The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: November 2013

Charting Our Destinies: From FDR to Obama

In “What’s
to Like About JFK
?” I cited humorist Art Buchwald’s maudlin poem about
the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd,
1963, as an example of how captivated Americans were by JFK. Two lines from the
second stanza stuck in my mind:
We weep for our children and their children and everyone’s
children.
For he was charting their destinies as he was charting ours.
And so were Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald
Reagan, George Bushes I and II, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Did any American ask them to? No. Like John F. Kennedy, they, too,
just assumed it was the proper function of government to establish national
“goals” and the natural role of the office of president to “lead”
us to them. To chart our destinies.
But, where to? What were those goals? What precisely was the
nature of the destination?
The problem I’ve had with virtually every presidential address
I’ve ever heard or read and that was made in the 20th and 21st
centuries, aside from their content, is that they’ve been fundamentally
authoritarian in nature. “I’m here to lead, and this is where we are
going, or ought to go. No kicking and screaming, please, there’s a good fellow.”
The presumptive role of presidential “leadership” has always been
abrasive to my sense of having a choice in my own destiny, and not that of
anyone else’s, and especially not the plans of a “leader.” I don’t
want someone, and especially not the government, “charting” my
destiny.
Few questioned the propriety of a president setting himself up as
a kind of executive Scout Master prepared to lead his Cubs on a non-stop
crusade to “do good.” Too many Americans were susceptible to JFK’s
emotion-appealing rhetoric and felt a zing in their hearts when he turned on the
charm, donned the mantel of “leadership,” and began pointing in a
multitude of directions.
On March 9, 2007, the late Ted Sorensen, JFK’s principal
speechwriter, special counsel and adviser, endorsed Obama for president in 2007,
worked in Obama’s 2008 campaign, and even provided assistance on Obama’s
inaugural address. Sorensen claimed that he and JFK collaborated closely on speeches.
But Sorensen, a liberal, would not have written anything that JFK would have
had reservations saying in public; however, JFK would not have much disagreed
with anything Sorensen wrote.  
Sorensen says, in this video, comparing JFK with
Barack Obama, that Obama, among other things,
“…has that same spirit, that same desire, to call to public
service, especially the young people, all the citizens of this country, to live
up to that great title, ‘American citizen.'”
When Sorensen died in October 2010, the Associated Press published
an effusive
obituary
that all but canonized the speechwriter, as well. Sorensen’s
career with JFK began in 1956.
Of the courtiers to Camelot’s king, special counsel Sorensen
ranked just below Kennedy’s brother Bobby. He was the adoring, tireless
speechwriter and confidant to a president whose term was marked by Cold War
struggles, growing civil rights strife and the beginnings of the U.S.
intervention in Vietnam.

Some of Kennedy’s most memorable speeches, from his inaugural address to his
vow to place a man on the moon, resulted from such close collaborations with
Sorensen that scholars debated who wrote what. He had long been suspected as
the real writer of the future president’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Profiles
in Courage,” an allegation Sorensen and the Kennedys emphatically – and
litigiously – denied.
In short, what “they
can do for their country
.” Except that, in Obama’s case, it is an
issue of what he is doing to it.
Brian Marquard, in his November 1st, 2010 Boston
Globe
article on Sorensen’s death, wrote:
“I think Ted became the most important adviser and, on balance, I
think he was the best of the brightest and best,’’ said Harris Wofford, a
former US senator from Pennsylvania who had served as an adviser to Kennedy.
“He also knew what John Ken nedy thought. They had an extraordinary
relationship. It would be hard to know where one person’s thoughts ended and
the other began.’’
Officially, Mr. Sorensen was special counsel to the president, a
role he reprised with Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. Sorensen worked so closely with
Jack Kennedy, however, that he became widely regarded as the president’s alter
ego, liberal conscience, and intellectual confidant. Kennedy sought Mr.
Sorensen’s counsel at every key juncture, from campaigning for the White House
to guiding the country through perilous times such as the Bay of Pigs invasion
and the Cuban missile crisis.
By Mr. Sorensen’s description, the two were as one as they drafted
turns of phrase Kennedy made famous. Scholars in decades since have parsed
sentences and scoured records while trying to deduce who wrote which words.
A number of conservative
weblogs
and online news outlets have paid compliments to President John F.
Kennedy’s vaunted anti-communism and virtually enshrined him in the pantheon of
American leaders and presidents, simply because of his hostility to the Soviet
Union.
JFK’s friendliness with the welfare state is ignored by them. Had
he lived to have a second term in office, doubtless he would have accomplished
at least half what Lyndon B. Johnson, his successor in office after his
assassination, accomplished in establishing a full-scale welfare state.
Nowhere in his speeches as a senator from Massachusetts, as a
presidential candidate, and as president is there any indication that he was
opposed to welfare state legislation. Sorensen, the son of a progressive
liberal politician, was one, as well. He and JFK could not have worked so
effectively together had there been a fundamental difference in their political
thinking. One was Tweedledum, the other Tweedledee.
Out of the 2,256-word Dallas
speech
(almost twice as long as JFK’s inaugural
address
), the term freedom occurs
eleven times, while leadership occurs
eight times. For what is leadership
leading to? What would JFK’s goals have been? No one seems to have ever
questioned his role as a “leader,” but what would he have led us to?
The phrase from Art Buchwald’s tearful “We
Weep
” poem from November 1963, “charting our destinies,” bothered
me, because it is the antithesis of freedom. The presumption needed to be
challenged.
The undertone of the Dallas speech, which focuses on America’s
military deterrence capabilities, is off-putting because it communicates
something other than a concern for the country’s safety and survival. That
undertone is: The country is mine to manage and to set in the right direction
(whatever direction that might be, which is certainly, given JFK’s liberal
credentials, not in the direction of
freedom), and I expect you to do your part.
None of the steps discussed by JFK in his undelivered speech would
have been necessary had President Franklin D. Roosevelt been receptive to
invading Europe through the Balkans, as Churchill had advocated in order to cut
off the Red Army (before it had even broken out of Russia), to securing a surrender
of the Nazi government in return for joining an Allied effort to oppose Stalin
and his designs on Eastern Europe (a surrender German generals had sent
unacknowledged feelers to Roosevelt about), or even to giving aid and succor to
the very real anti-Nazi underground in Germany, an underground which reached
into the highest ranks of the Wehrmacht.
For a first-class discussion and detailed revelation of the
disgraceful roots of the “Cold War” and the role of Soviet espionage,
of the Soviet penetration of FDR’s administration, and of the treason of
fellow-traveling Americans in the government during his years in office, see
Diana West’s American
Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character
,
a work reviled
by Leftists and Neocons alike because it departs from, challenges, and exposes
the standard estimate of FDR and the conduct of WWII. See also her
The Rebuttal: Defending ‘American Betrayal’
from the Book-Burners
, in which she counters every criticism
of American Betrayal and exposes her
virulent, smear-happy critics as ambitious censors. The West could have been
spared the cost in lives and treasure of the “Cold War” had the
Soviet Union been allowed to collapse during or shortly after WWII. Here is tantalizing
excerpt from American Betrayal,
recreating an event that occurred in Washington D.C. in the summer of 1941:
…It’s a good bet State Department office windows were open in those
pre-air-conditioning days. Maybe a passerby heard the percussive beats of a
manual typewriter as Loy Henderson, a resolutely anti-Communist Foreign Service
officer, tapped out a plan for the United States in the increasingly likely,
even expected event that Hitler’s Germany attacked Stalin’s Russia somewhere
along a line of battle four or five thousand miles away from Foggy Bottom – as
indeed the Germans would do in launching “Barbarossa” the very next
day. It was June 21, 1941.
…Finally, should the Soviet régime
fall…the sky won’t fall, too
. This is a cloud-parting concept, revealing
beacons of a never-before-glimpsed light. Finally,
should the Soviet régime fall…we should let it. Finally, should the Soviet
régime fall…an anti-Communist government could take its place after the war….
[pp.
244-245, American Betrayal]
Instead, the Soviet régime was propped up by FDR’s policies, not
least of which was the cornucopia of benefits from Lend Lease, which enabled
the Soviets to resist the Nazi invasion, and later to swallow Eastern Europe,
replacing Nazi tyranny with Soviet tyranny.
As with his inaugural address in January 1961, the main thrust of JFK’s
Dallas speech was anti-communist and pro-defense, emphasizing the importance of
nuclear deterrence. Still, the Dallas speech echoes a call to arms in the way
of committing the country to the defense of freedom. Yet the problem is that
JFK never really burdened himself or his rhetoric with a definition of freedom. He used it in a general, insinuative sense,
counting on his auditors to fill in the blanks about what freedom is or what it
meant to them, basing their understanding of what JFK might have meant by it in
an unspoken consensus of what I have described elsewhere of calculated
ambiguity.
And his message always was: You exist and have some freedom to
make America great, but for no other reason, and I’ll decide whether or not you’re
worthy of praise.
By way of comparison, reading President-elect Calvin Coolidge‘s inaugural
speech of March 1925, one doesn’t get the sense that Coolidge is taking charge
of everyone’s life, or assuming command of the country’s destiny. He had no
charisma and certainly wasn’t photogenic. He was neither a glad-hander nor a
philandering playboy as were most of the Kennedy men.  Listening to him read on
the radio from a script on the “Duty of Government” doesn’t give one
the impression, either, that he was a man on a white horse ready to save the
nation. His principle message to Americans was that the future of the nation as
a free country was up to them, not him.
Coolidge’s addresses, in print and on radio, contain a mixture of
virtues and fatal flaws, but one doesn’t get the sense, either, that he ever
talked down to Americans. He did not see himself as a member of some elite
group prepared to lead the country out of a desert. The White House
page
on Coolidge reports:
In his Inaugural he asserted that the country had achieved “a
state of contentment seldom before seen,” and pledged himself to maintain
the status quo. In subsequent years he twice vetoed farm relief bills, and
killed a plan to produce cheap Federal electric power on the Tennessee River.
The political genius of President Coolidge, Walter Lippmann
pointed out in 1926, was his talent for effectively doing nothing: “This
active inactivity suits the mood and certain of the needs of the country
admirably. It suits all the business interests which want to be let alone….
And it suits all those who have become convinced that government in this
country has become dangerously complicated and top-heavy….”
JFK uttering the word “freedom” meant nothing to him or
to Sorensen, and this is clear when one examines their shared political
philosophy, because they never define the term. Uttering the word cost JFK nothing.
He had fascist designs on the country. He asked Americans what “they
can do for their country
,” and this exhortation echoed Hitler’s and
Mussolini’s asking Germans and Italians what “they could do for their
countries.” They were demanding that the citizens of those countries
recalibrate their lives to live for the sake and glory of the race or the
nation.
Remember that Hitler and Mussolini both were anti-communist, and continually
fulminated against the Communists, not because they abhorred Communism, but
because it was a competing totalitarian ideology, a rival statist political
philosophy. JFK asked Americans to recalibrate their lives, too. JFK was a
political pragmatist looking for something to do, something to be a
“leader” of, but it had to be a collectivist or altruist cause. He
was as much a welfare statist as was LBJ and his successors, including Ronald
Reagan, but most especially Bill and Hillary Clinton, both Bushes, and now Barack
Obama.
Obama, in enabling the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic jihadist entities, is following in the
policy footsteps of FDR in propping up the Soviet Union, and of Ronald Reagan,
whom we should thank for enabling
the Taliban
and Al-Qada, for once the Islamists had finished defeating the
Soviets
in Afghanistan, they turned their sights and guns on the West.
JFK, in his undelivered Dallas speech, whether he knew it or not, addressed
the legacy of FDR’s recognition of the Soviet government as a legitimate one
and of how he conducted WWII as a virtual valet to Josef Stalin’s wishes.
On the other hand, Obama has never much disguised in his banal
rhetoric his hostility to freedom. His friendship with the Muslim Brotherhood
and its operatives in and out of this country’s government, and now coupled
with his surrender to Iran in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program, compounds the
error made by Reagan in aiding Islamic designs on the West, by further
emulating FDR’s pro-Soviet policies.
In this light, Neville Chamberlain was not the only appeaser of
tyranny, and, as with Chamberlain, peace will not be had in our time.
Barack Obama is also “charting our destinies,” in which death
by ObamaCare or death by an Iranian-designed nuclear bomb detonated in Israel or
the U.S.is the destination.
Obama is no appeaser of tyranny. All indications are that he is
its friend and ally.

What’s to Like About JFK?

