Thursday, September 28, 2006

Slavery, So Long As It's Nice

Slavery often calls to mind intolerable physical and economic conditions. And while those enslaved are often also impoverished, the two are not synonymous. For the former refers to a lack of freedom, an inability to change one's circumstances. Such circumstances could be good, but they are not required to be thus. Slaves are destitute because it is easier to withold things from those who lack power, but slaves could be, from an economic standpoint, fairly well off. See Brave New World for instance.

Now, I will not suggest that Americans are fully enslaved, though it seems that we are losing freedoms rather quickly and tending toward that way. Moreover, people prefer slavery so long as it is comfortable. On this point, the reduction in gasoline prices sees a boost in Bush's poll numbers.

Some Americans are suspicious that recent steep declines in gasoline prices might be the result of political manipulation, since the savings at the gas pump come just weeks before critical midterm US elections...

Manipulated or not, many observers agree that the falling prices at the gas pump have lifted Bush's sagging poll numbers.

"It pumps up presidential popularity," said Larry Sabato, a political analyst at the University of Virginia.

And while many experts believe that the recent rebound enjoyed by Bush in the polls is a result of a new thrust on security, others say it is mostly about the newly discounted gas.

I'm an American, happy as can be,
This way I'll remain this way, so long as I am "free";
If gas prices are cheap,
This Congress we should keep,
American, I, no else concerneth me.

Lode 9-27

Two columns this week. The first discusses the futility of participating in sham democracy; the second bashes the beast known as television, specifically the peculiar creature known as TV News.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New York, Autocratic Town

As if the Yankees weren't enough to make me loathe New York:

Three years after the city banned smoking in restaurants, health officials are talking about prohibiting something they say is almost as bad: artificial trans fatty acids.

The city health department unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would bar cooks at any of the city's 24,600 food service establishments from using ingredients that contain the artery-clogging substance, commonly listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oil.

I guess this means no more cheese curds. Three points. First, anyone who stills claims that slippery slopes do not exist is an idiot. Yes, I realize it is a logical fallacy, but that only means that one must prove the validity of the slope; it doesn't mean such slopes do not exist. Government is diametrically opposed to freedom. They will take away as many freedoms as we will willingly cede.

Many states and cities have duped the public into believing that the trading of the freedom of bar and restaurant owners to choose who frequents their establishments for the safety of smoke-free environments is a good one. So next goes the fat. I mean the trans-fat. Because we know they'll never go after all fat, the slippery slope being so obviously fallacious. Is this at all surprising? In five years, you may be able to get a veggie burger in the Big Apple.

Second, where are the pro-choicers on this one? A woman can do what she wishes to her own body, even though science has shown that this results in the death of the fetus within her. But she cannot smoke in the bar; nor can she, I'm extrapolating, eat something which contains artificial trans-fat. America makes so much sense some times.

Third, if we're all so intested in being safe, why don't we let the government run our lives completely. Just think, they could deliver our food to us. It would be free of whatever it is that we're not supposed to be eating and we would be safe, safe, safe. That's the direction we're heading. And as it is preposterous to pretend that the mass of men, intellectually, morally and spiritually depraved as they are, will suddenly care for freedom, we may as well bring on the autocracy. It can't be that far off.

Where Else?

This from Drudge:

The political director of ABCNEWS and the national politics editor of the WASHINGTON POST make it official in their new insider tome on DC politics and how it's played: The four words in every newsroom and campaign headquarters are: Have you seen DRUDGE?

In an extended 15-page homage to the glories of this site, they report: "Matt Drudge is the gatekeeper... he is the Walter Cronkite of his era."

"In the fragmented, remote-control, click-on-this, did you hear? political media world in which we live, revered Uncle Walter has been replaced by odd nephew Matt."

I don't know how long I've been following Drudge, I would guess it's been close to five years or so, but I'm glad to see that he's finally getting some mainstream props for all the good work he does. Accountable only to himself, Drudge is able to go after people and entities no one else will touch.

