Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Devil sends his compliments

England expects every person to do her duty!
Welcome your friends and neighbours!

I read this yesterday but quickly dismissed it as a subject for a blog posting:

Fanatic 'hoped to spread fear with beheading'
A terrorist planned to kidnap a British Muslim soldier, cut his head off “like a pig” and release a video of the beheading to cause panic and fear across the country, a court has heard. Parviz Khan, 37, was said to be a “fanatic” at the centre of a terrorist network shipping bomb-making equipment to kill British soldiers in Afghanistan.
But he was also hatching a plot at his home in Birmingham, to “kidnap and butcher” a member of the British armed forces, Leicester Crown Court heard. Khan was “enraged by the idea of Muslim soldiers in the British army,” said Nigel Rumfitt QC, prosecuting.
He said Khan planned to enlist the help of drug dealers to approach a soldier in Broad Street, the nightclub centre of Birmingham.

“They were going to take him to a lock-up garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut off 'like a pig,’” Mr Rumfitt said.

A practiced self-nagger, I later confronted myself: why had I thought this bit of news not worth comment? Have we — me included — become so blasé about planned or actual terrorist outrages that they barely register on the Jihad Seismic Scale? There have been thousands before, will be thousands henceforth. Yawn.


Assuming Parviz Khan and his associates are found guilty as charged, it won't change the big picture. Plotters after plotters may be arrested — and, credit where due, the counterterrorism agencies of the Western countries seem to have done a brilliant job — but long term, the normalization of murderous deviancy becomes a fact through sheer repetition of atrocities and would-be atrocities. They become like car accidents and natural disasters, distressing to read about but without the power to shock, and without giving rise to questions about why such things continue to happen.

Further analyzing why I didn't think this item worth a blog post, I had to admit that in Britain such things no longer make a difference; would have made no difference even if the wicked plan had been carried out. Sure, many British people would have been sickened and outraged, with calls to stop the insanity of Muslim immigration. But they might as well save their breath to cool their porridge with.


The country's
Boneless Wonder rulers have long since made the decision for ethnic replacement of the native stock. It's what their globalist masters want and what they expect will keep them in office now and eventually land them cushy sinecures at EU headquarters in Brussels.

So the politicians will shake their heads. How unfortunate. They will appoint a high-level committee (let's see, this is number 347, is that right?) to study the root causes. Presently they will issue a gravely worded report, expressing in the strongest possible terms the need for greater efforts to integrate Muslims into British society. The U.K. is still full of prejudice. The future majority must be welcomed. Not only by government programs, important as those are, but by individuals, reaching out to the newcomers to show how valued they are, lest they have brain space for Bad Thoughts.

"Parviz? Come in please. So glad you could make it by this evening! Sit you down and get right comfy. Can I offer you something to drink? No, of course not alcoholic, I know that's forbidden by your Prophet (p-be-uh), booze just a decadent custom of us infidels, how about a nice traditional cuppa tea? Great!

"So … understand you're in the export business. Some sort of equipment for rebuilding Afghanistan, right? Good line, that, plenty of customers I reckon. Do you go in for football, Par? Thought you might be an Arsenal supporter, hope we can go to a match one of these days. Bring your wives."

The British Establishment has made its deal with the Devil. The Devil always keeps his part of the bargain. And sees to it that he gets what's owed him.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


You would scarcely know that anything is happening in the world other than our election politics if you get your news from the American media. It strikes me as lazy and provincial on the part of our editors and reporters — so what else is new?

In this presidential race, every hemi-demi-semi-quaver spoken, every blink blinked, by the candidates is analyzed to the subatomic level, from every perspective. Unless I have something to add,
I plan to blog mainly about other stuff that strikes me as interesting or important. The rest of the world doesn't sleep while we go through our bizarre election rituals.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Eurabia by the slice

I've got to hand it to European Muslims, I really do. They are running rings around the governments of countries like Britain and Holland. Muslims clever; non-Muslims stupid.

What are they doing that's so smart? Well, either by a planned strategy or just an instinct for gnawing at the infidel's soft bits, they have figured how to advance Islamization in slices. Instead of one big confrontation, a thousand small ones.


Here's a story it's unlikely that you've read if you get your news from American sources.

A politician has warned that a "fear of Islam" is governing Holland after he delayed the release of a short film attacking the Koran.

Geert Wilders, 44, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, who compares the Muslim holy book to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, sparked government panic after saying the anti-Islam film would be released tomorrow.

As Dutch police prepared for a weekend of riots and Mr Wilders was told by the authorities that he would have to leave country, he launched a new attack on "intolerant" Islam while announcing that his 10-minute film attacking the Muslim faith would be postponed for two weeks.


