The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: March 2014 Page 1 of 2

Hollywood: Sharia-Compliant

Hollywood
has rarely produced a trustworthy depiction of historical events. My own
philosophy of historical fiction is that historic events should serve as
background to the conflicts, aspirations, ambitions, betrayals and destiny of
the principal characters in the story. Further, the plot in which these
characters move – or, even better, when these characters move the plot itself –
should not conflict with the historic events, but be in sync with those events.
The principal conflicts should be between the characters, not between the story
and history. I obeyed this rule while writing the Sparrowhawk series, and also my period detective novels.
Hollywood
does not adhere to such rules. I don’t think it has even formulated them.
Thus
we have such examples as the 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade,
in which the sequence of events of the Indian Mutiny and the Crimean War was
reversed (the war, 1853-1856; the mutiny, 1857).  Otherwise it would have required Errol Flynn
to survive the Charge and travel to India to rescue Olivia de Havilland from
Surat Khan’s filthy clutches. History was tweaked, but not by much, to
accommodate the plot. The lavish 1968 Tony Richardson version, however, was a
plotless anti-war statement, complete with animated period political cartoons
and caricatured Victorian figures. And, because it was an anti-war statement,
it was gorier than its predecessor.
There
are innumerable films and TV series grounded in history. I could write a book
about the subject. I might do that, some day. What looms largest in my mind,
however, and at the moment, is David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
At the age of 17, when I first saw it shortly after its release, I was
literally smitten by it. It got me to read up on World War One. Although I
entertained doubts about its accuracy, it was a grand scale film, one of the
last. My positive appraisal of it gradually diminished over the years, the more
I learned about how and why the Allied campaign in the Middle East was
conducted.
Clinching
my final negative appraisal was Efraim Karsh’s August 9th, 2013
article, “Seven
Pillars of Fiction
,” originally published in the Wall Street Journal
and reprinted by the Middle East Forum. It concluded that Lawrence was indeed a
consummate charlatan, and that the “Arab Revolt” was a fiction
invented by one ambitious Arab potentate and cashed in on by another, the Saudi
“king,” Abdul Aziz ibn Saud. Saud sat out the war and did not
participate in any of the warfare conducted against the Turks by Lawrence under
the aegis of Hussein ibn Ali, the putative “Sharif of Mecca,” and Prince
Faisal, one of his sons. Hussein also sought the title, “King of the Arabs.”
I provide many more details of this pragmatic episode of “nation
building” in my detective novel, The
Black Stone
.
It
also led me to the conclusion that David Lean, one of the finest film directors
to ever peer through a camera lens, was just another ingenuous dupe of the
legend of Lawrence of Arabia. At the time, questioning the stature of T.E.
Lawrence would have been treated as slanderous heresy. His film, which I still
maintain is a magnificent example of what films could be, was inspired by and produced as a result of the success
of Terence Rattigan’s 1960 play, Ross, which
was closer to the truth in its depiction of Lawrence than was Lawrence of Arabia.
I’ve
often written about Hollywood’s Leftist, anti-American crusade, and its
penchant for obliging the sensibilities of offended Muslims in the past, for
example, here,
here,
here,
here,
and most recently, here,
about the Disney/ABC
Family Group
‘s capitulation to the demands of the Hamas-connected Council
of American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR)
that it cancel a TV program, “Alice
in Arabia.
” Nick Provenzo wrote about the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh
in 2006, why Hollywood had little or nothing to say about it, and why Hollywood
changed the villains from
Muslims to “neo-fascists” in the production of Tom Clancy’s novel, The Sum of All Fears. Wikepedia
has the “low-down” on why the villains’ identities were changed. The
screenwriter, Dan Pyne, protesteth too much.
The
Disney/ABC decision garnered little or no mention in the mainstream media, nor
did the announcement that Disney/ABC would work with Muslim screenwriters to
produce future programs that would not offend Muslim feelings or invite chares
of blasphemy or “slandering” the good name of Islam. The Muslim
Public Affairs Council
(MPAC),
a Muslim Brotherhood front group, announced also that it would provide
Disney/ABC
with this “talent.”
That
boils down to: MPAC wonks voluntarily installed by Disney/ABC as paid censors
of its output.  It means: Disney/ABC is
willing to submit to Islamic Sharia law, and avoid any criticism of Islam, and
the Muslim wonks will be there to ensure that Disney/ABC complies.
(I
have sent this column to the executives of Disney/ABC Family Group. It would be
interesting to know that they have read the MPAC links provided in the
foregoing paragraphs – that is, if they wish to bother to learn with whom they
are partnering. As for the history of CAIR, that’s pretty much public knowledge,
and I’m sure those executives know the history, too.)
Have
Hollywood studios no shame? Apparently not, if shame is regret for betraying
one’s freedom for some tenuous notion of “security.” Hollywood has
been submitting to all kinds of pressure for decades: to federal pressure,
Communist pressure, union pressure, feminist pressure, “gay rights”
pressure – and Islamic pressure. This is aside from the Hays
Office
of censors,
which exercised its own moral arm-twisting
on Hollywood back in the 1930’s.
Islamic
dhimmitude is just the latest chapter in Hollywood’s submission to threats, regulations,
and “social pressure” to produce what is acceptable film fare at the
moment. While the Hays Office expired in the 1950’s, and beginning in the
1960’s the Production Code succumbed to the Left’s film philosophy that
anything goes and the only stricture is something called “parental
guidance,” Hollywood remains in thrall to whomever fills the vacuum of
“moral uplift” and shakes a vigorous fist at Tinsel Town.    
It’s
generally thought that it doesn’t matter if Hollywood succumbs to
self-censorship, to government regulation and censorship, or even to Islamic
censorship because, as one reader of a Breitbart
article
on the tapping of Kevin Spacey to play Winston Churchill in a
future production, remarked, “Rational people have the ability to realize
it’s just a fictional show and don’t change their opinions on whom to vote for
because of a TV show.” (This was in reference to Spacey’s hit TV series, “House
of Cards.”)
Here
I expand on my reply to the reader’s comments:
Rational people don’t denigrate,
debunk, or satirize their political affiliations or their political principles.
Nor do they wish to see them denigrated, debunked, or mocked – not unless they
think it doesn’t matter, that they’ll come out on top, and people don’t take
ideas seriously anyway, they’re just a bunch of goofballs.
Kevin Spacey is basically a nihilist.
He can dramatize the truth about how Washington works, and believes telling the
truth won’t matter. He thinks his Democratic Party will still triumph and
continue to put the screws to the American people. He counts on people
thinking: Well, it’s only TV, it’s only actors, and sets, and scripts, no one
will take it seriously. It’s just “entertainment.”
However, fiction and film have a
more powerful effect on people’s minds and the course of politics than you
might realize, especially if they’re well done, as “House of Cards”
was.  If they didn’t, no one would bother writing political fiction or
making political films. Why did Oliver Stone make JFK or any of his other political films? To influence viewers. Why
do leftists and conservatives blow a gasket when any of Ayn Rand’s novels are
mentioned? It’s because they’re afraid her novels will influence readers by
showing the evil of statism and the consequences of selflessness.  Why did
Khomenei issue a death fatwa on Salman Rushdie and call for the banning of The Satanic Verses? Because he and his
mullahs believed his book would damage Islam, so they called it
“blasphemous.” People do respond to political films, novels, and
satire whether or not they realize they’re just fiction, and their producers
and directors know this.
This
is why the executives behind Disney/ABC’s cancellation of “Alice in Arabia”
at the behest of terrorist front group, CAIR, don’t think it matters. It’s just
a TV show, people won’t take it seriously, and won’t miss it if they never see
it. And, besides, we really don’t want to get the Saudis mad at us. Why, they
could buy a controlling interest in Disney/ABC. That would be too much. We’re
willing to cooperate. And our female executives might not want to wear head
scarves or Hefty trash bags. We don’t want people thinking ill of the Saudis,
or of Islam.
Not
allowing TV audiences to see it, however, misses the point. It was a conscious
decision to cancel the show. It’s as significant an action – moral cowardice –
as if a “Gang Busters
radio drama from the 1930’s was cancelled on the complaint of Al Capone or
Frank Nitti some other gangster, because the show allegedly
“stereotyped” gangsters or gave people the “wrong idea”
about the character of gangsters. But the truth about Islam is that it is
brutal, primitive, and totalitarian in nature. Saudi Arabia is a theocratic
monarchy determined to perpetuate itself and corrupt the West, in particular,
America. King Abdullah is a grosser caricature, physically and metaphorically,
of a gangster than was Al Capone. Forget Batman’s nemeses, the Joker, the
Riddler and the Penguin. King Abdullah can’t be exaggerated.
What
happened to the initial motive to produce a show that depicts the efforts of an
American girl kidnapped by Saudis to escape her captors? It was regretted, suppressed,
and discarded. Disney/ABC waved the white flag. Please don’t accuse us of
“Islamophobia”!
To
date, Hollywood has not produced a single film or TV series in which the
villains are Muslims or Muslim terrorists, not even 24. It’s usually
“Serbian” nationalists, or South Africa-based neo-Nazis, or some
other concocted terrorist group with designs on the U.S. But never Muslims. If
Muslims appear on 24 or in some film,
they’re usually portrayed as blameless “innocents.” Daniel
Greenfield, in his January 24th column, “Hollywood’s
Muslim Lies
,” noted about The
Sum of All Fears
“:
Its writer
Dan Pyne dismissed Islamic terrorism as a “cliché”; even though
a plot can’t be a cliché when it never appears in movies, only in real life.
Pyne however found a more realistic villain. “I think, there was some
neo-nationalist activity in Holland, and there was stuff going on in Spain and
in Italy. So it seemed like a logical and lasting idea that would be
universal.”
Later,
about cliché-burdened Pyne, Greenfield wrote;
Instead Dan Pyne went on to write
a remake of The Manchurian Candidate
in which Communist China was replaced by the “Manchurian Corporation”.
He’s currently working on a movie featuring a Syrian rescue worker who gets
mistaken for a terrorist while trying to save lives during Hurricane Katrina. It’s
a cliché, but it’s the kind of cliché that Hollywood likes.
If a movie is made about
September 11 a decade from now, the villains will probably be Serbian
nationalists. It would be a cliché to have 19 Muslim hijackers murder 3,000
people. And then the camera will linger meaningfully on a Muslim rescuer
wrongly taken into custody by a bigoted NYPD cop who is overlooking the real
Serbian/Dutch neo-nationalist corporate villains.
The
original 1962 Manchurian Candidate is a
taut, suspenseful, knuckle-chewing, unabashedly political film starring Frank
Sinatra and Laurence Harvey. Its IMDB synopsis reads: “A former Korean War
POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin.” The
2004 “remake” stars
Denzel Washington (an otherwise fine actor, but who possesses poor judgment
about what kinds of films he appears in) in the Frank Sinatra role and is a
convoluted, unabashedly politically correct, anti-business mess that blames,
not a Communist plot to seize the White House, but a high-tech arms dealer, the
“Manchurian Corporation.” The purposeful butchery of the original story
was called a “reimagining.”
“Reimagine”
the American Revolution as a French plot to install George Washington as
“George the First” of America, or the Civil War as a British plot to
dissolve the United States to perpetuate slavery. Or, “reimagine”
American history as told by Howard Zinn and “Common Core.” And how
many times can anyone retell Custer’s Last Stand, or “reimagine” The Front Page, The Big Clock, and The Four
Feathers
to fit the politically correct sensibility of the moment? I
guess until there’s as little connection between an original film and its
latest “remake” as between a trumpet swan and a tomtit. 
Finally,
there’s that old reliable government-business partnership to fall back on when
looking for extra revenue and capitalization, otherwise known as fascism. Dreamworks
went to China. The Los Angeles Times reported in February 2012:
The creator of the
“Shrek” movies said it was forming Oriental DreamWorks, a joint
venture with China Media Capital and Shanghai Media Group in concert
with Shanghai Alliance Investment – an investment arm of the
Shanghai municipal government – to establish a family entertainment
company in China.
With an initial investment of
$330 million, the Shanghai studio would develop original Chinese animated
and live-action movies, TV shows and other entertainment catering to the China
market. The deal was among several business ventures announced in downtown Los
Angeles during an economic forum attended by visiting Chinese Vice President Xi
Jinping, who is widely expected to be the country’s next leader….
The
new studio, which has been recruiting some staff in Hollywood, plans to begin
operations later this year and could eventually surpass the size of DreamWorks’
headquarters, which employs more than 2,000 people, Chief Executive
Jeffrey Katzenberg said in an interview.   
You
can bet that Dreamworks China will not be producing animated films about the
freedom of speech, the right of political protest, free enterprise, and
individual rights. No, it will be producing more “Kung Fu Panda”
films, and maybe a “reimagined” “Shrek” as Chairman Mao.
It
had to be the natural course of moral collapse that Hollywood, dominated by the
anti-American, anti-business, anti-esthetics, post-deconstructionist Left,
would ally itself with anti-freedom, totalitarian Islam. It comports with the Muslim
Brotherhood’s agenda of sabotaging the West from within.  The Brotherhood’s May 22nd, 1991 memorandum
details how especially America can be conquered and made Sharia complaint. The Investigative Project
reported:
Written sometime in 1987 but not
formally published until May 22, 1991, Akram’s 18-page document listed the
Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” that
shared the common goal of dismantling American institutions and turning the U.S.
into a Muslim nation. These “friends” were identified
by Akram and the Brotherhood as groups that could help convince Muslims
“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 … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious
over all other religions.”
Thus the “grand jihad” [….]
envisioned was not a violent one involving bombings and shootings, but rather a
stealth
(or “soft”) jihad
aiming to impose Islamic
law (Sharia)
over every region of the earth by incremental,
non-confrontational means, such as working to
“expand the observant Muslim base”; to “unif[y] and direc[t] Muslims’ efforts”;
and to “present Islam as a civilization alternative.” At its heart, Akram’s
document details a plan to conquer and Islamize the United States – not as
an ultimate objective, but merely as a stepping stone toward the larger goal of
one day creating “the global
Islamic state
.”
Hollywood
is but one miserable wing of the “house” the Brotherhood and its
Islamic terrorist allies wish to bring down and convert to their own brand of
totalitarianism. Just as the Soviets infiltrated our government and our culture
in the 1930’s, including Hollywood, just as Hollywood obeyed Washington and
refrained from producing movies during World War II critical of our
totalitarian ally, Josef Stalin’s Soviet Russia, Islam has made a key beachhead
in Hollywood, to guide its Leftist denizens in the Sharia way.
Ultimately,
it will not be the Brotherhood’s hands that will help to destroy America, but
the pragmatic, amoral, manicured hands of Hollywood, busy
“reimagining” it.