If you don't read Drudge, try to make it a habit to stop by at least on occasion. It's well worth it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Get Thee Out, John Galt

In which California suggests that Atlas should shrug:

California filed a global warming lawsuit on Wednesday against Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and three other automakers, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have cost the state millions of dollars.

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer said the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California was the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions.

The lawsuit also names Chrysler Motors Corp., the U.S. arm of Germany's DaimlerChrysler, and the North American units of Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd..

When you combine the excessive regulation, the incessant illegal immigration, the egregious tax burden and a court system that is to the left of loony, I cannot fathom why anyone would live in California. John Galt has already fled, and it won't take long for Dagny Taggert to follow. Within twenty years, the state of California will resemble a third world country, as it already does in some parts.

And they're worried about global warming?

Lode 9-20

Just one article this week. Maybe it had something to do with my suggestion that men ought not marry career women.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Inegalite, Ce N'est Pas De Chose Ca

One almost expects to hear the rage of the feminists.

A female high-school substitute teacher in Utah will serve no time behind bars for performing oral sex on a 17-year-old male student, despite comments from the judge that a man would have likely gone to prison.

"If this was a 29-year-old male and a 17-year-old female, I would be inclined to order some incarceration," noted 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris during sentencing yesterday for Cameo Patch.

Then one remembers that feminism has never really been about equality. They wish to retain all of the niceties granted by a society which they view as out-dated, which, nonetheless, feels that women should be given certain priveleges; meanwhile, they refuse to take responsibility, which is necessary for "equality".

Most human beings are irresponsible. I find it interesting to note that while irresponsibility in men is shunned, if seldom corrected, it is deemed passable behavior in most women. Can you imagine what would have happened if this case was reversed? Oh but the mad ladies would howl.

Ah well.

Contextualizing Papal Remarks

Pat Buchanan is a gem. Would that other pundits, certainexceptions aside, could demonstrate a similar grasp on history.

How did the Christians conquer the Roman Empire after 300 years of persecution? By living the Gospel, preaching the Word and dying for the faith – martyrdom. But Islam came out of the desert to conquer the Holy Land, North Africa and Spain in a single century, by the sword. Islam is a fighting faith. Wrote J.M. Roberts in "The History of Europe," "Islam from the start has been a religion of conquest."


In the West, a militant secularism has seized state power and the de-Christianization of America is well advanced. In the East, we had best recognize that the rage, militancy and intolerance so often on display are the unmistakable marks of a rising, not a dying, faith.

I hesitate to make a hasty prediction, but as Islam is nothing more than a Catholic heresy, it is not impossible to suggest that the anti-christ would be a follower of Mohammed. Alternatively, we could see a resurgence of Christendom, though from whence and how that may come is beyond my power to forsee.

Yet grace has a strange way of turning the tables round, and, as always, we shall see.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Muslim I Am

First, an incendiary little poem. I thought about sending this into the Lode, but I don't think my editor would publish it.

Second, I was referencing an older article I had written and noticed an error. We have killed thousands in Iraq; not millions. My apologies for lumping the neo-conservatives with the Communists, Nazis, and Abortionettes. Though, now that I think about it... anyway, the poem:

A Muslim I am; a Muslim I'll be,
Mohammed's the best prophet for me,
Jihad! Jihad! I wage upon thee!
A Muslim I am; a Muslim I'll be.

The Pope made a statement which aroused me to anger,
Claiming, he did, I bring violence and danger.
I cannot so fathom such an insidious lie,
For such a malfeasance he surely should die!

I'll loot in the streets and trash all the parks,
(Could it be there is truth in the Papal remarks?)
The Pope must make right, retracting hideous slander;
But this he won't do, I'll matter-of-factly take gander

For Christian and Jews are infidels all,
And ought to take heed to the Prophet's great call,
To accept the more perfect revelation,
And thusly avoid wretched damnation.