After a few years of giving Europe shock therapy, Muslim mobs don't even have to riot; just threatening is enough, because cowardly politicians buckle at the knees. Violence would make headlines and perhaps unmake careers; giving in is quiet, undramatic, mostly unreported. And anyhow, they're not giving the store away … not all at once. It's just tiny increments.
In an attempt to defuse tensions, the Dutch government will tomorrow announce that it will not implement a ban on the Islamic burqa dress.
No big deal, so the thinking goes among Western government dupes. Not worth getting all hot and bothered about. Just give a little, and hot zowie, "tensions" are "defused." Until tomorrow or next week, when aggressive Muslims cut the next thin slice from the native culture. Until there is so little left that the only way to save it is civil war, or people decide that it's not worth fighting over.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chance of a ghost

Most paranormal photographs are optical illusions. Our minds dislike random stimuli, and try to make recognizable patterns out of anything that vaguely resembles an object. The last few days have given us a couple of possible examples.

First, there was the "man" (or woman) on Mars. I don't know about you, but it still seems incredible to me that we are taking pictures of the Red Planet right there on its surface. Throw in a human-like figure, who seems to be sitting on a rock having a think or conducting an extraterrestrial orchestra, and the boggle factor pegs the meter.


Ghost or "spirit" photographs, when they're not crude fakes, are often insubstantial — not inherently suspicious, since what they allegedly show is acknowledged to be insubstantial. Now and then, they look reasonably authentic. Today's Daily Mail has one of the better examples I've seen. The paper says, "Frightened teenager Matthew Summers was given the creeps after taking a snap of seven friends — and finding a mystery eighth face staring back. The photograph appears to show the floating ghostly image of a child, which appears to be peeping through between the legs of his friends."

Wide shot


I am completely ready to write off the Person on Mars as no more real than the Man in the Moon, if only because the planet has less atmosphere than my local Chinese take-out, and what it does have is mostly carbon dioxide, with little if any oxygen. Conceivably there could be Martians whose physiology is based on carbon dioxide — I wouldn't put it past the Maker of the Universe to create such beings, considering the incredible variety of species on Earth — but whatever this photo shows, it is not a human.


The ghost photo, however, can't be dismissed on prima facie grounds. It might be what it looks like.

The Daily Mail is oversimplifying (although I give it credit for not obviously scoffing, like most popular media do) when its writer says, "Ghosts are said to be the apparition of a deceased person, frequently similar in appearance to that person."

There is much debate in psychical research circles as to what apparitions actually are. Among those who accept that apparitions are not simply hallucinations or imagination, and actually represent a form of reality (there are skeptics who are also psychical researchers), there is a fairly general agreement that
not all apparitions are the same phenomenon.


In cases of haunting, where the same figure is seen repeatedly in the same place, it is argued that the image is not of the actual spirit of someone departed, but rather a sort of psychic imprint left on the location, like a recording, that reappears under certain conditions. It has no "intelligence," cannot interact — a "read only" memory, so to speak. Some occultists say that haunting apparitions are discarded "astral shells," which a spirit leaves behind after exiting its astral body (similar to the physical body but less dense, and inhabiting more or less the same space as the physical body), just as a person leaves the physical body at death.

Other, rarer, manifestations seem as if they still have vitality. Someone appears to be "at home" there, and it is said that they are aware of their surroundings and sometimes communicate with the living. They can appear quite solid, and there are many cases on record where people didn't realize they were seeing an apparition until the figure suddenly disappeared or left the room without bothering to use a door.

The face in the young Mr. Summers's photo might be no more than a remarkable anomaly caused by some technical flaw. It could be a hoax. Could be. Or not.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Turbulence expected; the "Fasten seat belt" sign is on

My good stars, that were my former guides,
Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires
Into the abysm of hell.

Antony and Cleopatra

Further to my posting of Saturday, the financial weather report is calling for a major storm, with downdrafts of 500-plus points on the Dow at the open tomorrow. Did you really think the blowback would never come after years of a bull market based on E-Z credit, people selling off bits of their home equity -- talk about eating the seed corn -- to keep up the buying binge, and stealth inflation?

There is speculation that the Fed will step in with a rate cut of 0.5 or even 0.75 percent before the opening to try to quell the selloff. I don't think it will work, because it will be read as an admission of panic and a sign that things are worse than we imagined. At best it will be a tourniquet, because even if temporarily successful, it will be just more of what got us to this desperate place. The market may be soothed for a few days, but passing around the credit crack pipe cannot substitute for the reform of ends and means in the economy, as I said in the Saturday posting.

What to do if you are heavily invested? Here are my thoughts, for whatever they're worth. [Note: I am not a financial professional and certainly not an investment advisor. Consult your own advisor if you can get through to him or her, and do not rely on anything I say here.]

1. Do not try to front run everyone else. If the institutional money managers are selling tomorrow, you can't get through the door before them. Don't sell after they've done and driven prices to rock bottom. You have nothing to lose by waiting.

