The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: July 2015 Page 1 of 2

Where Have All the Action Heroes Gone?

They aren’t much allowed anymore, neither on the
pages of contemporary fiction nor in modern movies or on TV, not unless they’re
latent homosexuals, confused about gender, tolerant of gays, lesbians and
Muslims,  anti-gun, anti-violence, and worried
about global warming.  Also, they don’t much
smoke, don’t drink, aren’t “sexist,” try to keep their “microaggressions” to a
minimum, know they must be non-patriarchal and non-patronizing to women and
minorities, and they drive fuel efficient and environmentally friendly cars.
They have become, as Chess Hanrahan calls them in Honors
Due
, “social workers with guns,” armed also with a clown’s trick flower
to squirt into your face.  They’re little
else but a corrupt, nihilistic culture’s court jesters.
Give them a serious moment or two, but always
follow it up with laughter and humor at the hero’s expense, or at the expense
of the story. Don’t let the public walk out of a theatre feeling uplifted and
invincible, or let them turn off a TV without the uneasy feeling that they’re
fools and that they shouldn’t take it seriously.
The action or thriller heroes of yesterday – yestercentury?
– are persona non grata. They’re not
politically correct by any stretch of the definition, because they pre-date the
term and the mentality that has succumbed to the practice.
Novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand had more than a few
words on the subject of thrillers. She was an avid fan of them on TV. I think
her favorite series were Perry Mason (with
Raymond Burr, a kind of courtroom thriller) and Charlie’s Angels. She wrote in her essay, “Bootleg Romanticism,”
in January 1965:   
“Thrillers”
are detective, spy or adventure stories. Their basic characteristic is conflict,
which means: a clash of goals, which means: purposeful action in pursuit of values.
Thrillers are the product, the popular offshoot, of the Romantic school
of art that sees man, not as a helpless pawn of fate, but as a being who
possesses volition, whose life is directed by his own value-choices.
Romanticism is a value-oriented, morality-centered movement: its material is
not journalistic minutiae, but the abstract, the essential, the universal
principles of man’s nature—and its basic literary commandment is to portray man
“as he might be and ought to be.”
Thrillers
are a simplified, elementary version of Romantic literature. They are not
concerned with a delineation of values, but, taking certain fundamental values
for granted, they are concerned with only one aspect of a moral being’s
existence: the battle of good against evil in terms of purposeful action—a
dramatized abstraction of the basic pattern of: choice, goal, conflict, danger,
struggle, victory.
Thrillers
are the kindergarten arithmetic, of which the higher mathematics is the
greatest novels of world literature. Thrillers deal only with the skeleton—the
plot structure—to which serious Romantic literature adds the flesh, the blood,
the mind. The plots in the novels of Victor Hugo or Dostoevsky are pure
thriller-plots, unequaled and unsurpassed by the writers of
thrillers. . . .
Thrillers
are the last refuge of the qualities that have vanished from modern literature:
life, color, imagination; they are like a mirror still holding a distant
reflection of man.
In that same essay, she had no kind words for the
producers and directors who spit in the public’s face by turning popular
thriller TV series and movies into vehicles for their hatred of heroic values.
Each of the series discussed here suffered that same fate.
While Dr. No, when it debuted in
1962, knocked the movie-going public flat, there was a lot in it that didn’t
quite resonate with me. I had read Ian Flemiing’s novel, and while I concede
that the film of it was a spectacular event even by the standards of the time,
I didn’t particularly care for certain elements in it, such as how Bond
disposed of Dr. No, the villain. In the novel, he is buried in a pile of guano
dust. In the movie, he’s boiled alive in a bubbling nuclear bath.
All the Fleming Bond novels are producible as they
were written, even the short stories. It is an indication of the producers’ and
directors’ malign view of the public that while they based their productions on
Fleming’s novels and even just took a title (A Quantum of Solace,
a short story) and made “Bond” movie of it, 
they made all the subsequent Bond movies gimmick-and-gadgetry laden
jokes.
The actors who played Bond, aside from Connery, are
Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Daniel Craig, and George Lazenby (once, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,
1969). None of them held a candle to Connery. They lacked the confident panache
that was exclusively Connery’s. The unfortunate thing is that after Dr. No, the Connery Bond movies grew imbecilic
and less enthralling. The tongue-in-cheek undertone in Dr. No became more and more apparent as the producers and directors
stuck out their tongues at the public.  “Let’s give the fools some heroics with lots
of sex and pointless action, that’ll keep them happy and we’ll make lots of
money.”
But, making lots of money has never been the secret
desire of such esthetic saboteurs. Rather, It has been to kill Romanticism and
to kill the best in men.
Post-Connery, perhaps the only memorable facets of
the movies are many of the theme songs.
The low point in the whole series was when the
pipe-smoking “M,”
of the Royal Navy, Bond’s boss at MI6 or the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service),
was replaced by a bitchy Judi Dench. But I had long stopped watching the Bond
films.
Patrick McGoohan as John Drake in Secret Agent/Danger Man
was arguably brighter than Connery’s Bond, but no less ruthless, lethal and
indefatigable in his pursuit of villains. Urbane, articulate, a good dresser
without being ostentatious or bogusly showy (as most of the post-Connery Bonds
were), and possessed of an intelligence one can see at work in his expressions,
John Drake was my favorite TV man of action.
That persona
was automatically carried over into McGoohan’s subsequent hit series, The Prisoner, when a
nameless British secret agent resigns, is kidnapped and taken to “The Village,”
where he is given a name, “No. 6.,” although McGoohan and the show’s producers
deny that it was supposed to be John Drake. The series was intriguing and
ingenious in many respects as one watched No. 6 outwit his captors and his attempts
to escape. It was only in the last few of the seventeen episodes that the story
began to fall apart and ended bizarrely and  inconclusively.
The opening credits of The Prisoner by Ron Grainer however, married
to their story-telling visuals, are fabulous, as they serve to suggest how
every hero ought to be introduced, as he ought
to be introduced.
My next favorite TV action series was The Avengers,
with Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg. This was the second and best version of the
series; the first version with MacNee and Honor Blackman was never aired in the
U.S. not to my knowledge. It was witty, often humorous without being
self-deprecatory, and I developed a lasting crush on Diana Rigg, the svelte and
swift Mrs. Emma Peel.  The badinage
between Macnee as John Steed, the nattily dressed secret agent armed with a
bowler and an umbrella that wasn’t much used to deflect rain, and Mrs. Peel was
entertaining as they foiled the plots of various wacky and deranged villains.
The production in the U.S. of such series was
largely disappointing. The filming of several of Donald Hamilton’s engrossing Matt Helm novels did not
even bother introducing the hero straight up; it starred Dean Martin and was a
farce from first film to the last. Gimmicks and gadgetry and snorts full of
laughter.
There are a few other TV series and movies that I
could discuss here – and I may make them a subject in a future column – but I think
I’ve made my point.
Today’s “heroes” aren’t heroes at all. They’re
creatures of neurosis and victimhood or they’re so bland that one wonders why
their creators thought they deserved to have any serious conflicts.
They’ve been emasculated of any integrity moral
certainty or certitude. Their values are commonplace if not bizarre. They are
basically helpless existential eunuchs, incapable of idealism, powerless to
pursue values, or corrupted by institutionalized pragmatism. They are what the
killers of man’s spirit wish their victims to become.  
It’s that, or they’re “super heroes” with mystical
or extraordinary powers based on comic book characters, often burdened with the
same internal doubts and ethical conflicts as the more “realistic,”
Naturalistic ones.
Now, when I was very young I was a devotee of the Mighty Mouse
cartoons on TV, and also of Superman with George
Reeves. But as I grew into adolescence and adulthood, my stock of knowledge
also grew, as did my need for more “realistic” heroes and heroines. This is not
to say that Superman and Mighty Mouse declined as values; they
were replaced with heroes who were fundamentally linked to my struggles and
existence in the real world.
So I discovered Cyrano de Bergerac, and Howard Roark,
and John Galt. And a handful of others.
The extraordinary powers of Batman, Superman,
Wonder Woman et al. cannot help
anyone pass moral judgments on Barack Obama or even understand how one has been
abused by the esthetic pedophiles in today’s cultural establishment.  
My own philosophy of literature from the first
novel I ever wrote – in case anyone familiar with my work has had any doubts about
its purpose – can be paraphrased in Bond’s words to Professor Dent in Dr. No:
“That’s
Bootleg Romanticism and grungy Naturalism, and you’ve had your six.”

Generation “I” – For Idiot

A little past midway through the second
season of House of Cards
, Episode 1, Chapter 14, Frank Underwood, ambitious
politician and murderer, throws Zoe Barnes, the sluttish, amoral reporter who
helped him move closer to the Vice Presidency and finally the Presidency with
her stories calculated to smear or destroy his rivals, not so much under the
bus, as under an incoming DC Metro train. He does this just after persuading
her to erase all evidence of contact with him from her iPhone. Barnes was also
Underwood’s sometime mistress.
Earlier in the series, he tells a co-conspirator,
Remy Danton, a former employee and now a weight-throwing lobbyist for an “evil”
natural gas giant, that he disposes of people he is finished using if they
threaten his climb up the political “food chain.” A while later, Freddy, the
ribs specialist, tells him that his new ribs supplier uses what I recognized
from his disapproving description of it as a version of the Muslim halal way of killing animals – letting
them bleed to death first – instead of killing them quickly and cleanly. Freddy’s
new supplier instead shoves a pipe down a pig’s throat.
“The
humane way to do it is to make it quick. Bring out a bucket of slop like it’s
feedin’ time, then Bam! Shovel right to the base of the head. No screamin’.”
This gives Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey,
an idea of how to immediately and permanently dispose of Zoe Barnes, who now
poses a threat to his plans to occupy the Oval Office. This harks back to the
very first observation Underwood makes in his debut scene in the series, when
he breaks the neck of a dog that has been hit by a car (he pretends to its
owners that the car killed it).
There are two kinds of
pain
. The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain. The sort of
pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.”
The “bucket of slop” for Barnes is Underwood’s promise
of a renewed alliance with him. It is the trap Underwood sets for the reporter,
whom he suspects is also secretly working to expose him as the murderer of
Peter Russo, a Congressman Underwood was manipulating but lost control of.
That is more or less how Obama, the Democrats, and
even the Republicans, dispose of their various electorates and voting blocs. In
spite of all the free cellphones and ObamaCare and other collectivist social
legislation engineered or endorsed by Obama and Pelosi and Harry Reid and their
ilk,  they never really had their
itinerant “constituents” best (or worst) interests in mind. They’ll deliver
less than promised or nothing at all. And yet, like village idiots – idiots
bred and raised in Hillary’s
village
– those constituents remain loyal and clueless.
Jonathan Henderson, in his July 25th Politchicks
article, “America’s
Hippies Sired a Posterity of Idiots
,” lamented:
More
than a quarter-century since the fall of the Berlin Wall, any hope for a
hundred flowers to bloom now reek of Mao Zedong’s deathly stench akin to
China’s Cultural Revolution. Not one lesson was learned, except a far worse
account of rehashed “-isms” which include communism, National Socialism, the
Islamic
world’s final push for a global caliphate and corporatism.
Now,
the cultural decay sees my former students believing Babe Ruth broke the color
barrier in baseball while other have never heard of the Beatles. But when one
student in a U.S. History course did not know Barack Obama was president of the
United States, the great fear I prayed would never arise was confirmed when the
blissfully-ignorant, doomed kid immediately returned to his iPhone.
Yes.
America truly has raised a generation of idiots. Technology finally surpassed
mankind’s common sense.
Technological advances are supposed to be
labor-saving in nature. They were never intended to preempt the necessity of
mental labor, of thought, of cogitation. Common sense? It isn’t as common as
one might imagine. It never was. Common sense is for the thoughtful. If one
doesn’t wish to think, then one hasn’t any common sense, one has nothing in
common with those who do think.
“Generation ‘I,’ or those who were born and raised
a little before or after Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a
Village:  And Other Lessons Children
Teach Us
was published in 1996, is now in college, and, if not in
college or in college on its parents’ debt-accruing dime, its members :
Join Code Pink.
Join BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction),
an anti-Israeli movement. Enlist in some pro-Palestinian
group. Adopts the Arafat-inspired keffiyah as
the scarf de rigor for identifying
oneself as a pro-Islam, pro-Palestine, or Left Wing idiot. It joins OWS (Occupy Wall Street). They bewail their
“white privilege” but join rioters and looters in places like Ferguson,
Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland, and hope they’re not mistaken for a
patronizing liberal “honky.” Or join or donate to a “gay
rights
” group.
They sign campus-circulated petitions that endorse
Identity
Politics
” to enforce political correctness on faculty and student body
alike, and in addition join demonstrations and sign petitions in favor of
“diversity” on campus and everywhere.
Or, they convert to Islam,
as many of their notable ancestors converted.  
On the conversion issue, one Christian site, CBN,
offers a credible reason why so
many Americans
(and other Westerners)
find conversion to Islam so attractive:
This
is the fact that Islam offers a conversion experience and the opportunity to
get one’s life in order, without needing to confess one’s sins and need of
salvation. In fact, Islam makes quite a point of denying these truths. It tells
people they do not need salvation; all they need is to follow the
“guidance” of God’s law, and they will make it to heaven. That is
something the natural man likes to hear.
In short: No mental labor is necessary to convert. Or,
if one has actually achieved something in life, no further thought is
necessary. Only a will to believe and submit is required. It is a wish to
become an anonymous maquette, or be
one with the Islamic Borg (aka, the Umma). 
It gives them “inner peace and contentment” – the kind one associates
with the comatose, the inebriated,  or
the dead. Allah will decide if you’ve been naughty or nice. Your “salvation”
will depend on his mood and what side of the bed he gets up on that morning.
You are not to question what kind of Islamic justice he or his jihadis dole out to you or to infidels.  Allah can be “merciful.” He can be
“compassionate.” But more often than not he’s a raving, sadistic lunatic.
As for the non-converts, the best of them – the
ones who have actually read a book or used Wikipedia to research their
sociology or political science majors – are the ones who also make a piece of
trash like John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of
Dunces
first a cult classic, then a Pulitzer Prize winner, and then a
best seller. Allah and PEN and the post-modern culture favor the dunce cap
idiot.
We haven’t seen anything yet in the way of
inculcated and habitual cluelessness. Wait until the prepubescent and
adolescent victims of Common
Core
move on to college. By that time texting in Pidgin English will be
treated as a second language.
Obama wants to flood the country with illegals and
Muslims as punishment for the country for being “too white” or
“civilized” and governed by the rule of law. He more or less wants to
sic the barbarians and criminals on us and call it “social justice.”
Who will be deaf to that demonstrable policy? The
useful idiots who voted for him, continue to support him, are always ready with
a cheer for him, and who appear to be inoculated by their education against the
teeniest virus of reason.
Daniel Greenfield, in his Sultan Knish column of
July 26th, “Pay
$27 to Discover the Joys of Post-Capitalism
,” cited the ravings of a
Guardian columnist, Paul
Mason
, who claimed that computers were causing the slow death of capitalism
(where or when has it ever existed not crippled by some level of government
intervention?) and the rise of the post-capitalist man and economy.
Mason wrote:
As
with the end of feudalism 500 years ago, capitalism’s replacement by
postcapitalism will be accelerated by external shocks and shaped by the
emergence of a new kind of human being. And it has started.
Greenfield exclaimed: “A new kind of human being!”
I might have replied: Or the resurrected “Soviet man”? He quotes from Mason’s
article:

