Archive for February, 2008

One Of Bill's Boys

Some 30 years ago I was a callow lad in his 2nd year of college. I got there after a misspent youth that needed four years in the US Air Force to straighten out. I majored in History, that great discipline that lists the past crimes and dreary evils of man. Done correctly—and matched with a heady dose of Christianity—it will teach an acolyte that human nature is as constant as the Northern Star.

I had to spend many an hour in the college library writing this paper or researching that topic. In the magazine rack I came upon something called National Review. It was put together by a man named William F. Buckley. I had never heard of him, but then there was much then that I had never heard of. (There is much now that I wished I had never heard of.) I opened its pages and discovered a new world. And I was not the same thereafter. My life as a conservative began then and there.

Certain truths learned from Buckley’s mag have become as much a part of me as my ageing skin. Such as:

1. A small government is less prone to tyranny than a big government.

2. All government relies upon force.

3. Government cannot do much outside of keeping the streets clean and patrolling the seas.

4. Untrammeled democracy leads to tyranny.

5. A man is the best protector of his family and home.

6. America is a force for good in the world.

7. Politics is not about goodness but about power.

8. It is cool to be Catholic.

There is more—there is much more—but you get the idea.

Yesterday I read that Buckley was dead. He died working of course, a death befitting a man who did more in his life than any ten men selected at random.

What we own him can scarcely be calculated. Like Reagan, his kind will not be seen again.

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Requiescat in Pace.

Damn Kids

Every adult is familiar with the belief that kids today are worse today than those of yesterday, and that no doubt that kids of tomorrow will be worse yet, demons from Hell most likely.

I give you these words that summarize the position with great clarity.

Injurious Time,
What Age escapes thy curse?
Evil our grandfathers were,
Our fathers, worse.
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors,
More corrupted still.

Yipes! Doesn’t sound good for that generation.

Actually, that generation did quite well in History’s scheme of things. Those lines were penned by Horace (65 – 8 BC). In his lifetime he was witness to the fall of the Roman Republic, the rise of Julius Caesar, the wars of his assassins Brutus and Cassius, the struggles between Antony and Octavian, the wiles of Cleopatra, the coming to power of the first Roman emperor—Augustus by name—and the beginning of that 200 year long period of peace we call the Pax Romana.

Not bad for a generation that Horace called ‘unmatched in ill.’

It is enough to say that every generation since Cain and Abel has had to deal with the question of improving the next generation, of not leaving their own children ‘more corrupted still.’

Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. Not even reports such as this one.

In what could give fraternities everywhere a bad name, a Delta Chi chapter in Colorado has been suspended after nine of its underage pledges were arrested early Sunday for allegedly trashing motel rooms that police found strewn with broken furniture and splattered with blood and vomit. Oh, and there was the matter of a coffee pot that had somehow been filled with urine…Bottles of liquor and a keg of ‘Keystone Light’ beer were found on scene. The pledges, who were apparently imbibing…

‘Apparently’?

Perhaps these callow lads were simply following some other lines from Horace.

Now is the time for drinking, now is the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.

And if those boys were not enough for you, how about girls who wear outlandish hair, short skirts, listen to music intolerable to adults, flaunt accepted sexual behavior, put on gaudy makeup, smoke and drink, and otherwise laugh at societal conventions? What sort of kids would these ‘ladies’ have?

Oh, the sort of kids who would defeat the Japanese, the Italian fascists and the Nazis. The sort of kids who would be called ‘America’s Greatest Generation.’ The sort of kids who would found NATO, fight the Cold War and land men on the moon.

I have in front of me another description of kids at university, students who were more dissolute than the society all around them. They are used to having premarital sex, are comfortable around homosexuals, frequently engage in riots, fight among themselves, drink copious amounts of wine and beer, indulge in the hazing of newcomers, flaunt all authority and cheat on exams.

Radicals from the 1960s? Nope. Those words describe typical student life at a typical European university in the 13th century—the same century and the same institution that gave us Thomas Aquinas, Dante and the Renaissance.

