Tuesday, October 31, 2006
by Anne E. Kornblut
This New York Times article deals with the widening rift between Republicans and Democrats, roughly corresponding to 'left' and 'right' in America, and the stunting of real exchange of views between political enemies. It's become so bad that family members are often estranged from each other, and friendships are destroyed.
Invariably someone will protest that the situation isn't that bad, but in my experience it is very much 'that bad.' One of my friendships, with a college classmate from years back, has been very strained due to our polarizing political views. Although we have often had extended conversations about everything under the sun, and have had many truly stimulating and inspiring exchanges on various subjects, as our political views diverged, we are now no longer able to discuss things beyond the superficial level. That seems a great loss to me. And I have family members, devout left-liberals, who become near-apoplectic when the subject of politics comes up. Now keep in mind that I don't attempt to provoke anyone by bringing up sensitive issues on which I know I differ with them; usually they introduce the controversial subjects in a kind of 'I dare you to respond' fashion. And when I do respond, in my outspoken way, I am 'mean-spirited'. It all ends with raised blood pressures and resentments and a resulting loss of closeness. As a result, there is a lot of walking on eggshells and self-censorship going on; this is not the way it should be among family members or longtime friends.
How and when did it get this way? That could be the subject of a full-length book; a mere blogpost can't cover it. But by my reckoning, it started really with the late 60s/early 70s leftist counterculture, wherein the youthful generations began to repudiate everything their parents and grandparents, and all their forebears, stood for. America became 'AmeriKKKa', and was 'prejudiced', imperialist, oppressive, 'chauvinistic', and later on, as new terms of abuse were coined, America was declared guilty of being 'racist', 'sexist' and 'homophobic.' And now the new crime of Islamophobia has been invented, so as to proclaim America guilty of that. And 'nativist' and 'xenophobic' are new additions to the litany of American crimes.
Now, along comes 'conservative' Brit-turned-American Andrew Sullivan, who rails against 'Christianists'
who are the latest threat to America.
The 'generation gap' seemed to widen in the 70s, with many of the baby-boom generation bitterly denouncing their parents and traditional America in all its forms. When Richard Nixon was accused of approving of the Watergate break-in, lefty baby-boomers became a kind of howling mob denouncing him as the equivalent of Hitler, and baying for his impeachment or worse. I remember a common graffito of that time: 'Off Nixon', the word 'off' meaning to kill. This kind of hysterical, extreme rhetoric became commonplace among the younger generations, and thus we had a ratcheting-up of the divisive rhetoric.
This continued into the 80s, when Ronald Reagan became President; I remember many of the lefties had an obsessive hatred and a deranged loathing of Reagan. Why? His amiable persona hardly seems likely to inspire the kind of hate directed at him by the Left. Still, at this time, it was mostly the fringe left, the anti-war left, that promulgated most of the rabid rhetoric. The Democrat Party itself, although it had been considerably pulled to the left by the McGovernites in 1972, still maintained some decorum in the public debate. But the real hatefulness of the left came to a crescendo during the Clinton years. As Clinton's various misdeeds began to provoke opposition and criticism from more conservative and traditional Americans, the Clintonistas responded with the kind of vitriol, the kind of 'take-no-prisoners' attitude which had animated the 'hate-Nixon', anti-war college lefties of the 70s. And no coincidence, because in most cases it was the very same people who had been part of the far-left during the 60s and 70s who now were part of the political establishment, and were in high places. The Clintons themselves had been part of the far-left, and had simply adopted the guise of 'establishment' types, shedding the long hair and the ragtag style of dress for a more respectable look.
Such was one of the strategies of the left; not all of them believed that 'taking it to the street' or to the barricades was the effective way to make revolution; the belief was that it was preferable to 'change things from the inside', adopt the outward trappings of mainstream, establishment America while inwardly rejecting and subverting it. The Gramscian communists believed that the 'long march through the institutions', the media, academia, churches, and political parties, was the way to go. And it seems they believed correctly, because it's evident that they have been successful in taking control over all those institutions to a great degree. Even the Republican Party, I am convinced, has its Gramscians.
So the Democrat Party of today, which is a mutated form of the old Democrat party before it was McGovernized and Clintonized, is now considerably farther left than it was even a generation ago. As the older generations died off, and the society is dominated by mostly baby-boomers, the party scarcely resembles that of the pre-1970 era. And the puzzling thing is that many of the Democrats I know seem not to notice that their party has moved so far left, embracing many positions that would have mortified the older generations of Democrats. There are no longer any 'Scoop Jackson Democrats', (not even Joe Lieberman) or Harry Truman Democrats, or even JFK Democrats. But this metamorphosis seems to escape the notice of many Democrats.
And as the Democrats become increasingly leftist, often anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-tradition, they further alienate the many heartland Americans who have not been converted to leftism. The liberals' extremism predictably provokes a harsh reaction from many more traditional Americans, and the hostility escalates. The media and many people in both parties often sound the alarm about 'extremism', by which they usually mean right-wing politics: nationalism and other such 'reactionary' sentiments, but they refuse to see that the extreme position of the left-liberals and their media wing simply pushes many people further to the right. As more traditional conservative views are denounced and banished beyond the pale, more extreme reactions will probably occur. At present there is hardly any place where old-fashioned conservative views are even allowed to be heard, outside the Internet and the blogosphere. Here in America, we have blessedly not yet seen the harsh laws which Europe and other Western countries have put in place, banning 'hate speech' which usually means any non-PC viewpoints. But as we creep toward that kind of PC totalitarianism, the true conservative viewpoint will increasingly be proscribed and shut down, as in Europe, where true conservatism is becoming a rare bird.
But why have the liberals in America become so increasingly bitter and venomous? It seems to me that they are winning; they have traditional America on the ropes. They have a stranglehold on the media, including both the news media and the entertainment media.
It would seem that they should be resting on their laurels and gloating over their liberal paradise which they have created in America: our borders wide open, a polyglot tower of Babel in the making, gay 'marriage' being forced on us; a feminized military, moral standards all but destroyed, and white Americans, that 'source of all evil', soon to be a minority. So why are they so angry and bitter?
Maybe that's something for the headshrinkers to explain. I can only conjecture that they are chronically bitter and alienated people, who are furious that the world does not conform to their visions of utopia, and convinced that if they could only force their ways of thinking and living on every last soul in the world, we would have heaven on earth, and 'the world will be as one'. The world will never be perfect, and human beings are not perfectible. That means liberals will perpetually be carrying a bitter grudge against the world and God and nature.
Meantime, they cannot brook any opposition or any exception to their dogmatic, rigid ideas, and they want to silence or destroy those who don't see things their way. They have decided that all differing opinions are evil, and must not be allowed to exist.
But another factor in this polarization and bitterness is that the right is now caught up in this good-vs.-evil Manichaean worldview, and unfortunately the actions of the left-liberals seem to confirm the suspicion that they are enemies of all that is good. How else can one view a philosophy that sympathizes with the most depraved of murderers and other criminals, or makes excuses for not only crime but terrorism, or which hates the mention of God and seeks to quash free speech in the name of 'tolerance'? Left-liberalism often seems to be consciously allying itself with the dark side. On the other hand, liberals, in their alternate universe, think that the only sins or crimes are 'intolerance' (especially 'racism') and 'hypocrisy', which usually means upholding any traditional morality. So in their strange universe, 'right-wingers' are the only bad guys, while they are the defenders of all that is good: their imaginary rainbow utopia of tolerance and diversity and peace and love.
Another factor: maybe there is an element of 'displacement' in this left-right dichotomy. All of us, whether we are aware of it or not, are experiencing a certain amount of disruption in our lives with all the dizzying change in America over the last decade, especially. Our country's population is growing by leaps and bounds, and that is not all good. Many people are feeling like strangers, as others with vastly different cultures and languages crowd in on our neighborhoods and towns. Many people are uprooting themselves in order to find the quality of life they have always known, as immigration changes everything around them. There is an accelerated level of change. This is disorienting and stressful; it's human nature to feel stressed by all this change, especially when it is out of our control, and is being imposed on us for reasons we don't comprehend. Yet we are not allowed to complain about this, or question it: we are 'racist' and 'hateful' if we are distressed or angry about it. We are supposed to welcome and 'celebrate' the changes, unsought though they are.
We are supposed to shut up and get used to it. We are PC-whipped into silence and acquiescence. Yet I say that this goes against our grain, as Americans. We are the children of a competent, strong, independent nation of people; pioneers, settlers, conquerors, and yet we are being shoved aside and expected to submit. This is not a natural state of things for us. It is creating a huge dissonance in us. It is creating a pressure that will have to find an outlet sooner or later.
