The need for religion – a craving for tyranny 2

Why do tens of millions in the West prostrate themselves before advancing, conquering, oppressive Islam?

Why do millions of Americans still vote for the Democratic Party?

This essay offers a chilling explanation.

It is from Jihad Watch, by Alexander Maistrovoy:

“Progressive man” refuses to recognize the crimes of Islam, not because he is naive, fine-tempered or tolerant. He does it because, unconsciously or subconsciously, he has already accepted Islam as a religion of salvation. As he accepted Stalinism, Hitlerism, Maoism and the “Khmer Rouge” before it 

Joseph de Maistre, a French aristocrat of the early 19th century, argued that man cannot live without religion, and not religion as such, but the tyrannical and merciless one. He was damned and hated, they called him an antipode of progress and freedom, even a forerunner of fascism; however, progressives proved him right again and again.

It may be true of most people that they “cannot live without religion”, but it is not true of all. We wonder how, since the Enlightenment, and especially now in our Age of Science, people can live with a religion. We agree, however, that those who need a religion are not put off by its being “tyrannical and merciless”.

Is there a religion, whether deity-worshiping or secular, that is not tyrannical and merciless?  

In their nihilistic ecstasy, Homo progressicus threw God off the pedestal, trampled upon the humanistic ideal of Petrarch, Alberti and Leonardo Bruni, who relied on Reason and strove for virtue, and … found themselves in complete and gaping emptiness. They realized that they could not live without the God-man — the idol, the leader, the ruler, who would rely on the unshakable, ruthless idea of salvation — not in the other world, but in this real world here and now. And with all the passion so inherent to their shallow, unstable, infantile nature, they rushed out in search of their “prince on a white horse”.

The idols of the progressives were tyrants armed with the most progressive ideology: Robespierre, and after him Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and finally — Islam.

Islam does not, of course, claim to be “progressive”. It derives from – and is stuck in – the Dark Ages. But the self-styled progressives of the West are welcoming it and submitting to it.

In the 20th century, the Western intelligentsia was infected with red and brown bacilli.

Walter Duranty ardently denied the Holodomor.

That is Stalin’s forced famine in the Ukraine that killed many millions. Walter Duranty denied that it was happening in his New York Times reports.

Bernard Shaw and Romain Rolland justified OGPU terror and the kangaroo court in Moscow; Aragon, Barbusse (the author of the apologetic biography of Stalin: Stalin. A New World Seen Through the Man) and Jean-Richard Bloch glorified “the Father of nations”.

“I would do nothing against Stalin at the moment; I accepted the Moscow trials and I am prepared to accept those in Barcelona,” said Andre Malraux during the massacre of anarchists from POUM [the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification] by Communists in Barcelona in 1937.

Let’s guess: who is writing about whom? “Lonely overbearing man … damned disagreeable”, “friendly and commonplace”, possessing “an intelligence far beyond dogmatism” … “sucked thoughtfully at the pipe he had most politely asked my permission to smoke  I have never met a man more fair, candid, and honest”. Got it? It was Stalin, as portrayed by H. G. Wells.

How many sufferings – Solzhenitsyn recalled — were caused by progressive Western journalists, who after having visited the GULAG, praised Potemkin villages with allegedly heated barracks where political prisoners used to read Soviet newspapers sitting at clean neat tables? Indeed, Arthur Ransome (The Guardian), an American journalist and a fan of Mao, Agnes Smedley, New York reporter Lincoln Steffens (after the meeting with Lenin he wrote,“I have seen the future and it works”), Australian-British journalist Leonore Winter (the author of the book  called Red Virtue: Human Relations in the New Russia) and many others sympathized with the Bolsheviks and the Soviet Union. Juan Benet, a famous Spanish writer, suggested “strengthening the guards (in GULAG), so that people like Solzhenitsyn would not escape”. The Los Angeles Times published Alexander and Andrew Cockburn, who were Stalin’s admirers.

Hitler? Knut Hamsun, Norwegian novelist who won the Nobel Prize, described Hitler in an obituary as a “fighter for humanity and for the rights of all nations”. The “amorousness” of Martin Heidegger for the “leader of the Third Reich” is well known. In the 1930s, the Führer was quite a respectable person in the eyes of the mass media. Anne O’Hare McCormick – a foreign news correspondent for the New York Times (she got a Pulitzer Prize) — described Hitler after the interview with him: he is “a rather shy and simple man, younger than one expects, more robust, taller … His eyes are almost the color of the blue larkspur in a vase behind him, curiously childlike and candid … His voice is as quiet as his black tie and his double-breasted black suit … Herr Hitler has the sensitive hand of the artist.”

The French elites were fascinated by Hitler. Ferdinand Celine said that France would not go to “Jewish war”, and claimed that there was an international Jewish conspiracy to start the world war. French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet rendered honors to Ribbentrop, and novelist, essayist and playwright Jean Giraudoux said that he was “fully in agreement with Hitler when he states that a policy only reaches its highest form when it is racial”.