The rhetorical question could just as easily be rephrased to elicit
the same answers: What’s not to like
about JFK?
Plenty.
Most of the commentary I read on the 50th anniversary
of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22nd 1963 exuded
a special, repulsive kind of adulation, combined with almost tearful reminiscences
of what the country was like half a century ago (it was a bad country, ready to be knocked into shape by a great leader) and
plaintive projections of what it could have been had JFK been allowed to
complete his presumably first term in office (it would have been a good country, able to take its place
among the best welfare states in the world).  
The joke is on the sigh-filled dreamers. We have in President Barack
Obama’s two terms almost precisely what JFK would have created: a
semi-socialist, semi-fascist government dedicated to “leading” the
country to “greater” things, an administration determined to marshal
Americans to march in lockstep in the direction the White House and its allies
in Congress wish us to go, complete with a “charismatic” icon of a
leader, glib of tongue and murky in his motives.
Much of the commentary was so maudlin that it caused one to wonder
about the mental health of the individuals who wrote it. For example, the New
York Times chose to reprint humorist Art Buchwald’s New York Herald Tribune
poem, “We
Weep
,” from November 26, 1963:
We weep for our President who died for his country.
We weep for his wife and for his children.
We weep for his mother and father and brothers and sisters.
We weep for the millions of people who are weeping for him.
We weep for Americans, that this could happen in our country.
We weep for the Europeans.
And the Africans.
And the Asians.
 And people in every corner
of the globe who saw in him a hope for the future and a chance for mankind.
We weep for our children and their children and everyone’s children.
For he was charting their destinies as he was charting ours.
We weep for the Negro who saw in him a chance for a decent life.
And etc.
Had enough? There are two more stanzas, just as bad, but I thought
you should be spared them. Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post, in her
November 22ndA
Tribute to John F. Kennedy
,” picks up Buchwald’s lachrymose sentiment fifty
years later, but adds something revealing about herself and how she perceived
the country in November 1963:
…Neither the truth nor
the myth of the man seems to matter as much as the deeply personal experience
of hearing the words:
“A death in the family”
is how many have described that day, and this is as accurate as any
explanation, especially for people who were children then. The president and
Mrs. Kennedy were more than the nation’s first family; they were our parents,
too. We identified with the children and looked up to the grown-ups….
Thus, when Kennedy died,
we lost our symbolic father and our grief was for ourselves as well as the
Kennedys….
If truth be told, when I learned of JFK’s death, I felt nothing. As
a high school senior, I’d felt nothing but an irritation with the man, coupled
with a sense of impending doom, which I was able to identify only years later.
Listening to his speeches grated against my aural sensibilities; it was like
hearing someone run his fingernails down a blackboard. I’d watched film clips
of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini haranguing rapt crowds on television, and
JFK gave me that same feeling, that he was an ominous threat to my life and to
my future, and that if I stood in the way of the leagues of admiring, emotion-driven
mobs, I’d simply be trampled to death.
This was not a pretty or flattering observation to make about
“my fellow Americans.”
But I never then nor have I ever regarded JFK or Jackie Kennedy as
“parents” to “look up to.” I did not want a
“leader,” did not want to be lead, did not want to be “taken
care of,” did not want to be immersed in some hideous, identity-erasing gestalt of national purpose. The notion
of “belonging” to a collective was an alien and repellant one.
In fact, I grew to despise the whole Kennedy clan, from Joe
Kennedy, Senior, who made his initial fortune as a bootlegger, clear up to Ted
Kennedy, whose political career should have been aborted because of Chappaquiddick,
Mary Jo Kopechne, and the charge of homicide that was never levied against him,
but in
whose name
and memory ObamaCare was largely passed, and all of JFK’s
children. The whole spoiled, power-lusting bunch of them.
I despised the JFK “Camelot” myth as much as I mistrusted
the whole FDR myth, because it was the unreserved canonization of these two
political figures which caused me to smell something rotten in Denmark.
I subscribe to a number of “pro-freedom” weblogs. Some
of these organizations are scarier than any George Soros Progressive
organizations. Liberty Counsel, which touts the line that the U.S. is founded
on Biblical principles, is one of those. I received this “alert” just
this morning:
Yesterday, as a nation, we commemorated the 50th
anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The words most
associated with JFK came from his 1961 Inaugural Address, “My fellow Americans,
ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your
country.” It’s not hard to see how far “progressive” liberalism has taken our
nation away from this simple patriotic proclamation in 50 years and how foreign
that concept is to the current administration.   
Religious American conservatives are not the only ones smitten
with JFK. Europe doesn’t seem to have lost its ardor for him. For example, here
are the words of a Briton, Sean Collins, Spiked‘s
American correspondent, on the 50th anniversary:
…Most of all, Kennedy injected a sense of dynamism and
optimism into politics, and people were willing to believe in him. He
encouraged public activism and responsibility, in his call ‘ask
not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country
’.
He aimed high, urging a manned flight to the moon before the end of the decade
(even though the technology to do so was hardly evident). Americans were
problem-solvers, and there were few limits to what could be achieved – that was
his message.
JFK came to symbolise optimism and idealism (even if he
didn’t ultimately live up to it), and his assassination appeared to be the
death, not just of the man, but of what he symbolised. People hoped Kennedy
would bring a new era of prosperity and innovation; but as the years passed,
his assassination appeared to mark the beginning of an era of decline. Reagan,
Clinton and Obama attempted to reintroduce optimism into American politics, but
all paled in comparison with the genuine optimism that greeted JFK, and all
ultimately proved to be let-downs.
In many ways, not a few of them scandalous, JFK served as a
“role model” for another destroyer of the country, Bill Clinton. One
thing that anchored the political philosophy connection between Clinton and JFK
was the startling, full-page photograph of 16-year-old Bill Clinton
shaking hands with JFK
 in the White
House Rose Garden. I think I saw it in the New York Times, and have that page
buried somewhere in my archives. I dubbed it, “Passing the Torch.”  A video was made of the
encounter. That photograph, however, concretized what I had observed was the
perilous direction the country was taking.
I left this comment on a November 22nd FrontPage
article, “Fact,
Democrats, and the JFK Legend
,” by Bruce Thornton, who debunks JFK’s
legislative record:
JFK was a fascist. Any president or president-elect who asks
Americans what “they can do for their country” is simply emulating
what Hitler asked of Germans and Mussolini asked of Italians. “I’ll cut
taxes and shake my fist at the Commies, but you have to follow me and live for
the country, not for yourself.” Compared to current Democrats and Progressives,
JFK looks squeaky clean, almost nostalgic. But he was still bad news. If he’d
said in public that the government should get out of the economy and out of
education, I’d cut him some slack. But, like his fellow Democrats, he just
assumed that the government had a mission to run the economy and educate
Americans. He was a statist, and a fascist to boot.
 
No one today dares call JFK a fascist. But his style, his
rhetoric, and his behavior all comport with the means and ends of fascism. JFK,
on a European tour before he entered politics, expressed admiration for the
Nazis. Only last May, in a book review by Alan Hall in the British Daily
Mail
, it was revealed that JFK wrote in his journal:
‘Fascism?’ wrote the youthful president-to-be in one. ‘The right
thing for Germany.’  In another; ‘What
are the evils of fascism compared to communism?’
And on August 21, 1937 – two years before the war that would claim
50 million lives broke out – he wrote: ‘The Germans really are too good –
therefore people have ganged up on them to protect themselves.’
And in a line which seems directly plugged into the racial
superiority line plugged by the Third Reich he wrote after travelling through
the Rhineland: ‘The Nordic races certainly seem to be superior to the
Romans.’ 
Other musings concern how great the autobahns were – ‘the best
roads in the world’ – and how, having visited Hitler’s Bavarian holiday home in
Berchtesgaden and the tea house built on top of the mountain for him. He
declared; ‘Who has visited these two places can easily imagine how Hitler will
emerge from the hatred currently surrounding him to emerge in a few years as
one of the most important personalities that ever lived.’
Liberal columnist Dylan Matthews, in his November 22nd
Washington Post opinion piece, “Americans
think John F. Kennedy was one of our greatest presidents. He wasn’t,

credits Lyndon Johnson with accomplishing what JFK set out to do but was
assassinated before he could realize his legislative goals.
Conservative George Will, however, claims JFK was a
“conservative.” In his November 20th Washington Post
column, “The
JFK we had and the memory that lives
,” he wrote:
…Many who call him difficult to understand seem eager to not
understand him. They present as puzzling or uncharacteristic aspects of his
politics about which he was consistent and unambiguous. For them, his
conservative dimension is an inconvenient truth. Ira Stoll, in “JFK,
Conservative
,” tries to prove too much but assembles sufficient evidence
that his book’s title is not merely provocative.
A Look magazine headline in June 1946 read: “A Kennedy Runs for
Congress: The Boston-bred scion of a former ambassador is a fighting-Irish
conservative.” Neither his Cold
War anti-communism
, which was congruent with President
Harry Truman’s
, nor his fiscal
conservatism
changed dramatically during his remaining 17 years.
It was left to his successor in office, Lyndon B. Johnson, to
create the massive welfare state which JFK was sure to have pushed for himself,
given his pragmatic way of finding things for government to do and purposes for
Americans to hove to, to win brownie points with an mesmerized public and a
forgiving news media. Rand Simberg, in his November 22nd USA
TODAYcolumn, “Dear
NASA: President Kennedy just wasn’t that into you
,” casts credible
doubts on JFK’s commitment to an American space program, calling NASA a
“centralized state-socialist bureaucracy that we established to beat the
Soviets’ state-socialist bureaucracy to the moon.”
Larry Sabato in his November 20th Washington Post
column, “Lead
like John F. Kennedy
,” lists JFK’s strong and weak points. Among the
strong points was his way with words and not needing an electronic cue
card/teleprompter to deliver speeches, as does the current specimen in office:
Kennedy hired a superb wordsmith, Ted Sorensen, who substantially
wrote JFK’s book “Profiles
in Courage
,” his stirring inaugural address and many other well-known
speeches. Yet Kennedy was no parrot. He was a marvelous editor and wordsmith,
too, and he could talk extemporaneously without a text for long stretches.
Sorensen wrote JFK’s signature
statement: “And so, my fellow Americans, ask
not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your coun
try.”
Or apparently it was plagiarized (by Sorensen and JFK in a
“collaborative” composition of the inaugural address of January 20th
 1961) from an oft-repeated homily by JFK’s
headmaster at the elite Choate School, according to a November 1st,
2011 book
review
by the Daily Mail of Chris “Tingle” Matthews’ Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.
U.S. author Chris Matthews makes the claims in Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. He unearthed
notes written by George St John, the President’s former headmaster at Choate
School in Connecticut, which suggest he had been aware of the ‘ask not’ line
for many years.
The papers quote a Harvard College dean’s refrain: ‘As has often
been said, the youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask not “what
can she do for me?” but “what can I do for her?”‘
And Matthews is an admirer of Kennedy, not motivated to smear or
denigrate JFK.
But whether or not the inaugural
address
line was plagiarized, it deserves parsing. What JFK said before
speaking that line is important to take into context. He was, with very little
ambiguity, asking Americans and the country to devote themselves to
“saving” the world for “freedom,” although what he meant by
“freedom” is lost in an ambiguity deliberately calculated to appeal
to emotions, not reason. He was sanctioning the federal government’s taking the
lead in that “selfless” campaign in “a struggle against the
common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” This echoes
Wilsonian Progressivism, which called for the U.S. to become the supreme global
exemplar of selfless service to “noble causes.” This is unadulterated
altruism.
Much of the inaugural address was written as an answer to the Soviet
Union. Nowhere in it does JFK hint at what Americans were asking their country
(or him) to do for them. Doubtless, JFK was not asking Americans to fight for
their country by championing individual rights, the sanctity of private property,
and freedom of speech. Far from it. Liberty
was the last thing on his mind.
But the person who nailed JFK’s politics and warned of the dangers
he represented to the country was novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, long before he
was assassinated, long before anyone else began to smell something rotten in Washington
D.C.
In her provocative column, “The Fascist New Frontier,”
based on an address she gave at Ford Hall Forum in Boston in 1962, she wrote:
The difference between [socialism and fascism] is superficial and
purely formal, but it is significant psychologically: it brings the authoritarian
nature of a planned economy crudely into the open…. [p. 98]
Under fascism, citizens retain the responsibilities of owning
property, without freedom to act and without any of the advantages of
ownership. Under socialism, government officials acquire all the advantages of
ownership, without any of the responsibilities, since they do not hold title to
the property, but merely the right to use it—at least until the next purge. In
either case, the government officials hold the economic, political and legal
power of life or death over the citizens…..[p. 98]
Under both systems, sacrifice is invoked as a magic, omnipotent
solution in any crisis—and “the public good” is the altar on which victims are
immolated. But there are stylistic differences of emphasis. The
socialist-communist axis keeps promising to achieve abundance, material comfort
and security for its victims, in some indeterminate future. The fascist-Nazi
axis scorns material comfort and security, and keeps extolling some undefined
sort of spiritual duty, service and conquest. [p. 106]
But, surely, freedom of speech would be guaranteed under a fascist
régime, wouldn’t it?. Quite the contrary, wrote Rand.
Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or
punitive action by the government—and nothing else. It does not mean the right
to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at
the expense of other men who may not wish to support you. Freedom of speech
includes the freedom not to agree, not to listen and not to support one’s own
antagonists. A “right” does not include the material implementation of that
right by other men; it includes only the freedom to earn that implementation by
one’s own effort. Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they
cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only
the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only
to governmental action. [p. 106]
By what means could the government establish censorship without scaring
men off, without calling it
censorship? By pressure applied by the myriad federal agencies that regulate business
and men’s actions in the private sphere of our “mixed economy.” Rand wrote:
The dividing line – the frontier – between a “mixed
economy” and a dictatorship lies in the issue of freedom of speech; the
establishment of censorship is the tombstone of a free country. Observe the
concerted efforts of the administration to push – or rather, to smuggle – us across
that particular frontier. I say
“to smuggle,” because these efforts are as devious as the New
Frontiersmen’s use of language – and the fog of their terminology is here at
its thickest….[pp. 105-106]
…Rule by hidden,
unprovable intimidation relies on the victims’ “voluntary”
self-enslavement. The result is worse than a censored press: it is a servile
press. [p. 109]
And what have we had for at least the last half century but a
servile, boot-licking press that cheers on any candidate who preaches
“volunteerism” and “wealth redistribution” and deference to
the “public good” and all the other collectivist panaceas?
Barack Hussein Obama was only a year old when Rand wrote those
words. But they apply to him and his administration as well as to JFK and his
administration. And I think, tough as she was, she would have swooned in
disbelief at the state of a country that would elect the likes of Obama – twice.
(She died in 1982.)
What’s to like about JFK?
I would say: Nothing.

