Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Interesting title for a book on Bush

(Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media (Hardcover)
by Bill Sammon)


I haven't read it. Despite the hyperbole typical to book titles it seems to me that there is a case to be made for giving Bush at least a little more credit than he generally gets. Perhaps like Reagan, Bush won't be given credit for anything good that he's done by the "mainstream" until he's dead.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

That would be interesting.

Pope may embrace intelligent design

Pope Benedict XVI may reportedly embrace the theory of intelligent design, possibly heralding a fundamental shift in the Vatican’s view of evolution.
(Link from Uncommon Descent)

If that happens then expect a wave of anti-Catholic sentiment among Leftist intellectuals, with many invoking the Flat Earth myth or mythic narratives surrounding Galileo. Mythic narrative: "Once upon a time such and such happened, here is the Hero and there is the Villian, and here's the little lesson to be learned from it all." If the pope does embrace ID I'm not even sure it would be a good thing for ID given that most people seem to believe myths about a long benighted, if not downright evil Catholic Church.

The problem with the myths that progressives tend to invoke in editorials and the like about the "war between science and religion" is that they often have little basis in history. For example, historians have traced the Flat Earth myth back to the writings of progressives in the 1800s who apparently invented it for political purposes even when history shows that it was known in the West that the earth was round all the way back to the times of the Greek philosophers.

Why they did it:
There was some hope, Draper felt, that science could live with Protestantism, because liberal Protestantism was yielding its moral authority to the secular state and its epistemological basis to science. But science could never live with Catholicism, which under Pius IX condemned liberal progressivism in the "Syllabus of Errors," opposed the union of Italy into a secular state, and declared the pope's infallibility. [...] Draper saw the secular national state as the protector and steward of liberal progress, and he admired Bismark's "Culture War" (Kulturkampf) against the church in [proto-Nazi] Germany.
(Inventing the Flat Earth: Colombus and Modern Historians
by Jeffrey Burton Russell :38)

It was political, although by the time a political propagandist is done he may actually believe that he's seeking or telling the truth.

It is typical to progressives to lie about or attack the level of intelligence of any who oppose them, while conservatives typically attack the morals of any who oppose them. So it is not surprising to find that their myths are structured to suit their own psychological dynamics. But note the ignorance that the promulgation of progressive myths rely on, in this case they rely on ignorance with respect to basic facts of history that clearly prove that educated people knew the earth was a sphere. On an ironic note, it was the scholastics and monks who learned at the universities of their day who were most likely to have that knowledge and to protect it through the Dark Ages, yet they are the religious people that progressives tried to attack by inventing myths about them.

Generally, there are also bits of knowledge and possible lines of evidence* that go against the entire progressive belief system in which it is believed that human beings were once generally stupid but now progress on towards becoming a New Man based on intelligence and knowledge.
*E.g., the maps of the ancient sea kings (Who seemed to know the shape of the earth.), the Great Pyramid contains many lines of evidence about ancient knowledge in itself and so on and so forth. (E.g. "Reference to any equal-area projection map of the Earth's surface reveals that the chosen site of the Great Pyramid lies on the longest land-contact meridian on the Earth's surface, and is also at the geographical center of its whole land mass, including the Americas and Antarctica.") It may be that some lines of evidence cannot be proven to the same extent as the historical fact that educated people knew the earth was a sphere back in the Dark Ages, yet all it takes is a single instance to puncture the grand myths of Progress that reject the ancient notion of a progression drawn forth by Providence.

The way that Leftists tend to view science and progress is ironic given that chemistry came from alchemy, astronomy from astrology and so on only as the result of changes in religious beliefs and philosophical patterns of thought. Murmuring about science and progress now is ironic because if things were left to the smothering immanence typical to the Leftist mind we'd probably be back in the Dark Ages of the Druids with their Nature based paganisms trying to suck at the teat of Mommy Nature. I.e., we'd be practicing astrology instead of astronomy, alchemy instead of chemistry, the charlatanism of the snake oil salesman instead of medicine, and so on.

Perhaps logocentric forms of thought are a victim of their own progress, thus the apparent cyclic nature of the rise and fall of civilizations. That is to say, when people become fat and happy (or morbidly obese and depressed, for such is progress!) as the result of the systematic forms of thought typical to science and technology they begin feeling that the illogic of Nature based paganism defines progress or has brought them science, technology and "progress" as they know it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

ID booklist...

To be read:
In the Beginning Was Information: A Scientist Explains the Incredible Design in Nature, by Werner Gitt

Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design And the Kitzmiller V. Dover Decision by David K. Dewolf

Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution by David Stove

A Meaningful World: How the Arts And Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature by
Benjamin Wiker

I'm not really interested in the one about political and legal issues having to do with ID because I don't really care about what the American Judiciary has pulled out of its own penumbra lately. Lawyers have killed language while asserting that they protect a living Constitution. Of course they do not protect anything but their own acts of will and power because the Constitution was constituted with and can only live by the definition of language. American legal culture rejected the designed capacity for adaptation that was built into the Constitution and instead shifted to mutating it to fit their own acts of will and power, all the while portraying themselves as protecting others against acts of "imposition."

If the Constitution was once "living," it is now a cadaver.

Saving Lady Liberty by banning bras...

Gel Bras Prohibited, Then Permitted Aboard Flights

Women said to complain that airport screeners seem titillated by the possibility of boobytraps.

In the interest of equality: Airport Embarrassment Could Lead to Jail

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Republican conspiracy at the News Journal?

Possible evidence is here.

A sample of the conspiracy: Here we are watching another terroristic plot to destroy our way of life, just in time for the elections. I don't want to feed into conspiracy theory, but doesn't it seem strange that every time we are about to go into an election period, terrorists are going to blow something up in the world? --Paul Keffer, Newark

I don't want to feed into conspiracy theories but it seems strange that this letter would show up now, just when it will help Republicans once again portray Democrats and their supporters as too ignorant and kooky to be trusted on the issue of terrorism. The Big Secret is that editorials like this are just part of Karl Rove's Master Plan. The poor Democrats, just when they don't want to look like mush-minded kooks that can't judge an actual line of cause and effect* even if their lives (and our national security) depend on it, letters like this are being planted in papers by Republican operatives like this fellow. You see, it's all part of the type of vast plan typical to the vast right wing conspiracy.

Just kidding. But if many Leftist kooks attack Republicans based on the mildly schizophrenic forms of paranoia that some Leftist minds tend to lose themselves in on certain issues then that will probably do more political damage to the Democrats than any Vast Conspiracy on the Right.

Anyway, a person of marginal knowledge and reasoning ability can pick apart what this poor fellow is trying to say based on a few basic facts combined with logic: "If what this fellow says is true, then why this?" Etc. And if you don't begin to subtley use your own imagination as evidence and fall into pattern invention instead of pattern recognition as conspiracy theorists typically do, then the Grand Narrative that the conspiracy theorist is trying to weave together based on disparate facts tends to fall apart.

