February 23, 2009 - February 16, 2009
. I know
that for non-Scots the bagpipes and the Highland Fling
are a sort of easy joke. No other ethnic group combines quite the same
longevity and rigid stereotypicality as the Scots -- ridiculous at once
for their nauseating (truly) cuisine, their men in skirts, their
earsplitting imitation of music, their barbarism, and their anti-poetic
glottal speech, as well as their enormous contribution to priggish
(i.e., Presbyterian) protestantism and the equally black arts of
economics and industry, including capitalism itself and all the
grunting, puffing, clacking machines that made capitalism an industrial
reality in the first place. I think Scots are funny
myself, and that's
largely because I'm a Scot.
On the other hand, Scots are one of only three tribal cultures that have arced all the way from the prehistoric past to the high-tech present without losing either their original identity or their individuality. And of the three, they're the only one whose first response was always to kick the ass of anyone who dissed them. All three cultures have played a major role in shaping the world everyone else lives in. The Irish have defined poetry for the world. The Jews, philosophy and psychology and science. The Scots have defined economic competition as warfare by other means, innovation as wealth, and free markets as personal liberty. And alone among the three, the Scots have never stopped going to war when it suited them.
This weekend, Mrs. CP and I went to a concert of the Coldstream Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoons. One English, one Scots, now integrated into a single regiment. The Brits are going multicultural. The concert was magnificent. Part of it had to do with retracing the musical steps of the Coldstream Guards. There were tricorn hats, bassoons, and an instrument called the Serpent. Then there was a Coldstream waltz, written by a Coldstream commander, and it was a competently done piece of composing and playing. The audience loved it.
Eventually, though, the program calls for the pipes and drums of the Royal Scots Dragoons. When the pipes start, it's as if everyone else has left the hall. When all ten pipers line up, the British Empire seems to fall away, and we are left with their pagan wail, their mammoth-fur busbees, and what the Scots call drums -- the choreographed beating of bones on bones the ancient Celts used to bring themselves in and out out of battle.
They also played a tribute to all the American services. This was at the Kimmel Center. It occurred to me that members of this audience would be found at multiple other concerts, from the Beatles to the Big Bands to Ray Charles to John Coltrane to Motown to Whitney Houston to U2 to the Black-Eyed Peas and Warren Zevon, but they were nevertheless white, and no non-Celtic audience would ever attend such a performance. Where, I wondered, was diversity now? It lay in the services. As the Guards played the anthems for the marines and the navy and the army and the coast guard and even the merchant marine, members of the audience stood, sat down, and then gave a standing ovation for the hands aross the sea, and that land across the sea.
At the intermission, we got to meet members of the Guards. The man in the middle up top told us he was the first black member of the Coldstream Regiment. We congratulated him. He was from Fiji. What would they do with a real black man, like Osi Umenyiora? That's right. This is the United States. Everyone else iin the world is worse at liking people for superficial things like talent, looks, and ability.
You see, the Royal Scots Dragoons had been folded into the English Coldstream Guards. Scots are assholes, but they're not snobs. The Coldstream Guards are English and the English remain who they have always been. I was shocked when the Scots dancer we met burst into the Scots tongue I hadn't expected to hear. It was his job to dance over the crossed swords. He did it like Romans were watching.
He had never been in the United States before. I didn't ask him if he was liking it. I only expressed the hope that our people would be hospitable to him. He seemed nice. Let's hope... (Sorry. The vid is from the Edinburgh Tattoo, which includes the Royal Scots Dragoons.)
Just a thought. All you people who don't believe in God. Why not
believe in Scots? God only knows they're pagan and ancient enough...
A final video from the Scots Dragoons.
See you tomorrow.
P.S. Yeah, I forgot. The Scots Dragoons also won the battle of Waterloo. Here's one of the most famous war paintings of the 19th Century.
