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Sunday, March 27, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
I've blogged about this before, but the misconception is still vigorously making the rounds, and it's time to make the point again. The notion that fascism, and therefore naziism, are somehow left-wing movements, and not right-wing at all, probably wasn't originated by Jonah Goldberg's book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning [link],but was certainlypopularized by it.
Goldberg, of course, is a neoconservative, AKA, neocon, and that particular political faction is leftist, deriving, as it does, fromthe Trotskyite faction of the communist movement [link]. Now, of course, a lot of rank-and-file neocons have no idea about the origins of their political movement, and think they're standard conservatives. They're not. Actual conservatives have been pretty much purged from both parties over the years. Real conservatives, like Bob Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Grover Cleveland, and even Barry Goldwater, were proponents of small, limited governments and opposed unnecessary military intervention abroad and social engineering. Neoconservatives, of course, take the opposite, liberal positions on all these issues.
Read More: http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2016/03/were-fascists-leftists-or-rightists.html
Friday, March 25, 2016
Good Friday is very special. It is not only a “good” day, it is perhaps the best of all days, at least when taken in conjunction with Easter Sunday. It is, after all, the day on which we are redeemed from sin and become inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. Days don’t get any better than that! And yet I am tempted to claim, indeed I’m tempted to exclaim, that this particular Good Friday is extra special, that it has something about it that most other Good Fridays don’t have. In making such a claim, I expect to raise the eyebrows and perhaps even the ire of those who understand the supreme significance of this holiest of days. How can one Good Friday be better than any other? How can anyone claim that this year will be a Very Good Friday, whereas last year was only a Fairly Good Friday? Heaven forbid that anyone should say such a thing!
I am, of course, not saying such a thing.
And yet I am still saying that this particular Good Friday is indeed extra special!
Perhaps I should explain.
What makes this Good Friday extra special is that it falls on March 25. Those who know the Christian calendar will recognize the significance of this date. It is the Feast of the Annunciation, the date on which the Archangel Gabriel declared unto Mary that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost. It is the date on which Mary does conceive of the Holy Ghost. The date on which God becomes Man. The date on which the Word becomes Flesh. As a date, it is far more important than the Feast that happens nine months later, on December 25, because life begins at conception, not at birth.
So am I claiming that this particular Good Friday is extra special because it coincides with the Annunciation, conjoining the Incarnation with the Crucifixion, the feast with the fast, the Life with the Death? Up to a point, perhaps, but this is not the principal reason for the extra-special status of this particular Good Friday.Read More: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2016/03/makes-good-friday-extra-special.html
Today, Europe, the birthplace of the most magnificent civilizations to have graced this Earth, inspires only contempt. A prominent recent example was that of U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama in a lengthy interview with Jeffrey Goldberg ofThe Atlantic. In it, Obama blames European leaders for the chaos that followed his launching a war against Libya:
“Free riders aggravate me,” he told me [Goldberg]. Recently, Obama warned that Great Britain would no longer be able to claim a “special relationship” with the United States if it did not commit to spending at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense. “You have to pay your fair share,” Obama told David Cameron, who subsequently met the 2 percent threshold.
“When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong,” Obama said, “there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” he said. He noted that Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, lost his job the following year. And he said that British Prime Minister David Cameron soon stopped paying attention, becoming “distracted by a range of other things.”
Obama is of course not the first American president to have expressed frustration with the soft, war-averse, welfare-addled, nagging, and comfort-addicted smugly “post-historical” Eloi the Europeans have become since the Second World War. But his annoyance at Great Britain and France is striking insofar as these two are the last Western European nations to make any pretense of being even middle powers. The rest – Germany, Italy, Spain, et al – don’t even try.
Which flowers should you eat, which should you cast into the fire, and which should you use to tell your fortune? RBTH explores the fascinating beliefs associated with flowers in Russia.
1. Reconsider white carnationsRead More: http://rbth.com/arts/2016/03/25/spring-is-coming-10-flower-superstitions-in-russia_579079
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Those of us who try to be discerning are aware that liking a politician and supporting a politician can be entirely different things. True, if you dislike a given guy, chances are you dislike him at least partially because of his policies and/or qualifications, so that makes it unlikely that you'd support him by voting for him. And it works the other way — your approval of a given person's policies and abilities makes you at least tend to like him.
But not always. There are exceptions. A good example is Ben Carson. He's very hard not to like, because he seems like such a nice, decent, polite guy, and that's very likely true. But you could very easily dislike his intentions and attitudes towards issues, and would never vote for him. There have been politicians that I like, and would probably like very much if I knew them personally, but for whom I'd never vote, because I disagree with so much of what they believe. I'd put Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman in that category.
Read More: http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2016/03/john-craig-evaluates-trump-and-i-think.html
Of course, there is more to Western civilization than Europe. Still, Europe is one of two central loci of the civilization. If European culture collapses under a wave of Muslim immigrants, we in America will have a problem.
Writing in The Federalist, John Daniel Davidson (via Maggie’sFarm) reminds us of a prophetic 1973 novel by a Frenchman, Jean Raspail. It’s title, The Camp of the Saints.
