…just as Americans liberated themselves from their British oppressors, Muslims must free themselves from Islam because they, too, have an unalienable right to freedom. In liberating themselves from Islam, they will ensure a happier life for themselves and their children, and a safer, more peaceful world for the rest of us.
Hoaxes Can Be Fun — As Long As You Remain Rational, Which Many Folks Cannot Manage
Golly gee, Kids! Faster than light travel from NASA? You say they are working on a “Star Trek warp drive”?
(Heavy sigh.) Well, take a look at a recent post on the internet. It’s a very badly-edited mix of unrelated facts, claims that smell fake, and amusing double talk (such as “negative vacuum energy”, woo woo!). Though it’s a total mess, a very popular and highly-regarded weblogger linked to it, apparently in the belief that it is an update on genuine science. This newsletter would not be surprised if the “report” turned out to be yet another hoax along the lines of this “math paper” or this social science “monograph“.
Fortunately the warp drive story is another tantalizing tale that, if a total fabrication, is almost totally harmless. It’s not always that way. Remember: the world has seen the anthropogenic global warming fable become an article of faith among misanthropes who lust to blame mankind for simply everything that’s nasty or inconvenient. Hoaxes can get out of hand because humans are too often vulnerable to masochistic impulses, such that self-flagellation and even voluntary crucifixion do occur. The AGW cult is faith-based, and that’s dangerous because it allows True Believers to reject reason and plumb the depths of the psyche. In those Stygian realms lurk monsters.
The bemused observer must wonder what the next misbegotten craze will be; how will charlatans yet again distort and abuse science? Perhaps there will be reports coming from academia of a viable baby delivered by an ape that was artificially inseminated with human semen? Yeah, that would be cool….
Some will remind that Barnum was right. It’s perverse poetic justice that his famous quote is a hoax….
Intervene In Syria?
This clumsily edited commentary tries to cast doubt on claims that Syria’s dictator Assad used neurotoxic gas against rebels. Reader GB suggests a consideration of an opposing view, which is highly recommended — even if it turns out that the author is wrong when she asserts that Assad used poison gas. The problem: in all probability, UN observers will never be able to clarify the situation. Remember that the UN couldn’t find all of Gaddafi’s crudely-hidden nuclear weapons program, even though the investigators had a free hand; here’s a snippet from Nr. 66 of this newsletter, dated 8 March, 2009:
Do you recall that Libya was inspected by the UN’s IAEA, and then, when Qaddafi decided to come clean, he showed the IAEA where to look? It was a hugely embarrassing moment because it exposed the incompetence of the UN’s star nuke-smeller, Mohamed ElBaradei, so reports of it and its many extraordinarily serious implications are very thin on the ground. ElBaradei continues to be portrayed as competent and his accomplishments are still regarded as not just effective, but sufficient. Few things could be further from the truth.
Meanwhile the USA appears poised to do something incredibly stupid in the Muddle East. A writer for Commentary notes a sea change: “The ‘who are we to say?’ outrage at Bush-style interventionism is giving way to ‘how can we just stand here?’ frustration over Obama-style aloofness”.
Amazing! There’s a column in the NY Times that gets it right: it insists that the USA should stay out of the Syrian mess, and back neither side. Why? Because there are no good guys. Even the notorious Robert Fisk is stunned by the lunacy that Team Obama is contemplating.
Relevant aside: the neologism to fisk means to correct falsehoods by stating the truth. It was coined because Fisk’s bigoted and highly creative reporting constantly required amendment with large doses of facts. Fisk shares the honor of seeing his name used as a verb with the NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd; to dowdify means to edit out part of a quote so as to make the quoted person say the opposite of what he actually said, or at the very least seem to contradict himself idiotically.
Well, what to make of all this? Oh, my. This could be Obama’s version of the curse G. W. Bush brought upon himself by chasing Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Is it rational to expect that any nerve gas will ever be found in Syria? Iraq’s Saddam Hussein humiliated Bush by literally sanitizing his weapons shops; any attempt to catch Assad or Al Qaeda red-handed is doomed to similar failure. Speculation about who killed those pathetic civilians with nerve gas will continue for years.
