The Transparent Censor

I found this post, and find it quite chilling in its simplicity.

I LIVE WITH A 24 year old from Shanghai who assures me that though China may THINK their people are clueless sheep marching towards the slaughter, they know better. They understand what is going on—SORT OF. We often have discussion about monetary policy at night—the Fed, the People’s Bank of China, blah blah blah…she gets it and says they KNOW.

The Chinese are smarter than you realize.

Her famous line?

“In China, they censor our news and tell us they do it ‘for our own good.’ But here in America, they censor YOUR news but don’t admit to it.”

Sadly, she’s right.

—JR

A Sloppy Cultural Revolution In America

Obama (Above It All)
Obama (Above It All)

Is this for real, or simply another line of digital dope offered up in the form of political wishful thinking? As much as we might pine for the ushering in of that new post-racial worldview that Obama promised but can hardly deliver even if he tried, which he obviously isn't when it counts the most—on the fly—the dividend bearing reality remains that "until you see the reds of their eyes" racial politics is big business and too formidable a stick of ill repute to simply fade away.

However, words will be words, and often fetch a handsome price on the information markets these days. So the knaves with their knives on all sides of the compost pile continue to line up in service to their killing fields of choice.

Former associate of the Oakland, CA of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, and now conservative agitator—David Horowitz—on the aftermath of the recent Henry Louis Gates spectacle, writes:

NOW, FOR WHITE PEOPLE the term "racist" is really tantamount to being called a "ni---er" if you're black, except that blacks are free to call whites racists while whites can't even write the word n-i-g-g-e-r without risking repercussions. Watching this show—watching this cop be not only unapologetic but demanding that Gates apologize to Crowley and his mother (for the trash-talk Yo Mama), it occurred to me that a great turn is indeed taking place as a result of the election of Obama.

First we had the spectacle of Sotomayor—a race-preference leftist—backing off entirely from race preferences, and now we have policemen who normally would just be under fire, saying enough—we're not going to take it anymore. Saying: For years we've bent over backwards to apologize for racial injustices, some of which occurred and some of which did not, we've taken so many hours of courses and training to be sensitive to minorities, and we're not going to be called racists anymore when we're not. You are a professor making five or ten times what I make. You are in state whose governor is black; you're in a city whose mayor is black. You're pretending you're a powerless victim and at the same time phoning my chief and calling me a racist, telling me I don't know who I'm messing with because your friend who is black is the president of the United States. F--- you!

Read it all.

While we can empathize with the Horowitz analysis of the racial game as it is historically played, it is far too early to presume that this president has actually achieved racial consensus and has flatlined the old racist beast by inadvertently appealing to those very same tactics in solving this social dilemma that has supposedly led to the often cited racial polarity in the first place, beer garden or no beer garden.

Guns In The Hands of the Needy

Gun-control-experts
History does offer up the best medicine for those who forget theirs...

GESTURE POLITICS SWEEP THE NATIONS. Guns and ammo fall into the hands of destroyers. Huns and sons of bitches. Puns are the gems of the language and the money they earn is thrown back into more guns and ammo. Enough said. Two Western governments once connected by an energy which flourished upon the land somehow found themselves compelled to sell their citizens short. Just so the stealth but vitriolic and plotting barbarians can rush in to steal their culture, their lives, and the souls of their children. Suicide. What kind of civilizational survival strategy is this?

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. We are told there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."

—Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Japanese Navy b.1884 d.1943)

Ordering Pizza In America

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT you had mastered the quaint old Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, along comes a spider...

Big Brother welcomes you, and look, it wasn't the Republicans, after all. It was YOU sleeping or fooling around like a spoiled brat on watch duty, all along. But pay me no mind, I'm nothing. In a nation where the splendid words of Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan are ignored or mocked, there's no claim of special consideration for the words of warning I bring to the table.

But if you like your nationalized health care, you'll like your nationalized pizza, too. Then you might be able to fit into those nationalized motor cars that are coming our way. But all is not lost; we can then celebrate the Ayatollah's Iran getting White House support for nuclear power while we note that at the same BAT time and on the same BAT channel that very same White House denies Americans the right of continued nuclear power.

What a country! After all, snookering the law of inertia, a government in motion tends to remain in motion, unless something more powerful gets in its way.

Speaking of Bat Ye'or, here she is in her own words:

Bat Yeor with Pamela Geller
Bat Yeor with Pamela Geller
I belong to no group, no community apparatus. My only contribution is my work. But I believe that my work has opened an enormous field for reflection, not only for the Jewish world but for the Christian world as well that has suffered much more than the Jews from dhimmitude. I have described the process of Islamization of the Christian communities and of certain Christian countries through demography, immigration, enslavement, forced conversions, but also through genocide such as that which is being perpetrated against the Christians of Sudan. But beyond all that, I am Jewish. My identity is Judaism. Just as, when I was young I was subversive, didn't feel Jewish and would have perhaps fallen in with communism, since I was opposed to that Jewish bourgeoisie that I couldn't identify with—the country of Egypt was in total poverty and I did not accept the chasm between the populations...

