Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Starbucks Race Together – Forgive me for not wanting to be lectured to by a company with an all-white board of directors and a billionaire white CEO, one without locations in poor neighborhoods including my own. I don’t ask the Dali Lama for Italian Roast whole bean, and so I don’t see why I should be forced to talk to a harried twenty-something coffee-slinger about anything beyond wanting my coffee black.
The ISIS Attack in Tunisia – How many people have to die before we start seeing these attacks for what they are? Religiously motivated hate crimes by adherents of the “religion of Peace.” Sure the machete wielding guy shot dead in New Orleans was a Jehovah Witness, but he wasn’t passing around copies of the WatchTower as he killed people, was he? Terrorist apologists just don’t get that there’s a difference between killing someone because you are nuts and killing someone because you are nuts IN THE NAME OF ALLAH. It’s the difference between a white guy gunning down a black guy and a white guy shouting “N****r” gunning down a black guy. I had plans to visit that museum in the near future, and although I haven’t torn those plans up, I am realizing that the “safe places to visit list” is getting smaller by the day.
Ted Cruz – Ted Cruz is courting the Christian wing of the GOP. That worked well for President Huckabee 4 years ago didn’t it?
Israel – The Obama administration demands Israel commit suicide while allying with its mortal enemy. No surprise given Ayatollah Khameini and President Obama’s shared hatred of both the US and Israel.
The UK’s Green Party – Leader of the Green’s Natalie Bennett is promising to demilitarize the UK and evidently lives on a different planet, one without a Vladimir Putin partitioning Ukraine. If she does win in May, it will make it easier for Downton Abbey fans in the US to mount an invasion, take over the island and force creator Julian Fellowes to write a seventh season – one where Mary awakens from a dream to find her sister Sybil and husband Matthew at her bedside. The fans should be able to take the place over with a few pointed jabs and threatening remarks, that is if Putin doesn’t get there first, which given the recent Russian overflights of the UK may be soon.
Germanwings crash – Humans make mistakes. They make far more mistakes than the control systems that fly the planes, and there’s only so much we can do to protect lives from a pilot who wants to become one with a mountain. Has the time come for pilotless planes? It’s going to take courage for the first cabinfull of passengers to fly without a pilot but in the end it’s going to be the norm. Ditto driverless trucks, trains and eventually cars. Would I trust a fully automated car over my 18 year old kid? Damn right I would. I love driving but I have had too many close calls myself, and recognize that an automated driving system would be a safer driver system, and when that happens driving will become illegal (hence the Rush reference in the title.) The Germanwings crash is going to accelerate the discussion on the technology that could revolutionize our worlds this century. It’s coming and the sooner the better. I think…
BBC firing Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear – Please forgive my descent into British English, but F*** the Beeb, the bunch of spineless lefty nanny-state loving tossers. They’ll protect a pedophile like Jimmy Savile but not Clarkson whose political views tended towards the right in the UK (which makes him a moderate Democrat here). It’s one thing to discipline him for his misbehavior; it’s another to dog him for his populist beliefs. Well, the sooner Bennett wins the election, the sooner my comrades and I can take over the country and rest assured, the BBC license will be the second item on our chopping block (after that driving on the wrong side of the road business.) Let them grovel like NPR does here.
Head Transplants – My favorite hard Left science magazine wasted 2,000 words on this “what if.” I say wasted because the success of such a surgery hinges on the ability to meld one spinal cord to another. If we can do that, we can cure paralysis – and to me that’s far more newsworthy than worrying about the ethics of something that may not even be possible.
We’ve lived under the Obama administration for 6 years, 2 months. During that time we have witnessed a world turned upside down, one where our allies are treated like our enemies and our enemies are courted. Alliances that can be measured in lifetimes have been ignored, such as the “special relationship” with the UK. Others like Israel have been actively undermined. Even the Canadians have suffered at the hands of this administration as it has pivoted to China and kept the Keystone Pipeline mired in indecision and red tape.
Russia annexes the Crimea, the first territorial annexation in Europe since the Third Reich. It assassinates and jails the critics of its leadership. It invades Ukraine and even shoots down an airliner full of Europeans without consequences. Russian propaganda broadcasts throughout Russia unopposed, developing an ultranationalism straight from a work of fiction or video game. Critics of this coddling are accused of Cold War era thinking, and the administration continues to engage with the regime even as the US people view it as the single greatest threat.
The Obama administration leaves Biden to negotiate the status of forces agreement with Iraq, wasting the blood and treasure expended during the Bush administration. Any physics student or poli-sci major can tell you that nature abhors a vacuum, so Iran takes over in the East and an Islamic Death Cult rises in the West. An ignominious Vietnam-like defeat would have been preferable as Obama wouldn’t have been able to interfere in the region as he has done so. No love letters to Iran and certainly no attempt to overthrow the only friend we have in the region.
Leading from behind a harmless loon is attacked in Libya, leading to a failed state in Libya and the death of our first ambassador in two generations. What difference does it make? Evidently none because there are no consequences for the man in the White House or his Secretary of State minion who orchestrated the affair, the latter of whom is measuring the Oval Office for drapes as the 4th Estate gives her a standing ovation.
