SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Rush Limbaugh's imitation of the Chinese language during a recent speech made by Chinese President Hu Jintao has stirred a backlash among Asian-American lawmakers in California and nationally.
California state Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, is leading a fight in demanding an apology from the radio talk show host for what he and others view as racist and derogatory remarks against the Chinese people.
In recent days, the state lawmaker has rallied civil rights groups in a boycott of companies like Pro Flowers, Sleep Train and Domino's Pizza that advertise on Limbaugh's national talk radio show.
"The comments that he made - the mimicking of the Chinese language - harkens back to when I was a little boy growing up in San Francisco and those were hard days, rather insensitive days," Yee said in an interview Thursday. "You think you've arrived and all of a sudden get shot back to the reality that you're a second-class citizen."
When I find Sen. Yee's equal condemnation of Rosie O'Donnell's outburst of faux Chinese on The View I'll consider that he has the credibility to speak out now. And I don't mean an after the fact, of course Rosie was wrong too, statement. I mean a statement of condemnation at the time O'Donnell said what she said. When I see the evidence that Yee was calling for boycotts of The View's sponsors I'll assume he has standing to speak out now.
I'm waiting for the evidence.
Still waiting. . .
Friday, January 28, 2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Rush Limbaugh's imitation of the Chinese language during a recent speech made by Chinese President Hu Jintao has stirred a backlash among Asian-American lawmakers in California and nationally.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 12:46 PM
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
From American Thinker:
The tactic Republicans used to win the midterm election was to tie every Democrat in Washington, D.C. to Barack Obama. He and his liberal policies were so unpopular that identifying a Democrat candidate with the president delivered a Republican's victory.
At the ballot box, the American people sent liberalism to the woodshed. The nation cast off Obama, as well as Pelosi and much of her progressive Congress. In January, the Republicans triumphantly arrived in Washington, D.C. promising to repeal health care reform, address out-of-control spending, and elevate conservative principles by making the U.S. Constitution the foundation of legislative discussion.
It's clear as 2012 approaches that a similar blueprint of calling attention to a failed presidency could help unseat Barack Obama from the Oval Office. Yet rather than continue to turn up the heat to accomplish that goal, one particular politician appears to be confused about what side of the aisle he should sit on. That politician is...yes, you guessed it: that poster child of bipartisanship, the always civil and moderate John Sidney McCain.
As witnessed during the last presidential campaign, the Republican nominee had a peculiar way of promoting his bid for the presidency. On more than one occasion, rather than pointing out the inauspicious prospect of electing Barack Obama, avuncular John reassured a tentative electorate, dismissing very real fears. Senator McCain encouraged anxious voters not to worry, because his unqualified opponent was "absolutely qualified" to be president.
Instead of promoting his own candidacy, on occasion McCain would attempt to put voters on both the right and the left at ease by saying things like "Barack Obama would make a good president." McCain reassured America that his opponent was someone that he "both admired and respected."
For all the positive free press John gave Barry, the senator might as well have gassed up the YesWeCanmobile and hung up two Barack campaign posters for every one "McCain/Palin 2008" lawn sign.
John McCain's self-deprecating approach, suppressing a well-deserved distrust for Obama's left-wing agenda, started two years ago, and now nothing -- not even a country devastated by the president's less-than-impressive stint -- can stop John from continuing that trend. Fawning over Barry in the name of civility compounds the mess McCain started during the presidential election, undermines the success of the midterm election, and paves the way for Obama to leave his suitcases unpacked.
The American public has been closely observing Washington, D.C. since the midterm election for reassurance that by voting for Republicans, they made the right choice. Instead of keeping the heat on and stressing why the job that was started will be complete only when Barack is sent back to Chicago, old faithful John McCain has stepped forward as an advocate to help rehabilitate Barry's sullied reputation.
In a Washington Post op-ed, John McCain praised Obama as a "patriot." McCain then jumped aboard the Barack bandwagon, lauded the president's Arizona memorial speech, and said the president's words "encouraged every American who participates in our political debates -- whether we are on the left or right or in the media -- to aspire to a more generous appreciation of one another and a more modest one of ourselves."
Apparently, bipartisan John wasn't privy to some of the president's more partisan soundbites.
Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)'s State of the Union dance partner chose to applaud Obama's impressive performance as a president. McCain advanced the crusade to undermine the effort to send Barack back to Chicago by speaking on behalf of "hope and change" and expressing the comforting opinion that "the president has already changed a great deal."
Rather than lay the groundwork for Obama's defeat in 2012, the Arizona senator is fast becoming a foundational promoter for the president's bid for reelection. John McCain should be helping to further the Republican platform of smaller government, less spending, privatized health care, low taxes, and all things anti-Obama. Instead, McCain told John Schieffer that
"[t]he president, I think, has learned a lot in the last two years, as any president does. He is a very intelligent man. I think he's doing a lot of right things."
Remember now why I was so dead set against John McCain getting the Republican nomination back in 2008? Remember now why I said (right up until he chose Sarah Palin as his VP) that it would have been better to elect Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton than McCain?
Does anyone still doubt me?
McCain is a betrayer. He is a Judas like he is a mammal, a Quisling like he breaths oxygen it is simply a fundamental part of what is and he can no more change it that he can sprout wings and fly.
If John McCain were president we would have a slightly different version of ObamaCare only it would be called McCainCare and it would have been passed with Republican support. The brain-dead McCain sycophant wing of the GOP led by McCain's detestable little butt-boy Lindsey Graham would have been its margin of victory and a bi-partisan health care "reform" law would be vastly harder to repeal.
If McCain had been elected we would have still had all the spending only it would have been REPUBLICAN spending.
If McCain had been elected we would not have regained control of the House last year.
I have now come to understand that if McCain had been elected that having to go forward day after day and defend him and his policies would have destroyed Sarah Palin's political future.
If John McCain had been elected president in 2008 the Republican party would be dead and the conservative movement would be adrift trying to build a third party with no chance of winning a national election for at least a generation.
God works in mysterious ways. B. Hussein Obama's victory in 2008, which the left took as the sign that they had finally won and could transform the US into a European socialist state, not only saved the GOP from John McCain but made the left so overconfident that they ripped off their masks. By revealing their true nature and agenda to a frightened nation they catalyzed the tremendous Republican victory in 2010 and positioned the nation for a decisive win by a genuine conservative like Sarah Palin in 2012.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 11:25 AM
Saturday, January 22, 2011
From American Thinker:
With Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington, there's a lot of talk about the rise of China as an economic and military power. But the Chinese may have only a small window in time to assert global dominance -- and Chinese leaders have to know it. China is, perhaps, twenty years from the start of a demographic implosion, one that will cause enormous internal strains, economically and socially.
Could awareness of the hard demographic realities that lie ahead for China drive the Chinese to advance their interests militarily, if need be, before China is hampered by an aging population? Will the Chinese military, alarmed by the coming demographic crisis, push its nation to imperialism, similar to that inflicted on Asia-Pacific by the Japanese through World War II?
An increasingly assertive Chinese military may be providing the answer. Chinese leaders -- party and military -- may well appreciate that China needs to secure its position as a great power before tackling the huge challenges of a graying population.
The root of China's coming demographic crisis is the nation's longstanding one-child policy; that policy has markedly skewed the Chinese population older. Not far off, many more old people and fewer young people mean greater strains on China.