An Open Letter to Disney/ABC Family Group

To: 
Anne Sweeney,
Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, President, Disney/ABC Television Group 
Albert Cheng,
Executive Vice President, Disney/ABC Television Group
Gary Marsh,
President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels
Charissa Gilmore,
Vice President, Office of the President, Disney/ABC Television Group
Robert Iger,
Chairman and CEO
27 March 2014
Re: “Alice in Arabia”
Sirs/Mesdames:
It has come to my attention
that, under pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which
has links to Hamas, a terrorist organization which CAIR refuses to condemn,
your organization has shelved or is “not moving forward with” an
upcoming drama pilot, “Alice
in Arabia
.”  As a published
novelist, author, and columnist, I find this frankly disturbing, although I
should not be surprised. Given the nature of the story line of “Alice
in Arabia
,” about an American teen trying to escape the brutal,
primitive social conditions which exist in Saudi Arabia, a theocratic monarchy,
this is a fact which Hollywood and the news media have evaded or repressed for
decades.
What disturbs me is how easy it
was for CAIR
to raise the alarm
about “stereotyping” Islam and its
totalitarian character and how swiftly Disney/ABC capitulated. An ABC Family
spokesman told The
Hollywood Reporter
that the controversy, which was instigated by CAIR, is
on record as saying that the project was “not conducive to the creative
process.”  Your organization’s
craven surrender to Islamists is contemptible, and reprehensible, as well, for
it simply encourages others engaged in the “creative process” to
adopt a politically correct line of thinking, which is not “creative”
at all.
Your capitulation
is reminiscent of the time, during World War II, Hollywood caved to Roosevelt
administration pressure and refrained from making any movies critical of our
ally, Stalin’s Soviet Russia, fresh from the show trials and the Moscow-orchestrated
famine in the Ukraine, among other depredations.
What is worse, I think, is your
voluntary collaboration with the Muslim
Public Affairs Council
(MPAC),
which will “provide screenwriters for future productions by the Disney/ABC
Television Group.” This organization also has ties with Islamic terrorist
organizations, such as the Muslim
Brotherhood
.  The Communists and
Nazis also had “political officers” in their bureaucracies and
business entities to ensure “goodthink.” This was otherwise called
censorship. It still means the same thing, even in CGI-happy Hollywood.  You people can’t even make a biblical epic
without turning it into an environmental impact statement.
I have had published twenty-six
books, most of them novels. See Amazon Books here for a list of them. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=edward+cline
It is doubtful whether Disney or
ABC Family would ever decide to produce, for example, We Three Kings, which is about an American entrepreneur pitted
against a Saudi sheik (with the State Department’s sanction to kill the
entrepreneur hero), or The Black Stone,
set in 1930, which is about a Brotherhood killer on the loose in San Francisco.
Nor is it likely Disney/ABC would ever think of producing my Sparrowhawk series of novels set in
Virginia and England in the pre-Revolutionary period, unless it was turned into
a musical with a full LGBT cast, given Disney’s adulterations of classic novels
in the past and its saccharine family fare.
You people are not doing America
any favors by becoming dhimmis, an
Islamic term for people who have been conquered and made to submit to Islam
(which means, submission).
You would be doing the country a favor by going ahead with “Alice
in Arabia” and telling MPAC that the deal is off. I shall be publishing
this missive as an open letter on my political/cultural website, Rule of
Reason. It will also appear on other websites. Be on the lookout for it.
Regards,
Edward Cline
(City and telephone
number omitted)

The Pathological Roots of Islam

This
is not a new subject. It would be to the mainstream media. To the dhimmitudal
denizens of this particular subject of enquiry, Islam, as a “religion of
peace” and a belief system, is above reproach, even when its true believers
and activists are blowing up non-believers by the dozens, hundreds, and even
thousands, or machine-gunning them or taking machetes to them. Islam is
untouchable. To question its nature leaves news media denizens with dropped
jaws one can hear thud on the floor. It leaves them aghast and in horror.
To
them, Islam can do no wrong. There’s nothing wrong with it that a little
patience and interfaith dialogue can’t resolve. It’s a needless cultural clash
that can be reconciled peacefully. A negotiated settlement is possible. Muslims
just want to be left alone and not be stereotyped or mocked or defamed. All the
mullahs and imams need to do is put a leash on Islam’s hotheads to curb their
youthful – and oft times middle-aged – exuberance, and then everyone can grab a
ribbon and dance around the Maypole of Diversity to the tune of a Tiny Tim song.
But
the pathology inherent in doctrinal Islam – and that which inhabits its passive
and aggressive adherents – has been discussed in the past in non-mainstream
media, sometimes effectively, sometimes not. For example, Soren Kern, in his
Gatestone article of March 24th, “UK: Child
Sex Slavery, Multiculturalism and Islam
,” takes to task both the idea
of multiculturalism and the British authorities on the sex-grooming Muslim
gangs that have apparently been preying on non-Muslim school girls for at least
twenty years.
Kern’s
article is mostly a discussion of Peter McLoughlin’s exhaustive report, “Easy
Meat: Multiculturalism, Islam and Child Sex Slavery
,” which details how
officials in England and Wales were aware of rampant child grooming – the process
by which sexual predators befriend and build trust with children in order to
prepare them for abuse – by Muslim gangs since at least 1988, with the knowledge of the authorities.
The report is 333 pages long and worth reading – as long as you have a supply
of Valium on hand and are not susceptible to high blood pressure. Kern writes:
Rather than take steps to protect
British children, however, police, social workers, teachers, neighbors,
politicians and the media deliberately downplayed the severity of the crimes
perpetrated by the grooming gangs to avoid being accused of
“Islamophobia” or “racism.”
But
the festering, metastasizing problem couldn’t be contained and hushed up for
much longer.
The conspiracy of silence was not
broken until November 2010, when it was leaked that police in Derbyshire had
carried out an undercover investigation—dubbed Operation Retriever—and arrested
13 members of a Muslim gang for grooming up to 100 underage girls for sex.
Shortly thereafter, the Times
of London
published
the results
of a groundbreaking investigation into the sexual exploitation
and internal trafficking of girls in the Midlands and the north of England. In
January 2011, the newspaper reported that in 17 court cases since 1997 in which
groups of men were prosecuted for grooming 11 to 16 year old girls, 53 of the
56 men found guilty were Asian, 50 of them Muslim, and just three were white.
The
overwhelming number of sex-grooming gangs are Muslim in makeup.
One of the defining features of
child grooming is the ethnic/cultural homogeneity of the gang members, and the
refusal of other members of their community to speak out about them or to
condemn their behavior. According to the report, the gangs are often made up of
brothers and members of their extended family, many from Pakistan, who take
part in the grooming and/or rape of the schoolgirls.
The report states that grooming
gangs target young girls, aged between 11 and 16, because the gang members want
virgins and girls who are free of sexual diseases. “Most of the men buying
sex with the girls have Muslim wives and they don’t want to risk
infection,” the report states. “The younger you look, the more
saleable you are.”
I
left this edited comment on Kern’s Gatestone article. It raises the issue of
the criminal pathology of the perpetrators and of their “ethnic/cultural
homogeneity”:
One must ask oneself: If Islam
and Muslims consider women the lesser sex, and infidel women as uncovered meat
to be consumed by men in the crime of rape, and that “that ‘women are no
more worthy than a lollipop that has been dropped on the ground,'” why are
Muslim men in these gangs attracted to them? Shouldn’t these Muslims, if they
are “true believers,” be revolted by the prospect of such a
physically close proximity as it must occur in sex? Has any one of these
barbarians ever asked himself that question, or asked it of others of his ilk?
The answer to those questions I think can be found in the fact that Islam is
merely a rationale for the criminally minded. Islamic ideology inculcates in
the unquestioning a sense of pseudo-superiority of the faithful over anyone
outside its boundaries.
The alleged inferiority of women,
Muslim or non-Muslim, which doctrinally sanctions especially rape, allows these
criminals to put a “moral” cast on their actions. They claim they are
acting out the tenets of their religion, when, in fact, their motives are more
insidiously pathological and have nothing to do with the creed and ideology. It
goes beyond these criminals’ taste for the “forbidden.”
Whether these criminals can be
deemed sociopaths or psychopaths, is a moot question. Islam inculcates and
fosters the pathology. It is the only major creed I am aware of that sanctions
crime. The murderers of Lee Rigby claimed they were being consistent with
Islam. There’s no reason to doubt them on that count. The child rapists of
these Muslim grooming gangs are also being consistent, but because sex is the
object, their libidos have been twisted out of all recognizable human shape.
In “grooming” and
raping these young women and children, they are making a statement: We’re
criminals, and we’re conquering your country by raping your women. Islam says
it’s okay, it blesses our criminality, but it’s what we want to do anyway.
No excuses should be admitted in
the prosecution of their crimes. Religion should not be admitted as a defense.
It isn’t in Western law, but that seems to be changing in Britain,
given the news that Sharia will now be considered a legitimate means of settling
disputes and inheritance
issues in
British courts
.
Islam,
horrific an ideology and creed as it is without recalling its 1,400-year-old
catalogue of crime (call it a “rap sheet”), serves as a convenient
mask of piety for the recidivist criminal. Instead of claiming, “The Devil
made me do it,” he says, “Allah made me do it. Allah expects me to do
it. Allah commands me to do it. So, I
am beyond moral judgment. You have no right to judge or punish me.”
Treating
the systematic assault on non-Muslim women in Britain, Sweden
(Stockholm
has the highest incidence of Muslim rapes), Norway, Denmark, Belgium and
Germany, among other
European
or Western countries, as an expression of Islamic pathology is
beginning to seep into the thinking of individuals searching for an explanation
for the phenomenon.
For
example, one reader of
Daniel Pipes’s July 2006 column, “Arabs Disavow
Hizbullah
,” edged closer to a pathological explanation:
As with most cults, research
indicates, progressive disassociation with reality is a common trait. To the
rational mind, words on paper contain no power in themselves, but are assigned
significance by the observer. One may call the book a “Bible” or a
“Manifesto” or a “Koran” or the “Times of
London”, all are simply words on paper. To the mind of the cultist, it is
the document itself that has power. To an Islamist, such as yourself, the
internalization of the Muhammedian dogma and the “Koran” motivates
and animates your life to the exclusion of rational thought processes.
Criminal
actions, after all, are not symptomatic of rational behavior or rational
thinking. A rational quest for the causes and effects of criminal behavior is
not going to discover “rational” causes. But this does not stop some
observers from painting irrational Muslim behavior in subjectivist terms.
Criminals and their apologists always have an excuse for crime. To wit, Discover
the Networks
profiled one apologist, Natana DeLong-Bas, an apologist for
Saudi Wahhabism, who explained why Islam has a “bad rep”:
In a similar vein, DeLong-Bas contends
that “extremism does not stem from the Islamic religion,” but rather from “the
political conditions in the Islamic world, like the Palestinian issue … [the
issue of] Iraq, and the American government’s tying [the hands of] the U.N.
[and preventing it] from adopting any resolution against Israel.” These, the
professor maintains, “have definitely added to the Muslim youth’s state of
frustration, which then pushes them to—as they understand it—help their
brothers do away with the aggression against them, in the various Islamic
countries…. That is why I believe that religion has nothing to do with this.”
This
is the “academic” version of the “Officer Krupke
number from West Side Story.
Jihadists are “depraved because they’re deprived,” and haven’t been
raised in a “normal home.” “They’re “misunderstood.” And
etc. Islam has nothing to do with the violence; it’s unfair to ascribe to Islam
all the murders, rapes, assaults, and destruction committed in its name – as a Koranic imperative.
Barbara
J. Stock, in her November 2005 article, “The pathology of an
Islamic Mind
,” which discussed why an unsuccessful female Muslim
suicide bomber was willing to kill Muslim children as well as infidel children:
This abnormal mind is the mind of
our enemy. It is the mind of a woman who can place herself next to playing
toddlers and attempt to blow them up and tear their bodies apart with a bomb
containing ball-bearings. It is the mind of a man who can drive a car filled
with explosives into a crowd of children eating ice cream with their fathers
and kill them. Muslims say that this must be done in the name of Allah for the
advancement of Islam….
These warped minds are unable to
accept that it is Islam that is responsible for the bombings and the slaughter.
Always able to put the blame elsewhere for all of Islam’s crimes and problems,
Muslims eagerly accept any and all excuses for the sins of Islam, no matter how
illogical those excuses may be. If their warped minds can’t accept the fact
that their “religion of peace” is to blame, the blame is pushed off
on the Jews, or justified by claiming it was Islam that was attacked first.
Denial is their first line of defense….
Sadly, this is what happens to
the human mind when it must be constantly bent and twisted to accept the
unreasonable.
But
suppose one accepts the unreasonable because it comports with one’s
unreasonable expectations in life, such as sex with anyone one wishes to have
it with, regardless of the other party’s willingness or consent? Islam is
eminently “unreasonable” – that is, irrational – and if one is told
from infancy on up through adolescence and adulthood that Islamic logic is
incompatible with infidel or Western logic (in the buffet of relativist
philosophy, there’s Musim logic, and capitalist logic, and Nazi logic, and two
dozen more brands of logic), it “justifies” one’s criminal behavior.
One’s wanting the unearned is justification enough to just take it.
An
anonymous blogger on Hesperado also comes closer to a pathological explanation.
In his April 2012 article, “Understanding
Islam Anthrologically
,” he noted:
Islam, Allah, Mohammed, the Koran (among other things) are thus in
the Muslim psyche to be an inviolable circle of sacred objects to be protected
from anything perceived to be negative, whether it’s a physical attack or a critique
or mockery, or even thoughts. Anything perceived this way is physicalized as an
enemy, and the response is biochemical, pre-rational defense.
With Muslims and their Islam, we are thus not dealing with a
rational mind here, but with the pre-rational mind.
A
“pre-rational mind” is that of a prehistorical farmer who ascribes to
deities the success or failure of his harvests and the vagaries of the weather.
He is seeking a comprehensible reason for why things happen. His descendents
will discover reason and rationality and science and discard the deities and
establish a fealty to reality. A criminal mind, however, is not only not
“pre-rational,” but non-rational and anti-rational. Things just
happen, things just exist, and such a mind fundamentally isn’t interested in
crediting cause-and-effect to anything. Reality is incomprehensible, but that
doesn’t worry him. Reason? Reality? Free will? Rights?
Perhaps
the best extirpation of Islamic metaphysics and how it affects the Muslim mind
is offered by Robert R. Reilly, who was interviewed by WND in “Islam:
“Spiritual Pathology Based on Deformed Theology,
‘” in February
2013. Reilly is the author of The
Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern
Islamist.
Reilly said in the
interview:
The closing of the Muslim mind…
is rooted in Ash’arite theology, which denies the God-given human powers of
reason and free will. This is precisely the opposite of Christian doctrine, which says that personhood is defined by
the powers of reason and free will
….
(Italics WND’s)

