March 24, 2009 - March 17, 2009
Friday, December 21, 2007
We're all just warm, cuddly, fuzzy
things at heart.
OF THE YANKS
. This post was going to be an essay responding to a
percentage of the U.S. population, represented in the Comments on this
by Peter, who said:
I think there's no way to protect
against individuals willing to cause
mass death by killing themselves to make a point. We're probably better
off not cultivating hatred when we can avoid it. We're definitely not
better off suspending the Constitution to protect ourselves from
intermittent and hidden threats
Actually, Peter is sounding more bellicose in his other remarks than
the Ron Paul campaign he backs and far more patriotic and realistic
than either the libertarians or leftists who also want to withdraw all
U.S. troops from Iraq and "cease cultivating hatred" in the world by
imposing our will on people who want to kill us.
But the hardest thing in the world is trying to prove the
obvious to people who don't want to see the obvious. In fact, it's
So I'm not doing an essay. I'll just assert a few points.
Ron Paul, America Firsters, pacifists, America-haters, and leftists all
subscribe to what I call the Kitty-Cat Worldview. They think the right
organization or the right system or the right constraints on
"imperialists" can somehow repeal history and make the world a peaceful
place. It's not true. There's no warm and fuzzy Utopia out there
waiting for us. There will always be predators -- individuals, nations,
ideologies, religions -- who use irrational hatred as a source of power,
and concealment of their own deficiencies, to feather
their own nests. Human predators are essentially serial killers and
mass murderers who have to be stopped because the damage they do is so
It's not true that all people are really the same under the skin. They
may have similar appetites, but that's where the similarities end.
Everything else about them differs -- wants, needs, values, even the
individual consciousness itself. If you set any store by what you have,
assured there are always people who actually live, and are willing to
die, to take it away from you. They don't need an excuse Your very
existence justifies their opposition to you, and they will endure evey
hardship and deprivation to punish you for being you. You cannot hide
from that kind of antipathy.
The notion that American actions abroad increase hatred of us more than
isolationism would is flat wrong. America is the world's policeman
because the world insists on it. They don't trust anyone else to do it.
Everyone else kills and tortures and destroys and oppresses people more
than we do when they intercede in other people's affairs. The so-called
hatred we experience is the resentment average citizens have for cops
in general; it's nothing compared to the rage and chaos that would
result if people dialed 911 in an emergency and nobody came.
The global economy is not a new thing. It has always existed, as far
back as two millennia BC. What has also always existed is the fate of
nations who try to isolate themselves from that global economy. If you
attempt to live in a shell, the world will open you up like a can of
beans, unless you explode outward in psychotic paranoid aggression
first. (Ron Paul followeres, think of 19th century China and Japan and
20th century imperial Japan and Kim il Sung's Korea.) Reclusiveness by
nations is indistinguishable from psychotic denial.
On the homefront, no one's talking about suspending the Constitution.
In all but a very
few narrowly defined cases, the constitutional issues concerning the
terror have to do with efforts by the left to extend the umbrella of
U.S. due process protections to foreigners. Here's a post
describing what rightwing (not) Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz
thinks about the constitutional validity of such arguments.
Finally, the so-called enlightenment of (i.e., sanctimonious rhetoric
by) Europeans about imperialism is bullshit. Like it or not, the United
States has inherited the mantle of empire abandoned by the British
after WWII. It was Brit-Euro imperialism -- and Brit-Euro Christendom
-- that carried law, medicine, and lifespans past the age of 40 to five
continents, a subcontinent, and multiple island kingdoms. The
contemporary and suspiciously politically correct fury against
imperialism is strongest in those regions where it was least
successful in establishing
western values. What the U.N. routinely asks of the U.S. is old-style
European imperialism accompanied by politically correct public
All in all, it's folly to think that libertarian or truly liberal
dreams can be advanced by American withdrawal from the world stage. The
world needs us. They will hate us always just a shade less than they
need and want us, and we will always benefit a lot more by investing
lives and money in their predicaments than we would by pretending it's
more moral to ignore them or just write them bigger checks. The ugly
fact is, they still need lessons on what it means to be civilized, and
the United States knows more about that than any nation on earth.
