Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Collective suicide

Why do nations commit cultural suicide? The Hapsburg empire allowed itself to decompose over a 50 year period by not maintaining a common language. Why do we do the same? We are actively encouraging a generation to develop a geographically rooted non-English speaking zone in the Southwest of the continental US. It is a source of strength to have diverse immigrants come and learn English. It is a source of weakness to have sections of the country that can't talk to one another. Most countries in this situation have arrived there by accident or outside intervention. We seem to be a first: a country that has actively promoted the process.

In one sense the rise of China may be a good thing. The existence of a hostile and aggressive power may help knock us out of the complacency which is encouraging this slide into a nation divided.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


One of the worst consequences of our abandonment of the idea of manhood and its obligations is that we have no, or less grounds for criticizing terrorists that regularly hide behind women and children. The NAZIs killed other people's women and children but they protected, rather than hid behind, their own. The reason is not part of the Western tradition of protecting non-combatants. It is something even more basic. It is the idea of being a man. It never would have occurred the NAZIs to hide behind the women and children for the same reason that it would not have occurred to a native American or a caveman for that matter.

The Palestinian terrorists have set a new low. They are being unmanly. But we have no vocabulary to point it out.

enforcing the Geneva Conventions

Great comments on Senator Durbin form James Taranto and the gang at Opinion Journal, especially the part about the Geneva conventions representing reciprocal obligations. I would just add that instead of defending the US by saying that we are not abandoning the Geneva Conventions he could go even farther and say we are enforcing them. The whole point of the conventions is to create incentives to obey the laws of war and discourage irregular combatants. Treating those who attack and hide behind civilians as if they were honorable soldiers is just as wrong, and just as against the conventions, as treating soldiers like irregular combatants. Afterall, why should a man wear a uniform, make himself a target and forego all the advantages that can be had from hiding behind women and children if he gets the same treatment regardless?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Kristof and Pervez

Great opinion piece from Kristof. The one thing I have to disagree with is the emphasis on Musharrif's culpability. I think it is too easy for us to just blame the leaders of the country. What about the guy from Pakistan that was criticizing us for our lack of respect for the Koran? He gets off scott free. The President of Pakistan who is trying to help us at some considerable risk to himself is pressured but we let the critics of the US go without having to answer tough questions about his own culture. The hypocritical critics of our regime are treated like allies and our real allies are forced to pay the cost.

Monday, June 13, 2005


the most incriminating thing in the Jackson case was the defenese. The reason he got off was that people are giving the benefit of a doubt to personal idiosyncracies rather than social standards. 20 years ago a man that slept with 13 year old boys would have have the burden of proof. Now it is on the boy. It is as if we are concerned to make the world safe for rich men with a thing for sleeping with (nothing more, of course) 12 year olds and looking at gay porn. Earlier we would have been concerned to make the world safe for our children, not our celebrities.

Jackson claims that the witnesses could not have seen him committing lewd acts because his bedroom has an alarm system outside it that alerts him when anyone comes within 50 feet. He claims that he has a good reason for sleeping with kids because--poor thing--he can't have relationships with adults. He admits to sleeping with a 12-13 year old boy for 365 nights a year. he has both hetro and homosexual porn in the bedroom with him and the objects of his affections--but no pedo on the computer. His defenders say we can't believe his accusers because what kind of parent would let their boy sleep with a 45 year old man. They were looking for money, just like the other three boys he paid over 60 million dollars [2x check] (and who happen to look just like this kid--i.e., his type?). And look at all the boys he slept with that say he didn't have sex with him.

A dysfunctional man incapable of having a relationship with adults who spends his every night with a series of 13 year olds of the same type behind a locked, alarmed door to whom he has paid over 60 million to hush up. That is the defense?!?

We are more concerned about the rights of deviant celebrities than about the rights of children.

The interesting thing to me is that the easy way out for a jury 20 years ago would have been to come down on the side of protecting the child, of protecting morality. Now the easy way out, the way to protect yourself from hard questions, is to protect deviance. Before, people were concerned about being considered lacking in moral probity, now they are concerned about being seen as judgemental.