For now, however, as we are censored and intimidated from speaking our minds, and as we try to find distractions in amusements and possessions, we probably express our frustrations and anger in acceptable ways. So we do the easy thing: we turn on those close to us. Just as people who have stressful careers, in which they have little control, often take out their frustrations on family members, so too are we Americans turning on our fellow Americans. And yes, we have reason to get upset with each other because we have been turned into warring camps, with diametrically opposed ideals and beliefs. And it isn't just left-vs.-right: it's men vs. women, one race against the other (and all against whites), the poor vs. the rich, and everybody against the middle class; gays vs. straights, and everybody against Christians. And on an international scale: everybody against Americans (even many of the Brits hate us, and they are our nearest cousins), and Americans who hate the French and the Brits, and so on.
I am sure this delights our common enemies in the Islamic world. They are no doubt laughing at our gullibility and weakness in not standing up to them in our countries, and they exploit our divisions within the West. Their very presence divides the West, as some gullible liberals side with them. The same with our Mexican invaders: their presence divides us, as some side with them, and denounce those who would defend our country.
I think our present PC world has exacerbated the tendency to divisions that already exist, and magnified them out of all proportion. We are so busy attacking and fearing each other that we cannot give due attention to the external threats we face. Our enemies love it this way.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I was having a helluva time writing an article for this week's GTB Blogburst. Over the weekend, I started three articles and each one fizzled out for lack of inspiration. For instance, I started one on President Bush's new fence bill - the one that has no funding - and it was hard for me to work up any outrage, since I wasn't surprised at such an empty gesture. In fact, I was expecting nothing less from this President, and that's a sorry indictment of how faithless he's become. The President's abrogation of this issue has boiled my blood for years, and is one of the main reasons why I am no longer a Republican, but now a furious and rebellious Independent. As I mulled over what to say about Bush's latest nothingness, I realized that anything I had say about his treason on this issue, I've already said before - and then some.
So I started another article about the effect of the immigration issue on elections; or rather, the effect it should have, but isn't. Because here we are at election time again, having to hold our noses to go elect more of the same do-nothing politicians. Yeah, the same types who have successfully ignored the will of the people for so many years. Out of a nation of 300 million people, you'd think we could field a few really top notch candidates for leadership at any level. But noooo...
The point is that I remain uninspired and severely jaded. Call it writer's block, or call it a crisis of faith, but... I. GOT. NUTHIN'.
So, in a late hour attempt to find some really good material to offer our faithful Blogburst readers, I sent out a request to our affiliates for their favorite links this week, which I could compile for everyone's convenience. Thus, this week's Blogburst is a little bit of a Trick or Treat - some chilling, and some funny. Which is apropos, considering that our nation's immigration policy is a monstrous nightmare for mainstream Americans.
The Nightmare on Main Street Edition of the GTB Blogburst
So Bush signed a law to create a border fence. Here is an image of the fence as designed by a joint committee of Mexicans and Liberals, and approved by Bush...
"Report an illegal to the Feds and watch the Feds sit on their hands!"
Minuteman 2.0.: The Minuteman project was a publicity stunt; we now need to take it to the next level and have citizen patrols guarding the border.
"Needed: Border Billboards": As soon as sniper posts are erected along our borders, we'll need some billboards erected that read something like this...
The Carpentersville Saga: Carpentersville Illinois is pursuing a Hazelton style ordinance, but as these two videos show, not if the pro crime Hispanics and their supporters have anything to say about it!
"The US Border Patrol and Border Police are Out Gunned, Out Manned and Facing an Enemy with Technological Superiority Over Them!": You knew illegals were coming into the USA daily, but did you know that down in Mexico they are literally being brought up to the border by the train load? The report has the pictures to prove it!
Trains from Central America and Mexico en route
to the U.S. border
Wild Thing sent some more jarring photos of our uninvited and unwelcome and undocumented "guests"- and no, these are not crazy Halloween costumes:
If you think illegal immigration is nothing more than "good hard-working people, with good intentions" sneaking in here for a little harmless Trick-or-Treat, then these posts from some of the strongest contributors to Guard the Borders will convince you of the ghoulish truth.
Many thanks to Third World County, Mr. Ogre, Freedom Folks, PC Free Zone, and the Independent Conservative.
This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to admin at guardtheborders dot com.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
For four years, like another Cassandra, I've been shouting until I'm hoarse ''Troy is burning! Troy is burning!'' and I despair of the Danaids for whom, like Virgil in the Aeneid I weep for a city entombed in torpor...that through its wide-open doors receives fresh troops and joins complicit parties inside. For four years I've been repeating to the wind the truth about the Monster and its accomplices; that is, the accomplices of the Monster who, in good or bad faith, open wide the doors -- who, llike [those] in the Apocalypse of John the Evangelist, throw themselves at his feet and allow themselves to be stamped with the mark of shame.'
- Oriana Fallaci, 2005
This quote from Fallaci seemed apropos as I read the story about the October 19 Iftaar dinner hosted by the State Department, at which Karen Hughes spoke.
Lawrence Auster referred to this on his weblog, VFR, and I searched out the full text, which I link here.
Karen Hughes At The Annual State Department Iftaar Dinner
Here is a sample of what was said there; first, by State Department Undersecretary Burns:
Ladies and gentlemen, we gather here tonight in the cause of advancing peace and tolerance and prosperity and freedom and faith. And tonight is the holiest night of Ramadan, Laylat al Qadr, the night of power, the night traditionally marking the first revelation of the Holy Koran. And I thank you very for spending part of this evening with us.
[...]While most of us clearly see the connections we have among our different religions not everyone does. We gather unfortunately at a time of war and terrible violence and suffering in many parts of the Muslim world. Some talk about a clash of civilizations as an explanation for this violence. They say that somehow cultural or religious differences are immutable or that they will inevitably lead us to conflict. I respectfully disagree.
The most bitter conflict in the world today is not between Islam and Christianity or Judaism and atheism or Buddhism and Hinduism or any other religion. The conflict instead is between extremism and intolerance, present in all of our countries, including my own unfortunately on the one hand, and on the other the forces of tolerance and of hope and of peace. All of you, the accomplished Muslim women and men in this room tonight, are at the vanguard of this dichotomy. You are the forces of tolerance.
[...]We Americans take great pride in our Muslim community. The Muslim community here represents 80 different countries and there are millions of Muslims in this country and they worship at over 1,200 mosques. And this growing Muslim presence in our country is a great and welcome change. So I hope that all of you feel that sense of welcome in our country and that sense of tolerance.
We thank the Muslim community in our country for teaching us about the great religion of Islam. We still have much to learn. But it is true that some of the most powerful thinkers in the past century: Mahatma Gandhi; Martin Luther King Jr.; the Agha Khan; the Dali Lama, very different people but they shared one critical trait in common. Their actions were strongly rooted in their own religious beliefs, but they learned and grew from the teachings of other religions and may it be so in our own country. It's learning about each other and standing up for each other, by being voices of tolerance and understanding...''
And on and on it goes, until you retch.
I don't see how any red-blooded American can fail to be outraged and nauseated by this smarmy, toadying drivel.
And Karen Hughes truckling 'speech', which followed, is even worse, if possible. A sample:
As I travel the world, I remind people that Islam is an important part of America. One of our country's greatest strengths is the diversity and richness of our many faith traditions: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people of many faiths and even some of no faith at all live together peacefully and in a climate of mutual respect. American Muslims are both American and Muslim in their identities. And I believe Muslim Americans are our country's most effective and important bridge to Islamic communities across our world.
[...]Many of the people in this room have also played an important role in promoting interfaith dialogue and I'm convinced that it is absolutely key to the more peaceful world that we all want. The foundation of this nation, of our country, is built on respect for one another, from a belief in the dignity and the value of every single person. We believe all people, those of every faith, boys and girls, are equal and equally valuable. And it will take all of us to build communities in a world that is safer, respectful and just and peaceful. We must come together as people of faith and say that all our faiths teach that life is precious and the taking of innocent life is wrong.
I believe the concerted moral leadership of individual men and women of different faiths and cultures, it is what will ultimately help us prevail in the struggle against violent extremists.''
Politically Correct dhimmispeak at its most revolting.
According to Lawrence Auster's blog, Hughes delivered her fawning speech dressed in full Islamic garb, whatever that means. (Was she in a burka? Wearing a hijab? A jilbab? A niqab? I don't even know if I have those names right; I don't know a jilbab from a shishkebab or a thingmabob. And I wish I didn't have to know any of those words and the objects they describe; they don't belong in Christendom, or in the West. At all. Ever.)