Neil Howe and Richard Jackson, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in the Washington Post about China's demographic plight:
Consider China, which may be the first country to grow old before it grows rich. For the past quarter-century, China has been "peacefully rising," thanks in part to a one-child policy that has allowed both parents to work and contribute to China's boom. But by the 2020s, as the huge Red Guard generation born before the country's fertility decline moves into retirement, they will tax the resources of their children and the state. China's coming age wave -- by 2030 it will be an older country than the United States -- may weaken the two pillars of the current regime's legitimacy: rapidly rising GDP and social stability. Imagine workforce growth slowing to zero while tens of millions of elders sink into indigence without pensions, without health care and without children to support them. China could careen toward social collapse -- or, in reaction, toward an authoritarian clampdown.Howe and Jackson aren't alone in their assessment of China's future. AT's Thomas Lifson notes that because Chinese parents widely prefer that their one child be a male, aborting female fetuses, there will be about 40 million bachelor males in 2020 unable to find a female spouse. Not only does this reduce births, it provides an ample supply of unattached males suitable for military service.
Rodger Baker wrote recently at Stratfor about the end of China's economic miracle in the "not-so-distant future." But the Baker article chiefly addresses the evolution of the Chinese military into a broader leadership role within the country.
For three decades now, the Chinese have been reorienting its military from a primarily land-based border defense to a military that can project its strength in the air, on blue water, and through advanced weapons' technology and systems.
Baker writes that China's rapid economic expansion has led to China's dependence on resources across the globe. China, though not a resource-poor island like Japan, has an estimated population of 1.33 billion. Economic growth and growing consumer demands require that the Chinese obtain resources overseas. China's leadership is seeking to project military power to ostensibly protect vital sea lanes to ensure access to raw materials.
But one wonders if China's buildup in projectable military power doesn't allow for a contingency. China, facing an end to its economic miracle, and facing a demographic crisis in a mere twenty years, may find its beefed up military useful in securing resources sooner through intimidation or, in some cases, through outright seizure -- particularly in Asia, where China's military would have its strongest reach.
Go read the rest.
It is just possible that at the mid point of this century we will look back on our fears of looming Chinese dominance as a case of mass hysteria like the "Japan scare" of the 1980's. Remember how so many people believed that Japan was going to take over the world. How they were buying real estate all over the USA, sometimes even significant landmarks?
Remember also how Japan just imploded? Remember how they were forced to sell all that real estate that they had paid vastly inflated prices for at a fraction of its real value?
China's demographic time bomb could very well bring on the same kind of implosion. Or China could go old school communist and require all persons too old to work to report to the fertilizer factory for rendering. It would have a large enough army to enforce its will on the population.
The point that the author of the AT piece is making is that China might decide to use the military that it is building up to establish China's place as a world power before it has to deal with its coming demographic problems.
It would be foolish to ignore this possibility. China is spending a great deal of money building up its air force and deepwater navy and it is focusing its military R&D on various projects which have "carrier-killer" stamped all over them. This is clearly intended to push America out of the Asian theater of operations and allow the PRC to snap up choice targets like the Spratley Islands and Taiwan.
I would not be all that worried about China's ability to pull off its ambitions given America's numerical and technological advantages but we do have to face the fact that we have, for at least the next two years, an American president who most likely thinks that America richly deserves to lose at the hands of the Chinese (or anyone else for that matter) and who will miss no opportunity to set up the circumstances for America's failure.
This is just the latest, and one of the strongest, reasons why it is so desperately important that we do the right thing in November, 2012 and not just send Obama back to Chicago but put someone in the White House with the strength to do what must be done.
Under normal circumstances the GOP leadership would come in off the golf course long enough to ask, "whose turn is it this time", and then nominate some RINO loser like John McCain or George HW Bush. We really never could afford to do that and we absolutely cannot afford to do it now.
If the candidate chosen by the Republican rank and file to represent the party in 2012 isn't the kind of person who causes the GOP establishment leadership profound digestive upset (like Ronald Reagan did and Sarah Palin does) we will probably not win the election and even if we do it will not matter in the long run.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 2:29 PM
Friday, January 21, 2011
From American Thinker:
First let me say, I like Newt Gingrich, or at least, I've tried to like him as he's morphed into a political chameleon who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Gingrich is articulate and shrewd, but the author of To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine might want to go back and read himself, because lately he's sounding a lot like Richard Lugar.
Initially, there was Gingrich's Hispanic "outreach" in which he warmed to amnesty on the Laura Ingraham Show and seemed taken aback by her argument against it. Laura knows the difference between "legal" and "illegal" and is perhaps the first person Newt has encountered who put a sock in his blow-horn. Gingrich, who espouses Puerto Rican statehood, seems to want it both ways, fantasizing that if only we make citizens of law-breakers, they'll join the Tea Party.
But his "principles" are in question. The old GOP paradigm that political expedience trumps conviction finds a taker in Newt, and the more he speaks, the more paradoxical he becomes, equivocating as he straddles a rickety fence.
Now he's praising the man on whom he's feasted and who revived his career. Tucson solved everything-the healing words, the steady voice. Newt, on Good Morning America, parroted the choir re-exalting Obama as the second coming of Lincoln. Every president plays Comforter-in-Chief, and it's good politics, but the trouble is that Newt, in adopting a civil tone, is accepting what he rejected: hypocrisy.
It was Obama who said, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," "get in their faces," "punish your enemies," and whose boot fell to "the neck" of B.P. as flailing bureaucrats exacerbated the oil spill. Pivoting from the Secular-Socialist mantra to praise its inspiration, Gingrich turned the color of his chair, defining "phony" for the audience, while agreeing that Obama's high approval-rating is "deserved."
But what about ObamaCare? The soaring debt? Surely, Gingrich doesn't believe that the president was transformed by speech. No, Newt is playing to the public, softening his tone secondary to violence and a nation in-tune to "vitriol" on the air. Angry Newt is less so when anger isn't popular.
And, of course, there's "Green Newt." At the peak of hysteria on global warming, when Cap-and-Trade seemed a certainty, Gingrich embraced what was then "settled science." In fact, he made a video with Nancy Pelosi, urging the U.S. to "act fast." The author of To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine said that "Everyone agrees, we must address climate change," though failed to point out that it's Marxist at its core.
All of which points to Gingrich, the actor. True conservatism doesn't test the wind. It doesn't re-do itself. And it's not a chameleon. Gingrich's talent is his eloquent tongue, but the more it flutters, the greater the confusion, and the harder it is to believe in its noise.
For a politician to reach high office, especially an apex position like President of the United States or Speaker of the House, he or she must have at least one very highly honed political skill or talent. Ronald Reagan had the ability to speak directly to the people in a compelling way. Clinton had the ability to project a false empathy which made people believe that he truly understood their problems and "felt their pain". Obama has his ability to read a speech (as long as someone else writes it for him) and Newt Gingrich has a very sensitive finger.
Newt's finger is so sensitive that he can moisten it and stick it in the air and it can detect slight changes in the direction of the prevailing political winds sooner than any other politician.
This is how Gingrich knew back in 1994 that the American people were frightened by the massive overreach represented by HillaryCare and disgusted by the corruption which had become institutionalized in a congress that had been ruled by one party (the Democrats) for four decades (embodied by the House bank and House Post Office scandals). Newt read the earliest stirrings of public opinion and realized that the people were going to toss the Democrats out of office in an historical landslide.
