Friday, January 30, 2009

America the Illiterate

By Chris Hedges

"American political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience. They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment and collective salvation. Campaigns that succeed are carefully constructed psychological instruments that manipulate fickle public moods, emotions and impulses, many of which are subliminal. They create a public ecstasy that annuls individuality and fosters a state of mindlessness. They thrust us into an eternal present. They cater to a nation that now lives in a state of permanent amnesia. It is style and story, not content or history or reality, which inform our politics and our lives. We prefer happy illusions. And it works because so much of the American electorate, including those who should know better, blindly cast ballots for slogans, smiles, the cheerful family tableaux, narratives and the perceived sincerity and the attractiveness of candidates. We confuse how we feel with knowledge."

[article]

As I read this article I became more and more impressed, but near its end it degenerated into an attack on the Christian Right. It seems that the author could not hold his insight and had to project evil onto something. By pulling the opposites together you approach the truth, but the mixture is highly combustible and usually explodes one back into the Manichean state of mind. Therein is the dilemma and why so few can approach the truth.

There is one magnificent delusion in the article. In the first paragraph he says "
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth." I would correct this and say that the minority that he describes thinks it can separate illusion from truth but in actuality is blinded by its Manichaen world view and chases shadows. This minority has one thing that the majority lacks: POWER.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

So long as there is Qur'an there will be no peace in the world

By JihadWatch

William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898) was Prime Minister of Great Britain four times: 1868–74, 1880–85, 1886 and 1892–94. He called the Qur'an an "accursed book" and once held it up during a session of Parliament, declaring: "So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world."

The text of the Qur'an has not changed from the late 19th century to the early 21st. What has changed is the prevailing attitude toward the book. Now it has become a manifestation of bigotry and hatred to see in the Islamic holy book anything but peace and tolerance. But the text of the book remains the same. If it was an impediment to peace in Gladstone's day, it is now. If it is an uplifting exhortation to peace and tolerance now, then it was in Gladstone's day as well.

[article]

From Meccania to Atlantis - Part 6: When The Music Stops

From the desk of Takuan Seiyo on Sat, 2009-01-24 19:20
The sum of our fears
"The West is now a brakeless bus rolling toward the abyss."

For ours is not a disaster imposed from the outside, such as Hitler’s Germany inflicted on the rest of Europe, or Muslim jihad on Christendom. What we are witnessing is a voluntary self-destruction carried out by democratically elected political leaders on acquiescing populations that, largely, refuse to see The Emperor’s New Clothes even as his naked arse is at arm’s length from their faces.

To the contrary, gross, transparent lies such as “Our Strength is in Diversity, “All Whites are racists,” “Islam is a religion of peace” seem to have much traction with the general population, even though in the depth of their falsehood they equal the worst that the subjects of the Bolshevik Empire had to live under. The West has become an Orwellian tyranny of preferred lies, forcing the natural social preference for one’s own people into the same inhuman mold as the Bolsheviks applied to the natural preference for one’s family’s material wellbeing.

[article]

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sir Winston Churchill on Islam

"It is, thank heaven, difficult if not impossible for the modern European to fully appreciate the force which fanaticism exercises among an ignorant, warlike and Oriental population. Several generations have elapsed since the nations of the West have drawn the sword in religious controversy, and the evil memories of the gloomy past have soon faded in the strong, clear light of Rationalism and human sympathy. Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men's passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness. In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist. All rational considerations are forgotten. Seizing their weapons, they become Ghazis--as dangerous and as sensible as mad dogs: fit only to be treated as such. While the more generous spirits among the tribesmen become convulsed in an ecstasy of religious bloodthirstiness, poorer and more material souls derive additional impulses from the influence of others, the hopes of plunder and the joy of fighting. Thus whole nations are roused to arms. Thus the Turks repel their enemies, the Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilization is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.” [From Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations by Richard Langworth Editor (vice-chairman and editor of the Churchill Centre) pp. 463-4]

“How dreadful are the curses which Islam lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.”

"A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property‹either as a child, a wife, or a concubine must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.”

"No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

"Far from being moribund, Islam is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”