In the 30s, serious intellectuals traveled to the Soviet Union to hail it as the future of humanity. In the 60s and 70s, writers, actors & other assorted glitterati went to Cuba to be schmoozed by El Jefe. And now North Korea has hauled in...a retired basketball player with a penchant for shock publicity. The quality of useful idiots is on a definite downward trajectory.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
As for Francis, I wonder if his outlook is colored by his Latin American heritage. Unlike anglo-protestant North America, Central and South America were founded by a thin scum of sleazed-out nobility, lording it over a vast sweated underclass, with not much in between. With a more populous, more enterprising and more resourceful middle class, the North out-prospered the South, even though the southern continent was superior in natural resources. The desperate circumstances of Latin America's poor through so much of their history has impressed itself on anyone with a living conscience. Perhaps it's only natural for the Argentinian Francis to project their plight onto the world at large.
It might be remembered that pontiffs expressing care for the poor and laboring classes is not new. Even Pope John Paul The Great in June of 1989 came in for a rough ride from National Review--surely a Catholic-friendly venue--for seeming to equate the rougher edges of capitalism with socialism. It apparently wasn't noticed that his talk of respecting the rights and welfare of workers were even tougher on the communist societies from which he came.
So don't worry. Western progressives surely wish to forget about communism as quickly as possible and, through their control of the educational institutions, prevent coming generations from learning about its horrors at all. (Ever wonder why public middle schoolers are rightly taught about the Holocaust, but hardly anything unambiguously bad about communism is mentioned until graduate school, if even then?) But the popes were aware of communism's spiritual dangers very early on:
"Communism...is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and, if once adopted, would utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself." --Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus, 1846
Poland is free. The Baltic states are free. Ukraine is free, with an asterisk. Cuba will one day be free. So will China and Vietnam one day be free. With so many Catholics in the world enduring or having survived the assault of communism within living memory, no Pope is in danger of becoming a Marxist.
Let us be perfectly honest. The historical record is indisputable. Marxism means the persecution of Christians, the execution of right wing dissidents, massive slave labor camps, and grinding poverty for countless millions of terrified, muzzled human beings. -- J.R. Nyquist
The socialist state requires greater and greater degrees of force to make it function. If resources and wealth are allocated on the basis of need rather than production, people will compete to be more needy rather than more productive.
-- Linda Bowles
In every village there will arise some miscreant, to establish the most grinding tyranny by calling himself the people.
--Sir Robert Peel
We have yet to answer our right-wing critics’ claims, which are regrettably well documented, that throughout history from ancient times to the peasant wars of the sixteenth century to the Reign of Terror and beyond, social movements that have espoused radical egalitarianism and participatory democracy have begun with mass murder and ended in despotism.
A permanent possibility of selfishness arises from the mere fact of having a self, and not from any accidents of education or ill-treatment. And the weakness of all Utopias is this, that they take
the greatest difficulty of man and assume it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate account of the overcoming of the smaller ones. They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motor-car or balloon.
-- G. K. Chesterton
From its earliest inception, the Left cried that the world was not good enough. It held that any attempts to find happiness in the present were not only doomed, but immoral. Religion, Marx said, "is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness." He claimed that capitalism could never feed the poor. Lenin said Marxism could, and defined Communism as "socialism plus electricity".
What they forgot to add was that the world would never be good enough. That not a single Marxist state ever managed to provide either the food or electricity in adequate quantities remained beside the point. Shortages were always in the present and the present was unimportant anyway.
-- Richard Fernandez
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I read an article somewhere this past year about how this sort of thing happens, but I don't have the link to hand. I'm sure no humans were involved, though.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The U. S. should soften its stance towards Cuba? When will Cuba "soften" its stance towards Cuba? There should be an immediate release of all political prisoners in Cuba, restoration of basic human rights, including property rights, and post-Soviet style councils, like in Eastern Europe in the 90s, to account for the victims of Cuban communism, and bring the oppressors to book. Norteamericano proggs would be howling for this, if Castro had not couched his tyranny in anti-American leftist phraseology. Instead, he is still the darling of the doddering Sixties flotsam setting the tone for the American Left.
Castro killed more Cubans in his first three years than Hitler killed Germans in his first six. First World proggs just can't bear to part with their youthful infatuation with the old Red, is all, and they will ignore the boot stomping the faces of the Cuban people forever, if that's what it takes to preserve their collectivist illusions.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Sunday, December 01, 2013
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
The tenured radicals running the universities keep the students in high anxiety about all the ravening racists & sexists & classists & nativists & speciesists & whatnot lurking around them. Some students, with a natural adolescent urge to be the center of attention, decide to take a shortcut and make the long-threatened "oppression" hurry up and happen. Needless to say, proggs do not take these hoaxes as disconfirming evidence, nor do many of them seem to feel enough of a simple human kinship with those so slandered as to apologize.
