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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Postmodern Delusion Without Cognitive Dissonance

Serendipity never fails to excite. No sooner had I wrapped up yesterday's "Sunday School Theology for a Time of Crisis" on the unhealthy state of Christianity, or my attention was drawn to a post written by Professor Comparative Religion Justin Halter on the subject of the schism within the Episcopalian Church: he's got it ... Narcissism's the word! Christians in name only, these people are entirely following their own council, having internalized what in Postmodernism passes for 'morality'.

Thankfully Halter - a white elephant in higher education - has not been infected in any way by Relativist thought and can still see the wood for the trees, thank you very much! His suggestion? If you don't like the 'homophobic' morality of the Christian God, then by all means, apostate!

He's entirely right, but misses the underlying political point. The sole aim of these exercises is to destroy the Christian Churches from within. If simply abandoned by these fiends, they might stand a chance of survival, and that would never do. So what we have instead is people within the faith offering a new perspective - say the Emergent Church, or the Homophilic Episcopalians. This allows adherents to be still nominally Christians, when in fact offering to the Marxist God of the Socialist dialectic.

It defies belief, but somehow they have managed to marry the delusion that there is no truth to the word of Christ without the slightest hint of cognitive dissonance. The other central role, the one of the four Apostles within the new system on the other hand, is still any one's guess. Not all details of the new crede have been hammered out yet. But hey, it took Christianity two millennia to work out a comprehensive, organized belief system, so there's hope yet for the heresies of Narcissus. I'm sure some solution will be found once the dogma takes shape, to define it as anything other than that, considering the taboo that rests on the axiom.

It will take some doing though to defy the laws of reason altogether. Even professionals working in the field of psychology are having trouble. Take Dr Sanity in her post yesterday "The Democratic Party 2008 Platform: "Truth Doesn't Exist and We Possess It"":

"What they possess is a moral and intellectual confusion that is so pronounced, I hesitate to even call it psychosis. It is more like a deliberate dementia."

If that wasn't enough brilliance for one day, she's quoting Gagdad Bob of One Cosmos who in "Life Amidst the Postmodern Ruins" provides a series of insights that warrant extensive quoting and - above all - dissemination amongst the fallen Christians that haven't passed beyond salvation. I highly recommend reading it all, but here's a sample:

(...) Chesterton could prophecize in this manner because he could see directly into the 'principal' world of timeless truth embodied in revelation. Again, revelation instantiates metaphysical truths with which it is possible to 'think beyond the surface,' both in space and in time, interior and exterior. Thus, unlike postmodernists who believe that "perception is reality," he writes that "man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert -- himself." This leads to the erosion of universality and the elevation of particularity to the ultimate -- which quickly devolves into nihilism.

Conversely, the part that a man doubts "is exactly the part he ought not doubt -- the Divine Reason." But this inversion obviously persists -- indeed, it is practically the fault line that runs between left and right -- and is responsible for a range of pathological ideas, from multiculturalism, to moral relativism, to the belief in "self esteem," to reducing standards in general to achieve some preconceived end.

The left also practices a "false humility." After all, it can sound like a plea for humility when the postmodern multiculturalist asks, "who am I to say that I can possess the truth, or that one culture is better than another?" But this attitude is a "more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic." That is -- and this is apparently a subtle point, so listen closely -- "The old humility was a spur that prevented man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether."

This is one of the reasons that the left habitually attacks motives instead of substance, for they first undermine the idea that you can know anything objectively, and then insist that the purpose of knowledge is domination and oppression anyway. For the last several years, "job one" of the left has been to make us doubtful of our aims in Iraq, in the hope that we will simply become demoralized and surrender.

But they do this so selectively that it is mind-boggling. (...) just as the left engages in the moral inversion of detaching virtue from tradition, they engage in a weird "cognitive inversion" that combines "intellectual helplessness" with a kind of monstrously arrogant omniscience. This is how you can spend some $100,000 plus on an elite university education, only to learn that truth doesn't exist and we possess it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday School Theology for a Time of Crisis

In a posting on Chiesa yesterday Sandro Magister writes as follows:

The letter from the 138 Muslims addressed last month to Benedict XVI and to the heads of the other Christian churches received a spectacular collective reply in a message signed by 300 scholars and published in "The New York Times" on November 18.

The message originated in the Divinity School of Yale University, specifically through the initiative of its dean, Harold W. Attridge, a professor of New Testament exegesis.

The signatories belong mainly to the Protestant confessions, of both "evangelical" and "liberal" strains, and include such a celebrity as the theologian Harvey Cox. But the list of the 300 also includes a Catholic bishop, Camillo Ballin, the apostolic vicar in Kuwait. Other Catholics include the Islamologist John Esposito of Georgetown University and the theologians Donald Senior, a Passionist, and Thomas P. Rausch, a Jesuit from Loyola Marymount University. Also Catholic – although at the margins of orthodoxy – are Paul Knitter, a specialist on interreligious dialogue, and Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, a teacher at Harvard and a feminist theologian.

The message lavishes praise upon the letter of the 138. It endorses the letter's contents, or the indication of the love of God and neighbor as the "common word" between Muslims and Christians, at the center of both the Qur'an and the Bible. And it prefaces everything with a request for forgiveness to "the All-Merciful One and the Muslim community around the world."

This is the reason given for the request for forgiveness: "Since Jesus Christ says: 'First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye' (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the 'war on terror') many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbor."

In releasing the message, its promoters announced that it will be followed by meetings with some of the signers of the letter of the 138, in the United States, Great Britain, and the Middle East, meetings that will also be open to Jews.

Magister starts his article on the subject with a question contained in the title "Why Benedict XVI Is So Cautious with the Letter of the 138 Muslims", which he rhetorically answers with the assertion that what Benedict wants is a dialogue that is completely different. "The pope is asking Islam to make the same journey that the Catholic Church made under pressure from the Enlightenment. Love of God and neighbor must be realized in the full acceptance of religious freedom.

God bless Pope Benedict! The former Professor Ratzinger of Theology and Philosophy at the Regensburg University is a unique, shining light of reason and intelligence in a world which is self-destructing under the debilitating madness that is called Postmodernism. What can a person say when dumb struck by a protracted exercise in jaw-dropping?

The School of Non-thought that equates all uniformed men with Nazi brutes and cannot for the hell of it perceive any difference between BushHitler, Nazism and Zionism, has made devastating inroads into organized Christian religion over the past decades. It has been gnawing away and sclerocizing its vital organs like a malignant form of cancer.

Although God knows that Roman Catholicism has been plagued by its own brands of virulent, post Vatican II, politically motivated heresies, it is Protestantism that is really seriously in trouble. I think the obituaries on the Episcopalian Church have all but been pronounced. The sclerotics collected in the Emergent Church are simply too much deluded to understand that they are being used and that what they are proclaiming, is directly opposed to the Christian message. False prophets and scions of Satan indeed!

At the present time of deep social, cultural and religious crisis this putrefied collection of hypocrites that calls itself the followers of Christ have seen fit to reply the Muslim letter in the most debilitating terms imaginable - oozing false humility: the infantilized platitudes are not even fit for a sub-quality Sunday school!

Forgiveness indeed! For efforts to roll back the Muslim conquests of the Holy Land, the Levant, and Outremer? For defending Christian lands in Egypt and Asia Minor against Islamic onslaughts? For throwing them out of Al Andaluz? For driving them back at Tours and Vienna? For excesses on the War on Terror: moral trauma in the defence against a brutal, barbaric, blood-thirsty, indiscriminate war declared on Muslim, and Infidel civilians alike? These people are red hopping, criminally insane!

