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Sunday, December 31, 2006

On the radio

I'll be on Goldie's show on KIRO at 9 PM PST talking about my design for Our Leader's library and my plan to use giant robots to invade Iran. It's 710 on the AM dial if you're in the Puget Sound area (I'm not sure, but I think they broadcast at 50,000 watts at night so you might be able to hear it throughout the West). You can also catch the streaming broadcast here.

Bringing in the New Year

I wonder what Jenna and Not-Jenna are doing tonight.

Crossposted to Operation Yellow Elephant.

Freedom is Conformity: Restricting Liberty in the Name of Liberty

Freedom is Conformity: Restricting Liberty in the Name of Liberty
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: National Archives
Click for full-sized Image

There has been a growing hostility on the part of some conservatives towards basic civil liberties. Some might argue that this hostility has always existed, especially given the prevalence of authoritarians among conservative; yet I think a case can be made for the idea that such people are becoming far more willing to be open and public with their animosity. In the past it was treated as something that needed to be uttered in hushed tones among the faithful, but recently more and more have been willing to proclaim their hostility towards liberty in a public and unashamed manner.

Newt Gingrich is a prominent member of this club, having recently claimed in more than one context that Americans will have to give up basic liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. He has claimed that free speech should be restricted, which isn't a surprise, but more curious is his claim that religious liberties should be restricted. Conservative Christians complain that secularists are denying them the right to pray in schools, but Gingrich would take Muslims and throw them in jail as terrorists for praying on a plane. I haven't seen a peep of complaint from conservative Christians — do they only care about religious liberty when it's their religion involved?

Even more prominent right now may be Dinesh D'Souza who has been arguing that Muslim extremists don't hate America because of its foreign policies, but because Americans at home abuse their freedoms. It must be admitted that he has a point because these extremists have, for as long as they have existed, been very critical of Americans taking liberties with their liberties. Even if America were 100% isolationist and never did anything abroad that bothered them, they would still object to American culture. Where D'Souza goes wrong is in suggesting that their terrorism against America is based on this. Muslim terrorists don't fly planes into buildings because American women wear short skirts, because American couples dance too close together, or because Americans use their freedom of speech in ways that are insufficiently respectful of religion or Islam.

Why do people like D'Souza get it so wrong? I doubt it's an accident because the liberties they suggest need restricting in order to appease the extremists are exactly — and only — the liberties which they have been arguing against for so long. They don't recommend appeasement in any other context, but if it gets them the sorts of restrictions they have been longing for over the past decades, they will gladly don the cap of Chamberlain and fly to Munich to negotiate the elimination of people’s freedom to say unpopular and critical things.

What is it with authoritarian conservatives — whether Christian or Muslim — and their complaints about people "abusing" freedom by doing things they want to do? It's difficult to understand what abuse of freedom really is because I don't think that any of those who complain about it have ever specifically defined what it is, when "use" of freedom crosses some line to become "abuse" of freedom, and why it shouldn't be protected. This vagueness raises the suspicion that "abuse of freedom" is a catch-all label for anything which authoritarians don't like, but can't pretend isn't protected as part of basic civil liberties. If they can't deny that something is a protected liberty, and know that they can't successfully argue that the liberty should be ended, maybe they hope they can turn the tables and get people to believe that freedom can be abused.

I do think it would be a mistake to think that freedom is something that couldn't possibly be abused. We all have freedom of speech, but if enough of us use it to shout nasty things at a person then perhaps we are abusing our freedom to create a threatening environment for that person. If it is legitimate to use the concept of "abusing freedom" here, though, it must be narrowly limited to situations where others are put in danger or have a legitimate reason to fear that they are in danger. They can't simply say that they don't like what's going on — seeing women in short skirts isn't the same as being concerned for your physical safety.

I'm not sure that people who tout the "abuse of freedom" rhetoric would be willing to accept such distinctions, however, so perhaps another tactic is necessary. Could we accuse them of abusing their freedoms because they are arguing for restricting other people's liberties? That's at least as plausible as the arguments they are making, and it carries the advantage of putting them in a position where they have to explain how and why their writings are not abuse. That, in turn, requires that they explain what abuse of freedom really is, which will give the rest of us a chance to demonstrate that their concept is nonsense, or perhaps even that it applies much more broadly than they have been willing to let on.

I fear, though, that rhetoric like that used by Gingrich and D'Souza will fall on fertile ground in America. Although such ideas are contrary to the basic principles upon which America was supposed to be founded, the fact remains that conformity is generally easier — socially, psychologically, politically — than freethought and independent dissent.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pictures at an Execution

Thanks for the memories.

Hannicatch of the week

This week we have a Sean Hannity fan for our Catholic readers. I was a little leery about posting this one for a couple of reasons. First, it isn't up on the Hannidate site yet, but my sources inside Hannidate tell me it'll be up soon. Second, this hannicatch almost sounds like he might be a homosexual. I don't think that's the case, regardless of what Pam might have to say about it. Think about it. Would Hannity allow homosexuals to recruit on his dating site? I don't think so.

Previous Hannicatches:

Another twofer. She's spends a lot of time alone while her boyfriend pursues his backyard wrestling career. He's worried about Mexicans spitting in his food.

Wants a buddy for heterosexual fun.

Likes to go on long romantic pogroms against Mexicans.

A twofer. He's a Christian ninja. She's tired of waiting for God to slam his immaculate salami home.

A match for a billionaire.

Wants stupid woman with big breasts.

No Coloreds

Republican Fundraiser

Kentucky Thoroughbred

Headlights of Morality

He kilt the man who tried to kill his daddy

George W. Bush
The Lord's Chosen

Your Majesty,

There is only one course left for you to take now that Saddam bin Laden is finally dead. You must give a speech in prime time detailing your long battle against this man. Your father should be made to kneel down beside you as you address the nation, so that once and for all, the world will know that you are a better man and a greater leader than him. Saddam's dead, naked body should be draped over the podium as you speak, and once you've finished, you should have your way with it to demonstrate that you've achieved the only thing you ever really wanted to accomplish in Iraq, the total domination of the man your father couldn't control, not with weapons sales or war. Then, you should bring our troops home.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Friday, December 29, 2006

A glorious war plan for Iran*

Arthur Herman
George Mason University

Dear Dr. Herman,

There's a lot to like about your plan to attack Iran. Our experience in Iraq and Israel's success in Lebanon are great examples of how bombing the hell out of a country's infrastructure will quickly bring the enemy to his knees.