The world is stuck with us, and we're stuck with the world. Sadly for
all the dreamy-eyed Utopians, the world isn't populated by adorable,
fluffy kittens. If you leave them alone long enough, the kittens turn
into tigers. But if you try to defend against the tigers by cooing
"Nice kitty" and hiding behind your Maginot Line, they will hunt you
down and eat you before you can get off a defensive shot. More often
than we'd like to think, defending against tigers requires killing
tigers before they kill us. And what if tigers hate us while we're
hunting them? Tough Call PETA.
Peter. Listen to Alfa and learn something about Islam. Lake. Stop
humoring him. History
long predates our brief lives and there's no way we can simply flash a
penalty card and demand a do-over. All we can do is the best we can.
e tigers out there.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
God was always a Scottish thing
THERE IS NO GOD
. The existence or nonexistence of God is a big
question. It amuses me that young leftists have succeeded in asserting
their atheism so often that they've put theists on the defensive. Flush
with their rhetorical triumph, they're amazingly arrogant about
proclaiming that they're infintely smarter than the fools who continue
to believe in God.
Apologists for God have been caught off guard. I, personally, was
stupefied when a longtime Roman Catholic friend I asked to cite the
best argument he knew of against atheism recommended a book by the
Anglican C. S. Lewis.
Sound dire? It isn't. The Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens of
the world -- and all their dumb disciples -- can't talk their way
around the fact that common sense is on the side of the existence of a
"higher power" of some kind, meaning a power possessed of far more
intelligence than Dawkins or Hitchens can lay claim to. The stridency
of their objections is a lot like that of the solid citizen who shakes
his fist at the lightning storm daring it to strike him.
Fools. Atheism isn
intelligent default position. It's simply the "Get out of Jail Free"
card for a bunch of folks who equate a lack of knowledge with
certainty. Atheists put their faith in the mathematics of the universe,
the ellipses of the orbits, the explosive temperatures of gases, the
mutations of organic molecules. But why do the laws of math or biology
obtain in the first place? They don't know, and they don't care. They
don't know where the universe came from, they don't know how llife
began, and they can't explain how man erupted from primate mediocrity
in less than 50,000 years to produce Leonardo and Michelangelo. All
they're certain of is that God had nothing to do with it.
Fine. Except that all self-professed atheists are lying. Nobody
can be sure there's no
higher power -- you know, the one who dreamed up mathematics and
physics and chemistry and biology... The atheists are all
agnostics unless they're utter
imbeciles. What they're saying is that they don't know where we come
from but they they're pretty sure all the religions are wrong. They
think they know Yahweh never rescued the Jews from annihilation, Christ
didn't die for mankind on the cross, and Buddha didn't ascend into
heaven after telling his followers how to live their lives. All such
notions of divinity are wrong and stupid. But such nonbeliefs are a far
cry from asserting anything as positively true about the universe we
That would be fine but for a few things. Atheism is not a religion.
It's not a philosophy. It's an abnegation. There's nothing about it
that's a moral system. Once I agree with you that the universe exists
without a creator, we're all free to interpret our existence as
. No God, okay. No spiritual life that isn't a function of
chemistry, great. If we drink some wine and agree in our cups that
there just might be some grand architect of existence who wrote all the
laws of our beloved science, that still doesn't mean there's any
implicit morality in his scheme. Right? But specification of the
creator scientist who doesn't care who we fuck or kill or dismember is
an assumed human limitation of a power we can't possibly know is
limited to some cosmological laboratory. When a scientist concedes that
God might exist as a soulless didact of mathematics he is seeking to
constrain that higher power to dimensions he can comprehend. His
sterile conclusions say nothing about whether it's good or bad for
people to steal, commit adultery, engage in incest, or slaughter anyone
who obstructs his wishes. On what basis does any atheist proclaim any
of these activities unacceptable? Why shouldn't they all
be acceptable? Unless there's
some spurious, and entirely unenforceable, philosophy which says such
things are not to be done because... well, because.
y take. Math is more
than accident. God is more than a gifted geek. The planets do spin
round, the stars do shine, and we are really here, some of us smarter
than chimpanzees. An accident? Perhaps.