2. Either because of a rate cut or a dead-cat bounce, there will probably be an impressive up day sometime this week. If you're going to sell, sell on relative strength.

3. If you're a buyer, don't bottom fish. Wait tell the smoke clears and the view is better. You will have plenty of time, maybe years, for bargain hunting.

4. You've read hundreds of articles telling you not to act on impulse. They're right. Discipline. Have a plan A, a plan B, etc.

Best of American, British, and Irish luck to you!

UPDATE 1/22: No
Götterdämmerung today, just more lousy action, probably while the players try to read the entrails of the Fed's rate cut. I think we'll still see a downtrend for quite a while, but what do I know? No less than any of the experts.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Smokestack light(e)ning

Michael Tams at American Federalist Blog mocks George Bush's plan to spend our way out of debt.
Forgive me if I'm not doing cartwheels for it was my money to begin with. And yours.

My colleague Matt made an excellent point today: we've for too long been an economy that rides the strength of consumer spending. We'd be wise to adopt policies that focus on strengthening the business base of the economy (think durable goods and manufacturing) to complement and diversify what makes our economic engine hum.
Too true, Michael.

It wasn't that many years ago that everybody and his dog were overjoyed that we would henceforth enjoy the benefits of a "service economy." No more grimy industrial districts and wage slaves on assembly lines. The service economy was so much cleaner and nicer.

We have our service economy right enough. Everybody is selling things made in China and Sri Lanka to everybody else. We outsource everything we can -- back office financial record keeping, programming, manufacturing, customer service -- to coolies abroad who will work for pennies on the dollar.


Most of the services that are left, if only because it isn't feasible to send them via computer networks, are grindingly menial. These are jobs that indigenous Americans aren't keen on doing -- who in their right mind would be? At the least, many Americans still have enough backbone that they would organize for collective bargaining strength, just like workers did a hundred years ago until unions were recognized in the '30s.

So companies that need service workers have taken a new tack: what they can't outsource, they "insource" -- bringing cheap labor into the country instead of sending the work to cheap labor out of the country. Thus the voice of big business, The Wall Street Journal, sings arias for immigration.

But what happens when the economy consists largely of cheap laborers selling things to cheap laborers? It can only be done with credit on top of more credit. Selling people things they can't afford and putting off the day of reckoning.

Now that the day of reckoning looks like it might actually be here, the politicians (a very big category that includes appointed ones, like Federal Reserve Board members) have no choice but to stuff the channel with funny money created by deficit spending and inflation. And so the game goes on, the stack of champagne glasses piled on one another grows higher still. And we pretend it will reach the stratosphere and beyond.


We need a recession, if not a depression. Millions of minds must be forced to grasp the idea that they can't indefinitely go on living beyond their means and expecting to be hoisted out of the quicksand. Consumers have to learn some discipline.

And on the macro scale, business and the government should start rebuilding an economy based on something other than consumer-goods price competition pegged to cheapjack labor. That doesn't mean we return to smokestack industries, but investment in innovative businesses employing brainpower and knowledge, not immigrant peasants. The economy needs once again to be based on creating value, not just flogging merchandise and selling carwash franchises.

Yeah, if Dumb George wants to hand out cash, I'll take my share. And add to my gold and commodities ETFs.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lapsed memories


He had never written a book in his life, hardly had any published work to his name. When he finished his novel, he was assured by an Italian editor that it was unpublishable. Fortunately, someone else felt different, or we would not have The Leopard, perhaps the last best seller that was also a masterpiece. But that was 1958, and I'm not sure such a phenomenon could occur now.

The author, Giuseppe di Lampedusa, born into a family of Sicilian aristocrats (probably fallen on hard times), did not live to know that it sold 250,000 copies in Italy and many more elsewhere. It was also made into a big-budget movie, diverting in its way but superficial compared to its source.

I first read The Leopard more than 30 years ago, and was knocked out by it. I was pleased to find on re-reading it lately that my long-ago enthusiasm was legitimate (callow as I was back then, I had some taste!). Although the novel's setting is historical (Sicily during 50 years starting in 1860 with Garibaldi's army fighting in the background), Lampedusa was writing about what he knew intimately: the changes that time brings, but also the grip of the past, in memories collective and individual. Most of all, it is about Sicily, that not-quite-Italian land almost always ruled from afar, home of fierce honor and tears that have not dried since antiquity. Lampedusa probes Sicily's soul as Tolstoy did Russia's.


Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina -- his family symbolized by a leopard on its coat of arms -- is already getting on in years when we meet him in 1860. He owns ancestral palaces in Palermo and somewhere in the south of the island, probably near Agrigento if I read the clues correctly. His world of exclusive privilege is ending as Garibaldi's victory brings down the old regime, and even in Sicily the landed aristocracy is losing out to arriviste businessmen.

In the hands of a lesser writer, The Leopard would be a milk bath of nostalgia for glorious wealth and taste, now decaying as howling barbarians close in. But Lampedusa is far too subtle to settle for any such easy contrasts.