And there's more. Get this: a blogger, here, points out that Hughes' speech contains several identical passages from an UCLA Law School Professor, Khaled Abou El Fadl's essay, on 'Islam - the Modern Religion.'
The similarities, with a few identical passages, are striking. One word was changed: Hughes said 'exception' where El Fadl used the word 'anomaly' but otherwise it's word-for-word, in many places. So here we have evident plagiarism -- on top of the PC pandering. They can't even come up with original words with which to pander and grovel.
So, all of those party zealots who have been haranguing me to 'vote GOP or the Democrats will destroy our country', please explain to me WHY these sorry lickspittles who are kissing up to the mohammedans are better. Please give me one convincing argument that proves these so-called 'conservative patriots' are 'fighting terrorism and Islamofascism.'
It looks to me like they are about to swear allegiance to 'Allah'. If this ain't appeasement and truckling, I don't know what is. Fighting nameless 'insurgents' on the other side of the world is not much help if we are laying out the red carpet for Islam and its minions over here; if we are abasing ourselves and submitting in our own country.
I notice that these State Department quislings are talking up the PC line about how the enemy is 'extremists' of all faiths, or of no faith. The problem is not Islam, no; Islam is a 'great religion', according to them. The problem is just 'extremism' and they vow to join the Mohammedans to combat 'extremism'. Of course their words could just as easily be used to condemn Christian 'extremism', and are probably intended to be ambiguous, so as not to 'unfairly target' the Religion of Peace.
And yes, I've heard all the GOP excuses: things like 'They have to say these things; they are just being diplomatic. Haven't you ever heard of diplomacy? They don't mean it.' Yes, I've been told that, but I ain't buying it. First of all, this kind of thing goes way beyond 'diplomacy'. It far exceeds what is necessary in the name of 'diplomacy.' Previous generations never understood 'diplomacy' to mean anything remotely resembling this.
Or the other lame rationalization by the faithful : 'the President is a great poker player.' 'He's fooling them; it's strategery. [sic]' Or, the worst is the quote from 'The Godfather' which they always use to defend this kind of stuff: 'Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.' And I am supposed to approve of our government following the advice of a Mafia don from a cliched Hollywood movie? Is that what passes for statesmanlike wisdom in our sorry age?
And I've also heard this attempt at a defense: 'Do you expect our officials to publicly condemn Islam?' As if the choice was between belligerence and syrupy flattery.
No, I don't expect open condemnation, but I expect them not to tell big whopping lies about the 'benevolence' and 'greatness' of Islam. I expect them not to distort the sentiments of the country, such as saying we 'Americans take pride in our Islamic communities.' Speak for yourself, Undersecretary Burns. Don't speak for me. You have no clue, if you imagine you speak for America.
And how many Americans idolize Gandhi, the Aga Khan (?) or the Dalai Lama, as these State Department dhimmis imply? I doubt very much that the average American gives two hoots about those people; the only ones who do are lefties and ditzy 'one world' New Agers, not average Americans.
These dhimmified people in high positions are a disgrace. And that they, or at least Hughes, is considered 'conservative' is a travesty.
Now I can hear the usual GOP apologists saying 'It's just those Arabists at State who are the problem; the State Department is full of Clinton holdovers,' and on and on.
Fine; but is Karen Hughes a 'Clinton holdover'? No; she is one of Bush's handpicked staffers.
And it ain't just 'those Arabists at State': Debbie Schlussel writes about the Department of Homeland Security, which, together with the Embassy of Great Britain, hosted a Ramadan Iftaar panderfest of their own: full of similar PC smarm.
And I won't even go into the White House Iftaar dinner and the President's speech there. It's more of the same.
More and more, I am recognizing that our 'leaders' have virtually nothing in common with me; they do not share the values of traditional America; not by a long shot.
And further, many of the people who style themselves 'conservatives' these days are no better than these dhimmified elites. Too many 'conservatives' will twist themselves into pretzels to defend this kind of unctuous grovelling, in the name of party loyalty. I am sure that if Hughes dons a burka full time and starts bowing to Mecca, lots of others would follow suit. To them, party loyalty is just a game of 'Simon says.'
I want no part of such lemming-like 'conservatism.'
But this goes beyond any political or partisan considerations; the appalling thing to me is that we have sunk so far as a culture that we no longer show pride or confidence in dealing with Islam: we show weakness and cravenness. Even if that is not how our effete 'leaders' see it, I guarantee you that is how our Mohammedan enemies see it. They are reading all this flattery and syrupy niceness as servility. And they will take advantage of it; be sure of that.
I'll close with another quote from the late Oriana Fallaci, regarding Islam:
..if we continue to stay inert, they will become always more and more. They will always demand more, they will vex and boss us always more and more. 'Til the point of subduing us. Therefore, dealing with them is impossible. Attempting a dialogue, unthinkable.Showing indulgence, suicidal. And he or she who believes the contrary is a fool.'
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Woman burned in France bus attack
A woman has been seriously burned and three others are suffering from smoke inhalation after youths set fire to a bus in the French city of Marseille.
A group of teenagers reportedly forced open the doors of the vehicle and threw flammable liquid inside before fleeing.
There have been several attacks on buses over the past week, coinciding with the one year anniversary of riots in poor suburbs across the country.
[...]During the violence last year - between youths of mainly North African origin and police - more than 10,000 cars were set ablaze and 300 buildings firebombed.
By now, it's trite to mention that most of the news stories from the MSM pointedly omit the fact that it's Moslem 'youths' committing this violence. The closest they come to this is mentioning 'North African origin' as in this BBC piece.
This story, however, is one of the first I am aware of which reports injury to French citizens. Of course police and firefighters have been the target of attacks, but injuries to civilians have been blessedly few -- so far. But the relative fewness of casualties could not last, and if the mayhem continues and escalates, as it looks like doing, there will be more people hurt.
I sincerely hope the young woman will recover.
And what will it take to bring firm and decisive action against the rioters? Or is France so far down the path to dhimmitude and Politically Correct masochism that they will continue to do little to defend themselves?
Having said this, though, I have another bone to pick: I'm getting really tired of all the smug schadenfreude which is the stock reaction from the Neocon peanut gallery here in America whenever there is news of trouble in France. For some reason, it has become trendy and cool to ridicule and vilify the French. There are a few neoconnish writers and commentators who trash France on a regular basis: Ralph Peters, for one, who snidely said he would grab some popcorn and watch while France was burned by the Moslems; and of course Mark Steyn always has some gratuitous putdown of the French. Then we have the frat-boy-style insult, 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys', a line which was first used by the cartoon character Homer Simpson, and parroted by many others.
Yes, I know the French refused to support us on Iraq, and many people are bitterly angry about that. But the whole idea of sovereign countries is that they have a right to decide on their own foreign policy; they can choose their own course, regardless of our views.
And by the way, Mexico refused to support us in the Iraq deal. Did anybody suggest boycotting Mexican products, as they did with French wines, etc.? Mexico, in my opinion, is more of an enemy to us than just about any nation, at this point; we are in an undeclared war with Mexico, and like the Moslems, they will not confront us in open warfare, but do so by demographic means and small-scale, irregular warfare, as at the border. Yet nobody is nearly as vitriolic towards the Mexicans as at the French. Why is that?
It's our misfortune that it isn't France that is invading us; if we had hordes of illegal Frenchmen sneaking into our country, we would have no problem driving them off. Hating the French is politically safe, and nobody will call you a 'racist' or a Francophobe if you hate 'frogs'. But that still does not explain the special contempt expressed by some Americans towards the French.
Do Americans have some kind of inferiority complex towards the French? I have often heard my fellow Americans say that the French are 'snobs' and elitists, and clearly we Americans don't care for snobbery and pretentiousness or highfalutin 'culture' for the most part. And France has long been synonymous in our country with high culture, haute cuisine, and everything aristocratic. However that's just one aspect of France; that culture represents Paris and not France as a whole.
I often remind people that here in America we have quite a few people with French ancestry: many of us with early roots in this country are descended partly from the Huguenots, who came here in the 1600s and 1700s from the Netherlands, England, and elsewhere, where they had gone after being driven from France.
Col. James Tompkins Watson, in 1908, said of the Huguenots
The best blood of France is blended with ours and we are proud of the result as it is today. The great loss of France is our gain. There is no better blood than the American in this year of 1908.''
Lowell Ponte, in an article called The French Disease, said
One scholar later estimated that 10 percent of all those who played important roles in American history were descendants of Huguenot French Protestants. One was Paul Revere (whose father’s French name was Apollos Rivoire).