Gingrich then started running in the direction which he had deduced that the American people were going to stampede while shouting "Follow Me" at the top of his lungs.
Thus was born the myth of the "Gingrich revolution".
When Newt realized his goal of becoming Speaker of the House he found himself at the heart of a hurricane in which his finger was not nearly as reliable a guide. He also found himself in political battle with a president whose ruthlessness and casual willingness to lie through his teeth and a media which dedicated itself to his destruction through all means fair and foul.
He was not up to the challenge.
Since his fall from power Newt continued to rely upon his magic finger but he was only familiar with using it to get him through political campaigns. There the fickle wind of popular opinion you have chosen to ride only needs to blow long enough to get you through the next election. For an out of power politician trying to earn respect and gain a following that can be ridden back into power it is necessary to build up a record of being consistently right and consistently consistent.
Newt's political butterfly act has not served him well. Latching onto the global warming bandwagon when it seemed that was the wave of the future has left him out in the cold now that AGW has been revealed to be not just a mistake but a gigantic hoax. Same for his periodic condemnations of Rush Limbaugh whenever the finger tells him that the media's latest hysterical pile-on seems, for the moment, to be gaining some traction.
Then the latest criticism of Sarah Palin. For a brief time the finger said that she was going to be fatally damaged by the fallout from the Tucson tragedy (also she is his number one rival for the 2012 GOP nomination if both of them decide to run).
Newt is a man who largely lacks a core and therefore largely lacks honor and integrity. He is a pretty good writer and a pretty good teacher. Let him stick with those and give the finger a well deserved retirement.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 2:29 PM
From American Thinker:
Apparently, America's next big scheduled argument is whether women soldiers should be allowed in combat. Mark your calendars now to begin screaming your preferred talking points, yea or nay. Politics Daily:
A study commission chartered by Congress is poised to send up to Capitol Hill a recommendation that the last remaining barriers to women - those that formally exclude them from infantry, armor and special forces -- be removed.
As far as I'm concerned, we already have our first female combat soldier, a breathtakingly brave warrior who suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune for the sake of our freedom, every day.
Sarah Palin stands alone in America and the world. Name one other public figure anywhere on the globe today who symbolizes the uncompromising fight for liberty....Waiting...Waiting...
As for her Republican rivals, blogger Kevin DuJan of Hillbuzz has sure got their number: they're not activist members of a political party; they're lazy guests at a Cocktail Party.
While Sarah is putting her life at risk -- staffers say that since the Tucson blood libel, she's getting death threats at an "unprecedented rate" -- Mitt Romney can't even bother to lead from the rear. He's hanging around the country club, eating soggy cucumber-and-mayonnaise sandwiches, and waiting for Sarah to win the war. Then he'll gallop on to the battlefield, hair stylist in tow, and flash his Dudley Do Right grin. Naturally, conservative pundits will traipse along and dutifully applaud his "gravitas" and outstanding presidential "qualifications." So much worthier than Sarah, don't you know!
As for Newt Gingrich, he took time off from his busy schedule of cuddling up to Nancy Pelosi on global warming, to sneak onto the battlefield and lob grenades -- at Sarah. Hey, right back at ya, pal. Then there's Mike Huckabee, who, when last heard from, was off somewhere exchanging diet tips with violent cons whose life sentences he had blithely commuted.
Tim Pawlenty, a ghostly presence at best, briefly materialized to murmur vague accusations against Sarah, and then faded into the woodwork once again. Wow! Leadership in action! All hail the mighty Tim!
You want leadership; you want steel spine; you want results? Helllooooo...What happened in Congress Wednesday? The House voted to repeal ObamaCare, 245 - 189, with the Republicans voting unanimously for repeal.
To whom do we owe this victory, more than anyone else, clearly and unequivocally? Sarah Palin. She showed us courage in real time, leading in every possible way: philosophically, strategically, tactically, and financially. Next to combat-hardened Sarah, every single Republican man is a trembling dwarf.
In case they haven't noticed (they haven't), we're living through the most dangerously divided time in American history since the Civil War. As Abraham Lincoln once said,
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."So it is in our time. Either we will quickly re-establish a government that fears the people, or the people will fear the government - permanently. Freedom is lethally hard to obtain, and frighteningly easy to lose. Right now, freedom is dying.
When America first met Sarah Palin, she praised her running mate, John McCain, with these words: "There's only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you." Well, there's a new election starting now, and there's not a single man in it who has ever bestirred himself to really fight for you.
There's only a woman. The Republican establishment loathes Sarah Palin; the conservative commentariat needs smelling salts at the very mention of her name; and the ruling class took a blood oath to destroy not just her, but her family, too.
But none of that matters, because a ragtag army of freedom-loving Americans knows who's got the guts of a real Commander-in-Chief. President Palin, we'll see you on January 20, 2013.
This sums up my feelings about Gov. Palin as well. My feelings about the also-rans from 2008 like Huckabee and Romney are that if you couldn't even beat John McCain in a Republican primary you have no business running for anything north of dog catcher ever again in your entire life.
The philosopher said that what does not destroy a person makes them stronger. Nothing that either the left or the pseudo-right has thrown at Sarah Palin has destroyed her nor is it likely to.
I leave it to you to work out for yourselves what that will say about her strength going into 2012.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 10:06 AM
At a concert to raise money for the legal fund to overturn Proposition 8, Elton John earned multiple standing ovations for classics like "Bennie and the Jets," "Rocket Man" and "Levon," but the biggest cheers were reserved for what he said just before performing his final song of the evening.
"As a gay man. I think I have it all," he said. "I have a wonderful career. A wonderful life. I have my health. I have a partner of 17 years and I have a son. And you know what, I don't have everything, because I don't have the respect of people like the church, and people like politicians who tell me that I not worthy or that I am 'less than' because I am gay. Well, fuck you...."
I don't have everything, because I don't have the respect of people like the church. . .
That is the gay agenda in a nutshell.
It doesn't matter that there are legal mechanisms such as medical power of attorney agreements which give homosexual couples all of the legal rights regarding their partners that married couples have. It doesn’t matter that there are legally recognized civil unions which automatically convey all of those rights upon homosexual couples.
It doesn’t matter that there are many churches which welcome practicing homosexuals as full members and ordain them as clergy. It doesn’t matter that there is even a Protestant demonization which specifically caters to homosexuals (the Metropolitan Community Church).
No, they will not rest until every church and synagogue (although they are curiously silent about mosques) will be legally forced to renounce biblical teaching about homosexuality and, at gunpoint, accept “out and proud” homosexuals as members and into all clergy positions.
Later on we hear from Rob (Meathead) Reiner:
Rob Reiner, who with Chad Griffin originally hatched the idea to pursue the case, emceed, and told the crowd, "We are putting the last piece of the civil rights puzzle into place...Years from now, people are going to look back and say, 'What was that all about?'"
No Meathead if you succeed we won't hear “what was that all about” years from now. What we will hear generations from now – if civilization can manage to rebuild itself – is “how could they have been so stupid”.
Advocates of homosexual “marriage” are found of noting the high divorce rate and making the observation that it is heterosexuals who are destroying the institution of marriage. They have a point. If our society had not devalued marriage legally through easy divorce laws and socially through acceptance of out of wedlock pregnancies and self-serving lies like “it’s better for the children” then our culture would have never degenerated to the point where we could even consider the legalization of homosexual “marriage”.
