Iran, I Ran So Far Away

I have an idea on how George Bush can weaken Iran’s hand in the Middle East.
An immediate, precipitous pull-out from Iraq. The inevitable civil war is the last thing the Iranians want. Of course full scale civil war may be inevitable anyway. Our continuing presence there is buying Iran more time to determine which mad mullah will prove out, al-Sadr or al-Hakim (or whoever else has surfaced). Our troops are presently Iran’s bulwark against regional instability. Of course, Cheney and Rumsfeld are still holding out hope for a permanent military presence in Iraq; watch how they lower their expectations of democracization long before they give up those military bases and oil contracts.

Asia Times Online’s Spengler pointed out here that Iran, whatever it may say, has a vested interest in the U.S. succeeding in its nation building enterprise, leaving Shi’ites dominant and presumably open to Iranian influence.
Ahmadinejad’s high profile, anti-Semitic bluster has been in no small part an attempt to place Iran (and himself, perhaps to the dismay of the ruling clerics who reserve international policy for themselves) at the apex of a newly revolutionary and anti-Western ummah. He has made remarkable headway among the mostly Sunni populations of the region for his fiery bombast. He threatens to unite Shia and Sunni in an new Islamic revolution. I don’t think it’s likely; these guys take their sectarian differences a little more seriously than that.

Forcing Iran to either enter the civil war on behalf of a Shia faction and become natio non grata with its Sunni neighbors (or worse), or try its hand at occupation, or sit still and watch its influence dwindle away in the chaos ensures a weakened Iranian state, already under pressure from within.
The situation as it is may not be the boon to Iran that it should be after all; it seems the Shi’ites are already starting to break up into factions as they anticipate an American withdrawal, from The Australian:

In an exclusive interview with The Australian, former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage has given a gloomy assessment of the situation.
“The British used to make a big deal of walking around in their berets in the south,” he said. “Now they won’t even go to the latrines without their helmets. The south has got much rougher, it’s mainly Shia on Shia violence.”

Of course, the increased bloodshed that almost certainly will follow our departure is still on our hands. We set this all in motion through classic imperial overreach. Something to remember when someone says time to get out and leave this mess to the Iraqis. The tragedy is that we will almost certainly have to do just that, after it becomes clear that our remaining is the greater evil. That clariy is just about upon us.

Leon Hadar has been arguing for a while now that we need to sit down with Iran for comprehensive negotiations beyond the nuclear issue. Wouldn’t it have just been easier to leave Iraq be and sit down with Iran when they were reaching out previous to the Iraq war? (sullen leadership responds with dirty look) Just asking.

Damned Lies

Sunday’s New York Times continues the paper’s campaign on behalf of the Senate approach to immigration reform in a lubricious feature on Colorado Democrat Senator Ken Salazar:

“The story of Hispanics in America has not been told,” Mr. Salazar said in a recent interview in his office here. “My election and my profile in the U.S. Senate is an opportunity to tell that story.”
If that sounds like the beginning of some genteel raconteur’s tale of ethnic America larded with all the creaking clichés about melting pots and salads, well, you’re thinking about somebody other than Mr. Salazar.
The story he tells, with greater frequency and gusto these days, to groups all over the country and especially among Hispanics, is about power.

Meet the next generation of brokers in our increasingly fragmented and corrupt racial spoils system. Loyalty to something beyond ethnic identity and the graft it produces in a republic is a sucker’s bet in their racket, and a compliant press will, as they have in the past, imbue their corruption with a false narrative of triumph over racial discrimination.
If Salazar’s naked grab for power gets a critical pass, so does his blatant dishonesty:

Mr. Salazar is not an immigrant. His family roots can be traced to Spain, and Salazars helped found Santa Fe, N.M., in the late 1500’s, decades before the Mayflower set sail. That also means, technically speaking, that he is not quite Mexican-American, as he sometimes says, because his ancestors arrived before there was a Mexico, or a United States, for that matter.

“Not quite”? No, not at all. In fact, Mr. Salazar is descended from an early wave of European colonists displacing indigenous Americans, yet here he is, in 2006, pretending to be the opposite. He even, apparently with a straight face, allows himself to use one of the trite slogans that buttress the increasingly platitudinous argument for negation of the southern border:

“It was a border that came over us,” Mr. Salazar said. “We didn’t come over the border.”

What is particularly galling about his use of this slogan is that his own family history is in fact proof of its disingenuousness. When the United States wrenched the Southwest from a corrupt and ineffectual Mexican government the region was home to about 100,000 Spanish speakers, largely ignored by a capital in Mexico City that was continually rent by internal power struggles and periodic revolutions. Those who are now invading the U.S. daily from Mexico are descended from people who never lived in what is now the United States. Still, the sentiment behind this slogan presumes that the western U.S. would be the same wealthy and open society that it is today had it remained part of Mexico. The border not just geographic. It is ideological as well. That border marks off the First World from the Third.
Hispanics who ended up north of the border were very lucky; Hispanics who ended up south of the border weren’t, but the existence of a thriving Anglo nation to the north has been a boon to them as well; as millions of immigrants and a homeland grateful for billions of dollars annually in remittances can attest. If we’re going to be honest about the imperial nature of the U.S.’s acquisition of the Southwest, let’s also be honest about what the Southwest would be if it had remained part of Mexico.