The Red Guards of Chairman Mao caused deadly convulsions in China and ecstatic [sympathetic] rage in Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Jan Myrdal, Charles Bettelheim, Alain Badiou and Louis Pierre Althusser. In Paris, Barbusse and Aragon created “the pocket monster” — Enver Hoxha [Communist dictator of Albania]; at Sorbonne University, Sartre worked out “the Khmer Rouge Revolution” of Pol Pot, Hu Nima, and Ieng Sary. Noam Chomsky characterized the proofs of Pol Pot’s genocide as “third rate” and complained of a “vast and unprecedented propaganda campaign against the Khmer Rouge”. Gareth Porter, winner of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, said in May 1977: “The notion that the leadership of Democratic Kampuchea adopted a policy of physically eliminating whole classes of people was … a myth.”

In the 70’s, the whole world already knew the truth about the Red Guards. However, German youth from the Socialist Union of German Students went out  on demonstrations with portraits of the “Great Helmsman” and the song “The East is Red”.

In the USA, they went into the streets holding red flags and portraits of Trotsky and Che Guevara, and dream of “Fucking the System” like their idol Abbie Hoffman. The hatred of “petty bourgeois philistines”, as Trotsky named ordinary people, together with the dream of guillotines, bayonets, and “red terror”, keep inspiring Western intellectuals like Tariq Ali, the author of the revolutionary manual Trotsky for Beginners.

“The middle class turned out to be captured by ‘bourgeois-bohemian Bolshevism’,” Pascal Bruckner wrote.

Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot passed away, but new heroes appeared in their places. Leading employees of CNN – reporter Peter Arnett, producer Robert Wiener and director of news department Eason T. Jordan – had excellent relations with close associates of Saddam Hussein, pretending they didn’t know anything about his atrocities. Hollywood stars set up a race of making pilgrimages to Castro and Chavez. Neo-Marxist professors and progressive intellectuals, such as Dario Fo, Jean Baudrillard and Martin Amis, welcomed the triumph of al-Qaeda on September 11.

The romanticization of  the “forged boot” and “iron hand”, the worship of “lonely overbearing” men with “the sensitive hand of the artist” — this explains the amazing easiness with which recent anarchists, pacifists, Marxists, atheists, after having changed a couple  of ideologies, burden themselves with the most primitive, barbaric and despotic religion of our time: Islam.

Atheists of the Left only, being atheists who dispense with belief in the supernatural but still need a religion.

What they crave for is not religion as such. They don’t want Buddhism, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism, or even the mild Islam of the Sufi or Ahmadiyya version. They want a religion that would crush them, rape their bodies and souls, and destroy their ego — one that would terrify them and make them tremble with fear, infirmity and impotence.

Only bloodthirsty medieval Islam is able to do this today. It alone possesses unlimited cruelty and willingness to burn everything on its way. And they  gather like moths flying to the flame: communists Roger Garaudy, “Carlos the Jackal”, Trond Ali Linstad, Malcolm X, Alys Faiz; human rights defenders Jemima Goldsmith, Keith Ellison, and Uri Davis, the fighter against Zionism for the rights of the Palestinians. Fathers favor Castro, such as Oliver Stone; their sons accept Islam, such as Sean Stone. According to a public opinion poll conducted in August 2014 (Madeline Grant, Newsweek), “16% of French citizens support ISIS”. There are 7% to 8% of Muslims living in France. Who makes up the rest 8% to 9%?

Ken Livingstone, Jeremy Corbyn, John Brennan, Hollywood stars, Ylva Johansson, Sweden’s Integration Minister, who like her boss Stefan Löfven claimed that “there was no connection between crime and immigration”; Michael Fabricant, a former vice-chair of the Tory party, who said that “some conservative Anglicans are the same as ISIS”; German politicians that established a media watchdog to “instruct the press to censor ethnicity and religion in crime reports” (a modification of Soviet censure); the Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips, who believes that it is inevitable to recognize Sharia courts in Great Britain; atheist-apologist for Islam (O my God!) CJ Werleman; Canadian Liberals, who support  the anti-Islamophobia motion; Georgetown professor Jonathan Brown, who justifies slavery and raping of female slaves; Wendy Ayres-Bennett, a UK professor who is urging Brits to learn Urdu and Punjabi to make Muslim migrants feel welcome; Ohio State University, that offered a course on “how Muslims helped build America”; the Swedish state-owned company Lernia encouraging the replacement of standard Swedish with the “migrant-inclusive accent”; American feminists with the slogans “Allahu akbar” and “I love Islam”, who endorse the BDS movement; Swedish feminists wearing burkas in Iran; “proud  feminists” such as Elina Gustafsson and Gudrun Schyman defending Muslim criminals who raped Swedish girls – all of them and thousands of others have already converted to Islam, if not de jure, then de facto.

They appeal to Islam to escape from their fears, complexes, helplessness, and uselessness. They choose the despotism of body and spirit to deprive themselves of their freedom – the freedom that has always been an unbearable burden for their weak souls full of chimeras. They crave slavery.