However it does not seem to me that the ideal answer to the fact that we have allowed our civilization to come close to the point where it will disintegrate is to accelerate the process.
We need to remember that when a great civilization rots from within until it reaches the point where it caves in upon itself what follows is not come kind of golden age of love and acceptance but a dark age where life tends to be ugly, brutal and short.
Elton John is an old man and will not live to see the inevitable result of his folly, but his son will. Is that really what he and his “partner” want for the boy?
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 3:47 AM
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Read this piece by Mark Steyn in The New Criterion:
If I am pessimistic about the future of liberty, it is because I am pessimistic about the strength of the English-speaking nations, which have, in profound ways, surrendered to forces at odds with their inheritance. “Declinism” is in the air, but some of us apocalyptic types are way beyond that. The United States is facing nothing so amiable and genteel as Continental-style “decline,” but something more like sliding off a cliff.
In the days when I used to write for Fleet Street, a lot of readers and several of my editors accused me of being anti-British. I’m not. I’m extremely pro-British and, for that very reason, the present state of the United Kingdom is bound to cause distress. So, before I get to the bad stuff, let me just lay out the good. Insofar as the world functions at all, it’s due to the Britannic inheritance. Three-sevenths of the G7 economies are nations of British descent. Two-fifths of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are—and, by the way, it should be three-fifths: The rap against the Security Council is that it’s the Second World War victory parade preserved in aspic, but, if it were, Canada would have a greater claim to be there than either France or China. The reason Canada isn’t is because a third Anglosphere nation and a second realm of King George VI would have made too obvious a truth usually left unstated—that the Anglosphere was the all but lone defender of civilization and of liberty. In broader geopolitical terms, the key regional powers in almost every corner of the globe are British-derived—from Australia to South Africa to India—and, even among the lesser players, as a general rule you’re better off for having been exposed to British rule than not: Why is Haiti Haiti and Barbados Barbados?
And of course the pre-eminent power of the age derives its political character from eighteenth-century British subjects who took English ideas a little further than the mother country was willing to go. In his
sequel to Churchill’s great work, The History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Andrew Roberts writes:
Just as we do not today differentiate between the Roman Republic and the imperial period of the Julio-Claudians when we think of the Roman Empire, so in the future no-one will bother to make a distinction between the British Empire–led and the American Republic–led periods of English-speaking dominance between the late-eighteenth and the twenty-first centuries. It will be recognized that in the majestic sweep of history they had so much in common—and enough that separated them from everyone else—that they ought to be regarded as a single historical entity, which only scholars and pedants will try to describe separately.
If you step back for a moment, this seems obvious. There is a distinction between the “English-speaking peoples” and the rest of “the West,” and at key moments in human history that distinction has proved critical.
Continental Europe has given us plenty of nice paintings and agreeable symphonies, French wine and Italian actresses and whatnot, but, for all our fetishization of multiculturalism, you can’t help noticing that when it comes to the notion of a political West—one with a sustained commitment to liberty and democracy—the historical record looks a lot more unicultural and, indeed (given that most of these liberal democracies other than America share the same head of state), uniregal. The entire political class of Portugal, Spain, and Greece spent their childhoods living under dictatorships. So did Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel. We forget how rare on this earth is peaceful constitutional evolution, and rarer still outside the Anglosphere.
Decline starts with the money. It always does. As Jonathan Swift put it:
A baited banker thus desponds,Today the people who have America’s bonds are not the people one would wish to have one’s soul. As Madhav Nalapat has suggested, Beijing believes a half-millennium Western interregnum is about to come to an end, and the world will return to Chinese dominance. I think they’re wrong on the latter, but right on the former. Within a decade, the United States will be spending more of the federal budget on its interest payments than on its military.
From his own hand foresees his fall,
They have his soul, who have his bonds;
’Tis like the writing on the wall.
According to the cbo’s 2010 long-term budget outlook, by 2020 the U.S. government will be paying between 15 and 20 percent of its revenues in debt interest—whereas defense spending will be down to between 14 and 16 percent. America will be spending more on debt interest than China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel spend on their militaries combined. The superpower will have advanced from a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers.
What does that mean? In 2009, the United States spent about $665 billion on its military, the Chinese about $99 billion. If Beijing continues to buy American debt at the rate it has in recent years, then within a half-decade or so U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. This year, the Pentagon issued an alarming report to Congress on Beijing’s massive military build-up, including new missiles, upgraded bombers, and an aircraft-carrier R&D program intended to challenge American dominance in the Pacific. What the report didn’t mention is who’s paying for it. Answer: Mr. and Mrs. America.
Within the next five years, the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest employer on the planet, bigger even than the U.S. Department of Community-Organizer Grant Applications, will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers. When they take Taiwan, suburban families in Connecticut and small businesses in Idaho will have paid for it. The existential questions for America loom now, not decades hence. What we face is not merely the decline and fall of a powerful nation but the collapse of the highly specific cultural tradition that built the modern world. It starts with the money—it always does. But the money is only the symptom. We wouldn’t be this broke if we hadn’t squandered our inheritance in a more profound sense.
Britain’s decline also began with the money. The U.S. “Lend-Lease” program to the United Kingdom ended with the war in September 1946. London paid off the final installment of its debt in December 2006, and the Economic Secretary, Ed Balls, sent with the check a faintly surreal accompanying note thanking Washington for its support during the war. They have our soul who have our bonds: Britain and the world were more fortunate in who had London’s bonds than America is seventy years later. For that reason, in terms of global order, the transition from Britannia ruling the waves to the American era, from the old lion to its transatlantic progeny, was one of the smoothest transfers of power in history—so smooth that most of us aren’t quite sure when it took place. Andrew Roberts likes to pinpoint it to the middle of 1943: One month, the British had more men under arms than the Americans; the next month, the Americans had more men under arms than the British.
The baton of global leadership had been passed. And, if it didn’t seem that way at the time, that’s because it was as near a seamless transition as could be devised—although it was hardly “devised” at all, at least not by London. Yet we live with the benefits of that transition to this day. To take a minor but not inconsequential example, one of the critical links in the post-9/11 Afghan campaign was the British Indian Ocean Territory. As its name would suggest, it’s a British dependency, but it has a U.S. military base—just one of many pinpricks on the map where the Royal Navy’s Pax Britannica evolved into Washington’s Pax Americana with nary a thought: From U.S. naval bases in Bermuda to the Anzus alliance down under to Norad in Cheyenne Mountain, London’s military ties with its empire were assumed, effortlessly, by the United States, and life and global order went on.
One of my favorite lines from the Declaration of Independence never made it into the final text. They were Thomas Jefferson’s parting words to his fellow British subjects across the ocean: “We might have been a free and great people together.” But in the end, when it mattered, they were a free and great people together. Britain was eclipsed by its transatlantic offspring, by a nation with the same language, the same legal inheritance, and the same commitment to liberty.
It’s not likely to go that way next time round. And “next time round” is already under way. We are coming to the end of a two-century Anglosphere dominance, and of a world whose order and prosperity many people think of as part of a broad, general trend but which, in fact, derive from a very particular cultural inheritance and may well not survive it. To point out how English the world is is, of course, a frightfully un-English thing to do. No true Englishman would ever do such a ghastly and vulgar thing. You need some sinister rootless colonial oik like me to do it. But there’s a difference between genial self-effacement and contempt for one’s own inheritance.