In Greece, when a grassroots NGO mapped the country’s food co-ops, alternative
producers, parallel currencies and local exchange systems they found more than
70 substantive projects and hundreds of smaller initiatives ranging from squats
to carpools to free kindergartens. To mainstream economics such things seem
barely to qualify as economic activity – but that’s the point. They exist
because they trade, however haltingly and inefficiently, in the currency of
postcapitalism: free time, networked activity and free stuff. It seems a meager
and unofficial and even dangerous thing from which to craft an entire
alternative to a global system, but so did money and credit in the age of
Edward III.”
[Greenfield]  It’s not an alternative to a global system.
It’s a failed society in which there is no longer an efficient means of
obtaining services and achieving full value for time spent. Even an idiot would
understand this. A leftist would not.
Well, maybe not idiots. Idiots are not capable of
grasping concepts. Leftists would refuse to understand it. The approach of
reason and reality would in the typical leftist trigger alarms and klaxons for
them to blank out, duck, and cover their ears.
I left this comment on Greenfield’s oft-ironic
rejoinders to Mason’s I-am-your-prophet assertions of his own version of the
dialectical process:
“There’s
no new kind of human being. Like Marx, there’s just an old kind of
huckster.” Well, perhaps one might include as a new kind of human being
all the iPhone, texting, selfie-obsessed idiots who are the grand kids of the
Woodstock and Haight-Ashbury generation. They’ve been properly indoctrinated in
our high schools and universities and are ready for that kind of world. That’s
the “new kind of human being” – semi-literate enough to
“text,” all-knowing that the world and the universe can only be found
in an iPhone and not even on Wikipedia, and narcissistic “to the max,
man.” Just like Obama at a public event. He must take that selfie with the good-looking Scandinavian chick
sitting next to him at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Self-centered, not reality
centered.
And oblivious to reality. To truth. To reason. And
indifferent to his oblivion.
Some time ago I watched a series of Jay Leno-type
“man on the street” or “man on campus” question-and-answer videos. Most of the
people interviewed were under thirty, or were students. Most of them displayed
an appalling and frightening level of 
ignorance, such as thinking or “knowing” that Martin Luther King, Jr.,
was killed during the Civil War and that Canada was once one of the American
states before it seceded.   The take-home-your-prize answer to the
fellow’s one question, “When was the Bill of Rights ratified?” was, “I didn’t
know they have microwaves back then.” Back when? I didn’t matter when. That
answer, as I recall, was delivered with a dead pan expression of sincerity.
Which is usually the mark of an idiot out to sea
without so much as a paddle. The “new human being.” A citizen of the New World
Order, the Land of Idiots, in which the one-eyed halfwit is king.

The Moderate Muslim Moonie II

When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way!
From your first cigarette to your last dyn’ day!*
(from the “Jet Song,” West Side Story)
When you’re a Muslim, you’re a Muslim all the way, from
your first shahada
to your last dying day?

The
average Muslim is a maquette who is comfortable
with a group
identity
and is  unwilling or unable to venture beyond
the group,
either
from fear of retribution or from just plain mental inertia.

Not necessarily.  Islam hasn’t such a strong death grip on the
minds of most Muslims that it can’t be broken, provided one exercises a little
thought and courage. There are numerous ex-Muslims – unfortunately, only a
comparative handful out of the reported 1.3 billion – who have renounced Islam, repudiated it, abandoned it, and left the
beard-and-burqa fold as apostates for other faiths and even to become atheists.
These are individuals whose faculty of reason was never completely crushed or
voluntarily surrendered by them to the toxic mare’s nest of Islamic theology
and ethics. They have independent minds that have freed them to live life
unburdened by fear of a vengeful ghost and the hard looks of neighboring
Muslims.
It is the premise of this writer that Islam is evil
– evil in its beginnings, evil in practice, evil in its epistemology and
metaphysics, evil in its ethics. Islam is a nihilist, anti-life system, heads
and tails, obverse or reverse, its politics and its religion. I’ve discussed
this numerous times, for example, here,
here,
and here.

The urge to “belong” to “something greater” – Iranian
Shi’ite Muslims hold a mass Moonie-style wedding

 Imitation
is the sincerest form of flattery.

Now, if one were able to explain that in the
simplest terms to your average Muslim, who would be armed only with a bag of halal groceries or a laundry basket
instead of a gun or a machete, what do you think his response would be? A
shutdown. An evasion. A practiced blank-out. A resentment for being put on the
spot to defend his religion, which he knows he couldn’t do except by reciting
some Koranic verse or referring to an Islamic authority. Perhaps he would let
his emotions take over and assault you.
Perhaps he would go MSM on you and reply, “Your
freedom of speech doesn’t extend to insulting my beliefs or hurting my feelings.”
Hugh Kenrick, in Sparrowhawk:
Book Two
, confronted with similar mentalities in Britain’s 18th century
aristocracy, composed a doggerel about them, which he called the “Bilbury
Lament”: “Blink, blink. It’s such a chore to think!”
So, you shouldn’t hold your breath for a series of questions
or snappy rejoinders or even a string of expletives. Your eloquence would be
answered by fear and evasion or the parroting of some “Islam is a religion of
peace” line.
The warp and woof of Islam World are clueless
because they’ve been taught not to think. Not to be receptive to reason. To
reject reason as an enemy of Islam. They’ve been told that reason is infidel
sophistry or Satan’s tool to lead the faithful and the believers astray into
apostasy and sin, and against Allah’s will. They won’t question the “received
wisdom” of Mohammad.
However, not wanting to think, or not being able to
because rank-and-file Muslims are largely lobotomized maquettes, doesn’t let them off the hook. The onus of rebuttal is
still over them. That they can’t or won’t bother to think is no excuse.
“There are no evil thoughts except one: the refusal to think,” noted
novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand.  Since any
given Muslim is a mystic, she had further words about mystics:
Mysticism is the
claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means
of knowledge, such as “instinct,” “intuition,” “revelation,” or any form of
“just knowing.”
They “just know” because the Koran told them so, just as their religious opposites and enemies, fundamentalist
Christians, say that “the
Bible tells them so
.”
Your average Muslim, regardless of his trade or
profession, if he were honest and not afraid to confess his dependency on the
group, would say something like this:
“My identity isn’t self-made. I have no identity
that is not linked to the group. I have no first-hand values. All my values are
second-hand. Values are for the group to establish. My values are established
by my brothers in spirit, who are also second-handers. I am but an empty vessel
to be filled by others.  I have a need to
belong to something greater than me. By myself, I am nothing. With my brothers,
I am all. I don’t want the responsibility for living for my own sake. I live
only to serve Allah, and the Prophet Mohammad is my model.”
Jihadis,
however – whether they belong to ISIS or the Taliban or Al-Qaeda – know their creed is evil. They know they themselves are evil. They are
the practicing nihilists who act to destroy the good for being the good. Else
why would they flaunt their atrocities in graphic videos and photographs? They
are not mere sociopaths. A virtuous man would not make a show of his virtue,
except incidentally and not consciously. He doesn’t need to prove the efficacy
of his virtue to anyone. This knowledge is also held by so-called “lone wolves”
like Muhammad
Youssef Abdulazeez
, the Muslim who killed four Marines and a Navy sailor
last week.
But it is the killer Muslims who need to prove the
efficacy of their evil by broadcasting their atrocities to as wide an audience
as possible, especially to those whom they wish to rape, maim, slaughter, or
exterminate. They disguise their evil with quotations from the Koran and other
Islam texts, and boast of being virtuous Muslims who are only following the teachings
of Mohammad and enacting Allah’s will on earth. They want to show the living
what is in store for everyone else. As their victims loved life, the
jihadis love death
. Not just their own deaths, but ours. The death of the
Western, civilized world.
Demonstrating their skill and capacity to destroy
is the only form of efficacy they can manage. It isn’t by performing “good
works” by feeding the poor or fighting disease. ISIS is not the Peace Corps. It
exists to destroy, not to teach irrigation techniques to backward tribes or how
toothless hags can weave a better basket using green energy.  The ranks of ISIS are moved by the death wish
of killer. They wish to die but want to make sure they take us with them.
Frankly, I think the whole “martyrdom” meme that permeates Islam isn’t believed
by most jihadis. I don’t think many
of them actually buy the “All martyrs go to Paradise” line, either.
They want to die. But they don’t want you to live,
either.
To paraphrase another West Side Story lyric: “Down
deep inside, we’re
 no good
! No earthly good! The best of
us is no damn good!”
It’s a gang, like the Jets, or the Sharks. It’s a
fraternity of nihilists. They have a compelling need to belong to something
literally “greater than themselves.”
Militarily, ISIS can be defeated, by sending every
last “Jet” to his last dyin’ day.

The Moderate Muslim Moonie

Reading Robert Spencer’s PJ Media article of July
1th, “Chattanooga
Shooter Marinated in Self-Pity Over ‘Islamophobia,’
” and Pamela Geller’s
Atlas Shrugs article, “Chattanooga
Jihadi’s Anti-American Diary: Wanted to be a Suicide Martyr for Islam
” of
July 20th, I was struck by the similarities between the empty vessel that was Muhammad
Youssef Abdulazeez and the average Moonie.
What is a Moonie?


Mohammad: “Upon this rock I will bang
my head.”


A Moonie is a member of the Unification
Church of the United States
, a religious or cult-like movement that was
imported to the U.S. from South Korea by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012).
Here is some background
on Moon and his religion.
When
he was 15 years old [in 1935], at Easter, he believes that Jesus Christ
appeared to him in a vision, charging him with the responsibility of completing
the work in the world that Jesus had started. During his adult life he has had
trouble with legal authorities, having been arrested for practicing capitalism
(a crime in North Korea), charged (but not convicted) in South Korea of other
activities, and convicted of tax evasion in the United States. During 1948, the
Presbyterian Church of Korea felt that his views were incompatible with
traditional Christianity; they excommunicated him. 
If you thought Islam had a bizarre and utterly
irrational set of tenets, try on the Unification Church’s for size.
While many of the
beliefs of the Unification Church are identical to those of other conservative
Christian groups, there are some major differences:
They view God as a
single being with “perfect intellect,
emotion and will
.” They reject the traditional Christian concept of the
Trinity. God contains within himself positive (male) and negative (female)
aspects, which are in perfect harmony with each other.

This is basically Islam’s Allah but without the transgendering.
The Moonie God can also know everything, and be able to do anything, any time. It’s
the old omniscience vs. omnipotence card trick. However, I don’t recall in my
Islamic readings that Allah was said to possess an intellect, perfect or
imperfect. After all, if you can know everything, and do anything, at any time,
you really don’t need an intellect, do you? That is, you don’t need to think.
You don’t need to posit an argument for why everyone should bow and scrape to
you. You just say, “Fear me, or else you’ burn in hell forever and ever. Fear
me, and obey me, and I’ll reward you with 72 raisins and all the Kickapoo juice
you want forever and ever.”