It’s important to note that these lands were claimed by Mexico by virtue of Spain’s claim to them, but not settled or developed in any significant way by it. Mexican Texas was overwhelmed by Anglo settlers, encouraged by the Mexican government, who then were allowed to declare their independence provided they didn’t become part of the United States. They of course did just that, feeling a greater sense of loyalty to those with whom they shared a language and culture. Sound familiar?
Mr. Salazar, if honesty were expected of him, would have to acknowledge that he is very fortunate indeed that his family settled in what would become the United States. But no, the romance of racial discrimination won’t be left un-utilized by a dime store demagogue of Mr. Salazar’s character:

But he is a personal witness to ethnic bigotry, he said.
“I’ve been taunted, called names — from dirty Mexican to lots of other names — as I was growing up, and even now as a United States senator,” Mr. Salazar said. “To have that personal experience in having gone through that kind of discrimination, it helps in terms of informing the debate and bringing a certain sense of reality to some of the issues we are dealing with on a national level.”

How being called names, and one has to wonder if the senator isn’t embellishing here a bit when his description of himself as Mexican American is in fact a lie, gives one a greater understanding of the debate than, say, an Anglo who has been on the receiving end of Chicano bigotry is never explained. Salazar, recruited by Senator John McCain for his current role promoting the Senate amnesty bill, is milking it for all it’s worth:

In recent months Mr. Salazar has spoken to the League of United Latin American Citizens and to a nationwide audience in a Spanish-language radio address on behalf of Democrats. There have been profiles and interviews in publications like Hispanic Today and Latino Suavé.
“Whenever a Hispanic reaches that level, other Hispanics will tune in — they’re really not your constituency, but they are,” said F. Chris Garcia, an emeritus professor of political science and former president of the
University of New Mexico. “To ignore that constituency is to look for trouble.”



Well I don’t know how you take in all the shit you see
No don’t believe anyone and most of all
don’t believe me
Believe you
G-ddamn right it’s a beautiful day
Eels, Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues

Who would not choose to follow the sound of running waters?
—Thomas Mann

Today I went down to the water, to a park I’ve recently found on the lake that is mostly ignored during the week. It can hardly said to be out of the way; it isn’t even out of earshot of the highway. But it provides a respite. Even the sound of nearby traffic is relaxing in this setting; as for the large homes on the water that I can’t help thinking would be better set off a bit and made less obtrusive, no matter; neither does a jet skier in the distance disturb this, just another type of fauna, natural and as in-its-place as anything else here; and who can begrudge an occasional water takeoff or landing by one of the pontoon-outfitted planes that are part of a tour fleet stationed nearby? I’ll never recover from my childish sense that witnessing that is something of a treat. No, I’m not looking to escape my fellow humans, just to put a little distance between us. Forgive me, but sometimes I like them better from this remove; standing back from humanity so as to appreciate it more fully.

Even though the area is thoroughly settled by humans, everything but the depths of the lake belongs to the birds. Just now as I walk the footpath to my spot a crow passes by with a sardine-sized fish in its mouth, maybe an unfortunate salmon fry. The birds are all anglers each with its own ingenious methods and remarkably resourceful in their own way.
The gulls and crows are the working class toughs; stout and homely, moving about in conspiratorial groups, cawing mysterious orders back and forth. They’ll snatch a fish from the surface of the water, they aren’t too proud to scavenge, they’ll steal from another bird or from one another; they are generally disorderly. The crows gather in gangs like ruffians; the seagulls collect in twos and threes, carousing like sailors on shore leave.

Occasional swallows flit about with an odd, arrythmic fluttering of their swept back wings; a burst of effort, a short glide, another burst of effort. Terns (I think) pass overhead, long out front like old World War II fighters; capable, all purpose aviators. There are at least three bald eagles living near the lake; massive things that motor along with big, broad wings that don’t flap but push huge cushions of air out from under them with a calm, confident motion, unfurling a bit with each stroke. Today one of them is working the lake’s surface, scoping out his prey from on high before coming down to a low level glide over the water, perhaps pursuing a school of fish. He makes a diving grab, raising a splash of white. I can’t see if he was successful. Another large eagle, maybe a female with a brood, chases him off and then returns to a nest high up in one of the evergreens.

I am depressed; an insidious low-energy sort of depression. That’s why I’m here. Sometimes depression gnaws at you; “rage turned inward.” Sometimes, for me, it is simply a void in my chest harboring a vague, unidentifiable dread that commands the bulk of my attention until it subsides, entirely of its own inscrutable logic. You just have to endure it as you would any pain; a place like this is as good a balm as you’ll find.

I have taken up the pretense that I would use my newfound haven to read, and that here I would read things that were of no pragmatic concern or compromise. Only things to be appreciated entirely for their own sake; fiction or poetry. I choose a picnic table bench that is placed too high, inconsiderately leaving my feet to dangle like a child in a high chair. This won’t do, so I find another. The lake stretches out before me. I settle into a book but, as is so often the case, can’t keep with it. My eyes are repeatedly drawn to the water.

Why do I always find myself staring at the water like a dullard? It’s the eyes that need this place most, I think. The eyes are so put upon in our world, loaded up, freighted down and overtaxed, all sorts of unnatural behavior is demanded of them; deciphering text, making sense of pulsating television screens, enduring all manner of artificial light. It’s much needed relief then, for the eyes; an apology, for the same four walls everyday, for the familiar tedium, for television, computer screens, newspapers, billboards, crowds, halogen lamps, mirrors, spandex clothing. The sight of the water is a purgative for the eyes.