They are attracted by Islam today, but it’s not about Islam. It’s about them. If Islam is defeated tomorrow and a new Genghis Khan appears with the “religion of the steppe”, or the kingdom of the Aztecs rises with priests tearing hearts from the chest of living people, they will passionately rush into their embrace. They are yearning for tyranny, and will destroy everything on their way for the sake of it. Because of them, “we shall leave this world here just as stupid and evil as we found it upon arrival”. (Voltaire)

Posted under Anarchy, Anti-Semitism, Atheism, Britain, Buddhism, Cambodia, Canada, China, Christianity, Collectivism, communism, Cuba, Environmentalism, Europe, Feminism, France, genocide, Germany, Hinduism, History, Islam, jihad, Judaism, Leftism, Marxism, media, Muslims, nazism, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinians, Progressivism, Race, Religion general, Russia, Slavery, Socialism, Soviet Union, Sweden, Terrorism, Theology, Totalitarianism, tyranny, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 9, 2017

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A socialist hellhole 2

Monica Showalter, writing at Investor’s Business Daily on the rival but similar socialist programs of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, gives this picture of a country where the policies both of them favor have been put into practice:

Amid all the free stuff, bankruptcy and shortages have come, the miserable process of “running out of other people’s money” as Lady Thatcher put it.

Standing in line for basic goods as Cubans do occupies the lives of millions of Venezuelans.

Some are clubbed to death as goods are fought over.

Young people prefer drug-dealing to college, given the absent opportunities for advancement.

Prisoners eat cat meat.

Corruption is rampant and central planning mismanagement ensures that food rots on the docks.

Hospitals are crumbling from shortages, with vital cancer and hemophilia medication unavailable. Maternity wards are overrun by filthy opossums — killing dozens of newborns as they spread disease.

With the focus on putting dissidents in prison, crime has overrun the country — with even a Miss Venezuela slain.

Family tombs are broken into and robbed of bones.

The scale of the horror, from birth to death in what Chavez called a socialist “sea of happiness” is unspeakable, and thousands of educated Venezuelans are fleeing.

Enough said?

Posted under Leftism, Marxism, Socialism, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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The Communist zombie rises 0

The Left, as a whole, in the Western World, has become far more extreme in this century than it was in the last. The Socialist and “Conservative” parties of Europe, the Democratic Party of America, the universities everywhere, the media and the film industries, book publishers, song writers, judiciaries, and a slightly varying half of the voters in almost all Western countries, are predominantly of one opinion, consciously or semi-consciously, articulately or silently, that Marx and Lenin, and even (though their names may be spoken a shade more sotto voce) Stalin and Mao, were right.

This is from Front Page, by Vladimir Tismaneanu:

It has become fashionable among leftist circles to invoke a return to Lenin, to radicalism, to utopia. Among those who advocate such imperatives to “retest the communist hypothesis” one can count French philosopher Alain Badiou, a former admirer of the Khmer Rouge, and Slovene thinker, Slavoj Zizek, the new idol of Western university campuses, subject of documentary hagiographic movies, and prophet of a new phantasmagoric world revolution.

To know more about Slavoj Zizek, see our post Red alert, January 21, 2009. And to get the flavor of the man, watch the video at the foot of this post.

Did the partisans of such positions ever stop to think how it would sound a call for “retesting the Nazi hypothesis”? One must be totally oblivious to history, an incurable cynic, in order to ignore the fact that Leninism, just like National-Socialism, means political terrorism, the apotheosis of fanatical partisanship, the boundless cult of violence and nihilism, etc. In short, Leninism presupposes … the destruction of the inner man. Leninism is theoretical and practical anti-humanism.

‘The inner man” in this context means the individual for himself alone, not as a unit of “society”.

There have been conferences and symposia where Lenin is presented, in an academic context and without any trace of compassion for the millions of victims of “the great experiment”, as the philosopher of the break with an order putatively condemned by history.

The “order putatively condemned by history” is of course capitalism, or the free market. Those who condemn it and praise “the great [Communist] experiment” have not noticed that the free market has brought widespread prosperity wherever it has been allowed to, or that Lenin’s experiment, the miserable Soviet Union, failed and fell and lost the Cold War.

All in all, it is unsurprising that the prophets of violence worship Lenin. What is surprising is that intellectuals, who should have learnt from the catastrophes of the 20th century, are engaged in an endeavor driven by  programmatic irresponsibility. It is simply shocking that in countries where the Leninist model was implemented, one can still read and hear hymns honoring the architect of a criminal system.

Should we be amazed by all this? What could one expect from the epigones of Georg Lukacs, the Marxist philosopher who declared … that he preferred the worst form of socialism to the best incarnation of capitalism. …

Georg Lukacs was the Hungarian Commissar, and philosopher of drama and art, on whom Jillian Becker’s character L is based in her novel L: A Novel History.

Real history does not matter for such sectarians. What does matter is the dogma to which they are faithful in total disregard of reality. … It is quite telltale that one of Hugo Chavez’s intellectual heroes was Istvan Meszaros, one of Lukacs’s former students who … has remained a flaming Marxist, faithful to the dialectical sophistries of his mentor.

An excellent example of such world-view is a recent memoir by a Romanian Marxist intellectual, Ion Ianosi, who happened to be deeply involved for long stretches of time in the ideologization of the country’s culture during communism. The volume’s title is My International. Some critics glorify the book as testimony of heartfelt sincerity. What is missing in those more than 800 pages is an honest analysis of Bolshevism as justification of social genocide. Ion Ianosi seemingly excels on topics such as “Marx and Art”, “Lenin and Art”, pretty much the same fields for which his expertise was called upon during his activity within the Romanian communist party’s Agitprop. But Ianosi shies away from trying his expert pen on topics such as the crimes against humanity inspired by the Marxist-Leninist ideology.