The
Holy Spirit is the feminine counterpart to God. She is not a person, but is a
form of energy that is derived from God.
In Christianity the Holy Ghost is represented by a
white dove. Which is just a glorified pigeon.
There’s some folderol about Eve first having an
affair with Lucifer, and then a roll in the hay with Adam – before they were
even married! Both episodes with the skank Eve contributed to the physical and
spiritual fall of mankind.  The
Unification Church puts much stress on celibacy until the marrying age. Teenage
sex is a non-no.
There are other bizarre tenets, but the chief one
is that Jesus was executed before he could complete his work and before he got
married. When he returns at the End of Days, he will reign over an earth that
is Paradise and he will marry.
God’s
original intent was for Jesus Christ to form a perfect marriage in order to
redeem humanity, and undo the harm perpetrated by Adam and Eve. Since Jesus was
executed before accomplishing his mission, it will be up to a third Adam in the
present day to form this perfect marriage and complete Jesus’ task.
Like Islam, sex and women have important roles in Moonie-ism.
Women are still second-class citizens in Moonie-ism, but they aren’t the
natural subjects of beatings, rape, polygamy, and the whole “walk behind me”
tradition to be found in Islam. Also, in Moonie-ism female garb isn’t
prescribed. Bikinis may be optional.
Finally, the Unification Church has its own version
of the Thirteenth Imam, the one who’s supposed to herald the End of Days and
send everyone rushing to queue up for a trip to Paradise or Hell.
They
believe that the third Adam was born in Korea between 1917 and 1930. (The first
Adam was the individual described in Genesis; the second Adam is Jesus). The
third Adam will be recognized as the second coming of Christ, the perfect man.
He will marry the perfect woman, and will become the “true spiritual
parents of humankind”
. Many members of the Unification Church regard
Rev. Moon and his second (and current) wife Hak Ja Han as these parents.
This puts Moon in the running as being Moonie-ism’s
own “prophet Mohammad,” as well. I have no idea whom the Moonies regard now as
the Third Adam since the original Moon died from pneumonia in 2012. The thrust
of this column is that, like Islam, Moonie-ism requires a certain degree of
selflessness in an individual to join the movement, together with a level of gullibility
that hovers near clinically defined imbecility.
One chief difference between Moonie-ism and Islam is
that most Muslims are born into their religious environment and so their minds
are “captured” by the ideology before they can even begin to think about whether
or not it makes any sense. Still, they choose to remain “captured.” Being born
into an insane religion and ideology and not thinking about it doesn’t let the average,
Friday-go-to-prayers Muslim and convenience store operator off the hook for
passively accepting the same ideology in whose name his more obsessed and activist
brothers kill and destroy. “Moderate” Muslims come a dime a dozen. But then so
did “moderate” Nazis and “moderate” Communists and “moderate” Shintoists All
three of the latter creeds produced brutal armies of adherents.
The Moonies have not. Muslims can coast along
quietly in their creed and make a show of clucking their tongues publicly at
the depredations of their rampaging religious brethren. Moonies can also stand
at the sidelines when the latest child abuse scandal brings down some Catholic
clerics.
But they don’t form armies or wear suicide vests or
march on cities or villages or invade editorial offices and slaughter the
staff.
Most Moonies, however, choose to become Moonies. They’re
not mentally enfeebled. Dysfunctional in terms of their epistemology and
metaphysics, yes. They make that choice in their teens or early adulthood after
living in the real world and perhaps even after having attained a level of
financial success (the Rev. Moon required converts to sign over their wealth to
him or to the church.) Converting to Moonie-ism required an abject surrender of
one’s self and one’s livelihood. They
are looking for something “greater” than themselves (thanks to the ubiquitous
morality of altruism in the culture) to “belong” to.
More importantly for Moonies is the desire to
belong to a religion that is basically counter-culture.
They convince themselves that all the established churches (and perhaps even
Judaism) are weak institutions corrupted by the hand of Satan. The Moonie wants
to believe he “belongs” to a purer manifestation of Christ’s teachings. That makes
him exceptional. It gives him a sense of self, counterfeit though it may be. And
he’s not supposed to feel proud about it. Pride is not a virtue in Moonie-ism
just as it isn’t in Islam, except if you’ve beheaded an infidel or raped a Yazidi.
One can almost forgive Muslims for being what they
are, abject servants of Allah’s will. Muslims are taught to be selfless from
day one. Moonies, thinking they’re not altruistic enough, want to be more
selfless than they already may be. Muslims are taught from childhood on that they
are nothing here on earth but instruments of Allah’s grand plan. Selflessness and
service to the Umma (the global Muslim “community”) is a core virtue.
I think many Americans who today convert to Islam
would have converted to the Unification Church in its heyday. As with Islam,
Moonie-ism doesn’t require much thought to be devout and staying the righteous
path to God’s or Allah’s good graces. All it requires is an unquestioning
capacity for belief in any old wives’ tale or Tales from the Crypt or the
benevolent episodes from the riotous life of Mohammad, together with a  companion capacity for unreserved obedience.
Moonies have been known to be de-programmed and
released from captivity from Moonie-ism. De-programmers intervene and bring
them to their senses. As Steven
Hassan
, a former leader in the Unification Church said in a Guardian
article – and this substantiates the charge that Moonie-ism required individuals
to become committed and selfless:
Within
three months I was a cult leader. I got very deeply involved, and I got to
the point where I was being told to think about what country I wanted to run
when we took over the world.
I
was with the Moonies for two-and-a-half years. I worked 21 hours a day,
seven days a week – in prayer for between one and three hours. Then I would
spend the rest of the day doing PR or lectures for the group, recruiting and
fundraising. Everyone on my team was told they had to raise a minimum of $100 a
day, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to sleep, and as a good leader, if they
couldn’t sleep, then I couldn’t either. When I crashed a van into the back of a
tractor trailer, I had gone three days without sleep.
Hassan said in his Guardian article that “people
don’t knowingly join cults.” Oh, but they do, if the cult fits their particular
brand of selflessness.
The only means of salvation of a Moonie must be
initiated by parents, relatives or friends. It means sessions of
de-programming. Randall Watters
has some interesting information on how to rescue a Moonie from the clutches of
the Unification Church.

Can Muslims be de-programmed? Not in the usual
sense. Many of the most outspoken critics of Islam have been ex-Muslims:  Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Walid Shoebat, Bosch Fawstin,
Salman Rushdie, and dozens of others.
But such de-programming has been largely self-initiated when an individual allows
his rationality to delve into the “mysteries” and “internal contradictions” of Islam.
His rational faculties were not so much corroded by mysticism as crippled. Being
merely crippled, the individual was able to get back up on his feet and take
action.
But your average, non-thinking Muslim has been
psychologically immunized against reason. He has zero tolerance for it and doesn’t
even know it.  The irrational, he’s been
told by Islam, is in the natural order of things. If Allah isn’t merciful or
allows awful things to happen, that’s in the way of his “grand plan” which is
incomprehensible to mere mortals burdened with reason and the evidence of their
senses. Christian apologists also cite a similar indemnification and disclaimer
for God when it comes to explaining tidal waves that wipe out thousands,
erupting volcanoes that wipe out whole towns, and ISIS wiping out whole towns
of Christians in the Middle East.
Islam and Moonie-ism have no use for a complete
man, only for human maquettes
like Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

Amazon’s Alleged Censorship

This is a crisis that came and went in a wink
within twenty-four hours. If you blinked, you missed it.
On July 19th Daniel Greenfield on FrontPage ran a
story about Amazon wanting an author to remove his book from its sales platform,
with its cover featuring the Confederate battle flag, “I
never thought any of my books would be on the banned book list
.” Michael
Dreese has written several books about the Civil War, and especially about the
Battle of Gettysburg, apparently from both sides of that watershed conflict.
The book, This
Flag Never Goes Down: 40 Stories of Confederate Battle Flags and Color-Bearers
at Gettysburg
, published by Thomas Publications in 2004, has been up on
the Amazon platform for at least eleven years. 
It has an Amazon best-seller ranking, as of this writing, of 17,006.
Now, I have very, very few bones to pick with
Daniel Greenfield. In this instance, I think he erred on the side of enthusiasm
in his article. It looked like “censorship.” He jumped the gun. He is probably
about as ambivalent about the Confederate battle flag as I am about it and also
the Roman Eagle
carried by Rome’s armies. They’re old symbols and their time and governments
are long past. He wrote:
Amazon
and Wal-Mart are really providing a master class in why monopolies are so
dangerous. And Amazon, with its ruthless grip over book sales, has now moved on
to overt censorship.
This
latest target was a book by Civil War author Michael Dreese. Dreese has written
a number of books, including two about battle flags.
The one about Union battle flags is titled, “Never Desert the Flag”.
The one about Confederate flags is titled, “This Flag Never Goes
Down.”
Amazon,
which still sells Hitler’s Mein Kampf, decided
to ban the second book
Amazon also sells the Koran
and The
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
and Houston
Chamberlain
’s books on race and many other books one might be curious about
from an academic standpoint.
Greenfield originally called Amazon’s action as an
instance of censorship, and many of his readers concluded or agreed that it was
one. He has since updated his column and removed the statement:
“Amazon,
with its ruthless grip over book sales, has now moved on to overt
censorship.”
He has also announced that the book has been
restored to the Amazon sales platform. 
“UPDATE:
In response to the protests, Amazon appears to have un-banned the book.”
HIs main source is a story by Channel 16 (Scranton-Wilkes-
Barre, Pennsylvania), “Local
Author Gets Book Pulled From Amazon
,” dated July 17th, by Nikki Krize.
Recently Dreese got an email from Amazon
regarding his book “This Flag Never Goes Down.” The book is about the
Confederate battle flag. Amazon asked Dreese to take down the listing.
“It was kind of surprising at first. Being a
nonfiction historical writer, I never thought any of my books would be on the
banned book list,” Dreese said.
Dreese says he decided not to take action
right away, but two days later, Amazon made the decision for him.
And many of the readers of the Channel 16 piece
also came to the conclusion that this was Amazon imposing censorship.
However, Dreese’s book can still be found here.
It would be interesting to know what exactly the email to Dreese said, and if
in it Amazon threatened to remove the book if he didn’t. In any event, the
crisis is past and the book can still be bought on Amazon. It would also be
interesting to know what Amazon’s key objection was to the book: Was it just
the cover, or did it object to the contents? If to the contents, there are a
zillion books on Amazon that contain stories about or are diaries of American
Revolutionaries and also British soldiers serving in the rebellious colonies.
If it was just the Confederate battle flag, then we may as well ban books with
covers that feature the old British
Union Jack
.
My original comment upon reading Greenfield’s
article was:
This
revelation about Amazon is an eye-opener. However, for those writers who don’t
fit the contemporary literary mold, Amazon is virtually the only means to see
one’s books published. The alternative is Barnes & Noble. The literary
establishment shuts out writers who offend it. I asked PEN a few weeks ago why
it didn’t recognize “self-published” authors and their books (which
they call Amazon authors). PEN, with its hundreds of authors and books the
reading public has largely never even heard of, represents the literary
establishment….
But on second thought, I added another comment:
“Amazon,
with its ruthless grip over book sales, has now moved on to overt
censorship.”
Technically,
this is NOT censorship, overt or otherwise. Censorship requires government force
or authority on or over private communications of any kind. The Amazon sales
platform is a form of communication, and Amazon owns it. I do agree that
Amazon’s request that Dreese remove his book for Amazon’s listings is an
instance of political correctness and I shall write Amazon about how stupid it
is. But, as the government did not force Amazon to carry any of Dreese’s
titles, the government has not forced it to remove Dreese’s Confederate battle
flag book. That was Amazon’s own short-sighted decision.
I
would like to see the text of the email Amazon sent Dreese asking him to take
down his book. So, another question is: If Dreese doesn’t voluntarily take down
that title, will Amazon remove it nonetheless? Or will it allow it to continue
being listed? You know, there are so many titles on Amazon that are far more
objectionable than a book about the Confederate battle flag. I mean, how many
titles feature a cover emblazoned with the Nazi swastika?

