Archive for October 2015

Holiday In Islamic State

Sung to the jaunty tune “Holiday In Cambodia” by the Dead Kennedys.

So you’ve been at school
For a year or two
You’ve learned all you need to know
white liberal guilt
Multiethnic quilt
A Safe Space where you need to go.

Write black lives bleed
on your twitter feed
with your three grand Macbook Pro
Claiming that you’re pissed
Cuz the Muslims got dissed
By the Jews in Jericho.

It’s time to taste what you most fear
Hate speech codes won’t help you here
Brace yourself, my dear…

It’s a Holiday in Islamic State
The Caliphate sure looks slick
It’s a Holiday in Islamic State
Don’t forget your selfie stick.

You’re a small minded bitch
You whining cuz your rich
You want everyone to think like you
Demand trigger warnings
for overprotected darlings
While your profs get richer off you.

Well you’ll cry harder
with a knife at your neck
facing Mecca as you pray
Killed by soldiers
on video
two hundred likes as of today.

Now you can go where people coexist
Now you can join the ISIS mailing list.
What you need my son…

Is a Holiday in Islamic State
Where people dress in black
A holiday in Islamic State
Suicide bomb attack!

Ji – had, Ji-had, ji-had….

And it’s a Holiday in Islamic State
Where you’ll kill who you’re told
A holiday in Islamic State
Bomb the Jews in Jericho.
Car bomb
For what it’s worth I found a Karaoke version of this song and tried it out. I swear my dogs rolled on the floor laughing and I blew out my voice for the day. Oh well. Punk’s not dead in my heart.

Oh, and here’s my attempt at American Idiot by Green Day, redone as American Infidel. Guess I’m good for a punk song every 10 years.

The Council Has Spoken: October 30, 2015

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Why Jews Hate Israel

I’ve wondered why anti-Semitic groups on the Left have been populated by Jews for a very long time. Joshuapundit explains it.

At this point, after the Iran deal and numerous other related doings by this president a few of these Jews are finally getting the message, now when it’s too late. But many aren’t, for the reasons I mentioned. Nor will they, and there’s little reason to make the effort to change their minds or to worry overmuch over the fact. The Useful Idiots still exist, and many of them will remain their own worst enemies, as always. Think of it as sort of a Jewish Stockholm Syndrome.

Question answered. Thanks JP.

Council Nominations: October 28, 2015

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Life Lessons from my Mother

My mother passed away recently at the age of 94. She went quietly in her room at my sister’s home where she had stayed for the past nine years, with her dog Tasha at the foot of the bed and the St. Louis Cardinals game quietly playing on the radio.

Every mother is remarkable, but allow me to tell you why I think my mother was truly a special woman, and one who touched the lives of everyone she met. One way for me to do this is to attempt to convey what I learned from her over the decades of being raised by her then later through the lens of raising my own son.

Consider the following Frances’s Life Lessons:

1. Don’t be judgmental: Be Open to Others. You could plop my mother in any situation and within minutes she’d be laughing and making friends with complete strangers. For a shy person like me it was almost magical. Being met at the airport she’d be chatting with strangers at the gate. Shopping at the grocery store required baking in extra time for her to talk to the cashiers whom she knew by name. It didn’t matter what station in life you were, what race you were, and even your sexual orientation or hair color (as some of my friends from high school and college could attest) she got along with everyone, and showed people kindness and fundamental respect that seems almost quaint in today’s hyperpolarized world.

2. Love What You Do. My mother was at heart a saleswoman, but not in the derogatory sense of the term. She loved engaging with people, learning what their needs were and then helping them to fulfill them with what she sold. She worked long hours for little money, but in the end she loved what she did and didn’t stop selling until her body began to quit on her 10 years ago. I attribute her sales career with increasing her longevity and maintaining her mind that only began to fail within the last few years.

3. Work even if you don’t feel like it. I remember going through puberty and asking my mother what I should do to avoid thinking about girls. “Get a job,” she said in all seriousness. Work was her great cure-all. It didn’t matter what your problems were. Depressed? Go to work. Tired? Work harder. Bored? Get another job. Hating life? Get a better job. My mother probably never met a Buddhist in her life living in the American Midwest, yet what she believed was very Zen – the “chop wood, carry water” philosophy of mindfulness through work that lays at the heart of Zen Buddhism. She personified it, and attributed her work ethic to the “scrubbing Deutsch,” German immigrants that she lived among while growing up on St. Louis’s South Side before the Depression. Her strong work ethic carried not only herself but her entire family through some bad times, and the success of her children (many of whom share her work ethic) made her proud.