*A lack of ideological judgment that is too typical to the Leftist mind these days, e.g.: "Don't look at what is being taught to the Muslim youth at madrassas, look over here at the so-called 'smudge' on this one picture of 9/11. That's probably the missile that Bush used to blow up the Trade Towers! Besides, focusing on the fact that Muslim youth are being taught to be terrorists is Islamophobic...which means that I'm being tolerant just like I am to gays or somethin'. How nice I am!"

Related posts: Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week at Collossus (He takes this letter seriously. I suppose one should take it seriously because like Holocaust denial and the Vast Jewish Conspiracy, a lot of people choose to be mentally retarded when it comes to terrorism/fascism.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An interesting film about the IRA

The Wind That Shakes the Barley is interesting, although those with a historical perspective will probably reject seeing things from the perspective of terrorists, which is good.

To those who argue that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter I would note that there are ways of defining terrorism and terrorists as opposed to soldiers or "freedom fighters." Terrorists are like fascists in that they usually rely on notions of victimization by an Imperial power to justify any and all means of fighting at the moment while the ends for which they fight are utopian and remain in grand visions of the future. Usually if they do get in a position to govern they still maintain the same vision of a supposed future utopia that justify any means in the present, so they still govern by terrorism because even if their victimization propaganda has less and less foundation in reality they can still fall back on their notions of utopia as the end that justifies their means.

Because the Leftist mind has never met a distinction or definition that it will not attempt to blur away some on the Left have argued that the American Founders were "terrorists" because "One man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist." and so on. Nothing can ever be totally and utterly clear, so the Leftist mind usually has a point, yet on the other hand it usually takes the blurring typical to it too far. It's probably not necessary to point out some differences in this case but for those who may be feeling their way along to this type of blurring: "Say, George Washington was like a terrorist because he fought for what he believed in just like terrorists do...that's fundamentalist or somethin'. Fundamentalist, terrorist, Taliban...Christian, Christian Taliban fundamentalist, all difference is all the same, I says!" here are a few historical and philosophical distinctions.

The Founders were distinct from fascists and terrorists because the Founders had fundamentally reasonable ideas about what they were fighting for when fighting an Imperial power. They were far from justifying their means in the present based on notions of future utopia or past victimization, instead they layed out what they were fighting for based on reason in reasonable ways. In contrast, when terrorists begin a war based on past victimization then immediately a vicious cycle begins that will not end because terrorism brings down the established order upon those who practice it, thus feeding victimization propaganda and so on. Similarly, if you are supposedly fighting for some type of socialist or Islamist utopia then the methods typical to terrorism will always be justified (even after winning power to govern) because the supposed utopia never comes.

*In the case of Islamic terrorism I would argue that the cycle of violence that terrorism generates is irrelevant because radical Islamic clerics have found ways of generating victimization propaganda to feed into their culture no matter what anyone does. You can know this because all possible positions have been taken all over the world and throughout history, yet Islamic clerics whose motivation is a utopian vision of Islamic law governing the world still use victimization propaganda as a justification to work towards that end.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Fortunately the New York Times didn't do this, despite their likely bias. For those interested, here is how they actually reported elements of the story:
LONDON, April 18—The battle of the Warsaw ghetto began a year ago tomorrow. Tonight, at the headquarters of the Polish Government in exile, a courier from the Polish underground forces gave the first detailed, connected account of those six weeks of desperate fighting.

Some 3,000 to 5,000 Jews battled several times their number of German police and elaborately armed Elite Guard troops on roofs, through alleys and in cellars. Holding out here and there in little groups of men, women and youths, the Jews were put down at last’ after having cost the Germans several hundred killed and wounded. Those Jews who remained alive were herded out to execution, Concentration camps or slavery.

Only One Building Whole
The ghetto itself was in utter ruin. The only building intact when the courier left Warsaw at the end of January was the Pawiak political prison for Poles, just inside the ghetto walls. Polish prisoners were still being brought to it to stay briefly before being taken into a schoolyard and shot. Their bodies were soaked with kerosene and burned in heaps.

Fearing that Jews still survived in the cellars, the Germans were blowing up even the ruins. Outside the walls, Poles heard daily blasts of dynamite and machine guns killing prisoners nine months after the battle of the ghetto had begun.
The courier who brought this story, and who goes here by the false name of Lieut. Jerzy Jur, arrived from Poland by a devious route early this month. He had reached Warsaw from London on a secret mission just before the ghetto uprising began on April 19.

By that time, repeated massacres had reduced the ghetto’s population to about 40,000. The revolt came not by deliberate plan but spontaneously, out of desperation. The Jews had been summoned to assemble in the main square of the ghetto on April 19. They knew that that meant going into forced labor j.n German industries, or death. They just did not assemble.

Armed by Underground
There were arms for only about 3,000 Jews, and about that number had had military training. They had been armed by the Polish underground with weapons bought from German, Italian and Hungarian soldiers on their way to and from the Russian front.
“When the Jews did not assemble,” Lieutenant Jur said, “the German police started to enter the ghetto in force. The Jews resisted. It was a bright spring day and I was just outside the ghetto walls when the noise of shots and bombs began.
“The Poles at first were jubilant. The ordinary Pole thought that the Jews had inside knowledge that the second front was opening and so they thought this was the first blow toward deliverance. Those of us who knew better, though, were sick at heart, because we knew there could be no second front then.
“The Jews won the admiration of the whole city by their fight. They lay with rifles, machine guns and grenades on rooftops, in windows and on balconies. I remember one small, dark Jewish girl about 25 who manned a machine gun by herself on a balcony. She wore a dark blue dress. Afterward, I saw her body stretched out there.
[...]
Tanks Knocked Out
“The Germans shelled the ghetto, but still the Jews held. Then they brought up tanks, armored cars and flame-throwers. The Jews knocked out some of these with hand grenades manufactured from stolen explosives and with blazing bottles of gasoline.
“It was nine days before the Germans finally broke into the ghetto. They began a systematic mopping-up from roofs through every floor and down to the cellars.
(Pole Tells Story of Ghetto Battle
by Harold Denny
The New York Times, Apr. 19, 1944; pg. 5)

After telling how the battle raged for thirty-five days, Mr. Van Paassen related: “On the thirty-fifth day came the end. On the afternoon of that day but two small groups of Jews were left. One of them, made up of young men and women, had turned a tenement house into a fortress.
“Seventeen times the Nazis in mass formation tried to storm the place. Each time they were beaten back by the hail of shot and with severe losses. On the eighteenth attempt they broke into the house.
“The last Jewish bullet had been fired. The handful of surviving defenders retreated up the staircase, fighting every inch of the way. On every landing and In every room lay the dead and wounded. Masses of Nazi soldiers filled the house and forced and pushed their way up the stairs. Finally they reached the roof.
“There the last stand was made. One of the Jewish girls had wrapped the flag of Zion* around her body and the others stood around her close together, arms around each other’s shoulders, as if they were about to dance the horab.
“For a moment were heard the strains of the Hatikvah, until the raucous, triumphant cries of the German soldiers who had reached the roof interrupted the singing. But the Nazi cries were in turn interrupted by a terrific roar. One of the Jewish boys had set off a charge of explosive and the house went down like Dagon’s temple at Gaza, burying friend and foe alike. ....
(Jews Here Acclaim Heroes of Warsaw
The New York Times, Apr. 20, 1944; pg. 10)

*If you find yourself feeling that things would be simpler if America would just let Israel be eaten by the anti-Semitic jackals of the world it is worth remembering why many Jews came to desire to have a state in their ancient homeland in the first place.

