We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, January 22. 2007
Hitchin's piece in City Journal begins thus (thanks, H):
Every word in it is worth reading.
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I don't think the problem is so much an evil external enemy as the workings of an ancient adversary to nourish the evil within each of us. Look not to the mote that is in thy brother's eye and forget the beam in thine own, or whatever it was Jesus badgered us...The West was soft and degenerate when the latest Islamic hordes weren't doing a bloody thing to us. If we were not weak and forgetful of our great traditions and values, we would not be such an easy target. So,penitence and fasting, boot camp for everyone, Atkins Diet, hairshirts, and cold showers, YAHOO!
The Stamp Act was levied on the Colonies in 1765. 1765,1765....needless to say it caused great consternation. It wasn't until 1775 revolution began. It was highly doubtful revolutionaries would prevail. Highly doubtful. But we did.
If you read the Declaration of Independence today you will see a centuries long creep by the government at every level to deny the "inalienable" rights of man. The focus now however is not creeping socialism but an external enemy, actively trying to take us down, Islam.
If one acknowledges this threat, and many do not, one of the questions before us is when do we fight as a community outside the Corpus Juris Secundum.
Would you take up arms against an Islam whose ideology mandates your servitude? Would you do it without the constraints imposed by "the protections of due process" as Islam does?
If you cannot answer these questions I suggest you decide if any process trumps true freedom. If process wins then you can expect the development of this country to turn in faor of the demographics that are overwhelming us currently. Soon it will be too late to avoid the power that grows from the barrel of a gun. Unless servitude is what you choose. A false choice? Ask the Brits,French, Dutch, and Germans who are awakening to the enemy within, Islam, if their cultures are not in serious peril.
Preaching to the choir, Habu. I grew up in England, with the ever-present threat from the savage IRA. Dear family friend was a dashing Lifeguard who told us about his adventures in Northern Ireland (in a tank,somewhat better armed than today's pic,not on a horse).
Remember the James Bond story that quotes (who?) about how He whom theGods wish to destroy,they first make bored and soft? That's us. Every drill sergeant knows that you can't fight overnight, but need training, discipline, the old soft ways overcome....
Less and less good at following my own advice as I age,but can't defeat an enemy without wrenching personal reform first.
"I don't think the problem is so much an evil external enemy as the workings of an ancient adversary to nourish the evil within each of us"
Think harder and with more real world nourishment than the philosophical pablum you offer can provide you with. Or perhaps editing you remarks thusly.
I do not think. The problem is so much an evil external enemy as the workings of an ancient adversary etc,etc.
"but can't defeat an enemy without wrenching personal reform first."
Perhaps that is "Monty" talking but we won the Revolutionary War without a "well trained " army searching it's soul for personal reform, and we did it against the then greatest power on earth, now only a shadow of what it was. Same for WWI and WWII. Vietnam was not lost on the battlefield, but by a press bent on purposefully misreporting the news and a pusillanimous Democratic Party. We don't like receeding from the greatest power (for good) the world has ever known to one of a second rate has been whose fate is dictated by 7th century Islams.
Peace, brother Habu. Read Ephesians 6 1. To 20. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.But don't rage like the angry ones in Love in the Ruins
Sometimes churchification means placing self-criticism over that of others. Helpful in some applications, hurtful in others, and often forgetting the concept of justice in holding others to the same standards one would uphold for oneself... (because that danged Charity, Tolerance and Understanding thing gets interpreted in a paternalistic manner of "knowing" we're better and so therefore we're exhorted not to hold others to the consequences of their own wretched behavior. Utimately, God will, blah, blah, blah, while we suffer and die)
The Bible will not stop the Islams, no more so than it stopped the Germans.
It is wonderful that the Bible and the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles isn't a suicide pact for inaction when faced with their ilk.
I am very much at peace, but constantly realize that there is a time to kill and a time to die. I would prefer to do the killing and have my enemy do the dying.
Pacis exsisto vobis meus frater.
My humble apologies but your comment was too recondite for my understanding...can I buy a vowel?
Sure, Habu. Only $147, 989 UDS for such a nice guy whose posts and pointed comments are always crystalline clear.
oh, and Love, Hate
Islam just trimmed Ecclesiastes by 50%. Pity that it was the wrong 50%.
(Oh, and, Habu, that'd be United Dollars States, denomination-wise.)
Here, for a little lite relief, a sort of fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers intermission, take the short fun IQ test here:
Someone emailed me the site, and I haven't explored it beyond the "R U Stoopid?" page. So uh, if it's weird, well, so solly. But the test was fun.
