Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ancient history

Did you know that the US government used to enforce the public charge doctrine?

Do you know what the public charge doctrine is?

The Chief Kakistocrat explains.

For every action there is an equal and opposite inaction

A lot of ugly things are happening in the world right now. In what used to be Syria and Iraq, an army of Muslim men have carved out their own homeland and are giving Christians three choices: flight, fight or assimilate. As I've mentioned, I thought it was a pretty big deal when two fairly large nation-states fell apart and some obscure Muslim radical just decides to carve out his own country, complete with oil wells. But everybody pretends not to notice. People like being comfortable; they don't like thinking hard about uncomfortable things so they pretend they don't exist. Libertarians are a good example. The fact is a lot of people are incapable of civilized, cooperative existence. If you don't lock them up or keep them out, they'll take all your stuff. If you don't feed them, they'll starve. So instead, libertarians just go on and on about the awful State and how great it would be if all the nice, smart people had their own society. (Actually, we did have that. It was called the West.) Liberals have this characteristic in spades. Liberals don't talk about how appallingly promiscuous homosexual men really are, or that an 87 IQ white is going to have obvious physical and communicative limitations but an 87 IQ black is going to be verbally fluent and comparatively more functional. Conservatives are pretending not to notice that they're outnumbered and it's too late to change anything by voting.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State are a clear demonstration of the paralysis of Western Christians with their intellectual abstractions in the face of men with guns and the will to use them. The only way you are going to stop ISIS is by killing ISIS fighters. Western governments aren’t going to do it; Western Christians aren’t going to do it. We have become too prosperous and comfortable.

This paralysis is playing out in a lot of different areas. Immigration is a good example. Mass movements of people across national borders used to be called ‘invasion,’ and it was repelled by men killing the invaders. Fighting, dying, being permanently maimed or disabled is ugly stuff, so after two world wars, Westerners built this civilization of legal abstractions: the rule of law, the proposition nation. In reality, we're just dressing up the same old conflict that’s always been around: people and territory. Or, more poetically, blood and soil. Even 'gentrification' is really 'ethnic cleansing,' just without the rifles and the camps. As Vox Popoli and Kakistocracy point out, it's just the Law of Rule, and always has been. "Rule of Law" just means the more intelligent and civilized people have the guns.

But as we see in the Middle East, every now and then that elaborate construct we've erected to pretend biology doesn't exist slips, and decidedly less abstract thinkers are able to exert their will. The Middle East is the reality where a lot of beloved Western abstractions just blow away like smoke. So even as people wring their hands and talk about these terrible events, nobody does anything or even thinks too hard about them.

We’re nice, comfortable people who don’t want to recognize that a lot of phenomenon will not cease unless we do some very ugly things. We won’t, so they won’t.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


"Migration" is the politically correct term for invasion immigration, the desired nuance being that it's just some natural, tidal phenomenon, like the wildebeests or the Arctic terns. (It's also an appallingly patronizing way to regard people who are otherwise deemed to have moral agency, but let's keep this brief.)

If there's any doubt remaining among any readers that this is nothing less than the welfare state recruiting more constituents, consider that your tax dollars are about to be put to work making sure our future vibrancy can bypass Mexico altogether. We are not the world's policeman, the Left intones. Indeed not, we are the world's social worker.

One under-remarked point: Mexico is not "dangerous." It has abundant resources, jet travel, hospitals, indoor plumbing, a middle class and many very wealthy people. Even granting the wildly hyperbolic first premise--that Honduras and Guatemala are so dangerous life without physical assault is impossible--there is no reason that Hondurans and Guatemalans cannot stop there.

Why are people losing their minds over this? We have ZERO moral obligation to take these people in, no more than you have an obligation to give every homeless person out there a rent-free night on your couch. And the future consequences are going to be awful; we owe no future consideration to our children and grandchildren and the kind of society we leave them?

This is just mass psychosis. I've never seen anything like it.

Folks, you don't have to take my word for it. You can read Alexis du Tocqueville, Hillaire Belloc, William Schwenck Gilbert, Rudyard Kipling, Enoch Powell. This has all been pointed out over and over. What's that old definition of insanity?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five more days

... until the 100th anniversary of the end of Western Civilization. Via Rorate Caeli.

