I have no problem if people want to call the ex-KKK psycho shooting in Kansas an act of terrorism. It is exactly that. It’s designed to intimidate people going about their normal affairs, congregating with their coreligionists and other members of the community, and otherwise doing no harm to anyone. I expect the White House to issue a solemn condemnation, which is more than appropriate. But I have to wonder, why did the same White House go so far out of its way to deny that the act of Nidal Hasan was not the mere act of a lunatic, but rather a religiously and ideologically driven act of terrorism at Fort Hood, in stark contrast to the more recent one, which appears a mere act of insanity by someone who was arguably insane?!?
Maybe. The Orthodox way and the way of Western Christianity were always different, even at the height of the Medieval Era. That said, the West has more and more become post-Christian and anti-Christian, whereas Russia underwent an aggresive anti-Christian revolution in the form of Communism and has turned back to its roots in recent years in response. Pat Buchanan writes a thoughtful column about Putin’s self-conscious contrast of Western Decadence and the more conservative, Orthodox-influenced values of contemporary Russia:
Crimea, said Putin, “is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.”
Russia is a Christian country, Putin was saying.
This speech recalls last December’s address where the former KGB chief spoke of Russia as standing against a decadent West:
“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”
Heard any Western leader, say, Barack Obama, talk like that lately?
Indicting the “Bolsheviks” who gave away Crimea to Ukraine, Putin declared, “May God judge them.”
What is going on here?
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Paul Ryan was the target of an official media hate campaign for daring to say something anodyne and obvious: that there are serious cultural problems in the inner city, chiefly among minorities, and this mas much to do with multigenerational poverty. This is apparently too much. This type of media freakout happens all the time, but I have a vague feeling these campaigns are losing their force. No one cares. It’s obvious they’re exaggerated. And the haters are devoid of facts.
The sad thing, though, is that Paul Ryan did not learn the lesson from Officer Crowley of “beer summit” fame. The officer stood up for himself, and Obama and his fellow lefty haters were confused and weakened by the episode.
The lesson was visible to me as early as college in dealing with the left: don’t back down, get your facts straight (you’ll need them), and show that you are unable to be assimilated into the leftoid idiotic worldview. It rattles them, because most of their tools of persuasion involve fallacies, appeals to vanity and popularity, and outright threats. Self-confident resistance is a threat to the whole system.
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In short, we should do very little. The question of secession or annexation is rarely one that can be answered objectively and consistently. Russia has vociferously opposed the separation of Chechnya, while fostering that of Ossetia and Abkhazia. The US opposes its moves in Crimea, but got the whole of NATO to support an even flimsier operation in Kosovo in 1999. I’ve always had a view that when separationist movements get too hot, it’s probably best for everyone to let them go, whether we’re talking Ireland, the West Bank, or most other places.
Smart people are saying smart things, while the usual noisy proponents of New World Order see everything as another repeat of the German Anschluss. Andrew Bacevich exposes this stupid, cliched, and historically uneven thinking in his column.
Henry Kissinger says sensible things, as usual, noting that expanding NATO to Russia’s doorstep would be particularly unwise.
Finally, Jeffrey Tayler, in Foreign Policy, shows us that Putin is acting, if harshly, at least rationally and predictably. And, as such, there are rational ways we can respond (or not) based on our own permanent interests, which should not I think include deep concern for Russia’s re-acquisition of a territory it had until the 1950s and whose people seemingly support Russia’s intervention.
On a more pro interventionist note, my friend Marek Chodakiewicz gave a long and detailed discussion of all things Ukrainian recently at the Institute for World Politics. I haven’t had the opportunity to review it in depth, but I’m confident from private discussions it will be one of the more sensible counterpoints to my own views, expressed roughly by Bacevich & co.
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Independent journalist gets closer to the action and his various montages give a very nuanced sense of what’s going on in Crimea. In short, while I think this is not our fight and many of the Maydan protesters were bad actors, there are a lot of ordinary Ukrainian soldiers and sailors doing their patriotic duty in truly surreal circumstances. I hope the obvious mutual respect and understanding of each country’s soldiers can do something to calm this unfortunate situation down.
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Mainstream GOPers are so proud of themselves and Gov. Jan Brewer for opposing Arizona’s initiative that would have preserved the rights of businesses to discriminate against gays, chiefly by not serving them. The law has been compared to Jim Crow which, by contrast, was an enforced regime of discrimination that businesses had little power to opt out of.