. It keeps coming up. The uncomfortable possibility that the
U.S. State Department is a world unto itself, not entirely loyal to the
President or even the nation. That's why it's time to lift the veil, in
a manner of speaking, and show average Americans the people and practices
which are so determinative of what the United States does in the world.
For example, the charge has been made that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has become a different person than she was as National Security Adviser, that somehow she has been absorbed into a culture which mysteriously alters everyone who encounters it. Where once she was a hardliner about Israel, she has by dint of mere association become yet another apologist for Palestinian terrorism that never ends and never apologizes for itself.
Well, sunshine is always the best antidote for silly rumors. Condoleeza Rice is every bit as shrewd and decisive as she ever was. All that's changed is that thanks to the U.S. State Department's Middle Eastern Divison, she's received the advice of Ahmed Im Ahman, the world's foremost expert on various middle eastern type things. He doesn't care if you went to Stanford and think you know everything. He doesn't even care if you're Madelyn Albright and know you know everything. He can look right up your skirt, so to speak, and see everything you're missing. Thank goodness we have him on staff.
Without Ahmed Im Ahman, there's no chance at all the U.S. would be
pressuring Israel to abandon even more of the "occupied Arab lands"
President Bush referred to yesterday. And, in all probability, Madelyn
Albright would still be on speaking terms with the U.S. Secretary of
But the State Department has a reach that extends beyond its own secretary. Keeping the President informed is also a high priority. Word is that our current President spends so much time learning about world affairs from State that First Lady Laura is actually jealous. Well, that's hardly the first time the first family has been similarly affected.
Fortunately, the Commander-in-Chief's middle eastern education is in
the hands of a great patriot -- Herezade by name -- who has been able
through the years to overcome his reflexive Zionist prejudices and
introduce him to the nuances of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. We
are all going to owe her a huge debt of gratitude when the Palestinians
get their new state and establish
appropriate relations with Israel in the last year of the Bush
Administration. Ali Ali Akbar.
There are those malcontents who would contend that the State Department is actually fiercely partisan. But our research suggests this is largely false. Yes, it's true that Madelyn Albright had a much larger contingent of mideast advisers than the current secretary, but everyone knows that Democrats are inherently more intellectually curious.
The truth is that exceptions do
prove the rule most of the time. Like Bush, President Clinton also had
a sole chief adviser on middle eastern affairs, who played the key role
in convincing him that persecuting UBL would have done more damage to
his presidency than the Jew whore the Republicans positioned to steal
his power. If Bill hadn't listened to her, imagine how much damage
could have been done. Al Gore might have been President when 9/11
happened. The nation couldn't have survived that eventuality. Thank
Allah we had Ashkira to save us -- and thank the U.S. State Department.
The important thing for everyone to know is that the State Department
never sleeps. While all the rest of us pay little or no attention to the
world at large, they are always doing whatever it takes to keep presidents, cabinet
secretaries, generals, admirals, vice presidents, senators, and congressmen informed
about key issues in the world. They're smarter than everyone and ready
for anything. They even know how to keep Cheney up to date.
They keep the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs happy.
They're even prepared for a Hillary administration.
According to our sources, they're working double and triple ovetime to
be able to handle the unique demands of a Huckabee or Obama
Truthfully, you can help. All they need is certain
knowledge of the deepest depravity either or both of them yearn for.
Then they can adjust U.S. foreign policy briefings accordingly.
Wish them luck. They're going to need it.
And so will we.
. The last gasp of the hard left during the Reagan
era was the Nuclear
Freeze Movement, which sought to perpetuate the dying Soviet Union
by insisting that the U.S. unilaterally abandon its own nuclear weapons
upgrade programs in the 1980s. When the movement failed, the communist
bloc crumbled and exposed the ugly failures of socialism as a modern
system of government. Since then, the world's leftists have latched
onto a seemingly different cause, the rescue of planet earth from the
depredations of man-made global warming.