However, the boldest piece of your plan, seizing Iran's off-shore and coastal oil facilities, may look better on paper than it would on the battlefield. We're looking at over 100 facilities there. It's going to take more than a small force of combined marines and special forces to capture and hold them. I don't think we have enough spare troops to pull it off. Especially now that it looks like we're going to solve the Iraq problem by rotating all of our troops in and out of there until their privatized social security accounts kick in.

That's why I think you should add giant robots that shoot heat rays out of their snakelike appendages to your plan. I'm thinking something along the lines of the ones in War of the Worlds. Not only would they be able to take and hold the oil facilities, they'd also scare the living hell out of the Iranians and their Islamunistofascist allies. The whole Middle East would convert in droves. In less than a week, we could be looking at one big Alabama between the Nile and the Indus. Then we could get down to the serious business of rebuilding their economy by loaning them money to build shoe factories to supply our Wal-Marts.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

*Yeah, I stole Greenwald's title, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let anyone else use my favorite adjective without putting up a fight. By God, he's going to be sorry when his infrastructure is gone and he's facing vaporization by my robot's snake-like appendage.

Elsewhere: Jews on First has more on the Little Green Schoolhouse in Mrs. Malkins America story I wrote about yesterday. And if you didn't listen to the This American Life story to which I linked in my earler post, do it now. There's nothing like hearing it directly from the people who lived it (Click on the blue speaker icon for free streaming audio. The story begins at about 7:10).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Religion of Peace

The most holy Emperor Misha I, who features a crusader's cross on his website, reacts to the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia:

Splendid! And when you get there, please feel free to level the entire piss hole of a "city", then cover it in gasoline and set it on fire. And don't bother being too meticulous about killing the inhabitants first. Let them crackle, hiss and sizzle while the rest of us laugh ourselves silly.


As is always the case whenever the followers of Mohammed the Pedophile are getting butchered. I'd suggest strapping the diplomats to the outside of your tanks, then finding a nearby building to run over. Or, better still, strap them to the exhaust grill. Nothing smells quite as wonderful as a set of striped pants on fire while the worthless bag of skin inside screams himself to death.

Tales from Mrs. Malkin's America

We don't need no little 9-year-old "Muslim-loser" girls comin' 'round our Little Green Schoolhouse (Click on the blue speaker icon for free streaming audio. The story begins at about 7:10)

I liked how Slate's Sonia Smith described Clarity and Resolve as being an "Islam-focused blog." The guys at my "civil-rights-focused club" enjoyed it too. We're going to ask Jethro to read all of her articles to us after he finishes that "Jewish-focused book."

Finally, I've wanted to write something using this rare picture of Michael Chertoff, Commander of the State Security Apparatus, but I'm still too sick to do it right.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Accepted by my peers

I didn't realize that this cookbook wouldn't include French recipes when I made my contribution to it. It's nice that someone finally realized that there really isn't a lot of difference between Jesus' General and Instapundit, Atlas, Wizbang, or The Anchoress. Heck, we could probably write each other's posts and no one would be the wiser.

Here's my contribution:

The General's Very Manly Chips Olé

1 10 oz bag of Fritos
1 can of chili.
2 cups shredded cheese (American, dammit*)
1 small jar of sliced jalapeño peppers
1 small onion
1 six pack of beer (I prefer the generic beer, the kind that comes in the white cans with the word "BEER" printed in big black block letters on it)
A box of band-aids

Drink a beer. Cut off the top third of the frito bag leaving the fritos inside. Drink another beer. Scratch yourself. Heat the chili in your microwave. Drink two more beers while watching the chili turn round and round on the microwave carousel. Drink another beer. Chop the onion. Bandage the fingers you accidentally cut while chopping the onion. Scratch yourself. Do you have any beers left? If so, drink another beer. Pour everything into the bag of Fritos and serve with beer.

*Velveeta may be used as a substitute in an emergency.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Praising Pinochet and Franco

The patriots at the Free Republic love Our Leader's mentors:

Yet Communist dictator Salvador Allende is treated as hero by "progressives", and human rights abuses and deaths are never counted or stand trials in courts.
1 posted on 12/25/2006 9:18:19 PM PST by CutePuppy

To: CutePuppy

One man stopped communism there.

2 posted on 12/25/2006 9:24:23 PM PST by Sundog (Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Go Parse.)

To: Sundog

Indeed he did. And the media was thankless - of course. Allende was taking money from the KGB. Fact. Allende's party never had more than 34% of the vote. I hope to God we never have to make a choice like Pinochet did here in the US.

3 posted on 12/25/2006 9:33:25 PM PST by RKV ( He who has the guns, makes the rules.)

To: CutePuppy

Allende the communist was trying to do to Chile what Chavez is doing to Venezuela right now.

Chile is better today in spite of what did or didn't happen
(how can I trust Communist-left wing sources that the MSM consider infallible) under the rule of Pinochet.

If only we could emulate Chile's social security system here our future taxation and debt problems would be helped greatly.

4 posted on 12/25/2006 9:36:13 PM PST by Nextrush (Chris Matthews Band: "I get high....I get high.....I get high....McCain.")

To: CutePuppy

Good for him. Pin a medal on him. Many more tens of thousands would have died under a communist dictatorship.

5 posted on 12/25/2006 9:38:05 PM PST by RichardW

To: CutePuppy

More innocents were murdered by Islamicists on one day in September 2001 than in the entire reign of Pinochet.

6 posted on 12/25/2006 9:55:42 PM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

["According to a government report that included testimony from more than 30,000 people, his government killed at least 3,197 people and tortured about 29,000." --JC]

To: cpdiii

Exactly: and the same can be said for the Spanish Republic (yeah they were supported by Hitler-blah( evil), but at least they were anti-communist). It later turned Parliamentarian..!

Pinochet was a Hero, as are many fine anti-communist/leftist South Americans..