Being a Sicilian through and through, albeit of elevated social standing, Don Fabrizio realizes the pretensions of the old order and the new. He is both deeply cynical and tolerant. He understands the invisible bonds of power, the Church, and age-old class relations that will remain regardless of changes of fortune and government. (Modernity and old ways go hand in hand. During my only visit to Sicily I saw, in the hill town of Mistretta, both flashy new cars and numerous donkeys carrying loads of cactus fruit and other cargo -- this in 1978.)

Don Fabrizio accepts it when his dashing young nephew, Tancredi, marries the beautiful but ill-bred daughter of an oafish rich businessman, even though he personally finds it distasteful. He keeps his peace with the awkwardly co-existing forces of the new regime based in northern Italy, which annexes Sicily by way of Garibaldi's revolutionary war, and also with the Pope's branch offices and their priesthood. Families dominate Sicilian life, and Don Fabrizio is the center around which the Princess, three unmarried daughters, and various retainers orbit. Yet they are not central to him. He's something of a loner, our Don Fabrizio: the family's dog, Bendicò, seems to claim his allegiance as much as his relatives.

The Prince is truly comfortable only in his study, where he observes with his telescope the nightly panoply of the heavens. In astronomy and the associated mathematical calculations that preoccupy him he finds his only glimpse of a world that is worthy to be loved.

Lampedusa's prose is supple, poetic, but with a touch of irony that never turns bitter. (For the English version, he had an expert and artistic translator in Archibald Colquhoun.) Amid dozens of striking, though not overtly dramatic, incidents there is one set piece that everyone who reads the book remembers: At Donnafugata, the Salina country palace, Tancredi and his fiancée explore forgotten room after room where the dust of centuries cloaks objects of beauty and mystery. And I venture to predict that the novel's very last paragraph will haunt you (don't dare skip ahead and peek!).


Almost every page has words that are tempting to quote. I'll settle for these, describing the scene at a ball given in Palermo by one of the city's ruling families, to which Don Fabrizio and his family have been invited:
The ballroom was all golden: smooth on the cornices, uneven on the door frames, in a pale, almost silvery design against a darker background on the door panels and on the shutters annulling the windows, thus conferring on the room the look of some superb jewel case shut off from an unworthy world. It was not the flashy gilding which decorators slap on nowadays, but a faded gold, pale as the hair of Nordic children, determinedly hiding its value under a muted use of precious material intended to let beauty be seen and cost forgotten. Here and there on the panels were knots of rococo flowers in a color so faint as to seem just an ephemeral pink reflected from the chandeliers.

That solar hue, that variegation of gleam and shade, made Don Fabrizio's heart ache as he stood black and stiff in a doorway: this eminently patrician room reminded him of country things; the chromatic scale was the same as that of the vast wheat fields around Donnafugata, rapt, begging pity from the tyrannous sun; in this room too, as on his estates in mid-August, the harvest had been gathered long before, stacked elsewhere, leaving, as here, a sole reminder in the color of stubble burned and useless now. The notes of the waltz in the warm air seemed to him but a stylization of the incessant winds harping their own sorrows on the parched surfaces, today, yesterday, tomorrow, forever and forever. The crowd of dancers, among whom he could count so many near to him in blood if not in heart, began to seem unreal, made up of that material from which are woven lapsed memories, more elusive even than the stuff of disturbing dreams. From the ceiling the gods, reclining on gilded couches, gazed down smiling and inexorable as a summer sky.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Inte-Great Britain?

Would you favor people with an urge to beat you up becoming more integrated into your community?

Apparently lots of Brits do.

The Telegraph reports the results of a poll that "comes at the end of a week in which Muslim integration has been pushed to the top of the political agenda following an article in The Sunday Telegraph by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, who claimed that Islamic extremism in Britain had created no-go areas."

The poll found that "Britons are divided on the issue, with 35 per cent agreeing with the bishop, 38 per cent disagreeing, and the rest unsure. More than half - 56 per cent - were critical of the failure of Islamic communities to integrate into society. Only one in four felt that they had been successful."


Also according to The Telegraph's account:

Church leaders in communities with large concentrations of Muslims said that Christians were being targeted. An east London vicar who had delivered Christmas leaflets in his parish said he was told to stay away from "Muslim areas". He said: "Despite this being a mixed area, where Muslims make up only about 15 per cent of the population, I was told that the leaflets were offensive and could make people angry."

Another churchman said his path had been blocked by Muslim youths as he drove through a district of Oldham, Lancashire, last year. "They wanted to know why I was coming into 'their' area," he said.

A priest ministering in the Manchester district of Rusholme said he knew of "dozens of cases" in which Muslim converts to Christianity had been attacked.

