Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Moral Self-Confidence and the Western Way of War: Part II

"If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it."
--Ayn Rand, The Nature of Government, The Virtue of Selfishness

NOTE: This entry is Part II of a two-part series on what has gone so terribly wrong in America's wars in Iraq and in Afganistan. Part I dealt with the concepts involved in the "Western way of war" and the problem we have now that we do not use it. Briefly, the Western way of war can be defined as war that is an agressive, all-out frontal assault intended to bring about a decisive conclusion as quickly as possible. It is total war fought for the purpose of winning. The problem discussed in Part I was defined as the the inability of the United States to actually fight such a war in either of wars in which we are currently involved, and the endlessly dragged out war, replete with military and civilian casualties that result. Part I can be found here . In this part, I will discuss what I believe to be the reasons why the United States has been brought to this point.

In my last post on this topic, I ended with a quote from Carolyn Glick's article "The Western Way of War". In order to begin to address the topic of this post--the reasons why the United States refuses to fight a decisive, total war aimed at the unconditional surrender of the enemy--I think it good to begin with the same quotation:

"For years, citizens of free nations have willfully ignored or dismissed the significance their enemies' gruesome goals and ideology. They have claimed that what these people stand for is insignificant. At the end of the day, they say, the only reason there are wars is because the nations of the West provoke them by being strong. And so, when they have fought wars, they have fought them with strategies that can bring them nothing but defeat."

Why would a nation or the nations that make up Western Civilization do this? Why would the United States or any nation ignore and dismiss the significance of "their enemies gruesome goals and ideology"? Why would it blame the cause of such wars not on the enemy's agression, but upon the virtue of it's own strength? Although there are many reasons why a nation might choose to fight a war in one way rather than another, that a nation would actually go to war with any other goal than to win the war bespeaks a philosophical problem at the highest level. Such an action indicates a profound lack of moral self-confidence. This lack of a sense of moral rightness can only come from the evasion of reality that emerges from a confused and irrational philosophy; one that rewards what is evil and punishes what is good.

Although the lack support for America's wars in Afganistan and Iraq may indeed emerge from the fact that these wars have not been properly declared, and that the people of the United States have been urged directly and otherwise to pay no attention to the ideas that support a weak foreign policy that has brought us to this turn, the only reason for such a profound lack of moral confidence must reside in the ideas that have replaced the "Western way of war."

In his essay entitled "The Balm for a Guilty Conscience: Moral Paralysis, Appeasement and the Causes of WWII" (The Objective Standard, Summer 2007), the historian John David Lewis writes:

"During the 1930s, men stood at a cusp in time, a point of momentous decision, watching the growing power of Germany under its screaming, malevolent leader. Their failure to confront Germany—and the devastating consequences of that failure—demonstrate the power of ideas, both to motivate aggressors and to undercut defenders from taking the actions needed to protect freedom." (Emphasis mine).

Ultimately, Lewis says in his essay, it is the power of ideas that create confrontations that lead to war, and that create the will towards victory; or that cause a nation to get mired down in endless skirmish after skirmish, carefully planned to create not victory, but equity. This leads finally to a quagmire that is never decisively won, but merely declared over, while the problematic behavior of the enemy remains and is exacerbated by the weakness of his opposition. The idea that leads to such self-defeating behavior in war is the lack of moral self-confidence; the lack of a sense that individuals have a right to self-defense, and may thus band together to defend their people against an agressor.

According to Lewis, with respect to the origins of WWII, the fault lay with the leadership of the United States and England, especially President Woodrow Wilson, who refused to allow the allied forces to invade Germany and demand unconditional surrender at the end of WWI. This lack of a decisive defeat, together with a "peace" treaty designed to maintain the European status quo, allowed Germany to imagine victory and then claim victim status under the provisions of the peace treaty. That together with a peace treaty that imposed goals of equity, national self-determination, and the concept of "collective security"--the idea that all nations must be equally disarmed regardless of which nations had been the agressors--guaranteed a bigger and bloodier war to follow. And it did. Fifty million people died in WWII.

And why did England stand by while Germany rearmed itself under Hitler, and began to threaten war? Why did Chamberlain appease, and appease again, right up to claiming "peace in our time" as the Nazis marched into Sudetenland? It was not economics, nor the horrors of war alone that caused the majority in the West to stand idly by while war was being prepared; at the root of it all was lack of a sense of moral self-confidence. In England, as in the United States, progressives carefully inculcated the idea that all nations are equal with respect to ideas, civilizing principles, and action; that no nation or civilization is morally superior to any other. These ideas were in direct contradiction to the political reality that the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles was designed to address. As Lewis puts it:

"Wilsonian idealists, egalitarian British socialists, and so-called “realist” conservatives—who disagreed about almost everything else—generally agreed that they could not abide the language of the Treaty. Many British politicians and intellectuals were divided, torn between Wilson’s ideals and the reality of Germany’s complicity in the war—split between theory and practice. . . . Morally, many British thought that Germany had a right to determine her own national destiny. Politically, they knew this would be a disaster. In the clash between the political reality in Europe and their unreal moral ideals, their ideals won."

Although the United States cast off these Wilsonian Ideals and went on to win WWII by fighting a total war that ended only in the absolute defeat and unconditional surrender of both Germany and Japan, the progressive idea of multiculturalism was not defeated in the United States. Rather, they remained dormant until the Consciousness Revolution of the 1960's, when with the United States mired in an undeclared war on foreign soil, engaged in despite the best interests of the country, and with no clear plan for victory, these ideals were brought back by the careful work of progressives of all political stripe in order to advance their cause and draw the United States away from its own ideals of individualism and liberty.

And since WWII, the United States has not engaged in any war that was declared in order to protect the rights of Americans, nor has she fought any war with the goal of total victory and the unconditional surrender of the enemy power.

Although there were various terrorist attacks by Islamo-fascists on American assets in foreign lands, most Americans did not wake up to the new enemy that had risen against them until they witnessed the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon. And the politicians' reaction to go to war was done with a similar curious mix of the unreality of the Wilsonian Ideals and the political situation created by the very real ideology of the Islamic Jihadists: the destruction of the Western way of life in Europe and America. Therefore, within three years the United States went to war in two different countries, only one of which was justified by self-defense, and both of which were undeclared. No specific goals for victory were made for either war, and there was no thought that the enemy must be totally defeated and brought to unconditional surrender.

Thus, as Bush--and now Obama--fiddled while our liberties were destroyed--our blood and treasure have been spent in order to set up a corrupt secular government that is rapidly being defeated by Islamo-fascists in Afganistan, and a nation divided against itself in Iraq. Meanwhile, the real menance to peace in the Middle East, and to the world, is growing Persian-style, as the madman Achmadinnerjacket (see Deut. 25:19) closes in on the goal of obtaining nuclear weapons to wipe Israel off the map and to defeat America.

