Monday, March 16, 2009

From RR
  • Red Cross describes torture at CIA jails.
  • US troops to stay in ‘insecure areas’ of Iraq.
  • Another one bites the dust: the myth of Robin Hood. Whingeing from corrupt monks — an anti-Catholic cultural trope in Anglo-America — or was he the John Gotti of mediæval England?
  • Speaking of crooks, $100m in AIG bonuses. Meanwhile among us the great unwashed suicide rates are going up.
  • Separated by a common language in Scotland? They say a language is a dialect with an army and navy; pure Scots arguably is a sister Germanic language to English, largely mutually understandable, but separate like Ukrainian (Russian-Polish hybrid) to Russian or Portuguese to Spanish. All mediæval offshoots; Scots and English from Middle English (Chaucer). I think Scots and Scottish dialects of English have more leftover Scandinavian words in them. (Shetland and Orkney were owned by Norway until the 1400s and spoke Norn until the 1700s.) Gaelic, from a different branch of languages, is nearly dead in Scotland and endangered in Ireland; interestingly Welsh is very alive. Richard Burton was not a native English speaker!
  • Thank you, Mr Obama: Gitmo detainees no longer ‘enemy combatants’.
  • That said he meant it when he kissed up to the Zionists after snagging the nomination.
  • Obamanomics and ice cream: an analogy. Blech.
  • Stem-cell sham: the president as sophist. BTW the racist Encyclopædia Britannica article states the view pushed in the textbook Scopes wanted to use, which was why Bryan as a Christian recoiled in horror from it, nothing to do with the dumb-fundy myth of the imaginary Inherit the Wind. I met P.J. O’Rourke once; funny guy.
  • Excommunicate the pro-choicers: their understanding is faulty. As I say here there have always been Bad Catholics, a recognisable type including in politics, and our holy mother the church doesn’t micro-manage (she is not a cult; adherence is voluntary as Mr Beaman points out) so your weird Uncle Harry with wrong views won’t be excommunicated nor ought he be. But when a public person in power takes a stand on principle...
  • Egalitarian fallacies. In short all are equally dear to God but to pretend all are the same is both unfair and counter-productive.
  • Myth: ‘the uninsured are jamming emergency rooms’ (casualty wards).
  • Rethinking Europe. It’s changing.
  • Why they fought. The US Civil War revisited. Interesting fact: the Union government co-opted natural communities by organising units locally (using subsidiarity for its own ends) and by ‘tribe’ thus cohesive foreign-born (Irish, German) units.
  • The political chances of genuine liberalism by Ludwig von Mises.
  • The cause of poverty. Liberals are saying that President Obama isn’t really a socialist because he doesn’t favor complete government ownership and control of everything, which is the strict definition of socialism. Since he “only” favors massive government involvement in some things, such as education, healthcare, mail delivery, transportation, retirement, employment, airports, money, bailouts, subsidies, grants, banks, insurance companies, the stock market, occupations, the drug war, and trade restrictions and immigration controls as well as progressive income taxation and equalization of income — well, according to liberals, all that makes Obama “free enterprise” instead of socialist. I wonder what Fidel Castro, who also favors all those things, would say about that. Lost in all this debate on whether Obama is a socialist or not is one simple but important point: It is the dead hand of government that is the cause of America’s economic woes. Cuban-history sidebar: Castro was an SWPL of his day, a young, rich white man. The dictator he overthrew, Fulgencio Batista, was mixed-race and worked his way up in the army. Second note: Che Guevara was a murderer and a coward so your T-shirt is not cool.
  • The dream that was America. What Mr Hawes didn’t learn growing up as a Cold Warrior was that whilst the rhetoric of rights remained the country was being sovietised, ironically with the Red scare as the excuse to do so, and encouraged by fake conservatives like CIA plant Bill Buckley.
  • An unexpected benefit from the depression: legal pot? Like the 1930s one helped repeal Prohibition.

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