No civilised man expects women to fight, but in desperate times the meek are called to rise above their natural station. Around 60 AD, Boudicca did just that. Of royal blood and an Iceni though, she was meek only by the very highest standards. Rebelling against the Roman Empire, Boudicca nearly purged Britain of its foreign occupiers. None can ascertain the outcome of such a gamble. Boudicca bet her life and lost. But she took a stand, and she nearly won.
One thing’s for sure: The U.S. most definitely has a “special relationship” with Israel. It’s similar to the kind of relationship you see in the beaten wife syndrome, as this nauseating news nugget makes clear:
An Israeli spy serving a life sentence in the United States and groups of Palestinian prisoners could be freed under an emerging deal to salvage Middle East peace talks, sources close to the negotiations said on Monday.
The sources, who spoke as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders, said under the proposed arrangement that Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst caught spying for Israel in the 1980s, could be released by mid-April.
In addition, Israel would go ahead with a promised release of a fourth group of Palestinians, among the 104 it pledged to free in a deal that led to the renewal of peace talks last July. Another group of jailed Palestinians would also go free – and the peace talks would be extended beyond an April 29 deadline, the sources said.
What a deal – Israel gets its hero, the Palestinians get their people, and we get the greatest prize of them all: We get to maintain our “special relationship” with Israel. Win-win-win!
In case you’ve forgotten, here’s what Jonathan Pollard – an American citizen, at least on paper, if not in terms of loyalty – did to his country:
Pollard did more damage to the United States than any spy in history. And it was genuine damage, not just a mass of documents that had been routinely classified. Pollard’s Israeli handler, aided by someone in the White House who has up until now evaded arrest, was able to ask for specific classified documents by name and number. The Soviets obtained US war plans, passed to them by the Israelis in exchange for money and free emigration of Russian Jews without any regard for the damage it was doing to the United States. The KGB was able to use the mass of information to reconstruct US intelligence operations directed against it and a number of Americans and US agents paid with their lives. Pollard also revealed to the Israelis and Soviets the technical and human source capabilities that US intelligence did and did not have, which is the most critical information of all as it underlies all information collection efforts. Compounding the problem, the United States has never actually been able to accurately ascertain all of the damage done by Pollard because the Israeli government has refused to cooperate in the investigation and has not returned the documents that were stolen.
But what do you want to bet that the Israel-Firsters will meekly accept this outrage while screaming for Edward Snowden’s head?
I saw the sleeper hit movie God’s Not Dead this weekend with my family. It has some pretty significant flaws, but the overall emotional impact of the film is surprisingly powerful inspite of itself. I’ll write more on it later. Has anyone else seen it? Thoughts?
Dang! Steven Seagal has really gone rogue.
“It’s no secret that I have Republican views, and policies of Obama does not appeal to me,” Mr. Seagal said in the report. “In many ways, it is not even his fault, but the people who are in his inner circle who have views on world politics are diametrically opposed to Russia. In my opinion, a situation where the U.S. and Russia are on opposite sides of the fence is abnormal. And I see my task is to do everything to facilitate the normalization of relations.”
California state senator Leland Yee has been charged with trafficking firearms.
The great irony is Yee was listed on the Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll in 2006 for his co-authoring of an important gun-control bill. And in 2013 he took another dramatic stand with yet another gun-control bill.
Senator Yee at least deserves praise for distributing ammo to one particular group, and I don’t mean the Wo Hop To gang: Gun rights defenders. Thanks for the debate ammo!
In other news: Homeland Security plans to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of ammo. Is it preparing for a war? And if so, against whom?
The right to bear arms has historically been the mark of a free man, and rightly so.
“To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
- Richard Henry Lee
The BBC reports that for the first time a synthetic chromosome has been successfully manufactured and integrated into a functional yeast cell.
Is this really a positive?
I’m not sure I like him, but Heidegger’s ”dasein” roughly means “being”. The Irish Wolfhound is part of the Irish dasein. The English Bulldog is part of the English dasein. These pets connect us to our ancestors who bred them; they connect us to God who created them. More than the outright engineering of sentient beings threatens man’s dasein.
Synthetic goes further than transgenetics. This doesn’t merely meddle with God’s work; it replaces it. Biotech cannot be stopped, but the threat should at least be understood.
Yahoo News hosts an amusing example of an athlete’s final paper, chock full of errors, that received an A- from the esteemed UNC.
In my experience though, it’s not only athletes who receive such treatment. And it isn’t right to label these as “no-show” classes. The emphasis should be on what a student actually learns, not his attendance in class. College should not be adult day care, and some are simply not college material.
The solution here is the same with public schooling: Separate the bright from the dim, make actual learning a requirement to pass, don’t fear to flunk a student who refuses to, or cannot, learn.
To be clear, I don’t have anything against NeoReaction and the Dark Enlightenment except those elements that are hostile to Christianity and Christian morality. And I don’t entirely accept Steven’s main premise that DE/NR is really just people power against the new elite (the Cathedral). They want to replace the new elite because they think the new elite is hostile, but that they want to replace them with a people power “bizarre” is less clear. Some seem to actually desire a better non-hostile elite.