*”The Fascist New
Frontier,” by Ayn Rand, in The Ayn
Rand Column
. Ed.  Peter Schwartz.
Irvine CA: Ayn Rand Institute Press, 1998.

The Mendicant and the Medal of Freedom

There is a glaring and ironic contradiction in President Barack Obama’s
mendacious
bestowing of the Medal
of Freedom
on anyone. During his
two terms in the White House, he has done perhaps more than any other president
to reduce the range of freedom of individuals to achieve anything.
In the unlikely event I was ever nominated for the Medal of
Freedom, I would refuse to accept it, regardless of who was in the White House.
But I especially would refuse to accept it from a demonstrable liar, thief, and
fraud.
I even question the purpose
of the Medal of Freedom, its name, and its propriety. It is awarded to
individuals “for especially [a] meritorious contribution to (1) the
security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3)
cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” It has as
much, or even less, genuine meaning as does an Oscar, or the Nobel Prize for
Peace or Literature. It is an empty symbol that serves to justify a ritual
burlesque. It is pure
government theater
. The character of the presidents who have awarded it
since its inception – technically, in 1945 by Harry S. Truman, a power-hungry
mediocrity elevated to the office on the death of FDR, and revised in 1963 by
John F. Kennedy, the charming fascist – makes the Medal’s association with freedom a sham.
And the baffling association of freedom with many who
have been
awarded the Medal is also covinous. I doubt I could stand in the
same room with any of them without getting into an unceremonious brouhaha. It
would be clock-cleaning time in the name of freedom. Bill Clinton would get at
least a black eye. Hillary would have her lying face slapped silly and as red
as Mao’s Little Red Book. Her friend,
former State Department aide, and intimate, Huma
Abedin
, closely associated with the President’s favorite club, the Muslim
Brotherhood
, and present at the ceremony, might fly to Hillary’s rescue and
try to scratch my eyes out. But I’m sure the Secret Service would rescue me
before that happened and escort me unceremoniously from the White
House
.
In Obama’s instance, it gave him a chance to field a few joshing,
cracker-barrel yuk-yuks, giving the ceremony all the dignity of a Friars’ Club
Celebrity Roast
, and also the opportunity to gloss over his own cruel ObamaCare
joke that Americans could keep their health insurance plans “if they liked
them.”
The implied, unnamed focus of the award is “public
service.” In service to what? To whom? Society? The American Medal of
Freedom is the closest thing to being thwacked on the shoulders with a sword by
the Queen of England and dubbed a knight of this, that, or the other of a
long-deceased empire. Freedom is dying in the U.S., and Obama doing his bit to
see that it hurries to its expiration.
I bear no grudge against the innocent victims of the charade; they
have been as much as elevated to sainthood by a government that ought not to be
anointing anyone. It is the proper role of government to recognize freedom by
protecting and upholding it, not emphasizing it while at the same time
engineering its incremental demise, and at the hands of individuals who are
freedom’s nemeses but who have also been awarded the Medal.  
Many of this year’s awardees of the Medal of Freedom are not so
innocent.  Bill Clinton, noted for his
corrupt “good ole boy” career in politics, advanced statism and made
a shambles of our foreign policy. Richard Luger is a mainstream Republican
nonentity who, among other offenses, endorsed Obama’s two radical left Supreme
Court nominees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Nobel Prize in Chemistry
winner Mario Molina helped to promote the fraudulent science of how
chlorofluorocarbons from aerosols destroy the ozone layer; he was an ancillaory
pioneer of the global warming scam.  Gloria
Steinem helped to erect legislative and cultural divides between men and women
with her “radical feminism.” (No mention of her stint as an
undercover Playboy Bunny was made by Obama in his introductory remarks.) Patricia
McGowan Wald was a Bill Clinton appointee to the Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit, as was  Ruth Bader
Ginsburg, another leftist now on the Supreme Court. She served for a while as
U.S. representative to the International
Criminal Tribune for the Former Yugoslavia
, which oversaw the convictions
and imprisonments of Serbs and other non-Muslims, but no Muslims, for alleged
war crimes (and Bill Clinton did his bit to ensure that the Muslims triumphed
in Bosnia). She also chairs the Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.
Then there’s Oprah Winfrey, alleged “journalist,” alleged
“actress,” media muggle, and all-round busybody and do-gooder,
another recipient of the Medal as a kind of kiss-and-make-up consolation prize,
except when she’s claiming that only
old white people are racists
and that the problem of racism will disappear
when they’re all dead. One supposes that it was all those white people who
stopped her from becoming a billionaire, especially all those white people in
the East Room of the White House, where the King of the Mountebanks presided
over the presentation of the Unicorn Awards.  
Of course, there is Barack Obama
himself
, who in 2009 won a Nobel Peace Prize for having done absolutely
nothing, largely because everyone expected him to work for “peace.”
That’s quite a police line-up. Detective to witness: “Can you
identify the perpetrator who mugged you and robbed you of your freedom, your
wealth, your rights, your future and that of your children?” Witness:
“All of them.”
Since JFK recast the purpose of the Medal of Freedom in 1963, it
has been awarded to individuals in architecture, art, dance, film, literature,
music, photography, business and economics, computing, education, history, for
humanitarian work and social activism, to members of the media, to those active
in medicine, philanthropy, philosophy, to former presidents, for diplomacy,
environmentalism, to Supreme Court justices, First Ladies and astronauts, and
to sports figures. I’m surprised the categories don’t include landscaping,
cooking, and graffiti art. Surely, those activities contribute to our national
security interests and world peace, and are worthy cultural endeavors, as well.
The JFK-defined Medal of Freedom comports with his overall fascist
political agenda, and is awarded to those perceived by government functionaries
to have harkened to his famous inaugural maxim, “Ask not what your country
can do for you – but
what you can do for your country
,” whether or not doing something for
the country was their purpose. Ought the federal government be in the business
of defining what our culture is, what actions in it are worthy of recognition,
and deciding whether or not individuals have performed anything that is deemed
“meritorious”?
No. The recognition implied by the Medal of Freedom is wholly
subjective and arbitrary, and helps to establish and perpetuate a suffocating
pall of government-mandated approval of what Americans do, say, or think – or not.
 
And that is fascist,
with a dash of socialist mendacity mixed in for flavor.

Michelle Freeman’s “Night in the Box”


The
Washington Post on November 17th ran a commentary, “Why
I traded a gala gown for cold concrete
,” by
Michelle D. Freeman. She is president and chief
executive of the Carl M. Freeman Cos.,
heads two family foundations, and is also a minority owner of Monumental Sports
& Entertainment, which owns Verizon Center, Washington Wizards, Capitals
and Mystics.
It was a plea for corporate
executives to “rough it” by experiencing what the young and homeless (mainly
teenagers) experience, and to commit an altruistic act by “giving
back” by assuming the responsibility for homeless youth. What follows is a
paragraph-by-paragraph retort, with Freedman’s statements in Italics.
_______________________________________________________________________
Last November, I decided it was time
to rethink the experience of giving. As a chief executive and single working
mother of three, I work hard to be a guidepost for personal values.
When I was a teenager I decided to
become a novelist. I am unmarried, have no children that I know of, and have worked
hard all my adult life to become a publishable novelist. I achieved that goal,
and more, despite a liberal/left culture determined to guarantee my failure. I
never thought it my duty to become anyone’s “guidepost.” I just
wanted to be left alone by the government and by society to pursue my values
and my goals.
But last year I decided to put away
the ball gown for a night and test a new model of corporate giving.
Given the horrific statistics cited
by Miss Freeman, you would think that, because she’s a successful executive, it
would occur to her to get the government out of the economy, and out of the
education of today’s teenagers, and out of colleges, universities, middle
schools, and kindergartens. But Miss Freeman’s own education has trained her to
not look past the observable
suffering to see or formulate more practical and effective solutions, solutions
which would give the objects of her concern freedom and independence from
government dependence and corporate charity. I’m betting that Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Ludwig von Mises Omnipotent Government, and Frédéric Bastiat’s Economic Sophisms and Economic
Harmonies
are not on her recommended reading list, nor on her children’s.
This time last year, I spent a night
sleeping on a bitterly cold concrete street in Southeast Washington. The goal
was to raise money for homeless teens, many of whom were the same age as my
oldest son.
I’ll never forget the way the cold
pierced through all of my layers straight to my bones. I felt awful. I never
fell asleep completely. The noise, the voices of strangers, the thought of rats
and all the activity of the night became frightening and I felt exposed.
Miss Freeman’s concept of acquiring
a dubious virtue and a motive to help the homeless is to spend a
one-night-stand as a kind of third century desert ascetic, or to revel in the
raw realities of Dark Age standards of living, to experience poverty
and austerity first-hand
. Far be it from her to stop and think: Is this
really necessary? Aside from a broken home, what is the root cause of all these
kids living like aimless hobos and cast-offs? Could it have something to do
with government economic and regulatory policies that have made it virtually
impossible for them to find jobs, or their politically correct education which
does not prepare them to live like rational, responsible, productive adults? She
should wonder.
In a few weeks, I’ll do it again.
Apparently, she won’t wonder, and such
a notion will never occur to her.
Here in our nation’s capital, we
have one of the highest rates of youth homelessness in the country. According
to Covenant House Washington, there are more than 1,600 homeless youth in the
District over the course of a given year, far exceeding the 77 beds
specifically reserved for them. Child abuse and neglect are the highest in the
nation, at almost 30 percent, and nearly two out of three teenagers will not
graduate from high school in Wards 7 and 8.
The
National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are
approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in
abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers. Homeless youth are at a
higher risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental health
disabilities, substance abuse, and death. It is estimated that 5,000
unaccompanied youth die each year as a result of assault, illness, or suicide.
No government program is going to
fix that, nor any private charity. The solution to Miss Freeman’s concerns is
not bombarding people with brutal statistics and inculcating in them a sense of
guilt and responsibility, but to take actions that would ensure that children
and teenagers are given the best rational assistance possible so that they may
live fruitful, productive lives – as free individuals. The Washington D.C.
school system, by the way, regardless of the particular Ward, is one of the
worst in the country.
Many of these young people in crisis
turn to shelters such as Covenant House Washington, which gives them a safe
place to sleep, a hot meal, counseling during a time of crisis, workforce and
education training, and above all—the opportunity for a restart.
More than a hot meal, crisis
counseling, and other kinds of training, these young people need to be given a
reason for living, a means of formulating rational values, and, perhaps above
all, taught that society does not owe them a living, that to survive as
individuals and not as dependent clones or creatures of the state, they must be
taught the virtue of selfishness.
Until I participated with other
business leaders in Covenant House’s Executive Sleep Out, it was hard for me to
fully grasp the issue. Perhaps I took for granted the basic needs that I
provide for my own children: a safe home, warm beds, healthy meals, and clean clothes
for school. So many kids in our city won’t receive those things today.
This is a reflection of Miss
Freeman’s cognitive stunting. Safe homes, warm beds, and healthy meals and the
like are the limit of her conceptual awareness of what is needed to raise a
child to become a fully rational, self-sufficient adult. Or is it fully
rational, self-sufficient adults that she wishes to help foster? I suspect not.
I think she is a kind of Mother Teresa ensconced by her inherited wealth on the
other end of the economic scale, a person whose self-worth is tied to, as Ayn
Rand might have put it, how many fingers she has in so many festering sores.
It’s said that Mother Teresa resented and disliked individuals who no longer
needed her help.
It’s
easy to think of homelessness as a faceless issue.
It certainly is. Why should anyone
wish to be faced with youth homelessness every day? Is caring for the homeless
some kind of necessary virtue? A moral imperative? Or perhaps it isn’t supposed
to have anything to do with rational living, it’s just out there, ready to be
embraced by the politically correct and socially conscious, an intrinsic “in-your-face”
social condition which everyone should deal with.
We in the corporate community can
change that.
American businesses can certainly
reduce the amount of homelessness in the country (keeping in mind that many of
the homeless choose that state of existence) by advocating laissez-faire capitalism, by upholding of individual rights,
working for the sanctity of private property, and for the separation of the
state from the economic realm.
Join me on Nov. 21 on the streets of
Southeast to experience for one night the cold reality of the many homeless
young people in the District. Take a stand with me for an issue that is growing
in urgency right here at home. Be a model in giving—for your colleagues, for
your children, and for your community.
Yes, grovel in the filth for your
own good, rub shoulders with the homeless, the hapless, and the helpless,
become a model in giving – and then, thank capitalism, after you’ve experienced
your ration of humility and have rewarded yourself with a gold star of selfless
slumming, that you can rush back to your clean homes and offices and healthy
families. You only need to do it once a year.
While one night of sleeping out
hardly compares to what homeless kids go through every day, I know from
experience that this one night has far-reaching benefits for our young people,
and our community at large.
There’s your woozy wisdom. I would
like to know what those “far-reaching benefits” are, and if our young
people and the community at large (whose community?) really appreciate your
temporary, guilt-ridden, dutiful sacrifice.
If you can’t sleep out, find your
own way to help. Be a mentor. Write a check. Tell a colleague. Just don’t turn
the page without doing something.
If you were not oblivious to the
living conditions of Occupy Wall Street in New York City, and if risking
robbery, rape, murder, or contracting a communicable disease is just too much
to ask while mulling over a stint of slumming with the
“disadvantaged,” then become a “mentor,” or whip out your
checkbook, or let everyone else know just how virtuous they, too, could be if
they joined you on the cold concrete in Southeast Washington D.C.
As leaders of this business
community, we can all point to a person that set us on our own path to success.
Now is the time to be that person for someone else.
I can point to several individuals
who inspired me to follow my own path to success, but not one of them is an
altruist or guilt-ridden success like Bill Gates. Or Michelle Freeman.
________________________________________________________________________
So,
Michelle Freeman spent “a night in the box.”* From this visceral
experience
she claims the right to piously lecture other business
executives on the “uplifting” worthiness of experiencing the
conditions of their objects of charity. Freeman is unfortunately typical of the
beneficiary of inherited wealth. The Carl M. Freeman Companies are a sizable
real estate development organization specializing in apartment buildings,
townhouses, and single family homes, begun in the late 1940’s by Freeman’s
father-in-law. As so often happens with successful private enterprises, the heirs of the
founders turn altruist and support government policies that make it difficult
if not impossible for other ambitious individuals to succeed.
Michelle
Freeman’s call to the “cold concrete” fits into the Left’s establishment
mantra of focusing on victimhood and not on success or achievement, as
columnist Thomas Sowell so ably discusses in his article, “The War Against
Achievement
.”  
But to celebrate him [the
achiever] in the mainstream media today would undermine a whole ideological
vision of the world — and of the vast government bureaucracies built on that
vision. It might even cause people to think twice about giving money to
able-bodied men who are standing on street corners, begging. The last thing the
political left needs, or can even afford, are self-reliant individuals. If such
people became the norm, that would destroy not only the agenda and the careers
of those on the left, but even their flattering image of themselves as saviors
of the less fortunate.
I
could not learn if Michelle Freeman or any of her colleagues donated to either of
Barack Obama’s presidential election campaigns, however her philosophy of “giving”
until it literally hurts fits into his agenda of transforming the country into
minimum security prison makes it too likely. I would not be surprised to hear Obama
proposing to draft all those homeless teenagers into a 21st century
version of the Civilian Conservation Corps, FDR’s answer to unemployment and
homelessness (also caused and aggravated by government economic and regulatory policies).
America
business “leaders” should stop looking for ways of doing penance for
their success, and start advocating a political philosophy of freedom and individual
self-reliance. Experiencing a taste of hard-scrabble existence benefits no one
but the person who feels guilty about his success.
*A
repeated line in the floorwalker’s
monologue
from Stuart Rosenberg’s Cool
Hand Luke
(1967), set in a Southern prison/ chain gang camp. The
“box” was a narrow, vertical, suffocating shack in which a prisoner
was put as punishment for the slightest infractions of camp rules.

