Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter


Well, it's Easter, even if Google doesn't realize it.  It's a quite important holiday in Christendom, and when I decided to look into it, I figured I'd find out that they celebrated it in some offbeat way in Japan.  After all, they do Christmas and Valentine's Day.  Oddly, though, it doesn't seem to appeal to them all that much.  They are, however, deeply into rabbits.  In fact, they see not a Man in the Moon, but a Rabbit in the Moon.  From "Letsjapan":

With only a 2% Christian population, there’s not a lot of widespread Easter celebrating that goes on in Japan, although several million Japanese Christians have been celebrating and contemplating the season and churches will, of course, be packed on Easter Sunday from Sapporo to Saitama and from Kanagawa to Kyoto to Kagoshima.

Not a lot of Easter Bunny goings on in Japan, comparatively speaking. However, throughout the year, about once a month in fact, Japanese (and Chinese and Vietnamese and Koreans, virtually all East Asians…) think of bunny rabbits, or, more properly, one special bunny rabbit more than most Westerners. That one, special bunny rabbit is, of course, the Rabbit on the Moon. In Japanese the word for rabbit is “usagi” (うさぎ, or 兎) and when Japanese and other East Asia residents look up at a full moon, they don’t see a pockmarked man with a goofy smile staring (leering?) down at them, no, they see a cavorting rabbit. How about you?


So happy Japanese Easter, which you can think of as commemorating the Easter Bunny's evil twin, the Moon Bunny:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Justin Raimondo on a Sequester "Exemption"

I linked to Justin Raimondo the other day, agreeing with him on one point and disagreeing on another, and it just struck me that I was a little misleading there, because I agree with Justin at least 90% of the time, but hadn't linked to him for quite awhile.  So, to remedy that, I refer to him again today in his sphere of special expertise, which is US-Israeli relations. It concerns the hideous, draconian SEQUESTER, which will kill us all of course, and naturally, our greatest Friend and Ally of all time, Israel, is shouldering part of the burden of the SEQUESTER like the loyal pal it is.  Or not.  Justin deals with this problem here (Don't miss his Ayn Rand quote):



Will Budget ‘Cuts’ Impact US Aid to Israel?
Not hardly
by Justin Raimondo, March 29, 2013

Given the kind of society we have become – a country of whining spoiled brats who have been living above our means for years – every special interest group is up in arms over the alleged tragedy known as Sequestration. While these automatic across-the-board spending cuts are portrayed as nothing less than draconian by various lobbyists and their congressional sock puppets, in reality these are not even real cuts as you and I understand them, but merely cuts in projected spending increases. Like the temperature in Hell, the imperative in Washington is that spending must always increase: “austerity” means the tempo has momentarily slackened.

From military contractors to the academic establishment, all the lobbyists are crying bloody murder: we are told air traffic controllers will be taken off duty, and hospitals are warning of cuts to vital services. Some of these cuts will hit hardest those who can afford it least: the very poorest of the poor. In this atmosphere, one would think a foreign lobby would be more discreet about calling for an exemption in the foreign aid category. However, in the case of AIPAC, the biggest pro-Israel lobby in Washington, subtlety is not at the top of their agenda.

At the beginning of this month, AIPAC’s annual conference featured a Capitol Hill blitz, in which thousands of pro-Israel activists descended on Washington to pressure Congress to exempt Israel from the cuts. This was coupled with a demand that Congress vote to designate the Jewish state a “major strategic ally,” a characterization meant to divorce aid to Israel from the general foreign aid budget and put it in a special category of its own. After all, that’s what the “special relationship” is all about – right?

As Tim Carney points out, the corporate bunch affectionately known as the Military-Industrial Complex have a big stake in all this: two-thirds of the $3.1 billion in annual aid to Israel must be spent in the United States. US arms manufacturers reap the profits, and the Israelis get free stuff. Yet Carney is wrong about whose lobbying efforts make the difference in this case: I don’t think Lockheed-Martin could mobilize thousands of people to descend on Capitol Hill the way AIPAC, or Christians United for Israel, can.

According to Israel Hayom, the most widely read Israeli newspaper, Tel Aviv has already been granted special treatment: instead of the expected 8 percent across the board cut all other federal programs will suffer under sequestration, the Israelis were recently assured by the White House that their share will amount to only 5 percent.

Joke Time

President Obama showed up at Little Johnny's school one day. After he had the class's full and undivided attention, he started to slowly clap his hands every couple of seconds or so.

"Every time I clap my hands, a child dies from gun violence," the president explained.

Little Johnny raised his voice loudly enough to be heard throughout the room. "Well, quit clapping then, dumbass!"

Femi-Whatzies?

Illustration from HERE.
"Calling a feminist a feminazi is an insult to the German National Socialist Workers Party." 

I'll give you the source of that quote in a minute.  Whatever else you may say about them, the National Socialists, or "Nazis," had an ideology.  You might not like their ideology, but they had one. They weren't just reacting emotionally and randomly.  Thousands of books have been written about the National Socialists, so I won't try to be definitive here, but I'll just say that the Nazi ideology was based on race and culture. And you can criticize the Nazis for any number of things, but you can't call them feminists.  Some have pointed out that there were feminist elements in some branches of fascism, and I'll give them a nod, and I've even written about them HERE.  But you have to remember (and I was probably remiss in not emphasizing this) that such "feminist" elements weren't anything that modern feminists would recognize or approve of, as they involved women recognizing their responsibilities and fulfilling them.
No, modern feminism is most certainly not about women having responsibility, or even real authority (because real authority entails responsibility).  Leftists — and modern feminists are as left as can be — want no responsibility at all, because accepting responsibility is a feature of maturity, and leftists are immaturity personified.  Feminists, like all leftists, want to be indulged. They want to pretend to authority, while the grownups stand by to clean up their messes and protect them from the consequences of their actions.  As I suggested before, they don't really have an ideology, because "ideology" implies some sort of reasoning from first principles, and in leftism/feminism there's no reasoning in the usual sense.  There's no superego to them.  Just an ego that is barely distinguishable from the id.  With them, it is all about random emotional reactions. 
Wm. F. Buckley once famously said that "civilization is about limiting options," and he was dead right.  If you think about it, civilization requires control of our animal instincts, the mastery of our urges by our intellect, and a steady rise from our chthonic appetites to the creation and maintenance of high culture.  And that involves, initially, discipline, which is limitation of options in the sense that bad options are discouraged, and, as things develop properly, self-discipline, in which individuals create and maintain civilization.  Not much room for that kind of thinking on the left, which is all about gimme gimme gimme, and breath-holding and other hissy-fits and tantrums till their toddler appetites are sated.
Well, this rant was touched off by Vox Day, from whom I got the initial quote, and here's some more of him:


I've said it before. I'll say it again. And each time, more people recognize the truth in the statement. Calling a feminist a feminazi is an insult to the German National Socialist Workers Party:

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion. Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor....