If they will not listen it bothers me not
I'll burn all their cities; their corpses shall rot
The Pope shall die first, for impugning us so,
We'll cut them all down, to hell they shall go.

For a Muslim I am; and a Muslim I shall be,
Mohammed's the best prophet for me,
Jihad! Jihad! I wage upon thee!
A Muslim I am; a Muslim I'll be.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lode 9-13

Two more columns this week. I'm undecided if I like linking to the Lode website or not. Today I'll just copy and paste for a bit of a change.

Much has been said of late, by the President and others, of the supposed intrinsic goodness of democracy as we are in the process of supplanting the principles of equality and self-rule upon the peoples of this earth, irrespective of their share in such principles. And while we live, technically speaking, not in a democracy but in a representative republic, it is the principles of the former that, at least ostensibly, guide the latter.

For myself, I am against it—democracy I mean. I do not deny that it was a noble conception, but its fruits have been substantially less so. Loyalty ought not lie to the republic, but to the principles for which it stands. The founding fathers were kind enough to delineate these in the preamble to the Constitution:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Thus, unless someone would suggest alternative first principles, democracy is good only insofar as it “establish[es] justice, insure[s] domestic tranquility...” and so on and so forth. To put it bluntly, “the blessings of liberty” are infinitely more important than the ability vote, and, in fact, the latter is only bestowed with worth if it does not mitigate the former.

No one should be so foolish as to suggest that unless a man is given the right to vote, he is a slave. That democracies have sometimes been adorned with freedom is undebatable; that all other forms of government, because they prohibit the suffrage, must prohibit all of the freedoms which the right to vote was meant to ensure is an absurdity. As G.K. Chesterton once observed, “...there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.” These peasants hadn’t the “right” to vote; nor did they seem to mind.

Whether the nation is comprised of peasants or proletarians, the words of George Bernard Shaw yet apply: “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” In this lovely democracy of ours, only one senator, Russ Feingold, D-Wis., opposed the passage of the Patriot Act; and while secret courts are promised to save us from the terrorists, it is unlikely that they will do so, though they will have served to further erode the liberty for which the founders formed this republic.

Tangentially, it is important to note that the two are not always related, as the autocratic regimes of this past century gave neither liberty nor safety, and only the historically ignorant or the cowardly are so foolish to give up liberty in the expectation of security. Patrick Henry did not speak for the mass of men when he said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Moreover, the backlash for such an egregious erosion of civil liberties was slight, courtesy either of those who oppose Bush at every turn, though for no principled reason, or from irascible libertarian types, an almost pitiable minority. Shaw would be less than surprised.

Thus, so long as the majority of men dread responsibility, and hence freedom, they will vote for those who promise to buy safety by severing the head of lady liberty.

It is inimical, therefore, to the welfare of the republic to allow such, read: most, men to vote. Universal suffrage is a boon to liberty, and our insensible adoption of it will surely spell the eventual death of this republic. I find myself agreeing with Alexis de Tocqueville, a scholar upon the subject of democracy if there ever one was:

“For myself, when I feel the hand of power lie heavy on my brow, I care but little to know who oppresses me; and I am not the more disposed to pass beneath the yoke, because it is held out to me by the arms of a million of men.”

I think I need to start writing my own headlines, as my editor entitled the previous: "Liberty still rings true", sub-titled, "Don't trade it for security"; which is not what the article was about at all. Oh well. The next was about how marrying career women was "Not worth it". It's good he could understand that one at least.

“Guys: a word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.” Thus spake Forbes editor Mark Noer, who happens to be spot on.

For the purposes of this article, I’ll use the standard Forbes settled on: to be considered a “career woman,” a woman must: possess “a university-level (or higher) education,” work “more than 35 hours a week outside the home,” and make “more than $30,000 a year.” We now move to examine this mysterious career woman, and compare her to her traditional competitor. What follows is paraphrased from Noer’s article.

