ISLAM MAKES IT UNCUMBENT on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. . . . But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]…. Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur'anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.
Just seems to me, I've got other alliances and obligations that to choose to war against my neighbors in favor of those who wish me dead, dead, and more dead, as evidenced just one of many tens of thousands of time, by this recent leader of the masses who proclaim to follow the message of Mohammed, who was the"perfect model of human behavior" they say...
A BEAUTIFUL AND DELIGHTFUL MANwhom I had the pleasure and fortune of the occasional chat afforded me over the twenty-three years he spent at the same firm for whom my wife also toiled as mensch of the bean counting and IT departmentsArmenian genocide survivor, solid American patriot, respected and esteemed diplomatic spokesman during the Viet Nam years, former Time magazine VP, undeclared mentor of, ally, and yes, a kind jostling friend to me, Barry Zorthian, was buried yesterday. A spry, piercing intellect to the end, Barry was ninety years old, passing away rather suddenly with a staph infection at the same Washington hospital that his dear Margaret, treasured and devoted wife of sixty two years, had succumbed similarly, six months earlier on July 4.
Memories flash against my rocks. I feel as if I have lost another set of grandparents who made me feel safe, and needed. This Washington couple's impact on me was both deeply esoteric and spiritual, that is to say metaphorical.
With this and several more Project entries, I hope to tell a modest story of a great man, two wonderful wives, and an escape artist, whose counterpoint to oblivion is obvious to all who take the time to observe, and who against all the majesty of time, will still owe a wealth of gratitude to them all.
I last saw Barry in early November when I presented him the finished portrait I had originally begun five years earlier. The firm was staging a small birthday affair for him in mid-October, and among the prepared treats, had wanted to present Barry with my portrait of him. I at first balked, not because I didn't want to be honored by the gesture of presenting this passionate man with a decidedly raw version of himself chomping on one of his beloved cigars, but because I felt that the painting was not finished, and now scarcely reflected my body of work in terms of depth. I had been aware that Barry's taste in fine art ran from ancient treasures to classical brow (although his brother Jirayr Zorthian, a painter among other rather formidable exploits, had been one of California's most notable artists), a natural preference but which, no doubt, could include appreciation of my own art brut roughness with a smile and a wry quip on the fate of American civilization, even as everyone, including himself, would agree that this Gabriel Thy portrait of Mister Z remarkably captured the man and his spirit.
He was talking about the US Constitution, the Tea Party apparently, and as a registered Republican I do believe, although he'd confided to me that he had shifted his political alliances several times over his lifetime, as if he already knew I would oppose this concession of a wise old soldier not really in the mood to awaken the next day to fight the good fight once more.
After negotiations, I hurried with brush and stroke into the push and pull of personalized themes mapping our history together, and a few days later drove into the city to unveil my barely dry fast-drying acrylic gift to Mister Z, who, in his usual beaming if somewhat sardonic manner, thanked me and added that he only wished that Margaret was there to receive it for him. I asked his permission to take the canvas back to the studio for a few more touch-ups, and promised him the picture in one week at the latest. Of course, he obliged.
Later, my wife and I delivered the painting, called Dancing with Mister Z, to Barry at his surprisingly modest apartment, where he and Margaret had lived for over thirty years. We helped prepare some slice and dice crackers and such he insisted upon to then indulge Barry's trademark martini hour. An amazing host, a charming traditionalist was Barry Zorthian, but it was to be a sad visit for us. Barry obviously was still mourning the loss of Margaret, and struggling with the existential angst of all strategic humanitarians who live long enough to see their life's work begin to crumble into the dustbins of history with its relevance being rigorously challenged by another generation of emboldened young turks with torches and hot wires impetuously resculpting the truth.
Yes. He deeply lamented that his own hard fought history was being rewritten by others occasionally looser and more ambivalent with the assets of cold facts, which bubbled over to strange words from a political mind doubting the existence of God, truth, and the oversimplication of the complicated duties of men, finally mustering up that tired overused phrase of all scoundrels and scalawags who'd forgotten the basic tenet of faith is intangible possibilitywhat is it all worth in the end? he murmured to my own astonishment as I shot my wife a look she would know all too well.
After all, this was a man who'd once decried my dinner party evangel a decade and a half earlier, "Email? Who needs email?"