The Ongoing Erasure of Europe

In
The
Regulator’s Cucumber Syndrome
” I discussed how the EU is obsessed with
controlling the European’s material existence. In this column the subject is how
the EU is planning to control his spiritual existence.
The
Gates
of Vienna
published a startling, translated column by German attorney Michael Schneider
about an Organization of Islamic Conferences-approved (OIC)
“framework” sponsored by the European Parliament, “which seems
likely to be implemented across the EU. The proposed law would devise a
draconian new form of politically correct ‘tolerance’ and impose it on European
citizens and institutions by establishing bureaucratic bodies with the
authority to enforce it.”
 The irony in the title of the proposed legislation
was obviously lost on its authors, “A
European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance
,”
for it is nothing but a blueprint for imposing across-the-board
“intolerance.”
Schneider
opens his essay with:
Anyone who speaks and writes
about the abrogation of freedom in Europe is accused of being a pathological
conspiracy theorist. So it is advisable to be a little more specific, and name
names.
The abrogation of freedom in
Europe is not occurring naturally, but according to the planning of educated
elites, who have been trained to replace civic freedoms — especially those of
expression, of the press and of the airwaves — with ideological coercion, and
thus smash civil society into microscopic shards, like valuable, defenseless
porcelain.
Schneider
writes that one of the chief culprits behind this legislation is a Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum, professor
emeritus and one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute on foreign public
law and international law in Heidelberg.
This honorable person is also in
a dubious think tank, “The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation”
about which one may find relevant information on the homepage of the president
of “The European Jewish Congress” (EJC), Viacheslav Moshe Kantor. Among other
things are those documents which describe the political intentions of the think
tank.
The
subject document closes with a reference to that think tank:
This text was prepared – under
the aegis of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation – by a Group
of Experts composed of Yoram Dinstein (Chair), Ugo Genesio, Rein Mȕllerson,
Daniel Thȕrer and Rȕdiger Wolfrum.
The
Three Expert Horsemen of the European Apocalypse? Surely. Throughout his essay,
Schneider repeatedly refers to Wolfrum as “Wolfrum in Sheep’s
Clothing.” And when you read the European Framework (in English) yourself,
you will see that his sardonic contempt for the man is fully justified.
Of
particular interest are paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) under Section 1:
Definitions:
(a)
“Group” means: a number of people joined by racial or cultural roots,
ethnic origin or descent, religious affiliation or linquisitc links, gender
identity or sexual orientation, or any other characteristics of a similar
nature.
(c)
“Hate crimes” means: any criminal act however defined, whether
committed against persons or property, where the victims or targets are
selected because of their real or perceived connection with – or support or
membership of – a group as defined in paragraph (a).
(d)
“Tolerance” means: respect for and acceptance of the expression,
preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group as defined in
paragraph (a). The definition is without prejudice to the principle of
coexistence of diverse groups within a single society.
Muslims,
of course, would not be expected to abide by these rules. They can behead a
British soldier in broad daylight in London and cite chapter and verse from the
Koran, attack Jews in Malmo, rape as
many Norwegian women as they like, and invade an auditorium and shout down any
speaker who criticizes Islam, yet one may not take umbrage at their
“religious affiliation” or ethnicity 
without risking the charge of having committed a “hate crime”
and being “intolerant.”
Muslims,
however, can froth at the mouth in hatred and commit atrocious crimes, yet not
be charged with “hate crimes.” They can publicly demonstrate carrying
signs that read “Freedom of Speech Go to Hell,” “Islam Will
Dominate,” and “Behead Those Who Insult Islam” with impunity,
yet anyone who appeared in public carrying a sign that read “Sharia Go to
Hell” or “Islam is Barbarism” would soon be handcuffed by the
police and led away to be charged with a “hate crime” and with
“inciting violence.”
Muslims
are permitted to hate and express their intolerance. You, the non-Muslim, are
not. “Respect, tolerate, and accept” the conundrum.
Schneider
parses prominent sections of the European Framework law and explicates their
meanings vis-à-vis EU-Speak. For example:
The basic consideration[s] of the
document as read are attractive and allow no suspicion to arise – that is if
you do not know what EU political-speak means – for instance, “human
diversity” standing for the systematic destruction of the autochthonic
population and its traditional canon of values. Whereas respect for human dignity is based on recognition of human diversity
and the inherent right of every person to be different, etc.
[Emphasis in bold is Schneider’s]
All possible groups are supposed
to be protected by this concept of tolerance — just not the majority
population. With this policy, minorities are purposefully advanced at the cost
of majority cohesion. This splits the society, thereby controlling it better
and leading to the final goal. This becomes visible in the typical, EU-wide
concept of the protected minority, which is inherently aimed at splitting the
society — divide et impera:
In
short – and because the chief beneficiary of this legislation will be Muslims –
this means that the Muslim minority will be raised in status to that of the
dominant Western culture. By effectively divorcing Muslims from secular Western
society, and giving them a special, protected status, all the Dark Age
practices inherent in Islam, including Sharia law, will be bestowed the same
legal and moral status as the culture of the majority of non-Muslim Westerners.
However,
the secular majority, in the name of “diversity,” may not impose its
values and ethics on the Muslim “minority”  (that would be viewed as
“oppression”), but the Muslim “minority” may chip away at
the values and ethics of the majority in the name of “tolerance,”
until they disappear like the Titanic and slip beneath the waves of history.
The
goals of Islamic “cultural” jihad have been iterated repeatedly,
among which are the dissolution of Western civilization. The
Muslim Brotherhood
‘s strategy is clearly stated in an American court
document that outlines how Islam will conquer the U.S. (and presumably Canada).
That strategy can be seen at work in Europe, as well.
“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist
Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must
understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating
and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its
miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”
Greece
has gotten a head-start on the process. Atlas Shrugs reports that the Greek
Supreme Court
has held Sharia law superior to Greek secular or civil law.
The last will and testament of a
Muslim man, which was prepared according to Greek civil law, has been annulled
in the Greek Supreme Court because it is not compliant with sharia law.
Demeter Simeonidou, who was
Muslim and lived in Thrace, wanted to leave all his assets to his wife. He
prepared his will with this in mind under Greek law. But the will was
challenged by Mr Simoenidou’s sister who claimed that under Islamic law of
succession, a Muslim does not have the right to make a public will and his
assets must be distributed in accordance with sharia.
Simoenidou’s
sister is “different” because she believes in Sharia law. Her belief
must be “respected,” and to not respect it would be an insult and a
denial of her “difference” and to rob her of her “diverse”
status. To honor her late brother’s will would by implication mean a derogation
and defaming of Islamic law.
Schneider
next turns to the notion of “group libel” (Section D, Definitions,
[b]):
…defamatory
comments made in public and aimed against a group as defined in paragraph (a) –
or members thereof – with a view to inciting to violence, insulting the group,
holding it to ridicule or subjecting it to false charges.
Schneider
remarks:
Under such a totalitarian regime
as planned here, Mohammed cartoons are just as unthinkable as are objective,
scientific observations on any group having to do with its intelligence, its
other genetic endowments, its behavior (unless it is described unreservedly
positively) for instance, cumulatively occurring deviant or criminal behavior,
etc. Even someone who reports that a group of sixty took part in the attack on
a German police officer, and none of them was an ethnic German, can thus become
a serious criminal. Warning: the persecution of the police officer is not the
crime, but the politically incorrect report on it.
Sixty
Muslims attacking the (presumably non-Muslim) German police officer would not
be deemed a crime under the compromised German criminal code – that’s just a
“minority” protesting their victimhood by the “system” –
but identifying the attackers as Muslim would be deemed a crime. Six Muslims
gang-raping a non-Muslim woman or girl would not be judged a crime – that’s
just Muslims observing their religion, whose tenets may not be judged or held
up in measure with secular law – but identifying the rapists as Muslim would be
a crime.
Six
ethnic Germans gang-raping an ethnic German woman or girl, however, is a crime
that would fall under German secular law. But guess who would get the harshest
sentencing under this schizophrenic code, and who would be left off with a slap
on the wrist, even should a court dare such a rebuke?
Muslims
may commit violence – Mohammad orders them to, it’s in the Koran, that’s something that can’t be evaluated or judged – but a
reporter who flouts the law of political correctness and identifies criminals
as Muslims, would be found guilty of “inciting” violence or hatred or
of intolerance or of insulting or defaming Islam and Muslims by having simply
reported facts. But I don’t think
very many German or European reporters would face such a charge, once a nation
adopted the European Framework legislation, because no newspaper or broadcast organization
would ever hire them. The ones who might have would have been given pink slips.
In
a spurt of thoroughness, lest anyone think he could critique the actions of
Muslims in the past without risk of
recrimination, there is this explanatory note:
It must be understood that the
“group libel” may appear to be aimed at members of the group in a
different time (another historical era) or place (beyond the borders of the
State).
Scholarly
books on the pitfalls of Islam? Out of the question! TV specials on the bloody
history of Islam from the 7th century on? Forget it! The history of
Islamic slavery over the centuries, covering the deaths of millions of African blacks
at the hands of Muslim slave traders to the kidnapping of approximately 1.5
million Europeans to die in servitude in North Africa or populate Muslim
harems? Not a chance! Try and find a publisher. So what if the raiders of
European coastal towns as far north as Iceland were pirates? They were Muslims,
and their reputations are protected against “group libel.” Recounting
their actions would reflect “negatively” on the existing group, and
that will not be allowed.
Next,
Schneider highlights the consequences of creating a culture that is no longer
Western but which has multiple personalities.
To appease the critics, the
unavoidable effect of the plan — splitting and ultimately destroying societies
through the disproportionate demands of minorities who are impossible or
difficult or unwilling to integrate — is concealed in an implausible formula: Promote
tolerance within society without weakening the common bonds tying together a
single society.
Meaning
that, hypothetically, German culture would simply be one of many
“cultures” inhabiting the same nation, in the way of a placid mosaic,
abiding peaceably with Islamic and other “cultures.” Either Wolfrum
and his colleagues are either ignorant of the fact, or choose not to mention
it, but Islam “isn’t in” Germany or any other European nation or in
the U.S. to exist peacefully with non-Muslims, but to dominate, and that is
what we have been witnessing in Europe for at least the last two decades. Muslims
have been stating that intention from the beginning of their mass immigrations.
Schneider
is certain that Wolfrum especially knows what he is doing.
As a proven legal thinker, he is
not doing this by mistake but with malice aforethought and out of deepest
conviction.
Schneider
discusses how national and local governments would be expected to establish
their own “special administrative units” that would police speech. He
quotes from “Section 4: Limitations (f)”:
Freedom must not be used to
defame other groups.
Tolerance is a two-way street.
Members of a group who wish to benefit from tolerance must show it to society
at large, as well as to members of other groups and to dissidents or other
members of their own group.
Absent
in this incredible document is any mention of individuals or individual
right,
except incidentally in the preface. All rights, privileges and
protections are calibrated to groups, to collectives. The string of “Whereas‘s” in the beginning of the
European Framework contains the basic premises of everything that follows and
telegraphs the Framework’s goals. For example,
 Whereas the concept of tolerance is the opposite of any
form of unlawful discrimination….
Who
is to decide what is “unlawful discrimination”? A special
administrative unit.
Whereas tolerance has a vital role in
enabling successful coexistence of diverse groups within a single national
society….[s]uch coexistence enriches and strengthens the fabric of the national
society [and] should not affect the basic identity of that society or its
shared values, history, aspirations and goals.
Good
luck with that, because there is a catch.
Whereas integration within a single
national society does not mean
assimilation
….
Whereas coexistence and cooperation
within a democratic society require that individuals and groups make mutual
concessions to each other….
Meaning
that assimilation by Muslims into the larger Western society would not be
imperative and wouldn’t be a concession, but accommodation verging on
assimilation by Westerners into Islamic culture would be imperative as a
suicidal gesture of “tolerance” and “coexistence,” which would
be short-lived.
All
in all, the whole European Framework document is deliberately calculated to
produce a race reminiscent of the “pod people” from the film The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with
particular emphasis on transforming indigenous Europeans into obedient,
unquestioning clones of each other, “tolerant” to the point of self-extinction
and complicit in the destruction of European culture – that is, of the culture
that once promoted freedom, freedom of speech, and their identities as
Westerners.
After
reading the entirety of this heinous document, I couldn’t help but picture
Wolfrum the co-author as the face on the screen of the classic Apple ad of 1984 that
debuted the personal computer age, a disembodied face commanding adherence to a
garden
of pure ideology
…free from the pests of any contradictory true
thoughts.”
But
where is the European athlete who will champion freedom of speech and hurl a
hammer at the screen? Are Europeans nothing but “Ewes in Wolf’s
Clothing”? Well, no. There’s Geert Wilders, Michael
Stürzenberger
, Elisabeth
Sabaditsch-Wolff
, and Lars
Hedegaard
, to name but a handful of Europeans ready to stake their all for
freedom of speech and sound the alarm about the Islamic takeover of their
continent.  Their thoughts state the
truth, yet they have been persecuted, prosecuted, and thrown to the wolves of
Islam.
The
same may be said about Michael Schneider, who also warns that that the alliance
of the EU and Islam, if not exposed and stopped, will lead to the ultimate
erasure of Europe by the hands of believers and the likes of Rüdiger Wolfrum and their dhimmified
ilk.
Is
America on the same path?