Not so long ago, Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian and soi-disant Islamophobe, flew into London and promptly got shipped back to the Netherlands as a threat to public order. After the British Government had reconsidered its stupidity, he was permitted to return and give his speech at the House of Lords—and, as foreigners often do, he quoted Winston Churchill, under the touchingly naive assumption that this would endear him to the natives. Whereas, of course, to almost all members of Britain’s governing elite, quoting Churchill approvingly only confirms that you’re an extremist lunatic. I had the honor a couple of years back of visiting President Bush in the White House and seeing the bust of Churchill on display in the Oval Office. When Barack Obama moved in, he ordered Churchill’s bust be removed and returned to the British. Its present whereabouts are unclear. But, given what Sir Winston had to say about Islam in his book on the Sudanese campaign, the bust was almost certainly arrested at Heathrow and deported as a threat to public order.
Somewhere along the way a quintessentially British sense of self-deprecation curdled into a psychologically unhealthy self-loathing. A typical foot-of-the-page news item from The Daily Telegraph:
A leading college at Cambridge University has renamed its controversial colonial-themed Empire Ball after accusations that it was “distasteful.” The £136-a-head Emmanuel College ball was advertised as a celebration of “the Victorian commonwealth and all of its decadences.
Students were urged to “party like it’s 1899” and organisers promised a trip through the Indian Raj, Australia, the West Indies, and 19th century Hong Kong.
But anti-fascist groups said the theme was “distasteful and insensitive” because of the British Empire’s historical association with slavery, repression and exploitation.
The Empire Ball Committee, led by presidents Richard Hilton and Jenny Unwin, has announced the word “empire” will be removed from all promotional material.
The way things are going in Britain, it would make more sense to remove the word “balls.”
It’s interesting to learn that “anti-fascism” now means attacking the British Empire, which stood alone against fascism in that critical year between the fall of France and Germany’s invasion of Russia. And it’s even sadder to have to point out the most obvious fatuity in those “anti-fascist groups” litany of evil—“the British Empire’s association with slavery.” The British Empire’s principal association with slavery is that it abolished it. Before William Wilberforce, the British Parliament, and the brave men of the Royal Navy took up the issue, slavery was an institution regarded by all cultures around the planet as as permanent a feature of life as the earth and sky. Britain expunged it from most of the globe.
It is pathetic but unsurprising how ignorant all these brave “anti-fascists” are. But there is a lesson here not just for Britain but for the rest of us, too: When a society loses its memory, it descends inevitably into dementia. As I always try to tell my American neighbors, national decline is at least partly psychological—and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline. Thus, Hayek’s greatest insight in The Road to Serfdom, which he wrote with an immigrant’s eye on the Britain of 1944:
There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought. It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel.
The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.
Within little more than half a century, almost every item on the list had been abandoned, from “independence and self-reliance” (some 40 percent of Britons receive state handouts) to “a healthy suspicion of power and
authority”—the reflex response now to almost any passing inconvenience is to demand the government “do something.” American exceptionalism would have to be awfully exceptional to suffer a similar expansion of government without a similar descent, in enough of the citizenry, into chronic dependency.
What happened? Britain, in John Foster Dulles’s famous postwar assessment, had lost an empire but not yet found a role. Actually, Britain didn’t so much “lose” the Empire: it evolved peacefully into the modern Commonwealth, which is more agreeable than the way these things usually go. Nor is it clear that modern Britain wants a role, of any kind. Rather than losing an empire, it seems to have lost its point.
This has consequences. To go back to Cambridge University’s now non-imperial Empire Ball, if the cream of British education so willingly prostrates itself before ahistorical balderdash, what then of the school system’s more typical charges? In cutting off two generations of students from their cultural inheritance, the British state has engaged in what we will one day come to see as a form of child abuse, one that puts a huge question mark over the future. Why be surprised that legions of British Muslims sign up for the Taliban? These are young men who went to school in Luton and West Bromwich and learned nothing of their country of nominal citizenship other than that it’s responsible for racism, imperialism, colonialism, and all the other bad -isms of the world. If that’s all you knew of Britain, why would you feel any allegiance to Queen and country? And what if you don’t have Islam to turn to? The transformation of the British people is, in its own malign way, a remarkable achievement. Raised in schools that teach them nothing, they nevertheless pick up the gist of the matter, which is that their society is a racket founded on various historical injustices. The virtues Hayek admired? Ha! Strictly for suckers.
When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want,” to be accomplished by “cooperation between the State and the individual.” In attempting to insulate the citizenry from the vicissitudes of fate, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams: Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity. Churchill called his book The History of the English-Speaking Peoples—not the English-Speaking Nations. The extraordinary role played by those nations in the creation and maintenance of the modern world derived from their human capital.
What happens when, as a matter of state policy, you debauch your human capital? The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers; marriage is all but defunct, except for toffs, upscale gays, and Muslims. For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what lbj’s Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population. One-fifth of British children are raised in homes in which no adult works. Just under 900,000 people have been off sick for over a decade, claiming “sick benefits,” week in, week out, for ten years and counting. “Indolence,” as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a free society, but rarely has any state embraced this oldest temptation as literally as Britain. There is almost nothing you can’t get the government to pay for.
Plucked at random from The Daily Mail: A man of twenty-one with learning disabilities has been granted taxpayers’ money to fly to Amsterdam and have sex with a prostitute. Why not? His social worker says sex is a “human right” and that his client, being a virgin, is entitled to the support of the state in claiming said right. Fortunately, a £520 million program was set up by Her Majesty’s Government to “empower those with disabilities.” “He’s planning to do more than just have his end away,” explained the social worker.
“The girls in Amsterdam are far more protected than those on U.K. streets. Let him have some fun—I’d want to. Wouldn’t you prefer that we can control this, guide him, educate him, support him to understand the process and ultimately end up satisfying his needs in a secure, licensed place where his happiness and growth as a person is the most important thing? Refusing to offer him this service would be a violation of his human rights.”
And so a Dutch prostitute is able to boast that among her clients is the British Government. Talk about outsourcing: given the reputation of English womanhood, you’d have thought this would be the one job that wouldn’t have to be shipped overseas. But, as Dutch hookers no doubt say, lie back and think of England—and the check they’ll be mailing you.
After Big Government, after global retreat, after the loss of liberty, there is only remorseless civic disintegration. The statistics speak for themselves. The number of indictable offences per thousand people was 2.4 in 1900, climbed gradually to 9.7 in 1954, and then rocketed to 109.4 by 1992. And that official increase understates the reality: Many crimes have been decriminalized (shoplifting, for example), and most crime goes unreported, and most reported crime goes uninvestigated, and most investigated crime goes unsolved, and almost all solved crime merits derisory punishment. Yet the law-breaking is merely a symptom of a larger rupture. At a gathering like this one, John O’Sullivan, recalling his own hometown, said that when his grandmother ran a pub in the Liverpool docklands in the years around the First World War, there was only one occasion when someone swore in her presence. And he subsequently apologized.
