Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A lone voice crying out in the wilderness of government regulation, more government regulation and the creeping "social justice" utopian (i.e., socialist) fantasies of the so-called 'leaders' in Congress:
The US government is executing a coup d’etat of capitalism and I fear that we will pay the price for many years to come. Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke and a host of others tell us the credit market is not working and the only way to get it working again is for the government to intervene. They claim this intervention is urgently needed and if we don’t act, the consequences are dire. Dire, as in New Depression dire. Have these supposed experts on capitalism forgotten how it really works?

The “crisis” we face today is not a creation of the market. Government intervention over many years (but especially the last year) is what brought us to the point where we’ve placed our hopes for economic recovery on the good intentions of a Congress facing re-election in a few weeks.

We are not on the verge of a new depression. The housing bubble collapse in California, Florida and a few other states is not enough to bring down the entire banking system. Investors who made mistakes in these markets should be held responsible and those who navigated the Fed-distorted market should be rewarded for their wisdom and prudence. Enacting the Paulson plan will not allow that to happen and our economy will suffer for it in the long run. The Japanese tried to prop up failed banks in the aftermath of the bursting of their twin bubbles and the result was 15 years of stagnation. Why are we emulating a strategy that is a demonstrable failure? A better alternative would be to allow capitalism to work as it should and stop the interventions of the Fed in the money market. Trust capitalism. It works.

Capitalism always gets blamed for these crises, and indeed, markets have their ups and downs; as well as their cycles and psychology. But, it is always the government interference that makes the normal ups and downs catastrophic; or creates the hysteria that leads to panic and idiocy. It is the under-the-table deals and winks exchanged between dishonest, immoral businessmen and dishonest, immoral legisislators drunk on the power they wield over others that lead to the unwholesome greed and self-destructive deals; and it is underscored by a willingness--no, a desperate need-- to ignore reality and the long-term consequences/destructiveness of their own behavior.

And behind the scapegoating of capitalism for their own immoral behavior lies the unquestioned premise--held by leaders of both the left and the right--that capitalism is just so evil that it needs to be firmly 'controlled' and 'regulated'--as if it were a horrible monster just waiting to escape from its bonds and kill us all.

I cannot agree with this. The country I love was founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These values do not guarantee happiness; they only allow you the freedom to pursue it; and then to face the consequences of your choices in that pursuit.

And choices and responsibility--or rather, the lack of it--are what this crisis is all about really.

We are facing the consequences of some very bad choices we have all been a participant in. We shouldn't --none of us--be 'bailed out', rescued or given a free pass for those choices.

So, as a reminder of this essential moral principle--that we are all of us responsible for the sorry state of our own lives; I am reprinting an old post on Capitalism that I think is relevant: Capitalism Is Good For The Soul....

Assuming you have one, that is.

The following post was written after I read a article denouncing materialism, particularly at Christmas:

One cannot escape noticing that the intellectual trend in the West is to continually bash capitalism, business, and free trade; while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of them. Especially at Christmastime.

Our academics rail against business. Our government constantly seeks to control it. Our youth are propagandized to death about its evils. Popular culture refrains from painting Islamofascists as the villians in movies out of political correctness, but does not hesitate to make big businessmen evil and grandiose. Religions are almost universal in denouncing the evils of money and spending it, even as they ask you to give them some.

One harmful result of this sorry situation is that there are few people--even among those who stalwartly defend the free market, who understand and appreciate the essential morality of capitalism.

The foundation of capitalism is human freedom in its most classical, liberal tradition.

Contrary to the many articles and books written about it through history by economists and scholars, capitalism's incredible production of wealth is only a side-effect that occurs when political freedom is present. It has been argued, and I agree, that both captialism and freedom themselves are prerequisites for moral behavior.

The moral case for capitalism is not taught at our universities, nor is it argued much in our culture; and certainly not in our churches. In fact it has been more or less universally accepted that systems such as communism and socialism are morally superior to capitalism--even though in practice such systems have led to the death and enslavement of millions; and to those unlucky enough not to die from them, those systems have led to the most horrible shrinking and wasting of the human soul. Not to mention the pathetic economic conditions of the people unfortunate enought to live in those countries have to deal with.

The truth is that not socialism, not communism, nor any kind of religious fundamentalism is even compatible with morality.

If one's actions are coerced by the state or religion or both; if human activity is legislated and regulated or ordained down to the last minute detail--particularly to the degree we see in other countries of the world (e.g., Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, etc.),then how can it be argued that one's actions are moral? They are not voluntary, but coerced.

Morality, however, is a matter of choice, not mandate. One cannot hold a person responsible for actions that are coerced or forced from him. Morality can only exist when freedom of action exists. Moral actions in any field of human endeavor require freedom.

Conduct may only be thought of as moral or immoral when it is freely chosen by the individual. It is only then that the moral significance of the action can be assessed. It is only when we are free to act that we can exercise moral judgement.

Which brings us to a capitalist system. Only in a free economic system within a free political system is it possible to be moral, since true benevolence toward others, compassion, charity, and generosity cannot exist without freedom. Benevolence, generosity, charity, and compassion that are mandated by the state; or by a religion--on pain of death or other consequence; or by any regulations on behavior; or by force--are meaningless insofar as individual morality is concerned.

In a previous series of posts on Narcissism and Society, I stated:
We have seen that the development of a Cohesive Self is dependent on two separate, equal and parallel developmental lines that arise originally from the biological and psychological fusion of the Infant and Mother early in life. If each of these lines are not interrupted in their normal evolution the Infant will eventually become an Adult with both narcissistic poles adequately developed and be able to function in the world in a healthy way—both in his attitude toward his own physical and psychic self; and in his attitude toward other human beings.

In some ways, the rise of human civilization from the cave to the present day has resulted because of attempts through the Rule of Law and social controls to set limits on the unrestrained Grandiose Self. This is primarily due to the destructiveness of the Narcissistic Rage generally associated with that part of the Self.

Because of this, the Grandiose Self has received a bad reputation philosophically, morally, and politically. The natural development of Governments and Religions (which ultimately are an expression of the Idealized Parent Image/Omnipotent Other side of the Self)have all too often attempted to ruthlessly suppress the Grandiose Self--much to the detriment of the individual AND the success of the particular society or religion.

In fact, despite the obvious truth that governments, nations, and religions are in a much better position to wreak far more systemized misery and death on human populations, it is almost always the Grandiose Self that gets the blame. As Wretchard at The Belmont Club pointed out in a recent post, a review of the 20th century, for example, shows that all the "people's revolutions" supported by the Left and purportedly for the purpose of "freeing" large populations of people; resulted instead in enslaving them and increasing authoritarian rule.

Without a political or economic framework that is able to incorporate what we refer to as "human nature" into its calculations, all so-called "perfect" societies and ideologies will at best simply fail in the real world; and at worse cause untold human suffering. With the best of intentions (this is perhaps debatable), the social engineers of philosophy, political science, and economics have caused so much more slavery, misery and death on a grand scale--that the grandiose CEO's of the largest corporations can be considered mere pikers by comparison.

When we talk about the individual versus society; or the individual versus the state; or indeed any discussion of individual rights versus the rights of a group, we are also referring to the psychological tension between the two poles of the Self. Any political or economic system that expects to succeed in the real world will have to accommodate that tension, and find a way to optimally negotiate the needs of BOTH sides of the Self--that is, they will have to take into account human nature.