About the time I posted this, a friend made a lengthy comment on Facebook, exhorting everybody to vote, hope and pray. American conservatives are in their ghost dance phase.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The perfect as the enemy of the good

And with this Daily Article from, the remaining Lew Rockwell-sponsored site leaves the blogroll:
One area where many otherwise-correct free-market thinkers and libertarians stumble is in the area of right-to-work laws, now gaining considerable popularity across the nation. These laws come in a variety of forms, but in most cases a state that adopts right-to-work laws makes it illegal for employers to require union membership as a condition of employment. So far, twenty-four states have adopted these laws and the state legislature in Missouri has plans to make that state a right-to-work state sometime early next year.

Right-to-work laws are attractive to some because they help undercut the monopoly powers granted to labor unions by government. They also appeal to the more pragmatic minded because of the distinct improvements in economic growth. A recent study by the National Institute of Labor Relations Research found that, over a ten year period, states with right-to-work laws experience significant growth in manufacturing output and GDP compared to non-right-to-work states. This is, of course, the result we would expect from diminishing the power of government-created monopolies such as those granted to labor unions.

But utilitarian concerns aside, free-market advocates must ask whether these laws are the right way to reduce government power, and whether they satisfy the moral and ethical criteria at the root of free-market and libertarian thought. Is it right to restrict the freedom to contract in order to counteract existing restrictions on that same freedom?
Libertarians - boldly answering the question nobody asked. Indeed, with that starting point (people are free to contract, period!), one may ask whether it is right to prohibit trade in slave-manufactured goods in order to counteract laws granting chattel rights in human beings? The libertarian, hogtied in his logic trap, can only answer one way: no, no and a thousand times no!

The author acknowledges, as he must, that unions operate ab initio from a government-granted privilege: if employees can form a collective bargaining unit, the employer cannot refuse to bargain with them. Since there will always be more people looking for jobs than people with jobs to give, it's pretty easy to predict that in an unhampered market, unions simply would not exist in their current form. They'd be specialized guilds, company unions or labor pools.

Right-to-work takes the government's thumb off the scale--if you don't want to join the collective, you don't have to as a condition of employment. In other words, it's a law that rolls back the interventions of another law. And consequently, unions are pretty scarce in right-to-work states.

I'm not necessarily anti-union; I've encountered some top-notch union labor. I've also seen the scum of the earth hanging around union locals. And, I've seen plenty of stupid, greedy, shortsighted employers.

The bottom line is the world is just too complicated and has too many novel situations and too many wildly differing viewpoints for some Grand Unified Theory of Everything to apply every single time. For that matter, how does a libertarian regime stay libertarian? Does it have to pass a law outlawing people getting together and passing laws? Why isn't a law just a covenant that a group of people agreed would run with the land instead of everybody drafting contracts with everybody else? What sort of long-term investment is even possible in such a situation? Wouldn't the libertarians still find themselves marking out borders and patrolling them with machine guns to keep the non-libertarians from stealing their stuff?

Lew could have garnered a lot more influence and respect for his Mises Institute just sticking with praxeology. But apparently this crew just can't help themselves, so they lurch into political debate for which they are not at all equipped, even as they hilariously and scrupulously avoid any meritorious debate on genetics, race, community, human sexuality or culture.

There is one area where's frantic clampdown on discussion--as where the topic at hand might venture too near the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of Unthinkables--has never taken place: abortion is the one controversial topic that the site's sponsors have always made sure gets a full, comprehensive and open airing.

Some possible substitutes for could be Cafe Hayek, Wolf Street, Robert Murphy's blog or David Stockman's Contra Corner.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tone deaf

What's also called a "tin ear." I'm actually using this phrase in the context of people who seemingly do not even read or hear what they're saying. Two examples:

1. Tyler Cowen is an active, engaged intellectual who posts on countless topics at his Marginal Revolution. However, he seems strangely incurious about the Middle East beyond the confines of a certain ethno-nationalist state. In fairness to Prof. Cowen, there is a strange incuriousness across the entire media spectrum over the fact that several new countries are being born in the region and the borders blithely drawn up by the retreating British and French are being reworked.

