Sunday, January 04, 2009

"Fudging" and treading on dangerous ground

"Fudging" is of course what the English do in order to avoid treading on dangerous ground but I have enough independence in me to be rather un-English about that. I mentioned yesterday some of the points made by Punditarian. One point I did not mention, however, was his comment about "fudging". He cautiously mentioned that Jews are rather good at that too. He must be Jewish as I cannot imagine a gentile daring to say so. It could feed the stereotype of Jews as being devious and dishonest.

So let me start out by saying that Australians do a bit of fudging too. And we even call it that. I imagine that fudging occurs from time to time in a lot of places. An essential point however is that British fudging is primarily used to avoid upsetting community or political applecarts. It is used to keep everyone involved reasonably happy. So whether Jews often do that sort of thing from time to time I will leave unanalysed. My point about the matter is that modern-day Jews certainly overlook large opportunities for doing so -- and overlook such opportunities at considerable loss. The example I gave of a way in which Jews could do some good British fudging still seems to me to be valuable: Jews could declare that fundamentalist Christians are after all just another Jewish sect. Like all fudges, that is only partly true but it would surely warm relationships greatly nonetheless. And the importance of warm relationships between modern day Christians and Jews was the whole point of everything I have recently written on the topic.

An omission:

I note that although I have defined "Jew" in what I think is the most reasonable way, I have not defined "English". As an academic, I see that as a regrettable omission and I think it may have led to some confusion. So: As with the Jews, a number of definitions are possible but not all are equally good. Some sort of rough racial description could perhaps be managed, for instance, but for my present purposes, all I need to do is to define the English as the LINGUISTIC group that first came to England c. 1500 years ago and who still live there in the persons of their descendants -- descendants who still speak an evolved version of the same language. That makes no racial claims and in fact what I say is heavily dependant on a cultural claim, as we will see in a moment.

And the descendants of the original German tribes of 1500 years ago have of course received heavy genetic input from other groups: Particularly the previous Celtic inhabiants of what was once Britannia and various Norse invaders (Danes and Norwegians). So racial purity is in their case, as usual, a fantasy. It is however true that the physical and cultural differences between the three major groups were slight so have left little difference that is now detectable.

What is important, however, is the large cultural change brought about by the last (Norman) invasion of England in 1066. Before that event England was getting invaded all the time, with the previous invasion being only a couple of weeks before, in fact. The Normans represented racial groups (Celts and Norse) that were already well represented in England so the change they brought was not a racial one. What the Norman rulers brought to England was a much larger and cannier political perspective and, for one reason or another (due in part, no doubt, to the Norman struggles for independance from France), that perspective hardened rapidly into the alliance-orientation that has characterized the English ever since. And so it still is. Tony Blair sent 15,000 British troops into Iraq not because Britain had been attacked but because America had been.


Crush Hamas and brave the backlash

CNN International's coverage of the weekend's fighting in Gaza concluded with a rush of images: mangled civilians writhing in the rubble, primitive hospitals overflowing with the wounded, fireballs mushrooming between apartment complexes, the funeral of a Palestinian child. Missing from the montage, however, was even a fleeting glimpse of the tens of thousands of Israelis who spent last night and much of last week in bomb shelters; of the house in Netivot, where a man was killed by a Grad missile; or indeed any of the hundreds of rockets, mortar shells, and other projectiles fired by Hamas since the breakdown of the so-called ceasefire.

This was CNN at its unprincipled worst, grossly skewering its coverage of a complex event and deceiving its viewers. Yet Israel should not have been surprised. Over the past few weeks, as the tahdiyah ("period of calm" in Arabic, the term similarly preferred by the Hebrew press) unwound and finally dissipated, Israel's policy has been to refrain from responding militarily to Hamas rocket fire. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni went to Egypt and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared on al-Arabiya TV to bear the message that Israel did not want war with Hamas; instead, Israel was committed to renewing the tahdiyah. The purpose was to build up a moral case for retaliating against a recalcitrant Hamas and limiting the international fallout that invariably follows any Israeli attempt at self-defence.

But the tactic has never really worked and failed this time as well. Within minutes of the first Israeli air strike, the Arabs were screaming "massacre" and the media had all but forgotten the serial assaults that provoked it. The press once again attached the word "disproportionate" and the term "continuing cycle of violence" to describe a supremely justified and largely surgical (the targets were exclusively military, the victims overwhelmingly Hamas gunmen) operation. At the time of writing, the UN Security Council is meeting and will no doubt find Israel and Hamas equally guilty for disrupting the ceasefire and demand its immediate restoration.

One wonders why Israel even bothers. Instead of undermining the Zionist ethos of defending Jewish lives at all costs irrespective of bad publicity and perilously broadcasting weakness to its enemies, perhaps Israel should simply declare that the slightest violation of the ceasefire - a single Qassam - will precipitate an immediate and disproportionate response. Since it's going to be condemned for it anyway, why shouldn't Israel smash Hamas promptly and massively and reap the benefits in terms of self-respect, deterrence, and a respite for its embattled citizens?

More here


Moral Clarity in Gaza

Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.

Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating. Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis -- 6,464 launched from Gaza in the past three years -- deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.

This has two purposes. First, counting on the moral scrupulousness of Israel, Hamas figures civilian proximity might help protect at least part of its arsenal. Second, knowing that Israelis have new precision weapons that may allow them to attack nonetheless, Hamas hopes that inevitable collateral damage -- or, if it is really fortunate, an errant Israeli bomb -- will kill large numbers of its own people for which, of course, the world will blame Israel.

For Hamas, the only thing more prized than dead Jews are dead Palestinians. The religion of Jew-murder and self-martyrdom is ubiquitous. And deeply perverse, such as the Hamas TV children's program in which an adorable live-action Palestinian Mickey Mouse is beaten to death by an Israeli (then replaced by his more militant cousin, Nahoul the Bee, who vows to continue on Mickey's path to martyrdom).