And we evade this reality by mouthing the multicultural pieties of Wilsonian Idealism: that the United States should not engage in any action for the sake of our own self-interest; that all nations have the right to self-determination (apparently except Israel), regardless of proof of past agression and threats of future destruction; that in the face of the threats of madmen, the right and moral thing to do is disarm all nations (apparently except Iran); and that principled self-defense in the face of those who wish to defeat us physically and spiritually in order to destroy our culture and values and assimilate us into the "world caliphate" is immoral.

At the heart of this idea is a great contradiction: that somehow all nations have the right to self-determination--except the United States; that all cultures and civilizations are equal in values and outcomes--except Western culture and civilization. In other words, to paraphrase Orwell: All nations and cultures are equal; but some are less equal than others.

A blog friend of mine and an Objectivist has reminded me that when faced with a contradiction, one should "check your premises" because one or more of them is wrong.
The wrong premise here is that all values and all cultures are equal; that is they all equally promote human life and human happiness.

For nearly a century the progressives among us have worked to blur the difference between institutionalized rape and the abuse of women in Muslim countries and the difference in compensation between men and women in the West; they have worked to blur the difference between a fundamentally just court system based on the Rule of Law in the West, and a fundamentally unjust system based on Sharia law in Muslim countries. Further the progressives have deliberately planned to set different groups of people against one another in the West, on the basis of the faulty concept of "group rights", in order to sow dissension among us and bring chaos to our lives. They do all of this in the name of those same Wilsonian Ideals, which are really the ideals of collectivism. In the name of those ideals, they have murdered and starved--or encouraged others to murder and starve millions upon millions over the course of the bloody 20th century.

All values, all cultures, and all ideas do not equally promote human life, liberty and happiness. Some values promote the opposite--death, enslavement and misery. Ideas are important--they are acted out in the real world and they have real consequences. Collectivist ideals fly in the face of the nature of human individuals even to the level of our basic biology. They promote a morality that is incompatible with human life, and which is thus inescapably evil.
This is why the pretense we have engaged in in the West, that as Caroline Glick puts it, causes us to willfully ignore or dismiss the significance of our enemies' "gruesome goals and ideology", is downright deadly to ourselves and to our way of life. In order to break out of this trap of quagmire and endless war, it is important that we value our way of life highly, and demand that we fight our wars in the Western way, to total victory and unconditional surrender of the enemy, and only then engage in the American way of compassion to build up our former enemies.

We can win this battle, says Professor Lewis, but we cannot put the cart before the horse:

"Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them—if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them—then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil—not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them—if we want to live. We can and must approach this war with the moral self-confidence of those fighting for civilization itself—for the basic conditions on which human life depends—because that is precisely what is at stake."

A Holocaust survivor that I knew, a very thoughtful woman once asked me in bewilderment why we refuse to believe a dictator who tells us exactly what he will do, and then proceeds to do it. I told her that I thought that many people have difficulty accepting that such a person exists--one who is fundamentally messed up that he does not value even his own life.

And I still think that is true. But now I also know that it is not only that visceral reaction against the existence of evil; it is also about the inculcation over nearly a century of multiculturalism and the idea that it is moral to act outside of rational self-interest, to reward the bad and punish the good. This can only lead to an evil outcome: death and destruction, slavery and misery.

But we have a choice. As Caroline Glick said at the end of her article:
" . . . it also reminds us that there is another choice that can be made. The Western way of war needn't remain the path of defeat. That still is for the people of the West to decide."

True. And may that choice to defend our lives and freedom come soon and in our own day.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch, Our New Home on the Range

At Ragamuffin House, even while discussing and writing about the issues of the day and working with NMPA to educate and strengthen the bonds among patriot groups, we've also been working on some new projects related to the Engineering Geek's upcoming retirement.
Yes, the time is coming, and our plans have been hastened a bit by the installation of Obummer's Health Care fiasco, which means that the EG's employer cannot guarantee they will be allowed to pay for his health benefits through our private plan if he does not retire before certain provisions go into effect. That and the issue of how to invest the different self-managed retirement accounts, has led to some very exciting and interesting changes in our plans.

We have been planning for a number of years to move out of highly taxed Bernalillo County, to a place that has darker skies, lower taxes, and fewer people. (The first and third generally go together). We were thinking of a place in a Preservation Development down near Mountain Air, but as we have been watching events here, we decided that for many reasons, someplace in west-central New Mexico would be better for us. We have decided to invest in a ranch in a county that has low population, low taxes, and lots of space, and where the use of firearms and hunting and fishing is a way of life, and where the people have an ethic of self-sufficiency and where there is the tradition of a Constitutional County Sheriff.

We spent one day every weekend from the middle of May to the middle of June driving with a Ranch Realtor out to the mountains and mesas of west-central New Mexico, looking at and evaluating properties for our purposes. We had quite a checklist. A few weeks ago, we went down to negotiate an offer with the owners of a perfect ranch, which was accepted and we are now in process.

This is an exciting time for us--we have reserved three cows, all of which have calves suckling, and all are pregnant. One is a Texas Longhorn. She's beautiful. In the next six months we will be getting ready to go into the ranching business, lease our house here (we own it and with this economy it makes no sense to sell it), and make arrangements to be at the ranch.

The place where we are going is stunningly, spare and beautiful! So below are pictures of a large area of the western New Mexico country surrounding our new property.

The Malpais--very young volcanic flow--is part of the landscape. Here there are 800 year-old lava flows in the foreground, that flowed down the Rio Puerco valley. In some places, pinyon trees and sagebrush have taken root among the twists and tubes of the flow.

Here in the Narrows of El Malpais Monument, the road runs between the lava flows and great mesas composed of Colorado Plateau formation sandstones and shales. At the top of this mesa is a degraded sandstone, but the Ventana Arch is in the Zuni Sandstone, a very competent layer. Weathering creates the arches, making a stunningly beautiful landscape.

The wildlife in this part of the world includes bear, mountain lion, and elk as well as the deer and antelope that play. Coyotes sing campers to sleep, and eagles, hawks and falcons provide a focus in the big, big skies.

On an immense ranch that is located across parts of Cibola and Catron counties, the very competent sandstone has weathered into huge boulders that when balanced on other rock are called hoodoos. This ranch is beyond our means, but we traveled through it on county roads to see other ranches. This open pinyon-juniper woodland and shortgrass prairie is what most of New Mexico looked like when the Spaniards came. In the East Mountains, where we now live, a misguided conservation policy has made the woodlands too thick--dirty woods--and a great fire hazard.

