Cometh the hour, cometh the man? 6

Theresa May, Prime Minister of Britain by some facetious quirk of fate, stupidly called a very early general election, and lost the support of millions of voters. Her wild action resuscitated the Labour Party, which was almost defunct under the leadership of the Member for Hamas, Jeremy Corbyn.

She must form a government to keep Britain from prematurely becoming the Islamic land it is destined to be. She can only do so now by entering into a coalition with a smaller party.

Then she needs to be replaced. By a man, we hope. There are far too many women – of both biological sexes – in European governments. (Margaret Thatcher was one of the very rare exceptions among biological women who could think politically like a man.  She was often and rightly called “the best man in the Conservative Party”.)

(We also except the two women on the four-member editorial board of The Atheist Conservative.)

Which brings us back to our deliberately provocative statement, made from time to time on these pages, that “the human race consists of adults and women”.

What Britain needs is a true conservative, an adult in the patriarchal tradition. He should also be fiercely anti-Islam. (But would a militantly anti-Islam politician be allowed to live?)

Raheem Kassam writes at Breitbart:

There may be a silver lining for small-c conservative voters following the shock results of the UK General Election. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) — whom the Conservatives will seek a coalition government with — is far closer to conservative philosophy than Britain’s Tories have been for decades.

Formed in 1971 by Dr. Rev. Ian Paisley, now deceased, the party grew out of the Protestant Unionist Party.

Built upon the resistance to Irish Republican terrorism and a pro-UK, unionist mindset, the DUP also represents staunchly social conservative values.

Well, on the plus side for small-c conservatives, the DUP may remind the Tories what they are supposed to believe, philosophically.

The DUP forms the largest bloc in the Northern Ireland Assembly and has a far stronger socially conservative record on matters such as same sex marriage and access to abortion.

So to us the DUP is not the ideal modifying force on the British Tories. We ourselves have nothing against same-sex marriage, and though we are against abortion in general we know there are times when it is a necessary recourse.

We also regret that the leader of the DUP is yet another woman. But many of their policies are sound:

Now led by mother of three Arlene Foster, the DUP were staunchly pro-Brexit at the UK referendum on membership of the European Union, with some of their activists and leaders joining UKIP leader Nigel Farage on his Brexit tour ahead of the vote.

During the referendum, the DUP allied with the Leave.EU and Grassroots Out campaigns, and their manifesto states:

The DUP sees no value in the attempts by some to keep re-running the referendum. Instead, we want to get on with the work to make it a success; to write our own laws; to deliver on the vision of a Global UK with new free trade deals; to control immigration; to deliver policies for farming and fishing shaped to our needs; to lift the burden of unnecessary regulation.

… The party’s MPs hold an array of views on climate change, though many believe the DUP to be “climate change sceptics”.

The former finance minister Sammy Wilson has said: “…we are already paying through the nose for electricity because we go down the route of the dearest electricity possible through renewable energy” and are “putting our agricultural industry in jeopardy because there is no greater producer of greenhouse gases than cows”.

He has referred to climate change legislation as a “con”.

So of course the Left hates them:

Hard leftist groups like OpenDemocracy have already begun sharing articles packed with fake news about the DUP.

The Soros-funded group, which claims to represent “independent” media, claims the DUP had some sort of definitive links to a post-“fascist turn” Enoch Powell, the former Conservative Member of Parliament who warned over mass migration into the United Kingdom.

Such a “fascist turn” is a myth in itself, and Powell’s only link to the DUP was via his campaign manager who was in a different party at the time. …

The Soros site refers to the DUP as “Irish terrorists”, though the campaign of terrorism was waged by the DUP’s opponents, with the Ulster Resistance usually being referred to as a paramilitary group. The IRA, which targeted civilians, infrastructure, the British Army, and British unionists, are commonly regarded as the most influential terrorist outfit, and believed to be linked to DUP opponents Sinn Fein. The IRA killed around 1,700 people during the Troubles.

The Resistance was never implicated in a major incident that took place, with most civilian deaths attributable to the IRA — perhaps the only group alongside its political partners who would refer to the Ulster Resistance as “terrorists”. …

The DUP has said: “The party’s stance is consistent, that anyone involved in illegal activity should be investigated and face the full weight of the law.”

Sources close to the DUP have suggested to Breitbart London that “all they’ll want is cash”, but between Arlene Foster’s need to form a new executive in Northern Ireland, and the socially conservative views of its members, the DUP will likely be thinking carefully about what they can get the Conservative Party to compromise upon from the centre-left manifesto issued by Theresa May.

A “centre-left” conservative party! If the DUP can make it genuinely conservative, and further enrage George Soros the earthly Satan – then this election has not been a disaster after all but the means to better government and more victories over the evil Left.

But under new, male leadership, we hope.

John Galt versus Pajama Boy 24

There are different Americas. The great America – the America viewed through European eyes with a mixture of snobbish patronizing indulgence and sheer envy is …

It is what Trump is. He could be said to personify it. His characteristics are those of great America: big, extroverted, ambitious, successful, rich, energetic, restless, generous, proud, adaptable, happy – all admirable qualities. Also … candid to the point of seeming naive, and – okay – boastful, not highly articulate in that he spins no fine phrases, and (many snort) “vulgar”. His candor is not naive; it would lay him open to being taken advantage of had he not been well schooled in the hard-bargaining world of American and international business. His boasting is fully justified: he is a winner. He says what needs to be said, as his tens of thousands of fans appreciate. As for vulgarity – it does no harm. Great America and its personification, Donald Trump, combine energy, high achievement, vision, and generosity that enormously benefit thousands, even millions of others. If the opulence Trump lives in proudly, his delight in showing off his achievements, his loud trumpeting of triumph with every success, is vulgar, then vulgarity is a “yuge” virtue. The fictitious characters whom he most resembles are Ayn Rand’s heroes in Atlas Shrugged. The John Galts and Dagny Taggarts who invent and build and drive and ever improve the engines of civilization.

