Saturday, April 19, 2008

School Daze

Yesterday my kids went to a lovely little horse farm out in the bluegrass area around Lexington, Kentucky. They had a great time, and every picture I saw from the occasion featured my anti-social, homeschooled 5-year-old chatting incessantly to one of the guides.

Here they are in front of a little statue:

Here they are riding a pony:

In conjunction with our study of the printing press, we also took a brief tour at the local newspaper to see the printing operation:

Today we're heading to the Frazier Arms Museum, and wonderful little spot in Louisville that chronicles the history of warfare. Ah, there is nothing little boys like better than medieval weaponry--well, other than lightsabers.

That's What Woke Me Up?

Yesterday I was awakened from my slumber by a loud rumbling that sounded very similar to high winds trying to remove the roof from my house. Not sure what was happening I rose from bed and headed outside to see what all the clattering was about.

Later I found out that there was an earthquake about 150 miles away. Later in the morning I was on the phone at work when my partitions started moving about. Turned out to be a small aftershock.

It is very interesting to remember that the earth is indeed in motion, in more ways than one.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lefties Attempt to Muzzle Immigration Restrictionists

The American Jewish Committee is partnering with the racist National Council of La Raza to censor immigration restrictionists and heave them from the airwaves.

According to its website, the AJC’s mission is to protect the welfare and security of Jews "throughout the world" by "promoting pluralism and shared democratic values." I suppose this means everywhere but Israel.

In any event the AJC sent a letter to the presidents of CNN, FOX and MSNBC. "It is inappropriate and offensive," whined AJC General Counsel Jeffrey Sinensky, "for major television programs to provide a microphone to individuals and organizations that promote hate, espouse vigilantism, white supremacy, or even violence in the immigration debate."

So who are the hatemongers so obviously getting a hearing from Keith Olbermann and Wolf Blitzer? Has the Grand Wizard of the KKK chatted up Larry King? Heck, did I miss Jared Taylor on the tube bantering with Jack Cafferty or Chris Matthews?

No, the alleged haters are Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox of the Minuteman Project and Dan Stein of FAIR. According the AJC, Gilchrist and company are vigilantes (?) who use sinister "code words" to propagate a message of hate.

According to La Raza president Janet Murguía, Pat Buchanan’s last book tour was "a hateful tirade about immigration" and that Pat’s views are "unacceptable in a democratic society."

Morris Dees and his ambulance chasing outfit, the Southern Poverty Law Center, are on the hunt, too. According to spokesman Mark Potok, Lou Dobbs is fueling the spread of hate groups by spinning conspiracy theories and lies from his CNN perch.

Not surprisingly, America’s corporate elite is funding the attack on immigration realists. While a journalist with the gifts and courage of Peter Brimelow has to beg and scrape for contributions, left-wing organizations tap their multi-billion dollar funding apparatus in corporate America. Here is a list of some of La Raza’s supporters that you should consider boycotting.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day of Reckoning, Part III

After my two previous posts on Pat Buchanan’s latest book, I’d like to briefly discuss the trade issue.

I’ve written elsewhere that as a younger man I hoped to one day become an economist. Over time I was tempted by the siren song of libertarian thought unconstrained by God’s law and become a methodological individualist.

But even as a student I was perplexed by the general ignorance of economists who have a very limited analytical tool kit and are often more impressed by theoretical abstraction and mathematical mumbo jumbo than history and human nature.

As I have drifted into Calvinism, I have become a Christian covenentalist. Ultimately, I concluded, free trade is the economic component of the liberal ideology, and more a religion than anything else. At the heart of free trade doctrine is the notion that all things work together for the good of those who eliminate tariffs.

In Day of Reckoning and more thoroughly in The Great Betrayal, Buchanan traces the origins of the free-trade cult to 19th liberal thinkers Richard Cobden and Jean-Baptist Say. It was the in the stew of Enlightenment thought that free trade developed into what Rushdoony has called a "god-concept."