A view of part of our ranch-to-be from a rimrock mesa top. It is in a protected valley, with very good water rights and to our delight, very dark skies! The round hill against the sky at the upper left of the picture is one of the many old volcanic cones found in the entire western region of the state. The ranch headquarters are in the valley, and there is also an old homestead further out, with a hand-dug well and timbers. There's lots of history here! Many of the tiny towns were once thriving ranching and mining centers before the men went off to fight WWII, and the women went to work in the airplane factories in California.

This county, like much of western New Mexico, is ranching country, complete with local rodeo rings and Mercantile stores. These areas were not settled in the original Spanish settlement--they wisely settled the Rio Grande Valley along the Camino Real--but after the United States acquired New Mexico as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildalgo. Most of the people who settled and live in these parts are not Spanish, and the culture is more broadly European and American. And Texan, too! There are also different Pueblo Indian tribes and Navajo and Apache bands.

Another view of a sandstone bluff within El Malpais. It is a very large park, covering parts of several counties, and in our travels we drove across different parts of it.

We think of where we live now as G-d's Country, but we are truly fortunate, because New Mexico is repleat with places that make one sigh at the beauty of it all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Moral Self-Confidence and the Western Way of War: Part I

NOTE: This entry will be presented in two parts. Part I will discuss the problem--that the West is no longer engaging in the Western Way of War, and perhaps no longer believes in the purpose of it, as well as the way that the United States has gained victory through its exceptional use of the Western Way of War as dictated by the Constitution. Part II will discuss the philosophical reasons why the West and the United States choose not engage in war to win, namely a loss of moral confidence in the goodness of our way of life.

Today, as Hamas and Hezbollah--Iran's proxies--sit poised to begin a war with Israel, Caroline Glick posted her latest Jerusalem Post column on her blog. The column, called The Western Way of War, was actually more of a discussion of how the West has left behind the way of war that, as Victor Davis Hanson described in his book by the same name as Glick's column, is "a ferocious, brief, head-on clash" that serves the same purpose as the Western invention of consensual government: namely to achieve a quick and decisive end to a dispute.

Glick's column, on the topic of General Stanley McChrystal's resignation, focused on what Americans and Israelis might learn, not from McChrytal's military faux pas of being publically critical of the President of the United States, but by confronting "the unpleasant truth about the problematic nature of the the Western way of war in the 21st century."

In her discussion concerning the morale problem for Americans in Afganistan, Glick says:

Due to the administration's aversion to civilian casualties, preventing civilian casualties has become a chief fighting aim for the US military. Yet since the Taliban war effort relies on civilian infrastructures and human shields, the strategic significance of preventing civilian casualties is that US forces' ability to fight the Taliban is dramatically circumscribed.

Far from being the time-honored "Western way" in war which is total war fought for victory and the unconditional surrender of the enemy, and which leads to peace, trade with the former enemy, and eventually even alliances with the same, the warefare of the 21st century leads to stalemate, endless war and/or withdrawal without change in the conditions that led to the war. As Glick says:

The important story this week was not about a US general with abysmal judgment about the media. Rather the story is that in Afghanistan, the US is repeating a sorry pattern of Western nations of not understanding - or perhaps not caring -- that if you are not willing to fight a war to victory, you will lose it.

This is exactly the problem in Afganistan. To win the war and free the region from the Taliban, the United States must utterly defeat the Taliban. But for the Taliban to win, they must only wait out the increasingly leadership challenged United States and her allies. One reason for this problem is that the United States went to war without clear objectives, and the war has therefore suffered from "mission creep" which in Afganistan consisted of the goal changing from killing Osama bin Laden and destroying terrorist bases, to the goal of "nation building". This, in a part of the world ruled by ancient tribal alliances and hatreds, and where the concept of a nation-state is as foreign as the concept of individual destiny, is bound to be disastrous.

But the problem of choosing wisely with respect to how to go to war and why, is not the core of the issue. The core is why on earth the United States or any other Western country or alliance thereof, would deviate from the successful Western way of war as it has evolved to modernity. Before considering this question, though, a discursion on how the United States has developed the Western way of war is instructive.

In the United States that way can be defined by the following steps, all of which rest on the idea that the only moral reason for a war is defensive. (This does not mean that offensive strategy and tactics cannot be used in order to defeat the enemy; it only means that the causus belli must be due to attack or invasion). A Constitutional war must rest on the values enshrined therein. A war for empire can never be justified by these values. The steps are:

1. Use of Constitutional means to declare war thus acquiring the consent and support of the people as required for success on the part of a Constitutional Republic.

This means that the people at home are interested in how the war is being fought, and its outcome; and they generally constrain politicians from interfering in the strategy and tactics of the battles. In a proper Constitutional war, it is the duty of the civilian leadership to determine the goals that measure victory, and it is up to military leadership to determine the objectives, strategy and tactics to meet those goals.

2. Fight a total war to a decisive victory; that is, fight to win.

This can only happen when the people have consented to the losses required, and when they have a stake in the outcome. This is why a Constitutional declaration of war is necessary in the first place--it requires that a war be fought only when it is in the interest of the United States to do so as determined by the people themselves.

3. Define victory as the absolute defeat and unconditional surrender of the enemy.

The absolute defeat of the enemy is the only way to convince him that the ideas that brought him to make offensive war are bankrupt and false, and that there is nothing to gain by making such a war ever again.

4) Once a peace treaty is established, offer mercy and compassion to the people of the defeated country or region.

This is part of American exceptionalism--unlike wars for empire which result in enslaving the defeated enemy--usually by killing the men, making the women whores and the children, slaves--once a free people has defeated the enemy, thus obviating the ideas that led to war, they then lift up the enemy and make the people into trading partners, allies and friends.

In our new and unique way of dealing with war, forged from the Western tradition of consensual government and the Western Way of War, the United States has been successful in totally defeating traditional Honor/Shame societies, and in then rebuilding them to become successful modern societies that respect the rights of their own people as well as those of others. As the psychologist David Gutman, (University of Chicago) put it:

. . .the United States has successfully fought and tamed Shame/Honor societies in the past. The Confederacy, the Germans, the Japanese, the Italians, all paradigm Shame/Honor societies, were all overcome in total wars, and all became either part of our nation, or our trusted Democratic allies. And it now begins to appear that Iraq and perhaps Afghanistan will join their company.
There appears to be a uniquely American approach to war – one combining ruthlessness and mercy - that can lead to such unexpectedly good outcomes.
("Symposium: Islamic Terror and Sexual Mutilation", FrontPage Magazine, Friday, February 13, 2009).

The agenda of Islamo-fascism comes from such an honor/shame system, which is not compatible with individual rights and the Rule of Law. In such a culture, the fight can never end until honor has been restored and the enemy that has shamed one is destroyed.