Even before the Bolsheviks’ coming into power, it was clear that Lenin was a fanatical propagandist, a utopian ideologue fixated on social purity and purification, an heir to Robespierre and St. Just, but no philosopher. Philosophy implies doubt and Lenin was the man without doubts. …

Lenin was the practitioner of a simplistic, partisan, and exclusivist philosophy. He rejected emphatically any possibility for a middle path, of a tertium datur between what he called “bourgeois ideology” and the “proletarian” one.

We at TAC are all for “bourgeois ideology”, if the bourgeoisie as such – the successful middle class – can be said to have such a dusty thing as an ideology. We value the middle class, anyway, above the others, because out of it has come almost every one of those men (and handful of women) who have advanced our civilization and augmented the glory of our culture in the last five hundred years. (Though also most of those who’ve done our civilization the worst harm, such as Marx, Lenin, Lukacs …)

Lenin’s Manichaeism [bourgeois bad, proletarian good] was inexorable. For Lenin and his followers, ideas were (are) always the manifestation of class interests. … This is the meaning of a notion essential for the Leninist conception about ideas, ideologies and philosophical consciousness: partiinost – partisanship, class position, militant commitment, total and abject subordination to the party line.

Leninism is a revolutionary doctrine that sanctifies political violence and condemns entire social categories to state-engineered extinction. It is … rooted in the visceral contempt for the rule of law, legality, and the universality of human rights. “Back to Lenin” means a return to barbarism, blindness, and murder.

We are not enamored of the phrase “human rights”. We prefer to speak of human freedom, which we suppose is what Professor Tismaneanu, who has lived under Communism in Romania, probably means.

Now here’s Slavoj Zizek. He starts at about the 2 minute mark. Don’t expect to be rewarded for over 15 minutes of  paying attention with any impressive ideas. He says nothing much, but with strong emphasis, and what he does say is notably wrong. For instance, that Norway is intolerant of immigrants! (Go here to test this notion, and to any other of Bruce Bawer’s numerous articles on the same subject.) He thinks the major political groupings in Europe are now the “capitalist anti-immigrants” on one side and the [Islamic] immigrants on the other. (Would it were so! ) He calls himself a Leftist, though oddly declaring that in America there is “an excess of  anti-capitalism”; calls Fox News “the enemy”; and implies that the worst problem facing mankind is … you guessed it … global-warming.

Diplomatic whoredom 4

Has the United States ever before had a Secretary of State as nasty, embarrassing, feeble, and ruinous as Hillary Clinton?

In harmony with the desires of Obama, she is turning America away from long-standing democratic allies and re-aligning it with barbaric tyrannies and communist dictatorships, prostituting her country to serve the interests of some of the filthiest regimes on earth.

Here’s part of the IBD’s opinion of her latest debauch in Latin America:

Yes, we know U.S. foreign policy in Latin America is to keep our friends close and our enemies closer. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s flattery-filled visit to Ecuador’s Rafael Correa took it a bit too far.

The hug she gave Ecuador President Rafael Correa on Tuesday was enough of an eye-opener. Then came the olive branch: “We have reached out and feel very much as though we are forging a new set of relationships,” she said at a press conference. “It’s the 21st century. It’s 2010. We’re not turning the clock back.

“We’re not expecting countries that have their own internal agendas in order to accomplish their own economic and social goals to be exactly as we are. If we ever did, it’s no longer the case. [Interpretation: we’re not Bush.I think the goals that Ecuador and its government have set are goals that the United States agrees with.”

But Correa’s Ecuador is the last country whose goals the U.S. should be agreeing with on anything. Correa is one of the most anti-American leaders in the hemisphere. He has trashed democracy in his own country, taking over the National Assembly by ousting elected lawmakers on spurious legal grounds. His rubber-stamp legislature now structurally resembles that of communist Cuba.

He’s also corrupted the judicial system, taking over the Supreme Court and making every judge a crony. … Now Correa’s going after the press, jailing even leftist reporters and shuttering 95% of the private media. …

He’s also allied Ecuador with Venezuela as well as Iran — effectively merging his country’s dollar-based central bank with that of the Islamic Republic. …

There’s so much wrong with Ecuador that flattery is likely to be counterproductive.

Correa is motivated by the same things that motivate Chavez and Cuba’s Castros — a quest for absolute and permanent power.

The fading smile of a caudillo 0

Just what sort of socialism for the 21st. century is the Obama administration in favour of? Is it good news, moderately good news, moderately bad news, or bad news to Obama that Chavez’s sort seems to have lost its appeal to Venezuela, and perhaps to most of Latin America?

From the Washington Post:

While the world has been preoccupied with the crisis in Haiti, Latin America has quietly passed through a tipping point in the ideological conflict that has polarized the region — and paralyzed U.S. diplomacy [why? – JB]  — for most of the past decade.