Except, of course, when the wretched flotsam interred in the Gaza Strip--a piece of useless geography connected to nothing--happen to lob a few rockets across the Israeli border. Then, Tyler's intellectual curiosity blossoms. How intriguing. How should Israel respond? What are the implications?

These issues weigh heavily on the minds of Ashkenazi economists here and here.

As I note on the linked threads, Israel is where all that warm, fuzzy-wuzzy talk about open borders, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism just evaporates into thin air. Once the subect of Israel comes up, then all these economists who are otherwise tearful, Kantian, handwringing towers of Jell-O at the thought of MS-13 gang members being turned away at the Rio Grande suddenly find their blood-and-soil cojones.

The entire region actually seems very instructive on Cathedral tenets of multiculturalism, open borders, democracy and Islamic rule. Of course, that is precisely why everybody is doing backflips around it.

2. Here's kind of a quaint story about a 19-year old Englishman trying to fumble his way back to some sense of ethnic identity and pride, complete with a LARP Knights-of-St.-George getup. The young man is running for a local council seat and voices the unspeakable.
“You can walk down parts of London and not see a white face. That’s not acceptable.

“Havering’s lucky: we have a low level of ethnic minorities here, but that’s changing.

“I can see the change and I don’t want that to happen. It’s not the future I want for my children.

“It’s a bloodless genocide where no one’s really dying but a whole race of people is dying out by forced race mixing.

“It’s done subliminally through advertisements. The average is usually a white 
female and a black male and a mixed race child.

“Because it’s shown 24/7 there’s no escape. They all have the same brain-washing TVs saying this is normal.”
His older, wiser opponent magnanimously refrains from calling for the young man's drawing and quartering, and makes this contribution to the battle of ideas:
“It’s nonsense, his comments are completely ignorant and I find it very offensive,” he said. [White people, of course, positively tingle at the prospect of being offended.]

“The issue really is not multiculturalism but the way we need to expand public services to meet increase in public 
demand. Havering is becoming more multicultural and those who come and work beside us, we would want to have a peaceful existence with them.”

Now if the old fool actually listened to what he was saying, he'd recognize that he has just acknowledged multiculturalism as a consumptive doom loop that ends when all the net payors either move away or are assimilated downward, and the beloved diversity is left stewing in its own juices. And "peaceful existence" means paying the Dane-Geld to keep your unassimilable and implacable enemies quiescent.

None so blind...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Glorious multiculturalism

Hollande urges Middle East diplomacy after pro-Palestinian protest in Paris

What better place for a Palestinian protest than on the Statue du la Republique?

Should be real interesting when the Sunni-Shia conflict starts heating up over here.

Mean old world

"My Naked Truth," via Chateau Heartiste.

Ladies (do any females read my blog?), you do not have nearly as much time as you think. Make a man wild about you at your peak of physical attractiveness, bear his children, fit him with a pair of wife goggles and stick with him through thick and thin. And at 59 you had better be a really good grandmother, because you are not even in the minor leagues on any other playing field.

I'm writing this on the internet, because out in the real world it is not my place to be saying this. This is the sort of thing old women used to tell young women.

If women had any sense, they'd demand the repeal of Title VII and refuse to go to college.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Principled dissent

Per one of my recent posts, Ad Orientem remarks on how the immigration narrative is drawing dissent from unexpected quarters. And today, I came across another one, from Catholic priest Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. Apparently, the Church's newly discovered 11th Commandment is highly remunerative:
Between Dec 2010 and Nov 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”

Last year, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”

Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from the Department of Homeland Security for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”

From Dec 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child & Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”
Note that plans for the current human wave have apparently been in the works since 2010. The comments are interesting, and the divide is deep and irreconcilable. I think a lot of enthusiasm for unchecked immigration correlates with childlessness or the ability to afford good school districts.

One commenter is pretty apocalyptic:
The Catholic Church will break in two over this. As to the Patriotic Catholic Church in America: Spare me Lord from sermons about unity from Dolan, O’Malley, or Gomez. Spare me the word “welcome” again from men in the pulpit with scales on their eyes. Spare me photos of Masses on the border with hands reaching through the security fence. Spare me pictures of Father Larry Snyder and Sister Carol Keehan praying with Obama in the Oval Office. Let those priests who would be missionaries, go to the foreign places and serve the poor as the Church has traditionally done. Spare us all of it before we lose our minds and our faith.