Doesn’t that symbol raise the hackles of millions? Should its use be banned by
Amazon, or by the government? Or at all? By whom? Should we pretend that the
Confederate flag never existed, and that the Confederates used the gay rainbow
flag as a rallying point on the battlefield? But, again, I must stress that
Amazon’s puerile decision was not an
instance of censorship. 
What defines censorship is government force. That
is the chief topic of this column. Say what you will about Amazon and its
market share and its aggressive policies to capture as much of the book market
as possible, it is still a private company and it may carry or not carry books
as it pleases for whatever reason it chooses, wise or not. Amazon does not
possess the power of the government to literally prohibit people from reading
books, or suppressing a book to keep it out of mind and out of circulation.
I don’t know, as Mr. Greenfield observes, that
Amazon is losing money or is in other respects underhanded in its business and
author dealings. Amazon may be susceptible to political correctness, of bending
under the winds of hysteria – the whole Confederate flag issue is a case in
point – but it is still a private concern. It might even be guilty, as many
major American corporations are – and Mr. Greenfield has written thousands of
words on that subject, as well – of siding with the statists and wannabe Big
Brothers and roots for a fascist economy that would give them a corner on their
goods or services.
Some of America’s most notable icons were
anti-Semites, such as Henry Ford, or were pro-Nazi Germany, as Charles
Lindbergh.  But we don’t stop buying Ford
cars or marveling at Lindbergh’s solo crossing of the Atlantic in a flimsy
“aeropplane.” It’s not their character flaws we’re buying.
Major
companies
in Nazi
Germany
and Imperial Japan helped to sustain those dictatorships. Mitsubishi
recently apologized
to former American POWs for using them as forced labor.
(Mitsubishi also made Japanese warplanes, such as the Zero, and battleships,
submarines, and other naval craft).  From
all the information available to me, it seems that Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder
and current head, favors
Democrats
, although he is known to have donated to Republican PACs. He and
his wife were behind a gay marriage referendum in Washington State, which
passed.
One can accuse Amazon, or even Bezos, of a number
of dubious or wicked things, but neither Amazon nor Bezos can practice
censorship. Amazon is not armed and so can’t point a gun at customers’ heads
and force them to buy online. It doesn’t have a Gestapo that goes from house to
house arresting and imprisoning people who patronize Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or independent
bookstores.
Only a government, with the power to initiate force
on its citizens, can do those things. Private monopolies cannot force people to
buy its products. Major American companies that were accused of monopolization
of oil products and other products lost their edge when they took their
customers for granted and began “price gouging.” Newcomers came on the scene
and took a lot of their business away.
I don’t think Amazon can even be accused of “crony
capitalism,” that is, it isn’t being subsidized by Federal (i.e., taxpayer)
dollars. If it were, it would fail.
 The most
interesting episode of Amazon’s putative quest to monopolize the whole American
book market has been its ongoing conflict with the Hachette Book Group.
I have read a number of articles about the conflict, and the upshot is that the
Hatchette Group assumes it has a right
to be on Amazon’s sales platform, and not be subjected to book order delays to
customers and pricing prejudice.
The LA Times ran a story on August 12th, 2014, on
the nuts and bolts of the contentious relationship between Amazon and Hachette,
Amazon
and Hachette: The dispute in 13 easy steps.
How is Amazon bullying Hachette?
Amazon
is subjecting many books from Hachette to artificial purchase delays. Books
that had been available for next-day delivery now take 2-5 weeks to ship. Some
titles don’t surface in search as they should. And upcoming Hachette books,
including the next J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith mystery “The
Silkworm,” are no longer available for pre-order. As a result, Hachette
will sell fewer books.
This is perceived by many short-sighted authors as
either censorship or hovering close to censorship. They have a “right” to have
their titles sold on Amazon’s platform, even though Hatchette has its own online
book
purchasing and marketing platform. The dispute is basically over
e-book pricing. Most of the authors who have signed a New York Times letter
against Amazon are published by Amazon’s Kindle e-book program. So, what’s
their beef?
But, wait. There’s another culprit in the barroom
fight: the Federal government. The LA Times reveals:
In
the Apple e-book case brought by the Department of Justice, publishers were
accused of colluding over e-book prices; all settled. The judge’s final order
in the case, issued in 2013, laid out a schedule for the various publishers
involved to renegotiate e-book prices with retailers, Apple and Amazon both. Hachette
is up first
.
So, it’s government intervention and anti-trust law
that created the dispute. Who are the authors published by Hachette?
James
Patterson, David Foster Wallace, David Sedaris, Janet Fitch, Michael Connelly,
Sherman Alexie, Scott Turow, Malcolm Gladwell, Mitch Albom, Iain Banks, Emma
Donoghue, Robin Roberts, Brad Meltzer, Mariano Rivera, Marcia Clark, David
Baldacci, Jeffrey Deaver, Robert Galbraith (pen name of J.K. Rowling) and many,
many more.
In short, members of the current literary
establishment, most of whose names I don’t even recognize.  I’m not a part of that establishment. I’m an
outlier author. But I sell well.
On the other hand, Britain’s The Guardian ran a
story on August 8th, 2014, “Bestselling
authors take out full-page New York Times ad against Amazon
” (at a cost of $104,000).
The
extraordinary move is the latest salvo in a battle over terms which has seen Amazon delay delivery and remove the possibility of pre-orders on
a swathe of books by Hachette authors, including JK Rowling and James
Patterson. The online leviathan Amazon says it is attempting to “lower
ebook prices”; publishing conglomerate Hachette argues that it is seeking
“terms that value appropriately for the years ahead the author’s unique
role in creating books, and the publisher’s role in editing, marketing, and
distributing them”.
But let’s take a look at the letter or petition
that was published in the New York Times.
Authors
have moved to take sides in the debate, with the bestselling writer Douglas
Preston collecting over 900
signatures to a letter
– the text of which is due to appear in Sunday’s
advertisement – calling on readers to contact Amazon’s Jeff Bezos “and
tell him what you think” about the situation.
“As
writers – most of us not published by Hachette – we feel strongly that no
bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage
customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for
Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for
selective retaliation. Moreover, by inconveniencing and misleading its own
customers with unfair pricing and delayed delivery, Amazon is contradicting its
own written promise to be ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company’,” write
the authors, who include Stephen King, Donna Tartt, Paul Auster, Barbara
Kingsolver and a host of other well-known names.
Briefly, the signers of the letter wish to use Amazon’s
soapbox on any terms, and Amazon may not establish its own terms for their use
of the soapbox. The letter charges Amazon with:
…Amazon
has directly targeted Hachette’s authors in an effort to force their publisher
to agree to its terms. For the past several months, Amazon has been:
Boycotting
Hachette authors
, by refusing to accept pre-orders on Hachette authors’
books and eBooks, claiming they are “unavailable.”
Refusing
to discount
the prices of many of Hachette authors’ books.
Slowing
the delivery
of thousands of Hachette authors’ books to Amazon customers,
indicating that delivery will take as long as several weeks on most titles.
–Suggesting
on some Hachette authors’ pages that readers might prefer a book from a
non-Hachette author instead.
Excuse me if I seem to be blind, but I fail to see
any evidence of Amazon wielding a gun or a nightstick in any of those
practices.
One thing I have observed in my writing career is
that most writers consider themselves a special class or breed of people who
deserve special consideration and deferential treatment by publishers and other
middlemen in the book trade, failing to appreciate – but relying on the
fact   — that their books are commercial
commodities, like any other. They pose as being above “money grubbing” but
depend on commercial contracts and economics for their royalties and, for some
of them – the most commercially successful – for their sumptuous livelihoods.
In short, they don’t regard the relationship
between a writer and his reader as a trade.  Perish the thought!  And they carelessly bandy about the term censorship the first time someone says
no, not grasping its full meaning and implications.
There is a big difference between Michael Dreese’s
book being banished from the Amazon sales platform and censorship. Amazon was
not “censoring” his book. It was tantamount to a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses
geeks showing up at my front door and my telling them to go away and to never darken
my doorstep again. That is not censorship. That is putting out the unwelcome
mat.
However, if the government prohibited door-to-door proselytizing
by the Witnesses or Mormons or even by Muslims (as long as they weren’t carrying
machetes or guns) under penalty of fines and/or imprisonment, that would be censorship.
It’s a fairly simple concept to grasp. Censorship
implies and means force. Government force.

Review: Ideal – The Novel and The Play

I am taking a break from writing about all the
rotten news, such as the murder
of Kate
Steinle
and the jihadist attack on the Marines
in Chattanooga
. To preserve my own sanity occasionally I need to write
about something that it is a pleasure to write about. So, please, do not
mistake my silence on these events as my indifference or having nothing to say about
them.
I left this customer review on Amazon Books for Ayn
Rand’s Ideal – The
Novel and The Play
:
This
is a fascinating double bill – a novel coupled with the later play version of
the novel.  And a compelling novel it is.
Having read the play Ideal many
times, I was familiar with the plot and the characters. Reading a stage play,
however, isn’t as rewarding as reading a novel of the play; concretes are
absent and the dialogue may be dry and abstract. The next best thing is to see
a staging of the play. But as a novelist I can “fill in the blanks” that
usually exist in the script of a stage play. The novel Ideal does that job for me. The novel creates a broader context and
offers more than enough details about reach of the characters and their unique
circumstances and contexts.
This
as a consequence makes re-reading the play all that more rewarding. We get to
see what she intended in the play.  It is
also fascinating to see in so many scenes in the novel rough premonitions of
events that will ultimately reappear in other forms and contexts in The Fountainhead. I would even go so far
as to say that the Johnnie Dawes’ spartan garret anticipates John Galt’s austere
room in Atlas Shrugged, as well as
the riveting drama that occurs in it. In his two Introductions – one for the
novel and one for the play – Leonard Peikoff offers salient insights into Ayn
Rand’s thinking and her literary style. For anyone wishing to see how the mind
of a great writer works, this is the book to read.
Concretes are absent in a playscript, which would make
reading one for most people an arid, unrewarding chore. A novel, however, must
supply vivid enough descriptions of characters and scenes for a reader to be
able to concretize them in his mind. And the reader must have a capacity for
imagination to make the task rewarding. Many people have an arrested capacity,
or lack one altogether, which is why they might rely on what Leonard Peikoff
refers to as percepts to derive any
value from a dramatized version of a playscript or a novel.
So, it’s a double-edged sword in terms of answering
the question of which form is more desirable for a reader and that conforms to
an author’s purposes: a novel or a play. Years ago I wrote a play called First Prize, which I later turned into a
novel.
The playscript is locked away in a Dramatists Guild safe deposit box in New York
City; I don’t even have a copy of it in my “trunk.” The play bears little
resemblance to the published novel, in terms of characterization, plot and
action. I know that the play version dissatisfied me because of the paucity of
scope and the amount of information I wished to convey. I don’t think now that
the play version would even lend itself to a worthy dramatization on stage or
in a movie.
Ideal, both
the novel and the play, is about Kay Gonda, a famous actress whose spiritual
presence on screen affects millions, regardless of the quality of the movies
she appears in. but while her screen presence inspires others, she is in search
of that quality in others, in terms of what Ayn Rand called “emotional fuel.”  
In his Introduction to the novel, Peikoff writes about
Rand’s decision:
Why
did AR turn Ideal into a play? She
never spoke to me about this but, to the best of my knowledge, the basic answer
lies in the epistemological difference between the two literary forms. A novel
uses concepts and only concepts to present its events, characters, and
universe. A play (or a movie) uses concepts and
percepts; the latter are the audience’s observations of the physical actors,
their movements, their speeches, et al.
As
an example, take novels made into movies, even if faithfully adapted. In the
novel, the experience is complete simply through reading; now and then you may
wish to see a character or event, but the desire is peripheral and transient. In
the movie – while some form of dialogue, a conceptual element, is indispensable
– seeing and continuing to see are required by the essence of the medium. You can
be absorbed in a novel and wonder idly what a given scene would look like; but
you do not watch the scene on-screen and wonder what it would read like.
This is generally true for most readers and
movie-goers. However, some of my favorite movies have caused me to search for
the novels on which they were based. The novels have invariably been
disappointing. For example, A.E.W. Mason’s The
Four Feathers
(1902), while a competently written story, was one of the
dullest reads I have ever had, while the 1939 Alexander
Korda version
of the story is exciting and compelling. And, it is true; I could
never imagine how the best scenes in the film would read.    
Rand wrote the screenplay
for Christopher Massie’s 1944 novel Love
Letters
. The novel
is a disaster and ends malevolently. There is virtually no reference to the
novel to be found anywhere. Massie was noted for his horror stories, and that
would explain the character and ending of the novel. (Information on Massie
himself is scarce.) In an August 1945 letter to Gerald Loeb, a fan and correspondent
of hers, Rand explained why she worked on Love
Letters
.
….The
truth about Love Letters, as I see it, is this: it is essentially a very
silly and meaningless story — by the mere fact that it revolves around so
unnatural a thing as somebody’s amnesia. No, it has no moral lesson to teach,
nor any kind of lesson whatever. So, if you look at it from the standpoint of
content — it has none. But it has one valuable point as a story — a dramatic
situation involving a conflict. This permits the creation of suspense. If the
basic premise — amnesia — doesn’t interest you, then of course the rest of
the story won’t interest you. A basic premise in a story is always like an
axiom — you take it or you don’t. If you accept the premise, the rest will
hold your interest. As for me, I accept the premise out of sheer curiosity —
nothing more deep or important than that. That is, granting such a setup —
let’s see what can be made of it.

My
only interest in that picture was purely technical — how to create a good
construction that would be dramatic and suspenseful, out of practically
nothing. The novel on which the picture was based was a holy mess. Whatever
story interest and unity it has, I had to invent. But we picked this particular
novel because it had elements of a possible situation. That is very rare in
picture stories.*
In short, via a screenplay, it was Rand’s task to  create the vehicle for the percepts that were
not possible in Massie’s novel, neither technically nor in Massie’s style. I
don’t think she would have put it that way in 1945, but had she been able to,
it would have been over the heads of Paramount’s studio bosses.
Peikoff writes about reading a novel vs. reading a playscript:
Every
artistic form possesses certain unique potentialities and thereby lacks certain
others. A play or a movie made from a novel is always inferior to it because it
cannot approach the complexity of the original work. By the same token, a
relatively simple novel may be superior onstage, because of the power the story
gets from the perceptual elements. Novel and play, therefore, each within its
own form, are equal – i.e., each fulfills AR’s definition of art: “a
recreation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgments.” It
is the prerogative of the author to choose the genre of his work. AR, as we know,
chose to put Ideal on the stage.
True enough. I couldn’t write a play worthy of my attention
or that was worth producing in grade school. So I chose the novel genre. Peikoff
underscores what I noted above about reading a novel vs. reading a playscript:
Although
novel and play are equal in the above sense, a play’s script by itself it not the equal of either. By itself, a script is
not a work of art or a genre of literature. Novel and play alike, being
complete, enable you fully to enter and experience the world they create. But the
script by itself does not: it omits the essence in this context of literary
art; it is written for perception (to be heard from a cast of actors seen on a stage),
yet by itself it is detached from any such perception. To read ideologue by
itself can certainly have value, but it is not the value of an artwork, merely
one of its attributes. This difference, I believe, is a major reason why novels
are vastly more popular among readers than playscripts.
I can vouch for that. However, from a novelist’s
craft-learning perspective, reading the playscripts of Terence Rattigan, Edmond
Rostand,  and even of Shakespeare gave me
not a few pointers on how to write dialogue that is integrated with action.
Peikoff writes in his Introduction to the play that
the focus of the play “is men’s lack of integrity,  their failure to act according to the ideals
they espouse. The them4 is the evil of divorcing ideals from life.” Rand got the
idea for the story (for the novel and then later the play) from a woman who
claimed that “she worshipped a certain famous actress and would give her life
to meet her.”
Miss
Rand was dubious about the authenticity of the woman’s emotion, and this
suggested a dramatic idea: a story in which a famous actress, so beautiful that
she comes to represent to men the embodiment of their deepest ideals, actually
enters the lives of her admirers. She comes in a context suggesting that she is
in grave danger. Until this point, her worshippers have professed their
reverence for her – in words, which cost them nothing. Now, however, she is no
longer a distant dream, but a reality demanding action on their par, or betrayal.