A perusal of any list of economic systems will demonstrate that ALMOST ALL OF THEM are relatively extreme expressions of the Idealized Parent Image/Omnipotent Object. Almost all emphasize the group, the community, the collective, the nation, the state, or god at the expense of the individual. Examples are numerous. Socialism and Communism; fascism and religious fundamentalism.

The major exception is Capitalism, where the individual and the individual's needs are emphasized over the the group.

All other economic systems except capitalism routinely mouth moral platitudes about ending poverty; bringing justice etc. etc. But, the only economic system that is capable of doing just that is the one constantly accused of causing poverty and injustice--capitalism.

The WSJ put it thusly (from a previous post of mine):

Policy makers who pay lip service to fighting poverty would do well to grasp the link between economic freedom and prosperity. This year the Index finds that the freest economies have a per-capita income of $29,219, more than twice that of the "mostly free" at $12,839, and more than four times that of the "mostly unfree." Put simply, misery has a cure and its name is economic freedom.

The reason that systems such as socialism and communism don't work in the real world and are ultimately destructive of the individual self; and of the human soul, is that they remove moral action and judgement from the individual and place it in the collective. The individual is not permitted to make his/her own moral judgements, and must obey the mandates of the collective. This can only work when the individual is stripped of all freedom to act independently and fears reprisals for doing so.

Thus political freedom and economic freedom go hand in hand. Capitalism cannot exist for long inside an oppressive regime. Since it is more compatible with human nature than any other economic system, it will cause any totalitarian regime that permits it to some degree to last longer (China is a good example), but that can only be a temporary state. Without true political freedom, economic freedom cannot last and will either wither away slowly; or, alternatively cause individuals living under the oppression to demand more political freedom.

You can't be a "little bit" free because human nature will always demand more and more freedom once it has had a taste of it; until the despot who rules is finally deposed, or he totally crushes those who oppose him. In situations where the latter happens, you will always find the worse scenarios of poverty, oppression,misery, death, genocide and/or human degredation.

Likewise, true political freedom cannot last, and in the end is meaningless, where there is no economic freedom. Think for a minute about what money really is. Anti-capitalist intellectuals are rather fond of the phrase "money is the root of all evil", but, in truth, money is the most efficient method of allowing individuals to make moral judgements. The phrase "put your money where your mouth is" is actually a more meaningful insight for understanding the importance of money and its relationship to freedom.

This is, of course not to say that everyone will make good and/or moral decisions. Nor do all people necessarily spend or even earn their money wisely. They clearly don't. But that is neither here nor there. That is why political freedom demands a rule of law, and the protection of individual and property rights from other individuals and from the state.

Capitalism is good for the soul. It is the only system where the soul and the self can flourish, where individuals have a right to their own life and liberty, and can make the specific choices in the pursuit their own particular happiness. A system where every human exchange is a win-win situation.

[And let me add: it is also the only system where, to function optimally, the consequences of bad choices and decisions have to be faced. Instead, our bloated government and its self-styled intellectual elite have increasingly rewarded bad--even stupid-- behavior, and rescued companies and individuals who should never have been rescued involuntarily by their fellow citizens.]

So, this Christmas season, don't feel guilty about buying and giving gifts--either humble or extravagant-- for those you love. Don't agonize about the "reason for the season". Didn't the Three Wise Men bring riches to complement their adoration of the child? Didn't the little drummer boy sing his heart out? He gave the best within himself. And that is what capitalism and freedom together encourage.

Final note: I have no idea what will happen now that the artificial bubble that has surrounded the housing and credit markets has finally burst. Perhaps we will all get a really painful dose of reality. I have no problem with any voluntary and private efforts to help the most unfortunate out. But I balk at being forced to help out the very ones whose irrationality and frankly immoral behavior got us into this mess to begin with. They have been helping themselves to my work and income for far too long already. I also know that there are people who consider themselves kind and compassionate--and infinitely superior--who are still trying to keep reality at bay. Those are the people without real souls. They think wealth is just something you take from one person and give to another. They always want to redistribute it according to their whim; and it is their whim which is behind every so-called 'crisis' of capitalism.

Well, I trust the market to redistribute it--not this or that special interest. That's what works best for all of us in the long run.

Monday, September 29, 2008


The bailout plan was voted down in the House with 2/3 of Republicans and 40% of Democrats voting against it. It happened on the Dem's watch, General Pelosi in command. They have an absolute majority. The Dow is down 600 777 points already.

Do you think things are bad now? They are about to get worse.

Read this.


...and pretending that they are the ones who should be dispensing the medication instead of taking it.

NOTE: the photo above originally ran in the NYTimes, but they have now changed it to this one...don't you wonder why? -- maybe because of this little tidbit; or this, or this, or this? Thank God for the NYTimes always watching out for the Dems! What would they do without them? (h/t The Corner)

But let's go back to the original psychosis (i.e., detachment from reality) that laid the groundwork for the current Democratic Party delusion (h/t Betsy):
In 1995, the Clinton Administration issued rules that required banks and lending institutions to give loans to people who could not afford them. The lending standards were essentially gutted. This was an overt act of government.

The banks complied and gave the loans. They got the money to lend by selling the bad mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These semi-government entities “bought” the bad mortgages from the banks. But where did Fannie and Freddie get the money to buy the bad debt?

Fannie and Freddie got the money by packaging the bad debts into bundles and selling them to investors. Now, most people would never have bought these “mortgage backed securities” except for one thing: Fannie and Freddie marketed them as backed by the U.S. Government.

So, naturally, investors bought them. And over time, these securities were traded and treated just like real money. But of course they weren’t “real money.”

They were backed by little more than hope; hope that people with insufficient income or prospects would somehow be able to pay the mortgage.

When those mortgage payments failed to materialize, the securities couldn’t pay the dividends and the whole sordid deal started to fall apart.

Now, should investment companies and large banks have been aware and defended themselves and their stockholders? Yes, of course. But they were told from the beginning that the government had their back. It was “risk free.” Now they are calling the government’s bluff and we, the taxpayers, are getting stuck.

There was ample warning. Since 1999, responsible members of Congress and the two presidential administrations have attempted numerous times to tighten the lending standards and force reform of the system.

But using millions in political cash, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac blocked all moves at reform. And people like Frank and Dodd – and, yes, Barrack Obama -- were there to defend the government social policy, while raking in tens of thousands of campaign contributions for themselves.

So now all of us will pay dearly for this failed utopian government policy. (emphasis mine)

So when Obama talks about the "failed policies of the Bush Administration", or "failed Republican policies"; what he's really doing is covering up the fact that these destructive policies derive from the leftist utopian mindset, which he himself exemplifies perfectly.

When he talks about "hope and change", he really means that he intends to do much more of the same, because this is the kind of utopian fantasy that he has promulgated his entire life--both political and non-political. In truth, like any person out of touch with reality, he believes his delusions and hallucinations are real. And he invites you to enter them with him and to close your eyes and wish and hope and pray with all your heart and soul that the inconvenient reality that caused this mess for his Democratic predecessors will just go away because He--the One; the Messiah-- is sooooo special that He alone is able to change reality for us.

Under an Obama Administration (PBUH), the delusional leftist ideology that got us into this mess to begin with will only continue to expand to the outer limits of fantasy.