In 2008 I worried we had elected Carter. It turns out we elected Nixon instead, although one with a press who would call modern-day duo of Woodward and Bernstein racist. When Nixon went to China the Right had no fear that he would sell out our country to the Communists, a political fact that made it into of all things a Star Trek movie. There is no such comfort with Obama’s obsession for a nuclear deal with Iran. The Mullahs can write any deal they want, chanting “Death to America” all the way to the Bomb.
The Obama administration took power, sneering at the apparent ignorance and failures of the previous administration. Yet this supposedly bright and intelligent group of people have done some incredibly stupid things, mistakes so bad they can only be made by extremely intelligent and ignorant people. Boko Haram in West Africa, al-Shabaab in East Africa, ISIS in North Africa and the Middle East, Iran and Pakistan in Middle East and Central Asia, Russia in Europe and Asia, China in East Asia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina and Venezuela in Central and South America. All these actors are stronger in the world today than they were 74 months ago. America and its allies are all weaker thanks to the efforts of this narcissist and his administration.
Can America survive the next 22 months, and if it can, will it have any allies left?
Zoe Williams writing at The Guardian on Top Gear calls for an “eco-feminist Top Gear,” “What would my Top Gear look like? Cool cars. Some cars that were not cool. Intelligent people saying things that were not facile. A vision for the future; a vision that baffled belief, a little like Tomorrow’s World, except, you know, just around the corner. Realistically, possibly, about to happen tomorrow.” And more than likely, one that no one watch because eco-feminists like Ms. Williams aren’t interesting and funny the way
Brian James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson are.
The BBC, true to its lefist eco-feminist roots has responded with this ad for the new Top Gear:
The Telegraph asks,”Why do do many middle-aged men feel so lost?” The answer? “...(R)eject that old, outdated part of the masculine code, which gave a sense of entitlement, a sense that men can go home, rip open our belts, pop open a beer, belch and be loved. We just don’t get away with that anymore.” Meaning become women. “Terry Real, a psychologist and the author of How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women, thinks the time has come for men to readjust their sights. Our culture’s masculine code, he says, dictates that “men don’t need relationships, men don’t need to be connected, men don’t need to be heartfelt”. ” So put another way, become women.
If 25 years of marriage has taught me anything it’s this: the last thing a woman wants in the house is another woman. For as much as I read about women complaining about men, the only thing they hate more is other women. I’ve seen it in the workplace where men and women work in the same office and sense the office climate in different ways. The men see it like “The Office,” soul-deadening boredom punctuated by arrogant idiots trying to stroke their own egos. But women see the workplace as “Game of Thrones” where each compliment exposes weakness and every mistake becomes an opportunity for advancement.
One interviewee thinks like me. “For House, married and a step-parent, life is quite simple: being a man means to work and provide as well as being supportive to his partner. On the one hand he is a Real Man (very strong on boundaries, earns money); on the other, he is touchy-feely. His wife also works and he is supportive towards her and their daughter.” Damn right. I work full time, always have dinner on the table, clean house as well as the guns, and thawed the house well-head one frosty morning a few weeks ago. I enjoy making quiche almost as much as I enjoy cutting timber using a sharpened chain on my Husqvarna saw. Why limit yourself to outdated gender roles?
Since the 1960s Society has taught men masculinity is bad. I agree it’s not perfect. If I love my kid I’m going to hug or kiss them, and if that makes me look emasculated to other men then so be it. But to criticize men for expressing their masculinity is just as damning as telling women to stay in the kitchen. Society must allow people to express themselves and should not impose sexist codes of behavior. If a guy wants to wear makeup as one of my friends does, he should be allowed to. If a woman wants to rebuild a transmission in her garage in her spare time, then she should come to over and fix my truck.
I don’t think many women want men to express every emotion we feel. If men did I’m sure most women would be surprised at how boring we are. Most men are not seething cauldrons of emotion, and I doubt that women would appreciate living with one who was. Women might say they want that, but my experience finds they prefer to express themselves to someone else and don’t want to listen. That’s okay. I don’t think women and many modern men appreciate the joy of keeping one’s mouth shut, an underrated trait in today’s feminist-dominated culture.
- *First place with 3 votes!–The Right Planet – More Hipster Harf: ‘We Can’t Stop ISIS by Killing Them; We Need to Give Them Jobs’
- Second place with 2 votes –Simply Jews – Then we’ll kill us some Jews too…
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes –The Noisy Room – ISIS Parades 17 Kurdish Fighters in Cages to be Burned Alive Like Jordanian Pilot
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes -The Independent Sentinel – Stunning: Barack Obama Refused to Share Intel With Egypt and Jordan
- Fifth place t with 2/3 vote –Bookworm Room – Getting Obama On Board With Israelis: They’re not imperialists; they’re just undocumented immigrants!