I’m at my wooden bench when before me a Canada goose appears, first just the head popping up at the water’s edge as she struggles up the steep, muddy bank that’s out of view. Comically, her head drops out of sight suddenly, as if a trap door had opened up beneath her feet; she has slipped back down the incline. She’s back just as quickly, somehow looking more determined, step-slipping up the bank until I see her entire neck, black down to its base with a martial white chin strap. She moves inland a few feet and strikes an impressively stern and upright pose, scanning the landscape for predators that aren’t there.

Struggling up the hill behind her appears a youngster, much bigger than a chick but about half adult sized, with small undeveloped wings that look like palsied arms. He manages the climb with greater ease than mom, and soon another and then another appear, all scrambling up the hill in a hurry like soldiers assaulting a position. I return to my book and a while later look back to see there are eleven siblings, all little dull brown feathered dinosaur-like creatures moving about on their backward folding legs. There are three adults with them, shepherding them along as they move in an orderly mass, pecking at the ground. One of the adults guards the landward side of the perimeter, standing still and periodically turning her gaze, sometimes with one leg up and poised, like a runner in the blocks. Another adult takes the shore and a third brings up the rear of the flock, alternating between feeding himself and herding the youngsters. Occasionally one of the adults communicates with another by a sudden, insistent downward movement of the head. Sometimes one moves an adolescent from a spot by lowering its beak to just above and parrellel to the ground and extended out in front like a mechanical arm, then giving a honking charge. Occasionally one of the adults rears up and flaps her wings, for no apparent reason. Sometimes one of the adolescents mimics this behavior with its own undeveloped wings.

They make a little circuit, moving up the bank for a distance and then turning back and inland, making their way back to their little bay where they came ashore. Then as a group they all set about grooming, and they become little feathered masses of movement, twisting and turning their necks about to rub their heads, like scrub brushes, over as much of their body as they can reach. This goes on for some time until their energies subside gradually, and before too long the young ones are all napping, with their heads tucked away, and the adults keeping guard.

A small sailboat comes in, slipping noiselessly into the marina. Overhead a 737, a dark grey silhouette emerging as if a product of the pale grey clouds above, silently begins its descent into the city. There’s a dock that extends well out into the water where some kids are fishing. One calls out to another; a hit on the line that turned out to be nothing. I head on home.

Mos’ Def’

Following up on the post below, Seattle Public Schools has now posted an explanation for the disappearance of their controversial “Definitions of Racism”:

In response to the numerous concerns voiced regarding definitions posted on the Equity & Race website, we have decided to revise our website in a way that will hopefully provide more context to readers around the work that Seattle Public Schools is doing to address institutional racism. The intended purpose of our work in the area of race and social justice is to bring communities together through open dialogue and honest reflection around what is meant by racism and the impact is has on our society and more specifically, our students. Our intention is not to put up additional barriers or develop an “us against them” mindset, nor is it to continue to hold onto unsuccessful concepts such as a melting pot or colorblind mentality. It is our hope that we can explore the work of leading scholars in the areas of race and social justice issues to help us understand the dynamics and realities of how racism permeate throughout our society and use their knowledge to help us create meaningful change. This difficult work is vital to the success of our students and families. Thank you for sharing your concerns.[Boldface mine.]

Can’t wait for more context from leading scholars on race and social justice.

They weren’t just catching flak from conservatives; in addition to the many, mostly conservative blogs that lined up to have a go at this pinata, at least one local liberal publication, the free press Seattle Weekly, was highly critical.

addendum: I just happened across this quote from the irrepressible, irreplacable Fred Reed:

This brings me to my belief that the intense racial discord that quietly underlies American life is largely the product of the policies of special privilege and lack of responsibility. As I’ve said before, when I was twenty I believed that policy should be determined without regard to race, creed, color, sex, or national origin. I was called the merest liberal and perhaps a dangerous communist. Now, forty years later, I believe that policy should be determined without regard to race, creed, color, sex, or national origin. This makes me a racist, a racist being one who does not believe that blacks should automatically get everything they want.

I don’t suppose the folks at Seattle Public Schools are ready to consider this possible explanation for the so-called “unsuccessful” nature of assimilation and meritocracy, but they deserve to hear the truth as well as anyone, and seem to need it more.

Time, and Other Tools of The Man

(*re-edited @ 21:25, 5/30)

Update: The Seattle Public Schools links below have been vaporized sometime since yesterday (5/30).

White man clock on the wall,
tired of gettin’ up and goin’ to work,
for that,
white white white white man y’all

Ol’ Dirty Bastard, All in Together Now

But society cannot be indiscriminate where the pacification of existence, where freedom and happiness themselves are at stake: here, certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed, certain behavior cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument for the continuation of servitude.
Herbert Marcuse, Repressive Tolerance, 1965

The essay quoted above was a radical claim to ownership of the truth on behalf of socialist revolution. The author declared that a capitalist society was inherently unfair, discriminatory, and violent; therefore any defense of capitalist democracy (quaintly, “the Establishment”) was not entitled to freedom of expression. The tenets laid out in this essay form the totalitarian underpinnings of current multiculturalist thought, and are codified in public education policy today. Notably absent from the tracts setting out this policy is the word “tolerance.”
One such example comes from the Seattle Public Schools’ “Definitions of Racism” found on their website under “Equity and Race Relations”:

Racism: The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). The subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society.

