Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I've just moved to a new city an hour away, into a house just blocks from the state capitol. (In case you were wondering why I'd gotten so quiet lately, that's why.) While this might seem like a not-so-wise plan in an age of terrorist threats, it should be put into perspective: my prior residence was about a half-mile from Nike world headquarters. So really, I think I've gone from the fire into the frying pan. Or something. Anyway, that's all for today; I'll have some more deeeeeeep thoughts for y'all soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."
--John 10:11-13, New International Version

Consider the above when you call 911 instead of defending your own life, or that of your family. Consider it when you see an announcement that U.S. troops are being shipped to yet another foreign country to defend people who have nothing in common, socially, with them. Consider it when you entrust your children's minds to others for training.

This is not to say, or even imply, that there is no care or concern in the hearts of strangers; though the language of the Bible is qualitative, experience shows that there is some compassion in most human hearts toward those we don't know, or who seem unlike us, and we do not normally bear them ill will. Policemen, soldiers, teachers, and others hired to do a job should not take offense at this; their devotion to their duties is admirable and I don't question it (in most cases; there are exceptions, of course). However, they can't replace the bonds of family and friends, and we invite them to do so only at the peril of society itself, because a mystery of society is that it is a byproduct; it cannot be built directly.
I just found the Orwell quote I mentioned last Wednesday:

"[Our language] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."
--George Orwell
Words are the atoms from which molecules of thought are formed. In certain combinations, they can prove quite potent. (Other combinations, of course, are totally inert.) Many particularly reactive assemblies have been discovered over the years; here's one:

"If the behavior to be controlled lies in the field of institutional morality, the objective must be to remove it to the field of unthinking habit, or to the doubtful field. As long as the person to be controlled knows that what he is doing is right, there is little chance that he will change."
--Joseph S. Roucek, in "Social Control" (1947)

From this rather explosive base formulation, many larger, more complex substances have been formed, some highly corrosive to the familiar substances we used to consider fundamental.

At present, dogmatic/moralistic adherence to heterosexuality as superior to homosexuality is undergoing this treatment in Western society. It is the latest in a series spanning many years. (Frankly, I shudder to think what will be next.) What other applications can you identify?

Saturday, September 13, 2003

RIP Johnny Cash (1932-2003).

To see the best music video ever made... http://www.johnnycashmusic.com <--- click this and scroll down to "Watch the video for Hurt"

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Ilana Mercer has written a tremendous column analyzing the neocon problem with the Bush administration. You should read it and follow the links.

One of those links goes to a column by Thomas J. DiLorenzo which goes a long way toward destroying Irving Kristol's horrifying vision of neoconservative triumphalism. I would like to add one thing to DiLorenzo's column: it is important to understand the differences between "democracy" as a condition, "democracy" as a form of government, "republic" as a form of government and its corresponding "republicanism". Contemporary political speech often blurs all of these together under the single word "democracy", but they are not interchangeable. Orwell said that imprecision in speech and in thought go together, and I think he was quite right about that. Reverse the trend! Speak -- and think! -- precisely.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Saturday, September 06, 2003

These two articles object to the "far right" (what a joke that is) vision of the neoconservatives. I do too. Sadly, the alternative vision presented here is the leftist vision of the UN, global disarmament, yadda yadda yadda -- supremely evil as well. This is a FALSE DICHOTOMY. Left out of this examination entirely is the true American approach of non-interventionist strength (remember "don't tread on me"? national DEFENSE, not empire). These authors both seem to believe that the godly, Christian approach is to lionize MLKJ and other leftists and put the evil UN in charge of everything, and for that I must condemn their erroneous belief systems, even as I agree with their condemnation of the erroneous belief system of the neoconservatives -- including the current President. I want you to read these articles both because I agree with their identification and analysis of the problem and because I object just as strongly to their recommended solution, and also because I believe these are the only two directions which the American people will be offered by their globalist info-handlers.

The false dichotomy shaping up here is basically what I feared all along would result from a unilateral US invasion of Iraq. Where are the traditional Americanist voices? Who will raise that flag now?

Remember, I agree with their objections but I disagree with their recommendations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jamie W. "visualize honest media" Jackson

"Power is of a grasping, encroaching nature... (it) aims at extending itself
and operating according to mere will, whenever it meets with no balance,
check, constraint, or opposition of any kind."
--Jonathan Mayhew



http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0309&article=030911

The Project for a New American Empire

Who are these guys? And why do they think they can rule the world?
by Duane Shank

====================

http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0309&article=030910

Dangerous Religion: George W. Bush's theology of empire.
by Jim Wallis

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Every rebellion is also a submission, and every alliance is also a defiance.
A friend recently asked me about my opposition to the ADL; here's what I wrote back.

Here are some reasons I object to the ADL and find them obviously biased and dishonest.

First off, they have a link on the left edge of their pages to the absurdly dishonest "Militia Watchdog" site (www.militia-watchdog.org) run by Mark Pitcavage. This is presented with no indication of any kind as to the dishonesty of that site. That's all I need to see, as I checked out "Militia Watchdog" years ago and observed that it mixes honest conspiracy research web sites in alongside neo-Nazi and other racist sites and colors them all with the same brush. Anyone who can't distinguish between those categories has no business setting up shop as an authority on them, and any group who steers people to "Militia Watchdog" sans warning is obviously way off base.