I have heard since I became a sentient being about how rotten is the present generation of kids. Their clothing, their habits, their music, their attitudes, their adornments, their hair—and on and on and on. We need to remember that many of those teens who a few years back were giving their parents heart attacks are the same ones who joined the US military and have proved to be the most lethal and efficient fighting force the world has ever seen.

I do not counsel adults to relax their pressure upon the next generation. Hardly. I am in fact in the business of putting pressure upon the next generation. But I do counsel to put things in perspective. Our young are not as corrupt or ruined as they might at times seem.

And if you need a pithy tale to help you place the blame for any evils committed by teens these days, here is one for you.

There was a certain man in a certain town whose life had been dedicated to crime. As a boy he had preyed upon his own kind. As a youth he had advanced to robbery, as a young man he had committed many murders. Now he was facing the hangman. The townspeople gathered around to witness the young man’s execution, a man who had brought them much misery.

Among the people gathered there was the man’s mother. She was weeping for her son. As the man was being led to the gibbet he saw his mother. He begged the executioner to allow him one last moment with her. He relented, and the crowd thought that at last the man would redeem himself through a condemned man’s love for the woman who had bore him and raised him.

The man approached his tearful mother and bit off her nose.

He said to her, “If you had only guided me properly when I was young, I would not find myself here awaiting death.”

Ladies and gentlemen, do not fault youth if you yourself failed in the task of guiding them. If your own kids are evil, the blame lies in the person who leers back at you from the mirror.

For more excellent advice, see this.

I began this essay with Horace. It is fitting that I end with him. And being Scipio—who himself led a rather dissolute youth—I cannot resist a dig at current politics.

The mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth.

This perfectly describes our method of nominating the next president of the US.

Ron

In the middle of this interminable campaign, it is well and good to remember a man who ennobled the grimy and petty world of politics.

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No man or woman running today could equal the rhetoric, the writing and the accomplishments of Ronald Wilson Reagan. Many today claim his mantle but none could wear it.

He was unique, and we will not see his kind again.

(Photo courtesy of Moonbattery.)

Men Of Foam

Get ready, for tonight the Beautiful People of Hollywood will assemble to award their own with the modern version of the Golden Calf.

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Yes, it is Oscar night for the marvelous, the fabulous and the beautiful. Even as I write these words they are in preparation for their Big Event. Why, some have been getting ready by months by dieting, exercising and visiting all kinds of specialists whose lives are dedicated to the shaping, forming and re-constructing of the bodies of those Hollywood marvels.

And just what sort of reshaping is done to their forms? Why, about everything you can imagine. Your average Hollywood type spends thousands upon thousands every year for plastic surgery, botox injections in the face and ‘other places,’ ‘cleavage buffing,’ tummy tucks, liposuction, anal bleaching, ‘cleavage facials’ and assorted pads placed strategically in their feet, breasts, chests and buttocks.

Some of these body modifications I had never before heard of. Or dreamed of. Or thought possible. My favorites include:

Radiesse.

Used for facial sculpting, it smoothes laugh lines and creates higher cheekbones and a more prominent chin…The results last for up to a year.

One Stitch Facelift

Dr Renato Calabria, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, pioneered the new One Stitch Facelift, which lifts loose facial skin and anchors it via one stitch under the hairline on each side of the face.

Volumetric Face Lift

Actresses who’ve hit 40 but don’t want to look it are turning to plastic surgeon Dr Richard Ellenbogen. He uses the Volumetric Face Lift to make the face look young again by treating it like a deflated balloon. Taking fat via a needle from a patient’s abdomen, he inserts it under the eyes, in the cheeks or between the nose and mouth to sculpt full features.

Odd Facials

The most crowded waiting room pre-Oscars is at the Beverly Hills clinic of celebrity skin specialist Sonya Dakar – where stars line up for her signature £1,000 facial…Madonna is said to have headed there for a treatment last year which includes a diamond scrub (using diamond particles to exfoliate the skin), an exfoliating skin peel, green tea face mask and red-and-blue UV light therapy to prevent acne.