But now, when most people in business are, like always, interested in making money, and the old legally enforced Jim Crow regime is something of the distant past, can’t we just have freedom? Real freedom, where businesses can hire, fire, serve, or not serve whomever they want for whatever reason they want? Isn’t this a big part of freedom? Aren’t these constant worries about “getting sued” for every little decision by a business a big part of the oppressiveness of the modern liberal megastate?
Religious objections are particularly salient and worthy of respect. Now, in seeking a roommate, I have to be indifferent to whether it’s a man or women or gay or Muslim or otherwise very different from me? It’s ridiculous. Equality, once again, has shown how it is the enemy of all freedom and the destroyer of all private spheres in life, other than the most minimal requirement of equality before the law. Because now, logically enough, Catholic schools can’t prefer Catholics, and gay clubs will have to hire female waitresses, and everything in between. Our ability to create our own spheres and make money (or for that matter refuse money) because of our idiosyncratic preferences will be erased in the name of this less-than-20-year-old concept of “Gay Rights.”
Great job Republicans. The left still hates you. And now freedom has retreated a little further again into the realm of the forgotten past, so that when it goes too far, you will have no means left to insulate yourselves from the fast-accelerating self-destruction of the society around you, a self destructing society that you have engineered in the name of equality.
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Obama reminds us today once again that for all his talk of “no red states and no blue states” he is the perennial inner city, black-oriented politician, modeling his initiatives after the dreams of his youth and his spiritual father, the late Harold Washington of Chicago. He never gets more passionate than on an issue like his “Brother’s Keeper” initiative. And while I agree with some of this effort in principle–American blacks need an economic and moral renewal, and this must particularly come from a change in young men–it’s not so clear how this or any initiative can work against our degraded economy, Obama’s common cause with thugs like Trayvon Martin, the degraded morals of young black women that lead to 80% illegitimacy, nor our anti-working-class immigration policies, all of which Obama also supports.
And, this effort is ultimately too halfhearted. Obama faces the same paralysis that too many minority leaders face. He blows the same uncertain trumpet. He is torn between solidarity with and condemnation of the bad apples. He just can’t condemn them in a full throated way, because it means saying 20% or 30% of this population are bad apples. It’s a sobering thought, but liberals supposedly pride themselves on their technocratic, science-based fearlessness of reality? Never when it comes to this subject, it seems.
And he never ever ever seems to take account of whites as whites, their fears, their concerns, their interests. Does he think it’s just mean-spirited racism that drives whites to move out of neighborhoods when a critical mass of minorities move in and change its character? Does he ever think of the whites who don’t get jobs or promotions due to affirmative action? Has he ever had a moment of pause for the whites who actually must compete, like American blacks, with Mexicans and other newcomers willing to work for peanuts and live barracks-style ten to a room? For him, as for our white elites, these kind of people do not matter at all. For our elites, not only are they not brothers, they are not even human.
American politicians need to help the working class of all races. And that will require separating the problem-children who commit serious crimes and act anti-socially and punishing them mercilessly and without apology. It will require some honesty about cultural mores and racial differences, whether we’re talking the “knockout game” or mass rioting and incivility and public events. It will mean denouncing the false ideology of free trade and open borders. And it will mean recognizing that while there are many white doctors, lawyers, and CEOs, the vast majority of whites are struggling without college degrees or affirmative action and with fierce competition from globalization, unrestrained immigration, and an elite that never considers their interests as worthy of concern.
The one potential positive of the Obama presidency, the one that I think led many moderate whites to vote for him, has never been exploited at all. He could have, like Nixon going to China, called out all the charlatans, frauds, flatterers, phonies, and crooks that have demoralized and brought shame to America’s troubled black community. Instead, and perhaps reflecting an insecurity of identity due to his mostly white upbringing, he has only stated the party line or remained silent on these issues. At the same time, he has done little to show he cares or understands America’s whites. So he has become a leader of a coalition of the alienated, and an alienator of the rest of the nation. Like Mayor Dinkins and Mayor Washington, he may unwittingly unify the very whites who were so hopeful that he would do something to reverse the festering dysfunction and hostility of “urban” America.
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