The Regulator’s Cucumber Syndrome

Gatestone
Institute’s Soren Kern on November 14th had an article, “EU Regulations: ‘Dictatorship
of the Bureaucrats’?
” about the bewildering plethora of European Union
regulatory laws.

In
preliminary note-taking for this column, I tried to learn how many federal
product regulations exist in the U.S.  The
truth is that no one knows, not Congress, not the Federal Register – unless one
was willing to undertake a major research project, which would entail going
through every back issue of the Register, page by page, remembering to include current,
pending legislation in the count – and not even the Library of Congress. One
site’s estimate in 2010 was that there were 40,627
laws in force
in the U.S., covering everything from criminal law to product
standards. That number is certain to have increased since then.
The
Wall Street Journal’s article of July 23rd, 2011, “Many
Failed Efforts to Count Nation’s Federal Criminal Laws
,” which focused
only on federal criminal laws, was not optimistic:
“You
will have died and resurrected three times,” and still be trying to figure
out the answer, said Ronald Gainer, a retired Justice Department official.
In
1982, while at the Justice Department, Mr. Gainer oversaw what still stands as
the most comprehensive attempt to tote up a number. The effort came as part of
a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the
criminal code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000
pages of federal law….
The
project stretched two years. In the end, it produced only an educated estimate:
about 3,000 criminal offenses. Since then, no one has tried anything nearly as
extensive….
In
1998, the American Bar Association performed a computer search of the federal
codes looking for the words “fine” and “imprison,” as well
as variations. The ABA study concluded the number of crimes was by then likely
much higher than 3,000, but didn’t give a specific estimate.
These
studies excluded regulatory laws. But, violations of federal regulatory laws
can overlap into criminal law. How else to explain the many individuals being
arrested, jailed, fined and given prison terms for violating the
“laws” of the IRS, the SEC, the  EPA, the FDA, or the HHS? This is an important
issue that should not be overlooked. As our behemoth government swells even
larger, more and more people will be charged with violating regulatory laws and
meted criminal law “justice.”
The
Library of Congress would second the Wall Street Journal’s doubts. In a post
dated March 12th, 2013, “Frequent
Reference Question: How Many Federal Laws Are There
?,” Shameema
Rahman, Senior Legal Research
Specialist with the LOC, cautions
:
At the reference desk, we are frequently asked to estimate
the number of federal laws in force. However, trying to tally this number is
nearly impossible.
If you
think the answer to this question can be found in the volumes of the Statutes at Large,
you
are partially correct. The Statutes at Large is a compendium that
includes all the federal laws passed by the U.S. Congress. However, a total
count of laws passed does not account for the fact that some laws are
completely new; some are passed to amend existing laws; and others completely
repeal old laws. Moreover, this set does not include any case law or regulatory
provisions that have the force of law.
In a
conversation about this topic, a friend asked me, “What about the United States Code?” The current Code has 51 titles in
multiple volumes. It would be very time consuming to go page by
page to count each federal law, and it also does not include case law or
regulatory provisions.
While
we are on the topic, would you like to know the difference between
the United States Code and the Statutes at Large? According
to the Government Printing Office,
“the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all
laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress.”
Let
us not forget the latest proposal by the FDA, that it will regulate trans fats
in foods. A FrontPage article of November 14th, “If
You Like Your Food, You Can Keep Your Food
,” reported:
Obama’s FDA is considering a ban
on trans fat in foods. Like incandescent bulbs and cheap free market health
insurance, margarine may become one of those things that you can no longer buy
anymore. It will also mean that many other foods will either be banned, become
more expensive or taste worse. The FDA had already mandated trans fat labeling
on products.
The new ban would not protect
anyone; instead it would take away the right of Americans to choose what they eat.
Under the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, the FDA was created to prevent “the
manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous
or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors.”
Milk, butter, cheese, ice cream,
hot dogs, salami, French fries and eggs. The FDA has given itself the authority
to ban everything from a glass of milk to a carton of eggs. And that’s not an
exaggeration.
It’s
hard to decide. Which side of the pond is copycatting the other in terms of
dreaming up new regulations and people-management laws: the U.S., or the EU?
You can only be sure that the laws on either beach are as numberless as grains
of sand.
And
there you have it: No one knows how many federal laws, regardless of their
purview, are in force and were created by Congress over at least a century. Abiding
by all those regulatory laws costs Americans untold billions of dollars every
year. Ninety-nine percent of them simply usurp individual and business choices
and substitute a bureaucracy’s fiat enforcement powers. The page count? It must
be in the millions.
Now
we turn to the EU, that great pile of bureaucratic hubris lording it over 28-member
nations and shepherding their 500 million citizens to “energy efficiency,
environmental friendliness, and health standards.” Soren Kern notes:
European bureaucrats have…imposed
bans or restrictions on thousands of…consumer products, including bananas,
clothes dryers, cosmetics, cucumbers, fruit jam, laptop computers, laundry
detergents, light bulbs, olive oil, plastic bags, refrigerators, showerheads,
television sets, tobacco, toilets, toys, urinals and wine cooling cabinets.
 Kern prefaces
his article with the EU’s proposed cucumber law. Don’t laugh. They’re serious.
European Commission Regulation
No. 1677/88, “Class I” and “Extra class” cucumbers are
allowed a bend of 10mm per 10cm of length. “Class II” cucumbers can
bend twice as much. Any cucumbers that are curvier may not be bought or sold.
There
was a downside to this instance of sheer bureaucratic idiocy. The human
cucumbers of the EU bureaucracy had to “bend”:
Amid public outcry, Brussels
eventually reversed
its ban
on curvy cucumbers—as well as on imperfectly shaped Brussels
sprouts, carrots, cherries and garlic—as part of the EU’s effort to cut
“unnecessary” red tape.
That
was “democracy” at work, the “voice” of the people, a voice
which the EU rarely deigns to listen to.
Done
chuckling? Have a banana:
Arguably the most famous examples
of EU over-regulation involve rules on the physical appearance of fruit and
vegetables. For example, European Commission Regulation No. 2257/94—also known
as the “bendy
banana law
“—states that all bananas bought and sold in the EU must be
“free from malformation or abnormal curvature.”
According to the regulation,
“Extra class” bananas must be of “superb quality,” while
“Class I” bananas can have “slight defects of shape,” and
“Class II” bananas can have full-on “defects of shape.” The
document states that the size of the banana is determined by “the grade,
i.e. the measurement, in millimeters, of the thickness of a transverse section
of the fruit between the lateral faces and the middle, perpendicularly to the
longitudinal axis.”
This
is material rich in Monty Python humor. Imagine a skit in which the hapless
European shopper must take a slide rule and a sextant to the fruit bin to
ensure the store isn’t carrying unauthorized fruit, and sells only
“superb” and “slightly defective” cucumbers, bananas and
cumquats. Imagine it, but know that these bureaucratic wonks are dead serious. They
are drunk on the ambrosia of regulatory elitism. Only they have the faculty to define what is “superb” and what
is not. They are the unelected, sumptuously salaried Platonic guardians of the
crass, ignorant, materialistic hoi polloi.
But,
wait! There’s more!
Les
bureaucrates ne manquez pas un tour!
The vacuum cleaner ban was
quietly approved during the summer holidays in August and went largely unnoticed
by the general public until after the German newspaper Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung
(FAZ) published
a story
about the new law on October 24.
“As of September 2014, only
vacuum cleaners that consume less than 1600 watts may be sold in the EU,”
according to FAZ. “From 2017 only a maximum of 900 watts will be allowed.
At the same time, the vacuum cleaner must be fitted with a label that grades
energy consumption on a scale of seven letters and colors: The letter ‘A’ on a
green background means very low energy consumption and the letter ‘G’ on a red
background means very high energy consumption.”
Before
a European can finish his laundry, he will have to make sure his dryer is
planet-friendly.
As of November 1, “the
weighted condensation efficiency of condensation tumbler dryers must not be
less than 60%,” according to European Commission Regulation
No. 932/2012
dated October 3, 2012 which implements “Directive
2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to
ecodesign requirements for household tumble driers.”
And
the European soon shouldn’t dare think of using a plastic bag or repair to his
loo, john, or water closet without making sure that it, too, is
planet-friendly.
On November 4, the European
Commission—the executive body of the European Union—adopted a
proposal
that requires member states to implement measures to reduce the
use of plastic bags. That same week, Brussels announced criteria to standardize
the flushing of all toilets and urinals in the EU
. The decision followed
years of efforts by experts working for the European Commission’s environment
directorate, as well as “stakeholders” studying “user
behavior” and “best practices.”
Finally
– and I’m sure Soren Kern could have continued with fifty more pages of
examples – the European will not be able to pot his own plants or grow his own
herbs or tomatoes without EU approval.
In May 2013, the European
Commission announced the so-called Plant
Reproductive Material Law
, an Orwellian directive that would make it
illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have
not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy
named the EU Plant Variety Agency.
The new law would give Brussels authority over all plants and seeds bought and
sold in all 28 EU member states, and would prohibit home gardeners from growing
their own plants from non-regulated seeds. Critics say
the new law is an effort by the EU to gain “total domination of the food
supply.”
Now,
the thing to remember about especially European lawmakers and bureaucrats is
that when they do back down and scrap a wholly fiat law such as the cucumber
law because of populist dissatisfaction with it, it isn’t because they’ve seen
the light and realize that they’ve overstepped their mandate by violating the
rights of their minions. No such connection takes place in their minds. It is
because, for the moment, at least, the imposition is temporarily impractical.
Abstractions do not germinate in their minds.
Nor
do they in our own regulators, bureaucrats, and politicians. Their idée fixes are anchored to concretes,
not actual ideas. They are as fearfully obsessed or fascinated with things as a
prattling infant is with the shiny thing that goes round and round over his
basinet or crib.
In
my last column, “Modern
Art: Fool’s Gold
,” I quoted Ayn Rand on the subject of the shrunken
epistemology of modern men, and particularly of politicians (and even Supreme
Court judges, e.g., Chief Justice John Roberts deliberating incoherently on the
constitutionality of ObamaCare).
Decomposition is the postscript to the death of a human body; disintegration
is the preface to the death of a human mind. Disintegration is the keynote and
goal of modern art—the disintegration of man’s conceptual faculty, and the
retrogression of an adult mind to the state of a mewling infant….
To reduce man’s consciousness to the level of sensations, with no
capacity to integrate them, is the intention behind the reducing of language to
grunts, of literature to “moods,” of painting to smears, of sculpture to slabs,
of music to noise.1.
By
way of analogy, that is the starting point of an infant’s consciousness, a
pre-conceptual mind which would otherwise normally progress to the integrations
of language, literature, painting, sculpture, and music – depending on an
individual’s willingness to think and integrate (and that is a matter of volition). An infant develops the
capacity to integrate sensations, moves on to percepts of things, and ultimately
to concepts.
But
all American and European regulatory and welfare state political creatures
share the same dark metaphysics and the same arrested epistemology.
So,
in reference to events like the sale of an Andy
Warhol montage
of pictures of a car crash, reported by NBC News on November
14th, for another astronomical sum, Warhol’s obsession with
concretes in all his work is symptomatic of the current state of men’s minds.
The prized eight-by-13-foot
painting titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” captures the
immediate aftermath of a car crash, depicting a twisted body sprawled across a
car’s mangled interior. It has only been seen once in public in the past 26
years.
These
are minds mired in a retrograde reduction of their consciousnesses to the infant
level. For that is all they are doing: grasping the raw sense data of a car
crash. Something like Delacroix’s painting, “Liberty
Leading the People
,” is beyond their perception. They may see it, and
even perceive the human figures in it, but its theme, composition, and spirit
are beyond their capacity to capture – or value. Smashed metal and twisted
bodies, however, are the limits of their perceptual awareness of reality. They
must be prohibited. People must stop smoking, eating un-curvaceous vegetables
and fruit, drinking sugary liquids, using dryers and vacuum cleaners that use
“too much” power, driving cars except by their rules, and an
inexhaustible range of other actions employing entities that are perceived
nemeses to such a creature’s existence and emotional statis.  
Thus
it is with bureaucrats and lawmakers who see concretes they think ought to be
controlled, regulated, and even banned. They cannot (or will not) think beyond
those concretes. Concretes existing and being valued and used by others
represent threats to their existence. The ideological excuses – the
environment, the “pubic good,” and “public health,” and so
on – are almost irrelevant. The key to understanding a bureaucrat, or a
politician, or an artist who focuses on sensations and concretes, is that they are
adults who choose to remain at an infant’s level of dealing with reality, but
who have the supposed power to compel reality and others to conform to their perceptions.
The consequences of wielding that power do not weigh much in their decisions to
realize those perceptions.
All
unregulated or uncontrolled things and actions are bad things, thinks the
regulatory wonk and politician. My existence is meaningless, and even put in
peril, unless I can control them. The universe is malevolent, unpredictable, out
to get me, and my peace of mind can be only be guaranteed if these bad things
are controlled or banished. Who am I
to say what is bad or not? I am an
exemplar of “public service,” dedicated to advancing the “public
good.” (Thank God someone dreamed up those ideas!) I can be the apotheosis
of selfless virtue without having ever lifted a finger or produced anything of
value that anyone else would want. How others can be something and produce
things is a mystery to me, it’s a realm I don’t need or choose to explore, and
I don’t have to concern myself with that, because I have been granted power of
all those others.
This
is the origin of power-lust: the compulsion to control reality by controlling the
choices and actions of anyone in it. The next time you are frustrated with the stubborn
obtuseness of a bureaucrat or politician who can’t or won’t acknowledge your
right to exist or act without his permission, know that you are faced with the
equivalent of an infant in an adult’s body, impervious to reason, ready to
scream and whine and throw a tantrum if he doesn’t get his way, still sucking
on the teething ring of collectivism and the welfare state and
totalitarianism-for-your-own-good, and able to thwack you with his
lead-weighted rattle.
The
time cannot come too soon when Americans and Europeans throw the baby out with
the bath water.
1. “Art and
Cognition,” by Ayn Rand, in The
Romantic Manifesto
. New York: Signet/New American Library, 1971. pp. 76-77