(Yes, you read correctly: Latino/as. It takes a committee to come up with that. Book title: It Takes a Committee.)
Don’t accuse the author of burying the lead. Entrusted with teaching your kids to read, educators have instead commandeered their moral education, and these overenthusiastic foot-solders of egalitarianism, following the orders of their intellectual higher-ups, are implicating American society from top to bottom; from the private thoughts of the individual to our most basic institutional foundations.

Just what they’re achieving is questionable. As a parent of a high-school age child, I know that kids are satirizing this stuff the moment they’re out of Teacher’s earshot. You want to know how to render something, anything, an object of ridicule? Present it to children as sacrosanct, repeatedly. Recently my daughter’s high school imposed a day of silence for gay rights. The report I received was that the students were equal parts amused and annoyed. The kids are already, I suspect, distressingly tolerant in the eyes of their teachers, who are so eager to be in the vanguard of a new egalitarian order. Indeed, it must be quite a letdown to come strapped for battle with the forces of patriarchy and eurocentrism only to find the enemy is nowhere to be found. They are, however, undeterred; America must be a hotbed of oppression. Otherwise we’re left teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. Where’s the fun in that? Anyone one who runs is a Vietcong. Anyone who stands still is a well disciplined Vietcong.
But we’re just getting started. It all begins at the subconscious level and where it stops nobody knows:

Individual Racism: The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both an unconscious and conscious level, and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites.

Active Racism: Actions which have as their stated or explicit goal the maintenance of the system of racism and the oppression of those in the targeted racial groups. People who participate in active racism advocate the continued subjugation of members of the targeted groups and protection of “the rights” of members of the agent group. These goals are often supported by a belief in the inferiority of people of color and the superiority of white people, culture, and values.

Passive Racism: Beliefs, attitudes, and actions that contribute to the maintenance of racism, without openly advocating violence or oppression. The conscious or unconscious maintenance of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that support the system of racism, racial prejudice and racial dominance.

Of course every second-rate educator worth his tenure knows that capitalism and Standard English are inherently racist, but I bet you didn’t know that planning ahead and punctuality are racist strategies:

Cultural Racism: Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

*Here is the fundamental problem of “multicultural” society; some cultures, and some aspects of some cultures, are better than others. Clearly, the innovations and values of more advanced cultures are both products of and reasons for their, excuse me, superiority.
A “future time orientation” is critical to enlightenment and progress. Individualism is inherent in liberalism and democracy. Individualism is an advancement beyond “collective ideology”, which is another phrase for a primitive state wherein the individual is indistinguishable from his clan. Wherever collective ideology is the norm outside of the West (putting aside the question of socialism) it goes hand in hand with the subjugation of women and the hoarding of resources for dominant clans or families.
Individualism and “future time orientation”, in the eyes of the author here, present greater challenges to underperforming minorities (an assumption not allowed the reader, as racist) and are seen as European values, therefore we must renounce them; in other words, we must renounce progress. This is the stink of it all; the irrational, reactionary flight from reason in the name of a religious devotion to an ideal that is seen as morally purifying.

*One wonders why they would stop at planning ahead, as it is in fact practiced in every culture. Why not go after things that are more clearly products of Western thought? Why not the written word? Why not place astrology on a par with astronomy? How about mathematics (in fact cultural mathematics has been introduced in some places as a fairer, “non-racist” way to teach math to black and hispanic children; curious how Asian kids thrive on math, and no one needs to shove an abacus in their hands to get them started).
I doubt if those who propagate this believe it. They merely seek to subvert; they think they have found an unassailable position from which to do that, anti-racism.

“Community” is no longer possible. “Collective ideology” is allowed. “Individualism” is suspect. Where to go from here? On to the socialist paradise I suppose, or we’ll all start wearing grass skirts and living off the land.
Attributing anything to differences in talents and abilities among races is forbidden, so with nowhere to go to explain the persistence of inequality, the very foundations of liberal democracy must be assaulted. Should we acknowledge nature’s limitations, accept them and preserve liberalism and the law? Not if you’re committed above all else to egalitarianism.
We once sought equal rights. Now we seek something else. A permanent state of racial-moral redress. A vigilantly enforced moral superiority of the “oppressed” above the “oppressor.” Nietzsche’s “slave morality” is the order of the day. It’s only a matter of time before democratic, liberal values themselves are brought into the dock:

Institutional Racism: The network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that create advantages and benefits for Whites, and discrimination, oppression, and disadvantages for people from targeted racial groups. The advantages created for Whites are often invisible to them, or are considered “rights” available to everyone as opposed to “privileges” awarded to only some individuals and groups.

More from the father of this strain of thought, Herbert Marcuse, who laid the groundwork for today’s institutionalized radicalism in education:

Part of this struggle is the fight against an ideology of tolerance which, in reality, favors and fortifies the conservation of the status quo of inequality and discrimination. For this struggle, I proposed the practice of discriminating tolerance.

There is nothing new in the language of today’s anti-racists. It is at least forty years old. This dogma is in midlife crisis; it’s getting a little flabby, it’s past its prime, it’s been very successful, but it isn’t satisfied because while it has amassed a fortune it hasn’t really changed a thing. Is that all there is? The sixties movement’s version of company men, young so-called radicals who went on to become professors, now sit at the helm of the educational establishment; still the idyll never materialized. The old order is still firmly in place. What to do now? Ignore reality and drive on. This is not a quest for truth, after all, but an insurrection. There is plenty of evidence that capitalist democracy, whatever its shortcomings, has accommodated racial minorities like no other system before. Capitalism undermines racism along with morality, community, and tradition.

