Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rachel Carson and Her Fantasy Environmentalism: Killing Kids Every day to the tune of about 2000.

Subheadline: "Numerous deaths" Rachel caused in her misguided evangelism = 40 MM. The Washington Post has a silly hagiographic article on Dr. Rachel Carson, whose perfervid misguided zeal may have caused the deaths of around 40 million people from malaria. [h/t: Forbes via Dr. Sanity] Not to be outdone in foolish twaddle, The New Yorker has an un-fact-checked rant about fire ants, evil oilmen, and underqualified EPA functionaries without ANY reference to the massive stupendous voc caused by her self-righteous crusade against DDT. TNY's main concern is with the Sopranos, and their Bolshie-retard helmsboy David Remnick actually DOES figure out Tony and the gang. The New Yorker is descending into frivolous nullity unless it publishes occasional brilliant pieces by Jeffrey Goldberg---a centrist Democrat.
Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring--the book that got mosquito-killer DDT banned and launched the modern environmental movement--while struggling with cancer. The disease killed Carson in 1964, two years after Silent Spring came out.

Today's Washington Post has a story on Carson--whose 100th birth anniversary occurs later this month--and her noble fight against cancer. A touching piece.

But maddening, too! Because in the story's 34 paragraphs, there are only a buried pair, the 26th and 27th, that note the ongoing controversy about DDT's ban.

[Note: the insipid drivel in The New Yorker does not even mention the controversy---that would be a fact, and have to be checked.]

A Maryland Congressman (evil Republican, of course ... wink, wink) is quoted as saying that malaria deaths might have been prevented had DDT not been banned. That happens to be true. DDT kills mosquitoes, which carry malaria, which was all but eradicated before DDT was banned.

Buried in paragraph 27, and paraphrasing the Congressman, The Washington Post concedes that "numerous" deaths might have been prevented by DDT.

Let's stop here. Any curious reader would ask, Just how "numerous" is numerous? Wouldn't you ask that question? The Post never asks that question. Why?

Because the answer devastates Rachel Carson and her followers. According to these CDC figures, malaria kills more than 800,000 children under age five every year. Every year, 800,000 small children die from malaria, a disease once nearly eradicated. Ponder that.

And all The Washington Post can say is "numerous?"

That's scandalous.

Dr. Sanity goes on with a riff on the Forbes piece above:
I would term it "outrageous"; as well as thoroughly disgusting, but typical of a certain mindset.

The unintended consequences ushered in by the do-gooders--who always know what's best for us hapless humans--are almost always devastating and destructive when policy is dictated by hysteria and a reliance on fear (or other feelings), rather than on reality. They mean well, after all. It isn't their fault that reality gets in the way of their implementation of utopian policies!

[Jimmy Carter and Iran/Afghanistan/Camp David is the prime example of these do-good's foolish hypocritical self-righteous narrow-minded focus on symbolic semaphores.]
It isn't their fault that the environment is a complex system! They only mean the best for us. For decades these pathetic illuminati have sought to escape responsibility for the consequences of their fantasies. The world is littered with the corpses and awash in the tears of the people who they have "helped". Fantasy environmentalism is only one of a series of strategies they have fallen back on as they reassert their socialist ideology and attempt to chain all of humanity to its domination.

Ask yourself how Al Gore's obsession has become required classroom reading. And how our children are being indoctrinated right this moment in the K-12 classrooms into the holy rituals of the environmental histrionics.....

We can all thank Rachel Carson for starting the trend, or "How a courageous woman took on the chemical industry and raised important questions about humankind's impact on nature. "

None of her followers today will courageously look at--let alone raise--the important questions about the human results of their political impact, will they?

Those who promulgate these environmental fantasies conveniently forget the environmental disasters that socialist and communist paradises in the world have presided over in the last 50 years or so. They ignore real data about the fact that the rise in CO2 emissions is almost exclusively the result of the backward and primitive cultures they idealize in their nature worship; and instead prefer to blame America and capitalism.

The fundamental goal of these radical environmentalists is not to end global warming; instead, it is to discredit capitalism and to use global warming and other environmental concerns as a justification to impose their ideological and political agenda. They haven't a clue how to really counter the natural cooling and warming trends of the planet--but if they blame it on human beings, then the solution is to control people.

Global warming is a scientific issue. I can be convinced that the earth is getting warmer, but it will take more than slogans and hysteria to convince me that the warming is something other than a natural cycle in our planet's history that may have some repercussions on human life. The solution lies in technical advances to help humans adapt to climate change. Not to kill off the humans in order to save the planet.

If the radical environmentalists really wanted to "do something" about global warming, then they would be calling for funding projects that explore countermeasures and methods to adapt to it. What we see instead is the same kind of religious fanaticism and holy fervor that the left so despises in the fundamental right. What they really want is power over people.

Theirs is basically a totalitarian agenda in which they, the "elites", will dictate how people should live on this earth.

For some time there has been a struggle between the totalitarians of the right and the totalitarians of the left to dominate. All the major conflicts of the last century occurred when one or the other tried to take control over the world.

The Marxist left always based its claim for socialist leadership on "scientific principles" --including technology--which they assert "proves" that socialism works; except of course, that it didn't. Which is why the left has adopted the "new and improved" doctrine of radical environmentalism (which asserts that technology is evil and destructive), insisting that human society and progress are "destroying" the earth. Of course, they cleverly invoke "science" as a justification for their beliefs--a strategy that is identical to that adopted by the creationists in their "Intelligent Design" arguments (which, of course, the left has complete contempt for). Neither represents real science.

Some final ruminations by Dr. Sanity on the inane and practically insane self-referential certitude the anthropogenic Global Warming gurus exude:
....the world has been colder than it is now, and it has also been warmer — presumably considerably warmer at times. Regardless of the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide, there are natural, cyclical fluctuations in global climate that far exceed any changes in temperature that have occurred since the Industrial Revolution.

It’s too early to identify the effects that the human activity has on global temperatures; serious and reliable data have only been available for a micro-instant in climatological terms. The apocalyptic stampede by the cognoscenti to embrace Kyoto and destroy the world’s economy is one of the more foolhardy ideas to come down the pike. But the elites are certain that Global Warming is Truth; all else is Heresy.

The "elites" have never abandoned their dreams of imposing a socialist paradise, and one of their basic strategies is to undermine capitalism by using the talking points of their "environmental religion".

I suspect that they truly believe that if humans would abandon capitalism and technology; go back to the cave and live the "simple life", then their ideology would finally work in the real world and their dreams of a religious caliphate international socialist paradise would finally be realized.

Perhaps that is why they have consciously and deliberately joined forces with radical Islam, which suffers from the same inabilty to bring peace (unless you count death as the ultimate "peace") and prosperity to their adherents; and has the same fantasy.

Fantasy environmentalism -- bringing new life into the utopian agenda, and coming soon to a theater near you!

Why Amnesty isn't "Amnesty" and why you are "Angry" if you think it is.

There is an excellent article up by Steve Sailer at VDare titled Lies, Damned Lies, And "Pollaganda" wherein elaborate polling focus groups are done to engineer the correct questions that will elicit the response desired by Wall Street elitists, the Bush White House, and Democratic Populists.

One of the architects of this is an immigration "guru" named Tamara Jacoby, whom I ran across while writing my one and only Op-Ed piece for the New York Times on the Saddam Hussein oil slicks of the Iraq/Iran War. She was the Op-Ed page editor and a fierce redactor. She evidently brings the same intensity to her new chosen niche. Sailer began his career as a marketing specialist and knows a lot of tricks from pushing soap to cereals. Some nuggets from Sailer's observations on Jacoby and others' efforts:
"Immigration is back in the spotlight, which means Tamar Jacoby, the tireless shill for the Cheap Labor Lobby, is everywhere in the media. Right on cue, Jacoby was the subject of an effusive Washington Post profile by Krissah Williams with the dubious title An Advocate Rallies to Unify GOP. [May 21, 2007].

Two days later, Tamar was back in the Post, this time with an op-ed entitled Immigration's Future: The Senate Compromise Asks the Right Questions [May 23,2007].

In it, she claimed:

"As usual, those yelling "amnesty" are the loudest voices. But they are increasingly out of sync with the public on immigration. Poll after poll in the past year shows 60 to 85 percent of voters in favor of an overhaul that would allow illegal immigrants to earn their way to citizenship by meeting certain requirements …"

In reality, Tamar knows full well that the public is not at all happy with the Kennedy-Bush plan. The only way to get her kind of figures is to approach Americans with the most delicately manipulative questions that modern market researchers (I used to be one) can devise. (Indeed, at a panel discussion on immigration at American University, [April 24, 2007] Jacoby actually boasted of being involved in a long series of iterative focus groups designed to craft Bush Administration ploys that would get respondents to agree that the amnesty wasn’t an amnesty. See the Manhattan Institute website for details. The focus groups, starting in 2005, involved Hispanic pollster Sergio Bendixen and immigration lobbyist Frank Sharry.)

Of course, the dishonest elites don't care about real public opinion:
"The essential problem with most immigration polls is that the survey companies don't understand the public's concerns, and don’t want to know. The questionnaire designers haven't thought about illegal immigration logically.

