A Quick Thought on the Elite

There are, indeed, elite people in the world. People who have been specially gifted with certain talents. A talent for being a surgeon; a talent for being a plumber; a talent for pure intellectual inquiry, etc, etc, etc. But here’s the price of being an elite: service. That is what our elites are missing…and have been missing ever since the Enlightenment came along. Then it was that our elites started thinking not in terms of service, but in terms of ruling…of telling us how to live, because they knew better than the yokels how it should be done. It should be noted that the elites who lead the way in this were those who usually lacked practical knowledge…you know, how to build a bridge or manage a water system. This is not to say that we never had busybodies prior to about 1750, nor to say that everyone with a liberal arts degree since then has been an annoyance. But the rule holds true: prior to about 1750, those who had more thought they owed service; since then, they feel a right to rule.

The duty of the elite is to serve the needs of the yokels as defined by the yokels. Anything other than that would either be worthless, or tyrannical. You want to be elite? Fine – then your whole task in life is service. After all, the first shall be last…

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Conserving Civilization – With Babies and Foreigners

Been watching Social Media and the universal seems to be that Representative Steve King (R-IA) is a horrific racist – the offense comes from this tweet:

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

There was no reference to what particular ethnic group of babies were desired, but it is taken as a given – by plenty on the right as well as nearly all the left – that he meant “white babies”. Because, what else could he have meant?

That is our Rorschach on this, right? Given that we all know (know – meaning, we all agree to the Progressive Narrative, even if we’re Conservative, because one thing a Conservative can’t ever do is stray from the rules provided by the Progressives) that Trump appeals to racists (in his greedy quest for power, wealth and selling the United States to Putin for an option to build a casino in Sochi), any statement by him or his supporters which isn’t explicitly inclusive of all races must be a racist statement. King, you see, should have tweeted out, “We can’t restore our civilization without having our own black, Latino, Native American, Asian, Jewish and Muslim babies”. Hey, Mark – some of you ask – why didn’t you include white babies in there? Because if you do that, you’re racist. In fact, might have been better if he tweeted out, “We can’t restore our civilization without all sorts of babies, except white babies”. But even that probably wouldn’t have been good enough. It would really have to go, “Our civilization is a horrible, lousy thing built on racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, war and greed and anyone who wants to restore it is racist”. That might have passed muster.

King’s statement is wrong in that the genius of American civilization (presumptively, what he wishes to restore) is that it can take Non-Americans and turn them into Americans. Whether or not he meant it in a purely racist sense is beyond my reckoning, given that I’m not clairvoyant and thus lack the ability to read his mind. That aside, in a very real sense, the son of a Vietnamese refugee has ancestors who fought at Bunker Hill. As long as he adopts the ideal of America, it doesn’t matter that his ancestor got here 200 years after the battle. Meanwhile, someone who rejects the ideal of America, even if he had an actual blood relative at the battle, isn’t American. America, you see, isn’t a place – it is an idea. Sure, we have our physical territory, but America is built on a Creed as much as, say, the Catholic Church is. The Church used to directly rule a fair portion of Europe – now it directly rules only a few acres inside the city of Rome…but it is no less Catholic than it was when it ruled a large, temporal estate because the Church isn’t based on land, but on an idea. If we Americans who have generations in this nation cease to have children but we continue to transmit our ideal to the most recent arrival, then America continues.

This is a bit different from every other nation on Earth – Japan being a rather extreme example of a nation being a specific people in a specific place, but even in places like Germany and Spain, it is difficult for a foreigner to become fully integrated into the society, at least for many generations. The only other nations which approximate what we do are the United Kingdom and former parts of Britain’s Empire like Australia and Canada. Because they, too, have a bit of an ideal which transcends ethnicity and place. It isn’t quite like ours – ours is written in the Declaration of Independence (it is also in the Constitution, but that can be altered or abolished…nothing can ever be done to alter the Declaration). One close friend I grew up with was the son of parents who were born outside the United States…but there was no fundamental difference between those of us who had family for centuries in this land and him. It is that quick – when the ideal of America is imparted.