                “What do you dream of?” Kay Gonda,
the actress, asks one of the characters in the play’s thematic statement.
                “Nothing,” he answers. “Of what account
are dreams?’
                “Of what account is life?”
                “None. But who made it so?”
                “Those who cannot dream.”
                “No. Those who can only dream.”
Peikoff describes how some of the characters react
to Kay Gonda’s sudden actual appearance in their lives. The most startling
vignette for me was the one in which Gonda appears before an artist who has
painted every important facet of her face, yet does not recognize her when she
appears. He laughs in her face, and throws her out. Peikoff writes that the
artist “is, in effect, the spokesman for Platonism, who explicitly preaches
that beauty is unreachable in this world and perfection is unattainable.
Since
he insists that ideals are impossible on each, he cannot, logically enough,
believe in the reality of any ideal, even when it actually confronts him….This
philosophically induced blindness, which motivates his betrayal of her, is a
particularly brilliant concretization of the play’s theme, and make a dramatic
Act I curtain.”
(Parenthetically, I might add that this particular
mentality – the artist’s – can act as key insight to understanding why politicians,
intellectuals, and the news media will defend collectivism in all its forms –
the Soviet, Nazi, and Islamic forms especially – even in the face of the facts
of the death and destruction they wreak on the world, in claiming that they are
good ideas corrupted by bad men, that such death and destruction are anomalies
and not the “ideals” in their purest form or application. Communism, Nazism,
and Islam, in the hands of their “idealists,” in their purest forms, can only bring death and destruction.)
Discussing the sense of life and loneliness of Rand
at the time (the 1930’s) she shared with Kay Gonda, Peikoff quotes Kay Gonda’s
cry as Rand’s own:
I
want to see, real, living, and in the hours of my own days, that glory I create
as an illusion! I want it real! I want to know that there is someone,
somewhere, who wants it, too! Or else what is the use of seeing it, and
working, and burning oneself for an impossible vision? A spirit, too, needs
fuel. It can run dry.
Rand’s sense of life never changed. It was with her
from the beginning of her life to the very end. It shows in all her fiction. Ideal: The Novel and The Play is a fine
place to start to understand her and her work.
Ideal – The Novel
and The Play
, by Ayn Rand. Introductions by Leonard Peikoff; A Note on the
Manuscript of the novel Ideal by
Richard Ralston.  New York: New American Library,
2015.  246 pp.

The Immigration Question: Part Two

Before turning to the subject of whether or not
America wants to exist or will continue to exist as a free country – “To Be, or
Not to Be,”  not that there’s much
freedom left in it – let’s focus for a moment on the two illustrations of “The
Immigration Question: Part One
.”
The first illustration of the Huns invading Italy
from the north is by Spanish painter Upiano Checa
(1860-1916). The Huns were nomadic and as a rule did not settle anywhere or put
down roots. They were not colonizers, but raiders. They existed to invade,
rape, loot, destroy, plunder, collect booty and slaves, demand tribute, and to
subjugate, then move on. While the Huns established an empire-of-devastation
over a wide swath of Europe in the fifth century, theirs was more of an ISIS
empire. They temporarily occupied whatever region they happened to invade and
ravish. But the nomadic character of the Huns prevented their occupation from
coalescing into a Hunnic “caliphate.” Their “empire” dissolved. Some elements
of the Huns eventually settled in what is now Hungary.
The “Huns” in the second illustration, a Daily Mail
photo of a boatload of “refugees” crossing the Mediterranean heading for Italy,
Greece, or Malta, plan to settle or colonize any European country they can
reach, claim asylum, collect as much government assistance and booty as
possible, harass and prey on those countries’ indigenous inhabitants, and in
general foul the nests of those forced to pay for their disruptive and alien
presence. The EU is in a dither about the invasion because of the costs of
sustaining the “settlers” in the various welfare states, to which the settlers
contribute little or nothing in the way of tax revenues.
The newcomers will refuse to assimilate, viewing
assimilation as an insult and offensive to their religious, collectivist, or
tribal “heritage” or identity. They are mostly Muslims and are encouraged to
procreate through religiously sanctioned polygamy to increase their numbers in
the colonized countries with the end of becoming demographically powerful political
blocs able to effect a broader submission of the non-Muslim segments of the
indigenous populations. In Britain and on the Continent, Muslims consider
welfare as a form of jizya, or a
tribute paid to the conquerors, as a sign of non-Muslim submission to Islam.
This absorption-in-reverse, or reverse
assimilation, is well advanced in countries like France, the Netherlands, and
Scandinavia. Britain likewise has sealed its fate by refusing to acknowledge
that Islam is more an ideology of conquest than it is a
“please-allow-us-to-worship-as-we-please” religion. This kneejerk refusal and
blanking out is pathologically criminal.
What permits this ongoing invasion is Western
governments’ altruism-cum-political correctness, which fosters the tenacious
fallacy of a workable multiculturalism and a cultural “diversity” of
antithetical political and moral values.  It’s a brand of “affirmative action” practiced
by the West on an international scale. It’s self-sacrifice practiced by Western
governments, with freedom of speech and other liberties, once enjoyed by
indigenous populations, being the sacrificial lambs.
The “refugees” don’t need to be Muslims, although
they overwhelmingly are, displaced directly or indirectly by especially Barack
Obama’s unauthorized interventions in Libya and his insipid “war” against ISIS.
But does any Western policymaker realistically expect hordes of “asylum
seekers” from the Mideast and African chaos to care about the cultural values
of the countries the hordes invade and settle in? Has a single “refugee” the
foggiest notion of freedom except perhaps as relief from a miserable existence
in his country of origin? The slightest conception of liberty?
Veni,
vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered.
” That was the message
Julius Caesar sent to the Roman Senate in 49 B.C. about one of his military
victories. He used an army of Roman legions to overcome Pharnaces II of Pontus
in what is now Turkey. Muslims can say much the same thing – Venimus,
vidimus, vicimus
– about Europe, however using
armies of “refugees” and numerous pram-pushing human brood mares.
And now, on to “Alas, poor Yorick.” We knew him
well, a fellow of infinite appetites for women and power. He rode our backs a
thousand times, and now that he is gone, how pleasing it is that he can no
longer do us harm – except from the grave by his lawmaking.
Of all the Kennedys who have reigned over and
ruined this country, the most decrepit and maliciously nihilist was Ted Kennedy.
When you absorb the purpose of his immigration bills, you will see that he
regards the ethnic groups with which he wishes to “swamp” Caucasian, “WASPish”
society as the lowest of the low, as ignorant animals who will drown American
culture and philosophy by their numbers and with their indifference and
hostility to American values. Kennedy and his allies behind these immigration
bills were the activist racists, a fact that meshes well with the whole
Democratic Part/Progressive agenda concerning American blacks that they are
kept on the welfare state plantation.
The Kennedys were involved in
three immigration bills: The
Immigration and Nationality Act
of 1965 (or the Hart-Celler Act or INA); and
the Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Act of 2007
or the
 Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and
Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was not passed. Another immigration bill
is known as the Secure
America and Orderly Immigration Act
(“McCain-Kennedy Bill of 2005),
also not passed by the Senate. In all instances, Democrats partnered with
Republicans to endorse these bills.  Ted
Kennedy was also the mover of the Immigration Act of
1990
.
The
Hart-Celler Act
abolished the national origins quota system that was
American immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it
with a preference system that focused on immigrants’ skills and family
relationships with citizens or U.S. residents. Numerical restrictions on visas
were set at 170,000 per year, with a per-country-of-origin quota, not including
immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or “special immigrants”
(including those born in “independent” nations in the Western Hemisphere, former
citizens
, ministers, and employees of the U.S. government abroad)…..
The
1965 act marked a radical break from the immigration policies of the past. The
law as it stood then excluded Asians and Africans and preferred northern and
western Europeans over southern and eastern ones. At the height of the civil rights movement
of the 1960s
the law was seen as an embarrassment by, among others,
President John F. Kennedy, who called the then-quota-system
“nearly intolerable.” After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon
Johnson
signed the bill at the foot of the Statue of Liberty as a symbolic
foothold of signing the bill.
In
order to convince the American people of the legislation’s merits, its proponents
assured that passage would not influence America’s culture significantly.
President Johnson called the bill “not a revolutionary bill. It does not
affect the lives of millions,” while Secretary of State
Dean Rusk
and other politicians, including Senator Ted Kennedy, hastened to reassure the
populace that the demographic mix would not be affected; these assertions would
later prove grossly inaccurate
[italics mine].
“Grossly inaccurate”? Or so transparently false and
devious that Kennedy and his cronies felt the need to reassure the American
public that not much would change. No one at the time, not to my knowledge,
ever questioned the policy of the federal government of practicing its own
brand of judging individuals by their skin color, that is, of racism. But that
is precisely what the government has done.
Roy Beck in his NumbersUSA
article, “Ted Kennedy’s Immigration
Legacy — and why did he do it?” of September 2009, observed about the
opposition to Ted Kennedy’s immigration initiatives:
The
first group saw his immigration policies as emblematic of a Kennedy inclination to destroy the America
as they loved it. The second group saw his immigration policies as an aberration
that fatally undermined what they saw as many wonderful Kennedy initiatives to
improve America.  Whichever it was — or
something in between — Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have destroyed the ability of the United States to be an
environmentally sustainable nation
in any decade soon because of
the gigantic U.S. population growth that he has forced.
And
Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have knocked
hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the middle class
as their
occupations have collapsed and wages declined because of inundation with
Kennedy’s favored foreign workers, or because they have directly lost their
jobs to foreign competitors.
Beck is confounded by Kennedy’s motives for pushing
and seeing passed immigration legislation that has changed the demographic
character of the U.S.  However, he does
offer this suggestion:
Among less-immigration
advocates, a debate has long waged over whether the gigantic changes from
immigration were what Kennedy sought, or if they were mostly an
unintended consequence that he chose to ignore.  Why was he willing to allow his immigration
policies to diminish — and in some cases — negate his efforts in other areas?
Among those who disliked Kennedy the most,
there has been a sense that Ted Kennedy fundamentally distrusted and disliked
the citizens of this country.  The line of thinking is something like
this: Even though the majority of these citizens had elected his brother
President, and appeared likely to elect another brother to the
office, Ted Kennedy wanted a different citizenry. 
Perhaps
there was a sub-conscious hatred for the overall American people because
of the assassinations (although one assassin was a foreigner and the other had
tried to emigrate to the Soviet Union).  Perhaps he had some Irish
immigrant chips on his shoulder about WASPS disrespecting his family. If he
disliked the balance of power among the citizens of this country, wildly
increasing immigration levels could largely shift the balance of political
power and ideology in the country.
Which it certainly has. I am less forgiving about Kennedy’s
motives. Given the scurrilous nature of Kennedy’s private and public record, there
is no reason to give Kennedy the benefit of the doubt. His successor in spirit,
Barack Obama, comes from the same malign mould.
So, now we’re faced with the crime wave of illegal
immigrants. They’re allowed to slip across the border and commit mayhem Obama’s
blessing. These are the “refugees” – the Mexican Huns – Obama wishes to run
free in this country. What other motive could he have but an insatiable thirst
to see America suffer?
The FBI has compiled a report on the frequency and
kinds of crimes committed by our own invading Huns. WND ran a story on June 9th,
FBI
data backs up Trump claims on illegals and crime
.”  




Largely unreported data published by the FBI
appears to back up Donald Trump’s contentions regarding illegal aliens from
Mexico committing drug and violent crime offenses in the U.S.
According to the FBI, criminal gangs – in
some regions comprised significantly of illegal aliens – are wreaking havoc in
the U.S., with 65 jurisdictions nationwide reporting gang-related offenses
committed with firearms account for at least 95 percent of crime in those
areas. The FBI further documented gangs in Southwestern border regions
consisting of up to 80 percent illegal aliens were committing a multitude of
crimes in America, “including drug-related crimes, weapons trafficking, alien
smuggling, human trafficking, prostitution, extortion, robbery, auto theft,
assault, homicide, racketeering, and money laundering.”