4. Kids change everything. If you are selfish, don’t have kids. If you have kids anyway stop thinking about yourself and put the well-being of your children first. In today’s narcissistic culture her philosophy seems archaic, but I can tell you exactly where I was when I became a parent. It wasn’t when my son was born. It was well before that, early on in the pregnancy when I realized that what my dreams were, what my goals were no longer mattered. The moment was one of the most remarkable events of my life, when I realized, truly understood that I no longer lived for myself alone – that I had a deeper responsibility to my wife and the child growing inside of her. At that instant I felt a rush that was like being on the top of a rocket as it ascended to the stars, slowly at first, gaining momentum and speed until finally I was speeding on a trajectory into the unknown. That little event was more than figurative; it was transformative. It divides my life into Scott the individual and the parent of The Kid.

5. Never stop learning. My mother was not a book-reader of books, but she still devoured information. She read the daily newspaper until a few days before she died. She always watched the local news throughout the day and often watched cable news shows. Had she been born a generation or two later she would have loved the Internet with all the information she needed a few key strokes away, but hers was what we would call today the last of the “legacy media” generations.

6. Never stop. When my brother was born in 1944, my father was away fighting in the Pacific. Within days of bringing my brother home, my mother noticed something was not right about her newborn. She took him to see one doctor who said nothing was wrong with him. Another said it was likely a virus. But a third did some tests on my brother and determined that my brother had been born with a hole in his heart. “Take your boy home,” the doctor told my mother, “He’s going to die.”

After my mother had a good cry (she never was ashamed of tears the way my father was), she determined that she would find a doctor who would help her son. She found a doctor willing to help her try to keep my brother alive, and did so for 20 years thanks to the doctor and my mother. In 1967 my brother had open heart surgery, one of the first in the country to do so, and had his hole patched. He’s now 71 and retired after a successful career in the DoD.

My mother is gone but I think of her often as a good son should. And I’m still teasing out the lessons she bequeathed to me, but I have to get back to work…

The Council Has Spoken: October 23, 2015

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Council Nominations: October 21, 2015

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Why I Hope Joe Biden Will Not Run for President

Update: And he’s gone...

Here is my sole reason for hoping Joe Biden will not run for President: He would likely win.

The GOP has been expecting Hillary to be the Democratic candidate since 2000, and the party is completely focused on taking Clinton down over the next 13 months. Her weaknesses are well known. Her record as Secretary of State is a shambles, stretching from the failed (and mistranslated by her own team) Reset Button with Russian, through Benghazi and culminating in the crossing of red lines in Syria by the Assad regime and the birth of ISIS on her watch. Clinton strikes the American public as being about as authentic as a cheap jewelry sold on late night cable, and her stands on the issue are about as changeable as an airport windsock.

The reason the GOP has some many candidates is not because Hillary is a strong candidate, it’s that so many Republicans see a once in a lifetime opportunity to reach the White House and create their own dynasties the way Bush and Clinton have done over the past 30 years.

Vice President Biden entering the race would change everything. One must remember that one reason Biden was added to Obama’s 2008 ticket was to provide “gravitas”, and to the average voter the VP still has that. While Clinton’s acolytes have done there best to portray Biden as a bumbling lightweight, the truth is that the only reason why they’ve gotten away with it is Biden has had no reason to fight it. A run for the White House would change that. Suddenly we would be reminded of his decades of experience in the Senate. Name a Senate committee and chances are he chaired it. Biden’s experience would make Hillary’s forgettable record as a senator and her contemptible record as secretary of state look like the disaster it is. Compared to the experience of the political lightweights of the GOP’s current crop of candidates Biden would tower above them all. Add in the sympathy factor for the recent loss of his son Beau to brain cancer, and Biden would present the GOP with a serious fight.

As a small “l” libertarian the GOP comes closest to matching my politics, and it’s in my best interest to see it win the presidency for one simply reason: the nomination of Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the Constitution, and from supporting hate speech laws to repealing the 2nd Amendment the Democratic Party has gone beyond the “Insane Party” moniker used by the GOP to becoming the “Evil Party.” How else to characterize the Obama Administration’s repeal of due-process for male college students accused of on-campus rape and its goal to stop citizens from being able to protect themselves by criminalizing gun ownership, the Democrat Party’s drive to force Americans into a health care system that benefits no one but malpractice attorneys, government bureaucrats and insurance company profit margins, and the party’s support for open borders that drives down the wages of the working poor and middle class in its quest for a permanent majority?

Then there’s the idiotic policies Biden himself has championed. As Nick Gillespie at points out in his article “Just How Bad Would Joe Biden Be as President? Really F*cking Bad,” a Biden presidency would be a disaster for those of us believing in individual liberty. Biden is a drug warrior who views marijuana as a “gateway drug,” and who masterminded the RAVE Act of 2003 that made concert promoters liable for drug use at their shows. Biden also co-sponsored the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 which made it harder for debtors to declare bankruptcy and discharge their debts. This legislation was bought and paid for by the banking industry, a supporter of Biden since the economy of his home state of Delaware is dominated by the banking industry.

