Tuesday, November 07, 2006


(Courtesy of KKOH, RENO, NV)

The other day, I needed to go to the emergency room. Not wanting to sit there for 4+ hours, I put on my old Army fatigues and stuck a patch that I had downloaded off the internet onto the front of my shirt. When I went into the E.R., I noticed that 3/4 of the people got up and left. I guess they decided that they weren't that sick after all. Here's the patch below: Feel free to use it the next time you're in need of quicker emergency service

For non-American readers: The ER is much used by illegal immigrants -- whether they have emergency conditions or not


The mid-term Congressional elections

I am not blogging here on the elections for two reasons: 1). I am a bit far away from it all here in Australia; 2). I also blog at STACLU -- which is giving big coverage to election material -- so if I DO have something to say, I will say it there.


Crisis of Faith

Sam Karnick reviews "The End of Commitment: Intellectuals, Revolutionaries, and Political Morality", by Paul Hollander -- excerpts:

In both practical and intellectual terms, Communism has been entirely discredited by the events of the past two decades. Nonetheless, a large number of people - and a significant proportion of Western intellectuals - still harbor a good deal of fondness for socialist ideals, and their politics demonstrate it vividly.

In The End of Commitment, the distinguished sociologist Paul Hollander, author of Political Pilgrims, investigates what causes people to adopt and steadfastly adhere to ideas that lead to mass murder and widespread suffering. Observing that many intellectuals placidly accepted and even enthusiastically approved of actions done for the ideal of Communism that would have horrified them if committed for any other reason, Hollander explores the amazing ability of true believers in political religions to persist in their faith despite mountains of contrary evidence.....

Hollander astutely observes, in a discussion of Soviet dissident and literary scholar Lev Kopelev, that his and others' faith in socialism was really a substitute religion, a matter of "profoundly and genuinely religious attitudes and beliefs." Kopelev's struggles, he notes, "indicate that intellectuals - no less than ordinary people and possibly more so - long for sustaining beliefs." Hollander writes vividly of Soviet intellectuals who endured frequent collisions with the authorities and even more persistent shock and revulsion at the brutality the Communist leadership engaged in and required their underlings to carry out.....

The danger under which Communist officials and intellectuals lived was in great contrast to the conditions enjoyed by their Western supporters. At a safe remove, Western leftists could easily remain ignorant or dismissive of any imperfections in the reality of life under Communism. And as Hollander notes, "the existence of adversarial subcultures in the West since the 1960s has made it easier to cling to beliefs and loyalties that have been discredited or undermined by historical events and experiences elsewhere."

Hollander provides copious examples of the appeal of Communism in the journeys of former Western sympathizers such as David Horowitz, Ronald Radosh, Eugene Genovese, Christopher Hitchens, Doris Lessing, and several lesser-known individuals. Hollander notes that Lessing eventually realized that the attraction of Communism in the West is caused "not so much because of moral indignation aroused by specific social injustices but rather due to disappointment with a wide range of unmet and unrealistic personal expectations."

The theme of alienation likewise occurs repeatedly in Hollander's descriptions of numerous non-famous American leftists who answered his call for self-revelations. Hollander writes, "Virtually every respondent harbored deep disaffection from American society and an acute awareness of its shortcomings and injustices, its unrealized ideals. . . . A wounded idealism seeking an outlet in leftist social or political activism appeared to be the most widely shared trait, indeed the defining characteristic of these respondents."

This alienation from American life and values is most evident in Hollander's account of linguist and political gadfly Noam Chomsky and his virulent, anti-American attitudes. Individuals such as Chomsky are so thoroughly alienated from their society that they find fault with everything about it and are quick to excuse any attack on it. Chomsky claimed, for example, that the 9/11 attacks pale next to the West's "deep-seated culture of terrorism." This sort of thinking has made him a hero to many American leftists.

Such a worldview leads easily to the demonization of one's enemies. Hollander observes that, like Islamic radicals, some Western leftists show a "ready acceptance of inflicting great suffering on behalf of glorious ends, in the untroubled subordination of ends and means." Hollander ends his book on a note of hope, observing that some individuals do indeed face the evidence and change their minds. Unfortunately, these individuals appear to be rather less common than the true believers, in Hollander's revealing account. The human capacity to pursue illusions is enormous, and as a result, the work of thwarting the politics of personal alienation is never done.



U.S. gets serious about Korean nukes: "The Pentagon is speeding up plans for possible military strikes on North Korea's nuclear programme as concern mounts that Arab states are also looking to acquire nuclear technology. US defence officials said detailed planning was under way for precision strikes on nuclear facilities such as the North Korean plutonium reprocessing plant at Yongbyon. The plant is thought to have supplied the plutonium fuel used in an underground nuclear test carried out by Kim Jong-il's pariah regime on October 9. A Pentagon official said "various military options" for halting North Korea's nuclear programme were under consideration. "Other than nuclear strikes, which are considered excessive, there are several options now in place. Planning has been accelerated," the official told The Washington Times. According to defence sources, one option includes strikes on Yongbyon by Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from submarines or ships. Precision-guided bombs and missiles could also be delivered by B-52 or B-2 stealth bombers."

Surprising sense from a senior British Leftist: "Gordon Brown has called for a new global alliance of governments, business leaders and public figures to fight the reactionary "Luddites" opposed to globalisation and break the "dangerous global log jam" that is threatening world trade. The Chancellor, writing today in The Times, challenges leaders to show the determination necessary to stop the world slipping back into a new era of protectionism, comparing it to the effort needed to rebuild the international order after the Second World War."

Chris Brand has just done a new lot of posts on his usual themes of race, IQ and political correctness -- with particular emphasis on the British scene.



"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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