It's a clever stratagem on the whole. Most of the vocabulary is different, which enables the true believers to sweep millions of gullible neophytes into their cause. What remains the same is the real purpose of their efforts, which is to destroy the capitalist economic system. But there's also a significant weakness of the most current incarnation of leftist philosophy; this time, they're more or less forced to admit what they never did under Marxism, that far from loving the masses, they actually despise the masses and seek to punish them. Underneath their rationalism, they're as pitiless and robotic as the Old Testament prophet Amos in their antipathy to sinful mankind.
Their leaders speak of a "carbon freeze," but what they really yearn for is a Civilization Freeze, an abrupt termination of the technological progress which has doubled human lifespans in the last 500 years and multiplied our population as a species by many orders of magnitude. Their version of the hated Holy Bible's concept of original sin is our very existence. Once you understand this basic truth, you'll see it running like a malevolent thread through all their policies and positions. Here are just two examples, notable only for their currency.
In what should be good news, an Indian manufacturing company has announced a breakthrough in automotive design which will allow people in the Third World to buy a car for approximately $2500:
If you hate people and civilization itself, obviously the masses should be denied individual
transport. It's the same logic which argues that undeveloped nations in
Africa, Asia, and South America should be denied the life-saving
benefits of electrification unless it can be implemented with
ridiculously expensive and inefficient technologies like windmills and
solar panels. The real problem isn't really climate change; it's the
annoying persistence of the human race.
It's also the same logic behind Madelyn Albright's so-called liberal view of world politics. On the same day U.N. fatcats were anguishing about the possibility an Indian mom and dad might be able to speed their sick baby to the hospital in a car of their own, the pudgy old secretary of state was selling her book to the faithful via interview observations like these:
Wow. Wow. The "problem" is the
spread of "knowledge." That's
what creates "disquiet and anger." Obviously, the only effective answer
is to get rid of "knowledge" and the "information technology" which
spreads it like a virus through the most worthless species on our
Failing that ideal, we'll probably have to settle for the more gradual human attrition that would improve the planet "if we were all poor." The good thing is, there's no secret about how we can achieve that masochistic goal. We just freeze civilization in its tracks and let natural disasters, famines, and mosquitoes do the rest. North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Communist China have done lots of groundbreaking work in this area. Time we benefited from their research, don't you think?
We could be down to a billion people flat in less than a generation. If we really work at it. Utopia, I mean.
The Couch Campaigner
I know I was supposed to be covering the Presdential campaign, but I
a late start. The end of the NFL season was pretty absorbing for a
and suddenly it seemed like all the movies were being touted as “one of
the year’s very best.” (It took me a few wasted tickets to figure out
year they were talking about was 2000.) Besides, all the polls were
hadn’t gotten too interested in the campaign either, and why should I
myself out writing a bunch of great stuff about something you didn’t
So now I’m on the case, and it looks like exciting things are underway. The last time I checked in, George W. and Al Bore were walking away with the major party nominations, and Pat Buchenwald was getting ready to throw the big enchilada to the Dems by running on the Reformed Party ticket.
Who would have thought everything would get so different so fast? Pat Buchenwald is embroiled in a tougher race than the one he walked out on—competing with the likes of Donald Trumph, Jesus Ventura, Warren Beady (sort of), and the ghostly spectre of Ross Pyro. George W. did the impossible by spending $50 million in New Hamshire to get his ass kicked by a white-haired Viet Nam POW. And Al Bore turned the solid gold advantage represented by the best economy in 3 billion years into a skin-of-the-teeth victory over a washed-up basketball player with a heart condition.
It almost makes me wish I’d been paying more attention. How about you? Maybe you’d settle for a brief explanation of how this all came about? Let’s hope so. Here goes.
