Thursday, June 29, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
The London Metropolitan Police have long had an official, national counterterrorist role and were prominent in the fight against the I.R.A. But there is not yet a consensus on what the police role ought to be in the fight against Islamist terrorism. Are they there to take the fight to the malefactors, assuming they can find them, through hard-edged tactics ranging from surveillance to raids? Or are they there to keep the peace and listen, particularly in minority neighborhoods, minimizing the discontent, insecurity and alienation on which terrorism feeds? "Communities defeat terrorism" has become the mantra of the police under Sir Ian Blair (no relation to the prime minister), who has been commissioner since early last year. …The writer, Christopher Caldwell, describes the traditional — and maybe still current — attitude that has created "Londonistan."
By the end of this year, he hopes to have set up hundreds of Safer Neighborhoods teams, … which mix traditional bobby work with a bit of cultural translation. Commissioner Blair aspires to kill two birds with one stone — enhancing police familiarity with the most intimate corners of dangerous neighborhoods while winning the trust of communities that often feel left out of the main current of British life. But, as in the London of Hogarth and Mayhew, the borderline between cultural variety and dangerous criminality can be a fuzzy one.
Britons have a strong rhetorical attachment to liberty, as something for which a certain price in danger and disorder is worth paying. When I asked [David] Blunkett [the former home secretary] if he accepted the idea that terrorists had enjoyed too many freedoms in London in the 1990's, he said, "Well, in the sense that Karl Marx moved to London, Britain has always had a tradition of taking in people oppressed in their own countries." This is a common view. Immigrant troublemakers are likened to Marx and Engels, and any difficulties welcoming whole groups are likened to those occasioned by the arrival of Russian Jews in the 19th century or of Huguenots in the 17th.But Marx and Engels didn't have financial, religious, cultural, and logistical connections or jet travel and instant communications linking them with a worldwide network of violent fanatics.
The Times piece shows the contradictions that the British ruling class (which is now mainly the media and politicians, not the old aristocrats) have forced on themselves in trying to put the damper on Muslim terrorism: they want to believe that the country's Muslims are their allies, so while they have put through some tougher laws and seem less reluctant to allow police raids, they go the last mile to convince Muslim communities that the police and the government are their friends. Thus, they expect, the proverbial 99.99percentofordinaryhardworkingdecentMuslims will "grass" on the tiny number of violent extremists.
On paper it sounds fair and sensible — the only trouble is it's not congruent with reality. The strategy is a product of today's non-Muslim Brits, who've been raised on a bizarre mixture of social engineering and American-style capitalism, and have trouble getting their heads around anything but scientific, technical, and economic issues, sports, and celebrities. They take pride in being utterly reasonable, which puts them at a terrible disadvantage in dealing with their countrymen who take cultural cues from parts of the world where tribalism is the template, and where life is traditionally short and brutal. And, of course, they're a universe away from Britons who not only believe in their religion (which not many British do anymore) but for whom it trumps everything else.
Today, British authorities are not much more confident of thwarting all plots, so they have erected a line of defense that is absorptive, not pre-emptive. It rests on harmony between social groups and on the country's ability to suffer atrocities from time to time, as it did during the heyday of the I.R.A., without escalating unrest or oppression, or the rise of extremist parties.But the IRA, which at its worst never tried to sink Britain in a worldwide Ireland, was basically an external threat even when it was expressing its thoughts by blowing up shopgirls and pub customers in England. Britain's most dangerous enemies are among its own citizens, the ones the government is trying to woo. Even now, it's officially taboo to acknowledge that the U.K. made a terrible mistake in promoting large-scale immigration from Muslim countries. Having made the mistake, it should now at least be single minded in drawing the line against any form of incitement to violence, and no quid pro quo is needed. Protecting the innocent doesn't need to be balanced with appeasement.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Who's sorry now?
Andrew Hawkins, for one. He and his friends enclosed themselves in chains -- bound for glory -- and asked forgiveness from 25,000 Africans in The Gambia, west Africa.
