Emails and articles of interest are posted here by John Ray to make them more widely available
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3
My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.
I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.
Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.
America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course
The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left
The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left.
Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.
Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.
The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here
Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies
The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.
Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful
The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel
"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses
Among well-informed people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists hate success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.
A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.
Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.
Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.
“Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics.” -- C.J. Keyser
"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus
THE FALSIFICATION OF HISTORY HAS DONE MORE TO IMPEDE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THAN ANY ONE THING KNOWN TO MANKIND -- ROUSSEAU
"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.
Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.
Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance
Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state – capitalism frees them.
MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate.
Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).
The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.
Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.
Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.
IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.
If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!
And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!
The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned
"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.
Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel
Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.
Conservatives, on the other hand could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.
Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists
The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.
Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable
A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931–2005: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.
"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama
The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges
The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.
The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload
A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here
Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16
People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average black adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.
Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.
Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."
R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason
Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?
The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.
Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?
Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable
I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.
As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.
The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"
UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.
Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide
I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.
I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.
I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address
Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.
"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit
I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.
It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.
If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.
COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.
My academic background
My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here
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There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here
Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
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MONOGRAPH ON LEFTISM
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Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Pyszczynski et al.
Cautionary blogs about big Australian companies:
St. George bank
Bank of Qld.
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Friday, September 12, 2003
SOME MESSES TAKE A WHILE TO CLEAR UP
Mike Tremoglie draws our attention to this editorial in his local Philadelphia Northeast Times. Excerpt:
It's getting very ugly
“It wasn't supposed to be this way. After Saddam Hussein was vanquished, the peace-loving people of Iraq were supposed to be loving peace and President Bush was supposed to be basking in the glory of it all. But this Iraq thing . . . what a mess."
Mike wrote back:
"To the editorial board of the Northeast Times:
Your characterization of Iraq as a mess is questionable.
A mess? Compared to what?
Los Angeles in 1992?
In two days, 58 people died and about $8 billion in damage were caused by American citizens who did not like a court verdict.
Where in 1993 were the Democratic Party Attorney General incinerated 88 people -and not one liberal journalist worried about civil liberties. Even arch liberal Gore Vidal said Waco was an abomination.
The World Trade Center?
It still has yet to be rebuilt and there are no language differences.No equipment to transport halfway around the world. No infrastructure neglected for two decades. You expected the entire nation of Iraq to rebuilt in less than 6 months.
The US military, contrary to the predictions of you liberal journalists, all of whom seem to read the same book, captured Baghdad in less time than it took Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins to make the movie Bull Durham. They did so with minimal loss of civilian life and infrastructure.
(BTW Being so cautious about civilian casualties may be a contributing factor to what is occurring now. I don't know that for a fact, however, as long as you are going to make questionable statements I figure I will too.)
It this were 60 years ago you would be complaining that:
*Tokyo, Berlin, and Rome were not captured two years after Pearl Harbor.
*That too many Japanese, German, and Italian civilians were killed.
*That Guadalcanal has not been rebuilt
*France was not liberated
*That the US spent too much and gave away everything to Britain and Russia (Recall the term Uncle Shylock?)
The liberal ideology and Democratic Party sympathies of the Northeast Times , like your big brothers at the Philadelphia Inquirer, are quite apparent. Americans know your exploitation of this terrible war for political purposes - like your Democratic presidential candidates exploit it - is despicable and appeals only to a lunatic fringe element.
There are legitimate reasons to be opposed to this war. However, your sarcastic, glib, ill-informed editorial did not contain any of them.
Michael P. Tremoglie
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
THE HISPANIC FLOOD
One of my correspondents is not so worried about the big influx of Hispanics into the USA. He writes:
“On your recent post about the amount of Hispanic immigrant numbers reaching a 'critical mass' needed to allow linguistic ghettos -- rather obviously the author has not been in the South West or California, which it has always been well above critcal mass. We conquered the area from Mexico in the 19th century and cross-border travel was always unrestrained until recently.
Most Mexican immigrants have realised the need to speak English well, as have the totally bilingual middle class communities in California and New Mexico (intermarriage is quite common, by the way.) What is new is the ethnic separatism of MEChA, which is a post-60s leftist phenomenon.