This got me thinking about the irony of the excommunicated Matthew Heimbach, an Anglo-Saxon perfectly content to worship in the Byzantine form in an archdiocese which answers to an Arab patriarch. Now, by contrast and without a lot of links I don't care to format, I have encountered folks who while simultaneously convinced that the West is a palimpsest, and morally obligated to welcome every r-selected group out there, are yet engaged in reconstructing a moribund Christian rite which is explicitly, ethnically Northern European. As I've noted, the natural impulse seems to be for Christians to want a liturgy in their own ethnic expression.

Thus, we see that where a lot of erstwhile liberal Westerners have encountered diversity, as in actual Russian, Greek or Arab Christian culture, and not just the harmless stuff at the ethnic food festival, they absolutely despise it. When it comes down to it, they prefer Muslim immigrants to Eastern Christian immigrants. By contrast, race realists such as Matthew Heimbach are perfectly open to learning from very different cultural forms and adopting them as their own. After all, what is supposedly his Western ethos is now just a cradle-to-grave harangue about his hereditary blame for all the ills of the planet, for which he must atone through his voluntary displacement and eventual extinction.

Why would I or anybody pledge their efforts to preserving a self-loathing, toxic ethos that wants to whitewash everybody into the same generic anti-culture? These people are deluding themselves; nobody outside their K-selected demographic cares about elaborate liturgics and arcane theology.

Western culture has now determined to wreck itself; those of us lacking the suicidal impulse are perforce jumping off the train.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This is hilarious

Even Marxist academics read American Renaissance.

That's Jared Taylor's American Renaissance.

Steve Sailer says a lot of people with public politically-correct views read his blog.

Onward, Christian soldiers

They are preparing to die.

(Via Trifon Kupanoff).

James Howard Kunstler comes in from the cold

No more immigrants, says this unreconstructed liberal.
A few things that progressives leave out of the story these days: immigration was rigorously controlled at its ports of entry, and particularly at the height of immigration between the 1880s and the 1920s. A lot of people may have been pouring in from foreign lands, but they were carefully scrutinized on the way in, and not a few were sent back. Secondarily, these immigrants were required to assimilate into a recognizable common culture. There was no handwringing over the question of whether children from Italy or Lithuania should have to learn how to read, write, and speak in the English language. A strong consensus required it of them, and it must be fair to say that most of them were eager to enter that new common culture. We also conveniently forget that immigration quotas were severely restricted in 1924, not out of meanness, as the sentimentalists would suppose, but because the public and its representatives correctly apprehended that the situation had changed in some of its obvious particulars, requiring a consensus about limits.

In the 21st century, The USA is no longer sparsely populated, except in the regions that are typically hostile to settlement anywhere else in the world — places where there is no water, or too hot, or too cold, or too swampy. North America is a settled continent at a moment in history when virtually every nation including the USA can be fairly considered over-populated. It is also too obvious to belabor the point that fossil fuels have produced an algae bloom of human reproduction and that, whether we like it or not, the decline of fossil fuel is certain to lead to a decrease in human population. The question is how disorderly and cruel that journey might be if we don’t make the management of contraction a supreme political priority. And managing the movement of people into this country is a necessary part of that.

Currently, progressive America is pretending that the conditions of the 19th century still prevail here — boundless material resources and land for the taking — and that we can happily accommodate the overflow from our equally overpopulated neighbors, Mexico and the countries of Central America, any way they can manage to get here. The sentimental approach as represented by The New York Times, is exactly what will prevent the kind of hard choices that national leadership is faced with. Both established political parties could founder on this issue.
There is a bubble in everything right now (via Ad Orientem), as worldwide central banks print money like there's no tomorrow. The US, with its global armies and reserve currency status, is sucking up huge amounts of global labor and capital, including Central American teenagers who want more options than their villages and favelas can provide. This is classic bubble behavior, with the US sectors getting more than their fundamentals would otherwise merit, and other sectors starved of talent and investment.