And it is in the task of transmitting the idea of America that we are failing – and failing very badly. The primary cause for this failure rests on the left. It is the left which is determined to break us up into warring tribes which keep to themselves and never absorb the American ideal. It is a divide and rule tactic; a tactic as old as the first Ruling Class to ever emerge, I imagine. But this failure is seconded by many on the right. The way this is done is to presume that only certain types of people can be American and transmit the American ideal. The worst part of this group are the out and out racists – people imbued with a species of warmed-over blood and soil neo-Nazi drivel. But even outside of that, we have a problem. If our worry is that only people of Western Civilization can become American, then I hate to break it to you, but Mexicans are as much a part of Western Civilization as we are. They are a mixed lot, but so are we – and they still get their Civilization from a Judeo-Christian, European base just as we do. Try to point this out to some on the right and you’ll get an earful…flip it around and try to explain to supposedly Latino-loving Progressives that Cortez was a heroic person and you’ll get another earful. Both sides have taken up positions which are simply not true – the left that America is so bad that it needs to change into something else, the right that you have to be of a certain type to be American. But let’s be sensible – a Mexican can easily become an American, if he wants to and if we insist upon it as the price for entry. So, too, can a Chinese, a Pakistani, a Nigerian…anyone. All it takes is a desire to be American, and then learning the ropes, as it were, of being an American.

I say to the left – cease your attempts at dividing us. I say to the right – cease your adherence to nonsensical ideas about who can be what. Our job, as Conservatives, is to conserve our civilization – and that means transmitting it to both American babies, and foreigners who wish to become American. It really isn’t a difficult task. The sons of Germans became Americans and fought Germans with gusto in World War Two. The sons of Japanese, become Americans, would have fought the Japanese with equal gusto, had we let them (instead, we sent them off to kill Germans – and a fine job they did of it).

I’m descended from a wide variety of ancestors – my surname comes from Ireland, but I haven’t the least feeling for Ireland, as such. Just another foreign country. Imagine, though, if my family had kept up the Irish feeling with intensity – and if my fellow Americans had kept up their intense feeling that an Irishman couldn’t be a proper American…you know, what with being a member of a despised, violent race which was also Catholic and thus owed allegiance to the Pope? I’d likely be locked into an impoverished, Irish ghetto and be mindlessly mouthing hatred of Protestants in general, and Britain in particular…while also taking great exception to the United States as a nation of fine words, but bad actions. But, it wasn’t like that – my great-great-grandfather became American, and by the time his son was an adult, the family was so American that great-grandpa became a wheelhorse of Democrat politics in New Jersey…and his daughter became a Hollywood star.

It is past time we left off this fight over differently wrong ideas. E pluribus unum really is a worthwhile thing. All it takes is a desire that it should be so. I fear we are losing that desire and if we do, then very bad things will follow.

Relentlessly Refusing to Understand Dallas, Or Anything Else

…the whole modern world, or at any rate the whole modern Press, has a perpetual and consuming terror of plain morals. Men always attempt to avoid condemning a thing upon merely moral grounds. If I beat my grandmother to death tomorrow in the middle of Battersea Park, you may be perfectly certain that people will say anything about it except the single and fairly obvious fact: it is wrong. Some will call it insane; that is, will accuse it of deficiency of intelligence. This is not necessarily true at all. You could not tell whether the act was unintelligent or not unless you knew my grandmother. Some will call it vulgar, disgusting, and the rest of it; that is, they will accuse it of a lack of manners. Perhaps it does show a lack of manners; but this is scarcely its most serious disadvantage. Others will talk about the loathsome spectacle and the revolting scene; that is, they will accuse it of deficiency of art, or aesthetic beauty. This again depends on the circumstances: in order to be quite certain that the appearance of the old lady has definitely deteriorated under the process of being beaten to death, it is necessary for the philosophical critic to be quite certain how ugly she was before. Another school of thinkers say that the action is lacking in efficiency: that it is an uneconomic waste of a good grandmother. But that could only depend on the value, which is again an individual matter. The only real point that is worth mentioning is that the action is wicked, because your grandmother has a right not to be beaten to death. But of this simple moral explanation modern journalism has, as I say, a standing fear. It will call the action anything else – mad, bestial, vulgar, idiotic, rather than call it sinful. – G. K. Chesterton, “All Things Considered”, 1908

Now, ask yourself – has anyone in the MSM called the actions of the Dallas shooter immoral? The main thing that the man did was murder – which is a sin. It doesn’t, in the largest sense, matter why he did it – what he did was wrong. Immoral. Sinful. The only time we really care why a man murders is when we’re putting him on trial and even then it is only so that we can establish, as a matter of fact, that he did sin. Far more important than understanding the often twisted motives of those who sin is to call an immoral action wrong. Start making the motivation your primary concern and before too long what you’re doing is finding ways to excuse the sin. Our primary focus here should be to proclaim very loudly and firmly that what the man did was wrong; that no one should ever do such a thing; that there is never the slightest justification for sinning. Period. Full stop.