Another church leader said that Asian Christians in Leicester feared being identified when leaving churches. "They are scared of being stopped and beaten up if they are found carrying Bibles," he said.

None of the church leaders we spoke to wished to be identified for fear of retaliation, but Don Horrocks, of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "It's increasingly difficult for non-Muslims to live in areas of high Muslim density, especially if they are practising Christians."

Yet, The Telegraph still asks in its headine for a series of graphs showing the poll results, "Are We Integrated Enough?" What a fatuous question. It implies that all the troubles reported in the story would go away if the people who are causing the trouble would just be more integrated.


Can't British people, or their out-of-touch politicians, get a clue from the history of American race relations that integration is no automatic solvent of civil strife — even when the group to be integrated is blacks with a long history, a language, and for the most part a religion shared with the rest of the society?

How much longer can the British go on refusing to face the obvious, that Islamic values do not fit with those of a free society, and the only way that "integration" can take place is to accommodate Muslims by restricting freedom of speech and expression of ideas? Which is, in fact, exactly what the country is doing in a doomed effort to mix oil and water, or as the British say, chalk and cheese.

Sure, Muslims will be happy to integrate — under shar'ia law, in a Muslim state, with non-Muslims as dhimmis. Until that time, which is maybe not far off, they will keep themselves to themselves as much as possible, thank you, and try to intimidate the infidels they must temporarily share power with.


The hardest thing for any politician to do is admit, "I made a mistake" — even if it was a mistake so many others made. "Ladies and gentlemen, I was wrong, just like most of you lot. I know what I must do: fall on my sword, like a noble Roman of old. Then you can throw my body to the dogs. I'll still be better off than you, because you're going to have to live with what you've done, you stupid sods."

Nobody wants to openly acknowledge the obvious, which is that it was a catastrophic mistake (unless you believe it was deliberate) to open the country to virtually unlimited Muslim immigration and try, with bottomless futility, to integrate a culture that is everything traditional British values would reject.

Incidentally, as far as I can tell from The Telegraph, the percentages of answers to the poll questions were derived from a combination of non-Muslims and Muslims. How would the results have differed if they'd been broken down along those lines? I guess neither The Telegraph nor the government wants to know, or wants the British people to know.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Surrealistic crossroads


Written well before the '08 election. Not too far off base in its expectations: "This can be the final victory of everything the '60s generation, myself and some others excepted, have made of the once-honorable word 'liberalism': ultra-race-consciousness having replaced race blindness, reverse discrimination having replaced discrimination, Third World cultural takeover having replaced the melting pot, 'sensitivity' having replaced free speech."

I underestimated the radicalism of the eventual victor and our present incumbent, a paper moon sailing over a Marxist sea.
But still:

"If I read the signs right, though, there is a growing resistance to that apotheosis, or apocalypse. Maybe this election will show that Utopian symbolism has become so smug that when the smoke clears it won't know what hit it. (Hint: what hit it will be a majority of the American people.)"

I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
Down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
Asked the Lord above for mercy, "Save me if you please."
— Robert Johnson

They say that every palm reader and fortune teller divulges to the eager client: "You are at a crossroads." Politicians like to do the same. It's a bulletproof prediction: each of us, every moment of our lives, is at a crossroads. Thousands of decisions, great and small, determine our future.

The '08 presidential election, at the moment, feels less like a crossroads than a drug psychosis. It's a surrealistic melange of everything spooking the Republic in our time: religion, from Mormonism to Islam and back again, with stops at the evangelism tent; feminism; race; wars, past, present, and future; Third World colonization of the United States, by invitation; the brink of economic debacle as the great national credit card is near maxed out.

I'll admit to being a headline reader and news skimmer, so maybe I have missed something, but I cannot recall a presidential election year that seemed so vaporous and dreamlike. Except for Ron Paul, no candidate appears to have any ideas (as opposed to ideology, but even the ideologies seem blurry), proposals, stands. It's about glittery abstractions, each hungry seeker of the ovoid office riding a horse named Change, while neglecting to spell out what that change might consist of and how it might be brought about.

There seem to be no people running for president. There are only symbols, loosed from the depths of the national collective unconscious. Who we choose isn't supposed to be about the individuals asking for our vote, but about how we perceive ourselves. We're calling forth our Inner President.


The question is whether our Inner President is a symbol of Feminism Triumphant, of Strong on the War on Terror triumphant, or of Racial Nirvana triumphant. Interestingly, just now, our bien-pensants of the media have decided that Racial Nirvana rather than Uterine Nirvana is best for us, whether we know it or not (but they'll live up to their responsibility to make sure we know it).