“When I read the account of creation in the Quran,
the first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that man was not made in the
image and likeness of God. In Islam, it’s blasphemous to suggest in any way
that man is like God or can be compared to God,” said Reilly. “The closing of
the Muslim mind occurred over a struggle concerning the role of reason in
Islam, its relationship to revelation and ultimately to Allah….”
Reilly then introduces the metaphysical chaos
inculcated by Islam metaphysics and cosmology.
“What made this worse,” explained Reilly, “is that the metaphysics
behind the delegitimization of reason is the thought that Allah is not only the
first cause – the primary cause – but He’s the only cause for everything.” According
to this school, there are no secondary causes for creatures or actions. This
means fire doesn’t burn cotton, God directly burns the cotton; acorns don’t
grow into oak trees; animals and human beings don’t beget offspring; man-made
machines don’t heat or cool our buildings; and no human persons can choose
their own actions.
“Denying cause and effect in the natural world makes the world
incomprehensible – unintelligible,” said Reilly. “But anyone who would suggest
that natural law has a role in the world would be accused of shirk blasphemy,
of somehow demeaning God’s omnipotence.
“In addition to that, the world is constituted by these time-space
atoms that in themselves have no nature, but they are agglomerated in any
instant directly by the will of God to make something. The fact that acorns
grow into oak trees has nothing to do with the nature of an acorn or oak tree,”
said Reilly. “This process and all other acts are discreet and independent acts
by God and anyone who says that an acorn grows into an oak tree because of its
nature would, again, be committing blasphemy.”
So, if God – if Allah – is directly responsible for all acts, then
several premises follow for the classical Western thinker: (1) No human acts
could be morally wrong; (2) God is directly making some persons Jews, some
Christians, some Hindus, others Mormons, still others atheists and so on; (3)
Therefore, humans who don’t convert to Islam must be doing God’s will; (4) God
would have to be the cause of all conflicts; and (5) God would have to be the
author of contradiction, confusion and chaos.
To these objections, Reilly replied, “Ah, but see, you are
applying logic to Allah, Who’s above it all.
“And since God is above reason and acts for no reasons, neither
can one understand what God does and God Himself becomes unintelligible.
Therefore, reality recedes from the Muslim mind. This is what accounts for the
dysfunctional cultures you see primarily in the Middle East,” said Reilly.
“This is a product of the Ash’arite Kalam, the school of theology for the
majority of Sunni Muslims. It predominates in the Middle East, Pakistan and
South Asia. So if you wonder why there’s so much unreasonable behavior, it’s
simply because reason has lost its status as a normative guide to ethical
action.”
As an atheist, I cite this remarkable exposition without endorsing
Reilly’s Christian premises. However, Reilly has made what I think is a key
identification of what moves Islamic jihadists of all stripes: from the killer
jihadists to the grooming gangs. Muslim criminal minds – of the members of the
Muslim grooming gangs of Britain and other countries – act on what they
rationalize is Allah’s will, and that is just fine with them, because it is
what they want to do anyway. They have been taught – and they never bothered to
question what they’ve been taught – that there is no such thing as the earned or the unearned, just things that people
have for no comprehensible reason and which they want and whose origins they
don’t wish to fathom. To them, the necessity of thought is a fiction.
Their metaphysical modus
operandi
is to evade reality and the trader principle that governs most
human relationships, a principle that recognizes the reality of those
relationships. They know what they do is evil, but evil is what they think universally
governs men’s thinking and actions, so they attach no moral disapprobation to
their own actions, and don’t think anyone else should, either, especially not
their victims. The women and girls they rape exist for them to fulfill Allah’s
ends, that is all.
Their minds are neither slothful nor lethargic. They can plan
their crimes. But their intelligence is feral. A predator detects and exploits its
prey’s weaknesses. This can also be said of the “cultural and
civilizational” jihad being waged against the West, as well of the
grooming gangsters.
Knowing that they are evil – while at the same time claiming that Allah
determines what is evil and what is good – and that what they do is evil, these gangs wish to humiliate,
degrade, soil, pervert, and ultimately destroy the good. That is their claim to
the efficacy of their Islamic evil. That is the claim of every mullah and imam
and jihadist killer. It is the will of Allah; he puts the uncovered meat before
them, and they take it. It is unspoiled. We shall spoil it.
Islam reduces all Muslims to ciphers, to interchangeable manqués.
The definable criminal among them consequently occupy a rung below that occupied
by the passive manqués; they are literally and definably subhuman. Can they be
deemed sociopaths, or psychopaths?
One of the outstanding lines from the film Gladiator
is spoken in the beginning, before a Roman army attacks a tribe of barbarians:
“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”
I would add: What we don’t do – such as think – also follows us in
life.  

Is there a clinical name for the pathology of men
who refuse to think?

Pearls of James Madison: Part II

On the Bill of Rights
As
a prime mover behind the writing of the Constitution and as a champion of the
Bill of Rights, James Madison, as a Representative from Virginia, attended the
first sitting of the new Congress
in New York and Philadelphia in 1789-1790. While nine of the thirteen states
had ratified the Constitution, allowing Congress to hold its first sessions, a
strong desire to explicitly secure the freedom won by a long and costly war of
independence made appending a bill of rights to the Constitution a first
concern of many Americans and critics of the “charter.” The absence
of such a security in the wording of the Constitution and from the enumerated
powers of the federal government did not assure the document’s critics that
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were adequately protected from
abuses of power.
What
the critics saw was a document which detailed the limitations of federal government
power (the enumerations), but no written assurances that, should individuals in
that government overstep or abuse their powers, they could be opposed and
charged with tyranny or corruption in the pursuit unlimited power. Defenders of
the Constitution dismissed these concerns, saying, on one hand, that their
absence from the document was instead an assurance of their inviolability; and,
on the other hand, that a “bill of rights” questioned the legitimacy
of any powers granted to the federal government in its enumerated powers (and,
by implication, a questioning of the legitimate powers of the state
governments), or would leave other, unnamed rights open to violation and government
mischief.
The
call for a “bill of rights” to be incorporated into the federal
constitution was inspired by the Virginia
Declaration of Rights
, adopted in the summer of 1776 before the
proclamation of the Declaration of Independence. George Mason was its principal
author. As noted in “Pearls
of James Madison, Founder
,” Madison was originally dubious about the
value and function of a bill of rights in the federal scheme of things, but
eventually saw their necessity and carried the fight for a bill of rights to
the Congress’s deliberations on a host of post-ratification matters. As did
George Mason. The Constitution
Society
noted:
As passed, the Virginia Declaration
was largely the work of George Mason; the committee and the Convention made
some verbal changes and added Sections 10 and 14. This declaration served as a
model for bills of rights in several other state constitutions and was a source
of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, though its
degree of influence upon the latter document is a highly controversial
question. The reference to “property” in Section I may be compared
with the use of the word by John Locke, its omission by Thomas Jefferson from
the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, and its use in the
Constitution, Amendments V and XIV.
George Mason (1725-92), one of
Virginia’s wealthiest planters, a neighbor and friend of Washington, is best
remembered for his part in drafting the Virginia constitution of 1776. In 1787
he was a leader in the Federal Convention. Refusing to sign the completed
document, Mason, along with Patrick Henry and others, opposed its ratification
in the Virginia Convention of 1788.]
As
noted in my original column, the term property
was omitted from the Declaration because of the slavery issue. To recruit the
southern colonies in a united Declaration, the term was omitted from the final
draft insofar as it meant involuntary human bondage as a legitimate form of
property. Jefferson,
a lifelong opponent of slavery, was as helpless in the circumstances as any
other critic of the institution:
Jefferson wrote that slavery was
like holding “a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let
him go.”  He thought that his cherished federal union, the world’s first
democratic experiment, would be destroyed by slavery.  To emancipate
slaves on American soil, Jefferson thought, would result in a large-scale race
war that would be as brutal and deadly as the slave revolt in Haiti in
1791.  But he also believed that to keep slaves in bondage, with part of
America in favor of abolition and part of America in favor of perpetuating
slavery, could only result in a civil war that would destroy the union. 
Jefferson’s latter prediction was correct: in 1861, the contest over slavery
sparked a bloody civil war and the creation of two nations—Union and
Confederacy—in the place of one.
Like
Jefferson and others who recognized the evil of slavery and of regarding
enslaved men as “property,” Madison resigned himself to the reluctant
consolation that the moral conflict over slavery would need to be resolved by
another generation, and possibly violently, and not in his own time.
 Patrick Henry, the most
famous and articulate opponent of ratification of the Constitution (an
“Anti-Federalist”), warned the Virginia Convention that it should at
least insist that the new Congress take up the issue of a bill of rights. In
his 24th and last speech
during the Convention before it adjourned, he said:
Mr. Chairman, when we were told
of the difficulty of obtaining previous amendments, I contended that they might
be as easily obtained as subsequent amendments. We are told that nine states
have adopted it. If so, when the government gets in motion, have they not a
right to consider our amendments as well as if we adopted first? If we
remonstrate, may they not consider and admit our amendments? 

But now, sir, when
we have been favored with a view of their subsequent amendments,I am confirmed in what I
apprehended; and that is, subsequent amendments will make our condition worse;
for they are placed in such a point of view as will make this Convention
ridiculous. I speak in plain, direct language. It is extorted from me. If this
Convention will say, that the very right by which amendments are desired is not
secured, then I say our rights are not secured. As we have the right of
desiring amendments, why not exercise it? But gentlemen deny this right, it
follows, of course, that, if this right be not secured, our other fights are
not.

The proposition of subsequent
amendments {650} is only to lull our apprehensions. We speak the language of
contradiction and inconsistency, to say that rights are secured, and then say
that they are not. Is not this placing this Convention in a contemptible light?
Will not this produce contempt of us in Congress, and every other part of the
world? Will gentlemen tell me that they are in earnest about these amendments?
On
June 8th, 1789, Madison spoke about the dissatisfaction with the
Constitution not even exhibiting in its entirety a token security of liberty.
All quotations of Madison here are from James
Madison: Writings
.*
It cannot be a secret to the
gentlemen in this house, that, notwithstanding the ratification of this system
of government  by eleven of the thirteen
United States, in some cases unanimously, in others by large majorities; yet
still there is a great number of our constituents who are dissatisfied with it;
among whom are many respectable for their talents, their patriotism, and
respectable for the jealousy they have for their liberty, which, thought
mistaken in its object, is laudable in its motive. There is a great body of
people falling under this description….
We ought not to disregard their
inclination, but, on principles of amity and moderation, conform to their
wishes, and expressly declare the great rights of mankind secured under this
constitution. (p. 439)
Discussing
in their embryonic form some of the amendments to be taken up by the House,
Madison outlined them for his colleagues:
That the people have an
indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their
government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its
institution….
The civil rights of none shall be
abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national
religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be
in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.
The people shall not be deprived
or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments;
and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be
inviolable.
The people shall not be
restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor
from applying to the legislature by petitions, or remonstrances for redress of
their grievances.
The right of the people to keep
and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia
being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous
of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person. (pp.
442-443)
Madison
went on to itemize the proposed amendments covering the prohibition against
double jeopardy, bearing witness against oneself, excessive bail, cruel and
unusual punishments, the right to due process, and the prohibition of seizure
of private property without just compensation.
The rights of the people to be
secured in their persons, their houses, their papers, and their other property
from all unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated by warrants
issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, or not
particularly describing the places to be searched, or the persons or things to
be seized.
In all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial, to be informed of the cause
and nature of the accusation. To be confronted with his accusers, and the
witnesses against him; to have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in
his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. (p. 443)
Not
forgetting the states and their relationship with the federal government,
Madison added:
No state shall violate the rights
of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal
cases. (p. 443)
And,
finally:
The powers not delegated by this
constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States
respectively. (p. 444)
Answering
the imagined dangers of a bill of rights argued by others, Madison discoursed
to the assembly on the benefits of having a bill of rights, and how the absence
of one affected the governance of other nations, especially Great Britain.
I acknowledge the ingenuity of
those arguments which were drawn against the constitution, by a comparison with
the policy of Great-Britain, in establishing a declaration of rights; but there
is too great of difference in the case to warrant the comparison; therefore the
arguments drawn from that source, were in a great measure inapplicable. In the
declaration of rights which that country has established, the truth is, they
have gone no farther, than to raise a barrier against the power of the crown;
the power of the legislature is left altogether indefinite.
Although I know whenever the
great rights, the trial by jury, freedom of the press, or liberty of
conscience, came in question in that body, the invasion of them is resisted by
able advocates, yet their Magna Charta does not contain any one provision for
the security of those rights, respecting which, the people of America are most
alarmed. The freedom of the press and the rights of conscience, those choicest
privileges of the people, are unguarded in the British constitution. (p. 445)
Madison,
of course, could not have foreseen the “imperial” presidencies of men
like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barack Obama, whose executive actions have
trumped the function of Congress (too often with its acquiescence), and,
indeed, would not recognize the federal government as it exists today, a
wealth-consuming and rights-negating behemoth which has usurped Americans’
rights and shredded the Constitution.
In our government it is, perhaps,
less necessary to guard against the abuse of the executive department than any
other; because it is not the stronger branch of the system, but the weaker. It
therefore must be levelled against the legislative, for it is the most
powerful, and most likely to be abused, because it is under the least control;
hence, so far as a declaration of rights can tend to prevent the exercise of
undue power, it cannot be doubted but such a declaration is proper. (p. 446)
Madison
prefaces his concerns that even a government whose powers have been enumerated
in favor of protecting liberty from “off the books” tyranny or
arbitrary power exercised through loopholes in wording or content has serious
shortcomings. He leads up to the power of taxation:
It is true the powers of the
general government are circumscribed; they are directed to particular objects;
but even if government keeps within those limits, it has certain discretionary
powers with respect to the means, which may admit of abuse to a certain extent,
in the same manner as the powers of the state governments under their
constitutions may to an indefinite extent; because in the constitution of the
United States there is a clause granting to Congress the power to make all laws
which are necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested in
the government of the United States….
The general government has a
right to pass all laws which shall be necessary to collect its revenue; the
means for enforcing the collection are within the direction of the legislature:
may not general warrants be considered necessary for this purpose?…If there
was reason for restraining the state governments from exercising this power,
there is like reason for restraining the federal government. (pp. 447-448)
Taxation,
in Madison’s time (and, indeed, throughout history) was the only
“necessary and proper” way men thought a government could raise money
to perform even its legitimate functions, such as maintaining the courts,
maintaining an armed force to stave off invasion, and maintaining a civil
police force. But even the most ardent and ambitious statists in Madison’s generation
(such as Alexander Hamilton) would have found unimaginable a government which
presumed it “necessary and proper” to protect the environment, provide
subsidized housing, subsidize food purchases, police the securities business, monopolize
education, regulate nutrition, provide pensions and medical care subsidies,
enforce the purchase of medical insurance, subsidize medical and scientific
research, and etc., and also to debase its own currency to pay for these things
in an ever-widening range of powers.
The
term necessary and proper has been
interpreted by lawmakers and courts over the last two centuries to cover every
possible “crisis” the government feels committed to regulate and able
to police and resolve. If you are not a smoker, the government thinks it
“necessary and proper” to protect you against smokers. If you are
obese, the government thinks it “necessary and proper” to impose a
nutrition regimen. If you are a student, the government thinks it
“necessary and proper” to teach you. If you are “poor,” the
government thinks it “necessary and proper” to support you in a
variety of economic ways. If you are a member of a designated
“minority,” the government thinks it “necessary and proper”
to protect you from discrimination.
One
could list a hundred-page list in tiny print of human relations and actions the
government thinks it “necessary and proper” to legislate for and has
the “inherent” power to act on.  This is not freedom as Madison and his contemporaries
imagined it. It is a clanking web of chains and fetters on your limbs and on
your mind.
What
has happened is that state governments – and even municipal ones – have simply
emulated the federal government in assuming illegitimate powers of taxation and
control of virtually every aspect of an individual’s life and actions in the
course of pursuing his happiness.
We
also have in effect through the federal government bills
of attainder and ex post facto laws
, which are expressly forbidden in
Article I, Section 10, Clause 1. Wealthy individuals in the public eye have
been targeted by the government to make examples of (e.g., Michael Miliken,
Leona Helmsley, even Redd Foxx) to frighten the public into obedience in terms
of ex officio bills of attainder
issued by the SEC, the IRS, the Justice Department, and even the EPA.
An
example of an undeclared ex post facto law was the arrest and imprisonment of Nakoula
Basseley Nakoula
, maker of the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube
trailer, on the unsubstantiated assertion (and later exposed as a “What difference
does it make?” lie) of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the trailer
was responsible for the Benghazi attacks. The unwritten law is that it is
illegal to make films that purportedly and potentially would incite “justifiable”
violence by Muslims by “disrespecting” or blaspheming against Islam
or any of its icons or tenets.
In
conclusion, America is as far away from the original intent of the Bill of
Rights as it is from the original purpose of the original Constitution,
subsequently amended in 1913 to include the 16th and 17th
Amendments establishing a pernicious income tax and the direct, popular
election of U.S. senators.
To
the Marxists, socialists, liberals, and other statists who reside in the bubble
world of Progressivism, this is indeed “progress” away from life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness, to a condition of stasis, security, and institutionalized
selflessness.
*James
Madison: Writings
. Jack N. Rakove, Editor. New York: Library of
America, 1999. 966 pp.