- Fifth place t with 2/3 vote –The Razor – Fifty Shades Of Pathetic
- Fifth place t with 2/3 vote –VA Right! - Will Hanover Schools Teach ‘Both Sides’ of the Pilot ISIS Burned Alive?
- Sixth place t with 1/3 vote – Nice Deb – Supporters of Violent Extremism To Participate In WH Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (Video)
- Sixth place t with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Chris Hayes Gets One Right On Similarity Of Muslim Murders To Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Killings
- Sixth place t with 1/3 vote – Ask Marion – Palimania And Why She Can Win
- First place with 3 2/3 votes! –Graeme Wood/The Atlantic-What ISIS Really Wants submitted by Bookworm Room
- Second place with 1 1/3 votes –Judicial Watch – Border Patrol Ordered to Release Drunk Drivers, “Allow Them to Go On Their Way” submitted by The Right Planet
- Third place t with 1 vote –Caroline Glick –Obama: Mainstreaming Jew-Hatred in America submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place t with 1 vote –Andrew McCarthy/NRO – Folks Do the Randomest Things submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place t with 2/3 votes -Tom Gross – What Bat Mitzvah? Nothing Random Here submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place t with 2/3 votes -Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad/The National Interest – Navigating a Turbulent Middle East submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fourth place t with 2/3 votes – Charles Cameron/Zenpundit – Joas Wagemakers on al-Maqdisi & the Jordanian pilot negotiations submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fourth place t with 2/3 votes -The Other McCain – Tea Party & GOP Elite Walk Into A Bar. . . submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place t with 1/3 vote -Breitbart – CNN Lists Attacks by Islamists, Says ‘Religion’ Had Bad Week submitted by VA Right!
- Fifth place t with 1/3 vote -Megan McArdle/Bloomberg –A Few More Arguments Against Obamacare submitted by The Razor
- Fifth place t with 1/3 vote -David Greenfield/FrontPage Mag –Heroes of Freedom Died in Copenhagen submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Fifth place t with 1/3 vote -Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – U Cal Student Gov’t votes to divest from most of world, including U.S.submitted by Rhymes with Right
Russian Punk band Pussy Riot has released it’s first English song, “I Can’t Breathe,” inspired by the death of illegal cigarette vendor Eric Garner in a chokehold courtesy of New York’s finest. So two years after the bandmembers spent time in Russian jail with Putin on the cover of this week’s Economist headlined “Putin’s War On The West”, less than a year after Putin’s annexing The Crimea and likely within weeks of his pulling an Anschluss in east Ukraine, as well as his covert support of pro-Russian separatists throughout Eastern Europe, Pussy Riot has come out with a song critical of NYPD for choking a citizen to death.
The Daily Beast makes a critical note of the group, “It certainly says something that the group, with all that is going on in Russia and the Ukraine at the moment, feels the need to make their voices heard on an issue that’s confined to our shores.” Huffington Post is kinder, writing “The video, shot in Russia, shows (Pussy Riot members) Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina wearing Russian riot police uniforms and being buried alive. ‘We were realizing that Russia is burying itself alive in terms of the rest of the world. Committing suicide. Daily,’ Pussy Riot told BuzzFeed News.”
But the fact remains the video is in English and it is about an event that happened within the United States. Americans will likely miss the subtexts within the song that Pussy Riot claims attack Putin’s regime, and the Kremlin will likely see the video as targeted at the US not Russia due to its subject and language.
So has Putin declawed Pussy Riot? It seems likely.
- The Noisy Room – ISIS Parades 17 Kurdish Fighters in Cages to be Burned Alive Like Jordanian Pilot
- Simply Jews – Then we’ll kill us some Jews too…
- Bookworm Room – Getting Obama On Board With Israelis: They’re not imperialists; they’re just undocumented immigrants!
- The Right Planet – More Hipster Harf: ‘We Can’t Stop ISIS by Killing Them; We Need to Give Them Jobs’
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – New AUMF
- VA Right! - Will Hanover Schools Teach ‘Both Sides’ of the Pilot ISIS Burned Alive?
- The Razor – Fifty Shades Of Pathetic
- Nice Deb – Supporters of Violent Extremism To Participate In WH Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (Video)
- The Independent Sentinel – Stunning: Barack Obama Refused to Share Intel With Egypt and Jordan
- Rhymes With Right – Chris Hayes Gets One Right On Similarity Of Muslim Murders To Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Killings
- The Glittering Eye -Intervene in Haste, Repent at Leisure
- Ask Marion – Palimania And Why She Can Win
- David Gerstman/Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – Obama’s Concessions to Iran Alienating Allies
- The People’s Cube – Isn’t it time you upgraded your Race Card to a Gay Card?
- The Political Commentator – I am running out of (printable) words to describe Barack Obama!
- Caroline Glick –Obama: Mainstreaming Jew-Hatred in America submitted by The Noisy Room
- Tom Gross – What Bat Mitzvah? Nothing Random Here submitted by Simply Jews
- Graeme Wood/The Atlantic-What ISIS Really Wants submitted by Bookworm Room
- Judicial Watch – Border Patrol Ordered to Release Drunk Drivers, “Allow Them to Go On Their Way” submitted by The Right Planet
- Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad/The National Interest – Navigating a Turbulent Middle East submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Breitbart – CNN Lists Attacks by Islamists, Says ‘Religion’ Had Bad Week submitted by VA Right!