The inmates who are running the asylum are very busy now constructing a wall around their asylum; a wall that is a bigger, better, stronger and more fortified bubble around the asylum--one where not a single ray of reality will be able to penetrate and disturb the lovely fantasy world within.

But hey! What's does a little thing like reality matter when when you're on a mission of social justice and preaching politically correct bullsh*t virtue to the masses?

UPDATE: Confirmation of diagnosis:
Usually it will be 8 A.M. before I get e-mails this depressing. Not so this season:

I reluctantly support the bill. I'm not reluctant because I think it's
a bad idea. I think it's necessary.

I'm reluctant because only a fool would believe this is the final form
of the bill. The Dems
have already tipped their hand. They want their agenda attached to this
program. And they control
Congress. If Obama is elected, they will "tweak" the bill over time,
inserting many of the provisions
that were stripped out this weekend.

How? The oversight committees will selectively leak carefully chosen
"outrages" that make it appear
that minorities and poor-credit individuals are being hardest hit.
They'll rerun their 1980's PR offensive
about "red lining". Then they'll promise to "fix" the problem and —
voila! — ACORN-like groups will
get their money. And a newly Obama-appointed Treasury Secretary will be
the main facilitator.

Depressing, but undeniable.

UPDATE II: What exactly does a "community organizer" do? Stanley Kurtz knows:
Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

Read it all. Then ask yourself why Americans are even considering the possibility that this man has any solution for the economy. It boggles the mind; but perhaps not in an asylum sheltered from reality....

UPDATE III: Democrat's Jedi Mind Tricks; "You don't want to fix Freddie or Fannie...there's no crisis here."

UPDATE IV: A New York Times article from a few years back:
"These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

Yes, do tell us more about reality, Representative Frank.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Time for the weekly insanity update, where the insane, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the completely absurd are highlighted for all to see! This has been a week of rare idiocy (as always!). So, if you want to remain sane, the best thing is to poke some fun at the more egregious absurdities.

Keep those entries coming in every week, and try to get them to me by Saturday. If you have questions, go here before submitting an entry. You can also submit an entry via Blog Carnival.

Try to make it funny, ironic, or clearly insane, people...I get a lot of "self-help" stuff that doesn't seem particularly funny or even ironic to me--and, if it doesn't seem that way to me, then its likely it won't be included-- unless it just happens to fit in with one of the COTI themes for the week.

Also, a link back to the Carnival if your submitted post is included would be appreciated...and some extremely harsh penalties await those who do not comply with this simple and reasonable request!


1. Sinatra in a spirited rendition of "I did it Myspace"

2. Giddy as a schoolgirl vs Tough as nails.

3, I'm from the government and I've come to save you. Surreal.
Wall Street Woes are really are above my paygrade and over my head....

4. I'm from academia and I've come to help you! I'll teach you to think...the correct way--or else.

5. I'm from the diversity police and I've come to save you. Have you ever noticed how rude and self-centered multicultural-PC-lunatics are?

6. I'm from the KGB FSB and I've come to save you.

7. This is how you ban books you don't like; and this is how you oppose free speech. It's the PC Way!

8. This is CNN. And so is this.

9. Will the real economy please stand up?? This is the kind of economic plan I can get behind!

10. King of the Jews? Well, dark prince, really. Welcome to 1984.

11. Looting other planets is the solution!

12. Coping with a Titanic ego? Or, Titanic judgment? Or just plain Titanic--and here's the moronic crew.

13. Trapped in his own stupidity--and a noted economist to boot! Who knew?

14. Perfect justice.

15. Sweet, robust, with a hint of Alaska. Newsflash! She's a real beauty in a lot of ways.

16. Et tu, Tutu? But what did you expect? Shock at the double standards or something?

17. Yes, this ad sets my teeth on edge too.

18. Politics is one profession where it is customary to say what is nobody believes, least of all yourself. Yes, it's generally better to watch Seinfeld reruns.

19. The new, DNC-approved ballot! So you don't get confused when you vote.

20. Dumb ,and Dumber, and Dumberer.

21. How about that exhibitionism of the left? Using boobies to call attention to themselves--wasn't that once...sexist?

22. The calabi-yau manifold crystal? Just what I always wanted!

Carnival of the Insanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival and at the BlogCarnival.

If you would like to Join the insanity, and add the Carnival of the Insanities button to your sidebar (clicking on it will always take you to the latest update of the Carnival), click on "Word of Blog" below the button to obtain the html code:

Heard the Word of Blog?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


...but here are some photos of mine: (Is anyone else a little sick of politics? After last nitght's debate--which went pretty darn well for McCain despite what the "polls" and blogs say this morning--I wish the election was just over and done with. Sigh.)


ROSE: Cherry Parfait (deep pink and white)

ROSE: Nancy Reagan (peach)

ROSE: Pope John Paul (pure white)

ROSE: America (dark pink)

ROSE: Michaelangelo (yellow)


Friday, September 26, 2008


This is what happens when Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (and all the other Democrats)--who should be taken out to be tarred and feathered due to their culpablility in originating this crisis--are in charge of finding a solution. Consider:
Deal Killer
This is what Lindsey Graham said on Greta's show: “And this deal that's on the table now is not a very good deal. Twenty percent of the money that should go to retire debt that will be created to solve this problem winds up in a housing organization called ACORN that is an absolute ill-run enterprise, and I can't believe we would take money away from debt retirement to put it in a housing program that doesn't work.”ACORN? ACORN!

Yes, ACORN. Even when the economic stability of their country is at stake, Democrats can think only of advancing the leftist ideology that has poisoned it to begin with
What if Barack Obama’s most important radical connection has been hiding in plain sight all along? Obama has had an intimate and long-term association with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn), the largest radical group in America. If I told you Obama had close ties with MoveOn.org or Code Pink, you’d know what I was talking about. Acorn is at least as radical as these better-known groups, arguably more so. Yet because Acorn works locally, in carefully selected urban areas, its national profile is lower. Acorn likes it that way. And so, I’d wager, does Barack Obama.

This is a story we’ve largely missed. While Obama’s Acorn connection has not gone entirely unreported, its depth, extent, and significance have been poorly understood. Typically, media background pieces note that, on behalf of Acorn, Obama and a team of Chicago attorneys won a 1995 suit forcing the state of Illinois to implement the federal “motor-voter” bill. In fact, Obama’s Acorn connection is far more extensive. In the few stories where Obama’s role as an Acorn “leadership trainer” is noted, or his seats on the boards of foundations that may have supported Acorn are discussed, there is little follow-up. Even these more extensive reports miss many aspects of Obama’s ties to Acorn.

An Anti-Capitalism Agenda
To understand the nature and extent of Acorn’s radicalism, an excellent place to begin is Sol Stern’s 2003 City Journal article, “ “ACORN’s Nutty Regime for Cities.” (For a shorter but helpful piece, try Steven Malanga’s “Acorn Squash.”)

Sol Stern explains that Acorn is the key modern successor of the radical 1960’s “New Left,” with a “1960’s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism” to match.

This is exactly Obama's agenda--i.e., the left's agenda. It is fundamentally anti-capitalistic. It is extremely radical in the best Code Pink tradition. This is what the Democratic Party now stands for. Their ideological talking points--diversity, political correctness, equality of outcome to name just a few--are why we are in this crisis.