Writing in The Washington Post about "Obamamania," David Greenberg — despite a few reservations — seems to speak for those who see Barack Obama as an avatar of St. Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and Peter Pan.
Many of the voters and pundits who were thrilled by Obama's compelling Iowa speech 10 days ago remain intoxicated, heady with the hope that he can deliver not just "change" -- any candidate running would do that -- but a categorically different kind of change from Clinton or the Republican candidates. So what explains the magic?
What explains the magic is those, in and outside the media, who have given up on reason and analysis, and can relate only to show business — of which magic is one form. Ideas are a bother, require too much sifting and too many "talking heads" to try to comprehend. A symbolic savior, now that's more like it.

But what is it we need to be saved from? Why, America itself, of course. Our history is our shame.

The Obama phenomenon, then, stems not from what he has done but who he is. As the social critic John McWhorter has written, "What gives people a jolt in their gut about the idea of President Obama is the idea that it would be a ringing symbol that racism no longer rules our land." He is the great white hope. … At the same time, Obama doesn't threaten or discomfort whites. He doesn't strike them as wronged or impatient, or as the spokesman of a long-subjugated minority group or even as someone particularly culturally different from themselves. As much Kansan as Kenyan, Obama does not descend from families who suffered American slavery or Jim Crow. His family tree has fewer slaves than slaveholders, fewer chains than Cheneys. ["Fewer chains than Cheneys"? What a desperate reach for cleverness.]
So, let me see if I can sort this. Electing Obama would be a ringing symbol that racism, which now rules our land, will no longer rule our land beginning this November. We will elect a Kansan-Kenyan who doesn't "threaten or discomfort" whites, who are normally threatened and discomforted by blacks, because Obama is only symbolically black. He's black or white depending on which way you look at him, like those optical-illusion drawings in psychology textbooks where the foreground and background switch. But voting for this black-white candidate is going to be racism's kiss-off.

It's a symbolic thing. I wouldn't understand.


But maybe I do, actually. I think this election is the culmination, the high-fever moment, of the political correctness and social Marxism that have marched through our institutions for the past 40 years like General Sherman through Georgia. So far, it's only been a bureaucratic and ideological trend, but this is our chance (so Greenberg sees it) to ratify it through our quadrennial presidential poll.

This can be the final victory of everything the '60s generation, myself and some others excepted, have made of the once-honorable word "liberalism": ultra-race-consciousness having replaced race blindness, reverse discrimination having replaced discrimination, Third World cultural takeover having replaced the melting pot, "sensitivity" having replaced free speech.

If I read the signs right, though, there is a growing resistance to that apotheosis, or apocalypse. Maybe this election will show that Utopian symbolism has become so smug that
when the smoke clears it won't know what hit it. (Hint: what hit it will be a majority of the American people.)


So maybe we are, in a fashion, at a crossroads. One road leads to the enthronement of intimidation and the drastic reduction of individual liberty, a small price (so our betters in the media believe) for the symbolic refutation of a racism that defines us. There is another road too. It leads away from anointing individuals for representing the overcoming of supposedly deep-dyed national sin. Its importance is not where it leads to, but what it leads us through — reality, which free men and women must shape as best they can.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Words without songs — III

"Darby's poetry refreshes the parts that other poetry cannot reach."
Guinness Guide to Modern Writing

"Utter rubbish. Do not read this blog posting."
— Reflecting Light Literary Advisory Board

"I get tired of either sense or nonsense if I am kept very continuously to either and like my mind to undulate between the two as it likes best."
— Walter Bagehot (1858)


Trackless Waste in Heaven

We climbed in through the window, to the hall of the Carnival mask
Where a China dog sat patiently striking its chimes,
We knew what to do without having to ask.
It was only a step to sun-blessed climes.

Aida watched in wonder as the pyramids turned blue.
Yes, Aida watched in wonder as the pyramids turned blue.
She said, I’ve seen great Hathor’s shadow, but this is brilliant too.

You looked through all the records, then went into a decline
While gladiators whistled and led a pet parade,
We heard rumors of a glory that was neither yours nor mine.
It was only a sound the astronomers made.

A zen monk with a tuba warned me away from this place.
Yes, a zen monk with a tuba warned me away from this place.
I said, I’m only passing through while looking for an honest face.

I put shells on the table and polished the silver plate
Arranging the chairs where damaged saints sat,
Knowing the future was already too late.
I was only the wheel you fell asleep at.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cop-killing illegal alien's employer busted

Illegal enabler does the courthouse shuffle

Too bad this story won't get any play outside of Houston. You certainly won't read about it in immigration-pimp newspapers like The New York Times or USA Today. Even they'd have a hard time secreting tears for a Mexican cop killer and child molester and the Anglo creep who supported him for years.

The Houston Chronicle says:
The owner of a landscaping firm was arrested Wednesday and faces up to 10 years in federal prison, accused of harboring one of his workers, an illegal immigrant from Mexico charged with the capital murder of a Houston police officer.

Court documents show that Robert Lane Camp, 47, went to considerable lengths to help Juan Leonardo Quintero and keep him on the job at his Deer Park landscaping company before the September 2006 killing of officer Rodney Johnson.