Henry Gates Is A Show-Off

LIVING AMONG THE BROKEN GLASS and junkyard battlegrounds of ordinary American life for ample portions of my fifty plus years I've come across many a hustler, thief, or druggie who can deport themselves as if scripted by a charm school mistress. I agree with the others above that Henry Louis Gates is wrong in this case. I have followed the career of Prof. Gates with some interest over the past decade or so.

henry-gates
Henry Gates becomes Obamagate...

Seems he often desires to approach the racial issue with detachment and intelligence, but he often tends to slip under pressure, thus proving he still labors under the racialist spell, and he just can't shake loose of it. This incident is just more proof. Doesn't make him Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, or less a human being than I am, or the Harvard professor that he is, but it does show just how incredibly difficult it is to shed a grievance we as Americans, black and white, male and female, young and old, rich and poor, revolutionary or saint, individuals all, have been indoctrinated by society great or small to embrace. Gates is not being reasonable in his post-arrest comportment either, because this incident was not racial profiling. His own self-regarding notions of "how he comported himself" were almost immediately betrayed when he began to yell and scream in succumbing to disorderly conduct when faced with procedural requests for ID which he didn't present.

He did present a Harvard ID, but the record apparently shows that he offered nothing with his address on it. Thus, this appears like he was spoiling for a scene—some fresh data for his class or this documentary he has already announced.

Had he just quietly and politely provided his proper identification and answered all the questions the police officers had every right to ask, chances are damn good this Harvard professor would not have been arrested.

Class warfare in America? Yes, and Henry Louis Gates showed he had no class.

Assuming Financial Risk

Ron Paul
Man of Principle

MY DARLING DEBT, YES, WE KNEW YOU THEN, and we hold you closer even now. Texas Congressman Ron Paul delivers a striking blow to what I see in the real estate game as the continuation of the same monetary irrationalities that put us into the fiscal trouble we now find ourselves.

Just yesterday I had a conversation with a MetLife loan officer. He told me that his firm is currently offering 105s to select clients, but he hears that 125s are coming. What that means is that another round of secondary mortgage loans for 125% of current home values will be floated to a certain stratum of financial clients. All it would take is another Islamic attack or a continued dollar plunge or any number of current pressures upon the American and global economies to push back in shocking the system at an unregulated moment, and oops, there goes all that risky lending again right down the drain. Pessimistic? Not empathetic enough for the 21st century debt-oblivious consumer?

Maybe. But risk is always a capitalistic concern. One would think that the government and the banks would have learned something from all this freewheeling market manipulation, and move to modify the business models to help send a solid message to consumers that a slower, more conservative approach to borrowing and spending is not only recommended but of necessity required. For the sake of honesty, I admit that I got caught up in it myself, and am now paying the price for my own irrational exuberance. Congressman Paul is warning that we ALL must snap out of this debt-driven nightmare and learn to live within our means as individuals, communities, states, and nations, or else simply prepare for whatever version of the worse case scenario finds us in its path of destruction.

Would I assume a 125 loan, if it would help me out of a current crisis? I don't know, but I would think about it long and hard with some tough questions answered along the way before I would jeopardize myself, or my lender in such a scheme which is based on an optimism that may or may not be warranted or rational.

As I prepare to enter the real estate industry myself, as a very green rookie agent fresh of the state and national exams, I know there is much to learn, and I intend to wrestle and deconstruct every nuance of the business. I plan to master what I, in good conscience, can stand and deliver in honest representation of those persons who wish a serious and dedicated advocate during what is a very strategic and personal transaction—buying or selling real property.

Owning real estate carries with it a traditional "bundle of legal rights" transferred with the property from seller to buyer. These are the recognized rights of the holder of title to the property and include:

  • the right of possession - the property is owned by whomever holds title;
  • the right of control - within the laws, the owner controls the use of the property;
  • the right of exclusion - others can be excluded from using or entering the property;
  • the right of enjoyment - the owner can enjoy the use of the property in any legal manner; and
  • the right of disposition - the title holder can sell, rent or transfer ownership or use of the property at will

    This bundle of rights offering strong compulsions toward private ownership should not be taken lightly. Private ownership is the backbone of the American system. Our financial networks must continue to rise to the occasion, but we as owners and potential owners must also redeem our responsibilities if we wish to be considered as carriers of the promise that ownership bestows. The unfortunate fact that far too many of this nation's foreclosure properties from the least to the greatest have been found in a sorry physical state due to departure vandalism is disappointing, and of course criminal. Egregious vandalism like this does not speak well of us as honest and forthright people who deserve to own property.