Their pseudo-virtuous greed is behind it all. Obama, Dodd and Frank (to name but a few) have lined their own pockets and advanced their own careers on the back of this ideology. They are now taking it to the next level in their cynical, manipulative and repugnant attempts to blame the other side for not only the economic crisis, but also for a failure to resolve it. Their solution is to pour oil on the fire--i.e., more of the same socialism-inspired dogma. These are the failed policies that got us into this mess. Don't believe me? Then read this NY Times article from nine years ago:
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Published: September 30, 1999
In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Does all this sound familiar? Now go watch the youtube videos I linked here and here.

We are now watching in full color, HDTV the greatest con in Democrat Party history, led by the messiah con artist-in-chief . It is rather sickening. Only with a complicit media, aiding and abetting the Democrat/Marxist con job, could they hope to get away with it.

I guess we'll see if they get away with it by November 4th--if they haven't burned down the economy by then.

[More Cartoons by Steve Breen]

UPDATE: Utterly shameful. But what do you expect from these Dem weasels?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


First, read this post:
A 3 month old video produced by the Boston Globe describing the effect of Barack Obama’s housing reforms in his district makes interesting viewing. The accompanying article explains that “the squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. But it’s not safe to live here. … In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition. Grove Parc has become a symbol for some in Chicago of the broader failures of giving public subsidies to private companies to build and manage affordable housing - an approach strongly backed by Obama as the best replacement for public housing.”
It isn’t that people are thrilled with John McCain. It’s that not many trust Barack Obama either.

Then, watch the video sent to me by a reader which is loaded with interesting facts:

And it's my bet that a lot of people would trust Obama even less--if more people in the media were out doing their job and reporting on the facts about what is behind the current economic crisis-- instead of reporting on the numerous, daily popularity polls. But a most of the media has erected a firewall where Obama is concerned and prefer to look the other way at anything negative about him.

Obama talks regularly about the "failed economic policies" of the Bush Administration. But the 'failed policies' he is talking about derive from the same old Democratic talking points we've been hearing about for the last half century. The Democrats have spread their poor business practices to even the business community, who with their usual flair, took the ball and ran with it. They were told they could be as virtuous as the Democrats by embracing a business model that ignored reality. Both sides of this little conspiracy were very good at ignoring reality and scratching each other's backs.

I'm not saying that Republicans are blameless. Hardly. But Obama and the Democrats are in this crisis up to their necks and they, with the help of a protective and obfuscating media are going full out in their denial of responsibility, marching around Washington like a bunch of incompetent Sergeant Schultz's intoning, "I know NOTHING! NOTHING!"

But they know.

[cartoons by Henry Payne]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Stanley Kurz keeps asking those awfully annoying (to the left anyway) questions about Obama's relationship with terrorist turn education wonk/terrorist, Bill Ayers.

Too bad there exists an amazing lack of curiousity about this issue among mainstream journalists. Clearly Sarah Palin's relationship with them is of much greater importance. Oh wait! I forgot! She's just a poor, helpless victim of white male (McCain) oppression.


Victor Davis Hanson can't help but notice the unhinged rantings of Naomi Wolf:
"Do Not Let Her!" — Life in the Palin-Rove-Cheney Police State
When this election is all over, it will be hard to remember which Obama partisan proved the most unhinged (Rev. Wright doesn't count):

The "comedian" who called for the rape of Sarah Palin; the discredited Atlantic Magazine blogger who snowballed rumors that the Palin Down syndrome child was not her own; the Atlantic Monthly hired photographer who disseminated photo-shopped outtakes of McCain; the son of the Democratic legislator who hacked into the Palin email account; or one of the many in Hollywood/New York who gave us a moronic rant in the style of Woody Allen, Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Chevy Chase et al.

My vote, however, would go to Naomi Wolf (most infamous for charging Al Gore several thousands a month for advice on matters involving Alpha males, and Harold Bloom with sexual harassment years later). Now she warns about the "horror" that she was "seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal." And indeed the reach of Sarah Palin's police state is already proving to be long indeed:
Almost everyone I work with on projects related to this campaign for liberty has been experiencing computer harassment: emails are stripped, messages disappear. That's not all: people's bank accounts are being tampered with: wire transfers to banks vanish in midair. I personally keep opening bank accounts that are quickly corrupted by fraud. Money vanishes. Coworkers of mine have to keep opening new email accounts as old ones become infected. And most disturbingly to me personally is the mail tampering I have both heard of and experienced firsthand. My tax returns vanished from my mailbox. All my larger envelopes arrive ripped straight open apparently by hand. When I show the postman, he says "That's impossible." Horrifyingly to me is the impact on my family. My childrens' report cards are returned again and again though perfectly addressed; their invitations are turned back; and my daughters many letters from camp? Vanished. All of them. Not one arrived. Try explaining that to a smart thirteen year old. Try explaining it in a way that still makes her feel secure and comfortable.

I am not telling you this because it's about my life. I am telling you this because it is about your life — whoever you are, Conservative or Liberal, independent or evangelical. Your politics will not protect you in a police state. History shows that nothing portects (sic) you in a police state.
...Make no mistake: Sarah "Evita" Palin is Rove and Cheney's cosmetic rebranding of their fascist push: she will help to establish a true and irreversible "fear society" in this once free once proud nation. For God's sake, do not let her; do not let them.

LGF also links to the histrionic Wolf rant, and then highlights it with one of the typical comments from a reader:
One trillion dollars to bail out the financial institutions? I don’t think so. I think they will use this money to set up their fascist police state, suspend the constitution and declare martial law.

These insane paranoid rantings (which I maintain are projections of their own dark selves--i.e., this is what Wolf and her admiring readers would actually like to do to those who oppose their holy ideology) is nothing new in American politics. Richard Hofstadter wrote a classic essay on "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" which presented numerous examples of the paranoid style in the 50's. At that time, the political right was out of power and they were the dominant source of paranoia and projection in the political arena. From the John Birch Society; to Joseph McCarthy; to the conspiracy theories related to fluoridation of water and other irrationally held beliefs of the time; the political right engaged in frankly paranoid thinking as a way of coping with their decline in power and influence.

Hofstadter noted even then, that the right could not claim exclusive title to the paranoid style. In fact, American history has been littered with examples of both sides decending into paranoid thinking to deal with painful truth and unacceptable reality about their ideology.

I submit that at this point in history it is now the political left that has willingly passed through the world of reality and entered the twilight realm of paranoia. They made this transition in order to hold onto some cherished beliefs that they were convinced had become unchangeable historical "facts"; "facts" that had been and still are essential to their very identity as a political party; but which hide essential flaws in their thinking.

Of course, calling someone "paranoid", or insinuating that they have a "paranoid style" is definitely pejorative. Being paranoid has, as Hofstadter notes, "a greater affinity for bad causes than good ones." This is primarily because the paranoid--even when their cause has some merit--is actually trying to delude himself about some inner reality at the expense of, or detriment to, the cause. Their motivation is no longer about the cause anymore; it is about protecting themselves from an unpleasant reality that is making them question their foundations.

Any who oppose the "equality of outcome" logic are descibed as "racist". Those who disagree with them are "trying to shut down free speech" (watch and see whose behavior actually physically attempts to silence others--or here). Those who point out the errors in their thinking are "evil". American society--arguably the freest and most tolerant in the world--becomes the source of all oppression and evil. President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been the focus of their insane and irrational for the last eight years, symbolizing everything that makes the loser left realize their own inadequacies and failures.