In August 1998, Camp posted a $10,000 bond for Quintero after he was jailed on an indecency with a child charge and hired an attorney to defend him. After the worker was deported in May 1999, Camp sent him money in Mexico and later bought him a plane ticket from Phoenix to Houston after Quintero re-entered through Arizona illegally, according to an affidavit by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. Camp then purchased a house in Houston and rented it to Quintero.


This is the lower depths even in the sleazy world of employers who hire cut-rate illegals. Something must have been going on other than the usual motive of greed for Camp to go such a distance in aid of Señor Sickbag. Were they homosexual lovers? Was Quintero blackmailing Camp? Whatever, Camp is morally partially responsible for the murder of a police officer and the illegal return to this country of a child abuser.

In theory this should put disturbing thoughts into the heads of the thousands of employers who enrich themselves by laying off Americans and replacing them with cheap illegal labor. But the circumstances are exceptional. For one thing, cop killers and accomplices are in a category of their own, and even politicians who normally give a nudge and a wink concerning illegals aren't about to stick their necks out for a Quintero. And while I have zero minus infinity sympathy for Camp, it doesn't help him that he's a pretty small-time businessman who probably hasn't been notably generous with campaign contributions.


How about some indictments and hard time for big business executives who preside over the hiring of illegals, starting with Swift & Co., six of whose plants were raided and shut down in December 2006 as more than a thousand illegals were arrested? Needless to say, the guys in the corner offices are still enjoying their views out the window — not that the meatpacking plants offer beautiful landscapes, but they're still better than looking through the bars of a jail cell.

It won't happen on the watch of our quisling President Jorge W. Bush-Gonzales, but even small steps forward are, well, steps.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

British Embassy pushes Islam in Washington


This is one of the photographs on exhibit at A Muslim Choir. Dr. Timothy Winter (Abdul Hakim Murad), of the faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, leads his Muslim choir in their recitation from the 'Muslim Songs of the British Isles' in the grounds of Cambridge college."

You can see more examples of the carefully cropped, idealized image of Islam in Britain the embassy wants to con you into believing at the exhibit Web site.

The oily text declares:
This exhibition salutes the ordinary and the extraordinary contributions made by Muslims in the everyday life of the United Kingdom. They too play an integral role in medicine, law, politics and every other profession and field. They have contributed hugely to creating the wealth and prosperity which Muslims and non-Muslims alike enjoy in the UK today.
As the British expression goes: cobblers. Ask the non-Muslim, indigenous British residents of Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford, Luton, and the many areas of London where Muslims predominate how the Prophet's followers have changed their neighborhoods. Sure, ask them about Muslims' ordinary contributions, as well as those, uh, "extraordinary" ones. Like the mosques run by imams foaming at the mouth as they preach hatred against the infidels who have welcomed them and support many of them on welfare.

The exhibit got one thing right, though: the Muslims do play an integral role in politics. Both Labour and the Tories are servile to them, ready to send even a judge to a re-education camp ("further training") for asking a woman to remove her face-hiding veil in court.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

The telling pain

For the next 11 months the U.S. news media will be obsessed with the presidential contest. Unless something dramatic happens to shake our journos out of their 24-hour memories, the overtaking of the Western world by Islam will be a "small earthquake in Chile, few injuries reported" story. But the Muslim progress toward a worldwide Caliphate carries on in the background.

It's like that persistent pain that you ignore, until one day the doctor hangs the CAT scan pictures on the office wall and looks you straight in the eye while he tells you what it means and, while you're trying to absorb the fact, adds that your odds would have been a sight better if you'd sussed it earlier.

Europe, being a little closer to the sharp edge, is inclined to take more notice -- though not necessarily to respond any more sensibly than the U.S. has so far.


From The Telegraph:

Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns today.

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and the Church's only Asian bishop, says that people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology. ... Bishop Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, gives warning that attempts are being made to give Britain an increasingly Islamic character by introducing the call to prayer and wider use of sharia law, a legal system based on the Koran.

Naturally, his claim is denied by Muslim groups. For all I know, the Bishop may be mistaken or exaggerating. But given his position in the Church of England, his warning can hardly be considered frivolous or the outpouring of a fringe loony. Understanding the animosity he would earn from the "respectable" media and the left-leaning Church, he undoubtedly thought the situation was such a threat he had to speak up, regardless of the cost to himself.


This story, too, will be ignored by the American media, and forgotten by tomorrow in the British. It is just one data point along with hundreds of others that accumulate each year, on a graph that shows the clear trend toward the Islamization of Europe and everywhere else that this militant politico-religious system can get a foot in the door.

Aggressive Islam, with all it portends of Roman-derived law being replaced by shar'ia law and the consequent necessity for non-Muslims to convert to Islam or live as dhimmis, is the story of our time, far more important than who is elected president this year. But while many individuals can see what's going down, no politician dares to acknowledge it, and the mainstream media's attention is fully occupied with the election campaign and Britney Spears.