Another America – more an anti-America – is personified by … Oh any of those sour pious busybodies who think they know best how everyone else should live their lives and want to force them to do as they say. Think current Democratic administration. Or Bernie Sanders. Intellectuals whose opinions were early in their lives pickled in Leftist theory. They are morally vain, needing to feel they are good rather than actually make good. Beings whom Trump would describe as “low energy people”. They make much of “compassion”, not noticing how much condescension there is in their compassion, and how much contempt in their condescension. Their college-age children need safe spaces, “trigger-warnings”, protection from challenging opinions. What words and phrases describe them best? Physically enervated, psychologically etiolated, smug, puritanical, introverted, dogmatic, envious, snobbish, acrimonious, precious, dishonest, hypocritical …Their model fictitious characters are Pajama Boy and Julia, for whom government needs to be an all-sustaining provider and a protecting nanny to the people.

If great America could come to power next year to guide the destiny of the country and shine a beacon light to the world, after 7+ years of stagnation under the debilitating and impoverishing ideologues of the Left, our civilization – now in decline – might be saved.

Or is that America lost and gone? Is Trump a relic of an unrecoverable past?

Margaret Thatcher interrupted the decline of Britain, the decades long rule of the Left. She tried to turn her country into a share-holding, property-owning nation. A free enterprise nation, where capitalism opened the way for everyone to become prosperous. She did what she could, but could not complete the transformation. The Left returned, though it might also call itself “Conservative”.

So even if Trump does become president, and those engines start up again, how far can he take America into a prosperous future? Generations of Americans have now been indoctrinated in schools and colleges to be socialists. Will the country have one last burst of glory, and then sink into welfare mediocracy? Is that the best that can be hoped for?

 

Jillian Becker   April 15, 2016

Desperate for a woman? 1

We like this column by Mark Steyn so much, and find it so funny, that we’re quoting it in full.

Our only comments are these:

We fervently hope not to have any Democrat succeed Obama to the presidency.

As America is at war, a president is needed who knows what’s going on in the outer world and can be a first-rate commander-in-chief. And such a person is more likely to be a man. (If the Republican Party had a Margaret Thatcher to offer for election it would be different, but it doesn’t. Such people are very rare.)

“Ignore the noise – Clinton will win in 2016,” we are assured by a columnist in Hillary’s journalistic namesake The Hill. “The email flap will be gone soon enough.”

That’s probably the way to bet. Rightie pundits are going on about government-issue Blackberries, insecure servers, federal record-keeping, the law, national security, peripheral stuff like that. Leftie pundits are saying: yawn, nobody cares, it’s never gonna catch fire, give it up. Everyone implicitly agrees that Hillary did something she shouldn’t and that her justification for doing so is ridiculous. The only disagreement is whether it makes any difference. The Hill‘s Fernando Espuelas says no:

Clinton has a built-in advantage — her gender… Some percentage of Americans, likely a large one, would like to cast a historic vote. When polling points to Americans wanting “change”, what bigger change than a woman as president?

A change to a competent citizen-executive whose administration spends within its means, ceases obstructing economic growth and middle-class prosperity, and restores American influence in the world?

Oh, well. One takes his point: Most other citizens of developed and not-so-developed societies cast those “historic votes” long ago – Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon, India, Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Israel, Turkey, Portugal, Germany, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Transnistria …

At the time of those “historic votes” on a good half of that list, “gender” was not “a built-in advantage” but a built-in disadvantage that skilled and nimble female candidates had to be exceptional to overcome.

If I follow Mr Espuelas correctly, he’s saying that America is getting round to its “historic vote” so late that “gender” is now such an advantage that any old female candidate can be dragged across the finish line, no matter how shopworn, wooden, charmless, tin-eared and corrupt.

Maybe. But, even so, Hillary Clinton is still a severe test of that thesis. Charles Krauthammer detects “Early-Onset Clinton Fatigue”. Whether that is yet afflicting the electorate, it certainly seems to have gripped the candidate. At that press conference, Hillary seemed to be going through the motions. Flush with Saudi cash and a well-oiled shakedown Rolodex, Clinton Worldwide Inc has no reason not to run for president, but apparently no compelling reason to run. When the candidate runs into trouble, grizzled drooling attack dogs from the Nineties – Lanny Davis, James Carville – are loosed from their chains and limp dutifully from the Old Pooch Home to bare their remaining fang for their mistress.

Is there anyone new, young, talented willing to defend Hillary? I mean, other than Huma [Abedin], the only woman in America whose marriage rivals the exhibitionist creepiness of the Clintons in their heyday.