Whether community organizer Obama and nutcase medal-tosser Kerry have between them the intellect to cope with this nest of vipers is at the very least debatable.
Reader GB notes that Germany is talking about this short video (which is not a commercial), and asks, “What if a machine had a soul?” Watch closely, Pilgrims. If the penny does not drop, you can click here and then look at the video again. Highest possible recommendation.
The imposition of censorship is one of the enabling tasks of collectivists. Censorship comes naturally to an expanding regulatory agency, and it thrives in the USA, even though the quasi-executive, quasi-legislative, quasi-judicial powers of many governmental bodies that make censorship possible are blatantly unconstitutional (read Levin’s book, reviewed in the previous Number). Here’s an account of “censorship you’ve never heard of”.
The unfolding specialty of epigenetics makes another small advance in the correction of Darwinian misconceptions.
String these quotes together: “Violent crime in America has been on a steady decline since the mid-1990s.” “Despite falling crime rates, some of the nation’s major cities are increasing the size and scope of their police agencies.” “…other cities without similar increases in their police force, including cities like Dallas and Seattle, also saw decreases in crime rates during the 1990s.” Can you conclude anything? In seeming contradiction of needs and circumstances, many US police forces are expanding and arming themselves heavily, often adding military equipment and training. Why? If it’s the Muslim threat, why has there been no change in immigration policy? Explore the issues — and consider their significance.
There’s yet another false implication that cancer is about to be conquered. Journalistic irresponsibility in reporting on health issues and biomedical research is stunning, and its victims are legion — yet no professional journalists are willing to condemn the way research is reported. Giving cancer victims false hope is not just insensitive — it is cruel.
If it comes from Salon, it’s suspect. Well, it is all right to read suspect commentary (unless one is politically correct, which this newsletter is not). Here’s a thought-provoking cluster of claims that should lead good citizens to demand more information. Recommended.
Fox News is making trouble again — this time asking why the effort to capture the Benghazi murderers has been abandoned. What difference at this point does it make? Well, to some highly-placed officials in Washington, the difference is between constant reminders of incompetence and malfeasance on the one hand, and, on the other hand, silence that dissolves pesky problems in an acid bath of malign neglect.
“Dispositional attitude” is yet another bogus concept that will eventually take its place in the dustbin, next to “hysteria”. These terms for imagined syndromes are deceitful, and no one exploited the creation of irrational neologisms more than Freud. Siggy was a cocaine freak who dabbled in mythology and inflated his confabulations to the level of a “new science”; today’s researchers are occasionally little better. Blarney is as old as the profession of healing, which is far older than prostitution — and not always as honest.
Reader GB gets a tip of the hat for alerting you to a website that will be an essential resource for students of recent history, politics, mass movements, the dynamics of protest and the effectiveness of propaganda. It includes a huge database.
Do you recognize yourself in this video?
Israel did it: the problem with conspiracist accusations of plots and meddling is that they cannot be disproved, no matter how much evidence accumulates to expose them as lies. Turkey’s Erdogan knows he can only profit from his claims that the Egyptian disaster was orchestrated by the Israelis. Can he actually believe his claim? It’s impossible to say; he might even believe The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is not an audacious hoax….
Impeachment? Yes, richly deserved. Removal from office by the Senate? Again, he’s been a failure and he’s broken the law, so yes. And the practical realities of the political situation? Look, anybody who can get over 95% of the votes of a significant demographic minority is untouchable.
For about four years, NTG speculated (in eight issues) that dark energy was probably a construct rather like phlogiston or the aether: something that did not exist, but was used to craft very lame explanations for phenomena that could not be otherwise explained. Subsequent correspondence with an astronomer indicated the depth and breadth of the gap between the unwashed and the smugly confident intelligentsia, and this newsletter’s editor subsided (though muttering, “Some day, some day….”). The day just might have arrived.