"If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”

"We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician," said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.


This is what the feminist's vaunted concept of equality means. This is what it has always meant: the legal protection of a woman from all and any consequences of her actions. This includes a woman's ability to break any contract at will, to steal from anyone as she pleases, and murder even the most innocent without having to even hear a whisper of protest to make her uncomfortable. Feminists are objectively worse than Nazis. They are demonstrably worse than Fascists. They are provably worse than Communists. Their insane ideology has a higher body count than any of those three evil ideologies and comes with more costly, less sustainable societal consequences.
(Good stuff, eh?  Vox continues HERE, and follows this post with some elaboration HERE.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Downside of Equality


The illustration has no deep significance.  It's just meant to be eye-catching.  did it work?  Anyway....
"Equality" is a feel-good word, like "diversity" or "inclusion."  Well, it shouldn't be.  Equality is a good thing in some instances, a bad thing in some instances, and an utterly idiotic, self-destructive thing is some other instances. Andy Nowicki explains:


March 26, 2013 Andy Nowicki


"Equality" is one of the hoariest cliches and most pernicious slogans of modern times. Said to derive from a supposedly common-sense notion of fairness, the mad clamor underway toequalize the human race in fact has no basis whatsoever in justice or reality, human or otherwise.

Indeed, pushing the idea of equality is almost inevitably deeply debasing to a culture. Agitating for greater "equality" does nothing to make the dumb smart, the ugly beautiful, or the poor rich; instead, it only makes nearly everything— be it fashion, the arts, language, commerce, or general human interaction-- duller, less pleasant, less orderly, less desirable, and infinitely more tacky, tawdry, and loathsome. More crucially, the ramming of equality down our collective gullet requires the construction of a hateful bureaucracy to monitor, control, and altogether enslave the very people it supposedly wishes to uplift and empower. The imposition of equality , that is, requires the self-appointment of a vanguard elite who arrogate to themselves the task of being the equalizers. Thus the attempt to construct a society of “equals” invariably leads to perpetual exercise of tyranny.

But how did we get to the point where this obviously insane concept came to be enshrined as an ideal? And why, after the untold carnage, horror, and heartbreak it has caused, do we still view equality as a thing worth pursuing, worth sacrificing for, a patriotic duty even?

The term "equailty” of course, isn’t exactly new; it first sprung up as a vogue among the Western intellectual elite over two centuries ago. It in large part inspired two major political upheavals, one in America and the other in France. Upon deciding to be unencumbered states, representatives of the thirteen former English colonies in the New World signed the Declaration of Independence, which holds it to be “self-evident” that “all men are created equal”; meanwhile, those guillotine-happy men of Gaul made “egalite” one of their watchwords of revolution.

Lawrence Auster, R. I. P.

Blogger Lawrence Auster has died.  Obituary HERE.

Nixon

Something to think about:

Firefly

More Firefly art HERE.
The TV series Firefly was too good to last.  That happens on television, like it does in all areas of creativity — the most excellent productions simply go over too many heads to get popular, while more mundane features have millions of fans.  If you haven't seen it, you need to do so right away.  Think of it as "The Outlaw Josey Wales Meets Buck Rogers." (That's the Josey Wales counterpart in the illutstration.) You can buy the whole series quite cheaply HERE.  Trevor Lynch reviews it:


Firefly

Joss Whedon’s Firefly is a science fiction series that lived and died on the Fox Network in the Fall of 2002. Fourteen episosdes were shot, but only eleven were aired before the series was canceled, to the consternation of the surprisingly large number of loyal fans that the show conjured up in the split second of its existence. In my view, Fireflyis one of the best sci-fi shows ever, second only toBattlestar Galactica (the new one, of course, not the original, which I call Battlescow Spasmatica, just so there’s no confusion).

Firefly, like most contemporary TV, has a multiracial cast, including a white man married to a black woman (to me, that just underscores the sci-fi element). If you are going to enjoy the show, you’ll simply have to overlook that. But seven of the nine cast members are white, all of them are highly appealing. Furthermore, the substance of the series has a deep spiritual appeal to whites, for it combines two paradigmatically “Faustian” genres: the Western and the Space Opera. In essence, Firefly is a Space Western. (Cf. Star Trek‘s “final frontier.”) The genre mashup also makes Firefly a quintessentially “archeofuturist” drama.

Firefly has a number of politically incorrect elements.

First of all, the back story was inspired by the American Civil War and its aftermath, when many Southerners went West to escape Reconstruction. Firefly is set in the 26th century, after the human race has spread to another vast star system with a number of populous central planets and a Wild West of hundreds of moons. In the aftermath of a Civil War between the Alliance (the Union) and the Independents (the Confederacy), the defeated Independents have “gone West,” looking for freedom. But the centralized Alliance regime keeps extending its web of control.

The Firefly of the title is a smuggler’s spaceship called Serenity, captained by Malcolm Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion. Reynolds was a sergeant in the Independents’ army (the browncoats). In short, he is a Confederate of sorts. (Fillion himself is a descendant of Confederate general Jubal Early.)
(Read the rest HERE.)
(P. S.  And THIS from Al Perez)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jim Carrey — The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

Sign petition HERE.

From the Reason Foundation:

Founded by Geniuses, Ruled by Idiots


1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

2. If you have to get your parents permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but not to vote, … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

5. If, in our largest city, you can buy "two" 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

6. If an 80-year-old woman and 3 yr old child can be stripped searched by the TSA, but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

7. If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

8. If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is cute, but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable, … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

9. If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes…, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

10. If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

11. If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor buys iPhones, TVs and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

12. If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more safe according to the government,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Disparate Impact

When the left doesn't get its way, it has a lot of fallback positions, and one of the cleverest is "disparate impact."  It's the concept that a rule, law, or some sort of policy impacts different groups differentlyl  Well, duh, you might say.  Who expects all groups to be alike?  Liberals, that's who, except when they don't want to for some reason.  "Disparate Impact" is used all the time.  Recently, the notion that voters ought to present some kind of identification before they're allowed to vote was said to have "disparate impact" on the usual protected classes, because, I guess, minorities just don't seem to have identification in the exact same percentages that White voters do, so asking for identification is the same as not allowing Blacks to vote, or enslaving them and making them pick cotton.  What liberals want, of course, is no voter identification so that it's easier to commit voter fraud, and screeching "disparate impact" is a handy method to achieve that.