Now, the left has found another focus for their insanity and hysteria--one that is even worse than Bush (from their perspective) because she is a woman. A woman! All women are supposed to be helpless victims of white male heterosexual oppression; who need to turn to the leftist elites--like Naomi Wolf-- for succor and guidance. How dare Sarah Palin succeed WITHOUT Naomi Wolf and leftist feminist approval? Palin simply must be--MUST BE-- a fascist!

Naomi Wolf, who hates her own country so much, she publishes an article in Turkey asking the [Islamic] world to confront its evil. Who loves women so much, she rationalizes away their oppression and humiliation in Islamic culture--even celebrates that oppression as a "thriving sexuality." And this lunatic, hysterical bitch (and believe me, I am actually insulting the mentally ill as well as female dogs everywhere) has the temerity to criticize Sarah Palin? How out of touch with reality do you have to be to believe that Islamic/Arab culture is good because being under the veil nurtures and empowers women while western--particularly American--culture oppresses and demeans them?

Hofstadter notes in his essay:
Again it is common knowledge that the movement against the fluoridation of municipal water supplies has been catnip for cranks of all kinds, especially for those who have obsessive fear of poisoning. It is conceivable that at some time scientists may turn up conclusive evidence that this practice is, on balance, harmful; and such a discovery would prove the antifluoridationists quite right on the substance of their position. But it could hardly, at the same time, validate the contentions of those among them who, in characteristic paranoid fashion have charged that fluoridation was an attempt to advance socialism under the guise of public health or to rot out the brains of the community by introducing chemicals in the water supply in order to make people more vulnerable to socialist or communist schemes.

A distorted style is, then, a possible signal that may alert us to a distorted judgment, just as in art an ugly style is a cue to fundamental defects of taste. What interests me here is the possibility of using political rhetoric to get a political pathology. One of the most impressive facts about the paranoid style, in this connection, is that it represents an old and recurrent mode of expression in our public life which has frequently been linked with movements of suspicious discontent and whose content remains much the same even when it is adopted by men of distinctly different purposes.

In the example of fluoridation, which was a major focus of paranoia in the 50's and 60's; science never confirmed that it was harmful and it is still used today all over the country. Nevertheless, it was not unreasonable to bring up concerns about the long-term safety of a public program that would impact almost every citizen in the country.

What was inappropriate and irrational, as well as an extreme example of "connecting the dots" (which is what paranoids do to the extreme--even connecting dots that don't exist) to regain political power, was the use of the relevant scientific question as a basis for developing a rather bizarre conspiracy theory that connected it with another realistic concern at the time--the rise of communism and its easy acceptance and penetration into American culture.

In this case, "connecting the dots" was not the product of a rational thought process, but of a paranoia on the right; who in their political impotence came to emotionally conflate two important concerns with some degree of merit into one conspiracy theory that was totally off the wall. In the end, it completely discredited them in the minds of reasonable people.

The bizarre conspiracy theories that condensed around fluoridation are not dissimilar to the ones we have heard over and over again concerning President Bush and his administration. Repeatedly we have heard the shreiks of the paranoid left wailing that an imminent theocracy was to be imposed by the fascist BusHitler. We have watched them make fools of themselves over and over again as their predictions escalated into absurdity.

Now with the Bush Presidency near an end, they need to transfer their insanity to a new object and Sarah Palin encapsulates all they they desperately fear the most--a liberated woman who doesn't need them or their ideology and exposes it for the intellectual and moral con it truly is.

Watch and learn--because this is just the beginning of a new and improved delusional psycho-path the left is taking on the way to implementing their grand plan to regain political power. The absurd claims, the swooning irrationality, the hysterical and sweeping accusations of evil on the part of the left will only escalate in the coming days as the McCain/Palin ticket continues to have traction with the general public. They will have to come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories and paranoid fantasies to explain away their own failures and dysfunction--as well as that of their holy Saviour. When they lose the election, these new and improved delusions will become fixed and immutable. They simply will not be able to believe that their opponents won and we will hear once again how it was "stolen" from them.

The paranoia of the left can be seen in their increasingly desperate attempts to discredit Sarah Palin; but, just as fluoridation being a plot of the communists didn't resonate with reality; neither do Naomi Wolf's ridiculous assertions.

The hallmark of the paranoid individual and the paranoid style is constant anticipation or expectation of either attack or personal betrayal. Paranoia finds causal connections everywhere and in everything; for them, nothing is coincidental. Sinister tanning booths take on special meaning, and they can develop complicated conspiracies about innocuous behaviors and irrelevant events. Their paranoia makes them constantly on guard, searching for hidden motives and meanings in everyone else's behavior.

Paranoia can be conceptualized as "rationality in the service of the irrational." Once fixed on a particular idea or explanation -- no matter how bizarre or irrational; the paranoid person looks for evidence to validate their prejudices. It is almost impossible to change their minds. Their entire concept of themselves is tied up with the paranoid idea or conspiracy. If it did not exist, or was proven to be untrue or false-- then they would need to question their underlying assumptions and ideas--and those are what usually form the foundation of who they believe themselves to be.

Bush was Hitler; now that he is going away, they must find a new Hitler to replace him so that they can feel good and virtuous about themselves by hating him/her again.

I'm sure that for the Naomi Wolf's of the world, it is far more comforting to predict an imminent fascist takeover of America by a Sarah Palin, rather than accept the notion that you have a severe mental impairment brought about by a dysfunctional ideology.

It's much easier to disregard or distort reality; and/or to simply incorporate the person who threatens your view of yourself into a complex paranoid fantasy; rather than deal with the trauma of a disintegrating self.

When setbacks occur, or when something goes wrong in the life of the paranoid, they will always prefer to believe that another person or group is to blame, rather than accept any personal responsibility.

Hofstadter again:
What distinguishes the paranoid style is not, then, the absence of verifiable facts (though it is occasionally true that in his extravagaant passion for facts the paranoid occasionally manufactures them), but rather the curious leap in imagination that is always made at some critical point in the recital of events....

The plausability the paranoid style for those who find it plausible lies, in good measure, in this appearance of the more careful, conscientious and seemingly coherent application to detail, the laborious accumulation of what can be taken as convincing evidence for the most fantastic conclusions, the careful preparation for the big lep from the undeniable to the unbelievable.

The singular thing about all this laborious work is that the passion for factual evidence does not, as in most intellectual exchanges have the effect of putting the paranoid spokesman into effective two-way communication with the world outside his group--least of all with those who doubt his views. He has little real hope that his evidence will convince a hostile world. His effort to amass it has rather the quality of a defensive act which shuts off his receptive apparatus and protects him from haavaing to attend to disturbing considerations that do not fortify his ideas. He has all the evidence he needs; he is not a receiver, he is a transmitter.

What is missing from the paranoid style is not facts, but sensible judgment. And how can judgments be made--let alone be sensible--when the postmodern constraints on thinking (discussed here and here) demand moral relativity and decree that all truth is subjective anyway. Postmodernism practically celebrates paranoia, projection, denial and distortion as undeniable and fundamental truth.

One of the daunting aspects of political paranoia exhibited by the likes of Wolf, is that it stops just short of being bizarre (if she claimed that Sarah Palin was an alien...then I'd have to reconsider); it is just unbelievable in its breathtaking scope and histrionic intensity to most reasonable people. In order to believe it, a person would have to accept some pretty far-fetched underlying assumptions - many of them completely contradictory.