But perhaps not, too. A conscious species looks to the heavens and
seems to find an answer. Do the scientists and atheists ask why
there are so many more of us
human beings than there are gorillas, chimps, rhinos, bears, leopards,
elephants, anf giraffes? No. They automatically assume our
preponderance is a kind of guilt. It never occurs to them there might
be a kind of meaning in the fact that a conscious species which has
gone out of its way to believe in something beyond its own existence --
to the point of being willing to sacrifice itself individually for a
nonexistent deity -- has a vastly superior chance of survival.
If some thing wrote the laws of math and physics and biology, it
doesn't mean he's just a scientist. It means he's so far above us we
can't assume he's also not personally involved in all our daily lives.
It also means he might interact with us with at the level of art
literature, music, and, yes, religion.
What I've never gotten over is the endless symbolism of Christ's death
and resurrection. It goes out in all directions. Forever. Such a huge
story that it seems a divine event.
Hmmmm. Suggest anything to you?
How do you
explain it? For
that matter, how do you explain anything that's happened to the race of
Forget all that. Just tell me why it is exactly you act so fucking
superior to anyone who believes in God. Do that and I'll listen. I promise
No, I don't. You're all a bunch of pseudo-intellectual fakes. If we
debated face to face, I'd kill you. With pleasure. Don't ever doubt it.
. I don't like him. I disagree with him on a host of issues.
I'm pretty sure he's a choleric asshole. But he's the candidate I'm
backing for the Republican nomination.
First, some background. I've said some harsh things about McCain:
It's said that persistence is a virtue, but I've always found
persistence more tedious than inspiring. Oh well. Giuliani. He's a
mayor, isn't he? Why would anyone think a mayor is qualified to be
president? Don't they spend most of their time making deals with labor
unions? Rather low, don't you think?
I've heard of the McCain fellow.
Didn't he break under torture in Vietnam? Regrettable. One might think
he'd be content to go home and stay there without seeking to excite any
more attention. Under the circumstances, that would seem to be
the tactful thing to do.
Truthfully, it's not hard to imagine
that John McCain, Lindsey Graham,
Michael Chertoff, and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal haven't ever
witnessed the transformation of their own particular Main Street into
Tijuana North (except that the thugs and idlers all have more
And it's correspondingly easy to see how they could look down on it all
from a great height -- say, from the seaside bluff of the local yacht
club -- and see the whole issue in terms of units of labor and
Let's forget about electability for a
moment. Think about the candidate
base in terms of conservative principles. McCain is twice a traitor --
an accomplice in the McCain-Feingold abomination and in helping the MSM
portray the Bush administration as a gang of amoral torturers.
is a New York City Republican, meaning that he's not a conservative at
all, but a kind of JFK Democrat; no matter how much squinting we do to
forgive him because he's strong on national security, he's still
pro-choice, pro gay rights, squishy on illegal aliens, and inevitably
tilted toward the preeminence of city folk over country folk.
It's the same with everything else in
the wake of the election. George Bush is dancing like a gold-glover,
making nice with Nancy and the Baker Commission, landing only a
long-distance jab or two from overseas about his commitment to "victory
in Iraq," whatever that is these days. The 2008 presidential candidates
are dancing -- solipsistic little solos -- to tunes only they can hear
about how much the voters are going to love them 23 months from now.
Most of them won't last more than a few rounds when the fighting gets
underway for real, but they're impressing themselves with their own
footwork for the moment. John McCain
doesn't know he's a sitting duck for a big right hand. John
Kerry doesn't know that the only reason he's still on his feet is
because Hillary plans to carry him for a round or two to make sure the
fans get their money's worth. Al Gore doesn't know that his so-called
charisma is the pure kitsch that may earn big but contemptuous bucks
for Rocky VI. Only Bill Frisch was smart enough to throw in the towel
before the first punch. There's no point in taking a beating if you
never had the spine in the first place.
I could go on. Believe me
could go on. I still want Newt
to run. But he isn't going to. Which leaves me with the
sorry task of deciding who I want to win the Republican nomination
given that there are no Republicans in the race. Ace
was right about
Huckabee. If he were nominated, conservatives would be duty-bound to
vote Democrat so that the inevitable catastrophe would be laid at the
Democrats' door, where it belongs. But there's no way I could ever
vote for Hillary, Obama, or Edwards. Hillary's a cunt, Obama's a pussy,
and Edwards is even worse, a personal injury lawyer who heaped up a
fortune on the corpse of his dead child. There isn't a four-letter word
in existence that captures his kind of depravity.