Black Americans wield a cultural influence which is remarkably disproportionate to their share of the population and belies the fiction that they are oppressed by a great, mysterious web of White collective unconscious. Asians (who one might expect to be most disadvantaged of all) accumulate wealth in greater proportion than the white majority, just as their reputation for intelligence, thrift, and hard work would predict.

But other inequities persist, regardless of a generation-old raft of codified privileges awarded to underperforming minorities seeking to increase their stubbornly intransigent low representation in elite professions and assuming that this lack of achievement can only be the result of “racism.” This assumption is disproven, and most people privately acknowledge this. Yet they can’t speak this aloud, and educators are attempting to indoctrinate their children in the quaint assumptions of the sixties. Even the language is the same. The only solace a parent has is in the knowledge that our teachers are notoriously inept at teaching. Small consolation.

Of course, race is such an insubstantial concept you wonder what all the fuss is about:

Race: A pseudobiological category that distinguishes people based on physical characteristics (e.g., skin color, body shape/size, facial features, hair texture). People of one race can vary in terms of ethnicity and culture.

As behavioral genetics advances from here, it will be interesting to watch what becomes of this mythology. It is something of a cliché to call this sort of thing religious, and a little unfair to the religious, but the comparison is apt.
If one disallows ideas and contradiction, no matter how certain of the justice of his goal, he becomes totalitarian. In the case of multiculturalism, a sort of ideological speciation has occurred, the liberal roots of the movement are severed and it is no longer compatible with liberal Western tradition, but is now hostile to it. This is why assimilation is denounced in language like this:

The process of giving up connections to and aspects of one’s culture of origin and blending in with the host/dominant culture. Also, the wholesale adoption of the dominant culture at the expense of the original culture.

Irony, make yourself known:

Prejudice: An attitude or opinion that is held in the absence of (or despite) full information. Typically it is negative in nature and based on faulty, distorted or unsubstantiated information that is over generalized and relatively in-flexible. Prejudices can be conscious or relatively unconscious.

That’s like the pot calling the kettle black. Did I say black? I may have just overtly attributed normality to whiteness. I’m not sure, was that overt or covert? In no doubt unrelated news, Seattle Public Schools (whose motto is “education for every student in every school”) will close down several schools, disproportionately affecting minority students. They aren’t educated, they’ve been spared assimilation, and they haven’t been discriminated against by learning a future time orientation. Yet they’re acutely aware of the inherent evil of whiteness. And they’re coming to your white child’s school soon, Seattle. Is that concern on your face I see, or are you engaged in covert, passive, unconscious racism?

We’re more than two full generations past any legal or codified discrimination in favor of the white majority. Desegregation efforts began fifty years ago. Affirmative action is over thirty years old, and now vigorously defended as a necessary group right in perpetuity. Combined with a system of “civil rights” litigation it has ensured just the sort of racial spoils system that is the apparent goal of the morbid, funeral march of postmodern theory above.
Yet still, the clamor for more separation, more concession, and more guilt instilled at ever younger ages in Whites and more resentment and paranoia in minorities grows more shrill and insistent from increasingly hidebound and insulated academics.

True conservatives, not neocons or theocons or corporatists but traditionalists skeptical of revolutionaries and utopians who are forever seeking to turn the prevailing order inside out whether it’s necessary or not, are the only ones left to defend classical liberalism.
Liberals must make the break with racial demagoguery to reclaim their place alongside conservatives in defense of liberty. Conservatives, for their part, must make the break with militarism and the unrestrained globalist approach. If these highly unlikely things happen we might be able to save the nation from bankruptcy and cultural suicide.

A Wink is as Good as a Nod to a Blind Horse

Power working behind the scenes used to be so much more subtle. The pancake make-up was barely lifted from the president’s increasingly haggard-looking face after last night’s speech before the New York Times was providing cover on the left in an article that seeks to soften the president’s image for those who are both ill-informed and unwise enough to believe that the measures he proposed were too “harsh.” Earlier the paper had already acted as a conduit for Mexico’s feigned concern about National Guard troops on the border.
I wonder how long it’s been since the NYT used the kid gloves on Bush like this:

The headline news from President Bush’s immigration speech on Monday was troops to the border, but in substance and tone the address reflected the more subtle approach of a man shaped by Texas border-state politics and longtime personal views.
In an effort to placate conservatives, Mr. Bush talked tough about cracking down on immigrants who slip across the United States’ long border with Mexico.
But the real theme of his speech was that the nation can be, as he phrased it, “a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time” and that Congress could find a middle ground between deporting illegal immigrants and granting them immediate citizenship.

I barely recognize the man who invaded a nation on a fiction and casually threatens to nuke another:

Mr. Bush first met Mexican immigrants at public school in Midland, Tex., where Hispanics made up 25 percent of the population. Later, when he owned a small, unsuccessful oil company, he employed Mexican immigrants in the fields. When he was the managing partner of the Texas Rangers, he reveled in going into the dugout and joking with the players, many of them Hispanic, in fractured Spanglish.

What I love about this quote is how it reveals just how completely subsumed is the ritual of a Caucasian proving his moral worth by engaging his dark-skinned brethren. (Operative phrase here: “unsuccessful oil company.”)