For example, it simply boggles the mind to contemplate all the conspiracy theories constructed over the last eight years about Bush/Cheney/Rove's evil genius. They have even been blamed even for the foolish behavior of Democrats. Recall, as just one example, the proposed, serious theory that Karl Rove was the originator of the "fake but accurate" Dan Rather/Mary Mapes memo. The idea of this theory was that Rove did it to make Democrats look foolish since it was so obviously a forgery; and that they were "entrapped" into believing it to be real. Except, of course, that the same people who say that piece of nonsense are also unwilling to admit that the forgery is fake and believe there is some "underlying truth" to its contents. Go figure. But as Hofstadter has said, this is the hallmark of the paranoid style.

So, what is the solution to this dilemma posed by the liberal left's paranoid style? They behave the way they do because they believe (falsely, I think) that it will gain them back their position of power and influence. In fact, it is this very behavior that will ultimately be their downfall.

There is little hope that the left will change its paranoid style or that they will develop any real insight or take any responsibility for their psychotic rhetoric. Instead, it will only escalate and become more and more out of touch with reality as their power fades away.

Voices like Naomi Wolf's, screaming out the left's collective delusions for all rational persons to hear, make it clearer and clearer each day that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for insanity.

Meanwhile, the competition for the most unhinged person of the left continues to be fierce--with Wolf leading the pack.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


There are two important posts today on the relationships Barack Obama has with terrorists.

Yes, I said terrorists.

The first post briefly summarizes the thorough Stanley Kurtz article (which should be read in total) on Barack Obama's radical ties to unrepentant terrorist, William Ayers and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC):
Three takeaways:

* Obama had a long-term working relationship with William Ayers.
* The Chicago Annenberg Challenge ("CAC"), the only executive experience on Obama's resume, was an objective failure despite the expenditure of millions of dollars.
* Through the CAC, Ayers and Obama financed radical organizations, including one with a history of engaging in voter fraud.

Stanley's work is a challenge to mainstream journalists. A candidate for the presidency has a demonstrated working relationship with — indeed funded — an unrepentant terrorist, yet the media have spent more time reporting about Sarah Palin's hair styles.

The second post at The Belmont Club, continues Wretchard's investigation of Obama's relationship with Tony Redzko and Nadhmi Auchi, the latter "an Iraqi billionaire who has played a role in the Iraqi-European arms trade for over two decades, and who, behind the facade of legitimate business, served as Saddam Hussein’s principal international financial manipulator and bag man." (see also the first post on the subject: Obama’s Shifting Positions in Iraq: a Rezko Connection? )
The London Times reported that Auchi gave a $3.5 million loan to Mr. Rezko in May 2005 through a Panamanian company linked to the Iraqi expatriate called Fintrade Services SA. Several weeks after the loan, Mr. Obama purchased a house on Chicago’s South Side and Mr. Rezko’s wife bought an expensive plot of land next to the house from the same seller on the same day. Mr. Rezko’s wife later sold a 10-foot section of the property to Mr. Obama, to add to the Illinois Democrat’s garden. Mr. Obama has called the land purchase a mistake”

The Inspector General’s report makes the fairly persuasive case that Auchi was bad company. The person who constituted the single degree of separation between Auchi and the man who is possibly the next President of the United States was Tony Rezko. After the Chicago businessman’s conviction on corruption charges, Obama expressed shock at his former friend’s secret life.
Rezko’s guilty verdict on 16 of 24 corruption counts could have broad repercussions for Blagojevich, who made Rezko a central player in his kitchen cabinet. It could also prove a political liability for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser, as the likely Democratic presidential nominee heads into the general election campaign against Republican John McCain.

“I’m saddened by today’s verdict,” Obama said Wednesday. “This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future.”

Wretchard goes on in quite a bit more detail; then asks the extremely pertinent question: "What brought Auchi to Chicago? And what brought Rezko to Iraq? There are still lots and lots of places besides Sarah Palin’s tanning bed where the spotlight needs to shine."

But pertinent questions are actually considered impertinent by today's absymally uninquisitive and remarkably partisan mainstream journalists, who appear to be willing to overlook anything the Holy Obama has done, preferring to focus on the hairstyles, tanning beds and other inconsequential 'scandals' of Alaska's extremely popular Republican governor and vice presidential nominee.

The last thing they want to do is shine any kind of light on Obama's terrorist connections. Such a light would be far too blinding for the eyes of his worshipful supporters (including the journalists) to bear.


(hat tip: Maggie's Farm)


In "The Undefended City", Bill Whittle brilliantly analyzes the decline of western civilization and the dysfunctional psychology that promotes and encourages that decline. He describes his reactions sitting in a movie theater in 2001, watching The Lord of the Rings:
And there, in the darkness, staring up at that screen, I marveled at this monumental font of deep and eternal ideas: the aversion to facing danger, even when it is right in front of us; the value of old and true allies; the corrosive force of addiction; responsibility forsaken, then reclaimed… and through it all the fear that we may be lesser sons of greater fathers, and that we may no longer have the courage or the will to defend the City entrusted to our care.

This, and more, what was what John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was trying to teach me, down that dark river of the future — and he ought to know. The Lord of the Rings was written between 1937 through 1949… years of dark waters, indeed.

A few years before Tolkien put pen to paper, an event took place that a man of his education would have undoubtedly been aware. On February 9th, 1933, the ruling elite of the world’s great Civilization held a debate in the Oxford Union. With thunderclouds growing dark across the English Channel, at a time when resolute action could still have averted the worst catastrophe the world has ever known, these elites resolved that “This House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country.”

The Resolution passed by a vote of 275 to 153. Needless to say, this vote did not avert the fight. It guaranteed it.

How much of the weight of that, I wonder, sat along side him as he penned page after page about the decline of the Men of the West. For taken in its entirety, The Lord of the Rings is about the collective regeneration of the will and courage of a previous age, and ends with the hope that the greatest days of the City lie yet ahead.

I live a few miles from Santa Monica High School, in California. There, young men and women are taught that America is “a terrorist nation,” “one of the worst regimes in history,” that it’s twice-elected leader is “the son of the devil,” and dictator of this “fascist” country. Further, “patriotism” is taught by dragging an American flag across the classroom floor, because the nation’s truest patriots, as we should know by now, are those who are most able to despise it.

This is only high school, remember: in college things get much, much worse.

Two generations, now, are being raised on this poison, and the reason for that is this: the enemies of this city cannot come out and simply say, “Do not defend the city.” Even the smartest among us can see that is simple treason. But they can say, “The City is not worth defending.” So they say that, and they say that all the time and in as many different ways as they are able.

If you step far enough back to look at the whole of human history, you will begin to see a very plain rhythm: a heartbeat of civilization. Steep climbs out of disease and ignorance into the light of medicine and learning — and then a sudden collapse back into darkness. And it is in that darkness that most humans have lived their lives: poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

The pattern is always the same: at the height of a civilization’s powers something catastrophic seems to occur — a loss of will, a failure of nerve, and above all an unwillingness to identify with the values and customs that have produced such wonders.

The Dark is rising. You can feel it as clearly as the elves of Tolkien's Middle Earth felt the rise of Sauron. Thuggish world leaders openly declare their intent to anhilate America and all who stand in the way of world domination; and the world yawns; the Democratic Party and it new Messiah play partisan politics that suggest that a nuclear Iran is :

Meanwhile, the lunatic leader of Iran gloats:
The world powers cannot stop Iran's nuclear progress, state media on Monday quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying upon his arrival in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

'The talks made by some (countries) will be no hurdle in the course of progress of the Iranian nation,' Ahmadinejad told state television network IRIB in New York.

