Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New Years resolution

The problem with following a herd of sheep is stepping in what they leave behind. This applies to submitting to either the messages of mass advertising or to liberal lies.

#1. The smoking habit demonstrates the sheeplike qualities of the human race. Youth smoke to fit in, to relieve stress or get high. Women in Hollywood and the porn industry smoke to stay slim. Calvin Coolidge had it only partially right when he said that “mass demand has been created almost entirely through advertising.” Word of mouth - pun intended - accounts for much tobacco consumption. Messages from mass advertising do not fully explain the phenomena. Self control based upon a principled choice must be the antidote to smoking.

#2. Liberal reformers and do-gooders always try to repress freedoms. They conducted a study through a Committee to Study the Tobacco Problem in 1918, after which they concluded that smoking did not contribute to “ mental efficiency.” Of course, reality contradicts this lie. How would civilization have advanced in literature, music, architecture, science, economics, philosophy, mathematics, history, the art of war or politics, dance, theatre, technology, etc., without the option to smoke?

It’s time, therefore, for the New Year’s resolution. Mine need not center on a refusal to be a victim of mass advertising ( been there, rejected that already) or of liberal lies (I see through them almost instinctively). Mine, instead, will be to “be out of sweets and treats.” Self control again will be the key to success, just like it could be for tobacco addicts or junkies living on liberal lies.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Everlasting distrust"

How far are we in America from agreeing with this statement from a citizen of Stalin’s Russia? “A good man can’t exist in a bad society!” Look around. A good man or woman is getting harder to find; bad morals pervade our culture. Here’s one modern Russian’s appraisal of his country: “Secrecy, illegitimacy, conspiracy, concentration of power in the hands of the few, violence as a legitimate exercise of power - as the only legitimating political and social factor - a class society based on the premise of doing away with classes, corruption that comes not from breaking laws but from the absence of laws.” Where do we stand in America? To assess America’s present condition we merely need to remove the word ‘violence’ ( not as yet evident) from the above appraisal and the phrase ‘absence of laws,’ instead substituting ‘excess of laws.’ It’s scarey, isn’t it? After the purges in 1930's, Stalin admitted that “everlasting distrust provides the government with full guarantee for itself.” At the present time, conservative voices have been purged by our President and the Congress. Many citizens feel nervousness and distrust as a result of our politicians’ actions. We can expect a ‘full guarantee’ that every ‘communistic’ program is being put into place for years to come. Woe is us! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To my U.S. Representative

I heard that you just returned from Afghanistan. Really. Who paid for that little Christmas vacation? I got no Xmas vacation due to my enforced frugality. Oh, a Homeland Security Mission you say? Who pays for that mission I ask? Your radio interview covering your trip there said nothing new, nothing I didn’t know from minimally keeping informed on current events and national news. So how do you justify ‘blah, blah, blah’ that I heard at the taxpayers’ expense? Are Republicans dissimilar from Democrats when it comes to embracing a ‘spoiled’ lifestyle? I think not. I’m a conservative. Where are the true Conservatives? I for one am here! I just pay as I go through life, keep my Christmas home-based and repeat for your edification, “Have you no shame, sir?”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The dream

His dream has come true, not Martin Luther King’s, but Bertrand Russell’s, the apothegmatist
(I can’t say or pronounce it), a master of terse sayings who put his dream in to clever, aphoristic words. What we need is a ‘world-wide revolt’ against American ‘capitalist imperialism,’ he said. Our Congress just ushered in this radical, albeit typical, request from Bertrand Russell. Russell exercised influence for almost a century, wasting his time and talent, scribbling away or talking nonsense, on one insane cause after another. Being an intellectual snob (disconnected from reality and people on the ground) he stated that “common sense embodies the metaphysics of savages.” Haven’t we heard this claim lately from political elites commenting on the ‘tea baggers’ protesting the takeover of our country by Obama and his progressive agenda?

Happy New Year 2010, the dream lives on.