As Caroline Glick continued in her article:

For years, citizens of free nations have willfully ignored or dismissed the significance their enemies' gruesome goals and ideology. They have claimed that what these people stand for is insignificant. At the end of the day, they say, the only reason there are wars is because the nations of the West provoke them by being strong. And so, when they have fought wars, they have fought them with strategies that can bring them nothing but defeat.

The question now becomes what has caused the West and the United States to decide not to engage the Western Way of War in order not only to utterly defeat the enemy, but also to remake him into a partner and a friend? The answer to this question is philosophical and involves the issue of moral confidence. Part II will engage this question.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Liberty Song Saturday: "Steady, Friends, Steady"

After watching our current congress shame itself once again on its march to folly, placing principalities and power over principle, I was in the frame of mind to hearken back to our Founders. They were men who understood the power of liberty to create a fire in the mind, and who with honor and courage faced down the might of a corrupt British Empire. They took to task a parliament and king whose own march to folly was made to the tune of narrow personal interests that caused them to deny the power and ingenuity of free men and women.

During the Stamp Act Crisis following the French and Indian War, the colonists so thoroughly resisted the various stamp taxes that the Parliament had to rescind them. They opposed this taxation by Parliament because they did not have representation in it, and they understood this to be a violation of their Rights of Englishmen, protected by the amorphous but none-the-less real English Constitution.

Because of the hated Stamp Act, our Founders began to understand that the corrupt interests of the men who controlled Parliament did not represent the interests of either Englishmen living in England or the interests of the Englishmen in her American colonies. And they knew that they had to resist. That resistance did not come easily. It required that they close their courts, refuse the stamps from England to land on American soil, and that they refuse to trade in English goods requiring the stamp. As often is the case, these political acts were economic as well, and required the American people their "money to give."

This was the revolution of the mind, when these former Englishmen opened their eyes to what they had created on the American continent, and began to think of themselves as a new and different kind of human being, as Americans. As John Adams put it, the real revolution occured then, as the thinking of Americans changed, causing them to become the people who would face down an empire and win. Adams wrote:

"The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and the hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the real American Revolution."

John Dickenson of Pennsylvania, author of Letters from an American Farmer, penned the Liberty Song in 1768, and it was first published in the Boston Gazette. Newspapers then, as the the Internet is now, were the first line of political resistance. Then, the forces of tyranny in the form of Parliament with the Stamp Act, and Royal Governors with their power to close down the presses, vainly attempted to stop "hate speech" against the King and Parliament. Now, the forces of tyranny in the FCC and FTC regulatory commissions--at the behest of the executive branch that empowers them, would like to place taxes and limits on our ability to publish freely in order to stop us from speaking out against the administration and its policies. For our resistance is deemed "hate speech."

The Liberty Song, sung to the tune of the older Hearts of Oak, an anthem of the Royal Navy, is the proper answer to tyrants who would silence us in their drive to disavow our Constitution that keeps safe the Rights of Americans:

"All Ages shall speak, with amaze and applause,
Of the courage we'll show in support of our laws.
To die we can bear, but to serve we disdain,
For shame is to Freedom more dreadful than pain.
Chorus: In Freedom we're born, and in Freedom we'll live,
Our purses are ready; Steady, friends, steady!
Not as slaves, but as freemen, our money we'll give."

Here then is the liberty song, sung by a Ron Paul R3volutionary. Note that he changed the last verse, as a tribute to Dr. Ron Paul.

This is America's first protest song. And it is amazing that they were protesting a venal, self-involved Parliament, much as we have been sickened by a venal, self-involved Congress.
Just as our Founders were in the Revolution of the heart and mind during the Stamp Act Crisis, I believe that we are in a R3volution of heart and mind now, and we begin to wake up to the destruction of our Constitution and way of life at the hands of the collectivists.

May Liberty Prevail!
G-d Save the Constitution of the United States.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shah! Shtil!

In the world today, with all of the PC BS and universities that censor ideas, a world in which certain groups and peoples receive privileges and others don't, how often do you find yourself self-censoring?

Imagine living in a culture that grew up in the West through many episodes of violent hatred and persecution at the hands of the dominant culture, and that for this reason, developed a vocabulary and manner that encourages self-censoring.

Sha! Shtil!
Don't make a shande fur de goyim!

In Yiddish the first means "be quiet" and the second broadly means 'don't make a fuss because you might embarrass us all in front of "the nations" (the non-Jews).' The idea is that by not speaking up, Jews won't offend anybody and then maybe the ubiquitous "they" will leave us alone. We all know who the ubitquitous "they" are: they are the "they" that have burned us at the stake, forbade us to own land or to enter the professions, herded us into ghettos and concentration camps; they are the "they" that have murdered millions upon millions of Jews. They are the "they" that have the power to vote against Israel in church resolutions, to tell offensive Jewish jokes in the White House, and to make us afraid once again of what will happen to us and those we love only because we are Jewish.
We musn't offend them.

Just like the IDF made the mistake of thinking that if they went onto the Mavi Marmara with paintball guns, the ubiquitous "they" would finally approve of Israel's right to self-defense, so too, in the press and on comments, and even in sermons in synagogue, there are Jews telling the rest of us "Sha! Be shtil!" There are Jews telling the rest of us to stand down, to not tell the whole truth, to evade the reality that antisemitism is rising in the world once again, for fear of making a "shande fur de goyim."

Unless, of course, that antisemitism comes from the "officially approved" enemies of Jews in America, the conservative Christians*. But if it comes from self-hating Jews on the left, or from the members of the World Council of Churches, or the United Nations, then we should be meek and quiet and hope that the ubiquitous "they" of the left will make things right by us come the revolution. (That they never do seems blindingly obvious to even the casual student of history).

*I know very well that conservative Christians are among the best friends of Israel there are in the United States, and many of them are good friends of mine as well. However, in 'liberal' Jewish circles, where the leftist social agenda is often equated with the Ten Commandments in importance, the conservative Christians are understood to be aligned with what is glibly referred to as the "right-wing" Christian agenda, which is understood by a good number of liberal Jews to mean that they wish to force their religion upon us by law. Since there are a few vocal dominionist Christians in the broad patriot movement, this fear is not entirely implausible, making it easy for people who claim to speak for the whole Jewish community (an impossibility) to create a stereotype of all conservative Christians. That's what I mean by "officially approved" as enemies of Jews. (Added to clear up misunderstanding on June 16).

On the Friday evening following the Mavi Marmara "peace activists" attack on the IDF soldiers, I saw a significant example of self-censoring Sha-be-shtill-ing on the part of our rabbi.