Pat Buchenwald got into trouble because he figured the Reformed Party would swoon for a famous, college-educated (semi)politician who had been on TV more than Ross Pyro. Like most of the ‘inside the beltway’ intellectuals, he forgot that college-educated doesn’t impress Amerians very much any more, since everybody in the whole government went to Yail, and anyone with half an eye can see they’re not too damn smart.
And when you leave out the college-educated part, suddenly Pat Buchenwald isn’t the top gun anymore, because here comes Jesus “The Booby” Ventura, who’s been seen on television by probably fifty times as many people as Pat, and he’s been elected a governor to boot, even if it is in one of those nothing states that start with an “M.”
When everybody in the media rushed to interview Jesus about being Presdent, people kind of lost track of Pat, and when all those interviews made people start thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be too smart to elect a bald idiot as Presdent, that gave Donald Trumph the idea to run, because why else did he spend all those years combing his side hair over the big empty spot on top of his head? Investments like that have to be cashed in sometime, don’t they?
After the Reformed Party folks didn’t actually throw up at the thought of a whoremaster like Trumph as the nominee, Warren Beady got the idea that he might have a shot too. And does anybody think Ross Pyro paid all that money to set up his own political party just to see a bunch of squabbling egomaniacs rip it to pieces? That scratching sound you hear is Ross's feet digging in for a last-minute sprint. With all this going on, who’s paying any attention to Pat? Maybe black and silver uniforms would help...
George W. got into trouble because after about six months of being polled every half hour, average Amerians finally realized that the Bush who was running this time was the son of the one they dimly remembered. Which was a completely different thing, of course. Completely. If John McKane had realized it six months earlier, he would have gotten into the race a lot sooner—probably six months sooner. As it was, he had a lot of catching up to do. After six months of voting for him in telephone polls, average Amerians were starting to feel like they knew George W. almost as well as they knew his dad.
In fact, it wasn’t until the mass media started telling people how much average Amerians admired John McKane for all his honesty about whatever it was he was being so honest about that they realized how much they had always admired McKane before George W. distracted them by pretending to be his own father.
All in all, there was lots of realizing going on, and most of it got completed in time to give George W. a good thumping in New Hamshire. None of the other Republians was ever in the race because the only thing they talked about was abortion, which is the one subject nobody anywhere wants to hear another word about. Thus, the first primary resulted in the two-man race we have today.
Al Bore got into trouble by being himself for many months of campaigning. Thankfully, an army of political consultants figured this out in time to convince him that the best strategy was to run as someone else, someone like, say, Bill Clitton. And so they managed to come up with a perfect patsy for Al Bore to run against, so that the Vice Presdent would have someone other than himself to lie about during the campaign.
Then it turned out that Bill Broadley was almost too perfect a patsy—he campaigned so lethargically and inertly that Al barely noticed him and kept on telling all his best lies about himself. As a result, New Hamshire was a closer vote than anyone wanted, especially Bill Broadley, who had been given to understand that he’d be able to go home after the first primary. When he realized that the Bore campaign had been lying about this too, he got really steamed and started hurling accusations about everything under the sun, which made everyone nervous.
First, Broadley charged that he had a debilitating heart condition, then he claimed that he was too much of an impotent intellectual to have the guts for Presdential campaigning, and then he asserted that if elected he would make the government pay everybody’s doctor bill forever, thus bankrupting the country.
In response, the Bore campaign counter-charged that Al Bore would pay everybody’s doctor bill too, and that it wouldn’t bankrupt the country because the Democratics would raise taxes on the Republians to pay for it, even if Broadley did get elected. Faced with such negative tactics, Broadley quit trying to weasel out of the race and consented to stay in a while longer. Having dodged a very big bullet, a much relieved Al Bore finally started to get the hang of Presdential campaigning and began telling only the lies his campaign managers ordered him to.
All caught up? Good. I promise I’ll be checking in more often from here on in. Okay?
The Couch Campaigner
Bush is done! McKane is done!
No, Bush is done
confusing here on the couch. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the
media don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the campaign.
