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Monday, April 28, 2014

Genderflecting to Hillary

       I introduced a piece of terminology last year that now applies to Hillary Clinton.  I said that people genderflected to Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she happens to be a grandmother.  Now, the guy who married into the Clinton family (not because he was a social climber, but because he fell in love with a woman who looks like Bill Clinton) seems to have impregnated Chelsea.  Now, all of the people who use the maternity of a daughter as proof of their own matronliness encourage us to genderflect to Hellery Clinton.  Never mind the fact that Hellery was co-President to the man who, prior to Oh Blah Blah, was the most pro-abortion president in American history.  Never mind that she got Ambassador Chris Stephens killed by gun-running to Syria.  We are all to admire Hellery Clinton as an exemplary human being despite all this.  Sure, she was not the kind of woman to "stay home and bake cookies," and she wasn't the type of woman who would "stand by her man" a la Tammy Wynette.  All must genderflect to the angry harridan from Rose Law Firm.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

On Court Whigs

       The following are from Nos. 20 &21 of Cato's Letters .

       Liberty, being deserted by her old friends, fell of course into the hands of her enemies;  and so liberty was turned upon liberty:  By these means the discontents went on.  They had now got new tools to work with, just forged, arose and appeared upon the publick stage, who had never seen or felt the misfortunes which their fathers groaned under, nor believed more of them than what they had learned from their tutors:  So that all things seemed prepared for a new revolution;  when we were surprized by a voice from heaven, which promised us another deliverance.

The selection from #21 is spoken in the persona of John Ketch, royal hangman of note.

       I know that knaves of state require a great deal of form and ceremony before they are committed to my care;  so that I am not much surprized, that I have not yet laid my hands upon certain exalted criminals.  I hope, however, that, when they come, a good number will come at once.  But there is a parcel of notorious and sorry sinners, called brokers:  Fellows of so little consequence, that few of them have reputation enough to stand candidates for my place, were the same vacant (which God forbid!), and yet rogues so swollen with guilt, that poor Derwentwater and Kenmure (my two last customers) were babes and petty larceners to them.  Now these are the hang-rogues with whom I would be keeping my hand in use.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade), Part Sixteen

       "As the evidence became overwhelming, Ambassador Morgenthau--in his quintessentially direct way--repeatedly confronted Talaat Pasha about his government's treatment of the Armenians.  'Why are you so interested in the Armenians?'  Talaat angrily asked Morgenthau.  'You are a Jew;  these people are Christians. . . .Why can't you let us do with these Christians as we please?'  Indignant, Morgenthau answered,
                    'You don't seem to realize that I am not here as a Jew
                     but as American Ambassador.  My country contains
                      something more than 97,000,000 Christians and
                      something less than 3,000,000 Jews.  So, at least
                      in my ambassadorial capacity, I am 97 per cent
                       Christian.  But after all, that is not the point.  I
                       do not appeal to you in the name of any race or any
                       religion, but merely as a human being. . . .The way
                       you are treating the Armenians . . . .puts you in the
                       class of backward, reactionary peoples.'
       'We treat the Americans all right,' Talaat answered.  'I don't see why you should complain.'
       'But Americans are outraged by your persecution of the Armenians.'
       'It is no use for you to argue,' Talaat answered on another occasion;  'we have already disposed of three quarters of the Armenians;  there are none at all left in Bitlis, Van, and Erzerum.  The hatred between the Turks and the Armenians is now so intense that we have got to finish with them.  If we don't, they will plan their revenge.'  Morgenthau then tried to persuade Talaat by reminding him of the economic consequences of wiping out the Armenian population.  'These people are your business men.  They control many of your industries.  They are very large tax-payers.' 
       'We care nothing about the commercial loss,' replied Talaat.  'We have figured all that out and we know that it will not exceed five million pounds.'
       'You are making a terrible mistake,' Morgenthau answered, and repeated the statement three times.
        'Yes, we may make mistakes,' he replied, 'but'--and he firmly closed his lips and shook his head--'we never regret.'  Not long after, Talaat boasted to the ambassador, 'I have accomplished more toward solving the Armenian problem in three months than Abdul Hamid accomplished in thirty years!'"  The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian, pgs. 274-275.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

At Enmity with Truth

       The following is from Cato's Letters #15.

     "Freedom of speech is the great bulwark of liberty;  they prosper and die together:  And it is the terror of traitors and oppressors, and a barrier against them.  It produces excellent writers, and encourages men of fine genius.  Tacitus tells us, that the Roman commonwealth bred great and numerous authors, who writ with equal boldness and eloquence:  But when it was enslaved, those great wits were no more.  Postquam bellatum apud Actium;  atque omnem potestatem ad unum conferri pacis interfuit, magna illa ingenia cessere. Tyranny had usurped the place of equality, which is the soul of liberty, and destroyed publick courage.  The minds of men, terrified by unjust power, degenerated into all the vileness and methods of servitude:  Abject sycophancy and blind submission grew the only means of preferment, and indeed of safety;  men durst not open their mouths, but to flatter.
       Pliny the Younger observes, that this dread of tyranny had such effect, that the Senate, the great Roman Senate, became at last stupid and dumb:  Mutam ac sedentariam assentiendi necessitatem.  Hence, says he, our spirit and genius are stupified, broken, and sunk for ever.  And in one of his epistles, speaking of the works of his uncle, he makes an apology for eight of them, as not written with the same vigour which was to be found in the rest;  for that these eight were written in the reign of Nero, when the spirit of writing was cramped by fear;  Dubii sermonis octo scripset sub Nerone--cum omne studiorum genus paulo liberius & erectius periculosum servitus fecisset.
       All ministers, therefore, who were oppressors, or intended to be oppressors, have been loud in their complaints against freedom of speech, and the licence of the press;  and always restrained, or endeavoured to restrain, both.  In consequence of this, they have brow-beaten writers, punished them violently, and against law, and burnt their works.  By all which they shewed how much truth alarmed them, and how much they were at enmity with truth."