Let’s take The Hill‘s chap at his word: “Gender” will trump whatever stiff the Republican primary season throws up. In that case, why not run a woman who isn’t quite so bloody awful at running? Someone younger, someone whose principal selling point isn’t her husband’s surname, someone with actual accomplishments and a political philosophy? She doesn’t have to be that much younger, or accomplished. Elizabeth Warren is two years younger than Hillary, and her principal accomplishments are TARP and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, neither of which is my cup of tea. But that’s two more accomplishments than Secretary Clinton can claim. And okay, she’s not the most riveting public speaker, but she’s Tom Jones at Vegas next to a speak-your-weight machine in a pantsuit. And yes, Senator Fauxcahontas Crockagewea Warren’s got her own scandal – in that she got hired as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color” on the basis of a dubious claim to be one thirty-second Cherokee and having contributed Cole Porter and the Duchess of Windsor’s favorite crab dish from an upscale Manhattan restaurant to a cookbook of authentic tribal recipes.

Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, isn’t that kind of a charmingly amateur, sweetly naive racket? It’s a small-town home-cooked mom’n’pop racket compared to the 24/7 industrial-scale multinational Saudi-kissing pedophile-jetting rackets of Clinton Global Mega-Racket Inc,

As I said, Senator Warren is a mere two years younger than Secretary Clinton, which means, if she’s ever going to run for president, it has to be now. Why not go for it? Wouldn’t Democrats like to elect a real first female head of government like Thatcher or Merkel or Golda Meir or all those Scandinavians? Why should all those Americans itching to cast that “historic vote” have to have it tainted and thrown away on dynastic succession? How “historic” can your vote really be when, insofar as Hillary’s “running” at all, she’s running as if she’s already won and she’s just running out the clock till the coronation? Are Democrat women so cowed and subservient they’re just going to have the House of Saud’s candidate shoved down their throats and meekly be driven to the polls in theirs burqas by Lanny Davis?

Well, yes. Probably. Okay, definitely.

But we can always dream. And my bet is that, after Tuesday, a lot of Democrats are dreaming. A Hillary presidency is an “historic first”: not the first female president, but the second Clinton president, and the second-rate Clinton president.

Warren-Sharpton-copy.jpg,qresize=444,P2C444.pagespeed.ce.fJYOZjMqa87hL3Vse9lS

Warren-Sharpton

 

(Picture from PowerLine)

Indoctrinating the Green religion and its threat of hell on earth 11

There was a time, between the mid 1960s and the collapse of the Evil Empire around 1990, when little children were raised by “progressive” parents to fear that a terrible nuclear war was about to destroy all life on earth, starting at any moment, and all because the Western world was armed with nuclear weapons. The instilling of terror in the poor tots could not start early enough in the passionate opinion of hippie and New Left moms and dads. Ghoulish lullabies were sung to babies about carrion crows sitting on their cradles.

By winning the Cold War, the wicked West – led by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – put an end to that scam. Though maybe not to the effects of the dread deeply implanted in two or three generations of children.

What is it with the Left that it wants to instill anxiety and fear in their kids? Do they want their nights riven with shrieks as junior wakes hysterical from a nightmare? Seems so.

They’re at it again. This time the bed-time story – and the day time lesson – is that the earth is about to heat red hot, boiling oceans are about to rise and flood the continents, all the cuddly white polar bears will drown (because they cannot swim and have to to dwell on ice floes which will melt under them), the tops of the mountains will lose their pretty caps of snow, fish will mutate into Jesus Christ or Charles Darwin, and all because the wicked West won’t stop using aerosol cans, herding flatulent cows, driving motorcars, and breathing out.

This is from Front Page, by Mary Grabar:

Under [Arne Duncan’s] watch the Department of Education has become a propaganda arm used to influence the next generation to accept the idea of catastrophic man-made climate change as per the UN, the Environmental Protection Agency, and such groups as the National Wildlife Federation. 

In a multi-pronged approach, the Department is teaming up with various non-profit and government organizations and curriculum companies to promote “fun” contests and activities for students, while promoting the next phase of Common Core “State Standards” — in science.

For example, the Department’s latest Green Strides newsletter (February 28) announced three contests for K-12 students who display their agreement with the government’s position on climate change.

In that newsletter, the Department of Education announced that another federal agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], and its National Environmental Education Foundation, have “launched an exciting video challenge for middle school students called Climate Change in Focus”.  In this contest, middle school students are asked to make a video that “expresses why they care about climate change and what they are doing to reduce emissions or to prepare for its impacts”.  To win loyalty to the EPA, it is announced that winning videos will be highlighted on the EPA website. The effort sounds like the kids’ cereal box promotions of yore: the top three entries will receive “cool prizes like a solar charging backpack”,  winning class projects will receive special recognition for their school, and the first 100 entrants will receive a year’s subscription to National Geographic Kids Magazine.

Another contest, National Wildlife Federation’s Young Reporters for the Environment, invites students “between the ages of 13-21 to report on an environmental issue in their community in an article, photo or photo essay, or short video”. Entries should “reflect firsthand investigation of topics related to the environment and sustainability in the students’ own communities, draw connections between local and global perspectives, and propose solutions”.

Students are also encouraged to make nominations for “Champions of the Earth”, a “UN-sponsored award for environment, Green Economy, and sustainability”. …

Students already get exposed to climate change and sustainability in textbooks which are bought with taxpayer funds, as well as in videos and online materials produced by taxpayer-supported Public Broadcasting. Many students, of course, have had to sit through Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. …

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) — the next phase of Common Core — will make the situation worse, however. Students will be even less capable of distinguishing science from propaganda. These standards, like those for math and English Language Arts, were produced by Achieve, a nonprofit education group started by corporate leaders and some governors.

Started by lefties is our guess. Sensible decision to be “non-profit”. Who would buy their product?