Kunstler is muting his normally apocalyptic tone here. The government will dither and posture on this and it will eventually be decided on the streets, not in the voting booth or conference room.

UPDATE: Holy crap, even is thinking this may not be such a good idea.

Lew lives in Auburn, Alabama, and I visited his Mises Institute about 15 years ago. It was a very nice, white college town when I was there last. So I'm wondering if it's gotten a bit more vibrant.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Why the Hobby Lobby case matters so much

Not to me, actually, but to the Left.

There was a comment on this thread at Rod Dreher's, which I can no longer track down: without cheap, easy contraception, the modern woman ceases to exist.

In other words, the reason the Left can brook no compromise, no deviation from the party line on birth control is because without chemical contraception (which will still run you less than your cable bill), women don't get the broadened options of sleeping with attractive strangers who make terrible husbands and fathers. Without birth control, a lot of traditional mores come crashing back.

The same thing, tragically, can be said for antibiotic treatment of venereal diseases (now increasingly antibiotic-resistant).

Same with welfare, which means matriarchal black America can raise net tax-consuming broods with street corner lotharios.

Same with Title VII, which provides HR and other bureaucratic sinecures for women which a healthy, competitive market would not otherwise bother to create.

Birth control also degrades the interactions of young, bourgeois individuals into a brutalized sexual marketplace, and all the legislation and whining of sexually undesirable feminists won't change it. Some honesty on this point is needed: what we are talking about with the contraception-mandate is a subsidy for younger, sexually attractive people who are gainfully employed at mid- and large-size companies.

It's astounding how much of the modern world is devoted to making women feel comfortable and enabling them to have the same options as men. Of course, all this depends on men still being willing to pay taxes and produce enough surplus for all these wonderful things.

I don't mean to pick on women here. Men don't like having to make hard choices either. We have an entire monetary system dreamed up by men to avoid things like having to produce before we consume.

Interestingly, according to David Stockman, the Federal Reserve as originally implemented had little to do with the grand, macro-economic engineering which it now regards as its prime directive.
Thus, in an age of balanced budgets and bipartisan fiscal rectitude, the Fed’s legislative architects had not even considered the possibility of central bank monetization of the public debt, and, in any event, had a totally different mission in mind.

The new Fed system was to operate decentralized “reserve banks” in 12 regions—most of them far from Wall Street in places like San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City and Cleveland. Their job was to provide a passive “rediscount window” where national banks within each region could bring sound, self-liquidating commercial notes and receivables to post as collateral in return for cash to meet depositor withdrawals or to maintain an approximate 15 percent cash reserve.

Accordingly, the assets of the 12 reserve banks were to consist entirely of short-term commercial paper arising out of the ebb and flow of commerce and trade on the free market, not the debt emissions of Washington. In this context, the humble task of the reserve banks was to don green eyeshades and examine the commercial collateral brought by member banks, not to grandly manage the macro economy through targets for interest rates, money growth or credit expansion—to say nothing of targeting jobs, GDP, housing starts or the Russell 2000, as per today’s fashion.

Even the rediscount rate charged to member banks for cash loans was to float at a penalty spread above money market rates set by supply and demand for funds on the free market.

The big point here is that Carter Glass’ “banker’s bank” was an instrument of the market, not an agency of state policy. The so-called economic aggregates of the later Keynesian models—-GDP, employment, consumption and investment—were to remain an unmanaged outcome on the free market, reflecting the interaction of millions of producers, consumers, savers, investors, entrepreneurs and even speculators.

In short, the Fed as “banker’s bank” had no dog in the GDP hunt. Its narrow banking system liquidity mission would not vary whether the aggregates were growing at 3 percent or contracting at 3 percent.

All very practical stuff. Of course, it couldn't last when, again, men wanted the ability to wage industrial-scale war and not actually have to pay for it.