I don't believe any Western country, with the possible exceptions of Britain and Sweden, will submit to Muslim rule. Unfortunately, instead of taking the threat seriously and doing what can be done relatively easily and humanely now, such as stopping Muslim immigration, they will distract themselves with whatever comes to mind -- presidential politics, global warming politics, entertainment-world gossip -- until the Muslim takeover is very nearly a done deal.

What then? Most likely a civil war, and a nasty one. They're always nasty, with no discounts given to civilians, the young, the old, the helpless.

Does that sound hysterical? I'd like to think so. But Paul Weston, writing for Gates of Vienna, makes a sensible argument for the likelihood of civil war in Europe, in an essay that doesn't seem to have gotten much attention but should have. I urge you to read or re-read it. Thoughtfully.

Don't ignore pain. It's trying to tell you something.


Friday, January 04, 2008

The presidency as product placement

What a campaign this is turning out to be. All the presidential candidates are unelectable.

Iowa's result promises nothing good. I'll admit to a touch of Schadenfreude at seeing Hillary eating Obama's dust, but Obama still seems to me essentially an "image" candidate. He will win or lose depending on how many people like or dislike him. My problem is that I can't find anything there that compels me to do either. He is the ultimate candidate as product — which, to one degree or other, describes almost the lot of them.

He's also a Democrat, which always raises suspicion.


Meanwhile, the Republican mob is an equally sorry bunch. Particularly Parson Huckabee, whose position on the no. 1 issue, immigration, is standard liberal amnesty-by-another name:

If you can get an American Express card in two weeks, it shouldn't take seven years to get a work permit to come to this country in order to work on a farm. "So if our government is incapable of making that process in that length of time, then we should do it in a way to outsource it. And here's why: When people come to this country, they shouldn't fear. They shouldn't live in hiding. They ought to have their heads up, because the one thing about being an American is, we believe every person ought to have his or her head up and proud, and nobody should have to be in hiding because they're illegal when our government ought to make it so that people can reasonably come here in a legal fashion.

In other words, Parson Huckabee is happy to welcome all the border jumpers (not to mention the inordinate number of legal immigrants). And so they can hold their heads up and not slink around in the shadows while they congregate by the hundreds in the parking lots, they shouldn't be denied legal residency, as long as they go through a little bit of play acting. Let them spend a day in Juarez while an ultra-efficient government, or perhaps an outsourcing company, goes through the motions of checking to see if they're on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List before issuing their Express American cards.


Huckabee is particularly distasteful to me because he has the air of a religious crank, much in the George W. Bush mold, his every thought and feeling taken down in shorthand as he sits on God's knee and served up as sanctified politics.

No sale here for this product, either.

That leaves perhaps two candidates I could vote for without gagging: Romney and Paul. We shall see.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Insectuous relationship

Hundreds of thousands hit by vomiting bug
— Headline, The Telegraph, Jan. 3

Pity the poor British. Their country is a crime scene, immigration a disaster, the trains don't work, etc., etc. But this is really too much.

Have you ever seen a bug vomit? It's just disgusting. And to add injury to insult, it's going around hitting people by the hundreds of thousands.

The Home Office said in a statement, "We have no record of the whereabouts of this bug, but in any case it will be permitted to remain in the country until its plea for asylum is adjudicated, which we expect will be completed by 2015, unless the bug chooses to appeal an unfavourable ruling."


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sarko and Carla

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni are having a very public affair. Now, ordinarily, news like that would send me into a coma. It caught my attention, though, because Carla has caught my attention.

Not because she is a famous model, although, by gum, she is très angélique. No, the thing is, she has recorded an album I'm fond of. It's called Quelqu'un m'a dit (Someone Told Me). Yes, she sings in French despite her Italian name and, apparently, origins.


I had never heard of her, in her modeling career or otherwise, when I became acquainted with the disc at one of those listening stations at Borders where you can listen on headphones that make every track sound like it was recorded in the kitchen of the Carlsbad Cavern Hilton. Even so, it grabbed me.

I suspect the thing sold about 50 units in the United States, including the one I bought. Foreign languages are perfumes that repel Americans. But aside from knowing enough French to get by with very tolerant native speakers, I dug the album's style and spirit.

Quelqu'un m'a dit is an album mostly of ballads, quiet and romantic. The sparing, pure arrangements are unusual for a production from France, where they go in for overheated, horn-heavy, 101-strings backings.

You won't catch me out saying Carla is the new Edith Piaf, but she makes pleasant listening and the songs, most of which she wrote or co-wrote, are attractive. This is no vanity project.


Hey, Sarko. You've got taste when it comes to objets d'amour. Now, when you get your breath back, how about drawing a dead line for the jihadists-in-waiting you continue to tolerate in practically every city of your republic?