And even better is invoking "disparate impact" when hiring or admission standards don't result in automatic minority success.  It's well-established by now that having plenty of Black firemen is infinitely more important than having competent firemen, and that applies also to cops, faculty, and students.

Fred Reed assumes his Huck Finn persona to examine the meaning and consequences of "disparate impact."


Social Policy

A Bumpkin's Eye View

March 25, 2013

I’m trying to figure out what a “disparate impact” is. Help me. It’s slow going. I don’t guess I studied much in school, back in Wheeling, and big words make me itch.
It seems like up in New York they got these three high schools for smart kids, called Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech. To get in you gotta take a test to see if you are smart. So what happened was they gave the test. Stuyvesant said it would let in 9 blacks, 24 Latinos, 177 whites, and 620 Asians. Bronx Science would let in 25 blacks, 54 Latinos, 239 whites, and 489 Asians. Brooklyn Tech would let in 110 blacks,134 Latinos, 451 whites, and 960 Asians.

Hooboy, I thought, that’s a train load of Asians. Now, I always thought Asians meant people who worked in Chinese restaurants, like Wong Chong Willie’s Noodle Chute in Bluefield. But all right, I figured, if Asians are who’s smartest, that’s who ought to get in to those schools. It looked pretty simple to me. If you have a wrestling match, the one who wrestles best gets the prize. On the other hand, if the Chinese all went off to be scientists, I wasn’t sure who was going to make noodles.
But then I saw where some black folks were all mad, and said not enough blacks got in and it was a “disparate impact.”

I thought and thought about it. It seemed to me that “disparate impact” means if you ask a question, and you don’t like the answer, you just have to say “disparate impact,” and the answer don’t count. Then everybody gets in a uproar and lets in whatever kinds of people you want. It’s like in NASCAR there ain’t a single blind woman driver over eighty with a wooden leg and a crank habit. That’s a disparate impact, so you got to find some pegleg grannies. And feed them crank.
(Vintage Fred, eh? Read the rest HERE.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

War, Science, and Libertarianism

Human beings are intrinsically aggressive. Even girls.
I read Justin Raimondo all the time.  He's what is called a 'left-libertarian,' which essentially means that he's right part of the time, but is wrong part of the time, and in the latter case it's just about always because he accepts one or more leftist principles.  In his latest piece,  "The Militarization of American Life,"  he writes:

As the American Empire transforms itself from a constitutional republic into a social democratic monstrosity – where everyone is "equal," and no one is free – egalitarianism is the fuel that runs the engine of imperialism. A perfect example is the recent announcement that the US military is getting with the times and allowing women in combat. What’s pretty disheartening is that not even the woman’s-place-is-in-the-home Neanderthals of the "traditionalist" camp even bothered to oppose this: for them, a more efficient war machine is much more important than any attachment to such "archaic" ideas as the men do the fighting while the women wait at home.

Any disagreement there? Not from me.  He makes it clear that "free men are not equal, and equal men are not free," which is definitely not a leftist theme, and also that the idea of women in combat is idiotic, which is good to hear from anybody, especially a libertarian, since all too many libertarians seem to have swallowed the feminist mythos whole.

But further down in the article, he goes, alas, wrong:

"The eminent University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins resigned from the National Academy of Sciences on Friday, citing his objections to its military partnerships and to its electing as a member Napoleon Chagnon, a long-controversial anthropologist who is back in the news thanks to the publication of his new book, Noble Savages." [Hat tip: Jordan Bloom at The American Conservative]

You don’t have to be an anthropologist to get in on the action: yes, you too can access via live webcast the April 3 Pentagon/NAS "workshop," "New Directions in Assessing Individuals and Groups,"and hear the keynote address by Frederick Vollrath, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management. I’ll bet those anthropologists are making out like bandits!

As for Napoleon Chagnon – could a novelist have gotten away with such a name? – he is an extremely dubious character who apparently believes violence is not only genetically encoded in humans, but that there is an evolutionary bias in favor of homicidal homo sapiens. Instead of an atavistic trait surviving from pre-civilized man, wars of aggression – according to the Chagnonite version of biological determinism – are the mark of high civilization. It is a Bizarro World perspective on the nature of human progress, one that owes much to that great anthropologist, the Marquis de Sade.

Chagnon dismisses his critics as "left-wing anthropologists" and "anti-Darwinian romantics": he and his claque present themselves as true "scientists," and treat the study of anthropology – that is, of human nature – as if it were one of the "hard" sciences, like chemistry. Armed with "scientific" certitude, their one-dimensional view of life – "impoverished," as one critic remarked – is the perfect instrument of the modern Warfare State: bloodless, dogmatic, and cruel. Chagnon’s elevation to the NAS – which used to be a prestigious organization – is an absolute disgrace, and Prof. Sahlins was right to render his resignation in protest.

Citing his own objections to Chagnon’s research methods – see here – Sahlins went on to explain the core reason for his resignation. Because of "the toll" that military action overseas "has taken on the blood, treasure, and happiness of American people, and the suffering it has imposed on other peoples,” Sahlins said, “the NAS, if it involves itself at all in related research, should be studying how to promote peace, not how to make war."


The problem here is that he's buying into the left-wing anthropologists' doctrine that anthropology isn't and shouldn't be a science, but rather a handy way for Marxists to get paid for spreading their doctrines.  And of course Chagnon, who is trying to be scientific about anthropology, is anathema to that school of thought.  I'm about halfway through Chagnon's book, but I've read Kevin MacDonald's review of it,  and have found nothing to object to in Chagnon from either source.

I think Raimondo's problem is that Chagnon's research shows that, contrary to leftist dogma, human beings are intrinsically warlike. This annoys the leftist parts of Raimondo, because it's also leftist dogma that human beings aren't intrinsically anything, and that, paradoxically, people in a state of nature are all peaceful and collectivist and kum-ba-ya.  Chagnon's research, like all real scientific research on the subject, shows that such thinking is BS.

The mistake people make is to think that if human beings are intrinsically warlike, this makes all attempts at peace futile.  Nonsense.  It makes some attempts futile, of course, because they're based on the erroneous notion that you can talk people out of being aggressive.  You can't. But what you can do is channel the innate aggressiveness in comparatively peaceful directions.  The Amazon Indians that Chagnon has studied are a pretty brutal, warlike bunch, and they didn't learn it from watching Bruce Willis movies. (An aside.  If human beings are naturally peaceful, why are they so warlike in practice?  How could naturally peaceful people make war?  Who taught them?  Jesus? Space aliens?)  Anyhow, you can't fix any problem until you know what the problem is, and what its origins are.  You can't get people to be more peaceful if you deny human nature.  Civilized people have at least subconsciously understood that we're a naturally violent species, and have come up with sports and lots of other competitive activities that channel the drive into harmless, even beneficial, directions.