But, we don’t do that – and, as you can see from the date of the quote, we haven’t done it for quite a while. We’re very far down the road of trying to understand why a sinner sins, and thus we’re very far down the road to pretty much finding an excuse for every sin that comes along. If we were a moral people then what would be flustering us is not that Hillary wasn’t indicted, but that she lied (a sin, you see?) and isn’t sorry for it. True, she should be indicted but that is hardly the point – she should feel ashamed. Everyone who has been boosting her chances for the Presidency should also feel ashamed (and betrayed). We shouldn’t be talking about whether or not the prosecutor blew the case, but why the issue had to go beyond the moment we discovered (and this was quite a long while back) that Hillary had deliberately lied.

Until we start being a people who call a sin a sin, and who start to feel shame when we sin, or see others sin, then we’ll never get back to being a people who can make rational choices. We’ll just keep on going down this route – our leaders will become ever more corrupt; horrible murders and other crimes will pile up; our people will become more hate-filled, depressed and bewildered…and all because we won’t just starting saying about wrong things, “hey, that’s wrong”.

The Gun Debate – Open Thread

Obama and Progressives are calling for “sensible gun laws” as if that is the problem. They continue to demonize the NRA as if that is the problem. They continue to conflate radical Islamists with the isolated deranged American criminal, as if that is a moral equivalency. And they dare not speak one word of condemnation toward inner city gang violence, nor judge those who perpetrate those crimes for fear of constituency backlash. In summary, Obama and Progressives are not at all addressing the actual problem, which is typical, hence the absolute mess we find ourselves in. In short, we have to stop listening to Progressives.

The problems we face in this country and in this world are due to the absence of well armed, law abiding, decent people, not the presence of them. On the world stage, the problem is that the Radical Islamic Jihadists are better armed, more focused, and more brutal than those who want a peaceful existence. The Kurds need more weapons, the peaceful Sunni’s and Shiite’s need more weapons, and countries like Jordan and the UAE need more forceful support. We need more weapons to confront and defeat the Islamists, not less. And we need to be more brutal. This is not a war where you take prisoners. This is a war where you kill as many of them as you possibly can until they realize that they can not win. You want to close Gitmo? Fine. Put a bullet in the head of the remaining prisoners and burn the place to the ground. Case closed.

Domestically, we need more weapons in the hands of law abiding Americans so that they can protect themselves from the deranged gun man, or from the increasing threat of radicalized Muslims. And we need to clean out the cesspools of our inner cities and give those people hope of a better future. Make sure that children have a stable home with two parents, make sure they have school choice and a good education, make sure they have clean and decent housing, make sure they are not living in a drug and gang infested neighborhood, and make sure they have the opportunity for a good paying job and the opportunity to lift themselves up. And these are conservative ideals, not progressive ideals, and that is why Governorships and State Legislatures have increasingly gone conservative in the last 8 years, and that is why the White House will be conservative in January 2017.

Ending World War Two

August 6th was the 70th anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima and there was a lot of the usual hand-wringing about the deed from the usual suspects – Arthur K over at Ace has a good round up of counter-arguments to that sentiment. Most notably the fact that those who complain about the bombing aren’t those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would have had to invade Japan in November of 1945 if the Bomb hadn’t done the trick. I admit to a bias in this area as one of the Marines who would have had to hit the Japanese beaches was my father. There is a high probability that I wouldn’t exist if the Bomb hadn’t been dropped.

People also tend to just not know how savage the Pacific War was. I recently for the first time watched Flags of Our Fathers. It was a bit of a disjointed movie and I won’t put it down as one of Eastwood’s best efforts, but there is a scene in there which moved me nearly to tears. It is when the son of one of the Marines who raise the flag on Suribachi is talking to his aged, now-dying father in the hospital. It reminded me terribly of the last few days I had my father with me. As the story goes, that son never really knew what his father had done in World War Two – he only really found out by going through his father’s things after he died. I never even got that much.

My father never told me about the war. The only thing I ever got out of him was, “it smelled like blood and shit”. His battle was Saipan. Nearly 14,000 American casualties, including more than 3,400 dead – in less than a month of fighting. Japanese dead ran above 50,000, including around 20,000 civilian dead, many of whom committed suicide rather than fall into our hands, because the Japanese military told them we’d murder them all if captured. That is more than 53,000 dead in less than a month in an area less than 45 square miles. Just try, for a moment, to imagine what the place looked like on July 9th, 1944 when the island was declared secure. There must have been bodies just everywhere – and as it was war, the bodies would have been in quite a horrible state. Even if dad didn’t have to engage in hand-to-hand fighting, what his 17 year old eyes must have seen had to have been grim beyond description. Six months prior he was a high school boy living the sheltered life of the United States. And he carried that with him for 65 years. I wondered why he was so distant at times. But I think, now, I understand.