First, John McKane blows out all the poll predictions in a giant drubbing of Bush in New Hamshire. The whole country starts going nuts for McKane. He makes the covers of all the news magazines. The polls which had shown Bush with a 20 point lead in South Carelina are suddenly showing him behind McKane.
The pundits explain that Bush’s people had always been dead wrong to think of South Carelina as a conservative “firewall” for their man. Actually, they say, Carelina doesn’t belong to the “Old South” anymore. They’re tied into the UnderNet like everyone else in the country, which means they don’t have any morals anymore either, and so they’re not quite as enthusiastic about the politics of a Republian God who’s planning Armageddon for Satan’s anti-Anti-Choice minions.
What’s more, South Carelina is also overflowing with veterans, which means that George W. might remind them more of Clitton than his dad, and McKane could attract their votes just by waving the (Amerian) flag a little and swapping some raunchy war stories.
Even worse, the way the pundits explain it, the South Carelina primary is also open to independents and Democratics, which there aren’t supposed to be any of in the state, except that there are, and they seem to like the looks of a Republian who talks like a Clitton Democratic. And the whole time the pundits are explaining all this, the polls stay close, and the Bush campaign seems to be bracing itself for another, possibly fatal, defeat.
Then the South Carelina primary takes place. Bush wins it convincingly. The news magazines put George W. on their covers and talk about how tough he was to come back and put it to McKane that way. The pundits take to the air to explain that during the last frantic days in South Carelina, the honest and highly principled John McKane had done some pretty negative advertising, going so far as to compare George W. to Clitton.
It also turns out that the South Carelina folks aren’t quite as finished with being “Old South” as everyone thought—as the experts could have deduced if they’d paid attention to their own tirades about the Confederate flag flying over the capitol. But, anyhow, the folks were still “Old South’ enough to remember that a candidate who talks about being positive and honorable probably shouldn’t compare his opponent to the scummiest presdent in Amerian history—unless maybe he isn’t quite so positive and honorable as he says he is.
Any of the South Carelinians who were slow to figure this out were nevertheless able to get some help from the Bush campaign, who called everybody in the state once an hour and preempted all regular programming on TV to explain just how unprincipled it was for John McKane to do negative campaigning.
With South Carelina now safely out of the way, the Republians run up to Mishigan to explain to the voters how negative the other side is being. Since Bush has proven to be so much more effective at this than McKane, the pundits explain, the Arizonia senator is now in real trouble. Besides, the Republian governor of Mishigan has made this primary a vote of confidence for his own administration and is using the whole Republian machine to win it for George W.
The worst news of all for McKane is that he seems to be losing his famous temper quite a bit, and he’s no longer sounding like a brave, war-hero reformer. What he's sounding like is a sore loser.
The Mishigan primary vote takes place right on schedule, and McKane wins big. The pundits race to the talk shows to say, of course, obviously, this was inevitable. The governor of Mishigan is unpopular, and everyone in the City of Destroit—all Democratics, of course—voted in the primary, for John McKane, just to piss off the governor. What this means, according to the pundits, is that the whole phenomenon of Democratics voting in Republian primaries will make the race for the nomination into a real dogfight, one that could go all the way to the Convention.
Next up are primaries in the Commonwealth of Vagina and Wishington State, both considerably more moderate in their politics than South Carelina, which is the only place Bush has actually scored a victory at the polls. Time, the pundits tell us, to hold our breath.
So, naturally, Bush stomps McKane to pieces in Vagina and Wishington. It turns out that the Republians have decided to battle the Democratics by voting unanimously for the candidate the Democratics hate the most—George W.
Now, we’re on the brink of Super Tuesday. The pundits are still busy explaining what happened in Vagina and Wishington, and what will happen in Newyork, Californica, Uhio, and a bunch of other states. But I’ve stopped listening for a while. My head hurts. Maybe I’ll just wait for their explanation of what happened after it’s all over.