A note on the Nazi view of the uprising:
And so it went for the first few days, the poorly armed defenders giving ground before the attacks of tanks, flame throwers and artillery but keeping up their resistance. General Stroop could not understand why “this trash and subhumanity,” as he referred to the besieged Jews, did not give up....

[Stroop said,] 'Within a few days it became apparent that the Jews no longer had any intention to resettle voluntarily, but were determined to resist evacuation . . . Whereas it had been possible during the first days to catch considerable numbers of Jews, who are cowards by nature, it became more and more difficult during the second half of the operation to capture the bandits and Jews. Over and over again new battle groups consisting of 20 to 30 Jewish men, accompanied by a corresponding number of women, kindled new resistance.'
(The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer. (Simon and Schuster) 1990 :976-977)

The same truth can be seen from an evil perspective, which naturally perverts the truth.

Letter of the day...

After reading another article about Islamic government that reviles the United States and criticizes what we are doing in the Middle East, we shake our heads and rant "They need a democracy like we have!" We are dumbfounded by the naivete that believes a successful government can be based on fundamentalist religious principles.

For intellectual honesty, let's look at our current political situation. The United States has a president who speaks for God, a ruling political party that represents true believers, assurance that our government should be guided by religious principles and agendas purportedly founded on biblical views.


Apparently those who truly believe that they do not believe anything will never tire of pretending that their mentally incompetent beliefs about "true believers" matter. To elaborate, given the type of Leftist "reasoning" in which all believers are merged together (no matter how deep and fundamental their scriptural or theological differences and distinctions are) one would have to say that the anti-Nazi Confessional Church was wrong because it was "fundamentalist" and they truly believed that biblical/textual truths had to be confessed to as a defining/fundamental aspect of Christianity. (Defining it as opposed to the "German Christians," etc.)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the abysmal reasoning that Delawareans engage in given that I often argue that American civilization is on the decline. And therefore language based reasoning along with it, so what do I expect? But still, reading some of these editorials I find myself a little surprised. In this case, note that if you simply merge together all fundamentalists and use the term as a buzzword against all textually defined belief then you may have merged such disparate sentiments as: "Establish Christian hospitality as a witness for my form of knowledge." with "Cut off the head of the infidel to spread the knowledge of Allah."

It's ironic to note that one fundamentalist type position tends to result in civilization as we know it in the Greco/Judeo/Christian West. That is how hospitals and the very caring for health with "healthcare" that the Leftist mind seems to enjoy sniveling came about. Hospitals have often come about based on Christian notions of hospitality, thus their names. They did not come about based on the pagan belief in the "survival of the fittest" and the pseudo-science of Darwinism that such beliefs have rested on in modern times. Instead, Darwinism is linked to eugenics and the abuse of hospitals because the ethics of hospitality upon which hospitals rest are undermined by Darwinism's modern rationalizations for the values of old Nature based paganism.

With the White House courting Armageddon theologians, why shouldn't they also discount global warming...

Everyone should agree that our precious Mommy Earth is going to come to an end as we know it. There is evidence of great catastrophism in the past that will most likely repeat. Even barring catastrophe and cataclysm the orbits of planets go a little more out of an alignment favorable to Life as I write this, not to mention the way the human race seems bound to run itself to death and so on. Yet knowing that the world will come to an end is no argument against doing the best we can to garden the Garden to support the life forms and form of life that we value. And that is all we are doing, supporting the life forms that we value (a grand bird of prey, a majestic whale, etc.) and not those forms of life that we do not (rectal parasites, etc., unfortunately one could include unborn human life among devalued forms of life as well).

To reason backwards from believing in the end of the world to the fact that people must not care about the world as the writer does there we'd have to conclude that all the false prophets of Great Doom among environmentalists must be arguing that we may as well focus on the present because of the coming catastrophy due to global warming.

...disagree with geological explanations of fossil fuel depletion, eschew Darwinian theories of evolution...

Anyone acquainted with basic forms of evidence and basic logic eschews Darwinian theories of evolution, the end of the world really doesn't have much to do with it.

...reject global population planning, and oppose stem cell research?(This excercise in inanity was brought to you by Ron Hamlen and Sue Fuhrmann of Elkton, Md.)

Leftists who believe in scientism have been prophesying various forms of Great Doom based on the pseudo-science typical to them ever since Malthus, then they went to eugenics, but since the Nazi implementation of eugenics and the general collapse of Communism they are left with abortion and condoms. In all of it they are consistent in one thing, rebellion against the spiritual nature of man. Yet because man does have a spiritual nature that exists within Nature which the Leftist mind can never admit to without fundamentally changing, all its forms of "planning" never seem to work. One could almost be a spiritual utilitarian, failing to believe that the spiritual exists yet seeing that believing it does works. Too bad that doesn't work either, though.

As for the general theme of apocaplytical things being linked to politics, there actually are not that many Christian "fundamentalists" in America who argue that people will die if you don't agree with them politically and so on. There are a few that argued that 9/11 was God's judgment and so on. I'm not sure how they purport to know that and I can't recall if they changed their minds later or if anything political actually came of it. Usually nothing comes of it. Yet on the other hand, there are many environmentalists who prophesy that all sorts of Great Doom will happen if people do not agree with them and regulations and laws do actually result. Generally the environmentalists who prophesy Great Doom to all who disagree with their pet policies are the ones who are actually in charge of governmental agencies and the like. In contrast, the handful of clergy that engage in the same form of reasoning from the other side usually don't actually do anything governmentally.

Despite all the prophesyzin' that goes on, it's worth noting that the end of the world as we know it is coming no matter what your worldview is. If you suppose that your view of the world is more material in nature, the end of the earth as we know it approaches. If you believe that your worldview is naturally grounded in the spiritual, the end of the world still approaches naturally enough.

Given my worldview all I would say is that there will come a time when the human race is finished trying to run a race away from the government of God, then is when it will be finished. So make a note of it: "End of the world coming. Also, we're out of milk." Perhaps you could file your note away as a bit of knowledge that is most likely going to be irrelevant to you and the way that you try to govern your own life and run your part of the human race. For despite the way that Great Doom approaches you will go and live the life granted to you by the grace of God. On a personal note, it's more relevant for each person to know that you could easily die tomorrow. There's a little doom for you. And that would be the end of the material world as you know it, which is all that matters as far as you go.