One of my co-workers used to be a woman of Spanish/Mexican descent, who would never have referred to herself or her family as 'Chicano' or 'Mexican.' Her grandparents were orphaned when theeir parents and other family members were murdered by the Villistas around 1915 or so and fled to the US. Her family in California referred to itself as 'Spanish.'
The Villistas also murdered all the Americans they could get their hands on, and their plan for the conquest of California and the SW involved the murder of all non-Mexican males over the age of 16.
Massachusets, where I live, had a referendum banning most bi-lingual education and this year they have to put it into effect. The teachers' unions are griping, the people at Salem State College's school of bi-lingual education are quaking, but it was something wanted by both the voters and the immigrant parents who don't want their kids in dead-end jobs. The Mexican parents look at the success of Vietnamese immigrants, non-Mexican Hispanic immigrants like the guy Bush tried to make a judge and failed because of Shumer and Kennedy, and Russian kids (who are generally raised entirely bilingually, with the parents insisting on an English-first approach while speaking to them every so often in Russian at home) and are envious.
At the same time they watch the telenovelas on Univision etc. (one of which deals with the travails of a super-rich Cuban immigant family in Miami that uses occasional English.)
The situation, in a lot of ways, resembles that of the US in the late 19th century, when German was the second language of the US after English. The Germans were the largest single ethnic group and language group (even bigger if you count Yiddish as a dialect), larger than the 'English (the 'English' category was inflated by influding all British except, and then sometimes, the Irish.)' People like the father of SF writer Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (Theodore Kroeber) learned English in special private schools, and if you read his collection "On Culture" it's rather obvious which language he thought in when he wrote.
During WWI there was a power-grab, and German became a non-language. It made some headway back during the wars, then Hitler and the German-American Bund virtually killed it. However, dialects of it are still spoken in PA (where it was called Pennsylvania Dutch, did not help all that much as the government was banning Menonite bibles from prisons during the first world war.) Hopefully, the present situation will not need a war to be resolved.
NEWS FROM IRAQ
This was posted on a message board by a college professor who is also an Army reservist and now in Iraq. I have not obtained his permission to publish it so I will omit his name and other details:
“I've recently resubscribed after an absence necessitated by my service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, for which I was mobilized as a Reserve officer. Presently, I am writing this post from the heart of the Sunni Triangle in north-central Iraq.
Let me preface it by noting that, first, nothing I write should be construed as an official US government pronouncement; second, that my vision is necessarily the narrow one of an officer at ground-level, a limitation familiar to anyone who has indulged in the war memoir literature. So what I see and react to doesn't extend much further than a 300-meter target from my base perimeter.
I, too, have been troubled by the OIF-WWII analogy, though my unease with it predates my arrival in Southwest Asia. I agree with Curt Cardwell that one important -- perhaps decisive -- difference between 1945 Germany and 2003 Iraq is the Germans' prior knowledge of democracy, during both the Weimar and the not-quite-democratic Wilhelmine periods. But for me another important difference is the one noted by John Zimmerman -- Germany was exhausted and thoroughly destroyed. Consequently, the Germans had nowhere to go but up (regrettably, though, the eastern Germans did not have even this option), and the Allies were in a position to more or less do whatever they wanted.
We in Iraq today do not have that luxury. I will posit the following key differences that seem to me to constrain our efforts. First, Iraq was not thoroughly destroyed, so we don't have a Germany-like blank slate with which to work. The Iraqis have expectations -- they have satellite TV, too, and are not willing to wait for an indeterminate amount of time before Prada opens a storefront in Baghdad.
Second, and at the risk of sounding like a cultural imperialist, we're not dealing with Europeans. Lest the Mideast specialists and cultural historians add their mortar fire to that with which I'm already contending, by that I mean that we as Americans are less prepared by virtue of our own experience to succeed in the Arab world than we were in Europe. The region here seems far more suspicious of our motives than were Europeans in 1945 (and, I would think, the post-war Japanese, as well).