I wish I had had that in High School!

There is more, such as this weird diet:

Most of the women in LA have been on the Master Cleanse (that’s lemonade with cayenne pepper and maple syrup, a saltwater drink and laxative tea) all week.

There are hair extensions, fox fur eye lashes and body wraps where “Stars are wrapped in bandages soaked in a special mineral solution (said to remove toxins)…”

And let us not forget the feet:

Celebrities come in about a month in advance for the procedure on the bottom of the feet. It’s a way of creating internal padding – like pillows for your feet. It lasts up to nine months.”

Dr Levine also does a lot of “foot facials.” This involves salt scrubs, a foot “mask” peel and massage, and even whitening the toenails.

Of course, all of this injecting, cutting, sucking, and stitching can have interesting effects, as this millionaire chick in Europe discovered after spending upwards of 4 million bucks on ‘cosmetic surgery.’

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Gentlemen, how would you like to wake up to that every morning?

There’s more, but I have written about all that I can stand.

We should not be surprised that the Hollywood types, whose lives, loves and opinions are so phony, that their bodies would be phony as well. Their one talent is pretending to be someone else. Idiotic shrimps like Tom Cruise pretend to be master secret agents. Weirdo loners like Daniel Day-Lewis pretend to be New York gangsters. Baby faced imbeciles like Leonardo DiCaprio pretend to be ferocious Rhodesian mercenaries. Empty headed pretty boys like George Clooney pretend to be tough guy military men. Girly males like Johnny Depp pretend to be daring buccaneers.

All sham. All false. All phony. All pretense. They lead the shallowest of lives that are best described by words written 3000 years ago.

Vanity, vanity. All is vanity.

Naturally, these delicate souls have the political views suitable to those of similar intellect, depth, knowledge, experience and wisdom.

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Update: We must allow John McCain to have the last word on both Hollywood and Washington.

John McCain, Republican maverick, former POW and Vietnam War hero, cracked in his speech that if “Washington is a Hollywood for ugly people,” then, considering the remarks coming out of Tinseltown about Iraq, “Hollywood is a Washington for the simpleminded.”

For once he speaks the truth.

Update: American Digest looks at the Oscar fare, and writes that this might be a better award for such dreck.

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Things Fall Apart

Here is a nightmare for you.

Obama wins the presidency with the backroom conniving of Hillary. She pledges not to make a mess of the Democrat convention if she gets a promise of a Supreme Court seat. Thus appeased, she will then continue to infect this Republic until she assumes room temperature.

But wait: There is more.

President Obama then appoints Bill Clinton to the top spot at the UN. He could very well serve until he also assumes room temperature.

But wait: There is more.

The Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate. They could possibly maintain them for four years, but even two years would be quite enough time for much mischief. The Republicans could do nothing but watch and sputter in impotence.

 But wait: There is more.

President Obama appoints two more Supreme Court justices, making a liberal dominated court for the next 30 years.

Our Republic thus will endure at least four years where all three branches of the government are dominated by the Democrats. One-half of all federal judges, all US attorneys, all American ambassadors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, top posts at all cabinet and sub-cabinet levels, all committee chairmen positions—all Democrats dedicated to the proposition that man exits for government and not government for man.

The Supreme Court would cement various rulings on abortion—no private or public or religious institution would be allowed to deny any woman her ‘right to privacy under the Constitution’—private property—Kelo-type decisions would become the law of the land—freedom of speech—the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ would become US law and talk radio would be no more—and gun rights—more and more restrictions on ownership, ammunition would eventually be licensed, and ‘gun free’ zones would proliferate—and immigration—20,000,000 illegals would at the stroke of a pen become Democrat Party voters.

Bill Clinton, that long time friend of China and Indonesia, would sit at the head of the UN Security Council with China and Russia and an entire host of America-hating states. He would bring in his group from his days as US president—Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright and the rest. Clinton would again claim the right to send US troops around the globe—wearing blue helmets of course.