What had Hawkins done to the Africans that set off such conscience tremors? Well, nothing, but everything. He had allowed himself to be descended from Sir John Hawkins. Once an English hero for helping to defeat the Spanish Armada in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Hawkins is now stripped of his rank and demoted to villain for launching the European slave trade, thereby bringing Europe up to speed with the Muslim middle east and Africa itself.
“There was a huge procession of people representing cultural groups from around Africa,” Mr Hawkins said on his return to England yesterday. “We came in last and the atmosphere changed as we walked up. We knelt down and everything went very quiet.
“We made our apology in French, English and German. I apologised on behalf of my family. I apologised for the adults and children taken. There was a long pause and we didn’t really know what to expect. They could have said: ‘We don’t accept your apology. Go away.’ ”
Fortunately for Hawkins the Younger and his co-inculpationists, the country's vice president "was in a forgiving mood," the news story says. (Or, one suspects, she had the good manners to wait until retiring into the company of her advisors before she and they, quite rightly, fell about laughing and slapping their knees.) Things didn't go so well later in their Calvary charge.
During their visit to The Gambia, Mr Hawkins and his party again wore chains and staged a “reconciliation walk” through the rural village of Juffureh. The local elders were not impressed by the gesture, Mr Hawkins admitted, although their attitude softened after talks with the vistors.
“I think they wanted to see an emotional connection from us, and to see that we had gone there in humility,” Mr Hawkins said. “All I could say was that we have got to do more listening and learning.”
A little more learning might be a dangerous thing for Hawkins. He might learn that most slaves had been captured by African tribes who then sold them to Western traders. (The Gambian vice president might herself be descended from tribal slave merchants.) He might also learn that Britain was the first country in the world to abolish the slave trade, or how Africans behaved toward one another before the white man's intervention, as revoltingly described, for example, in Edward Rice's Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton.
No, Hawkins would probably be best advised to stick to his story. It's a briliant piece of moral gamesmanship. First, he makes a big score by debasing himself, unrolling his guilt like a Persian merchant displaying a carpet. But, you understand, he's not really apologizing for himself; it's a symbolic apology. His heart has metastasized to the point where he's ready to apologize for an ancestor 20 generations back! He begs forgiveness for carrying wicked DNA.
In the Olympics of white race self-hatred, it'll be hard to top that. Although I'm sure someone will, and I can't wait to see who the crown passes to next.
Meanwhile, the wise businessperson will catch a wave by starting the first agency to organize guilt tours. There is hardly a country or ethnic group on this thick planet that hasn't been done the nasty to by somebody else. Entrepreneurs! Listen up!
When You Can Deliver It Yourself?
Guilt Trips Travel™
Others can offer luxury — we promise expiatory punishment.
The money should come rolling in, at least until the Department of Justice's Diversity Enforcement Branch steps in after someone notices that all the guilty customers are white.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Ask your doctor if driving while asleep is right for you.
The implication, presumably, is that you should get enough sleep the night before, not that you might consider adding hours to your day by combining your snoozing time and your commuting time. Still, you might want to seek other professional advice for consolidation in aid of efficiency.
Ask your dentist if you should pour toothpaste over your cereal.
Ask your judge if you can run your Ponzi scheme while serving your sentence.
Ask your surgeon if he'd mind tossing in a new liver for half price as long as he's got you open for a heart transplant.
Ask your electrician if you can keep any odd lots of electricity left over after he's wired your new house.
Ask your president if you can keep one illegal as a servant for every two you report.
The next time you have mixed feelings, ask your therapist if you can take yours straight.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
... Why, oh why, on the cover of a book criticizing the “Godless” religion of liberalism, does she put this excessively revealing photo of herself?
If Coulter’s purpose is to support God and religion against the attacks of modern irreligion, why the arrogant pose that seems emblematic of modern irreligion? What is Coulter’s message? To me she is saying that her free expression of herself, i.e., her liberalism, trumps anything she may have to say in the book against liberalism. True, she doesn’t like the liberal attack on traditional belief in God. But what she herself really believes in is her own half-naked self.A correspondent named Ben writes:
There you go again Mr. Auster, hitting the nail on the head. She seems to be promoting her body more than God. It’s her arrogance, her complete love of herself, and this is what makes her in my book irrelevant to our cause.Another, identified as J., cranks up the volume:
As far as I can tell, Coulter plays to two audiences without whom she would not be so well-known.