Can any of my more literate readers tell me if there's a classical, comprehensive term for the universal vice of trying to live without consequences? It doesn't seem to be covered by the Seven Deadly Sins.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A cogent critique of conservatism

From an unexpected angle:

Why Metal is Right-Wing
When conservatism was serious, local institutions were prized for their own sake, with communities serving as the proper basis for affection--the "little platoons" in Edmund Burke's phrase. Today, conservatism is composed of 20-somethings making 20 something a year plotting to give deracinated corporations tax breaks. For me, it's the same conflict as listening to a new band on a metal playlist or hearing the same Rihanna "song" yet again on a "professional" station. The latter can only be called "culture" by a true cynic and serves as evidence that popular choices are imposed from above rather than the spontaneous "free market" of conservative/libertarian fantasies.

Metal as a genre, even in its lowest form, relies upon musicianship. At its best, it can sublimate profound themes within complicated melodic structures. You can't "fake" good metal. It's no accident that many younger metalheads find that they "graduate" to classical when they get older, in the same way that the talented musicians who pioneered the genre owe a debt to the maestros of Vienna and Bayreuth.

In today's popular music, you can substitute Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, the animated corpse of Britney Spears, and whatever else they are promoting in and out of any given melody. It's hard to say if anyone would even notice--as long as you keep the autotune on. The themes are predictable, the melodies hackneyed, the "message" cliched--express yourself, even (especially) when you have nothing to say. Popular music is the soundtrack to American-style democracy, and I can think of no greater condemnation. If I can slightly borrow a famous phrase, when someone tells me the pop station is "culture," I release the safety catch on my revolver.

Clearly, if conservatism is about upholding the established order, heavy metal music is hardly the kind of thing champions of the long extinguished Ancien Regime would be comfortable with. Of course, that's sort of the point. We don't live in a world where the "Establishment" is patriotic landed aristocrats defending the interests of Church and Crown. We live in a world where Fortune 500 companies fund groups that combat "white privilege," where multiculturalism has joined hands with Goldman Sachs, where the justification for this System is outlined for you in your mandatory diversity training in the classroom and the corporate boardroom. It's their system, not ours. Why do we want to make it more efficient or cut their taxes?
(Via Radix).

I've repeated my own trope: conservatives at this point are conserving 20th century American progressivism. When I've mentioned this out in the real world, it provokes actual hostility. I'm reminded of my discussions with shell-shocked Syrian immigrants. They could not believe that their country disappeared before their eyes; it's still a topic you don't bring up in order to be polite. Incredibly, they never saw it coming, even as they were becoming outnumbered 5:1. Conservatives think it's just a matter of winning a debate; it's not. The debate is over, the winners have been decided, and the audience is leaving for the exits.

Speaking of Syria, what is it with the whole world's radio silence on that region? Two countries drawn up by the British and French last century are disappearing, and ... nothing. I thought it was kind of a big deal when two states where millions of people live start disappearing. Maybe this is just me.

We are some distance away from anything like the situations in Syria and Iraq, but the social and economic trends already in unstoppable motion are going to result in a huge reset, and it could easily be in our children's lifetimes. And conservatives are arguing over corporate tax deductions.

Oh, and happy Independence Day.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Axios, Sayidna Joseph!

North American Antiochian Orthodox minutiae:

American Antiochians have a new Metropolitan

+Joseph is Syrian-born, and related to +Ignatius, who was Patriarch before +John. Not actually being, ahem, "Self-Ruled," we submit three candidates to the overseas Synod. +Joseph, with his familial connections and recent elevation to archbishop, was widely regarded as a fait accompli. He was something of a sphinx during the dust-up several years ago over the actual status of our bishops. He appears to be an active and engaged bishop from a healthy diocese, and a loyal servant of the Church. May God grant our new Metropolitan many years of service! It has been 38 years since the American Antiochian Archdiocese had a new Metropolitan.

Here are pictures of +Joseph, +Basil and +John, all children of Syrian parents. HBD'ers will note the heavily Greek ancestry.

Here is a picture of the Diocese of Toledo/Midwest's Bishop Anthony. He is of Serbian and Lebanese ancestry and played quarterback in his high school (he is over six feet tall). I call him the Doctor Who of our Archdiocese. My daughter thinks he's awesome.

My bishop is +Antoun, old country Lebanese. He is our reposed +Philip's lifelong friend and a passionate follower of Christ. +Antoun is the one who told +Anthony to get into the bishopric, ready or not.