He pointed to the bulging wall of shelves filled with hefty political analysis, famed memoirs, and probably more than a few revisionist hatchet jobs he was nimbly now referencing. Books, oh the wonderful but untamable journalistic world of books that had already lured my roving eye. I knew exactly what Barry was feeling. My own struggle for purpose was transfixed by the fact that I had never outgrown my own twenty-something's existential angst, my fate ghosted by a half-hearted rejection of ambition and grandeur at any cost. A foot in each camp, I was a torn soul. But I had already read to the end of the book. Many pilgrims of pursuit had come before me. I drew solace from the forgotten details that far too many impassioned achievers had fallen silent in doubt, in defiance, in search for an unfathomable deliverance but sensing none at the end of their mortality. I knew Barry was telling me that for all his savvy, courageous work along shifting thin lines adapting illusory facts to compulsive needs of state and citizen alike during the Viet Nam erawere being distorted, dissected, reassembled again into a counterfeit of the original packageand this bothered him in these last days even as he accepted the disturbance as the normal march of the band, but the reality of this conclusion was affecting his once gracious health.
But those thoughts paled in comparision with his comment perhaps five minutes later. Without appealing to any obvious context, out of the blue so to speak, Barry Zorthian, a man often quoted in the smartest and most posh of Washington DC eschelons, announced in his usual lilting but deliberate Old World voice that he "could not believe that a document intended to govern a nation of twenty million could suffice a nation of over 300 million." He was talking about the US Constitution, the Tea Party apparently, and as a registered Republican I do believe, although he'd confided to me that he had shifted his political alliances several times over his lifetime, as if he already knew I would oppose this concession of a wise old soldier not really in the mood to awaken the next day to fight the good fight once more.
I was crushed into silence. Barry and I had long ago, over short clips of conversation at firm events, developed a short hand language from which we tackled each other's milieu. (To be continued...)
Read more official commentary about Mr. Z's illustrious career and colorful personality here and here and here.
BARING ANOTHER DISTINCTIVE VEIN, we should perhaps revisit the following thoughts from a British associate I knew as kubhlai during a three-year mailing list collaboration which ended a few months after an iconic group meet-up in Paris, '00 November:
En regarde de the email most recently sent to us by our francophiliac comrade, and prefigured at regular intervals by similar ones in the past on the subject of Security Service monitoring of keywords in emails, faxes etc.....
the idea of "saturating" the airwaves with emails containing assemblages of the said keywords in order to waste the Security Service bandwidth is a non starter.... in fact it's shooting oneself in the foot and here is why....
The monitoring system works not by drawing the attention of a security service employee to the specific document containing the keyword, but by compiling a statistical map of where the said keywords repeatedly occur. By studying such frequency maps, and changes in it over time, and by trawling for certain combinations of keywords (much on the same principles as many Internet search engines) the agencies are able to detect the general flow of attention to certain subjects on a demographic basis. Properly analyzed on this basis, such statistics can tell 'Them' a lot more than you might imaginea lot of it of political rather than policing usefulness.
This is not to say that they do not have the theoretical capacity to zoom in upon a specific email message and have a real live person actually read it, but this is very much an exception rather than the rule. How do I know this? Think about it for just one momenthow many personnel would they have to employ to read every email, fax. phonecall containing a keyword if they read them purely as a random response to a certain string of letters or noises? A computer can filter an electronic signal but it cannot *understand* it, it cannot place you under arrest... It can however easily (in particular - QUICKLY) match recurring strings, or ignore combinations of words which make no sense. THESE are the things which it is easy to program a computer to do....
Secondly. The deliberate transmission of keywords is actually COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. Use that brain cell once more. The agency wants to know the general virtual-location of radicals: only radicals will make a habit of retransmitting such keywords in order to launch a "counter-attack on the agency", therefore these messages do exactly what the agency wants them to dotrack radicals... DOH!
Moreover, because such deliberate artificial and unnatural assemblages of keywords are easy to pull out of the statistical data, they can monitor their incidence on a statistical GEOGRAPHIC basis... i.e. the spread of such documents reveals to them *WHO ASSOCIATES WITH WHO*. This is the cream on the pint so far as the system is concernedbeing able to create maps of human relationships is just gold-dust when some real-world event sets them hunting for a specific individual..... Such supposed acts of self defence actually turn the needle in the haystack into "needle" in a search engine....
Moralif you act like a fucking machine you will lose to the machine every time...