I think we shall find that the invitation to the Jewry, when push comes to shove, will "not be opportune at this stage", and that Pope Benedict in the end - in the most woolly, theological terms possible - will have to distance himself from the whole affair ... but that last may be wishful thinking on my part.

I pray to God that he may keep us from the Postmodern All-Merciful One and that bees may pee upon them all!

~ For an historic overview on this subject, see: "Historical Letter from Islam to Christendom". ~

Related:
- Postmodern Delusion Without Cognitive Dissonance
- Flanders Fields: "From the Belly of the Beast"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Enter the Cabal (II): Transnational Progressivism

Continued from Part I: "Towards a Common Purpose"

By far the most efficient way for opponents to deal with inevitable but inconvenient conclusions like the present, or the one outlined in Part I, is to label them 'conspiracy theories': it's a prompt, if rather blunt stopper. Not just the conclusion is rendered harmless by dispatch to the realm of urban myths, also the writer is turned for life into an unreliable nutter at best, a paranoid borderline case at worst. Either way, end of story: no serious person would ever stoop to argue with such wild, unscholarly conclusions.

In defence I can only say that there's a difference between seeing ghosts and connecting the dots that are available in open source material for anyone willing to face them; the nuthouse has of course traditionally been the place for dissidents and other thinking undesirables; it will also be so in the totalitarian future: I, for one, am not impressed (intimidated, that is).

It is the duty of organizations like Common Purpose (CP) to smooth the way towards an easy re-alignment of nation states, turning them into regions that make up the post-democratic power blocs (modelled on the old Soviet Union in the case of the EU): to ensure that in the popular perception and in public consensus this is a positive development.

Third Way New Labour in the U.K. - under whose umbrella CP resides - have elevated spin doctoring beyond improvement. The connection of CP with the tarantulas in the web, the Tavistock Institute for the Promotion of the Hive Mind with the Frankfurt School for Intellectual Leftism in the West, clinches the matter (not to mention the omnipresent Rockefeller Foundation, for some reason ever in attendance when some form of social engineering is indicated). For those young enough not to know, the Frankfurt School was simply a hugely successful Fifth Column of Cultural Marxism, that managed to irrevocably subvert entire generations of Leftist Westerners.

Having over the last 30 to 40 years eliminated the encouragement of independent thinking from the educational curriculum, people's cognition today largely remains on the passive, perceptional level, where feelings and emotions are being triggered by outside forces, left unchecked by autonomic rationalization. (Semi-)subliminal manipulation of public opinion has become a black art in which many elitists excel. Nothing new there.

During the German occupation of Holland between 1940 and 1945 some 600 aristocrats, intellectuals and scholars of assorted political affiliation were interned in a seminary in the south of the country, in the village of Sint Michielsgestel. They were in fact hostages, to be lined up and shot in retaliation for eventual acts of resistance.

The ad hoc think-tank that thus took shape, had ample time to work out at leisure how the post war world should be moulded. They came from all walks of life, but the ones that with hindsight took the lead and mostly worked behind the political scenes, can hardly said to be Paleo Conservatives or Classical Liberals. But to state they were all Socialists, or plain Communists, would be telling a lie.

For the most part they were "free-thinking", moderate, Protestants, which in the Dutch social and political kaleidoscopic landscape is not an oxymoron, but an actual denomination, that only in the last decade or so merged with the Left Green Party (GL). Their clergy are of the type that state they don't believe in God anymore, but stay in the job because of the 'social aspects' (great candidates for the Emergent Pomo Church, or How-to-Destruct-the-Church-from-Within!).

The broadcasting network (VPRO) that showed the video footage on the war time hostages just recently, is a remnant of that time. It went from Free-Thinking Protestant (Vrijzinnig Protestant) to Pacifist, and from Socialist to Green and mainstream. It is telling for the state of affairs that this network has been voluntarily delegated the unofficial public broadcasting rights to all historical theme programs! Here's the footage from VPRO's "Andere Tijden" (Dutch).

After liberation a number of hostages entered the institutions of higher education, government and most importantly, they founded and manned forerunners of international fora.

Max Kohnstamm is a typical example. After graduating in history he went to the United States in 1938-1939 to "study the New Deal". After the war - from 1945 to 1948 - he became Queen Wilhelmina's Personal Secretary. From 1952 to 1958 he was Secretary of the High Committee of the Communion for Coal and Steel, the core forerunner of what is now the European Union (EU). He worked shoulder to shoulder with founders Jean Monnet and Schumann. Kohnstamm was VP of Monnet's Action Committee for the United States of Europe, and was of course involved in Bilderberg Conferences. From 1976 to 1981 he was the first President of the European University Institute in Florence and Honorary President of the European Policy Center in Brussels.

Another pedigree worth studying is that of Hendrik Brugmans, one of the intellectual leaders of the European Movement and co-founder and first president of the Union of European Federalists. From 1950 to 1972 Dean of the College of Europe in Bruges, his contribution to the discussions at the ad hoc hostage think-tank being his insistence of the suspension of democratic government for a period of at least five years after World War II.

Willem Schermerhorn, the first post World War II Socialist Prime Minister, ruling The Netherlands from 1945 to 1946, was also the first Dutch Prime Minister who came up with the novelty of appointing civil servants with political backgrounds, never mind the separation of powers! Examples are Jacob (Koos) Vorrink and aforementioned Hendrik Brugmans (nicknamed 'The Schermer Boys").

Vorrink fathered later Socialist Minister Irene Vorrink, who showed her totalitarian credentials by proposing to lace potable water with fluoride compounds with the purpose of combating tooth decay. As her son busied himself with aforementioned "free-thinking" Protestant broadcasting network VPRO, reading for its radio service the daily market rates of pot and grass, mother Irene - as a Minister of Health - diligently worked to get 'soft drugs' legalized and out of the criminal justice system - an accomplishment giving cause to smiles on criminal faces today as far afield as southern Greece. Illustrious people indeed.

Of course these 'builders' didn't reckon with developments in Iran and the Middle East, where national awakening had shifted towards religious identity based on a Dark Age death cult. Muslim emigrants are presently moving all over the globe - in Europe making up for demographic inbalances, a result of Socialist 'familiy planning, or How-to-Destruct-the-Family-Unit-from-Within. Islam is spread like wildfire by means of legal and social blackmail, extortion, intimidation and open aggression, demanding snippets of Sharia law to the imposed on Muslim and infidel alike.

The general idea among the 'builders' is, that the only solution their vision foresees in, is that Islam will just have to adjust, liberalise and be absorbed for The Greater Good. Hence the appeasement in the face of bullying tactics. The builders initially thought in terms of syncretism, intermarriage and pluralism. In the end we move towards Apartheid, multiculturalism's cultural ghettos, prisons to all independent thinkers from whatever background. But terrorism and terror also play into the building hands, as it forms an excuse for enforce and control.

The new Empires will accommodate many races, cultures, religions and ethnicities within virtual, shifting border areas, what today in Europe are termed Euregions. One such, is for example the Maastricht area in the southern Netherlands, with a nearby airport in Germany (Aachen) and an economic dynamic spreading well into Belgian territory (Liege).