Oh, come along, folks.
First, aging, Playboy-era, country club Republican men who like to hole up in their fairway retirement developments and congratulate themselves on what a success they and their Republican politics have been. These men are just frightened enough of their slide into old age, and of their dim sense that their world is increasingly bubble-like, that they cling desperately to younger, mildly attractive exhibitionist women like Coulter who reaffirm what a success they and their Republican politics have been.Second, the bewildered children of the first group, who grew up in this self-congratulatory but somewhat delusional atmosphere while unknowingly imbibing most of the liberalism in which they have been immersed. ...
I am aging -- as I suspect "J." is as well -- and even worse, old enough to remember when Playboy supposedly was a cultural icon. (I am not a Republican, nor as far as I can remember have I ever darkened the door of a country club, let alone belonged to one.) But I submit that Larry Auster, for whom I have no end of respect, and his readers are huffing and puffing about sweet nothing.
Look: Ann Coulter is on the book cover for the same reason that a the cover of a title by any celebrity has an author photo, viz., she has her fan club and they will buy her book. And although I have not read Godless and I doubt that I will, I feel confident in saying that it is not literature but a political and social argument, written in hot colors without a lot of shading, and laced with her characteristic wit.
Therefore, given its nature and style, as well as its intended audience, the publisher would have been daft to have commissioned an artist to produce erudite, subtle cover art (perhaps a quattrocento Italian painting of the Trinity with God the Father replaced by Oprah).
As for her "promoting her body more than God," I say ish kabibble.
For my taste, Ann Coulter isn't strikingly attractive, but perhaps she thinks she is and there are blokes who think she is. What's wrong with that? If this be treason make the most of it. Are Larry and his acolytes saying that we can't take on board Coulter's writing because she's showing some skin? Why is her "free expression of herself," if that's what it is, liberalism? Would she be a true conservative if she showed up on her book covers wearing a hideous pants suit, à la Hillary?
Coulter is an agent provocateur, whose style is to savage liberal pieties with cutting, funny, in-your-face rhetoric. She is a verbal exhibitionist and it would be surprising if her persona were anything different. You can claim that some of the things she says are overheated or plain nutty, but that's a whole different level of discourse. It is demeaning to attack her on the grounds that she is somehow violating a sacred trust by being pictured in a cocktail dress that is less peek-a-boo than what you can see on the cover of any number of supermarket magazines.
Larry Auster is a profound political thinker who has struggled long and hard -- and shown immense moral courage in the process -- to rescue traditional conservatism from the pseudo-conservatism that has unconsciously absorbed the liberal mind set. Not being particularly given to politics myself, I owe a great deal to this man who has plumbed much farther beneath the surface than I have.
But why must he bash people whose style is different from his, but who are nevertheless on his side, and very effective into the bargain? I'm thinking not only of Ann Coulter but Mark Steyn. And I even agree with him when he complains that Steyn seems more interested in getting off a good line than in calling attention to the devastating effects of mass immigration in the United States, and that he seems at times to take Europe's procession toward dhimmitude as a joke rather than as a tragedy.
But in their own way, Coulter and Steyn -- whatever their idiosyncrasies or limitations -- have done immense good, even helping to bring Austerity closer to the "center" of the political spectrum. For literally millions of people, they've scuppered the idea that conservatives are long-faced, bow-tied, owlish miserableists. They've conveyed that conservatism can be whip-crackingly snappy and fun, and opened countless minds in the process.
Taking down the Liberal Establishment needs all kinds of people. It needs Larry Auster to remind us that a society, to be humane and truly nurturing, has to be grounded in the wisdom of the ages and the spiritual impulse. It also needs court jesters. The political correctness bully, like other forms of tyrant, fears the laugh more than the assassin's bullet.