Why would they? In the media today, those who have thought long and hard about the subject are consistently denigrated as "angry." A heedless insouciance about the effects of immigration is fashionable because it suggests one's own status is above all that: If you are worried about competition from uneducated peasants, well, that just shows you're probably an uneducated peasant, too.

Sailer calmly and lucidly links to dozens of articles in the VDare piece that display an arrogant disregard the Beltway and Wall Street elites---and the folksy Bush White House---share whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Their polling hides an agenda is hidden among clusters of funhouse smoke and mirrors:
Until last week with the new Rasmussen poll of May 21-22. As Pollster Scott Rasmussen explains: "From the beginning, the President and most other Beltway politicians have misunderstood the public debate over immigration."[Bush Ratings Tumble When Immigration Dominates the News, Rasmussen Reports, May 21, 2007] Rasmussen, on the other hand, gets it.

After starting off with a question about how closely the respondent is following the immigration issue (an impressive 37 percent said "very closely" and 41 percent "somewhat closely"), Rasmussen asked directly about the new immigration reform agreement. Only 26 percent supported it, while 48 percent opposed it.....

Rasmussen explained:
"The bi-partisan agreement among influential Senators and the White House has been met with bi-partisan opposition among the public. The measure is opposed by 47% of Republicans [and] 51% of Democrats."[Just 26% Favor Senate Immigration Plan, May 23, 2007]

Then, Rasmussen cut to the heart of the matter with two questions:
A landslide 72 percent agreed that "Border Enforcement and Immigration Reduction" was "very important."

In sharp contrast, only 29 percent thought "Legalizing Status of Illegal Aliens" was "very important."

So the Gallup and MSM polls often play a shell game with those polled in "pollaganda" stings. The questions start out with "what shall we do with the [pick-a-number, "12 million" is the favorite] illegals already in the States? The answer predisposes the drift of the questions towards a "comprehensive" solution. But
Rasmussen notes: "The enforcement side of the debate is clearly where the public passion lies on the issue."

The passion is broad-based. Border enforcement and immigration reduction is "very important" to 73 percent of whites, 81 percent of blacks, and 57 percent of other races (presumably mostly Hispanic and Asian), as well as 89 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats.

"Legalizing status" is "very important" to only 27 percent of whites, 28 percent of blacks, and 47 percent of others. (It's noteworthy that the Hispanic/Asian group is at least as enthusiastic for immigration reduction as legalization of existing illegal aliens.)

Rasmussen acerbically points out:

"Advocates of ‘comprehensive’ reform have taken to arguing that those who want an enforcement-only policy must explain how they would deal with the 12 million illegal aliens already living in the country. The public reaction to that question appears to be 'Why?'"

The pollster said in 2006: "While the President advocates a 'comprehensive' reform focused primarily on legalizing the status of illegal aliens, our most recent survey shows that most voters favor an enforcement first policy."

A 2006 Rasmussen poll found, "By a 3-to-1 margin, voters say it doesn’t make sense to consider additional laws until the government first gains control of the borders and enforces existing laws."

Sailer's conclusions are damning:
"Having been badly snookered by the earlier "comprehensive immigration reform" of 1986, which turned out to be amnesty-only because corrupt politicians browbeat the INS into not enforcing the workplace requirements on big campaign contributors, the public wants enforcement now. Rasmussen does show that a majority will be willing to talk about "earned citizenship"—but only after enforcement has been working for a number of years. And they will first need to know the full costs of an amnesty to the American taxpayer—which, according to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, could be in the trillions.

In contrast, the political and media establishment, while purporting to have public support on their side, are hustling the massive Kennedy-Bush bill through the Senate without any hearings to investigate its effects—precisely because they think that the normal legislative process would allow the public to learn of the legislation's fatal flaws.

Sailer's punchlines left me ready to carry a sandwich board in downtown Boca:
"Bottom line: the public severely disagree with the politicians and the press because it takes a logical approach to the problem—turn off the faucet before starting to mop the floor.

Elite opinion, in contrast, is dominated by sentimentality and status-climbing—or worse.

Move over, France, our own elites are vying for first place in the arrogant oligarchy immigration sweepstakes!

Miss USA Booed by Ugly Betty Mexican Crowd

Just to remind us that the human tide of flotsam, jetsam, and general waste flooding our country from the kleptocratic narco-state to the south should be resisted at all cost.

This creepy oligarchy generates toxic waste in human forms at alarming rates.

"Our First Revolution" by Michael Barone

The antecedents to the American Revolution of 1776 are recounted by Michael Barone in a new book which explains what I first discovered while staying with a Dutch diplomat in The Hague back in the '70's---how the Dutch invaded and conquered England in 1688.

Now you're probably going to react the way I did when my Dutch historian friend told me what all Dutch schoolkids are taught, namely that Holland conquered England with 21,000 sailors and was aided by Whig aristocrats trying to head off King James II from establishing a Sun King-style absolute monarchy. Had this "invasion" failed, the Brits might be celebrating it with bonfires instead of Guy Fawkes Day---because Catholicism might have been restored and the Protestants brought to heel instead of vice-versa.

In reality, the "Glorious Revoluton" was assisted by the providential "Protestant Wind" which---unlike the Spanish Armada---aided the invaders with soft breezes from the East in the usually stormy November North Sea. And the subsequent British/Dutch constitutional monarchy instilled what Barone describes as:
"changes in English law, governance and politics that turned out to be major advances for representative government, guaranteeing liberties, global capitalism, and a foreign policy of opposing hegemonic powers."

And English mercantile activity ultimately secured its overseas possessions with economic underpinnings that would make its American colonies prosperous enough to rebel when English Tory governments tried to extend a tax regime on what were the richest per capita thriving outposts---albeit aided by slave plantations---on the planet at the time.

Barone continues along the lines of the excellent scholarship and readability of Kevin Philips The Cousins War which recounted how the English Civil War emerging out of Cromwell's East Anglia---the home of the Puritans [who also set sail for the New World out of prosperous and tolerant Holland]---eerily presaged the American Civil War over two centuries later. Another interesting book along these lines is Albion's Seed.

And of course, one small lesson from these books is that the winner gets to name the wars or incidents of historical importance---the "Glorious Revolution" is not "The Gunpoweder Plot Part II" nor is the "Civil War" commonly called "The War Between the States."

Of course, the overarching lesson might also be that bottom-up local freedoms trump top-down autocracies. Or as Australian author Clive James quoted some sage: "Democracy was invented by people who were smart enough to realize that they didn't know it all."

Words we should always reflect upon as a another Memorial Day fades into history.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Headscratcher Solved for Female Exploding Jihadists.

I myself have often wondered what rewards await the self-exploiding females in Islamic Heaven where houris minister to the needs of male suicide bombers, and although the tradition of the 72 virgins is a sort of Islamic haditha of disputed authenticity, it does motivate many to acts of self-destruction. So the girl-suicides get dwarves to serve them, according to
an Arab source.

And the fatwa that suggested men suckle with their female workmates to gain a family exemption from the injunction against sharing spaces has also been shot down by counter-fatwas.

While I was living in Chicago, Disney's local birthplace was denied a plaque as a historical site because of various violations of PC committed by Walt, a sort of "postmodern" bill of attainder for "social crimes" committed before they were adjudged "hate crimes" by the Commissars who issue their own "fatwas" on these matters.

But having 72 dwarves minister to a female goes Snow White 65 better. And that Mickey in the West Bank saying Jews are to be exterminated is beginning to raise doubts in my mind about Walt's legacy.

Feith Unmasked: Tenet & Wolfowitz Accused.

Pat Lang has irrefutable credentials as an Arabist and Middle East expert, and that nixed his chances with Feith as an advisor to the Pentagon in the run-up to the Iraq Mess. Feith is a notorious Richard Perle acolyte and even wannabe, but Lang uses economic language to unmask an arrogant functionary in a description of his job interview with Feith, who was eating a sandwich to indicate contempt during the meeting. Coincidentally, the only time I met Feith's control officer Benjamin Netanyahu, he was also eating in public, a sign of his kind that exudes condescension for those in his presence.

The Pentagon in the run-up to the war seems to have abhorred considering alternative scenarios.

And after the fall of Baghdad, Gen. Jay Garner and the Task Force he had assembled in Iraq was also summarily called off the job by the Supremo Generalissimo-wannabe Donald Rumsfeld, who in Cobra II is described as nixing the hundreds of man-years of expertise on the Middle East in the Garner group because "we need fresh thinking." Subsequently, hyper-sycophant Jerry Bremer and Middle East expert Khalilzad were nominated as co-ambassadors, but Bremer complained and Zal was canned. Wouldn't want linguistic knowledge and vast expertise as part of the mix in the post Baghdad conquest mode. That would not fit in with the Rumsfeld modus operandi.

Wolfowitz does not come off much better. But unlike Feith, Paul did have some foreign policy expertise---though again, he shared the Israeli viewpoint more often than not.

Even Tenet is found prevaricating in his memoirs about the notorious "Curveball," a source so pungent that was used as the only indicator of a key point in Colin Powell's UN speech.

Suffice it to say that there is more than enough culpability to occupy historians for decades, and GWB does not come out looking like a Harvard MBA management guru in this rear-view mirror exercise.