We should have emulated him in Iraq rather than on insisting upon "democracy", it would have made our job much easier in the long run/IMO!.

9 posted on 12/25/2006 11:01:16 PM PST by JSDude1 (

To: JSDude1

Good point, a lot of similarities can be found between Pinochet and Franco - they both saved their countries from totalitarian Communism, both were branded fascist dictators while doing that, and both set their countries' course toward constitutional democratic Republics.

Socialists in both countries (and elsewhere) are trying to rewrite history, as they usually do as it's their primary tool of propaganda and establishment of permanent socialist government.

There was an article recently about new government in Spain revising the 1930's and trying to change the names of streets and cultural or historical places... Fortunately, there's a backlash from significant portion of population that had family members killed and that remebers atrocities of the Communists before Spanish Civil War.

10 posted on 12/25/2006 11:55:18 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)

The Enemy's Face

I know I feel a little safer now that the State Security Apparatus is fingerprinting babies. How about you?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Crisis in the North: Pig War II

In honor of Manley McFlagHag's (now that's a patriot's name if I ever heard one) post urging an invasion of Canada, I thought I'd repost my three part series outlining the rationale for taking back what's rightfully ours. It was originally posted June 9-12, 2003.

One hundred and fifty years of shame
The case for war against Pender Island, British Columbia (Part 1)

On June 15, 1859, those who hate America because we're free sent a pig into Lyman Cutler's garden on San Juan Island in Oregon Territory. That pig was a message. A message of disrespect for all we believe. Lyman Cutler answered that message in the only way a true American can. He shot the pig. Thus began what became to be know as the Pig War.

The foreigners immediately tried to arrest Cutler. The Governor of Oregon Territory responded by sending the hard charging Capt. George E. Pickett along with 66 men to San Juan Island. That angered the Governor of British Columbia (BC), who claimed the island for the Queen of England. Three British warships were sent to dislodge Pickett and the brave Americans.

The British sailors, being the prim and proper girly-man they are, refused to engage our gallant soldiers. A stand-off ensued until a group of bearded peaceniks in Washington convinced the liberal socialist Democrat president, James Buchanan, to sue for peace. To the shame of Americans everywhere, the appeasnik Buchanan agreed to joint occupation. That shame was compounded 13 years later when an Arkansas sharecropper named William Clinton forced President Grant to allow the German Kaiser, another foreigner, to decide who would own the island. Fortunately, the Kaiser recognized the American claim. He failed, however, to force the British to pay for the damage done by the pig to Cutler's garden, thus encouraging our enemies to commit further crimes against America.

The British terrorists moved across the Haro Strait to Pender Island. Their progeny live there today, smugly taunting America with their pigs and gardens. We may have the land, but the Pender Islanders have our stolen honor and they mean to keep it. That's why they have acquired weapons of mass destruction and have opened terrorist training camps. More on that in future installments.

Facts about Pender Island, BC
  • Many of their official documents are written in French.

  • It is part of a province named for two foreign countries.

  • Their autocratic mayor, Ian McNeely, is probably French.

  • Like the Arabs, they measure distance in kilometers rather than miles.

  • They trade with Cuba.

  • They celebrate Thanksgiving in October.

  • They send children to a special childrens prison

  • They play a sport called "curling" with brooms and teakettles. It's a metaphor for their goal of feminizing the world.

  • They eat Christian babies on a holiday they call "Boxing Day."

  • Pender Island is actually two islands. They think they're fooling us.

Clams with really big parts
The case for war against Pender Island, British Columbia (Part 2)

For years, I'd heard rumors that the freedom-hating citizens of Pender Island had launched a psychological warfare program against us. The geoducks were my first piece of proof. Geoducks are a type of clam that is easily identified by it's large syphon. While I've always felt a bit inadequate around geoducks, I've noticed that the Pender Island variety was particularly obscene. Moreover, they've caused me to have strange, unnatural thoughts. These thoughts grab hold of my mind forcing me to commit certain private sinful acts. Someday, I will sit down with Jesus to review my life, and these acts will be the source of many seconds of embarrassing silence. I'm sure that Hell will be something like those few moments.

Anyway, these clam's syphons are unnatural -- even for geoducks. They must be the result of some kind of genetic engineering project. But why? Sure, they cause me to spill some of my essence, but that only weakens me momentarily. Within hours, my seed regenerates itself. There must be more to it.

The answer came to me one day when I went to Pikes Place Market with my wife and sister-in-law, Susan. As we walked past a stack of iced geoducks, Susan whispered something in my wife's ear, and they giggled. I recognized that giggle. I've heard it a thousand times. They were making fun of my little soldier. The geoducks gave them a model of something no man can achieve. These freak clams are turning men into little more than a cheap joke. The islanders are using them to undermine the authority of the American male, thus weakening our great nation. It's a new kind of subtle warfare, a type of insidious terrorism that can bring down a nation without a shot being fired.

Island of death
The case for war against Pender Island, British Columbia (Part 3)

Every few days, I go down to the local gym and hang around the locker room to look for suspicious activity. You never know what you'll see when the men there undress. I once saw a tattoo on a white guy that was written in Chinese. He was obviously a Red Chinese spy. I followed him everywhere for months. He couldn't use the bathroom without me being there. He tried every spy trick in the book in an effort to shake my surveillance. Threats, restraining orders, arrests -- nothing stopped me.

After about 17 months of following him to no avail, I finally struck pay dirt when he grabbed a ferry to Pender Island and checked himself into a place called Camp Spartacus. I thought that it must be some kind of gladiator camp. I was absolutely thrilled because I'm a huge fan of gladiator movies. I hid outside for nearly a week, waiting for him to leave so that I could check in.

Unfortunately, once I did get in, I learned that it wasn't a gladiator camp after all. It was a secret weapons of mass destruction production site. Thank God I had my camera and was able to take the pictures posted below. I authenticated them using two different sources. First, I sent them to Judith Miller of the New York Times. She showed them to her contacts at the Department of Defense and they confirmed that these are indeed pictures of a WMD production facility. I then sent them to Donald Rumsfeld. He showed them to his contact at the New York Times, Judith Miller. She noted that she had seen similar pictures that had been authenticated. There I had it, confirmation from two sources. Pender Island was making weapons of mass destruction.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I'm finally out

Remember that flu I had last week? It put me in the hospital, yesterday (pneumonia). They just released me so I could be home for Christmas Eve. This may be my last post for a couple of days, but I'll just as likely get bored and write something.