The eight years of Clintonian White House corruption would have been simply a warm-up to what would then ensue. The ‘Oil for Food Program’ would become a blueprint of how the UN would operate across the globe in all of its agencies. A universal tax, ‘climate change’ mandates and global restrictions on the private possession of firearms would be forced upon every nation and every people.

If such men come to power at these levels of influence at the same time, most of the nation would be ruled by the cultural and political philosophy that one sees in San Fancisco and Berkeley.

The only recourse for those of us who refuse to live under such a grotesque and perverse yoke would be civil war.

There is precedent, yes?

We will know when it has begun when they come for our guns. If we surrender them, that will be the end.

Our first Civil War was fought over slavery. So will be our second one.

Tough Guy

The New York Times has acted like…The New York Times. That declining rag made hay about allegations of improper behavior by Republican tough guy John McCain. This, after endorsing the tough guy for the Republican nomination.

So how does tough guy John McCain respond to these allegations of adultery? He almost goes all weepy like a fine rendition of Edmund Muskie. He whimpers and pleads with those sunken-chested types who run ‘the newspaper of record.’ He expresses an almost female countenance, blubbering out his ‘disappointment’ and ‘sadness.’

Obviously, I’m very disappointed in the article — it’s not true…At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust or make a decision which in any way would not be in the public interest or would favor anyone or organization.

And the tough guy again—yet again—brings up his military service as somehow relevant to all of this.

As has been pointed out, I’ve served this nation honorably for more than a half a century. When I was 17, I raised my hand and supported — said I would support and defend this nation, and I’ve had the honor of serving it ever since.

The tough guy brings up his military record as often as John Kerry brings up his. Memo to the tough guy: You are running for president, not POW of the century. Shut up already about your service time. We know about it.

Tough guy McCain goes all Hillary about some devious ‘attack machine.’

The McCain campaign is already using the article in its fund-raising effort. In an appeal describing the article as “a scurrilous attack against a great American hero,” the McCain campaign asks supporters for contributions so the campaign has the resources to “respond and defend our nominee from the liberal attack machine.”

Then the tough guy does the typical liberal thing and gets an attorney. McCain will sue, by god! Fittingly, the attorney is the liberal Bob Bennett, the same fellow who represented Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones scandals. Liberals defend liberals.

And now comes this howler from tough guy McCain’s communications director Jill Hazelbaker.

It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit and run smear campaign.

Let’s see: Slandering the tough guy, a man who has pretensions to presidential grandeur, is nothing more stinging than ‘a shame’? And what about the rag of record somehow ‘lowering its standards’? What ‘standards’ is this woman talking about? That rag of record just published innuendo that slanders the tough guy, his wife and his Marine Corps son. Clearly, the tough guy is trying really, really hard not to insult or berate his beloved media.

No, the tough guy reserves all of his anger, slander and insults for conservatives and Christians.

And now, just whom has leapt up and supported the tough guy is his struggle with the rag of record? Why, those same conservatives. They understand loyalty even if the tough guy does not. Of course, they fully expect McCain to lash out at them during the course of this affair—obviously the first in an entire series of attacks, slanders and hit-pieces by the tough guy’s beloved media.

So how should tough guy McCain have handled this? Like a man. He should have marched into the New York Times building with a bunch of cameras in tow, gone into the office of Pinch Sulzberger and punched that metrosexual fop right in his mouth. The video should have then been immediately placed on YouTube to the delight of millions of Americans.

Here is that skinny, soft-gutted wimp in front of whom the tough guy has in complete supplication kneeled, beseeched, implored and entreated.

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The tough guy in less than 24 hours has begged the liberal NYT, simpered like the liberal Muskie, aped the liberal Hillary, hired the liberal Bennett, talked like the liberal Kerry and emoted like the liberal Oprah.

Ah, but McCain’s sycophants and bootlicks will still claim that their hero is ‘a true conservative.’

If I were not now sitting in my own home I would spit.

Update: McCainiacs can take heart in this opposite view. Can’t hurt. At least it seems that for now McCain has stopped his blubbering.

