Arimathea
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Philosophy
All wisdom begins in wonder, and this delight kindles a desire for truth that leads us on a quest for the really real -- the source of being itself. Hence, the philosophical impulse, albeit often manifested in atheistic and irreverent stumblings in the dark of human ignorance, begins and ultimately ends in theology -- communicating and communing with our origin and goal. We men are rational animals who seek to know. We are agents of truth who want correct answers to questions that we must ask. From the noblest objects of contemplation to the seemingly insignificant everyday trivialities of life, we attempt to unravel perplexing knots. Limited, blind, and distracted, we nevertheless struggle for wisdom. This is our lot, and it is also our glory.
Friday, June 25, A.D. 2010
Another Evil in Micromanaging Children

I wonder what relations exist between utopian socialists and micromanaging parents. Both sets exhibit many similar tendencies, including being busy bodies, believing that nature can be perfected (or at least conform to our wishes) with the appropriate techniques, and pretending to have a special wisdom to make all the right decisions.

Now, the New York Times tells us that some institutions have policies that discourage the development of best friends: “A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding.” Evidently, best friends are exclusionary and may lead to social problems.

This is wrong on so many levels. It is bad enough to suffocate children with so much adult control, but it is evil to subject them to social engineering based on idiotic ideals that robs them of the treasure of their own humanity. The Puritans and their heretical peers banned Christmas and festival celebrations because such merrymaking endangered their antinatural regime. Now, egalitarians and socialist pedagogues wish to ban intimate friendships because such relationships are obstacles to the Borg like humanity that these twisted souls envision?

I ought not to be surprised when I learn of new evils that leftist principles spawn. A sick tree bears diseased fruit. Yet, the ceaseless generation of madness angers me. This modernist folly leads to so much ruin. Tyrannical leftists are not content to destroy the state as a whole. They wish to infect with their perversion every family, every neighborhood, and every child’s experience with the world. May hellfire consume their wickedness!

Yet, how has it come to this? How can illogic, misplaced principles, and an unwillingness to accept the world as it is go so far in transforming a civilization?

My misogynistic streak suspects that the “empowerment” of women has been quite beneficial to the Left, in that useful idiot sort of way. Female suffrage tends to force the state to act like a nanny, and politicians under female pressure transform the commonwealth into a tyrannical mother who both suckles and scolds a populace that used to be free and self reliant. Women seem less able to appreciate the differences in personal and public morality, and they are not well constituted to recognize the distinctions between private interest and the common good. It seems as if women collapse the various political levels of life into one horizon, like the Marxists who manipulate them, “for the children.” Women are made by nature to steer the private ship. They wreck the ship of state.

That said, women should know better than to buy into the perverse micromanaging infantilizing that render their own children perennially immature and bewildered when they have to face life on their own. After all, women have been raising generations for millennia, and only recently has a small minority of Western women decided to indulge their own maternal version of the Pygmalion complex. How have these women been duped—and in such a way that goes against their own self interest in that they do not have enough time to sculpt the perfect life for their children and that goes against their children’s interest as one can see by the sorry results of such parenting? Do women wish to conform more to the standards that leftist “authorities” have established? Are they more Mandarin and obedient by nature? Is their herd instinct stronger, so that Dr. Spock, Oprah, and daytime television have managed to rewrite their parental instincts in a matter of decades? Shouldn’t the stubborn, recalcitrant horse sense of the average woman have thwarted the micromanagers of the state from rendering women micromanagers of their children?

Is it simply that women have fewer children today and therefore are more anxious over their small broods to such an extant that they will turn, in their unnatural situation so perilously close to genetic extinction, to “wiser authorities”? Is it the mass culture that subjects women to a gossip circle, not of their neighbors, but of an artificial culture created and controlled by counter cultural idealogues? Or is it simply that women have gone it alone without—or have been abandoned by—their men and thus attempt to steer the domestic boat with oars only on one side?

I do not know. However, I do know that the new pedagogy is forming ill trained youth, and our civilization will be overrun by the barbarians from within if not from without.