Parts of southern England (PDF) are thus becoming twinned to areas in Northern France (PDF: more on EU Truth) of which the capital is Paris. Be prepared for the creation of more such shifting, provisional, legal entities that nominally would reflect linguistic, ethnic and cultural realities on the ground, but that in fact crisscross nation states, creating fault lines and breaking points. No nation thus undermined, will be left standing.

Organized crime will be happy to note that physical borders will become a thing of an unenlightened past when narrow minds thought in geo-political terms of autonomous, assertive nation states. Russia supposedly will align with China, expanding their sphere of influence to the Middle East. The future status of Africa, South America and Australia still seems in doubt, but it is clear that an alignment of Australia with parts of Southeast Asia may be well on the cards.

The North American Union (NAU), constituting the US, Canada and Mexico will include Latinos of Amerindian descent yearning for Aztlan, as Eurabia will include both Shia and Sunni Muslims with dreams of the Caliphate. There will however be no place for such limited interests in the enlightened, interconnected, Kantian realm of perpetual peace that lies beyond history: large post-democratic multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-racial power-sharing entities, in competition with each other for resources. It is driven by geo-economics and presently by rivalry with the sole remaining super power, the United States of America.

This globalization is much closer than we realise. The single, autonomous nation state is actively being phased out. The EU is a fact of life, the NAU seems inevitable, and Eurabia's project is happily advancing along as Europeans are largely unaware of such developments, not being consulted as oligarchies with totalitarian tendencies sign away their native lands.

Problems of integration of Muslims and Latinos are mere symptoms of the ongoing geo-political re-alignment and actually deflect attention away from the main developments, perhaps the reason why problems in that regard are left inexplicably unremedied.

Global warming serves a number of purposes. It is a cash cow for the environment industry and a taxation base (control mechanism) for governments; it is also a myth conduit (see PMF, number 5: Truth by Survey Does Not Exist), as well as a deflector. But more importantly, if it starts looking remarkably like a religion, this is because it is. Environmentalism serves the purpose of a religion in that it focuses the world's attention on a common purpose beyond the narrow mundane, interests - Salvation - and serves a deity to whom sacrifices and libations must be made by the rich: harking back to paganistic animism? Perhaps. But foremost it's Marxist dialectic in action on a global scale.

While the minds are occupied with that and other, bleached means of deflection residing in Hollywood, attention is focused on scarce resources, as the power blocs silently take shape beyond democratic control.

The world is swimming in oil; we're just electing not to exploit and market it (links). It is in fact the creation of an artificial scarcity and all the consequences that entails: high price levels, (arguably) less consumption (if it were a 'normal' commodity), high taxation, government control, distribution, lines and coupons, black markets, crime, and the rest associated with a scarce but essential product. Suggestions invited.

In the nineties - just after the fall of the Berlin Wall - the discussion within libertarian circles was about wealth creation and freedom, in the sense of free markets and creativity versus totalitarian dictatorships, scarcity and poverty. The idea was that wealth is produced by free, democratic countries; the creative process is allowed free reign to produce the innovation driven free market economies. No more.

The world's diplomatic talking shops - the World Trade Organization for instance - have allowed The People's Republic of China to become the global mass production factory of what not, from cheap light bulbs and tooth picks to exclusive brand socks, fridges and cars. China and Vietnam are proving that democracy and civil liberties have nothing to do with the creation of wealth and free trade. Wealth creation is perfectly possible under conditions of global economic planning and unenlightened dictatorships, Communist or otherwise. Money keeps the world go round irrespective of liberty, democracy and free trade!

With that data in hand the global re-alignment into the post-democratic power blocs, empires with elaborate power-sharing arrangements but with limited personal and civil freedoms, with global economic planning, upholding trade barriers in so far as they are part of multilateral agreements - and yet remain wealth creating, has become a real possibility. Either the Soviets did it wrong, or the Union wasn't large enough.

I am merely connecting the OSINT dots. It is not even very relevant if these extrapolations are the result of conscious decisions made by a global cabal, or even a subconscious process supported by a global oligarchy. But I draw the line at it being a natural process or an Act of God. Here's a reminder of the nature of transnational progressivism. Whatever the case may be, the direction of a number of political and economic policy developments is currently taking us in the direction as outlined above.

It's no good asking the builders to leave well alone: scorpions, by nature, sting - builders build. But regarding the matter of freedom, creativity and wealth I just mentioned, I think they'll find that mass copying on the contrary, equals stagnation.

~ You can join the discussions, on this and other subjects, on the Politeia Forum. ~

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fable of the Water Buffalo and the Sparrow

Dr Sam C. Holliday, director of the Armiger Cromwell Center, following prior posts in these pages, "Effectively Communicating Jihad: a spade is a spade", and the "Fable of the Knife", in a third article is sharing with us today "The Fable of the Water Buffalo and the Sparrow", which dates back to the days of the wars in the Southeast Asia during the sixties, and is co-authored by John J. McCuen.

While the 'Fable of the Knife' contains a useful lesson, so does its companion the "Fable of the Water Buffalo and the Sparrow". The latter originated in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. We used both with our students at the US Army War College from 1967 to 1972. Now over 35 year later, we hope they will help others neutralize the global Islamic revisionist movement, known as the Third Jihad.

THE FABLE OF THE WATER BUFFALO AND THE SPARROW

The sparrow lived among the people of the village, and it ate the same food they did, but sparingly as sparrows do. And the sparrow flew over the village and observed all that was going on.

The water buffalo helped the people plow the fields and haul heavy items from one place to another. When the female water buffalo had a calf, it gave extra milk for the villagers. Like the sparrow, the water buffalo was always there; but unlike the sparrow, the water buffalo labored with the people and walked the same earth they did.

When the three terrorists came with their knife the sparrow noticed immediately. When one terrorist took a knife to one of the villagers the sparrow informed the water buffalo. After the water buffalo gored the first terrorist to death, the sparrow watched closely and saw the other two terrorists coming to retrieve their knife. Then the water buffalo gored them to death too.

LESSON TO BE LEARNT: People don't care much for politics, but they worry about the terrorist with the knife, and they love the water buffalo and the sparrow.

Sam C. Holliday is a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, a former director of Stability Studies at the Army War College, and a retired Army Colonel. He earned a Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in International Relations from the University of South Carolina. Currently he is Director of The Armiger Cromwell Center, a small nonprofit Internet clearinghouse for thinking "outside of the box of conventional wisdom." By means of its online essays, the ACC seeks more effective foreign policies to achieve stability through equilibrium.