So what is libertarian about letting debtors escape their debts? My mother, a self-made woman who spent her life in direct sales, viewed bankruptcy as legalized theft. But what Biden’s reform did was to force the Federal Government to become the enforcement arm of the banking industry. Banks could lend with impunity without fear of losing their money because the State would use its monopoly on violence to guarantee that debt. Just another instance of the Democratic Party siding with Wall Street, although Biden’s not as well connected to Wall Street as the Clintons.

It is my belief that Hillary Clinton deserves jail time more than she deserves her party’s nomination for the presidency. It is therefore in the GOP’s best interest that she stays the Democrat frontrunner. VP Joe Biden’s entrance in the race would make a GOP loss more likely in 2016, and for that reason I am hoping that he stays out of the fray.

The Council Has Spoken: October 16, 2015

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Council Nominations: October 14, 2015

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The Council Has Spoken: October 9, 2015

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What 25 Years Together Have Taught Me

My wife and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary together. As usual I’m the “dates” spouse, always remembering birthdays, anniversaries and the dates of other important events. But she’s the one who actually remembers the events associated with the dates, whereas all I recall are the emotions or vague scenes. She’s also afflicted with the ability to remember exactly what’s been said, and that taught me early on to choose my words – and my arguments with her – very carefully.

So in that spirit let me pass along a few of the things I have learned living with the same woman for 25 years.

  1. She’s not the same woman. In many ways she’s as different from the woman I met as a complete stranger. 25 years has matured her in many wonderful ways. Whereas in the past she chased every shiny thing that came across her path, exhibiting what she calls “crow-like behavior” that made it difficult for her to reach long-term goals, today she’s focused and has no trouble thinking 5 months or 5 years ahead. Physically Time has left it’s mark although whereas it took away my long black locks and replaced them with a bald pate, it took her salt and pepper hair and transformed it into silver. It is beautiful and striking, and it’s easy to recognize her from a distance in public . It’s also not uncommon for other women to comment on how they love her hair.

  2. I’m not as smart or stupid, witty or dour, handsome or ugly as I think I am. Although I used to think she was the one prone to extreme emotions, I realize how much she has been a moderating influence on me. Whenever I have an idea and want to learn its value, I pass it by her. Usually it’s more akin to throwing a clay pigeon in front of the college skeet shooting team but I know that when she likes something I’ve said, thought or done, it’s truly good. Likewise whenever I’m down she brings me up, and whenever I’m full of myself she tells me as much.

  3. Encouraging her to seek her passions makes me happy. I minored in photography and in college spent a good chunk of my time photographing, developing and printing photographs or studying the works of classic photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen and Alfred Stiglitz. Over time I developed a deep appreciation for composition and technique, but after I graduated I didn’t do anything with it (an obsession I had in my art back then ended, killing my interest in ever picking up the camera again). Fast forward a few years and I’m helping my wife take better pictures. It wasn’t easy at first. I came across as condescending and was having a difficult time translating what I had learned in the analog photography world into the digital age. But we stuck with it. I kept buying her better gear and more importantly kept dogging her to learn how to use it. I also dragged her to photography exhibitions and used bookstores where we would sit for hours drinking coffee and perusing monographs of great photographers. We would discuss and critique their work and she began to see that while there is always an element of luck or serendipity in a good photograph, the great photographers always minimized that through conscious application of composition and lighting techniques. She started with snapshots. Even her best work twenty years ago was just lucky snaps. Today she could fill a small gallery with work that can stand on its own (and is better than anything I ever shot – and that makes me happy).

  4. If I didn’t feed her she’d starve to death. For someone who thinks as much about the nutrition and sources of her food, she only seems to eat when I feed her the food that I make or the takeout I bring home. She worries about her weight just as Every. Single. Woman I’ve ever met has done, and while she’s nowhere near anorexic, she’s no fatty. She stresses about food, and I wish she wouldn’t but in the meantime I’ll do my best to keep her fed. To that end I have taken up the hobby of baking cheesecakes which is no help to her waistline (or mine for that matter.)

  5. Our relationship is like a garden. It needs careful tending, watering, feeding, and occasional weeding. Whenever we start to coast we get into trouble. I’ll start to feel taken for granted, or she’ll begin to question how a world traveler like her ended up with a stay-at-home guy like me, and things start to get off-kilter. It’s only when we work on it – that she goes to a coin show with me, and I set down my books about traveling and actually step onto a plane with her, that balance is restored. It’s usually something very simple that we do together; I’ll drive her around while she’s looking for something to photograph, then sit in the car listening to satellite radio while she shoots. I don’t give her bouquets of flowers because our cats eat them then throw up, so instead I’ll suggest an art exhibit or a drive chasing the fading light, even when I’d rather be in front of my computer or out tending the garden.