Other revolutionary American Huguenot descendants were Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, two of the three authors of the Federalist Papers.''
Our early history and the contribution of the French is of course now neglected and forgotten.
And there other infusions of French blood in America via the Cajuns.
Granted, the Cajuns have other ancestry besides French, and they are a quintessentially American, patriotic group of people now. They are also among the most likeable, down-to-earth, and friendly of Americans; the very antithesis of the snooty Parisian Frenchman of the stereotype.
To me, it's juvenile to trash French people because they did not back us in Iraq, or because we don't like their leftist politics. After all, our cousins the British are as pathetically leftist as the French, perhaps even further gone in their servile dhimmi-like behavior towards the Moslems, but they are not hated as much as the French.
But even the British, who are with us in Iraq, get their share of cheap shots from many 'conservatives', who make fun of their supposed 'bad teeth' and effete culture. There is a strong undercurrent of anti-European sentiment in America. In a perverse way, most Americans can find more good things to say about the aggressors from Mexico than about our cousins across the Pond, who are after all our blood kin.
I admit to being appalled at times by what I see and hear about conditions in Europe, and about their seeming fecklessness, but I feel more commonality with Europeans than with other more distant peoples, ethnically. We and the Europeans come from a common cultural matrix. I've known people from around the world, and done considerable traveling in my time, but I feel more kinship with those closely related peoples in Europe than with, say, Asians or Latin Americans. I happen to admire Japanese culture greatly, and I find the people amiable. However their culture, though I may admire it, is very foreign to me.
The Moslem culture is not at all accessible to me; I find it very distant and foreign. Does that make me a xenophobe or an Islamophobe? Maybe; so what? I can live with that. I just know that their culture and mine are like oil and water - or maybe like oil and fire.
It seems to me that in a world increasingly under threat from chaos via mass migration and cultural/demographic aggression, as well as terrorism, it just does not serve us in the West to be divided among ourselves. We come from common origins, we in the West, and especially we in the Anglosphere. None of us should be cheering when our cousins in France are in danger of falling under Islamic tyranny.
A world in which only America and possibly Australia/New Zealand remain of the First World is a very ominous prospect. We ought to do all we can to reach out to our brethren in Europe (including France) and to help them resist the Islamic onslaught. This is not a time for juvenile, petty schadenfreude.
As President Cleveland accepted the statue on behalf of American citizens, he declared "we will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected." The statue quickly became a symbol of America's humanitarianism and willingness to take in the world's "tired, poor and huddled masses"-- in the words of the poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the monument's pedestal -- who yearned for freedom and a better life.''
Forgive my cynicism, but the Statue and especially the maudlin poem by Emma Lazarus, which was tacked onto the pedestal only in 1903, is the source of much of the current multiculti open-borders rhetoric. If only I had a dollar for every time some open-borders zealot quoted Lazarus's poem as an argument for a 'let-em-all-in' policy.
Given the propaganda value of the statue and its overwrought poem, I wonder if this country might not have taken its unfortunate course towards Babel if the French had kept their unwanted statue, rather than giving it to us.
Think about it: the French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue, intending it to function as a lighthouse at Suez, to be given to the Egyptian viceroy. But the viceroy was not interested. Bartholdi had to get rid of his white elephant somewhere, so, instead of an Egyptian goddess (said to be Isis), it morphed into 'Liberty Enlightening the World.'
Now I can accept the idea of a statue of Liberty giving light to the world, but how did the statue and her torch become a big advertisement saying 'Y'all come' to the whole world?
How did Liberty's torch become a flashlight showing the 'tired and the poor' the way to all the goodies?
Emma Lazarus's poem, 'The New Colossus' seems to have been a big part of the new myth of Lady Liberty, the emblem of the new polyglot, diverse America, an America which exists not as the home of Americans, but as a hostel or social service agency for whatever 'huddled masses' arrive on our shores.
If this sounds cynical, so be it. I once used to have great respect for all our national icons, but it seems the meaning of those symbols has been perverted and sold out to an agenda not of the American people's choosing.
And in point of fact, the statue was not even made by Americans, but was created in Europe for Egyptians, who rejected it. So lucky us, we got it.
Maybe in that sense it is an apt symbol for multiculturalism, with its crazyquilt motif.
But if I were to choose a national symbol, other than our flag, I would choose something like the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, rather than Lady Liberty, who has of late become a 'lady' of easy virtue, you know: the kind who never says no to anybody.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Wolff said that in recent years, his community as well as other Iron Range towns have been dealing with "all kinds of diversity."That's just the way life is today, because change is constant," he said. "If you're not changing, you're dying. We're much better equipped as a community to deal with issues like this than say we were 10 years before, 15 years before, just because how far we've come."
Now let's just let his words sink in.
He is responding to questions about whether the college's supposed need for 'diversity' contributes to the increase in racially-charged crimes and incidents like this one.
And he responds that 'all kinds of diversity' are just life today; change is constant. And the fact that crimes like this have increased with 'all kinds of diversity' is actually for the better, he seems to imply. 'We're much better equipped to deal with issues like this...because how far we've come.'
What pretzel logic.
I am still stuck on his fatalistic turn of mind about the inevitability of change and 'all kinds of diversity'. And this phrase: 'If you're not changing, you're dying.'
That sounds eerily like the words of Frank Sharry, an open-borders advocate, in a Time Magazine article I quoted here previously. Sharry said
It's a battle for America's identity. Are we the people already here, or are we a set of ideas and ideals that are universal, such that the people who come here and subscribe to those ideals are American? You can never become a German if you weren't born in Germany. But you can become American. America is permanently evolving. That scares some people, but that's what we're all about. Do you keep it the way it is, or do you keep re-energizing the country with fresh people and fresh ideas?''
America is permanently 'evolving' -- like the Constitution, apparently. And as Mayor Wolff says, 'if you're not changing, you're dying.' Odd how they are both saying the same thing, but these ideas catch on and spread, virally, it seems. Now these ideas are accepted fact by many people in America.
But I would ask Wolff (why bother asking Sharry? His mind is closed) to reconsider. This idea that constant change IS life itself is insane. We all have a need for stability and continuity and tradition, for familiarity and reliability in our lives. Constant change, far from being 'life' and growth, change for its own sake, is chaos. It is entropy. It's madness. And it's just plain disorienting and stressful for human beings.
The Holmes Stress Point Scale is a way that psychologists can measure human stress levels. All change in life involves some degree of stress. Each stressful change adds to the stress total, with more stress leading to ailments, physical or psychological. While some change is welcome, even good change can be stressful.
I wonder how many points dispossession and loss of one's country and nationality count for? The instability and chaos of today's turbulent world, with mass migrations of disparate peoples, and the conflicts that ensue as they encounter each other, must be causing far more distress than we can imagine. Of course, no respectable social scientist will take that question up, because it would be too un-PC. The elites have spoken: Change is life; 'America is permanently evolving', being replenished with 'fresh people and ideas.'
So suck it up, people. Resistance is futile.
And if change is life, then there will just be a certain number of unfortunate casualties of all this good change; hey, to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs, right?
So those crime victims we read about are just the cost of all this evolving.
Gotta have that diversity.
Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, and the target of a recent attack by the enlightened students at Columbia University, answers the race-baiting critics of the Minutemen, responding to a specific column by professional Raza mouthpiece, Ruben Navarrette Jr. Navarrette, whose columns are syndicated around the country, seems to write almost exclusively about Hispanic issues. In other words, he is one of those affirmative action 'journalists' who are hired for the express purpose of providing 'diversity', and promoting the viewpoint of 'historically underrepresented populations' in the newspapers.
[Note: See the Society of Professional Journalists website for their guidelines on 'diversity',and it becomes obvious why there are so many ethnic names among the bylines in all the major media, and why it seems to be that mostly writers with Hispanic names write about illegal immigration and Hispanic issues, while writers with Arabic/Moslem names write about Islam. Whatever happened to objectivity? Instead, the idea seems to be that we are spoon-fed a subjective, pro-minority viewpoint to 'cure' our assumed bigotry. Obviously whitey cannot write about 'minority' issues.]
So Navarrette's role is apparently being the champion of La Raza, and of putting whitey in his place, rather than writing dispassionately about the Minutemen, or about the border issue in general. The problem is that our MSM give us many, many such viewpoints: Hispanic writers writing sob stories about poor beleaguered immigrants and their children; polemics about 'racism' and bigotry. Moslem writers arguing that poor Moslem immigrants are in fear because of 'hate crimes' or 'Islamophobia.' Gay writers like Deb Price in Detroit write exclusively about gay issues, and always from a pro-gay perspective. In our media we are constantly force-fed 'diverse' viewpoints, while nobody represents the majority American viewpoint. That fact alone explains the proliferation of blogs like this one: certain views are not welcomed in our biased media.