Treason of the Intellectuals

by Professor Steven Dutch, Univ. of Wisconsin

Treason of the Intellectuals was the title of a 1928 book by Julien Benda, originally published in French as La Trahison des Clercs. The term Clerc has an obvious similarity to the word cleric, and Benda used it in the sense of people who devoted their lives to ideas and thought without necessarily being concerned with practical applications. Benda was distressed at the way intellectuals of the early 20th Century had been increasingly seduced by the appeal of power, and by the possibility that men of ideas might have a real role in shaping human events. Some devoted their energies to justifying nationalism, others to fanning class rivalry. One group would soon furnish an intellectual basis for fascism, the other had already been swept up by early Marxism, dazzled by the Russian Revolution. Benda warned that if these political passions were not reined in, mankind was "heading for the greatest and most perfect war the world has ever known."
Society and intellectuals had been jointly responsible for this process. Particularly in Germany, universities had been redefined as institutions for producing skilled scientists and engineers, and the increasing success of science and technology in producing practical results had led to a shift from a belief in knowledge as good in itself to knowledge as good for practical purposes. Universities discovered that people who doled out money grudgingly for abstract knowledge were quite happy to spend money for knowledge with practical uses. The intellectuals of whom Benda wrote had aspirations of being philosopher-kings. Not philosopher-kings in the ancient sense, kings who used the insights of philosophy to rule more wisely and justly, but philosophers who also happened to be kings and who would be able to use the power of the state to advance their own philosophical agendas (and presumably quash opposing views).
Volume II: MarxismVolume II, of course, would be a study of the way Western intellectuals prostituted themselves to Communism during the Stalinist era and the Cold War. Innumerable books on this subject have been written. Most of those of Cold War vintage were derided as mere anti-Communist hysteria or, ironically, "anti-intellectual." Norman Podhoretz' Breaking Ranks is a recent account of how one former radical came to be disillusioned. Mona Charen's Useful Idiots has generated shrill screams of rage from leftist intellectuals.
When I was growing up (some people argue that using the term "growing up" in any context involving me is a contradiction in terms, but never mind) in the 1950's, I got a fairly standard view of the horrors of Communism. By the mid 1960's, I had come to regard a lot of that information as mere propaganda. Then, early in my college career at Berkeley (1965-69, no less) I got a revelation. I was browsing in the library stacks and came across a section on Soviet history. I discovered that everything I had been taught to regard as propaganda was in fact true, and moreover, the documentation was massive and easy to find. Then I read Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago and discovered that what I had been told in the 1950's wasn't the whole truth. The reality was far worse. Only the most massive and willful denial of reality could have accounted for the mind-set of Western intellectuals.
The Soviet Union is gone, and while nominal Communism lingers in Cuba, China, Vietnam and North Korea, Communism as a global magnet for intellectuals is gone. One preposterous claim, seriously advanced by some intellectuals, is that they played a role in the downfall of Communism, when in fact they obstructed and ridiculed opposition to Communism at every turn. But surely the most wonderful irony is that the CIA set up front foundations during the Cold War to fund leftist intellectuals and thereby provide an alternative to Marxism. Bertrand Russell, the archetypical anti-Western Cold War intellectual, was actually covertly subsidized by the CIA. I love it. Russell, to me, symbolizes everything that made the Twentieth Century a scientific golden age and a philosophical desert, a thinker whose reputation was based solely on his own hype machine. With his colossal ego, he never for a moment suspected that his funding was anything other than richly deserved. The irony is beautiful.
Volume III: Islamic FascismBut a new magnet for intellectuals is emerging: radical Islam. It's not that intellectuals are likely to embrace radical Islam themselves anytime soon - for one thing, the requirement of believing in God would deter many of them. But what they can do is obstruct efforts to combat radical Islam and terrorism, undermine support for Israel, stress the "legitimate grievances" of radical Islamists, and lend moral support to the "legitimacy" of radical Islamic movements.
This is a phenomenon at first glance so baffling it cries out for analysis. Both fascism and Marxism censored, harassed, and imprisoned intellectuals, but they also gave lip service to intellectualism. Russia and Germany both had great universities. Both fascism and Marxism appealed to their respective nations' cultural heritage in support of their ideologies. Our mental picture of fascism is now mostly colored by images of Nazi book burnings and bad art, but before World War II fascism was quite successful at passing itself off as a blend of socialism and nationalism.
Marxism in particular offered an intellectual framework that many intellectuals bought into. Marxism presented a facade of support for culture and science, paid intellectuals highly and created huge academic institutions. True, intellectuals in the Soviet Union were well paid mostly in comparison to the general poverty of everyone else rather than in real terms, the economy was so decrepit that the money couldn't purchase much of value, and a lot of the academic institutions were second-rate in comparison to any American community college, but at least the Soviet Union could put forth an illusion of fostering intellectual inquiry. (I once sent a letter to the Soviet Embassy inquiring about films on the Soviet space program. This was after word-processors had become universal in American offices. I got a reply - a couple of years later - typed on a manual machine that looked as if Lenin had typed his high school term papers on it, and the embassy was still using the same ribbon.) But radical Islam is openly hostile to intellectual inquiry. Iran under the Ayatollahs banned music. In the United States, the work Piss Christ ignited a fierce debate - not over whether such work should be allowed, but whether it should be publicly supported. In parts of the Islamic world, dissident works invite not debate over public funding, but death sentences. Fascism and Marxism at least offered the illusion that they supported intellectual inquiry. Radical Islam offers intellectuals nothing. So why aren't Western intellectuals whole-heartedly behind any and all diplomatic and military attempts to combat radical Islam?
What Made Treason I and II TickWrong End of the TelescopeMost people have a tendency to forgive excesses committed in the name of some cause they support. They either regard them as unfortunate misdeeds by aberrant individuals, or as necessary evils in the name of some higher good. That is, of course, if they admit them at all. Very few things were more bizarre than the spectacle of free-love advocates in the Sixties extolling the virtues of Marxism, which had produced some of the most prudish, repressed and sexually ignorant societies in history.
Denying the mass murders of Marxist regimes is on exactly the same intellectual level as denying the Holocaust, and I never met any intellectuals who denied that Marxist societies were pretty oppressive. Still, I recall being on a panel that attempted (for the gazillionth time) to redefine general education. One panelist suggested that students should have exposure to Holocaust literature. I suggested that the Gulag Archipelago might be a worthy addition to the list (unlike any other members of the group, I had actually read it.) Oh, nononononononononoNO, he replied, that wasn't at all the same.