You might care to bear that thought in mind next time you receive an email from some campaign or other (or ostensibly from some campaign or other?) asking you to "Forward this email to your MP or Congressman or Monsanto..." Such email chains are an absolute GIFT to the monitoring agencies...(and you have to wonder... but no, they wouldn't surely?)
Thirdly, (and here's the irony of it all). Any radical considering blowing up Parliament or whatever is hardly dumb enough to discuss the manufacturing of the explosives over the Net. No one on the J18 discussion list was obliged to submit any evidence of their academic qualifications but no one was dumb enough to make plans to hit any particular institution or even to meet in some particular place over the List which any Tom Dick or James Bond might have been monitoring (which of course they would not need half a dozen satellites to have achieved since they could just sign on the discussion list...). So is it likely that this is the technology they would use to target that kind of activity? The only anarchists they could identify by that method would be ones who are so devoid of gray matter that they would not be worth identifying in the first place.....
Which of course suggests a final characteristically miserable reflection.... What hope is there for any kind of political activity, what purpose is there for any kind of electronic or other association between radicals, if the general level of comprehension of how the world arounds them works is so poor? We're all computer users here....do we really understand so little about how they work? We are all anti State here, do we really study so little about the tactics and strategies of social control? We are all paranoid about political repression here... does anyone comprehend the basic methodologies of mass manipulation?
If we aren't prepared to think like soldiers, as if there were a war on an we are IN it, how do you suggest we are ever going to get a shot at winning it?
If the technical understanding of how the computerized world in which this List exists is so poor, what is the point of it? Its only effect is to send a big "I AM HERE" message to the wrong people.... Its a liability for anyone who means it for real....
kubhlai (sober and fed up this evening)
"...there is a distinction not between revolution and reform but on the one hand between the kind of revolution which installs a different gang on rulers or the kind of reform which makes oppression more palatable or more efficient, and on the other those social changes, whether revolutionary or reformist through which people enlarge their autonomy and reduce their subjection to external authority."
REAL ESTATE. ANOTHER SPLENDID EXAMPLE OF THE NOW not so misty ‘global conspiracy picture’ gaining clarity with a few more brush strokes of reality. This is just another facet of, and a continuation of the top down intentional pitting of the prudent against the not so prudent for control and elimination. This ballsy fact of a clockwork tenacity pushing for irresponsible financial activity goes well beyond instilling deflective jealousy and is more focused on creating anger and hate as strategic debt defaulting continues to rise thanks to the stranglehold the banks have on the economy.
And they've learned not a shred of hope is coming from DC or anywhere else...
This push is an integral part of the larger global divide and conquer scheme whereby the rich eliminate the high resource consuming, expensive to maintain, and always threatening middle class, and replace it with a low cost, non threatening, low brow, law enforcement class with the ultimate goal being a two tier ruler and ruled world. It's the warm and wonderful industrious Germans against those lazy shiftless Greeks. It is Pernicious Greed replacing good old fashioned Vanilla Greed. It's the same brutal squag in a different suit!
Now we understand that the grit of life is politics. The backlash will be strengthened and hastened by having ready a fair alternative to the end of all of this socially destructive parasitic voodoo whereby economics is falsely and deceptively separated from politicsnamelya very transparent, INTEREST FREE, alternative utility banking system that is controlled by the people.
Come on kidsit is time to pump up the volume of resistance while you still have a few resources remaining! It is time for election boycotts! Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.
A sad reckoning, but then Diogenes contributed his own two cents, adding to the profound real estate bust many of us are feeling:
I live in Phoenix. I know many people who can pay, but are preparing to walk. While Case-Shiller indicates that Phoenix is down 55% from the peak, I can tell you that, in many areas, it is much more than this. Case in point: a Scottsdale friend that bought a $950k house to live in, with a healthy down payment, now worth $350k.
At a recent dinner party, this was all everyone discussed. Lots of people are buying new cars, some are buying new townhouses or small homes, and others renting apartments while their credit is good, in anticipation of defaulting. Perhaps this was why consumer spending jumped a month or so ago? Most of these poeple put 20% or more down, but are profoundly under water, and may not see a recovery in their lifetime. And they see not a shred of hope coming from DC or anywhere else…
NOTICE ANYTHING SLIGHTLY OFF in the presentation of the following argument levied against Bill "Simple Man" O'Reilly and country singer Ray Stevens whose greatest hits are tongue in cheek novelty songs like The Streaker and Shriner's Convention?