- Megan McArdle/Bloomberg –A Few More Arguments Against Obamacare submitted by The Razor
- FrontpageMag -Obama White House Partners with ISIS-Linked Group submitted by Nice Deb
- David Greenfield/FrontPage Mag –Heroes of Freedom Died in Copenhagen submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – U Cal Student Gov’t votes to divest from most of world, including U.S.submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Charles Cameron/Zenpundit – Joas Wagemakers on al-Maqdisi & the Jordanian pilot negotiations submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Gary P. Jackson/A Time For Choosing - “Irrelevant” Sarah Palin Steals the Headlines at SNL’s 40th Anniversary Bashsubmitted by Ask Marion
- The Other McCain – Tea Party & GOP Elite Walk Into A Bar. . . submitted by The Watcher
- Andrew McCarthy/NRO – Folks Do the Randomest Things submitted by The Watcher
No, not the Isis from Downton Abbey who likely expired this week between Lord and Lady Grantham. The ISIS that is making the 7th Century cool to kuffars.
Graeme Woods piece in The Atlantic lays out what makes the group tick, and more importantly, how it fits with all the other groups that make up what we call Islam. It’s a one-stop shop that explains the difference between your friend who is a Muslim (and doesn’t want to behead you) and the devotees of ISIS who do. It reduces the complexity of extremist Islam to non-Muslims, and suggest ways to deal with it. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve read that wasn’t penned by Bernard Lewis. Here’s a brief sample.
Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
So do yourself a favor and read the entire thing.
Update: Evidently lots of people have read the entire thing. The article has really split liberals into the realistic “these guys are who they say they are” sect against the politically correct “ISIS is not Islamic” group as represented by Obama and his
sycophants administration. Asra Nomani, a Muslim, writes in The Daily Beast in defense of Woods, “But we, as Muslims, recognize every word in the Islamic State’s theology from teachings, ideas and interpretations we’ve heard through our approximately 50 years on this earth, from the living room chatter of “couch jihadis,” as one FBI agent describes “wound collectors,” to sermons, Facebook posts and Twitter messages.” Her article is titled “Will It Take The End of the World For Obama To Recognize ISIS As ‘Islamic’?” and argues that we need to view ISIS for what it is: an Islamic death cult. The article itself is worth reading in its entirety too.
My teenage son is being forced by his girlfriend to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I suppose this is payback for him taking her to see American Sniper, a movie that’s much more his speed. Although he’s old enough to see Fifty Shades, I’d rather he didn’t because I have serious issues with the relationship portrayed in the movie, and I know that kids his age are still quite impressionable. When I was his age The Story of O was making the rounds of the art houses and I remember seeing it and finding deep revelations within the movie. I saw it multiple times and it did influence my thinking about relationships.
Unlike The Story of O, I haven’ t read the book Fifty Shades of Grey nor will I see the movie. I am past the age where sex touches upon every waking thought and with age, I hope, comes wisdom. Here is what I am telling my son about Fifty Shades of Grey.
Submission Is Not Empowering; It Is Abuse. One of the aspects of movies like O and Fifty Shades is that I find particularly troubling is the idea that being submissive to someone is somehow good for you. In the fantasies portrayed in these movies the protagonists become submissive to their partners and are toyed with and dominated. Through this state of submissiveness they end up learning about themselves, becoming better, stronger people in the process.
Half a century of life has taught me this is bullshit. The submission portrayed in these movies would in real life be viewed as a form of psychological and sexual abuse that would result in war crimes if it were practiced on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Everyone I know has suffered in relationships where they have been dominated by a partner at one time in their life, one who cut them off from family and friends, who controlled what they did, what they wore and even what they ate. This goes way beyond kinky sex, and although I’m not personally familiar with the BDSM community I do know people who are, and my understanding is such domination only occurs within the context of the “dungeon” where it is limited and contained. Samantha Field who happens to be a part of the BDSM community and sees the movie as abusive writes, “Fifty Shades of Grey does to its audience what Christian does to Ana and what my rapist did to me: it completely resets our expectations and what we believe to be acceptable… The danger in Fifty Shades of Grey is that it does what an abuser does: it makes us think that abuse is normal.”
At a time when young men are being viewed as potential rapists, the last thing I need my son to think is that his girlfriend really wants to be abused, or worse, think it’s normal for her to do the same to him. There are so many mixed messages in our culture, so many competing definitions of what it means to be a man or woman, that a story like Fifty Shades should be seen for what it is: a vehicle to make money by the author and movie studios, and one that will inevitably hurt people.