Dialogue is one thing; in a dialogue, the person with the opposing viewpoint should have the ability to consider others' views and to listen in good faith, with an open mind. There is no 'dialogue' when one side is haranguing, accusing, and guilt-tripping, or name-calling, as Navarrette is doing in this puerile piece to which Gilchrist is responding.
Navarrette throws around such phrases as 'gang of misfits', referring to Gilchrist's Minutemen, 'nativists and hooligans' (notice he lumps the two together) and of course, true to form, resorts to the cheapest shot of all: the argumentum ad Hitlerum.
Good enough for the Nazis, good enough for the Minutemen.''
Yeah, resort to the old 'Nazi' analogy, when you have nothing better.
As this blog post points out,
..if you're debating someone, and they compare you or people who espouse ideas that you support to Hitler -- you've won the argument.Of course Navarrette would never concede that; besides, the race-baiting pro-illegals have little but name-calling on their side, anyway. Take away that arrow from their quiver, and they have nothing. Besides, the old 'Hitler/Nazi' slur is a sure-fire debate stopper, low and dishonest though it may be.
There is a place for opinion pieces, but virtually all of the 'news' being put out by our mass media is opinion and propaganda, masquerading as information. Almost all the 'news' is agenda-driven and blatantly biased. We even saw the BBC admitting to their bias this past week, but I won't hold my breath till our biased media admit their leftist agenda. No, they will continue pushing their leftist views, and stubbornly claim to be fair. Navarrette is just one cog in the big media machine, just one of many such shills for ethnic interests.
He is simply doing what he was hired to do: push a 'minority' agenda on the rest of us.
Gilchrist does a capable job of defending himself against Navarrette's cheap shots, but he really shouldn't bother to try to deflect the inevitable 'racist' charges. He always mentions the multicultural, multiracial makeup of his group as a refutation, but that never works. The other side will simply call the non-white Minutemen 'self-haters', 'Uncle Toms' 'sellouts' or simply 'racist', as they called Marvin Stewart in that recent Columbia melee.
As I often say, there's little defense against the r-word, because it is simply hard to prove a negative; how does one prove oneself not racist? Having nonwhite friends and associates? That won't work, as we've seen in this case. If even being non-white is no defense, then how can it help to claim nonwhite friends? It also doesn't help because the liberals inevitably say that denial of racism is proof of racism. 'Racists always deny it', they say. So you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Gilchrist will defend himself as he sees fit, and I wish him luck and success. As for me, I won't deign to argue with the name-callers. Life is too short for such futile pursuits. And if we who are trying to defend our country, our culture, our civilization, our heritage, our kin, are to be successful, we have to develop a tough hide and refuse to be cowed by names and slanders.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
From the USA Today article:
We have a responsibility to secure our borders," Bush added. "We take this responsibility seriously.
"We're modernizing the southern border of the United States so we can assure the American people we are doing our job of securing the border.
The legislation will give Republican candidates a pre-election platform for asserting they're tough on illegal immigration. Its main sponsor was Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.
Yet the centerpiece of Bush's immigration policy, a guest worker program, remains stalled in Congress.''
[...]The president used his remarks before the signing ceremony to again push for his guest worker plan. "There is a rational middle ground" between mass deportation of illegal immigrants and amnesty, he said.
Yeah, and 'rational middle ground' between mass deportation and amnesty is another way of describing Hegelian maneuvers to push us toward legalizing millions of invaders. I have a suspicion the 'middle ground' will have suddenly been located far to the left
Well, surprise, surprise. Who could not have predicted this? I fully expected some remarks along these lines today. There is no way the President and his Mexican cronies are going to give up on the amnesty deal. No matter if they dress it up and call it 'comprehensive immigration reform', it's still amnesty. Even if they perfume it and call it a 'guest-worker program' or a 'path to earned legalization' it's still an amnesty. And it still stinks.
Cornyn said he voted for the fence because he wanted to help demonstrate that Congress was serious about border security.
"The choice we were presented was: Are we going to vote to enhance border security, or against it?" Cornyn said. "I think that's how the vote was viewed."'
Cornyn has been one of the most persistent pushers of some kind of amnesty for some time, as has Hutchinson. So now by backing this bill, they can make a bogus claim to be getting tough on illegal immigration, and go right back to forcing amnesty down the throat of America. And don't doubt that they will do exactly that.
All of these politicians are practiced at talking out of both sides of their mouths. When they go to pander and grovel before the Mexican-American groups, you can bet they change their message accordingly.
I think only the most obtuse of the party faithful (and unfortunately, they are legion) will be taken in by this fence charade. But it may suffice to get a few more votes on election day, and that's what it's all about.
I fear for my safety," said Yakima's Tony Sandoval, founder of the Washington State Democratic Party Latino Caucus. "I don't want anybody to get hurt."
What a drama queen. He doesn't want anybody to 'get hurt'? What exactly does that mean? It seems he is implying that the Minutemen are a dangerous, violent group. He knows this not to be the case, but he is playing to the audience. The implication is that the illegals and their legal Latino enablers are the poor persecuted victims, and the Minutemen and other citizens are a bunch of thugs. The reverse is more likely the case, judging by other events, such as those in Southern California and elsewhere, where the illegals and their minions act as mobs to intimidate, shout down, threaten and even assault the American citizens who dare to claim their right to assemble.
Sandoval needs to specify what exactly makes him 'fear for his safety' should the Minutemen be allowed to assemble. He also needs to pick up a copy of the Constitution and read up on the Bill of Rights.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Aguila del Norte -Yakima spokeswoman Maria Cuevas said she isn't disputing the Minutemen's constitutional rights to free speech or assembly, but she questioned whether citizens should pay to house such a group in a publicly owned building like the center.
She also said she's worried that other people's constitutional rights -- including protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and rights to due process -- could be at risk if the group is allowed to meet in Selah.
"When private citizens take the laws into their hands, there's a real potential for violence and abuse," Cuevas said. '
Miss Cuevas is also guilty of insinuating that the Minutemen and other patriotic citizens are dangerous and violent. She repeats the canard about 'taking the law into their hands.' (Remember, the 'vigilante' slur, repeated by certain people in high office?) No, Miss Cuevas, it's you and your fellow travelers who are aiding and abetting lawbreakers and who are flouting the laws of the land who are 'taking the law into your own hands.' You, and Sandoval, and all the rest of your amigos for whom ethnicity comes before your allegiance to the United States or to your fellow citizens. I would bet money that many of the people who are immigration advocates in Selah and around the country are native-born citizens of this country, whose allegiances are to their 'Raza', their race, rather than to their American fellow citizens.
So often I hear well-meaning but limp-wristed 'conservatives' say that 'Hispanic Americans don't like illegal immigration any more than the rest of us do.' I say otherwise. Look around you; read the newspapers and watch the TV coverage of your local pro-open borders protests. Many of the protesters and marchers are American-born Hispanics. Yes, I know there are exceptions; liberal Americans of both parties are too often obsessed with focusing on the exceptions to the rule, instead of facing un-PC facts. The fact that some American-born Hispanics do not support illegal immigration in no way disproves the existence of the many who DO support illegal immigration. As the whole issue heats up, and conflict escalates, as in this incident in Selah and elsewhere, they will have to choose which side they are on. Many will choose their ethnic kin instead of their country of birth. I hope I am wrong, but so far this is how it is developing.
We will see whether the Selah Council stands up for what is right, or whether they give in to the militant pro-illegal forces in their town.
Selah, according to these figures has only an 11% Hispanic population. I think this number is way out of date, and of course the numbers of illegals are unknown everywhere, but there is a considerable Hispanic population in Yakima county. But if only 11% of a population can exert that much influence, what will it be like when they are 25%? Or 50%? Or more?
Is this even necessary? Most of the 'conservative' talk radio personalities are already full-time cheerleaders for the GOP and the administration, to wit: Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and perhaps Laura Ingraham. I have not heard Ingraham's show lately, but from what I recall of her, she was less of a shameless shill than Limbaugh or Hannity, however.