Or maybe Harvard MBAs are overrated?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

It appears that the coven of crones watching The View will no longer have the
Rosie Doll as their moral guide and political arbiter---judging from applause to RD's most hyperbolic exaggerations, the audience is very, very committed to a Manhattanite world view which is a cocoon encased in a lockbox buried on an island.

And sweet young Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a Boston College Jesuit-educated talent who is routinely ridiculed for brainlessness by high-school GED types like Rosie and Behar, appears to have landed the KO punch. She talked sense in a babbling squabbling gossipy Bush-Derangement-Syndrom scrum of superannuated feminists and an overweight sexual invert.

Making her a majority of one---to remind us of Abe Lincoln on this Memorial weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is Edwards Smarter than a Bucket of Hair?

Bob Shrum is batting 0 for 8 in presidential campaigns he has run for the Dems, so his oracular judgments and aspersions of some former candidates/colleagues might be taken with a grain or two of salt. But Shrum's new book No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner has a few payback passages on John-boy Edwards, the average soccer-mom's imaginary sex-toy. "It's the hair, stupid!"

And John-boy's fight against poverty proceeds at full-throttle focus as his investment in sunken treasure may make him a multi-multi-millionaire instead of a simple po' boy with a 28,000 sq.ft. manse in the rolling hills of Carolina.

Even the ultra-left San Fran Chronicle discusses Edwards' recent run of bad headlines after he had parlayed his wife's illness a few weeks back into feel-good soft-rock positive MSM blather.

Now this empty suit with good hair declares that the Global War on Terror was just a bumper-sticker con employed by the Bush Administration to trick gullible citizens into believing that an Islamist menace actually threatened the USA. Next step might be to join Rosie O'D in becoming a "truther," given his shallow credentials, which Bob Shrum describes as "A Clinton who has not read the books."

Is Edwards the Paris Hilton candidate in trousers?

Dem Ethics Hypocrisy Shocks Own Political Choir

The Party of Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion has also been the Party of big political machines and 19 young Democratic Freshman class who vowed on May 16th to pursue a tougher stance on ethics.

Even normally obsequious apple-polishers like Wonkette and David Sirota feign anger with hilarious scofflaws like Mike Capuano, John Murtha, and James Moran. Moran is irate that new rules will actually require him to raise money from his own constituents rather than rich lobbyists. And Capuano whines that he will have to wait two years after leaving the House before cashing in as a lobbyist on K St. shaking down his former colleagues.

Murtha, of course, is in a class by himself for peculation and kickbacks---the Abscam tapes catching him promising to get back with the FBI sting operation later demonstrates the moral fiber this grifter never really possessed. Methinks he should check into a 12-step program of whatever issues that afflict him.

Catherine the Great Died for Her Sins, or Raunchy on the Ranch

Yes, the New Age is upon us and nowhere more nakedly than the state of Washington.Cannes is all aflutter with a flick that depicts "mammal-on-mammal" sexual congress, in this case terminal.
In July 2005, a 45-year-old man died of internal bleeding after being anally penetrated by an Arabian stallion during a bestiality weekend in the US state of Washington.

The victim, a Boeing engineer working on top-secret defence projects named Kenneth Pinyan, suffered a perforated colon.

The ensuing investigation led police - and eventually much of the national media - to the farm where the interaction took place, outing the other members of the group.

Independent filmmaker Robinson Devor shies away from prurient imagery, instead enveloping the story in rich photography that gives it a dreamlike beauty overwhelming the sordidness of the subject matter.

Sort of like "The Ring" gave a "dreamlike beauty" about telephone calls? It seems that I may have pre-judged these questing creatures, though, because in words that Lecan or Foucault might have crafted:
"They've crafted a subdued, mysterious and intensely beautiful film that presents bestiality not for the purpose of titillation?but as a way of investigating the subjective nature of morality," the movie trade magazine Variety wrote.

Variety should stick to "Sick flicks nix pix" or "Horseplay for fun and profit."
There are laws of nature and of man, and Kenneth Pinyan broke them both, along with his colon, while exploring "the subjective nature of morality."

Empress Catherine the Great was rumored to have met her end when a winch lowering a jackass onto her receptive charms broke---the wages of sin?

Or am I being "judgmental?"

Jihadists Swarming Over Mexican Border like Killer Bees?

Or perhaps they have discovered our porous neighbor to the North? Hugh Hewitt has excerpts from San Antonio News Express reporter Todd Bensman's series on illegal aliens that concern border violaters from the Middle East and other Muslim countries:
People from 43 so-called "countries of interest" in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa are sneaking into the United States, many by way of Texas, forming a human pipeline that exists largely outside the public consciousness but that has worried counterterrorism authorities since 9-11.

These immigrants are known as "special-interest aliens." When caught, they can be subjected to FBI interrogation, detention holds that can last for months and, in rare instances, federal prison terms.

The perceived danger is that they can evade being screened through terror-watch lists.

The 43 countries of interest are singled out because terrorist groups operate there. Special-interest immigrants are coming all the time, from countries where U.S. military personnel are battling radical Islamist movements, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and the Philippines. They come from countries where organized Islamic extremists have bombed U.S. interests, such as Kenya, Tanzania and Lebanon. They come from U.S.-designated state sponsors of terror, such as Iran, Syria and Sudan.

And they come from Saudi Arabia, the nation that spawned most of the 9-11 hijackers.

The rule of thumb is that you catch one out of ten terrorist suspects, given the porous nature of our borders and special planning that trained operatives might have received. Some more snippets to keep you from sleeping soundly:
Though most who cross America's borders are economic migrants, the government has labeled some terrorists. Their ranks include:

Mahmoud Kourani, convicted in Detroit as a leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah. Using a visa obtained by bribing a Mexican official in Beirut, the Lebanese national sneaked over the Mexican border in 2001 in the trunk of a car.

Nabel Al-Marahb, a reputed al-Qaida operative who was No. 27 on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list in the months after 9-11, crossed the Canadian border in the sleeper cab of a long-haul truck.

When Iraq war refugee Aamr Bahnan Boles crossed the Rio Grande, authorities assumed the worst about him. In the current climate of uncertainty and fear, they had little choice. For Boles, it was literally a test of faith.

Farida Goolam Mahammed, a South African woman captured in 2004 as she carried into the McAllen airport cash and clothes still wet from the Rio Grande. Though the government characterized her merely as a border jumper, U.S. sources now say she was a smuggler who ferried people with terrorist connections. One report credits her arrest with spurring a major international terror investigation that stopped an al-Qaida attack on New York.

The government has accused other border jumpers of connections to outlawed terrorist organizations, some that help al-Qaida, including reputed members of the deadly Tamil Tigers caught in California after crossing the Mexican border in 2005 on their way to Canada.

One U.S.-bound Pakistani apparently captured in Mexico drew such suspicion that he ended up in front of a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.

"They are not all economic migrants," said attorney Janice Kephart, who served as legal counsel for the 9-11 Commission and co-wrote its final staff report. "I do get frustrated when people who live in Washington or Illinois say we don't have any evidence that terrorists are coming across. But there is evidence."

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehension numbers, agents along both borders have caught more than 5,700 special-interest immigrants since 2001. But as many as 20,000 to 60,000 others are presumed to have slipped through, based on rule-of-thumb estimates typically used by homeland security agencies.

"You'd like to think at least you're catching one out of 10," McCraw said. "But that's not good in baseball and it's certainly not good in counterterrorism."

There is a persistent rumor that a major terror event in the USA had been scheduled in 2005 by Osama, but somehow was nixed---or postponed---by Dr. Zawahiri, the Dr. Moriarty that we haven't found the Sherlock to toss over the falls. But the assets may be in place in a sleeper-cell mode, probably in the Detroit area, just across the river from indulgent Canada, which allows "political asylum" to whomever claims they need it. The Millenium Bomb Plot to blow up LAX was thwarted only by an alert US border patrol agent---her suspicions were aroused by the nervous behavior of the Canadian-based terrorist. And it's not just the border patrol that nabs Middle East Border jumping potential perps:
Other federal agencies besides the Border Patrol have caught thousands more of the crossers inland after it was discovered they were in the country illegally, including 34,000 detainees from Syria, Iran, Sudan and Libya between 2001 and 2005, according to a homeland security audit last year of U.S. detention centers for immigrants. Then there is an unknown number caught by Mexico — an inveterate partner, as it turns out.

Texas accounts for a third of all the special-interest immigrants caught by the Border Patrol since 9-11, including 250 apprehended between March 2006 and February.

Efforts to stop the traffic are, in some ways, beyond U.S. control. Corrupt foreign officials and bureaucrats in Latin American consulates and in the Middle East have sold visas. Others hand them out without taking U.S. security concerns into account.

Anti-U.S. sentiments run deep in nations across the globe, creating steppingstones to America for those whose illicit travel plans sometimes are abetted with delight.

You have to read the entire series to discover why Todd Bensman should be nominated for a Pulitzer for a story that took six months to put together. But the Pulitzers are in the domain of the Columbia School of Journalism, an institution that has become a byword for shoddy ethics and ultra-left bias.