In 1846, the year of repeal of the Corn Laws, Cobden rose to defend free trade:

I have been accused of looking too much to material interests...I believe that the physical gain will be the smallest gain to humanity from the success of this principle. I look farther; I see in the Free-Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe, drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace...I believe that the effect will be to change the face of the world, so as to introduce a system of government entirely distinct from that which now prevails. I believe that the desire and the motive for large and mighty empires; for gigantic armies and great navies...will die away; I believe that such things will cease to be necessary, or to be used when man becomes one family, and freely exchanges the fruits of one's labor with his brother man. I believe that...the speculative philosopher of a thousand years hence will date the greatest revolution that ever happened in the world's history from the triumph of the principle which we have met here to advocate.

According to this apostle of free trade, it is commerce, the free and unhindered movement of consumer crap across borders that has the power to cause men to lay down arms, cast aside envy and greed and embrace one another in the bond of unity, fellowship and brotherhood.

Cobden’s rendering of Luke 18-18-20 might read like this,

A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not establish tariffs or prevent the free flow of commerce across borders.'"
In the vision of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, it is the love of self and self-interest that drives all men to an enlightened interest which creates prosperity and the good society. There is some truth here. Indeed, a benevolent creator has ordered the universe in such way as to produce human happiness. Upon this foundation, it is true that there is a natural harmony of interests, exchange is beneficial for both parties and men are chiefly responsible for self-government, and the governing of family and other spheres within their proximity, rather than being rigidly responsible for the welfare of all men.

Sin, however, here as elsewhere creates division among men. Smith’s vision of the "invisible hand" owed much to an assumed understanding of divine providence and he wrote in a cultural context greatly influenced by Puritanism and Calvinism. This was not a non-Christian people nor were they modern men for whom “freedom” means drugs, booze, easy sex, and entertainment all around.

Where freedom is prior to a biblical morality grounded in gospel truth, all practices from narcotics to unspeakable perversion are subject to no controls other than personal preference and whim. This is the logical outgrowth of a system grounded on the premises and presuppositions of radical libertarianism.

There are also far reaching political consequences to free trade ideology as well as economic costs. According to David Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage if nations specialize in the production of goods where they have some natural advantage and trade for other goods than gains from exchange will improve economic conditions in both countries. Thus Ricardo says all nations can benefit from the principles of specialization, division of labor and free trade.

The problem is that Ricardo’s theory is applicable to a world where the factors of production might be mobile nationally but breaks down in our time when production can readily move to nations with an absolute advantage.

In 19th century Britain, productivity was largely based on factors such as climate and geography, which cannot migrate. But in our time the collapse of socialism has created vast pools of cheap and willing labor. Meanwhile technological advances, particularly the internet, has either made physical location unimportant or allowed for the easy transfer of capital to nations with low labor costs.

The benefits of free trade in the form of cheap consumer goods are immediate, but the narcotic of effect of dependence on other nations will only become visible over time.

"What...the free traders fail to understand or ignore is that the transfer of production abroad is not free trade" writes Buchanan. "Unlike the export of goods, which adds to GDP, the transfer of factories subtracts from U.S. GPD and ads to Asian and Chinese GDP. When factories closed in the North and reopened in the Sun Belt, the North became a Rust Belt. The same happens to a nation when production is transferred overseas."

As the trade deficit explodes and our currency collapses the wages of Americans are lower than thirty years ago and we increasingly take on the export profile of a Third World country. We are increasingly dependent on foreign goods for the necessities of life, and on foreign banks to pay for them. The chickens are coming home to roost.

The public policy apparatus is in the hands of globalists—Democrats and Republicans, conservatives, liberals and libertarians. Their loyalties are international rather than regional, national, or local. They are anti-traditionalist and their one-worldism is the heresy of Babel.

At bottom, Pat Buchanan says, we need a new nationalism with foreign, immigration and trade policies that put American first.