Social misfits defected to the Soviet Union; intellectuals, regardless of how much they lionized Marxism in the comfort of their living rooms, for some reason or other almost never did. But when confronted with questions about the atrocities of Marxism, they came back with a standard litany of Western sins: racism, support for oppressive anti-Communist regimes, poverty, inequality, and so on. The faults of Marxist regimes were on a completely different scale than those of the West, and a lot of apparent "social justice" in Marxist societies looked good at the time but turned out to be smoke and mirrors. The nomenklatura or Party elite were as entrenched as any Western plutocrats, the "free medical care" was primitive, and their environmental record was atrocious.
The Seduction of EfficiencyNobody can deny that American society has some severely messed up values. Why would a society that is based on science and technology frequently pay an inventor less than the lawyer who draws up the patent papers? What rational society would pay Shaquille O'Neal millions of dollars for skills that, shorn of the hype, amount to bouncing a rubber ball, and pay a teacher far less?
Surely we could eliminate such absurdities by putting the decision-making process in the hands of an informed leadership. Of course, to know what decisions to make, you need to know what will work - you need a ruling theory. Both Marxism and fascism were happy to supply them.
The problem was that the decisions weren't very good in practice. Both systems excluded talented individuals for purely ideological reasons. People tended to twist the system to their own short-term advantage or take the path of least resistance. A commonly cited example was that of a Soviet factory that made nails. If their production goal was defined in terms of weight, they turned out large nails. If it was determined in terms of number, they turned out tiny nails. The one thing they didn't do was turn out the variety and quantity of nails people actually needed.
In Western democracies, even in the U.S. where the hostility to regulation is greatest, there is a vast amount of central decision-making, but day to day decisions are left to market forces. A lot of the regulation - everything from bolt threads to type fonts - is carried out by tens of thousands of standardization agreements worked out by the industries involved. The solutions that arise aren't always optimal, but they usually end up being workable. After two decades of fumbling, we have settled on a de facto standard for computer operating systems. It has imperfections - some serious - but it generally works. Imagine being saddled with a computer architecture defined by some central planning committee in 1983. At about that time, someone in the U.S. Government realized with horror that all the standardization agreements mentioned above were being made and enforced with no government oversight. So the Government convened some hearings. The unanimous consensus, even by Ralph Nader, was that attempting to regulate this process was an invitation to chaos.
Putting the decision-making process in the hands of an informed leadership sounds attractive but it more often than not ends up being less efficient that the trial-and-error consensus process of Western democracies. And when you think about it, the standardization agreements I've discussed are decision-making by an informed leadership. In fact, they are decision-making by the informed leadership.
Denial One of the biggest mysteries about Marxist societies, to me, was why they persistently purged technologists when they came to power. All technologists want, more than anything else, is to be left alone to do their jobs. Had Marxist governments freed their technological elites from bureaucratic interference, they would have created the most rabidly loyal supporters imaginable.
Unfortunately, technologists have one gaping weak spot. They believe the data. And with their technical expertise, they are in a position to say authoritatively that some ideas simply will not work. Communism, which more than any other political system was based on crackpot conspiratorial thinking and pseudointellectualism, simply could not tolerate that.
Hatred of DemocracyWhen we try to discover what fascism, Marxism, and radical Islam have in common, the field shrinks to a single common theme: hatred of democracy. Despite all the calls for "Power to the People" from radical intellectuals, the reality is that no societies have ever empowered so many people to such a degree as Western democracies.
The problem is that people in democratic societies usually end up using that empowerment to make choices that intellectuals hate. How can we reconcile the fact that the masses, whom intellectuals profess to support, keep making wrong choices? I've got it - they've been duped somehow. Those aren't their real values; they've been brainwashed into a "false consciousness" by society. If they were completely free to choose, they'd make the "right" choices. But of course we have to eliminate all the distractions that interfere with the process: no moral or religious indoctrination, no advertising or superficial amusements, no status symbols, no politically incorrect humor. "False consciousness" is a perfect way of professing support for the masses while simultaneously depriving them of any power to choose; a device for being an elitist while pretending not to be.
The post-Soviet version of "false consciousness" is "internalized oppression." If you're a woman who opposes abortion, a black with middle class values, or a person with a lousy job who nevertheless believes in hard work, those aren't your real values. You've internalized the values of the white male power elite and allowed yourself to become their tool. You don't really know what you believe. When the enlightened elite want your opinion, they'll tell you what it is.
Democracy confronts radical intellectuals with a threat more dangerous than any censor, secret police, or religious fatwa - irrelevance. An intellectual working on behalf of a totalitarian regime can imagine himself as an agent of sweeping social change. If he ends up in a labor camp or facing a firing squad he can at least console himself that his work was so seminal that the only way the regime could cope with it was to silence him. He made a difference. A radical intellectual in a democracy, on the other hand, finds the vast majority ignoring him. They never heard of him. His most outrageous works go unknown or are the butt of jokes. He watches in impotent rage as the masses ignore art films and go to summer blockbusters. Worse yet, things that are noticed get co-opted, watered down and trivialized. Works that are supposed to shake the System to the core are bought by fat cats to decorate corporate headquarters or stashed in bank vaults as investments. Fashions that scream defiance of everything the society holds dear end up being the next generation's Trick or Treat costumes. Protest songs end up being played on elevators twenty years later.
Eric Hoffer, the longeshoreman turned philosopher, nailed it perfectly:
The fact is that up to now a free society has not been good for the intellectual. It has neither accorded him a superior status to sustain his confidence nor made it easy for him to acquire an unquestioned sense of social usefulness. For he derives his sense of usefulness mainly from directing, instructing, and planning- from minding other people's business- and is bound to feel superfluous and neglected where people believe themselves competent to manage individual and communal affairs, and are impatient of supervision and regulation. A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingman's sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual.