A New World In Three Minutes

The real news is not about Obama. It is not about McCain. It is not about Hillary.

In fact, the real news is not about current politics at all. The real news is contained in this headline.

US missile hits spy satellite

From another report comes this.

The USS Lake Erie, armed with an SM-3 missile designed to knock down incoming missiles—not orbiting satellites—launched the attack at 10:26 p.m. EST, according to the Pentagon. It hit the satellite about three minutes later as the spacecraft traveled in polar orbit at more than 17,000 mph.

You got that, yes? We launched a missile from a ship at sea that took only three minutes to destroy a satellite traveling in orbit at 17,000 miles per hour.

Three minutes.

Digest that for just a moment.

In an instant the entire defense establishments of Russia and China—in fact of every nation on earth—have been rendered obsolete, useless. Those two grimy dictatorships of course understand this.

China is continuing to closely follow the possible harm caused by the US action to outer space security and relevant countries.

Translation: China’s web of defense satellites can be demolished in three minutes, making that nation blind in any encounter with the US. She herself  plays the anti-satellite missile game, and is losing. She understands, and fears.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that the US plans looked like a veiled weapons test and an “attempt to move the arms race into space”.

Never mind that the arms race has been in space since Sputnik.

One must of course feel for Russia, a decrepit and decaying power. Whatever influence she once had in this world—an influence entirely negative—she is now reduced to impotent and vodka-soaked threats. She has no response to the US anti-satellite missile, and can in no way come up with one. She understands, and fears.

Since Sumer the race for military dominance has been a contest between offence and defense. Thus the development of the phalanx, shields, javelins, chariots, artillery, fortifications, armor, longbows and crossbows, gunpowder and all the rest can be seen as responses to military innovation. The castle was invincible until gunpowder, after which all states that depended upon such structures and refused to adapt disappeared.

We have reached a point in the history of arms where one nation has become so dominant in all categories of military technology, innovation, adaptability, logistics, power projection and professionalism that no other nation or any imagined correlation of forces could possible defeat her. Not even Rome could marshal such advantages over her foes, foes that like her fought with muscle and iron.

There is much more that can be said of course. But it needs to be remembered that all military advances in History have led to drastic changes in the political realm. Nations vanished, societies crumpled and cultures were extinguished. From their ruins arose entirely new arrangements of men and machines.

Likewise today our international system—if such a debased and ramshackle concoction of nations and states could be termed such—is based upon obsolete arrangements of power and influence. It begs destruction. Its main elements—the UN, international law, state-to-state relations, multilateral organizations and treaties, NGOs—have long ceased to function by any rational measurement. The foundations behind it are as relevant today as was a French knight at the Battle of Agincourt.

What occurred yesterday on the USS Lake Erie was not just a military success of phenomenal importance. It was a herald of the coming new world. Its birth pangs were announced in a flash of light and fire in the heavens above.

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Update: Russia and China are feeling a bit low these days.

During the Cold War, Russian planners were constantly in fear of new U.S. technology breakthroughs. These happened frequently enough to remain real to the Russian generals. Now this satellite shoot down just reinforces the feeling of technological inferiority. The Russians passed this attitude on to the Chinese, who tend to see the U.S. lead as more of an opportunity than as an obstacle.

Yes indeed, US superiority over China in everything essential can be seen as quite an opportunity. In the meantime, as China ponders her infinite ‘opportunities,’ she will continue to concentrate her efforts in the area where she has absolute and total mastery: building all those doodads and plastic contraptions that fill the aisles of Dollar Tree.

Update: The Wall Street Journal weighs in and compares Russian and Chinese reactions. Hat tip: Betsy’s Page.

Sweet Talking Guys

What is it with this fad, this Barack Obama? The man is a mere trifle. His appeal has nothing to do with what he says.

If you examine his agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems.

In other words, his views are standard Democrat Party pabulum. Indeed, he is more liberal than most other Democrats.

