The modern Keynesian state is broke, paralyzed and mired in empty ritual incantations about stimulating “demand,” even as it fosters a mutant crony capitalism that periodically lavishes the top 1 percent with speculative windfalls."State-Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America." By David A. Stockman. New York Times, 3/31/13
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
"It's deja vu all over again," General Bruster remarked to his staff soon after the invasion of Oregon had begun. Oregon had more people but like Washington, was less diverse. The white population being expelled was generally compliant, and minorities were small in number and impotent to impede the NAR's progress. Bruster liked to joke about just how progressive the NAR army was.
Yet, between Washington and Oregon, some eight and a half million whites had been driven south past Redding, California and perhaps two million others who were black, Asian, and Latino.
An expulsion like this had occurred in Europe at the end of World War two when millions of Germans residing in western Poland, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere were driven to Germany in chaos and revenge. Few new about it, and fewer mourned their fate given what the Germans had done in the previous years to anyone opposed to their conquests.
Nearly all other nations of the world condemned the NAR but attempts to embargo it and lay economic sanctions against it were as effective as they have always been -- only a little. The NAR was nearly self-sufficient in energy, metals, minerals, manufacturing, and food. With the acquisition of the West Coast, particularly California, they would have perhaps the pre-eminent center of the world in fruit, vegetables, and fiber (cotton), rice, and corn.
But California, despite it's dwindling white population (a population that was to be expelled by 75% of it numbers along with millions of blacks and Asians, along with many many millions of Mexicans was a logistical nightmare.
General Bruster expected fierce resistance from the Mexicans and blacks. Robertson explained the situation. "They've had two years to prepare. They are currently stockpiling food, water, and ammunition, and whatever explosives they can get their hands on. The Federal government has been supplementing them with supplies and ordinance. Usually they would restrict it to the National Guard, but in this case they aren't worried about arming thugs, criminals, and gangsters. They just want to see if they can stop us and make us pay. The Mexicans are a naturally bellicose people. The men enjoy a good fight and look forward to it. They have plenty of courage but lack discipline and follow through since they tend toward laziness and fatalism. The blacks, well, they lack courage, discipline, and adaptability. Take 'em out of the ghetto and they're lost."
"Yes, but the point is they won't be going out of their ghettos and it might be like Warsaw in 1944. Didn't the Jews hold out for about two months? And without any arms to speak of. Not like what we see being distributed and cached," General Bruster replied.
"Look," Robertson offered. "We have what? Five or six areas to worry about? Some of Sacramento County, Richmond, Oakland, San Jose, parts of Hayward, and then nothing much until Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, places like that until we hit the Southland. There's no way around staging sieges as far as I can see it."
"There's going to be thousands of dead if we go that route," Col. Meechum replied.
"What do you suggest?"
"There's no way around it. Preemptive strikes. We have the drones, we know the traffic patterns around gang houses. We hit them all one night. We let the smoke clear, study the traffic patterns as they regroup, hit them again and again like that. When the neighborhoods are mostly clear, we send in the Scan teams to mop up."
"A lot of innocents will die," Robertson responded.
"Better them than us," Meechum said.
Gen. Bruster agreed.
Robertson had to admit there was no way around the fact that they were pushing millions up against a wall, and a lot of those would fight back. This was where a General admitted he was going to be a part of mass murder, killings certainly, and to suck it up, accept it, and condemn himself to hell for the greater good of his people and their future generations. But eating that meal of conviction and purpose was wormwood and gall.
The general strategy of removal had been significantly altered, too, given the massive numbers of people and an attempt to use them in colonizing northern Mexico in stages, all while holding the Mexican army at bay (who were sure to be reinforced by sympathetic Central and South American governments with arms and men).
Whereas before, people had been given the freedom to load up their vehicles, carry arms, and drive south -- that could no longer work. People had to be separated from weapons and all their goods except for a suitcase. Then they would be transported either by bus, train, or plane. A thousand buses carrying 50 people a day means that 300,000 a week (Sundays off) were transferred. Thus, the operation, conquest of northern Mexico and relocation of the people of California (and those driven into Arizona) had to be simultaneous.
But how were they going to stop all the millions of people who would be loading up their vehicles and taking off ahead of any organization?
"The roads will be madness," Robertson said. "We can close them, shut them down, but we're still talking about tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of vehicles trying to drive away, stuck in traffic. It'll be chaos like we've never seen it. There won't be a controlled evacuation in stages like before."
"If we can get our men in position before a general panic starts, close the bridges, the Interstates, major highways and arteries, we might be able to staunch the bleeding."
"Think of the manpower, and the fact that they'll be outnumbered by law enforcement, if they decide to fight, and gangsters or guys with guns. How do we relieve them, keep them supplied, when they're scattered throughout the whole region? It's a logistical nightmare," Robertson added rubbing his hand through his short hair. Gen. Bruster, it's all about logistics now. We have ten divisions and we're about to split those forces. Gen. Anthony in Arizona has seven. There's no question we can drive these people south, but not in any orderly way. We don't have the men."
Gen. Bruster tapped the table with his fingers and he considered the situation.
"I can get four more divisions," he said, and held up his hand to forestall the complaint sure to arise. "That's not enough. I know. But what if we organize a civilian militia from Washington, Oregon, and northern Cal? Maybe it's time for those folks we spared from tyranny, who've been enjoying lower taxes and the acquisition of property cheaply, maybe they need to contribute something to the cause. A few bodies. How many do we need?"
"How about a hundred thousand?" Robertson said.
"General, there's no time to train them," Col. Ewells complained. He was in the Quartermaster Corps and Planning and Logistics for Bruster.
"We split units and stick them in with them. I mean, how much training does it take to carry a rifle and direct traffic? They'll learn on the job," Bruster decided.
Meechum shook his head at the vision of all the headaches that would cause.
That was the plan. To pounce on northern California from Redding to Sacramento and San Jose, clamp down immediate all the vehicle traffic in the region, and lay siege in the areas that were resistant to friendly persuasion.
They also had to contend with the Governor and his National Guard that blocked the roads south of Redding, along the coast, and east of the Cascades.
Once they destroyed the National Guard's will to fight, they would have a two front war going (at least. Who knew what other countries or States might do if motivated? Where did Texas stand, a majority Hispanic State, for example? Would they muster arms and come to the aid of other Latinos? It seemed likely.)
Then half their army had to leapfrog to the border with Mexico and wage war there while the rest funneled the masses for resettlement working their way down the State while Gen. Anthony coordinated the same basic plan in Arizona.
It was late winter as the column halted on Interstate Five along Lake Shasta. General Bruster and his staff got out of their vehicles. A sergeant ran up and handed him a white flag on a short pole. He gave it to his adjutant. General Robertson was similarly standing by on Highway One, while General Erwin was waiting near the Donner Pass on Interstate Eighty.
Directly ahead, further up the highway stood the second in command of the California National Guard. Between the two forces stood the bridge over the lake. It was heavily mined to destroy the roadbed if need be.
Bruster, his adjutant and three of his staff, began to walk towards the Californians, their white flag clear to see. As they approached the bridge, they were ordered to halt from a distance. They stopped and saw that the Californian general and a few of his men began the long walk towards them. The bridge was about 1000 meters long, which took about twenty minutes to cross.
As the Guard commander approached Bruster and his group, neither side offered their hands under the circumstances.
"I'm General Dillon of the California National Guard, these are my staff officers, Col. Grimes and Maj. Andrews. I'm here to inform you that you have illegally invaded this State and nation and are hereby ordered to leave. If you attempt to come any further, I will do everything in my power to prevent you from doing so."
Gen. Bruster nodded. "I understand, General, but if you would, I ask for a moment's indulgence. If I am correct, I believe that air forces and men of the NAR are currently occupying every major airport and military airfield along with small plane fields in northern California. Your Air Guard jets in the air currently have no place to land, and our laser drones are capable of shooting them down."
While they had been speaking, a large number of Stealth drones had landed in every airport and taken up position on runways. The control towers were informed that the drones were filled with high explosives and would detonate if approached. They effectively closed all the northern region's air traffic. Planes approaching for landing were rerouted south.
"I am aware that we do not have your capabilities," Gen. Dillon responded.
"What about your chain of command starting with the governor? I believe that he, the lieutenant governor, and other State officials are either currently captured or being captured. I also believe your own commanding general's headquarters has been captured. And if not, is under siege and soon will be."
Large numbers of Special Forces of the NAR had infiltrated Sacramento and taken control of the Capitol building, visiting various homes in the area of elected officials and taken them into custody.
"If you would like to confirm that with your people, please do so."
Dillon walking away from Bruster back towards the bridge, took out a small radio and began his inquiries. He became animated over the next few minutes as news was given to him of the kind of things Bruster had claimed to be happening. Concluding his conversation, agitated and angry as he returned to Bruster, he barked, "You sir, will find that I am not so easily overpowered. We will fight you. Tooth and nail if need be, but we will fight!"
Bruster again nodded. "Yes, General. I know you can put up a very brave fight. But we both know you will lose, and what would be the point? Let us sit down and reason together, shall we?"