Hobby Lobby enslaves women

I had no idea this was perceived as such a watershed case by the Left. Bible-thumping patriarchs have been turned loose to enslave women and force them to have ten children each.

I was actually surprised to see I have commented on this case before.

I stand by that original post. The issue is not "reproductive choice" but 1) ignorant finance, and 2) that this is even an issue for public debate at the federal level.

In the first place, you can no more "insure" birth control than you can insure the risk that one day you'll need to buy groceries. In the second place, it is impractical (and unconstitutional) for such personal minutiae arising out of private, contractual matters to be the object of federal regulation.

The much-vilified Scalia had it right: no liberal should be happy with Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade. The damage is structural, in the erosion of the federalist system.

There is apparently no matter so personal, or so local or trivial, that a federal case cannot be made of it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The War That Never Ended

From Gates of Vienna. (via commenter annk)
All the other “what ifs” echo down the decades from the days after the war. All those pivotal events, and the personalities that shaped them. Woodrow Wilson. The Fourteen Points. The Treaty of Versailles. Churchill’s hiccup. The Freikorps. The Weimar Republic. The inflation of 1923. The rise of the Labour Party in Britain. The Great Crash. Gustav Stresemann, Paul von Hindenburg, and Adolf Hitler. Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin, and Neville Chamberlain. Guernica. The Rhineland. The Maginot Line. Blitzkrieg.

The dismemberment and distribution of the remains of the Ottoman Empire by the French and the British fashioned the Middle East as we know it today, with its artificial borders, ethnic fractures, rival ruling houses, and continuous fratricide. Oh, and the oil — whatever you do, don’t forget the oil.

The destruction of a substantial portion of an entire generation was followed by a similar round of butchery inflicted on the next generation. A cohort of the strongest, most resourceful, and most courageous young men was wiped out — twice. The damage to Western culture inflicted by these events can scarcely be reckoned. The world before 1914 is all but unimaginable to those of us who never knew it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

When the West put a gun to its head and blew its brains out

World War One, that is. Here are three perspectives.

1. John Derbyshire calls it Europe's first suicide attempt. North African and Middle Eastern immigration, the second:
The poem was published in the London Times on September 2nd, 1914. Its opening lines go as follows:

For all we have and are,
For all our children's fate,
Stand up and take the war.
The Hun is at the gate!

Seen in historical hindsight, Kipling's poem was somewhat overwrought. Germany in 1914 was, like Austria, a highly civilized nation — the most civilized of all nations, in the opinion of many, with the world's best universities and a prototype of the modern welfare state. They suffered from some insecurities about Russia's growing strength, and a corresponding mistrust of France, Russia's ally; but Germany meant Britain no harm, and had no known intentions against Britain or any of Britain's many possessions. Culturally and ethnically the Germans and the British were very close. The German emperor was first cousin to Britain's king — they were both grandsons of Queen Victoria.

Still, the British, who had some insecurities of their own, felt they were under existential threat, and Kipling's words caught their mood. The Hun is at the gate! … and for the rest of that war British polemicists referred to Germans as "the Hun."
... Kipling's lines came to mind when I saw Massimo Sestini's remarkable photographof an open boat carrying 227 illegal immigrants heading north across the Mediterranean.

2. David Stockman (via
In fact, 1914 is the fulcrum of modern history. It is the year the Fed opened-up for business just as the carnage in northern France closed-down the prior magnificent half-century era of liberal internationalism and honest gold-backed money. So it was the Great War’s terrible aftermath—–a century of drift toward statism, militarism and fiat money—-that was actually triggered by the events at Sarajevo.

Unfortunately, modern historiography wants to keep the Great War sequestered in a four-year span of archival curiosities about battles, mustard gas and monuments to the fallen. But the opposite historiography is more nearly the truth. The assassins at Sarajevo triggered the very warp and woof of the hundred years which followed.

The Great War was self-evidently an epochal calamity, especially for the 20 million combatants and civilians who perished for no reason that is discernible in any fair reading of history, or even unfair one. Yet the far greater calamity is that Europe’s senseless fratricide of 1914-1918 gave birth to all the great evils of the 20th century— the Great Depression, totalitarian genocides, Keynesian economics, permanent warfare states, rampaging central banks and the exceptionalist-rooted follies of America’s global imperialism.