We can see the hatred of democracy most clearly in criticisms of the economic world. We hear that the automobile creates pollution and urban sprawl. Megastores undercut local merchants and produce armies of low-paid workers. Agribusiness drives family farms out of business and puts agriculture in the hands of corporations. (Actually what is driving the family farm out of business is the family farm - people in Western societies have been moving off farms for the last 800 years.) Aquaculture results in marine pollution and mixing of cultivated fish with wild populations. Every single innovation that provides the masses with more freedom or material goods is a target for intellectual disdain. You'd think people who are concerned with poverty would be delighted by more abundant and cheaper consumer goods, or that people who are concerned about hunger would be thrilled with cheap, abundant food. Exactly the opposite. You'd think that people who are concerned about the dichotomy between rich and poor countries would be ecstatic over globalization and the spread of jobs to underdeveloped countries. Surely people who are concerned about peace would glory in seeing the leaders of the industrialized world meet to discuss how to better integrate their economies. Yet every economic summit is besieged by protestors railing against globalization.
One recent target of opponents of globalization is outsourcing of jobs to Third World countries. This creates real suffering for displaced American workers. But for years, we have heard how grossly unfair it is that the U.S. has such a disproportionate share of the world's wealth and consumes so much of the world's resources. Now the rest of the world is catching up. Jobs, opportunities, and wages are moving into less developed countries, and those countries are increasingly competing with the U.S. for markets and resources. What did you think it would be like, people?
Most of these folks simultaneously demand government programs to alleviate poverty and hunger, mass transit so the poor can get to where the good jobs are, and international aid to the Third World. In short they want structured, paternalistic programs that address needs defined by the intellectual elite. They are bitterly opposed to innovations that merely give the masses more goods, food, or money and leave the decision making to individuals.
First, the money has to be taken by force from the wealthy. Voluntary contributions don't count. Taxation at a level that the wealthy will consent to doesn't count. Any approach that recognizes the wealthy as having rights is unsatisfactory. Even worse is any recognition of philanthropy and the idea that some of the wealthy have social consciences. Second, the programs can only address needs defined by the intellectual elite. We won't provide cheaper cars; we'll force people to use mass transit. One volunteer aid group once did a study of Third World needs, concluded that one of the most pressing needs in Third World countries was transportation, then excluded automobiles from consideration because they felt that automobiles had a negative effect. When mass transit doesn't work in the low-density U.S., we'll try to compel people to live in higher density housing. Finally, the distribution of resources cannot have anything to do with individual responsibility. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." In other words, if you're smart and industrious we expect you to work for no reward. One of the best examples of paternalism is the story of Victor Gruen, father of the American shopping mall. Gruen envisioned recreating the central plazas of European cities where people would gather, interact, linger and socialize. Gruen finally returned to Austria, depressed at how the idea had turned out in practice, and died in 1980. He apparently never figured out that Americans spend most of the day working and the people who have the time to linger in malls are exactly the sorts of people most likely to deter others from coming to malls. But even more, it never occurred to Gruen, or to all the other people who propose European style solutions to American problems, that if Americans wanted to live like Europeans, they would already be living like Europeans. Gruen's story leaves me uncertain whether to pity his naiveté, or feel anger at his arrogance. What gave Gruen the right to decide that Americans need a European lifestyle?
Here's a radical idea. If our cities are plagued by flight of the middle class to the suburbs, why not return control of the cities to the middle class?
The Time GhettoThere's no more effective social filter than time. By the late 19th century, tourism was becoming well enough established that even the middle classes could engage in it, and it was to the advantage of railroad and steamship companies to foster this development, just as airlines do now. So how to separate yourself from the rabble? Well, a shopkeeper might be able to afford a round trip to Europe, but not a six-month tour. Only the really rich could afford to travel for six months at a stretch.
It's significant that so much intellectual disdain is targeted against any innovation that gives the masses more time. You can always create more goods, food, or wealth, but there are only 24 hours in a day. Uh-oh. It turns out you can create more time. You do the routine tasks faster so you have more time to spend doing what you want, or you drive prices down so people need to work less time to buy things, and have more leisure to enjoy them. So it's not surprising that virtually everything that translates into time saving is fair game for the elitists.
Trashing TourismIf you want world peace and understanding, I can't think of a better way to do it than to have floods of people visiting other parts of the world. Even given the worst stereotypes of tourists, some people at least go places, learn things, and leave money behind. People on the other end get money, learn things about their own culture as guides, learn other languages, and learn about other cultures by being exposed to them. There has probably been no single greater force for peace in Europe since World War II than the fact that millions of Americans have lived in Germany with the U.S. Armed Forces and millions of Germans had first-hand contact with Americans. I'm not talking about the troop strength, just the ordinary day to day human contact.
If you have some excess wealth to spend, it's hard to come up with a more constructive use for it than tourism. So it's natural that tourism would be abhorrent to the intellectual elite. It gobbles up land for airports, clogs the skies with aircraft, increases pollution, increases pressure on sensitive sites, and so on. All of that perfectly true.
See, travel was just fine when only The Right Sort Of People had the time to engage in it; when it took several days by train or ship to get anywhere and when it was so expensive that only the Enlightened could aspire to it. But now all the riff-raff are doing it.
First Class on the TitanicThe dream world that anti-democratic elitists inhabit is the first-class deck on the Titanic, where people of breeding admire and subsidize the intellectual elites. Old money only, thank you, none of that tacky nouveau riche behavior. Not the real first class deck (Leonardo DiCaprio's announcement that he was an artist drew sneers from most of his table mates, and that would likely have been true in reality as well) but one that exists only in nostalgic fantasy. Truth is there has never been a society that supported intellectuals better than ours. Tycho Brahe may have had a lavish court, but he was born into the nobility to begin with. If you were a peasant with a brain in the Middle Ages, you might have gotten a break in the priesthood but that was your only chance. In terms of number of people and level of support, nothing in history even begins to approach how Western societies support intellectuals.