Friday, June 16, 2006
I'm afraid I don't have time to thank them all individually, but let me take this space to mention some of the most recent by name:
Discouraging H. Rigoletto, Ludger Shellhammer, Feodor Pichardo, Snezana Decaro, Eldreda Slinkard, Eutychius Rawling, Prettifies J. Mazarin, Claim C. Unquote, Axiom A. Hobgoblins, Warships E. Travailing, Charalampos Touchette, Deformations B. Mercy, Weatherize R. Latin, Roibeard Orenstein, Bulldozer R. Anomaly, Despina Sweeten, Painstaking A. Captaincy, Lobbyist Purple.
Wishing you all luck, of one kind or another.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
According to an article in the June 11 Sunday Times:
In an apocalyptic vision of security dangers, Rear Admiral Chris Parry said future migrations would be comparable to the Goths and Vandals while north African "barbary" pirates could be attacking yachts and beaches in the Mediterranean within 10 years.Mass immigration, even more than al-Qaeda-like Muslim terrorist groups, is the most overwhelming threat to the survival of orderly and prosperous First World cultures in the 21st century. Not that most immigrants are terrorists (although foreign enclaves do provide a backdrop and refuge for terrorist cells), but today's conditions nurture a kind of aggressive and self-serving form of migration that is indifferent to any values of the host society other than those the invaders can exploit. While today's and tomorrows Huns are far less violent (so far) than the originals, who laid waste to what was left of the western Roman empire, they may turn out to be just as destructive in their way.
Europe, including Britain, could be undermined by large immigrant groups with little allegiance to their host countries — a "reverse colonisation" as Parry described it. These groups would stay connected to their homelands by the internet and cheap flights. The idea of assimilation was becoming redundant, he said.
[Parry] pinpoints 2012 to 2018 as the time when the current global power structure is likely to crumble. Rising nations such as China, India, Brazil and Iran will challenge America’s sole superpower status.Cut-rate plane flights, the Internet, cell phones that allow people to call the other side of the world almost as cheaply as across town, and other modern wonders smooth the way for "reverse colonization" of relatively healthy societies by the populations of the sickest. But the appalling alliance of the Liberal Establishment and the Corporate Establishment is by far the greatest enabler.
This will come as "irregular activity" such as terrorism, organised crime and "white companies" of mercenaries burgeon in lawless areas. The effects will be magnified as borders become more porous and some areas sink beyond effective government control.
Parry expects the world population to grow to about 8.4 billion in 2035, compared with 6.4 billion today. By then some 68% of the population will be urban, with some giant metropolises becoming ungovernable. He warns that Mexico City could be an example.
For both, national boundaries are a nuisance. In the degenerate form that liberalism has taken, the nation state is a hindrance to the ideal of one world ruled according to universal principles decreed by unelected bureaucratic mandarins, as in the European Union. Large-scale migration, by ignoring borders, is favored as a key to breaking down national identity. And, of course, the left's socialistic element believes that all wealth should be redistributed — not only within countries, but among them. And the easiest way to do that is to insist that anybody anywhere has a right to pack up their troubles in their old kit bag and move to wherever they think they can live off the fat of the land.
For international corporations, whose only ideal is profit, nations are a source of a few lingering trade restrictions, but more important, they're a threat to the now widespread system of importing a vast low-wage servant class to wherever they're needed, while passing on the social costs of their wage slaves to middle-class taxpayers. As of now, the corporations have bought out the President of the United States and the Senate, and in the House of Representatives it's going to be a closely run thing. A society that functions reasonably well because people have a language, traditions, and values in common is irrelevant to the Corporate Establishment: to it, people are simply units of production and consumption, a viewpoint popularized by numerous pundits, such as econo-twit Larry Kudlow, educated beyond their intellectual means in business schools that are vacuum-sealed against the cultures of individual nations.