A Moss-Covered Rolling Stone

Suppose
someone buttonholed you on the street, a fellow wearing an aluminum pyramid for
a hat, a blue jumpsuit with numerous pockets even on the pants legs, and L.L.
Bean hiking boots, and who had intense, glazed-over eyes that sent a zing of
fear up your spine but which invited you to enter his realm of demons and jins
and unicorns. He begins spouting that the world is flat, that the moon is just
a big mottled silver disk in the sky which if you stare at out of focus long
enough you’d see the face of God smiling down at you, and that the stars were
but pinholes filtering through the light of an alternate universe.
You
know this fellow is more than a crackpot and that not much of the real universe
is filtering through to his mind. You might listen to him for a while, more
from pity than from anything else. You would throw glances around at passersby,
wanting to communicate in embarrassment that you’re not really with this
fellow, but you don’t want to tell him to buzz off, and please let go of the
lapel of your jacket, because he just might have a gun or a knife in one of
those pockets and not granola bars and packets of Trail Mix on which he seems
to have been subsisting. You listen to him with effort, with a patient courtesy
that is costing you sweat and physical strength because you’re also restraining
a desire to laugh in his face.
To
make the experience endurable, you imagine you’re Cary Grant, tied to a chair
in the movie Arsenic and Old Lace,
and that your seemingly lucid captor is Raymond Massey, an escaped lunatic from
a mental asylum for the criminally insane who’s claiming he’s a master
murderer….
That’s
how I felt when a friend recently forwarded to me an article from Rolling
Stone, dated January 3rd, 2014, by Jesse A. Myerson. The headline
itself made me blink in disbelief: “Five
Economic Reforms Millennials
Should Be Fighting For: Guaranteed jobs,
universal basic incomes, public finance and more.” Haven’t these ideas
been repudiated and discredited? I don’t voluntarily read the Rolling Stone or
the Village Voice or any other publication that seems to be published by aging
hippies still celebrating Woodstock and the Weathermen. Myerson’s article was
news to me. I learned that it had been the subject of numerous clucking tongued
critiques by fellow travelers and episodes of raspberries and roiling laughter
from Left and Right alike. I was a newcomer to the piece. Better late than
never.
The
name, Jesse
A. Myerson
, meant nothing to me, until I searched for his name on the
Internet and discovered that he was one of the “geniuses” – a
“media coordinator” – behind Occupy Wall
Street
, that Marxist movement which drew tens of thousands to American
cities several years ago. It petered out when reality intervened and the
“occupiers,” out of a sense of self-preservation, drifted back to
warm homes and sanitary conditions and possibly even gainful employment. I
wrote several columns about OWS, and won’t
reprise their conclusions here.
For
example, Sean Davis at the Federalist
wrote:
But what makes Myerson’s article
so precious is that either he’s too dumb to know what the Soviet Union stood
for (or too lazy to have done a quick Google search prior to clicking
“Publish”), or he thinks his readers are too dumb to discern that he’s actually
pushing for a return to Soviet-style communism. In his defense, he published
his Marxist mash note at Rolling Stone — a site run by a seemingly drug-addled 23-year-old
nepot
— so maybe he has a point about the collective IQ of his readers.
“Dumb”
is the operative term, together with cognitively-challenged and delusional. It
is measurably easier to critique Myerson than it is to freeze-frame and examine
every non sequitur of the mental gymnastics of someone like Nobelist in
economics Paul Krugman.
Noel
Sheppard at News
Busters
had some fairly simple questions to ask Myerson:
2.
Social Security for All
But
let’s think even bigger. Because as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs.
What if people didn’t have to work to survive? Enter the jaw-droppingly simple
idea of a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a sum
sufficient for subsistence to everyone’s bank account every month…A universal
basic income, combined with a job guarantee and other social programs, could
make participation in the labor force truly voluntary, thereby enabling people
to get a life.
So why would we need to guarantee
everyone a job with a good wage if folks didn’t have to work as a result of a
universal basic income?
And if people didn’t have to
work, who would produce the goods and services necessary for life on this
planet?
And if no goods and services were
being produced, where would the money come from to fund this universal basic
income?
At
the risk of offending Star Trek fans,
Myerson writes as though he were cadging the elements of the communist society whose
identity trickled through in the series, especially in the “Next
Generation” seasons and as articulated by Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the
Enterprise. He once told a survivor from the 20th century to
“improve himself.” This was after the character realizes that his
capitalist fortune is no more and that he would not be permitted to amass
another. Apparently, the government provides everyone with “room and
board” and a chance to become a “useful” member of society –
“voluntarily.” Things like restaurants and vineyards and quilt
tatting are mere personal “hobbies.” Someone at the Science
Fiction and Fantasy
site had the sense to observe:
A big clue into their form of
government is that fact that they have no monetary policy. They have no money
[except “Federation credits”], which means they have no taxes, no
expenditures, and no GDP. That raises the question, how do they finance their
government? Regardless of what form that government takes, it needs resources
to maintain itself.
Given the peace-oriented nature
of the Federation, one would assume that those resources are given to the
government voluntarily, including human resources in the form of political
leadership. People volunteer their leadership in order to be accepted,
rejected, or passively allowed, all in a non-forceful manner.
That’s
going to where no economist has gone before, except perhaps Paul Krugman.
To
distance himself from those old fuddy-duddies Marx, Engels, and Proudhon (all
property is theft, you know) – whose works he has likely never read from cover
to cover – Myerson tries to sound hip and “with it” by writing in a
grungy, sophomoric style and by pretending he’s advancing a radically new
political/economic system without once mentioning Communism, Stalin, and
tyranny. He uses the slang term “blow” five times in the article.
This blows, that blows, everything “blows.” But obviously, no
typhoons howl through Myerson’s mind.  For
example, in his prefatory paragraphs, Myerson proclaims:
Millennials have been especially
hard-hit by the downturn, which is probably why so many people in this generation
(like myself) regard capitalism with a level
of suspicion
that would have been unthinkable
a decade ago. (Italics mine)
Myerson
seems oblivious to the fact that previous generations of young people have
maintained high, vociferous levels of “suspicion” against capitalism,
not just his own. He might have overlooked the fact that a previous generation
now owns the corridors of political power, and is attempting to ram their own
“five” reforms down the country’s throat (David Axelrod, Bill Ayers, et al.). And they were all on the same
“thinkable” page. Suspicion?
Say, rather, hostility.
Under
his “Guaranteed Work for Everybody” subtopic, Myerson writes:
There are millions of people who
want to work, and there’s a ton of work that needs doing – it’s a no-brainer.
And this idea isn’t as radical as it might sound: It’s similar to what the
federal Works Progress Administration made possible during Roosevelt’s New
Deal…
Myerson
gives Roosevelt a pat on the back. I think that’s as far back in time he can
go. But how long would it take one to persuade him that programs like the WPA
helped to delay the country’s recovery from a government-caused Depression,
because all the money being redirected to it and other grandiose programs was
confiscated private wealth that could have helped correct government-caused
economic dislocations. But, perhaps because Myerson’s grasp of
causo-connections is so tenuous – in point of fact, virtually imaginary – the learning exercise would
likely be futile. How many Flat Earthers are impervious to ample evidence that
the world is round?
Under
the same subtopic, Myerson assured us that:
A job guarantee that paid a
living wage would anchor prices, drive up conditions for workers at
megacorporations like Walmart and McDonald’s, and target employment for the
poor and long-term unemployed – people to whom conventional stimulus money
rarely trickles all the way down. The program would automatically expand during
private-sector downturns and contract during private-sector upswings, balancing
out the business cycle and sending people from job to job, rather than job to
unemployment, when times got tough.

Try to make the pinball machine connections between “living wages,”
“anchored prices,” and escalating worker conditions at Walmart and McDonald’s.
Myerson may as well have written: Apples plus Oranges Multiplied by Bananas
Equals Cumquats. Notice how he stresses that his program would “expand
during private-sector downturns” but “contract during private-sector
upswings.” Is he confessing that he would allow any private sector to
exist?
News
flash to Myerson: If actually implemented, his program would automatically
absorb a “down-turned” private sector, guaranteeing that there would
never be an “upswing” in it ever again. Observe the progress of Venezuela
toward poverty under an aggressive socialist régime that is absorbing private
sectors by the dozen. The only “upswinging” entity in that country is
the government’s fist.
And,
besides, how could such a perfect socio-economic paradise, one which
incorporated all five programs plus ones Myerson hasn’t even imagined, generate
or even experience “tough times”? Isn’t such a program designed to
prevent “tough times”? Isn’t a “pure” communist economy
supposed to be immune to business cycles, because ideally, there would be no
businesses to cycle?
The
silence is deafening, except for the gunshots and screams one might hear in
Venezuela and other places undergoing a descent into destruction.
To
elaborate on Noel Sheppard’s News Busters critique, under “Social Security
for All,” Myerson poses the question:
What if people didn’t have to work
to survive? Enter the jaw-droppingly simple idea of a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a
sum sufficient for subsistence to everyone’s bank account every month. (Bolding Myerson’s)
Then
some synapses must have crackled in his mind. If no one needed to work, who or
what would produce the things an idle population could purchase with that
“free” money? And where would that money come from, because if no one
was producing anything, and if the means of production had been expropriated
from the producers, there would be no tax revenue, either, to deposit in all
those bank accounts. The government would need to tax itself. No, wait, that
wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t happen, either. What would happen to Duke University
Professor Kathi Weeks’s idea of creating “time to cultivate new needs for
pleasures, activities, senses, passions, affects, and socialities that exceed
the options of working and saving, producing and accumulating”?
The
synapses crackled faintly once more, and died.
Put another way: A universal
basic income, combined with a job
guarantee
and other social programs,
could make participation in the labor force truly voluntary, thereby enabling
people to get a life. (Bolding Myerson’s)
And
if you don’t “volunteer” to participate, the government will seize
your bank account, send you to a rehab camp in Death Valley where you can get your mind right, and subject
you to a lobotomy to remove the last shred of independence you might have had.
In
conclusion, Jesse Myerson subscribes to an ideology which, over many decades,
has been oft refuted by thinkers like Thomas Sowell (Marxism:
Philosophy and Economics
),has been repudiated by individuals who endured
and survived its depredations, and has demonstrated its intrinsic
destructiveness wherever it has been tried. It is truly astonishing – to me, at
least – that the ideology still has the power to fasten itself to anyone’s mind
and maintain an unshakable grip.
But,
I shouldn’t be so astonished, because without the unarticulated wish for the
unearned and an effortless existence, the ideology would have no appeal and no chance
of becoming encrusted in anyone’s mind – encrusted, undigested, and
deadening. 
Myerson
– together with the publication that was clueless or careless enough to publish
his juvenile screed – is a rolling stone that does indeed gather the musty dead
moss of Marxism.