General Dillon's face betrayed his anguish. He looked away, his mouth grimacing as he tried to process the situation. His was a lost cause, and he wasn't even likely to get a shot off at the enemy just to make himself feel better because he knew it was senseless to lead his men to being slaughtered.
Nor was it funny that he, from a family native to California for six generations, hated what had happened to his State, hated the politicians and what they'd done, should have to surrender his State to these people he mostly agreed with.
He finally turned back to Bruster. "May we keep our arms?"
"Only if any of you care to join us."
He grimaced again. "I can't do that."
"But some of your men might. There are benefits to being on our side."
"I can't stop you from speaking to them. We'll arrange the surrender as soon as we can. Right now, I shall notify my officers on the Coast and in the Sierras to stand down and comply with your officers."
"Thank you, but I have to tell you that any sudden retreat will result in attack and destruction of your forces. Even if your men leave the roads for the woods and fields, the drones will track them. Also, we will allow your fighter jets and bombers to land, but the crews must surrender their aircraft and themselves once down."
This time Dillon nodded, turned and began the long walk back to his side.
Bruster turned to his adjutant and told him, "I want all those soldiers and officers put on the non-evacuation list. Let them know it, and give them authorization papers and codes to present if challenged by anyone. I don't want any of them accidently forced out of their homes."
Corporal Johnny Coe sat with his squad listening to his captain inform Company C what the plan was for evacuating most of the people from northern California south of Redding to the Bay Area. It wasn't at all the same as they'd used in Oregon and Washington.
"Any questions?" the captain concluded.
"Yes, sir!" Cpl. Coe was first to blurt out.
"Yes, corporal, what is it?"
"Well, sir, I'm trying to wrap my brain around these changes. It seems like you're saying that we're going to surround large areas and just let the people inside go hog wild or something. I don't get it. Why not do what we've been doing? Seemed to work fine. Most people have gone along."
"Were you a part of the teams that cleared out Central District in Seattle?"
"What about in St. John's in Portland?"
"Talk to those who were there. We're coming into serious resistance, men. We're going to bomb them and starve them out. No food. No water. No power. But we know they're armed, and so until they're ready to crawl out on their own in surrender, they're living on an island. They can burn it down for all we care."
Someone near by snorted, "That'll improve Oakland." Another laughed.
Johnny had no idea what Oakland was like. Was it like Detroit? He'd heard about that place.
Since he'd joined the army, mostly to get away from his wife and three small daughters where he lived near Ranchester, Wyoming, he'd been pleasantly surprised to find going to war not so fierce an undertaking after all. And his share of all the property they'd liberated was going to be quite a nice chunk of money. Now it was starting to look scary, but at least his unit wasn't going immediately south to engage the Mexican army. Company C with it's various platoons would be camping on a highway somewhere and impeding traffic until that was sorted out, and then they'd be laying siege to uncooperative parties. The natives being restless, and all.
The thought of it made him mentally recite: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Knock on wood.
After the surrender of the California National Guard, the NAR Fourth Army rapidly deployed south, bypassing minor cities such as Petaluma, Santa Rosa and others in order to deploy rifle platoons along the Interstates and other highways. Beginning at San Raphael, Vallejo, and past Sacramento, units were stationed every five to ten miles on the roadbeds themselves with barriers set up as time and logistics permitted.
Ideally, half a platoon (about twenty men) would barricade each side of the freeway (if divided), usually before an overpass. They didn't have to barricade the strip of land dividing the freeway, then, if it wasn't elevated.
Using the safety water barrels that were placed in front of concrete abutments, they filled them with sand and created a zigzag to allow emergency vehicles through or various tractor trailers hauling food and supplies or buses headed south with reluctant passengers.
People awoke in the morning to find travel, except on surface streets, curtailed. The business then of granting travel permits (and tracking modules) to doctors, nurses, nursing home facilities, first responders, along with utility workers began.
Early morning, around 4:00 am, while the platoons deployed on the roads, the drones unleashed their missiles at hundreds of targets spread throughout the region at known and supposed gang houses. Each missile killed at least two people, usually more. Perhaps a thousand people died in the first fusillade against resisters.
If there were any secondary explosions as a result, stored ammunition and other ordinance blowing up due to ensuing fires or volatile response to the warheads, that was counted as a great success, but didn't occur as often as hoped.
All the TV and radio mass media outlets were taken over (or shut down as redundant) with various General Order instructions given to the public. Most people were under curfew except those mentioned above and people whose jobs involved acquisition and distribution of food and medicine (sometimes energy supplies but with restricted vehicle traffic, gas stations remained stocked).
In the third day of the occupation, 3rd Platoon Company C, was stationed in the middle of I 880 in San Jose on an elevated roadbed. Halves of the platoon were positioned across from each other on the divided highway. The gap was too far to bridge so any traffic between the two units could only be accomplished by exiting and then entering the other side through the cloverleaf underneath them.
On the southbound side, Cpl. Johnny Coe sat in a lawn chair (appropriated for army use by verbal requisition - "thanks, we'll be taking these, bill the army") not far from the Porta-Potty (also conveniently requisitioned) eating an MRE, and complaining as usual about it.
"Hamburger. God, I hate this crap," he said to know one in particular.
"Actually, they taste pretty good to me. I'm surprised," Pvt. Russell Porter contradicted.
"Yeah? How long you been eating them? What, a week? Yeah, they don't seem so bad at first but try loving them after two years. Sheesh."
A number of other heads nodded.
"Rookies!" someone else snorted.
Four new men had been assigned to the squads. One of them was forty-year old Russell Porter from Bellingham, Washington. Two months ago he was selling hardware in his store when the NAR swooped down and inducted him into the army, claiming that all able bodied men from 18 - 55 were members of the state militia and eligible for conscription.
He'd spent a month in basic training and then assigned a unit.
"Well, I saw through the binoculars that there's a McDonald's about have a mile down that road," another soldier stood up and pointed. "I say we make a run."
"Yeah, like Blueey (2nd. Lt. Blooner) would go for that," Coe responded.
"What he don't know . . ."
"Booker, you are an idiot. He's not gonna see our leftover MREs or the garbage?"
"Just chuck 'em all off the highway."
"Say you need to go see the other squads for something, make a quick run and then come back. What could be simpler?"
"Your ass being court martialed."
"Hmm," Porter considered. "What if they delivered?"
"McDees doesn't do delivery you dumb web footed bohunk."
"Well, let's see. Saying they have supplies for food, and people at work, and needing to make some money now that people aren't driving around so much, what are the odds that someone won't take the initiative and make deliveries," Porter concluded.
"He has a point," Coe said.
"One other thing, though," Porter added.
"You want to take a chance of someone messing with your food? You think the people in the store love you for what you're doing here?"
"What do you mean "you"? It's we, Rook. It's we," Booker told him.
"Yeah, you're right. I'm just not yet used to being, well, being one of you guys," Porter said.
"You make that sound like there's something wrong with being one of us guys."
"No, no, no. I didn't mean it like that. I just never thought I'd be in the army. That's all."
"You found a new home in the army, son. Welcome. One big happy family, you know. One for all and all for one," Coe laughed.
Another soldier called Mimic due to his use of various accents threw in an Indian response, "Oh me oh my, jolly good fun. Gin and tonics all around."
"Okay, I say we call McDonald's give them our order and tell them we'll blow them up to smithereens if they tamper with the food. How about that?"
"Do the phones work?"
"The internet is still running, annnnnnd . . . I'm looking up local McDees, annnnnd . . . I have a number," Booker told them as he played with his personal phone. "It's ringing now. 'Yes, hello? Yes, hi, this might sound odd, but can you make a delivery? No, wait. Look. It's a big order . . . have you got food? Yeah? That's great. Well, look we're the men of Company C about half a mile from your store . . . on the freeway . . . yeah, soldiers . . . yeah, NAR.' He just clammed up, guys. He's thinking it over. 'What's that? You'll sell us some food and deliver it? Okay, but here's the deal . . . no, we aren't gonna steal it, fer Christ's sake, just listen. Maybe you or somebody there don't love us so much and wanna mess with our food or something right? You understand? You do. That's great, well, we'll be checking the food real careful and if anything doesn't look right, well, let's just say the result might be a bit unpleasant . . . no, I'm not questioning your integrity (whatever that is). I'm just sayin', if it isn't right you might get a more serious response than a bad review on Yelp or something . . . I'm glad we understand each other.' "
Booker started collecting and relaying the orders of everyone and totaling the cost from the store manager.
Forty five minutes later, a small blue hybrid pulled up to their checkpoint (the exits and on ramps weren't blocked since a vehicle couldn't go very far anyhow). A Latino looking man, the manager, they guessed, got out with some five or six bags of their order. Cpl. Coe took them and divvied them out. All of the men examined their food for contamination, while Booker simply opened a box and started eating.
"Hey, I trust 'em," he said. "Like they don't know what will happen if they mess with us," he laughed.
"Fookin' 'eathens," Mimic added in his best Cockney.