Surging Forward: Debating American Troop Levels in Iraq

Surging Forward: Debating American Troop Levels in Iraq
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: National Archives
Click for full-sized Image

There is a lot of public discussion about whether America should increase troop levels in Iraq, either temporarily or for the long term. There are a number of forceful voices on both sides and the very existence of this debate is healthy — can you imagine a similar disagreement proceeding so publicly and strongly even just a year ago? For far too long, public discussions have been little more than a mockery of how debates should proceed in a democracy — Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum pretending to disagree when they have already accepted the same policy positions and are just haggling over the details of implementation for the sake of public theater.

Perhaps the current debate isn’t much better in some ways because most of the ground being covered is simply whether to increase troops and for how long, not whether the entire policy is a failure and should be fundamentally altered, but at least that is being touched upon around the margins. It’s not where we should be, but it’s a refreshing change for the better, and if it’s still poor then that simply reinforces how bad things have been.

So, what should happen with troop levels in Iraq? Most liberal critics seem to react almost instinctively to condemn the idea, but I think that we should be more willing give temporary increases serious consideration. There are of course questions about whether increases are even feasible from a logistical perspective — we don’t want to ruin the military for the sake of trying to achieve a temporary gain, after all.

I’m trying to address this from a perspective of what the appropriate policy should be, though, and at least in theory there could be valid reasons for temporary increases, though they don’t seem likely to exist in reality. For example, an increase might be needed to deal with a sudden crisis, to press home a new advantage that has opened up, or even to help structure a large-scale withdrawal of troops overall.

There is one feature which such situations should all have in common: a reasonably clear goal that creates a definite picture of what “success” would look like, such that we have an idea not only of what the troops are trying to achieve, but also of when they will return once they have achieved it. Doesn’t that sound like the conditions that should have been in place before any troops were sent in at all? We didn’t have them then, and we are unlikely to have them now — that’s why valid reasons for a “surge” may be theoretically possible, but probably won’t be forthcoming.

Of course, there’s no point of even pretending to have a debate if neither the course it takes nor its final outcome will have any impact on the ultimate decision — but that’s precisely what we are probably facing. President George W. Bush has declared himself to be the “decider,” and there is little evidence that he takes seriously advice or warnings from people who tell him things he doesn’t want to hear.

He seems much more likely to listen to advice when people are telling him things that justify the choices he already intends to follow. Any surge in troops will simply be part of “surging” forward with the same basic goals that have existed since the beginning. Bush isn’t looking for a plan — he’s looking for new ways to get people to believe that he has one in the first place. It’s all about selling his war to an increasingly skeptical public, not about developing the best means for pursuing a necessary conflict as part of a defensible agenda.

Bush has said in the past that he opposed politicizing the war (a process he observed with Vietnam) and intended to follow the advice of his military commanders; today, he appears poised to reject the recommendations of his military commanders who don’t want more troops sent in. Bush is wrong on both counts: every war is necessarily political and all decisions must be made on the basis of both political and military needs. Sometimes the former will take precedence over the latter, and only under a military dictatorship do the military commanders make all of those decisions.

On the other hand, sending in more troops against the wishes of military commanders is probably a bad idea anyway if they are saying it won’t help the situation and may hurt the military overall. Even if Bush has the right idea about how political leaders must make decisions about how to pursue a military conflict, he seems to have chosen just about the worst time to assert that role and reject the advice of military commanders.

Political leaders may make militarily poor decisions that we don’t like, but they, not the generals, are elected by and accountable to the people — including the troops being put in harm’s way — and thus the final decision must be theirs. Bush is in charge and has a responsibility to make military decisions on the basis of both military and political factors. We the people, however, have a right know what those factors are and why they are being used. We have a right to know why he would continue with the same policies and plans despite how they are shredding both military lives and the nation’s military capability.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Republican Jesus loves the little children

Latina Lista has more.

Update: Pach persecutes the Prince of Profit's followers.

Republican Jesus mugs and shirts available here

Republican Jesus Archives.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Proud to be an American

I'm sure Mrs. Malkin, Our Lady of the Concentration Camps, is bursting with pride now that the State Security Apparatus has begun to fill up its "family detention centers" with little brown ones.

Of course, Nez doesn't share Mrs. Malkin's happiness:

Bullying children, scaring children. Jailing children. Tearing families apart. Words like "enforce the laws" while you break every single one that suits you, even rescinding the bedrock rights of Americans. Words like "Hiring more Whites." Words like "a different breed of worker, now that more money is being offered." Now. That more money is being offered. A PR stunt to let all the Dobbsians know that SEE there are Americans willing to do those slimy, messy, stinking, ugly jobs. No need for Mexicans at all, actually.

Jobs. The clarion call of the TV-fed American who chooses to know nothing about history. Who chooses not to attack those from India when American companies hire hundreds and hundreds of people there to avoid paying workers here. And is this American aware of the American companies that fire American workers to build factories in Mexico? Does this racist, Nationalist, TV-fed American not know of all the many, many ways their own government feeds itself cash while cutting corners on every single issue that concerns human beings?

Fools. We are all living in the shadow of the crumbling empire, the falling dollar. You and I do not matter. Mostly, Mexicans don't matter right now. Unless they can be used. Used for their labor, for the symbolic value of locking us up, used to build fences to keep the rest out. While you suck up all the little pieces of culture that you find oh-so-tasty. I hope you choke on your next tamale, Nationalist.

You need to read the whole thing.

Into the breach

I'm going to try to make the switch to the New Blogger tonight. Hopefully, it'll go better than Lafayette's attempt. At some point, Blogger says it will require everyone to make the change. I'd rather do it now while a good chunk of my readership is on vacation. Hopefully, it'll only take a few minutes or hours and I'll get a post up for Saturday. If not, Austin is set to do his Sundays with an Atheist post. Please remember my purpose for inviting Austin to do this. Look for clues as to his whereabouts so we can hunt him down and beat the hell out of him.