At war today in Gaza, one combatant is committed to causing the most civilian pain and suffering on both sides. The other combatant is committed to saving as many lives as possible -- also on both sides. It's a recurring theme. Israel gave similar warnings to Southern Lebanese villagers before attacking Hezbollah in the Lebanon war of 2006. The Israelis did this knowing it would lose for them the element of surprise and cost the lives of their own soldiers.

That is the asymmetry of means between Hamas and Israel. But there is equal clarity regarding the asymmetry of ends. Israel has but a single objective in Gaza -- peace: the calm, open, normal relations it offered Gaza when it withdrew in 2005. Doing something never done by the Turkish, British, Egyptian and Jordanian rulers of Palestine, the Israelis gave the Palestinians their first sovereign territory ever in Gaza.

What ensued? This is not ancient history. Did the Palestinians begin building the state that is supposedly their great national aim? No. No roads, no industry, no courts, no civil society at all. The flourishing greenhouses that Israel left behind for the Palestinians were destroyed and abandoned. Instead, Gaza's Iranian-sponsored rulers have devoted all their resources to turning it into a terror base -- importing weapons, training terrorists, building tunnels with which to kidnap Israelis on the other side. And of course firing rockets unceasingly.

More here


Of Bailouts and Boondoggles: The UAW's Ignominious Anniversary

On this week in 1936, United Auto Workers' members occupied a General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan, staging a "sit-down strike" that resulted in the beginning of a thoroughly destructive exclusive labor agreement between the company and the union. With the eager acquiescence of corporate management, the UAW union bosses quickly set out upon a decades-long policy of bleeding the competitive life out of General Motors (and Chrysler and Ford). That policy helped the union emerge as an unrivaled political force and eminently wealthy special interest. But, the relationship was, if anything, parasitic.

Like a parasite devouring its host organism, the union thugs have finally ended up slaying the goose that laid their golden eggs. In this case, however, it must be noted that the goose willingly laid its head upon the chopping block.

Bowing to each and every union demand with slavish obsequity, the Big Three management all but abandoned even the appearance of focusing on long-term viability rather than the next quarter's profits. As Noel Tichy, Noel Tichy, a University of Michigan business professor and author who ran General Electric Co.'s leadership program 1985-87 and once worked as a consultant for Ford, recently wrote, "There has been 30 years of denial. They did not make themselves competitive. They didn't deal with the union issues, the cost structures long ago, everything that makes a successful company."

And as was all but inevitable, soon, both the union and the host will begin to disappear beneath the waves of a free market reality that American politicians can't bail them out of - no matter how much taxpayer money they throw at the problem.

More here


Obama will try to fix Africa and will fail

Because he will be ineffectual and irrelevant most everywhere else, one place Zero [Obama] will focus his foreign policy on will be Africa. We could call this drama Zero in Africa. He is going to be spending a lot of our money and risking many of our soldiers' lives in Africa. After all, that's where his alleged father is from. It's what the entire liberal elite expects of him. And it won't do any good.

Endless wars, bottomless corruption, disease, tyranny and dictatorship seem standard operating procedure for Africa. Out of the over 50 nation-states on the continent, one can point to the mild success story here and there - but these are exceptions to Africa's being the bottom of humanity's barrel. The coup last week in Guinea is a fine example.

The former French colony has the world's largest bauxite reserves, lots of iron ore, gold, and diamonds, lots of rich farmland. Most of its 10 million people live on less than $1 a day, it was ruled by a thug for the last 25 years until he died, whereupon some completely unknown army captain staged a coup and took over the country. Guineans are hailing him as "Obama Junior."

Africans will be looking to Zero to end their paleolithic poverty and violence, and he won't be able to - because of a fundamental fact he cannot change. The American Psychiatric Association classifies people with an IQ of 70 or below as mentally retarded. The average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans is 67.

Of course, there are plenty of very smart individual Africans. But the majority population of the entire continent of Africa (excluding North African countries such as Morocco and Egypt, and the whites of South Africa) is suffering mental retardation - or, put another way, has the mental faculties of a pre-teenage child. The average IQ in Guinea is 63.

The world's foremost researcher on IQ is Richard Lynn, professor of psychology at the University of Ulster in the UK. His exhaustive research over 30 years has been compiled in monumental studies entitled IQ and the Wealth of Nations and Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis. His latest study is The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide.

Sifting through 168 national IQ studies covering 81 countries and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, analyzing the entire body of scientific psychometric (psychological measurement) research for the last 100 years, Lynn has determined that:

*East Asians (Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, but not China) have on average 5 IQ points higher than Europeans and European-Americans.

*East Asian mean IQ is 105, China excluding Hong Kong is 100 (Hong Kong is 107, the world's highest), European/European-American is 100, Inuit Eskimo is 91, American Indian is 87, Mexican is 87, American Black is 85, South Asian (e.g. India, Pakistan) is 84, Middle East/North Africa Arab is 83, Sub-Saharan African is 67, Australian Aborigine is 62. The world average IQ is 90.

The key words are "on average." For while the average East Asian is smarter than the average European or American, the latter have greater variability. Which means, especially for Americans whose culture allows for more flourishing of intelligence, there will be a lot more really smart folks, super-smart individuals with IQs above 130 among them. It is these geniuses of science and business that have enabled our culture, that of Western Civilization, to prosper far beyond any other.

And it is just these folks, the brightest and most talented, that Zero will stifle and sacrifice on his altars of Equality, Fairness, and Redistribution. So a lot of them will give up or leave the US - they will shrug, as we discussed last month in Atlas in America.

More here. (Excerpt from post of 02 January 2009)


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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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