    Life is risky, but the glory of our efforts as buyers and sellers, agents and brokers, is that we can each work to minimize that risk, for ourselves and for others, and in the spirit of goodwill, peace, and liberty we can change the world for the better, one satisfied property owner at a time.

  • The Worker's Philosopher

    Noted journalist Christopher Hitchens pays his respects to a noted Polish Marxist philosopher. Although I admit that I had been unaware of this lifelong communist, from the details that Hitchens has framed in fashioning his tribute, it seems that this man was a man who would have impacted my own heart and soul, as he has now impacted my mind.

    kolakowski
    Leszek Kolakowski

    I searched long and hard for an intellectual who sensed the lies and failures of the existing leftist regimes, but my shopping tour turned up little but more lies and failures. Finally my need for closure pushed me back to a natural conservatism wrapped in a ribbon and bow called radical centrism where Friedrich Hayek and Karl Popper had done the work I so desired to read. But this Polish fellow's testimony appears to be an honest struggle well worth an investigation, if only a less threatening global sensibility now haunted by Islamofacism prevails and consideration of the minutae of self-governance as a intellectual pastime must take a back burner...

    WROCLAW, Poland—It was distinctly eerie to learn of the death of professor Leszek Kolakowski just 15 minutes before entering a room in which I was to give a short lecture on his influence. But it was also rather inspiring to be in a country that made the passing of a public intellectual into the front-page headline of every national daily paper the following day. The photographs of Kolakowski almost invariably portray a man with a forbiddingly craggy visage, austere to the point of asceticism. Yet he was one of the most engagingly witty people it was possible to meet. And his wit was deployed to puncture every kind of intellectual fraud or imposture. I remember his comment when he heard that Hungarian philosopher Georg Lukacs had said that even the worst socialism was preferable to the best capitalism: "Ah yes, the advantages of Albania over Sweden are self-evident."

    He had earned the right to make such pronouncements. An ardent Communist in prewar and wartime Poland (and a sworn foe of the clerical, chauvinist, and anti-Semitic Polish right wing to the end of his days), Kolakowski was shorn of his Stalinism by exposure to its Moscow form on a visit to Russia, and he emerged as the leading "revisionist" Marxist philosopher of the Polish spring of 1956. At that stage, he advocated a form of democratic socialism approximately based on a reading of young—as opposed to late—Karl Marx. But repeated encounters with the obdurate and repressive Communist regime convinced him that the system was essentially beyond reform.

    A second Polish spring in March 1968 was put down with the use of the most crude police tactics and the employment by the Communist Party of anti-Semitism as a weapon against dissent. Forced to leave his homeland, he roosted for a while as an exile professor in Berkeley, Calif., where his experience of the student movement more or less completed his break with the New Left. (Years later he would recall with contempt a pamphlet that described the libraries of the university as being stuffed with "useless 'white' knowledge.") In 1970 he moved to Oxford University and remained there until his death last week.

    . . .

    Meanwhile, Kolakowski was at work on his three-volume Main Currents of Marxism, which appeared at the end of the 1970s and constitutes one of the most searching investigations of the worldview that had dominated his youth. To state the thesis very briefly, Kolakowski's argument was that Stalinism was not, after all, an aberration of Marxism. It was, rather, its logical culmination. It is not necessary to agree completely with this thesis in order to admire the relentless logic of its presentation. If there has ever been a detailed rebuttal written by any Marxist scholar, I have not seen it.

    Kolakowski's essential difference with Marxism was what one might call teleological: He rejected the idea that contradictions could be overcome, or anything "ultimate" achieved, either in the material world or in the world of ideas. This, however, did not prevent him from insisting that one had a duty to keep striving. Philosophy could not establish truth, but it could define the terms in which truth could be sought. Meanwhile, as he phrased it sardonically in an interview with Danny Postel in Daedalus, it turned out that there were better reasons to value freedom and democracy than the fact that Marx and Engels had not been so strongly opposed to them as some people had first thought.

    . . .

    In the short run, Kolakowski was perhaps slightly mistaken in that the nations of Eastern Europe were able to produce a generation of critics and activists who succeeded in making themselves heard. But in the longer run, he was proved right, in the sense that though the system could in fact "reform" itself, it could do so only by reforming itself out of existence. And he was at last able to fulfill his boyhood dream by becoming the esteemed intellectual ally of a working-class movement that actually succeeded in taking power. The realization that this movement was the gravedigger of communism was well-attuned to Kolakowski's very highly developed sense of historical irony.

    Read it all.