Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ahmadinejad proves Mark Steyn's point; Gholam Hossein Elham; Barack Hussein Obama

On December 30, 2008, Mark Steyn wrote the following:
The electors have made a bet that we can return to that happy capering playground at the Summit of the Americas where all the great questions have been settled and indulgent governments can subsidize their own anarchists. If 9/11 ultimately revealed America’s self-imposed constraints, November 4th [2008] is already understood as a comprehensive repudiation even of that qualified resolve. Like I said: for America's enemies, that’s useful to know.

For "centrists" who are still struggling to understand that quote, I will give you the bottom line. By electing Obama, we voted to repudiate even the half-hearted wartime actions of the Bush administration. America's enemies, smarter than the average Obama voter, understand this point and will take advantage of our renewed weakness.

Today, as if to prove this point, Iran and Ahmadinejad renewed their verbal hostility:
After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to "unclench its fist".

In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its "crimes" against Iran and saying he expected "deep and fundamental" change from Obama.

"This request [Obama's request for talks] means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed," Gholam Hossein Elham [Iranian spokesman] was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

Obama is not offended by these attacks, as leftists view foreign enemies as allies against their real enemy.

Previous - Obama: Iran IS NOT a threat, Iran IS a threat.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Bread and Circuses; Pittsburgh Steelers; Super Bowl 43; Dan Rooney

The Pittsburgh Steelers' participation in this weekend's Super Bowl 43 gives me an opportunity to post an item I started to write four years ago. Just before the Steelers faced the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game in January 2005, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a story in which it repeated worn out cliches about the Steelers' success helping to compensate for the city's problems. The point was that the Steelers need to win in order to help the city residents forget the problems resulting from the loss of the steel industry.

Steelers owner Dan Rooney was quoted on the effect the game would have on the City's "psyche":
There was a piece in the paper ... about what the Steelers and this game mean to the economy, which I guess was in the high 20 millions or something," he said. "But what it didn't say and what I think is more important is what the Steelers' success really means to the city's psyche.

The newspaper summed up the City's problems and why the win would be a needed distraction:
In an era when the city's only real growth industries seem to be strip clubs, towing, and Steelers analysis, Pittsburgh's overall mood is not terribly hopeful. Since the last time the Steelers won a Super Bowl [1979], the city has gone from America's most liveable city to one of its most leaveable. Manufacturing and industrial jobs have all but dried up. US Airways, one of the region's biggest employers, is in its second bankruptcy. The Steelers' aging, blue-collar fan base today worries as much about prescription drug prices as about New England's pass defense.

If there's a place that could use the two-weeks-long jolt of adrenalin that a win today would trigger, maybe this is that place.
January 23, 2005

The newspaper and Dan Rooney missed the point. Pittsburgh's problems are far deeper than those listed above. Since the 1970's Pittsburgh has seen its steel manufacturing base mostly disappear. This disappearance has had far reaching consequences for Pittsburgh and the nation. The loss of any nation's industrial base is a grave matter. Most articles and films about the Steelers of the 1970's make a point of stating that the Steelers' success at that time was necessary to restore civic pride, unify the city, compensate for the loss of steel jobs, boost local morale and many other meaningless cliches.

But these cliches and stories have gotten the story backward. In fact, the success of sports teams in our culture has distracted us from the loss of our civilization. Industry, including steel, was a cornerstone of the United States. The loss of such a vital part of our nation should have been greeted with long lasting alarm and resolve to address and reverse the problem. Instead, those most immediately affected were given "bread and circuses" at which to celebrate, while their livelihoods disappeared before their eyes. In any decaying society, bread and circuses serve the purpose of distracting the public while economic and other conditions deteriorate. Our leaders cannot handle the crises that destroy our civilization, but they can pacify the great mass of people with games.

In ancient Rome, gladitorial and other games continued up to the very end of the empire, even as the barbarians conquered Rome's provinces one-by-one:
In fourth-century Rome there were 175 holidays in the year; ten with gladitorial contests; sixy-four with circus performances; the rest with shows in the theaters. The barbarians took advantage of this passion for vicarious battle by attacking Carthage, Antioch, and Trier [provinces of Rome] while the people were absorbed at the amphitheater or the circus.
Will Durant, Age of Faith, p. 31

In our own age, we "tailgate" and play fantasy football while we bask in second hand glory everytime our NFL team wins. Meanwhile, a 900 billion dollar "stimulus" package is passed by Congress, thus eroding our credit and guaranteeing the permanent insolvency of our nation and the inevitable crash of what is left of our economy. Boomsday approaches, while our factories remain idle. The nails are being hammered into the coffin of our civilization while we celebrate another Super Bowl. The games serve the same purpose they served in the 4th and 5th century A.D. They pacify us into accepting the policies that destroy the real source of power, glory and prosperity in any civilization. Never forget that Super Bowl trophies and end zone celebrations are no substitute for factories in this regard.

The Steelers entered the decade of the 1970's never having enjoyed success in their entire 40 year history. At the same time, Pittsburgh was the steel capital of the world. By the end of the 1970's, the roles had been reversed. The Pittsburgh Steelers enjoyed a sports dynasty - having won four super bowls - while the steel industry lay in ruins. The success of the Steelers helped us accept the simultaneous loss of our nation's backbone industry. That emblem on the Steeler helmets [once the symbol of the company that Andrew Carnegie built] is now nothing but a grim reminder of a dead past. The symbol mocks us while we fool ourselves with the fantasy that we root for a "blue collar team from a blue collar town."

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Quote of the day - Dan Aykroyd

"One place you don't want to get sick is Quebec...It's all socialized. Believe me, you don't want to go to a hospital there."

Dan Aykroyd

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

William Buckley; 1968; centralized government

William Buckley speaks in 1968 about the plans of the central government for every detail of our lives.

As it turns out, he was underestimating the reach of big government. The above video was part of a larger segment broadcast on ABC on election eve, 1968.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Compilation of "cult of personality" links

By now we are all aware of the cult of personality that has taken hold in the MSM/DNC. It helped propel Obama into the White House and has gone into overdrive this week. On Monday, I compared the words of George Orwell to the situation that has developed in the national media:
It had become usual to give Napolean the credit for every succesful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, "Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napolean, I have laid five eggs in six days"; or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, "Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napolean, how excellent this water tastes!"
from Animal Farm

Almost as if to parody Orwell, the MSM/DNC has lived down to our worst expectations. It has gushed over the same elements of Obama's inauguration that it attacked in Republican inaugurations. The coverage has been unprecedented. The cult has overtaken public broadcasting and, of course, Hollywood. MSM/DNC has become a parody of itself.

But the parody has a purpose. The purpose is to bully the rest of us into obedience as a far left government takes more control of our lives than ever before.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Cult of Personality, Obama, Animal Farm, George Orwell, Napolean

The cult of personality that has emerged around Barack Obama can be better understood with reference to the events depicted in George Orwell's classic work, Animal Farm. Animal Farm tells the story of a farm in which the animals seize power and attempt to establish a utopia for themselves without human control. After the animals kick out the humans, the leading pig, Napolean, establishes control for himself over the other animals. The story is a thinly disguised depiction of events in Soviet Russia from the time of the Bolshevik revolution through World War II. Napolean is a thinly disguised caricature of Stalin.

Animal Farm

The following passage takes place shortly after Napolean's seizure of power:
It had become usual to give Napolean the credit for every succesful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, "Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napolean, I have laid five eggs in six days"; or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, "Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napolean, how excellent this water tastes!"
[page 90, Signet paperback edition]

It has been almost 20 years since I read this book, but I think of this passage as I hear the "news" personalities gush over Obama.

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