The radio buzzed. It was Sgt. Teller from the other side of the freeway. They'd been watching through binocs at the activity on this side and wanted to know what was going on. Coe explained it to them, and they decided to emulate the fine initiative demonstrated by the squads of southbound I 880.
When Lt. Blooner reported back to his men after having met his superiors twenty miles up the road to the daily briefing, it didn't take him long to smell out a change of attitude and morale, and coming across a scrap of a wrapper which hadn't made it over the side, he put it together.
"Did you save anything for me, Coe?"
"Sorry, sir. Booker, that pig, ate your portion."
"I did not!" he protested.
Blueey, as they called him, asked for more info, considered what to do about it if anything, and decided that, perhaps, discretion was the better part of valor. As long as the men were careful, maintained guard and readiness, what could it hurt? He was going to be a hard core, iron ass killjoy on this. Maybe, he'd let them do it once every other day. After all, they expected to be here at least a month. By then, maybe McDonald's and the other restaurants would be out of food or business for the time being.
Every three days or so in the early morning hours, the men could see drone strikes taking place, houses going up in flames. Porter couldn't bring himself to cheer like most of the other men, "take that ya fookin' 'eathens!" they'd laugh, having adopted Mimic's term of endearment towards the enemy.
Over the next few weeks, the squads kept ordering food from McDonalds, usually every other day, and different vehicles and people would deliver it to them.
Blueey was concerned about his raw recruits and so devised further training exercises. Targets, mobile and stationary were set up for them to practice firing live rounds. They had to field strip, clean, and reassemble their weapons. Tactics in advance and cover, then retreat and cover were practiced as best as possible in various scenarios on the freeway, using whatever materials they could find to set up pretend machine gun nests or enemy forces in cover. They had to walk through or go half speed through some of the drills since they were working on concrete roadbeds, and Blueey had the Sgt.s and Cpl.s make them recite procedures and instructions until they understood how they operated in various conditions.
Blueey figured it was better for the rookies to have at least a mental picture of what they needed to know and do even if they couldn't instill muscle memory through field exercises at real training centers.
Porter, being the oldest, was naturally tagged as Gramps.
In that same period, the drone strikes at night decreased, and a steady number of the relocation buses featured blacks and browns, whereas at first they'd been exclusively whites. It appeared they were making a dent on the millions in the region.
It was now mid-March, and the traffic of the day had slowed with the nearing of curfew. Company C had called in their order over an hour before but the manager complained about getting shorthanded because of you know what.
It was dusk when the big, dark SUV rolled up to the checkpoint, and the young men who'd just settled down into their lawn chairs began to rouse themselves out of them when the doors of the SUV swung open and Mexicans poured out firing automatic machine guns at the NAR squads while a pair from the rear hopped out with an RPG each.
NAR men dove onto the hard roadbed, scrambling for their weapons that weren't far from them. Blueey had been standing when the SUV arrived and was stippled with a number of rounds and went down hard.
On the northbound side, the squads reacted, but the Mexicans were shielded by their big, long vehicle. Cpl. Coe had his weapon and crouching low began to run up the zigzag, protected by the sand filled barrels. Porter, seeing him taking off to engage the enemy automatically went after him for no reason he could think of except that he thought Coe needed some help.
Bending low and trying to move along, one of the Mexicans saw the movement while his companions continued their spray and pray tactics. He lowered the barrel of the RPG and fired. Sand barrels exploded at the side of him, while the other Mexican lowered his and fired closer to where Coe had gone.
Another explosion of sand, and the blast sent Coe sprawling. A Mexican appeared in the gap and entrance of the zigzag and fired on the fallen Coe and then lifted his gun and aimed at Porter. Bullets struck the two men, but the Mexican had exposed himself to fire from the platoon across the way and was cut down in a hail of fire.
Another RPG was fired ineffectively, as all the soldiers who take cover behind the sand barriers had done so, while a few had gotten behind their APC stationed close by. Grenades were thrown, screams were heard, wild firing continued briefly longer until it appeared all the Mexicans were down or dead. A few soldiers tentatively crept out to the enemy to secure the area, assess the situation, and examine their own casualties.
After kicking away his weapon, Booker called out, "Hey Sarge, this one's still alive. Want I should ice him?"
"Save him for IS," he heard back.
Booker peered inside the SUV. "Christ, they didn't even bring us our order. C'mon, Sarge, let me ice the motherf*****r."
Their medical corpsman had been pinned down by the APC but was now at work examining the wounded. Soldiers from the other half of the platoon, including their corpsman had driven over as soon as they could, arriving half a minute after the firing had ceased.
All told, the raid had lasted about a minute and a half.
Lt. Blooner was groaning at the pain from his chest having absorbed three hammer blows, but his armor had stood the test, an incredible thin fabric that seemingly turned to steel and spread the impact energy of bullets at the same time. It still felt like hammer blows and left serious bruises. A hit at the right spot, could stop a heart, but Blooner was alive and relatively uninjured.
Coe and Porter were not so fortunate. Coe had caught two in the body, one through his left hand, and another in the helmet for a concussion while Porter was nearly deaf from the close blast, a small piece of shrapnel had hit his left eye, perhaps destroying it, and he'd been peppered three times in the body, two in the chest, one in the shoulder which had penetrated his light armor.
In a short while, army ambulances showed up and Coe and Porter were loaded on gurneys to share a trip to the field hospital.
"How you doin', Coho?" Booker asked him.
"Looks like I'll live."
"And you, Gramps?"
"Fookin' 'eathens," he grimaced.
"You tell 'em, Gramps. See you soon."
The rest of the platoon took hours trying to decompress from the brief but adrenaline pumping attack. They went over every detail again and again. Mostly trying to figure out what the fookin' 'eathens hoped to accomplish. The raid was suicidal. They wouldn't learn until much later how hopped up on drugs the brownies had been.
No wonder they hadn't thought things through. They just wanted a chance to revenge themselves on the soldiers that had bombed their friends in their houses, killing men, women, and children over and over.
Once they heard that the soldiers were getting orders delivered from McDees, the plan suggested itself. Perhaps, they figured they would drive up, kill them all, and quickly drive away? So load up oxycontin, tequila, maybe some meth, and andale, amigos, lets kill those gringos.
Gen. Robertson sent out an order curtailing the delivery of non-army food, but promised he'd make it so hot Commissary meals made it to the men in the field at least three times a week. He also arranged for rotation of duty so that men could have days off and relax at a camp they'd set up at some amusement parks with hotels close by like Great America, and a few others in the region.
Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and parts of Santa Clara counties had been cleared. Large portions of the east Bay remained and San Jose, meanwhile forces had gone north to evacuate Petaluma, Santa Rosa and all the small towns and cities.
The other divisions under Gen Bruster had invaded Mexico proper and were dealing with the Mexican army in combat. Robertson wished he was there doing a real soldier's duty than this dirty work of herding people.
God help them when they came to LA and San Diego.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Obama told Israelis, "Four years ago I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want — they’re not so different from what the young people here want. They want the ability to make their own decisions and to get an education and to get a good job, to worship God in their own way, to get married, to raise a family. The same is true of those young Palestinians that I met with this morning. The same is true for young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza."Hussein of Jerusalem in "Friday Afternoon Roundup." By Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, 3/22/13.
Again, this is from Obama’s big Jerusalem speech and it proves that he either has no clue what happened in Egypt or is just determined to tell insane lies hoping that college students don’t watch the news.
The outcome of democratic elections in Egypt showed that what they wanted was theocracy, the repression of Christians and women, and a state of sectarian conflict.
They didn’t want to worship God in their own way. They wanted to compel everyone to worship Allah their way.
They didn’t want the ability to make their own decisions, they wanted a theocracy that would make those decisions for them.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Tales will be late this week for a simple reason -- I don't have a good idea of what to narrate.
I already know the last two tales that will conclude the series, but there are a couple of pieces that are needed for transition to the conclusion that I haven't figured out yet.
If I don't figure them out son, I'll simply write the final tales and maybe figure something more out when I put the series together into a book.
Thanks for reading and your patience.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Previous TALES are found here: Tale #1, Tale #2, Tale #3, Tale #4, Tale #5, Tale #6, Tale #7, Tale #8, Tale #9, Tale #10, Tale #11, Tale #12, Tale #13, Tale #14, Tale #15, Tale #16, Tale #17,Tale #18 Tale #19, Tale #20.
The Fighting Whities
Four other teams in college football remained unbeaten: USC in the Pac-12, LSU and Alabama in the SEC, and Ohio State in the Big Ten (although it actually had more than ten teams, it retained the moniker for some reason).
The Crusaders had gotten to where they were, ostensibly, as sportswriters claimed, because they were in a weak conference. But their first victories came against non-conference teams Cal and Notre Dame. Cal was the favorite, but were easily defeated 35 - 20. Notre Dame which saw WCC as a tune-up game, adjusted their threat assessment accordingly and were ready to play The Crusaders at home in Indiana.
