In that case, accept that you are a part of a community, of a descent and of a state of public order, to which you owe so much that if it did not exist you would not exist either.

(I will add that if you are insane enough to think that you owe nothing to anyone but yourself, you make yourself incapable of friendship, of companionship, of all the things that humans need as much as they need air and water. But that would be to try to reason, and you cannot reason with a madman.)

This moron argues that the individual comes before the State. That is not only false - no individual predates the society they live in - but stupid: it is a chicken-and-the-egg question. The State and the individual come together, as part of a whole. Every man is born into a community, for otherwise he would not be born at all. Every community has a law and an authority to enforce it, and to which individuals resort in distress or perplexity; nobody, but nobody, does everything by himself. I am willing to bet that our lunatic, if anyone ever did anything that he interpreted as a violation of his rights, would not hesitate a second to race for the nearest lawyer and the nearest court. And yet he claims to owe nothing to the State.

But that would be reasoning, and there is no reasoning with madmen. And thanks to the crazed talk of the Tea Party, who can't imagine why others would see them as near-terrorists, a good deal of the American right is in a state of clinical insanity. I just hadn't seen it stated quite so baldly before.

IDIOT

May. 26th, 2011 09:57 am
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The arrogance of the pundit can be excused if s/he has something at least moderately intelligent, interesting or arguable to say. But that a grown man with enough brain cells to move on two feet should deliver himself of the following atrocity and live not to even be mocked or subjected to proper invective (not insult, for to call such a man a moron is not an insult but a description) is quite frankly more than flesh and blood can stand. So, if nobody else will take the trouble to brand Emmett Tyrrell as a mind-repelling moron for it, I will:
Will no one from a younger generation note the obvious -- to wit, in the arts and in politics, the 1960s generation was a bust?

There are no Faulkners, no Hemingways, no Fitzgeralds. There are no Aaron Coplands or Virgil Thompsons. In drama, there is David Mamet, but that is about it. In Europe, there may be a little more life in the 1960s has-beens, but not much.


Jeff Jones, the greatest painter since Picasso, the greatest American painter of all time, has just died. The grief for this terrible loss would be enough to comment on this piece of excreta excreted from the wrong orifice; but that a man should seriously claim the already-forgotten Virgil Thomson as an everlasting glory for the nation that produced Jack Kirby and Robert Altman simply beggars belief. This man has lived through one of the epochs of Western art and has learned nothing from or of it; which can only mean that he has made a conscious decision to reject it - to refuse the best and finest products of his time. Now it might be said that things like the agonizing circumstances of Jones' death - surely due in part to substance abuse in the past and possibly to his/her sex change operation - could point to a destructive and dangerous aspect among Sixties artists; after all, many of them, from Janis Joplin to Jerry Garcia, suffered similar fates. The fact is not in dispute, and a discussion on it could well be constructive. Only that is not what Tyrrell does: on the contrary, he mocks those who have lived into their seventies, from Bob Dylan to Paul McCartney. Evidently, not enough of the greatest and finest of their time have died to satisfy him. One would never have thought that anyone could possibly make Ann Coulter look good, but she, at least, likes the Grateful Dead.

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