Thursday, December 28, 2006


Below is one of the many letters from American servicemen published by Taranto. I recognize every bit of what the writer says. My own time in the Australian army was of no importance at all (though I enjoyed it greatly) but the one thing it taught me very clearly was how many high quality people serve in the Armed forces

I am your now stereotypical top-of-class full-ride law school graduate veteran. I secured all sorts of jobs that seem to indicate intelligence, working in various sorts of litigation with a major defense firm. Now, I am in senior management and am an equity participant in a multinational construction firm. But 20 years ago, I was a private in the United States Army.

A graduate of the Special Forces Qualification Course, I met many bright people in the Army. I met people who were extremely intelligent. I met people with vast stores of wisdom. I met them in higher concentrations than in any other setting I have ever experienced. I met them on equal ground, wearing the same uniform, obeying the same oath. And now those people are spread across all dimensions. My comrades who stayed in, those who left, my grandfather who is now dead but who once shared admiration for my military accomplishments and I for his, my father who gave me his silver jump wings to wear when I graduated jump school more than two decades after he did--we all share an experience that, to a person, is deeply felt and sincere. And this experience does not have one damn thing to do with "opportunity" when opportunity is defined as money.

I think the representative must have misspoken. He must have meant that those who forgo "opportunity" to serve should be treasured assets who should be carefully and reluctantly deployed. This would have supported his argument on Iraq. And even if we disagree on the practice, we would agree on the premise.

But generally, there is the notion that the military is nothing but underclass idiots. Sure, they can deploy thousands of miles away and coordinate military assaults that are so precise and so technically driven that relatively small concentrations of our troops can defeat an entire nation's organized army in days. But still, they are manipulated idiots, according to the popular theory. This is wrong. Even if you disagree with the president's decision to attack Iraq, or more wisely the implementation of our plan after military victory over the Iraqi army, this does not mean the troops doing the work are idiots. Most of them are not; many of them are quite smart; almost all of them are decent folk who understand that the concepts of freedom and justice must be secured on the ground if they are to be real.

For me the service of my father, my grandfather, even General Washington called me to serve too. I wanted to earn the right to be in the same class of people as these men. Money could come later, when the important things were done. I have never, ever regretted that choice.



Jamaican sociologist, Orlando Patterson, is often quoted because he has more moderate and realistic views on race and racism than is usual. And, as he is a black man, his views on that matter are not described as "racist" -- which they would be if a white man had uttered them.

Patterson is far from a paragon of wisdom, however. His latest article starts out by completely ignoring the well-attested importance of IQ, for instance. What he says in the article is that it does not matter whether people have racist attitudes in their minds as long as they treat everyone politely. It is a version of the "deeds, not words" dictum. I think he has a point but there is a hostile review of the article here. I myself would say that the important thing is for each of us to treat all others as individuals as far as possible -- because there is good and bad in all groups. I say more about that here.

An earlier article by Patterson is well worth reading, however. He does a pretty good job of demolishing the standard Leftist claims that black backwardness is due to "discrimination", "poverty" etc.



There is an article here that I find most moving. It catalogues the long history of American support for at first the idea and later the reality of a restored Israel -- a support dating back all the way to Plymouth rock. I have long thought that no real Christian could forsake Israel -- since our entire Bible was written by Israelis and we sing constantly about Jerusalem and the Holy City (etc.) in our hymns. Our entire religious culture and belief is from Israel. I am pleased to see that great numbers of American Christians have shared my view of that for over two centuries. I think you can imagine what in my view all that says about so-called Christians in other lands.

British Leftist antisemitism driving out Jews? "There is an ancient Jewish prayer that says: "Next year in Jerusalem." That, however, is not soon enough for 40 British Jews, who will board aircraft today taking them to Israel, leaving one country in the dying days of 2006 and beginning their new life in a new land and a new year: 5767 under the Jewish calendar. The migration of British Jews to Israel stands in marked contrast to the general decline in immigration to the Jewish state from elsewhere. While the number of immigrants to Israel dropped by 9 per cent worldwide in 2006, arrivals from Britain increased by 45 per cent, the largest rise of any nation."

A new Margaret Thatcher needed in Britain: ""Britons will have to pay ever higher proportions of tax for the rest of their working lives, the Government’s own figures revealed. Despite an unprecedented era of economic stability and growth, the burden of taxation is set to rise or stay constant in every decade for the coming 50 years, according to little-noticed forecasts published by the Treasury this month. The Government’s best estimate of the tax burden it will bequeath to future generations is printed in figures less than two millimetres in size and buried within an obscure document published alongside Gordon Brown’s Pre-Budget Report (PBR). Entitled Long-Term Public Finance Report: an Analysis of Fiscal Sustainability, it revealed that taxes as a proportion of national income will rise from 38.4 per cent this year to 40.5 per cent in 2026 and up to 41.6 per cent in 2056, if current policies are continued. Government spending is set to rise even faster, pushing the country’s finances deeper into the red with every successive decade from the 2030s onwards.



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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