Addendum: Feminism, Civil Discourse, Politics, And The Consequences Of Zealotry
According to a “wingnut” observer of contemporary culture, “Feminists have spent the last several decades striving to convince us that sex should be as meaningless to women as it is to the most brutish of men.” Oh, yeah? Somehow NTG’s staff failed to detect that theme. Well, if you want to read more from him, here it is.
Continuing: in order to ponder and test the above commentary, it might be helpful to survey some cultural developments of the last few years.
What follows may be skipped by those who have read and still recall Number 89 of NTG (then called The Penguin Post and abbreviated PenPo). A portion of that issue is reproduced below for two reasons: first, the passages might provide useful perspective, and second, the reader can evaluate the validity and utility of NTG’s political/cultural/ethical Leitmotiv. In other words: is NTG consistent over time, and useful at any point in time? Does its commentary make sense, or does it collapse when the temper of the time changes?
The text immediately below appeared on the twelfth of June, 2009, and has not been edited. It is rather long, so you might want to give it a pass. That’s why it is placed at the end of this Number.
Note: reference is made below to a Playboy magazine display that was placed on the internet. A clarification is found in the footnote following the commentary.
Utterly Reprehensible. Primitive. Anticipated.
The culture war continues. Letterman “jokes” that Sarah Palin’s fourteen year-old daughter was impregnated by a famous sports figure (yes, he did say that, though he denied it later: Palin’s eighteen year-old daughter did not go to the baseball game with her mother and younger sister — a fact Letterman knew — and so could not have been the “daughter” Letterman was referring to). CBS tried to prevent trouble by censoring the transcript, but a video exists. Letterman is indeed lying. Then a genuinely humorous response to the filth appeared.
This newsletter predicted long ago that the attacks on Sarah Palin would be vicious, and would definitely involve sex. Unfortunately the PenPo knows the “progressive” mindset too well, and cannot be said to be shocked by the subsequent excesses of the leftists.
Further, it is with chagrin that the PenPo confesses to an error of omission in the previous issue. A reference to pregnancy and abortions was deleted from the item on the Playboy attack on “wingnut” females. (See footnote.) At the last minute, a question arose: did the filthy Playboy article include a comment to the effect that because the targets of the attack would not abort any pregnancies resulting from the suggested “hate fuck” assaults, they would deservedly suffer the consequences of the sexual activity? Yes, that rationale was spelled out in the magazine’s attack. And this newsletter erred when, in mistaken doubt as to the truth, it removed mention of it. Please accept the PenPo’s apologies for the deletion of particularly revealing and relevant information.
All of this distressingly distasteful news points to a profound puzzle: how is it that rape can be a weapon, and hate can drive sexual arousal? Simply pointing to the observations of Ovid will not do as an explanation. Listing instances of sadism and rapine in warfare is equally unsatisfactory. The why of the matter remains, at least as far as this newsletter is concerned, inexplicable.
That said, there are some generalizations that might be productive of insight into the issue.
First, note the similarities between the total excitations of the nervous system that occur during both agonizing pain and sexual transport. Child victims of torture are likely to be confused later in life by the powerful transformations of mind produced by both lust and agony. The obvious lesson: parents, do not cause your children to suffer overwhelming pain at your hands! A loved figure who is also a literal torturer may be responsible for the formation of imponderably dangerous impressions in the mind of a child.
Second, note that if males responded with weakness and complete sensitivity to female anguish, childbirth would be militated against. There may be something in the genetic code that necessarily hardens men to the suffering of the distaff portion of humanity.
Third, the link between humiliation and sex may result from the sheer strength of the family bond, which is an expression of exclusivity and precedence. Those adaptive mechanisms are protective, and give rise to a sense of propriety that often draws sharp lines between the public and the private. Wherever privacy is considered a requisite for sexual activity, its opposite is threatening. That makes some sexual references inherently hostile. The ultimate extension of this hostility could well be the violent imposition of sex on the unwilling.