Raimondo's good.  Read him.  But take what he says about Chagnon with a grain of salt.

De'Marquise Elkins and Trayvon Martin

This from "DailyKenn," and a relevant story HERE.  Where are Jesse and Al for this one?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Do Heroes Always Seem Fascistic?

Yes, why do heroes always seem fascistic?  The answer is disarmingly simple.  Despite blather from the likes of Jonah Goldberg, fascism is a right-wing phenomenon, always in opposition to leftists.  And leftists are intrinsically unheroic.  That is why, whatever enemies they might be opposing, fictional heroes always seem like fascists because they act like fascists.  They're heroic, of course, by definition, while the closest thing we have to a leftist hero is a 'victim.'  And such heroes have principles they live by, just like fascists and other right-wingers, while leftists are into situational ethics and moral relativism.  Since fascists are defenders of the underpinnings of Western Civilization, they have a heroic attitude towards those weaker than themselves, and have an instinctive protective attitude towards women and children.  In keeping with that, they have respect for those stronger than themselves, provided they are also virtuous.  Leftists are the complete opposite, despising those weaker than themselves, and hating and envying those stronger.

All this is obvious in literature — From books to television to movies, and my own special favorite, comic books. What follows is sort of an introduction to a book by Jonathan Bowden entitled Pulp Fascism: Right-Wing Themes in Comics, Graphic Novels, and Popular Literature.
________________________

I would like to talk about something that has always interested me. The title of the talk is “Léon Degrelle and the Real Tintin,” but what I really want to talk about is the heroic in mass and in popular culture. It’s interesting to note that heroic ideas and ideals have been disprivileged by pacifism, by liberalism tending to the Left, and by feminism particularly since the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. Yet the heroic, as an imprimatur in Western society, has gone down into the depths, into mass popular culture. Often into trashy forms of culture where the critical insight of various intellectuals doesn’t particularly gaze upon it.

One of the forms that interests me about the continuation of the heroic in Western life as an idea is the graphic novel, a despised form, particularly in Western Europe outside France and Italy and outside Japan further east. It’s regarded as a form primarily for children and for adolescents. Yet forms such as this: these are two volumes of Tintin which almost everyone has come across some time or other. These books/graphic novels/cartoons/comic books have been translated into 50 languages other than the original French. They sold 200 million copies, which is almost scarcely believable. It basically means that a significant proportion of the globe’s population has got one of these volumes somewhere.

Now, before he died, Léon Degrelle said that the character of Tintin created by Hergé was based upon his example. Other people rushed to say that this wasn’t true and that this was self-publicity by a notorious man and so on and so forth. Probably like all artistic and semi-artistic things there’s an element of truth to it. Because a character like this that’s eponymous and archetypal will be a synthesis of all sorts of things. Hergé got out of these dilemmas by saying that it was based upon a member of his family and so on. That’s probably as true as not.

The idea of the masculine and the heroic and the Homeric in modern guise sounds absurd when it’s put in tights and appears in a superhero comic and that sort of thing. But the interesting thing is because these forms of culture are so “low” they’re off the radar of that which is acceptable and therefore certain values can come back. It’s interesting to note that the pulp novels in America in the 1920s and ’30s, which preceded the so-called golden age of comics in the United States in the ’30s and ’40s and the silver age in the 1960s, dealt with quite illicit themes.

[He goes on to discuss heroism in such diverse forms as Captain America and Birth of a Nation and other unexpected versions.  Read it all HERE.]

Vengeance as an Adaptation

"Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord.  Well and good. I can see how that notion might initially appeal to people tired of blood feuds, but it's a sort of dysgenic way to think.  Put simply, a group that routinely foregoes vengeance finds itself constantly decimated by groups that don't, and eventually vanishes.  That's not to say that you should never forego vengeance, just that it's a bad general principle.  Vito Corleone didn't really forego vengeance, you know, he was just biding his time.

Now, I have a dubious feeling about Christianity and the whole 'turn the other cheek' notion.  I can't understand how anybody could think that a rational way to behave.  Maybe the whole thing is a misinterpretation.  But whether it's a valid Christian way of thinking or not, it's the one bit of Christianity that liberals have decided to keep, because it fits their ethos of self-destruction.

Here's something that calls for vengeance.

Two Black Teenagers Murder 13-Month-Old Toddler, Wound White Mother

  Full story HERE.  It's interesting that I heard all about the murder, on Fox News no less, and they told me all about the facts of the murder, the ages of everybody, etc., but just couldn't bring themselves to mention that the murderers were Black and the victims White.  And, I repeat, that was Fox News.

Well, regardless of what suicidal Christians think, or what self-destructive liberals say, every decent person who hears about this should want the perps dead.  Jim Goad talks about the validity of vengeance in this case and in general — Here's part of what he writes:

Last Thursday morning in a small coastal Georgia town, a white woman was strolling her blue-eyed infant son when a pair of young black males—she said the younger one appeared to be only ten years old—confronted her at gunpoint and demanded her money. She says she told them she didn’t have any money, at which point the older male fired two bullets at her, one grazing her ear and the other hitting her leg. He allegedly then pushed her out of the way and fired a shot point-blank into the infant’s face, killing him.

On Friday, police in Brunswick, GA arrested 17-year-old De’Marquise “Money-ville” Elkins—who, judging from pictures, appears to be a “Blood” gang member—and an unnamed 14-year-old accomplice on suspicion of murder.

The dead baby’s mother, Sherry West, says she hates the accused killer and wants him to die.

