Communism = Evil

Communism is Evil:

The Geek is perfectly right, of course:

Enlightened Americans know better, and would no sooner wear a Communist Star than a Nazi Swastika. And yet, Cameron Diaz had to go all the way to Peru for someone to call her on it.
The refusal to look Communism in the face is not limited to America's, er, self-declared elite. A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece on Communist symbolism, based on having lived in China. The Chinese are not ready to face the truth about Mao, or Communism, either.

On the other hand, it is true that Lenin was a master in certain disciplines.
Don't bring a gun to a knife fight.

Or, if you do, make sure you know how to use the gun.

This guy evidently did not.

An armed robber is hospitalized after employees at a West Virginia pizzeria stabbed him several times.

Hat tip: Don Surber.

Congress ! America

A Congress That Has No Use for America:

For example, even the Speaker of the House can't tell a Canadian uniform from an American one.

Another example: Congressional staffers hate Americans, whether those who dare to tour the capital, or those who oppose their favored policies.

That crisis point is getting close. The political class deserves what is coming. The rest of us must prepare, that what follows the crisis upholds the values and traditions of our great American way.

The Collapse

The Collapse:

Almost a year ago, I wrote a long piece called "Time for a Change." Cassandra spent a week responding to it (starting here). It began:

I was talking to my dear friend Sovay tonight, and as always, talking with her helped to shake things loose that I haven't been able to put into words before. We were talking about the Foley situation, and I heard myself saying something I realize I believe: I have lost all confidence in the Federal institutions governing our country, with the sole exception of the military.
Today, America has arrived to the same place:
Consider the latest Gallup Poll, which finds only 14 percent of the American people have "a great deal of" confidence in Congress or "quite a lot," compared to 19 percent a year ago. That is lowest confidence rating Gallup has ever recorded for Congress since the survey firm began measuring public confidence in major American institutions in 1973.

Congress is far from alone in suffering plummeting confidence ratings. The presidency dropped from 33 percent to 25 percent and the Supreme Court from 40 percent to 34 percent. The "fourth branch" of government, the mainstream media, also has declining public confidence ratings. Television news dropped from 31 percent to 23 percent, while newspapers were down to 22 percent, compared to 30 percent a year ago.

The highest confidence levels were for the military at 69 percent[.]
Last year, I said I thought we needed a Constitutional convention. I still think we do. It might be worth reviewing the old piece, though, to see if a year's thinking yields additional ideas. If anyone would like to discuss it, so would I.

Rodeo Song

Rodeo Song:

Cause you were World Saddle Bronc Champion
Back in Nineteen and Forty-Six
Pass the Hat, boys... he's gone.

We gonna carve him a marker
With classic spur links
So they'll know, here lies the great
Jerry Ambler.

From "Jerry Ambler," by Ian Tyson with Gord Maxwell and Gord Matthews.

Bloodspite remembers a childhood hero. Here lies the great Jim Shoulders, "The Babe Ruth of Rodeo," cowboy and minister.


More on Racism:

Today I was looking at the Georgia tourist board page, and noticed something odd: there appear to be no photos of black people, even in the photos of south and central Georgia, which are heavily black in their populations. The sole exception I've found is the page on Civil Rights history; otherwise, not one page I've looked at, whether it shows single people or group shots, includes any blacks at all.

Not even the photo from Underground Atlanta. I mean, this isn't an accident. That must have taken some doing.

I presume this is a marketing decision, as I was telling Cassandra earlier today, because there are also no photos of fat or unattractive people (which would also take some doing at Underground). I presume they think that means that most people with money to spend on a vacation in America won't want to see any black (or fat) people.

That says something about the continuing relevance of "unconscious racism," lest the last post be taken as dismissing the concept. Of course it exists; it just seems to me that a man ought to be judged by his actions, not his desires.


Tyranny, Racism, and Anti-Racism:

An interesting point from Reflecting Light, on the dangers posed by anti-racism when it becomes an overriding concern. Without endorsing the evils of racism, freedom demands a certain amount of just leaving people alone -- even when they are wrong; or even when they're right, but only because they take time to think about it:

Candidates are asked to put images of black and white faces into categories of "good/positive" and "bad/negative" using arrow keys on the keyboard. By getting them to respond to prompts as quickly as possible, the test aims to side-step what is known as "cognitive control" - the brief, but significant time lapse needed to give an "acceptable" answer rather than an instinctive or "honest" one. The programme then automatically calculates a "response-index" that indicates a level of racial bias.

The test is being developed at London Metropolitan University and is aimed at the public sector and multinational companies. Its developers say it is harder to deceive than many of the psychometric tests used to gauge personality type. The test was condemned last night as a potential "Kafkaesque nightmare" where individuals are penalised for thoughts in their deep subconscious.
The blogger notes that the test is designed to be made available to employers. "In other words," he says, "you can be rejected for employment because of ideas you've never expressed, and that you don't even know you have." But isn't it the keenest expression of virtue to do right in spite of having a drive to do wrong?
Robert Conquest, the great historian of the incalculable damage inflicted on humanity by the Communist and Nazi regimes, has pointed out that these disasters arose not primarily from inherent social problems, but from solutions — solutions that hardened into ideologies, then one-party states based on those ideologies, then into tyranny.
This is something that ought to be considered carefully. Someone who has chosen consciously to do the right thing ought not to be punished, for some deep but unacted-upon impulse. This should be true for racism, for alcoholism, or for a drive to spend the rent on gambling. If what you do is right, that ought to be more than enough.

H/t: Roach.


