Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Only the Beginning

The calm before the storm?

North Korea is reneging on its denuclearization deal.

Supply lines to Afghanistan through Pakistan are becoming more and more unreliable as that country disintegrates.

Russia is imperialistically resurgent, to monopolize Europe's energy.

And Iran's nuclear program speeds ahead.

And the media is all a-tingle with the Obamamessiah.

Musings from Belmont Club's Wretchard:
North Korea has decided to suspend the decommissioning of its nuclear facilities because the United States has insisted on verification before removing it from the list of the state sponsors of terrorism. This new crisis comes on the heels of Georgia and events in Pakistan. About the only good news is ironically from Iraq. What’s going on? The question is whether we are still in the End of History, at “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal,” or whether the stars are veiled; a sleepless malice is stirring, and a new menace is taking shape, not for the last time but in our time.


It appears the public no longer thinks it is our “mission” to save the poor Afghanis, the noble Iraqis, the wonderful Darfurans or die for the Zionists and S Koreans - but to save America and our way of life - instead.

Suppose we take this as a starting point. What are the givens? A large dependency on Middle Eastern energy. A large European dependence on Eurasian and Central Asian energy. A declining Western demographic. A political culture that is obsessed with trivia, political correctness and pointless celebrity.

How does a civilization with these givens respond to a challenge?

Can it?

Admittedly the challenges are still in rinky-dink places, but that’s only because they’ve just gotten started. Although still based in these hick places, their targets are already downtown New York and DC. If the problems on the periphery were going to stay there, then fine. But they’re not. September 11 should have shown us they are not — because of the weaknesses outlined in the paragraph above. What’s there to keep them out?

The West is extraordinarily vulnerable and the fight can move from the periphery to the center, I think, with shocking rapidity. What really scares me is what people in Denver are talking about; how the media is treating it like an entertainment extravaganza. That’s what is truly frightening. Not what we see out the window, but what we see in the mirror.


The truly unthinkable today is to imagine that something bad could really happen. September 12 was an exception. But that’s history now. The generation of the 50s and 60s understood that really, really nasting things could occur. They had a human memory of it. But now survival is assumed to be assured. We talk about reproductive rights, gay rights, the right to immigrate illegal and so on.

Civilization has forgotten what it is like to eat its pets from hunger.

And as so often happens when disasters can no longer be imagined, they most often occur.

History is supposed to protect us from forgetfulness; curb arrogance; guard against complacency. But who have we put in charge of our altar to memory? Open your TV sets and watch the talking heads.

Maybe it was always thus.
Whatever else we do, we need to immediately begin to:

(1) raise at least 12 more combat brigades of volunteers

(2) build more nukes

(3) ready the public for the actual use of (1) and (2)

Interestingly, the Green insistence against expanded, vigorours drilling for oil and natural gas in this country, as well as building more coal and nuclear power plants, virtually guarantees we will be required to spend more blood for oil to maintain our way of life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Democrat Versus The Marxist

This election season it seems we have the choice between the (old-style) "Democrat", i.e. John McCain, and the (new Democrat) "Marxist", i.e. Barack Obama.

The Socialist, Hillary, got left out.

We are at a shifting point in the political landscape.

Look at the history of political parties in this country, and you'll see a pattern: at times of stress, the major parties fracture, and many smaller parties form, but rather quickly the different factions re-arrange themselves once again into two major coalitions but with a new focus than before.

It appears to be happening again. The names Democrat and Republican may go on, but their meaning is changing.

Besides the ascendance of the far left in the Democrat party, among the Republicans we see the small-government conservatives in disarray with the "RINO" John McCain now at the helm and serious talk of the very real possibility he could choose "DINO" Joe Lieberman as his running mate! Though the odds of that may not be great, that they are non-zero is an important signal.


(1) A new "centrist" party of RINO/DINO moderate Republicans and Democrats will form if John McCain is elected and he picks some Democrats for his cabinet as a unity gesture. Maybe this party gets a new name but probably it will keep the Republican name. This party will probably spend too much but with luck will have a vigorous hawkish neo-con foreign policy. It might even embrace the separation of State and Federal government (the new rallying cry of the 21st century?) and select judges who believe the Constitution says what it means and means what it says.

(2) An even more furious far-left contingent of Europhile high-tax pacifist Democrats (the Kucinich, Obama, Gore & Kennedy types) who are really neo-Marxists will become even more extreme, and split from/alienate the rest of the party.

(3) Some small-government conservatives will waste their time getting behind paleo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan or wacky libertarian-types like Ron Paul. They might make a go of a third party nuisance for a while but won't amount to much unless they get under the Republican umbrella again.

(4) Evangelical types seem to be splitting, with the pacifist/socialist leaners looking to the far-left Democrats, and the social conservative family-values types left with the Republicans.

Some highlights from the Kucinich speech at the DNC tonight that brought the crowd to a roaring fever pitch:

Kucinich electrifies convention arena

It will become known as the “Wake Up, America” speech.

“Fellow Democrats, are you ready for November?” he asked.

“It’s election day 2008 and we Democrats are giving America a wake up call. Wake up, America!”

In 2001, the oil companies and the war contractors seized the country and added four trillion dollars to the national debt.

“Millions of Americans have lost their jobs; trillions of dollars for an unwarranted war paid for with borrowed money; tens of millions of dollars in cash and weapons disappeared into thin air at the cost of the lives of our troops and innocent Iraqis.”

Meanwhile, with the U.S. helping to rebuild infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan, “there is no money to rebuild bridges in America.”