The Crusaders shocked The Fighting Irish with three touchdowns in the first half, but diminished their advantage when Allard, from their twenty-five, threw an interception returned for an ND touchdown at the end of the first half.
Shut out in the second half except for a field goal, The Crusader's defense began to weaken and gave up two touchdowns, and the Irish marching down the field in the closing minutes until an interception in the end zone concluded the game, as the Crusaders ran out the clock with their last possession.
The national sports media looked up at the result, but mostly to reassess Notre Dame's program that year rather than buying stock in WCC.
After crushing Fresno and Colorado State, neither ranked teams, they came up against former conference team, now independent, BYU, a western powerhouse.
After a nervous start, falling behind by ten points, they rallied late in the second quarter with a breakaway run by Kevin for forty-five yards, and a subsequent touchdown pass. On the kickoff, BYU fumbled, WCC recovered the ball and kicked a field goal in the waning period to tie the score.
Coming out in the second half, they scored again on their first drive, their third, their fourth, and fifth, holding BYU to two field goals. Final score 27 - 16.
The sports media took notice, but little more than that. WCC then ran the table with the rest of the conference, usually in blow out fashion leaving the last two games with Boise State (10 -1) and UNLV (9 - 2). Boise was ranked in the top ten, UNLV at 18 in the BCS standings.
They played Boise on it's odd blue colored, astro-turf field the Saturday before Janet's classroom debate.
The game proved to a national favorite as it turned out to be a shootout with The Crusaders winning in the second overtime 51 - 45. Now the press turned its attention to WCC, and the possibility of a national title rearing it's head if they could beat UNLV brought up the unspoken problem of how to talk about an all white team.
"Coach Colson, what do you have to say about why you have no black players on your team?"
"I don't have much of anything to say about it."
"But there has to be a reason you don't recruit blacks to play for you?" he was pressed.
"Look. What would be the point to go out and get a couple of black players to come here to a Christian college in Wyoming where they're likely to not feel at home, with no community of their own to support them in terms of socializing and entertainment. I have no real means of enticing the best black players to come here so why would we waste the resources to try? Particularly since this is the first year we've shown that we can be a great platform in showcasing their talents and abilities," he concluded, hoping that would allay any obvious charges of racism.
"But Brigham Young and Boise State recruit blacks. Are blacks more comfortable there? Is there more community there? And isn't BYU a Mormon school? Wouldn't that make it even more uncomfortable for the players?"
"C'mon, when we started our program as a Division II team, our strategy was to recruit talented players or those we thought had potential to develop that were overlooked by other teams. It worked for us and we're sticking to it. We scour the country for young men who look like no one else wants them. That makes our team highly motivated."
"That kid Worley was recruited by Stanford, though."
"We were surprised they were as interested in him as you were, and you notice that Kevin didn't come to us as an overlooked high school athlete. He came as a hardship transfer."
"Stanford says you poached him."
"They can say what they want, but I doubt they'll tell you the truth about his situation."
"What's that mean, coach?"
"Maybe their side of the story isn't the only one. Isn't it your guys job to investigate and not just quote people with an axe to grind?"
As high pitched in intensity the game with UNLV was expected to be, it turned out to be anti-climactic. Anyone who was rooting for The Rebels to put a stop to WCC's streak was greatly disappointed. Las Vegas was blown out 49 - 13.
It was what was happening elsewhere that was truly exciting to college football fans since no one seriously believed that WCC would be picked for the BCS championship game no matter what.
But the week before, LSU lost to Alabama leaving three other undefeated teams for the final week. As WCC was beating UNLV, all eyes were glued on Alabama that was loosing to Georgia, Then there was the USC - UCLA game, and Ohio versus Michigan.
All three of those unbeaten teams lost. Alabama in overtime, USC by a last second field goal, and Ohio had their heads handed to them by a fired up Wolverine team and five turnovers.
Decades before when Boise State first ascended in the standings nationally and was one of the two unbeaten teams in the country, the BCS committee passed them by. Yet they won their major bowl game and were the only team undefeated that year. Did the BCS officials intend to make the same mistake again?
It took a week to decide, but Alabama and The Crusaders were going to the Rose Bowl for the Championship Game.
Sportswriters needing any sort of controversy to exploit to grab eyes or ears couldn't resist making Wyoming the bad guys who were clearly racist, and deserved the beating they were going to get from 67% black Alabama. (It would have been over 70% if not for the expulsions and criminal convictions of some of the players.)
Outside of the South, though, walk into any bar where white patrons go, and you'd find everyone rooting for the Crusaders, but heated debates as to who had the better team. They also resurrected an old moniker that some team of American Indians had come up with to mock whites by calling themselves The Fighting Whities. But whites didn't take it as an insult but enjoyed it, and the name faded. Now T-shirts and sweaters were being produced with the name and cheerfully worn by fans.
The sportswriters and broadcasters were correct, though, about the situation with Wyoming except they needed to swap out the word racist for racial.
Coach Colson didn't want black players on his team. Despite their athleticism, he knew they were more trouble than they were worth. He expected the game to be brutal and wondered if the referees would call it fairly.
In previous games against majority black player teams, the words and assaults on field got vicious: lots of racist trash talk directed at his players, lots of late hits, cheap shots, and taunting. He had to prepare the team for what it would face, but they already knew, and they had their own strategies.
It was a famous dictum of on field fights that it was almost always the player who retaliated to a push or a punch who drew the penalty, and so Crusader players learned how to deliver stealthy blows to a loud mouth thug, absorb the retaliation, get the call to go their way; then laugh at their victim, ask him where his daddy was, call his mother a slut, and get into the guy's head so much the player became overly aggressive and ignored playing the game the way he'd been coached. There was nothing most black players hated more than being shown up by a white guy.
Thus, the Rose Bowl game was keyed up like a fight of the century event.
At first, though, it looked like it was going to be the mismatch of decade.
The Crusaders received the ball to start the game. On the second run from scrimmage, Kevin broke through the line, split a pair of linebackers, knocked over a safety, and ran for seventeen yards until a cornerback collided with him on a slant and knocked him down. Whereupon the defensive back hopped up, did a dance around Kevin and drew a fifteen yard penalty for taunting. Then there was a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct a few plays later, and then one for pass interference, and before you knew it, Kevin ran the ball in from the six and WCC led by seven.
The same things happened when Alabama went on offense. A halfback ran for six yards, popped up and put his face into his tackler's and proceeded to run his mouth. Fifteen yards backwards they go.
Wyoming received the punt, returned it thirty yards, and were shortly in the red zone where Kevin caught a screen pass and got his second score.
If things were chippy to start, they got worse. The Fighting Whities used their strategies to slander, insult, and call their opponents n****rs just loud enough for them to hear it while the refs didn't. They found ways to slip a hand in to pinch a guy hard in the pile which would cause him to erupt and get a penalty.
The Crusaders led 24 - 7 by the end of the half and all the sportscaster could talk about was the lack of discipline on Alabama's part, not that Wyoming was better. In fact, though, Worley had 68 yards in rushing, and Allard had 147 in passing.
"Look," Colson told his team during halftime. "They came out emotional like we thought they would and you made them pay for it, but don't expect that in the second half. They will calm down, their anger will dissipate, they'll focus on what they have to do to get back in the game. We're going to have to grind it out unless we beat their defense badly in the middle, or our offensive line can open up holes for the backs to break out for first down runs or more . . . defense, it may all ride on you guys. Let's help them make mistakes, cause turnovers, get some sacks. If they come out running, we need some stops. We're going to stay aggressive on offense. We're not going to try and play out the clock. We might try and make them think that's what we're doing, though. Three runs into the center of the line until we have to punt, and then we fake it! That kind of thing, so don't get worried if we look conservative at times. That's just to fool them. Not us. So, men take some time to relax, focus on the task, visualize your opponent, go over what's worked against him and what hasn't. When the coaches and I come back in here, we're going to think mean. Calm, intentional, ready, with a quiet conviction of just how mean we are; especially when we've got our opponent down. Killer instinct, boys. Killer instinct."
With that, Colson grouped with his coaches to go over their stats, and adjust their game plan.
In the other locker room, head coach Donner, sent his black assistant coach to ream out the players. "And another thing. The first player I see get another penalty for the kind of crap you've been doin', not only will they be pulled out of the game, they'll be sent off the field. You'll take a walk of shame, and we'll think about whether we need you next year if you're not a senior."
Donner was white, of course. For a 90% white Southern school, that's how it was in the tradition of Bear Bryant, Nick Saban, and now, Tom Donner.
He let the players stew while he went over the game plan and with a few minutes left, came in and spoke to them.
"I hope you got all the stupidity out f your system, because now it's time to play like men and show the world what an Alabama team can do when they play within themselves, in control, and full of focus and purpose. We're going to go out there in the second half and kick their asses up and down the field. And we'll do it the right way. In control. Your pleasure will come from dominating your opponent and not from shouting at him that you're going to kick his ass while it's your ass that's the one getting kicked. Is that clear!?"
"Yes, coach! Tha's righ'!"