These three observations are almost certainly incorrect in many details, and cannot be considered particularly helpful. As speculations, they hardly matter at all. But…where are we to start, when dealing with behavior that is so violently anti-social, so logically contrary, that it defies reason? How can hate provoke a forced act of sexual congress?
It is a puzzle, and there is hardly anything to be said about it except to deal with it descriptively. Let there be candor, then. In truth, a kind of madness has gripped the left. It is terrifying in its bitterness and feral intensity. Yes, it is widespread: note how silent the feminists have been through this nightmare. There can be no more damning indictment of the hypocrisy and shallowness of the orthodox feminist movement.
It is the right that is howling, and not because their icon, a woman cursed by her attractiveness, is being smeared. The outrage of the conservatives stems from their recognition of the fact that prominent idea-mongers on the left have literally abandoned civilized discourse in favor of primal, libidinous hatred.
These wholesalers of depravity are followed by millions of “activists” and “progressives” who see politics as just cause to savage women, impose punitive pregnancies on them, and mock them as sluts — no matter what their obvious values and behaviors.
It’s not just rednecks and hicks and hayseeds like Palin that are hated. The left has in fact moved closer to hatred in general. There is a fundamental hatred of the West, expressed in the servile worship of books like Said’s toxic hallucination, Orientalism. One should not be surprised to see “progressives” often embracing the oldest and most vile of all mankind’s delusions: Jew-hatred. Israel, watch out!
Domestic politics are no less the target of the culture-wreckers. In fantasizing about disarming the “wingnuts” in flyover country and breaking the back of capitalism, the left targets the fundamentals that made a representative democracy based on individualism work as well as it did…and gave us all not just hope and change, but the genuine promise of a better future.
By their choice of words and causes and targets, leftists have declared themselves. The culture war, in other words, is actually a war to decide whether the noblest achievements of Western Civilization shall survive.
Footnote: the following material is from PenPo Number 88. It explains the Playboy mockery of “wingnut” females.
It Was Just A Matter Of Time, Given The Depravity Of The “Progressive” Mindset
Playboy magazine, which is said to be teetering on the edge of the financial abyss, put a piece up on the internet that is a bit hard to describe. It jokingly promotes sexual intercourse with hateful women who happen to be alluring. They deserve to be discounted as human beings because of their political and religious views, in other words — so they are to be the objects of what the magazine calls a “hate fuck.” (No, this is not an exaggeration of what the Playboy article said.) Is that something like the use of rape as a weapon of war? It seems so to this newsletter, though the author of the piece concludes his advocacy with, “Let the healing begin.” That reference baffles the PenPo utterly.
Well, as soon as this egregious material was available to one and all, it came under fire (Example here). In a matter of hours the magazine pulled it. But a weblogger is said to have made screenshots of the entire post, and was claimed to be making them available at this URL. The server was swamped and perhaps lawyers for Playboy have threatened the weblogger into closing down.
The “progressive” response to criticism of Playboy‘s calculated transgression will of course be to mention the recent murder of the abortionist. That is not on target. As far as is known, the murder was the act of an individual, a crazed repeat offender. His lawyer may even plead that the man is insane.
The Playboy article and the concept of the “hate fuck” are the work of a committee expressing group values that have been thought out, vetted, refined, joined to photographs, formatted and distributed for public consumption — all with studied, considered deliberateness. At every step of the process hate and obscenity dictated the decisions of the group, which was doubtless gleeful about its clever twist on pornography. The result was not an individual’s insane act of violence, but a malicious expression of partisanship and sexual perversion. Its purpose was to mock, humiliate and denigrate people whose gender makes them vulnerable. It was not criminal, nor was it intended to prevent the targeted females from carrying on with their activities. It was a propaganda barrage fired at culturally obnoxious foes whose politics make them less than human.