Check out one of the fine blogs, like Jon Swift, Blast Off, Blog ReLoad, or the Unapologetic Mexican in my bloated, ineffective blogroll if you need a fix of bloggy goodness.

Raiders of the Lost Foreskin

Dan Riehl
Riehl World View

Dear Mr. Riehl,

Did you know that Our Lord, Jesus' immaculate foreskin disappeared along with its sacred shoebox 23 years ago? I bet you didn't, because the media failed to report it. Indeed, only one American journalist, David Farley of Slate, has written anything about the missing snip. He believes the Pope stole it.

Now, why do you think such an important story was ignored by the media? Could it be because Catholics hold so many important positions in our media? Certainly, nobody believes that a Kathryn Jean Lopez, a Kate O'Beirne, or a Peggy Noonan would finger the Pope in a foreskin caper. But what about the Jews? Everybody knows they play the Sharks to the Catholics' Jets when it comes to evil media cabals--just ask Judith Reagan, Mel Gibson, or George Allen. Why aren't they all over this story? Perhaps the Jews are afraid of being dragged into court and eventually facing justices with names like Roberts, Alito, and Scalia.

The shame of it is that this subversion of our institutions could have been avoided had the Dan Riehl/Virgil Goode immigration plan (which would keep America "white and delightsome" by excluding Muslims and other "undesireables") been adopted 150 or so years ago. Lord knows, there was a large constituency, the "Know-Nothings," who wanted to bar Catholics from immigrating. Running on a platform which proclaimed "war to the hilt, on political Romanism," the Know Nothings captured seven governorships and eight state houses in 1855. Still, they weren't able to stem the Catholic tide, and now, unfortunately, Our Savior's immaculate foreskin is paying the price.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Mitt and the Muslims

Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch

Dear Mr. Spencer,

I was very impressed with your defense of Rep. Virgil Goode's letter denouncing the Islamunistofascistification of America. I particularly enjoyed the part where you wrote that Muslim politicians like Keith Ellison cannot be trusted because a commentary on the Quran allows Muslims to lie to unbelievers.

Are you considering writing something similar about LDS politicians like Mitt Romney and Gordon Smith? Their holy book, The Book of Mormon--the same book that Sen. Smith held when he was sworn into the Senate--tells Mormons that thievery and murder are righteous acts when committed in the name of the Lord.

Specifically, I'm referring to 1 Nephi 4, the story of how Nephi acquires the Brass Plates of Laban before leaving Jerusalem for Cancún. 1 Nephi 4:13 is the key verse:

4:7 Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.

4:8 And when I came to him I found that it was Laban.

4:9 And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.

4:10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.

4:11 And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.

4:12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;

4:13 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.

4:14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.

4:15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.

4:16 And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.

4:17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause -- that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.

4:18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.

4:19 And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.

4:20 And after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of Laban. And as I went forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold, I saw the servant of Laban who had the keys of the treasury. And I commanded him in the voice of Laban, that he should go with me into the treasury.

4:21 And he supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the garments and also the sword girded about my loins.

4:22 And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.

4:23 And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.

4:24 And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.

4:25 And I also bade him that he should follow me.

Now that sounds a lot worse than telling a lie to me, but then again, Mormons tend to be more "white and delightsome" than Islamunistofascists, so I suppose it balances out.

Bush Library

I'll finish my design for the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Jan. 2.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Looking for Lafayette?

Atrios's temporary home is here.

I'm going to be making the same changeover tomorrow night. I hope it goes a little better for me.

Update: He's back.

Debbie Schlussel, Double-Naught Spy

Debbie Schlussel
Freelance Double-Naught Spy

Dear Mrs. Schlussel,

I shouldn't be so surprised by the excellent work you've done exposing Barak Obama's ties to the Islamunistofascist menace. After all, your exploits as a freelance double-naught spy in the War against Islamunistofascism are legendary. Still I can't help but be impressed by the case you've laid out against Obama. It's absolutely air tight. As you noted in your Monday column, his middle name is Hussein; his father was Muslim; and he's visited Kenya. Obviously, he's an Islamunistofascist masquerading as a Christian.

This knowledge scares the living hell out of me. I'm not ashamed to admit that. Fear is America's greatest ally. It's served us well since the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when witchofascists sought to destroy everything in which we believe. It continues to be a powerful force for good today by providing us with the will to bomb civilians, deny our citizens habeas corpus, and to commit righteous acts of torture.

But how do we respond to this new information about Obama? Being a Senator, it might be hard to justify detaining and torturing him. I suppose we could bomb the people of Illinois since they elected him, but where would the Cubs play and what about Ditka?

Maybe the best response is for you to follow him around and taunt him while poking him with a stick. That way, you can allay our fears by reminding us there's a double-naught spy on the case.

Heterosexually yours in a biblically approved kind of way,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Elsewhere: Miss Poppy finds another way the College Republicans can support the troops.

Billmon is back and that makes me very nervous.

And finally, let's corrupt Digby by giving him money.

Patriots don't even think about Oaxaca

Nez quotes Democracy Now:

On Monday, three plainclothes gunman grabbed APPO members Florentino Martinez, Pedro Garcia and Otalo Padilla, from outside a teacher's union headquarters after leaving a teacher's meeting. The gunmen identified themselves as members of the Death Squad—the State Police convoys that wounded and killed protestors in August. The plainclothes gunmen surrounded the three men with vehicles, brandishing assault rifles and pistols, and then dragged them into a van. For over and hour they beat them mercilessly and threatening to kill them.

But what about the good news in Oaxaca. Surely Ruiz is painting some schools. Why doesn't Nez every write about that?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dan Savage lends a hand

He's helping the "Overseers" at Ted Haggard's New Life Church weed out the sinners in their midst.

You can help them out by answering this question:

Have you ummm...had...uhhhh...hmmm...uhhh...carnal relations of an...ummmm..."starboard" "aft" nature with this man?

The George W. Bush Presidential Library (Second Floor)

As I noted yesterday, the Library will be at least five stories high, one floor for each of Our Leader's terms of office. More stories will be added if Our Leader's steady hand is still needed after the War on Terror enters into its third decade.