Let's hope that Todd gets national recognition for a job well done.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bob Kerrey and a Sensible Democratic POV

I am so far into my dotage that I usually tell an anecdote about meeting a celebpolitician like Bob Kerrey in a political context. But gentleman Bob helped me put my luggage in the overhead when flying out of Chicago while he was still serving in the Senate. I thanked him for the help [I had a cast on my wrist from a bike accident] and thought to myself that this fellow has the Right Stuff. Here are proofs in today's WSJ that I caught the correct vibe off this Medal of Honor winner.
At this year's graduation celebration at The New School in New York, Iranian lawyer, human-rights activist and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi delivered our commencement address. This brave woman, who has been imprisoned for her criticism of the Iranian government, had many good and wise things to say to our graduates, which earned their applause. But one applause line troubled me. Ms. Ebadi said: "Democracy cannot be imposed with military force."

What troubled me about this statement--a commonly heard criticism of U.S. involvement in Iraq--is that those who say such things seem to forget the good U.S. arms have done in imposing democracy on countries like Japan and Germany, or Bosnia more recently.
Let me restate the case for this Iraq war from the U.S. point of view. The U.S. led an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein because Iraq was rightly seen as a threat following Sept. 11, 2001. For two decades we had suffered attacks by radical Islamic groups but were lulled into a false sense of complacency because all previous attacks were "over there." It was our nation and our people who had been identified by Osama bin Laden as the "head of the snake." But suddenly Middle Eastern radicals had demonstrated extraordinary capacity to reach our shores.

As for Saddam, he had refused to comply with numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions outlining specific requirements related to disclosure of his weapons programs. He could have complied with the Security Council resolutions with the greatest of ease. He chose not to because he was stealing and extorting billions of dollars from the U.N. Oil for Food program.

No matter how incompetent the Bush administration and no matter how poorly they chose their words to describe themselves and their political opponents, Iraq was a larger national security risk after Sept. 11 than it was before. And no matter how much we might want to turn the clock back and either avoid the invasion itself or the blunders that followed, we cannot. The war to overthrow Saddam Hussein is over. What remains is a war to overthrow the government of Iraq.

Some who have been critical of this effort from the beginning have consistently based their opposition on their preference for a dictator we can control or contain at a much lower cost. From the start they said the price tag for creating an environment where democracy could take root in Iraq would be high. Those critics can go to sleep at night knowing they were right.

The critics who bother me the most are those who ordinarily would not be on the side of supporting dictatorships, who are arguing today that only military intervention can prevent the genocide of Darfur, or who argued yesterday for military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda to ease the sectarian violence that was tearing those places apart.

Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn't you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear.

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically "yes."

This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.

Those who argue that radical Islamic terrorism has arrived in Iraq because of the U.S.-led invasion are right. But they are right because radical Islam opposes democracy in Iraq. If our purpose had been to substitute a dictator who was more cooperative and supportive of the West, these groups wouldn't have lasted a week.

Finally, Jim Webb said something during his campaign for the Senate that should be emblazoned on the desks of all 535 members of Congress: You do not have to occupy a country in order to fight the terrorists who are inside it. Upon that truth I believe it is possible to build what doesn't exist today in Washington: a bipartisan strategy to deal with the long-term threat of terrorism.

The American people will need that consensus regardless of when, and under what circumstances, we withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. We must not allow terrorist sanctuaries to develop any place on earth. Whether these fighters are finding refuge in Syria, Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere, we cannot afford diplomatic or political excuses to prevent us from using military force to eliminate them.

Kerrey's common sense values have withstood the character erosion most politicians experience after a term or several in DC. His sensible centrist views remind me of a Jeffrey Goldberg article on Midwestern Democrats that every politician should keep in his vest pocket with a killer quote:
"A recent report by the political scientists Elaine Kamarck and Bill Galston argues that greater polarization in the electorate hurts Democrats, for a simple reason: one out of every three voters belongs to the base that in the past Karl Rove has so successfully mobilized; only one out of five belongs to Howard Dean’s."

Since then a Zogby survey found two out of five, or forty-one percent, of American voters consider themselves "conservative," whatever that means, and one out of five are self-described "liberals."

I think of that every time the Dem candidates make another lurch leftward to capture their party's "base."

Mr. Kerrey is a former Democratic senator from Nebraska and was a member of the 9/11 Commission, and is now president of The New School, based in lower Manhattan. But Bob remains a decent fellow who hasn't forgotten his roots.

Mark On Zee Questionz Zurrounding Z-visas Plus a Love-Pat

Read Mark and his article on Z-truth, Z-whole truth etc. in Conrad Black's Chicago Sun-Times for a list of the absurdities an addled collection of nitwits and unindicted criminals [including the drowner/swimmer at the pool trophy bar] called the US Senate is preparing for the country.

Pat Buchanan hardly overstates in his screed "Path to National Suicide" while grifters like Martinez, Gutierrez, Chertoff mock their party's committment to law and order by admitting a crowd of low-IQ riff-raff [the French have the colorful term "racaille" with the connotation of canine characteristics] to further degrade the country that "The Greatest Generation's" unworthy spawn "The Boomers" has already abundantly trashed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Talk About Being Called Ugly by a Frog!

From the bug-eyed lil fella who might be one of the worst prez's in US history,George Bush is insulted for his foreign policy. I for one remember that Jimmy-boy wouldn't sell the Shah rubber bullets for his Tac-Squads, so the Shah employed live ammunition and 400 students were killed while demonstrating in Tehran. People forget what a bumbling fool this failed peanut farmer proved to be in the White House. Oh by the way, the chain of events started by silly Jimmy's self-righteous piety did have consequences, as the Shah's support crumbled after the student slaughter and the way became open for the return of the Ayatollah, etcetera, yadda, yadda.

Lest we forget who the worst foreign policy president really was.

On Learning Arabic

A Navy ensign friend of mine is in Monterey learning Modern Written and Spoken Arabic there. The attached blog is that of Col. Lang who taught Arabic at West Point. Check the link to get his own insights and others' comments on the difficulties of learning the hardest tongue of all.

Back in the day, I studied Arabic at FSI in Beirut with four CIA students [I was an FSO]. My language aptitude at State had tested out at 75 out of a possible 80. I had acquired a 2+, 3 in Vietnamese and a 3+ Speaking, 4 Reading in French before volunteering for Arabic language studies with six months stateside and a year and a half in Beirut. After a year of intense studies, I was yanked from my studies to go to Jeddah and tested out at 3+. 4. I had been promised two years, which is the minimum for what is required to become good at the language---but an FSO termite in the personnel system had tricked me into the Arabic FSI program by promising more than the State Dept had to give me. Coincidentally, I met George Kennan before shipping out up at Princeton---he was from my hometown of Milwaukee and he told me: "Treat the State Dept like an old whore---if you don't slap it around, it will ruin you." Truer words were never spoken.

Modern Standard Arabic very much resembles Medieval Latin used as a lingua franca before the Romance languages asserted their own autonomy, moving from dialects to national languages.

The State Dept now ranks Arabic [and Japanese] as Class 7 languages, as opposed to Class 5 languages, because both are excruciatingly difficult to acquire true fluency.
Below are the insights of Abu Sinan:
"A few comments about the Arabic thing. I am an American who speaks Arabic. I am lucky to be married to an Arab lady so the "immersion" thing has helped me as well.

Arabic is not a language where you can take a couple of years of University level classes and be able to function reasonably well.

Arabic is a language that you can have four years of at University and still not be able to communicate on a day to day basis.

There are a few reasons for this. First of all Arabic is very regional and the dialects are often so different that native Arabic speaks can have difficulties speaking with other Arabic speakers who use a different dialect, the Maghrebi Arabic dialect is a perfect example of this.

I have had years of Arabic instruction at the University level, along with advanced grammar classes and I still find it difficult. The immersion aspect with my wife helps, but this is only of limited use as her dialect is understood by almost all Arabs, but it doesn't help me with other dialects.

Second, Arabic is just a very hard language to learn. Languages are rated according to their difficulty to learn and Arabic is at the top along with Mandarin Chinese. There are numerous sounds in Arabic that just don't exist in English, ie "ayn" and "gayn" not to mention glottal type stops.

Third, the language that is taught in University is classical MSA "Modern Standard Arabic", or in Arabic "fus7a". This is not the way that Arabs speak to each other on a day to day basis. It will help you watch TV and movies, as well as reading religious, academic and other books, but it is a long way from how most Arabs speak. I have met Americans who have learned Arabic in school and their Arabic is almost unintelligible because it is spoken in a scholarly manner that is far removed from day to day local dialect.

As to the military issue and languages, my experience is with the DoD and the US Air Force. The linguists were trained for a little over a year in Arabic. Granted this is full time training, but it still wasn't enough. Keep in mind as well that in the Air Force, and I don't know about linguists in other branches of the service, you are required to have a "back up" language as well. So this means in addition to learning Arabic in that time you must also be able to learn a second language, which in the case of Arabic linguists, was almost always Hebrew.

Most of the linguists I knew, even ones with years in service, could not have translated on a day to day basis in a real life situation. The ones that might be able to would be able to converse on children's level. Their basic mission didn't require them to do this and their training didn't train them to do this. Their work was static work with existing materials where you can read or listen to the materials dozens of times and have a dictionary and software next to you to help you out.