Copyright © 2007 Armiger Cromwell Center, 3750 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 374, Atlanta, GA 30319-1322 armigercc@comcast.net Permission is granted to forward this essay to friends or colleagues, on a fair use basis. For reprint permission contact Armiger Cromwell Center.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cyclone Sidr on Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh (CNN) -- The Bangladesh government estimated Sunday the death toll from Cyclone Sidr was now at least 2,000, and warned that it is expected to rise.
As flood waters recede, aid workers say they expect to find scores more bodies when remote villages are finally reached and the counting is done.
They face debris-blocked roads, no electricity and almost nonexistent communications.
In addition to the dead, another 15,000 people have been injured. Thousands of people have been displaced and many are still missing.
Cyclone Sidr, with sustained winds of at least 131 mph (210 kph), made landfall Thursday night along the western coast of Bangladesh near the border with India, unleashing floodwaters.
Government spokesman Fahim Munaim told CNN by telephone that the government held an emergency Cabinet meeting Saturday to assess the disaster and discuss recovery issues.
He said the extent of the cyclone's damage may be much worse because emergency relief had not been able to reach remote areas.
The government has identified the 12 worst districts -- all of them located on the southern coast -- out of the 23 affected by the cyclone, Munaim said. The Bangladeshi air force, army and navy are working to provide shelter for the many people who have been displaced. Power is still out in much of the country but it is being restored.
Vince Edwards, national director of the relief agency World Vision in Bangladesh, said the high wind speeds of Cyclone Sidr have laid waste to the all-important rice crop and caused a huge loss of livestock.
He said 280,000 families have been rendered homeless by the cyclone, but many have been able to get shelter from family members.
World Vision is deploying 135 staffers and 7,000 volunteers to provide food, shelter and other relief. The group is appealing for $1.5 million in further funds to assist some 9.300 families rebuild their homes.
In Dhaka -- about 200 miles north of the worst-hit region -- there were power outages, massive traffic jams and spotty phone service, CNN's Cal Perry said from the city.
"From an infrastructure perspective, the country absolutely has been brought to its knees," he said.
Red Crescent spokeswoman Nabiha Chowdhury told CNN that communication with her agency's teams who have arrived in the stricken area is spotty, but they have resources with them to immediately help people with water purification, which she said was a top priority.
Those teams have cash with them to buy relief supplies from local wholesalers, said Chowdhury, who said the latest number of people injured was 15,000 with 1,000 missing. Chowdhury said about 600,000 people had fled, adding that about 2 million people lived along the coast.
The U.N. World Food Programme said it has enough high-energy biscuits to feed 400,000 people for several days.
Another humanitarian group, Save The Children, appealed for aid from the public.
"Many families have lost everything, including their homes and their crops, and they are struggling to survive," said Kelly Stevenson, Save the Children's Bangladesh director.
"We are appealing to the U.S. public to support our efforts to assist children and families affected by this disaster. We remain very concerned about possible outbreaks of cholera and severe diarrhea due to the lack of access to clean water," he said in a written statement.
U.S. President George Bush pledged Saturday $2.1 million for emergency relief as an "initial contribution," and said in a statement that two U.S. Navy carriers, the USS Essex and the USS Kearsarge, were en route to Bangladesh to assist in operations there.


"The United States is committed to helping the people of Bangladesh and their government as they face the many challenges of rebuilding and recovering," Bush said.
Furthermore, Bush said, USAID will airlift 35 tons plastic sheeting, jerricans, hygiene kits and other non-food supplies to the country. And an 18-person Department of Defense medical team in Bangladesh prior to the storm is helping with current medical needs, Bush said in the statement.



Comment by Jackdm : While Western World goes on humiliating islam ( Bangladesh, with 125 million muslim, is the fourth islamic country on this planet) showing compassion and sending money and goodies, we are still waiting a reaction coming from Saudi Arabia, or Syria, Iran, etc...
As it occured many times in the past, these countries are expected to show their deep respect for fellow muslims just ignoring them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Those who don't remember History are doomed to repeat it...

Something different today on Politeia, waiting for Cassandra...

It's inspired by a discussion on Lisistrata (www.lisistrata.it)
Some blogger showed little interest about the situation in Belgium (my article was featured there,translated in italian)
Followed a reaction by Admin (Signora Adriana Bolchini Gaigher I presume) who misquoted Primo Levi for Martin Niemöller, which she later corrected.

So I remembered my reading of Primo Levi's "If this is a man", my shock, my emotion.
I invite the readers through a little journey from Primo Levi to Pastor Martin Niemöller.

Primo Michele Levi (July 31, 1919 – April 11, 1987) was a Jewish Italian chemist, Holocaust survivor and author of memoirs, short stories, poems, and novels.
He is best known for his work on the Holocaust, and in particular his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in Auschwitz, the infamous death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. If This Is a Man (published in the United States as Survival in Auschwitz) has been described as one of the most important works of the twentieth century. (Wikipedia)


This book is a "must read" If you didn't already, please find it and read it.

Two excerpts :
The first one is the introduction of the book, on the form of a poem which gives its title to the book :
"You who live safe

In your warm houses,

You who find, returning in the evening,

Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider if this is a man

Who works in the mud

Who does not know peace

Who fights for a scrap of bread

Who dies because of a yes and a no.

Consider if this is a woman,

Without hair and without name

With no more strength to remember,

Her eyes empty and her womb cold

Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:

I commend these words to you.

Carve them in your hearts

At Home, in the street,

Going to bed, rising;

Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,

May illness impede you,

May your children turn their faces from you."