People are Fragile. It will take the people who suffer in these unhealthy relationships years, and sometimes even decades to recover. It’s almost like the people hurt by the their own personal Christian Greys are poisoned by them, and this poison takes a very long time to dissipate. Before they recover anyone they touch will have to deal with the poison left by the Christian Greys in one way or another. The loved one who come after will be forced to deal with the alcoholism and drug abuse that comes with the destroyed self-esteem. They will spend years, decades even (for the more persistent) rebuilding what their loved one’s Christian Grey did without care or thought long before. At the very least those with a basic level self-preservation will run – not walk – away from the victims of the likes of the Greys, fueling their own guilt.
A Real Man Empowers and has no need to dominate another in order to feel alive. Consider how pathetic it is for a billionaire like Christian Grey to feel compelled to dominate a young nobody like Anastasia Steele (Good grief I can’t believe I’m wasting words on characters named like those in a self-published romance novel.) What, doesn’t he have any flies to pull the wings off of or puppies to kick? In real life a man like Grey would easily become Carl Icahn’s bitch, and would inspire an entire generation of character assassins and short sellers the way Enron’s Ken Lay did.
A real man builds up his partner. Destroying is easy, construction is hard, but just as fleeting as an orgasm is, the love that is built through daily nurturing can endure a lifetime. Imagine if Grey was a real man who helped Steele become a fully actualized human being, helping her define and chase her own dreams. The book would have been completely different and likely wouldn’t have been a best seller.
Real Men are the ones who encourage their spouses to go back to school or to start their own businesses. Real Men are the ones who flood the mail with books from Amazon on the works of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Galen Rowell when their loved ones express an interest in landscape photography. They are the ones who make sure there is endless half and half in the fridge so their loved one’s never miss having their morning coffee the way they like it.
A Real Man encourages without needing his own encouragement because he finds fulfillment in his creation, whether that is his career or his family (hopefully the latter). A Real Man’s character is evident through the success of his creation. Is his partner better off than before in all ways? Are his children well-rounded individuals who can grow outside their father’s shadow? Can his business survive without him at the helm? The answers to these questions are what separate Real Men from poorly written contrivances like Christian Grey.
Don’t Learn How to Live Your Life from Movies. Movies are created for one reason only: to make money. We watch them for one reason only: to be entertained. Movies can inspire just as good music and good books can, but most movies, music and books are created to pay bills and consumed to keep boredom at bay. As science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon once noted “ninety percent of everything is crap.” This is just as true for movies, so it’s likely that his saying will apply to Fifty Shades.
If you want to learn how to live your life, look around you. I learned faithfulness from my parents and from seeing the lives of my friends ripped apart by divorce. There have been times where I thought long and hard about the suffering I witnessed, and from the care expressed by my mother for my father, but in the end I made the right choice. There are all kinds of role models; Hollywood or whatever it produces should not be one of them.
Romance Novels Suck. Men watch porn, women read it. Back in the day I tried to read erotica like Anais Nin and of course Ann Rice, but it didn’t work for me. Writing about sex is like trying to photograph music. I just don’t think writing and sex go together. Maybe it’s because I write for a living, I don’t know.
I’m sure the author could have written a better book by reversing the roles. Why make Grey the dominant? Isn’t the power he wields being a billionaire enough? How much more interesting the story would have been had the relatively poor Steele been the Dominant, the one holding a billionaire’s heart in her cold steel hands (Get it? Ana Steele, steel hands? This is why I write systems requirements) . What would she do with that power? Perhaps she would only come to realize the power she held in a sequel, and then there would be the books exploring her own morality. See? The mommys get their porn, the studios and author get rich, and Fifty Shades has a better chance of beating Sturgeon’s Law. Everybody wins!
It’s a Fantasy. Just because a person might fantasize about being dominated by a man like Christian Grey doesn’t mean they want to be dominated. It’s a fantasy; it’s not real. Truth be told people often do not want fantasies to come true. It’s one thing for their imaginations to run rampant, it’s another thing to have an emotional vampire like Grey appear in their lives.
Oh well. Telling an 18 year old boy about porn is like explaining water to a duck. I’m sure he’ll figure it out on his own…
I’ve always liked Shirley MacLaine. I liked her in Billy Wilder’s movies opposite Jack Lemmon in The Apartment and Irma la Douce. I even watched her videos in the 1980s to understand my New Age girlfriends better, and enjoyed her scene stealing in recent Downton Abbey episodes. But the actress turned New Age flake has sparked controversy with her new book “What If…” in which she suggests those killed in the Holocaust were paying for the sins of their past lives. The Daily Mail quotes the passage, “What if most Holocaust victims were balancing their karma from ages before, when they were Roman soldiers putting Christians to death, the Crusaders who murdered millions in the name of Christianity, soldiers with Hannibal, or those who stormed across the Near East with Alexander? The energy of killing is endless and will be experienced by the killer and the killee.’”
MacLaine is a former Baptist and this view expressed is not much different from Baptist teaching which views our souls as steeped in Original Sin. No one born is truly innocent. It is also a form of Deuteronomic Dualism where the theological question “Why do innocents suffer?” is answered “Because they are not truly innocent.” In MacLaine’s view they are being punished for actions made in their past lives.
Let’s look at Shirley’s numbers.