The result boils down to this: Hugo Chávez’s “socialism for the 21st century” has been defeated and is on its way to collapse.

During the past two weeks, just before and after the earthquake outside Port-au-Prince, the following happened: Chávez was forced to devalue the Venezuelan currency, and impose and then revoke massive power cuts in the Venezuelan capital as the country reeled from recession, double-digit inflation and the possible collapse of the national power grid. In Honduras, a seven-month crisis triggered by the attempt of a Chávez client to rupture the constitutional order quietly ended with a deal that will send him into exile even as a democratically elected moderate is sworn in as president.

Last but not least, a presidential election in Chile, the region’s most successful economy, produced the first victory by a right-wing candidate since dictator Augusto Pinochet was forced from office two decades ago. Sebastián Piñera, the industrialist and champion of free markets who won, has already done something that no leader from Chile or most other Latin American nations has been willing to do in recent years: stand up to Chávez.

Venezuela is “not a democracy,” Piñera said during his campaign. He also said, “Two great models have been shaped in Latin America: One of them led by people like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Castro in Cuba and Ortega in Nicaragua. . . . I definitely think the second model is best for Chile. And that’s the model we are going to follow: democracy, rule of law, freedom of expression, alternation of power without caudillismo.”

Piñera was only stating the obvious — but it was more than his Socialist predecessor, Michelle Bachelet, or Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been willing to say openly. That silence hamstrung the Bush and the Obama administrations, which felt, rightly or wrongly, that they should not be alone in pointing out Chávez’s assault on democracy. Piñera has now provided Washington an opportunity to raise its voice about Venezuelan human rights violations [but will it? Obama seemed all too friendly with Chavez – JB.]

He has done it at a moment when Chávez is already reeling from diplomatic blows. Honduras is one. Though the country is tiny, the power struggle between its established political elite and Chávez acolyte Manuel Zelaya turned into a regional battle between supporters and opponents of the Chávez left — with Brazil and other leftist democracies straddling the middle.

The outcome is a victory for the United States, which was virtually the only country that backed the democratic election that broke the impasse.

Eventually, yes, but the US Department of State under Hillary Clinton insisted for a prolonged period on the reinstatement of Zelaya. It seems to us that the omission of this fact typifies the pro-Democrat bias of the Washington Post. The technique of the left media is to ignore facts that challenge their prejudices.

Honduras is the end of Chávez’s crusade to export his revolution to other countries. Bolivia and Nicaragua will remain his only sure allies. Brazil’s Lula, whose tolerance of Chávez has tarnished his bid to become a global statesman, will leave office at the end of this year; polls show his party’s nominee trailing a more conservative candidate. …

Then there is the meltdown Chávez faces at home. Despite the recovery in oil prices, the Venezuelan economy is deep in recession and continues to sink even as the rest of Latin America recovers. Economists guess inflation could rise to 60 percent in the coming months. Meanwhile, due to a drought, the country is threatened with the shutdown of a hydroelectric plant that supplies 70 percent of its electricity. And Chávez’s failure to invest in new plants means there is no backup. There is also the crime epidemic — homicides have tripled since Chávez took office, making Caracas one of the world’s most dangerous cities….

Chávez … is ranting about the U.S. “occupation” of Haiti; his state television even claimed that the U.S. Navy caused the earthquake using a new secret weapon. On Sunday his government ordered cable networks to drop an opposition-minded television channel.

But Chavez’s approval ratings are still sinking: They’ve dropped to below 50 percent in Venezuela and to 34 percent in the rest of the region. The caudillo has survived a lot of bad news before and may well survive this. But the turning point in the battle between authoritarian populism and liberal democracy in Latin America has passed — and Chávez has lost.

Posted under Collectivism, Commentary, communism, Diplomacy, Latin America, Progressivism, Socialism, Totalitarianism, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 25, 2010

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Disenlightenment 1

Roger Simon looked in on the Copenhagen Mysteries. These apt observations of his are quoted by Power Line:

On the last day of COP 15, staring at a Jumbotron where Hugo Chavez was addressing the conference, something was nagging at me besides the obvious (that half the audience was enthusiastically applauding a maniac). I was trying to figure out what it was about the conference that so perplexed and disturbed. And then, before the Caudillo had concluded his tedious remarks and long before the “meaningful deal” between the world leaders was announced, I realized what it was. We had returned to the Middle Ages.

A high tech Middle Ages, of course, but still the Middle Ages. Forget the Renaissance, forget the Enlightenment, forget Spinoza, Locke, Galileo and everybody else, we had returned to our roots as gullible and idiotic human beings, as willing to believe in the primacy of anthropogenic global warming [AGW] as we would in the sighting of the Madonna at a river crossing twelve kilometers south of Sienna in 1340.

What puzzles us a little is that Roger Simon is a self-confessed believer in ‘God’. In a recent Pajamas TV video he advised atheists to pray to ‘God’ every day for 30 days to cure them of their atheism. But surely ‘God’ is no less of a superstition than ‘AGW’ or a ‘Madonna’ manifestation?

Trusted voices for a better world 1

How can we bear to miss it?