The second excerpt is chapter one, untitled : The journey

"I was captured by the Fascist Militia on 13 December 1943. I was twenty-four, with little wisdom, no experience and a decided tendency -- encouraged by the life of segregation forced on me for the previous four years by the racial laws -- to live in an unrealistic world of my own, a world inhabited by civilized Cartesian phantoms, by sincere male and bloodless female friendships. I cultivated a moderate and abstract sense of rebellion.
It had been by no means easy to flee into the mountains and to help set up what, both in my opinion and in that of friends little more experienced than myself, should have become a partisan band affiliated with the Resistance movement Justice and Liberty. Contacts, arms, money and the experience needed to acquire them were all missing. We lacked capable men, and instead we were swamped by a deluge of outcasts, in good or bad faith, who came from the plain in search of a non-existent military or political organization, of arms, or merely of protection, a hiding place, a fire, a pair of shoes.
At that time I had not yet been taught the doctrine I was later to learn so hurriedly in the Lager: that man is bound to pursue his own ends by all possible means, while he who errs but once pays dearly. So that I can only consider the following sequence of events justified. Three Fascist Militia companies, which had set out in the night to surprise a much more powerful and dangerous band than ours, broke into our refuge one spectral snowy dawn and took me down to the valley as a suspect person.
During the interrogations that followed, I preferred to admit my status of ''Italian citizen of Jewish race''. I felt that otherwise I would be unable to justify my presence in places too secluded even for an evacuee; while I believed (wrongly as was subsequently seen) that the admission of my political activity would have meant torture and certain death. As a Jew, I was sent to Fossoli, near Modena, where a vast detention camp, originally meant for English and American prisoners-of-war, collected all the numerous categories of people not approved of by the new-born Fascist Republic.
At the moment of my arrival, that is, at the end of January 1944, there were about one hundred and fifty Italian Jews in the camp, but within a few weeks their number rose to over six hundred. For the most part they consisted of entire families captured by the Fascists or Nazis through their imprudence or following secret accusations. A few had given themselves up spontaneously, reduced to desperation by the vagabond life, or because they lacked the means to survive, or to avoid separation from a captured relation, or even -- absurdly -- ''to be in conformity with the law''. There were also about a hundred Jugoslavian military internees and a few other foreigners who were politically suspect.
The arrival of a squad of German SS men should have made even the optimists doubtful; but we still managed to interpret the novelty in various ways without drawing the most obvious conclusions. Thus, despite everything, the announcement of the deportation caught us all unawares.
On 20 February, the Germans had inspected the camp with care and had publicly and loudly upbraided the Italian commissar for the defective organization of the kitchen service and for the scarce amount of wood distribution for heating; they even said that an infirmary would soon be opened. But on the morning of the 21st we learned that on the following day the Jews would be leaving. All the Jews, without exception. Even the children, even the old, even the ill. Our destination? Nobody knew. We should be prepared for a fortnight of travel. For every person missing at the roll-call, ten would be shot.
Only a minority of ingenuous and deluded souls continued to hope; we others had often spoken with the Polish and Croat refugees and we knew what departure meant.
For people condemned to death, tradition prescribes an austere ceremony, calculated to emphasize that all passions and anger have died down, and that the act of justice represents only a sad duty towards society which moves even the executioner to pity for the victim. Thus the condemned man is shielded from all external cares, he is granted solitude and, should he want it, spiritual comfort; in short, care is taken that he should feel around him neither hatred nor arbitrariness, only necessity and justice, and by means of punishment, pardon.
But to us this was not granted, for we were many and time was short. And in any case, what had we to repent, for what crime did we need pardon? The Italian commissar accordingly decreed that all services should continue to function until the final notice: the kitchens remained open, the corvées for cleaning worked as usual, and even the teachers of the little school gave lessons until the evening, as on other days. But that evening the children were given no homework.
And night came, and it was such a night that one knew that human eyes would not witness it and survive. Everyone felt this: not one of the guards, neither Italian nor German, had the courage to come and see what men do when they know they have to die.
All took leave from life in the manner which most suited them. Some praying, some deliberately drunk, others lustfully intoxicated for the last time. But the mothers stayed up to prepare the food for the journey with tender care, and washed their children and packed the luggage; and at dawn the barbed wire was full of children''s washing hung out in the wind to dry. Nor did they forget the diapers, the toys, the cushions and the hundred other small things which mothers remember and which children always need. Would you not do the same? If you and your child were going to be killed tomorrow, would you not give him to eat today?
In hut 6A old Gattegno lived with his wife and numerous children and grandchildren and his sons- and daughters-in-law. All the men were carpenters, they had come from Tripoli after many long journeys, and had always carried with them the tools of their trade, their kitchen utensils and their accordions and violins to play and dance to after the day''s work. They were happy and pious folk. Their women were the first to silently and rapidly finish the preparations for the journey in order to have time for mourning. When all was ready, the food cooked, the bundles tied together, they unloosened their hair, took off their shoes, placed the Yahrzeit candles on the ground and lit them according to the customs of their fathers, and sat on the bare soil in a circle for the lamentations, praying and weeping all the night. We collected in a group in front of their door, and we experienced within ourselves a grief that was new for us, the ancient grief of the people that has no land, the grief without hope of the exodus which is renewed every century.
Dawn came on us like a betrayer; it seemed as though the new sun rose as an ally of our enemies to assist in our destruction. The different emotions that overcame us, of resignation, of futile rebellion, of religious abandon, of fear, of despair, now joined together after a sleepless night in a collective, uncontrolled panic. The time for meditation, the time for decision was over, and all reason dissolved into a tumult, across which flashed the happy memories of our homes, still so near in time and space, as painful as the thrusts of a sword.
Many things were then said and done among us; but of these it is better that there remain no memory.
With the absurd precision to which we later had to accustom ourselves, the Germans held the roll-call. At the end the officer asked ''Wieviel Stück?'' The corporal saluted smartly and replied that there were six hundred and fifty ''pieces'' and that all was in order. They then loaded us on to the buses and took us to the station of Carpi. Here the train was waiting for us, with our escort for the journey. Here we received the first blows: and it was so new and senseless that we felt no pain, neither in body nor in spirit. Only a profound amazement: how can one hit a man without anger?
There were twelve goods wagons for six hundred and fifty men; in mine we were only forty-five, but it was a small wagon. Here then, before our very eyes, under our very feet, was one of those notorious transport trains, those which never return, and of which, shuddering and always a little incredulous, we had so often heard speak. Exactly like this, detail for detail: goods wagons closed from the outside, with men, women and children pressed together without pity, like cheap merchandise, for a journey towards nothingness, a journey down there, towards the bottom. This time it is us who are inside.
Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite. Our ever-insufficient knowledge of the future opposes it: and this is called, in the one instance, hope, and in the other, uncertainty of the following day. The certainty of death opposes it: for it places a limit on every joy, but also on every grief. The inevitable material cares oppose it: for as they poison every lasting happiness, they equally assiduously distract us from our misfortunes and make our consciousness of them intermittent and hence supportable.
It was the very discomfort, the blows, the cold, the thirst that kept us aloft in the void of bottomless despair, both during the journey and after. It was not the will to live, nor a conscious resignation; for few are the men capable of such resolution, and we were but a common sample of humanity.
The doors had been closed at once, but the train did not move until evening. We had learnt of our destination with relief. Auschwitz: a name without significance for us at that time, but it at least implied some place on this earth.
The train travelled slowly, with long, unnerving halts. Through the slit we saw the tall pale cliffs of the Adige Valley and the names of the last Italian cities disappear behind us. We passed the Brenner at midday of the second day and everyone stood up, but no one said a word. The thought of the return journey stuck in my heart, and I cruelly pictured to myself the inhuman joy of that other journey, with doors open, no one wanting to flee, and the first Italian names...and I looked around and wondered how many, among that poor human dust, would be struck by fate. Among the forty-five people in my wagon only four saw their homes again; and it was by far the most fortunate wagon.
We suffered from thirst and cold; at every stop we clamoured for water, or even a handful of snow, but we were rarely heard; the soldiers of the escort drove off anybody who tried to approach the convoy. Two young mothers, nursing their children, groaned night and day, begging for water. Our state of nervous tension made the hunger, exhaustion and lack of sleep seem less of a torment. But the hours of darkness were nightmares without end.
There are few men who know how to go to their deaths with dignity, and often they are not those whom one would expect. Few know how to remain silent and respect the silence of others. Our restless sleep was often interrupted by noisy and futile disputes, by curses, by kicks and blows blindly delivered to ward off some encroaching and inevitable contact. Then someone would light a candle, and its mournful flicker would reveal an obscure agitation, a human mass, extended across the floor, confused and continuous, sluggish and aching, rising here and there in sudden convulsions and immediately collapsing again in exhaustion.
Through the slit, known and unknown names of Austrian cities, Salzburg, Vienna, then Czech, finally Polish names. On the evening of the fourth day the cold became intense: the train ran through interminable black pine forests, climbing perceptibly. The snow was high. It must have been a branch line as the stations were small and almost deserted. During the halts, no one tried any more to communicate with the outside world: we felt ourselves by now ''on the other side''. There was a long halt in open country. The train started up with extreme slowness, and the convoy stopped for the last time, in the dead of night, in the middle of a dark silent plain.
On both sides of the track rows of red and white lights appeared as far as the eye could see; but there was none of that confusion of sounds which betrays inhabited places even from a distance. By the wretched light of the last candle, with the rhythm of the wheels, with every human sound now silenced, we awaited what was to happen.
Next to me, crushed against me for the whole journey, there had been a woman. We had known each other for many years, and the misfortune had struck us together, but we knew little of each other. Now, in the hour of decision, we said to each other things that are never said among the living. We said farewell and it was short; everybody said farewell to life through his neighbour. We had no more fear.
The climax came suddenly. The door opened with a crash, and the dark echoed with outlandish orders in that curt, barbaric barking of Germans in command which seems to give vent to a millennial anger. A vast platform appeared before us, lit up by reflectors. A little beyond it, a row of lorries. Then everything was silent again. Someone translated: we had to climb down with our luggage and deposit it alongside the train. In a moment the platform was swarming with shadows. But we were afraid to break that silence: everyone busied himself with his luggage, searched for someone else, oiled to somebody, but timidly, in a whisper.
A dozen SS men stood around, legs akimbo, with an indifferent air. At a certain moment they moved among us, and in a subdued tone of voice, with faces of stone, began to interrogate us rapidly, one by one, in bad Italian. They did not interrogate everybody, only a few: ''How old? Healthy or ill?'' And on the basis of the reply they pointed in two different directions.
Everything was as silent as an aquarium, or as in certain dream sequences. We had expected something more apocalyptic: they seemed simple police agents. It was disconcerting and disarming. Someone dared to ask for his luggage: they replied, ''luggage afterwards''. Someone else did not want to leave his wife: they said, ''together again afterwards''. Many mothers did not want to be separated from their children: they said ''good, good, stay with child''. They behaved with the calm assurance of people doing their normal duty of every day. But Renzo stayed an instant too long to say good-bye to Francesca, his fiancée, and with a single blow they knocked him to the ground. It was their everyday duty.
In less than ten minutes all the fit men had been collected together in a group. What happened to the others, to the women, to the children, to the old men, we could establish neither then nor later: the night swallowed them up, purely and simply. Today, however, we know that in that rapid and summary choice each one of us had been judged capable or not of working usefully for the Reich; we know that of our convoy no more than ninety-six men and twenty-nine women entered the respective camps of Monowitz-Buna and Birkenau, and that of all the others, more than five hundred in number, not one was living two days later. We also know that not even this tenuous priciple of discrimination between fit and unfit was always followed, and that later the simpler method was often adopted of merely opening both the doors of the wagon without warning or instructions to the new arrivals. Those who by chance climbed down on one side of the convoy entered the camp; the others went to the gas chamber.
This is the reason why three-year-old Emilia died: the historical necessity of killing the children of Jews was self-demonstrative to the Germans. Emilia, daughter of Aldo Levi of Milan, was a curious, ambitious, cheerful, intelligent child; her parents had succeeded in washing her during the journey in the packed car in a tub with tepid water which the degenerate German engineer had allowed them to draw from the engine that was dragging us all to death.
Thus, in an instant, our women, our parents, our children disappeared. We saw them for a short while as an obscure mass at the other end of the platform; then we saw nothing more.
Instead, two groups of strange individuals emerged into the light of the lamps. They walked in squads, in rows of three, with an odd, embarrassed step, head dangling in front, arms rigid. On their heads they wore comic berets and were all dressed in long striped overcoats, which even by night and from a distance looked filthy and in rags. They walked in a large circle around us, never drawing near, and in silence began to busy themselves with our luggage and to climb in and out of the empty wagons.
We looked at each other without a word. It was all incomprehensible and mad, but one thing we had understood. This was the metamorphosis that awaited us. Tomorrow we would be like them.
Without knowing how I found myself loaded on to a lorry with thirty others; the lorry sped into the night at full speed. It was covered and we could not see outside, but by the shaking we could tell that the road had many curves and bumps. Are we unguarded? Throw ourselves down? It is too late, too late, we are all ''down''. In any case we are soon aware that we are not without guard. He is a strange guard, a German soldier bristling with arms. We do not see him because of the thick darkness, but we feel the hard contact every time that a lurch of the lorry throws us all in a heap. At a certain point he switches on a pocket torch and instead of shouting threats of damnation at us, he asks us courteously, one by one, in German and in pidgin language, if we have any money or watches to give him, seeing that they will not be useful to us any more. This is no order, no regulation: it is obvious that it is a small private initiative of our Charon. The matter stirs us to anger and laughter and brings relief."