Recalling the recent case of black pundit Armstrong Williams, who was apparently paid by the administration to talk up the 'No Child Left Behind' program, it's hard not to be cynical about this effort to shepherd the 'conservative' radio pundits in an appropriately loyal direction. I don't say that they are being bribed to be cheerleaders for the administration, but surely the privilege of access to the White House and the administration is a powerful incentive for some people to take a favorable view. And of course, with the talk radio personalities not being journalists in the purer sense of the word, the lack of a bothersome code of ethics leaves them free to take whatever perks they might be offered in exchange for a friendly stance, and for putting out the talking points to their listeners. It may be that they are just 'entertainers' as Limbaugh styles himself, and it may be that they are true believers, who are in lockstep with the administration (they certainly give a convincing performance, if they are not) or whether they are being offered some kind of incentive, as Williams was -- who knows. The result is the same: I no longer look to talk radio, even 'conservative' talk radio for true conservative viewpoints. Outside the blogosphere, there is almost no real conservatism in the media, and that commentary which is labeled 'conservative' is often simply neocon or right-liberal boilerplate. It seems as though the 'conservative' media, or that which is labeled as such, is just a means to get people on board with the neocon agenda, and to define the conservative debate in a more liberal direction, further limiting it and marginalizing true conservatives as 'extremists'. That seems to be the purpose in mind.
But I expect to hear the talking points issued from talk radio with a renewed fervor after this little garden party.
Lest some of his legion of fans accuse me of picking on Mark Steyn ('unfairly targeting' him, as the liberals always say when aggrieved) it is his very popularity, his icon-like status that is the problem; hee is hailed as a great sage, wit, seer, prophet, and the epitome of conservative wisdom. So he has enormous influence for many. His words are treated as gospel by many on the 'right'.
I will grant you that he is glib and witty, but his ideas are not sound, and when all is said and done, he gives the impression of shallowness when it comes to the important questions.
In this typically flippant piece, he is sneering at those who are concerned about the burgeoning American population. Last week we were treated to a week-long party by the MSM, ballyhooing the 300 millionth 'American.' The fact that we may have actually passed the 300 million milestone years ago, as Professor Virginia Abernethy says, is immaterial. The stories were all about getting us used to the idea that there is a surge in our population (who could fail to notice it? Crowded schools, crowded freeways, housing shortages, who could have guessed that our population is growing?) and that the increase is due mostly to immigration. And that 'immigration' is mostly of the illegal kind.
But no matter, say the cheerleaders, because we are becoming more 'diverse,'
However, notice that not once in Steyn's piece does he mention the word 'immigration'. Just to be sure that I was not missing it somewhere, I searched the page for the word 'immigration', and it was not found. How can Steyn, this supposed genius, miss that ponderous elephant in the national living room? One can only conclude that he is purposely avoiding looking at it.
Steyn asks instead why we are failing to celebrate the 300 million milestone. He answers his own question by saying that 'too many people who should know better' are peddling '40-year-old guff' about overpopulation. He then breezily adds,
America is the 172nd least densely populated country on Earth. If you think it's crowded here, try living in the Netherlands or Belgium, which have, respectively, 1,015 and 883 inhabitants per square mile compared with 80 folks per square mile in the United States. To be sure, somewhere such as, say, Newark, N.J., is a lot less bucolic than it was in 1798. But why is that? No doubt [Professor Dowell] Myers would say it's urban sprawl. But that's the point: you can only sprawl if you've got plenty of space.''
So: according to Steyn's logic, as long there are places that are much more densely populated than America, we can never legitimately say that America has too many people. So let's just keep packing 'em in, apparently.
He then goes on to crow about the affordability of housing in, oh, let's just say Crawford, Texas, giving us the news that
...a three-bedroom air-conditioned house in Crawford, Texas, could be yours for 30,000 bucks and, if that sounds a bit steep, a double-wide on a couple of acres would set you back about $6,000.''
Just to show how atypical Steyn's example is, this recent article says
The median price of a single-family home fell to $219,800 last month, a drop of 2.5 percent from the price in September 2005.''
According to City-Data.com the median house value in Crawford, at least in 2000, was $51,300.
So yes, it is possible to find a house in Crawford for the low price Steyn cites, but that is a low figure. And Crawford, Texas, is not typical; living expenses there are below the average.
Steyn, however, is not interested in making a real argument, but rather sneering at and dismissing those who think half a billion might be an undesirable population figure for America.
No one seriously thinks 400 or 500 million Americans will lead to mass starvation. By "unsustainable," they mean that we might encroach ever so slightly onto the West Nile mosquito's traditional breeding grounds in northern Maine. Which is sad if you think this or that insect is more important than the developed world's most critically endangered species: people. If you have a more scrupulous care for language, you'll note that population-wise it's low birth rates that are "unsustainable": Spain, Germany, Italy and most other European peoples literally cannot sustain themselves -- which is why, in one of the fastest demographic transformations in human history, their continent is becoming Muslim.'
Steyn offers no reasoning whatsoever as to why lower populations for Europe would render Europeans unable to sustain themselves. What, precisely, does Steyn think happened in past eras when the population was reduced drastically, with widespread plagues and pandemics, or warfare? In Europe, during the 5 years at the height of the Plague, 25 million people died. By some estimates this was half the population of Europe.
During WWII, Germany lost 7.5 million people, for example.
Whenever the population was reduced by some event like war or disease, there was social upheaval and dislocation, but somehow the people did sustain themselves. The countries did not vanish off the map, and the people did not become extinct. So I suspect when Steyn asserts that Europe cannot sustain itself without more population growth, what he actually means is that their present system, the welfare state which is entrenched across Europe, needs constant growth in order to keep up the pyramid scheme. More young workers are needed to take care of the older, retiring workers. Maybe the welfare state cannot continue without continuing, infinite growth, but can human societies count on perpetual growth? Come on, people; we live on a finite planet, with finite resources. And those 'conservatives' who jeer at such a plain, commonsense statement, are merely reacting in a knee-jerk fashion to what they have disdained as 'liberalism', 'tree-hugging', etc. It's more than unfortunate that conservatives have ceded the environmental issue to the left. If we conservatives are not concerned with conserving our resources and environment, as well as our quality of life, what good are we? It is not enviro-weenie-ism to want population growth to be within reasonable limits. And liberals are not wrong on everything; even a stopped clock is right twice a day, as the saying goes. Conservatism had better be about something more than just mindless automatic gainsaying of whatever the liberals/leftists say.
And here's another thought: maybe our country is big enough and wide-open enough to comfortably hold half a billion or more. But the fact is, the growth which we are experiencing now is happening too fast. What kind of 'conservative' applauds uncontrolled, precipitate growth, growth and change which are disruptive, disordered, and most of all, unnatural? If our population grows by natural means, that would be by increased family size; our own citizens reproducing at a more normal rate, rather than the depressed rate we have seen since the 1960s. If our population was growing by that method, we would be planning for it, anticipating the need for more schools, housing, infrastructure, jobs, etc. As it is, too much of our growth is by invasion, with even our government in the dark as to how many people are surreptitiously entering our country each and every day. The present growth in population is wildly uncontrolled, and the results are yet unknown. We can only extrapolate from present trends that there will be more of the same social dislocation and chaos that we are seeing: ethnic strife, increasing crime, resurgence of contagious diseases and pests (like bedbugs) Not to mention stresses on infrastructure, the need for more housing, prisons, schools, and the ever-increasing costs of social programs demanded by the immigrants, both legal and illegal.
Steyn refuses to deal with this aspect of the population question. He flatly asserts that an ever-growing population is an imperative, and that to meet this requirement, Europe is forced to admit millions of hostile Mohammedans. With Steyn and others like him, the choice is extinction or mass immigration of hostile third-worlders.
And there are many who seem to see the situation this way. I crossed swords in a debate once with a neocon blowhard who actually stated that 'We could bring the whole population of Mexico here and not be crowded; we could absorb all of Mexico, no problem!'
Whenever these blustering neocons want to discredit any concerns about population, they exhume the corpse of Thomas Malthus and give it a ritual drubbing. All they have to do, they believe, is sneer 'neo-Malthusians' and throw out a few insults against liberals and 'enviroweenies' and they have won, so they think. Unfortunately, their tactics often do work; the debate is then shut down, with their opponent labeled a 'liberal' 'envirowacko' or whatever.
But Malthus cannot be so easily dismissed. What he said was basic common sense: just as nature tends to be overprofuse in reproduction (as with plants and animals) so with human beings: if family size increases beyond the ability to feed and provide for the children, there will be poverty and hunger. We can see this in the Third World. Malthus's theories, so ridiculed by some 'conservatives', explain exactly why we are seeing mass immigration from the Third World: they continue to reproduce beyond the ability to feed and care for their offspring, and as a result, we in the West are being asked to carry them on our backs. At first, it was only a matter of humanitarian efforts to feed, clothe, and bring the Christian gospel to the starving people overseas, but now they are being dropped on our doorstep, like abandoned foundlings. And now we are responsible for them.