A career woman is more likely to divorce you; she is more likely to cheat on you; if she makes more money than you, she’ll be unhappy; she is less likely to have children; if she does have children, she’s likely to have fewer, and she’s more likely to be unhappy about them, whatever their number; if she quits her job to stay home with the children, she’s more likely to be unhappy about it; your house is likely to be dirtier; and, strangely, you’ll be more likely to fall ill.

No doubt career women have plenty of anecdotal evidence to discount these stubborn facts, but the case seems clear. Unhappy women are about as much fun as the bubonic plague, and, as our survey indicates, career women are far more likely to be unhappy about, well, everything.

When Forbes published the piece, the comments section was thrown into cacophony, as career women lambasted men for being so cowardly as to refuse to deal with them. Such behavior is tolerable in infants, downright disgusting in adults, and certainly not attractive in a potential mate. Men, listen to Noer and avoid such women. That way lies madness.

I can't believe they pay me for this sort of thing. It's marvelous.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bras For Sixes, Marriage Comes Next

This from Australia:

Breast-enhancing padded bras for girls as young as six are being sold in Victorian shops...

Tiny matching lingerie sets of lacy bras and knickers in many children's brands including Bratz, Saddle Club and Barbie, have hit the shelves aimed at girls who are barely old enough for school.

The Herald Sun last week revealed the latest Bratz Babyz range included sexually provocative baby dolls dressed in leather and lingerie.

I find this humorous. Every time one mentions that allowing gays to marry will open the door to other nefarious sexual practices, one is accused of using a slippery slope which is an argument, apparently, ipso facto fallacious. This analysis ignores several facts.

1) Countries in which homosexuality is no longer looked down upon have lower ages of consent. See Europe. And while "coorelation doesn't equal causation" when what is postulated comes to pass, one would expect a fair amount of respect. Moreover...

2) The reasons for sanctioning homosexual marriage are not caught up in any cogent philosophy, but are only part of a reaction against the ethos of Christianity. Homosexuals were allowed to get married because they "loved each other"; there is nothing in this simplistic platitude which would exclude lowering the age of consent especially since: A) people have traditionally gotten married at much younger ages and B) Christianity has been wholly discarded.

As an aside, I'm not certain what the Christian churches teach in terms of consent, though I am certain they would frown on the marriage of pre-pubescent children to grown adults. I do expect, however, that those who reject a lowering of the age of consent will be traditional minded Christians, thereby giving cause for the reactionary post-Christian contingent of society to allow younger and younger children to get married.

3) Reactionaries do not learn from history, and wholly reject the tradition of their ancestors. They take the world as they are given it, and increase the magnitude of the mistakes which their parents have made. As Chesterton once noted, "Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back."

The fact that allowing, say nine year olds to marry is today repulsive does not mean it will be equally so for tomorrow's progeny. In fact, it is especially unlikey given that each generation which rejects Christianity, or other orgranized creedal systems, must posit their own. Barring an unlikely step back, the only direction to go is forward, right off a cliff.

Such is what comes when one does not think. Oh Brave New World!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lode 9-6

Two articles from this week's issue of the Lode. The first is just a revised blog post voicing my skepticism towards global warming; the second is not an editorial at all, but an attempt at journalism by yours truly, as I covered the 50th year reunion of the radio station which I have been priveleged to work for: WMTU FM Houghton.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

From a Past Issue of the Lode

Evidently this article was published, though it is not yet up on the website. It here follows:

It has been said that it would be desirable for Iraq to form a democratic union, Sunni, Shiite and Kurd alike. And yet the unification of Muslim factions has never proved beneficient to the West; indeed time and again factionalism within stems the tide of Islamic expansion. Notes the prominent historian Edward Gibbon:

Mohammed, with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome...Forty-six years after the flight of Mohammed from Mecca, his disciples appeared in arms under the walls of Constantinople [A.D. 668-675].