From Politico:

Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe plan to address negotiators at international climate talks in Copenhagen next week. …

The assistant president of Sudan [ you know, where Dafur is], Nafie Ali Nafie kicks off the speeches at noon on Wednesday. Nafie chairs the G-77 group, a block of developing nations pushing hard for more money and stricter emissions cuts from rich countries.

Mostapha Zaher, director-general of Afghanistan’s Environmental Protection Agency [who knew there was such a splendid thing?], is listed as the final speaker. …

Health derangement syndrome 1

If starving isn’t unhealthy, what does the word ‘unhealthy’ mean?

There are powerful persons who believe with fanatical conviction that (other) people should starve to death rather than eat something ‘unhealthy’.

As a result, millions are deprived of food.

Even Bill Gates protests about this state of affairs. We say ‘even Bill Gates’, because he usually goes along with the thinking of those who believe in government control of individual lives, aka socialists. (See in the quotation below a list of lefty organizations he supports.)  He doesn’t seem to realize that he is one of the greatest benefactors of mankind ever, through supplying billions of people with something they want: the products of Microsoft, which are put to trillions of productive uses throughout the world. Doing so –  as a model capitalist – has rightfully made him rich, and he has no moral obligation to redistribute his wealth in a secondary and much feebler attempt to do good. But he apparently thinks there is, perhaps out of some unwarranted feeling of guilt.

Whatever prompts him, he has undertaken to alleviate the chronic hunger of whole populations in Africa. And he has run into an impediment: the adoption, by stupid African rulers, of two Western ‘progressive’ notions: that people must be made to eat healthy food, and that genetically modified foods are unhealthy.

This article is from FrontPageMag:

The left-of-center philanthropist says starving Africans should be allowed to eat genetically modified foods.

Bill Gates took on the Famine Lobby while addressing a forum on the world food supply in Iowa. Speaking at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Gates took aim at the chorus of environmental leftists and organic food advocates who believe Africans should starve rather than eat genetically modified (GM) foods. “Some voices are instantly hostile to any emphasis on productivity. They act as if there is no emergency, even though in the poorest, hungriest places on earth, population is growing faster than productivity,” he said.

The opposition is significant, because Gates is left-of-center himself. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with assets of $29 billion as of 2005, has focused on the “population” side of the “problem” in the past, sending billions of dollars in grants to such pro-abortion groups as Planned Parenthood; Population Action International, Population Services International, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and the Population Resource Center. Gates has also financed such organizations as the [Soros supported] Tides Center, the Tides Foundation, the National Council of La Raza, and has supported a gun control initiative in Washington state.

However, Gates announced he will issue a $120 million grant to increase food productivity in sub-Saharan Africa through the planting of genetically modified seeds. In Des Moines, Gates cited a Stanford study from 2008 concluding African farmers will lose one-quarter of their productivity within 20 years if they continue to plant the same strains of corn. However, “If the seeds perform well, African farmers can expect to produce two-million more tons of maize in a year of moderate drought.” Radio Iowa reports Gates has “committed more than a billion dollars” in all.

In proposing this initiative, he is standing up to the Green Left, which has long favored environmental “purity” [over] human well-being. Greenpeace cooked up the term “Frankenfood” to demonize genetically modified foods a decade ago. …

Dire predictions aside, GM foods not only potentially increase food production but have replaced the need to spray crops with chemical pesticides, which sickened or killed Africans. Those farmers who spray can now streamline the process, saving them much time and money. The modified crops are more resistant to cold, drought, herbicides, pests, and disease. They also supplied nutritional gaps in the consumption patterns of the poor. For instance, so-called “golden rice” spliced Vitamin A into rice, which could stave off blindness among the world’s poor who eat little more than rice. …

Greenpeace has long claimed GM foods increase allergies; however, the World Health Organization – hardly a corporate, capitalist shill – concluded, “No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.” Although six EU nations ban GM foods, Jaap Satter, a senior policy adviser at the Dutch Agriculture Ministry, has said, “You cannot say anymore that there is a scientific reason to be against genetic modification.” The National Research Council summed up the situation: “no conceptual distinction exists between generic modification of plants and microorganisms by classical methods or by molecular techniques that modify DNA and transfer genes.”

Some environmentalists seem concerned the foods will be too successful at feeding the poor. Al Gore has worried, “The most lasting impact of biotechnology on the food supply may come not from something going wrong, but from all going right…we’re far more likely to accidentally drown ourselves in a sea of excess grain.” Given the environmentalist movement’s hatred of population – best exemplified by Obama Science Czar John Holdren’s justification of compulsory abortion in the United States – this may be the real locus of their disdain.

So deep is the Green Left’s hatred of GM foods that even an organization Gates founded has given genetically modified food a chilly reception. “The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa was established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2006 “with the objective of improving agriculture in Africa.” However, its leader, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, vowed in 2007: “We in the alliance will not incorporate GMOs [genetically modified organisms] in our programmes. We shall work with farmers using traditional seeds.”

The scare tactics and shunning of American and Euro-socialist leftists is theoretical and faulty – but their mania has reaped a deadly harvest among the world’s most vulnerable people.

In 2002, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa refused to accept tons of U.S. food aid for his starving nation, because the aid contained genetically modified food (maize, specifically). “Simply because my people are hungry, that is no justification to give them poison, to give them food that is intrinsically dangerous to their health,” he said. The deluded president continued, “I will not allow Zambians to be turned into guinea pigs no matter the levels of hunger in the country.”