Many claim him to be an elegant speaker. It is difficult to say why this is so. His style is gaseous, vapid, full of feel-good nostrums and childish repetitions (“Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!”). Such infantile vanities are more properly used in kindergarten than from the podiums of a great Republic.

I hear that females have swooned while hearing him. But females swooned when the Beatles performed too. And for Frank Sinatra.

But then, I almost swooned for Frank. He was one of a kind.

Obama represents a kind of a mass delusion, a tabula rasa upon which the deluded and sterile scribble what they wish. Such a collective hallucination cannot last. When it is over a bunch of folks will be highly embarrassed. Of course, humans being humans, they will locate their disappointment anywhere but in their own foolishness. No doubt Obama himself will get much of the blame—which is not really fair, but what in American politics is?

Hillary must hope that the Obama bubble bursts soon.

And if it is classy rhetoric you want, I direct you to the speeches of Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BC). Compare his resume to that of the lighter-than-air Obama.

Cicero is generally seen as one of the most versatile minds of Roman culture and his writing the paragon of Classical Latin. He introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary. An impressive orator and successful lawyer, Cicero probably thought his political career his most important achievement.

Here are some Ciceronian—I have been waiting years to use that word—quotes.

Concerning Obama:

He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.

And:

If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third, place.

Concerning Hillary:

It is a true saying that “One falsehood leads easily to another”.

Concerning Bill:

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide… Let your desires be ruled by reason…It is a great thing to know our vices.

Concerning the Democrat Party:

Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion, or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute.

Concerning the Republican Party:

The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn’t want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero lived during one of those eras when one world was dying—the Roman Republic—and one was being born—the Empire. It was a time of political violence and war that threw up the most powerful characters in history. A partial list of these fellows would include Sulla, Marius, Antony, Caesar, Cato, Brutus, Cataline, Octavian, Crassus, Pompey—and Cicero knew them all personally. He drank with them, ate with them, argued with them, insulted them and died by the hand of one of them (Antony in 43 BC).

In those days holding a moral position in politics could cost your life. Cicero paid that price. In his day a politican’s words were to be taken seriously. In our day a politician’s words say nothing, explain nothing and mean nothing. Nobody takes them seriously for they are not meant to be taken seriously. They are productions of the day, of the moment, and vanish like the wind.

Compared to the age of Cicero our own is weak and effeminate, a trifle dandified and sterile. Our age is not an age for Ciceros but for Obamas.

Imagine in 2000 years someone perusing a book entitled The Collected Speeches of Barack Obama. Imagine someone doing that in one year. Imagine someone even bothering to put all that fluff together.

Truly, there were giants in the earth in the days of Cicero.

America as well once produced giants. Now we produce only midgets without chests.

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Update: David Brooks writes of the Obama obsession as if it were a psychological disorder—which of course it is, but it is much more than that. Among Obama’s acolytes it betokens a spiritual emptiness, a shallowness of soul and a craving for meaning—something, anything to fill up their great interior hollow places.

Michelle Obama, the avatar and theologian of Obama worship, spoke a great truth when she said that her deified husband is the only one who can fix the broken souls of our nation.

Odd, I thought that such a task was up to the Lord Jesus Christ. But perhaps I quibble.

The afflicted had already been through the phases of Obama-mania, fainting at rallies, weeping over their touch screens while watching Obama videos, spending hours making folk crafts featuring Michelle Obama’s face. These patients had experienced intense surges of hope-amine, the brain chemical that fuels euphoric sensations of historic change and personal salvation.

But they found that as the weeks went on, they needed more and purer hope-injections just to preserve the rush. They wound up craving more hope than even the Hope Pope could provide, and they began experiencing brooding moments of suboptimal hopefulness.

Any nation that would place its future in the hands of such people does not deserve to survive. And it won’t.

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Update: Think want you want of McCain or Bush or any Republican in the nation. These words could never be written about them.

Obama appeals to an increasingly childish class of adults who crave an emotion-based politics and don’t particularly care about the details of the package in which it comes. There is a “Kids for Obama” section on his web page but it is not clear where it ends and the rest begins.