Greg Gutfeld on Jim Carrey

I heard this last night and headed straight for the net this morning because I was sure I'd find the clip.  Disclaimer:  I'm not as enthusiastic as Gutfeld is abouts Heston's early involvement with the 'civil rights' movement, but I understand and (of course) agree with his sentiments, which really seem sincere.  Enjoy, and spread the URL around.  Full story HERE.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Gun Rant from Neale Osborn

Guest post from Neale Osborn:

Neale's Weekly Gun Rant, Volume 2
by Neale Osborn
nealebooks@hotmail.com

Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Old Business—Dinnae ken hoo Ah did it, but Ah forgot summat last week. (Channeling my inner Scotsman) But before I address it, please note—this is in NO WAY endorsing TSA when I happen to support an action by Director Pistol (Gotta love the name!) Last week, TSA announced it was going to allow small pocketknives on planes, and people freaked out. Why, I do not know. Remember 9/11/2001? 19 Arab men (no, I do not believe GWB or the Isareali's took down the Twin Towers) armed with boxcutters hijacked a bunch of sheep (and one plane of pissed off Scotties) and altered forever the face of America. Now, a boxcutter has a razor blade as it's sharp edge. The razor blade protrudes no more than 1 inch from the handle. TSA will now allow knives with blades 2 1/8th inches to be carried on planes. IF the 44 people on Flight 93 had posessed knives of the type now being permitted, they might not have crashed into a PA cornfield. Perhaps the Twin Towers would still stand. Perhaps the Pentagon would... never mind—that wasn't such a bad thing. Perhaps 4997 US soldiers would still live. Hell, Dubbya mighta lost in 2004. Who knows? Now, do not get me wrong—I advocate allowing any and all passengers to verify their handguns carry only frangibles rated for airframe safety, then carry their weapons on board. But these tiny knives are a (tiny) step in the right direction.

A new feature of this rant will be links to articles of a pro-gun nature by various authors. Here are some of the first. Suppose you were fond of books and The only good defense. This next one is a nice treatment of IDs for guns and racism. If you wish to comment to the article at the link, though, you will need to join NewsTalkers. You can read the article without joining. Got a good suggestion, send it to me. If I like it, I'll include it.

I happen to oppose ALL licenses for guns—carry permits, Concealed carry permits, registration, NFA tax and license, ALL of them. They all violate our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, which shall not be infringed. But I also love my wife, and want her happy. So, when she bought me the application for a New York CCW, I reluctantly acceded to her wishes, filled out the forms, submitted to the police anal probe, and got my CCW. I received it 4 days before The Sandy Hook Shootings. I had ZERO intention of buying a legal pistol and carrying it. After The Sandy Hook Shootings, my wife took the next step. She DEMANDED I carry, and do so legally, so that I could protect her and our children without risking jail time. She and her mother bought me a nice little Taurus polymer-framed 5 shot .357 mag snubbie revolver with a shrouded but still thumb-cockable hammer. It's light, accurate at up to 20 yards (the farthest I've tried it at), and eats .38 special for cheaper practice (and longer hand life! LOL). Then, Don Andrew, our mafioso don of state here in NY decided to suck off DC by passing a MORE restrictive "assault weapon" ban than even Obama and Biden were asking for. Included in this ban is a revocation of life-long CCWs, and switching them over to a 5 year renewal plan, complete with heavy fees, and no guarantee that even without a legal change of status (meaning felony conviction), you might lose your license, which ALSO means you have to "dispose of legally" your private property. So tonight I began the process of obtaining an Arizona non-resident CCW. And here's how you do it!

I think, for shits, giggles, and controversy (and also because I happen to support it fully) I am boldly ripping off my good friend L. Neil Smith's Atlanta Declaration on the correct interpretation of the Bill of rights:
"Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission." The Atlanta Declaration of the Libertarian Party, written by L. Neil Smith. The author of this article is a signatory to same.

Call me extremist (I am, so no problem). I am sick and tired of people telling me I have "No need" or "No sporting use" or "No legitimate need" of _____________! (Fill in the blank with your weapon of choice) It is constantly demanded of we, the Bill of Rights supporters, to justify our defense of the 2nd Amendment. I no longer do so. For a simple, easily understandable reason. The very moment you attempt to justify yourself, no matter whether you convince them of your correctness or not, you legitimize their belief that you need to justify yourself. Which promptly (usually before the conversation is over) results in something like this. "Well, maybe, but surely you cannot justify owning a ________, can you?" Here's the simple facts—EVERY bit of writing by the people who demanded that a Bill of Rights be included (or else they would not ratify the Constitution at all) shows their intent. Those same people included, in their own state Constitutions, a similar statement. Now, we all know that women, blacks, and American Indians were not citizens at that time. Hell, blacks and American Indians weren't even human yet! (SARCASM, in case you don't get it) But citizens are citizens. Did they interpret citizen to exclude certain people? Yes. But ALL CURRENT citizens have rights. ENUMERATED rights. And there is only ONE FRIGGING WAY to eliminate that enumeration. By an Amendment. 2/3rds of the House and Senate pass it. 3/4ths of the several states must then ratify it. Then it becomes the new definition of a right. So let me be my inner extremist right here, right now. ALL laws which restrict, limit, license, control, deny, prohibit, or otherwise infringe upon our right to Keep and Bear Arms violate the Constitution's 2nd Amendment. From the Sullivan Act to NFA'34 to Andrew Cuomo's so-called "Assault Weapons Ban", ALL gun control laws are unConstitutional, and therefore need to be declared null and void. Extreme enough for ya?

On a happier note, DiFi got spanked today (3-19-13) by the Democrats mulling how badly they can screw over the Constitution and not get hurt. Her latest unConstitutional "Assault Weapons Bill" got tossed out of the Democrats current "Assault on the Bill of Rights" bill. We're still going to see a victim disarmament bill from the Senate, but Feinstein's massive pile of garbage will (hopefully) not be a part. It can still be tacked on as an amendment, but if they do that they seem to fear it would kill their chances of ramming it through. Ignore any seeming chronological mixups—I add to this each day as the thoughts occur, then I'll put it out Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Hey, anybody got a Norinco knock-off of the M1A to rate for me? I want one (because I can't afford a Springfield Armory version), but I ALSO want to know how well they function. If you own one, I'd like to know out-of-box accuracy, reliability, any problems you've experienced, and what, if any, work was necessary to get it to function with factory ammo. I'm a gunsmith, so I don't mind a certain amount of tweaking, but I'd like an opinion on how much is necessary.

To all my readers—we are in a battle for our very freedoms. We are constantly under assault by people who want us disarmed, defenseless against their hired thugs. And the NRA, I am sorry to say, is not on our side as much as they would like us to believe. They have been the reason more gun control laws have been passed. They take an extreme law, water it down some, then pronounce victory. Keep your NRA membership, but join Larry Pratt's Gun Owners of America and JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership). Two take no prisoners groups that have NO compromise in their makeup. And NO, you do not have to be Jewish to join JPFO. Hell L. Neil Smith is a senior editor for JPFO, and he's not only not a Jew, he's an atheist.

Ever wonder what to do when a cop stops you on the street for openly carrying a handgun in an open carry state? Wonder no further. This law student shows you how to handle it. Here's the fun little YouTube flick that shows you how it's done. I like this kid, and I really like the way he stayed on point. It will only work in open carry states, but I love the way he was polite and firm. I especially loved the way he reamed the cop out for piss-poor firearms handling.