In his book Raspail described how Europe was invaded and eventually transformed by an army of unarmed immigrants. They did not come to contribute. They did not come to work and achieve. They did not come to adapt to the local culture. They wanted to preserve their culture and to take what they did not earn.
Davidson describes the novel:
All of this calls to mind a 1973 novel by French writer Jean Raspail—The Camp of the Saints, an apocalyptic tale about the collapse of European civilization. Much of it could be lifted from the news coming out of Europe. In the book, one million impoverished Indians make their way by boat from the Ganges to the shores of southern France with no intention of adopting French ways; they come simply to claim for themselves what Europeans have and they do not.
Why do the Europeans accept this cultural colonization. The reason is: Western guilt. It presents itself as compassionate feelings for the world’s downtrodden and tells us that we are responsible for their failures and that we owe them recompense.
Didn’t Bernie Sanders proclaim yesterday that we have a right to health care because we are human beings? A noble sentiment, no doubt, but the question was really about the constitution? Where in the constitution, Bret Baier should have asked, does it say that we have a right to health care?
Monday, March 7, 2016
One of Iran’s richest men has been sentenced to death for corruption after being accused of making billions by sanctions-busting for a previous regime.
Babak Zanjani, who once estimated his personal fortune at C$18 billion, was arrested in Tehran in December 2013 — four months after his ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left office as president.
Zanjani, 44, has now been convicted of “fraud” and “economic crimes” and sentenced to be hanged, said a spokesman for the judiciary. He has also been ordered to repay “one fourth of the money that was laundered.”
Zanjani was first arrested one day after Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, promised to target “privileged figures” who had “taken advantage of economic sanctions”. His downfall is another sign that Rouhani is trying to dismantle Ahmadinejad’s legacy and purge associates of the former president.Read More: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/iran-sentences-billionaire-to-be-hanged-for-economic-crimes-and-corruption-in-oil-deals
The youth wing of Sweden's Liberal Party has proposed that men who don't want to be fathers are allowed a "legal abortion," the Aftonbladet newspaper reported.
Read More: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160307/1035917850/sweden-liberal-party-men-abortion.html
Plato’s Ion contains an unforgettable image describing artistic experience. In conversation with a rhapsode named Ion, Socrates likens the activity of poets to the operation of a magnet. Ion’s own professional expertise lies in the recitation of the poetry of Homer, and so Socrates says:
“The gift which you possess of speaking excellently about Homer is not an art, but, as I was just saying, an inspiration; there is a divinity moving you, like that contained in the stone which Euripides calls a magnet, but which is commonly known as the stone of Heraclea. This stone not only attracts iron rings, but also imparts to them a similar power of attracting other rings; and sometimes you may see a number of pieces of iron and rings suspended from one another so as to form quite a long chain: and all of them derive their power of suspension from the original stone. In like manner the Muse first of all inspires men herself; and from these inspired persons a chain of other persons is suspended, who take the inspiration. For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed.” (Plato,Ion, trans. B. Jowett)
Like a magnet, the divine power moves the poet, who moves the rhapsode who recites his poetry, who moves us in the audience. All in the chain are transported out of their minds by the divine experience.
This is the characteristic feeling of being “wrapped up in” an artistic experience. For example, the audience is immersed in a world of “make believe” and momentarily takes it as real. The audience members identify emotionally with a protagonist, moved by her fate, and forget to remind themselves that she is a fictional being.
Ion is aware that he himself gets caught up emotionally in his enactments of Homer’s dramatic scenes. Thus Socrates takes this as evidence that “not by art or knowledge about Homer do you say what you say, but by divine inspiration and by possession”; in other words, any truly effective artistic experience demands that the poets, and the audiences along with them, lose their minds in order to feel the divinely inspired experience.Read More: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2016/03/losing-your-mind-in-art-socrates.html
Saturday, March 5, 2016
On March 2, 2016, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's first and last president, whose efforts helped end the Cold War, whose reforms [unwittingly] brought down the Communist Party and, eventually, the Soviet Union, turned 85. Gorbachev's name is eternally associated with buzzwords and events of the 1980-1990s, such as glasnost ("openness"), perestroika("restructuring"), New Thinking, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev, a 1990 Nobel Prize laureate, founded Green Cross International, head The Gorbachev Foundation, and has no fear of breaking stereotypes, say by appearing in a Pizza Hut commercial, or narrating a new take on the story of Peter and the Wolf - which incidentally earned him a Grammy award in 2004.
Widely acclaimed in the West, where he became as recognizable a symbol of the USSR as Sputnik, the Bolshoi Ballet and the KGB, Gorbachev has nonetheless only enjoyed very moderate support in his homeland. According to apoll a decade ago, some 45 percent of Russians have a negative opinion about the former Soviet leader, while 34 percent say they are neutral and just 14 percent express positive feelings. The explanation is simple: many Russians still blame Gorbachev for the collapse of the country he took charge of, and the economic misery that followed.
But, looking back, the Gorbachev era seems like an intoxicating time, when walls were crumbling and a new picture of the world was being assembled from scratch. Never again will Russians learn their history anew, with glasnostdaily revealing previously concealed facts. In mere months, history books became outdated and parents had to clip out newspaper stories to help their kids wade through history classes.