I know several native Arabic speaks who went to Iraq early on to help out. This wasn't really done out of ideological support for the war, this was done for the $120,000 tax free wages that were being offered by companies such as Titan to translate for American troops. They all told me that the Arabic translators that the Army tried to use were completely ineffective. One told of a story of a translator who had taken to carrying around an "Iraqi Arabic-English" dictionary with him because much of the vocabulary they had learned in Tech School was useless.

Personally, I think Arabic is a language where you MUST attend school, and advanced schooling at that, to learn. I also feel it is completely necessary to live in an Arabic speaking country or have long term interaction with Arabs to be able to become even moderately functioning in it.

I don't think that the US military really has much of a chance of recruiting such people for the wages and benefits that they can offer such scarce people. Granted the bonuses, at least from what my former co-workers in the Air Force have told me, have gone up greatly for linguists. But when someone who can handle Arabic at a level 3 or even 4 level can basically write their own pay check, the military cannot compete.

It is about time as well, the FSI, I read somewhere, says that a student needs about 2 years of full time training to be able to go from the absolute basics to a level 3. FSI also doesn't have any programs, that I am aware of, that go above level three. I reckon from level 3 to 4 you'd need a couple more years along with extensive time spent in areas where Arabic is used on a day to day basis.

There isn't the time or money to create on the ground fluent Arabic speakers.

While in Jeddah, I had many long conversations with Hume Horan, who is in George Packer's book, The Assassin's Gate. Hume was one of the State Department's best Arabists and shared with me many arcane recondite insights into the language and culture of the Arabs he had acquired firsthand. He ended up studying Hebrew and finally becoming a very pro-Israeli FSO, which got him nowhere in the pro-Arab State Dept.

April Glaspie, Ambassador to Iraq before the 1990-91 War, was also a friend who encouraged me and shared many thoughts. She was a victim of James Baker's cowardice, and was s***canned for following his instructions and talking points during a meeting with Saddam Hussein before the War. Baker's a no-class coward and backstabber---IMHO.

Finally, I recall reading the words of a State Dept FSO fluent in Arabic who lived in Saudi Arabia in the 1940's:
"Arabic is a door to an empty room."

Hume Horan for one might agree. He took his own life in 2004 with terminal cancer.


Osama Gets Rewarded Again for 9/11

Bernard Lewis asks a question whether OsamabL read the USA correctly in the WSJWas Osama Right? article in its opinion journal subtitled "Islamists always believed the U.S. was weak. Recent political trends won't change their view." Here is Lewis' analysis of the last thirty years---starting with Carter's hand-wringing simpering cringing mediocrity:
During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: "What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?"

A few examples may suffice. During the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and '80s, there were many attacks on American installations and individuals--notably the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, followed by a prompt withdrawal, and a whole series of kidnappings of Americans, both official and private, as well as of Europeans. There was only one attack on Soviet citizens, when one diplomat was killed and several others kidnapped. The Soviet response through their local agents was swift, and directed against the family of the leader of the kidnappers. The kidnapped Russians were promptly released, and after that there were no attacks on Soviet citizens or installations throughout the period of the Lebanese troubles.

These different responses evoked different treatment. While American policies, institutions and individuals were subject to unremitting criticism and sometimes deadly attack, the Soviets were immune. Their retention of the vast, largely Muslim colonial empire accumulated by the czars in Asia passed unnoticed, as did their propaganda and sometimes action against Muslim beliefs and institutions.

Most remarkable of all was the response of the Arab and other Muslim countries to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Washington's handling of the Tehran hostage crisis assured the Soviets that they had nothing to fear from the U.S. They already knew that they need not worry about the Arab and other Muslim governments. The Soviets already ruled--or misruled--half a dozen Muslim countries in Asia, without arousing any opposition or criticism. Initially, their decision and action to invade and conquer Afghanistan and install a puppet regime in Kabul went almost unresisted. After weeks of debate, the U.N. General Assembly finally was persuaded to pass a resolution "strongly deploring the recent armed intervention in Afghanistan." The words "condemn" and "aggression" were not used, and the source of the "intervention" was not named. Even this anodyne resolution was too much for some of the Arab states. South Yemen voted no; Algeria and Syria abstained; Libya was absent; the nonvoting PLO observer to the Assembly even made a speech defending the Soviets.

One might have expected that the recently established Organization of the Islamic Conference would take a tougher line. It did not. After a month of negotiation and manipulation, the organization finally held a meeting in Pakistan to discuss the Afghan question. Two of the Arab states, South Yemen and Syria, boycotted the meeting. The representative of the PLO, a full member of this organization, was present, but abstained from voting on a resolution critical of the Soviet action; the Libyan delegate went further, and used this occasion to denounce the U.S.

The Muslim willingness to submit to Soviet authority, though widespread, was not unanimous. The Afghan people, who had successfully defied the British Empire in its prime, found a way to resist the Soviet invaders. An organization known as the Taliban (literally, "the students") began to organize resistance and even guerrilla warfare against the Soviet occupiers and their puppets. For this, they were able to attract some support from the Muslim world--some grants of money, and growing numbers of volunteers to fight in the Holy War against the infidel conqueror. Notable among these was a group led by a Saudi of Yemeni origin called Osama bin Laden.

To accomplish their purpose, they did not disdain to turn to the U.S. for help, which they got. In the Muslim perception there has been, since the time of the Prophet, an ongoing struggle between the two world religions, Christendom and Islam, for the privilege and opportunity to bring salvation to the rest of humankind, removing whatever obstacles there might be in their path. For a long time, the main enemy was seen, with some plausibility, as being the West, and some Muslims were, naturally enough, willing to accept what help they could get against that enemy. This explains the widespread support in the Arab countries and in some other places first for the Third Reich and, after its collapse, for the Soviet Union. These were the main enemies of the West, and therefore natural allies.

Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.

We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.

From the writings and the speeches of Osama bin Laden and his colleagues, it is clear that they expected this second task, dealing with America, would be comparatively simple and easy. This perception was certainly encouraged and so it seemed, confirmed by the American response to a whole series of attacks--on the World Trade Center in New York and on U.S. troops in Mogadishu in 1993, on the U.S. military office in Riyadh in 1995, on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000--all of which evoked only angry words, sometimes accompanied by the dispatch of expensive missiles to remote and uninhabited places.

Stage One of the jihad was to drive the infidels from the lands of Islam; Stage Two--to bring the war into the enemy camp, and the attacks of 9/11 were clearly intended to be the opening salvo of this stage. The response to 9/11, so completely out of accord with previous American practice, came as a shock, and it is noteworthy that there has been no successful attack on American soil since then. The U.S. actions in Afghanistan and in Iraq indicated that there had been a major change in the U.S., and that some revision of their assessment, and of the policies based on that assessment, was necessary.

More recent developments, and notably the public discourse inside the U.S., are persuading increasing numbers of Islamist radicals that their first assessment was correct after all, and that they need only to press a little harder to achieve final victory. It is not yet clear whether they are right or wrong in this view. If they are right, the consequences--both for Islam and for America--will be deep, wide and lasting.

The drumbeat of defeatism in Iraq has been proceeding nearly four years and the hysteria of the anti-war media has had an inevitable erosion of the national willpower. GWB's feckless ineptitude in letting Cheney/Rumsfeld pursue their "war with what you've got" on-the-cheap mode, ignoring Shinseki and promoting yes-men like Tommy-boy Franks, also contributed to the current malaise.

Bush's relentlessly low-brow schtick now will turn even conservatives against him as his immigration bill hands America over to the Democrats as a flood tide of impecunious attain the promised land [public dole] of a Euro-America under Democratic nanny-staters.

Bush's father would get "wobbly." GWB reveals himself an invertebrate under a brittle shell.

Illegal Immigration Equals Multiculturalism Equals Suicide

While Mel Martinez and Chertoff and Lindsay Graham exult at being suckered by Teddy Kennedy [oops, forgot the lil' fellow GWB], a longer term look at how the Open Borders Project is working in another experiment in democracy, the European Union might be a salutory exercise.
The former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovksy, who has warned that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union, thinks that while the West won the Cold War in a military sense, we lost it in the context of ideas: "Communism might have been dead, but the communists remained in power in most of the former Warsaw bloc countries, while their Western collaborators came to power all over the world (in Europe in particular). This is nothing short of a miracle: the defeat of the Nazis in 1945 quite logically brought a shift to the Left in world politics, while a defeat of communism in 1991 brought again a shift to the Left, this time quite illogically."

Behind this sidling sideways in a sinister direction lies an agenda based on control of the media and education, as evinced in this bit out of Sweden:
A poll carried out on behalf of the Organization for Information on Communism found that 90 percent of Swedes between the ages of 15 and 20 had never heard of the Gulag, although 95 percent knew of Auschwitz. "Unfortunately we were not at all surprised by the findings," Ander Hjemdahl, the founder of UOK, told website The Local. In the nationwide poll, 43 percent believed that Communist regimes had claimed less than one million lives. The actual figure is estimated at 100 million. 40 percent believed that Communism had contributed to increased prosperity in the world. Mr. Hjemdahl states several reasons for this massive ignorance, among them that "a large majority of Swedish journalists are left-wingers, many of them quite far left."

In my native state of Wisconsin, another reason might be advanced which is pithily called "dumb Swedes," [actually as much because of the Swedish custom of keeping silent as for the custom of being a couple apples short of a picnic.]