Monday, December 21, 2009

No love for me and you

Certain secular intellectuals who bear no love for individual persons, only mankind as an idea, think that elites like themselves should inspire rulers around the world. These are (and have been) dangerous, albeit influential, thinkers. How fortunate for us that none of them attained political power; how unfortunate for us that many brutal dictators have used their ideas to enslave mankind and slaughter individuals. Wherever their ego-centric leadership (dictatorship)occurs, individuals play second fiddle to the state. According to writer Paul Johnson, “ the difficulty with their view was that it assumed that humanity, led by the enlightened minority would always progress in a desirable direction. Yet it did not occur to Henrik Ibsen ( and others like Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Tolstoy and Hemingway) that this minority - what Lenin was later to call ‘the vanguard elite’ and Hitler ‘the standard bearers’ - might lead mankind into the abyss.’ I call this minority useful idiots, a phrase coined by someone other than I.

Think Obama and his Democrat administration with their enlightened minority rule in Washington. They admit their health care bill will totally reshape our country. It is designed as a testament to their leader’s ego and legacy. Into what will it re-shape America? My parents and their generation called it ‘socialized medicine.’

Happy New Year, 2010!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The people don’t want Obamacare! Can’t any one in Washington read the poll numbers? Kill the monstrosity now.

The simple solution to save face for the political class is to pass an Obamacare Omnibus Peoples Solution, acronym OOPS, bill that will provide free band-aids to all, citizens or illegal. This will provide the political class with cover that they ‘did something.’ The OOPS bill cost would be minimal to the taxpayers and, as a band-aid should, just cover things up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Insights

Henry Morton Stanley, African explorer and adventurer of the 19th century, was a man of many words. His observations of human nature were based upon experiences with different cultures and levels of civilization. Check this out: “The malignant and deadly conspirator is always lean,” he concluded. Fatties reflected a higher probability of trust, honesty, openness and conciliation. Stanley also came down on scientists ( especially the Emin Bey) he encountered. “Why were scientists in comparison with Christians guilty of a certain hardness and indelicacy of feeling?” he asked. When confronted with the issue of “inner beauty” they would most likely “yawn and return an apologetic and compassionate smile.” Doesn’t Obama have that “lean and hungry look,” first described by Shakespeare and probably the source of Stanley’s allusion? Scientists who condemn doubt about global warming and intelligent design exhibit no spiritual depth. They simply forge cooly ahead with faked or agenda-driven data, denying the existence of insight while claiming only the facts of hard science matter. Whatever criticisms can be leveled against Stanley (who had his flaws) his two insights are correct; let us consider applying them to America’s present President and the politics of environmentalism.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Money and Brains

I feel a disconnect regarding Warren Buffet ,“Looking into the Abyss,” December 12th. He catalogs deals he rejected as too risky during the crashing global financial markets. He states, “I felt that this is something I’ve never seen before and the American public and Congress don’t fully understand the gravity.” When the nation and its financial system were “looking into the abyss” throughout 2008, why did Mr. Buffet support and fund a totally ignorant candidate for President, Barrack Obama, whose job would be leading the nation out of the morass? If Mr. Buffet can divine the viability of a major corporation in a ten minute to 24 hour scan of its balance sheets, how could he support a candidate who had no record or paper trail other than slogans of ‘hope and change?’ Now as President Obama, indiscriminately spending trillions of dollars, provokes terror and uncertainty in the financial and business community, I suggest Mr. Buffet should confine himself to scanning balance sheets and not the opaque motives of politicians who epitomize self-centered self-serving.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Repeating history

George Santyana famously commented that “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This observation cannot be applied to our President because he remembers and embraces the past Utopian dream of communism (phased through socialism). His liberalism equals as Santyana also wisely observes, “the genteel tradition’s political expression.” Obama rules with the trident of liberalism, gentility and communism held firmly in his left hand.

A “Black Book of Communism,” published in 1997 chronicles in 800 pages the horrors and deaths as the result of communism under such dictators as Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot in China, Ethopia, Russia and Cambodia. No matter this to the true believer. The dream of a new order (which Obama calls the way the world should be in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech) just was not pursued with sufficient vigor. Just not enough support was rallied for the cause. Well, our new President is seeing to that with the expansion of federal employees at a rapid clip. Though Obama merely continues the trend in Washington to perennially expand government jobs, since 2007 the numbers have doubled; the salaries have virtually tripled. Those marching to the false tune of his revolutionary drummer are now being paid, not $30,000, but over $100,000. The Obama administration adds 10,000 new jobs to its payroll each month with the hope of adding many new comrades to its loyal army. Talk about waging an unjust war. Little talk of this unjust war against common sense in America’s economy will ever come from Obama’s TOTUS.

Almost a century of living was not sufficient for Santyana to find the truth. His observations about the intellectual needs of a religion to combat secularization in American culture were right on but his embrace of Fascism reflects his left-leaning roots. Once a liberal, communist snob, always a person dangerous to personal freedom.