And now Pastor Martin Niemöller.
Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (January 14, 1892 – March 6, 1984) was a prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known as the author of the poem First they came....
Although he was a national conservative and initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler, he became one of the founders of the Confessing Church, which opposed the nazification of German Protestant churches. Despite his own antisemitic attitudes, he vehemently opposed the Aryan Paragraph. For his opposition to the Nazi's state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945. He narrowly escaped execution and survived imprisonment. After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis. He turned away from his earlier antisemitic and nationalistic beliefs and was one of the initiators of the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt.

Here's the famous poem :

First they came for the Jews
 
and I did not speak out 

because I was not a Jew.
 
Then they came for the Communists
 
and I did not speak out 

because I was not a Communist.
 
Then they came for the trade unionists
 
and I did not speak out 

because I was not a trade unionist.
 
Then they came for me
 
and there was no one left
 
to speak out for me.



So let's remember Levi and Niemöller, let's remember that Freedom isn't won once and forever but that it must be fought for everyday. Let's give a little of our time, let's do what it takes to make our presence noticed, let's give to citizenship a new and fresh meaning, let's stand for Freedom and Values. That's the logic behind Politeia. We'll overcome together in a better, safer World. A fair World.

Jackdm

Monday, November 12, 2007

Belgium on the verge of collapse

Belgium's deputies brought their fragile system of consensus rule crashing down on November 7th, with a direct clash between the two feuding linguistic groups : a bid by politicians from the Flemish part of the country to abolish the bilingual rights of 150,000 French-speakers who live in (otherwise Dutch-only) suburbs near Brussels by splitting the Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde electoral arrondissement. By putting the plan to a vote in a parliamentary committee, Flemish leaders have broken the decades-old “Belgian pact”, under which the two language groups avoid holding a straight sectarian vote. Taking advantage of number (in a commitee, flemish deputies outnumber walloon ones as the demographic situation of Belgium is respected : 60% Flemish-40%Walloons)
The goal of Flanders is to isolate Brussels. As, in case of independence of Flanders, borders would be drawn along administrative arrondissements, Brussels could well fall into their hands.
Clearly, nationalism has grown impressively in Flanders lately. Every important party has a nationalist/separatist wing. More and more, Flanders tends toward a confederal logic, at least. They want to get rid of french speaking Wallonia and negociations to form a federal government have come to a stop, infected by these communities problems. You have to know that elections took place on... June 10.

Why get rid of Wallonia?

Since Belgium became a federation in 1970, Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia (along with a small german region in the east of the country) has its own government, with competences always increasing with time.
From the beginning, Wallonia has been politically dominated by the "Parti Socialiste"(PS) Its dominance has been so strong that its members have control of all levels of power.
And they couldn't resist the "mediocrity temptation". They put a system in place, based on corruption, briberies, mercantilism, using federal money to serve their personal interest and to accommodate voters the easy way in a economically very depressed region : panem et circenses (bread and games) for the many unemployed citizens.
While Flanders kept bravely developing its economy, Wallonia dived in deep waters. Unemployment always rising, the population trapped by the socialist illusion lost its courage, will, confidence. Many children have never seen their parents employed and become themselves unemployed.
As time went by, the wallon socialists were more and more daring in their mischievousnesses and scandals became to unveil at an impressive rate. From the assassination of André Cools (, one of PS historical figures by mafia killers hired by some socialists fellows (wich led to former minister Vanderbiest's suicide) through the Agusta, Dassault or Inusop affairs to the recent conviction of Richard Carlier, the jailing of former Charleroi Mayor van Gompel (along with deputy mayors De Spiegeleer, Cariat and Co), PS gave from Wallonia a horrific image.

And Flanders citizens think that they are paying federal government too much money in order to keep Wallonia afloat. European or belgian federal help did nothing for Wallonia, because of PS being in charge, botching initiatives and wasting allowances. Flanders is fed up with what they call "the PS State".