The levels of hunger were staggering. Nearly one-third of Zambia’s 10 million people faced famine. Some 14 million Africans faced starvation region-wide. Nonetheless, the president privately upbraided officials in the UN World Food Programme for distributing GM foods, which fed 125,000 people in five camps. The WFP reported some impoverished Zambians “resorted to eating little more than twigs and ash from the fire in a brown soupy concoction.” Desperate, rural villagers broke into the palace where the stockpiles were rotting and stole 2,000 bags of maize.

In response, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002, signed a “statement of solidarity” with Zambia. Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace went further, alleging the humanitarian aid constituted a sick capitalist ploy. “There is a constant drip of pressure from the U.S. government and biotech industry to make sure Africa is softened up for GM,” he theorized. “Europe is closed to them and they need a market for it.”

Others offered more than ideological support. Zimbabwe joined the boycott, preventing GM grain’s importation. Angola followed suit in 2004. Lesotho and Mozambique milled all such grain so it would not be planted and “infect” other crops.

Not all were limited to the EU and Africa. In 2004, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez passed “possibly…the most sweeping restrictions on transgenic crops in the western hemisphere.”

At home, the opposition has been remarkably well-heeled. National Review’s Deroy Murdock found:

In 2001, the 30 leading anti-biotech groups…spent $341.4 million, including Greenpeace USA’s expenditure of $23,748,737, Environmental Defense’s $38,794,150 and the Natural Resources Defense Council’s $41,625,882. Between 1996 and 2001, this crusade’s lavish underwriters included the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($11,906,500), the Ford Foundation ($39,978,020) and the Pew Charitable Trusts ($130,996,900).

It also included a large portion of the organic food market. Somehow, this story of an industry trying to spike a competitor did not make MSNBC or the pages of Mother Jones.

Whatever the dangers, the prohibition of GM foods is a moral issue. As Velasio De Paolis of the Pontifical Urban University has said, it is “easy to say no to GM food if your stomach is full.” However misled he is on other issues, Bill Gates deserves credit for standing up against the Green Left on this point.

But on another, closely related, issue he has so far failed to take the right stand:

The question remains, will he do so on the issue that seems closest to his heart: the eradication of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa? In a recent speech on the topic Gates admitted, “two tools helped to bring the death rate down: One was killing the mosquitoes with DDT.” Before Rachel Carson’s crusade – based entirely on scientific theories that never panned out – DDT use had nearly eradicated malaria. Now, according to one report, “there are approximately 350 to 500 millions cases of malaria, killing close to one million people” annually. “Every day, malaria takes the lives of 2,000 children in Africa alone.” Yet instead of backing DDT use, Gates has sought to find a vaccine.

If Gates truly wants to put the well-being of Africans above political correctness, DDT is the best place to start.

Christians for collectivism 0

For decades the World Council of Churches has been on the wrong side of the great political divide, consistently supporting collectivism and opposing freedom. Not a word of criticism of the Soviet terror came out of the WCC through all the years of the Cold War. Now, all too predictably, it wants the paranoid psychotic Manuel Zelaya back in power in Honduras, where he was deposed by constitutional means before he could entrench himself as dictator.

Mark D. Tooley writes:

An international church delegation recently visited Washington, D.C. to demand U.S. and global pressure on Honduras to restore Hugo Chavez wannabe Zelaya to the presidency.

Evidently uninterested in Zelaya’s unconstitutional attempts to gain an illegal second term, modeled on Venezuela’s populist dictatorship, the church officials insist that Honduras was “torn apart by a coup’etat.” Of course, Zelaya was removed by Honduras’ Supreme Court and Congress, and legally replaced by the second inline for the presidency, who was from Zelaya’s own party. But evidently any resistance to permanent left-wing rule is illegitimate, these religious voices of conscience seem to believe.

“The suffering and insecurity of the people of Honduras has reached crisis proportions, and long delays in resolving the situation following the coup are unacceptable,” a news release from the World Council of Churches (WCC) solemnly intoned. If there is a “crisis” in Honduras, it is mostly thanks to international sanctions imposed against Honduras, one of the hemisphere’s poorest nations, in solidarity with Zelaya. Pushing for “firmer and more decisive action to restore democracy and ensure full compliance with rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights in Honduras,” the delegation included officials from the U.S. National Council of Churches, the U.S. United Church of Christ, the Swiss-based WCC, an Argentine Methodist bishop and human rights activist, and an apparent Honduran seminary official.

Most of Honduras’ religious groups supported Zelaya’s constitutional ouster, including the Roman Catholic Church and many evangelicals. But the international Religious Left, as with Cuba for 50 years, and as with Sandinista Nicaragua in the 1980’s, claims a higher level of spiritual discernment that overrides local religious opinion when it resists Marxist or far-left rule. Sitting in ecclesial offices in New York on Geneva, left-wing church officials evidently can more impartially judge human rights situations than can the simple locals.