I had expected it to some degree, as last High Holy Days, following the annointing innaguaration of Barack Hussein Obama, we heard endless rabbinic references to "hope" and "change" woven into the otherwise completely non-political prayers of the season, sometimes to the point where some of us had to walk out to keep ourselves from developing 'Pukinson's Disease.' The realization that BO does not like Jews and that he has a special antipathy for Israel--although easily foretold from the fact that BO spent 20 years listening to the sermons of his maniacally antisemitic preacher ( apparently without suffering a single case of PD or walking out)--must have come hard for our rabbi.

Although it was the Friday Night services of Confirmation weekend, many members of the congregation came to services also because we had been told by an e-mail that our rabbi was going to discuss the flotilla incident, and the response of the MSM, NGO's and other mavens of Israel bashing and Jew-hatred that represents the sum of the collectivist left organizations. (To understand why Israel bashing on the left is synonomous with hatred of Jews see Sultan Knish's excellent analysis here). We were expecting to hear our rabbi's analysis and to gain some badly needed solidarity with other Jews, having spent the week hearing not just Israel, but the entire Jewish people villified and threatened yet again.

Some of us were sadly disappointed.
The beginning of the discussion was on target, with the effective use of black humor, followed by a discussion of the actual facts of the situation, something that was sadly missing from the MSM. However, the last part of the sermon departed from the excellent presentation of the facts and instead of addressing the attacks on Israel, and indeed on Jews worldwide, veered off into a foggy discussion of the peace movement in Israel, highlighted by quotes from an Israeli Nobel-Prize winning novelist (?) and seemed to be saying that Israel must be willing to sacrifice anything at all for the momentary prize of a cease-fire, and to stand by and do nothing while her enemies prepare to wipe her off the map. No mention was made of the fact that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons for use against Israel and the United States; that as we speak, Hamas and Hizbollah (both funded by Iran) are preparing to launch an attack on Israel across the Lebanese border, and that Turkey is making a sudden move toward Iran and away from NATO.

Since the sermon's structure seemed to require ending with a discussion of the political and strategic situation vis-a-vis worldwide verbal attacks not just on Israel, but on Jews by "reporters" such as Helen Thomas, this ending seemed like a distraction.
The Engineering Geek turned to me and I to him with identical expressions of puzzlement (best described by the WTF? idiom) on our faces. Many people in the congregation were shaking their heads, and even the cantor leaned forward with a surprised look on her face.

Later, I confronted approached the rabbi, as curiouser and curiouser, I wanted to find out the reason for this WTF? ending. As our people are in peril all over the world, and Iran through its terrorist proxies is preparing war against Israel, this sermon did not satisfy; it did not even address the major concerns of the Jews sitting in that sanctuary. We all knew the facts of the matter that were presented in the beginning of the sermon. We needed a message that addressed our concerns at the end. What gives? I approached the question by allowing as to how I had learned by personal experience in the 1990's that the left is virently anti-Israel, and that further, most leftists hate Jews in general. He agreed that this is true.

Puzzled, I probed further. What was with that last third of the sermon? And I was told this:
Visiting the congregation that evening were two 'big machers' from the Presbyterian Church Southwest Presbytery. That organization, a part of the progressive World Council of Churches, was getting ready to vote on a resolution to condemn Israel for the flotilla raid. (This is not the first such condemnation). So the rabbi told me, he softened his stance and changed his sermon in order to placate these two people and to influence their votes for this "important" resolution.

Sha! Be shtil! Don't make a shande fur da Presbyterians.
Self-censorship at the organizational level.

I also self-censored at that moment, because I did not tell the rabbi exactly what I thought of him. This is not the first time he has placed his need to be the token Jew among the super-goyim that make up progressive Christianity before the needs of his own people in the congregation that provides him his pulpit. But I couldn't find the words to do so intelligently.

I wanted to say to him:
"Look, do you think those people care about you, about us, about Jews?
Do you really think that evading reality by not naming the obvious plight that Israel finds herself in is going to change the Presbyterians' minds for their vote? They have an agenda that has been made public over and over again in their resolutions--and that agenda has little to do with Christianity and much to do with advancing the progressive political left in this country. Israel as a nation, and Jews as a people who have stubbornly refused to assimilate into the 'masses' so dear to the collectivists, are a roadblock to their aims of world government and the blurring of indentity among the 'nations.'

"Those particular Presbyterians would be happy if Israel could somehow be dismantled without the inevitable bloodbath, and if Jews could be forced to assimilate without violence. Then they would not have to take responsibility for their real desire--a world in which 'equality' is enforced by 'hatchet, axe and saw.' A world in which there are NO differences, but only the dull, gray world of sameness and slavery.

"How dare you avoid meeting the need of your congregation for them? Your congregation needs a cogent, rational, moral defense of their individual rights, including their right to freely associate themselves with one another, based on a sense of heritage and purpose; and of the right of Israel to defend herself like any other nation. But you have instead given them the tripe they can read anywhere in the MSM; the tripe that Israel has no right to exist, but must beg for the indulgence of the dictators, Jew haters, and tyrants who dominate the UN, in order to survive one more day."

That is what I wish I had said. And further:
"Damn the Presybterians and their vote. They will do what they do, regardless of what any Jew thinks or says. Court Jews, though useful in the past, now only confuse the situation, and in continually apologizing for our stubborn resistance to assimilation, and in using the language of moral equivalency between murders and tyrants, and ourselves, they provide a moral sanction to those would strip us of our unique identity and failing that, destroy us."

That is what I wish I had said. But I didn't. Because I know only too well the internal and external pressure to pass, to soften my words, to get along in order to accomplish what looks like a victory (such as influencing the Presbyterian vote). What I learned at the hands of the left during the 1990's, is that those so-called victories are mere illusion, and only serve to strengthen the fantasy of people like these Presbyterians, that being nice is equivalent to being good; that meeting the irrational demands of terrorists is the road to peace; and that acting as useful idiots serves the Eternal Source of Justice.

Win or lose, it is our obligation as Jews to stand on principle, to confront the evasions, and to provide a moral defense for the best that we have given the world--individualism, capitalism, and the G-d that loves freedom. That is who we are, and we have reason to be proud of all of it.

You Tube Censors "We Con the World"

Perhaps You Tube employees agree with the following speech by Obama. According to our Messiah in Chief, information is a distraction. Especially when information tends to contradict what the BO wants you to believe is true.

After three million views, did they really think nobody downloaded the parody? You Tube claims that the original publishers asked for it to be pulled. But parodies are not considered violations. And does You Tube censor anti-Israel propaganda? No. That stays, but Latma's clever black humor must go.

Fortunately, after 3 million views there are plenty of people out there who have reposted "We Con the World" to their own You Tube Channels. So here it is, and I will edit it back into the original post:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Confirmation: Judaism in a Time of Trouble

Last night, in a Havdalah Service, 17 teens from our synagogue completed their formal religious school education by confirming their Jewish identities. The Havdalah service is an innovation from the Shabbat evening or Shabbat morning services where Confirmation is usually celebrated, and our kids decided to do it that way to provide a service that would be more uniquely focused on their reflections of what it means to be confirming their Jewishness.