"We're going to open up holes, make good tackles, leave the play, huddle up, and then do it again and again until they're crying as they watch their lead disappear. You're going to see their heads drop, watch their eyes look confused, stare at one another because they can't believe what's happening. Isn't that right!"
"Tha's righ'! Tha's righ', coach!"
"You're going to stop caring what they say about your momma or your daddy because you'll be having too much fun beating them up and down the field. Isn't that a fact!"
"Yes suh! Yes suh!"
"All right. Now let's go out there and show the world what we're made of."
Alabama received the kickoff to start the second half and had a good return to their forty-two yard line.
Three plays later, their receiver was dancing in the end zone. Donner was right, they were going to prove they were much better than the Whities. Just like they always do. A lot of heads were nodding on their sidelines, smiles breaking out and laughter. Alabama was back. This was going to be fun.
But Wyoming returned the ensuing kickoff back to Alabama's thirty-nine. Five plays later, Worley broke through a hole into the end zone. Score 31 - 14.
Alabama scored a field goal on their next series. The kickoff was a touchback in their end zone as Wyoming took the ball on their twenty-five. Three running plays into the line resulted in a first down, taking time off the clock. Three more running plays resulted in another first down. Then three more running plays into the line left them three yards short at midfield where they set up to punt having run five minutes off the clock.
Just as promised, they tried a fake play and the punter ran for eighteen yards. They pounded the ball again for two series, barely getting first downs, but getting them indeed, when n the first play of the next series, Allard ran a play action fake, found a receiver on a slant route and it off to the races and a touchdown. 38 - 17.
Not an impossible number in college ball. That's merely three touchdowns and there were fifteen minutes left, but there were no smiles on Alabama's sideline.
They managed another ten points while holding Wyoming from further scores, but with six minutes to play, the Crusaders were marching down the field. They couldn't overpower the offensive line and Kevin pounded out the yardage. He coming up on 150 thus far. Finally, with two minutes left, Worley broke through once again from the seven and scored. Trotting in, dropping the ball when speared from behind by a black linebacker low in the small of his back. It was clearly after the play was over. Worley crumbled onto the ground. The linebacker jumped up, stood over him and asked him, "How you like that, you sorry ass mother****er!"
Flags were thrown, the Wyoming players tackled the linebacker as punches flew, the benches emptied and a melee ensued, all the while Kevin lay on the ground not moving as far as any could see. The trainers and doctors had immediately rushed out to him, but it took minutes to restore order to the game. The black player was ejected, flags thrown against both teams. The field was cleared, but Worley was down and being carefully administered to with a neck brace put in place and eventually being turned onto a board, raised into an ambulance and driven out of the Rose Bowl.
The cameras that focused close up on him could discern only the slightest movement in his hands, but weren't certain if that was him doing it or from being handled.
TV sets in barrooms and living rooms across America were screamed at with every epithet people could think of. In fact, a tide was turned that night. Alabama, The Crimson Tide went from being a respected national icon, an institution, to a despised group overnight, and it didn't change in time. The coach and staff were fired.
It was as if whites understood for the first time just how much blacks hated them, and there was no going back to any delusion about it. They realized that blacks and whites, as groups would never be able to live with each other.
The last two minutes of the game went on, of course, but the end soon came and Wyoming had won. Alabama was booed by the people in the stadium the whole time they had the ball in those last minutes, as the Alabama fans, nearly all whites, were silent, ashamed and depressed.
The sportscasters who had built the game into a black and white issue where the whites were the evil racists wrung their hands in the aftermath, some even asking whites not to seek revenge but be forbearing because of the racial overtones, but black color personalities were stunned and could only shake their heads. They understood the implications of what had occurred.
Early reports from the hospital where Kevin had been taken were gloomy. He appeared paralyzed, perhaps from the shoulders down, but they weren't certain how damaged his spine was. He was rushed into surgery after X-rays showed damaged vertabrae. Afterwards, the doctors were "cautiously optimistic" but wouldn't know until Kevin recovered from the operation and they could take more tests.
Even so, medicine had made some fine progress with spinal cord injuries, particularly if they could treat it quickly enough. Worley had been paralyzed from the hips down, but it looked like he would eventually be able to walk again. It was simply going to take a few years and lots of therapy and further treatment.
It was many months before he could resume classes in a wheelchair, though, and by then, Janet had moved on. She told him that hospitals creeped her out. A lot of people feel that way.
Football was out of the question as far as the future went, though, but Kevin would never need to worry about a job or money. He was a national hero, and a local icon. The alumni of WCC would always be there for him. They had a national championship, a national fan base, and a growing regional identity that was consolidating or coalescing into a political and economic force.
Kevin and his family would be part of that.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
The link above leads to a long essay, but this section below I found of particular interest. Although I and many have been long aware of the depiction in film and on TV of male WASPs as the convenient villain par excellance these days, the aspect of Jewish comedians on culture is a new insight to me.
Subversion through popular culture
In addition to transforming American ideology and national identity, Jews have also, through their extraordinary influence in entertainment and media, changed the style and soul of American popular culture and manners. This is a vast and complicated subject, and all I can do here is try to suggest a few aspects of it.
Here is one glimpse into this phenomenon. Up to the 1950s, school yearbooks and student newspapers were rather serious affairs, without the smiling photographs and self-mocking humor that began to appear in the late 1950s. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, this style of self-mockery and put-down, which had originally percolated into the general culture from Jewish comedians and entertainers, became a dominant feature in the general culture. The harm that was done to the culture, at least in the earlier stages of this process, was not deliberate. The Jews could indulge in in-your-face schtick without harming their culture because it was part of their culture. But its effect on WASPs was quietly devastating. The pop Freudianism of Jewish humor, in which each attitude of the self is immediately exposed as a cover-up for some craven or sexual impulse, has fatally weakened the Anglo-Protestant self, undermining virtues of modesty and self-control, respect for authority, and other values of the older American ethos.
Over and over, Jewish attitudes that had first appeared in mainstream entertainment in the form of harmless comic relief evolved into dominant cultural modes. In 1971, Woody Allen’s brilliant romantic comedy Play it Again Sam, with its insecure, fumbling protagonist, made it socially acceptable for a grown man to be a neurotic. Yet the movie was still basically affirmative, since Allen’s protagonist, despite his angst, nobly gives up the woman he loves, successfully imitating his screen hero Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. The Jewish neurotic becomes a man by modeling himself after an Anglo-Saxon stoic. But by the 1980s, neurotic, hysterical men (who no longer emulate strong men but resent them) had become an accepted norm, not only in innumerable movies and TV shows, but in life. A sign of the times was the man with the pony tail at the 1992 Presidential debate who asked the candidates: “As our symbolic father figure, what are you going to do to meet our needs?” An even grimmer sign was that none of the candidates, including World War II veteran George Bush, rebuffed the fellow for his infantile remark. Woody Allen’s own descent, both artistic and personal, from off-beat humorist to full-blown, self-absorbed nihilist also reflects this decline.
Up to the early 1960s, Jewish comedians pushed the envelope of bourgeois selfhood without trying to destroy it. They remained loyal to, if at the edges of, middle-class normalcy. But by the 1970s, the comic puncturing of the bourgeois had turned into a deliberate program of subversion. In such programs as MASH, the straight, up-tight, pro-authority characters served as contemptible foils for the irreverent, anti-authoritarian, sexually liberated protagonists. In several of television’s most successful sitcoms over the years, the main object of contempt has been a handsome, mentally defective WASP. What John Murray Cuddihy called the “ethnic-specific animus of Freud and Eastern European Jewry generally against Gentile civility” had moved from the esoteric world of the academic literary culture into the world of mass entertainment.
The anti-WASP campaign has been even more pronounced in drama and suspense genres, where it has also intensified over the decades. In every episode of the 1970s detective series Columbo (written by Steven Bochco, later the producer of such flamboyantly decadent programs as L.A. Law and N.Y.P.D. Blue), the slovenly ethnic hero exposed a cool WASP patrician as a murderer. The ethnic-specific animus, partly concealed as a class animus, remained relatively low key, even humorous; the murder was never performed on camera; and Colombo’s prey remained polite if increasingly irritable, even as Columbo zeroed in on him. But by twenty years later, the anti-WASP animus in film and TV had evolved into a formalized demonology. The cold-hearted, inhuman WASP—the WASP as super-Nazi—has been a regular fixture in one suspense/action movie after another, providing second careers for such middle-aged actors as Donald Sutherland and John Voigt. In the 1994 movie Breakout, Sutherland plays a top U.S. Army general with an inhumanly cold voice and inhumanly sinister features, who turns out to be the leader of a monstrous conspiracy to kill thousands of American civilians with biological weapons. But never fear: Dustin Hoffman—the Jew now cast as action hero—and his brilliant black sidekick heroically foil the plot. A particularly common device in these movies, reflecting the Jewish-liberal obsession with uncovering WASP evil, is to have an apparent good guy revealed as a villain. Thus handsome, courtly John Voigt, as Tom Cruise’s mentor and friend in Mission Impossible, turns out to be a cold-hearted murderer. Then there are the innumerable made-for-TV movies, most of them written by Jewish women, in which a normal-appearing husband becomes a pathological monster. Indeed, if any character in a drama or suspense movie nowadays seems upright and strong, or is an older authority figure, or is tall, regular-featured, and fair, you can be sure that before long he will be revealed as a devil. Yet this ongoing, ethnic-specific, assault on the white or WASP man, like so many other appalling things in our nihilist society, is never even remarked upon, let alone protested, not even by conservatives (conservatives are only offended by entertainments that are patently pornographic or anti-religious). Imagine how Jews or blacks would react if one big-budget movie after another featured an obvious Jewish or black proxy as a caricature of absolute evil.