Modern Art: Fool’s Gold

First you laugh. Or make a face of incredulity. You shake your
head in wonder about the mental health of anyone who would pay nearly $143
million for “doodle art” that looks water-damaged, or perhaps was
done DUI – drawing under the influence of alcohol.

Carol Vogel in the New York Times reported on November 12th  on the above “art,” “Bacon’s Study of Freud Sells for $142.4 Million,” and that
For at least 10 minutes Christie’s overflowing
salesroom watched in rapt attention as a 1969 triptych by Francis Bacon [no, not the Elizabethan philosopher,
statesman and scientist
] sold for $142.4 million, described as the highest
price ever paid for an artwork at auction. (This was the original opening of
the New York Times article; the article was later revised.)
It took seven superrich bidders
to propel a 1969 Francis Bacon triptych to $142.4 million at Christie’s on
Tuesday night, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.
William Acquavella, the New York dealer, is thought to have bought the painting
on behalf of an unidentified client, from one of Christie’s skyboxes
overlooking the auction.
The price surpassed the nearly
$120 million paid at Sotheby’s in…2012 for Edvard Munch’s fabled pastel of
“The Scream,” even after adjusting for inflation. It also topped the
previous high sale for the artist at auction set in Sotheby’s in 2008, just as
the art market was peaking, when Sotheby’s sold a 1976 Bacon triptych to the
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich for $86 million.
Seven bidders vied for the painting –
“Three Studies of Lucian Freud” – that depicts Bacon’s friend and
rival, Lucian Freud [yes, appropriately
enough, a grandson of Sigmund Freud
] , sitting on a wooden chair against an
orange background. It ended up selling for $142,405,000. [Final prices include
the commission paid to Christie’s, Sotheby’s and other “glamour” auction
houses, including percentages ranging from 20 to 12 percent.] Italics and brackets mine.
The question is: Did Bacon (1909-1992) not much like his
“friend” Lucian Freud that he mangled his face? What is the purpose
of the rhomboid box? Is there something wrong with the purchaser? Does he
really “appreciate” it? Has he nothing more productive to do with his
money than throwing it at rubbish? Or is this his way of investing in insanity,
of betting on nihilism, of gambling on the irrational, hoping the market for it
will increase its value in the future?
It is difficult to answer any of those questions. While the
irrational and the illogical can be examined, only the living, breathing vehicles
of the irrational and illogical can answer, be they the “artists” or
the tasteless, status-seeking parvenus.  The
market for the irrational in art has certainly kept in pace with inflation and
the irrational in political trends.
Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was a “friend and rival’ of Francis
Bacon. How so? Here are examples of Freud’s work.
And this revolting “realism”:
You can readily see why Freud was a “rival” of Bacon’s:
He believed in painting subjects as he “really saw them,” as
opposed to Bacon’s anti-epistemological exercises in madness. However,
the question is: Would you really want to contemplate the sleeping supervisor?
Is this really a proper object of artistic recreation? Would you want this
hanging on your wall? Would you want anyone to know that you own it, or that
this is your conception of “good” art?
Further, all Freud’s self-portraits (the one above is only one of
many) seem to suggest that he was poisoned with the same kind of dioxin that
was fed to Ukrainian president
Viktor Yushchenko in 2004 in an assassination attempt. Sadly, Yushchenko  may have to appear in public as part of his
job, but I very much doubt he would want his scarred face rendered into an
iconic symbol.
Some of Freud’s work is, at best, inoffensive, of the caliber of pretentious
mediocrity and amateurishness one can see in the typical town art fair, right
next to a booth that sells hand-crafted jewelry and other junk. Bacon’s work,
however, is evocative of Brad Pitt’s stellar spiel as the nattering psychiatric
inmate in Twelve Monkeys
(1995). But most of it is what I would call “grunge” or “kitchen
sink” naturalism. Freud’s work can be characterized as the image of a
manic depressive.
 Carol Vogel also reported
in the revised Times article:
When the bidding … finally stopped, after more
than 10 fraught minutes, the overflowing crowd in the salesroom burst into
applause. Two disappointed bidders could be seen leaving the room. “I went to
$101 million but it hardly mattered,” said Larry Gagosian, the super-dealer who
was trying to buy the painting on behalf of a client. Another contender was
Hong Gyu Shin, the director of the Shin Gallery on Grand Street in Manhattan,
who said he was bidding for himself.
These haute art auctions
are also social events.
The sale was also a place to see and be seen.
Christie’s Rockefeller Center salesroom was standing room only, with collectors
including Michael Ovitz, the Los Angeles talent agent; Aby Rosen, the New York
real estate developer; Martin Margulies, from Miami; Donald B. Marron, the New
York financier; and Daniel S. Loeb, the activist investor and hedge fund
manager.
All birds of a feather yearning after fool’s gold. Jason and the
Argonauts at least searched for Phrixus’s Golden Fleece. No matter what price
is paid for any of Bacon’s work, the purchaser is being fleeced of a fortune. His
artistic values, his money, and his “prestige” are all “owned”
by the fraudsters in art and in the art “marketing” realms, from
gallery owners to auctioneers.
Vogel reported in her May 2012 New
York Times
article, that the salesroom crowd also applauded the sale of Munch’s
“The Scream”:
It took 12 nail-biting minutes and five eager
bidders for Edvard Munch’s famed 1895 pastel of “The Scream” to sell for $119.9
million, becoming the world’s most expensive work of art ever to sell at
auction.
Bidders could be heard speaking Chinese and
English (and, some said, Norwegian), but the mystery winner bid over the phone,
through Charles Moffett, Sotheby’s executive vice president and vice chairman
of its worldwide Impressionist, modern and contemporary art department. Gasps
could be heard as the bidding climbed higher and higher, until there was a
pause at $99 million, prompting Tobias Meyer, the evening’s auctioneer, to
smile and say, “I have all the time in the world.” When $100 million was bid,
the audience began to applaud.
The price eclipsed the previous record, made two
years ago at Christie’s in New York when Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and
Bust” brought $106.5 million.
Fools and their money are soon parted. Shall we scream? Or laugh?
Vogel mentioned the price paid for one of four renderings of Munch’s
“The Scream”:
There are several explanations for Munch’s symbolic cry of angst,
pain, and hopelessness. Munch himself
wrote:
“One evening I was walking along a path,
the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped
and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood
red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the
scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color
shrieked. This became The Scream.”
Slate
offers another tale, one appropriate to the subject:
Alternatively, it has been suggested that the
proximity of both a slaughterhouse and a lunatic asylum to the site depicted in
the painting may have offered some inspiration.
Ayn Rand, the novelist/philosopher, wrote in her article,
“Art and Cognition”:
Art is a selective re-creation of reality
according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments. Man’s profound need of
art lies in the fact that his cognitive faculty is conceptual, i.e., that he
acquires knowledge by means of abstractions, and needs the power to bring his
widest metaphysical abstractions into his immediate, perceptual awareness. Art
fulfills this need: by means of a selective re-creation, it concretizes man’s
fundamental view of himself and of existence. It tells man, in effect, which
aspects of his experience are to be regarded as essential, significant,
important. In this sense, art teaches man how to use his consciousness. It
conditions or stylizes man’s consciousness by conveying to him a certain way of
looking at existence.1.
About Modern Art, she had this to say:
As a re-creation of reality, a work of art has
to be representational; its freedom of stylization is limited by the
requirement of intelligibility; if it does not present an intelligible subject,
it ceases to be art.2.
What are the tell-tale symptoms of those who create Modern Art and
those who “consume” it?
Decomposition is the postscript to the death of
a human body; disintegration is the preface to the death of a human mind.
Disintegration is the keynote and goal of modern art—the disintegration of
man’s conceptual faculty, and the retrogression of an adult mind to the state
of a mewling infant….
To reduce man’s consciousness to the level of
sensations, with no capacity to integrate them, is the intention behind the
reducing of language to grunts, of literature to “moods,” of painting to
smears, of sculpture to slabs, of music to noise.3.
Rand ended her article with:
There is no place for whim in any human
activity—if it is to be regarded as human. There is no place for the unknowable,
the unintelligible, the undefinable, the non-objective in any human product.
This side of an insane asylum, the actions of a human being are motivated by a
conscious purpose; when they are not, they are of no interest to anyone outside
a psychotherapist’s office. And when the practitioners of modern art declare
that they don’t know what they are doing or what makes them do it, we should
take their word for it and give them no further consideration.4.
Which we will not give them here. I think the
point has been made.
What is an antidote to the irrational and
illogical in art? I can offer many examples, very, very few from my own
lifetime, and many before it, but one comes to mind almost immediately:
Malika Bouabdellah Dorbani, who wrote the Louvre
article on the painting, summarized the meaning of Delacroix’s work and also
the transition from this caliber of art to the decomposition (or
deconstruction) of art in the 20th century:
Delacroix’s historical and political painting—a
blend of document and symbol, actuality and fiction, reality and allegory—bears
witness to the death throes of the Ancien
Régime
.
This realistic and innovative work, a symbol of
Liberty and the pictorial revolution, was rejected by the critics, who were
used to more classical representations of reality. Having hailed the accession
of Louis-Philippe, the work was hidden from public view during the king’s
reign, and only entered the Musée du Luxembourg in 1863 and the Louvre in 1874.
It is now perceived as a universal work—a representation of romantic and
revolutionary fervor, heir to the historical painting of the 18th century and
forerunner of Picasso’s Guernica
in the 20th.
It will take the same romantic and revolutionary fervor to ignite
a renewal of the Romantic school of art, to see the works of artists whose
pro-life and pro-existence metaphysical value-judgments are worth contemplating
and worth the money, to see such work flourish and be rewarded with a justice
that is completely absent in our time.
Then the works of the Bacons and Freuds will be consigned to the
dust heap where they have always belonged.