I carried on much more crankily about this phenomenon some years back, here, in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse team case.
Update: Welcome to readers of Blazing Cat Fur, to whom thanks for the link.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
This NYT contributor blames Dallas right-wing extremists for murder of JFK by a pro-Castro communist http://t.co/vvj50KRjfu— davidfrum (@davidfrum) November 17, 2013
They just simply transfer responsibility from those they wish to protect, and attach it to those they wish to attack. And David Frum in a later tweet asks the very good question: What collective responsibility does Los Angeles have for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy?
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
The uproar is all the greater since the affected people included so many free-lance journalists, I'll bet.
Saturday, November 02, 2013
But that is the opposite of true. As anyone could find out in fewer than two clicks, Furman University is 90% white and mostly upper-class. Jackson was still in friendly territory, since the students were very young and therefore mostly very liberal. But there's no excuse for posting such a howler expecting no one to notice.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
@andersoncooper Rube.— Bruce Thompson (@BruceThompson51) October 30, 2013
So far, the site has cost about $100,000 per line of code. That's pretty normal, right?— HealthCareDotGov (@HealthDotGov) November 1, 2013
Please help us. If we don't get this site running, we'll get the worst punishment a government employee can get: Time off with pay.— HealthCareDotGov (@HealthDotGov) October 31, 2013
If you like your candy, you can keep your candy. I'm sorry, your current bag plan has too many Snickers. *snatch* #Candycare— Grave-id Boo-rge (@iowahawkblog) October 31, 2013
If you like your cable package, you can keep it. PERIOD. Ooh, I see you don't have mandatory Oprah. That'll be $8k/month. #Obamacable— Grave-id Boo-rge (@iowahawkblog) October 29, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Saturday, October 05, 2013
The New York Times quoted a US security official as saying that the target was believed to have been killed, although that had not yet been confirmed.
The raid hit a two-storey house close to the beach in the town of Barawe, an al-Shabaab stronghold, in the lower Shabelle region, some 150 miles south of Mogadishu. It is the same town where US navy commandos killed a senior al-Qaida member four years ago.
Good! We need a win against these vipers. It's especially fitting that it occurs on the 20th anniversary of the Black Hawk Down battle, when the people we came to rescue from famine dragged our dead soldiers through the streets. Forty-eight hour rule and everything, but if we've managed to hit the slithering jihadist Islamist filth hard and accurately, that's huge. And I hope the Kenyans are paying attention, as they were embarrassed to have their soldiers exposed as mere looting bullyboys.
I approve getting back pay for the SEAL team, once the shutdown is over!
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Took this just few mins before she was brutally taken away along with her unborn baby... Our Ruhila's gone. pic.twitter.com/9rjuwVhgFk— ƸӜƷ Kamal Kaur ƸӜƷ (@kamz26) September 22, 2013
Possibly a death in real time over social media? No, another twitterer said that she was safe at home, several hours later.
The spirit of Kenya.
The President of Kenya suffered loss.
A hero died protecting children.
Vimal Shah lost his brother who was shielding kids at #WestGate Another hero without a doubt— Dennis Itumbi (@OleItumbi) September 22, 2013
Kenya's Muslims denounce the attack.
A blow to the world of African arts.
Kofi Awoonor, one of Africa's greatest poets, killed in Nairobi terror attack: http://t.co/g7f0qiCFQ1— sanjeevsanyal (@sanjeevsanyal) September 22, 2013
Terror follows a Somali to Nairobi.
NYT photographer was on the job when attack happened.
Israelis reportedly joining in. Hope they include Falashas, who will deal retributive justice to the jihadists.
And African politics intrude even in this nightmare.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Saturday, September 07, 2013
Yes, it's terrible. But I saw this show 20 years ago, with all the heart-rending images of Somalia. They launched a series of events culminating with our dead soldiers being dragged through the streets by the people they came to save. But proggs don't care. Why should the Left's Third World darlings du jour die, when American military can die instead? Proggs only support foreign intervention if there is no material American interest at stake. Their attitude towards the soldiers is "with my brains and your brawn, what a wonderful world we can make!" There are any number of two-syllable retorts to arrogance like that, of which the most printable is "No, thanks".
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Sunday, September 01, 2013
“How is it supposed to work? How are we meant to furnish machine guns and anti-tank weapons to one set of opposition forces, without them ending up in the hands of men like the al Qaida-affiliated thugs who executed a child for telling a joke?"
Despite a 'graph that's too forgiving of Iran, this is a good explication of what's what in Syria.
Remember Kevin Sites, the embed journalist who ten years ago reported a soldier for shooting an enemy that Sites did not feel was a threat? He's a professor in Hong Kong now, and still doing foreign reportage from Afghanistan.
I bleed for this?