Academic Food Fights

To
take a much-needed break from the missing (or hijacked) Malaysian flight,
Putin’s annexation of the Crimea from the Ukraine, the antics, antisemitism,
and anti-Americanism of President Barack Obama, and news of college professors advocating
the jailing
of global warming deniers
, I decided to indulge in some semi-humorous,
cathartic (or therapeutic) commentary in this column.
When
I saw the headline of Daniel Greenfield’s FrontPage article of March 15th,
Ice
Cream Social Justice: ‘Critical Food Studies’ Comes to College
,” I
initially read it as “Critical Foot
Studies,” and wondered what mischief the podiatrists and shoe
manufacturers were up to now. Had they taken a survey of collegiate footwear
and lobbied Congress to mandate environmentally friendly shoestring and leather
on campus? Or asked Congress to enact prohibitively high import tariffs on
Indonesian and Chinese products? Then I blinked once and saw it was
“Critical Food Studies.” Never
mind. “Critical Food Studies” was ludicrous enough. However, I’m sure
some tenure-hungry yob is massaging a proposal to introduce foot, ankle and
heel studies.
Greenfield,
in his characteristically droll style, opened his article with:
Higher education tuition costs
and student loan debt have increased proportionally with the sheer
worthlessness of a college education. Students were paradoxically far more
likely to learn something worthwhile when higher ed was for dilettantes, than
now when it’s a mandatory job prerequisite.
Greenfield’s
article about the proliferation of “food studies” in college and
university curricula is largely based on a March 12th article by
Mary Grabar, “Food
Fetish on Campus
,” on the John William Pope Center commentaries page.
(Again, I initially read it as Foot
Fetish, but, again, never mind.) Greenfield studiously annotates Grabar’s
article. Grabar reported:
                                        
These days, even in their
required classes, students are not likely to get exposure to philosophical
concepts like Epicureanism, or to classical authors such as Hawthorne. They’re
more apt to take courses that focus on food itself, that tell them essentially,
“You are what you eat.”  Food, in other words, carries moral meanings.
What you eat and how you eat define you as a moral person, with the new
standards of morality aligning with the other lessons of the contemporary
campus on race, class, sustainability, animal rights, and gender.  
The latest additions have little
to do with legitimate intellectual endeavors like agriculture or nutrition
science. Instead, food becomes another lens through which to examine
oppression, sustainability, and multiculturalism.
Greenfield
remarked:
Political correctness, food and
pointless American Studies navel gazing…in one course. Somehow I’m entirely
confident that the discussion will be largely about white ‘othering’ of
African-American foods.
Grabar
further reports:
…[F]ood becomes another lens
through which to examine oppression, sustainability, and multiculturalism.
 A surprising number of universities have gone in this direction.
The New
School
has an undergraduate program in food studies, while several offer
master’s level programs: Chatham University,
New York University, Boston University
(a graduate certificate); and New Mexico State
University
(a graduate-level minor). The Graduate Center of the City
University
of New York offers an interdisciplinary concentration, and Indiana
University
even a Ph.D. concentration in Anthropology of Food.
How
does one satirize or parody the inane? It can’t be done, except perhaps by the
Monty Python troupe or the Marx Brothers. I defer to Mary Grabar:
You can find the mania over food
studies in many states, including North Carolina. At UNC-Chapel Hill, students
in the Department of Geography can take “Critical Food Studies,” and
others can develop interdisciplinary programs that incorporate courses such as
“Food in American Culture” provided through the department of American Studies.
Food studies is also a focus of
graduate research in Chapel Hill’s English and Comparative Literature
Department. Rachel
Norman
describes her dissertation on Arab-American literature as “focusing
on representations of language and food as practices of oral identity.”  Inger S.B. Brodey,
associate professor, lists as among the courses she teaches Asian Food Rituals,
cross-listed with Asian Studies.  And Jessica Martel’s dissertation
is on “Modernist Form and Imperial Food Politics, 1890-1922.”
Food studies has made its way
even down to freshman composition.  Apparently responding to market
demand, the textbook publisher Bedford is offering Food
Matters
with a sample syllabus and recommended “resources” for an
entire semester devoted to food studies.  Among the resources are the
“documentaries” Forks
Over Knives
(which advocates a low-fat whole-food, plant-based diet)
and Super Size Me
(about the evils of the fast food industry), and the books, Fast
Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
by Eric
Schlosser, Barbara Kingsolver’s memoir of her year eating locally, Animal,
Vegetable, Miracle
, and the 1971 bestseller about the environmental impact
of meat production, Diet for a
Small Planet
.  
Greenfield
notes:
Will there be any Denny’s place
mats to study? We could do a whole semester on the semiotics of menus, what
they state and what they leave out and how they ‘other.’
If any reader here anticipated
the time when university professors stooped to teaching hapless students how to
“deconstruct” a restaurant menu or a cookbook, please raise your
hand. Mary Grabar must have the last word in this part of the column:
And, finally, the Food Studies
Caucus of the American Studies Association will hold several panels at its
meeting, mostly on political topics, like “Food, Debt, and the
Anti-Capitalist Imagination” and “How the Other Half Eats: Race and
Food Reform from the Slaughterhouse to the White House.”
“Food studies” has
become an academic growth area, adding to the deterioration of the humanties,
and to the advancement of left ideologies. No doubt our universities will e
producing many more “scholars” investigating all aspects of food:
food and race, food and capitalism, food and gender, etc.  But we will have few graduates familiar with
literary and philosophical masterpieces. Fewer will be able to produce good
writing – or real food.
I went to one of
Grabar’s links to scan the ist of papers being presented at the Fourth International
Conference on Food Studies. Here are the titles of some of the hundred-plus
accepted “scholarly” papers for individual presentations, in
sessions, panels, and colloquia:
The
Food-water-energy Nexus in China

(I’m sure Michelle Obama and her hefty entourage will be looking into this
problem during her upcoming taxpayer-financed trip to China, and return with
even more declarations of how Americans should eat.)
Butchers, Cooks, and
Restaurateurs: Gendered Food Cultures in the US and the UK
Mafia and Italian
Food Supply Chain: How Criminal Power Affects Our Food
Eating in Bed:
Food, Love and Marriage in Dakar, Senegal
The Latino Way Food
Guide
Feminist Ethics and
Food Policy
Not Just the Individual,
Not Just Supermarkets: Understanding the Ecology of Urban Foodscapes
“Good”
Food as Family Medicine: Problems with Dualist and Absolutist Approaches to
“Healthy” Family Foodways
Eating Habits and
Food Strategies among Airline Cabin Attendants in Scandinavia
A Body Political
Approach to Eating
I did not make up
these titles. See the link under “Immanuel
Kant, Cuisine, Fine Art
” in Grabar’s article. The last paper has a gem
of a revealing description:
This paper establishes a
conceptual understanding of changing eating cultures in the context of food
abundance. It draws on Foucauldian biopolitics as well as concepts of body
politics originating in feminist research and integrates these with a
phenomenological perspective of food and eating as embodiment. Drawing on the
scant literature that explicitely [sic] focuses on the nexus of food and body,
the proposed theory-driven paper suggests a micro-macro framework for the
analysis of eating disorders and food anxieties in the context of growing
global food abundance and the booming beauty industry.
Yes,
Virginia, there really are college courses on the oppressive beauty industry.
In
Dr. Strangelove, the versatile
Sterling Hayden plays Brigadier General Jack Ripper, an Air Force base
commander who launches a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union because he
imagines his sexual impotency is caused by a Soviet conspiracy to fluoridate
America’s drinking water. He had nothing over the creators of these food study
courses and “scholarly” papers. Imagine the state of civilization
today had Plato and Aristotle abandoned the problem of universals and the
nature of reality and the character of a perfect man for attaching
philosophical, political, and social significance to whether one preferred
wheat or barley bread with one’s sausage or fish, and how sitting or reclining
while eating changed the course of history.
Anyway,
I let my imagination have free rein to invent the titles of these course
proposals in today’s academies. Chances are that a Food Studies curricula
committee wouldn’t grasp that I was – shall I say? – funnin’ them.
“The Role of Food Vendors in
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.”
“Sushi Skills under the Sun
King.”
“The Role of Consumables in A Tale of Two Cities.”
“Chop! Chop! The Benihana
Phenomenon in American Cuisine.”
“Privileged Palates: Eating
the Rich in Exclusive Clubs. How White Privilege Discriminates Against the
Tasteless in American Culture.”
“Custer and Sitting Bull:
How Their Lunches Determined the Outcome of Little Big Horn.”  
“Alice Walker: Culinary
Subtexts in The Color Purple.”
“Toni Morrison: The White
Whipped Cream Beneath Black Patronage.”
An extra credit paper on Bill
Ayers’s seminal essay, “Langston Hughes: A Kommie in the Kitchen, Resistin’
White Folks’ Ways of Cookin’.”
Master’s thesis for allied Cultural
Comics Studies: “Interspecies Racism: Discuss how Disney was able to
reconcile the tautological problem of Goofy, a black, clothed talking, bipod dog,
having a blonde, non-talking, quadruped dog, Pluto, as an exploited pet, and
the differences in their eating preferences.”
Master’s thesis for allied Cultural
Comics Studies: “How Popeye’s spinach is a subliminal allegory for
capitalist money, which gives Popeye distorted super powers to oppress Bluto,
who represents minorities and latent but negatively portrayed homosexual
tendencies. Integrate a discussion of the anorexia of Olive Oyl, postulate
Popeye’s libidinous attraction to her, and examine her diet- and gender-driven
fear of and hostility to Bluto.”
“The Symbiotic and the
Idiotic in American Eating Habits.”
“Hannibal Lecter and The Silence of the Lambs: The Apex of
Capitalist Epicureanism.”
“George Orwell’s Fable, Animal Farm: A Study in Vegan Political
Action.”
“Taco Bell, Chipotle,
and Cultural Imperialism: The Americanization of Mexican Cuisine.”
“Child’s Play: Eggs Julia
and Elitist White Culinary Imaging in Mass Media.”
“Smörgåsbords,
Open Buffets, and Head Shots: The Popular Opiate of Zombie Cinema, from The
Walking Dead
to 28 Days Later. Explicate the Pioneering Social
Justice Vision of George Romero and the common subtextual conflicts present in
this genre.”
“The
Yoke is on You: Corporate Agribusiness’s War on Free-Range Fowls.”

I
ask you: Are any of my proposals any less ludicrous than the ones accepted by the
Fourth International Conference on Food Studies, or what can be found in many
university course catalogues? The only difference between the real things and
the satirical ones is that mine aren’t funded with government grants.
Bon
Appétit!