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” But viewed from 2010 England the day before yesterday is an alternative universe—or a lost civilization. Last year, the “Secretary of State for Children” (both an Orwellian and Huxleyite office) announced that 20,000 “problem families” would be put under twenty-four-hour cctv supervision in their homes. As the Daily Express reported, “They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.” Orwell’s government “telescreen” in every home is close to being a reality, although even he would have dismissed as too obviously absurd a nanny state that literally polices your bedtime.
For its worshippers, Big Government becomes a kind of religion: the state as church. After the London Tube bombings, Gordon Brown began mulling over the creation of what he called a “British equivalent of the U.S. Fourth of July,” a new national holiday to bolster British identity. The Labour Party think-tank, the Fabian Society, proposed that the new “British Day” should be July 5th, the day the National Health Service was created. Because the essence of contemporary British identity is waiting two years for a hip operation. A national holiday every July 5th: They can call it Dependence Day.
Does the fate of the other senior Anglophone power hold broader lessons for the United States? It’s not so hard to picture a paternalist technocrat of the Michael Bloomberg school covering New York in cctv ostensibly for terrorism but also to monitor your transfats. Permanence is the illusion of every age. But you cannot wage a sustained ideological assault on your own civilization without profound consequence. Without serious course correction, we will see the end of the Anglo-American era, and the eclipse of the powers that built the modern world. Even as America’s spendaholic government outspends not only America’s ability to pay for itself but, by some measures, the world’s; even as it follows Britain into the dank pit of transgenerational dependency, a failed education system, and unsustainable entitlements; even as it makes less and less and mortgages its future to its rivals for cheap Chinese trinkets, most Americans assume that simply because they’re American they will be insulated from the consequences. There, too, are lessons from the old country. Cecil Rhodes distilled the assumptions of generations when he said that to be born a British subject was to win first prize in the lottery of life. On the eve of the Great War, in his play Heartbreak House, Bernard Shaw turned the thought around to taunt a British ruling class too smug and self-absorbed to see what was coming. “Do you think,” he wrote, “the laws of God will be suspended in favor of England because you were born in it?”
In our time, to be born a citizen of the United States is to win first prize in the lottery of life, and, as Britons did, too many Americans assume it will always be so. Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favor of America because you were born in it? Great convulsions lie ahead, and at the end of it we may be in a post-Anglosphere world.
Sad to think that the once great and mighty British Empire, which did so much good for the world (while being admittedly imperfect) has come to such a place.
Pay special attention to what he has to say about the USA.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 9:34 AM
Now read this piece by Stella Paul from yesterday's American Thinker:
America didn't elect a president; we chose a rapper-in-chief. Obama gets all the fun of truly livin' large: transforming the White House into a party palace straight out of "MTV Cribs" and zooming around on Air Force One like a hotshot celebrity on his private jet. All he has to do is smile at his screaming groupies, recite some catchy twaddle, and jet off to his latest vacation, serene with the knowledge that whatever misery and carnage may unfold below, his hands are clean.
Obama is America's first post-responsibility president, and the degrading spectacle of the Tucson aftermath proves it. A quick reminder to Krauthammer, Noonan, et al., who have resumed tossing love notes at their favorite star: Obama is so indifferent to the safety of Arizonans that he actually sued the state for trying to protect them.
What if the Tucson killer had been an illegal alien? What if "Javier Lopez" had shot up the crowd, after sneaking past the billion-dollar "virtual fence" that Obama just quietly canceled? What if he had murdered a border patrolman along the way, like Federal Agent Brian Terry, who was shot in the back with an AK-47 in December? Would Obama have borne any responsibility for that?
After all, a full-scale gang war is raging directly south of our border, and Obama's only response has been to sue Arizona for a law, passed by 70% of its voters, that allows police to ask crime suspects about their citizenship. Obama is so proud of this dangerous idiocy that he bragged about it to the tyrants of China and the United Nations. And his minions in Congress shamelessly leaped to their feet and cheered Mexico's president when he had the brass to excoriate Arizona for "racial profiling."
So would Obama be blamed for Javier Lopez's crime spree? Of course not! The story would have been buried faster than the victims by an obediently adoring press. Various MSNBC nutters would have screeched about Arizona's climate of hate, but a few words sent from the presidential golf links would have shut them up quick. If it doesn't help the rapper-in-chief, it doesn't exist. Has anybody said a word about the murder of Brian Terry?
OK, let's play a slightly different game. What if "Abdul el-Muhamed" had snuck across the border to unleash the Tucson carnage? Not such an unlikely scenario: Rep. Sue Myrick recently warned that Hezb'allah terrorists are invading from Mexico and that Obama's Homeland Security Department is refusing to answer her letters on the issue.
Myrick's letter outlined the growing collaboration between Mexican drug cartels and Iranian-backed Hezb'allah members, who are thought to be learning Spanish in Venezuela before getting false papers to enter the U.S. as Mexicans. One chilling piece of evidence: gang members in America's southwest prisons are increasingly sporting tattoos in Farsi.
So would Obama bear any blame if a Hezb'allah terrorist went on a bloody rampage in Tucson? Uh, no. This is Obama we're talking about. From his memorable performance after the Fort Hood murders, we can formulate his response. Grumpily, he'd interrupt his latest vacation to shamble before the cameras in T-shirt and flip-flops. After a casual "shout-out" to some union cronies, he'd launch into his best-selling, all-time classic rap: I'm Here to Save You from Your Never-Ending Sin of Islamophobia. Worship Me For Healing You, O America. Through Me, You Shall Attain Forgiveness. The media would sob with admiration, as Chris Matthews suffered a near-fatal electrocution by leg-tingle.
And now we come to the actual tragic events, in which a pot-smoking schizophrenic erupted in an orgy of insane violence. Obama's operatives swiftly seized the chance to permanently taint Obama's most formidable rival, Sarah Palin. After four days of increasingly apocalyptic accusations, it was time for the rapper-in-chief to work his wordy magic.
The concert hall promoters had done their pre-production work well. Souvenir T-shirts bedecked the chairs, imprinted with the song title of one of Obama's lesser-known numbers from his blockbuster year of 2008. The screaming fans were all in place. At last, He appeared and performed a fresh new rap, a sparkling stew of platitudinous poppycock about not disappointing the dreams of a child. His fans shrieked and applauded, their ebullience trampling the dignity of the mourners among them.
Has Obama taken one single action to make the people of Arizona safer? Was the border more protected? Has the mental health apparatus of Arizona been appraised and improved? Has the sheriff been chastised for "acting stupidly" and possibly compromising the integrity of the investigation? Has anything "presidential" actually been done?
No. But what does it matter? As Obama flew away, a grateful punditry wept with joy that they had lived to behold such a day, when the great rapper-in-chief had descended among us and softly blessed us with his font of sacred nonsense.
It's enough to make you think that God has withdrawn his blessing from the Republic.
This was not the choice that was given to America on Election Day it is the choice that America made for itself. Obama and McCain were the men who rose to the top after a long and contentious primary process during which every registered Republican and Democrat had the opportunity to make his or her choice known.
And what did we get? A choice between disaster and calamity.
The American Republic is in serious danger of losing its economic prosperity, its liberty and its standing as a world power. In fact it may be too late to salvage any of those things. However if we do have any chance to survive our last chance to change course and restore the nation to what it once was will come in 2012 when we will have a chance to elect a new president and hand control of the Senate to the GOP.