Ch, evasion? However thank you for the compliment on the clarity of my posts ..you offered your vowel at $147,989US .. I bid $1.98 and I get to pick the vowel.
Anyway if we look at the Confusian Analects for guidance and the history of Eastern and Occidental war we find the following.
Counting approximately 15 major wars lasting about 450 years over the interval of 2,160 years, the average time of peace would be about 115 years. Compared with the estimated average time of the peace of about 50 years for the Western civilization, the bellicosity of western Judeo-Christian civilization appears to be about two times greater than the bellicosity of the Chinese civilization.
This is dilated at:
See we're hard wired for war, so lets start turning the heat up on the Muslims in the USA to leave...most ricky tic.
that #7 comment reminded me of the "soft bigotry of low expectations" which i think has been Bush's Best Bon Mot.
Many apologies for my being too lame, for you, Habu. Ran the comment by a twelve year-old next door who easily understood it, proving that it was written on a middle school level and far beneath you.
What hostile mentals. At least this time you didn't graciously accuse me of being good at f'n as a self-elected commenter/ cheerleader.
Advice: do the flashpoint test--it works online far better than an f'n test could ever remotely possibly.
"Mind yer own business, larsen, damn you!"
I meant no offense. I truly did not understand your comment and was simply seeking some clarification.
Habu, in bathrobe and holding dop kit and newspaper, stands in doorway of doghouse asking Fido to please move over a bit.
Fido answers "grrrrr".
Habu, couldn't reply (pesky details like having to work for a living, and it being difficult to type on a tiny Blackberry that doesn't always succeed in sending posts, having to pick up kids and cook dinner)...BUT, all I really wanted to say is that spiritual renewal and military might are not the either/or kind of thing you seemed to think I was describing, but rather that both are necessary.
The reason we whupped the Brits in the Revolution was because they were a degenerate Empire, at best ambivalent about holding onto us. They weren't really sure we were worth the trouble (Boy, were they wrong!). We were fighting for our homes, and our freedoms, and they were just trying to protect their master's monopolies and markets. No wonder we won. But in many ways, what the Brits were is what we have become now. As you note, we are constrained from winning wars by domestic politics, and people mewl and pewl now just as they did before WWII. Could go on, but have to drive a kid somewhere.
A-OK as they use to say in the early days of spaceflight.
We're on the same page and isn't it frustrating?
Many thanks for the clarification.
Sorry, had to run to a nice little reception and then back home, again, to pack breakable 33’s to send off to a family member. But just wanted to say that, Habu and Buddy, you’re right- what I wrote was really unintelligible and I shouldn’t have fired off back at H's remarks that what I wrote was recondite and that I was being evasive. In fact, this is the reason why I meant not to comment here, and should’ve stuck to it. Seems I’ll hafta to stop reading so as not to be tempted to type in really dumb stuff at the smart ones around here. Have fun and the best to you!
Ch, no m'am, My 'soft bigotry' remark wasn't to second habu, but rather to comment on your "therefore we're exhorted not to hold others to the consequences of their own wretched behavior" --which was bell-clear in its meaning.
Anyhoo, re the occasional dud--i've fired so many of 'em, i'm mithridated for all time. no pain, no gain!
If you want an inspiring escape, still on the theme of fighting a barbarous enemy, go watch "Alexander" if you haven't already seen it. Sometimes Hollywood does such a great job despite itself! I was raised on tales of heroic Greeks who fought bravely against Persian hordes...of Alexander and his Bucephalus leading them...imagined myself him as I rode my bad-tempered Shetland pony around the pond of snapping turtles with a stick for a spear...Guess that's why I get cranky when people talk endlessly about homoerotic imagery in poetry and about gay boys lolling on banquet couches. Those aren't the Greeks worth remembering! Alexander and his soldiers are...
Please keep contrbuting. Buddy said it best, and I'm living proof that firing off a less that what you wanted to say or how you wanted to say it is a hallmark for us. But as Teddy Roosevelt ( a favorite of mine) said. It is the man in the arena that matters, not the critics.
So please stay in the arena. It's plenty big enough for us all, and each of us will on occasion moonwalk back from something we've written.
Please do go on, and good for you for being able to type at all on a minimal surface, along with a normal life :-)
You are not wrong as to how we whipped the Brit's. But I would add a few more reason's. Good ol' George III did not prevail due to various agenda's, vapid general's, logistic's and disarrayed support. As well as his temporary cognitive imbalance.
I find worth thinking about your idea of the Brit's being degenerate. I have to ask, degenerate from what? It seems as if you have an ideal in mind. Care to expand? I would be interested. Especially in regards to the spiritual side of things. In these day's what will reverse the secular to the profound? And is that what is required? And to where does that lead us?