No close friendships? May mothers resist such perverse encroachment upon their parenting, and may they not allow such evil to touch their children! Indeed, may they overthrow the leftist institutions that seek to mold their children to be inhuman little shades of watered down Kantian morality!

Posted by Joseph on Friday, June 25, Anno Domini 2010
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Thursday, June 24, A.D. 2010
Waters Wants to Socialize

You have likely seen this precious clip, but here it is anyway:

Should anyone be surprised? The Democrats are chock full of pinkos.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, June 24, Anno Domini 2010
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Monday, June 21, A.D. 2010
Coulter on Greene

Ann Coulter has a delightful section in her latest article about the Democratic Senate candidate from South Carolina, “Alvin Greene: The Most Qualified Democrat I’ve Ever Seen”:

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Greene was not a “legitimate” candidate and called his victory “a mysterious deal.” (Yes, how could a young African-American man with strange origins, suspicious funding, shady associations, no experience, no qualifications, and no demonstrable work history come out of nowhere and win an election?)

Oh, Ann, how I love you.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, June 21, Anno Domini 2010
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Wednesday, June 2, A.D. 2010
If Only They Had Sunk the Bastards

The state of Israel has few friends, indeed. Well, make that no friends, thanks to Obama Hussein bin Barack. I am horrified but not at all surprised that the current American administration has forsaken our only ally in the Levant. The United States has not yet fully joined the League of Everyone in holding the Israelis in contempt of self preservation. However, there will be an international investigation into the “flotilla” incident. White House Press Secretary Gibbs explained the Security Council declaration, which is evidently the position of the White House, as well:

The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The council in this context condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families. The Security Council requests the immediate release of the ships, as well as civilians held by Israel.

So, for following the normal rules of a military blockade in a war zone, the state of Israel faces condemnation, and internationalist bureaucrats will intrude upon the state sustaining actions of the Israelis. Do we expect the “international community” to busy itself with every difficult decision that nations must make to secure themselves? Victor Hanson Davis states the issue plainly on the Corner of the National Review Online:

The Turkish Government as Global Arbiter of Ethnic Violence

The virulent worldwide reaction to Israeli’s handling of the Gaza flotilla has been quite instructive. The bankrupt Greeks, for example, are taking a holiday from railing at the Germans to demonstrate in solidarity with the Turkish-organized Gaza effort, which puts them on the same side as those whose government supports the occupation of much of Greek-speaking Cyprus and its divided capital.

No one in Europe worried much about the constant shower of missiles from Gaza in the past. No one in Europe said a word when North Korea torpedoed and slaughtered South Koreans on the high seas. No one objected when the Iranians hijacked a British ship and humiliated the hostages.

We ourselves seem to be getting a sort of novel pass for executing scores of suspected terrorists — and anyone in their vicinity — in our new, stepped-up Predator drone assassinations.

But the Western and Islamic worlds have a preexisting furor at the Jewish state that can be tapped at will by almost any pro-radical-Palestinian group clever enough to do proper P.R. after a desired asymmetrical confrontation. The fallout from Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, the distortions around the 2002 terrorist storming of the Church of Nativity, the 2006 Lebanon war — over time, these incidents do their part, in weird fashion, to incur hatred for a liberal democracy while creating sympathy for a theocratic thugocracy like Hamas.

What explains this preexisting hatred, which ensures denunciation of Israel in the most rabid — or, to use the politically correct parlance, “disproportionate” — terms? It is not about “occupied land,” given the millions of square miles worldwide that are presently occupied, from Georgia to Cyprus to Tibet. It is not a divided capital — Nicosia is walled off. It is not an overreaction in the use of force per se — the Russians flattened Grozny and killed tens of thousands while the world snoozed. And it cannot be the scale of violence, given what we see hourly in Pakistan, Darfur, and the Congo. And, given the Armenian, Greek, and Kurdish histories (and reactions to them), the currently outraged Turkish government is surely not a credible referent on the topic of disproportionate violence.

Perhaps the outrage reflects simple realpolitik — 350 million Arab Muslims versus 7 million Israelis. Perhaps it is oil: half the world’s reserves versus Israel’s nada. Perhaps it is the fear of terror: Draw a cartoon or write a novel offending Islam, and you must go into hiding; defame Jews and earn accolades. Perhaps it is anti-Semitism, which is as fashionable on the academic Left as it used to be among the neanderthal Right.