The Havdalah itself is a beautiful service in which we recognize the separation between the holy and the ordinary; such separations are the identifying characteristic of Judaism, which in turn separates it from other religions that have other focuses. The very word havdalah means separation, and at the end of every Shabbat, we pause to both say good-bye to the sabbath and to hold onto some of its sweetness and peace as we enter into the productive week ahead.
Because of these meanings, the Havdalah is a good gate through which to come to the celebration and confirmation of Jewishness that marks the end of our children's religious school years.

Confirmation as a life-cycle event was borrowed by the early German Reformers in the 19th Century from the Lutherans, and it fulfills a need that didn't exist in the traditional Jewish cultures of Europe before that. Bar Mitzvah, and in modern times Bat Mitzvah, is the traditional ceremony marking an individual's responsibility to the commandments. Confirmation in Christianity varies in its meaning, but in most cases serves as a coming of age lifecycle marker, as well as having the religious meaning of marking a mature statement of faith and conferring adult membership in the church. In Judaism, confirmation is not so much a statement of faith as it is a statement of identity. This is because no form of modern Rabbinic Judaism requires agreement with a specific creed or set of beliefs for membership; rather membership in the Jewish people comes by birth or by adoption as a child or adult into the People of Israel.

In Judaism, Confirmation marks the end of a period in the lives of a group of children; a period in which they studied and grew towards Jewish adulthood together, sharing in experiences that mark them as members of a distinct people, that mark them as Jews. But further, the experience of distinction, of belonging to a unique civilization within the larger culture, when it is shared in a small group of individuals brings them together in relationships that are nearly as close as siblings. And especially in places where there aren't many Jews, being brought up in two cultures and consciously choosing different moral perspectives and practices sets a child apart from the dominant culture shared by most of his schoolmates. As the Rasta-Jew put it in his Confirmation Reflection: "Sometimes I felt like I was the only Jew in the whole State of New Mexico. But when I came to Hebrew School every week, I knew I was not alone." His statement reflects the fact that being Jewish in the diaspora is an excercise in radical individuality; it requires a person to be very aware of why he does what he does. It is a kind of swimming against the stream that Christians in the West have not experienced until very recently, as anti-religious progressivism has begun to rise.

And in these times, when collectivism is once again on the rise, and when economic instability and fear for the future have led much of the world to embrace once again the modern antisemitism of Europe, watching one's child stand to confirm his Jewish identity evokes a certain solemn pride mixed with the joy of a son reaching toward manhood. This week especially, as we have watched the world condemn the State of Israel for having the temerity to defend the lives and property of her citizens, and as the collectivists of the world rush to delegitimize Israel not for her faults but for her virtues, this Confirmation ceremony served both as an oasis of peace and joy in the midst of trouble, and as a moment of realization that by bringing our son into the covenant we have placed him in danger. For as ever, when the state becomes god, the Jew becomes the first demonstration of what happens to those who will not bow down.

"The time is coming," said Dumbledore to Harry Potter, "When we all must choose between what is easy and what is right." Harry Potter, at much the same age as our children who stood to confirm their Jewish identity, grew to manhood in a time when evil was rising in his world. The time is coming for us now in America, when we must choose between the security of slavery to a universal collectivist state, and our Liberty as free men and women to forge our own individual lives. It is clear from the renewed demonization of Jews, that once again we stand as the canaries in the coal mine; the ones whose stubborn refusal to lose our distinctiveness, our right not to assimilate, will be attacked first. But what happens to us is what will happen to anyone who will not bow down.


"First, they came for the Jews . . ."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Liberty Song Saturday: We Con the World--A Parody

Remember We are the World?

The Chem Geek Princess was born that year, and hormones being what they are, I spent many an evening news broadcast sniffling through scenes of hungry children in Africa. We all joined Hands Across America the following Memorial Day weekend--we stood on Central Avenue with the CGP in a baby-backpack--and raised money (sort of) for those same starving children.

Those were more innocent times when we thought that humanitarians bringing aid carried babies in back-packs instead of their own clubs, knifes and stun grenades. I never dreamed I would in my own lifetime see again the rise of virulent anti-semitism on the left and on the right, as part of the package of collectivism and statism as my beloved "sweet land of Liberty" moved inexorably away from its founding promise based on rights of individuals rather than privileges granted to pressure groups.

Each time someone challenges the sovereign right of Israel to self-defense, and Israel responds by defending herself, a new and nastier wave of antisemitism can be found in the statements of "world leaders", members of the press, in the pages of newspapers, and on the internet. It does not matter that fewer than half the world's Jews actually live in Israel. It does not matter that many American Jews try to appease the anti-semites by joining in the condemnation of Israel and worse, their own people. From Hamas, from Iran, and more depressingly, from the UN and the capitals of Europe, calls are renewed once again for the destruction not only of the Jewish state, but of the Jewish people.

In the parody I will feature below, the chorus goes:
"We'll make the world abandon reason,
We'll make them think that the Hamas is Mama Teresa,
The truth will never make its way to your TV."

The problem IMO: You don't make a better day for anybody when you try to get the world to abandon reason. You don't make peace by creating moral hazard in which you give aid and comfort to those who will not rest until Israel is completely deligitimized and her people bombed out of existance.

Today I opened my newspaper and read Charles Krauthammer's column on the Op-Ed page. Writing about Israel's traditional defense tactics, he pointed out that being a small country surrounded by enemies, Israel uses forward defense--fighting wars on the enemy's territory--and active defense--military action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the newly armed mini-states in southern Lebanon and Gaza. But, Krauthammer writes:

". . . under overwhelming outside pressure Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgenciesand therefore withdrawal . . . would bring peace. . .
What did [Israel] get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.
Land for peace. Remember?
. . .The result? The Lebanon War of 2006 and the Gaza operation of 2008-09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded land-for-peace withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the UN Goldstone Report, which essentially criminalized Israel's defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli--the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war--effectively deligitimized any active Israel defense against its self-declared terror enemies."

According to Krauthammer, this leaves Israel with nothing but passive defense--a blockade preventing enemy rearmament. And with the blockade-running flotilla set-ups, that is also being delegitimized by a world "community" united by nothing so much as their hatred of Jews. Krauthammer asks, then what is left? He writes:

"Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.
The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million--that number again--hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists--iranian in particular--openly prepare a more final solution."

And what are we Jews left with? Our traditional black humor in the face of hatred.
Here is the Latma crew with their parody, playing on theme of what really seems to unite the world--unceasing hatred of Jews. Here is We Con the World:

Do watch the original We are the World (linked above) and see the loving detail with which the Latma crew parodies the original in order to make their point about the so-called peace activists.