Parry predicts that as flood or starvation strikes, the most dangerous zones will be Africa, particularly the northern half; most of the Middle East and central Asia as far as northern China; a strip from Nepal to Indonesia; and perhaps eastern China.What should relatively successful countries do for the dysfunctional ones? First, they have a moral obligation to remain strong and capable. You can't help anyone else if your own house is being eaten up by woodworm. The worst thing the First World nations could do (which is what many among their academic, journalistic, and political stupidentsia want) is to open their borders to all comers. All that will accomplish will be to create horrendous problems of overcrowding, poverty, and perhaps disease in the host countries, sinking them to the level of the failed states they want to fix.
We have to recognize that countries in a state of permanent collapse are essentially victims of themselves, whether in the form of bad rulers, bad religions, bad value systems, bad economies, or all of those and more. Yes, some of them were colonized, although it's a toss-up whether that was a good or bad thing for them (mostly good in the case of the British empire, mostly bad in places ruled by other European and Asian powers). But it's been 40 years since colonialism bit the dust; today's death-wish countries have had plenty of time, foreign aid, and in some cases potential wealth from natural resources to sort themselves out.
If they don't, we can't do it for them.
Does that mean we must abandon them? In a few cases perhaps, realistically, yes. But a sane foreign policy, while maintaining the integrity of our own borders, could do a few useful turns.
We should refuse any economic aid, other than disaster relief, to the world's pathology zones until they institute serious programs for population stabilization and show that they're working. If that means a one-child limit, well, tough. It's better than mass starvation and desperation. Overpopulation eats up every bit of aid we provide and then some, and creates much of the pressure for migration.
We should knock off a sickbag dictator from time to time. Only, instead of following George the Unready's cracked plan for occupying and transforming the places thus liberated, we should immediately get the hell out and let the inhabitants make whatever they can of their new freedom.
It's not certain that Parry's nightmare scenario will come to pass. History is full of surprises, and you can't just extrapolate present trends indefinitely into the future. But his warning seems to me one that should be pondered very seriously. Will the nations that still have the luxury of choice take heed? I doubt it; more people would consider their future at risk if the Coca-Cola company announced it was reviving New Coke.
Still, there is one person who happens to be reading these words, understands the situation, wants to keep Western civilization from being overrun by mass Third World migration, and is willing to do something about it.
You know who that is, don't you?
Monday, June 12, 2006
Some of those seekers were gathered at the conference. With over a dozen presenters, it would be impossible to give a reasonable account of them all in a blog posting. (I don't know of any plans to publish proceedings, but that would be a good idea for the next such event.)
The basic technique for electronic voice phenomena recording was discussed in a recent posting. Naturally, we heard a fair number of examples, both pre-recorded and spontaneous. My impression was that about 25 percent could not clearly be identified as speech; perhaps 65 percent of the samples sounded like speech, but the interpretation of the words was at least in part open to question; and around 10 percent of the examples were comprehensible words and short sentences.
Ten percent may not seem like much — but given the ostensible source of the speech, to wit, persons who had died previous to the recordings — hearing them was a striking experience. Psychical researchers like to quote a remark of William James's that, to disprove the statement that all crows are black, you only have to produce one white crow. In other words, evidence that anyone survives tends to disprove the hypothesis that there can be no life after death.
I say "tends to disprove," rather than "disproves," because this is an area where it is almost impossible to obtain absolute proof — a "smoking gun" — or even to agree about what proof would consist of. All you can do is weigh the evidence and decide what seems most likely.
Not surprisingly, there were in the audience and on the podium quite a few parents who had lost children to accidents and illness. Many claimed that they recognized the voices and habits of speech of their departed offspring in the EVP recordings. The skeptic will say that they were grasping at straws, desperately looking for consolation, perhaps being played for suckers. Only they (and perhaps not even they) can say for sure how much truth there is in such judgments. But most of those parents had done their own EVP experiments, so at least no one else was trying to con them. And nothing about them suggested they were gullible or fantasy-prone. The need for reality testing was a recurrent theme during the conference.