3. Ralph Raico, on the geopolitics of the time:
“The obligation to defend Belgian neutrality was incumbent on all the signatories to the 1839 treaty acting collectively, and this had been the view adopted by the [British] cabinet only a few days previously. But now Britain presented itself as Belgium’s sole guarantor” (emphasis added).[22] Ignoring (or perhaps ignorant of) the crucial precondition of collective action among the guarantors, and with the felicity of expression customary among German statesmen of his time, Bethmann Hollweg labeled the Belgian neutrality treaty “a scrap of paper.”[23] Grey, addressing the House of Commons, referred to the invasion of Belgium as “the direst crime that ever stained the pages of history.”[24]

The violation of non-belligerent Belgium’s territory, though deplorable, was scarcely unprecedented in the annals of great powers. In 1807, units of the British navy entered Copenhagen harbor, bombarded the city, and seized the Danish fleet. At the time, Britain was at peace with Denmark, which was a neutral in the Napoleonic wars. The British claimed that Napoleon was about to invade Denmark and seize the fleet himself. As they explained in a manifesto to the people of Copenhagen, Britain was acting not only for its own survival but for the freedom of all peoples.

As the German navy grew in strength, calls were heard in Britain “to Copenhagen” the German fleet, from Sir John Fischer, First Sea Lord, and even from Arthur Lee, First Lord of the Admiralty. They were rejected, and England took the path of outbuilding the Germans in the naval arms race. But the willingness of high British authorities to act without scruple on behalf of perceived vital national interests did not go unnoticed in Germany.[25] When the time came, the Germans acted harshly towards neutral Belgium, though sparing the Belgians lectures on the freedom of mankind. Ironically, by 1916, the king of Greece was protesting the seizure of Greek territories by the Allies; like Belgium, the neutrality of Corfu had been guaranteed by the powers. His protests went unheeded.[26]

The invasion of Belgium was merely a pretext for London.[27] This was clear to John Morley, as he witnessed the machinations of Grey and the war party in the cabinet. In the last act of authentic English liberalism, Lord Morley, biographer of Cobden and Gladstone and author of the tract, On Compromise, upholding moral principles in politics, handed in his resignation.[28]

Britain’s entry into the war was crucial. In more ways than one, it sealed the fate of the Central Powers. Without Britain in the war, the United States would never have gone in.
Raico is whitewashing what was apparently a fairly brutal German occupation of Belgium but, in retrospect, was the sanctity of Belgian borders pursuant to a 75-year old treaty, not to mention the destruction of the entire classical liberal order, actually worth a drop of British blood?

Fast forward to 1990 and, again, was it really that big a deal whether Saddam Hussein or the House of Sabah controlled Kuwait's oil deposits? In 1914, the Germans were accused of pitching Belgian babies on the ends of bayonets. In 1990, Iraqi troops were said to be dumping babies out of incubators. Time rolls on, and it's questionable whether even Belgians believe Belgium should exist, the British-French imperial construct known as Iraq is breaking apart in front of our eyes, and the Arabian "locals" on the peninsula are widely regarded as an inbred, crooked and debauched joke.

To his credit, Obama is not lashing out and ordering the mobilization of US infantry divisions in response to the fact that several new countries appear to be forming in the Middle East where the US had previously declared only one. Of course, we're still early in the game. The last place we sent in several hundred "advisers" we didn't leave until 58,000 dead later.

Speaking of Obama, in his career leading up to the US presidency, the man made a rather big deal of his blackness via his patrilineal line. Once in office though, his operational reality has been pretty unrelentingly white.

He's probably smart enough to realize this, away from his monoculture back in Chicago. I bet he's pretty baffled about current affairs as well. I don't think he has a framework for thinking about things other than his yuppified worldview of "America's structural racism."

Which leads me to, Republicans. If that's your hapless political enemy, why pile on with some contrived, stupid lawsuit? The litigation is going to grind away in the federal courts long after Obama has moved on to the speaker's circuit, and the whole world is liable to have blown up in this dilettantish, former adjunct law professor's face by then.