Soooo, Johnny Hinckenpooper, Colorado's "Mini-Me" for Obama will be signing (if he hasn't already) the new gun laws. Including the one that will cause 600 jobs to move over the border to a gun-company friendly state. (Wyoming, perhaps?) MagPul, one of the leading manufacturers of standard capacity magazines (you know, the magazines the "assault rifles" were designed to use), and who sells millions of them to military and Law Enforcement purchasing agents in addition to civillian users has said it will move "as soon as possible" to a more friendly environment. The funniest part? The Democrats who wrote the bill carefully negotiated a clause that would allow the manufacture of these magazines in the state as long as they are sold out of state. So, these hypocrites, who claim that somehow owning a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds makes you nore likely to mow down masses of people, do not care if you mow'em down in another state, as long as the tax dollars and jobs stay in Colorado. Yet another example of "Follow the money" politcal expediency.

I think this is enough for this week. See ya next Friday!

Longmire

Guest post by Baloo: 

This isn't about the TV show on A&E.  I haven't seen that yet, though I'm looking forward to it. No, it's about the books by Craig Johnson.  Ever since Tony Hillerman died, I've been intermittently groping around trying to find something to replace his stuff.  Mysteries set in the West, with an Indian connection if possible.  And well-written.  I tried the Thurlo books, and they didn't do it for me.  Too much of the mysterious Indian spirituality or whatever in it.  Hillerman just wrote about Indians as people. — damned interesting people, and entertaining people, but just people.  And I recently took a crack at some Margaret Coel, and there was too much lo, the poor Indian for me.  There might be some other stuff out there, but I haven't found it.  And I say that because I just recently found Craig Johnson, and he's been turning these things out for eight or nine years.  And I wouldn't have found him yet, if A&E hadn't made the TV show, leading to a boxed set of the novels, with the illustration of Longmire I've added here, which kept catching my eye at Barnes & Noble, till I picked up the first to take a look.  You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can be attracted by it.

Well, I got hooked immediately.  The books start with Longmire, Sheriff of a hell-and-gone county in northern Wyoming, near retirement.  My mind's eye sees him as resembling Joe Arpaio because of his age and size and the fact that he's a sheriff, I suppose.  He has a friend from childhood, a Cheyenne Indian, and, no, we don't get into the Great Spirit or any of that junk.  His friend, Henry Standing Bear, shows up in my mind's eye as an older version of John Redcorn.  Anyhow, Henry is one hell of a funny Indian, funny in the way you might expect from Gunsmoke or maybe even Carl Hiaasen. Subtle funny.  And the books as a whole are subtle funny.

Well, I like these books and I recommend them, and I don't want to give too much away.  I'll say that they somehow remind me of MacDonalds' Travis McGee books, only funnier and not so cynical.  There's a little bit of a Heinlein old-fashioned good guy feel to Longmire himself.  Longmire has a deputy from Philadelphia, who is also funny as all hell, and who is (I'm guessing) appropriately portrayed by Katie Sackhoff on the TV show.  It's good to see Starbuck again.  As for the plots, they're damn good mystery plots all by themselves, and would make for good books even if the characters weren't so appealing.  The plots make me think of Ellery Queen for some reason. Probably because of the unexpected twists. Twists are common, but in the case of the Longmire stories, they're credible twists, which are a lot harder to write.  Now, they also sort of remind me of the Robert B. Parker novels, which I hasten to assure you, is a compliment, because they were (and still are — others are writing them since Parker's death) well written and powerful page-turners.  But the problem with Parker is that his stuff is excruciatingly politically correct.  In one novel, the protagonist, Spencer, needed help and assembled a bunch of action heroes he knew from here and there, and, honest to God, just like the Howling Commandoes, one was Black, one was Mexican, one was an Indian, and one was a homosexual, and so forth.  Whew!  Well, Craig Johnson isn't like that.  Oh, he's faintly politically correct, in that the good guys are kind of knee-jerk tolerant, but he doesn't sermonize about it.  In fact, he doesn't sermonize about much of anything, but, as the best writers do, lets us come to our own conclusions from the narrative.

So go check these books out.  Libraries should have them.  And you could do what I did, and buy the whole bunch.  If you reread books at all, you'll reread these.

Monday Morning Martial Arts!


I'd like to see Janeway and her metrosexual minions do any of this!
Click to enlarge!  Found this HERE. Originally from RABITTOOTH.COM

Sunday, March 24, 2013

And Dumber Still

This time a little too dumb.
Canada, you can come and get Jim Carrey and take him home now.  He's crossed the obnoxious line.  I'd advise everybody to boycott his movies, but it seems like that's already happening for other reasons.

Anyhow, I hereby coin a new term, "tinseltown totalitarian," just for Jim.... Well, I just googled it and I'm a little late.  It's already been used on such deep thinkers as Sean Penn and Ed Begley, Jr.

Lincoln, Everybody Slayer


Reprinted by permission of Baloo.  He has zillions
more cartoons HERE.
Guest post from Charles G. Mills.  Links below

If Lincoln Had Drones
by Charles G. Mills

GLEN COVE, NY -  Just think how much more effective Lincoln and his Reconstruction successors would have been if they had the benefit of missile-firing drones.

        One of Lincoln's first projects was to suppress the State of Maryland. A majority of the members of the elected Maryland legislature favored seceding from the Union and joining the Confederacy. If they had been allowed to meet and vote, it might have made a significant difference in the war. Lincoln had the Army arrest and imprison enough Maryland legislators to prevent an ordinance of secession.

          How much easier it would have been if Lincoln could have simply sent drones to kill the pro-secession legislators. An additional benefit would have been the absence of living victims to complain in later years about the violation of their rights under the Constitution. Early in the war, General Grant decided to expel the Jews from the military Department of the Tennessee (which included Kentucky). Although Kentucky was part of the Union and not at war with the North, this policy had the effect of driving many of Kentucky's Jews from their homes. How much simpler it would have been to simply send drones to kill them all and not create a class of unhappy nomads to complain about Grant's injustice.

          The situation was somewhat similar along the Northern Bank of the Ohio River. The war never reached Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, but the Northern Army arrested and imprisoned Southern sympathizers in these states. Only after the fighting ended was the Supreme Court able to rule that their imprisonment was illegal. If only Lincoln had drones, he could have avoided leaving anyone behind to be freed on a writ of habeas corpus.

          As the Northern Army swept into Alabama, a liturgical dispute arose between the Northern commanding general and the Episcopal Bishop of Alabama. The general responded by closing all the Episcopal Churches in Alabama, effectively forcing the local Episcopalians to worship in private houses. How much more efficient it would have been simply to use a drone to assassinate the bishop.