Although EVP was the main focus, other evidence for post-mortem survival was presented. Two of the Scole mediums, Alan and Diana Bennett, described their new line of investigation. They showed photographs of human faces that appeared in crystals under certain kinds of reflected light. Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., a University of Arizona researcher, talked about a triple-blind experiment in which he and his students tested exceptionally talented mediums, who produced accurate, statistically significant results. He also presented a theoretical basis for survival, namely, that the brain is a receiver of consciousness, not a generator of consciousness, so that consciousness can still exist without a physical reception apparatus. (As far as individual awareness is concerned, there must be some kind of mind as the site of impressions, but this theory assumes that it can exist in a more subtle dimension than the material world.)
Add it up: the evidence from near-death expriences, out-of-the-body experiences, mediumistic communication, dream communication, automatic writing, the (relatively few) apparitions of the dead that seem to have conscious volition, and EVP … as well as religous and folkloric traditions going back as far in the past as we have any knowledge. Survival of the transition called death seems at least as likely as the alternative. There seems to be a semi-permeable membrane between this world and the next through which information and communication leak from time to time, perhaps more often if we look and listen for it. This life is a temporary and, it may be, limited expression of who we really are. As the English Quaker John Wilhelm Rowntree expressed it, "We are not human beings following a spiritual path but spiritual beings following a human path."
Saturday, June 03, 2006
The article goes on to talk about a "parking crunch" and a "more transient community" developing, "multiple families" and "day laborers."
The Hills left East Vine Avenue two weeks ago. The Wigginses plan to leave in a month or so. And just last week, the Hansons put up a for-sale sign.
In a few months, most of Carol Fulton's longtime neighbors will be gone. And in a flash, summer barbecues, Fourth of July parades and baseball games at the East Vine cul-de-sac will become distant memories. Fulton sits on her front porch, pensive and surveying the neighborhood. It has changed drastically, she says.
The familiar smells and sounds of backyard barbecues are replaced by mariachi music and the honking horn of a shaved-ice cart. Fulton sees unfamiliar cars and people streaming onto the street. Overcrowding caused by boarding homes - more than two leases on the same property - is an issue that city officials and residents have grappled with for years.
Anyone who knows today's America understands the hints. But although the story allows as how Mrs. Fulton's neighbor didn't understand English, nowhere will you find the words illegal immigrants or Mexicans. It isn't proper, according to mainstream journalism, to state certain things directly. It might arouse the natives and then God knows what could happen.
Beginning slowly, then getting up to full steam in the '90s, the United States has come to resemble the Soviet Union in its strictures on what may be said in public or published. There's an orthodox Party line on anything to do with race or ethnicity. Violate it and you lose your job, and if you're important enough, the media turn on you. There are dissidents, but deviation from the orthodoxy can only be transmitted mouth-to-ear in private or through a samizdat network, mainly the blogosphere.
That this story was published at all, even if the key points have to be transmitted in code, is progress of a sort. It would almost surely have been spiked a few years ago. And it's hard to criticize the reporter for bad faith -- identifying the neighborhood vandals as Mexican illegals would have had the gangsters of La Raza screaming "Racist!" and probably would have been more than her job was worth.
But race is not the issue, Fulton says. She would be incensed at any neighbor who disrespected her privacy and property.Those are some of the saddest words I've read in a long time.
Mrs. Fulton, who with her family has been forced out of the neighborhood she's lived in since 1986, sounds almost apologetic about it. She has to make sure no one imagines it's because of the, er, you know, that the area has been taken over by, well, you know.
She can expect no sympathy from the Liberal Establishment, of course. Everybody knows people are all the same, one great Family of Man. Even if they have different customs, who's to say there's anything wrong with mariachi music and pissing on lawns? America doesn't belong to any particular tradition or way of life. It's just an idea of freedom, and anybody on earth can jump in and boogie. Don't the taco stands and the signs in Spanish add their bit to the glorious mosaic? Celebrate diversity! Only a racist would move out because their neighborhood has been added to the Third World.
And that's how it will continue to go, until people in Mrs. Fulton's situation are willing to say, "We're leaving our home of 20 years because we can't stand to be surrounded by a bunch of low-life illegal immigrant Mexicans who've turned our town into a slum."
Not yet. Not quite yet.