The Democrat race is up in the air now. That's a problem. Republicans
have to be prepared to run against not just Hillary, but also the two empty suits
who are prettier than she is. It's going to come down to the debates.
That's when the American people will really tune in to the election.
do I want standing up there against Hillary, Obama, or Edwards?
Not Fred Thompson. He thinks being arch and glib are suitable tactics
for rebutting the absurd claims of those who have practiced telling a
mirror they can make all the hurts and woes of humanity go away
with enough government programs. People will like him and then not vote
for him in droves.
Not Mitt Romney. I don't know how to put this in a way that Hugh and
Dean can understand, but it doesn't matter how brilliant Mitt is
because HE'S A FUCKING IDIOT.. He lives in a Mormon universe where
being nice is its own reward, and when the maniac with the K-bar comes
his throat, he'll still be smiling when the arterial spray from his
carotid rivals the Trevi fountain for majesty. Romney was born rich,
he's lived rich, and he will die rich. At some level, he will never
understand that American life is a fight. A dirty, no-holds-barred,
scratch-their-eyes-out kind of fight. The wonder of Democrats is that
despite the fact that they unwind in the
Not Huckabee. Some 15 percent of the electorate love his
fundamentalist, hypocritical, simple-mindedness. Everybody else,
including every thinking conservative, hates his guts. Every single
point he makes from the podium of a national debate will delight his
most avid supporters ande enrage everyone else in the country. If the
Republican death wish is so extreme as to nominate Huckabee without
first arranging for his shocking fatal heart attack, the party won't
for two decades. By then it will be too late to recover from the
offensives of Islamic atavists and climate change Luddites.
Not Rudy. Truth is, he looks out of place everywhere but
New York. The
city, not the state. He was a gifted mayor, I admire the hell out of
him, and the odds he will ever convince Americans that being mayor of
tthe nation's most atypical city is a credential for being president
are exactly zero. One might as well argue that being the managing
director of Disneyland is like being an understudy for the Oval Office.
A few will agree with the logic, but everybody else won't. JFK knew
better than to perform in tutu and mesh stockings at Harvard's
Hasty Pudding Show. Imagine Giuliani refuting Hillary's (or Obama's)
statism by invoking the fierce independence of rural Mississipians...
Not gonna happen.
Which leaves us with... John McCain.
He's not really a Republican. He sponsored the most successful attack
in American history on the First Amendment. He's a politician, not a
statesman; he still doesn't understand that all us ordinary folk
believe in the rule of law more than we believe in a cheap supply of
illegal labor to vacuum our pools and plant our dogwoods.His life
has been so hideously marred by torture, imprisonment, and defeat that
he clings to the canard that the Golden Rule will persuade barbarian
enemies to think twice about sawng the heads off our troops. And he's
never stopped seeking revenge against George W, Bush for the South
Carolina primary campaign in the year 2000.
In short, he's a complete and utter ASSHOLE. Which is why InstaPunk is
endorsing his candidacy today. He's the only Republican candidate who
will win the debates against whoever the Democrats nominate. All
the Dems are one-term senators with no meaningful experience. McCain
been in the senate forever. He's a flawed but real man of vast
experience. There are people who regard him as a war hero (Not my
to be honest, but he's dead.) McCain is obviously credible as
an asshole commander-in-chief. He'll be marginally polite, but he'll
make Hillary look like an ex-First Lady, Obama like an earnest naif,
and Edwards like spit on the sidewalk.
After he wins the debates and the presidency, McCain will fight the War
on Terror. To win. He won't look at polls. He'll fire any generals who
aren't winning the war fast enough. He'll spend way too much money, but
he'll also piss off Congress so much on both sides of the aisle that
we'll all experience the delight of four more years of a do-nothing
Congress. His approval ratings will be abysmal. The illegal immigration
situation will grow worse. But when everyone in the whole country
starts clamoring for his impeachment, he'll do something unprecedented.
He'll say, "I fucked up. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
And then, because he's still trying to please his
dead father, he'll
try to fix it.
That's a moment worth waiting for. And worth the endorsement of
InstaPunk. Even though I'll never ever like him. But if I
think he's a sonofabitch, what
will the Iranians think? Precisely.