The president was referring to the demand by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (5+1) for Iran to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment process or face further political isolation and financial sanctions.

Yes, we've seen how effective sanctions and diplomacy have been over the last four years. While we have talked and dithered; trusting to the UN or the EU, Iran has moved closer and closer to its nuclear goals. You can almost hear the Iranian thugs laughing at the naivete of western elites and leaders. It is the sound of contemptuous superiority the typical psychopath expresses for anyone who is not himself.

Nevertheless, despite the poisonous words and overt appeasement of the Grima Wormtongues of our world, many refuse to bow to the dark, and remain ready to stand and fight for western civilization:
Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel joined thousands of protesters in New York Monday to condemn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's planned address to the United Nations General Assembly, which opens Tuesday. Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and former minister Natan Sharansky also spoke at the gathering, organized by a coalition of American Jewish groups. Wiesel said "We urge all the UN delegations across the street to leave the hall when [Ahmadinejad] appears on the stage."(Read it all)

It is clear from every piece of evidence at our disposal, that Ahmadinejad is a fanatic's fanatic who will not deter his genocidal vision because of a few million piddly human deaths or worldwide destruction, even if people in his own country suffer for it. He is completely rational about his irrationality, and would like nothing better than to be the Islamic 'hero' who ushers in the apocalypse for the 12th Imam.

It is true that behind this fruitcake, there are the Iranian mullahs, who may be religious, but are not stupid. They use Ahmadinejad to jab at the West and draw blood, then pull him back. Their goal is power, and they realize that you can't have power if you are dead. Ahmadinejad may think he calls the shots, but the mullahs, however immoderate and provocative are the ones with real power.

The question is, how far will the mullahs let the madman go? Would they let him "wipe Israel off the map", if they thought the world, i.e., the U.S., would do nothing? I think they would, simply because if they could get away with it, then it would completely consolidate their power as the real "leaders" of Islam--the ones who elimated the hated Jewish State, the poisonous thorn in the side of the Islamic world.

Can we base our security and that of Israel's on the hope that the mullahs may be immoderate, but perhaps not irrational?

God help us if we rely solely on such a vain hope--particularly if the Democrats get back into power.

Because, you see, Iran and the rest of the terrorists are patiently waiting. They are waiting for the Democrats--with all their inherent moral weakness and confusion; the Iranians are waiting because they perceive fear, appeasement, defeat, and surrender in the Democratic rhetoric and behavior. They know that as soon as an Obama gets elected, they will be home free and will not have to suffer any consequences for wiping Israel off the map--from the U.S., anyway. They will be able to do as they like without interference.

The dithering Democrats will excuse, rationalize and basically look for any reason to exculpate any atrocity Iran initiates, because they are 'the party of peace' and they just know they can talk to lunatics and trust them.

They Iranians know that today's Democrats will not stand against the darkness; instead they will simply turn off the lights and dwell in the dark without protest--then say it is a good thing.

As Whittle notes, these days, Hollywood has become the propaganda arm of the political left and the Democrats.

Once upon a time, I thought that movies, literature and art had the goal of entertaining people through the selective recreation of reality, and could inspire and motivate us to a greater appreciation and experience of life.

Really great art stands on its own, without any agenda (to paraphrase Sigmund, Carl and Alfred). What we have exemplified in the anti-American selections that Hollywood chooses to celebrate is not great art at all, but art appropriated for the purpose of advocating and disseminating a political agenda. This is what the Soviet Union used to do with all the statues and posters and paintings and "art" that depicted the beefy proletariat workers with their "new" consciousness, standing around proudly to attest to the wondrous glory of Soviet life.

It didn't really convince anyone even then-- except the propaganda experts who created it.

Likewise, the intellectual heirs of the Soviet propaganda experts who now live in "Hollywood"; along with all the rest of the artistic and intellectual elite of the West, have developed a creative alternative to the old Soviet realism style-- which despite its fundamental propaganda style, at least tried to project something positive ("real but fake" you could say).

The agenda of the new propagandists' art is not to "glorify" anything, or at least not to depict anything positively. On the contrary, the current crop of elites seek to destroy and deconstruct the underlying values of the West, for which they feel a profound contempt. The ideology that drives them has failed to create the socialist utopia they yearn for; so now in their despair and spite, their art has evolved to capture and expose the anti-life, anti-beauty, anti-reason, and generally anti-human threads of their souls.

Just watch Redacted, Stop-Loss, or In the Valley of Elah, and watch as "our soldiers are depicted as murderers, rapists, broken psychotics or ignorant dupes –visions foisted upon me by bitter and isolated millionaires such as Brian de Palma and Paul Haggis and all the rest."

The cultural elite of the West has become dedicated to the darkness of the human soul.

Dr. Martin Seligman a well-known researcher in behavior, in an article titled "Misreporting Science in the New York Times: Against Happiness" notes that in the choice of articles on psychology it chooses to print, and in the ones it ignores, the NY Times (one of the advertisers for the new elite) is making a concerted effort to consistently display life as full of "unmitigated tragedy, violence, and meaninglessness." He mentions several well-written books that have never been reviewed by the NY Times Book Review, and some articles on recent research on happiness that never made it to press:
What do these books and stories have in common? They are good news. They suggest that virtue, well-being, nobility, happiness, and meaning are all within the realm of human possibility, and that life is not just unmitigated tragedy, violence, and meaninglessness. And they are based on solid, painstaking science involving hundreds of thousands of subjects, hundreds of refereed articles, and scores of doctoral dissertations from the most reputable universities in the world.

But take a shoddily researched and truly lightweight account that can be run as “Against Happiness,” and it leads.

Yes, there are professional pessimists. Yes, there are nattering nabobs of negativism. There are media dedicated to the dividends of darkness that both reflect a cultural bias toward despair and simultaneously shape it. They are enormously influential, and if you wonder why our young people are in the midst of an epidemic of depression and meaninglessness in the presence of unprecedented wealth, education, and opportunity, you might start with what they read in the New York Times.

Indeed, you might. And then you could go on to explore most of the recent literature, art, and film that promoted by the Times and other media outlets which are dedicated to the "darkness" to which Dr. Seligman refers.

It is something I am very familiar with, and why I turned to science fiction and fantasy, where there there are artistic universes where morality and objective reality still exist . It is why books and films like Harry Potter and Narnia have achieved phenomenal success and why the three Lord of the Rings movies were so profoundly relevant to our time. They were bright, glittering stars in the midst of a cultural black hole that was sucking all the joy, hope and love from life.

Do you think I am exaggerating? Take a look at the books the NY Times considers worthwhile. They are filled with despairing and hopeless people. Often, their characters aren't even likable. But they supposedly deal with very profound and important issues and are considered "serious" and "literary". I used to try to read some of them, but I found I couldn't ever finish them. They made me sick and gave me nightmares (and I'm not talking about Stephen King novels either). I finally found a pardigm I could live with: If it was recommended by the NY Times and considered an "important" work, I avoided it the same way I try to avoid death.