As in the standards for English Language Arts and math, the NGSS are intended to be transformative, or as Appendix A states, “to reflect a new vision for American science education”. They call for new “performance expectations” that “focus on understanding and applications as opposed to memorization of facts devoid of context”. 

In plain words, indoctrination – teaching what to think,  instead of education – teaching how to think.

And they can even manage to do this with the teaching of Mathematics. Wow!

It is precisely such short shrift to knowledge (dismissively referred to as “memorization”) to which science professors Lawrence S. Lerner and Paul Gross object. The standards bypass essential math skills in favor of “process”, they asserted last fall at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation blog. [They said that] Common Core standards, in all disciplines, are written with a lot of fluff to conceal their emptiness. …

Lerner and Gross condemn the “slighting of mathematics”,  which does “increasing mischief as grade level rises, especially in the physical sciences”. Physics is “effectively absent” at the high school level. … [They] attack the “practices” strategy, as an extension of the “inquiry learning” of the early 1990s, which had “no notable effect on the (mediocre) performance of American students in national and international science assessments”. 

With some sarcasm, they write, “It is charming to say ‘students learn science effectively when they actively engage in the practices of science’.” However, … beginners don’t and can’t “practice” [science]  as do experts. The practices of experts exploit prior experience and extensive build-up in long-term memory of scaffolding: facts, procedures, technical know-how, solutions to standard problems in the field, vocabularies — of knowledge in short.

Not only do the Next Generation Science Standards shirk the necessary foundations in math and science knowledge, but they explicitly call for including ideological lessons, such as “Human impacts on Earth systems”.

For grades K-2, students are to understand, “Things people do can affect the environment but they can make choices to reduce their impact.” In grades 3 through 5, students will learn “Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space. Societal activities can also help protect Earth’s resources and environments.” …

The objective, of course, is not teaching legitimate science, but indoctrination.

Amazingly, ten states have already voluntarily adopted the Standards.

Such efforts, coordinated by the Department of Education, threaten the future of science itself.

When will this lunacy pass? We venture to state our secret conviction, hoping the all-powerful EPA Gestapo is not listening:

The planet we live on is not under any existential threat. And if it were, there’s not a thing anyone could do about it. 

So sleep well, children. Happy dreams.

Tear down this red wall 3

There is a red wall in the schools and academies of America which needs to be torn down.

This is from Townhall, by Terrence Moore:

The ninth of November marked the twenty-fourth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, probably the most important historical event since World War II and the most important lesson about human freedom experienced within the living memory of most of us. …

How is this lesson being taught in the nation’s classrooms? For while those of us in our forties and older remember the fall of communism and its causes, today’s teenagers are wholly in the dark. What, then, are the high-school students of today being taught about what exactly — what principles, what forces, which people — brought down the Wall?

It is actually fairly easy to answer this question since forty-five states are now controlled by the testing and curricular regime known as the Common Core. … If we just take a quick glance at Appendix B of the Common Core English Standards, which recommends “exemplar texts” for reading, we find the addresses of a host of worthy historical figures: Patrick Henry, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, and, yes, Ronald Reagan. What a model of non-partisan selection!

But it would behoove us to look at which speech of Reagan is being recommended: “Address to Students at Moscow State University.” Now that is rather odd. Would that speech be the first that comes to mind when we consider “the best of Reagan”? Was that address the most historically significant? Why not the First Inaugural or his acceptance speech at the 1980 Convention or his important addresses on foreign policy or even his 1964 “A Time for Choosing” on behalf of Barry Goldwater that launched him to political prominence? Might this be a case of the architects of the Common Core wanting to look non-partisan by having Reagan’s name on the list while actually trying to take away the force of his message to America? We can solve the mystery by finding out what will take place in classes across the land …

On pages 403-4 of Pearson/Prentice Hall’s LITERATURE, Grade Ten, Common Core Edition, we see an editorial written on the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It appeared in The New York Times. It begins, “The Berlin Wall was bound to fall eventually”. …  [It] continues:

But that it came down as bloodlessly as it did 10 years ago this week is largely a tribute to one leader. Today Mikhail Gorbachev is a political pariah in Russia and increasingly forgotten in the West. But history will remember him generously for his crucial role in ending the cold war and pulling back the Iron Curtain that Stalin drew across Europe in 1945.

So there you have it. Gorbachev brought down the Wall. Why? Well, evidently because he was a good guy. In one line of the editorial we are treated to a masterful use of elliptical prose: “As political pressures began to build in the late 1980s, Mr. Gorbachev was left with two options.” Etc. What political pressures? Who or what brought those pressures? We are not told. The New York Times editors assign the words “enlightened,” “idealism,” and “pragmatic” to Gorbachev. Indeed, the General Secretary of the Communist Party is said to have had “a wisdom and decency that is sadly rare in international power politics”.  Does that comment extend to American participants in international power politics, particularly at that time?

Those of us who lived through those years and kept up with events might wonder what role, if any, Ronald Reagan played in this drama, according to the textbook editors. Will the adjectives “enlightened,” “pragmatic,” “wise,” and “decent” be applied to him? His name is not to be found in any of the documents concerning the fall of the Berlin Wall. But on page 449, we do find, as promised in the Common Core, his Address to the Students of Moscow State University held up as a model “exemplar text”.  Unfortunately, the address is so heavily highlighted with shades of green, blue, orange, gray, purple, and pink — and so buried under the jargon of two-bit literary criticism (central idea and point of view, methods of development, organizational structures, rhetorical devices, figurative language, tone and word choice) — that it is hardly readable. Worse still, in the textbook editors’ introduction to the speech, students are told the following:

Led by Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviets were blazing through the greatest changes they had seen since the 1917 revolution. Although reforms were rapidly taking root, they were not far enough from communist ideology for Reagan. . . . In this excerpt, notice how Reagan restrains his strongly anti-communist sentiments while still extolling the ideals he represents.