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Friday, August 09, 2013
Monday, August 05, 2013
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Friday, August 02, 2013
Victor Davis Hanson assumed that an invitation to racial dialog was sincere--aftermath summarized here, along with related reactions. If the ground rules of a conversation constrain one side to pretend that they do not see, hear and know what they in fact do see, hear and know, the ensuing conversation may be quite balletic, but it won't be honest. As Voltaire famously said, the great consolation in life is to say precisely what one thinks.
Will Detroit's splendid art collection become a bankruptcy casualty?
You can learn about loss just as effectively from a laser gun as you can from an unsuccessful affair in Paris.
“Your help is hurting.” More to the point: Helping people is good. Making pets of them is bad.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Yes, young black men use the N-word among themselves ad nauseam--but you can't.
Yes, young black men kill each other up all day every day all over the country--but you can't.
Why? Because to many of these people you, if you are white, are the enemy, into whom the many undoubted ills of Black America are projected. This slaying is a bitter reminder of times past, when it was white people regularly killing young black men without a second thought and little fear of consequences. Nevermind that it is now other young black men who hold black life cheaply. The demonstrators don't look past the symbolism, the imagery--which admittedly is potent indeed. The disconnect between the jury's verdict and the demonstrators' anger tracks the disconnect between justice and so-called racial justice.
My congratulations to the court and jury for arriving at IMO the correct verdict without fear or favor.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Five decades? Six? Seven? How long should it take to understand that the life of a community cannot be reduced to politics or wholly encompassed by government? The time in which we live has unfathomable depths beneath it. Our age is a mere film on the surface of time.
--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, November 1916
Sunday, July 14, 2013
I believe the verdict was just. Trayvon Martin was committing no crime and had a right to be in the neighborhood. But if I or any of my family gets assaulted by a hotheaded young man who is in a fury for being "dissed", then yeah: self-defense is a basic human right, open and shut. I like to think that I would feel the same way no matter the races of the parties involved.
At the same time, I do suspect that things would have developed differently had Zimmerman ended up dead, and Martin left to explain himself to the police. (Assuming he didn't run away & his family & friends shield him with omerta) Trayvon would have been arrested immediately & charged with murder, later knocked down to manslaughter or some such. A conviction would have been almost certain. And the whole thing would have been a two-day story in the Orlando Sentinel.
Thomas Sowell once posited a distinction between justice and "cosmic justice". This trial could not have righted the historic wrongs suffered by American blacks, nor could have any other trial. It was a mistake to have expected such a thing, to have freighted the case with so much baggage--so much irrelevant baggage. But popular passions have a way of washing away such nice sharp distinctions of the law. That's why we have a rule of law, and jury trials.
Tough case! I can see all sides. I can see the resentment of the young man being profiled. I can see the resentment of the citizen fed up with crime plaguing his neighborhood. I can see the fear of the parents, worried that one slip by their teen children will result in jail or worse. And I can see the fear of people imagining themselves attacked by feral street thugs--especially after last summer's highly publicized rash of black flash mob violence ("White Girl Bleed A Lot"). If I'm held to it, though, I would have to find for the defendant and the principle of self defense.
Most every commentator I've seen has been citing other cases, to make points of cheap parallelism or inconsistency. I'm no better so here's mine: This is a case from the end of the 19th Century. A church-going, law-abiding black farmer was escorting his elderly parents home from church on Christmas Eve. He was beset by three drunk young white men, possibly dressed up as KKK. They had been making trouble in town, until sent away by the police. They followed him home, shot off fireworks in front of his house, and threatened to shoot his dog. He came out of his house into the road and knifed two of them, killing one. Verdict: guilty of murder, mostly based on the testimony of the surviving stabbing victim, sustained on appeal. Make of it what you will...
Sidebar: the expectations of riots was an insult to the black community--no matter who was predicting them.
Thursday, July 04, 2013
But examine our local haters of democracy, and of capitalism, the American left and their foreign comrades come a-visiting to tell us our faults. They are here not because we are the Great Satan, but because here they are free to speak. And you will note that when they write they copyright their books, and buy goods with the proceeds.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Well, we're well on our way into unknown waters now. If mere shreds of legislation and judicial hair-splitting are all that's keeping legal same-sex marriage from becoming a reality, then society is surely ready for it.
But as I said, the waters are unknown. As the writer Donald Kingsbury said, Tradition is a set of solutions for which we have forgotten the problems. Throw away the solution and you get the problem back. Sometimes the problem has mutated or disappeared. Often it is still there as strong as it ever was. Society's insistence on monogamous, lifelong, opposite sex marriage was a solution to a problem which apparently we no longer remember. Will it now come back, in some guise or other?
We'll see. We've heard the wheels of history creak today, no doubt. Now we'll await the ramifications, which will probably play out long after we're gone.