(This is reminiscent of the habits of the cowbird; but that's another story)
Malthus's theories have not been proven wrong by Steyn or anyone else. No, the world has not ended with a whimper -- yet, but maybe we have only been given a reprieve. The fact is, overpopulation is a problem in the rest of the world; it's only we Westerners who are the exception. The liberal Malthusians were wrong in this particular: they directed their 'zero population growth' efforts only at the developed (Western) countries, the countries best fit to take care of their offspring. However these liberal dogooders did little to discourage overreproduction in the backward Third World, and now their overflow is becoming our problem.
Given a choice between welcoming in a flood of hostile, incompatible people, who will change the West into something approaching the benighted countries they left behind, and being forced to adapt to a smaller population in our country, I would enthusiastically choose the latter. I have faith that our Western ingenuity, inventiveness, and can-do spirit could find a way to cope with smaller numbers. The Japanese are managing to keep their country functioning with lower birth rates, without welcoming in hordes of hostile strangers; they prize their culture and their people enough to shun that choice, and choose instead to use automation to compensate for a declining work force. To listen to Steyn and the other open borders neocons, we have no choice. We have to leave our doors open and see our country transformed and dismantled, or else perish helplessly.
I don't accept that false dilemma.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I am thoroughly disillusioned with party politics in my country right now. If I could I would ignore it. but it seems we have to live with it for two more long weeks.
This piece by Tony Blankley, editorial page editor for the Washington Times, catches the spirit of what I am thoroughly fed up with. Titled, 'Assessing last week's column', it is a follow-up on last week's slam of 'stupid' voters who won't shut up and vote Republican.
Last week's column, titled, 'No thanks, we're stupid' was a diatribe against balky conservatives, and something of a jeremiad, warning of the end of the world as we know it -- if the evil Democrats regain the majority.
There is no rational policy or political basis for conservatives not voting. I'm not sure the country can take the current Democratic mob in power for long.
A realist once observed that the history of mankind is little more than the triumph of the heartless over the mindless.
The Democrats are obviously heartless. Conservatives must guard against falling into the category of the mindless. Ignore your heartfelt peevements, use your brains and vote.''
Leaving aside the obvious fact that insulting someone is not the preferred way of persuading others to agree with you, and in fact it will likely alienate and anger them, Blankley's 'arguments' are hardly convincing.
In this week's column, Blankley does not retract any of his earlier insults toward 'stupid' conservatives, but dismisses their concerns as expressed in a flood of e-mails he received in response to the first column.
The gist of his plea is that yes, the GOP is far from perfect but he is willing to settle for the lesser of the two evils, because that is all that a reasonable person can expect: lesser evil.
He says it's reasonable to expect a Congress to be 'as conservative as politically possible' but implies that it's just not politically possible for our GOP electeds to be conservative at this time. So we just vote for them, give them our money and support, and resign ourselves to the adulterated, nominal 'conservatism' they are prepared to offer us. After all, says he, the Democrats would be worse. And we are supposed to be stoked about getting out and voting for the slightly less evil Republicans?
It seems to me that the Republicans, given the unconditional support of the Blankleys and Limbaughs and Hewitts and all the rest of the party-line shills, will continue to move further away from their constituencies and from conservative principles.
If we follow this line of thought, we will never have a conservative party in this country; both parties are moving inexorably leftward, and real conservatives are being further marginalized, especially when the Republican media mouthpieces regularly denigrate conservatives as 'wing-nuts', extremists, 'purists', 'unappeasables', and so on, just as Blankley does when he refers to 'moral absolutists'; it's a little less blatant, but there is a subtle putdown there. Any kind of conservative principles are now considered extreme, and the compromisers and sellouts preen themselves as 'pragmatic' and reasonable.
But a life in politics convinces me that incremental improvement -- or, at times, even not losing ground-- is better than radical reversal. ''
So as long as we aren't 'losing ground' we should be satisfied? What if we are at the edge of the abyss: is 'not losing ground' an acceptable situation? What about when staying just where we are leaves us in a perilous position? That is the situation we are in now, what with the ongoing Mexican border war and invasion, near-chaos in many areas of our country, what with ethnic and racial tensions and crime, a scandal-ridden Congress, and the Iraq War quandary. 'More of the same', the status quo, is just not acceptable in this case.
As it happens, I will not be one of the 'stupid' conservative non-voters Blankley ridicules; I will vote, albeit with no satisfaction, and no enthusiasm for the Hobson's choices presented to me. But I will not vote a straight 'R' ticket; that, to me, is the epitome of stupidity for any voter: to assume a pose of blind loyalty to a party. A party whose members are unable or unwilling to think for themselves and make autonomous choices is not a party worthy of anybody's vote, nor is it worthy of a free America. A party in which I am talked down to, taken for granted, and insulted if I fail to do as I am told is not a fit object for my loyalty. A party which is happy to represent itself as 'conservative' while disdaining conservative voters and ignoring the most basic conservative principles is not the party I will wholeheartedly support. I know that there are a significant number of traditional conservatives and paleoconservatives who feel as I do. Both parties had better take heed.
Monday, October 23, 2006
By Toni at Bear Creek Ledger
Those pro-illegal aliens should be paying attention to what's happening with the drug cartels south of the border. This is what we in the US have to look forward to if there isn't something done to control our southern borders.
We also have Venezuela's Chavez giving legal ID's to members of Hezbollah and Hamas but he is also assisting their efforts to become proficient in Spanish to help these terrorists to infiltrate the US.
Here's a story that is definitely not been publicized on the front page but should be since these drug cartels are controlling many areas of our southern border. I am getting to the point of believing the US should be placing active duty troops on our southern border to protect us. There is an assault and invasion occurring today that has been ignored and local law enforcement doesn't have a prayer against these drug cartels. And don't tell me about "posse comitatus"! These troops would be attacking foreign invaders.
For all the beefed-up enforcement along the border, the militialike group of drug cartel enforcers known as the Zetas appears stronger than ever, a result of better training, successful recruiting in Central America and continued desertions from the Mexican military, U.S. intelligence officials say.
The Zetas have again become entrenched in Nuevo Laredo, and they practically control the movement of people through an intricate web of spies, checkpoints and skillful use of technology, provoking an extraordinary cross-border human exodus, U.S. and Mexican authorities say.
Last year, U.S. and Mexican authorities reported that the number of Zetas was falling rapidly, the result of both government pressure and ongoing warfare with rival cartels. But the shadowy group of elite former military officers, soldiers and others has now grown to more than 500 nationwide, with hundreds more in a support network throughout the country, U.S. officials said. Some of those networks are deepening their ties to Texas cities, including Houston and Dallas, with the help of Texas gang members.
A shootout late Friday between Zetas and members of the Mexican military - reportedly acting on tips from the Sinaloa cartel - involved grenades and bazookas in a residential neighborhood of Nuevo Laredo, U.S. authorities said. The firefight killed four people suspected of drug trafficking - believed to be Zetas - and injured at least four others, authorities said.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
The Zetas, enforcers of the gulf cartel, are battling rival members of the Sinaloa cartel for drug distribution routes, including the Interstate 35 corridor into Texas.
U.S. authorities said the gulf cartel has established training camps in the states of Tamaulipas - its base of operations - and Nuevo Leon, both of which border Texas, and in the central state of Michoacan. The organization is recruiting former Guatemalan special forces military personnel known as Kaibiles and members of the notorious cross border gangs known as Maras, including the violent Mara Salvatruchas with ties to El Salvador.
"The resiliency and determination of these criminals are beyond anything I have seen in my years in U.S. law enforcement," said one U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They're tough, and they won't break easily. They pose a serious threat to Mexico and to security along the border."
Be sure to read the rest of the article to fully realize the threat we are facing.
Beheadings are becoming the new tactical choice of these terrorists/drug cartels and the US is allowing this to be imported with impunity to the US. For those who are planning travel to Mexico you better be sure of where you're going because Mexico is not a safe country for travel.
Mexico City -- To send a chilling message to their underworld rivals, Mexican drug cartels are adopting a method of intimidation made notorious by Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
Already this year, at least 26 people have been decapitated in Mexico, with heads stuck on fences, dumped in trash piles and -- most recently -- tossed onto a nightclub dance floor.
Although beheading goes back centuries as a form of execution, it has become the latest tactical escalation of a turf war that gets nastier all the time, with hit men looking for new ways to instill fear.
"Before, they tortured the hell out of people, but they didn't throw their heads out in public," said James Kuykendall, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.
Why this form of murder and mutilation is being used now is anyone's guess.
Beheadings have had a high international profile in recent years, as the tool of radical Islamist groups that release videos of hostages being executed.