The Leftist mind may be half-witted about the little matter of Life but it isn't totally wrong. Matter does matter, it's just not all that matters.

[Related posts: The sky is falling, no there's a hole in it! No, wait, it's warming.
It's global warming, so get out your earmuffs.]

Republican incumbents will probably lose...

...although given the pathetic state of the Democratic party Republicans actually might not lose. There again, it's not much of a win to beat many Democrats.

Here is my guess, Republicans will lose because they've abandoned their core consituency on things like immigration, economics and so on. I.e. the policies they support are double-minded and hypocritical and what is said doesn't match what actually happens. Examples: They pass tax cuts but cannot stop spending or veto anything, they put the national guard on the border but cannot stop illegal immigration, etc. They aren't actually doing what their core constituency wants them to do. In general, they are failing to represent the views of people who get Republicans elected. Therefore, they probably won't be elected again unless Democrats are really, really stupid. (Which is a possibility, e.g. putting Howard Dean in charge, the election of Ned Lamont, etc.)

Ironically, if my guess is right and they do lose Democrats will probably read the elections results as a referrendum on Iraq. Like their position on tax cuts where they cannot see the capacity that people have for behavioral adaptaion the Democrats believe in myopic type of "scientific" worldview where billiard ball type cause and effect determines outcomes. They view people and organisms as bound and determined by their history* and so do not focus on the capacity for dynamically adapting that is actually typical to both organisms and people.

So they won't see it coming.

[Edit: I hope to revise and finish this later. Once again...]

To continue, they wouldn't see their defeat coming. If Republicans lose and that causes the Old Press and American Leftists to believe that they succeeded in what they've been trying to do over the past years then more and more Leftists will take over the Democratic party, leading the Democratic party to go against American militarism, leading it further into the electoral defeat that it has come to know and hate under Karl Rove. Some seem to think that Rove is some sort of malevolent genius but it doesn't take much of a genius of any sort to see that going against American militarism is politically stupid. Yet there is John Kerry, then there is Murtha, etc.

Given their pseudo-Newtonian worldview, the view of many Democrats seems to be that billiard ball A (the American public tiring of the war) will hit billiard ball B into motion (a sufficient cause for the election of Democrats) and that's the end of it because everything is bound, determined and caused by history. They forget C (the reaction of the Right* at the moment and the dynamics it may cause in the electorate) as well as D (the mutable dynamics of a fickle American electorate, etc.)

Seriously though, many Democrats seem to believe that more people getting frustrated with and tired of the war will inevitably cause electoral victory for them. I could be wrong and it really could be that simple but it seems to me that their notion of cause and effect will not take place in a vacuum.

*Taking reactionary positions can easily suit the Right.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Socialist Doctors

A local perspective:
How could state Rep. Joseph Miro, a native born citizen of Cuba, state in a News Journal article that he will be "joyous" if President Fidel Castro's illness removes him from office?

Fidel Castro chose the dangerous and heroic responsibility to oppose a ruthless, powerful and venal dictatorship in order to free his people from oppression and abject poverty. From my perspective as a physician, he should be rewarded for great achievements in health care and education -- the building blocks for any society.
Philip Pollner, M.D., Newark (Emphasis added)

The building blocks for any society are the family and the church, which is why the socialist strongman typically undermines the family by indoctrinating children and seeks to do away with the church through persecution. What special perspective on socialism do physicians have? It seems that doctors such as Howard Dean and this local ignoramus of the same ilk tend towards socialism because they know they will be the leaders and enforcers of the forms of scientism typical to it. For example, in the case of Cuba note the use of psychiatry:
This work, [The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba] ...is the culmination of a two-year investigation into the psychiatric abuse of political dissidents in Castro’s Cuba. The authors gathered information on sixty-three cases of Cuban political prisoners who were transferred to psychiatric hospitals where they were tortured with electroshock treatment and psychotropic drugs. In the book, however, they analyze only thirty-one of these cases, concentrating on those individuals who subsequently moved to the United States. The veracity of the findings were verified with Amnesty International’s and America Watch’s files. New York’s Freedom House and Washington, D.C.’s Of Human Rights cosponsored the project.

According to Brown and Lago, of the thirty-one cases analyzed, eleven dissidents were forced to receive electroshock treatment (some of them going through as many as twenty-four sessions). Sixteen of the prisoners were forced to take high doses of psychotropic drugs, mainly chlorpromazine (in two of the cases for as long as five years). All individuals were incarcerated for political causes, ranging from failed attempts to illegally leave the country, to writing anti-Castro graffiti or distributing human rights leaflets. Some were serving prison sentences for contempt for the regime, refusal to serve in the armed forces, or alleged participation in plots to assassinate Castro.

The book begins with a general analysis on the foundation of psychological torture in Cuba. The authors describe that according to Cuban criminal theory, capitalism is the cause of most criminal behavior.
(Reviewed Work: The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba by Charles J. Brown; Armando M. Lago
Reviewed by Jorge Carro
Human Rights Quarterly Vol. 15, No. 4 (Nov., 1993), :780)

Put simply, among socialist doctors the concept of "mental illness" is defined as disagreement with them or whatever tin-pot tyrant they're currently serving. (See also: The Nazi Doctors by Lifton)

Back to Pollner of Newark, M.D.:
Even during the days of economic despair, all medical facilities and schools flourished. Cuba's under-five mortality rate, the barometer used by the United Nations to measure national health status, has consistently reached that of industrialized nations, a marvel for a third world country, even withstanding an evil and immoral U.S. blockade.

... Cuba trains and exports thousands of doctors and nurses to serve in third world countries.
Schools flourish only to indoctrinate young students with the moral degeneracy typical to socialists, then the technically proficient barbarians are exported to other nations to spread the sort of poverty or disease that they feel they can cure.

Evil and immoral? If we become as illiterate as those indoctrinated into socialism or as ignorant as this little fellow it would seem that the illusion and misdirections typical to our moral judgments would matter little.