The pop-kulturkampf against manhood, against authority, and against the Anglo-Protestant ethos, are all part of the same campaign, largely led and inspired by liberal Jews.
The above discussion, brief and unsatisfactory as it has been, illustrates once again our theme of inclusion leading to destruction. Eastern European Jews, with their discontented, irrepressible temperament, were admitted as equals into a culture that had been formed by Anglo-Saxons and other northern European-origin people, with their pacific, self-controlled temperament. The former outsiders then proceeded to make their own sensibility the center of the culture, while diminishing and demonizing the Anglo-Saxon.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
All the other contributors can continue to post blogs but comments are disabled so if people were wondering if they'd get to the end of Tales of New America, I intend to see that through.
I'm going to miss Francis, though, and his sharp take on just about everything. I'm grateful he gave me a place to spout off.
I have had enough.
I have written for various Web sites for sixteen years. I’ve given my best efforts and thinking to those writings. The undertaking has consumed thousands of hours of research, analysis, writing, and editing, to say nothing of the cost of maintaining Eternity Road and The Palace of Reason before it. I asked nothing of anyone else at any time. My sole recompense was the pleasure I got from occasionally meeting a kindred spirit. In sixteen years, that happened exactly twice.
But I’ve been harassed, slandered, insulted, derided, and demeaned. I’ve had my intelligence, my erudition, my sincerity, my faith, my morals, and my ethics questioned by persons who haven’t even had enough courage to use their right names. A typical day brings me dozens, sometimes hundreds, of obscene, insulting, juvenile emails. Even flushing them out of my computer leaves me feeling soiled. And that’s not the worst of it. Both I and my wife have been threatened, and more than once at that.
So I’m calling it quits. I’m an old man, and not a well one. I’d like some peace for the conclusion of my life. I’d also like to be free of the jackasses who’ve awarded me the various crowns of thorns mentioned above. It appears that the only way I can acquire those things is to cease to write these op-eds.
To those who’ve enjoyed and appreciated my scribblings and have taken the time to say so: Thanks for the long-distance companionship. To those who’ve done their best to make me regret ever setting my fingers to the keyboard, congratulations. This is what you wanted, isn’t it? You’ll have to find someone else to harass.
Francis W. Porretto
Mount Sinai, NY USA
March 9, 2013
UPDATE: This site will remain a going concern as long as the others continue to post here. However, comments have been shut down permanently, as the site still bears my name and I have no further interest in moderating them.
Ted Mason is the direct descendant of Puritans who settled Massachusetts in 1650. Living in Orange County, he unknowingly carries on that religious strain as an evangelical minister trying to make wholesome movies amidst Hollywood decadence. Helped by a rich father, insurance maven, Samson Mason, Ted and his children learn from him about their stout, resolute ancestors who forged a new people in a New World while fighting Indians, the perfidious French, and later, their English cousins who fought to bind them forever to British rule.
I Like the White World illustrates and explores the richness and beauty of Orange County, California. Samson Mason celebrates his people who made America possible and the culture that built it, made it free, orderly, and prosperous. Proud of his heritage, unabashed about his prejudices, and offended by smears against his tribe, he stands up for a great, conquering people, and teaches his grandchildren rarely heard frontier history.
Ted's story carries him out of a popular mega-church into LA where he teams up with a Catholic film company to make an important documentary with the help of a well known, radio talk show host. The process of hobnobbing with the elite of Southern California while trying to raise money threatens Ted's marriage to the beautiful Alicia who likes rich men and the life great wealth offers.
I Like the White World, captures America's past (East Coast) and present (West Coast), with bright wit and intelligence. Having many stirring moments, the novel is filled with wisdom, humor, vivid characters, and searching questions. It is life as lived.
This is a work of literary fiction, primarily character driven. It is not an action/thriller although there are exciting stories told in the course of the narrative.
Here are a few excerpts:
You know, they’ve never made enough movies set in places like that. Lots of escape to quaint Vermont films about leaving the rat race, and plenty of obligatory autumn foliage panoramas, but none that show what it’s like to grow up in Rehoboth, the roots of Puritan heritage, and how the history of the birthplace of the American Revolution carries on, if it does, in the eyes of boys riding their decorated bikes in small Fourth of July parades.
That’s where my father came from sixty-eight years ago — Attleboro, Hebron, Fall River, Seekonk, Swansea and Rehoboth — those stomping grounds after 1942 when he was born on the Third of July in Taunton.
My dad is retired now, my mother passed away five years ago from heart disease, oddly enough (in the sense that you don’t expect it in women for some reason).
Dad’s been lonely since then, and his opinions of the world have taken a decided turn into the realm of, geez, I don’t know how to describe this because I don’t want to be mean to my father, he’s a sweet guy (sort of), but his politics have gotten ethnic.
For example, I was driving through Irvine with dad, taking him to John Wayne airport for a trip to a conference back east.
It was midday, we drove on the wide boulevards, three lanes to a side amidst the gleaming buildings, the handsome strip malls, the clean, almost sparkling streets where everything looks brand new, well kept, and all the people you saw were in good cars looking like dad or me.
The weather was balmy, the sky was beautiful, the air sweet, as dad turned to me with a smile, and said, “This may sound funny, but you know what? I look around at all this and think — I like the white world. I like this place. I like it being white. Some people look at this and say it’s somehow sterile, all this gleaming cleanliness, but it’s not cold or sterile. It’s organized and orderly. I like that because I’m organized and orderly. That’s who I come from. That’s what my people do — good, smart, white people.”
“What’s wrong with organized and orderly, anyway? Fifties white bread? I love the Fifties. That’s when America was at its best and it’s height. White bread, mayonnaise, vanilla ice cream? Let me tell you something, vanilla is the favorite flavor of ice cream in the whole world. Why? Because it’s so damn good. White bread? Delicious! It’s so delicious no toast in the world tastes as good as white bread toast. No peanut butter and jelly sandwich tastes better than on white bread with the crust cut off.”
“White rice, too. The whole world prefers white rice. And mayonnaise? Give me a break. What’s a deli sandwich without mayo? And potato salad? You tell me. Hell, to make chocolate taste better they have to add vanilla, for Pete’s sake.”
“Yeah, there are lot of good things beside white bread, mayo, and vanilla, but for every day deliciousness, those things are perfect standbys.”
“So, yeah, I like the white world; and our towns, cities when they’re like this; and our inventions and food, and anybody who says otherwise can go screw themselves. Organized and orderly. I like the white world.”
My dad says he’s a white nationalist, ethnic pride and all. He says he’s not better than anybody else just because he’s white, but that his culture is better than “any damn Mexican, Arab, African, Chinaman or Indian’s, either kind, take your pick.”
“Fair enough. Let’s talk about the Indians and their situation. It wasn’t a good one. They never expected white men to appear and take over the country. There’s been some talk that the Chinese explored all the oceans and continents, and been to North and South America not far in the past. There’s a stone tower in Rhode Island some say the Chinese built. The Vikings made a few appearances, and in fact, you can visit the remnant of a Viking village in Newfoundland today.”
“Then there’s the fact that Indian life hasn’t been the same thing for thousands of years until we showed up. You had Indian civilization here, in the South, big towns of maybe fifty thousand people long gone. Then in the Southwest, you had the pueblo building Anasazi, and the sickening Aztecs who had some of their priests come up from Mexico terrorizing the people and eating them. Cannibals. Aztecs were dirty cannibals.”
“The idea that the Indians were innocent victims of Europeans is a joke. Some say the Indians, at least those on the East Coast are Europeans. Prototypes, anyway: a people called Solutreans from around Spain over ten thousand years ago who were clever people, and the best tool makers in the world, turning flint into spears, arrowheads, knives, and axes.”
“So it’s the Ice Age and the Solutreans make boats out of hides, and follow the ice until they come to North America, and spread out until they reach Clovis, New Mexico where they invent a set of tools called Clovis points that are a lot like Solutrean ones in Spain. Some say the Clovis point tools are a mix of two cultures, the Solutreans and the Asians who came from the west over Alaska. But the Asians were lousy toolmakers. Nothing as good as the Solutreans, or Clovis point makers. And then there are stories about The Cloud People of Peru, a blond, blue eyed, white skinned people who lived in the Andes, and built a fine city there.”