In Mexico, as crime bosses fall and turf shifts, the pattern of killing is changing.
This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to admin at guardtheborders dot com.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The new face of Appalachia
As Latino immigration, legal and illegal, reaches the rural Southeast, passions, jobs, politics and pulpits are changing in towns such as Morristown, Tenn.''
[...]Even in thoroughly modern Morristown, tied to the rest of the world through manufacturing, the arrival of "these people" is quickly changing a region that has clung to a shared cultural and ethnic identity since the 1700s.
This kind of change can feel threatening, all mixed up in knotty questions about legal and illegal, assimilation, job loss and fear. At the very least, people are conflicted.
The article rambles on, in typical PC polemical fashion, with references to 'potential for violence' and mentions the 'Klan', and alludes to 'extremism.'
The main point of the piece is that Morristown, Tennessee now has a 'Little Mexico', which if the influx continues, will likely result in a Mexican majority.
Rightly, some of the townspeople quoted resent the implication that any resistance to the illegal influx and the Hispanicization of their home is 'racist'. Apparently city leaders themselves have smeared their townspeople as 'racists'. It seems the business people are all too often ready to welcome the illegals in; it's good for their bottom line, or it's new customers for their business, and cheap help. Any sense of loyalty is lacking in many of the business 'leaders'. So on it goes, as elsewhere: the government and business interests working hand in hand to dispossess and deracinate America.
It's a shame when this enforced transformation happens anywhere in America, in my opinion . But somehow, it's doubly tragic when this is being forced on the Southeast, and most especially in the Appalachian region, because this region is in a way, the last holdout of a distinctive culture. Appalachia and all of the Southeast are special.
Writer Rebecca Caudill (1899-1985) wrote mostly for young people but her works were generally about the Appalachia of her youth. She also wrote a memoir, called My Appalachia. She said
Most important were the people, unhurried, kind, independent, determined, with big families and close and loyal family ties. Money was of no importance in the life of anyone I knew. If a man was sick, womenfolks helped nurse him to health, while the menfolks tended to his planting, his plowing, his harvesting. A man was judged by what he was, never by what he had. Doors in the houses of my Appalachia were never locked against friend or stranger. The people found their pleasures in the simple things of life. They possessed a kind of profound wisdom, characteristic of those who live close to Nature, who walk in step with Nature's rhythm, and who depend on Nature for life itself.
( - from 'My Appalachia)''
Here is an article, written by Dave Peyton, dating from 1975, more than 3 decades ago. It's called 'Preface for a Dying Culture,' the culture being the Appalachian Culture.
Two hundred years have passed since the first white settlers made their early arduous steps into the Appalachian wilderness, but those two centuries have brought America no closer to understanding the people of the Appalachian culture than when the culture was born.
The old ways of the mountains are disappearing. In their place are festivals dedicated to the memories, slick commercial extrapolations of the mountain cultures and small, and seemingly ineffectual, groups of "new Appalachians" who desire to see a new culture built on the best of the old values.
The future of the culture is clouded. There are those who say the culture is dying, if it is not dead already.''
The author quotes a professor named Dr. Norman Simpkins who asserted at that time that the Appalachian culture was dying.
If Dr. Simpkins is correct and if the Appalachian culture is beyond saving, it might be said that the folk culture was the only one of its kind to have survived two centuries without ever being studied systematically or dealt with successfully.
History proves that the culture flourished in relative isolation for a century and one-half before mainstream American culture began making inroads.''
Some of the causes for the weakening of the culture were better and more extensive transportation and communication: telephones, radio, TV, and the movies.
But in the earlier eras, the Appalachian Mountain region was remote and isolated from what was called 'civilization.' The settlers of the region were a homogeneous people, mostly of English descent, although there are scholars who aver, with little proof to back it up, that most settlers were of Scots-Irish ancestry, or at least that the Scots-Irish culture was the dominant one there. The fact is many of the settlers there were descendants of Jamestown colonists, most of whom were of English ancestry, with some Scots and Welsh. In any case they shared a common culture and language, as well as a common religious heritage: Protestant.
There were also Eastern band Cherokee in this region of the country, and despite early clashes they seem to have intermarried considerably with the white settlers. Many people who descend from the early settlers claim some Cherokee blood, however remote.
As to the culture of the people of the Appalachians, when English ballad collector Cecil Sharp visited Appalachia in 1916, he said
My experiences have been very wonderful so far as the people and their music is concerned. The people are just English of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. They speak English, look English, and their manners are old-fashioned English. Heaps of words and expressions they use habitually in ordinary conversation are obsolete, and have been in England a long time.
[...]Although the people are so English, they have their American quality that they are freer than the English peasant. They own their own land, and have done so for three or four generations, so that there is none of the servility which, unhappily, is one of the characteristics of the English peasant. With that praise, I should say that they are just exactly what the English peasant was one hundred or more years ago. They have been so isolated and protected from outside influence that their own music and song have not only been uncorrupted, but also uninfluenced by art music in any way.'
[...]They are happy, contented, and live simply and healthily, and I am not at all sure that any of us can introduce them to anything better than this. Something might be done in teaching them better methods of farming, so as to lighten the burden of earning a living from their holdings; and they should certainly be taught to read and write - at any rate, those who want to, ought to be able to.''
Sharp has been accused of over-romanticizing the people he met, and of exaggerating the English influence in their ballad traditions. It may be that he was guilty of that, but there is no doubt that there was a very distinctive Anglo-derived culture there, or an Anglo-Celtic one, if you must. There was an obvious English core to the culture, but there was a distinctly American flavor to it, born of the experiences of the settlers in their new environment.
I didn't grow up in that region of the South, but my own childhood in Texas gives me a feeling of recognition of much of the Appalachian culture; after all, my own Texas ancestors were from various other Southern states before they came to Texas as colonists. Many of the Appalachian people descended from early Jamestown colonists, as my kin did. So that culture, including the music, the food, the dialect of English, the folk ways, faith, and values all resonate with me; they are much the same as what I knew from my Texas roots. As much of the South began to change (for the worse, in my opinion) after the 1960s, with an influx of northerners who had no regard for Southern culture, it seemed that the only place which retained a relatively unchanged Southern Anglo culture was the Southeast, especially the Appalachian region. So it is both saddening and infuriating to me that this region is under assault by the Mexican invasion, as well as by the multicultural meddlers: those governmental and 'charitable' groups who have been sending thousands of stone-age refugees into various places. It is true that change is inevitable everywhere, but it is not always for the better, and some change is purposely engineered, as this demographic change is, without the will of the people being respected. It's profoundly undemocratic and authoritarian to force such a cultural change on an established people, without consent or input from them.
In our topsy-turvy world, the emphasis is always on 'respecting' diverse cultures, and being forcibly taught all about some exotic way of life, mostly Islam and Mexican culture, since they are the primary colonizers of our country now, with the official blessing of our disloyal government. Our children are taught more in school about some make-believe kingdoms of ancient Africa than they are taught about their own heritage and history. In other words, why is every culture and heritage valued and promoted except our own? Why is our culture alone marked for extinction, judged unfit to survive?
Why is the Southeast, and the precious Appalachian people and culture seemingly targeted for destruction by our meddling social engineers? It's a crime not only against the people who live there, but also against the rest of America.
I know from first-hand experience that a lot of northerners, and sadly some Southerners, are indifferent to Southern culture; they have bought the propaganda that it's all backward, ignorant, and 'racist', and that it is not worth preserving. Obviously I disagree strongly. If the culture of the South goes, then we may as well pronounce real American culture dead, too, because to me, the South embodies all that is best about America, all that is truly worth preserving. The South embodies love of country and kin, a warrior spirit, a zest for life, a pride in heritage, and the fierce love of independence that made America what it is -- or should I say what it once was?
Obviously, again, I may be biased. No doubt I am, because this is my heritage and culture under attack. But all Americans should care about the fate of our country; all of us should be zealous for preserving what is distinctively American.
I have no hatred of the Mexicans who are colonizing America but they have a country (of which they claim to be very proud) and a culture of their own, yet they covet ours, and if they get their way, our country will be a Spanish-speaking province and their way of life will eclipse ours; there will be no more Appalachia as we have known it for centuries.
There is one Mexico; why does the world need another? And there is only one Appalachian culture, which is endangered. Once that way of life goes, something irreplaceable will be forever lost, or at best, it will only be a museum piece, or a footnote in a history book like the Etruscans or the Lost Colony of Virginia.
And maybe the Appalachians, in this sense, are a microcosm of America. As they go, so does the rest of America.
I am counting on the independent spirit of my kin in the Southeast to preserve their home.