There are also many other things I’ve learned, things too numerous to mention in a lowly blog post, but I’ll finish by stating how lucky I am to have met my best friend and can think of no one else I’d rather spend half of my life with but her.

Council Nominations: October 7, 2015

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The Razor Celebrates 14 Years (of Disgust)

14 years ago I bought an available domain name for Occam’s Razor, created a few HTML pages in the Dreamweaver editor, and figured out how to upload them, all because I felt that I had to express myself. There was grief and anger from the World Trade Center site, still a smoking heap of rubble and ash, and while my anger flamed white hot for the men who murdered thousands of innocents, they were not the focus of my writing and were incidental characters in my first published essay, “Rohrschach Test for the Left.” Instead that essay, and The (Occam’s) Razor that I slowly built around it, was inspired by the self-delusion and self-hatred of the politically correct Left that justified the attacks in the days immediately after the attacks.

Coming of age in the 1980s I was subjected to PC dogma in college, and watched it infect the Left that I identified with at the time and gradually change the American Left from a grassroots labor-based ideology rooted in classical liberal thought into an elitist derived identity-based movement we find today. This Left had little to do with the government programs that kept my family alive during the Depression or helped my father find a job after the War, but the draft-dodging elites of the 1960s who had prospered in the Ivory Tower and become ascendant by educating an entire generation of policy makers derived not from the working class but from the Bourgeoisie.

There was no shared experience between working class leftists like me and the leftists that controlled the college campuses at the time. They saw me as a “Reagan Democrat” and I saw them as arrogant, narrow minded fools who had been cocooned for so long from reality that they had no concept what the real world was like. The jump from America’s college campuses to the government by this elitist-derived Left was first attempted in Howard Dean’s candidacy of 2004, and was resurrected by his takeover of the DNC the eventually lead to the election of Barack Obama.

Obama is one of them. He was picked from Academia and pushed into increasingly higher levels of power by academics or their powerful acolytes in government. Obama represented them completely. For a group that is nearly all white but ashamed of their skin color (known euphemistically as “white privilege”) he was a minority. But unlike minority politicians like Jesse Jackson he had been educated by them and shared their belief that America is the root of all evil in the world, and that our nation could only be saved by a repentant America apologizing to the world for our sins, embracing our enemies, and dropping our allies who supported our evil doing.

Starting with his Apology Tour in 2009 Obama did just that, following it up with the “reset button” with Russia, an extended hand to Iran and rude gestures towards American allies such as the UK and Israel. He then let Iraq fall into Iran’s hands and ignored what he once called the “good war” in Afghanistan. He put into practice exactly the foreign policy the elitist Left had been demanding for years, using the power the Constitution grants to the Executive to achieve its aims, but was stymied by domestic opponents from putting into place their domestic agenda.

Today they control not only America’s campuses but they control our government, and worse, our military. If America is the root of all the world’s problems, why are the problems getting worse without American involvement? Shouldn’t they be getting better?

America is not the root of all evil in the world no matter how many books Chomsky writes or how many professors say it is so. America created a prosperity and peace unseen in the world since Augustus Caesar ruled 2000 years ago. Pax Americana was not perfect, but it did create an order that allowed smaller nations to prosper. The ranks of the world’s middle class grew under Pax Americana in ways that the average ancient Roman, 95% of whom lived in abject poverty, would marvel at. It also allowed the freedom of an elite to coalesce around an idea that would eventually lead to its demise.

Today a morally and economically bankrupt Russia invades any territory it desires without consequence. In the US a wealthy elite rigs the economic system against small business and the working class. A group of jihadis too radical for al Qaeda now hold sway over the very territory purchased through American blood a decade ago. Red-lines crossed in Syria and a “leading from behind” effort in North Africa results in failed states, creating a tsunami of refugees in Europe.  China extends its territory and influence without constraint. A decade ago the sound of North Korea rattling its cage would have made the headlines. Today it barely warrants mentioning.

14 years ago I saw the enemy and it was us – or rather the Left that I had once considered myself part of. At the time I was determined but hopeful that 9-11 would shake the Left off of its anti-American foundation, but it didn’t. And the results are self-evident.

I’ll admit I am pissed. Leftist ideology was always so naive and lacking in detail. The world could have been so much better if we had kept the levers of power from them, but we failed and now everyone from the retiree living on a pittance thanks to near-zero interest rates to the Iraqi Christian trying to stay alive in her homeland pays the price.

Happy anniversary.

The Council Has Spoken: Oct 2, 2015

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