Then he launched into a “Wake Up” litany:

“The insurance companies took over health care. Wake up, America!

“The pharmaceutical companies took over drug prices. Wake up, America”

“The speculators took over Wall Street. Wake up, America!”

With each refrain, the delegates grew more frenzied.
I suppose Government is supposed to take over health care, drug prices, and Wall Street?

What a disaster that would be!

He played on the terror alert level “color chart.”

“Every day we get the color orange while the oil companies, the insurance companies, the speculators, the war contractors get the color green. Wake up, America.
Yeah, the alert level is all a big joke.
“This is not a call for you to take a new direction from right to left; this is a call for you to go from down to up.

Up with peace!” Kucinich yelled to approving roars. “Up with prosperity! Up with education! Up with Democrats!

The delegates continued to cheer through the first part of the next speaker’s remarks.

More like Up with Chuck!

Update: Must be something in the air, just saw these relevant comments at Belmont Club to the effect of McCain salvaging what remains of the traditional Democrats:

Mike Moran recalls George McGovern’s rueful remark after Chicago, the exact moment when something had perished. “I opened the door to the Democratic party and 20 million people walked out.” Maybe the significance of Denver is that what begun in 1968 has finally been achieved in 2008. Ayers is now inside the tent. But where will all the 20 million go? I realize that John McCain may know in his bones that he can’t be the candidate of the Republican Party as conservatives would like it because the Democratic party as we know it has already died, and he must hasten to pick up the pieces.

Also, yes Wretchard you are quite correct.

The old, FDR-LBJ party is dead. McCain does know, that he can only win with Democrats, including Clinton-ites. Not even Bill Clinton is persona grata in the Hard Left Democratic Party.

Eventually, the Republican Party will fissure, but the rump of the Democratic Party, the Hard Left Rich (same thing) will still dominate the wealthy metropoli with the hard left angry minorities: San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Philly, etc.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Heard from a clever person:

"I'd rather have Sense than Change!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Labor Day Is Back By Popular Demand

The Tyson chicken plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee and the workers' union have reconsidered their hare-brained decision to drop Labor Day as a paid holidav in favor of the muslim holiday of Eid for Ramadan -- public pressure worked!

This year they will get both as holidays, i.e. a total of nine instead of their usual eight, as a bonus for this glitch.

Next year they revert to the normal 7 standard holidays (including Labor Day) plus an 8th day that used to be the worker's birthday but now can be any "personal day", allowing the muslims to take Eid if they desire without forcing it on everyone else and taking away a true American labor holiday -- which makes perfect sense!

It turns out the city mayor, the county mayor, a State Democrat representative and a State Republican senator all wrote a letter to Tyson strongly suggesting they change course:
After thinking about the issue, [County Mayor Eugene] Ray said because Tyson Foods is a private enterprise, he couldn't tell them what to do, "but I didn't think it was a good thing to do as a business."

But then, Ray began to receive a series of calls asking "what in the world is taking place," he said, relating that the callers thought Tyson's actions "were a bad thing," although Ray said callers expressed it more forcefully.

"I think Tyson needs to go back and reconsider this," Ray said. "They need to sit down and renegotiate this. They had honorable intentions to try to do something for the plant, but it's a mistake."

Ray said that a majority of the people Tyson serves "are upset with it."

Interestingly, reading the comments to this report at the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, it seems many locals still want Tyson run out of town.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Labor Day Cancelled for Ramadan

UPDATE: Labor Day Restored!

The Shelbyville, Tennessee Times-Gazette reports:

Tyson drops Labor Day holiday for Eid al-Fitr
Workers at Tyson Foods' poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day, but will instead take the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in the fall.

A recent press release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) stated that a new contract at the Shelbyville facility "implements a new holiday to accommodate the ... Muslim workers at the plant."
Even if the plant were 100% muslim that would still be a dangerous and outrageous sign of the decline of our national culture.

However, 250 of the 1200 workers there are Somali, and no more than 700 total are muslims.
Eid al-Fitr means "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast" in Arabic, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

The festival "is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer (salat) at daybreak on its first day. It is a time of official receptions and private visits, when friends greet one another, presents are given, new clothes are worn, and the graves of relatives are visited," the encyclopedia said.

Mickelson said that "Eid al-Fitr is one of eight paid holidays for all Team Members covered by the contract, while Labor Day is not a paid holiday."

"Based on the contract, the other paid holidays include: The Team Member's birthday, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day," Mickelson said.

"Implementing this holiday was a challenge, since it falls on a different day every year and is declared on fairly short notice," RWDSU Representative Randy Hadley said in the press release. "But the negotiating committee felt this was extremely crucial, since this holiday is as important to Muslims as Christmas is to Christians."
One wonders then why the muslims also get Christmas off.

I would also assert that 100% of the workers at the plant are, you know, workers, and Labor Day was created as a National Holiday just for them!

The pandering and special treatment continues:
The union also claimed that in addition to the observance of the Muslim holiday, "two prayer rooms have been created to allow Muslim workers to pray twice a day and return to work without leaving the plant."

Mickelson said that Shelbyville's Tyson plant "does have a prayer room to accommodate the needs of Muslim Team Members."
No other faith has a special prayer room of course.

I've never been a big fan of the labor movement, but Labor Day is an American holiday that should not just be thrown away for the alien habits of foreign cultures. From the US Department of Labor,
"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
That a union would request dropping Labor Day from its own contract to add ramadan is diabolical

Don't buy Tyson, it's un-American.