Some numbers : BNI in Wallonia is the weakest for Northwestern european regions. To get a BNI so low, you have to travel 400 kilometers towards East or 1200 kilometers towards South.
In the classification of 89 regions in Europe for well being, Wallonia was classified 52th in 1995 and 56th in 2002. Slovenia is on the verge of doing better..
The long term unemployment is 7,1% (1,6 in Flanders) Total unemployment : 17,5% (12,3 for Belgium as a whole) Children living in a family with both unemployed parents : 18,9% (7,3 in Flanders) Expectation of life : 77,2 years (79,4 in Flanders) Education : Wallonia's students ranked 23th, 31th and 31th respectively for maths, reading and sciences (Flanders : first, third, fifth) in Europe.
In Wallonia, Hainaut and Liege provinces are doing desperately bad while Brabant and Luxembourg are rather up in numbers, keeping disaster in proportions. And you know what? Hainaut and Liege are the strongest fortresses of PS while socialism doesn't have a historical tradition (nor majority) in less inhabited Brabant and Luxembourg!
And let's speak of Brussels : also led by a socialist coalition, the unemployment level is skyrocketing : 22%!

Some interesting socialist figures in Wallonia and Brussels :

Michel Daerden : minister in the regional government (Budget) : always drunk and proud to be. Very popular! Check Youtube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaWNLqRpOms

Freddy Thielemans : mayor of Brussels. Well known for his conception of freedom of speech (see the forbidden demo on 9/11...) Doesn't compare to Daerden in terms of alcoholic beverages but does "quite well", thank you.

Allison Declercq : freshly elected to the Parliament, the young lady (20 years old) quits... college to better do her job in politics! Did you say competence and experience?

Paul Magnette : minister in the regional government (Health), has a clue to straighten Wallonia up : "Walloons, make love in a better way than you have done till now : your confidence'll rise and so will Wallonia's economy." (I'm not kidding, he said that in Parliament, very seriously...)


So Belgium is on the verge of collapse because of a bunch of so-called socialists who decided socialism was no more a party for workers but well a party for people wanting not to work.
PS in Wallonia is the epitome of a political class WE HAVE TO GET RID OF IN EUROPE!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Posting Will Be Slow ...

After over twelve hours of soft torture I was informed at 02:45 early Saturday morning that I'm in the process of being upgraded from a mere mortal broadband user to an exclusive "Lightspeed" (whatever its name is) client. Such being the blessings of a HoL (Hellas off Line) customer!It look me the better part of the day, listening to a soothing, canned, female voice, perpetually informing the esteemed customers that for "safety and quality reasons their messages will be recorded". This is typical postmodern, legal morality which says that everything is allowed as long as it's regulated, meaning that the customer must be priorly informed. "Excuse me, we will now be subjecting you to subliminal torture, but it's alright! We just informed you!".

The female legal disclaimer was merely background to a specially devised tune with a rhythm just under heart beat - to suppress the excitement of waiting, and adrenaline flow induced by being treated like a non-entity; the lyrics conveying the message that "the sky is clearing, it's a beautiful day, open up your window, let the sun shine in ...". Apart from interruptions by the disclaimer, this musical brainwash is set loose on the esteemed clientele, 24/7. I told you, I know when I'm being manipulated, but apparently entire hordes are taken in by this piece of corporate BB psychology from hell.

Having over the last 30 to 40 years eliminated the encouragement of independent thinking from the educational curriculum, people's cognition today takes place largely on the perceptional level where feelings and emotions about themselves and the world surrounding them, are being triggered by outside forces and flow unhindered by the conceptional level on which active, conscious cognition is supposed to take place. (Semi-)subliminal manipulation of public perception has become a black art in which many professionals excel. The initial idea then, that you're dealing with a bunch of autistic amateurs is grossly unjustified. This sample of customer repellant is well thought through.

As said - the night shift being less occupied with customer management - at 02:45 a.m. I finally got through to a live technician appraising me of the happy message. It would take only three to four days for the transfer from 'basic' to 'upgraded customer' to take place, only at the price of living without broadband connection for the duration. My wodka induced protests of being 'on to them' were promptly punished by the duration being increased to one week.Never mind prior warning in writing - snailmail not being their medium of choice - perhaps email or a telephone message would have been indicated since they have the specifics on record for obvious technical reasons. But the only form of human-to-human communication you'll ever get from the corporate policy turned autistic amateurism is a monthly bill, payable exclusively by inconvenient methods.

I could of course take my business elsewhere, but that would also involve an off-line transition period, as well as the technical problems associated with a new connection, and well the new media cartel knows it! Besides, they're all the same, wherever you go on the planet, the new businesses dealing in cell phones, internet and all their paraphernalia are all subject to the same postmodern message of non-communication, conveying the message that the customer is basically irrelevant to the bottom line: virtual anonimity guaranteed.

In short, posting will be a bit slow in the coming week while I'm dealing with withdrawal symptons, doing offline chores. My podcast interview with Andrew Riley and Duane Lester of "Field Guide to American Politics" - if at all - will be conducted from the local Internet café from which I am posting present message. CU next weekend. Can't wait ...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Demolished Heritage


If you happened to have read my post yesterday morning, you'll know what I've been up to. I went into town on assignment, hot on the trail of a building in distress. As it happens, it is actually no less than an entire community, and a place representing our very roots, that's in peril! Here's the related blog: "Dionysiou Areopagitou 17: A Monument in Danger".

To fully appreciate what we're dealing with, picture the following. The building concerned is a 1930's, Art Deco specimen, that is perfectly embedded in a classical Greek setting; it was built and designed by award winning, international artist and architect Vasilis Kouremenos, a friend of Pablo Picasso's. More details in this post.

It has recently been restored and the adorning marble relief work and mosaics are as fresh as if applied only yesterday. Some of the interior art work is simply exquisite: there's a slide show accessible here.This perfect architectonic period piece flanks the road the Apostle Paul is said to have walked; it lies on the foot of the Acropolis mountain, in the heart of the old town of Athens. The buildings in this area are traditionally of the Neo-classical period. Some sadly have been abandoned by their impoverished owners and ran to seed in the course of two and half centuries; the vast majority that hasn't, have recently been restored to their former glory. It is a truly unique place, in the physical sense as well as historical and cultural.

It was bound to happen ... inevitably ... Postmodern politicians, planners and architects being what they are - the deconstructionists of a past and a place they revile and despise, having made its atomization the centre-piece of their vacuous lives - not content with dumping a linear glass monument to nihilism smack in the middle of this paradise - are now threatening the annex historical build-up with extinction.

It simply couldn't stand: deconstruction of the place that symbolizes the cradle of Western civilization, is to them the height of accomplishment. The challenge has long stood firm, taunting them to lift up their barbaric hands against her; at last she's succumbed to the relativist onslaught! The Postmodern oaf boasting his accomplishment can be viewed in the video embedded in yesterday's post.

The owners, occupants and a great number of other defenders of the remaining buildings in peril, are making the case for the proverbial line in sand that will not be crossed. No more! The excuse is too feeble for words: as if one demanding visitor, one exhausted tourist, would ever forfeit their refreshing cuppa or G&T after a long, hot haul with the spirits of the Parthenon ... because of an obstructed view!

Instead of the oaf adjusting his 'artistic efforts' to fit the environment in which it stands, the plan was of course all along to adjust the heritage to fit the nihilist design!