There is another reason for the decline of the West based on the diminishing respect for the nation-state and its laws and customs, replaced by a fuzzy multicultural "humanism" which subsumes religion and patriotism in its cuddly embrace. There follows the Brussels version of Euro-think through the optic of Euro-communism:
We are told to treat cultural and historical identities as fashion accessories, shirts we can wear and change at will. The Multicultural society is “colorful,” an adjective normally attached to furniture or curtains. Cultures are window decorations of little or no consequence, and one might as well have one as the other. In fact, it is good to change it every now and then. Don’t you get tired of that old sofa sometimes? What about exchanging it for the new sharia model? Sure, it’s slightly less comfortable than the old one, but it’s very much in vogue these days and sets you apart from the neighbors, at least until they get one, too. Do you want a sample of the latest Calvin Klein perfume to go with that sharia?

We should remember that this view of culture as largely unimportant is essentially a Marxist view of the world, which has now even been adopted by segments of the political Right, united with Leftists in the belief that man is homo economicus, the economic man, the sum of his functions as worker and consumer, nothing more. Marxism doesn’t say that cultures or ideas are of absolutely no consequence, but that they are of minor or secondary importance next to structural and economic conditions.

I have heard individuals state point blank that even if Muslims become the majority in our countries in the future, this doesn’t matter because all people are equal and all cultures are just a mix of everything else, anyway. And since religions are just fairy-tales, replacing one fairy-tale, Christianity, with another fairy-tale, Islam, won’t make a big difference. All religions basically say that the same things in different ways. However, not one of them would ever dream of saying that all political ideologies “basically mean the same thing.” They simply don’t view religious or cultural ideas as significant, and thus won’t spend time on studying the largely unimportant details of each specific creed. This is Marxist materialism.

The unstated premise behind this is that the age of distinct cultures is over. All peoples around the world will gradually blend into one another. Ethnic, religious and racial tensions will disappear, because mankind will be one and equal. It’s cultural and genetic Communism. Nation states who create their own laws and uphold their own borders constitute “discrimination” and an obstacle to this new Utopia, and will gradually have to be dismantled, starting with Western nations of course, replaced by a world where everybody has the right to move wherever they want to and where international legislation and human rights resolutions define the law, upheld by an elite of — supposedly well-meaning — transnational bureaucrats managing our lives.

What the proponents of this ideology don’t say is that even if it were possible to melt all human beings into one people, which is in my view neither possible nor desirable, this project would take generations or centuries, and in the intervening time there would be numerous wars and enormous suffering caused by the fact that not everybody would quietly allow themselves to be eradicated.

All aspects of your person, from language via culture to skin color and religion, are treated as imaginary social constructs. We are told that “all cultures are hybrids and borrow from each other,” that we were “all immigrants” at one point in time and hence nobody has a right to claim any specific piece of land as “theirs.”

Since “we” are socially constructed, we can presumably also be socially deconstructed. The Marxist “counter-culture”of the 1960s and 70s has been remarkably effective at attacking the pillars of Western civilization. It is, frankly, scary to notice how much damage just one single generation can inflict upon a society. Maybe it’s true that no chain is stronger than its weakest link. Our education system is now used to dismantle our culture, not to uphold it, and has moved from the Age of Reason to the Age of Deconstruction. Socialism has destroyed the very fabric of society. Our countries have become so damaged that people feel there is nothing left fighting for, which no doubt was the intention. Our children leave school as disoriented wrecks and ideological cripples with no sense of identity, and are met with a roar of outrage if they demonstrate the slightest inkling of a spine.

The EU has already broken down many of the legal barriers to immigration across borders, resulting in the notorious "Polish plumber" spectre that kept the French from approving the EU Constitution in the Plebiscite/Referendum two years ago. The Dutch had another vote which nixed signing on to the EU Constitution. But the European elites are concocting ways for national Parliaments to sneak around the obvious will of the people in several other countries to keep their borders alive and well, and to preserve their indigenous cultural heritage and certain areas of legal autonomy.

Just as the French and Dutch are having second thoughts about "sharia enclaves" in their midst and women walking about wearing burkas, millions of Americans are protesting porous borders to the South which allow millions of illegal aliens to enter the USA each year with impunity unless unlucky enough to be caught. There are "sanctuary cities" already in our midst where American laws are not enforced, and foreign suspects not questioned about their immigration status if caught in a crime or other violation of American or local laws. Polls indicate large majorities of Americans want stronger enforcement and no legal amnesty for illegal aliens.

However, unlike the war in Iraq, these polls are ignored by the media and political elites. The new "compromise" bill being crafted in DC is not underrgoing the normal committee process to investigate costs and possible unforeseen consequences. Senator McCain screamed today at another Republican Senator who protested that procedures were being rushed and that bad law would be railroaded through the House and Senate supported by a weak President eager for a legacy of something besides the Iraq War.

But the inevitable consequences of the immigration "reform" will be a further dilution of the vigorous American character coupled with a more passive acceptance of scofflaws breaking American laws and being eventually rewarded for lawlessness. Europe has a lot of the same dynamics threatening its inner moral uniqueness and character. Forgive the length of the post and bear with me:
Karl Marx defined the essence of Socialism as abolishing private property. Let’s assume for a moment that a country can be treated as the "property" of its citizens. Its inhabitants are responsible for creating its infrastructure. They have built its roads and communications, its schools, universities and medical facilities. They have created its political institutions and instilled in its people the mental capacities needed for upholding them. Is it then wrong for the citizens of this country to want to enjoy the benefits of what they have themselves created?

According to Marxist logic, yes.

Imagine you have two such houses next to each other. In House A, the inhabitants have over a period of generations created a tidy and functioning household. They have limited their number of children because they wanted to give all of them a proper education. In House B, the inhabitants live in a dysfunctional household with too many children who have received little higher education. One day they decide to move to their neighbors’. Many of the inhabitants of House A are protesting, but some of them think this might be a good idea. There is room for more people in House A, they say. In addition to this, Amnesty International, the United Nations and others claim that it is "racist" and "against international law" for the inhabitants of House A to expel the intruders. Pretty soon, House A has been turned into an overpopulated and dysfunctional household just like House B.

This is what is happening to the West today. Europe itself could become a failed continent by importing the problems of Africa and the Islamic world. The notion that everybody should be free to move anywhere they want to, and that preventing them from moving into your country is “racism, xenophobia and bigotry,” is the Communism of the 21st century. And it will probably lead to immense human suffering.

One final point to consider:
Alexander Boot, a Russian by birth, left for the West in the 1970s, only to discover that the West he was seeking was no longer there. This led him to write the book How the West Was Lost. Boot believes that democracy, or in the words of Abraham Lincoln, the government of the people, by the people and for the people, has been replaced by glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.

In a culture where language is power and words are used as weapons, those who control the most fearsome of these weapons control society. In the West, where equality in all walks of life is the highest virtue and “discrimination” is a mortal sin, the “racist” is the worst of creatures. Those who control the definition of “racist,” the nuclear bomb of glossocracy, have a powerful weapon they can utilize to intimidate opponents. The mere utterance of the word can destroy careers and ruin lives, with no trial and no possibility of appeal.

Currently, the power of definition largely rests in the hands of a cartel of anti-racist organizations dominated by the extreme Left, often in cooperation with Muslims. By silencing all opposition to mass immigration as "racism," they can stage a transformation of society every bit as massive as that of Communism, yet virtually shut down debate about it.

And that is what is going on in Europe and the United States---both on Capitol Hill and in the media and elitist highbrow institutions in the US as well as the corridors of unaccountable bureaucratic Brussels---DEBATE IS BEING SHUT DOWN!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Multiculturalism "Communism of the 21st Century"

The Brussels Journal has a long piece on Nietzsche's "creative destruction" and Wretchard at Belmont and Dr. Sanity go on to explain how Marxism is now morphing into a combination of ultra-left professoriat and lumpenproletariat seeking to join with a bunch of violent reactionaries. Key lines from Wretchard the Cat are unforgettable:
multicultural theorists, having lobotomized themselves have already forgotten their lobotomies.

Dr. Sanity has a good summary of the arguments that conservatives acquire both a new adversary and a new ally in a strange alchemical process when IslamoMarxism takes hold.

Hitchens' Black Bile Spilleth Over

I just noticed Hitchens emptied his bile ducts on hearing of Falwell's death.
"And I think it's a pity there isn't a hell for him to go to. … [Falwell is] a little toad … this horrible little person … I’m glad to see that he skipped the rapture and was found on the floor of his office. …"

Twenty years ago, my wife and I knew Hitchens and ironically used to celebrate Christmas dinner with this lonely deluded person. On two of these occasions, Hitchens was especially depressed and spiteful. Once when my wife was feeling poorly, she went into another room to lie down and Hitchens told me to roll her up in a rug and set it on fire. This was Hitchens at Christmas dinner, and resembling in his own words "a little toad … [a] horrible little person." [There were only two couples and CH as a singleton.] You can imagine how much venom is stored in this creature whose mother committed suicide with her lover when he was just a young boy.

His ceaseless projectile vomiting persists---spewing onto Mother Teresa and the Pope besides Falwell, among the many objects this self-hater projects himself onto.

