Saturday, February 17, 2007

Belmont's Poetry

I don't know how anyone can understand today's world without reading Belmont Club. The author "wretchard"'s own subsequent comments to his pieces are also sources of gems, like this:
I think the Third World will provide the strategic surprise. They are not -- they were never -- what the Left thought they were. People happy to live out their lives under a tyranny dancing under the mango trees before retiring in the dusk to their darkened huts to the sound of communal singing. They want cell phones, air travel and dental floss. They wonder what the stars are made of and how the world began. Worst of all for the Left they want freedom. The most monstrous lie in history was the one the Left repeated incessantly. How happy the masses were under Uncle Joe Stalin or the Great Helmsman. Do they know what poverty is? Poverty is watching your little son die because you can't afford a five dollar bottle of medicine. And burying him with all the homemade toys your hands made.

Ultimately this is conflict between the "Let Them Eat Cake" crew and people who simply want to live. It's between fantasy and reality. I have no worries about how that will end, though many bright things will vanish in the carelessness of the night.
He then closes with a quote from Tolkien.

Wretchard the Cat, aka Richard Fernandez, grew up in the Philippines and is currently living in Australia.

And he knows a thing or two about the Third World most of us will never fathom.

And clearly he is a genius.

An excerpt of his bio:
Richard holds a degree in applied mathematics from Case Western Reserve University and a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard.

Richard Fernandez – He finds a different life in Australia

I grew up in the Philippines and was educated in U.S. graduate schools. My last job in the Philippines was in forestry inspection, a process that includes the people in the forest. I was hired on because I'd had experience providing assistance to tribal communities to get them title to their ancestral lands. In the Philippines, land with a slope of greater than a certain percentage automatically belongs to the government. This gives government enormous power over individuals, a fact actually regarded in many Third World countries as conducive to development.

I decided to emigrate to Australia in 1997. I had to retool as a software developer and eventually built a considerable number of utility applications for fairly well-known companies in Australia.

On his blog – Using known paradigms to understand the world

The Belmont Club really began Sept. 11. My wife woke me with news that two wide-bodied jets had brought the twin towers down. I got up in a daze asking 'What am I going to do?' Most people intuitively felt the world changed on that day. But for some, and I know it was true in my case, it also changed the past. For most, America is a dream. But for those who never expect to return to it again it is the memory of youth -- something you expect to stay safe forever and not lie in broken pieces in lower Manhattan. I didn't take the train into the city that morning and for a long time afterward, but walked, imagining I was making things harder for an enemy I wanted to get back at somehow.


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