The final word in the case of Castro has already been written and verified on numerous occasions. One example:
...in spite of the substantial body of literature on the subject, one important aspect of Castro’s saga was neglected almost to oblivion during the first twenty-six years of his revolution: the true story of Castro’s repressive behavior and the horrifying accounts of the human rights violations of his regime. ...efforts, for one reason or another (limited circulation, limited scope, unavailability of translations, lack of sponsorship by prominent individuals or groups) never reached the dramatic impact of those influential works of the type of Zola’s I Accuse, Paton’s Cry The Beloved Country, or Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag. It was only in 1986 when Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares was published that finally the world had access to the true story of Castro’s repression presented in a way that was difficult to ignore or set aside without indignation. Valladares’ accounts of the forced labor, beatings, tortures and cold-blooded assassinations perpetrated upon the largest population of political prisoners ever experienced in Latin American history, as well as the inhumane, barbaric living conditions prevailing in Castro’s infamous prisons, served to remove his mask of humanism by exposing him to the world court of public opinion as the ruthless, cruel dictator that he really is.
[...]
This narrative possesses the accuracy and veracity of a chronicle as well as the vigor and effectiveness of a manifesto, while at the same time carrying the dramatic impact of a literary work. In Valladares’ book the reader is exposed to the crudeness and repulsiveness of the experiences of Castro’s political prisoners with such graphic clarity that at times the reader cannot help but feel nauseated. But at the same time, here and there, throughout the book, the author’s prose is spiced with the fine, sensitive touch of an accomplished poet. All this, when added to the outstanding credentials of the writer, provide this work with the extraordinary dimension of an epic.
[...]
...the book moves into the account of Valladares’ life in prison. He starts with his days in La Cabana. Purposely, with the intent to terrorize the prison inmates, the executions by firing squad were carried out at night in the deep moats of the fortress. The comrades of those executed could hear, in the silence of the night, their last words, the order to the firing squad, the discharge of the carbines (all loaded with live ammunition), the coup de grace of the squad’s leader and even the hammering of the nails in the coffins. Valladares tells us of some of those horrifying experiences, like the case of a prisoner who received serious injuries during his arrest. While in prison he remained in a narrow cell without a bed. Unable to stand up, he had to drag himself along the filthy floor. As a consequence, his unattended wounds became infected and filled with maggots. They took him into the moat to the firing squad on a stretcher. His executioners could not even tie him to the post. According to Valladares this “was perhaps the only man ever executed, who was being devoured by worms even before he died.”

At times, the pace of the rev├álutionary justice was so swift that prison officials did not even bother to notify families about the trial and tragic end of those executed. Rather, the families first heard the news many days after their deaths, when attempting to visit their loved ones in prison.’

Although the official executions ordered by the kangaroo courts not only constituted an aberration of justice but a barbaric and cruel process, those executed were not the only prisoners to die victims of Castro’s justice. There were others, many of them in fact, who were assassinated in cold blood or left to die for unattended injuries or diseases.

When Valladares was transferred to Isla de Pinos, the largest of Castro’s political prisons, he was greeted by the news that a prisoner named Monteiras had been kicked to death by his custodians.” This was only the tip of the iceberg, as throughout the book Valladares reports, sometimes with gory details, innumerable acts of assassinations performed on the inmates by prison personnel. Among those, the escorts of a cordon of prisoners opened fire and killed Edy Alvarez and Danny Crespo because they protested the brutal way they were treated. Julio Tan, in the forced labor site, was attacked by the squad leader with a bayonet.
[...]
[When] Castro embarked on the path of communism, Boitel raised his voice of condemnation. His position so irritated Castro that he was arrested, tried and sentenced without any concrete accusation. He was left to die without medical attention in El Principe (a prison for common criminals), where he was confined as punishment for his protests against the inhumane treatment of fellow prisoners. The details of his protracted agony are described in a way that brings tears to the readers’ eyes while at the same time boils the blood in their veins. Finally, Boitel found peace in his death which came on 24 May 1972, after fifty-three days on a hunger strike. Not one prison authority moved a finger to save Boitel, nor to alleviate his suffering.’ It had been said that Fidel Castro gave direct orders to get rid of Boitel at all costs.

Valladares also told stories of physical tortures: beatings, attacks with bayonets, forced labor in nauseating swamps, biological experimentation, rationing, and at times complete denial of food and water, all without the most basic elements of medical attention.
(Reviewed Work: Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares by Andrew Hurley; Armando Valladares
Reviewed by Jorge L. Carro
Human Rights Quarterly Vol. 14, No. 4 (Nov., 1992), :591-600)

Pollner, M.D.
Cuba is now training American medical students who will return to the United States to practice in undeserved communities. Fidel Castro is a true Latin patriot and liberator who put his life at risk to ensure a better quality of life for his people.

As opposed to the evil and immoral American Empire, I suppose? Cuba is now training technically proficient barbarians to try to spread socialism and the misery that accompanies it around the world. Most likely they will come into alignment behind a representative of the Prince of this world, the metaphoric Strongman that seeks to govern it. If so, one would expect a pattern or "likeness" to emerge from them having to do with people of the Book, the Church, freedom of speech, etc. But it seems to me that one has to deal with the basic aspects of the abysmal ignorance typical to socialists before moving on to the craaazy visions typical to higher levels of pattern recognition. Besides, one wouldn't want any socialist doctor to come along and begin prescribing medical "treatments" based on how much they care for free healthcare for all and so on.

As for the quality of life of the Cuban people, I would like to know what contribution Mr. Miro had made on their behalf.

It seems that there are more important bits of knowledge for this little fellow to know than such irrelevant facts but I suspect that as long as he remains blinded by his own moral vanity he will continue to believe that the American Empire is generally a force for evil and Castro generally a force for good.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Public statements vs. private views among gay activists

This is typical, the private thoughts of a gay activist:
We have not come out as transsexuals, leather dykes, masochists, drag queens, or pedophiles - all [dis]orientations shocking to middle class and even radical feminist society and even more totalizing in the creation of a singular identity. One would expect that if openly gay scholarship comes to be accepted in the legal academy....little waves of new outsiders will form. Every assimilation generates new lines being drawn and new outsiders being created.
(Chicago-Kent Law Review 1996
71 Chi. Kent. L. Rev. 977
Symposium on the Trends in Legal Citations and
Scholarsihp: Outsider-Insiders: The Academy of the Closet
by William N. Eskridge, Jr.) (Emphasis added)

Compare with what the activist represents to the public on similar cultural shifts:
ESKRIDGE: But the point is that in Sweden, we've seen some of the same trends that we saw in Denmark. So in Sweden, the rate of marriage had been plummeting in 1994, when they adopted same sex unions. The rate of marriage has been increasing in Sweden since 1994.

O'REILLY: OK. I think what we can draw...

I think what we can draw...

O'REILLY: Same thing we can draw from this - I think we can draw this - this is what I'm drawing from all of your data. The gay marriage per say, the marriage of homosexuals, doesn't really impact on straight marriage for those who want a traditional union.

But it does, Mr. Spedale, it does lead to a more libertine or permissive society in the sense that marriage itself then is de-emphasized as we see in Sweden. And more and more people cohabitate.

SPEDALE: No. I think that's not true. .... In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden in each of those countries after they passed their gay marriage type laws, their registered partnership records, the rates of heterosexual marriage went up per capita. The rates of heterosexual divorce went down.
[...]
...the important thing here really is the fact that we found that gay marriage in practice does not effect, and may even actually have the opposite point.

O'REILLY: I will give you that point. I agree with both of you that that's true, that Lenny, Mary, and Squiggy doesn't have had anything to do with anybody marrying a woman, any man or a woman marrying a man.

But I will submit to you that the permissiveness and the de-emphasis on traditional marriage has affected these Scandinavian societies, professor. I don't think there's any doubt about it.