It is estimated that the Holocaust killed somewhere between 5 and 17 million people, with most sources agreeing on 8 million deaths.
Ancient Rome – A current obsession of mine... It turns out Rome was extremely tolerant of religions and it wasn’t until Nero’s reign that the Romans began persecuting them, and even then the evidence is for only a few cases (notably the martydom of St. Peter and St. Paul). After Nero it wasn’t until Domitian demanded Christians express religious fealty to him that they were persecuted again, and as under Nero the cases were sporadic. Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius protected Christians, and although Septimius Severus had a few Christians killed, there is no systematic persecution documented by Roman sources until the middle of the Third Century with the rule of Decius and later Valerian, Diocletian and Maxentius who was defeated by Constantine, the emperor who converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of Rome. The Christian emperors after that and the church itself tended to play up the number of Christians killed by the previous regimes, but today the number of deaths is thought to be in the thousands, not tens of thousands and certainly not more than that.
Crusades – Most estimates put the number of murdered around a million.
Hannibal and Alexander likely killed in the tens of thousands.
But how many ancients have blood on their hands, enough to justify being reincarnated as a Jew or Gypsy in Eastern Europe in the 20th century?
Hannibal and Alexander fielded armies numbering in the tens of thousands. Assuming that each soldier killed 1 innocent person, and we’re looking at roughly 100,000 “killers”. Assuming the same 1:1 ratio between “killer and killee” to use MacLaine’s terms in the Roman Empire, and we’ll generously estimate 100,000 “killers” in Rome. Of course the Crusades were a busy time for killing, and although the number of soldiers fielded during the Crusades is likely in the tens of thousands we’ll keep that 1:1 ratio and grant a million killers to the Crusades.
Total killers for all the events mentioned by MacLaine? 1.2 million – and that assumes that every soldier took one life when it is much likely that only a fraction of that number actually killed innocents.
So where’s the missing 6.8 million – those who had killed in their prior lives and were reincarnated only to die as innocents during the Holocaust?
There were of course other genocides in the 20th century. The Armenian Genocide that killed 1.5 million. The Russian and Chinese civil wars killed upwards of 20 million. The famine that followed Mao’s Great Leap Forward is estimated to have killed 40 million. Civilian deaths in World War I and II: 150 million.
It’s not an issue of karma but of demographics. There were many more people around in the 20th centuries than there were in prior centuries, especially compared to the ancient world. There are simply too many innocents dying this century who could have been killers in prior centuries.
But the main problem with MacLaine’s argument isn’t the numbers, it’s the philosophical logic. It rationalizes, even justifies Evil. The innocent woman raped and murdered deserved it because she was a killer in a past life, for example. There’s no point in punishing her killer because he will be reborn as a woman and suffer the same fate in the future.
Worse, it rationalizes anything. The poor deserve their fate today because they were wealthy and greedy in their past lives. The disabled must have injured others sometime long ago or else they wouldn’t have been born damaged. The ugly? Beautiful narcissists in the past. The rich and powerful today? The lot must have been humble and meek to deserve their current stations. This is nothing more than the justification for the order of things used by the Church and nobility in the Middle Ages to support feudalism and the oppression of the peasantry just with an Eastern twist. It is also a naive view of Karma and a gross oversimplification of Buddhist philosophy, the Baptist Sunday school taught to 5 year olds in MacLaine’s hometown of Richmond Virginia compared to the subtle nuances found in the writings of Thomas Aquinas.
I don’t think MacLaine should be censored for her views. I believe she has the right to her opinions just as she has a right to her flaky religious beliefs. But I do think she should be mocked, because while she has a right to her opinion as a public figure she gets a lot more attention than my loony neighbor who believes the Rapture is coming any day now. MacLaine has a microphone whereas my elderly neighbor does not.
Shirley MacLaine is an actress and we need to stop believing actors and actresses to be better people than we are. An actor’s job is to speak other people’s words, not to have opinions of his own that are somehow more informed or better than yours or mine. Actors and actresses were looked down upon by most cultures until recently, and the Ancient Chinese and Greeks would think we were nuts for caring what an actress had to say about anything. Perhaps this is another lesson the Ancients have to teach us.
- *First place with 4 2/3 votes!–Joshuapundit-The Burning Man And The Walking Dead
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room – The Noisy Room – What This Video Of Jordanian F-16s Striking ISIS Tells Us Is Alarming And The Implications Regarding the US Are Troubling
- Third place t with 1 vote –Bookworm Room – The difference between the Muslim conquests and the Crusades, in a single picture
- Third place t with 1 vote –The Independent Sentinel – King Abdullah, Warrior King, Barack Obama, Wimp King
- Third place t with 1 vote –Rhymes With Right – On Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech
- Fourth place t with 2/3 vote –Nice Deb – The Regime Doubles Down: Kosher Deli Terror Attack in Paris Was Random-Not Anti-Semitic Attack
- Fourth place t with 2/3 vote –The Right Planet – Trolling the National Prayer Breakfast
Fifth place t with 1/3 vote –The Razor – Evidently Marijuana is Legal in NC Because These Reviewers Are High
Fifth place t with 1/3 vote –Simply Jews – Bibi does DC and some US Jews get their panties in a bunch. Is there a case for that?