Third, as we hear on the news, Iraq's borders are porous. There were no Belgians (for example) trying to sneak into Germany in 1945 to kill Americans. Refugee control into the non-Soviet zones was the challenge -- not keeping euphemistically named "foreign fighters" out. Far from being a setback for radicalism in the region, Iraq seems to be something of an opportunity for those who oppose US policy. I don't believe many European governments would have been excited by the possibility that we might "fail" in Germany; I'm not convinced that the same holds true among all Arab states.
However, things are not as bad as they might seem in Iraq. I am fortunate, in that I frequently have opportunities to interact with Iraqis. I have not heard one -- perhaps not surprisingly -- who isn't glad that we ousted Saddam (excepting, of course, those who keep shooting at me). Under the guidance of the OCPA and the Iraqi governing council, military units are returning the money that was stolen from the Iraqi people by the regime, by purchasing goods on the local economy and by contracting with Iraqis to repair and rebuild.
The Iraqis involved in these transactions are glad for the work and keen to rebuild their own country. They are, however, very suspicious of our motives here and are quick to see conspiracies abounding, mostly relating to oil. At my base (and I'm sure all others), there is an extensive "neighborhood" program that is intended to rebuild the local area. Army units sponsor projects in the local community and arrange for Iraqis to bid for the contracts, purchase the raw materials, and perform the work -- again, returning the Iraqis' money to their economy. School and clinic rebuilding are particularly popular choices for the troops.
This work is supremely important to our ultimate success and is largely being managed by young Captains and Majors who go out into the communities day after day, who meet the local sheiks and town councils, and who truly are "our face" for the majority of the Iraqi people.
Though I have the opportunity to see CNN and Fox News once or twice a week, I've never seen any mention of these efforts in the US media. This is probably a mistake. In short, it isn't all ambushes and roadblocks here. There might, in fact, be better opportunities for us than there were in post-war Germany. The analogy is popular, I suspect, because it links Iraqi Freedom metaphorically with the "Good War." But (again, from my narrow perspective) the analogy is only apt in the broadest possible sense that Iraq, like Germany, is a foreign country that we've occupied and are trying to rebuild.
But in its particulars, the analogy largely fails. The mission here is different, the challenges are different and the environment is more dangerous. Rather than try to rely on precedent to justify our work here, we might in the long run do better to simply acknowledge that we are setting a precedent and hope that it is a successful one.”
Monday, September 08, 2003
Proud to be British?
By Richard Littlejohn
HOW ironic that it's New Labour introducing a test for immigrants on what it means to be British.
Since it came to power in 1997, this government has done its utmost to destroy any concept of Britishness.
It has tried to tear up the past, to rubbish or ignore our history, to destroy the whole concept of Britain.
Labour has built on 30 years of post-colonial, guilt-ridden propaganda in schools, universities, broadcasting and the left-wing media.
British history is constantly painted in the worst possible light.
Schoolchildren are taught that the Empire was a racist, slave-mongering tyranny for which we should all be deeply ashamed.
This completely ignores the enlightenment, advancement, prosperity, rule of law, democracy and liberty which the Empire, and subsequently the Commonwealth, brought to the world.
How many pupils know, for instance, that it was the British Navy that brought about the end of the slave trade? We are told that mud huts and wood carvings are the equal of St Paul's and Shakespeare.
Even when they bother to teach the history of the Second World War, they now proclaim that the bombing of Germany in self-defence was a war crime on a par with the Holocaust.
The entire teaching of history in state schools is designed to denigrate our achievements, one of the greatest of which is the Union itself. Britain has always been greater than the sum of its parts.
It has enabled us to punch above our weight on the international stage, whether in trade or war.
Yet Blair has deliberately broken up the Union, mercilessly attacked our institutions and moved heaven and earth in a relentless and partly successful campaign to strip us of the power to govern ourselves.
Even his much-trumpeted devolution, which delivered Toytown parliaments to Scotland and Wales, was only stage one of the grand masterplan to tear up Britain and submerge what is left of it into a vast, remote, neo-socialist European superstate.
Stage two is the dismantling of England into irrelevant and artificial "regions" to comply with the map drawn up by the federasts in Europe.