The WCC’s UN representative … explained that “churches in Honduras feel called to accompany the people in creating dialogue and promoting a message of healing and reconciliation.” It’s not clear to which Honduran churches he referred. The WCC delegation seemed mostly to represent declining liberal denominations in wealthy, first world countries, not Honduras. “The repression and violations of human rights must stop and new bridges must be built to create a society which is based on justice and respect for all,” he still insisted.

Honduras’ resistance to permanent Chavez-style, leftist rule has so perturbed the WCC that in August it dispatched a special delegation of international church leftists, in tandem with the equally left-leaning Latin American Council of Churches, to that ostensibly troubled nation. The religious international busybodies wanted Honduran churches to “accompany the people in their search for peace with justice and the re-establishment of democracy.” But what if Honduran churches do not want Chavezism in Honduras? The delegation of course hoped Honduran churches would heed wiser outside voices.

This August delegation wanted “Christian voices [to] be heard […] in defense of human rights and in support of humanitarian actions” and alleged that “violence has intensified” since Zelaya’s removal. The church officials, apparently without the help of professional pollsters, mystically discerned that the Honduran people “do not accept the imposition of a de facto government.” So the church delegation urged “the re-establishment of the constitutional order as soon as possible,” which it equated with political restoration for the man legally removed for subverting the constitution.

A WCC news release described Zelaya’s having been exiled in a “coup” by the military and “civilian sectors,” in the “context of a power struggle” over Zelaya’s “plans for constitutional change, which had been rejected by the Supreme Court and the Congress.” That’s a polite way of describing how Zelaya organized a mob to seize ballots for an illegal referendum to keep him in power indefinitely.

This delegation sought “reconciliation” and to “heal wounds,” as it tried to stir up Honduras churches “not to resign themselves to accept the present situation” and to rise up and “to accompany all people who suffer and to practice solidarity with those in greatest need.” It incongruently claimed that “the response of the people in the face of the coup d’état was immediate and massive,” thanks to decades of work by and among popular movements.” In fact, it plainly was distressed by the lack of wider, pro-Zelaya resistance, and was acclaiming only “the people” who were Zelaya’s revolutionary activists.

Twenty-five years ago, church groups like the NCC and WCC similarly expected Nicaragua’s churches to support the Sandinista revolution. The majority of churches that declined, especially the Roman Catholics, were deemed counter revolutionary reactionaries. Undoubtedly, these international church leftists feel similarly contemptuous towards most Honduras Christians who don’t share their revolutionary fervor. …

While the WCC is pushing for MORE international pressure against struggling Honduras, it is urging removal of international sanctions against communist North Korea. Evidently, in the eccentric WCC mind, Honduras’ constitutional government, which will hold previously scheduled national elections in November, is worse than North Korea, where no free election has ever been held, and whose slave masters aspire for nuclear weapons. Wherever churches in the world are looking for political counsel, they do well to learn the WCC’s stance, and vigorously pursue the alternative.

An answer 7

One of our readers, Hawk2, has commented on our post below, Question, providing the sort of answer we are looking for.

We think his/her comments are so interesting that we are posting them in full here on our front page.

US foreign policy should be grounded in two essential considerations, and only these two:

1. Profitable trade

2. National security

With these in mind, the only recent war that must be seen to have had no justification whatsoever is President Clinton’s war in the Balkans. It did nothing for trade. It gained America nothing. It was not worth what it cost. What is worse, its rationale was the protection of Muslim rebels, at a time when Islam was fast becoming the major enemy of the Western world.

Oil is a very good reason to go to war. It satisfies both considerations. If the US had gone to war to seize the Saudi Arabian oilfields in 1974 when the price of oil was hyped as an attack on the US economy, it would have been right to do so.

If the wars against Saddam Hussein were waged for oil, they were necessary and worth what they cost. Also if they were waged to protect America from WMD, they were necessary and worth what they cost. If, on the other hand, they were waged to protect Kuwait from conquest, or Iraqis from tyranny, they were unnecessary and not worth what they cost.

The war against the Taliban/al-Qaeda was justified by 9/11. But having soundly beaten the Taliban, the US should have withdrawn, leaving a clear message that if the US were struck again the Taliban would be beaten again. Staying on to build schools and clinics which the Taliban will demolish is senseless, and not worth what it costs. There is no saving the Afghans from themselves: from corruption, the subjugation of women, the growing of opium.

As to the argument that it is always in the interests of the US to protect freedom in the wider world, that is true, but the threat to freedom must be a real one. It was why America was right to go to Europe’s aid in the in the First and Second World Wars. It may be a reason for America to go to war again. America’s own freedom was under threat then as it is now, this time by the creeping colonization of Europe by Islam. ‘Spreading democracy’ – another reason given for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – does not guarantee the spread of freedom. Germany was a democracy when Hitler came to power by being democratically elected. Zalaya was democratically elected in Honduras, and was deposed because he was trying to establish his dictatorship. But the State Department insists that he should be reinstated. This is staggeringly stupid if not treacherous. The preservation of freedom on the South American continent wherever it exists is plainly essential to US security. Hostile regimes in the hemisphere are a serious threat, as Hugo Chavez proves by his alliance with would-be-nuclear-armed Iran.

This reasoning would fully justify an immediate military attack on Iran and North Korea.

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