The lesson? The enlightened, idealistic, wise, decent, and yet pragmatic Gorbachev had events well under control. The Soviets were “blazing through changes”; i.e. reform must have been their idea. But things were not moving fast enough for the strongly-anti-communist (i.e. stubborn, right-wing) Reagan. Nonetheless, we, the editors, have found a rare speech in which he actually moderated his tone. That’s Reagan at his best, insofar as he had a best.

What’s missing in this account? “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Those are the words that brought down the Wall. But they are not to be found in the Common Core and therefore in the classrooms of America.

The architects of the Common Core plainly do not want the young people of America to read or to watch – for it is on the Web – that speech. The progressive bureaucrats who are now in control of the nation’s schools do not want the young people of America to know that the Cold War was won on principle, that courage and resolution on the part of Americans were essential to the ending of tyranny in the communist-controlled countries and the protecting of freedom in the rest of the world. They certainly do not want young Americans thinking that we were in the right and had to be prepared to use force against an evil empire. Above all, the arch-testers do not want today’s youth and tomorrow’s voters to know that in this contest for right and freedom a former actor named Ronald Reagan played the starring role.

He did – in partnership with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. All that Gorbachev can be credited with is that he saw – what by then was hard to miss – that the USSR could not survive. He tried to make adjustments so that it just might. It was impossible.

It had always been impossible for Communism to work. That is to say, it is not a system that can foster and protect prosperity, happiness, liberty, or even life. And when something can’t work, it doesn’t. The only surprising thing about the Soviet Union is that it creaked on in its hellish way for 70 years before it came to its grinding halt.

American children mis-educated by Common Core doctrine will not be told this. The compilers of Common Core text books seem still to have faith that Communism could work if only a few American generations could be brought up to believe that it could.

Leftists believe in the power of faith just as Christians do. But faith never has and never will overcome reality.

“Imagine the UK without Thatcher” 1

We are highly gratified by this splendid review of our editor-in-chief Jillian Becker’s book L: A Novel History, posted today at Front Page, written by Daniel Greenfield, and quoted here in full.

Jillian Becker comments: “There are few writers in the world whose appreciation of a political book is as worth having as Daniel Greenfield’s. Those who regularly read Front Page and his daily essay at his own website, will know this to be true.”

Imagine the UK Without Thatcher

With the recent death of Margaret Thatcher, one novel takes a look at a UK without Thatcher. L: A Novel History by Jillian Becker, the author of, Hitler’s Children: The Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang, is a modern 1984 taking place in an England fallen to the left. A country where the atrocities and horrors perpetrated in the east found their way to the west.

1984 showed us tyranny from the perspective of an ordinary man coping with the tyranny of an omnipresent Big Brother, while L takes us into the mind of Big Brother.

Becker’s L is a child of the modern left, attracted to the violent spectacle of revolution, feeding on blood and pain, gorging on the emotional spillage of the disgruntled, perpetrating riots, terrorist attacks and finally the mass starvation of the United Kingdom.

1984 takes place in the fragments of a lost history, but L develops its history out of the recent past. L doesn’t emerge out of a vacuum. He is the child of privilege, the student of leftist academics and the tyrant who rises out of the class warfare struggles of the burgeoning welfare state.

L abandons his name, going by a single letter, dabbling in dehumanizing Marxist theory while developing a cult of followers, the L-ites, who become the core of a movement that takes over the United Kingdom. L: A Novel History is as much about L, piecing together his inner thoughts from diary entries and newspaper articles, as it is about the milieu of the period and the more moderate figures on the left who hand over power to him and allow him to perpetrate his acts of terror.

As Becker notes in her introduction, there are historical precedents for L, for his associates and the fascist opposition that eventually allies with him. What she has done is transpose the history of various Communist atrocities from Russia and Eastern Europe into an England on the wavering end of the Cold War.

As a fictional history, L: A Novel History assembles painstakingly an entire alternate history in a metafictional narrative composed of newspaper articles, diary entries and historical speculation that combines the perspectives of L, his followers, the L-ites, his opponents, both genuine and disingenuous, and the people of England who react with bewilderment and then horror as the stores are emptied, the food vanishes and they are put through a brutal and degrading process meant to break their spirit.

L’s great obsession is the cultivation of empathy. Like most sociopaths, he is incapable of genuinely empathizing with others, but has a narcissistic obsession with the experience of emotion as spectacle.

Embodying the privileged empathy of the left, L promises to raise up the people, but instead degrades them, robbing them of their dignity, their humanity and finally their lives, in order to force them to identify with the sufferings of the less well off.

L is Big Brother given form, substance and motive. His resentments and narcissism represent all too well the modern left. Obsessed with image, L is driven to be a cult figure and succeeds in achieving true cult status at the expense of millions for his grand experiment in enforced empathy.

The UK has a long literary tradition of dystopias which imagine a descent into fascism, even as in real life it has continued a descent into Socialism. Jillian Becker’s L: A Novel History challenges that fictional narrative with a meta-fictional narrative that warns of what might have been and what may yet be.