Pearls of James Madison, Founder

“Do not give what is holy to
the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their
feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” 
Matthew 7:6
I
have little occasion to quote the Bible, and have serious doubts about who
first penned or uttered this maxim, coming as it does from a translation of the
Bible from the old Latin text to the Vulgate, a task which reputedly engaged
several apocryphal hands over the course of centuries. But, Matthew seemed an
appropriate place to start, because it is arguably a pearl of wisdom.   
We
move on to the first set of pearls.
The
two premier publishers in the U.S. for books of unmatched quality in terms of
printing, design, affordability, and readability, are the Liberty Fund of
Indianapolis, and the Library of America in New York.
The
Liberty Fund specializes in
publishing books about the history, progress, investigation, and value of
liberty, and boasts an impressive catalogue of works from the high Renaissance
throughout the Enlightenment, and the 18th, 19th and 20th
centuries. It is completely private, founded by a businessman, Pierre F. Goodrich,
in 1960, and is sustained by sales and donations from individuals of means. Its
most recent quarterly catalogue boasts eight pages of some 720 titles, authors
and editors, from Lord Acton to Simone Zurbuchen. Its mission statement page states:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private,
educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a
society of free and responsible individuals. The Foundation develops,
supervises, and finances its own educational activities to foster thought and
encourage discourse on enduring issues pertaining to liberty.
The
Library of America,
on the other hand, was founded in 1979 with “seed money” from the
National Endowment for the Humanities, itself established by Congress in 1965. Its
purpose is to preserve the literature of America. It published its first
volumes in 1982. While I oppose government subsidies for any literary or
artistic project, the Library of America, which is now an independent
non-profit organization, seems to have been one of the government’s more
successful investments. It, too, sustains
itself
by sales and private donations, and, as far as I could determine,
receives no federal subsidies of any kind. Its mission statement reads:
The Library of America, a
nonprofit publisher, is dedicated to publishing, and keeping in print,
authoritative editions of America’s best and most significant writing.
I
would say it has republished and kept in print many of America’s best and worst writers. Its
titles are in the hundreds. Many are indeed worth reading. Some titles can
legitimately be deemed “best.” Others are the favorites of the
literary establishment, not necessarily “best” or even
“good.” It also publishes a quarterly catalogue with new titles.
But
what sets Liberty Fund and Library of America books apart from mainstream
publishing is the meticulous attention both publishers pay to book design,
organization, and text. I have read several titles from both publishers and I
think I found perhaps two typos or errata in over 5,000 pages. And both
publishers print their books to last, hard backs and soft covers. They can be
perused repeatedly for years with little evidence of wear. Barring
book-burnings or bannings by neo-Nazis, Progressives, or Muslims, these books
will be around for a long, long time.
(What
is not a typo, but an isolated problem with word or line spacing, occurs in
Library of America’s James Madison:
Writings
,* on page 89, the first page of “The Virginia Plan:
Resolutions Proposed by Mr. Randolph in Convention, May 29, 1787.”  The problem does not recur elsewhere in the
text.)
Having
said that, we move on to the second set of pearls to be found in that volume. I
was reviewing notes I took while first reading James Madison: Writings. Here I offer some random pearls of
political wisdom from America’s fourth president,
dubbed the “Father of the Constitution” and “Father of the Bill
of Rights.”  These pearls are
particularly relevant today. Wise Americans should learn their value.
Aside
from having been a prolific contributor to the Federalist Papers,
Madison was a frequent speaker at the Constitutional
Convention
, held in Philadelphia between May and September, 1787. Madison
spoke from written notes, or extemporaneously, and his (and others’) remarks
were recorded in shorthand by a clerk reporter. As with Thomas Jefferson and
some other notable Founders, Madison was not the compelling orator as Patrick
Henry was. Often his remarks were inaudible, and the assembly of delegates and
reporters could not hear what he said.
 Speaking on the role of what would eventually
become the U.S. Supreme Court and its relationship with the two other branches
of the federal government, the executive and the legislative, Madison said:
In England…the Executive had an
absolute negative on the laws; and the supreme tribunal of Justice (the House
of Lords) formed one of the other branches of the Legislature. In short,
whether the object of the revisionary power to restrain the Legislature from
encroaching on the other coordinate Departments, or on the rights of the people
at large; or from passing laws unwise in their principle, or incorrect in their
form, the utility of annexing the wisdom and weight of the Judiciary to the
Executive seemed incontestable. (p. 95)
The
next day, June 7th, Madison spoke of the function and composition of
what would become the U.S. Senate, which was established primarily to act as a
brake on populist legislation arising in the House of Representatives, and
secondarily as a presence of the states’ legislatures, who elected each Senator:
The use of the Senate is to
consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system, and with more
wisdom, than the popular branch. Enlarge their number and you communicate the
vices which they are meant to correct.
The
function and character of the U.S. Senate were obliterated with passage of the 17th
Amendment
and its ratification by the states in 1913. The U.S. Senate was a
party to its own neutering. For all practical purposes – and given its conduct
in recent decades – the U.S. Senate became a legislative auxiliary of the
House, in effect enlarging the size of the House, and defeating the Senate’s fundamental
purposes. 1913
was a watershed year
in U.S. politics, with passage of the 16th
Amendment (the Income Tax Amendment), the establishing of the Federal Reserve
System, and ratification of the 17th Amendment.
Madison
and his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention could hardly have imagined that
129 years after the Constitution
was ratified
, it would be largely nullified by statist policies empowered
by a president, Woodrow Wilson, and his administration, and by Congress itself.
There
is a somewhat anemic movement reported in some blog sites to press Congress to
impeach Barack Obama. I think these will come to naught. However, Madison, on
July 20, 1787, was recorded by the clerk as saying:
Mr. Madison thought it indispensable
that some provision should be made for defending the Community against the
incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate [the President]. The
limitation of the period of his service, was not a sufficient security. He
might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his
administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression. He might even betray
his trust to foreign powers….(p. 128, square brackets mine)
These
words, excepting the provision for the incapacitation of the President, could
describe the candidacy for impeachment of virtually every president from FDR
onward. They especially apply to Barack Obama.
It could not be presumed that all
or even a majority of an Assembly would either lose their capacity for discharging,
or be bribed to betray, their trust. Besides the restraints of their personal
integrity and honor, the difficulty of acting in concert for purposes of corruption
was a security to the public. And if one or a few members only should be
seduced, the soundness of the remaining members, would maintain the integrity
and fidelity of the body. In the case of the Executive Magistracy which was to
be administered by a single man, loss of capacity or corruption was more within
the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the
Republic. (p. 128)
The
“restraints” of most members of Congress evaporated long ago. Few can
boast of any personal integrity or honor. There is no “security to the
public” left. Corruption and political ambition have been the rule, not
character or any regard for the enumerated powers of Congress cited in the
Constitution.
Madison
repeatedly, throughout all his writings, insisted that the form of government
Americans were adopting must be a republican
one, not a democratic one. A
republican government was better advantaged to protect individual rights, while
a democracy, regardless of the size of its population, was inherently prone to
degenerate into tyranny.
A common passion or interest
will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication
and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to
check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious
individual. Hence it is, that such democracies have ever been spectacles of
turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal
security, or the rights of property….Theoretic politicians, who have patronized
this species of government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind
to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time,
be perfectly equalized, and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions,
and their passions. (Federalist No.
10, p. 164)
Criticisms
of the republican form of government were heard from delegates to the
Convention and in the press of the time, that it had never been tried before,
and so would never work. Madison answered in Federalist No. 14, in November 1787:
Hearken not to the unnatural
voice which tells you that the people of America, knit together as they are by
so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as members of the same
family; can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness;
can no longer be fellow citizens of one great respectable and flourishing
empire. Hearken not to the voice which petulantly tells you that the form of
government recommended for your adoption is a novelty in the political world;
that it has never yet had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors;
that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to accomplish. (p. 172)
Later
in that same number, Madison pays tribute to the genius of the American people:
But why is the experiment of an
extended republic to be rejected merely because it may comprise what is new? Is
it not the glory of the people of America, that whilst they have paid a decent
regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not
suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule
the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation,
and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will
be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example of the numerous
innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favour of private rights and
public happiness….
Happily for America, happily we
trust for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They
accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society.
(p. 173)
Madison,
like many southern delegates to the Convention, was a Virginia slaveholder,
and, like Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and others from the region, opposed the
institution. But neither he nor they could conceive of a way to end slavery
without ruining themselves and precipitating economic and social chaos, and
even violent strife. It was proposed during the Convention that the
Constitution provide for abolishing slavery in the U.S. by 1808. The idea was
opposed inside and outside the Convention because it was perceived to be a
violation of property rights. In Federalist
No. 42, Madison wrote:
Attempts have been made to
pervert this clause into an objection against the constitution, by representing
it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another,
as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to
America. (p. 237)
Later,
Madison spoke before the Virginia Ratifying Convention on the Slave Trade
Clause, in June, 1788. He argued in vain for at least a federal or state tax on
the slaves brought to American shores, to make the trade economically
impractical, and for a total ban by 1808:
I should conceive this clause to
be impolitic, if it were one of those things which could be excluded without
encountering greater evils. The southern states would not have entered into the
union of America, without the temporary permission of that trade. And if they
were excluded from the union, the consequences might be dreadful to them and to
us….I need not expatiate on this subject. Great as the evil is, a dismemberment
of the union would be worse. (p. 391-392)
Like
Jefferson and others who recognized the evil of slavery and of regarding
enslaved men as “property,” Madison resigned himself to the reluctant
consolation that the moral conflict over slavery would need to be resolved by
another generation, and possibly violently, and not in his own time.
Citing
the great Enlightenment political philosopher, Baron Montesquieu, Madison,
in Federalist No. 47, reflected on
the separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of a
republican government:
The reasons on which Montesquieu
grounds his maxim are a further demonstration of his meaning. “When the
legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body,”
says he, “there can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical
manner.” Again, “Were the power of judging joined with the
legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary
control, for the judge would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the
executive power, the judge might behave with all the violence of an oppressor.” (pp. 275-276,
emphases Madison’s)
Madison
was initially ambivalent about a “bill of rights” that would better
protect the liberties of Americans. But he eventually warmed to the idea and
became one of its most articulate champions. In an October, 1788 letter to Jefferson
about what the Constitutional Convention had accomplished and the function of a
bill of rights that might be appended to it, in October, he noted:
…[T]here are many who think such
addition unnecessary, and not a few who think it misplaced in such a Constitution.
There is scarce any point on which the part in opposition  is so much divided as to its importance and
its propriety. My own opinion has always been in favor of a bill of rights;
provided it be so framed as not to imply powers not meant to be included in the
enumeration. At the same time I have never thought the omission a material defect….
Wherever the real power in a Government
lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments [the federal and
state governments] the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and
the invasion of private rights is chiefly
to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its
constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of
the major number of the constituents. (pp. 420-421, emphasis Madison’s, square
brackets mine)
Finally,
Madison realized that no government founded on and dedicated to the preservation
of freedom, could be made so tyranny-proof that it would automatically inhibit
the rise of tyranny and statism without the conscious, active intervention of
men of principle. The integrity of such a government depended wholly on the
moral rectitude of men charged with the functions of such a government, men
intransigently committed to the proper function and original purpose of such a government.
In Federalist No. 55, he warns:
As there is a degree of depravity
in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So
there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of
esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these
qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have
been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of
the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue
among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of
despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another. (pp.
319-320)
Obviously,
our current lawmakers and ambitious tyrants see Americans as wild beasts that must
be restrained by an incrementally imposed despotism. Our electorate has been
balkanized into numerous factions that wish to destroy and devour one another,
but that is the fault of Congress and every president, Congressman, think tank,
and advocacy group that preached victimhood and exemption from the rule of law
that was established in the Constitution.
Looking
at Madison, and recounting his pearls of wisdom, and remembering that men did
exist, though in dwindling numbers from 1788 on who upheld the principles which
animated the creation of the Constitution, one feels the sense that one is
immersed in a dream-like time of myth and legend.
But,
if Madison and the other Founders were the immaterial stuff of legend, if they
were truly figments of our imagination, as the swine-like nihilists and deconstructionists
claim, none of us would be here today.
*James
Madison: Writings
. Jack N. Rakove, Editor. New York: Library of
America, 1999. 966 pp.

Our Sociopathic Political Class


In
his March 10th FrontPage column, “Obama’s
Appeasement Leads to War
,” about how appeasing tyrants has and will
continue to lead to war and more international strife, Daniel Greenfield wrote:
On the shield of the Strategic
Air Command a steel mailed fist grips a lightning bolt and an olive branch. The
motto of the organization that was the nightmarish obsession of every Cold War
leftist was “Peace is our Profession.”
To the moviegoers who sat through
Dr. Strangelove, to the earnest leftists who saw the world going up in a puff
of atomic smoke because the military industrial complex was obsessed with
killing people, to the pseudo-idealists who passed on atomic secrets to Moscow
to avoid an American monopoly on the bomb, the SAC’s motto was a demented joke.
They knew that the only way to stop war was to disarm.
Coincidentally,
I watched “Dr. Strangelove:
Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
” the previous
evening on Netflix. The last time I saw it in its entirety was the year of its
release in1964, on Larson Air Force Base, 462nd Bomb Wing, in
Washington State. And I saw it under the most unusual circumstances.
I
was in the Air Police, charged with guarding the base and its B52 bombers, KC135
tankers, and U2 spy planes. Larson was also an ICBM base, but the silos had separate
security.  One evening, after a regular
8-hour shift on the flight line, I was one of about eight other air cops
selected to serve on a backup or reserve team. This meant that we could sack
out in the reserve team’s quarters, play cards, read a book, or indulge, as a
group, armed with our carbines and sidearms, in some other diversion.
On
my first night on the team it was decided to go to the base movie theater, to
which we were admitted free. “Dr. Strangelove” was playing. As we sat
in a back row behind the audience, the movie thoroughly confused me. My
colleagues thought it was hilarious, especially when the motto, “Peace is
Our Profession” was prominently juxtaposed with the noisy battle scenes
between Army troops and Air Force base policemen.
That
was my introduction to how the Left depicted the country and America. Director Stanley
Kubrick
, I learned later, was not so much a “leftist” as
disturbed, obsessed with madness and irony and what he perceived as the ignoble
baseness of man. But, that evening marked the beginning of an intellectual
journey to investigate and report on what was so wrong with the country that
its artists and novelists and filmmakers could so freely paint it in such
disparaging and malicious colors with impunity. Were these people sociopaths?
Or psychopaths? Was there a difference between the pathologies? Could an
ideology inculcate a destructive pathology in a person, or are the pathologically-inclined
inexorably drawn to a destructive ideology?
That
question arose again, with a different focus, when I read a comment
about Andrew Klavan’s March 5th review, “A New Thing on Netflix,”
of the second season of “House
of Cards
“:
Pa Deuce:  Fred Siegel has a new book out, “The
Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Undermined the Middle Class
,”
that addresses this very problem. Elitists cannot express their elitism by
repeating the same old things, such as the Constitution of the United States of
America has produced the greatest nation on earth. In order to say something
different and look smart, elitists take a leftward slant on everything. But the
Left has an uninterrupted record of destruction and death. To cover the
discrepancy, the Left lies about how bad the USA is and how good the noble
Marxists are.

