Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Five Stages

     It occurred to me a little earlier that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s template for how we deal with grief and loss, which she first applied to the recognition of impending death, can be applied to just about any impending calamity. Here’s an example:

  1. Denial: No, no! It’s not Monday morning yet. It’s still Sunday night!
  2. Anger: Damn it all, I’m not finished with my weekend – neither the fun nor the chores.
  3. Bargaining: Hey, God? If you’ll excuse me from Monday just this once...
  4. Depression: (pulls covers over head, waits for Monday to go away...)
  5. Acceptance: (gets out of bed and heads to shower.)

     No, it doesn’t do any good. Why else would I have retired so young?

     I’m becoming a major fan of Bre Faucheux. As you can see, her website is in the blogroll. I exhort my Gentle Readers to visit and sample her lively op-ed writing. If it pleases you, try her YouTube channel as well. An observation in one of her recent emissions struck a particular chord:

     I’ve been accused of “spreading hate” or “inciting hate” countless times since I became red pilled.

     To paraphrase George Carlin, It's a big club, and we're both in it. Maybe you are, too.

     The Left -- in this specific case, its globalist / egalitarian segment -- has lost the battle of ideas. Therefore, to hold what it has gained (to say nothing of making further gains), it must somehow invalidate its opposition. The only available tactic, given that it cannot use reason or evidence, is slander: the delegitimization of the opponent.

     The terrible thing about this tactic is its effectiveness, even when it’s used on persons who know it for what it is. The members of the Left’s “compact and unified church” may not know much, but they can recognize a successful political tactic.

     While we’re on the subject of “spreading hate,” Doug Ross has a citation for us:

     An Art Institute of Washington professor recently declared that House Republicans “should be lined up and shot” for their passage of an Obamacare-replacement bill.

     “They should be lined up and shot,” Professor John Griffin posted to his Facebook, according to a screenshot of the post obtained by Campus Reform, even clarifying that he wasn’t being hyperbolic, saying “that’s not hyperbole; blood is on their hands.” In another post made just two minutes after his initial comments, Griffin blasted Republican lawmakers as “a f***ing joke,” then turning his attention to their voters, whom he insulted as running “the gamut from monstrous to ignorant...”

     Campus Reform reached out to the Art Institute of Washington for comment on Griffin’s claims, though multiple inquiries went unanswered.

     Actually, “spreading hate” is too weak a characterization: this Griffin villain is encouraging lethal violence in the name of a difference of political opinion. As Doug’s headline asks us, “Who are the fascists again?”

     We need the reminder desperately, for a reason that’s all too often overlooked: the Left’s “two-step.” On the one hand, we have vicious, evil men such as John Griffin making vicious, evil statements from the pinnacle of the “intellectual structure of production.” On the other, we have Democrat legislators in a Congressional minority, unwilling to give on anything, who excoriate Republicans and conservatives for “not negotiating.” Compare this to the behavior of the Palestinian irredentists vis a vis Israel. Draw the appropriate conclusions. Show your work and sign at the bottom.

     Dystopic is on fire once again, this time about “universal health care:”

     Some folks are old enough to remember when healthcare was much more reasonably priced, when most common injuries and illnesses were relatively inexpensive to treat. Oh sure, things like cancer were still very expensive to deal with, but if you broke a leg or got bronchitis, it was cheap enough that even the poor could generally find a way to pay for it, perhaps with some assistance from charities and pro bono work.

     These days, even a broken leg will typically cost around $2,500 at a minimum. Much more, if you use the emergency room. Strange, that it costs so much, or that healthcare cost increases have outpaced inflation for as long as I’ve been alive.

     You see this in another industry, these days. Post-secondary education. Yes. College tuition and fees have exploded in cost over the last few decades. In fact, it is one of the few industries where the cost increases have outpaced healthcare.

     Note, too, the drive to make college free for everybody. Universal Education. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

     Lay particular emphasis on the last sentence above. It’s immensely and ironically important, and not just for the Gramscian aspect. The irony here is that a great mind, libertarian sociologist Charles Murray, stumbled into this quagmire in the first of his important books: Losing Ground.

     Some errors are so seductive that even geniuses make them -- often without even noticing how the sadder-but-wiser ordinary men around them, their wounds still fresh from their follies, are shrieking "Come back! Don't go any farther!" as they march into madness.

     It doesn’t take long before a government intrusion into some activity – the initial stage is regulation, more often than not – is followed by subsidies or price controls. Shortly thereafter, the government makes the use of whatever it’s just ruined compulsory. But hey! It’s universal. That’s good, isn’t it?

     But the men back at the squadron never even saw any of the bananas, for it was a seller’s market for bananas in Istanbul, and a buyer’s market in Beirut for the caraway seeds Milo rushed with to Bengasi after selling the bananas, and when they raced back into Pianosa breathlessly six days later at the conclusion of Orr’s rest leave, it was with a load of best white eggs from Sicily that Milo said were from Egypt and sold to his mess halls for only four cents apiece so that all the commanding officers in his syndicate would implore him to speed right back to Cairo for more bunches of green red bananas to sell in Turkey for the caraway seeds in demand in Bengasi. And everybody had a share. [Joseph Heller, Catch-22.]