But ADL isn't just guilty by association. On their site they have a page about all the awful anti-Semitism sweeping the nation as a result of the Columbia shuttle disaster (http://dev.adl.org/Anti_semitism/columbia.asp). (What, didn't you hear this on every corner? It's everywhere!! The ADL wouldn't exaggerate.) As proof of this massive trend, they post (among other things) a description of something Alex Jones said. When you see what he actually said, there's nothing anti-Semitic about it (and, to be fair, they didn't explicitly call Jones anti-Semitic). Further, they say "This document [the one from Alex Jones, which discussed the 1962 "Northwoods" memo --JJ] included the assertion that the Joint Chiefs had proposed blaming Cuba if any problems arose with the 1962 launch of John Glenn." Either the ADL doesn't realize the Northwoods memo actually did say that, or else they are deliberately trying to undercut Jones' credibility by choosing the word "assertion" rather than another word, such as "report". They do that a lot, which serves to undercut _their_ credibility with me.

Other discussion of the Columbia disaster, largely on conspiracy discussion sites, which included speculation that the Israeli government might have been involved somehow is also offered as evidence of anti-Semitism. But criticizing a government is not the same as criticizing everyone of the corresponding nationality/race. This distinction is lost on the ADL. In their eyes, if you question the Israeli government, you're fomenting anti-Semitism. I find that very interesting, as it effectively exempts the Israeli government from criticism.

Here's a classic paragraph: "For years, hate groups have created written materials of every kind to spread their propaganda, including books, glossy magazines, newspapers, flyers and even graffiti. As communication technologies advanced, these groups have kept up. First, they used standard broadcast-band and shortwave radio, audiotape, videotape and public-access cable TV. More recently, bigots of all kinds recognized the Internet's power and rushed to use it to rally their supporters, preach to the unconverted, and intimidate those whom they perceive as their enemies." That last part perfectly describes the ADL, who seem to believe free speech is a threat to their beliefs, and hence they wring their hands over the "problem" of people being free to talk amongst themselves in a free market of ideas. Isn't that strange? Now why would that be?? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Seems to me that in such an environment the truth would eventually and inevitably prevail, and the only real threat to the truth would be anyone who wants to control our free speech. Maybe the ADL thinks most people are too stupid to sift truth from error, and thus require the noble ADL to come to their intellectual rescue. They certainly act stuck-up with all their righteous rhetoric.

While deeply disturbing, the growth of hate and extremism on the Internet simply mirrors the expansion of Internet use.

This text is actually singled out, in this font [note: font was reproduced in my email but is not reproduced here in my blog --JJ], on the ADL site, set by itself as a "flowed-around" sidebar (sorry, I don't know the correct desktop publishing term for that) on this page: http://www.adl.org/poisoning_web/about_net.asp Sadly, though, the ADL misses the very point their own highlighted text makes clear: there's no massive growth of racism in our country. This is not an epidemic. It's a minor problem which will either always be around or else it will die out on its own, unless of course it's provoked by jerks with ulterior political motives (like the ADL) who posit themselves as superior to others and inherently entitled to make the important decisions on behalf of their fellow man.

Ultimately, there's no better way to see my point than to read what the ADL themselves say about the patriot community. Take a look: http://www.adl.org/poisoning_web/militias.asp Here's the first paragraph: "In mid-1994, bands of armed right-wing militants calling themselves "militias" began to appear in several states. Often spouting mistaken interpretations of early American history to justify their actions, Militia members are united in their obsession with "protecting" Americans' Constitutional rights, which they claim the Federal government has trampled. A variety of activists make up the militia movement. There are those militia adherents who merely discuss the Constitution and perceived Federal intrusions. Others trade conspiracy theories at gun shows. At the extreme are members of heavily armed paramilitary units." Change just a few words and this would be exactly what you'd expect to read in a report to King George III on the situation in the colonies in the early 1770s. Rather than learn any lessons, though, the ADL, prejudiced to no end, prefers to take the government's side in everything, the truth -- and its adherents -- be damned.

There ARE evil folks on the web, and in real life. Some of them ARE racists, and some of those ARE anti-Semitic. The ADL does report on a lot of real hatred, and I understand that. Don't misunderstand my point here. That to which I object in the ADL is the same thing to which I object in the racists about whom the ADL constantly shrieks: their rhetoric is worthy of GOEBBELS, their labeling of people is SLOPPY, their thinking is OBSESSIVE (about the wrong things), their publications are HARMFULLY DIVISIVE and UNFAIR, and their bigotry catches both the rightful targets (the evil ones) as well as many others who only share certain demographic similarities with the evil ones but do NOT share their evil. The pointing finger of the ADL would be much more persuasive with me if it weren't for the 3 other fingers pointing right back at them. They are a proverbial brood of vipers, hissing their venomous hate in the ears of government officials and other misinformed Americans. In short, they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. They are LIARS.

I hope that suffices. If not, read this: http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0693/9306018.htm and especially this: http://www.zpub.com/notes/adl2.html.