I finally abandoned reading the NY Times Review of Books (which I read for years) entirely after they decided to EXCLUDE the most popular book of the latter part of the 20th century in the Best Seller List and banish it to the Children's Book List. I am referring, of course, to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, which is sneered at by the true literary establishment; as was Tolkien's Lord of the Rings 40 years ago. As is science fiction and mystery (unless it conforms to the "darkness" criteria, I've noticed). And, as for romance novels (and believe it or not, there are truly excellent novels in this genre, that are comparable to the works of Austen, Bronte and others) the anti-intellectual stigma attached to reading such novels says all you need to know about the attitude of the true literary establishment, as exemplified by the NY Times.

Don't get me wrong. One of my majors in college long ago was English Literature. I don't believe that all books need to have happy sappy endings. On the contrary, if books are to teach us about life and all the important issues that involves, it is often necessary to face unpleasantness and pain. Truly wonderful art helps you to do that, while simultaneously rejoicing in the human spirit.

Shall we discuss many of the so-called "artsy" movies? Especially the ones that open in special theaters (if it appeals to the "masses" it must be insipid)? Almost all of them are life-hating, pathetic romps dedicated to the twin themes of despair and hopelessness. Or catering to the darkness within men's souls--if not actively celebrating it. Few and far between are the ones that even explore the light and the goodness of those souls. After being told over and over again that happiness is impossible in this world; that those who pursue it are simple and shallow; and that , as C3PO in "Star Wars"--a wonderful robotic symbol of this mindset--says, "misery and suffering is our lot in life" --is it really any wonder that my profession is overwhelmed by the unhappiness of our fellow humans?

Those who buy into the doom and gloom agenda are so profoundly caught up in their own narcissistic feelings that they can't even tolerate having a political candidate they supported lose an election without suffering post-traumatic stress. I had a patient once who became suicidal because her son had to have surgery and she felt life had no meaning or purpose...and then I found out that her 30 year old son was scheduled for bunion surgery, and I'm afraid I lost all sympathy for her plight.

Truly, there aren't enough antidepressants in the universe to reverse the onslaught of depression and malaise that is aimed at our minds from sun up to sun set that would have us believe that everything is a disaster. Like Denethor, the doomed Warden of Gondor, who spent years listening to Sauron tell him how hopeless it is to oppose him (in Return of the King); the media --and all those who listen to the Sauron's of today-- would like us to pour oil on the funeral pyre and just light it--because we can't win against evil; we can't win against chaos; we can't win against darkness. According to them, we are doomed. Doomed!

I touched on this in a post I did in November, 2005, relating to Harry Potter. There is a reason JK Rowling's Potter series has become the metaphor for our times in much the same way that JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was a metaphor for World War II--and still has enormous relevance for today's conflict with the Islamofascist barbarians:

If it were left to the leftist intellectual elites of academia and the media; or to hapless leadership of the Democratic Party, in thrall to Saruman and under the influence of a spate of Wormtongues, (i.e., the political left), neither the spreading darkness of Tolkien's Mordor, nor the vicious malice of Rowling's Voldemort would be opposed.

Whittle concludes his excellent piece this way:

It is the small-town virtues of self-reliance, hard work, personal responsibility, and common-sense ingenuity — and not those of the preening cosmopolitans that gape at them in mixed contempt and bafflement — that have made us the inheritors of the most magnificent, noble, decent and free society ever to appear on this earth. This Western Civilization… this American City… has earned the right to greet each sunrise with a blast of silver trumpets that can bring down mountains.

And what, really, is a Legion of Narcissists and a Confederacy of Despair against that?

Against that, they are nothing. Absolutely 0.

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

-The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Monday, September 22, 2008


Noemie Emery writes about "the Palin Effect":
Palin's pick was a hand grenade tossed into the old-fashioned feminist movement's aged and tottering hulk. "Can someone please tell me what the hell happened?" pled Michelle Cottle of the New Republic, as Sarah made landfall. Well, here is one answer, as George Jonas put it in Canada's National Post: "The office for which Hillary Clinton strove with merciless determination for a lifetime, only to see it snatched away from her in the 11th hour, could fall into the lap of Sarah Palin, a populist outsider, who hadn't prepared, or even looked, for the job." The horror. "A slap in the face to all women," Cottle called it, especially to "any woman who seriously supported Hillary in this race." Much more was coming, in much the same tone. "I find it insulting to women, to the Republican Party, and to the country," said Sally Quinn in a Newsweek/Washington Post blog. In the Baltimore Sun, Susan Reimer found Palin's selection "insulting on so many levels" that she barely could name them. Ruth Marcus, reading from the same cue cards, sputtered in the Washington Post: "I found Palin's selection .  .  . insulting." Google the phrase "Palin's pick is insulting to women," and you come up with 943,000 entries. Is this a plot or a stunning coincidence? Or possibly both?

At the same time the Quinns and Marcuses were declaring themselves affronted beyond all endurance, and declaring that women were far too independent, too diverse, and too clever to move as a
herd in any direction; they were also asserting, on behalf of all women, that all women would surely reject this cynical, ham-fisted ploy. How stunned they must have been several days later when polls showed a move to McCain by white women and by independents. How could this have happened?

McCain's hand grenade has exploded the rot at the core of today's feminists; and by exposing the inner emptiness of feminism, she has also torn apart the center of all the victimhood/identity politics that have driven the Democratic Party for a generation. The Party of Nothing--with all their pious intonations about victimhood and diversity; hope and change--stands before us in the pseudopersona of the Obamessiah and his dedicated minions, who will do anything for him (see previous post about the coordinated smear campaign against Sarah Palin).

Meanwhile, Sarah continues to draw in the crowds and revitalize the Republican conservative base. How frightening that must be for the "progressives" of the left.

A few months back, Wretchard made an excellent case for the idea that progressive politics had come to resemble extremist politics:
The principle followed by kidnappers in Baghdad who sent five severed fingers belonging to "four Americans and an Austrian taken hostage more than a year ago in Iraq" was that if you want to be taken seriously you have to demonstrate how far you are willing to go in order to get what you want. And although neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton have sent anyone actual severed fingers yet, both have amply shown their astonished supporters that they are willing to ignite race war, tear the Party apart or engage in political cannibalism to serve their own individual ambitions. What's really awesome about Hillary and Barack is not their resumes but the lengths to which they are willing to go....

Plausible deniability. Severed political fingers. These tactics are not a demented application of rational rules but the rational application of the demented rules of left-wing politics. The problem with the axiom "by any means necessary" is that it means "by any means necessary". Neither Hillary nor Barack have lost their sanity. But the rules themselves have been taken to their own inevitable conclusions.

It will be amusing to watch how much lower the Democratic Party of the United States can sink in its quest to regain power.

At the time, I only half-jokingly suggested:

What next, Democrats? An Obama photo-op with Zawahir? Honorary membership in your party offered by Pelosi to Bin Laden or Ahmadinejad? How about a friendly dinner hosted by both Hillary and Barack to celebrate the positive uses of exploiting racism and sexism for personal gain in American politics ?

Let me cut to the chase. I've said it before, but never has it been so obvious. The Democratic Party has lost whatever anchor it once had in the real world and is blowin' in the wind. It has become the party of nothing; led by vapid nothings, who stand for nothing.

If their insane behavior weren't so predictable based on inevitable outcomes of the 'principles' they pretend to espouse, it would be quite painful to watch.

I will concede, however, that the meltdown is a rather delightful viewing experience.

Go, Sarah!