There’s something else besides the contrived nature of this article that bothers me. This should be a damning charge, yet it’s treated as benign:

At the same time, Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s veteran political adviser, recognized that there was potential in the Hispanic vote and that Republicans could appeal to them on abortion, religion and family values.
“Karl has always been a strong believer that Hispanics were a natural Republican constituency,” Mr. Burka said. “He once told me that ‘we have about 15 years to put this together.’ “When Mr. Bush got to the White House, immigration was going to be a signature issue, a key to his relationship with President Vicente Fox of Mexico and essential in attracting Hispanic voters to a Republican Party that Mr. Rove envisioned as dominant for decades to come.

Why do we allow our president, indeed, our entire political class, to openly assesses electoral prospects when considering far reaching policy that will permanently alter our country’s demography and class structure? This should be taken for granted: It is profoundly unethical for politicians to allow prospective electoral gain to determine immigration policy, and will lead to the eventual destruction of the country as we know it. Tell everyone you know. Go to your windows and shout it out into the street, like the masses in Network. Allow me to be your Howard Beale. I never thought he was that crazy anyway, even when he was hearing voices. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you younger folk out there, go out today and rent Network. One of the best films of all time.

I don’t know. Am I the crazy one? Why are we allowing this? In broad daylight, no less. Am I naive to find this all too sinister?
After all, having one dominant party has been a smashing success thus far. Why wouldn’t we want to extend the last five years into mid-century? What need have we for opposition to wars of adventure, ever spiralling deficits, and, yes, open borders?

Outside of the blogs it seems like everyone, except a few conservatives in the House and Lou Dobbs, is colluding on this. Next we’ll see the disingenuous poll results, trying to portray a shift in opinion toward “compromise.” This is like sitting with a pair of dubious friends who are trying to talk you into something without letting on that they’ve already discussed it thoroughly. Of course you should go ahead with that trip to Iraq, Dennis. Don’t worry, we’ll watch your girl, your stereo, your wide screen TV. Go on, it’ll be great.

Dogs and Fish

A Sunday long ago.
When I was a kid sometimes on a weekend I used to let our dogs out late at night to roam the swath of vacant lots and abandoned houses in our neighborhood. One Sunday I went out into the delicate, sense quickening chill and stillness of early morning to collect them. I didn’t realize at the time how much I loved that dawn period of respite, when the day has yet to lose its virtue and might still become anything. Brilliant sunlight illuminates everything but its heat has yet to vanquish the night’s chill, and the air is still uncluttered with the sound and movement of human activity. This is when it almost seems the madness of nature might be held still; as if you might find a seam in time’s inexorable drawing-down and hide, preserving your own dawn. But this day the moment would have to give way to a pair who had no patience for such thoughts.

I turned to see the two of them, overjoyed to have discovered me, charging across a broad, sunny expanse; Oly, our German Shepard, a big handsome purebred, galloping with unrestrained glee, his mouth open in a broad, ungainly grin, his tongue trailing off to the side, all propriety lost; our small dog, the mutt, a black-coated, part collie with a face like a small bear with sharpened features and a bit of a regal mane, running out ahead. That is the moving-picture that remains sharp in my memory, as clear as the morning air in which it was captured.
That would be the one memory of them that stands out from every other, framed and frozen by that mysterious convergence of moment and eye. It serves on behalf of every other moment lost in the haze of the countless moments, mundane and meaningful, that have intervened since. A better, more worthy pair of creatures you could never find.

My father stopped by out of the blue one weekend to discard Oly onto us. He had named him after a brand of beer, Olympia. Oly was son of Bud, yes, a similarly derived namesake (imagine the biblical genealogy: …Budweiser, who begat Michelob, who begat Lowenbrau…). Oly’s lodging was to be a temporary situation that somehow my mother knew from the start wasn’t; she was nonplussed. Five kids, a full time job, and now a large dog. One of my earliest memories is of that day, running the good natured beast up and down the sidewalk in front of our house. We had no business keeping him; there was no chance we wouldn’t.
He had a golden tan coat with distinct black panels on his side, a classic German Shepard. His posture was dignified whether he was resting on his side with his upper torso propped on his elbows, sitting, or standing; his chin always remained at attention; proud but loyal. He would sit on our front porch and jealously guard his home.

Babe (the unfortunate name given her by my little sister), the brains to Oly’s brawn, was the fastest dog I ever saw. There wasn’t a cat she couldn’t catch; though when she did manage to corner one she was likely to find herself more in peril than her would-be prey. She just wanted to play, it seems. The houses in our neighborhood all had five foot tall brick walls separating their backyards that were about ten inches wide on top. A natural jumper, sometimes in pursuit of a cat Babe would effortlessly leap onto one of these walls and skitter along the top.

She too had an alert, soldier at attention posture; whether standing still or at a full run her neck remained in its forward-leaning carriage, thrusting forward her inquisitive face, all held perfectly still in relation to the churning prow of her torso that propelled her forward on legs moving so fast they seemed to spin underneath her. When she came upon you in the open she would gradually increase her speed as she approached so that when she came close she was going full tilt, and rather than pull up before you she would pass, running so fast and hard you might think she was trying to blow your hat off with her wake. Turning wide like a banking aircraft she would come at you again, for another taunting pass, within arm’s reach. If you reached or leapt out she put on a graceful move worthy of any running back, shifting out of range effortlessly and not only keeping stride but accelerating.
Her look was curious, intelligent, and friendly all at once. She was forever engaging the world in play.
Sometimes the two would spar, Oly lowering himself on wide spaced forelegs and inviting the attack, as Babe would play the lighter, quicker boxer, endlessly parrying and retreating to attempt one angle after another as Oly howled and thrashed his head about trying to lure her in for the big punch.
Great dogs.