The Constitution
Party
echoes the same statistics. In an undated article, “
Illegal Alien Crime and Violence by the Numbers: We’re All Victims,” Peter M. Gemma reports:
At first glance, the statistics are jolting. According to the United
Nations, 97 percent of the illegal immigrants who enter the U.S. clandestinely
do so across the almost 2,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico, but only
20 percent of those who cross the border illegally are caught.
A new study published by the Migration Policy
Institute and the Wilson Center sheds light on the passage of Central Americans
through Mexico, in a phenomenon called “transmigration”. Among the findings
cited is the fact that arrests by the U.S. Border Patrol of individuals from
countries other than Mexico have increased from 59,000 in FY 2010 to 99,000 in
FY 2012. Fox News, obtained reports by the House Judiciary Committee and
nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. They are the result of the
committee’s subpoena request for Department of Homeland Security records from
October 2008 to July 2011. The information was analyzed by the CRS and show
276,412 reported charges against illegal and criminal immigrants over that
three-year period as identified by Secure Communities, a federal program that
essentially attempts to make best use of resources by identifying and
prioritizing which illegal immigrants pose the biggest threat to public safety
and should be arrested or deported.
Fox News reports, “Of the 160,000 people in
the database, more than 26,000 were re-arrested — accounting for nearly 58,000
crimes and violations. They allegedly committed nearly 8,500
drunken-driving offenses and more than 6,000 drug-related violations. The
records also show major criminal offenses, which included murder, battery,
rape, kidnapping and nearly 3,000 thefts. Roughly two percent of the crimes
included child molestation, lynching, and torture, according to the 13-page
Congressional Research Service report.”
Finally,
Breitbart Big Journalism, on July 10th, in the wake of Donald Trump’s much
excoriated remarks about Mexican illegals and crime, ran “
Rape
Deniers: 9 Facts About Illegal Alien Crime The Media Covers Up
.”
Did you know that in the state of Texas alone over the last few years,
more than 2000 illegal aliens were deported after committing sex crimes? Did
you know that in the state of Texas alone over the last few years, nearly a
thousand illegal aliens have been convicted of sex crimes against children?
Of course you didn’t. The media has covered these horrors up for years,
and even after Donald Trump dared reveal these horrors, the rape-deniers in the
media continue to cover them up. The media is covering up all kinds of horrific
statistic regarding illegal aliens. Before we get to those, let’s start with
why.
To Democrats and their media allies, a
few hundred raped children a year is seen as a small price to pay for the
political benefits that come with an unsecure border. Mexicans vote 3-to-1 for
Democrats.…
[Italics mine]
Aside from all the sexual offenses committed against minors by these
savages,  all the other crimes committed
against Americans nationwide by the Mexican and South American Huns, whom I
guess Obama would call “refugees” or “undocumented guest workers,” or “asylum
seekers.”
Should Barack Obama be impeached? Forced from office? Yes, and not
just on his criminal immigration policies designed to unleash jihadist and
Mexican barbarians on the U.S.  There is
now his Iran “deal” by which Iran can do what it pleases to develop nuclear
weapons capability. Here is the presidential oath of office, which Obama has
violated so many times it is hard to keep count:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the
office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Which he has not done since taking office so many
sad and gruesome years ago. Because, by defending the Constitution, it is
implied he will defend this country from foreign powers and from domestic
enemies. But he can’t defend either the country or the Constitution if his
agenda is to see both torn apart by Islam and Amnesty.
*”The
Huns at the Battle of Chalons” from A Popular History of France From The
Earliest Times, Vol. I of VI. , Illustration by A. De Neuville (1836-1885).

The Immigration Question: Part One

The Huns, led by Attila, ride into Italy from the
north, 434 A.D.
I left this amended and expanded comment on a July
12th Gatestone article by Soeren Kern, “Europe’s Great
Migration Crisis
”:
The
main problem is a civilization one. The overwhelming number of “immigrants”
[or “migrants”] bring cultural and moral attitudes with them that are
antithetical to a civilized existence. They will also bring old cultural habits
and generations- or even ages-old animosities towards other immigrant groups
with them and will continue them in whatever Western country they settle in. Witness
the Sunni-Shi’ite division. They will all expect to be “taken care
of” economically by their host governments, thus adding more welfare dependents
to already burdened welfare systems. They will be hostile to the whole concept
of the rule of law that sustains a civilized, ordered existence.
Observe
the attitudes and tactics of Muslims in every European country; they expect the
various European societies to conform to their religious-political norms and
refuse to assimilate into the larger, indigenous society. In Britain, it’s not
only the Muslims who thumb their noses at British law and culture; there are
the Romany gypsies and other ethnicity-centered immigrant groups who demand a
“separate but equal” status, as well, and are willing to raise hell
if they aren’t granted it.
The
first hint of resistance by authorities triggers cries of “racism” or
“Islamophobia,” and the government backs down. The British government
is so fearful of being accused of racism that it won’t crack down on Muslim
rape gangs that prey on British girls and women.
At
bottom of all this throughout Europe is the poisonous, moral certitude-sapping
policy of political correctness. The U.S. is now in a chaotic debate over the
invasion of the country but thousands of “illegals” crossing into it
from Mexico. This is aside from the “resettlement” of Muslims in
towns and cities in the country by the federal government.
Soeren Kern wrote:
Europe’s
migration crisis is exposing the deep divisions that exist within the European
Union, which European federalists have long hailed as a model for
post-nationalism and global citizenship. Faced with an avalanche of migrants, a
growing number of EU member states have moved decisively to put their own
national interests above notions of EU solidarity. Hungary’s parliament, for
instance, has approved the construction of a massive border fence with Serbia
as part of a new anti-immigration law that also tightens asylum rules.
The
move is aimed at stopping tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and
the Middle East from entering Hungary, which has become a key gateway for
illegal immigration into the European Union.
Hungarian
officials say drastic measures are necessary because of the EU’s inaction in
the face of an unprecedented migration crisis, which has seen more than 150,000
migrants cross
into Europe during the first six months of 2015. More than 715,000 people have applied
for asylum in the EU during the past twelve months.
Kern’s article describes the various physical
measures European countries are taking to stem the flow of migrants into their
countries: walls, fences, barbed wire, and, in Britain’s case, corralling
would-be hitch-hikers and stowaways coming from Europe through the Channel
Tunnel in a camp just outside the Tunnel at Calais.
Kern also details the bureaucratic way of stemming
the flow: by making it harder to seek “asylum” in Europe, or by denying it all
together.
But, the first observation to make is: These
European Union countries are fearful of the nonstop waves of migrants alien and
likely hostile to their Western societies and cultures. And the natural
question to ask then is: Why are they so fearful and in a panic? Every one of
these countries has advocated and legislated multiculturalism. Are they now
just realizing what a foolhardy policy it is? Has any one of those governments
the honesty and courage to repudiate that policy? Except for a few individuals
who stand up and say, “Yes, Western culture is infinitely superior to that of
any immigrant settler in the West,” such as Geert Wilders of the Netherlands,
Europe is governed by a variety of statist elites who invested heavily in multiculturalism
and who are making their citizens pay the price for it.
Kern quotes Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister:
“The
face of European civilization… will never again be what it is now. There is
no way back from a multicultural Europe. Neither to a Christian Europe, nor to
the world of national cultures.”
Say, rather, devolve into a mongrel culture of no
specific character but whose chief distinction will be a dominant Islamic coloring
overseen by dhimmi European
politicians and elected Muslim ones. It would exist tenuously on the remnants
of capitalism and freedom and be sustained temporarily by various welfare
systems – temporarily until the money and inertia are spent and the private
sector finally expires. Then the European elites can impose across-the-board
socialism.
The Liberal/Left’s official history is that the
West colonized Africa and the Middle East and Asia, exploited their “natural
resources” and enslaved their populations,  and brought untold misery and human rights
violations to those areas. These areas were invaded and raped by the West. But
now it’s payback time and these regions’ impoverished inhabitants are invading
Europe in turn. The Liberal/Left sees the phenomenon as a form of “cultural”
and “racial” reparations.
That’s the Progressive, Howard Zinn-kind of
interpretation of the current immigration crisis. Who impoverished these
refugees? The unacceptable, non-Progressive answer is that it was the myriad
corrupt regimes and dictatorships in Africa and the Middle East. Like Mexico, they’re
glad to get rid of their excess and unwanted paupers and foist as many of them
as possible on the West.
A welfare state that patronizes the worst in men – the
unshakable desire to be identified with a group, collective, or tribe, and an
implicit obligation to recognize and encourage the collectivist worth of an
individual and an individual’s unshakable identification with the tribe or the
group – be he of an ethnic, religious, or tribal “heritage” – isn’t going to
suddenly see 10,000 Somalians or Turks or Pakistanis abruptly develop an
appreciation for Rachmaninoff, classical Greek art, or laissez-faire economics.
It just isn’t going to happen. That isn’t even happening with most indigenous,
umpteenth-generation European or American youth being “educated” in those
indoctrination crèches called secondary schools and universities.
A British correspondent of mine, responding to my
Gatestone comment above, made these astute observations about the government
policies that have put Europe in a cultural bind:
Whatever
they expect, it was up to the West to clarify its values and ensure that the
rule of law was understood and accepted by all aspiring citizens. 
The
reason it didn’t is the widespread belief that cultural values are innate
rather than a matter of choice. 
How
can the West have granted Charitable Status to a religion that practices its
own antithetical legal system? Why did it grant planning permission for places
of worship where the values of the West are routinely trashed and where adherents
have no intention of separating Church and State?
Aye, there’s the rub. The whole dreamy policy of
“diversity” and multiculturalism rests on the premise that cultural values are
based, not on choice, but on one’s genes and so are innate and outside of one’s
choice. It is wrong, and the very height of arrogant cultural hegemony, say the
politically correct, to expect immigrants to dissolve their “national
identities” and immerse themselves into a “melting pot” governed by the rule of
law – of objective law founded on the sanctity of individual rights.
But their “currents” have turned perilously awry,
and they are in a rush to establish corrective measures when none will undo
what they have done.
In Part Two I will discuss the American version of
Hamlet’s “To Be, or Not to Be.”

Illegal Immigrants’ War on Americans

Let’s establish a metaphor right at the beginning
between parasitical bagworms and parasitical Leftists/Liberals. Both species
are destructive. The metaphor will have a bearing on the subject.
If you poke through a bagworm nest with a twig,
you’ll find countless striped, furry worms or caterpillars eating away the bark
and meat of a tree branch, thus killing the tree. If you poke through the mind
of a Leftist/Liberal, you’ll find countless fuzzy worms ravenously eating away
at the fabric of America, thus killing the country: gay marriage, Obamacare,
the Clintons, Bernie Sanders, Marxist academics, jihadist imams, ambipolitical
corporations, and so on. And some dead bagworms, like Ted Kennedy.
Or, Obama’s Mussolini Pose
If you step on a bagworm, it will spurt pink goo on
the sole of your shoe. If you examine the mind of a Leftist/Liberal, it will
spurt pink goo all over you in revenge for exposing the malignity of his
agenda.
Barack Obama is waging another war in his role as
the Supreme Social Justice Warrior and Community Organizer-in-Chief, not in
Libya, not in Iraq, not in Syria, but in and against America. He is doing this –
aside from his destructive economic and political policies – with illegals who
are swarming unchecked and at his invitation across the Mexican border by the
thousands to “settle” in the U.S., not to become productive citizens, but to
feed on the government welfare state teat – that is on the American taxpayer.
The criminals among them have declared open season on principally white
Americans.
He is also doing it by admitting thousands of
“refugee” Muslims. He is settling the Mexicans (a blanket name for any Central
or South American crossing into the U.S. from Mexico) and Muslims, particularly
Somalian
Muslims
, in dozens of towns
and cities
across the country with the stated policy of changing their
demographic compositions. And also, not coincidentally,  their political demographics, to help
perpetuate the Democrats’ death grip on America.
Is it “racist” to make that observation? In
Liberal/Left politics and the MSM, yes. Look what happened to Donald
Trump
for making the observation. He didn’t even insinuate the issue of
race in his statement. But he was blasted
anyway
. I neither trust nor like Trump, either, but he was right in his gauche
way to make the observation.
However, there’s no evidence to the contrary that
illegals are motivated by their own brand of racism. Obama has empowered them.
His own racial prejudice is obvious. Has he declared a race war against the
U.S. The evidence is clear.
Never mind Britain’s Muslim groom-and-rape gangs
that prey mostly on white girls. Never mind the Muslim rape and other crime statistics
in Scandinavia, Germany and France, or the soon-to- spike Muslim crime rate in
Italy committed by “refugee boat people” crossing the Mediterranean Sea from
North Africa to invade Europe. Never mind the black-on-white
crimes
committed in the U.S., which are clearly racist but which are not
reported by the MSM.
Whose policies are racist to the core: Obama’s, or
the average American’s, regardless of his skin color or ethnic background? When
illegal Hispanic criminals target a white person for a crime, who’s the racist?
Barack Obama expressed his “sympathy” for the
family of Trayvon Martin, the young thug killled in self-defense by George
Zimmerman, who was originally identified as “white,” but later was revealed to
be partly Hispanic (the MSM back-pedaled on that very quickly). But he’s had
nothing to say about the murder of Kathryn Steinle. He’s commiserated with the
rioters of Ferguson and with the family of Michael Brown, another thug. Fox
News host Megyn
Kelly
held Obama’s feet to the fire over his hypocrisy and obvious racial
preferences.
The
Fox News host asked  her guests why Mr.
Obama highlighted the deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Trayvon Martin in
Florida and Michael Brown in Missouri, but not Steinle.
The man accused of killing Steinle
has seven prior felony convictions and was deported five times.