The above may be a bit of a cheap shot at CH, whose long drinking bouts I often shared [and paid for] before getting with the program. But his support of GWB in Iraq does not allow him to vilify without qualification very good people who like all of us slip from time to time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some Thoughts on Jerry Falwell

My only brush with Jerry Falwell was a Kevin Bacon sixth-remove situation. When I began dating my wife-to-be Marilyn back in 1981, she had just finished working as one of Paul Sarbanes' trio of Legislative Assistants---Teddy Kennedy had dozens---and was part of "Democrats for the Eighties" working out of Pamela and Averill's palatial Georgetown digs [Peter Fenn, now a TV pundit, was her sidekick]. Then came our marriage and Marilyn was hired by the newly formed People for the American Way. In 1982, Marilyn was asked to organize a big fund-raiser in Chicago for Norman Lear, then king of comedy TV, who was a co-founder of PftAW. I came along as driver [my folks lived in nearby Wisconsin and we were also invited to a family Labor Day bash in Burlington].

The crux of the story is while driving Norman around Chicago, he shared with Marilyn and me the real reason behind the formation of People ftA Way. Hollywood feared Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell so deeply that they wanted a family-oriented religion-neutral Democratic organization to do high-profile work on family values. At least that was the plan.

My belief is that Norman, who showed a lot of interest in my own and Marilyn's families, was fascinated because the Wisconsin family Party was going to be held at the parish hall of my Catholic priest uncle---thus combining religion and family [my uncle had perhaps just baptized Tony Romo, now QB of the Dallas Cowboys and dater of the likes of Jessica Simpson, among others.] After we returned from the family get-together, Norman Lear asked again how everything had gone off [Norman was Jewish and his wife Frances Catholic and I had married a Greek Orthodox girl--which intrigued him.]

The Chicago Fund Raiser ended up a success, with prominent Chicagoland Democratic rainmakers [minus the Daley family] attending. Subsequently, Marilyn got into the inner workings of PftAW and discovered a list of the unlisted phone numbers of Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand [reachable through her brother] and a lot of other Hollyweird Nomenklatura. People For quickly morphed into a rather shrill consumer advocate mode, leaving its family-friendly matrix more or less on the drawing board. Norman Lear receded from his hands-on role, and Marilyn eventually became an Account Executive representing Greece and Panama and the Trial Lawyers Association of America for Daniel J. Edelman PR firm, another Democratic in-house organ more or less.

Norman Lear was a sincere opponent of what he feared would become a religious powerhouse in American politics. Lear showed no fear of an American Christian "theocracy," though he did have negative views on Pat Robertson. But the characteristic paranoia of the left did permeate some of his comments.

Perhaps Jerry Falwell's greatest legacy is that his efforts enabled the Christian point of view to become strongly represented in the American political spectrum.

A Sane Look at the Mechanics of Insanity

I was watching Lord of the Rings and as the hordes of beastly loathesome orcs and uruk-hai prompted by Saruman and Sauron displayed unbelievable feats of derring-do, the King of Rohan asked plaintively "How can one oppose such reckless hatred?

Reading a representative slice of ultra-left blogs brings somewhat the same question to mind. Just where do they derive their vicious hateful animus? Jesse Jackson himself yesterday called Jerry Falwell a man he disagreed with, but a man "with a heart of gold." You wouldn't get that from the often obscene and deeply hateful responses coming from the likes of Amanda Marcotte, for example, recently John Edwards blogrep. Just where does their profound distemper originate?

It's all about confronting evil within you and outside you. Watching The Sopranos for the first time on A&E, I thought the sessions with the female shrink Dr. Melfi were in this context when Tony just wouldn't let her know what was really bugging him, preferring instead to describe symptoms of panic attacks while avoiding the intensely felt fears and hatreds he harbored within himself.

Just what makes people fail to recognize the real problem? At times when I ask myself such questions, I turn to Dr. Sanity. Here is her take on what she calls MORE DISPLACEMENT, LESS REALITY.
As a psychiatrist, I can't help but notice that there's an unbelievable amount of psychological displacement being used right now (see here and here for more discussion) to cope with the painful realities of our day.

Displacement is one of the primary psychological maneuvers that covers-up or disguises blatant self-deception and self-delusion. It is, for example, behind most of the more vicious attacks on President Bush for anything he does; and for anything he doesn't do. He is behind every evil like some modern-day Moriarity, a criminal and godlike genius who is simultaneously a moron and incompetent. We are not talking about a mere dislike of the President; nor is this simply "politics as usual". Rather, it is an unreasoning and implacable, visceral hatred of George W. Bush for the sin of existing. This hatred is so intense that it is stunning to any rational observer; and its manifestations have been justly made into a diagnosis of "Bush Derangement Syndrome". Clinically, the symptoms of this syndrome are as disabling and as dysfunctional as any other post-traumatic stress disorder.

Displacement is the separation of an emotion from its real object and its redirection toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in order to avoid having to deal directly with what is frightening or threatening. It is a very useful type of psychological denial which distorts and obscures reality.

You suspect that this type of denial is at work when an individual expresses an emotion toward someone or something (e.g., anger or fear) that is way out of proportion to the reality of the situation. Ordinary dislike is transformed into a visceral, implacable hatred; anxiety morphs into hysteria; and ordinary frustration at being thwarted in one's desires becomes rabid, impassioned rage.

The purpose of displacement is to avoid having to cope with an unpalatable reality in order to maintain a belief, a world view, or even one's sense of self. By using displacement, an individual is able to still experience his or her anger or fear; but since it is now directed at a less threatening target than the real one, the individual is able to feel better. Thus, the individual can delude themselves into thinking they are doing something about what threatens them, when in reality, they are blind to it ("fiddling while Rome burns" so to speak). Conveniently, the individual using displacement (or any other form of denial) does not have to take responsibility for the consequences of his/her emotion and can also externalize any blame or consequence on the object of their emotional displacement. They simultaneously feel safe AND virtuous, even though neither emotion is justified--at least, not for long.

From BDS, whose sufferers claim that Bush is more evil than Bin Laden (a bit of intellectual idiocy from the moral relativists of the left!); to the insane belief that a Christian theocracy is imminently going to be imposed on the U.S. by the BushHitler, when radical Islamic fanatics are actively trying to do exactly that; to the latest jaw-dropping assertions we should be diverting resources to combat global warming because it is far more of a national security threat than Islamofascist terrorism--these are examples of the wonderful world that you too can live in if you are willing to subscribe to a creative interpretation (i.e. denial) of reality.

Dr. Pat Santy lives in Ann Arbor and is a psychiatrist for NASA among other attainments, so she has a sort of extraterrestrial perspective from way above that distinguishes a lot of her insights.

My guess is that a Martian coming to Earth would quickly see the Global Warming hysteria from the perspective of Mars' own melting icebergs, and consider the AGW hysterics hopelessly self-referential in blaming themselves and their fellow Earthlings for what is probably a solar phenomenon.

And the Martians would also perhaps note that the BDS enthusiasts worried about a Christian theocracy have no belief in a power higher than themselves.

And that is a hopelessly terrestrial perspective.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Critique of Latin American Leftist Populism by Latinos.

Foreign Policy has an excellent article by Alvaro Vargas Llosa concerning a book he and two other Latinauthors wrote ten years ago Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot which chastises
....distinguished intellectuals in Europe and the United States. These pontificators assuage their troubled consciences by espousing exotic causes in developing nations. Their opinions attract fans among First-World youngsters for whom globalization phobia provides the perfect opportunity to find spiritual satisfaction in the populist jeremiad of the Latin American Idiot against the wicked West......

The academicide professoriat in America and Europe are goaded to their excesses by
...the patronizing American and European Idiots. Once again, important academics and writers are projecting their idealism, guilty consciences, or grievances against their own societies onto the Latin American scene, lending their names to nefarious populist causes. Nobel Prizewinners, including British playwright Harold Pinter, Portuguese novelist José Saramago, and American economist Joseph Stiglitz; American linguists such as Noam Chomsky and sociologists like James Petras; European journalists like Ignacio Ramonet and some foreign correspondents for outlets such as Le Nouvel Observateur in France, Die Zeit in Germany, and the Washington Post in the United States, are once again propagating absurdities that shape the opinions of millions of readers and sanctify the Latin American Idiot. This intellectual lapse would be quite innocuous if it didn’t have consequences. But, to the extent that it legitimizes the type of government that is actually at the heart of Latin America’s political and economic underdevelopment, it constitutes a form of intellectual treason.

I am currently reading Hernando De Soto's brilliant book The Mystery of Capital subtitled Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. The trick to capitalism is the ease with which real estate property rights are recognized, De Soto says, and goes on to enumerate how many government and municipal permits and other bureaucratic impediments make buying and proving property possession in countries like Mexico, Haiti, and choose any other Latin country. Bureaucracy strangles capitalism, just as weeds and parasite plants curb growth of fungible edible plants. But I digress. The key to avoiding the eternal recurrence of idiocy is the sanctity of property. One last quote from the excellent essay by Vargas Llosa on The Problem of Populism:
Populists share basic characteristics: the voluntarism of the caudillo as a substitute for the law; the impugning of the oligarchy and its replacement with another type of oligarchy; the denunciation of imperialism (with the enemy always being the United States); the projection of the class struggle between the rich and the poor onto the stage of international relations; the idolatry of the state as a redeeming force for the poor; authoritarianism under the guise of state security; and “clientelismo,” a form of patronage by which government jobs—as opposed to wealth creation—are the conduit of social mobility and the way to maintain a “captive vote” in the elections. The legacy of these policies is clear: Nearly half the population of Latin America is poor, with more than 1 in 5 living on $2 or less per day. And 1 to 2 million migrants flock to the United States and Europe every year in search of a better life.