NOTE: You Tube has banned the original video, but here is a FREESPEECH version of it. Keep the Internet Free and Irreverent!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reality Bites: Physical Limitations and Political Magical Thinking

Science education in the United States has suffered.

I was going to talk about the problem solving that BP engineers have to deal with in order to deal with a damaged well-head in 5000 feet of salt water, but I realized that the problem that they have in being confronted by Obama-like politicians has to do with a lack of scientific understanding among the pols and the general public.
So I'll begin by restating my first sentence and continue from there.

Science education in the United States has suffered. And the main reason that it has suffered has nothing to do with the intelligence of the students or of the teachers.
Science education in the United States has suffered because of the prevailing philosophy in our schools of education and in the humanities in general. That philosophy is post-modernism, which can be crudely stated as teaching that there is no objective reality.

But working scientists and engineers deal with objective reality every time they put on their lab coats and hard hats and go confront the real world. There is no way to evade it or obviate it; the laws of physics remain the same everywhere in the known universe. This is the meaning behind the ultimate geek bumper sticker:

3.14 X 10 ee 6 meters per second: It's not just a good idea--it's the LAW!

Politicians, on the other hand, due to the prevelent philosophical sloppiness in the humanities at our colleges and universities, and due to what cannot be called anything else but magical thinking, do not feel the need to actually deal with reality; their eyes glaze over when the calculators come out, and so they believe that energy can be created by decree, and that no trade-offs are necessary to maintain the modern standard of living that is made possible by what they call "miracles" of science and technology.

And that brings us to the present oil well accident in the Gulf of Mexico, what it would take for BP engineers to "fill that hole, Daddy", and why lawsuits are not going to either fill it or prevent future accidents of this nature. (Unless we could plug the line with lawyers, which could kill two problem birds with one stone).

Although we do not yet know the proximate causes of the well breach a mile under the ocean in the Gulf, we do know the ultimate problem. It is that BP was drilling for oil with a well head in the continental shelf under the Gulf that was one mile under water down to a reservoir whose surface was 13,000 feet under the surface rock below that. This kind of deep water drilling is currently at the very edge of our current technological development, mainly because of the pressures involved. When people are operating on the thin edge of technology, one small problem can become one huge nightmare; and in this case, an explosion that breaches the line at the top of the rock formation can rapidly spin out of control, because the technology developed to fix it operates much less efficiently at the high pressures involved.

The question then becomes, so why was BP drilling at a location that places the well at the laser-edge of technology? And the answer is not because they are irresponsible; the answer is because politicians and environmentalists, neither of whom appear to have any clue about risk/benefit calculations will not permit drilling in shallower water, where our technology is much more robust for solving the inevitable problems that develop when moving parts and entropy collide. (Entropy--the tendency of any system to go to maximum disorder unless energy is brought into it--is another physical constant that politicians tend to ignore and evade. This is why much of the infrastructure of this country is in such poor shape).

I will give the answer to the problem here, before I detail the problem: For the nonce, DRILL ON LAND OR IN SHALLOW WATER. There, it's in capitals so the Pols in Washington can read it without putting on their spectacles.

So what, in reality, would it take for Obama to answer in the affirmative to the question, "Daddy, did you plug that hole yet?"

I once worked for a very short time in the oil industry as a geologist. My husband is a mechanical engineer who has worked in the Geotechnical Engineeering Department at Sandia National Laboratory for 28 years. He has extensive experience with underground oil storage, and the associated fluid mechanics and materials required to get oil out of the ground or into it. Between us, we came up with the following calculations of what it would take to plug the hole using extant technology. All numbers are reasonable approximations. Data was obtained from information received from BP. NOTE: BP is not able to "plug the hole" because of the enormous pressures and the material constraints involved.

The current well head is broken at the surface of the rock formation, under 5,000 feet of water, which has a specific gravity of 1, and which is exerting an absolute pressure of 2,300 PSI(A) on the wellhead. The top of the oil reservior is ~ 13,000 feet below that, under a continental shelf formation that has various layers catalogued by mudloggers, each of which has a density somewhere between that of concrete and that of granite, and the average density of the whole formation exerts an absolute pressure of 13,000 PSI(A) on the reservior. Together then, the total absolute pressure on the top of reservior is that of the mile of water and the more than two miles of rock sitting on top of it, which is approximately 15,300 PSI(A). (The pressure exerted by the atmosphere above the ocean, which is approximately 15 PSI(A) at sea level, is negligible in comparison). The line from the wellhead to the reservior is likely a 20" line, extending 13,000 feet down. And since the wellhead is broken, the oil is flowing with a pressure difference of 8500 PSI(D),and the gauge pressure at the top is ~ 3,000 PSI(A).

Given that living on the surface of the earth, we are used to a pressure of 15 PSI(A), and can withstand a maximum of a bit more than that, the pressures calculated here are truly impressive. And given these impressive pressures, here is what it would take to "plug the hole". To place a plug near the reservoir surface, which would be necessary, because at the wellhead the pressure would increase to 15,300 PSI(A) once the flow is stopped, BP would need to lower a packer that weighs in at ~3 million pounds. Oil mixed with mud injected earlier, would flow past the packer and back up the well. When the packer is in place, it would be expanded to make a seal, but even so, at those depths and pressures, some oil would continue to flow past it. Once the packer is sealed, the line would then need to be backfilled with about 4 million pounds of concrete. BP will most likely not be doing this because solutions that have already been tried have made it nigh unto impossible to do it this way.

FYI: BP had a plan in place for dealing with this accident, and had possible solutions ranked from first to last according to increasing difficulty and likelyhood of failure. There is some evidence that the Obama administration dictated a different order, most likely for political reasons or worse. If so, the hubris of these men--who have no real world experience doing much of anything other than community organizing--is absolutely astounding.

Ideally, when this accident occured, the Obama adminstration should have followed an EPA plan already in place to use the Coast Guard and various state agencies belonging to the states the border the gulf to contain the oil and mitigate the damage to the coastal waters. In the meantime, BP would be working to stop the flow or oil at the well. But the administration did not follow the plan that was in place, choosing instead to "study the problem" at the behest of environmental groups concerned that burning the oil at the surface would cause air pollution. It is certain that there would have been smoke, but all in all, the damage from that would have been much less severe than the damage caused by oil drifting to the Gulf Coast. At the same time the administration was dithering about whether to follow the EPA plan, it was also engaging in empty rhetoric about "pushing BP out of the way" and having a "foot on the neck" of BP, presumably to point fingers elsewhere and try to mitigate the political damage to the president. Because this kind of political behavior is an evasion of the real situation, it only succeeded in making the admininstration look more and more foolish.