Relatively trivial as it is, Playboy‘s ugly effort has implications that the murder does not. While the foes of abortion are transfixed with horror at the setback this murder has dealt their cause, the Playboy article plays a very different role on its side of the cultural divide. This newsletter insists that in the “progressive” ranks, many will endorse the boldness and propriety of the magazine’s sadistic, pre-pubescent masturbatory fantasy. It is also very unlikely that feminists will rise up en masse to denounce Playboy‘s decisions. The article is after all merely an extension of the sentiments of a political-cultural stratum of society that is ethically deprived and depraved. These are the Steinem Stormtroopers who gave Slick Willy a pass while crucifying Packwood. Playboy‘s descent into vengeful smut is the “progressive” response to Sarah Palin writ large.
Thus has the Playboy crew become the poster boys for the elite’s class hatred of the residents of flyover country. The porn publishers will be admired by a great many smirking, snickering brats whose arrested development will lead them to see Playboy as a plain-speaking champion of the “progressive” cause.
(End of footnote.)
Note: the following segment should be considered optional reading, as it will be of interest primarily to those who wish to glimpse the history of obnoxious speech in US politics.
The Decline Of Civil Commentary In US Political Discourse
Horrid things have been said about candidates for public office in the USA for many decades, but it seems that the advent of the twenty-first century has been marked by an unprecedented plunge into filth. Why this has occurred — if it has — deserves consideration.
In 1884, Grover Cleveland was the target of wags who felt his paternity of a child born out of wedlock was worthy of mockery. The doggerel, “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?/Gone to the White House/Ha ha ha” was considered racy and damning. Cleveland shrugged it off and won the election, as he deserved to. In later years, FDR and Eisenhower were able to carry off affairs without exciting widespread prurient comment. Even Jack Kennedy, whose swordsmanship was legendary, was unmolested by the press and public. The USA was willing to turn a blind eye to discreet misbehavior by its political elite.
That changed with Ted Kennedy. The juvenile, clumsy and ethically egregious behavior of the senator was so horrid that a girl died — utterly needlessly, and because of Kennedy’s self-absorption and cowardice. The consequences of the tragedy saw the senator lie and stonewall his way to technical innocence, hiding behind the cover of intimidated, coached witnesses. The criminal justice system knelt to the USA’s version of royalty, and justice was mocked. The shock to the body politic was palpable and durable.
Thus it was that when the prodigious sexual accomplishments of Governor and President Slick Willy became widely known, there was a sense that propriety had been flouted once too often. In what may have been the last gasp of contemporary political cynicism about sexual adventurism, the Democrats fell back on the contention that perjury is not always perjury — because everyone lies about his extramarital sexual excursions.
At the same time, Senator Packwood, as noted above, was hounded from office by howling feminists who savaged him for behavior that came nowhere near Slick’s serial conquests. The final element was in place: extramarital sex, or a succession of sex partners while in high office, were neither just a breach of domestic faith nor even an offense against the public’s proclaimed ideals. They were crimes to be judged not on ethical grounds, but on the basis of political partisanship. Slick, surely one of the most successful seducers of recent memory, was exonerated, and is said to carry on his obsessive activities, unperturbed by guilt or remorse. Packwood’s career was destroyed. He was probably ashamed of being accused of “womanizing,” whatever that bizarre and perverse term means. (Isn’t it odd that women are so bitter about men who associate intimately with women who are very receptive to the attentions of men?)
Lurking in the wings was Gloria Steinem, a devout liberal Democrat and one of the second generation of founders of contemporary feminism. Censorious, dictatorial and quintessentially political to the core, Steinem continues to influence feminists to this day. Her primitive tactics were and are directed at keeping the “women’s movement” free of polluting intellectual sophistication, such as the valuable ruminations of liberal Democrat Camille Paglia. For Steinem, as for many leftist luminaries such as Markos Moulitsas, it’s all about winning. Some say that rather than inject feminism with liberalism, she resuscitated moribund liberalism by injecting it with trendy feminist ardor.