Obama was notorious for saying that if
he had a son,
he would “look like” Trayvon Martin. In case no one’s noticed,
Obama is a grown-up Trayvon Martin, a
thug who got elected by a bagworm nest of rich and poor collectivists who wish
to bring down America. Kathryn Steinle does not resemble spendthrift Michelle Obama
or either of the Obama daughters. Kathryn Steinle was an expendable white victim
on the road to collectivist racial utopia, not worth mentioning.
Family Security Matters published an article, “Trump
is Right: Illegal Alien Crime is Staggering in Scope and Savagery
on
July 10th, which provides 115 links to a partial list of all the crimes committed
by illegal immigrants, most of them committed before the Obama regime assumed
its executive order throne.
It is estimated that there are some 133,741
foreign criminals in prisons and jails in the USA (1).  They are not there
for spitting on the sidewalk or jaywalking, and very few are there for
immigration violations, as those illegal alien criminals are typically deported
in fairly short order or simply let go as we have seen time and time again.
They are there in large part for molesting, raping, killing, maiming and
murdering people in America, as you will see below. 
Add in the 168,680 convicted criminal immigrants
who have final orders of removal but who remain at large in the U.S., and
another 179,018 convicted criminal aliens with deportation cases pending but
who are also at large (2), and we have a total non-American felon population of
481,439…a number the size of our 35th largest city, Sacramento,
California, and larger than the entire populations each of Atlanta, Kansas
City, Omaha, Miami, Minneapolis – and more…. 
That doesn’t even include all the other
criminal aliens that the government desperately tries to hide from the public
even though they must announce it: according to Jessica M. Vaughan, Director of
Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, the 36,007 criminal
immigrants that the Obama administration released in
2013 to prowl the streets of America even though they had a collective 88,000 convictions,
including 193 homicides, 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings and 1,075
aggravated assaults. And that was just one year’s worth of criminal illegal
aliens let go to continue to prey on the citizens of the USA.  
Remember those movies that depicted a prison ruled
by the inmates, or an insane asylum governed by the insane, or a prison run by
the corrupt warden and his staff of goons (e.g., The
Shawshank Redemption
)
? That’s what the U.S. is becoming, a minimal
security prison in which the security of Americans is minimal against the Mexicans
and Muslims who are provided with maximum security for their “rights,” whether
or not  they are labeled “undocumented
aliens,” “undocumented immigrants,” “refugees,” or whatever other designation
for the lawless is in the federal taxonomy.
The murder
of Kathryn Steinle
in San Francisco last week has spurred a national debate
not only on the Obama-engineered invasion of this country by countless
illegals, but has revealed in detail the policy of having established “sanctuary
cities” in which “undocumented aliens” or illegals – criminal or otherwise –
can live without being “persecuted” by immigration authorities and sent back to
the cultural and economic latrines whence they came at Obama’s beck and call. Michael
Cutler, a retired 30-year INS veteran and
former Senior Special Agent, on July 10th published on FSM a lengthy but
crucial exposé, “Many
More Victims of the Immigration Crisis Than Kate Steinle
: Traitorous
‘sanctuary’ cities are only the tip of the iceberg.”  Cutler writes:
While the
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary in part, describes a sanctuary as,
“a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is
illegal” in so-called “Sanctuary Cities” such as San Francisco, predators
are being granted sanctuary and innocent people are being hunted.
Witness the senseless murder of Kathryn Steinle who fell victim to a predatory
criminal alien, Francisco Sanchez, who easily entered the United States by
running our borders with impunity on at least five occasions notwithstanding
the fact that he has reportedly been convicted of committing seven felonies in
the United States and yet was shielded by San Francisco’s sanctuary policies….
Illegall aliens
come to the United States for reasons only known to them. There is no way of knowing
if they are simply seeking illegal employment, which, of itself creates
problems, or if they are criminals — fugitives who are fleeing
prosecution in their home countries for committing serious crimes, including
murder, rape and drug trafficking. We don’t know their true identities, their
potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations or when, where
or how they actually entered the United States.
The purpose of the
inspections process that CBP conducts at ports of entry is to prevent the entry
of aliens whose presence would be dangerous or at the least harmful to America
and Americans. This is the process that aliens enter the United States without
inspection evade. Yet our leaders and most journalists refer to them simply as
being “undocumented” as though handing them a piece of paper or
perhaps an official identity document solves the problem.
Illegal aliens who
run our borders do not stay near the border for long. Most of them are intent
on getting to towns and cities across the United States. They are most likely
to go to towns and cities where they can most easily escape detection by law
enforcement and especially immigration enforcement officers. Therefore, they
move into ethnic immigrant communities to live among those who are most like
themselves where they are far less likely to stand out among a population they
share much with.

The “sanctuary city” program is a racket run by the federal government and gamed
by illegals for the purpose of achieving Obama’s goal of “transforming” the U.S.
into a European-style non-melting pot of conflicting and antagonistic cultures.
The Mexican government is also a partner in the racket, Cutler reveals. Shockingly,
he also reveals that about ten percent of Mexico’s citizens live in the U.S.
Trump stated that
“Mexico does not send us their best.” It is not the job of
governments to send their citizens anywhere. Nevertheless, Mexico is obviously
exploiting their citizens, encouraging them to come to the United States
and work and send money home. In fact, this money that is wired back to Mexico
by their citizens amounts to well over $20 billion annually and represents one
of the greatest sources of income for the Mexican economy. It is estimated that
nearly 10% of all Mexicans now live in the United States.

Breitbart reveals the “hands across the border” alliance of Obama and the
Mexican government in its January 6th article, “Mexican
President: Obama Exec Amnesty ‘Act of Justice’ for Illegals
.”
On Tuesday,
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto hailed President Barack Obama’s executive
amnesty as an “act of justice” and vowed that the Mexican government would help
illegal immigrants from Mexico obtain documents like birth certificates without
having to travel to Mexico. Pena Nieto and Obama met at the White House and,
according to the White House, Pena Nieto said Obama’s executive amnesty was a
“very intelligent and audacious decision” and “is of course an act of justice
for people who arrive from other parts of the world but are now part of the
U.S. community.”
After
acknowledging that “a very big majority of Mexican citizens” will benefit from
Obama’s executive amnesty, Pena Nieto said the Mexican government will help
Mexicans living in the United States get the documentation “necessary to prove
that they have been in the United States before 2010.” Pena Nieto said illegal
immigrants from Mexico will even “be able to get their birth certificates
without having to go to Mexico.”
Well, Obama’s executive amnesty is also a fortuitous way for the
Mexican government to rid itself of its “excess,” impoverished, and unemployed population,
as well. Guess who pays the price for that racist reproachment? U.S. taxpayers
and unemployed American whites, blacks and Asians.
Let’s not forget the other capital M in Obama’s M&M bag of
transformative goodies: Muslims.  
Bare Naked Islam, the most outspoken and audacious site that covers the
“demographic jihad” against America fostered by Barack Obama, notes in a December
4th column: “Barack
Hussein Obama’s Stealth Muslim Immigration Jihad
:
Back in 2010, Obama
issued an executive order to expedite immigrant visa requests from Islamic
countries.  A person from a Muslim country could become a U.S. citizen in
as little as ten weeks, with no I.D. and no declaration of allegiance to the
U.S. Constitution….
Obama’s
Immigration Bill and his ensuing amnesty are not mainly about the 13 million or
so illegal Latinos in this country but it is the back door entrance for over
one hundred million Muslims to be brought to the US by 2018 –and, by some
indications, such numbers could be as high as 150 million.
  Naturally, their presence would imply an intrinsic establishment of
sharia law as the law of the American nation.  
The mainstream
media is quietly avoiding to mention that Obama’s amnesty plan specifically
speeds up the visa process for immigrants from Muslim countries (Sections 2317
& 2318 of the amnesty bill, S. 744) and also grants special status – just as
Obamacare did. For example, they have sneaked in a small section of the bill
that more than triples the number of Afghans eligible for immigration to the
U.S. under a special asylum program.
The D.C. Clothesline also reports in its November 17th 2014 article, “Here’s
why
Somali Muslim Refugees are moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming, Prepare to be shocked

by Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela
Geller:
Refugee
resettlement
is a euphemism for importing
whole Muslim communities
, importing jihad. I have long documented the
targeting of gateway cities (smaller cities) overwhelmed with
Muslim refugee immigration
from countries like Somalia — cities like
Emporia, Kansas, Nashville, Greeley and
Fort Morgan, Colorado, Lewiston,
Maine et al. The over-saturation and drain on city resources has driven these
immigrants northward to settle in Wyoming, according to these
reports.
Organizations like
Lutheran Family Services profit
enormously
from the Federal government handling these refugees.
The best name for this particular racket is “crony charity,” wherein a
sob-sister outfit gets federal money to help the government swamp the country
with aliens who will refuse to assimilate and demand that non-Muslim Americans submit
to Sharia, fast on Ramadan, and defer to the religious practices of Islam.
Western Journalism ran an article in February 2015 on Obama’s
tranformation plans for the U.S., “Muslim
Immigration To U.S. Staggering — More Evidence Obama Is Attempting To Change
America
.” It cited an Investors Business Daily report on Muslim immigration:
It seems there is
more evidence coming to light that President Obama and Valerie Jarrett are
attempting to change the very fabric of America through a massive wave of
Muslim immigration. Investors Business Daily released a report recently that
outlined the staggering numbers of Muslim immigrants already in-country, and
the even greater numbers that are expected over the next few years due to the
Obama administration’s policies. The national security implications were also
highlighted.
Between 2010 and 2013, the Obama
administration imported almost 300,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations —
more immigrants than the U.S. let in from Central America and Mexico combined
over that period… Many of the recent Muslim immigrants are from terrorist hot
spots like Iraq, where the Islamic State operates. From 2010-2013, Obama
ushered in 41,094 Iraqi nationals from there… House Homeland Security Committee
Chairman Mike McCaul called the new policy “a federally sanctioned welcome
party to potential terrorists.”
Europe has had
open doors to Muslims from the Middle East for years and is paying the price.
Routine terrorist attacks from homegrown jihadis are a regular occurrence. “No
Go Zones” are a reality in many European capitals. Sharia law is
flourishing. Why would this administration encourage this type of immigration?
The British press is reporting that IS has
threatened to release a huge wave of migrants from Libya across the
Mediterranean disguised as refugees to cause chaos in Europe. Who’s to say they
aren’t setting a similar immigration bomb for America?
Authorities can’t even get a handle on
homegrown IS jihadists who are already in America. Why would we risk adding so
many potential jihadists from abroad to the already overloaded terrorist threat
matrix?
The answer
is one we all fear—that this president and his administration are attempting to
radically alter the population of America and change the very fabric of our
society to match their agenda and view of the world. That is a world where
America is weak, saddled with terrorist attacks at home, and no longer to
threaten the establishment of a Muslim caliphate across the Middle East.
In the meantime, the Washington Post’s October 1st, 2014 article, “African
immigrant population doubling each decade; D.C. area among group’s top
destinations,
reported with apparent approval of the federally
sponsored invasion:
The Washington Post reported that immigration from Africa is a contributing
factor to the increased Muslim immigrant population: “The number of African-born
residents in the United States
has doubled every decade since the 1970s,
with the greater Washington region remaining among the most popular areas for
them to live, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.”
The large number of Muslim immigrants has already impacted public
schools and communities throughout America. Due to the large number of
immigrants from the Middle East, the Department of Justice required a school in
Michigan
accommodate the growing Arab immigrant student population by hiring more Arab
teachers. [but not English teachers?]
Minnesota, like Michigan, has also had to accommodate the growing
Muslim population within its community.
Somali refugees in Minnesota demanded the local government provide a
special food
zone
free of pork to comply with their faith. In fact, Somali use of the
state’s public food assistance program has doubled over the past five years.
All this is very good news to Obama and his team of “transformers.”
Step on their brains and it isn’t so much pink goo that spurts out, but
the blood of Americans as they are subjected to Obama’s special bag of “M&M’s”:
Muslims and Mexicans who will swear allegiance to anything but America.
Is Obama a racist?
A resounding Yes!