Professor Victor Davis Hansen in his column ‘Work and Days’, on December 10, 2009, catalogs some of Barrack Obama’s gaffes, slights and insults that are exposing Obama’s inexperience, incompetence and callousness. Cumulatively these gaffes are undermining confidence in Obama and subjecting the United State to ridicule. Following VDH’s list are additional contributions from his readers. Please feel free to add you own comments and analysis.
Constant apologies abroad for everything from slavery to Hiroshima
Bows to Saudi royalty, the Japanese emperor, and Chinese autocrats
The on-again/off-again Guantanamo shut-down mess
The fight with the former CIA directors
The public show trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed
The reach out to Ahmadinejad Castro, Chavez, and assorted thugs
The Honduras fiasco
Czars everywhere
The serial “Bush did it”/reset whine abroad
The Queen of England/I-pod fiasco
Gordon Brown gets snookered in his gift-giving
Unceremoniously shipping back the Churchill bust
The end of the special relationship with the UK
The New York on-the-town presidential splurge
Anita Dunn and her Mao worship
Timothy Geithner/Tom Daschle/Hilda Solis and their taxes
What ever happened to Gov. Richardson?
“No lobbyists” = gads of them
The Podestas’ insider influence-peddling empire
Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” chauvinism
The Special Olympics silly quip
Trashing Nancy Reagan
The Skip Gates/police acting “stupidly” mess
The get-Chicago-the-Olympics jaunt to Copenhagen
Cap-and-trade boondoggle
“Millions of green jobs”
Ignore gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power production
The Joe Biden gaffe machine
Jobs “saved” or “created” rather than references to the actual unemployment rates
Van Jones, the racist, Communist and truther
Desiree Rogers won’t testify
The blowback from, and silence about, the Rangel/Dodd corruption
The White House party crashers plan to take the 5th Amendment
The ‘bipartisanship’ con
The pork-barrel stimulus spoils
The demonization of the Town-Hallers and Tea Baggers
The Acorn Mess
The Kevin Jennings/Safe School Czar embarrassment
The SEIU direct access to the White House
The Asian Tour comedown
The politicization of the take-over of GM and Chrysler
The Obama readjustment in the order of paying back car creditors
Car dealerships closed on shaky criteria
Obama as “Caesar”
The Emanuel “never let a serious crisis go to waste” boast
The Black Caucus/Rangel/Waters bid to bail out the inner-city radio stations
Yosi Sergant and the NEA
$1.7 trillion deficit
The planned $9 trillion added to the national debt
New income tax rates; health care surcharge talk; and payroll tax caps to be lifted
Rahm Emanuel’s promised payback to those states that trash the stimulus
The supposed C-span aired health care debate
The promised website posts of pending legislation
Czechs and Poles sold out on missile defense
The call for the ‘fairness’ doctrine to be reinstated
Sermons to and finger pointing at the Israelis
The failed ‘Putin helps to stop a nuclear Iran’ gambit
Voting present on the Iranian reformers in the street
Serial but empty deadlines to Ahmadinejad
The good war/bad war twisting and turning on Iraq/Afghanistan
The months-long dithering over Afghanistan
Renditions, tribunals, Patriot Act, etc. once trashed, now OK
Health-care take-over
The 2,000 page proposed new health code
The embarrassing Nobel Peace Prize nomination
The attacks on surgeons, Chamber of Commerce, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, etc.
The Islam mythologies in the Cairo Speech
The al Arabiya “Bush did it” interview
Obama’s TV “my Muslim faith” gaffe
57 states in U.S.
Another unforgivable incident: The Justice Department dropping prosecution of Black Panther thugs guilty of racist intimidation at a polling place

In the West Point speech, I counted about 30 uses of “I” or “me.”

Nobel Prize acceptance speech has 38 “I”s.
And Obama’s repeated references to the Bush Administration is getting so old. This reminds me of Orwell’s use of “Goldman” as the scapegoat in “1984.”
How about the Air Force One photo-op over Manhattan on 9/11/09 that scared the living you know what out of the people on the ground. Talk about being clueless
And don’t forget the Inspector General “Fired for senility” deception
Insulting the Queen of England was rich: a country that has been our ally
How about Rev.Wright Bill Ayers Tony Rezco?
Fought with the *current*, hand picked CIA director, Panetta, too.
Don’t forget the classic “$30,000, $40,000, or $50,000 to amputate a foot.” Fast and loose with the facts
Professor, you missed Hilda Solis and the gutting of all government mechanisms for fighting union corruption
Something to add to the bothersome incidents, if you like, is President Obama’s unshakably high opinion of himself and his abilities, exemplified by a quote from early March 2009:
“I like being President. And it turns out I’m pretty good at it.” That he could say such a thing after less than two months in office, bespeaks hubris unimaginable.
Oh, and then there was that surprise visit to the White House press corps, when journalists had the audacity to question him. This was not a big event, just as his “look, can’t I just eat my waffle?” moment was not all that important. But they each lowered my confidence in the man
Do you have any Poupon? At his photo op visit to the burger joint.
“…and a Tea Ba-ag on a Par-ty.”
(List looks like the 12 days of Obama


The Caterpillar fiasco, claimed CEO supported stimulus…he didn’t.