As the bicoastal elite/liberal establishment maintained and extended its grip on the media, entertainment became more politicized. The smooth sophistication of Mort Sahl gradually gave way to a more obscene commentary, and the tradition pioneered by Lenny Bruce expanded. When Bush ran against Kerry in 2004, “comic” and actress Whoopi Goldberg felt it both appropriate and hilarious to regale her paying audience of liberal faithful with a protracted standup routine based on the fact that the word “bush” is a vulgar term for female pubic hair. This was a signal event, for it was subjected to scarce and mild criticism from the left (inaccurately reported as both widespread and severe), even though it was unimaginative, devoid of wit, and stunningly pre-adolescent.
A comparison is in order. Lyndon Johnson, president during the peak of the crisis of US Vietnam policy, was subjected to unprecedented vilification by many “pacifist” groups, and the taste of many of the demonstrations and plays, public performances and rallies left something to be desired. But nothing in that era — if memory serves — matched the sheer stupidity and boring childishness of Goldberg’s prolonged harping on a single lexical coincidence. A new low had been reached, for vulgarity of the most simpleminded sort had triumphed before a crowd of glitterati…because it pandered to their political views.
Sexual themes were now part of the standard vocabulary of political discourse. Now of course no rational person bases his voting decisions purely on smutty jokes; even Goldberg knows that. What was taking place was not the unfolding of a new articulation of political issues, but the exploitation of the media in the creation of an environment, an ambiance, a general mood. This involved the destruction of respect.
An example may help to clarify this point. Many years ago, a dignified and honorable man ran for president, and was defeated. He was the perfect liberal of his time, a tax-and-spend advocate of big government and statist policies that limited the choices of the individual. Those ideals made Adlai Stevenson, former governor of Illinois, a target of rock-ribbed conservatives. He was fair game in a rough-and-tumble contest. Yet he was not personally attacked, no sexual jokes were made about him, he was not accused of personal impropriety, and, as far as this newsletter knows, no effort was made to discover whether the polished and elegant gentleman was a homosexual or had a mistress. Even Stevenson’s most bitter enemies conceded that the man was personally “clean” by the standards of the day. It was, all in all, a fair fight. (How boorish of Jack Kennedy, therefore, to deliver a “stab in the back” to the governor in later years.)
The contrast with Bush’s reception cannot be more pointed. The former pilot, flat-stomached, extraordinarily fit and sartorially impeccable, was savaged for wearing a flight suit when in a military aircraft, endlessly hounded for his mispronunciation of a single word, damned as an alcoholic who might just fall into drunkenness at any moment, criticized for the stereotypical behavior of his teenage daughters, and…the list is virtually without limit. Stevenson was never similarly reviled.
Consider now the growing usefulness of sexual topics and terms as weapons in political disputes. Vulgarisms were becoming almost de rigueur in the degenerating political climate, as the respect accorded the office and the process (if not the man) were gradually chipped away. Smutty language gnawed at the public’s vague impressions of the presidency, eroding the understanding that the president is assumed to be an honorable and respectable man. Disagree with his policies, but treat him personally and his office with civility? No longer. Political disagreement justifies the most obscene and irrational expressions of contempt.
Into this setting of deteriorating commentary came a godsend to the architects of sexual vilification: Sarah Palin. This newsletter flatly predicted that she would be subjected to obscene verbal attacks without precedent, and that prediction was almost, but not perfectly, accurate (fortunately the bit about the sled dogs never materialized). Note that the objections to Palin were overwhelmingly cultural (she wears her hair up, can you believe it?), rather than political. No list need be presented here, for everyone recalls the wide-ranging remarks that were directed at this candidate from flyover country. Literally everything about her was damned.