The Dangerous Book for Boys:

Glenn Reynolds was recently taken to task by someone or other for having referenced The Dangerous Book for Boys 'a disturbing 17 times.' I found a copy at a bookstore down in Atlanta today, and picked it up to look it over.

I bought it. Anybody who thinks it is 'disturbing' to talk a lot about this book either hasn't seen it, or doesn't have any idea what a boy needs to know to become a good young man.

Enthusiasm isn't my usual thing, so let me just say: this book is the best book for boys that I've ever read, and better than I thought any such book could be. It has very nearly everything: how to make a paper airplane. How to talk to girls. Short descriptions of several of the world's greatest battles, with illustrations of unit positions. How to identify common insects. The Declaration of Independence, with a proper reference to the Declaration of Arbroath and a history of Robert the Bruce. How to build a treehouse. Three sections on proper grammar (the introduction to the first reads, quite rightly, 'It is suprising how satisfying it can be to know right from wrong'). "A Short History of Artillery." An introduction to Shakespeare.

How to build a bow an arrow from scratch; how to hunt, kill, clean and cook a rabbit; and how to tan its hide.

Scipio Africanus. Land Navigation. How to play poker, and calculate the odds.

Seventeen times? A hundred times would not be too often.

UPDATE: Miss Ladybug has another book for younger boys.

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day:

It hasn't been a great one here; but that is part of fatherhood, too.

Dad29 links to a unpopular speaker, quoting another -- apparently the only person ever thrown off the Oprah show. Here's what he said:

There is only one force in this world that is capable of controlling a teenage male: his father. Women, you can either let black men rule their households as husbands and fathers or hide in your homes with doors locked as they rule the streets in roving gangs.
OK, that's explosive. It manages to link the two most dangerous topics in America -- race and sex -- in a way that both endorses an unpopular viewpoint, and asserts that there is no other good alternative.

Let me repost, in honor of Father's Day and in the hope of relocating the discussion to firmer ground, an old post called "Social Harmony."
I was reading an article the other day, in the local newspaper, about an elderly Korean gentleman who has moved into town and opened a martial arts studio. He chastened the reporter who had come to interview him not to suggest that the martial arts were 'all about fighting.' "No!" he said. "The purpose is social harmony."

That is exactly right. The secret of social harmony is simple: Old men must be dangerous.

Very nearly all the violence that plagues, rather than protects, society is the work of young males between the ages of fourteen and thirty. A substantial amount of the violence that protects rather than plagues society is performed by other members of the same group. The reasons for this predisposition are generally rooted in biology, which is to say that they are not going anywhere, in spite of the current fashion that suggests doping half the young with Ritalin.

The question is how to move these young men from the first group (violent and predatory) into the second (violent, but protective). This is to ask: what is the difference between a street gang and the Marine Corps, or a thug and a policeman? In every case, we see that the good youths are guided and disciplined by old men. This is half the answer to the problem.

But do we not try to discipline and guide the others? If we catch them at their menace, don't we put them into prisons or programs where they are monitored, disciplined, and exposed to "rehabilitation"? The rates of recidivism are such that we can't say that these programs are successful at all, unless the person being "rehabilitated" wants and chooses to be. And this is the other half of the answer: the discipline and guidance must be voluntarily accepted. The Marine enlists; the criminal must likewise choose to accept what is offered.

The Eastern martial arts provide an experience very much like that of Boot Camp. The Master, like the Drill Instructor, is a disciplined man of great personal prowess. He is an exemplar. He asks nothing of you he can't, or won't, do himself--and there are very many things he can and will do that are beyond you, though you have all the help of youth and strength. It is on this ground that acceptance of discipline is won. It is the ground of admiration, and what wins the admiration of these young men is martial prowess.

Everyone who was once a young man will understand what I mean. Who could look forward, at the age of sixteen or eighteen, to a life of obedience, dressed in suits or uniforms, sitting or standing behind a desk? How were you to respect or care about the laws, or the wishes, of men who had accepted such a life? The difficulty is compounded in poor communities, where the jobs undertaken are often menial. How can you respect your father if your father is a servant? Would you not be accepting a place twice as low as his? Would you not rather take up the sword, and cut yourself a new place? Meekness in the old men of the community unmakes the social order: it encourages rebellion from the young.

The traditional martial arts tend to teach young men to undertake flashy and impressive, but not terribly effective, fighting techniques. Only as you grow older do the masters of the art teach you the real secrets--the subtle, quick, physically simple ways in which the human body can be destroyed. In this way, the old retain their power over the young--although they lack the speed and strength, they have in discipline in training more than enough to maintain the order. Social harmony is maintained in the dojo: the young revere the old, and seek to emulate them. Your father may be a servant, but he is still a warrior--and a more dangerous one than you. The father, being past that age in which biology makes us vicious, guides the son or neighbor to protect society rather than to rend it. It is not particularly different in the military.

If we would have a stable society, we must have dangerous old men. This means that, if you are yourself on your way to becoming an old man, you have a duty to society to begin your preparations. The martial arts are not the only road--my own grandfather did it through a simple combination of physical strength, personal discipline, and an accustomed habit of going armed about his business. There was never a more impressive figure--or, at least, there was never a boy more impressed than was I.

The martial virtues are exactly the ones needed. By a happy coincidence, having a society whose members adhere to and encourage those virtues makes us freer as well--we need fewer police, fewer courts, fewer prisons, fewer laws, and fewer lawyers. This is what Aristotle meant when he said that the virtues of the man are reflected in the society. Politics and ethics are naturally joined.
Happy Father's Day.