Siegel’s book tells what happens when the elitists are in charge. My take is
that the Left is driven by mental disorders and displays the attributes of
clinical psychopaths: irresponsibility, pathological lying, parasitic
lifestyle, grandiose sense of self-worth, etc. Dr. Robert Hare has written
extensively on psychopaths. Now we have a Marxist psychopath in the White House
and he is as inefficient, incompetent, and corrupt as the Soviet Union.
Why
are so many politicians sociopaths? I make the completely arbitrary distinction
between a sociopath and a psychopath in terms of action: A psychopath is more
likely to act out his obsessions and manias aggressively and destructively. Sociopaths
can be said to be passive-aggressive, acting out their obsessions and manias
vicariously by proxy through government force.
In
vain I searched the Internet for a good article on the pathology of politicians
(never mind of Hollywood directors and producers). I found a few, but while
they made some insightful observations, a religious element in their analyses
and conclusions spoiled them. For example, Patriot Post’s “Pathology of the Left” of
February 2006, penned by Mark Alexander, noted:
Recently, the American
Psychological Association published a study by a few “academicians” from
Cal-Berkeley and the University of Maryland. The study, entitled “Political
Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” purported to have identified some
determinants that are common to those holding a “conservative” worldview….
The authors received more than
1.2 million of your hard-earned tax dollars from the National Institutes of
Health and the National Science Foundation in order to, by their own account,
“consider evidence for and against the hypotheses that political conservatism is
significantly associated with (1) mental rigidity and closed-mindedness; (2)
lowered self-esteem; (3) fear, anger, and aggression; (4) pessimism, disgust,
and contempt; (5) loss prevention; (6) fear of death; (7) threat arising from
social and economic deprivation; and (8) threat to the stability of the social
system.”
Alexander
writes that these symptoms are more correctly observable and attributable to
liberals and left-wingers than to conservatives. In practice these symptoms
manifest themselves in obvious ways:
Liberals are uniformly defined by
their hypocrisy and dissociation from reality. For example, the wealthiest U.S.
senators – Democrats – fancy themselves as defenders of the poor and advocate
the redistribution of wealth, but they hoard enormous wealth for themselves and
have never missed a meal. They have always been far more dedicated to their
country clubs than our country.
Liberals speak of unity, but they
seed foment, appealing to the worst in human nature by dividing Americans into
dependent constituencies. What constitutes these liberal constituencies? They
support freedom of thought, unless your thoughts don’t comport with theirs.
They feign tolerance while practicing intolerance. They resist open discussion
and debate of their views, yet seek to silence dissenters. They insist that
they care more about protecting habitat than those who hunt and fish, and
protest for the preservation of natural order while advocating homosexuality.
They denounce capital punishment for the most heinous of criminals, while
ardently supporting the killing of the most innocent among us – children prior
to birth. [This last “symptom” is where I part with religious
conservatives.] They loathe individual responsibility, and advocate for
statism. They eschew private initiative and enterprise while promoting all
manner of government control and regulation.
Alexander
offers an answer for the behavior of politicians and even for many in the news
media:
Medically speaking, there is a
diagnosis for Leftist over-achievers like Bill Clinton, Albert Gore, John
Kerry, Barack Obama, et al. They are pathological case studies of Narcissistic
Personality Disorder, as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders
– the standard reference used for psychiatric evaluation.
The diagnostic criteria for NPD
includes a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for
admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a
variety of contexts,” which manifests as “a grandiose sense of self-importance
(e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as
superior without commensurate achievements);” “a preoccupation with fantasies
of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; and a belief
that he or she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by, or should
associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions),” and the
subject “lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings
and needs of others…shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.”
It
was an admirable attempt in mental diagnosis, but the religious angle sinks it.
Two other sites, Activist
Teacher
and Fellowship
of the Mind
address the same issue but fail for the same reason. The second
site does include a chronological list of instances of political sociopathy in
and out of government, but it should be perused with reservations.
I
did find one (nameless) site
that broke down sociopathic and psychotic symptoms without interjecting
superfluous conclusions. Because liberal/left politicians and news media
personnel express their sociopathy publically but choose to have others do the
deeds they deign not to perform themselves (Hitler and Stalin, for example,
were sociopaths; the men who eagerly and without question carried out their
murderous orders were psychopaths), I think it would be fair to propose a test
to see if readers can identify one or more public figures in or out of
government who match these symptoms:
Glibness
and Superficial Charm
:
Barack Obama? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Hillary Clinton? Bill Clinton? Any TV
news anchor? Anyone else?
Manipulative
and Conning
: They never recognize the rights of others
and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be
charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as
merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Barack Obama? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Hillary Clinton? Bill Clinton? Any TV
news anchor? Jay Carney? Anyone else?
Grandiose
Sense of Self
: Feels entitled to certain things as
“their right.”
All of the above, in addition to careerists in the
welfare/dependency class?
Pathological
Lying
: Has no problem lying coolly and easily and
it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can
create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and
abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Democrats are progressively losing their credibility with the electorate, and I
don’t think anyone of them is shrewd enough to fool a lie detector test.
Knowing this, they would refuse to submit to one, which would be tantamount to
taking the Fifth.
Lack
of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
:
A deep seated rage, which is split off
and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but
only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and
accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they
let nothing stand in their way.
Obama’s book-length catalogue of lies?
Pelosi’s? Harry Reid’s?  Either of the
Clintons’? And etc.? Has anyone ever seen any one of them blush when caught in
a lie? No? Ever hear any one of them stammer in explanation? No? Well, maybe
Jay Carney, Obama’s newest press secretary and ventriloquist dummy. How many
politicians do you think really envy Frank Underwood, the chief villain of
“House of Cards,” without their having to abide by Constitutional
checks and balances, except when they can manipulate others and the rules to their
favor (and not have to commit homicides)?
Irresponsibility/Unreliability:
Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent
to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames
others, even for acts they obviously committed.
You can begin with Obama, and
work down your own list of candidates. First on the reader’s list should be
Barack Obama for Obamacare, which is wrecking countless lives and promises to
wreck countless more. After all, you can’t “transform” a country
without breaking a lot of eggs, spirits, bank accounts – and even heads.
Lack
of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle: Tends to move around a lot or makes
all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others
effectively.
Remind
you of anyone in particular? Golfing pictures? Flying off to his “main
turf,” Hawaii? Expensive holidays in exotic and expensive locales? Of
course, except for Hawaii, these symptoms also are evident in “all of the
above,” as well. Remember that the chief motive of a career politician in
today’s political environment is to keep reality at bay by faking reality for
himself and for others. And when the faked reality begins to crumble like a dry
cookie, his congenital response is to add another layer of faked reality over
the crumbling one. He can always depend on the cognitively-arrested and the
habitually delusional to buy the new faked reality and not notice the crumbs at
his feet. And in today’s political environment (which arguably could extend
back to the early 20th century), a “realistic life plan”
is one contrived to be a professional parasite, most especially in politics.
Yes,
there is a distinction to be made between sociopathology and psychopathology.
There may even be gradations of functioning amalgams of the two pathologies
which could be explored. But, to return to the questions posed above: Could an
ideology inculcate a destructive pathology in a person, or are the pathologically-inclined
inexorably drawn to a destructive ideology?
I
hypothesize that they are mutually attracted to each other, and integrally codependent.
The concocters of a destructive ideology, such as Islam, Communism, Socialism,
and Nazism, count on the ideology attracting the pathologically-inclined in
large enough numbers to make it a viable prospect and over whom to wield power.
And the pathologically-inclined must have some rationalized ethic, no matter
how primitive or complex, that will sanction their basic selflessness and
vitriolic envy of those who are happy and ask only that they be left alone to
live their lives. The pathologically-inclined are drawn to a destructive
ideology because they need someone to tell them what to think and do. Their faked reality is the faked reality
of their leaders and icons.
Without
the pathologically-inclined, a sociopath’s ideology is simply a wish for the
unrealistic and unattainable; without a destructive ideology, the
pathologically-inclined become self-aware flotsam and jetsam in “a world
they never made.” Many of the latter are driven by their self-made inner
demons to become psychopaths.
Others
enter politics and become members of a sociopathic political class.
The
leitmotif and core essence of either pathology is a deeply buried and
unacknowledged glop of evil.

Teaching for Indoctrination

There
is a blogsite called “Discover
the Networks
: A Guide to the Political Left,” which is a treasure
trove of well-written, well-thought out, and thoroughly documented essays on
various topics which anyone concerned with contemporary political and cultural
trends should read. One of the latest entries is an excellent précis on the
life of Yassir
Arafat
as the godfather of modern Islamic terrorism. Another eye-opening
column is The
Islamist Infiltration of the Obama Administration
, which exposes a roll
call of activist Muslims hand-picked by Barack Obama and his cronies. Throughout
each article are links to the writer’s “backup documentation” and
cited information. I highly recommend “Discover the Networks” as a
source of information and as an educational tool.
Most
of the pieces are updated versions of articles that appeared elsewhere. The
site is under the aegis of Freedom Center’s Neo-Conservative David Horowitz,
with whom I disagree on many subjects, not least of which was his disgraceful and
unapologetic treatment of Diana West and her book, American
Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character
last year (reviewed here),
and the attendant smear campaign against her, which he orchestrated and oversaw.
Because Neo-Cons are against socialism, communism, and other totalitarian
“isms,” but are for nothing but a vague status quo, I certainly
cannot endorse Horowitz and his colleagues, and this column should not be
interpreted as an unqualified endorsement of Horowitz et al. But Discover the Networks, insofar as it provides factual
ammunition about what the Left and Islamist activism have been up to for over a
generation, Discover the Networks (DTN) has an intrinsic value for anyone
wishing to grasp current political and cultural trends.
That
being said, another article captured my attention, dated February 26th,
Teaching
for Change
“” (TFC), which presents the history of an organization
committed to “transforming” America by “transforming” the
way Americans from kindergarten up through high school and college are taught
American history from a Marxist perspective, and of the methods and purposes of
socialist indoctrination in America’s schools. (Unfortunately, the links in the
DTN article have expired; the reader is directed to TFC’s new and revamped
site, here.)
Founded in 1990, Teaching for
Change (TFC) is an organization that seeks to turn K-12 schools into “centers
of justice where students learn to read, write, and change the world.”
Moreover, it aims to transform America into a more “equitable, multicultural
society” populated with “active global citizens.”
Toward these ends, TFC’s Early
Childhood Equity Initiative (ECEI) sponsors professional seminars designed “to
develop leaders in early childhood education,” both in metro DC and nationwide.
Proceeding from the premise that the United States is a country rife with
racism and discrimination against nonwhite minorities, this Initiative “embrace[s]“
an anti-racism/anti-oppression approach” that promotes “curricula,
environments, programs, policies and standards that are equitable,
culturally-responsive and linguistically consistent with the diverse communities
served by our profession.”
There
is a reverse parallel to be observed between Nazi educational ends and American
Leftist educational ends. The Nazis educated children to be unquestioning,
loyal, docile manqués who would believe anything the Party said and follow the
Party wherever they were led. Developing intellectual or critical skills was
either frowned upon or suppressed. All this was to ensure the “racial
purity” of the German race.
The
New Foundation website on Nazism and Hitler stated the means and ends of Nazi
education
:
There were three major aims of
the youth training program developed for the Hitler Youth: character building ,
physical training, and training in the National Socialist world-view.
Educational training for the first 5 years, 10-14, focused on the first two
objectives: character building and physical training .  At the age of 15
physical training and training in the National Socialist world-view were emphasized
(Childs, 1938, p. xix).   Each of the disciplines taught were given a
Nazi slant especially History and Biology.  “History was based on the
glory of Germany… Biology became a study of the different races to ‘prove’ that
the Nazi belief in racial superiority was a sound belief…” (Trueman, 2000,
para. 4).
There was also a “service or
community learning” component, the purpose of which was both practical, in that
it provided a source of cheap labor, and also ideological because it reinforced
socialist ideals. By being forced to mix with the less privileged sections of
the community, students would be reminded that they were all [national
comrades] together. “Service in the Hitler Youth is honorary service to the
German people… the true, great, practical school is… in the labor camp, for
here instruction and words cease and action begins” (Groban, 1990).
If the goal of education prior to
Hitler was to enrich the student personally, the goal after his rise to power
changed to one which focused on the preparation of the student for service to
the state. Education was used as a form of social selection by which only the
best racial participants would rise up and serve as the next generation of
German leaders. The child was something to be molded and was no longer a person
but rather an object whose purpose was to without question or hesitation accept
Nazi doctrine
The
American Left’s educational ends are also to produce unquestioning, loyal,
docile manqués of every conceivable race but white or Caucasian (including
Jews), who must take a backseat to all other races and ethnicities (as
punishment for being “dominant”). The emphasis on race is clear and
pointed.
Rejecting the notion that
foreign-born immigrants should subordinate their own cultural practices and
mores to those of the U.S., ECEI “promote[s] the principle of pluralism” which
“embrace[s] the uniqueness and value of all cultures” and “incorporate[s]” each
participant’s “native/home language into [the] curriculum.” The Initiative also
places emphasis on environmental concerns, urging “the use of recycled
materials” as one of numerous avenues toward the promotion of “social equity.”
Another
aspect of Nazi educational philosophy was to glorify German history and
culture, and to imbue German students with the will to defend and even die to
uphold German cultural and racial “superiority.” Teaching for Change,
however, reflects the Left’s nihilist, deconstructionist ends. The DTN paper
notes:
TFC also co-sponsors (with
Rethinking Schools) the Zinn Education
Project
, which incorporates into classroom curricula the writings of the
late historian Howard Zinn—especially his best-selling book A People’s History of the United States.
This Marxist tract describes America as a predatory and repressive capitalist
state that serves only the interests of wealthy white men who exploit workers,
American Indians, slaves, women, blacks, and populists.
From
the TFC site:
“The Zinn Education
Project
promotes and supports the use of A People’s History of the
United States 
and other people’s history materials in middle and high
school classrooms across the country. The Zinn Education Project is
a collaboration between Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change.
The goal is to introduce students
to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States
history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. The empowering
potential of studying U.S. history is often lost in a textbook-driven trivial
pursuit of names and dates.
Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States emphasizes
the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social
movements in shaping history. Students learn that history is made not by a few
heroic individuals, but instead by people’s choices and actions and therefore
students’ own choices and actions also matter.”
The
Nazi educational policy was to “unify” history by making Germany the fountainhead
of all Western progress, and by demoting other nations, such as Britain and
France, to subsidiary, dependent, almost parasitic roles. The American Left’s educational
policy is to disintegrate any kind of thematic impetus behind Western progress,
characterizing such progress as the fruits of oppression of ethnic, religious,
and other “minority” groups.  For
example, there is this interesting page on the TFC site, written by “Alison Kysia,” about “Challenging
White
Privilege
in Children’s Books”:
 As an educator and a parent, I need children’s
books that represent the diversity of my children, students, and our community.
This is easier said than done. Data collected by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center
indicates that from 2008-2012 only 10% of children’s books published were
about people of color
despite the fact that 37% of the U.S. population are
people of color. That means that 90% of all children’s book published in the
United States feature white characters or animals. This has to change.
The
Nazi educational philosophy was to stress German history and culture, and to instill
in German students a sense of German “superiority” in all matters. The
American Left’s educational philosophy, through such programs as “Common
Core,” is to denigrate American history and culture, rewrite it, revise
it, adulterate it, with the conscious purpose of turning American students
against their own country.
Bennett
Murray highlighted the Nazi educational policy in an article on Suite101:
To Hitler, intellectualism was
correlated with a lack of patriotism, racial mixing and, most ominously, Jewry.
Thus, the role of education would be not to encourage creative inquiry, which
leads to unpredictable results, but to mold the mind to unquestionably accept
the core tenets of Nazism as articles of faith.
Martin
Heidegger, the Nazis’ foremost intellectual proponent, was explicit about the
means and ends of education in the Nazi state:
The mentality of Nazi academia
can also be captured in the rector address of legendary philosopher (as well as
Nazi Party member) Martin Heidegger at the University of Freiburg, where he
lays out the students’ three obligations, both as members of the university and
as citizens of the Third Reich. “The first obligation is to the community of
the people,” he said, with the second obligation “to the honor and fate of the
nation in the midst of other peoples,” which primarily encompasses military
service.
The third obligation, which
Heidegger defined as “the spiritual mission of the German nation,” is the most
telling to where he placed the priorities of Nazi German academia. The causes
he listed for this obligation tend to reflect a thoroughly Nazi view of
Germany’s place in the world, with particular emphasis on the metaphysical
national “spirit” : “Our nation realizes its own fate by risking its history in
the arena of world power in which all human existence is affected and by
continually fighting for its own spiritual world.” Knowledge is essential to
fulfill this mission, but Heideggar explains that the servicing of knowledge by
the state is vital.“The professions create and administer that highest and most
essential knowledge of the nation concerned with its total existence,”
explained Heidegger. “But to us this knowledge is not a merely quietistic
cognizance of spirit and values itself, but an awareness of that greatest
danger for our own existence, posed by the superior powers of being.”
The
American Left’s program is similarly anti-mind, and anti-knowledge. It wishes
to bring about a “multicultural society” in which no culture is esteemed
more than another, that all cultures are equal, and all individuals, no matter
their intellectual abilities, are products of their “natural”
cultural heritage.
As
with the Left’s agenda, it was so with the Nazis. Murray writes:
This attitude [an animus towards
the individual] was common amongst German conservatives even before the rise of
the Third Reich, with former Freikorps member Ernst Von Salomon making a
similar argument in 1930: “The intellectual speaks and writes ‘I.’ He feels no
connectedness,” claimed Salomon. “He causes disintegration, the disintegration
of the mass of individual beings into the particularized individual beings, who
henceforth stands not under and not over the people, but at their side.”
Whereas individual intellects
were shunned, individual racial characteristics took the former’s place as the
predominant factor to be considered. For example, the 1941 admission
regulations to the Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Berlin contained extensive
racial requirements and national service requirements for prospective students,
but there is little mention of expected academic standards.This is primarily
because the Nazis converted the Nietzscheanübermenschfrom an intellectual idol
into a racial idol, and this was reflected in the schooling system.
Make
no mistake about it: squirming beneath the “multicultural” mask of
TCF is a racist agenda. It leaches like poisoned ground water up through cracks
in the cement. It manifests itself no matter how prettily the “social
justice” and “victimhood” tunes are played.
Capitalism,
of course, means freedom. TFC is as anti-capitalist and anti-freedom as was
Nazism. Another DTN paper, “Teaching
social justice, anti-Americanism, & Leftism in the K-12 Classroom
,”
explains:
In 2004, education researchers
David Steiner and Susan Rozen conducted a study on the syllabi of the basic
“foundations of education” and “methods” courses in 16 of the nation’s most
prestigious teacher-education schools. The mainstays of the foundations classes
were works by Paolo Freire, the Brazilian education theorist who is considered
the “father” of the “teaching for social justice” movement, and the
radical education writer Jonathan Kozol. For the methods courses, the leading
text was To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, authored by the former
Weather Underground terrorist and lifelong Marxist, Bill Ayers, Professor of
Education at the University of Illinois and perhaps the most influential
promoter of “social justice” education in American schools today.