1. “Art and Cognition,” by Ayn Rand,
in The Romantic Manifesto. New York:
Signet/New American Library, 1971. p. 45.
2. Ibid, p. 75.
3. Ibid, pp. 76-77.
4. Ibid, p. 78-79

Ridley Scott’s “Democratic Realism”

Reading
Raymond Ibrahim’s excellent November 2nd article, “How
Historic Revisionism Justifies Islamic Terrorism
,” I was led to follow
one of his links to how Hollywood contributes to that revisionism and
disinformation. There I discovered James Burke’s May 2005 article on the Free
Republic site, “Kingdom of
Heaven: Propaganda or History
?” The Burke article examines the
revisionist depiction of the struggle for Jerusalem between the Crusaders and
Saladin’s Moslem armies in Ridley Scott’s 2005 epic, “Kingdom of Heaven.” That
in turn led me to thinking about the filmography of the star director and
producer.
Ibrahim
wrote in his Historic Revision article:
How important, really, is history to current affairs?  Do
events from the 7th century—or, more importantly, how we understand
them—have any influence on U.S. foreign policy today?
By way of answer, consider some parallels between academia’s
portrayal of historic Islamic jihads and the U.S. government’s and media’s
portrayal of contemporary Islamic jihads.
While any objective appraisal of
the 7th century Muslim conquests proves that they were just
that—conquests, with all the bloodshed and rapine that that entails—the
historical revisionism of modern academia, especially within Arab and Islamic studies
departments, has led to some portrayals of the original Muslim conquerors as
“freedom-fighters” trying to “liberate” the Mideast from tyrants and autocrats.
(Beginning to sound familiar?)
Hollywood and Ridley
Scott
have lent a helping hand in that revisionist project. Burke’s article
thoroughly dissects “Kingdom of Heaven,” not only for its historical
inaccuracies, but for its bias against Western civilization and for Islam, in
which the Crusaders are depicted as a bunch of posturing, spiritually lost, bungling
boobs and Saladin and his hordes are depicted as nice, honorable guys who just
happened to be roaming the deserts armed to the teeth in the 12th
century, and Saladin as a leader not really interested in cementing his growing
Islamic empire by retaking Jerusalem.  
Ibrahim notes near the close of his Historic Revisionism article:
….[T]oday’s accepted narratives do not come from antiquated
historians or primary historical texts; they come from the Saudi-funded
ivy league
—Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton,
etc.—all of which peddle pro-Islamic propaganda (I personally had direct
experience at Georgetown), including the “freedom loving jihadis” vs.
“oppressive tyrants” thesis.
Percolating out of liberal academia to liberal mass media, the
effects of this well-entrenched but false narrative have taken their toll,
ultimately helping to create a disastrous U.S. foreign policy.
Put differently, the Islamic terrorists waging jihad against
autocratic (but secular, religiously tolerant) governments—most notably in
Syria today—are easily portrayed in the West as “freedom fighters” against
oppressive tyrants and thus deserving of U.S. support in great part because
this motif has permeated the social consciousness of America, molded as it is
by Hollywood
and the news
rooms
, and based on academic distortions of events that took place
nearly fourteen centuries ago.
That motif percolates just as furiously in Hollywood as it does in
academia and the State Department. Ridley Scott is guilty of depicting Saladin
as an early Islamic “freedom fighter” imbued with benevolence and admirable
virtues. Scott daren’t “mold” things otherwise, otherwise theaters
showing this particular film might have been picketed (or suicide-bombed) by
offended Muslims, shouting, Allah ist
alles!
 James Burke
in his “Propaganda or History” introduces the reader to Scott’s
painterly film with:
After the anti-Christian Left was blind-sided by the popularity of
Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ,
key influencers in the media complex were eager to promote the release of
Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.
Indeed, one finds the loudest praise for the film coming from the pages of the
most radical left-wing papers and journals here in the U.S. and, of course, in
Europe. Why then is turnout so high here in the U.S.? Viewers hoping for a more
positive (or at least less anti-Christian) take on the Crusades are not going
to find it in this film, and should probably go rent Cecile B. DeMille’s
equally fantastical The Crusades
(1935).
Scott, of course, was the director Gladiator and the pathetic propaganda piece titled 1492: The Conquest of Paradise. Now, in
a movie that takes a distinctly revisionist approach to the Crusades, Scott has
delivered a film that positively glorifies anti-Roman Catholic mythologies and,
worst of all, one of history’s most brutal, savage, and expansionistic
dictators in the Moslem world. Anything to make a point in this historical
parallel to what many in the Arab world see as America’s and Britain’s current
“crusade” to build a Kingdom of Democracy in Iraq. The imagined open
market and multi-cultural democracy that Jerusalem was supposedly fighting for
under the leadership of Orlando Bloom’s character in this film didn’t last long
– and the Kingdom of Jerusalem (portrayed as Jesus’ promised “Kingdom of
Heaven”) was abandoned (in a fictionalized ending) by Bloom in one of the
film’s final scenes.
The propaganda point of the film couldn’t have made clearer with
that last bit of historical revisionism – get out!, and don’t even think about
fighting crusading Moslems anymore.
Burke writes from a distinctly Christian (or Catholic) perspective;
I, from an atheist’s perspective. Burke’s article covers all the critical bases
and I recommend it to readers because it does identify and correct all the
intentional and unintentional gaffes in the film – particularly the ones that
glorify Saladin – and Burke doesn’t proselytize his pro-Catholic position in it.
He sticks to facts.  
The subject here, however, is not necessarily Islam and how it has
been portrayed in film by anyone, but Ridley Scott’s entire oeuvre and how it comports with today’s leftist,
anti-establishment counter-culture. Or rather with the culture that used to be
the “counter-culture,” but now is
the establishment. Which makes Scott an exponent of antidisestablishmentarianism.
Burke closes his article with these observations:
Kingdom of Heaven is the king of so much historical revisionism, much like 1492: Conquest of Paradise before it,
that Mr. Scott can rightly be called the leader of a new school of
“Democratic Realism” in film. For those who have ever studied Soviet
film and propaganda techniques, the term should be familiar as this author’s
knock on the Bolshevik concept of Socialist Realism. Here, instead of
re-writing history to promote “socialist ardor” and revolutionary
cultural destruction of socialism’s enemies, Mr. Scott has a particular
penchant for re-writing history to advance his peculiar left-wing take on
democracy.
 In both
“Realisms,” the Roman Catholic Church takes many of the punches.
Indeed, this author was struck by the parallels in terms of propaganda
techniques between this film and the Stalin-edited Soviet WW2 film titled Alexander Nevsky. In the latter case,
Knights Templar crusaders were shown fighting in Nazi-era German helmets. Here,
in Kingdom of Heaven, the film’s
producers, lacking much historical evidence of battle flags for Saladin’s army,
had the determined foes of the Knights Templar and Hospitaller marching behind
flags that included some remarkably similar to those flown by insurgents in Iraq
(check out the black flags in particular). [See the black flag of jihad.]
It cannot be denied that Scott is a master filmmaker. Most people
do not realize it, but it was his TV commercial
which officially debuted the personal computer era in 1984 with his iconic Apple Macintosh ad.
But then his predecessor Alfred Hitchcock, a superb maker of
suspense films, with Psycho (1960) and
The Birds (1963) made respectable a
fascination for the irrational and for metaphysics gone mad. He, more than any
other filmmaker, made it possible for horror and studied insanity to rise from
second-string “B” features to blockbuster status.
There is one outstanding attribute present in most of Scott’s
films: their darkness, or malevolence, not only in the story but in their
overall visual ambience. Of all the films by Scott, “Blade Runner” is the darkest,
“textually” and visually; it highlights his signature esthetic and
metaphysical style, present even in his stories that take place under brilliant
sunlight. This film in particular could be classified as “super-noir.” Scott’s films have become
templates for dozens of copycat movies about aliens, cannibals, and hardtack,
“life-is-tough-and-meaningless-and-then-you-die” emulators of the
premise that one’s life is controlled by external, malign forces.
Burke’s estimate of Scott’s
“peculiar left-wing take on democracy” is off-point, because the
director’s takes on our culture are multi-targeted. In “Alien” and
“Blade Runner,” his left-wing take is on capitalism, not democracy or
politics. In the first, it was a corporation that wanted the lethal alien captured
so it could be developed into a military weapon. In the second, a sunless Los
Angeles exists under an unrelieved dusk-like pall and non-stop rain, thanks to
capitalism; the lethal renegade bio-engineered replicants “blade
runner” Harrison Ford is assigned to “terminate” are also products
of capitalism.  
Scott directed “Prometheus,”
touted as a distant-cousin “prequel” to his “Alien,” and
essentially is science fiction bathed in the mysticism of man’s origins and
man’s alleged pride of his own existence. Again, the chief villain in this film
is a super-successful capitalist who underwrites an expedition to a distant
moon and who hopes to find a means of prolonging his life. The Wikipedia synopsis
of the film goes: 
The central theme in Prometheus
concerns the eponymous Titan of Greek mythology who defies the gods and gifts
humanity with fire, for which he is subjected to eternal punishment. The gods
want to limit their creations in case they attempt to usurp the gods. The film
deals with humanity’s relationship with the gods—their creators—and the
consequence of defying them. A human expedition intends to find God and receive
knowledge about belief, immortality and death. They find superior beings who
appear god-like in comparison to humanity, and the Prometheus crew
suffer consequences for their pursuit. Shaw [an archeologist crew member] is
directly responsible for the events of the plot because she wants her religious
beliefs affirmed, and believes she is entitled to answers from God; her
questions remain unanswered and she is punished for her hubris.
You can’t get more mystical than
that. It’s a soufflé of Scientology and Rosicrucianism.
As for capitalism’s
“spoliation” of a pristine Rousseau-envisioned Eden, the theme of
1492:
The Conquest of Paradise
” is telegraphed in the title of Scott’s
version of the discovery of America by Columbus, played by French actor Gérard
Depardieu, whose struggle with his English dialogue renders many of his lines
unintelligible.
 (I have linked the Wikipedia
descriptions of all these films; IMDB’s descriptions tend to be facile and
surfacy.)
Thelma and Louise
features a crime spree by two women moved by undisguised misandry, or
man-hatred. “G.I. Jane
expands on that theme, and exploits (and anticipates) the women-in-combat issue
that is currently emasculating the U.S. military. “Black Hawk Down
depicted the carnage and confusion of fighting a non-offensive,
Just-War-Theory-governed war. “Hannibal,” the
sequel to Jonathan Demme’s “The
Silence of the Lambs
,” simply says that evil cannot be combated,
contained, or defeated, and that reason is impotent in the face of criminal
insanity, which will always out-fox rationality.
Robin Hood,
as a “prequel” retelling of the legend, sought to explain how Robin
Hood came to haunt Sherwood Forest. Scott’s film is a gritty Naturalistic “new
narrative” version of the Richard Greene TV series,
The Adventures of Robin Hood,
and of the 1938 Errol
Flynn
movie of the same name, both of which clash violently with Scott’s
rendition in content and characterization.
American
Gangster
” and “The Counselor” are
pure mayhem-soaked sagas about criminals and drug cartels, the first loosely
based on a true story, the second the product of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Cormac
McCarthy’s sordid imagination. These films do not even attempt to glamorize
criminals; according to Scott, whether or not one is a criminal, life isn’t
glamorous.
The
Wikipedia synopsis establishes the themes of “The Counselor,” but the
same could be said about “American Gangster,” as well: “The plot
revolves around the troubled Juarez, Mexico//Texas border area and deals with
themes of greed, death, and the primal instincts of humans and their
consequences.” In short, heroism is a pathetic illusion, the only people
worth contemplating are homicidal dirt-bags. The settings are irrelevant. McCarthy
wrote the novel, The Road, on which the
2006 movie was based, which was reviewed in “Netflix’s
Turkey Farm
” on Rule of Reason.
I
have seen about half of Scott’s oeuvre over
the years, beginning with “The Duellists” in a
New York City “arts” theater when it was released in 1977. Then, as
now, I still see it as a very-well done but pointless story about the conflict
between two French army officers and their duty-driven obligation (or
compulsion?) to duel each other over a minor insult.  About the only film of Scott’s from which I derive
some value is “Gladiator,”
which, even for its historical flaws and overall malevolence, focuses on a
truly personal motive of the main character, played by Russell Crowe. Having
been robbed of his most important values by a psychopathic emperor, all he can
do is seek some sort of justice in the form of vengeance.   
Scott
is now directing a Biblical epic, Exodus, about Moses
leading the Jews out of Egypt, scheduled for release in 2014. I’m sure that
when it is released, Muslims will have something to say about it, pro and con,
just as they had about “Kingdom of Heaven.” But, I think it is appropriate
that Scott, now 76 years old, would follow “Prometheus” by turning to
the Bible for a story to tell. It’s where most very tired and idea-bankrupt
lefties usually turn after they have exhausted their repertoire and done their
bit in trashing the West.  
The
best antidote to Ridley Scott’s “Democratic Realism” – which isn’t
“realistic” at all – is Romantic Realism, a literary genre which depicts
man as a heroic being in pursuit or in defense of rational values. Hollywood hasn’t
a stellar record in producing such films, but it once allowed its directors,
producers and actors the freedom to produce them.