My dog in this fight is that I recognized some of the Southern Nationalist new guard that I have clashed with before in his description. While I don’t think the New Direction Caucus explicitly embraces the DE/NR label, they definitely model themselves on the European New Right identitarian movements. Here is more from Steven’s reply:
My point to the DE/NeR was basically that if your philosophy is functionally similar to conservatism, and you don’t admit it, you’re avoiding the truth out of some personal pretense…
… but the ugly fact is that the DE and Neoreaction are terminally broken. Underneath some promising ideas, there’s the ugly skeleton of liberalism (editor’s note: I don’t necessarily agree with this) and a pretense about avoiding conservatism. Same old jive, same old song and dance!…
Thus the big surprise here is: we don’t need a new idea. All of the ideas we need to look toward are in Plato and other writers from the fall of the Greco-Roman empires. (editor’s note: and the Bible, and the Reformers and some of the Framers, etc.) ~ emphasis mine
Here is a very good essay discussing the Dark Enlightenment and to a lesser degree the (religious) Orthosphere. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he expresses a couple of points I have tried to make in the past. The first is that “third ways” and “fourth ways” and/or whatever new name you want to give your project are not really new when you get below the surface. What they are are combinations of old ideas, perhaps with different proportions and emphasises but old ideas nonetheless. The second point is that regardless of how much people want to fool themselves otherwise, our project is essentially conservative, which is why it is so counter productive to bash conservatism (authenic vs. phony) or concede to the modern definition of what conservatism is.
But enough Dark Enlightenment bashing. When we remove its drama, what do we find?
- Recognition of inequality
Dark Enlightenment types will often explain their philosophy as a reversal of The Enlightenment, and a return to the darkness and Ragnar Redbeard styled “might is right” that came before the fancy do-gooder notions of the Cathedral. Then they proceed to list the three items above, all of which are found in… wait for it… paleoconservatism, and even more strongly, found in the aristocratic years before the French Revolution. On its surface, the Dark Enlightenment may be some new form of entertainment product. When you pop the hood and look at the engine, however, you’ll find the shocking truth — it’s conservatism rewarmed.
The most vivid illustration of how unnatural and unstable the DC regime has become was the orgy of mutual recrimination that followed the collapse of the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures. As the flimsy lies that united the bizarre coalition of war supporters became too glaring to deny, public support evaporated. Those who had convinced their constituencies to overlook their differences and rally ’round the flag quickly resorted to demonizing their former bedfellows. It got nasty at times.
You can deny reality for only so long. Really now: How long could we pretend the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan could hide behind such fantasies as Andrew Sullivan’s War of Global Gay Liberation, Charles Johnson’s Crusade against Tradition, and Free Republic’s Great Patriotic War?
Little wonder that the War Party is descending these days into increasingly shrill and unhinged attempts to revive public support for perpetual war. The silliest in recent memory is Michael Gerson’s warning that Americans have ”overlearned” the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, to paraphrase Gerson, “Americans made a huge mistake in 2003: They trusted us Neocons. But that doesn’t mean you should never trust us again when we want to attack another country that has not threatened or attacked us.”
Even worse, says Gerson, by not invading Libya, Georgia, and Syria, just to name a few countries begging for another US-led “liberation,” Americans are increasingly showing “tolerance of crimes against humanity.” Yes, that’s what he said.
If we really cared about the people in other countries, we’d bomb them. Keeping out of other people’s wars demonstrates a lack of compassion.
Of course, Gerson somehow forgets the ACTUAL results of past US interventions. Just to list a few:
- Vietnam, 1960-75 — Two million Vietnamese killed in longest US war.
- Indonesia, 1965 — CIA-backed overthrow of Sukarno in 1965 resulted in estimated death of one million people.
- Cambodia, 1969-75 — US carpet bombing killed two million people.
- El Salvador, 1981-92 — troops and air power assisted death squads, 75,000 people killed.
- Serbia — Clinton’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Air War in 1999 killed 6,000 Serbian troops and 2,000 civilians.
- Iraq — US-led sanctions result in the estimated deaths of over one million civilians, from 1990 to 2003. And the Iraqi invasion and occupation has killed over 700 US troops, 5,000 Iraqi troops, and 8,000 civilians.
But Neocons, like the leftists from which they mutated, are at war with reality. We’re supposed to focus on the nobility of their theories, not the real-world consequences of their policies.
In case you haven’t been following this, there has been a bit of a dust up in non-interventionist circles. Students for Liberty President Alexander McCobin publically criticized Ron Paul over his statements on the Crimean situatuion. Since then, it has been time, as they say, to “get the popcorn.” I’m working on a longer response to this. As you probably guess, I side with Ron Paul. But I figured I need to cover this situation so here is a list of links.
Here is the original McCorbin post that got it all started.
Here is the original, as far as I can tell, reaction from BuzzFeed.
The (anti-Paul) Washington Free Beacon quickly picked up the story.
Reason chimes in.
Ron Paul’s Institute responds. (Perhaps too harshly?)
Dave Weigel of Slate opines. (Weigel is interesting in cases like these. Weigel currently has anti-paleo biases, but because he once traveled in our circles before going a different dirrection, he gets the subtext better than most.)