When Ayers himself was a student at Columbia University’s Teachers College in
the 1980s, after coming up from the underground, he was deeply influenced by
Professor Maxine Greene, a leading light of the “critical pedagogy” movement.
Greene told Ayers and his fellow classmates that they could help change this
bleak landscape by developing a “transformative” vision of social justice and
democracy in their classrooms. Greene urged teachers not to mince words with
children about the evils of the existing social order. She said they should
portray homelessness, for instance, “as a consequence of the private dealings
of landlords, an arms buildup as a consequence of corporate decisions, [and]
racial exclusion as a consequence of a private property-holder’s choice.”

This message resonated strongly with Ayers, who had already failed in his
effort to transform America through violent revolution. He went on to earn a
Ph.D. in education and became a Distinguished Professor of Education and a
Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The
federal government is now embedded not only in the nation’s public schools, but
sets the standards for what its bureaucrats and fellow-travelers in the
education field wish to impose on the whole country. This is most notably
represented by “Common Core.”
The federal government bribed many states to adopt Common Core, according to
the New York Times, in a contest to see which state would best implement the
program and get a piece of that $4 billion in school improvement funds. In its July
21st, 2010 article, “Many States
Adopt National Standards for their Schools
,” Tamar Lewin wrote:
Less than two months after the
nation’s governors and state school chiefs released their final recommendations
for national education standards, 27 states have adopted them and about a dozen
more are expected to do so in the next two weeks….
The quick adoption of common
standards for what students should learn in English and math each year from
kindergarten through high school is attributable in part to the Obama
administration’s Race to the Top competition. States that adopt the standards
by Aug. 2 win points in the competition for a share of the $3.4 billion to be
awarded in September.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Arne Duncan, the secretary of
education. “This has been the third rail of education, and the fact that you’re
now seeing half the nation decide that it’s the right thing to do is a
game-changer.”
Who
is Arne Duncan? Obama’s Secretary of Education. This is the guy who targeted
white
suburban moms
” for opposing Common Core, Duncan’s personal project to
bring all American children under the federal government’s thumb.
One
solution to Common Core and the state mandating “standards” of
education is to get the government out of education. We are already saddled
with semi-literate students from K-12, many of the older ones, with stars in
their eyes and echo chambers for minds, old enough to have voted for Obama. Getting
the government out of education will help arrest our progress towards
totalitarianism.
For
a dramatization of what such an “education” can do to young people,
see director Thomas Carter’s “Swing Kids.”

Being Beastly to the Germans

I
was going to open this column with remarks on the plight of the German Romeike
family, who in 2008 fled Germany to the U.S. to escape the prohibition there
against homeschooling and the severe penalties, such as harsh financial fines
and the removal of children from their homes, for not obeying the state.
But,
unexpectedly, and for unknown reasons, the Department
of Homeland Security
called the organization representing the Romeike
family, the Home School Legal Defense Association, and said the Romeikes had
been granted permanent asylum status and would not be deported back to Germany.
World
War II has been over nearly seventy years, but apparently Germany still has a
Nazi law on the books that requires German parents to send their children to
state schools. In Germany, your children are not your own, neither to teach nor
to claim. They are the state’s. You, the parents, are mere stewards of your children,
and if they are not raised to be good, docile citizens, they will be reclaimed
by the state and removed from your deleterious influence.
Among
other blogs, the Free Republic
reported the astounding and unexpected news:
“Today, a Supervisor with
the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform
us that the Romeike family has been granted “indefinite deferred status”. This
means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they
are convicted of a crime, etc.) “This is an incredible victory that can
only be credited to our Almighty God.
“We also want to thank those
of who spoke up on this issue–including that long ago White House petition. We
believe that the public outcry made this possible while God delivered the
victory.
Up
until yesterday, the issue has been reported in one fundamentally wrong way:
that the Romeikes were escaping from “religious persecution.” Todd Starnes
of Fox News, for example, feared the worst for the Romeike family after the
Supreme Court refused to listen to their appeal, which would have resulted in almost
instant deportation of the family back to Germany. On March 3rd, in
his article, “Team Obama wins fight to have Christian home-school family
deported,” he wrote:
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to
the United States in 2008 seeking political asylum. They fled their German
homeland in the face of religious persecution for homeschooling their children.
They wanted to live in a country
where they could raise their children in accordance with their Christian
beliefs.
The Romeikes were initially given
asylum, but the Obama administration objected – claiming that German laws that
outlaw homeschooling do not constitute persecution.“The goal in Germany is for
an open, pluralistic society,” the Justice Department wrote in a legal brief
last year. “Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop
the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court
declined to hear the Romeike’s appeal – paving the way for the Christian family
of eight to be deported.
Why
didn’t the Justice Department call with the good news, instead of the DHS? What
was the motive behind the reversal? That remains unknown, but very likely it
was the “negative” publicity of a callous, behemoth government
picking on a single family. The federal government isn’t scoring high in the
likeability polls, lately.
The
issue is not one of mere religious persecution. Certainly the German law
accomplishes that, but isn’t it more than just “religious”
persecution? It’s more than that. It is the negating of one’s convictions,
religious or not, by fiat law backed by government force.
Fundamentally,
the Romeike family fled to the U.S. to escape ideological persecution. That
their reasons were religious are secondary.
As
for the Justice Department’s reasons, that smacks of what could be called
“legal tourism,” that is, respecting an irrational, oppressive law
simply because it is “foreign,” and also because the Obama
administration is friendly to all sorts of oppressive foreign law. It has
nothing to say about the “home-schooling” of the children of Muslim
parents to become unassimilated Americans, whose fealty is pledged first to Islamic
religion and ideology, and not to the country they were brought to or born in. And
don’t get me started on the children
of Mexicans
who prefer to fly the Mexican flag over the American and harass
anyone in public schools out West caught wearing
an American flag
shirt. Our government sides with those invaders, as well. Neither
the Mexicans nor the Muslims face deportation for “home-schooling”
their children. Only European whites.
Starnes
in his Fox News article noted:
There are nearly 12 million
illegal immigrants living the United States. You’d think the Obama
administration could find a place [for] eight immigrants who want to live here
legally.
[Michael] Farris [chairman of the
Home School organization] said the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the
case sends a chilling message to Americans who currently home school their
children. “The administration thinks it’s a privilege to home school – not
a right. We’d better buckle down and be ready to fight them every step of the
way.”
 If the government thinks home-schooling is a
parental privilege, and not a right, then it will work to withdraw that
privilege for the “common good.” Here is arch-liberal MSNBC hostess
Melissa Harris-Perry on the government’s official position on education, as
reported by the Daily
Caller
on April 8th, 2013:
“We have never invested as much
in public education as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a
private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility.
We haven’t had a very collective notion of ‘These are our children.’ So part of
it is, we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to
their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong
to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the
household’s, then we start making better investments.”

A “kind of private notion of children”?  One that needs to be “broken
through”? Calling home-schooling a “privilege” helps to break
down that notion. After all, parents had little to do with having children.
They didn’t “build them,” the “community” or the government
did by providing roads, jobs, government schools, and beds on which the parents
might conceive children. It’s all so simple, you see.
Police
State USA had an interesting account of another German couple who did not have
a chance to flee Germany over the home-schooling issue. Its September 28th
2013 article, “SWAT-style
raid on German homeschool family
is a reminder of why the Romeikes deserve
U.S. asylum”:
In the early morning hours of
August 29, 2013, a team of at least 20 German state officials, including social
workers, police officers, and special agents descended upon the home of Dirk
and Petra Wunderlich to remove by force their 4 children (ages 7-14) in
Darmstadt, Germany.
The SWAT-style raid was conducted
on the family’s residence because of the Wunderlich’s (pronounced
“VOON-der-lish”) continued homeschooling of their children in violation of the
German ban on the practice of educating one’s own children in accordance with
religious beliefs and beyond the influence of the state-sanctioned curriculum.
The Home School Legal Defense
Association (HSLDA) obtained and translated the court documents that authorized
this use of force to seize the children. They found that the only legal grounds
for removal was the children’s lack of school attendance. The court papers did
not allege abuse or neglect. Nor were the Wunderlichs charged with failing to
provide an adequate education. The law ignores the educational progress of the child;
attendance—and not learning—is the object of the German law. Authorities even
took the children’s passports, making it impossible for the family to escape….
So,
if you’re a parent and raise a child to excel in virtually every subject,
surpassing all the poor clods in the state schools, it doesn’t matter. You must
obey. We will have discipline! Under the threat of further force and never
seeing their children again, the Wunderlichs caved.
As of September 19, the
Wunderlich children have finally been reunited with their parents after
being stolen from them during the raid on their peaceful village
home. German officials ended the three week separation following a court
hearing in which the Wunderlich parents were compelled to promise that they
would send their children back to a state school.
According to HSLDA Chairman
Michael Farris, “When the parents told the authorities that they would send
their kids back to school during the raid, they were told it was too late. What
we’ve seen today is a reversal in the German courts caused by the mounting
international pressure from human rights advocates.”
It’s
interesting to read the stand of the German Federal Constitutional Court’s on
private education when it ruled against another home-schooling family in 2003:
“The
general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of
religiously or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in
integrating minorities in this area.”
Attorney
General Eric Holder, certainly no paragon of freedom of thought, action, or of
anything else, sided with German law and not American law. Notes Police State
USA:
Likewise, in the case of Uwe and
Hannelore Romeike, the Obama Justice Department argued to deny asylum based on
the belief that governments may force parents to send their children to state-sanctioned schools. By siding with the
Germany, Attorney General Eric Holder is endorsing the German government’s
policy in defense of compulsory schooling defined in Art. 6 § 2 as follows:
The care and upbringing of
children is the natural right of parents and a duty primarily incumbent upon
them. The State shall watch over them in the performance of this duty.
And
Art. 7 § 1 adds
:
The entire school system shall be
under the supervision of the state.
Well,
is home-schooling a natural right, or something like a “free cell
phone” from Obama? Is it a right defended by the 14th
Amendment, or a privilege dispensed by the state? Have individuals the right to
choose what their children will learn, or does the state have a
“right” to decide the curricula to make your children better citizens
and better prepared to serve the state and the community? The catch here is
that the state has no such right – only the power to compel through force.
Why
are the German and American governments so opposed to home-schooling, or any
kind of private education? Why has the Department of Justice, and, indeed, the
Obama administration, taken the side of fascism? It’s an easy question to
answer: Power.
The
Federalist had an interesting essay by Jayme Metzgar, “Home Schooling in
Germany and the Future of Freedom
,” on September 18th,
while the Romeike family was awaiting their fate at the hands of a hostile
American government
….Totalitarian dictators
throughout the past century have fully grasped the importance of indoctrinating
children to ensure their dogma takes root. They have also understood that in
order to do this, they must drive a wedge in the relationship between parent
and child.
Adolf Hitler, who instituted the
Hitler Youth in 1926 and made it compulsory for German children a decade later,
explained this strategy: “When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to
your side,’ I say calmly, ‘Your child belongs to us already. What are you? You
will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short
time they will know nothing but this new community’.”
However,
Metzgar adds immediately after that:
However, contemporary German
leaders and liberal American elites ought to be well-aware that robust parental
rights have historically been an invaluable bulwark against totalitarianism.
This is especially true of the parental right to direct the education of one’s
own child.
Perhaps
Metzgar overlooks the fact that the American “elite” – in government,
in academia, in kindergarten through graduate school, the whole
liberal/left/Marxist establishment – wants
totalitarianism to govern the country.
Remember
Elian Gonzales, the six-year-old Cuban boy who in April 2000 was taken from his
relatives in Florida and handed back to Castro’s Communist prison? That
disgraceful event may serve as a concrete symbol of what our government wishes
to do over the long-term to all American children. How else to explain “Common
Core
“?
In
December 2013 the Daily
Mail
reported on what happened to Elian, who is now twenty years old and
thoroughly indoctrinated:
‘Fidel Castro for me is like a
father,’ Gonzalez said in the recent interview. ‘I don’t profess to have any
religion but if I did my God would be Fidel Castro. He is like a ship that knew
to take his crew on the right path.’

In an interview with the Cuban weekly Girón published on the cubadebate.cu
website, Elian, said his experience in Miami when he was six ‘charged me for
life.’ Speaking in his native Spanish, he said his basic rights as a child —
‘the right to be with my father, the right to maintain my nationality and
remain in my cultural context’ — were violated in the United States.
Those days were very sad for me,
which marked me for life’, González said Monday. ‘It never gave me the chance
to think of my mother, who died at sea as a result of the Cuban Adjustment
Act,’ he said, referring to the 1966 U.S. law that allows any Cuban who reaches
the U. S. by any means to be paroled and given residency.
Havana has called the law
‘murderous’ and blamed it for encouraging Cubans to board rickety boats to
cross the Florida Straits in the hopes of reaching the U.S. González said he
“suffered the consequences of the act.’ But he emphasized that “our struggle is
not against the American people; it is against their government.’ He said.
‘From the moment Americans knew of my case, they took to the streets to call
for me to be sent back to my country.’

That’s what our government and the German government wish American and German
children to grow up to be: thoroughly brainwashed ventriloquist dummies
spouting love for the state that reared and educated them.
Our
government was willing to hand Elian over to Castro’s tyranny. When will
American parents stop handing their children over to the brainwashers in
American public schools? When will they stop being beastly to their own
children?

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