Yes, I know there are those who claim that presidents are limited to only two terms, but we've reinterpreted Article II of the Constitution to give the Executive the power to do as he wishes. The 109th Congress agreed with that interpretation; there wasn't a single objection from anyone who mattered.

Second Floor (Second Term)

The second floor of the George W. Bush Presidential Library will be composed of five sections: the Hall of Closets, the Rotunda of Blame, the Cheney Room, and the Economic and Security Wings.

The Rotunda of Blame

Visitors will access the second floor via a circular staircase that winds its way around the rotunda. Since it is a multi-storied rotunda (it gets it name from its first floor feature), there will be no floor or exhibits except for a sculpture of Our Leader's favorite author, Camus (pronounced: "cam-moo") which will hang suspended from the ceiling. Our Leader reportedly read one of his books during the summer of 2006 and was very impressed that a killer whale could write so eloquently.

Visitors may view the sculpture from the Second Floor Rotunda Balcony, a walkway attached to the inner wall of the rotunda. The balcony also serves as the entrance to the other four sections of the second floor.

Hall of Closets

As its name suggests, The Hall of Closets, is a a series of closets, all but one of which pays tribute to Our Leader's advisors in the War Against Homosexuality. Visitors are sure to giggle with delight when animatronic figures of Ken Mehlman, Mark Foley, Jeff Gannon, and Karl Rove offer them candy or demonstrate the meaning of military discipline.

The Bush-Rice Broom Closet is an exact replica of the room where Our Leader and the Secretary of State have some of their most secret meetings. Visitors are encouraged to sign their names on the 55 gallon barrel of vaseline found in the back of the closet, behind the strange and exotic strap-on devices.

Economic Wing

The Economic Wing consists of six large rooms: The Wall Street Security Room, The Buy-A-Pastor Program Room, The Redistricting Through Natural Disasters Room, The Adventures in Class Warfare Room, The Great Hall of the Drug War Somozas; and the Lease-a-Mexican Room.

The Wall Street Security Room

One of Our Leader's greatest remaining challenges is Social Security reform, and by reform, we mean transferring the hoarded wealth of the shiftless elderly to deserving people who work hard for a living, America's investment brokers. The Wall Street Security Room focuses on Our Leader's proposed solution to this problem, privatization of the Social Security system.

In keeping with the Library's interactive nature, tour guides, playing the part of brokers, will collect twenty dollars from each visitor for investment into a simulated private investment account. The "brokers" will then use the money to buy and sell simulated stocks for 15 minutes, levying a transaction fee for each trade. The visitors will receive their "retirement" pay out (approx. $2.30) as they leave the room.

The Buy-A-Pastor Program Room

Visitors learn about Our Leader's very successful Buy-A-Pastor Program by playing the part of an Office of Faith-Based Programs staffmember in a computerized simulation. Each player is given a million credits to dispense in grants to various pastors. The player who receives the highest return (sermons praising the President and his Republican colleagues) wins.

The Redistricting Through Natural Disasters Room

A short video on how the President used FEMA to reshape Louisiana's political landscape is followed by a little hands-on training. Each visitor is given a map and population statistics for a major city threatened with a natural disaster. They are then told to create a recovery plan which, if implemented, would replace blacks, liberals, and the poor with a more Heartland-oriented demographic. Visitors who incorporate a deal for the use of Neal Bush's software in their educational system rebuilding component will receive extra points. The designer of the best plan will be awarded a "Heck of a job!" button he or she can wear proudly at their next Confederate Heritage Appreciation Society meeting.

The Adventures in Class Warfare Room

Special "Ownership Society" docents beat up the visitors, take their wallets, and give the money to the wealthiest person in the tour group.

The Great Hall of the Drug War Somozas

Visitors will get an opportunity to hold some of the same weapons we provide to our freedom-loving opium and cocaine warlord allies in Afghanistan, Columbia, and Venezuela. Representatives from each of these groups will also be on hand to explain the important role drug profits play in defeating islamunistofascism, socialism, and rival drug warlords who hate America.

In another corner of the Hall, the Departments of Justice and Education tell their stories in videos titled, "Get Tommy Chong: America's Triumph Over Bongofascism" and "Why Mary Jane Can't Matriculate."

The Lease-a-Mexican Room

This room celebrates Our Leader's proposed Guest-Worker Program, one of the few proposals he may be able to get through the Democratic Congress in the final two years of his term. By leasing Mexicans, Our Leader hopes to bring the advantages of outsourcing overseas back home. Having no prevailing wage or safety guarantees and denied the right to organize, leased Mexicans will be a low cost solution to America's corporate labor needs for many years to come. It'll be like slavery , but without all of the overhead. Best of all, the competition will drive all other wages and benefits down as well, thus increasing our investment income as owners in the Ownership Society.

Visitors are given a taste of the Lease-a-Mexican experience when they are allowed to scrub the room's floor for $1.15 an hour. Those who complain will be immediately deported to Ciudad Juarez.

Friday: We'll tour the Cheney Room and the Security Wing.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The George W. Bush Presidential Library (First Floor)

Since the The George W. Bush Presidential Library is in the news again, I thought I should update my design by adding a second floor. But before I do that, please allow me to refresh your memories by reposting my designs for the ground floor. I originally posted them in March, 2004, here at Jesus' General and at The American Street.

The Library will be at least five stories high, one floor for each of Our Leader's terms of office (According to Inquisitor General Gonzales, Article II of the Constitution allows the President to do whatever he wants to do, including serving for life--it's called the Unitary Executive Theory). More stories will be added if Our Leader's steady hand is still needed after the War on Terror enters its third decade.

First Floor (First Term)

The George W. Bush Presidential Library will be composed of five sections: the Entrance/Election Room, the Rotunda of Blame, the Archives, and the Economic and Security Wings.

Entrance/Election Room (To be called the Reappointment Room on upper floors)

The visitors are introduced to the interactive nature of the library before they enter the building when they are met outside the entrance by policemen who demand that each visitor of African descent show them identification. These lucky visitors are then told that the computer says their real name is "Willie Horton" and that they cannot enter the Election Room because they are felons.

