Monday, January 21, 2013

Four more years and all that

President Obama’s only a symptom, not the problem.
  • From Bill Tighe: Obama worship on both sides of the Atlantic. Predictable. Foreign mainliners falling all over themselves trying to be charitable and a mainlinish black church where understandably though wrongly it’s about race. (I think Sailer and others have pointed out that church is one of the last places in mainstream society where you can have freedom of association/ethnic boosterism this way, but anyway.) Of course Romney wouldn’t have been canonized like this, in these places. (I can see well-meaning conservative Protestants overlooking his liberal track record and Mormonism to do so. I don’t hate him.) A good word for Rev. Wright since I’m as anti-Israel as he is. With the good-hearted so-cons I don’t like rude remarks about our country either; that said, libertarians get the distinction between the country and the government (something the wrongheaded US involvement in WWII deliberately blurred), and, quoting somebody, the pastor is dead right about 9/11. The chickens came home to roost. Readers of LRC and specifically Thomas DiLorenzo get the irony of getting religious with the allusions to Lincoln, who likely was an atheist. (As a libertarian I wouldn’t mind a nonbeliever as president, provided he didn’t declare war on the church as the culturally white ex-mainline/agnostic Obama has.)
  • King Day. Interesting and more complicated than the well-meant hagiography or his faults well known in conservative circles. Individual liberty for all races? Absolutely. No reparations/handouts or quotas. What about whites’ freedom of association? Rights go both ways. A constitutional issue, which was why principled conservatives opposed his movement. As odious of course as race-baiting is, that was George Wallace’s legal point. The law should leave race out of it. Open the doors for real opportunity, and stay out of the Sailerian HBD/race-realist outcomes (disparate impact is fair — I don’t care if you’re black; do you know how to do the job?). Also, as Takimag noted once, King was in the golden era, appealing to the best instincts in it. Obviously society’s gotten worse. Slavery didn’t destroy the black family; the Sixties did. The rich’s vices hit the underclass harder. Years ago someone pointed out to me that 1) not all blacks were poor (King vacationed in the Caribbean); you could be well off but separate; and 2) his movement meant to help all blacks but only helped the top-class ones like him enter white society.
  • On that note, going back to when I worked in newspapers, this conservative is irked every year by the bowdlerization of the man and his movement. In other words, King Day isn’t radical enough! He was no libertarian or respecter of the rule of law but today’s a perfect opportunity to promote individual liberty for all and the peace part of his message. (Again, Vietnam’s complicated: Communist threat or not our fight?) But instead you get kids making care packages for our soldiers (well and good — anti-war, pro-military — but...); he’s been turned into a patron saint of vaguely charitable work, however the state and mainstream media define that. If I had the time and talent I’d draw a political cartoon of kids being kind to homeless animals today around a portrait of him thinking ‘What the hell?!
  • From RR:
    • Judge: Manning will not be allowed to present a defense. Sounds wrong but military law’s different. In a volunteer Army, soldiers give up some rights. Regular readers know my line. Like principled deserters, IF he’s a hero, part of that is taking the punishment for breaking his contract.
    • Good review of Gangster Squad.
    • Workers and employers still think they’re paying into SS and Medicare because paychecks dishonestly show deductions under the “Social Security” and “Medicare” categories. But all that money is going straight into the politician’s gigantic “slush fund,” aka “general fund,” where they immediately spend it on whatever their black hearts desire: Empire building, undeclared wars against Third World women and children, subsidies for their corporatist cronies, bailouts to benefit the union bosses and the banksters who own them.
    • Science, religion and the Great Stagnation. Here’s the speculation: we’re stuck in a Great Stagnation in part because the social status of scientists is too low. Fewer smart people become scientists, who in turn engage in less research and innovation, which in turn leads to fewer economic advances. Why the decline in social status? Perhaps because many scientists and public intellectuals have conjoined science with an anti-religious ideology, naturalism, that has soiled science in the minds of the largely religious American public (in part via the political activism of naturalists).
  • Independent Catholic’ is a contradiction in terms. Decentralized, folk, running more on immemorial custom? Yes. But not independent in principle.
  • Music: Inga Swenson, ‘Simple Little Things’. Before she put on a war-movie accent to become famous in a dumb sitcom she was a Broadway star.


  1. The big problem with turning King day into a "real" holiday is that it's a lousy time of year for a holiday. It's the dead of winter, it's right when schools are coming back in session (so everybody involved with academia has a ton of work to do), and it follows the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years' block of festivities, but is not quite close enough to be part of them. This time used to be the slow wind-down from the Christmas season, terminating quietly on Candlemas/Groundhog Day; a holiday just seems weird, so it turns into a "Day of Service" because people can't think of what else to do, and generalized do-gooding appeals strongly to the rare SWPL-ish individual who actually wants to honor King's secular sainthood (but doesn't know much about the man himself).

    "How about an MLK Day Parade?"
    "It's 0 degrees outside with windchill factor of -10".
    "What about an MLK party where we watch his speeches?"
    "Everybody's way behind on work and can't attend".
    "Well, I'm volunteering to play with kittens at the animal shelter. MLK would have wanted me to".
    "You have fun with that".

    Steve Sailer once proposed moving the holiday to commemorate King's August 28th "I Have a Dream" speech, by making it the Friday before Labor Day. This would "give Americans a summer-ending four-day weekend (It's not as if a lot of business gets done on that day anyway)... even the Grand Kleagle would be demanding Martin Luther King Day off". Of course, this is not going to happen, since half of the reason the date was chosen in the first place was to annoy the white Southerners who celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday at about the same time.

    Personally, I spent a very pleasant Monday in Montréal, thereby avoiding the domestic nonsense surrounding both MLK Day and the inauguration. I had to be careful to avoid frostbite and struggled with the finer points of French grammar, but these activities were still infinitely preferable to listening to President Obama's annoying fanboys wax poetic about the great leader's magnificence.

  2. I doubt Rev. Dundas would want to be reminded of that article since he is now a member of one of those "Independent Catholic" denominations he blasts.


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