Having checked comments before posting this; let me add my support and wish for your continued comments. I missed you when you left RLS. Unique and penetrating voice's are rare on the net. You are such.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Brits, descended from them, venerate our heroes and ancestors...So, when I say degenerate, it's Blackberry shorthand, and more in sorrow than in anger. I wondered after I wrote that what I meant by it, given that Great Britain was, at that point in history, on the point of consolidating a great empire, despite losing the real prize. So how could I call them degenerate? I think it has mostly to do with what happened spiritually and religiously to the Brits after the Protestant Reformation. Rightly disgusted and appalled by the bloodshed, family strife, and hatreds that rent their societies in the name of worshipping God the right way, the Brits and most Europeans developed a horror of fanaticism and letting religion have real importance in national life. Church yes, but out of bounds faith (and its accompanying fights to the death)no...I am pondering this, not thought thru. Obviously, "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" had its productive effects on society and economy. But the Age of Reason and all its associated brilliance and creativity mocked and logically defeated and gutted the heart out of the faithful in Europe.
Too tired to do your question justice, LM ( will be up at 5:30), but thank you for asking it.
Thoughts as I nod off: King Arthur, Boadicea, St patrick, Cook's voyage, Darwin, Cromwell, other great figures in British History, obviously not degenerate...
Would it be uncool to comment on the post article? Hitchen's most amazing, erudite article?
He is amazing in his clarity, and as usual, he is right on target.
I hope the article gets spread around and opens some eyes.
Christopher Hitchens by his own admission experienced an epiphany after 9-11 which turned his thinking toward the right. I have been reading him for over a decade and it is apparent the change is genuine.
Mark Steyn is, in my opinion, the most brilliant, insightful writer in publication today.
Yep--both come across well on tv, too. Great speaking careers in prospect, provided they learn to shut up.
Touche Phoenix...One wanders off, like a beagle on the scent of rabbit thru a cornfield, and gets lost...
LM, your kind words appreciated, but I think you mistook my pseudonym for someone else. RLS? Rodents of Large Size?
Also, my mindless scribbling above is just exhaustion. The trouble with posting, one can't retract idiotic half-baked scrawls. Shame on me.. Time to make the doughnuts...
Well color my face red. Yes, mistaken identity. Apologies as well for previous off topic. But am still interested in an answer too my question.
Minor point: unalienable vs inalienable
I made this mistake the other day (not understanding the difference) and thought you might want to benefit from my gaf.
"You can not surrender, sell or transfer unalienable rights, they are a gift from the creator to the individual and can not under any circumstances be surrendered or taken. All individual's have unalienable rights."
"You can surrender, sell or transfer inalienable rights if you consent either actually or constructively. Inalienable rights are not inherent in man and can be alienated by government. Persons have inalienable rights. Most state constitutions recognize only inalienable rights."
Anyone see the clip of Hitchens on Bill Maher's stupid show? It is great TV. YouTube has it. The audience boos Hitchens and he has enough of it after a while and flips them off.
That part was perfect, but even better was that Hitchens made Maher look like an idiot. And he did it without trying. I guess that's easy enough when you are dealing with an idiot. Kind of like David Letterman - idiot supreme. ugh ugh...
Neither Maher nor Letterman can do much but MC an overdone high-school smirck-along. Unwatchable, for me.
Apologies if I have embarrassed you by bringing unwanted attention. I am still interested in your answer to my question's.
LM, distracted by that dutifully listened-to Address (thinking of the words in Scripture about how "you are neither hot nor cold, and I will spew you out" of God's about a lukewarm people). It was a lukewarm speech.
Degenerate. I could go to the dictionary. But what I mean is straying from yeoman Brit values, the bravery and decency of ordinary Brits, Christianity nowadays become a cultural identity but not a living faith. There are a few beacons of the faith there now, but when I was growing up there, the churches were beautiful aesthetically and spiritually dead. I don't know if degenerate is the right word, but there is something so disheartening about a culture so learned, so rich in history , with a people so talented and brave and inventive, and yet not serious about the things of God. I am clumsy, like my Puritan ancestors, but I think perhaps you could sum up my point of view as like that of Oliver Cromwell in that great film about his life "Cromwell". He starts out an ordinary, obedient gentleman of property, ready to leave for the New World to practice his faith in peace, but he is absolutely disgusted and takes a stand against his king when one of his tenants is tortured by a king's favorite stealing the common grazing land. If you know the film, you will know what I consider degenerate.
I'm no saint, and do not mean to be presumptuous. But that incident in Cromwell's life captures what I meant.
Now back to a far more impressive speech by Webb, than what preceeded it...