Obama is the Sesame Street politician, the Barney Democrat. What an embarrassment that in this great Republic adults actually see the man as deserving of the highest office in the land.

The First War Of Wars

We talk today of a ‘clash of civilizations,’ meaning the war between Islam and the West. Such wars always offer visions of an existentialist, Armageddon-like struggle to be fought until one antagonist disappears from history.

In the 20th century we can say that the wars against Nazism and the Soviet Union were such. The nature of these civilizations did not and could not allow them to exist side by side with free societies. A century earlier expansionist America had come up against the Plains Indians. Neither culture could exist with the other. One would have to go under. One did. It was the same with the American Civil War. The existence of a slave empire in the South demanded a Sherman, and a Sherman came. It was the same with Spain and the Aztecs.

Republican Rome was faced with just such a war. We call them the Punic Wars (264 – 146 BC). These pitted Rome in a fight to the death against Carthage. It was the greatest struggle of the ancient world, far surpassing the Greco-Persian Wars (490-479) in destruction, intensity, scope and violence. One of its battles saw perhaps the greatest slaughter of men in a day of any battle fought at any time. At its end Carthage suffered the fate that awaited the Nazis, militaristic Japan and the USSR two millennia later.

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Carthage was what we would call today a seafaring mercantile state. From her beginnings as a colony of Phoenician Tyre—modern Lebanon—she was predatory and imperialist. Carthage was also a slave empire, like all ancient societies. Wherever she went she enlisted subject peoples for labor and for her military. Carthage dealt with competition in a decidedly un-Adam Smith way. Any foreign ship she found in what she considered her waters—the entire Western Mediterranean—was sunk and the sailors drowned.

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There was a far grimmer side to Carthage. Her religion was that which the Hebrew God had demanded that His people exterminate in the Promised Land. It was the religion of child sacrifice practiced by the Canaanites, Amalekites and Phoenicians. In times of national crisis the state would demand that new born infants be brought by their mothers and tossed into a brazen image of the god Moloch, where the child would be burned to death to the sounds of horns and cymbals. After a military defeat at the hands of Syracuse (480 BC) Carthage burnt alive 300 of its own children to propitiate the god. To the cries of ‘Lord, eat!’ the infants were rolled into the flames and turned to ash.

The victims, when scarcely at the edge of the opening, disappeared like a drop of water on a red-hot plate, and white smoke rose amid the great scarlet colour. Nevertheless, the appetite of the god was not appeased. He ever wished for more. In order to furnish him with a larger supply, the victims were piled up on his hands with a big chain above them which kept them in their place.

Such was the moral state of Carthage, a state that spread this gruesome faith wherever she went.

It was Sicily where Rome and Carthage clashed (264 BC). Rome was a land-based power and had nothing to equal the Carthaginian navy. To get to Sicily Rome would have to build a navy. Thousands of Romans perished at sea before Rome had mastered the complicated maneuvers of the naval tactics of the day. Tens of thousands more died in Sicily, in Africa and in the titanic naval struggle with Carthage.

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Rome emerged victorious, though both sides were exhausted after a quarter of a century of bloodletting. Rome made the mistake that France and England made at Versailles 2200 years later. The treaty imposed upon Carthage guaranteed another war.

The 2nd Punic War was the bloodiest war of the ancient world. It pitted the greatest captains in history, Hannibal and Scipio Major, in a death struggle. Hundreds of thousands died in the course of this war, 76,000 alone in the great battle of Cannae (216 BC), a slaughter of men never again reached in a day’s battle, not even in the trenches of the First World War.

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This was a war to end all wars, a fight to determine who would control the world of the ancient Mediterranean. In a call to arms that would put today’s United States to shame, Rome marshaled army after army after army, most of them perishing in the battles against Hannibal. Yet Rome prevailed (201 BC). Her victory insured that the grotesque Moloch would devour no more children. Fifty years later, as almost an afterthought, Rome did to what remained of Carthage what Cortez did to Tenochtitlan, what Sherman did to Atlanta, what the Americans did to Hiroshima.