Fort Hood and refusal to call it terrorism; increased incidents of domestic arrests of networks of terror suspects.
To soldiers: “You guys make a great photo op”.
Whining about media coverage (Wee wee’d up)
Constant straw man arguments (as in, “Republicans want to do NOTHING on health care”).
Insisting sacrifices must be made, thermostats lowered while aides complain his own thermostat is set unbearably high to “tropical.”
The characterization of Fox Network as not news. Realizing the error in that interview.
Spokesmen Gibbs saying he recalls no incident of references to Hitler or Nazism toward previous administrations.
Wee weeing.
Separate 747 jets for Barack and Michele to Paris for her shopping trip
Everything being historic. Health care. Historic! Cap and trade. Historic! A bill passes. Historic! The president wee weed. Historic!
Insisting nobody in the middle class will be taxed, “repeating what he’s already said” repeatedly changing what he said earlier, and “allowing himself to be perfectly clear” while obfuscating, then taxing anything and everything taxable while simultaneously debasing the currency and running up debt that is nothing short of “historic.”
No need to add to this, but the worst thing was learning that he and his wife have never celebrated Santa Claus gifting. Never mind that Christmas is a religious and national holiday, it is an American tradition. No Santa for the kids is about the worst thing I can think of. OMG.

Declaring to a conference of Rabbis that, “we are partners with God on matters of life and death” in reference to the health care debate.
Letting a European diplomat know that he (Obama) believed th U.S. nuclear arsenal to be ‘his.’
Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Father Michael Pfleger
Using his Grandmother time and again as a social commentary punching bag
NOT going to Berlin
GOING to Copenhagen for the Olympic city selection (and coming away empty-handed)
Michelle (Antoinette) Obama

Ignoring/denying the loud & clear message voters tried to send him in the November elections. (File this with demeaning Tea Partyers).
Skipping the anniversary celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall?
Skipping D-Day Anniversary.
Being photographed stepping ahead toward the camera and microphones while Crowley assisted Gates down the steps in the background. Imagery is everything, after all.

Speakin in ‘Posse’ slang if not reading off the TOTUS

Compare days in Whitehouse to days flying about and bloviating

What say You?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spare the rod, spoil the .....

Even if the rod is applied metaphorically, the “reason so many children get spoiled is that few parents dare to spank two grandmothers.” This states not just my displeasure with the practices of grandparents who spoil their grandchildren with unwarranted gifts and excuses for bad behavior, but also the words of Chester L. Marks printed in a Saturday Evening Post magazine of 1960. Even then, apparantly, a wise man saw the approaching decline in discipline and achievement due to laxity in parenting and grand-parenting. My generation of grandparents did not understand the concept of lavishing presents and privileges unearned or undeserved. My parents agreed that success was self-induced. Today, after billions and billions of dollars have been wasted to improve students’ test scores, knowledge continues abate. When I was enjoined with my fellow grade schoolers to memorize the addition and multiplication tables - or else - little could I have appreciated the long term affect of mindless discipline. Perhaps my lifelong enquiring mind resulted from a background of required facts lovingly, sometimes unlovingly pounded into my brain. Grandparents past and present should take to heart the adage, literally or metaphorically applied, that to spare the rod is the spoil the child.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?

At Christmas time the lyrics of tunes in stores can ‘drive’ one crazy but what floats over the radio airways as news can ‘be’ crazy. Waking this morning I heard that “No insurance leads to bad health,”a claim supposedly bolstering the need for the a government controlled health care reform bill. If you hear what I hear, you also know that, as usual, the liberal agenda gets its wrong, perpetrating yet another lie based upon a false premise. Having not had health insurance for most of my adult life and having been self-employed or employed in hard work at a country home, I needed to stay alive, not concern myself with the possibility of bad health. A concern for good or bad health had nothing to do with my daily demands. What defines health anyway? Soundness of body? The general condition of body or mind as to vigor? A demanding workload supported by an abundance of food counterbalanced with rest and entertainment seems to have done the job of warding off bad health ( whatever that is) for me. A doctor was an alien. Has low-cost self-sufficiency been bad for my health? Like the title of the movie, I’m clueless as to the reality or logic of a liberal lie based upon a non-starter for a premise.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Day of Infamy

12/7/41, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor has been infamous, but it did not prevent Teilhard de Chardin the scientist and philosopher priest from admitting that “throughout my whole life, during every moment I have lived, the world has gradually been taking on light and fire for me, until it has come to envelop me in one mass of luminosity, glowing from within...The purple flush of matter fading imperceptibly into the gold of spirit, to be lost finally in the incandescence of a personal universe...” Why was Teilhard so optimistic ? His central philosophical position God-Love reaching self-fulfilment only in love. “Christianity is nothing more or less than a ‘phylum of love’ within nature. ... To overcome every obstacle, to unite our beings without loss of individual personality, there is a single force which nothing can replace and nothing destroy, a force which urges us forwards and draws up upwards: this is the force of love... The law of the universe must surely be a continually progressing, irreversible spiritualisation.”

Pearl Harbor, therefore, was just blip on God’s radar screen.

A friend and admirer of Teilhard said that “Even those who were most hostile to his philosophical and religious views recognized the exquisite gift for sympathy which made him a ‘catcher of souls.’ Countless intellectuals, executives, workmen and humble folk caught from him the vital spark of illumination and found peace.” But one fault Teilhard could not tolerate was “deliberate acceptance and delight in the disgust with life, contempt for the works of man, fear of human effort” He said that “anything that makes me sink lower is the real evil.”

Onward and downward we spiral in our current era of President Barack Obama, the ultimate pessimist and basher of the very hope he conjured up in his campaign filled with simple, empty words. Man is not the sum of his own making, according to Obama, but rather only the parts created by the government.