Why does the Left go to great lengths to guard their president from behavior that has been the norm in political life much longer than memory can revealwhat makes Obama so special that he is beyond reproach for his ill-formed and ordinary political gamesmanship?
It’s not surprising that an anti-Obama song would be promoted on Fox News which actively promotes anything and anybody that is anti-Obama. Bill O’Reilly was so impressed with Ray Stevens' “patriotic” little anti-Obama tune, that he featured the song on two separate “Factor” segments. On neither occasion did O’Reilly attempt to rebut the lies that are presented in the song: but rather, presented it as wholesome fun. Move over Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and all the other songsters whose music accompanied the Civil Rights rallies and Freedom Marches. We now have a new form of protest music for another type of movement which actively vilifies the first African American president of the US. The times they are a changing...
No, I didn't either. That this so-called liberal post by someone whose byline identifies the writer only as "Priscilla" actually adheres to liberal logic when she ever so innocently, however slick the wrapper, suggests that it is barely imaginable that someone might actually "vilify" an American president because of his skin color. There we have it ladies and gentlemen, off the keyboards of babes, liberal logic insisting that a president be granted immunity from criticism, allegedly because of the color of his skin. Maybe the ever crucial ban on criticizing the first African-American president in satirical lyric and song will be lifted when the "second" African- American president takes office. Or would Priscilla suggest 42 more AA presidents ascend to the highest office in the land before rules of moral turpitude against vilifying an African American president, in erring towards true balance in matters of our heads of state, are lifted?
Wait a minute. That doesn't make sense...
All this contortion of logic begs the question as to what changes are applied to lyrical protocol when the first strategically hyphenated American woman finally makes presidential muster Having followed the 2008 Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama brick-a-brack about as squeamishly as a PUMA website stalker squatting in the nosebleed seats can, if last season's Democratic presidential campaign and subsequent convention proved anything, it proved nothing is ever what it seems (beyond the reach of liberal logic).
THE SUPERPOWER obsession, or finding comfort in one's own dog and pony show is mostly an American idiosyncrasy, in terms of nationalism and cultural hegemony, at this off peak point in time (Arabic-Islamic supremacism notwithstanding), although it might be said that Americans are uniquely afflicted if this observation by de Tocqueville can be extrapolated. Its only virtue is to lead, invariably, to recurrent quaintly absurd discussions that reveal few kernels of wisdom that are not connected to promoting the next big thing within the status quo. Put another way, the more things change, the more they remain the same, and America likes it that way, as an expression of simple exploding into simplicity.
"Do not try to override the world with force of arms... It is in the nature of a military weapon to turn against its wielder.
To hold on to weakness is to be strong...
There is no calamity like not knowing what is enough. There is no evil like covetousness. Only he who knows what is enough will always have enough
To be over-developed is to hasten decay. This is against Tao and what is against Tao will soon cease to exist.
It is Heaven's Way to conquer without striving... To get responses without speaking... To induce the people to come without summoning... To act to plan without haste...
The Wise is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed All the people say, "We ourselves have achieved it!""
Needless to say, nothing could be less American than the above. Observers of China would be well-advised to remember the above; for in essence, it remains fundamentally Chinese.
IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE, and it was happening again last week. An obscure man whose only tools were his brain and his pen was shaping the minds of men who shape the world. Winston Churchill had made one of this man's books "must" reading for the British War Cabinet and for Dominion Premiers who visited London last May. British liberals, scorned and derided by this man, had risen against him. A later book by the same man had just begun to make a stir in the U.S. The man is Leopold Schwarzschild, a German Jew who once was also a German idealist and democrat. The book that gripped Winston Churchill is World in Trance, a burning, raging indictment of the Versailles era "years of lofty dreaming and low demagogythe era of the empty phrasethe age of complacencythe years of self-destruction." When the book was published in 1943, it got almost no notice. But the book and its current sequel, Primer of the Coming World (Knopf), were news last week because:
The Allied attitudes and beliefs which these books examine are still alive in the world, and must soon be put again to the test of peace.
The German formula for recovery and reaggression after World War I, also examined by these books, is still the German formula, as no less an authority than Joseph Goebbels made clear last week when he asked the world to believe that the Germans are decent and worthy people who mean well.