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Being Clear on Religious Liberty

Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which is fundamentally the same as the federal RFRA and the RFRA’s in force in 19 other States – and liberals went ballistic. Given the rapidity with which the outrage spread, I can only presume that it was all orchestrated – liberals, at any rate, not being given to doing anything until they are so ordered by the liberal leadership (no liberal wants to get out in front just in case the Party Line turns out to be different from personal opinion). As to why it was orchestrated – I figure that the left is trying to gin up its base for 2016 and this is just the start of it, and as Democrats have zero chance of winning Indiana in 2016, it makes the perfect target for liberal slander and hatred. Expect more and more of this sort of manufactured outrage as time goes on – Hillary’s only chance (other than the GOP nominating Jeb) being people upset over nothing rather than paying attention to what is happening.

Still, there is an actual issue here. Liberals are attempting to frame it as a replay of Jim Crow – the RFRA, it is alleged, will allow a “straights only” lunch counter and this will be a horrific violation of homosexual rights. The truth, of course, is completely different. The purpose of RFRA is not to harm anyone, but to protect the rights of a minority – in this case, a religious minority (orthodox Christians). Jim Crow was different – that was laws which required the treatment of non-whites as second class citizens by all and sundry. RFRA is just a way out if someone tries to get someone to do something in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs. It would not allow me, if I were a baker, to refuse to serve homosexual customers – it does excuse me from participating in a same-sex wedding by making the cake which will be consumed at that wedding. If I were a baker – and being that I am Catholic – you could get just about anything you want form me…but you couldn’t get a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. There are other sorts of confections you couldn’t get from me, as well…I probably would not want to bake a cake which, say, proclaimed some dogma of Christian Science. You just want a cake – you got it; you want a cake which requires me to sin: it ain’t happening.

And that is all RFRA does – it allows me to not do something for you. If I am not doing something for you then I am also not doing anything to you. I am not violating your rights by not providing a service. In fact, if you were able to compel me to do something for you, then not only would you likely be violating my religious beliefs, but you’d also be forcing me into involuntary servitude…and slavery is explicitly prohibited in our Constitution.

I would never dream of asking someone to do something against their conscience. I’d never ask a pacifist to serve in the army. I’d never ask a Jew to provide me a ham sandwich. I’d never ask a Muslim to sell me some wine. It is just plain and simple courtesy that I do this – it would be the height of arrogant oppression if I were to demand that everyone do for me as I wish. We do live in a pluralist society – in the United States there really are all kinds of people and the only way such a society works is if everyone respects everyone else. Doing it any other way just leads to anarchy, oppression, a disintegration of the ties that bind and a risk of complete societal breakdown.

Live and let live – wise words to live by.

It’s The Lies, Stupid

A quote from Theodore Dalrymple via Mark Steyn via Ace of Spades:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control…

At the end of the day, it isn’t my business if someone wants to believe or speak lies. I am not the world’s truth enforcer. Lies, for the most part, are pretty easily discerned once a person takes a little time to think about them. If someone is so intellectually lazy that they won’t take the time to figure out if something is true or false, it isn’t up to me to do anything specific about it. My duty starts and ends with merely trying to tell the truth as best I can determine. The problem comes in with what Dalrymple is talking about: the social enforcement of lies. Anyone trying to compel me – or anyone else – to lie is very much my business.

Our people on the left, of course, live on lies – their who worldview is based upon a set of falsehoods and only via falsehoods can they advance their cause. The problem we all have is that our leftists don’t just leave it at that – they insist we all join in their lies and affirm them positively in the public square. If I won’t say that affirmative action is continually needed in the United States to correct the inherently racist nature of American society, then I am a racist – I’m evil and have to be shut up and shut out of the debate. I can only enter the debate if I subscribe in advance to a falsehood – that America is an inherently racist society. It is a long list of lies that the left insists upon, as well: everything from “only white people can be racists” to “there’s a wage gap between men and women due to sexism” and a thousand things in between must be agreed to, or I’m out. If you ever wonder why our leftists are so strident against us it is because of this refusal to join in their lies…our refusal marks us out, in their minds, as evil…and you don’t sit down and chat with evil, now do you? Additionally, of course, if the lies are exposed for what they are, then the left as a political force is finished for good.

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