          After Lincoln was killed, elements in the Northern government stirred up hysteria about alleged co-conspirators. By order of a military tribunal, Mary Surratt and three men were hanged, and Dr. Samuel Mudd and others were imprisoned. Before long, Dr. Mudd embarrassed the North by his heroism in treating smallpox victims in his horrific military prison. Legal scholars generally believe that all of these alleged conspirators were entitled to jury trials, which the Army prevented. It would have been much neater if Andrew Johnson had made up a list of those guilty, in his opinion, of complicity in Lincoln's death and sent drones to kill them. Nobody would have been embarrassed when Dr. Mudd later displayed his heroic character.

          For about 10 years after the war, the Northern Army controlled and manipulated the elections in South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida; a national Republican majority was maintained by military force. This situation was ended by popular uprisings in these four states, which the Northern Army failed to put down. With a sufficient number of lethal drones, enough Democrats could have been killed to preserve the Republican monopoly of power.

          The North did not hesitate to arrest legislators and dissidents, imprison them without trial, trample on the rights of Jews and Episcopalians, and hang men and women without due process. If drones had existed, the North would not have hesitated to use them.  


###    


        ###
The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2013 by
Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation,www.fgfBooks.com. All rights reserved. This column may be reposted or forwarded if credit is given to Charles Mills and fgfBooks.com.

###

Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles about the law.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Con Man of Oz

Maybe it's a character flaw, but I was never all the crazy about the original Wizard of Oz movie.  Could be that Judy Garland is just too intense for me?  They should have cast Shirley Temple.  Or the girl from The Philadelphia Story.  Or just not made it at all and let Hayao Miyazaki do it.  Of course I saw it when I was a kid, fifty-odd years ago, but I still am unmoved by it.  Now, I did like Return to Oz, which I remember as having a clearer, more interesting plot, and a much cuter Dorothy, who actually seemed the right age.  Anyhow, many years back I got hold of most of the Oz books, and, well, they were okay but I wasn't all that impressed. I have a theory that Baum's stuff was the best of the children's book genre that had been produced in America so far, so he was overrated.

But, be that as it may, they've gone and done another Oz movie.  Fortunately, I don't have to go see it, because Kelly Morrison already has.  It may save you the trouble to.  Lots of spoilers below. She writes:


Oz the Great & Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful, the new prequel to the children’s classic, The Wizard of Oz, is a tempting spectacle for families with children, but the plot is thick with sexual tension, and the mature dialogue will be totally inaccessible to little ones. White families should steer clear of this movie, however, not because of the steamy thematic elements, but rather the anti-white and anti-Western propaganda that it contains.

The star of the show is Oscar, a magician for a traveling circus. Both a womanizer and a cheat, he is driven by Mammon and Pleasure. During the opening scenes, which are filmed in black and white, Oscar complains about the unsatisfactory proceeds from his last show and attempts to seduce a “simple country girl” he has recruited to assist with his levitation trick. Oscar gives her a music box that he claims belonged to his late grandmother. She is moved, but Oscar’s technical assistant Frank interrupts the moment at show time.

After the show, an innocent little girl in a wheelchair, convinced by his performance, shouts “Make me walk!” Soon the whole crowd joins in her request. When Oscar cannot rise to the occasion, the spectators realize they have been fooled and attack the magician. Oscar retreats to his trailer, where he receives a visitor from Kansas. Annie reveals that a young man named John Gale has proposed to her, saying “I thought you should know.” Momentarily tempted, the magician congratulates Annie on the proposal from a “good man.” Annie replies that Oscar too could be a good man if he wanted, but Oscar wants to be great man not a good man. He does not wish to be a slave to the soil until it consumes him in death like his own father. The tete à tete is interrupted when Oscar boards his hot-air balloon to escape the circus strongman who believes the magician attempted to seduce his wife.

Oscar loses control of the balloon as a tornado carries him away to the Land of Oz. He pleads to God for protection and mercy, and offers his thanks when his balloon escapes the tornado. “You won’t regret this!” he shouts. When Oscar lands in a beautiful marsh, Nature itself celebrates his arrival. The leaves on the trees quicken and flutter about, green shoots whistle a tune, and water lilies blossom and curtsy. Now in color, the film never reverts to black and white as in the original, suggesting the objective reality of Oscar’s experience in Oz.

Shortly after the beautiful witch Theodora appears, river fairies drive the reluctant magician out of the water to meet her and begin his new life. He is already wavering in his obligations under the bargain he struck with God in the balloon. Dressed provocatively in a red jacket and black leather pants, Theodora confirms Oscar’s messianic destiny, revealing a prophecy concerning a great wizard who will descend from the sky to save Oz from the wicked witch who killed her good father and usurped his Throne. She further reveals that the wicked witch has sent her minions to kill him before he can depose her. Cornered, Oscar releases a white dove to distract a flying baboon that nearly captured them.

Oscar wastes no time in taking advantage of the opportunity with Theodora. He gives her a copy of the same music box that he had given to his previous target. Despite her attire, Theodora is totally inexperienced; Oscar must teach her to dance. The next morning the pair sets out for Emerald City where Oscar will meet Evanora, the Theodora’s sister who is serving as Regent in place of the dead King. She walks with Oscar among oversized yellow-orange daisies and speaks of her dream of a future with him as his Queen. Disingenuously, Oscar says, “Like you said, we belong together.” Frank, the magician’s assistant, reappears as Finley the flying monkey trapped in a vine along the way to Emerald City. Oscar uses a crude magic trick to distract a lion who is about to attack him, and Finley swears an oath to the magician and remains his companion throughout the tale, even when the magician reveals to him that he is not the true Wizard. Finley’s own faithfulness both highlights Oscar’s own vacillation and provides the ideal toward which the magician will evolve throughout the film. (Keep reading HERE.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Communism ≠ Fascism


When you're given a choice between living under a communist dictator or a fascist dictator, everything else being equal, take the fascist dictator.  Interestingly, communists in general are safer under a fascist dictator than they are under a communist dictator.  Chances are, with the fascist, if you keep your nose clean and your mouth shut, you'll survive okay even if you're a communist. But with a communist dictator, you might not be the right kind of communist.  So they'll kill you. Just ask Lev Bronstein. Communists, you see, aren't satisfied with behavior control, which is usually plenty for a garden-variety fascist, but communists also want thought control.  If you don't believe me, just ask George Orwell.  This is assuming, of course, that the people our intellectual leaders call "fascists" are fascists.