Case in point: As Barack "Emperor Hadrian" Obama was commanding the tides to stop by magical insults hurled at BP, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana sought permits to construct artificial barrier islands to stop the oil. The EPA dithered and Obama, indecisive as ever, promised to "study the problem" and get back to Jindal, after his Memorial Weekend vacation and Paul McCartney concert. Jindal waited in vain, and thus missed the opportunity to prevent coastal damage.

This failure of leadership seems to result from the fact that Washington D.C. sits inside a magic beltway, where the laws of physics, and the trade-offs made necessary by the needs of a technologically complex society that must deal with entropy, are less important than fingerpointing and blame games intended to obviate political damage. I have no illusions that any other politician would have done much better; however, Obama, whose real-world experience is negligible, and whose socialist political philosophy has already been demonstrated to be a total failure during the last century, seems to personify the absolute nadir of leadership.

Good leadership in a crisis requires that one first focus on solving the immediate problem, and only after that problem is dealt with, doing a thorough investigation that considers both the technological failures and any decision-making errors that exacerbated them. As the immediate problem is dealt with, evidence of what actually went wrong is often uncovered, but the general procedure is to get rid of the alligators before determining what went wrong with draining the swamp.

Further, human error is always part of the equation of any accident, but human error does not automatically translate into moral culpability. In general, there is a good body of law that deals with accidents like this, and BP--knowing its fiduciary responsibility--has already exceeded the legal cap on the amount of damages recoverable and has already volunteered to pay all costs related to the mitigation and clean-up effort. They have done so, even though the damage has been substantially multiplied by federal inaction over six weeks now, caused directly by the failure of leadership coming from the President of the United States himself.

Ideally then, a good leader deals with the immediate problem, and then considers the why's and wheretofores of an accident rationally and without immediately assigning blame. What has our president done? Filed a lawsuit.
Because that's really going to "plug the hole, Daddy."

Environmentalists, because they refuse to face the reality of entropy, and because they discount the place of human beings on the earth, refuse also to acknowledge that all life alters the environment, and that every technology involves trade-offs and hard choices. There is no magic bullet that lets any species function without changes on the earth. This magical thinking is exacerbated inside the beltway due to the unreality of the political game--which is not about taking responsibility--a key leadership trait--but rather obviating blame and political fallout. The combination has turned an accident into a crisis.

One that will undoubtedly not be wasted in Obama's march to fascism.

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Clouds of War: Why the Flotilla Crisis is a Distraction

There has been a good deal of discussion at most patriot and conservative sites about political solutions to our present crisis. Discussions involve the upcoming elections and possible moves to impeach the president. Meanwhile, generally, much discussion along the political spectrum has been about the Israeli commando raid on one of six ships in a flotilla that was aiming to run and break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. There is much outrage on the left, where nobody mentions the Egyptians have a blockade of Gaza as well, and for the same reasons: Gaza was forcibly taken over two years ago by the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas, which has dedicated itself to the cause of destroying Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel. Hamas--they're not the kind of people you want living next door to you. The Egyptians know that as well as the Israeli's do.

I believe the flotilla that was boarded and towed, as well as the ones now on the way to run the blockade, are mere distractions perpetrated mostly by useful idiots while Iran and Syria prepare for war. Here is my contribution to a discussion that mostly consisted of political responses to an article about the video 33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age. (You can view trailers here).

My response:

This discussion has gone for the most part toward poltical solutions such as marches and impeachment.
These are important discussions in their own right and for all the reasons (and more) that have been brought up.

We also need to be thinking about preparations, and a few people have mentioned food insurance.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are headed for war. This summer.
Iran has promised to wipe Israel off the map, and the United States is depicted by Achmadinajad as an even greater evil to be destroyed.

The present "Flotilla Crisis" is most likely a distraction to keep the world busy while the real war is planned.
Consider this interview with a retired American general put out by PJTV on May 6:
Former US General Warns of Chemical Attack Against Israel

In the interview at PJTV, this general says that he fully expects Achmadinajad to attack Israel and from a container ship, attack the United States with nukes.

Then consider the news from the UN--the new Mid-East Non-Proliferation Treaty. CNN is hailing it as "multi-lateral" missing the fact that Israel is named, but Iran is not considered a nuclear power. Israel rejected the NPT, but named Israel and not Iran singles Israel out for condemnation:

From Jewish Telegraphic Agency (English Language):

"Israel rejected the final document of a United Nations review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, saying that by singling out Israel it "ignores the realities of the Middle East."
The monthlong conference ended last Friday. The conference's final resolution called for a conference on establishing a nuclear-free Middle East to take place in 2012. It also called on Israel, which has never confirmed or denied that it has a nuclear weapons arsenal, to sign on to the treaty and allow the United Nations nuclear watchdog group to inspect its facilities. Iran was not mentioned in the resolution."

Finally, on Monday it was confirmed that Iran has the ability now has enough enriched uranium to make two warheads. Here is the Fox News report, but the news is everywhere:

"VIENNA (AP) — Iran has amassed more than two tons of enriched uranium, the U.N. atomic agency said Monday in a report that heightened Western concerns about the country developing the ability to produce a nuclear weapon.
Two tons of uranium would be enough for two nuclear warheads, although Iran says it does not want weapons and is only pursuing civilian nuclear energy.
The U.S. and the four other permanent U.N. Security Council members — Russia, China, Britain and France — have tentatively backed a draft fourth set of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to stop enriching uranium."

And consider this, from Fox News yesterday:

"Things in Middle East are quickly spiraling out of control. The Palestinians want to import weapons from Iran, to stockpile for the next war with Israel, but are prevented from doing so by the Israeli naval blockade. They realize they can’t stop the Israelis militarily, so they’ve turned to the world court of public opinion. . .
. . .The next few ships to challenge the blockade will likely be filled with more children’s toys and baby formula. But once the blockade is broken, those ships will be filled with missiles, weapons and ammunition bound for Hezbollah and Hamas. . .
. . . Meanwhile, the clouds of war are gathering."

Like Chamberlain, Barack Hussein Obama refuses to believe what Achmadinajad has been saying over and over. But unlike Chamberlain, I believe that Obama knows full well what he is doing. And by the time we got to congressional hearings on impeachment, they might well be taking place by candlelight.

Save those tin-foil hats, fellow patriots. The thing is spinning out of control. Remember what General Vallely said. We may need that foil to make Faraday Cages for our sensitive electronics.

Remember Glenn Beck's interview with Binyamin Netanyahu in 2006?

Many people ridiculed both Beck and Netanyahu for saying that Achmadinajad sees himself as the harbinger of the 12th Iman, who wishes to destroy Israel and the United States.

Given the news in the past month, I think the time for ridicule is over.