Pearl Harbor day should remind us of ultimate victory over evil. There’s still hope.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Cruel Punishment

Choose from A or B to determine cruel and unusual punishment:

A. One lethal injection for a murderer who cuts up his victim’s body into multiple parts...or
B. Two devoted horse men and 43 horses (described by a veterinarian as “forces of nature and the hand of God created... as strong as an ox and as fragile as a puppy,”) dying horribly in a barn fire last night.

A. A claim that the poor pay the price of global warming...or
B. Poor beasts who have served man faithfully for ages, paying the price of domestication.

I ‘Be’ aware of the tragedy of life on this earth. I ‘Be’ aware that stupid people, be less intelligent than dumb, noble beasts because they hold a conference on global warming and a fictional, impending Armageddon described in a Bob Dylan song as “sad forests and dead oceans.”
I ‘Be’ truly sad. Reality is a cruel and unusual punishment.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Calvin Coolidge Speaks

Silent Calvin Coolidge is not silent in his autobiography published in 1929. The following excerpts speak both to the American people and our present President. The breakdown of our moral culture in and out of Washington cannot be denied. The solution to our problems lies in unlocking the disciplined and righteous example of Coolidge’s life, ideas and words.

“If attendance on these religious services ever harmed any of the men of my time I have never been informed of it. The good it did I believe was infinite. It broke down selfishness, it conquered resistance, it supplanted impulse, and finally it enthroned reason.”

“Unless we live rationally we perish, physically, mentally, spiritually.“

“Nothing is more dangerous to good government than great power in improper hands.”

“It is a great advantage to a President, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man. When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions.”

“Wealth comes from industry and from the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity.”

“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good. The country is better off tranquilly considering its blessings and merits, and earnestly striving to secure more of them, than it would be in nursing hostile bitterness about its deficiencies and faults.”

(As President) “it is not sufficient to entrust details to some one else. They must be entrusted to some one who is competent.”

“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important as living within your means.”

Friday, December 04, 2009

Down and dirty part 3

For sure, she’s no lady - my dog. She’s a wuss with strangers and my cat, she’s loveable, devoted and attentive to my every move. I can remove her food dish from under her face or lift a bone from between her teeth with impunity, but when it comes down to biology, she’s no lady. A recently slaughtered deer could not be hidden from her sensitive nose. A recently charred turkey carcass from a fire could not deter the wolf hiding behind her silken cloaking. Rancid leftovers (luckily no offal) whether pelt or bone, to her were still ripe and reeking fair game.

Her biology reveals her to be a follower of Ayn Rand’s “virtue of selfishness.” Of course, my dog has no moral compass for successful living; she practices no “folly of altruism,” another tenet of Ayn Rand, the philosopher of freedom and self-interest. Behind my back and between meals, my dog scavenged discards, no matter how far and wide I thought I had thrown them.

What are my rewards for her teachable moments? I chalk up my dog’s behavior to biology something Ayn Rand would have advocated on a human level. I reaped the stinky rewards of her digestive system forced to remember the vast difference between a thinking woman and an irrational beast. Whereas I know my dog’s no lady, my dog knows I’m the lady who loves her.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Down and dirty again

Sometimes the good die young like Mozart, Pat Tollman or Jesus, or the bad like Lord Bryon, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. Sometimes, we don’t know whether they are good or bad like Alexander at 33 or a 30 yr.old male neighbor who committed suicide or a dad who shot himself last night in front of his children and their mother. With each death, the mystery remains as to why Jesus set the rule for 33 or thereabouts as the time of crisis and upheaval, whether mental, emotional or spiritual - or all three. For sure, this 30's time period must be noted with the question, “Why?” Now we come to Tiger Woods, a man who knows not how to appreciate everything he has achieved. Stupid pig would be an appropriate characterization for Tiger, but I have known clean, intelligent pigs, large and small that touched my heart. Pig genetics determines much of what the porcine creature can achieve, but pigs by the nature of their creation can only be good. At 33, Tiger Woods demonstrates in dark strokes how damning and dangerous are these 30 something years. But for the good people of God, how bad and sad would this world of the Tiger Woods’ be!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

World AIDS say

My blog on this World AIDS day will necessarily be down and dirty. Columbus, Ohio will be decked out in red on various municipal, government and private buildings in “tribute to those who have lost their lives to AIDS.” Can a more perverted, politically correct misrepresentation and distortion of a moral hazard be imagined.? What good is symbolism? Why not expose, on World AIDS day, the cause and effect of drugging, screwing and queering? Why not speak the truth that blacks in Africa most often contract the disease from a lifestyle of promiscuity and the whites here contract it from homosexual behavior and drug abuse.. Why not define AIDS by the down and dirty promiscuity by which it has always been known? Yes, sympathy for a dying person is a corporal work of mercy, but what about preventing a person from spiritual growth by ignoring the opportunity to morally educate him and prevent his soul from descending into Hell? World AIDS day, AIDS’ concerts over the years, condoms and antiretroviral drug programs are feel good, non-judgmental band aids that won’t fix the problem. Any Bible thumper knows that worshiping a false gods in Sodom and Gomorrah led to dire consequences.

Tim Burton the film maker professes belief in “the haphazard quality that is the real (creative) process.” His films and life have proved he practices what he preaches. Ditto for the hazard of AIDS. The haphazard process of nature secured a curse called AIDS for intravenous drug use and anal and indiscriminate sex. Until and unless some wise and good people preach truth to power, cities will continue to ‘turn red’ for a day and display pictures of babies AIDS free as if these efforts can cure the epidemic.