I'm begging any human being with a cultural or historical bone in his or her body, to sign the petition that will help the brave activists keeping the deconstructionists at bay. You can help stop the Postmodern wreckers by entering a short comment in the commentary box (blue coloured text at the bottom of the top post, titled Action - click on: ΣΧΟΛΙΑ).

With gratitude, on behalf of the cradle!

More photos, videos and other material is available on the Politeia Articles Blog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Demolishing Heritage

Your intrepid civil reporter is today on assignment. Reverting asap!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Make Way for the European Emperors!



- Français
- Italiano

G
iovanna Reggiani was 47 years old. She passed away after being assaulted by a young Rom last Tuesday 29th October in the suburbs of Rome, Italy.

Since Romania entered the European Union on 1st January 2007 an estimated five hundred thousand Romanians crossed the Italian borders. That is five hundred thousand of the poorest, the most desperate, and the most determined to do whatever it takes to partake of Western prosperity. Crime has exploded and shanty areas have sprung up like mushrooms in the Italian suburbs: the price for welcoming into the community a country that obviously isn't prepared to pay the same price.

Giovanna Reggiani, the spouse of a Navy officer, was robbed and raped, dying while fiercely defending herself.

Did I mention the European Union, that shameless bunch of elected politicians (take it as you like, but that's the truth) who couldn't anticipate anything of the above? Or didn't want to. Why admitting Romania into the union as early as 2007? Explain that! One thing is sure though, this European Union doesn't represent its citizens and it doesn't protect them. You can forget that! It has one and one goal only: pushing your head under water and drowning you in a spiral of madness.

We shouldn't be surprised. After all, these corrupt and incompetent politicians who rule this union, originated from the home countries where they started their putrid jobs and then moved on to the super state; an unlawful super state at that, because it is devoid of a democratically approved constitution.

Apart from that, Italian politicians acting at home didn't do anything to anticipate, or react to this situation. They allowed the shanty areas to spring up, crime rates soaring. They left Giovanna Reggiani alone in some hostile suburb and - by the hand of some young Rom - killed her. Today all of a sudden, they are clearing the area, driving away the Romanians and destroying the shacks. Couldn't that have been done prior to her death? And how long will the belated resolve last? Just the time required for the media to forget about Giovanna Reggiani?

Without a doubt they'll quit like they usually do, killing Giovanna once again. On the other hand, they'll all pass the blame off on each other. The so-called political Right-wing will accuse the so-called Leftists of the Prodi Administration they have not taken timely, appropriate measures. Be that as it may, the political Right didn't take any effective measures either when they were in power: the fact is that the shanties may have sprang up impressively since January 2007, the very area where the murderer of Giovanna Reggiani lived, was created five years ago.

Guilty, all of them! They battle each other in a shameless way for just a particle of power, or for money, or easy women, inflating their hyperbolic egos, compromising and bending, like vultures over the poor woman's coffin.

Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean to blame an unlucky man who just lost his beloved wife in such tragic circumstances, but I'm waiting for the day when someone in his situation, man or woman, will have the brilliant idea - at the church door and in front of television cameras - to throw this bunch of hyenas back where they belong. I want to see them fleeing, tails between their legs. And perhaps the widower could spit in the face of some of these evil-minded politicians, for instance the one for whom he voted but who betrayed him; just to see if he has the nerve to have him arrested, preventing him from attending his beloved's funeral.

No doubt all this will have consequences for Italian society. On the evening prior to the funeral three Romanians got beaten up by a group of masked individuals, not far away from the place where Giovanna Reggiani was murdered. I've something to say to these anonymous guys: I condemn violence and what you did makes no sense whatsoever. Who were these three randomly singled out Romanians, after all?

But if you really can't control your behaviour - when the time has come to deal with the fear that some of your beloved ones may have to suffer, like Giovanna Reggiani suffered - if by that time nobody and nothing can stop you, then at least choose your targets carefully. Go and find the truly guilty ones. From Prodi to Berlusconi, to Mastella, Veltroni, Fassino, Diliberto, Casini, Calderoli, Fini, and not forgetting Frattini, you have an ample if not exhaustive list to choose from.

WRITTEN AND POSTED BY JACK DM

Update: EUX: "Romania shocked over Rome killing, premier pledges support to Italy"

Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu on Friday expressed his deepest regret over the killing in Rome of a woman allegedly by a Romanian man, and pledged his full support to Italian counterpart Romano Prodi, news agency Mediafax reported. Romanians were said to have been shocked by the brutal murder of 47-year-old Giovanna Reggiani, with many spontaneously laying candles and flowers on Bucharest's University Square. >>>


On a different note, political Narcissism was the subject of this week's Sanity Squad podcast on BlogTalkRadio. The psychiatrists discuss why we vote for the politicians we do, and why they are running. What's the psychology?


Saturday, November 3, 2007

"The Fable of the Knife"

Dr Sam C. Holliday, director of the Armiger Cromwell Center, following his first essay in these pages, "Effectively Communicating Jihad: a spade is a spade", in a second article is sharing with us today "The Fable of the Knife", which dates back to the days of the Greek Civil War. He does the introduction himself:

We welcome the good news that killings are down in Iraq. However, we must not forget the ‘Fable of the Knife’. Future hirabahists (Islamic extremists who kill the innocent) will surely remember it. There is no need for each generation to relearn its lesson. The origin of this fable is unknown. From 1947 to 1949 it was told in Greece, and since then many variations have been told.

THE FABLE - Do three insurgents with one hunting knife, or a battalion, control the town?

The battalion is well equipped with the latest in vehicles, communication, and weapons. Its soldiers are well-trained professionals. Most of the time they are in their fortified compound. All guns and ammunition in the town have been collected and destroyed, and no enemy units have been reported in the vicinity. Several times a day vehicles from the compound patrol the town with the soldiers smiling and waving to the people; from time to time they stop and talk - as best they can. Officers from the battalion meet regularly with town leaders to discuss how to improve public utilities, facilitate economic development, and improve governance. They also talk - through an interpreter - about the glories of freedom, and the advantages of democracy. Every day the battalion commander reports to his superior that the town is secure and under his control.

The three insurgents have no vehicle, only face-to-face communication, and one hunting knife. Anyone who has spoken out against the insurgents has been found the next morning in front of his home with his throat cut.

Who controls the town, the three insurgents with one hunting knife or the battalion?

LESSON TO BE LEARNED - Local security must be of, by and for the people.

The big dog theory holds that the biggest, badest dog can dominate all other dogs, and also the cats. In accordance with this theory, war-fighting forces should be able to dispatch insurgents to the ash can of history. But the hirabahists are not dogs or cats; they are snakes, insects, bacteria and viruses. So the battalion is unable to neutralize them. The ruthlessness, cruelty and determination of the insurgents give them the upper hand in a battle of wills.

Sam C. Holliday is a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, a former director of Stability Studies at the Army War College, and a retired Army Colonel. He earned a Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in International Relations from the University of South Carolina. Currently he is Director of The Armiger Cromwell Center, a small nonprofit Internet clearinghouse for thinking "outside of the box of conventional wisdom." By means of its online essays, the ACC seeks more effective foreign policies to achieve stability through equilibrium.

- Related: The Fable of the Water Buffalo and the Sparrow

Copyright © 2007 Armiger Cromwell Center, 3750 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 374, Atlanta, GA 30319-1322 armigercc@comcast.net Permission is granted to forward this essay to friends or colleagues, on a fair use basis. For reprint permission contact Armiger Cromwell Center.

 
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