Now we have a cat, my daughter and I. He has a skittish, paranoid personality, seeming to react to specters and phantoms that we humans can’t see. He’s aggressive and playful; sometimes if you refuse to pay attention to him he will attack your feet, running alongside you as you walk down the hall, timing your steps to pounce on a foot as it makes landfall. If you engage him in a spur of the moment scuffle, for which he seems always game, and walk away before he’s sated he will pursue you, as if to chase off his vanquished foe. Several times I’ve left him on the floor in the middle of battle only to be assailed by him crashing into the back of an ankle as I walk away. Once, after I rebuffed his challenge for a good natured brawl, he positioned himself on the back of a chair and surprised me by leaping squarely into my midsection. You’ve got to admire that level of cunning and spirit.
Great cat.

A few years ago my daughter got a Siamese fighting fish; what they now more often call, perhaps out of political politeness, a Betta (from Betta Splendens). They’re common in pet shops but still amazing little creatures; ours was a blue to purple color with large, graceful fan-like fins that trailed along and beneath him like banners, and a dorsal that was like the sail on a Chinese junk. It’s amazing how much they remind one of Asian art and architecture. The males are highly aggressive, hence the name, and if you put two in a tank together they will likely fight to the death. The remarkable thing about them is their threatening and mating ritual, one and the same: the male will flare out his prodigious fins and his gills to affect a remardable transformation into a much larger, fiercer looking creature.
I would put my finger to the glass of his fish bowl and he would challenge it with this impressive stare-down. I always marveled at how unmistakable and universal is the presentation of aggressive male will; this tiny creature with a “mind” that was barely more than a reflexive sensor, yet it so resembled the same impulse manifesting itself in a human being. There was no mistaking its movements for anything other than what they intended.
After a couple of years the fish began showing signs of decline; his great fins hanging limp and withering away ever so slightly, his challenging ritual less and less impressive; his movements more lethargic. I was surprised that it affected me. I found his encroaching dotage moving; I took more care than ever to clean his tank, thinking he might rebound. Of course it was no use; he had lived a long life for one of his species, nearly three years I think. One day I found him there, lying on the bottom of his tank. Well, there you have it, I thought; life’s arc in a little bowl of water on my daughter’s desk.
Yes, even this was a magnificent creature, no less due to scale; his demise no less the same tragedy of a too fleeting peak giving way too soon to a bitterly final decline.

I was eighteen when we put Oly down. His hip went out; a problem with German Shepards. He spent a miserable last few weeks immobilized, looking up at me every time I came near with that heartbreaking total and unquestioning trust, trapped in a failing body and wanting only to draw a little more succor from the kindness of his masters. Old dogs retain their childishness to the end; their dying days are that much more pathetic to witness because of it. Dogs don’t give up; they don’t grow bitter; they don’t rage against mortality; they just continue to look to us for comfort. They trust us to the end.

When the time came to take him to the vet I deserted him; I couldn’t do it, refusing my mother’s pleas to take him in. It had to be done, so she and my sisters did it. It remains as bitter a recollection as any of the countless shameful, irreconcilable moments from my past. I should have been there, for my mother, for him. My betrayal of Oly was no less for the fact that he was merely a dog; perhaps all the more so.

We become like God to these animals. We love them because they reflect back on us human characteristics; joy, humor, love, fellowship, kindness. These universal values seem to come from somewhere supernatural when they manifest themselves in the behavior of an animal. To me it explains much; about religion, about man’s eternal struggle to break free of his bestial impulses.
If these universal, unquestionably good things—these things that comprise good itself—can express themselves in the being of a dog or a cat; if an emotionally detached man can glimpse a universal will to life in a tiny fish; it’s as if there really is an almighty, but he isn’t looking down on us but through us and at us at the same time by way of every sentient creature. Maybe then there is hope.

Cruel to be Kind

Mickey Kaus makes a good point about the specious “cruelty” of a border fence:

A border wall or fence, widely denounced as the crude favored scheme of the meanest, yahoo, Know-Nothing elements of the Republican House, is in fact the most compassionate enforcement solution. A wall intrinsically blocks only new entrants. It’s a physical grandfather clause! It leaves current illegals where they are. …

It also brings another dimension of compassion; by effectively sealing off the remote desert pathways to the U.S. it ensures fewer people will attempt this perilous journey. An effective wall will eventually put an end to the daily outrage that is thousands attempting dangerous and often fatal border crossings encouraged by Mexican and U.S. government negligence. Illegal migrants are routinely robbed, raped, and sometimes murdered, often by corrupt Mexican policemen. Absent a wall or equally effective means of securing the border the misery, and death, continues.

There is no position that is more negligently cruel than that of those who favor broad amnesty before and independent of securing the southern border, knowing that it will result in an increase in the level of illegal migration and its attendant miseries. In fact, their overall opposition to “harsh” border measures is nothing more than an argument in favor of looking the other way as this often deadly human smuggling continues with no end in sight. In our topsy-turvy immigration debate those who would perpetuate this miserable human trafficking for political or commercial gain are allowed to wrap themselves in the mantle of compassion; while those who would put an end to it once and for all are pilloried as cruel.