Critical Studies = A Vacuum: Part Two

As you leave your Critical Literary Studies class
to trudge wearily down the hall to your Critical Legal Studies class, your head
may be spinning with a kaleidoscope of disconnected images, feelings, huge
swathes of “text,” and memory of the agony of trying to second-guess your
instructor about what anything means.
You were particularly confused about why the
instructor claimed that there was no question that Nick Carraway’s obsession
with Jay Gatsby was actually a disguised and coded homosexual fascination with the millionaire in F. Scott
Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Carraway’s
affair with Jordan Baker, the female golfer character, was merely a substitute proxy
relationship.  The air-headed Daisy
Buchanan served as a convenient transition point and a “false focal nexus,” as did
Myrtle Wilson, the local garage owner’s cuckolding wife. All the signifiers and signifieds in the “text” say so. Your homework assignment is to
pinpoint and discuss seven of them in a paper due by the end of the week.
I made up the “false focal nexus” signified. It’s as good as any other
term in the lexicon of Critical Studies.
Your instructor may have also warned you that the
ubiquitous paper, Literary
Theories: A Sampling of Critical Lenses
, lists several other schools and
genres of Lit-Crit that must be absorbed before you are a full-fledged literary
scholar: theoretical criticism, practical criticism, impressionistic criticism,
mimetic criticism, pragmatic criticism, expressive criticism, expressive
realism criticism, and textual criticism. Paramount among all those schools is
feminist literary criticism.
A
feminist critic sees cultural and economic disabilities in a
“patriarchal” society that have hindered or prevented women from
realizing their creative possibilities and women’s cultural identification as a
merely negative object, or “Other,” to man as the defining and
dominating “Subject.” There are several assumptions and concepts held
in common by most feminist critics.
Our
civilization is pervasively patriarchal. 2. The concepts of “gender”
are largely, if not entirely, cultural constructs, effected by the omnipresent
patriarchal biases of our civilization.3. This patriarchal ideology also
pervades those writings that have been considered great literature. Such works
lack autonomous female role models, are implicitly addressed to male readers,
and leave the woman reader an alien outsider or else solicit her to identify against
herself by assuming male values and ways of perceiving, feeling, and acting.
This
is somewhat like Marxist criticism, but instead of focusing on the
relationships between the classes it focuses on the relationships between the genders.
Feminist literary criticism is not “somewhat like
Marxist criticism.” It is very much Marxist in language and in intent. Were it
not for omnipresent academic Marxism, feminist literary criticism and any other
kind of feminist Critical Study would have had a hard time birthing. Marxism
was its midwife. It won’t be necessary to dwell on feminist literary criticism,
although it might be interesting to read some feminist academic’s
interpretation of the roles of Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Myrtle Wilson
from The Great Gatsby. Golf, and the
towns of Egg and East Egg doubtless will have their own unique feminist signifiers and signifieds for insidious patriarchy.
Diving into the relatively chillier waters of
Critical Legal Theory, Cornell University
posted this Marx-on-the-rocks description o the genre.
Critical Legal Theory 
Critical legal studies: an overview
Critical
legal studies (CLS) is a theory that challenges and overturns accepted norms
and standards in legal theory and practice. Proponents of this theory believe
that logic and structure attributed to the law grow out of the power
relationships of the society. The law exists to support the interests of the
party or class that forms it and is merely a collection of beliefs and
prejudices that legitimize the injustices of society. The wealthy and the
powerful use the law as an instrument for oppression in order to maintain their
place in hierarchy. The basic idea of CLS is that the law is politics and it is
not neutral or value free. Many in the CLS movement want to overturn the
hierarchical structures of domination in the modern society and many of them
have focused on the law as a tool in achieving this goal. CLS is also a
membership organization that seeks to advance its own cause and that of its
members.
At the present, the Critical Legal Studies
advocates say,  ideas do not exist except
as expressions of class and wealth. Objective truth is impossible. Truth is
whatever a wealthy, oppressive class claims it is. Or what Marxists and
Progressives claim it is. They think things are unfair, so, being Social
Justice Warriors of the bench and the printed word, they want to impose their
own regime of justice and equity, which aren’t any “truer” than the capitalist
brands, but the guns and muscles of the Left can make them “true.”
Individualism? Individual rights? Property rights? They’re elitist chimaeras
contrived to distract people from the “truth.” They’re mere social constructs
of the prevailing system, and can easily be invalidated with a punch in the
face.
CLS
includes several subgroups with fundamentally different, even contradictory,
views: feminist
legal theory
, which examines the role of gender in the law; critical race theory (CRT),
which is concerned with the role of race in the law; postmodernism,
a critique of the law influenced by developments in literary theory; and a
subcategory that emphasizes political economy and the economic context of legal
decisions and issues.
The Left has its own “social constructs” to wield
over mankind. And its own corps of elitists. Objective justice is illusory.
There is only class justice. The Marxists and Progressives mean to be the new
ruling class. It’s that simple.
But, wait! There’s more!
CLS
was officially started in 1977 at the conference at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison [not surprising!], but its roots extend back to 1960 when
many of its founding members participated in social activism surrounding the
Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Many CLS scholars entered law school
in those years and began to apply the ideas, theories, and philosophies of post
modernity (intellectual movements of the last half of the twentieth century) to
the study of law.
And look at those scholars now, all members of the
Marxist/Progressive Old Boy Network that dominates our universities. “Among noted CLS theorists are
Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Robert W. Gordon, Morton J. Horwitz, Duncan Kennedy,
and Katharine A. MacKinnon.”
Of course, this
kind of cancerous movement has a history.
Although
CLS has been largely a U.S. movement, it was influenced to a great extent by
European philosophers, such as nineteenth-century German social theorists Karl
Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Max Weber; Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse of
the Frankfurt school of German social philosophy; the Italian marxist Antonio
Gramsci; and poststructuralist French thinkers Michel Foucault and Jacques
Derrida, representing respectively the fields of history and literary theory.
CLS has borrowed heavily from Legal
Realism
, the school of legal thought that flourished in the 1920s and
1930s. Like CLS scholars, legal realists rebelled against accepted legal
theories of the day and urged more attention to the social context of the law.
All the usual suspects, as Captain Renault would say, but unfortunately
they haven’t been rounded up and prohibited from setting foot on any university
campus. Here is a recent application of Critical Legal Studies, John O.
McGinnis’s explanation of Chief Justice John Roberts’s defense of ObamaCare, in
his article, John Roberts’s Principled Mistake in
the Obamacare Decision
from June 28th.
Chief
Justice John Roberts’s decision in King v. Burwell, upholding the
capacity of federal exchanges to provide insurance subsidies, has drawn fire as
an unprincipled expression of support for Obamacare. This charge is unfair. It
is a principled decision, implementing a well-established, if wrong-headed,
theory of statutory interpretation, giving greater weight to what the Court
sees as the overriding purpose of legislation rather than its text.
Unfortunately, that theory is one that is likely to aid progressivism,
because it tends to make judges partners in legislative programs to expand
state power.
The
essence of King v. Burwell comes down to the divide between
Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia. The case turned on the question of whether
insurance subsidies would be available for those who signed up to federal
exchanges as opposed to state exchanges.
Moreover, unlike a contract, a statute is
written for people who are not parties to its making. This difference provides
another reason to interpret a statute according to its plain text rather than
forcing citizens to figure out which of many purposes the text should be
thought to serve—let alone trying to divine the intentions of the legislators
who passed it. In this sense, “textualism” reflects the rule of law, rather
than that of particular people.
“Purposivism,” by contrast, makes the task
of progressives easier. Textualism requires progressives to change the world
expressly, one line of text at a time, but purposivism enlists the courts as
allies. They can then use the broad purposes of the legislation to smooth out
obstacles that compromises, mistakes, and tensions among multiple objectives
may have created.
Yes, those
Progressives are very sly and devious. Even though McGinnis seems to be warning
readers about an advancing Progressive agenda, I am still not certain if he
applauds the advance or is against it.
Justice Scalia decried Roberts’s opinion as
showing favoritism toward the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps. The more
substantial concern is that the chief justice has endorsed a method of
statutory interpretation that aids the progressive agenda more generally.
And nowhere in his article does he mention
individual rights or the right of an individual to refuse to become a slave to
Obamacare. John Roberts? Never heard of individual rights. Or of the
Constitution.
Harvard
University
has its own “lens” on Critical Legal Theory.
A
family of new legal theories, launched since 1970, share commitments to
criticize not merely particular legal rules or outcomes, but larger structures
of conventional legal thought and practice. According to critical legal
scholars, dominant legal doctrines and conceptions perpetuate patterns of
injustice and dominance by whites, men, the wealthy, employers, and
heterosexuals. The “Crits” argue that prevailing modes of legal
reasoning pretend to afford neutral and objective treatment of claims while
shielding structures of power from fundamental reconsideration. Critical
theorists also maintain that despite the law’s claims to accord justified,
determinate and controlled expressions of power, law fails on each of these
dimensions and instead law mystifies outsiders in an effort to legitimate the
results in courts and legislatures.
The
“critical” dimension of critical legal studies includes not only
efforts to expose defects, but also affinity with other theoretical projects
and social movements. A variety of scholars and lawyers have joined together to
organize symposia, workshops, and other projects under the headings of critical
legal studies, feminist legal theory, and critical race theory. Although they
share many points of departure and methods of attack, critical theorists also
risk diverging into increasingly specialized narrow splinter groups. The newest
developments include Lat-Crit conferences and work inspired by Queer Theory in
other academic fields. Critical theorists engage in particular critiques of
other theoretical approaches to law, such as law and
economics
and moral-theory
approaches to
legal theory.
While Cornell’s description of Critical Legal
Studies has a ring of objectivity – that is, it is simply a reporting of what
Critical Legal Studies says it is all about – in the Harvard description is not
a little dollop of agreement with the transformation of law as a means of
objective justice into a tool of Marxist class, gender, and racial justice.
But, then again, “Through reflection we can see
nothingness, and in nothingness we find clarity. We have faith.” That little scrap
of Kantian wisdom was spoken by a semi-literate meth-head prisoner in the hit
Netflix TV series, Orange is the New Black. This
is a “Super Naturalist” tale set in what is supposed to be a microcosm of
American “capitalist” society, a women’s prison. In it is projected the ideal
Progressive society, covering the whole shopping list of Social Justice Warrior
wants and needs:  “normalized” and  pornographic lesbianism, an average of one
four-letter word out of every spoken four, “normalized”  transgenderism, corruption and imbecility among
the guards (white male, of course), bureaucratic sloth, Blacklish, Hispanic “pride,”
#BlackLivesMatter, ethnic rage, gender rage (mostly female) “white privilege,”
insanity-as-a-right, corporate greed, universal angst, criminals as just
victims of the system, and so on.
Orange is the
New Black
is the literary and esthetic culmination of all Critical Studies for
the last generation, give or take ten or so years. Worse will be in store
because Critical Studies is also being employed in kindergarten. Yes. Kindergarten.
The Critical
Thinking Company
has a long-range program to “condition” children from the
time they enter their first day care play room up through senior high school
and beyond. Here is the boilerplate description of each segment of the company’s
curriculum, including “Reconstruction to Progressivism.”
Critical Thinking in United States
History
uses fascinating original
source documents and discussion-based critical thinking methods to help
students evaluate conflicting perspectives of historical events. This process
stimulates students’ interest in history, improves their historical knowledge,
and develops their analytical skills for assessment tests.

For each lesson, students examine two or more
perspectives of an event using analysis and evaluation skills such as
identifying types of reasoning and evaluating sources. Through debating
historians’ evidence, inferences, analogies, and assumptions, students come
away with a deeper understanding of specific events. They also learn to examine
any historical, or current, event with a more critical mind.
Naturally, there is no such thing as a study of
history.  Rather, it’s all “social
studies.” What is the company’s
definition
of “a critical thinker”?
Assuming
that critical thinking is reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding
what to believe or do, a critical thinker:
1.
Is open-minded and mindful of alternatives
2.
Tries to be well-informed
3.
Judges well the credibility of sources
4.
Identifies conclusions, reasons, and assumptions
5.
Judges well the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its
reasons, assumptions, and evidence
6.
Can well develop and defend a reasonable position
7.
Asks appropriate clarifying questions
8.
Formulates plausible hypotheses; plans experiments well
9.
Defines terms in a way appropriate for the context
10.
Draws conclusions when warranted, but with caution
11.
Integrates all items in this list when deciding what to believe or do
However, to paraphrase Nancy Pelosi about the need
to pass Obamacare, you have to purchase the e-book courses to really see what’s
in them. I am highly suspicious of a company that adopts the name “Critical
Thinking” when the term was hijacked long ago by the whole Critical Studies movement,
at about the same time that movement got underway. (“In 1976, the company changed
its name to Critical Thinking Press and Software. The name was further changed
to Critical Thinking Books & Software in 1997. The current moniker, The
Critical Thinking Co.™ was adopted in November of 2003.”) The
federally-mandated Common Core package of educational instruction has basically
adopted the anti-American, neo-socialist Howard Zinn
interpretation of American history, à la
The
People’s History of the United States
. I have no reason to think that
the Critical Thinking Company’s program differs significantly in content and purpose.
The only educational philosophy I trust in today’s
chaotic culture is that presented by Challenger School,
a private school system in the Western U.S.:
As
we teach, we lead students to recognize the hierarchy of concepts and to
integrate concepts within and across subjects. Students learn to question
before validating the new connections that will eventually improve their
understanding and reasoning skills. Discovering, validating, and verbalizing
these concepts in their own words with clarity and precision is what enables
students to retain their knowledge and then to apply and extend that knowledge….
Learning
that progress is determined by work, a student realizes that his success is in
his control and is his responsibility. As he learns and applies this idea, he
begins to understand and enjoy the strength of his own mind. As he learns to
respect his own capacity and gains confidence, he also respects the same in
others.

Challenger students learn that each individual is born with unalienable rights.
They learn that happiness does not come from superficial sources, but
rather through the application of the virtues of rationality, productivity,
self-reliance, honesty, integrity, and justice.
They create their own self-worth through achievement.
Critical Race Theory is an altogether different and
more vicious animal. Drexel
University’s
description of it should say it all.
Critical
Race Theory has its roots in the more established fields of anthropology,
sociology, history, philosophy, and politics.  The notions of social
construction and reality of race and discrimination are ever-present in the
writings of known contemporary critical race theorists, such as Derrick Bell,
Mari Matsuda, Richard Delgado, Kimberlie Crenshaw,  and William Tate, as
well as pioneers in the field, including W.E.B. DuBois and Max Weber…. This field has its
roots firmly planted in American soils, mainly due to the racial makeup of our
country.  Therefore, most of the resources will contain only
American-related entries, or may have some other American bias. 
The ultimate aim of Critical Race Theory is not to
inform students of the history of slavery and racial discrimination in the U.S.,
but rather to perpetuate and aggravate whatever racial conflicts still exist.
This field of “Critical Studies” also has its roots in the Frankfurt School.
Some “critical thinking” essays of my own can be
found here
and here.
In conclusion, Critical Studies is nothing less
than the determined and systemic evisceration of the cognitive faculties,
regardless of the field of study. Americans who work for a living are poor
subjects of such a program. They live and struggle in the real world. Most students
do not. Critical Studies begins with the indoctrination and sabotaging of young
minds, from kindergarten through university graduate school level. Its end
products will be tribes of dependent, interchangeable, obedient, compliant manqués, ever-ready to do the State’s
bidding. These are already roaming the streets.
Overall, Critical Studies is the equivalent of Islam’s
Sharia Law. It makes little or no sense, but who is anyone to define “sense”? Be
a good citizen. Do not doubt, question, or think. Just do as I say…or else.

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