However it is not enough to place Republicans in charge of the White House and the legislature. They must be conservatives as well. This means that organizations like the Tea Party will have to be more active than ever and American voters will have to understand that the leadership of the GOP is, for the most part, not their friend.
We must accept as an unquestionable axiom that any candidate who holds ideas which can save the nation will be regarded as a mortal enemy by the ruling elites of both parties and we will have to nominate these candidates and support them in the face of the bitterest opposition possible.
Only in this way do we have the slightest chance of reversing America’s decline and restoring it to its proper place in the world.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 9:33 AM
Monday, January 17, 2011
Don Surber says EXACTLY what needs to be said:
I do not want civil discourse
For a decade, from the election of Bush 43 forward, the Left has lied and cheated as it tried to return to power. Al Gore made a mockery out of the American electoral system by being a spoilsport over Florida, which Bush indeed won by 537 votes. Dan Rather forged a document to try to derail Bush’s re-election. Twice Democrats stole U.S. senators from the Republicans. After voting to support the war to get by the 2002 election, many Democrats quickly soured on the war. The profane protests were cheered by liberals who misattributed “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” to Thomas Jefferson; the words belong to the late historian Howard Zinn.
Once in power, liberals were the opposite of gracious.
For two years now, I have been called ignorant, racist, angry and violent by the left. The very foul-mouthed protesters of Bush dare to now label my words as “hate speech.”
Last week, the left quickly blamed the right for the national tragedy of a shooting spree by a madman who never watched Fox News, never listened to Rush Limbaugh and likely did not know who Sarah Palin is.
Fortunately, the American public rejected out of hand that idiotic notion that the right was responsible.
Rather than apologize, the left wants to change the tone of the political debate.
The left suddenly wants civil discourse.
The left wants to play games of semantics.
The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade.
There is grown-up work to do now. Liberals ran up the federal credit card, destroyed the American medical system and undermined the rule of law — which is the foundation of capitalism — with a bunch of unconstitutional fiats from the president and his bureaucracy.
The economy is a mess. The president “inherited” a 7.6% unemployment rate. It’s now 9.4% — after we spent a record $787 billion on a stimulus.
I was not consulted on that stimulus. I had a very good argument against it. I said the money supply was too large and printing more money would fail. I said let the economic downturn run its course.
Lefties were too busy celebrating the 2008 election to listen.
When people protested lefties made vulgar remarks about tea-bagging and giggled.
So screw you and your civil discourse.
I don’t want to hear it.
I have been screamed at for 10 years.
It’s my turn now. I am not going to scream back. But I refuse to allow anyone to dictate what I say or how I say it. I refuse to allow the same foul-mouthed, foul-spirited foul people who dumped on me to now try to tell me what I may or may not say.
My free speech matters more than the feelings of anyone on the left. You don’t like what I say? Tough.
I will not allow people to label my words Hate Speech or try to lecture me on civility. I saw the lefty signs. The left’s definition of civil discourse is surreal.
We have a terribly unfit president who has expanded government control beyond not only what is constitutional but what is healthy for our freedom.
Indeed, this call for civil discourse is itself a direct threat to my free speech.
So screw you.
You don’t like my words? You don’t like my tone? You feel threatened?
Actually, that is what I want. I want the lefties to feel bad. I want them to feel hurt. I want them to cry to their mommies.
That way the field will be cleared so we grown-ups can fix the nation and the economy. If you can’t put up with a little excrement, get the hell out of the barn.
I just wish I had said it so well myself.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 4:01 PM
In a essay in The Weekly Standard conservative humorist and commentator P.J. O'Rourke takes on the New York Times' hysterical coverage of the Tucson shootings by deranged madman Jared Loughner.
O'Rourke specualtes that the willingness of the Times to publish over-the-top screeds placing the blame for the actions of an insane man with no ties whatsoever to any part of the conservative movement might be a sign that liberalism might be dying or perhaps even already dead:
A reaction so disproportionate and immaterial to a news story by a news organization is indicative of trouble in the body politic—trouble almost as severe as that which the Times claims the Giffords shooting indicates. I worry that in the tremors and hysteria of the Times we’re seeing the sad end of liberalism.
O'Rourke goes on to make this observation:
Its passing is to be mourned, perhaps most by true conservatives. -Civilization owes a debt to liberal politics. From the Reform Act and the religious emancipation fight of the British Whigs to the American civil rights movement, liberals have in fact held positions on political high ground (though not during Clinton’s exploitation of the Oklahoma City bombing). Liberals have seen government as a force for good, and sometimes it can be. World War II comes to mind. While conservatives have delighted in the free market, liberals have been there to remind us that all freedoms, including market freedoms, entail responsibilities. At the very least it can be said that we conservatives would not be so upright in our ideals if we hadn’t been pushing against liberals.O'Rourke is correct, however that day has passed. Rick Moran has this observation to make about Mr. O'Rourke's comments in a piece on American Thinker:
The kind of classical liberalism that birthed the labor movement, gave impetus to civil rights, and tried to soften the hard edges of capitalism is dead. It died in the protest movement of the late 1960's when those hostile to the American experiment supplanted liberals like Humphrey and Jackson, replacing them with Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich types. Bred for combat with the right and completely unaware - or unconcerned - about the effects of their radical policies, the New Left has driven us over a cliff.This is true. It was once possible to be a liberal and a patriot. No more. Can anyone imagine a Democrat holding national elective office saying what FDR said after Pearl Harbor? Joe Lieberman would hold sentiments like that but he was forced out of the Democrat party for exactly that reason.
"No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."I have one disagreement with Mr. Moran. I think that the left knows exactly what the outcome of their policies will be. I think that is the point with them. They want power concentrated in the hands of a central government which will be firmly under their control. That is their goal and that is the true intent of their policies.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 12:26 PM
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Stan Rogers - The Witch of the Westmerelands
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 11:06 PM
Conservative novelist and screenwrither Andrew Klavan comments on the media hysteria surrounding the Tucson shootings.
. . . To be sure, there is a lot of heated rhetoric in American politics, as ever. For instance, last spring, three Democratic congressmen cruelly slandered Tea Party members by accusing them of spitting on them and calling them racial slurs—a charge that was reported as true by the Times even after it was thoroughly debunked by videotapes of the event. Film director Rob Reiner compared the Tea Party to the Nazis on Bill Maher’s HBO show last October. And in May, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg infamously blamed an Islamist attempt to bomb Times Square on “someone who didn’t like health care or something.” Indeed, the Left’s hysterical response to all who disagree with it—that they are racist or sexist or “phobic” or somehow reminiscent of Hitler—has become so predictable that satirists, from the libertarian Greg Gutfeld to the liberal Jon Stewart, have made fun of it in routines.
But never mind that, because the Left’s sudden talk about incendiary political rhetoric in the wake of the Arizona shooting isn’t really about political rhetoric at all. It’s about the real-world failure of leftist policies everywhere—the bankrupting of nations and states by greedy unions and unfundable social programs, the destruction of inner cities by identity politics, and the appeasement of Muslim extremists in the face of worldwide jihad, not to mention the frequently fatal effects of delirious environmentalism. Europe is in debt and on fire. American citizens are in political revolt. Even the most left-wing president ever is making desperate overtures to his right.