- First place with 2 1/3 votes!–Mosaic – Obama’s Secret Iran Strategy submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 votes –Ralph Peters – Islam’s Countless Slaves submitted by The Watcher
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes –Mark Steyn/NRO –The Glamor Of Evil submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Elliot Abrams/CFR – What the President Thinks He’s Doing submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fifth place t with 2/3 votes -Harry’s Place – David Cameron and Muhammad Salah submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place t with 2/3 votes -Walter Russell Mead –Why the White House Is Getting Lonelier on Iran submitted by The Razor
- Fifth place t with 2/3 votes -Ed Morrissey/Hot Air – High horses and bull puckey: Professor Obama’s history lesson a dud submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place t with 2/3 votes -Andrew Johnson/NRO - Obama Didn’t Just Lie about Opposing Gay Marriage; He Kept Citing His Faith While Doing It submitted by Nice Deb
- Fifth place t with 2/3 votes -The Muslim Issue- Islamic India: The Biggest Holocaust in World History…Whitewashed from History Books submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fifth place t with 2/3 votes -Dennis Prager – Obama’s Moral Idiocy submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place t with 1/3 vote – Daniel Pipes – About Those 14 “Muslim-American Leaders” Who Met with Obama submitted by VA Right!
- Sixth place t with 1/3 vote -The Political Chicken – State Republican Executive Committee to Select New State GOP Chair March 7th submitted by Rhymes with Right
A Canadian mom who suffered the loss of her five year old and whose newborn may have been exposed to measles goes on a rampage in a Facebook post and the post goes viral. The Daily Mail provides the post in full, but here’s an excerpt.
You think you are protecting them by letting them eat their shovel full of dirt and reducing antibiotics and eating organic? You aren’t. As an unvaccinated person you are only protected by our good graces. WE LET YOU BE SO PRIVILEGED thanks to our willingness to vaccinate ourselves and our children.
You know what vaccines protect your children from? Pain. Suffering. Irreparable harm. Death.
Read the entire thing here.
Canadian moms. Don’t f**k with them.
- The Noisy Room – What This Video Of Jordanian F-16s Striking ISIS Tells Us Is Alarming And The Implications Regarding the US Are Troubling
- Simply Jews – Bibi does DC and some US Jews get their panties in a bunch. Is there a case for that?
- Joshuapundit-The Burning Man And The Walking Dead
- The Independent Sentinel – King Abdullah, Warrior King, Barack Obama, Wimp King
- The Right Planet – Trolling the National Prayer Breakfast
- VA Right! - Handicapping the Virginia 12th District State Senate Race
- The Razor – Evidently Marijuana is Legal in NC Because These Reviewers Are High
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Strategic Patience
- Rhymes With Right – On Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech
- The Glittering Eye -Rauner’s First State of the State
- Nice Deb – The Regime Doubles Down: Kosher Deli Terror Attack in Paris Was Random-Not Anti-Semitic Attack
- Bookworm Room – The difference between the Muslim conquests and the Crusades, in a single pictur
- Ask Marion – Is the Taliban a Terrorist Group?–Brooke Goldstein & Andy McCarthy on the Kelly File
- Seraphic Secret – Obama’s “Whatever” Ideology In Action
- The Political Commentator – If Obama looks like a duck, walks like a duck…
- The Pirate’s Cove – Man With Largest Footprint In World Thinks “Climate Change” Bigger Threat Than Terrorism
- The People’s Cube – Leave Brian Williams Alone!
- Mark Steyn/NRO –The Glamor Of Evil submitted by The Noisy Room
- Harry’s Place – David Cameron and Muhammad Salah submitted by Simply Jews
- Mosaic – Obama’s Secret Iran Strategy submitted by Joshuapundit
- Sultan Knish –Obama’s Big Fat Greek Budget submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Tim Powers/Conservative Read – An Open Letter To Those Who Are Indifferent To The Ongoing Destruction Of Our Republic submitted by The Right Planet
- Daniel Pipes – About Those 14 “Muslim-American Leaders” Who Met with Obama submitted by VA Right!
- Walter Russell Mead –Why the White House Is Getting Lonelier on Iran submitted by The Razor
- Elliot Abrams/CFR – What the President Thinks He’s Doing submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- The Political Chicken – State Republican Executive Committee to Select New State GOP Chair March 7th submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Ed Morrissey/Hot Air – High horses and bull puckey: Professor Obama’s history lesson a dud submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Andrew Johnson/NRO - Obama Didn’t Just Lie about Opposing Gay Marriage; He Kept Citing His Faith While Doing It submitted by Nice Deb
- The Muslim Issue- Islamic India: The Biggest Holocaust in World History…Whitewashed from History Books submitted by Bookworm Room
- Dennis Prager – Obama’s Moral Idiocy submitted by The Watcher
- Ralph Peters – Islam’s Countless Slaves submitted by The Watcher
Hotel Indigo, Asheville NC
Another review of an Asheville hotel, and I’m beginning to think I’m the area’s fussiest visitor. Over 1,000 reviews and a near perfect 4.5 rating?