“Who knows, Luke, but the idea that there were a bunch of Indians living like they always had, and could keep on living like lazy savages if no one was mean and decided to bother them is a joke.”
“C’mon, Grandpa. Why do you say they’re lazy. That’s kind of mean.”
“You’re right, boy. It’s mean. The Indians didn’t think they were lazy themselves. They thought they had a pretty good life. Not necessarily an easy life, but a simple one. They were generous with each other. Had most of what they needed to live, had the excitement of raiding and warring, bragging around the fire about how brave they were. I suppose they had their loves, people who meant a lot to them, and it hurt them when they died, were killed, or carried away. Still, it’s hard to say what’s in a savage’s mind. Not a lot of sophisticated rumination going on. Low IQ people. What can I say? Means they were emotional, impulsive, slow on the uptake, violent, remorseless. You can shame ‘em, but not make ‘em feel guilty. Got lots of those folks around us to day.”
“The Indians were trying to defend their way of life, hell, their very existence. Can’t blame ‘em for that. And you can’t blame the white man for taking it away. People, who in England never had a lot before, had a chance to get a lot for themselves and their posterity; a chance to build a place for people who thought and felt like they did. They weren’t ignorant, indolent, worthless. They had trades, skills, could read and write, but they wanted more. A place for their own kind where they wouldn’t be outnumbered by the worldly wise, and all their corruptions.”
“They paid a price for it in blood, tears, and toil. So there you are one day, working at the saw mill, making lumber, minding your own business, providing for your family, and a bunch of Indians sneak up, pounce on you and the few others working there, bash your brains with a tomahawk, or pierce you with arrows, rip your scalp off, you’re probably half alive, and mutilate you for sport.”
“Your wife and children come out and find you when you haven’t returned for dinner, of maybe they heard the screams and ran for the blockhouse until it was safe to come out. Think you’re going to take much pity on an Indian after that? And yet, a lot of them did. A lot of them tried to be Christians to savages even after. It never really worked out, though. Things can only end one way when you have a superior culture, and a will to prevail. Not like now when we have a superior culture, but no will to survive.”
“Hold on,” I started to say. “Superior culture? Now? A culture devoted to human sacrifice on a scale never seen before in history with the slaughter of millions of unborn innocents. Superior? A culture that believes marriage is whatever you want it to be, children don’t need mothers and fathers, and men and women are exactly the same except for parts. Superior?”
“Okay. You got me there. I mean a civilized culture, yeah, I’ll say it even if I’m not a believer — a Judeo-Christian culture. There’s still some remnants of it in this country, and that’s what I meant.”
“For a period of about forty years from 1675 to 1713, the French supplied and instigated the Indians to raid, rape, and murder the English — often led by Jesuit priests. About five thousand colonists were killed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, their own governments would forbid the settlers from leaving their little towns on forfeit of their property. Most of the money was being made on the coast with fishing and supplying lumber and masts for ships, but those towns were being fed by the farmers inland. The fishermen were exposed to attack from pirates at sea, or the French seizing their ships.”
“And a funny thing about it was that France didn’t really give a damn about Canada. They cared about the sugar trade in the Caribbean. That’s where the big money was — not in a bunch of peasants fishing and farming or trading for furs. The French were vicious and perfidious, which is their nature, I guess.”
“Here’s a story about a family that lived in a little village called Haverhill just before seventeen hundred. The village was about thirty houses along the Merrimac River which made it easy for the Indians to raid since it was one of their usual highways, so to speak.”
“Away from the river, outlying farms and people lived in houses up to a mile away from their defenses which made them even easier targets. On a bleak, cold morning in the middle of March, Thomas Dustan rode out to his fields. He left behind his wife, Hannah, sick in bed cared for by their baby’s nurse, Mary, and eight children in age from two to seventeen.”
“He sees Indians, they start whooping and running; he turns his horse and races home. He gets his children to run for the blockhouses in town while he tries to rescue his wife, but he has no time. What should he do? Ride to town for help? Try to get his children there safely, or save his wife? He jumps back on his horse to race for his children just as the Indians rush up to the house. That gives him a few minutes lead since they stop to rifle through the house to steal what they can.”
“His children couldn’t run any faster than the smallest one. He thought about snatching up the youngest and riding off leaving the others. Gunshots from the Indians made up his mind. He would fight and die with his children. He knew the Indians wouldn’t come into range as long as he didn’t fire his musket, so he turned and pointed the gun at the pursuers, and they’d stop. He told his children to run. He held the Indians there by not firing, and when his children had gotten farther away, he turned and rode after them, turning and threatening to shoot the Indians again as they came running up. He continued to do that until they reached the safety of the town.”
“Meanwhile, the nurse had been caught as she ran off with the Dustan baby. Hannah was found in bed and forced to dress. The house was set on fire. Twenty-seven settlers lay dead or dying, and thirteen captives taken. The captives were made to carry off the goods stolen from their homes. The six-day old baby was snatched from the nurse’s arms, swung, and bashed against a tree. Anyone too old or weak to keep up had their heads bashed with a tomahawk.”
Now, make me happy and go buy my novel, if you would be so kind. There's a lot of meat in this story, a lot of ideas to reflect on, and a lot of examples of your ancestors, perhaps, to make you proud. And please, write a brief review for it at Amazon. The more reviews, the better the book will do.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Mark Butterworth's "Tales of New America" series has recently ventured onto explosive, albeit necessary, ground: the possibility that the franchise has been over-extended, such that the democratic process we use to choose elected officials has been fatally biased in favor of ever larger and more intrusive government.
The problem is politically stiff, as any suggestion of the retraction of a "right" always elicits the most vocal, and sometimes violent, sort of protest. (Look at Greece if you disbelieve it.) Add the argument that the franchise isn't a real right in any case, and you have a very heady cocktail: the sort that can get a nation drunk, and belligerently so, to the point of political dissolution.
In February of 2005, back at Eternity Road, I proposed the following set of criteria for awarding the franchise:
- The applicant must be a citizen of these United States;
- He must present a photographic confirmation of his identity;
- He must be able to show continuous residence in one state for no less than one year prior to his application, that state being the one in which he seeks to vote;
- He must be able to present receipts for having paid sales, property, or income taxes within the state of his residence, no more than one year before his application, and for a total amount not less than $500;
- He must present a Certificate of Proficiency in constitutional understanding, earned no more than one year previously, from his state's elections authority, said certificate to be awarded upon achieving a grade of 85% or higher on a multiple-choice test composed of twenty computer-selected questions on constitutional principles;
- In exchange for the privilege of voting in a specified election, he must agree to forgo and forswear until after the next general election:
- any position of profit or trust under the Constitution, in any federal, state, or local office, whether elective, appointive, or Civil Service;
- any and all payments from any organ of government, regardless of the reason for them;
- any and all personal or categorical privileges, exemptions, or subventions that may be awarded by any organ of government.
Gentle Reader, you would not believe the fusillades that evoked. All the same, I meant it then and I stand by it today. Indeed, back then I was inclined to qualify some of the tougher provisions. Today, I would toughen them further:
- The tax receipt he presents must be a property tax receipt for his residence for the current year, the full payment for the year's property taxes made out in his name;
- The government payments disallowed must include pensions received for prior government service, including military service;
- He may not have any dependents, financially speaking, who themselves receive government payments of any sort.
It is paramount to remove from the electoral process all monetary incentives toward expanding government in favor of an identifiable special interest, including unjustifiable expansions of the military. Decisions about important matters must be free from material bias toward or away from particular institutions. If we're to elect representatives to legislate on important matters, let them be chosen from among those who have no such bias -- no such obvious bias, at any rate -- and elected by that same group.
(Concerning military pensions, the dubious Gentle Reader is invited to look into the history of pensions for Civil War veterans, which grew faster than the Gross Domestic Product for the rest of the Nineteenth Century. Such pensioners constitute a special interest like any other, and must be curbed like any other. Make an exception here and you have to defend your decision not to allow other exceptions.)
Among the other virtues of my system, were the above requirements imposed on all franchisees, the ability to produce the required photo ID, property tax receipt, and certificate of Constitutional proficiency would eliminate the need for voter registration, and thus reduce, effectively to zero, the practice of Election Day illegal voting. Beat that if you can!
I don't share Mark's position on restricting the franchise to men; I merely want each voter to have a demonstrable, enduring stake in the well-being of his county and state of residence, and carry a demonstrably significant share of the burden of supporting those polities. (Federal taxes are a separate subject, about which I'm even more radical.)
Thoughts? (No obscenities, imputations of insanity or senility, or slurs on my character, please; I'm having a very bad day.)
[T]he slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. -- George Orwell, Politics and the English Language
Certain "clever" uses of the language give me a major charge. Of course, not all such charges are positive.
I didn't know until a brief while ago that it was Theodore Roosevelt who popularized the phrase "weasel words." It's a delicious phrase, and one that many Americans should be using just now, for it seems to be the only language that contemporary politicians speak.