The results were momentous. It was the civilization of Rome that would create the first world empire in history, a state that would eventually spread to the Tigris and Euphrates. Where the American soldier fights today, 2000 years ago fought the legions of Rome. It was the civilization of Rome that gave to the world what Gibbon said was one of the best governments ever devised. It was the civilization of Rome that served as an inspiration to the founders of the United States. And always remember that it was in the empire of Rome where the Carpenter chose to be born.

Imagine the state of the world today if Carthage had won and Rome had gone under. Imagine Mexico today if it were ruled by the cannibal empire of the Aztecs, or if Europe were under the sway of the Nazis, or if a slave empire still governed south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Imagine our world if it is Islam that conquers and the West that goes under. It would usher in a new Dark Ages worse than that which followed the fall of Rome in the West (476). The madrassa, the burqua, sharia law, polygamy, misogyny, poverty, tyranny, ignorance, illiteracy and ‘honor killings’ would spread over the world, just as the worship of Moloch would have spread over the world had Carthage won.

To believe otherwise is to ignore history. To believe otherwise is to surrender.

In her titanic struggle against Carthage, when Hannibal himself was at the gates of Rome, there was a senator who counseled negotiation. He was immediately set upon by the Roman people and beaten to death. For good measure his family suffered the same fate.

In that tale lies a great moral.

Again. Yet Again.

You know the script. You have memorized the routine. So let’s get to it.

Steve was the most gentle, quiet guy in the world…He had a passion for helping people.

Yes, this is the gentle soul who shot to death seven pieces of humanity at Northern Illinois University. The very best that could be said about this wretch was that he blew his own brains out after ending the lives of six. He thus spared us all the usual weepy hand wringing and the Oprah-like emoting that would have ensued had he lived.

Of course there are questions. We have heard them before. We all seem to want to know, “Why?” Ah, but do not waste your time on that one. The answer to such things is always, drearily, the same. Here is the short version.

Evil came into the world. He is a person. He entices many men to his view of things. The results are unpleasant. There is nothing to be done about this situation for now. For now.

And what to do when Evil rears its loathsome head? You can take the part of a sheep.

I don’t think there’s anything that could be done…People do what they feel like they need to do, and I don’t think anyone is going to be able to stop them. People will just have to either learn to live in fear…or they’ll just have to not think about it.

There you have it, the mark of a well-adjusted slave, the perfect victim. We will have to accept what comes our way. Nothing is to be done, you see. And don’t think about it anyway.

And what of those who rule that university? What are their views?

We had a plan in place,” said NIU President John Peters. “We did everything we could to ensure the safety of this university…Nothing is perfect, but I believe it did work.”

So there it is. Seven dead is an acceptable level of carnage. It shows that ‘the plan worked.’ A decent society would send a man with such a view to the gibbet. A parent who would place the life of his child under the care of such a man is a fool.

And there is the fear.

You’re scared to go to school lecture halls and I’m going to be looking over my shoulder and skeptical of people coming to class late..It could happen anywhere and there’s no way of really protecting yourself.

No way of protecting yourself?

I really hate it. I wish we could figure out how to solve this problem because it makes me sick.

We need to inform that idiot that the solution has long been known. Here it is:

An armed populace cannot be enslaved. This is true of nations as well as local communities.

If you walk unarmed among predators you will come to grief. If you trust your life to a random bureaucracy your life will be forfeit. If you rely upon government for protection you will one day become a statistic. If you ignore any of these truths you are, or you will become, a slave.

You and no one else are the best protector of the things you hold dear. If this is false then so is all of history.

In an age of moral anarchy and manifest evil—like our age, like every age—a free man will arm himself.

This Republic rests upon the shoulders of free men. It cannot survive if men became slaves, become as sheep. Such men will be rounded up and called to serve at the whim of any passing tyrant.

What an odd world we live in when we recognize that the only free human being on the killing fields of Northern Illinois University was the man with all the guns.