Kaus also points out the kernel of La Raza revolutionary romance embedded in the risible Nuestro Himno:

My people fight on
the march toward liberty.
The time has come to break the chains.

No doubt it’s just reflexive bigotry on my part that induces the response whose people?

The surreal nature of this debate is making a conspiracy theorist of me. I’m beginning to suspect that not only is this stunt the work of a leftist huckster with anything but American patriotism (or Latino pride, for that matter) on his mind, as Stever Sailer points out, but a very crafty strategy designed to shunt much of the rhetorical energy and attention into a sideshow psuedo-issue of the flag-burning sort; only this time it isn’t conservatives but leftists crassly whipping up patriotic sentiment, so as to make their opponents appear bumptious and silly.
One only hopes his adversaries aren’t that clever (or perhaps hopes they are in fact a bit too clever–and it backfires).

(addendum: Reviewing the above link to Steve Sailer’s expose of Adam Kidron, the producer behind Nuestro Himno, reveals that he is also responsible for the creation of a record label specializing in reggaeton. Stop this man. Stop him now.)

Formal Apology

First off let me say that I’m well and uninjured. I’m sorry if my last post alarmed any of you. This is all very embarrassing for me. It seems I overestimated the impact of Monday’s May Day immigrant boycott. I may have overreacted. Please understand, I have a family to protect, and when I learned that illegal Mexican immigrants built and keep our fragile nation intact and that their incalculable support would be suddenly removed, well, to put it plainly, I panicked. I apologize for any pain or confusion my irrational behavior may have caused.

You will be relieved (as I was) to learn that my neighbors survived the assault with relatively minor injuries, all things considered. I have made an attempt to contact them through an attorney so as to offer restitution, so far to no avail. It seems there will be some sort of civil proceeding once the question of criminal charges is dispensed with. Really a formality I’m told.

There’s one more matter; a reader may have gotten the impression that I killed and skinned my daughter’s pet cat to offer as a sacrifice to some delusional conglomeration of deities. This is not true. I was speaking metaphorically, in the same way that all that reconquista talk is just a metaphor, like “Black Power.” Our cat is however missing, no doubt he fled the commotion and will return home shortly once he calms down, and then we can satisfy the good people at Animal Control that there is no cause for alarm.

Well, I have to go. The staff has come to return me to my enclosure now. I’m told if I progress as expected I will be allowed internet access soon so that I might resume posting. Once again, I apologize for any confusion or harm caused by my last post.

Goodbye for now.

Live Blogging the Apocalypse

The following blog entries were discovered after the arrest and detention of an obscure blogger of uncertain means who was responsible for a bizarre episode of violence triggered by a stress induced onset of hallucinatory mental illness.
It seems the aforementioned blogger grew increasingly agitated and fearful as the May 1, 2006 boycott in support of illegal alien amnesty unfolded. As the day progressed he descended further into madness. The following transcript provides a chilling document of one man’s attempts to endure a “day without a Mexican.” Let it stand as a warning to us all.


Not much time just wanted to let you know I’m still alive excuse the lack of punctuation must be quick conserve energy–electricity could go any minute no evidence yet of massive social upheaval–it’s quiet, too, too quiet–wait a moment I think I heard something I’ve got to go. Courage, friends.


Still no sign and you know that’s always a bad sign, used reciprocating saw (somehow managed to figure it out despite no illegal immigrant help) to carve an escape hatch in ceiling so we can escape directly to roof when the fit hits the shan, if you know what I mean, does anyone out there know Morse code? Will return later, if it’s safe


trying to cook for myself with my soft pale white hands, bruised and blistered from doing my own yardwork (how do they survive this superhuman physical labor? are they even mortal?) can’t figure out how to get the food from the cylindrical metal thing the Capable Ones call “can” am madly beating it against the floor, no use, I think I’ve injured myself will return later once I’ve stopped this bleeding


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_._ _


scattered Microsoft yuppies appearing disoriented by hunger no doubt due to the closure of area’s upscale restaurants are wandering outside it’s only a matter of time before a leader emerges among and organizes them for an attack on the house must find higher ground easier to defend


Have vanquished the neighbors from their home didn’t want to do it but it was either them or us and this fifty two inch plasma tv is amazing blood everywhere oh my God the horror, yet I’ve never felt so alive


have figured out how to make the Capable Ones return when they see the altar I’ve created for them and the offerings we will make they will surely take pity on us and accept our sacrifices must go have finally cornered the cat he seems to understand what is happening


I realize now that to bring back the Capable Ones I must gather together their mysterious devices and place them at the altar; the enchanted hole making staff, or “shovel”; the grass leveler, the magic spinning weed-scepter, the roaring wind maker; our housekeeper Maria’s magic garment that she uses for the ritual of the dish reclamation and her mysterious carpet broom; atop the monument I have created I place the sustenance producing “can” and waving the pelt of our sacrificed cat over and over I repeat the incantation I heard the Capables using: si se puede, si se puede, si se puede


My God what have I become?


why have you forsaken us, oh you brave masters of nature’s unruly overgrowth, oh you illuminati of the gastronomic? Why such harsh retribution? please return and banish the endless toil and pain we have beasts and virgins and treasure we offer you, yes, amnistia!