May yet be in America …

Margaret the Great 3

Margaret Thatcher’s reign over Britain was a pause in the decline of the nation. That is the verdict of almost all the most insightful obituaries that have appeared since her death. She changed Britain, held it for a while as a model to the world of how capitalism can restore wealth and prestige, but did not succeed in reversing its downward trend.

Nevertheless she was one of the British people’s greatest leaders.

Mark Steyn writes:

In Britain in the Seventies, everything that could be nationalized had been nationalized, into a phalanx of lumpen government monopolies all flying the moth-eaten flag: British Steel, British Coal, British Airways, British Rail . . . The government owned every industry — or, if you prefer, “the British people” owned every industry. And, as a consequence, the unions owned the British people. The top income-tax rate was 83 percent, and on investment income 98 percent. No electorally viable politician now thinks the government should run airlines and car plants and that workers should live their entire lives in government housing. But what seems obvious to all in 2013 was the bipartisan consensus four decades ago, and it required an extraordinary political will for one woman to drag her own party, then the nation, and subsequently much of the rest of the world back from the cliff edge.

Thatcherite denationalization was the first thing Eastern Europe did after throwing off its Communist shackles — although the fact that recovering Soviet client states found such a natural twelve-step program at Westminster testifies to how far gone Britain was.

She [Margaret Thatcher] was the most consequential woman on the world stage since Catherine the Great, and Britain’s most important peacetime prime minister. In 1979, Britain was not at war, but as much as in 1940 faced an existential threat.

Mrs. Thatcher saved her country — and then went on to save a shriveling “free world,” and what was left of its credibility. The Falklands were an itsy bitsy colonial afterthought on the fringe of the map, costly to win and hold, easy to shrug off — as so much had already been shrugged off. After Vietnam, the Shah, Cuban troops in Africa, Communist annexation of real estate from Cambodia to Afghanistan to Grenada, nobody in Moscow or anywhere else expected a Western nation to go to war and wage it to win. Jimmy Carter, a ditherer who belatedly dispatched the helicopters to Iran only to have them crash in the desert and sit by as cocky mullahs poked the corpses of U.S. servicemen on TV, embodied the “leader of the free world” as a smiling eunuch. Why in 1983 should the toothless arthritic British lion prove any more formidable?

And, even when Mrs. Thatcher won her victory, the civilizational cringe of the West was so strong that all the experts immediately urged her to throw it away and reward the Argentine junta for its aggression. “We were prepared to negotiate before” she responded, “but not now. We have lost a lot of blood, and it’s the best blood.” Or as a British sergeant said of the Falklands: “If they’re worth fighting for, then they must be worth keeping.”

Mrs. Thatcher thought Britain was worth fighting for, at a time when everyone else assumed decline was inevitable. … [But for her and] anyone with a sense of history’s sweep, the strike-ridden socialist basket case of the British Seventies was not an economic downturn but a stain on national honor.

A generation on, the Thatcher era seems more and more like a magnificent but temporary interlude in a great nation’s bizarre, remorseless self-dissolution.

She was right and they were wrong, and because of that they will never forgive her. … For eleven tumultuous years, Margaret Thatcher did shock them. But the deep corrosion of a nation is hard to reverse …

Not just hard. Impossible. What great power that declined and fell ever rose to greatness again?

America, beware!

*

China had to turn to the capitalist model set by Margaret Thatcher to save its economy – which it did, spectacularly. 

But far from acknowledging a debt, this obituary published in China belittles all her achievements, putting her whole career through the Marxist class-analysis mincer.

Petty, mean, and puerile, it is an exercise in Schadenfreude; sneer after sneer concluding with a spiteful joke:

Thatcher grew up in a classical English petty-bourgeois family. Her father owned two grocery shops in Grantham. He preached the word of God, was staunchly patriotic, and became the town’s Mayor from 1945-6. His self-confidence derived from selecting food that commanded a good price and turned a good profit. His daughter, Margaret, also formed her intellectual outlook around the petty proprietor’s fetish for the magical qualities of prices. …

Her marriage to Dennis Thatcher in 1951 elevated her into the ranks of the bourgeoisie. He had inherited his wealth and felt that business distracted him from dabbling in amateur military escapades. He was generally seen as a blithering incompetent buffoon to be shunted out of ears reach, in case some bigoted diatribe escaped his lips, but Margaret dearly loved him and treasured the life opportunities his wealth had opened up for her. Dennis funded her career change from studying the chemical composition of ice cream, to studying to become a barrister …

The 1960s were characterized by an entrenched social-democratic consensus whereby social and economic development was widely seen as the product of an alliance between theclasses. Employment was easy to come by and wages rose, and public housing, health care and education expanded rapidly. This all smacked of communism to Margaret Thatcher, who was allowed to bark vitriol against socialism to the gleeful cheers of her bourgeois-aristocratic colleagues in parliament.

The victory of the mineworkers against the Conservative government in two strikes in 1972 and 1974 led to an election, which the then Prime Minister, Edward Heath, claimed would answer the question “who runs Britain?” He lost the election to a minority Labour government and Margaret Thatcher became the Conservative Party leader in 1975.

The shopkeeper inside her, meant she automatically gravitated toward economic theory based on price. Her ideology imagined a world of free and unrestricted competitive pressures where atomized individuals replace organized workers. The pathway to this free market utopia involved selling off state resources and public housing at prices that were absurdly low. This created a significant constituency within the working and middle classes who suddenly acquired money from nothing. In this way the shopkeeper’s delusion, that an economy is simply a nation of buyers and sellers, was materially anchored in the minds of those who suddenly had loads of money. In this way a significant minority acquired a material stake in Thatcher’s “property owning democracy.” Making goods and services was replaced by selling second hand bricks; producing coal, steel, ships, trains and cars was replaced by speculative instruments conjured up by a Thatcherite tribe of arrogant barrow boys who were encouraged to take over the trading floors of the City of London, elbowing aside the “toffs” in bowler hats, and revolutionizing financial markets in a cocaine fueled [?] speculative orgy.