Justin Raimondo is his typical firey self at Anti-War.com.
John Glaser says not so fast.
Raimondo steps on the gas.
Anthont Gregory calls for a truce.
Robert Wenzel sides with Ron Paul at LewRockwell.com
Whew! See what I mean about getting the popcorn?
The PC hysteria caucus is predictably outraged because a long time South Carolina Republican who may have something other than scorn and contempt for his ancestors and state has been picked to head the College of Charleston.
I don’t know if a retiring politician is actually qualified to be a University President, but a school picking a politician is certainly not without precedent. David Boren became the President of the University of Oklahome. Donna Shalala became the President of the University of Miami, and those are just off the top of my head. So who really believes these PC enforcers are more worried about credentials than they are right think?
McConnell, who spent more than 30 years in the state Senate (including 11 as its leader before becoming lieutenant governor) is being eyed suspiciously for two reasons: his political connections and his association with Confederate history.
Faculty said the search process was a sham, given that McConnell emerged at the top of the heap despite reports the search committee didn’t choose him as a finalist.
His critics also paint him as a Confederate sympathizer. He used to own a shop that sold memorabilia of the South’s rebellion; he appears in a widely circulated picture dressed as a Confederate general; and he is a longtime supporter of flying the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds. McConnell, whose office did not respond to a request for comment, has previously said his affiliation with Confederate regalia has to do with history and states’ rights.
Go Venice … Go Venice … (Picture me saying this as I do a happy dance.)
Oh well. It was sweet while it lasted. At least the SEC is representin’. Maybe the much maligned (basketball wise) SEC was better this season than the critics were giving them credit for, as 3 of the remaining 16 teams are from the SEC (Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee).
The latest from Zero Hedge is that Russia is being pressured into a trade partnership with China and possibly a wider “Asian axis”, which could result in the weakening of Europe’s economy and the undermining of the US Dollar as global reserve currency.
And if the US ceases to be the global reserve currency, widespread US economic collapse and rapid inflation would result. Warren Buffet’s warning about paper money might prove timely.
Buy Gold? Well, Rhodium (in the store section of link), Palladium, or even (flammable) Ruthenium might all be more potent investments, since they’re historically more volatile and actually have industrial uses. And Silver is a more traditional currency for China and India. However, deep sea mining potentially threatens to wipe out scarcity – the technology does anyway, not that particular (extremely risky) stock.
Metals might be best regardless, and deep sea mining perhaps won’t be profitable this decade; but it will be eventually.
Mercer just busted some brackets!
As the Tom Toles cartoon above illustrates, secession in Crimea, like secession in Scotland or Catalonia, is not an academic issue. Nor is it a trend that only affects people “over there.” In fact, all the overgrown political units bound together by brute force in the 19th and 20th centuries are now confronting populations demanding more autonomy, if not outright secession, from their former conquerors.
Writing in The New York Daily News, Dr. Robert Barro of Harvard notes this rising tide as a natural and benevolent development. The ruling elites of the world make a great deal of noise about their commitment to all sorts of human rights, but somehow overlook the one basic right from which all others flow, and that is the right of self-determination:
The potential switch of Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine to Russia raises the more general issue of the right of secession. Many individual freedoms — for example, of speech, the press and religion — are viewed as central elements of liberal constitutions, but the right to secede is seldom viewed this way. …
If I were able to design a constitution from scratch, I’m sure I would include provisions for peaceful secession. The procedure would have to define the underlying sub-regions, such as U.S. states, designate a voting mechanism for residents of a potentially departing region, and might require a super-majority, such as 75%, of the voters. This structure would provide a useful check on central authority, make country borders align better with underlying population characteristics and minimize conflict.
Barro makes clear that secession is not motivated by some irrational hatred of “others,” as nervous apologists for the old order, such as the online snitches at the Southern Poverty Law Center, would have you believe. Secession is instead “the process of generating the optimal sizes and compositions of countries.” Behind that process, says Barro, is “the desire to have a reasonably homogeneous population within its borders.” Without cultural unity, conflict is inevitable. As conflict between sparring ethnic groups rises, social cohesion and liberties can only degrade, as both history and objective scholarship have proven. The old model of a multicultural population kept in check by an authoritarian government is no longer sustainable.
The dustbin of history has a space reserved for that imperial model.
But if Putin is not a Russian imperialist out to re-establish Russian rule over non-Russian peoples, who and what is he?
In the estimation of this writer, Vladimir Putin is a blood-and-soil, altar-and-throne ethnonationalist who sees himself as Protector of Russia and looks on Russians abroad … as people whose security is his legitimate concern.
Imagine that. A leader who actually looks out for the best interests of his people rather than trying to make the world safe for globalist banksters and other assorted fat cats.
The Crimean vote is illegal … but the coup against the duly elected* President in Kiev was legal?
Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and Europe condemned the ballot as illegal and destabilizing and were expected to slap sanctions on Russia for it.
*As duly elected as any person in that region can be given rampant corruption and outside meddling.
Hmmm … maybe I was on to something when I pointed out neocon hypocrisy on this issue here.