The lighter colored visitors are allowed to enter immediately. They may then choose to participate in a number of activities memorializing Our Leader's triumphant electoral victory. My personal favorites are "Intimidate the Canvassing Board" and "Mob the Democratic Election Worker." Before leaving the room, the visitors are treated to a short show featuring and animatronic James Baker and his ventriloquist dummy, Justice Scalia.

Rotunda of Blame

We all know how tough it is to be Our Leader. It's hard work and mistakes have been made, but it isn't his fault. He's told us so many times. Every problem he's faced can be blamed on someone else.

A colorfully sectioned circle and spinable arrow on the floor of the Rotunda of Blame demonstrates this relationship between our problems and Our Leader's enemies. Visitors may state a problem like joblessness and then spin the arrow to see who's to blame. Choices include Clinton, homosexuals, France, non-Christians, Democrats, Spongebob Squarepants, and the American People.

The circle, made of petroleum-based polymers manufactured in China using oil from a well near Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser, also signifies Our Leaders love for our National Park System.

The Archives

The Archives is the smallest section of the library, because there isn’t much of a need for space. Our Leader has made it very clear that transparency in government only inhibits his ability to govern. Policy making is best left to pros like industry lobbyists and others who have the financial resources to ensure that the business of America continues to be business. Anything else results in an anarchy where profits become the target of those who promote such socialistic ideas as universal health care, living wages, and a five day work week.

The main feature of the Archives is a 1/100th scale working model of the Executive Document Processing Center located in Chisinau, Moldovia (another example of Our Leader’s employment policy in action). Upon arrival, a lucky visitor is issued a pitchfork and allowed to process a wheelbarrow full of documents by pitching them into the Executive Document Thermal Processing Unit (EDTPU).

A specially constructed window on the EDTPU allows the other visitors to view the processing of the documents into beneficial gasses and particulate matter like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and soot. These products are released into the atmosphere as part of Our Leader’s Clear Skies Initiative. Their presence will raise the global average temperature, making Earth a more cozy place in which to live.

Visitors may also participate in other activities at the Archives, including hands on tutorials on creating National Guard service records and turning down FOIA requests.

The Economic Wing

Tax Cut Room -- Visitors are lined up according to net worth, and the wealthiest one collects twenty dollars from each of the others.

Employment Room -- Each visitor is replaced by an Indian and told to get a job assembling hamburgers at their local McDonalds manufacturing plant.

Recession Room -- This room's central feature is an animatronic Ed Gillespie seated in a wheelchair doing a Stephen Hawking imitation. "Due to a warp in the time continuum," declares Gillespie as Hawking," the recession only appeared to start during the Bush presidency." "It actually started," he continues, "six months earlier."

Privatization Room -- Each visitor is issued a cellphone and given an hour to persuade as many friends and family members as possible to contribute the $2000/person maximum campaign contribution. The winner receives an exclusive franchise to provide meals to a squad of Marines.

Environment Room -- This room pays tribute to Our Leaders success balancing corporate needs with environmental concerns. Visitors are issued "Clear Skies Initiative Oxygen Masks" as they step onto the "Healthy Forests Initiative Redwood Deck" to see a presentation on "sound science."

Placed above a pool water, the deck, made from genuine Sequoia National Forest old growth timber, serves as a reminder of Our Leader's plan to combat global warming by building dikes and elevating beachfront property.

Policy Room -- Visitors are assigned roles as various CEOs (e.g. Enron's Ken Lay). They then meet with an actor playing the part of Dick Cheney and draft policies benefiting their companies.

The Security Wing


September 11th Room — Dedicated to the day that changed everything, the walls of this room are covered with pictures of Our Leader standing next to firefighters. A mock-up of the Air Force One bedroom in which Our Leader spent the first few days following the attack is prominently displayed in the center of the room. Visitors may take turns hiding underneath the bed’s covers.

Patriot Act Room — Upon entering, the contents of all purses, pockets, and wallets are examined and photographed and all data from cell phones and PDAs are downloaded to FBI computers.

Transportation Room — Swarthy visitors and anyone who uses the word “ports” are immediately handcuffed and taken to Syria for questioning. The remaining visitors will be subject to random, and perhaps, repeated, body cavity searches.

War on Terror Room — Visitors are faced with a life sized figure of Osama bin Laden as they enter the room. After walking three feet into the room, they step on a pressure sensitive pad which triggers a huge hand that comes out of the wall to push them into the Hall of Reasons.

Hall of Reasons for Invading Iraq — The first thing the visitor notices is a large photo of Saddam Hussein at the end of the hall. He appears to be piloting one of the jets that flew into the World Trade Center.

As the visitor travels down the hall, animatronic officials pop out of the walls to declare a reason for going to war with Iraq. Condi Rice warns of mushroom clouds. Donald Rumsfeld pinpoints the locations of chemical weapons. Our Leader cries, “They tried to kill my daddy.” And Colin Powell tells the visitor that we invaded in an effort to install democracy albeit in a form that is hard to recognize it as such.

Intelligence Room — Visitors are seated before an animatronic Ahmad Chalabi. They are expected to believe anything he says. At the end of the presentation, each visitor is given a list of CIA agents who are perceived to be unenthusiastic in their support for our leader. They are then instructed to complain about them in letters to the editor of their local newspapers.

Victory in Iraq Room — The visitors view a short film about our glorious victory in Iraq. After which, they are beaten for five minutes by actors playing the part of Iraqi citizens.

Rebuilding Iraq Room — Each visitor is required to give a Haliburton fifty dollars. They receive a pack of Lucky Strikes from a WWII era “C ration” in return.

WsMD Room — We all know there is a WsMD Room. Visitors are encouraged to look as long as possible to find it.

That completes this virual tour of the first floor. Check in later to continue onto the second floor where you'll re-experience the thrills of Our Leader's second term.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nativity in Olive Drab

Long-time readers have heard the story about the birth of my step-son, Jesus H. Christian, but it's been a long time since I last told it, and I thought it would be nice to turn its telling into a Jesus' General Christmas Season tradition.