ESKRIDGE: Mr. O'Reilly I give you another "A". But one of the reasons that the divorce rate has gone up in Scandinavia is no fault divorce. ....
(Fox News Network
Show: The O'Reilly Factor
June 5, 2006
TRANSCRIPT: 060501cb.256
NEWS; Domestic
Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment
Guests: Darren Spedale, William Eskridge)

To his credit Eskridge isn't entirely inconsistent and seems to admit the point but quickly shifts away from the obvious impact that culture and ethos have, yet among cultural insiders* he felt much more comfortable with admitting to the correlation of all sexual disorientations. People have been conditioned to feeel that correlation is something controversial but it is so true as to be trivial and can be verified empirically throughout human history. One can play games with specific statistics dealing with small shifts and so on but generally the "common sense" type people like O'Reilly who focus on the culture and its ethos are correct on the issue, so Eskridge is left with avoiding the truth that he's already admitted to in private while playing games with statistics to argue the opposite now. All the while, he would not have much of a problem with seeing things through the eyes of people even further outside that current "outsiders" but for political reasons that cannot be focused on in public.

*Interesting to note that the "insiders" are the Judiciary and an increasingly morally degenerate legal culture that acts as a subculture beginning to wage a Kulture Kampf against traditional American culture. Many seem to be realizing some of the dangers of what goes on in American legal culture but don't realize that it is most likely merely symptomatic of the decline of American civilization in general and likely just a forerunner of it.

A case for cold toads...

[Edit, I was checking this comment for formatting issues. I suspect that it's of limited interest to most but I'll leave it here for those interested in arcane issues of science. I.e. those who think, "A debate on a study on toads from the last century? Well boy oh boy, just what I was looking for!"]

There was another deranged charlatan, a rabid Lamarckian by the name of Paul Kammerer, who was finally exposed largely through the efforts of William Bateson and the American herpetologist G. Noble. He committed suicide. The entire episode is recounted in Arthur Koestler’s book ”The Case of the Midwife Toad."

Is it? Maybe I have a little prescription that can be prescribed for you, but first a summary of the case:
[Kammerer's] results inspired determined opposition from disciples of the new Mendelian genetics, particularly from its spokesman William Bateson. After years of exhausting controversy, Kammerer allowed the American herpetologist G. K. Noble to examine his last specimen of modified Alytes. The toad had no nuptial ‘pads; moreover, the black coloration on its left hand had been produced (or at least erhanced) by the injection of India ink.
Seven weeks after the publication of Noble’s report Kammerer killed him- self. This seeming admission of guilt created his legend with its obvious moral on the dangers of zealous advocacy.
Koestler, with his usual richness of style and intelligence, has convinced me that this common reading is, indeed, legend in the derogatory sense. He combines an analysis of published sources, the testimony of living witnesses, and even some scientific experimentation of his own to argue (i) that the injection was more likely performed by one of Kammerer’s numerous enemies than by Kammerer himself; (ii) that, in any case, it was done after Kammerer’s famous demonstration of the specimen in England in 1923; (iii) that Kammerer probably succeeded in producing nuptial pads in his water-bred Alytes (though Koestler seems unaware that, as I shall mention later, this provides no confirmation of Lamarckian inheritance); and (iv) that Kammerer’s suicide was due as much to the mundane passions of unrequited love and economic failure as to the burden of tragic deceit. Moreover, Koestler has drawn an inference from the debate that is profoundly disturbing because it is probably of general application: the mistrust that established professionals felt for Kammerer arose more from his unconventional personality—his “artistic” temperament, his verbal ability, his unpopular politics—than from any legitimate doubt about the validity of his methods.
(Review: Zealous Advocates
The Case of the Midwife Toad by Arthur Koestler
Review author: Stephen Jay Gould
Science, New Series, Vol. 176, No. 4035.
(May 12, 1972), :623)

It seems that a typical pattern emerges when anyone (anyone, for any reason) rejects the urge to merge the past into the present or the specific into hypothetical goo that the Darwinian mind lives on. I.e., those who refuse to run with the Herd that such minds form and merge into tend to be trampled by it. But another reviewer of the book you cite notes that in this case the Herd may not have had a profound impact:
...from the book it appears that a more relevant factor [than the scientific debate] was the post—war economic crisis that destroyed both Kammerer’s world and his livelihood rather than scientific controversy in which he clearly could hold his own. Suicide or breakdown could well have seen the end of the highly-strung personality that peers from these pages, quite apart from the scandal. Particularly since it seems obvious now that Kammerer had nothing to do with the faking.
(Reviewed Work: The Case of the Midwife Toad by Arthur Koestler
Review by D. F. Roberts
Man New Series, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Jun., 1972), :323)(Emphasis added)

In contrast to the legends of the madmen, crackpots and kooks that the banal and conventional sometimes believe in from within the establishment, those outside sometimes view things totally differently. In this instance:
Paul Kammerer was an Austrian biologist... Throughout most of his life he was a distinguished experimental researcher with an international reputation. Nature magazine called his last book ‘one of the finest contributions to the theory of evolution which has appeared since Darwin.’ Surprisingly, however, Kammerer’s work did not support the evolutionary views of Darwin, but on the contrary provides some of the most convincing experimental evidence ever produced of an evolutionary mechanism far more important than the Darwinian mechanism: a mechanism that is at present denied entirely — the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Kammerer’s story was brought to a modern audience by Arthur Koestler in his book The Case of the Midwife Toad.

Kammerer worked at the prestigious Institute for Experimental Biology... Over several decades he carried out intricate breeding experiments with many generations of animals and plants to try to find evidence that individuals evolve not because of the selection of chance mutations (the Darwinian idea) but because they were in some unknown way able to adapt their physical features to their habitat or way of life.

Kammerer searched the animal and plant kingdoms, both on land and in water, looking for individuals he could breed in the laboratory that might exhibit this kind of evolution. He found many such examples. He bred spotted salamanders on different colour soils and found that over successive generations they changed colour to resemble that of the soil on which they were bred: those bred on yellow soil showed a progressive enlargement of the yellow spots on their bodies until they became predominantly yellow, while those reared on black soil showed a diminution of the yellow spots until they became predominantly black. When the offspring of these genetically modified salamanders were moved to the opposite colour soil to that of their parents, their coloration changed back again.

It is important to appreciate that this kind of genetic evolutionary change is entirely anti-Darwinian in nature. It is an example of directed genetic change (although the mechanism that directs it is entirely unknown); a heresy that all Darwinists vehemently deny is possible.
(Alternative Science: Challenging the
Myths of the Scientific Establishment
by Richard Milton :224-225)

I suppose that Kammerer is heretical to you as well, even if you don't have much of a Herd to run with given how you've tried to prescribe your capacity for adaptability.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How progressives abandoned religion, helping along the rise of the "religious right"

Inherit the Wind represents some of the background mythology that progressives tend to believe about science and religion to this day. So it's worth pointing out that there is evidence that what drew religious people into the debate was the proto-Nazi nature of the eugenics movement and the politics of social Darwinism, not the desire to "impose" a theocracy from on high or to establish a church and so on.