Islam then, has been militant since its inception. It must be remembered that at this time Constantinople was the the bulwark of what remained of the empire of Rome, and the fact that Islam now made war upon its gates speaks volumes of the power emanating from the marriage of the sword and the Koran. Fortunately for the west, some years later, the seamless garment that had been woven by their founder began to show signs of wear. Again from Gibbon:

From the Indus to the Euphrates, the East was convulsed by the quarrel of the white and the black factions: the Abbasides were most frequently victorious...By the event of the civil war, the dynasty of the Abbasides was firmly established [A.D. 750]; but the Christians only could triumph in the mutual hatred and common loss of the disciples of Mohammed.

It is hardly simplistic to say that these brief examples serves as an archetype for Islamic history. A Muslim leader emerges who will unite his fellow adherents; the masses are then enthused and begin expanding at an alarming rate, giving the conquered a choice between “The Koran, the tribute or the sword,” to paraphrase a later Muslim leader. He invariably dies, whereupon a new leader steps in to fulfill this role. He is often challenged; if the dispute is quelled quickly, expansion will continue, but if the challenger has substantial backing the squabble may last long enough to cause it to cease until, yet again, another leader emerges to attempt another round of expansion.

But those who profess to lead us do not, as a general rule, read much history, and certainly very little ancient history. For until recently, Islam has not been a force to be reckoned with. This has nothing to do with a wane in the influence of that religion, and everything to do with the technological superiority of the west. Hilaire Belloc explains:

[B]y the end of the nineteenth century, more than nine-tenths of the Mohammedan population of the world... had fallen under the government of nominally Christian nations... our generation came to think of Islam as something naturally subject to ourselves... That was almost certainly a mistake. We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future.

Those prophetic words were written almost eighty years ago. And though the invasion of Iraq has exposed none of the promised weapons of mass destruction, Iran is rattling the modern day saber of nuclear weapons. Moreover, the use of American instruments of technology, namely planes, as weapons of terror indicates a clever means of rendering this gap inconsequential. In other words, the technological divide is rapidly shrinking.

The question of the day remains: what then is to be done with Iraq? Quite simply, we must pack up our troops and come home, and do so immediately.

It is absurd to express regreat at failing to achieve that which is diametrically opposed to our best interests. The longer we remain in the Middle East, the greater the impetus for Islamic re-unification, and the greater the chance that the disciples will again appear in arms near western walls. Something which, I have been told, we went to war so as to avoid.

Congress Fiddles, The Southwest Returns

I picked up Buchanan's new book this morning. As always, he quotes from a variety of sources in making his case; this time, "The world invasion and conquest of America" is perilous to our future. Simple stuff really, and something I've harped on extensively, probably to death.

I'm about half way done--three cheers for my light Tuesday/Thursday schedule--and I'll consider posting a review when finished. Anyway, in light of the topic at hand, this story caught my eye:

As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.

See because apparently national security and border security are unrelated. See because we have to get them over there before they get us over here. Of course, if we simply prevented them from getting here in the first place... but that wouldn't leave reason for the government to increase in size as we, oh so readily, cede civil liberties.

With Congress reconvening Tuesday after an August break, Republicans in the House and Senate say they will focus on Pentagon and domestic security spending bills, port security legislation and measures that would authorize the administration’s terror surveillance program and create military tribunals to try terror suspects.

Meanwhile, the Southwest is being re-conquered by Mexico. But Mexico, by president tells me, is my friend. Though he obviously has no idea that we stole, some time ago, quite a bit of land from that good friend of ours. I'm not here to examine the morality of the American conquest of Mexico, but suffice it to say that Mexico wants that--its--land back.

Oh, and while Mexicans waltzing across the border will but shrink the size of the republic, there is a fighting chance that some who enter this country may be akin to those freedom hating terrorists. Why this is of no concern to the Congresscritters and our lovely leader presently escapes me.