Vargas Llosa asks the question:
Does it really matter that the American and European intelligentsia quench their thirst for the exotic by promoting Latin American Idiots? The unequivocal answer is yes. A cultural struggle is under way in Latin America—between those who want to place the region in the global firmament and see it emerge as a major contributor to the Western culture to which its destiny has been attached for five centuries, and those who cannot reconcile themselves to the idea and resist it. Despite some progress in recent years, this tension is holding back Latin America’s development in comparison to other regions of the world—such as East Asia, the Iberian Peninsula, or Central Europe—that not long ago were examples of backwardness. Latin America’s annual GDP growth has averaged 2.8 percent in the past three decades—against Southeast Asia’s 5.5 percent, or the world average of 3.6 percent.

This sluggish performance explains why about 45 percent of the population is still poor and why, after a quarter century of democratic rule, regional surveys betray a profound dissatisfaction with democratic institutions and traditional parties. Until the Latin American Idiot is confined to the archives—something that will be difficult to achieve while so many condescending spirits in the developed world continue to lend him support—that will not change.

Vargas Llosa ends the article by four quotes from caviar leftist Nobel Prize winners for literature and economics whose ignorance is only equalled by their condescension.

Read the whole article and get The Mystery of Capital to get into the intestinal blockage that bureaucracy imposes on economic growth.

Miami Tops Drivers' List as Worst in USA

I looked at the list of cities with the worst driving habits and found that I have lived in or driven extensively in the top five WORST-RATED
in the USA. I lived in DC for twenty years, in New York for a year, drove all over LA for a month in a political campaign, drive in Boston every summer.

Silly me, I thought Miami's driving habits were awful because the whole country is becoming more rude and reckless behind the wheel. Boston is very marginally less nasty, but there is an element of unparalleled foolhardiness in Miami drivers, a resolute determination to NEVER use the turn signals, and a use of the motor vehicle as an extension of the drivers' personalities, such as they are. This is most frequently seen in tailgating---the obnoxious habit on I-95 of driving 70 MPH with a car 10 feet behind you driving 71. And never flashing their lights as they do when driving in Europe. Just attempting bumper tag.

And the awful driving habits extend north to Boca and West Palm Beach. Road rage is only exceeded by the fact that perhaps 75% of the female drivers of SUVs are on their cellphones at any given time, and blissfully unaware of road conditions as they do their non-stop conversing. I bicycle a lot around Boca and the advanced age of the drivers here is one of the factors making using the roadways perilous.

Miami does deserve the title of worst, and part of this may derive from the published "fact" that Miami Florida has the highest percentage of foreign-born inhabitants of any city IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. [Wish I had the link to that factoid.]

I have driven extensively throughout Europe and also in the Middle East---primarily in Saudi Arabia. In Europe, I drove all over Spain and Italy and had serious auto accidents in both those countries---one of them my own fault. Although the only accident I had in France was in Paris with an Italian driver from Rome in the other vehicle, I still subscribe to the old adage: "The Italians drive like they're trying to kill themselves, but the French drive like they're trying to kill you."

The worst drivers in the world, as far as I have seen with my own eyes, are in Saudi Arabia. Especially during Ramadhan, when the fasting drives many to ferocious deeds of bad-tempered vehicular homicide. When I drove from London to Beirut back in the '70s, the drivers became more erratic in each country [and public clocks stopped working and stop lights became slowly advisory rather than mandatory] the farther eastward I proceeded. My favorite book Eothen 150 years later.

So the Miami area has a combination of old age, foreign habits, cellphone addiction, high level of drug use, lots of retired East Coast drivers from Boston, New York, DC who transport their habits to their new environment. Plus the ease of getting a carrying permit in Florida makes altercations potentially a Dodge City scenario.

Finally, the street signs in Florida are arbitrarily there or not there, the lanes suddenly disappear on I-95 in a couple of stretches, and road construction takes forever and is ubiquitous. City management in Boca and elsewhere is simply hit or miss on roads and new construction of high rise condos means road squeezes---though the decline of the building boom has eased this particular problem.

My daughter just was accepted at the University of Miami, which means that I am going to have to drive her [she wants it that way] to the campus on a frequent basis along I-95's most dangerous stretch in the USA. Trust me, I have driven I-95 from New York to Miami and down here it's like running a gauntlet.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

UN Does Double-Clutch Shuffle on World Development

At the same time that the exit of Paul Wolfowitz is being masterminded by the arch-scammer behind the billion-dollar Oil-for-Food crime spree, Kofi Annan assistant Mark Malloch Brown, another obscenely wrongheaded move is taking place at the Lunatic Asylum on Turtle Bay.

In its rapid lurches toward a state of complete entropy, the United Nations has voted
Zimbabwe as head a key U.N. body charged with promoting economic progress and environmental protection. That's right, a country
that has been criticized by the West and domestic opponents for repression, corruption, acute food shortages and gross economic mismanagement that has driven inflation above 2,000 percent -- the highest in the world,

has been put in charge of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

Let's see, a UN Oil-for-Food billion-dollar UberGrifter named Malloch Brown opposes Wolfowitz --- unpopular at the World Bank mainly because of his anti-corruption crusade. And Zimbabwe, with a 2000% inflation rate, is put in charge of sustainable development.

No funhouse mirror on the planet can distort as much as the United Nations, not only a laughingstock, but a posterboy for how the Utopian Vision of a World Government has gone oh so terribly wrong.

Adlai Stevenson must be rotating in his tomb.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dr. Sanity Puts Sarkozy and Ultra-Leftist Women on the Couch

Dr. Sanity starts her blog today with a nice little quote from the Volokh conspiracy's David Kopel on Sarkozy's stand-up statements on Islamic systemic persecution of females:
"France will not abandon the women who are condemned to the burqa" in his victory address

And in a Q&A during a debate:
Question: What do you think of polygamy?

Answer: I respect all cultures throughout the world, but so that it is quite clear: if I am elected President of the Republic, I will not accept women being treated as inferior to men. The French Republic holds these values: respect for women, equality between men and women. Nobody has the right to hold a prisoner, even within his own family. I say it clearly, that polygamy is prohibited in the territory of the French Republic. I will fight against female genital mutilation and those who do not wish to understand that the values of the French Republic include freedom for women, the dignity of women, respect for women -- they do not have any reason to be in France. If our laws are not respected and if one does not wish to understand our values, if one does not wish to learn French, then one does not have any reason to be on French territory.

Amazing! Can you think of one American politician so articulate and forthright?

In a separate post quoted by Dr. Sanity, Wretchard notes in
The Belmont Clubthat
Maybe the reason why the Left hates Sarkozy and that renegade "woman of color" Hirsi Ali so much is not because of what they stand for as much as because both remind them of the principles they have betrayed. This secret guilt may stand at the center of the inexplicable hysteria with which the Left regard the neocons and President Bush in particular (emphasis mine).

This "inexplicable hysteria" is explained patiently by Dr. Sanity by citing the downfall of the Liberal Democrat consensus before they ran their train off the rails around thirty years ago as explained byMichael Barone in a masterful expose of postmodern nihilism in its Democratic Party mode:
Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and (the term is Professor Samuel Huntington's) transnationalism.

At the center of their thinking is a notion of moral relativism. No idea is morally superior to another. Hitler had his way, we have ours -- who's to say who is right? No ideas should be "privileged," especially those that have been the guiding forces in the development and improvement of Western civilization. Rich white men have imposed their ideas because of their wealth and through the use of force. Rich white nations imposed their rule on benighted people of color around the world. For this sin of imperialism they must forever be regarded as morally stained and presumptively wrong. Our covert enemies go quickly from the notion that all societies are morally equal to the notion that all societies are morally equal except ours, which is worse.

Barone goes on to name names of the purveyors of this pervasive self-destructive philosophy, Nietzche's "Revolt of the Artists" or the ossified mandarinate that has become our "Academy:
"These are the ideas that have been transmitted over a long generation by the elites who run our universities and our schools, and who dominate our mainstream media. They teach an American history with the good parts left out and the bad parts emphasized. We are taught that some of the Founding Fathers were slaveholders -- and are left ignorant of their proclamations of universal liberties and human rights. We are taught that Japanese-Americans were interned in World War II -- and not that American military forces liberated millions from tyranny. To be sure, the great mass of Americans tend to resist these teachings. By the millions they buy and read serious biographies of the Founders and accounts of the Greatest Generation. But the teachings of our covert enemies have their effect.

Barone, Sowell, Wretchard, Volokh, move over: Dr. Sanity is chronicling the psychological descent into sociopathic self-destruction that the Democrats, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, are enticing the country into with the help of their allies in the MSM, the "Academicide Elite" and Hollyweird, along with millions of self-serving bureaucrats.

And don't forget the lawyers!