I.e.,
The trial of John T. Scopes is an important milestone in the history of American legal thought. Known in the vernacular as the "Scopes Monkey Trial," the case took place in Dayton, Tennessee in the summer of 1925. [...] At the time, the trial was the most public confrontation between religious fundamentalism and modern science. By 1955, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee had written a play about the trial called Inherit the Wind, and film treatments of that play followed. These fictionalized accounts helped to create a mythic view of the case in popular culture. Today, the case is usually seen as a fable [Although it seems to be seen by most as historical fact.] that cautions against the dangers of religious establishment.

This interpretation of the case, however, omits key facts. Most importantly, the motivations of the Christian fundamentalists in seeking to ban the teaching of evolution must be questioned beyond the commonplace myth because, prior to the turn of the twentieth century, fundamentalists voiced no opposition to Darwin's evolutionary theory. It was after the First World War and after the legal environment for the poor and labor had been transformed through the rising tide of legal formalism that the fundamentalists began to reject theories of evolution. Without such crucial historical facts, the case appears to convey a simple and clear polemical message: fundamentalism ignores reason, and evolutionary theory is scientific, rational, and progressive. When one considers the complaints that the fundamentalists had against evolutionary theory, the popular account of the case seems at best incomplete.

This Article argues that a more thoroughgoing analysis of the history of the case, and especially the role of William Jennings Bryan, who was a leader of the fundamentalists' anti-evolution efforts, is needed to correct the distorted view of the popular understanding. As some historians have noted, the case took place in a period when the theory of social evolution that is associated with Herbert Spencer deeply influenced social thought. Spencer's philosophy of social evolution would later come to be called Social Darwinism...
(Capital University Law Review (2004)
Inherit the Myth: How William Jennings Bryan's Struggle With Social Darwinism and Legal Formalism Demythologize the Scopes Monkey Trial
by Kevin P. Lee)

The myths that came to surround the trial thanks to H.L. Mencken (unsurprisingly anti-semitic) and the Old Press were part of a general trend of progressives cutting away the religious foundation for their values combined with the rise of the "religious right."

So progressives are left with a littany of "problems" devoid of a unifying vision, i.e. a repetitive chant about "healthcare, the environment, education" and so on that the mind gets lost and weighed down in instead of an uplifting vision that transcends and unifies their specific viewpoints. E.g.
Bryan mixed his religion and politics. His pacifism and support for labor were both part of what he called applied Christianity. By this he meant that he believed that Christianity provided the principles for public policy and an approach to public life. One historian recalls:
"On one occasion Bryan was asked why Democrats were so earnest about democracy. He replied that to every Democrat "who knows what democracy means -- it is a religion, and when you hear a good democratic speech it is so much like a sermon that you can hardly tell the difference between them." This was true, Bryan continued, because a good sermon is built upon the ten commandments, the sermon on the mount, and the eleventh commandment..."
(Ib.)

Now that progressives have been conditioned to feel that the ten commandments are unconstitutional they are left with their littany of problems, which depresses people. It doesn't seem that great for getting people to vote for you, which is probably why Republicans have been able to remain in power without doing much of anything.

(Related links: The Monkey Trial
This post was edited and extended from a comment here.)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Comments...

Here, here and here, you might not understand them if you don't know much on the issue of origins. (Besides the fact that most were written once and done.) You've been warned.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Weird but true...

In fact, I'd say that the violence and misogyeny in rap make it a good music form for (militant) Islam. --Seeker

Examples:
In February 2004, a new rap music video created a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. The video, entitled “Dirty Kuffar” (kuffar being the Arabic term for non-believers), was performed by the British group Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew.[i] The video begins with (clearly doctored) film footage of U.S. troops in Iraq cheering as they purportedly shoot an injured Iraqi civilian, then proceeds through a whirlwind of equally politically tinged imagery. This imagery includes a sniper’s crosshairs honing in on a U.S. soldier standing guard in a tower, U.S. troops shepherding along an orange-jumpsuited Guantanamo Bay detainee with his head hung low, the phrase “Kill the Crusaders” flashing across the screen as a supply truck is blown up by a land mine, and chilling footage of Chechen mujahideen pumping several bullets into a captured Russian soldier lying prone on the ground. The quick cuts and slick editing are evidence of professional-quality production. The viewer can even watch several human beings morph into animals; bin Laden’s right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, morphs into a roaring lion early in the video, and later Israel’s Ariel Sharon turns into a pig with a tiny Star of David on its forehead.

As the pro-Islamist images roll across the screen, a rapper in military fatigues and a ski mask rhythmically weaves back and forth before the camera while clutching a Qur’an in one hand and a pistol in the other. His lyrics, voiced in a reggae/rap hybrid style in the mold of popular artist Sean Paul, amount to a condemnation of the war on terrorism and, beyond that, a condemnation of all things Western:
The Ronald Reagan was a dirty kuffar

The Mr. Tony Blair is a dirty kuffar

The one Mr. Bush is a dirty kuffar …

Throw them in the fire


[Fortunately for Clinton he was clean, clean!]

“Dirty Kuffar” finally grinds to a halt with the lyrics “Peace to Hamas and the Hezbollah/ OBL [Osama bin Laden] crew be like a shining star/ like the way we destroy them two towers, ha ha.” The rappers’ laughter can be heard as footage rolls of United Flight 175 slamming into the World Trade Center’s south tower, followed by further footage of the Twin Towers’ billowing collapse.
[...]
Since the emergence of “Dirty Kuffar,” there has been a definable trend toward jihadi rap music: music that indulges in Islamist paranoia, that is anti-American in tone and substance, and that is intended to win sympathy – and perhaps recruits – for the jihadists’ cause. One rap group that clearly falls into the jihadi camp is Mujahideen Team, consisting of Puerto Rican Muslims from Brooklyn and Boston.
[...]
Like Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew, Mujahideen Team refers triumphantly to the September 11 attacks: “Thirteen tribes blood suckers of the poor/ Holding their heads up high, standing tall/ Like the Twin Towers I’m gonna watch them fall.”
(Link)

Apparently jihadist rappers haven't heard that jihadists were not responsible for the Twin Towers, something they would know if they listened to the arguments of American kooks: "There was some sort of conspiracy to blow up the Towers so that Bush could become Dictator of America! It's because he doesn't like Americans having civil liberties or somethin'. So you know, if things are left up to Bush we won't have any civil liberties left." Etc. Too bad that isn't much of a satire of some of the most politically active Democrats these days. It gets to the point that even moderate Democrats seem to be so busy blaming Bush based on whatever the latest "blame Bush" script happens to be given them by the Old Press that they have little remaining time, knowledge or moral energy to apply to some people that are fairly blameworthy for things, like the jihadists.