Are the other reviewers high? As a long-time resident of North Carolina let me assure you that the state has NOT legalized marijuana but you wouldn’t know it by the other reviews.
First let me state that I am not a well-heeled traveler. I am more Lonely Planet than Michelin, and have slept in some unique places like on the deck of a steamer on Lake Tanganyika and a foreigner’s flop-house in Seoul. While I may watch Downton Abbey I do not demand to be treated as if I lived in it. All I require is a clean island of calm at an affordable price. But the more I pay the more I expect and that’s where things go off the rails at Indigo.
First off let’s dispense with the pleasantries. Hotel Indigo is a very clean hotel that is centrally located in downtown Asheville. It is within walking distance of restaurants, shops and nightlife that make Asheville one of the South’s treasures. Its staff was courteous, helpful and friendly – and rates 5 stars on its own. Unlike the Megacorp Grove Park Inn parking is included in the hotel price, and if “weird Asheville” or the downtown business district is why you are there, you won’t have to deal with the roving packs of metermaids waiting to sprinkle your car with parking tickets. The hotel is very well maintained and it is one of the cleanest hotels I’ve stayed in.
So to summarize:
Pros: Location, Staff, Parking, Clean
Now let’s sharpen our claws and tear into this hotel. First off this hotel is often referred to as “chic”. To a person under 30 this may sound cool. Anyone over that age knows that what’s “chic” has a half-life measured in milliseconds. To put it bluntly the decor of this hotel is horrendous. I haven’t seen that much avocado green since my mother redecorated her home in 1973. All that was missing was harvest gold – likely a planned upgrade for 2016. I suppose the stretched blue spandex on the ceiling and the multicolored carpet in the hallways looks great when one is “tripping balls” but it just gave me a headache. A half-wall in our room was covered with a photograph made into wallpaper. At first I thought it was a forest canopy, then it became a head of broccoli. By the end of my stay I believe it was a close up of a piece of moss-covered wood, but mmmm broccoli – steamed covered with cheese sauce. I guess you have to be high to appreciate it – but don’t forget that marijuana is still illegal in North Carolina and smoking is also banned in the hotel. As are firearms, the hotel conspicuously displaying the “Victims Inside” signs at all entrances, and one must sign swearing to abide by the ban at check-in. I suppose prayer will be banned in 2016, and free speech soon after, followed by the rest of the Bill of Rights. Who are the owners of this hotel? The Chinese?
Victim Signs Posted at Hotel Indigo Entrances
Being centrally located is a double-edged sword (not banned at Hotel Indigo), but decent hotels know how to keep the sound at bay through heavy drapes, double-paned windows, and sound-deadening walls. We stayed on the side away from the highway, but it was quiet obvious when the city was waking up. Whatever the secret is for soundproofing, Hotel indigo doesn’t know it. I’m just glad Luck kept us away from the highway side since The Wife hates light and I hate sound so we both had restless nights in the room; I’m sure it would have been much worse by the highway.
The room was small, a feeling made worse by the large picture of broccoli on the corner wall and it lacked a refrigerator. Now this may not be a deal breaker for some, but for those like the Wife who travel to one of the craft beer capitals of the country, one needs a place to chill one’s Green Man or Highlander. Evidently the management believes fridges in rooms would harm their carbon footprints, forcing their guests to hurt their tastebuds by drinking warm stouts and craft ales.
Let’s get something straight. If you worry about global warming you shouldn’t stay in a hotel unless you walk or bicycle to your destination. Flying is up there with setting Smokey the Bear on fire when it comes to CO2 emissions. If you worry about such then stay home.
Which leads to the worst aspect of the stay: value. You can do much better at other hotels in the area. The Renaissance costs the same and has a bigger room, with walls that won’t give you the veggie munchies. It’s also centrally located and has no problem keeping the city sounds at bay. By the time you spend money on the upgrades at Indigo you could stay at the Haywood Park which has an even better location for business/weird Asheville, plus the amenities and luxury one expects for the price.
If you REALLY want a view, you shouldn’t be staying in downtown Asheville at all. The city is surrounded by mountains and you can do much better with hotels located on those. Even the cheap ones have better views than the most expensive downtown hotels.
Cons: Décor, Gun Control, Soundproofing/Lighting, Amenities, Fake Environmentalism (aka Greenwashing), Value
Do NOT book on the highway side of the hotel unless the sound of traffic lulls you to sleep. Also the higher up the better. For couples looking for a “romantic getaway”, avoid everything but the penthouses. Your ‘significant others’ will not be happy (as mine wasn’t).
If I want to camp, I’ll stay in a tent for free. If I’m paying $200 a night I expect a fridge in the room, lights that don’t make everyone look like Kermit the Frog, and hot water that arrives when I want it instead of next Tuesday.