So severe was the economic dislocation and the scars of social conflict that the government was thrown into deep crisis. However, luck was on the side of Mrs. Thatcher, as President General Galtieri of Argentina used their nation’s historical conflict over British occupation of the Malvinas Islands to launch a war to take them by force. Thatcher dispatched the British fleet and reconquered the Islands, whipping up a wave of jingoistic flag-waving. Riding a new tide of popularity, the real war began. Its objective was to smash the central core of trade union strength, the National Union of Mineworkers. Huge reserves of coal were stockpiled, the police were militarized, and war was declared on millions of British workers. Thatcher proclaimed the miners’ union to be agents of the Soviet Union. When she described them as “the enemy within” she had the look of hysteria in her eyes. The strike lasted a year and was defeated. This was a result of Thatcher’s determination and an impotent response by the majority of Labour and Trade Union leaders. The defeat of the miners union led to greater control by capital over labour and a long period of passive industrial relations.

The greatest nonsense is spoken about Thatcher’s significance in the struggle against what she called “the Evil Empire” of the USSR. The role of the U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher was insignificant and peripheral. Even though the Soviet press had given her the name, “the Iron Lady,” of which she was so proud. The collapse of the USSR was a result of internal disintegration and not external pressure. …

May the Iron Lady rust in peace!

China’s prosperity is the result of allowing private enterprise. It makes China a rising world power.

Tarnished laurels 1

The Nobel Peace Prize has been so thoroughly debased that it could be considered a positive insult for a person who deserves honor to be awarded it.

What decent man or woman would want to be in this company?

  • Yasser Arafat, the grandfather of Islamic terrorism
  • Al Gore, who promotes the lie of manmade global warming for personal gain
  • Kofi Annan, who presided over the UN-Iraq food-for-oil scandal
  • Jimmy Carter – enough said
  • Rigoberta Manchu, another prize liar
  • Sean MacBride, Chief of Staff of the IRA,  also awarded the Lenin Peace Prize
  • Barack Obama, a leftist community organizer from Chicago

All of these have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

There have a been a few, a small minority, of  worthy laureates since the Second World War. Martin Luther King was one, Aung San Suu Kyi who continues to oppose the oppressive regime of Myanmar (Burma) is another. Amazing that the Norwegian committee could very occasionally get it right!

And now again – the committee has actually chosen to reward a worthy recipient: Professor Liu Xiaobo, who at great personal risk has opposed the Communist regime of China, and is therefore being punished with imprisonment.

He is a writer who has dared to call for democracy to replace communist one-party rule in his country. He participated in the Tiananmen Square protests. He has committed no violent acts and has harmed nobody.

China is outraged that he is being honored, and has pressed other countries to boycott the award ceremony, where Liu Xiaobo will be present only in effigy, his face seen in a portrait on his otherwise empty chair. No members of his family have been allowed to travel to Oslo to receive the prize on his behalf. His wife, Liu Xia, is being held incommunicado.

The New York Times reports:

China has been incensed by Mr. Liu’s award …   and the government has been waging an offensive to rebrand the prize as a Western ploy to undermine the Chinese Communist Party’s hold on power. …

Chinese officials [are] saying supporters of Mr. Liu are fundamentally opposed to China’s development and trying to interfere in the country’s politics and legal system.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, told reporters: “I would like to say to those at the Nobel committee, they are orchestrating an anti-China farce by themselves.”

“We are not changing because of interference by a few clowns and we will not change our path,” she said …

Eighteen countries will obey China and boycott the event.

Nineteen governments have said their ambassadors will not attend a ceremony this week awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese dissident, the Norwegian prize committee said on Tuesday … reflecting the strong pressure exerted by Beijing to boycott the event.

Those 19 countries are: China itself, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco.

Look at it, this list of countries who will do Communist China’s bidding. How disappointing to see Colombia on the list. And why is Serbia doing this? Or the Philippines? Or Egypt? Or Ukraine? And why Iraq and Afghanistan, countries for which so much American blood has been spilled to bring them the opportunity of freedom?

However, 44 countries will be sending a representative.

Invitations to the ceremony are routinely sent only to those 65 countries with embassies in Oslo, Mr. [Geir] Lundestad [the committee’s secretary] said  …  Those who accepted included “all the western countries” along with representatives from other countries including India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea and Japan, he said.

There’s at least one surprise on that list too: South Africa.

If it makes Liu Xiaobo’s name better known throughout the world, and his cause better appreciated, the prize, this time, has been well awarded.

But the only historically important fact about the Nobel Prize for Peace, demonstrating how valueless it has become as a result of the usual perversity and moral blindness of the Norwegian judges, is that it was not awarded to Ronald Reagan who, along with Margaret Thatcher, was chiefly responsible for bringing the Cold War – the terror that hung over the whole world for 45 years – to a quiet end. And that it did go to Mikhail Gorbachev, freedom’s defeated enemy.

There is no alternative 0

Margaret Thatcher famously said when she was Prime Minister of Great Britain that “There is no alternative”, meaning no alternative to the free market if prosperity and liberty were to be regained. Thatcherites turned the four words into a cheerful, optimistic slogan.