"Is America on a path to national suicide?" Buchanan thinks that the twilight of America is at hand. "Our day of reckoning is at hand. Time to mind our own business. Time to lay down the burden and come home. Time to put America first."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Homeschooling and Public Schooling

Via the LRC blog...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Political Hurdles in Iraq

So how goes the war? A commenter posted a blurb earlier today saying that the surge is going just swell. Only if you're reading the Weekly Standard.

Earlier in the week, 1,500 Iraqi soldiers deserted or refused to fight against Moqtada al-Sadr's Shia militia in Basra.

Another report out today says that political progress in Iraq is so slow and fragmentary that U.S. forces are no closer to leaving than they were one year ago.

On Committing National Suicide

Here is a stunning graph that I saw over at Taki Mag. We have ceased to be a nation held together by the common bonds of religion, cultural traditions, and ethnicity. Who are we? Who knows. As Pat Buchanan has written, "America is indeed coming apart, decomposing, and that the likelihood of her survival as one nation through mid-century is improbable—and impossible if America continues on her current course. For we are on a path to national suicide."

Beating the Drums for More War

From the London Telegraph:

A strong statement from General David Petraeus about Iran's intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a US attack on Iranian military facilities, according to a Whitehall assessment. In closely watched testimony in Washington next week, Gen Petraeus will state that the Iranian threat has risen as Tehran has supplied and directed attacks by militia fighters against the Iraqi state and its US allies...

The Wall Street Journal said last week that the US war effort in Iraq must have a double goal.

"The US must recognise that Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq," wrote the military analyst Kimberly Kagan.

There are signs that targeting Iran would unite American politicians across the bitter divide on Iraq. "Iran is the bull in the china shop," said Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairman of the Armed Services Committee. "In all of this, they seem to have links to all of the Shi'ite groups, whether they be political or military."

So is Petraeus just a marionette parroting the words of Dick Cheney? We will know soon enough.

A New Blog

Not only is The American Conservative running Eunomia, there is now a group blog for TAC writers which will surely become a daily must visit.

Raising the Barr

Bob Barr announces the formation of an exploratory committee here.

Charlton Heston, RIP

A larger than life figure has left us.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Have Americans Have Been Misled About World War II

A new book by novelist Nicholson Baker says yes. As this reviewer puts it, "All wars have to be sold, but World War II, within the memory of the pointless carnage that then became known as World War I, was a particularly hard sell. Roosevelt and Churchill did it well, and their lies have been with us ever since."

In a brief essay reviewing some pre-Pearl Harbor provocation, Robert Higgs writes:
In truth, the United States had been at war for a long time before making these declarations. Its warmaking took a variety of forms. For example, the U.S. navy conducted “shoot [Germans] on sight” convoys, which might include British ships, in the North Atlantic along the greater part the shipping route from the United States to Great Britain, even though German U-boats had orders to refrain (and did refrain) from initiating attacks on American shipping. The United States and Great Britain entered into arrangements to pool intelligence, combine weapons development, test military equipment jointly, and undertake other forms of war-related cooperation. The U.S. military actively cooperated with the British military in combat operations against the Germans, for example, by alerting the British navy of aerial or marine sightings of German submarines, which the British then attacked. The U.S. government undertook in countless ways to provide military and other supplies and assistance to the British, the French, and the Soviets, who were fighting the Germans. The U.S. government provided military and other supplies and assistance, including warplanes and pilots, to the Chinese, who were at war with Japan. The U.S. military actively engaged in planning with the British, the British Commonwealth countries, and the Dutch East Indies for future combined combat operations against Japan. Most important, the U.S. government engaged in a series of increasingly stringent economic warfare measures that pushed the Japanese into a predicament that U.S. authorities well understood would probably provoke them to attack U.S. territories and forces in the Pacific region in a quest to secure essential raw materials that the Americans, British, and Dutch (government in exile) had embargoed.

Best of all, we still have Pat Buchanan's forthcoming book, "Churchill, Hitler, and 'The Unnecessary War': How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World". You can order it now.

Real Preachers of Genius

A funny parody of "Seeker Sensitive" worship.