On the topic of music, there is a great diversity to art and music that makes it virtually impossible to isolate a specific spirit or meaning to a mode or genre of music unless there are specified lyrics to define the artist's meaning with. (Whether it is "hip hop" or "rock" or anything else.) However, the mode of music itself can more easily lend itself to one specific spirit or meaning than another and so in most good music there is usually a marriage between the mode of the music and lyrics that is meant to touch the harmonies typical to the soul in some way. I think it is impossible to isolate a pattern or mode of music which is somehow "bad" in itself morally, just as you cannot say that one modulation of your voice is morally superior and another inherently inferior. Of course, you should not yell all the time and your "angry voice" is only moral to use in certain contexts. I'd argue that modes of music are the same way and so on but I've heard various scholars argue that if heavy metal as a mode of music were around in Hitler's day then the Nazis would have used it instead of patriotic marches. They seem to be implying that heavy metal is inherently evil. It's curious that there is evidence that they are correct in some sense given that neo-Nazis use heavy metal as their preferred medium these days. E.g. some of the titles of their songs: Laws of Blood, Divine Arms of Hate, etc. The genre of "extreme heavy metal" and the mode of music itself does generally lend itself to hate and anger, so one could say that when it comes to heavy metal it lends itself to and is modulated by "This is my angry voice!" Yet there's nothing necessarily wrong with an angry voice. There are plenty of things worth hating or being angry about, it is just that in an age where the very word "hate" is a buzzword that is equated with evil by those who are ruled by their feeelings, modes of music that lend themselves to hate will be considered vaguely evil as well. It doesn't help when many artists that use a specific mode of music like that impression of evil and intend to create it. But I meander...

One scholar defined Nazism as the practical and violent resistance to transcendence, so perhaps on the other hand Islamism can be defined as the practical and violent resistance to immanence. Neither manifests much art, let alone good art worth analyzing, as both Nazism and Islamism seem to tend to shut down the creative process necessary for it. In contrast, Americanism has always included the belief that transcendence and immanence can be married and left people free to try to achieve such a marriage for themselves, so it would seem that the American Empire will continue to entertain the world with its art while trying to manage things with its technology until it falls into scientism. At that point art will probably be censored by healthcare professionals working for the State for the sake of our "mental health" and so on, for free though...because we'll have free healthcare for all and all that.

I say that America will fall into scientism because there is evidence that the Weimar Republic is similar to the American. And for all the paranoia among Leftists about the Right and "religion" it is much more likely that Americans will come to believe in the myth of a scientifically organized State that is capable of total/totalitarian management to keep everyone healthy and safe than that there will be an "American Taliban" that comes to power to impose a theocracy from on high. The evidence can already be compiled even now about what pattern people are falling into, it is and will be the doctor or the scientist who has the power to take away your liberty in the American Republic and not some cleric or religious leader.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mel Gibson

It seems to me that the Old Press is doing more reporting on Gibson's drunken anti-Semitism than it usually does on the anti-Semitism prevalent in the Arab world and Arab media. I can make excuses for them though, the Old Press has to sell a story and Americans are more interested in pop-culture suited to narcissism than they are in international issues. E.g., even if international politics and Arab anti-Semitism impacts the price of oil, the fickle American idle would rather chatter about their image makers, their so-called "stars" and the idols they make for them. It's always possible to shift responsibility. One could do so for Gibson as well, the Old Press has the modern tools of scientism to shift to framing the story with medicalization by focusing on alcoholism as a "disease" and so on. It often does so and it might even frame the story that way if Gibson was more of a believer in scientism himself, etc.

It seems that with all the postmodernist shifting of stories and contexts that goes on it becomes difficult to say much of anything that stands as a judgment made by language. Take the divine example, "And God said let there be this and that, and so there was this and that. And God saw that it was good." Enough said. There's something to be said for saying enough, with nothing too much and nothing found wanting. But we live in a postmodernist age and so must chatter on, the Old Press is perhaps the worst example of framing stories with a lack of moral clarity in text and language because it has to sell its own chatter for money, so the more the better. If the issue is defined with moral clarity and judgments about good and evil are rendered there is not as much left for them to chatter on about. Generally if there is no "controversy" there is no story.

Note the moral reasoning and the issues of good and evil that serve as unspoken contexts in the Old Press for this story, driving drunk may be a little evil given that someone may get killed but racism is the great Evil. It seems that this is so because racism is about the only thing that American image makers will use their power as artists to condemn as evil without a little mincing dance of moral equivalency combined with some murmuring about seeing things from all sides or seeing things in black and white, etc. Artistic postmodernists have a deft hand when it comes to blurring away any sense of moral clarity, yet generally when it comes to racism things become right and wrong and judgment tends to be rendered without any shifting of contexts and so on. The interesting thing is that the Old Press and American image makers cannot seem to tell the story or craft the images that represent the most virulent form of racism in our time that is exemplified in Arab anti-Semitism just as before they couldn't seem to work against scientific racism and proto-Nazi eugenics. If anything they tended to support eugenics, as any reading of the papers of the day will show. It seems ironic that although the great bugaboo for the Old Press these days is racism it is still biased towards racist movements.

I suppose I shouldn't say that the Old Press has a good deal of moral clarity with respect to right and wrong when it comes to racism given that its moral judgment is often applied along racial lines anyway.

Some information on Arab media:
"Obsession: What the War on Terror is Really About"

Link from Anna Venger's post on this story. Note the rampant sober anti-Semitism throughout Arab media that is broadcast on sattelite feeds for anyone to see, yet the Old Press can't seem to bring itself to report much about it. They are probably too busy reporting on Gibson's drunken anti-Semitism. Given the level of reporting in the Old Press one would think that Jews will be killed as the result of Gibson's comments but notions promoted unapologetically in Arab media such as Jews sacrificing boys by slitting their throats and using the blood to make matzos...well, that's probably harmless.

[Edit: I wasn't going to make a comment about matzos using religious metaphors because only the religious understand religious metaphors. But I was reading a local blog and came across this, so I will leave a note for the metaphorically minded after all. For by the way such blood libels about sacrifices keep repeating it seems that the metaphoric Yeast wants to argue that the Jewish father of all Jews had to literally sacrifice his only son instead of recieving the gift of symbols and signs of the metaphoric Lamb of God by faith. If the metaphoric Yeast could talk it seems that it would argue that the killing of boys began with Abraham and continues among the Jews, perhaps something about Abraham's story gets its metaphoric goat. Or perhaps it might snivel, "Does the Bread of Life really rise so high above me? Well, matzos are flat without yeast...so that must mean that yeast is good or somethin'." Etc. It seems that when it comes to good and evil the debate is always the same even if the language used to express things is not religious metaphors that few will have knowledge of these days and instead the debate is expressed with the questionable questions so typical to postmodernism. It seems a bit odd to express meaning or information with bits of bread and so on but Christ reiterated the same metaphors. Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."]