The Psychology of Islamic Culture

It
is commendable that someone should address the psychological profile of Muslims
– that is, of individuals born into the culture of Islam – and Nicolai Sennels
does that in his Jihad Watch article of October 30th, “Cultural
psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years
.”  I began reading it with some eagerness. Over
the years I have had nothing good to say about the psychology or mindset of
anyone who was either born into the religion/ideology and never challenged it
or attempted to escape it, or who had been converted to it.
Sennels
has studied Muslims prisoners in Denmark and has a wealth of insights to offer,
one of which is that, from my perspective, at least, Islam provides a purported
“moral” base which especially Muslim criminals justify or rationalize
their criminal actions. The New English Review published his May 2010 study,
Muslims
and Westerners: The Psychological Differences
.” I had already read
that paper and discussed it in “Islam on My Mind
in May 2013.
Sennels’ Jihad Watch summary, however, was
disappointing. There were a number of statements in it with which I could
legitimately quibble. Straight off, the very beginning of the article grated
against my sensibilities. He began:
While almost all other cultures changed from
primitive and medieval to democratic
and egalitarian societies, one
culture managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values
for 1,400 years until today. (Italics
mine)
Sennels, apparently born and raised in socialist
Denmark, might be forgiven for employing the highlighted terms. Democracy means “mob rule,”
or, the rule of the majority. What a majority may want and vote for is not
necessarily rational or desirable by individuals who value their freedom to
live their own lives unencumbered by a political or even the social consensus
represented by majority rule. Numbers do not establish political or
metaphysical truths.
A “democracy” is not what the Founders
intended when they finished writing the Constitution. It was a rights-defending
republic whose political structure was designed to stave off or frustrate all
“democratic” legislation and collectivist popular sentiment. The American
Constitution did not fail in that purpose. Its defenders in the person of our
political leadership failed it.
Egalitarianism means the leveling of all to an
ever-diminishing measure of “equality.” Amendments
IV, V and VI
in the U.S. Constitution, for example, establish the
“equality” of all men under the law, regardless of wealth or
“social” status, and regardless of race, religion or gender.
Egalitarianism, however, specifically aims to bring the best and the brightest,
the ablest, and the exceptional down to a level of common mediocrity. Egalitarianism
seeks to erase all measures of value, to reward the undifferentiated and the
parasitical and to punish the distinguishable and the productive. One of egalitarianism’s
ends is to minimize “economic differences” to the point when there is
more wealth in the looters’ hands than in the hands of those from whom it was
looted. This is called “social justice.”
Egalitarianism is also altruistic. The most
productive, the thrifty, and the virtuous living in an egalitarian society are
expected to sacrifice themselves to the moochers, the spendthrifts, and the
immoral. They are expected to defer to groups, gangs, and collectives acting in
the name of the “public good,” and to not complain when their lives
have been abbreviated and their wealth expropriated or confiscated outright or
by degree. This is the nature of such projects such as ObamaCare, in which the
virtuous are expected to subsidize the medical insurance coverage of the least
able, and to pay more for the “privilege.”
The confusion about the meaning of democracy, and the benign misconstruing
of egalitarianism, together have caused
incalculable damage, which is why I have dwelt on those subjects here.
But, on to other reservations I have about his
paper, keeping in mind that Sennels apparently is not well-versed in political
philosophy.
Under the subheading of “Religion,”
Sennels writes:
One main factor is that while all other religions
allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them
relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam
categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And
according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death.
The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into
modern, humanistic civilisations.
Centuries
of religious warfare in the West passed before Christian religions were diluted
by Enlightenment ideas and subsequently leashed by secular law and forbidden to
wage intramural jihad against members
of opposing sects. Islam, however, as Sennels points out, cannot be leashed or
similarly contained because its fundamental doctrine is one of conquest and
submission.
Sennels
under this same subheading reveals one contributing factor to the demonstrable
irrationality of Islam and Muslims:
Together
with massive inbreeding – 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at
least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many
generations) – this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world
produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific
research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners.
Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than
the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.
The
inbreeding factor can account for the epistemological myopia of Muslims,
particularly Muslim criminals. An inability to think, to project, to employ
common syllogisms, to formulate one’s own personal values (and not submit to
those of the Ummah or the tribe) are all
direct results of inbreeding.
Sennels
published a revealing article on Muslim inbreeding in May 2013 on Islam vs.
Europe, “Serious
consequences of Muslim inbreeding
.” Among those consequences are lower
average intelligence and impaired health.
A rough estimate shows that close to half of the
world’s Muslims are inbred as a result of consanguineous marriages. In
Pakistan, 70 percent of all marriages are between first cousins – children of
siblings – and in Turkey the share is 25-30 percent.
Statistical research on Arabic countries indicates
that up to 34 percent of all marriages in Algeria are blood-related as are 46
percent in Bahrain, 33 percent in Egypt, 80 percent in Nubia (the southern part
of Egypt), 60 percent in Iraq, 64 percent in Jordan, 64 percent in Kuwait, 42
percent in Lebanon, 48 percent in Libya, 47 percent in Mauritania, 54 percent
in Qatar, 67 percent in Saudi Arabia, 63 percent in Sudan, 40 percent in Syria,
39 percent in Tunisia, 54 percent in the United Arabic Emirates and 45 percent
in Yemen. According to Dr. Nadia Sakati of King Faisal Specialist Hospital in
Riyadh, 45 percent of married Arab couples are blood-related.  The
fact that many of these couples are themselves children of blood-related
parents increases the risk of negative consequences.
Sennels
reaches some disturbing conclusions that connect Muslims with terrorism.
The consequences of consanguineous marriages may also bring us closer to an
understanding Islamic terrorism. One study suggests that many suicide bombers are
suffering from depression. Among some Muslims their actions are considered a
socially acceptable way of committing suicide in order to end mental torment.
Being
physically handicapped or mentally retarded often leads to exclusion. Becoming
a martyr may be the only chance of achieving social recognition and honor. Some
cases of Down’s syndrome may be another unpleasant effect of inbreeding and
al-Qaeda has been known to use people afflicted with it. People with low
intelligence may also be more easily convinced that Islam, with its promise of
72 virgins to Muslims who die fighting for their religion, is true.
To
return to the subject of Arabic translations of books:
Fewer
books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the
amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.
Among
those fewer books has been a translation into Arabic of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf, precisely because of its virulent
antisemitism
and because the Nazi worldview is copasetic with the Islamic worldview. Only
the “races” have changed, that is, Hitler trumpeted the racial superiority
of the Germans, while Islam trumpets the superiority of Islam . Victor
David Hanson
noted as long ago as September 2006 that:
Hezbollah’s
black-clad legions goose-step and stiff-arm salute in parade, apparently eager
to convey both the zeal and militarism of their religious fascism. Meanwhile,
consider Hezbollah’s “spiritual” head, Hassan Nasrallah — the current celebrity
of an unhinged Western media that tried to reinvent the man’s own self-confessed
defeat as a victory. Long before he hid in the Iranian embassy Nasrallah was on
record boasting: “The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from
them. We are going to win because they love life and we love death.”
Iran’s
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trumps that Hitlerian nihilism by reassuring the poor,
maltreated Germans that there was no real Holocaust. Perhaps he is concerned
that greater credit might still go to Hitler for Round One than to the mullahs
for their hoped-for Round Two, in which the promise is to “wipe” Israel off the
map.
The
only surprise about the edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf that has
become a best seller in Middle Eastern bookstores is its emboldened title
translated as “Jihadi” — as in “My Jihad” — confirming in ironic fashion
the “moderate” Islamic claim that Jihad just means “struggle,” as in an “inner
struggle” — as in a Kampf perhaps.
Under
the subheading of “Child rearing” in his Jihad Watch article, Sennels
describes the method by which Muslim children are browbeaten into obeying and
following the rituals and “truths” of Islam, a scare tactic not so
dissimilar from what I experienced growing up in a strict Catholic household. He
writes:
Together
with the wide use of violence and even torture within Muslim families, the
horrific amount of daily family executions of Muslim youth, this is enough to
keep the vast majority from even considering escaping the way of the Sharia. The
Qur’an’s and the Hadiths’ many promises of hellfire to those who go against
Muhammad’s orders and example scares many from leavin the culture that bring them
so much suffering.
Precisely.
My own childhood thoughts on the matter were: If you need to frighten me into
being a “good” Catholic, where is the moral argument? For example, watching
on TV the various productions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in my formative years, when I witnessed Scrooge being
terrorized into becoming a “virtuous” man, simply buttressed my conclusion
that there was no moral argument other than “we say so, and take it on
faith.” So I can imagine how fearful a Muslim would be to question the
“say so’s” of his imam, mullah, or the Qur’an.
Fear
of retribution may be one factor contributing to a rank-and-file Muslim’s
reluctance to question his “faith.” Delving a little more deeply into
that psychology, I would think that it is more a matter of being comfortable
with an ideology/religion that makes no demands on one’s mind. All one need do
is conform to the rituals and strictures and one is left is alone.
Under
the subheading “Ethnic pride,” Sennels drops the ball and does not
elaborate on the fact that Islam is not a “race,” but an ideology. I’m
sure he realizes this, but it would have helped if he had mentioned it in
passing. There are Arabic, Asian, black, Caucasian (converts), Chinese, and
Indian and Pakistani Muslims, to name but a few ethnic or national groups.  
Another
cultural psychological factor enabling Islamic culture to remain unchanged in a
globalised world with all its possibilities concerns Muslims’ ethnic pride. No matter
how ridiculous or embarrassing it may seem to the outsider, most Muslims are
proud of being Muslim and a follower of Islam. According to Islam they are
destined to dominate the rest of us, and we are so bad that we deserve the
eternal fire.
Muslim
spokesmen charging critics of Islam with “Islamophobia” imply or
state directly that such a phobia is “racist.” Too many Westerners
fall for the fallacy and join in the wolf-pack howling to punish “Islamophobes,”
whether they write cogent books critical of Islam or leave a pig’s head on the
doorstep of a mosque. It makes no difference to the pitchfork-and-torch mobs.
Without
quibbling about when the Dark Ages ended and the Medieval and Enlightenment
eras began, Islam is product of the Dark Ages, of the 7th century,
an enemy of knowledge, enlightenment, and freedom – if the Dark Ages can be
described as a period in human history when superstition, ignorance, and
slavery governed human existence.
Also,
I don’t know if many Muslims can say that they are “proud” of being
Muslim. If there is any emotion at all, one can’t imagine that it is anything
other than a seething, repressed resentment of anyone who is not a Muslim, that
is, of anyone who is not committed to a set of primitive rules that govern his
existence and prohibit any kind of meaningful happiness. Pride, after all,
implies a self that can take stock of
one’s virtues and one’s relationship with existence and with other men. Islam,
however, does its best to erase the notion of “self” from one’s
existence.
Islam
is anti-life, anti-mind, anti-value, and anti-man. That is why it has been able
to remain unchanged for 1,400 years. Its chief “strength” is its nihilistic
nature, proof against all thought and life-affirming values. And there are just
too many people – namely, Muslims – willing to surrender their minds to the
suffocating comfort zone of “authority.” Muslims don’t have a corner
on that “original sin” – the refusal to think – but their
totalitarian ideology is an immediate peril to those who do choose to think.
I
can’t say I’m the first to say it: Islam is
a mental
illness
. That’s its fundamental psychology, the debilitating and crippling
legacy of its founder transmitted through fourteen centuries of Muslim madness
to its contemporary spokesmen, leaders, and rank-and-file.
The
illness, however, is no defense against Islam’s essential criminal character.

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