     I seldom comment on foreign policy, not because I lack an interest, but because most of my knowledge about such things is about the strategies and tactics of warfare. Then again, (bad) foreign policy is the usual reason for warfare, so perhaps I should spend some time on it. For those who have an interest in the Middle Eastern mess currently in its umpteenth act, ponder well these observations from Great Satan’s Girlfriend:

     One of the most problematic aspects of the war against the Islamic State has been the role of Turkey. On the one hand, diplomats see Turkey as a cornerstone of any diplomatic strategy to counter the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

     On the other hand, Turkey—or, at least, elements within the state—appear to back the Islamic State. Indeed, one of the prevailing theories with regard to Turkey’s recent ban on Wikipedia has been because entries informed by Wikileaks explore financial links between Turkey’s leadership and the Islamic State.

     Turkey, you may recall, is a member of NATO, and therefore a nominal ally of the United States. Yet Turkey has conducted major operations against the very forces most important in fighting ISIS: the Kurds. Their rationale? “The Kurds are terrorists.”

     In point of fact, the Kurds are an oppressed minority within Turkey, just as they were in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The Turkish regime would like to see them exterminated. As Turkey has a history of conducting genocides against inconvenient minorities, and is unapologetic about it, the parallel is unavoidable.

     Where is the American response to this flagrant brutality by a supposed “ally” against our embattled coalition partner? Does our State Department fear to injure Turkish feelings? Or is the “harmony” of the Atlantic Alliance – as useful as the tits on a bull since 1949 – a more important consideration than preserving the lives and fighting power of the most important element of the coalition against ISIS?

     Given that Turkey is about to go full Islamist, the portents, barring swift and decisive American action, are bleak indeed.

     I have little admiration for Nick Gillespie, whom I regard as an important reason Reason has gone so far downhill, but now and then he makes an important connection, even if ineptly stated. In a recent tweet, he said:

     France is becoming a Third World country because of economic policies instituted by the graduates of its finest schools, not Arabs.

     In reply to which an anonymous self-absorbed moron whom I will not name or link wrote thus:

     Now, does Nick Gillespie really think altering tax policy will magically transform low-IQ, inbred Muslims from the Maghreb into patriotic French republicans who work at Parisian software shops? It’s tempting to say it is just another pose, but the evidence is piling up in favor of the argument that Nick Gillespie is a stupid person. Anyone who truly believes altering tax policy will reverse a thousand generations of evolution is an idiot.

     There’s just one problem with this, moron: You’re the stupid one. Or at least the shortsighted one, which is a symptom of a pervasive stupidity.

     Yes, France is being transformed into a Third World country. The most visible component of its decline is its imported Arab Muslim population: unassimilable, querulous, and violent. But why did the masters of France decide to admit those millions of Muslims? Because economic policies they could not renounce without losing face (and possibly provoking a revolt) had caused native Frenchmen to work less and to stop reproducing. Those Muslim imports are substitutes for French workers who don’t work and for children the French are not having.

     No, it hasn’t worked. But note that the French have stubbornly clung to their cradle-to-grave welfare state with its abbreviated work week, its laws that protect labor from penalty for anything short of murdering the boss, its retirement at 60, its generous public pensions, and the consequent lack of interest among the French, who continue to suffer double-digit employment that’s worst among young adults, in producing more Frenchmen. And politicians who see their subjects waning in number will naturally look for replacements.

     No, “altering tax policy” won’t turn those millions of Muslims into patriotic, assimilated Frenchmen. But the economic lunacies of ultra-welfarist France are why they were allowed into France in the first place. Gillespie, though his statement was badly constructed and is easily misinterpreted, has touched the core of it. The contemptuous moron who derides him also wants to “kill all the libertarians,” in case you were wondering.

     That’s all for today. Fiction, laundry, and lawn maintenance beckon. (Long Island has had so much rain lately that I’ve been mowing every three or four hours.) But one final announcement, for those who’ve been wondering: No, I didn’t buy it.

     Have a nice day.


scttmtclf said...

On the one hand, a corvette is a completely irrational purchase, with no real utility. On the other hand, a corvette is a finely crafted automobile that induces exhiliration whenever one occupies the cockpit. Sometimes, after the "Beans, Bullets, and Band-aids" have been squared away, you just need to take the plunge!

Manu said...

Nick Gillespie's comment is indeed poorly constructed, but I agree with the point you've made.

Milo Yiannopoulos once explained the problem this way: Islam is the common cold. Progressivism is AIDS. It's very easy to defeat the common cold... unless you have AIDS.

If, as the anon said, Arabs are low-IQ inbreds... how is it that we are losing to them on so many fronts? The reason is the progressives. Socialists. Marxists. Whatever name we use for them, it's still the same. They are the ones importing Arabs en masse. Whether for economic reasons, as you've stated here, or just because they hate the West and want to blow it up (or some combination of both), they are the ones who brought the trouble in.

So ousting the progressives must be step one in any attempt to rid ourselves of Islamic troubles. Otherwise we are merely treating the symptoms, and not the disease.

JWM said...

Regarding exotic vehicles: Either you do it, or you wish you would have done it. "Did it. Regret it." ought to be in the mix, but it never seems to be. Unless you crash the thing.


JoeFromSidney said...

In the late 1990s I spent two semesters as a visiting professor in the Engineering School at Marmara University in Istanbul. I developed a great deal of affection for the Turkish people, both faculty and students, that I worked with. One of the trends I observed back then was the slow death of Kemalism. Kemal Ataturk westernized Turkey during the 1920s. The generation that knew him was gone, and the following generation was disappearing. Islam was returning. Yes, there was still ritual observance of Kemal's birthday, and his mausoleum in Ankara is magnificent. But his influence was vanishing. I still have friends there and try to keep track of things, but it's clear that the country is becoming less and less Westernized and more Islamic. The wave of Westernization has lapped on the shore, and is now retreating. Turkey will become part of the Caliphate.