The direct assault on the dignity of politically incorrect politicians is a fact of life. It targets candidates who are too attractive, come from the wrong part of the country, are too attached to “family values,” and are believed representative of a segment of US society that takes no interest in the amusements of the bicoastal elite. The bad taste that characterizes Palin and her ilk is reviled by the chattering class, and that estrangement from the elite permits Palin to be called a whore, bitch and slut (even as she is proclaimed by a feminist university professor “not a woman”). It allows a talk show comic (who years ago quailed when Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a sex researcher, uttered the word “penis” on his show) to joke about a fourteen year-old girl being impregnated by a baseball player while her mother, the real target of the slur, was irresponsibly preoccupied with the game.
Clearly, political orientation gives the left carte blanche, and part of that permission to babble like a sex-obsessed preteen is the permission to lie, and insist that the offensive “joke” was not what it actually was.
No, Letterman’s braying is not inconsequential. It is significant because it is considered almost required in the entertainment industry: Letterman’s instinct for what will get a laugh is highly developed. Yet he lies; that is a tacit admission of his guilt. He knows that what he said was beyond the pale.
The lessons originally taught by Lenny Bruce, Ted Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg have been learned, and we are all the poorer for it.
If what Obama is doing to the nation can be opposed, it can be opposed on its demerits — without, in other words, engaging in any irrelevant vulgarisms. Yes, his programs are fascistic, even reminiscent of Nazi insanities, and no, his ideas are not consonant with a sophisticated understanding of the philosophy that underlies the constitution in its current evolved state. He is an ethical/political disaster, a genuine danger, and a Pied Piper. But as trenchant as this newsletter’s criticism of him has been and will be, the disgustingly low standards set by Goldberg and Bernhard remain far beneath the PenPo’s consideration.
Well. It is significant, is it not, that the “wingnuts” display a much greater tendency to civility than do the “moonbats”? Why might that be?
The answer is complex, but can be summarized without doing too much damage to the truth. The left is revolutionary, root and branch. It has come down to us from Marxism, which was a failed attempt to justify, in pursuit of Utopia, the overthrow of monarchs and republicans. The left is by origin and tradition results-oriented, as noted above, so it is willing to take the gloves off. It has a long history of not being very critical of men like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro, and today, many on the left are of Galloway’s ilk. The individual is expected to serve the collective, which explains Obama’s responses to Joe the Plumber, as well as why Obama favors a higher capital gains tax.
There is, therefore, a militant, Utopian aspect to the left, a fundamental desire to coerce and manipulate people in order to make them all literally equal, that naturally tends to transmute authoritarianism into totalitarianism. Violence is never far from consideration, and that explains why there is an emphasis on firearms control: the state will brook no potential counter-revolutionaries, but will monopolize violence. We await Obama’s word on that domestic “security force” he wants.
The right, by sharp contrast, begins with individual rights (Locke) and the benefits of free markets (Bastiat), then often plunging recklessly into a conformist prudery. When that occurs, the fascism that results is indistinguishable from the fascism of the left, and governance becomes the tool of a privileged elite. Free markets are captured by crony capitalists with connections, and the state pulls too many fast ones in its pursuit of public order. Censorship, though far from the exclusive property of the right, becomes more popular as religious nonsense replaces reason, and the police often carry out their duties with excessive zeal. Moralistic nonsense like the “war” on drugs and the persecution of prostitutes spreads.
What to do? This newsletter suggests that the electorate consider first the attempts to control information (the bias of the press) and the tone of the debate (the use of obscenity to erode respect) in judging the quality of its leaders. In those and all other matters, tell the rascals what you require, and hold them to a high standard. Left and right can be rotten, or they can be decent; what they choose to do depends on your reactions. So…react. Or you will lose the ability.
Final word: consider an alternative to both left and right. Keep reading the Penguin Post, and ponder its essential message carefully.
Twenty degrees of solitude
Twenty degrees in all
All the dancing kings and wives
Assembled in the hall
Lost is a long and lonely time
Fairy Sybil flying
All along the
All along the
Mountains of the Moon
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Geert Wilders.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Slackware Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.