January 6, 2009 - December 30, 2008
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Come bask in the warmth of the
. If you
think the so-called War on Christmas is somehow succeeding, take some
time out from your other festivities today to watch the uniquely
domestic American channels TLC, HGTV, and their cable cousins. You'll
discover an amazing variety of individual and community celebrations
that range from spectacular Christmas light displays on land and sea to
Santa parades and fruitcake catapult competitions. We Americans just
love Christmas, and even our most vulgar commercial excesses are
routinely alchemized by our native generosity into demonstrations of
the hope, faith and good will that lie at the heart of Christmas.
Our best to all of you on this most blessed of days.
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.
Back to Archive Index