Perhaps there is also a new sense that the United States at last has fallen into line with the Western consensus, and so is hardly likely to play the old lone-wolf supporter of Israel in the press or at the U.N.

At this point, it doesn’t much matter — as this latest hysterical reaction reminds us, much of the world not only sides with Israel’s enemies but sides with them to such a degree as to suggest that, in any existential moment to come, the world either will be indifferent or will be on the side of Israeli’s enemies.

Quite frightening, when you think of it.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has demanded that Israel raise its Gaza blockade, though the United States will hopefully veto any such Security Council measures. The Democratic Party still depends on Jewish donors; political self preservation, for now, keeps American Leftists’ Israel hatred in check. For how long, though? If Obama finds it difficult to support Israel when it has done nothing remarkable, we cannot rely on his support for Israel when the Israelis have to resort to truly controversial military decisions for their defense. I think that the Obama administration has finally decisively answered, by its lukewarm defense of Israel’s actions this week, that the United States will not stand by Israel if the Israelis take preventive strikes against the Iranian nuclear program.

I am no neoconservative, but I have no reservations in supporting the Israelis for doing what every nation must do—defend itself from aggressors and ensure the preservation of its society.

About ten years ago, I had a conversation with a Jewish American girl whose parents had immigrated from Iran. She horrified me when she said that Israel should just annihilate the Arab population in the occupied territories. A decade later, I am much less troubled by her genocidal program. I still find the mass slaughter of innocent human beings repulsive, but I wonder now if such dismal choices may ever force themselves upon people. Are the Mohammedans capable of peaceful coexistence with the Dar al Harb? If not, then what measures can morally be taken for self preservation? These are not theoretical musings. The Israelis must ponder them every day that they refuse to distract themselves from the looming terror.

Israel is like Gondor in Tolkien’s Middle Earth—it sits on the border of a belligerent menace, the principle aim of which is Israel’s utter destruction. Are we in the West going to allow the city to fall, or shall we ride like the Rohirrim to their defense? Our current leaders certainly bear no resemblance to Théoden. The master class of the modern West is comprised of legions of Wormtongues. They care for nothing of their people or their tradition. They are cowards and traitors, ready to submit themselves as dhimmis to the barbarians. The shadow has truly come upon the West.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, June 2, Anno Domini 2010
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Tuesday, June 1, A.D. 2010
Bierce’s Definitions

Andrew sent me the following quotation by Ambrose Bierce, another Ohioan who moved to D.C., from The Devil’s Dictionary:

CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

I found a digital copy of the dictionary online: The Devil’s Dictionary, which has many other amusing entries, including:

ADMIRATION, n. Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.

AFRICAN, n. A nigger that votes our way.

ALIEN, n. An American sovereign in his probationary state.

ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.

AMNESTY, n. The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

APOLOGIZE, v.i. To lay the foundation for a future offence.

ARISTOCRACY, n. Government by the best men. (In this sense the word is obsolete; so is that kind of government.) Fellows that wear downy hats and clean shirts—guilty of education and suspected of bank accounts.

BACCHUS, n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.

BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

BRIDE, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

CANNIBAL, n. A gastronome of the old school who preserves the simple tastes and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork period.

CAT, n. A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.

CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

CIRCUS, n. A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.

COMMONWEALTH, n. An administrative entity operated by an incalculable multitude of political parasites, logically active but fortuitously efficient.

CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one’s country.

DOG, n. A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship. This Divine Being in some of his smaller and silkier incarnations takes, in the affection of Woman, the place to which there is no human male aspirant. The Dog is a survival—an anachronism. He toils not, neither does he spin, yet Solomon in all his glory never lay upon a door-mat all day long, sun-soaked and fly-fed and fat, while his master worked for the means wherewith to purchase the idle wag of the Solomonic tail, seasoned with a look of tolerant recognition.

EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

EXILE, n. One who serves his country by residing abroad, yet is not an ambassador.