It was a little over nine and a half years ago when my wife, OfJoshua, first told me she was pregnant. It came as a big surprise to me. After all, I hadn't been able to perform my husbandly duties for over a year, ever since I first heard that Klinton liked to put his little soldier into ladies' mouths. The very thought that someone would perform such a perverted, un-Republican act, killed the whole concept of sex for me, causing my little soldier to refuse my command to stand at attention except during inopportune times like during wresting matches and gladiator movies. I think that's why the story was leaked in the first place. He wanted god-fearing men to stop procreating naturally.

There could be only one explanation for OfJoshua's pregnancy: immaculate conception. It was a miracle. OfJoshua was chosen by God to be the vessel for our Lord Jesus' second coming.

We were ecstatic. I immediately reached for my CB radio so that I could begin witnessing Our Savior's imminent return. But before I uttered my second "breaker" into the microphone, the Holy Ghost intervened, filling my thoughts with visions of Klinton dressed in the robes and crown of Herrod. The Spirit was telling me that I had to guard the secret of the Second Coming to prevent Klinton from murdering our baby like he murdered Vince Foster and the entire population of Mena, Arkansas.

I asked Of Joshua if she had confided in anyone else knew. She said she'd only told Mr. Garcia, our sad neighbor man. That made sense. He's been distraught since his divorce, so she visits him after dinner every night to cheer him up with scripture readings and old Lou Rawls albums. The news of her pregnancy probably filled him with joy.

So we kept it all very quiet until she gave birth in the early morning hours of December 25, 1997. Unfortunately, it was the year we added Spartan-style wrestling and Sheila the Militia Morale Sheep to our annual Militia Christmas Eve Party and the festivities went a little long, so I missed it. Cletis and Private Jethro gave me a ride home that night. I had my pickup, but I asked them for a ride because I wanted to make sure they understood that what happens at the annual Militia Christmas Eve Party stays at the annual Militia Christmas Eve Party. Obviously, my lecture didn't take. Cletis is still running his mouth off about it. Don't believe a word he tells you. He's a damned liar, and besides, I was drunk.

On our way home, we noticed a bunch of bright lights over at the feed lot and decided to investigate. It turned out to be the headlights of Mr. Garcia's Buick and an old pickup loaded with Basque sheepherders. Both vehicles were parked in a way that illuminated one of the lot's feed troughs.

We approached cautiously, our nerves on edge due to the possibility that Mr. Garcia might be involved in some kind of mutton rustling scheme. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. It wasn't rustlers; it was only Mr. Garcia, my wife, and a new born baby, my baby. Apparently, OfJoshua went into labor on her way home from the movies (movies always cheer up Mr. Garcia).

There was something wrong though. I couldn't quite figure out what it was until Cletis screamed, "Oh my God, General, your baby is a Mexican." It was true, the baby was as brown as chocolate. "That's a disguise," OfJoshua giggled, "so Klinton won't find him." "Of course," I thought, "God, made him brown to protect him."

"It's a boy," Mr. Garcia said proudly, "we will name him Jesus, after me." "That's perfect," I replied. "It gives us plausible deniability. We can call him by his real name and tell everyone it's just a tribute to you." That made OfJoshua and Mr. Garcia so happy they fell down into the manure, laughing.

A week from today, little Jesus will be 9 years old. He's still brown--a bad sign for those of us who worry that Hitlery will be successful in '08--but he's a darn good kid. We haven't seen any miracles yet. I made him try to turn the Kool-Aid into Coors at the Johnson wedding, but nothing happened. We're getting him the Left Behind video game for his birthday, hoping it'll remind him how to destroy whole nations of unbelievers. I'll let you know when he figures it out.

Tom DeLay teaches me a lesson in manners.

I've been remiss in welcoming Jon Swift to the patriotsphere. Thank God, Tom DeLay has better manners than I do.

A helmet tip to the Left End of the Dial.

Elsewhere: Tom DeLay rocks!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Welcoming the Ugly Americans Abroad: Why Don’t Americans Understand Why They are Resented in Other Nations?

Welcoming the Ugly Americans Abroad: Why Don’t Americans Understand Why They are Resented in Other Nations?
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: National Archives
Click for full-sized Image

Americans were told by the Bush administration that they would be welcomed as liberators by the Iraqis. To some extent that may have been true, at least initially, but as time has passed fewer and fewer people in Iraq have such a positive image of Americans generally or the American military in particular. This is not surprising; in fact, it probably should have been recognized early on. This pattern has been repeated often enough that people should expect it by now.

A principal problem is the attitude of Americans, but I don’t mean an attitude of arrogance, racism, superiority, or that sort of thing (though it can often play an important role). The principal issue is probably much more tragic: Americans tend to operate from a naive premise of ethical purity, assuming that since their intentions are always good, they will always be welcomed.

This leads to shock when Americans or American actions are resented or opposed in any fashion, and consequently produces significant arrogance towards those they wanted to help: they are ungrateful, unworthy of help, and perhaps unworthy of the gifts of democracy and liberty which we want to bestow upon them. The problem can’t be us, after all, since we are good and what we bring is good. If there is resistance, then there must be something wrong with the recipients.


What we have here is an inability to appreciate or understand the perspectives of others — people living in different cultures and different circumstances that create views of the world which are very different from ours. It can’t be assumed that everyone in the world has an American inside just waiting to come out if given the chance. It can’t be assumed that the American perspective or way of doing things is the “default” way, against which everything else is a pale imitation at best if not an outright error.

This relates back, I think, to some of the things I wrote last week regarding the use of force, military or otherwise, for altruistic reasons. If Americans assume that the military should be used for altruistic rather than selfish reasons, then there will be a tendency to cover up selfish reasons for an action and manufacture altruistic ones. I don’t just mean people acting cynically and lying; people will do this subconsciously in an effort to believe that their actions conform to their ideals. They will sincerely believe that they are acting altruistically, even when allegedly altruistic reasons play little role in what’s happening.

This, in turn, will lead to the resentment above when those being “helped” resist and refuse to accept our gift (perhaps because they recognize that we aren’t really being all that altruistic in the first place). Maybe if we are a bit more honest about the appropriateness of using military force in selfish situations, and thus are more aware of the selfishness of our motives in some cases, then we won’t be shocked when others resist and oppose what we’re doing. This may even cause us to step back and reconsider our actions; but at the very least we won’t try to claim that those who disagree are being ungrateful.