Author Schwarzschild left Germany in 1933, moved from Paris to New York in 1940. At root, his thesis is simple: the Old Adam is, always has been and always will be uppermost in mankind. People have not improved much in the past, they are not improving now, and only fools assume the contrary. Woodrow Wilson and all those caught with him in the perfectionist dream of the Versailles years did assume the contrary, and led the world into chaos.
"Never again," says Schwarzschild, "must we succumb to the myth that power and armaments and compulsion are of themselves sinful. . . . All order, all civilization, all law and dignity, rest on the existence of weapons and power." The Illusion. Author Schwarzschild's No. 2 thesis is that Germans have more than their share of the Old Adam in them. Woodrow Wilson, believing that the postwar Germans of the new republic would be good and deserving democrats; the British, playing balance-of-power politics and encouraging a strong, pre-Hitler Germany; the assorted liberals, radicals, plain men of good will who trusted the Weimar Republicall these, says Schwarzschild, were members of Germany's "foreign legions," and their illusion was part of the era's tragic foolery.
Of Versailles' Big FourWilson, Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau'only Clemenceau really impressed Schwarzschild. The old Frenchman's attitude, denounced the world over as a fatally stupid and selfish policy, was actually, says Schwarzschild, the only sensible policy. Only the Tiger understood that Germany was a jungle to be controlled for France's sake and the world's. Says Schwarzschild:
"For those who knew the German people, their longing for democracy was always extremely doubtful. In the field of foreign policy [Hitlerism] was only the continuation of previous German policy. Even if the Officers' Corps and their hangers-on had not made an alliance with Hitler...Germany would have inevitably steered her course toward the restoration of her overwhelming military power and eventually toward war."
Schwarzschild's remedy is armed internationalism—total, indefinite occupation of Germany by U.S., British and Russian troops (600,000 would do the job, he thinks). Furthermore, Germany must be deprived of every means of making war, of preparing for war, or of teaching war. Says Schwarzschild:
"Nothing, positively nothing [must] survive which can materially or spiritually become the nucleus of a new military renaissance...not just for a few years, but for a minimum of 50 to 60. By A.D. 2000, the last Germans who have ever led or trained troops or manufactured weapons will have died."
HG Wells called Schwarzschild "superficially intelligent and massively stupid." Journalist Michael Foot, called Trance "a facile, scintillating treatise which...has received applause from those weary brains which prefer the dismal past to the adventurous future."
Leopold Schwarzschild's appeal to ordinary folks is about as simple as the Old Adam. To them, he sounds like a man telling them what they already know, deep down: that they aren't really as noble, great and good as their Fourth of July orators make out. And that is at least half the story.
Keep this in mind when the Code Pinkers and Obama's minions come to take away your guns just as the Arabs and other distorted Muslims are ready to conquer the world with suicide bombers, Beslan-like motifs, or the explosion of sets of buildings at a time.
WITH THE OH SO HISTORIC INAUGARATION now just a week away, many Americansfearful about the economy and uncertain about the futureare desperately pinning their hopes on Barack Obama and his "historic new New Deal."
But hopeful rhetoric, new programs with massive price tags, massive cuts to military budgets, and "green investments" are not the solution, says bestselling author and syndicated columnist Tony Blankley. The solution lies in us; the solution lies in American Grit.
American Grit, Blankley's controversial new book, calls for a bold new nationalismbased on hard work, sacrifice, and policies that put America firstto tackle the global and domestic challenges facing our nation. Blankley warns that Obama's socialist and environmentally sensitive agenda will weaken our embattled nation and invite new threats to America's economic and national security. Instead, Blankley prescribes his own compelling plan, calling upon the U.S. to implement:
A universal military draft to instill the unity, toughness, and cultural purpose lacking in America
An energy security policy where we become oil exporters and expand our diplomatic and economic options in the Middle East and around the world
A proactive, real-world communications strategy that showcases America as the true defender of freedom and opportunity
A new attitude that accepts the duties of citizenship instead of simply demanding more "rights" and "hand outs."
Yes, it's that simple. And with all due respect to Mr. Blankley, I prefer to call this a radical centrist approach to fixing America. Thanks Mr. Blankley for your contribution to this vital reckoning of our times. America definitely needs to toughen up, or those who are tough (Russia, China, Middle East, Israel) will soon enslave the weak and despondent self-obsessed people we have become.