But all that might be tolerable to leftists if they weren’t starting to lose control of the one weapon in which they have the most faith: the narrative. The narrative is what leftists believe in instead of the truth. If they can blame George W. Bush for the economic crisis, if they can make Sarah Palin out to be an idiot, if they can call the Tea Party racist until you think it must be true, they might yet retain power in spite of the international disgrace of their ideas. And though they still mostly dominate the narrative on the three broadcast networks, most cable stations, most newspapers, and much of Hollywood, nonetheless Fox News, talk radio, the Internet, and the Wall Street Journal have begun to respond in ways they can’t ignore.
That’s the hateful rhetoric they’re talking about: conservatives interrupting the stream of leftist invective in order to dismantle their arguments with the facts. As for leftists’ reaction to the Arizona shooting, call it Narrative Hysteria: a frantic attempt to capitalize on calamity by casting their opponents, not merely as racist or sexist or Islamophobic this time, but as somehow responsible for an act of madness and evil. Shame on them.
As I said in a previous post, it is the conservatives damned truth telling that is driving the left insane.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 11:02 PM
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Diana West posts this on Burssels Journal:
I am posting (below) a letter from the Danish Free Press Society, the parent organization of the International Free Press Society, of which I am vice president. It is of urgent importance. It tells of the terrible turn of events in Denmark, which for years now has bravely spearheaded the West's fights to save free speech, now and seemingly in perpetuity under assault from both the Marxian Left and the press of sharia (Islamic law) -- and with zero support from diplomatic, governmental, or professional institutions in the United States, home and caretaker of the First Amendment. This appalling lack of support, which translates into a lack of courage and vision, is the main reason the assault of free speech continues to be successful. But et tu, Denmark?
There have been signs: for example, former Prime MInister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's gratuitous slap at Pastor Terry Jones' stated intention to burn Korans to mark the jihad attacks of 9/11 in September of this year; and the Danish paper Politiken's February 2010 apology for reprinting Kurt Westergaard's Mohammed cartoon, which Westergaard, wonderful man, one month past the nearest-miss assassination attempt yet that sent him and his five-year-old granddaughter into his "safe" room (a reinforced bathroom with an alarm button), declared the newspaper's apology a "setback for free speech."
And so it was. But such events are more than "setbacks." They fit into a terrible and even totalitarian climate of assault in which the Danish government, via its public prosecutor, as the letter states, is "waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices."
Last month, Danish MP Jesper Langballe was convicted of "hate speech" -- "racial discrimination," for having highlighted the pattern of "honor killings" in Muslim families. (Here is his "confession.") Now in the crosshairs is my very dear friend and colleague, Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society. (A historian as well as a journalist and author, Lars took me on a special tour of Copenhagen, which I wrote about here.) On January 24 he goes on trial. His crime? Discussing the high incidence of family rape within Islamic cultures, which the prosecutor is attempting to outlaw as "racism."
In fact, the Danish prosecutor is attempting to enforce Islamic "blasphemy" laws, which outlaw all criticism of Islam.
Jesper Langballe and now Lars Hedegaard have been targeted because they are Danes of courage and principle who refuse to lie down and shut up and let the "multicultural" Big Lies wash in and inundate their mental and moral capacities to that endpoint of totalitarian triumph where citizens become subjects, minions who no longer articulate or even recognize truth and morality. In a world where mandarins of Left and mullahs of sharia so conspire, we risk a kind of double-dhimmification in acquiesence, rendering civilization incapable of self-defense.
Please read the Danish Free Press Soctety's letter and realize it is in fact an SOS. Save Our Speech. If you are so moved, there is an email address below to which you may address comments in support of Lars Hedegaard's freedom of speech, which will be reprinted in the DFPS newsletter.
From the Danish Free Press Society:
Free speech is under attack in Denmark. Please help us preserve it.I bring this to your attention for two reasons. One is that what is going on in Europe is of great long-term importance to the United States. Most of Europe is sitting under a demographic sword of Damocles which will see it become majority Muslim by the middle of this century.
Those who have been following the Danish cartoon crisis and several subsequent attempts by radical Muslims to kill and bomb Danes and Danish institutions may be excused for believing that Denmark is in the forefront of the battle for free speech. And indeed it used to be that way.
No longer. For the past year the Danish public prosecutor has been waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices.
On December 3, 2010, Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe was convicted of "hate speech" – or as the judge in the lower court of Randers put it: "racial discrimination" – for having called attention to honour killings in Muslim families.
Next in line is Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society, who will stand trial in the lower court of Frederiksberg on January 24, 2011.
His crime has been to point to the great number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture. This well documented fact has brought him an indictment under the Danish penal code's "racism" clause: Article 266b.
Both MP Langballe and Lars Hedegaard have long ago emphasised that they did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes. This has made no impression on the public prosecutor.
We fear that the public prosecutor intends to stifle open debate on Islam and Muslim culture. And we fear that he is doing so with the tacit approval of the governing parties, which first signalled their intention to remove the racism clause from the penal code but have recently recanted.
If the authorities succeed in silencing such critics as Jesper Langballe and Lars Hedegaard, who will dare speak out?
We must put a stop to these attempts to undermine free speech if we wish to preserve Denmark as a free country. And where Denmark – that former beacon of free speech – goes, the rest of the West may follow.
You can help us.
Please send a few words to firstname.lastname@example.org in defence of Lars Hedegaard's freedom of expression. We will then publish them in The Free Press Magazine, Sappho.dk.
Please do what you can to spread the word about the trial of Lars Hedegaard.
Vice President, The Danish Free Press Society
Katrine Winkel Holm
Chief Editor, Sappho.dk
As can be seen here Islamists and the political left in Denmark have entered into an alliance and are using the law to silence speech which they find unacceptable - in this case criticism of Islam.
Why the left would enter into such an alliance has long puzzled me. After all when and if Islamists come to power in a nation homosexuals will be subject to execution and women's rights will be restricted to the "right" to wear a burka, marry whomever she is ordered to marry and never leave the home without being escorted by her husband or a male relative.
Then it occurred to me. What the left worships is power. Total power concentrated in a central government and that is exactly what Islamofascism offers. A unitary state where all meaningful power is vested in the central government. What would it be to this public prosecutor if he had to change his name to Mohammad and wear robes as long as he could wield the power of a Yuri Andropov or Heinrich Himmler?
Watch for this unholy alliance between the Euro left and Islam to grow stronger and deeper in the coming years. It will most likely give Muslims a political majority to begin transforming European society years before they have gained a demographic majority.
The second reason that I reposted this here is that I want you to contemplate the similarity between how the Islamofascist/political left alliance is operating in Denmark and how the "progressive" left is behaving in the USA.
Before the blood had even had a chance to dry on the Tucson sidewalk the American left was already flooding the airwaves and Internet with accusations that he killer had been practically forced to pull the trigger by Sarah Palin and conservative talk radio. The point of all this hysterical bloviating (all without one shred of evidence to back it up) was to try to quickly set the narrative that the right, simply by telling the truth about the left and organizing an effective opposition to their policies and political candidates was somehow guilty of a hate crime and had the blood of the Tucson victims on their collective hands.
Denied - for the time being - the legal power to drag Republicans and conservatives into court and prosecute them for their beliefs and their political opposition and their damned truth-telling the Democrats are forced to settle for demonization as the means to shut up their opponents.
But in both circumstances, Europe and the US, the ultimate goal is the same. To silence any opposition and completely control the public discourse.
Posted by Lemuel Calhoon at 2:13 PM