HEBREW, n. A male Jew, as distinguished from the Shebrew, an altogether superior creation.

HERMIT, n. A person whose vices and follies are not sociable.

HERS, pron.  His.

HOSPITALITY, n. The virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain persons who are not in need of food and lodging.

IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.

INSURRECTION, n. An unsuccessful revolution. Disaffection’s failure to substitute misrule for bad government.

LAWFUL, adj. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction.

LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.

MAMMON, n. The god of the world’s leading religion. The chief temple is in the holy city of New York.

MANICHEISM, n. The ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant warfare between Good and Evil. When Good gave up the fight the Persians joined the victorious Opposition.

NEGRO, n. The piece de resistance in the American political problem. Representing him by the letter n, the Republicans begin to build their equation thus: “Let n = the white man.” This, however, appears to give an unsatisfactory solution.

NEIGHBOR, n. One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows how to make us disobedient.

NEWTONIAN, adj. Pertaining to a philosophy of the universe invented by Newton, who discovered that an apple will fall to the ground, but was unable to say why. His successors and disciples have advanced so far as to be able to say when.

NIHILIST, n. A Russian who denies the existence of anything but Tolstoi. The leader of the school is Tolstoi.

NOMINEE, n. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.

NON-COMBATANT, n. A dead Quaker.

OBSTINATE, adj. Inaccessible to the truth as it is manifest in the splendor and stress of our advocacy.

PEACE, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

PLEBEIAN, n. An ancient Roman who in the blood of his country stained nothing but his hands. Distinguished from the Patrician, who was a saturated solution.

PLEONASM, n. An army of words escorting a corporal of thought.

POLITENESS, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When we wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

POLYGAMY, n. A house of atonement, or expiatory chapel, fitted with several stools of repentance, as distinguished from monogamy, which has but one.

PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

PRESBYTERIAN, n. One who holds the conviction that the government authorities of the Church should be called presbyters.

PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics.

PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom—and of whom only—it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.

RABBLE, n. In a republic, those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections. The rabble is like the sacred Simurgh, of Arabian fable—omnipotent on condition that it do nothing. (The word is Aristocratese, and has no exact equivalent in our tongue, but means, as nearly as may be, “soaring swine.”)

REFERENDUM, n. A law for submission of proposed legislation to a popular vote to learn the nonsensus of public opinion.

REPRESENTATIVE, n. In national politics, a member of the Lower House in this world, and without discernible hope of promotion in the next.

RESPONSIBILITY, n. A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.

RUSSIAN, n. A person with a Caucasian body and a Mongolian soul. A Tartar Emetic.

SELF-ESTEEM, n. An erroneous appraisement.

SELF-EVIDENT, adj. Evident to one’s self and to nobody else.

SELFISH, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

SENATE, n. A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors.

UGLINESS, n. A gift of the gods to certain women, entailing virtue without humility.

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

WAR, n. A by-product of the arts of peace. The most menacing political condition is a period of international amity. The student of history who has not been taught to expect the unexpected may justly boast himself inaccessible to the light. “In time of peace prepare for war” has a deeper meaning than is commonly discerned; it means, not merely that all things earthly have an end—that change is the one immutable and eternal law—but that the soil of peace is thickly sown with the seeds of war and singularly suited to their germination and growth. It was when Kubla Khan had decreed his “stately pleasure dome”—when, that is to say, there were peace and fat feasting in Xanadu—that he

heard from afar
Ancestral voices prophesying war.

One of the greatest of poets, Coleridge was one of the wisest of men, and it was not for nothing that he read us this parable. Let us have a little less of “hands across the sea,” and a little more of that elemental distrust that is the security of nations.  War loves to come like a thief in the night; professions of eternal amity provide the night.

WASHINGTONIAN, n. A Potomac tribesman who exchanged the privilege of governing himself for the advantage of good government. In justice to him it should be said that he did not want to.

YANKEE, n. In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In the Southern States the word is unknown. (See DAMNYANK.)

YEAR, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

It seems as if Bierce was his era’s Dave Barry, only far wittier and more learned. Social decay is evident even among our nihilistic humorists.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, June 1, Anno Domini 2010
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