Over the coming weeks the process will be accelerated by Blair signing up to the new European constitution, which will torpedo 1,000 years of history without any democratic authority.
He will pretend he has drawn "red lines" and will return from the October summit declaring "victory" for Britain, just like Johnny Major's "game, set and match" at Maastricht, another craven, deluded defeat.
But in reality he will surrender virtually everything the architects of the brave new Europe want and henceforth Britain will be governed by people we haven't voted for and will not be able to remove.
The question of whether or not we have a referendum on the euro becomes academic.
Control of our economy, like our legal system, our fisheries industry, our farming industry and just about everything else which matters, passes to Europe.
Those of us who dare to complain that we wish to remain an independent, sovereign nation with our own laws and our own currency will continue to be smeared as "Little Englanders".
And that nasty phrase encapsulates Labour's real view of the world.
It's not so much Britain Labour hates, it's the English.
Minister after minister has denounced any notion of English national pride as a reincarnation of the worst excesses of Nazi Germany.
While embracing the romantic vision of Welsh nationalism and Scottish nationalism, and capitulating to the blood-stained terrorism of Irish nationalism, any thought that the English might be allowed some say in the way their nation is run is ridiculed and abused.
The Cabinet is packed with ministers whom the English cannot vote from office. The NHS is run by John Reid, a Scot, who has no authority over the health service in his own constituency.
I suppose if you accept that as democratic, then the idea of Britain being run by unaccountable bureaucrats from Brussels and Strasbourg is merely the logical conclusion.
Labour has re-written history, telling us falsely we are a "nation of immigrants" when in effect, until fairly recently, we had a settled population for almost a millennium.
Even now, after mass immigration, more than 90 per cent of the British define themselves as white and nominally Christian.
We are told we are "multi-cultural" but outside the main cities this simply isn't true.
Immigrants have always set up home in the main centres of population, where the work is.
And it is a tribute to all of us that, by and large, this has been accomplished reasonably peacefully and successfully.
Despite pockets of prejudice, Britain _ and England, in particular _ is the least racist nation in Europe, possibly on Earth.
But you'll never hear any politician or professional race warrior admit that.
Labour has seriously damaged and undermined that success by opening our borders to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who have no connection with this country and no right to be here.
Belatedly, it appears to have acknowledged that far from promoting "inclusion" it has created ghettos, resentment and division.
The "Britishness" test is a step aimed at addressing that but it will only apply to those wishing to settle here lawfully, who have always been welcome.
But what is the point of putting immigrants through hoops when the government itself seems to be ashamed of being British?
This article originally appeared in the U.K. “Sun” newspaper on Sunday 7th. September, 2003 at:
More detail of what is proposed can be found here.
I have reposted this article here because stories on the “Sun” seem to go offline rather rapidly.
I have received some further comments on the issue from Gareth Young:
The Britishness test is nonsense. How do you get an Englishman, Welshman, Scotsman and Irishman to agree on the politics, culture and society of Britain? Fair enough to ask immigrants to pledge to uphold British law but to make them learn English! The pledging of allegiance to a state and head of state that many natives don't recognise would be impossible to justify. Blunkett in my eyes is a bit of a nutcase, surely we are destroying the society that we are trying to preserve by laying down conditions on the way people live their lives. If they break the law chuck them out. If they don't learn English, then what? Chuck them out? I don't know how the Gaellic and Welsh speakers will feel about this. I'm presuming that the Welsh speakers of Patagonia, South America would be made to learn English if they wanted to settle in Wales.
The article is correct in the fact that the Labour Government has done it's utmost to promote minority cultures - Welsh, Scottish, Irish and immigrant cultures - whilst denying the majority culture any status whatsoever. An example of this would be the funding largesse given to the Chinese New Year, St Patrick's Day, Nottinghill Carnival and Diwali whilst steadfastly refusing to give any money to celebrate St George's Day. The town hall in Cheadle was recently told to take down the St George's Cross (England's flag) because it would be offensive to visiting Scottish tourists and local Muslims.
Who are these people making these decisions? New Labour politicians.