She was right, of course. For a few years during her premiership – a small Silver Age –  the British became a (comparatively) free, property-owning, share-holding people. Then the socialists who had been in power since the end of World War II, whether they’d called themselves Conservatives or Labour, came back into power as the Labour Party for thirteen years, and ruined the country. At last the Conservative Party under the leadership of David Cameron may be returned in the forthcoming general election, but it will make no difference.

Now the words “there is no alternative” have another, completely different meaning.

Melanie Phillips explains with this article in the Spectator:

David Cameron’s strategy is fundamentally and, we can now see, finally and irrevocably flawed. His message, as defiantly and unequivocally re-stated today, is one of radical change. The key question this provokes, however, is change from what?

The people are indeed desperate for change – but from Gordon Brown and the Labour government and what it stands for. What Cameron defiantly and unequivocally offers is radical change from conservatism to produce an agenda that, far from promising a radical change from Labour, is merely a paler version of Labour.

So when millions of natural conservatives yearn for a radical and unequivocal change from the nihilism and injustice and bullying of political correctness, for a change from the deliberate gerrymandering of the demographic and cultural identity of this country, for a change from the enslavement of frivolous and destructive ideology, for a change from the destruction of the traditional family and the appeasement of radical Islamism, for a change from the empty and mendacious promises of spin, they get instead ‘the party of the (failing) NHS’ committed to green diversity and with even a smug reference to the women candidates forced upon local constituency parties, a promise to be tough and honest and upfront in cutting spending to tackle the deficit while financing a new army no less of health visitors, a commitment to support marriage in the tax system but also (presumably) unmarried couples in the benefit system, nothing at all about Islamism, nor the destruction of the country’s powers of self government through the EU, nor the deliberate and covert destruction of its demographic and cultural identity except for a glancing reference to cutting immigration.

The political crystal balls on the western side of the Atlantic project the same message of hopelessness.

Mark Steyn, writing in Investor’s Business Daily, laments that a change from a Democratic to a Republican majority in Congress will in all probability make no difference to America’s descent into the terminal illness of socialism:

So there was President Obama giving his bazillionth speech on health care, droning yet again that “now is the hour when we must seize the moment,” the same moment he’s been seizing every day of the week for the past year, only this time his genius photo-op guys thought it would look good to have him surrounded by men in white coats.

Why is he doing this? Why let “health” “care” “reform” stagger on like the rotting husk in a low-grade creature feature who refuses to stay dead no matter how many stakes you pound through his chest?

Because it’s worth it. Big time. I’ve been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture.

It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible.

In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally “conservative” parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect.(Let’s not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a “conservative.”) The result is a kind of two-party one-party state.

Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.

Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic. …

Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of government jobs will be statists — sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily “compassionate” statists, but always statists.

The short history of the postwar welfare state is that you don’t need a president-for-life if you’ve got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect “conservatives,” as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who for tuppence-ha’penny or some such would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.

Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A big-time GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass ObamaCare because it’s so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.

Okay, then what? You’ll roll it back — like you’ve rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago?

Like you’ve undone the Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel ‘n’ dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter? …

Look at it from the Dems’ point of view. You pass ObamaCare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years.

And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier.

That’s a huge prize, and well worth a midterm timeout.

I’ve been bandying comparisons with Britain and France, but that hardly begins to convey the scale of it. ObamaCare represents the government annexation of “one-sixth of the U.S. economy” — i.e., the equivalent of the entire British or French economy, or the entire Indian economy twice over.

Nobody has ever attempted this level of centralized planning for an advanced society of 300 million people.

Even the control freaks of the European Union have never tried to impose a unitary “comprehensive” health care system from Galway to Greece. The Soviet Union did, of course, and we know how that worked out.

This “reform” is not about health care … it’s about government.

Once you look at it that way, what the Dems are doing makes perfect sense. For them.

A cool plan B 2

Earth’s climate has been changing throughout the billions of years of its existence. If it’s changing now more quickly, the human race will quickly adapt to the changes. We are a highly adaptable species.

The eminently sensible Nigel Lawson, who was Mrs Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, writes this (in part):

The time has come to abandon the Kyoto-style folly that reached its apotheosis in Copenhagen last week, and move to plan B.

And the outlines of a credible plan B are clear. First and foremost, we must do what mankind has always done, and adapt to whatever changes in temperature may in the future arise.

This enables us to pocket the benefits of any warming (and there are many) while reducing the costs. None of the projected costs are new phenomena, but the possible exacerbation of problems our climate already throws at us. Addressing these problems directly is many times more cost-effective than anything discussed at Copenhagen. And adaptation does not require a global agreement …

Beyond adaptation, plan B should involve a relatively modest, increased government investment in technological research and development—in energy, in adaptation and in geoengineering.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the Copenhagen debacle, it is not going to be easy to get our leaders to move to plan B. There is no doubt that calling a halt to the high-profile climate-change traveling circus risks causing a severe conference-deprivation trauma among the participants. If there has to be a small public investment in counseling, it would be money well spent.

We don’t like his idea of government investment in research, since anything  government does it does badly, and anything it interferes with it spoils. If geoengineering is necessary, private enterprise will do it, and do it well.

But we delight in his drily ironic suggestion of  a ‘small public investment in counseling’ for the participants who suffer ‘conference-deprivation trauma’. Here failure wouldn’t matter.

Older Posts »