Look at it this way.  Sure, fascists do mean stuff to people, and have lots of other flaws, but communists do all the same things, usually to a greater degree, and add other awful stuff on top of that.  You see, fascism is a philosophy, but it's not a totalitarian philosophy, meaning that it has no intention of determining everything about life.  It generally leaves most decisions to individuals or other authorities — the family, the church, other non-government associations. It does want to control politics, so we call it "authoritarian."  Communism is totalitarian, however, and the churches are banned and so are any other groups that rival government authority, including the family. The late Jeane Kirkpatrick popularized this distinction years ago.

One dictator usually called fascist was Augusto Pinochet. Gavin McInnes starts out writing about him positively, but expresses doubts after talking to some anti-Pinochet people. (A little too many doubts, if you ask me.)  But at least he can't be accused of hagiography.  So it's well worth a read, and don't miss the comments — They're worth the read all by themselves.


Reconsidering Pinochet


With the passing of Hugo Chávez, we got a lot of crocodile tears from liberals claiming we had “lost a friend” who “lifted the poor and helped them realize their dreams.” Jimmy Carter told us that he “never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment.” The Nation lamented that “he wasn’t authoritarian enough.” I haven’t seen this much love for a Latin American tyrant since Che Guevara became a T-shirt.

But if we’re going to perform oral sex on every despot who can’t pronounce the letter “J,” why not Pinochet?

In 1973, Augusto Pinochet was faced with a dilemma: Let the communists control his country or stand and fight. McCarthyism and the Cold War get a bad rap these days, but communism was responsible for millions of deaths and was spreading all over Central and South America like a red plague.
I never realized this before, but he looked a lot
like Melvyn Douglas.
Pinochet chose Door #2 and led a military coup against President Salvador Allende that was nasty and brutal but pretty much the norm as far as coups go. He killed thousands of people, but so did Che. Where’s Augusto’s T-shirt? Why did The Nation call him “murderous” while acting as if Che and Chávez were the greatest things since sliced tortillas?

Where Allende had taken land from the rich in a Castro-like redistribution program, Pinochet gave it back. He traveled the world talking to economists, politicians, and academics. Critics of libertarianism call Milton Friedman a “Pinochet sympathizer,” but all Milton did was take a meeting where he told Pinochet that dictatorships don’t work in the long run. He also explained that Chile would thrive if the market were given free rein.
(Not as simple as we've been led to believe, eh? — Read the rest HERE.)

The Neocon Test

Neocons seem like nice conservatives at first, and then, WHAM!
I've often bemoaned the confusion people have about conservatives and neoconservatives, a totally different breed, so it was a pleasure to come across the blog post below. This excellent summary of neoconservatism is a reprint from http://blog.beliefnet.com/, a site I just came across.  It's a site that contains a lot of different blogs, which seem to deal with a number of thing.  This particular piece is from Jack Kerwick's Blog, which seems to have lots of good stuff in it.  Go there and tell him he's doing a good job.

You Might Be A Neocon If…
posted by Jack Kerwick

The bulk of what passes for “the right” these days consists of, not conservatives, and certainly not libertarians, but neoconservatives. In varying degrees, virtually every mainstream politician, journalist, and commentator deemed to be on the right is a neoconservative. In fact, the same can be said for many Republican voters.

So, how do you know if you are a neocon?

You just might be a neocon if:

You take offense at the very mention of the word “neoconservatism,” perhaps even going so far as to treat it as an anti-Jewish epithet.

The term “Judeo-Christian” figures much more prominently in your vocabulary than that of “Christian.”

You think that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest president of all time.

You routinely lavish praise upon yesteryear’s Democratic Party, especially upon such Democrats as John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, FDR.

You speak incessantly of a war on “terror” or a war against “Islamists,” “radical Muslims,” “Islamic extremists,” “Islamofascists,” or “Islamonazis.”

You spare no occasion to invoke images of “the good war,” World War II, in connection with this war on “terror” over which you obsess.

You accuse anyone who proposes to cut the military’s budget by a single penny of being “naïve,” an “appeaser,” or otherwise weak on national security.

You accuse anyone who refuses to affirm that there really is a war on terror of being “naïve,” an “appeaser,” or otherwise weak on national security.

You obsess over the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and accuse anyone who doesn’t as being “naïve,” an “appeaser,” or otherwise weak on national security.

You brand as “anti-Semitic” anyone who talks about cutting all foreign aid, for Israel receives American foreign aid, and this would mean that Israel would no longer be a beneficiary of it.

You advocate on behalf of “comprehensive immigration reform”—i.e. amnesty—for the millions upon millions of illegal immigrants living within our borders.

If you don’t argue for amnesty, you fail to resist those who do.

You treat Ronald Wilson Reagan as a conservative hero who ignited a “revolution” (while failing to mention that the Gipper raised taxes more often than he cut them, and eliminated not a single government program, much less an agency).

You talk as if there was no conservative movement in America before William F. Buckley. Put another way, you never mention such pivotal post-WWII conservative giants as Russell Kirk, if not for whose influence there would never have even arisen a conservative movement, as even Buckley acknowledged.

You castigate as “single issue voters” those Republicans who refuse to vote for candidates whose records on, say, abortion, have been shaky. Yet at the same time, you prefer to vote for a Barack Obama, a John Kerry, or a Hillary Clinton over your own party’s candidate as long as the latter urges for a more humble foreign policy. That is, “single issue” voting is bad as long as it is any issue other than the single issue of foreign policy upon which you always cast your vote.

You talk tirelessly of individual responsibility even as you affirm political determinism when it comes to black Americans and Middle Eastern Muslims. All of the ills that plague black Americans you chalk up to the poisonous policies of the Democratic Party while all of the problems of which the Muslim world is ridden you attribute to its lack of “democracy.”

Even though Hispanics voted for Barack Obama by over 70 percent in November, and blacks voted for him by over 90 percent, you insist that the only reason for this is that Republicans have failed to “reach out” to these groups. If only their members knew what the Republican Party could do for them (more political determinism), you imply, they would flock to the GOP, for blacks, and particularly Hispanics, are “natural conservatives.”

You make claims regarding the “natural conservatism” of Hispanics and Hispanic immigrants that you would never think to make about Muslims—even though, by many measures, Muslims are far more “conservative” than Hispanics and white Americans alike.

You believe that National Review remains the premiere conservative publication, with The Weekly Standard not far behind.

You believe that Fox News is a conservative network and that talk radio is dominated by conservative hosts.

If one or more of the foregoing descriptions apply to you, then you just might be a neoconservative.

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/attheintersectionoffaithandculture/2013/03/you-might-be-a-neocon-if.html#ixzz2OGyYVfCa