Take the recent dustup between Attorney-General Eric Holder and United States Senator Ted Cruz. Holder, desperate to protect what he sees as the prerogatives of "his" president -- one of "his" people, don't y'know -- persisted in weasel-wording his way around Cruz's clear, simple question. For the benefit of those who get pimples from too close an acquaintance with the doings of politicians, that question was:
Holder engaged in some of the most pathetic verbal arabesques, circumlocutions, and evasions on record to avoid giving the appropriate answer ("Hell, no!"). It's not like there's any ambiguity about the matter:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. (Amendment V)
That's a blanket prohibition against any official of any branch of any level of government doing so much as confiscating a penny from a person on American soil unless he's first been convicted in a jury trial. (See Amendment VI for the right to a jury trial.) It's a reinforcement of the seldom-discussed underlying principle of Constitutional government:
If only a jury can decree that you be punished, government has no power except what a jury allows it. Which, incidentally, explains a huge amount about the explosion of "regulatory law," if you think about it.
Eric Holder, at this time the most highly placed lawyer in these United States, was unwilling to concede what the Fifth Amendment demands. Rather, he characterized Cruz's question as "hypothetical," and at one point tried to slither out from under the matter by calling such a presidentially ordered execution "inappropriate." It took a classic filibuster by Senator Rand Paul to force Holder to concede the Constitution's perfectly clear decree. Disgraceful. Pretty much what we've come to expect from an Obamunist minion, but disgraceful even so.
The disgrace doesn't end there, of course. Hearken to the mealy-mouthed statements from two nominally Republican senators about Senator Paul's forthright and principled action:
Almost exactly 24 hours after Mr. Paul began his information-seeking filibuster against John O. Brennan, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham took to the Senate floor to denounce his demands and say he was doing a “disservice” to the debate on drones.
Mr. McCain quoted from a Wall Street Journal editorial: “The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.”
The senator went on to say that he didn’t “think that what happened yesterday was helpful to the American people.”
And where Democrats praised Mr. Paul for using Senate rules properly to launch a filibuster, Mr. McCain said it was an abuse of rules that could hurt the GOP in the long run. "What we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those who say the rules of the Senate are being abused,” the Arizona Republican said.
Mr. Paul said he was filibustering to get the administration to affirm it won’t kill non-combatant Americans in the U.S. — and his effort was joined by more than a dozen other senators who said they, too, supported his effort to get answers.
Mr. Graham said asking whether the president has the power to kill Americans here at home is a ludicrous question.
“I do not believe that question deserves an answer,” Mr. Graham said.
Just in case your memory has mercifully blotted out all recollection of the 2008 presidential campaign, the Republican nominee was John McCain. As for Lindsey Graham, his long record of unprincipled pro-statist words and deeds should speak for itself.
In a mind-shattering coincidence, McCain and Graham were apparently the "leaders" of a delegation of GOP senators to a dinner hosted by...envelope, please...Barack Hussein Obama! Both senators are notorious sluts for good press -- and there's no better way to get positive ink from the Mainstream Media than to suck up to Obama. Senator Paul's filibuster was was contemporaneous with that dinner, and ruined McCain and Graham's chances of "dining out" on the publicity from it for a week or two. To complete the circle, Senator Cruz should ask those two colleagues, during open Senate session, a simple question. It should be phrased with the directness and clarity he exhibited while grilling Eric Holder:
Perhaps both gentlemen should be reminded of the explicit text of their oaths of office before answering.
Third and last for this tirade is this matter of drones.
A drone aircraft is a mechanical device -- a tool. Yes, a modern military drone is often equipped with weaponry, in some cases weaponry capable of destroying an entire city. But it remains a mindless mechanical device that must be dispatched and directed by human intelligence and will.
The sniping at Senators Cruz and Paul harped on how ridiculous it is to imagine that the president would order a drone strike to kill an American within America's borders. I call this, pace C.S. Lewis, the "red tights and horns" fallacy:
I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that "devils" are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them), he therefore cannot believe in you. [From The Screwtape Letters]
Okay, for sheer plausibility of argument, let's take drones "off the table." No, the president shall not order a drone strike against an American on American soil. What about rifles? What about grenades? What about flammable gas and bulldozers? For that matter, what about ricin-tipped umbrellas?
Does the tool have any bearing on the legitimacy of the deed? Have we lost sight of the distinction between the tool and its wielder? Is that why so many Americans are hopelessly misguided about gun control?
The Fifth Amendment says nothing about what weapons might be involved.
Clarity of thought is only possible to a man who uses the correct words in which to couch his thoughts. We are easily mollified or cowed by political flummery because we seldom pay sufficiently close attention to the locutions politicians use to deflect and misdirect us. Orwell had it right: there is no more critical undertaking than to restore clarity to political speech in our time, lest we be weasel-worded into marching, six abreast and singing the national anthem, into cheerfully decorated cells custom-tailored to our delusions, where we will be encouraged to prattle brightly to one another about how wonderful it is to be free.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
[Yet another short story -- this one a delight -- from the gifted pen of F. J. Dagg. Thanks, James. -- FWP]
It was a dark and stormy night on the backside of Palomar Mountain when the pet door slammed open with a loud BANG! The gray heads of the man and woman whipped away from Easy Rider on the TV. That door hadn’t swung in two years. The couple, aging flower children, squinted through the smoke that shoaled through the wan TV light.
“My God! Is that?...it is!...it’s...it’s...” the woman stammered.
“Lucifer!” the man finished for her.
A large, magnificent cat stood in the entryway, oblivious to the howling of the coyotes outside, head high and proud, tail twitching, his fur gleaming blue-black in the smoke-dappled TV light.
“’S’up, people?” inquired the cat.
Eyes wide, hands shaking, the woman fished half of a gigantic doobie from the ashtray and rekindled it. She inhaled deeply, and stared at the cat, even after the man plucked the joint from her fingers. In the glow of the splif, the cat’s scars became visible, one over the left eye, another a diagonal slash from the corner of his eye, across his nose, to his mouth.
“But...uh...c-cats can’t talk...” the woman stammered, as the man gagged on the ash of the now fully consumed blunt.
“Babe,” replied Lucifer, “where I’ve been...you don’t just have to walk the walk, you gotta talk the talk.”
“But...b-but..., “the woman continued, “the coyotes got you! We heard ’em wailing that night! I cried over you for three days! I lit incense! I...”
“Coyotes are punks,” interrupted the cat, his lips twisting in contempt. He glanced casually at the claws of his right paw, then continued. “They weren’t out to eat me. They were working for a chain of Korean fast food joints, if you get my drift. I wasn’t ready for them that night and they bagged me and had me on a flight to Seoul in a heartbeat. But like I said...punks. Careless. I was ready for them when they opened the bag...so, pow...right in the eye, the first one.” He made a nasty hiss and extended his claws again. “His buddy was even dumber and slower. So I skated. Hooked up with some cool locals...got my first line on some work.”
The old hippies stared, mouths slack. “Work?” the man managed.
“Oh yeah. The ’nip dens. Big biz in the East. Those cats get wasted, man...and crazy when they don’t get their ’nip.” Lucifer gestured to the scars on his face. “But it’s big, big money.” The cat shook his head. “Sad to see, though, really. So sad, I had to move on. Local cat hooked me up with a gig in the Middle East.”
“But, b-but...,” stammered the woman, as if she were practicing stammering, as if it were a skill she was cultivating.
“Those Persian cats pay a huge premium to get to the Eurocenter. Mega business. But you know, after a while, it got like the ’nip thing. Couldn’t hang with the skin trade.” He gave an ironic shrug. “So, color me sentimental.”
“But, b-b-but...” said the old, stoned hippie chick.
“Next stop was Noo Yawk,” The cat grinned, Cheshire-style, as he said the name with the local accent. “Cat there had a lab. His process started with margarine, and the end product looked like cream. But the shit had a kick, let me tell you. Cats’d kill for the stuff, and I’m not speaking figuratively.” The couple seemed to overcome, momentarily, their chronic astonishment and exchanged looks of budding, if benumbed interest. “So I was back where I’d started--in pharmaceuticals. And again, big dollars.”
“Like cr-e-e-a-m...,” crooned the old pony-tailer, a wistful grin blooming on his face.
The cat rolled his eyes and continued, “So before I knew it, I’d made my heap, and figured, what the hey, wonder how the old folks on Mount P are doing? Guess I might as well finish that trip around the world. And so here I am. And there you are...’bout like I remember.”
“B-b-b-b...” stammered the ancient Joni Mitchell wannabe.
“So...didja, like, bring any o’ that..cream with ya?” asked the faded facsimile of David Crosby.
The door crashed open. Seven burly men in black, bristling with weapons, burst into the cabin. Three held the stunned old stoners against the wall while three more took the cat down and cuffed him. The remaining invader stood over the cat and intoned, “DEA, Luke. Got an extradition order from Mayor Bloomberg’s Food Police. You got any idea how much trans fat’s in margarine? You’re goin’ down for a l-o-o-o-ng time.”
[Copyright 2010 by F.J. Dagg. All rights reserved. “Trans Fat Cat” was originally published in 2010 at A Word With You Press.]