Friday, July 17, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Do not forsake me"

The more appropriate movie should be Blazing Saddles.
This is the revenge of the Enarchs and Old Europe on the Bush/Rumsfeld alliance with New Europe.

(upon the appearance of an abusive agitprop Kremlin apologist)
A few threads back I speculated on when we would see the return of the chorus from the Lubyanka we had last year. Now as July is sliding down towards August it is beginning again. Remember it folks, the first shot of the Caucasus War of 2009 was fired in The Belmont Club.

Walter Cronkite passes. Thread worthy I would think. Early harbinger of the power of the press to lose a war with uncounted costs in lives and treasure lost.

(who personally forgave Walter Cronkite for causing our defeat in Vietnam)
The thing about forgiveness is that it is personal. I can forgive the harm you have done to me but do I have the right to forgive the harm you did to another? On Yom Kippur Jews recite the Kol Nidre reminding God that the promises made to God are forgiven by him. The caveat is always noted that God does not forgive the injury done to a human being. That is the great moral triumph of Judaism that both Christianity and Islam fail to equal. They both make God a partner in a corrupting show in which people run to him for absolvance rather than clear the debts they owe to each other. This is like a child that runs to tell their father that they feel terrible that something happened to their sister, suspecting that doing so will get them off the hook for hitting her.

So while you can forgive Mr Cronkite for the injury he might have done to you and can even advocate others forgiving him as members of the community you cannot absolve him of all responsibility for the sufferings of millions brought on by America's defeat and retreat, including by extension the blighted lives, wasted treasure and empowered tyrants brought on by the rise of Obama. Actions have consequences and the final determination of payment for harm done but not acknowledged in this world is left to a judgment after we are departed.

That said I do not believe that Mr Cronkite was a bad man. He was a good man who meant well and erred. The impact of his actions may well have surprised even himself. It was not all of his life but it was an important part of it. It should be viewed as neither more nor less than that.

High Noon, the title sequence with the original soundtrack, by that old cowboy Dmitri Tiomkin and Lyrics by Ned Washington. Sung by Tex Ritter, whose son John set his own standard for popular entertainment. Youtube has disabled embedding for the movie.

Every frame in High Noon is a perfect photograph. John Wayne hated the movie. Eisenhower and Reagan and Clinton liked it.
For the alternative see 2:37 Son you're on your own.

buddy larsen,
Rio Bravo was Wayne's answer to High Noon. A good movie actually but Wayne was wrong or rather let himself get played like a bull following the cape. The real issue was HUAC and the McCarthy era. Milos Foreman was blacklisted, The socialist ideals in the film seem pretty abstract to me. Perhaps in a Socialist paradise the community would not need a Lawman but would all stand together, like in The Magnificent Seven. Perhaps Wayne just objected to the portrayal of pioneering Americans as cowardly. In that sense it was an extension of film noir dysutopianism to the golden age of mythic America.

Old Salt,
(who wants to withdraw completely from Iraq/Afghanistan now)
The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.
- Otto von Bismarck

In this case however I disagree. The woulda, coulda, shouldas of the Iraq wars will keep graduate students happy for many years. Were Bush 41 and Colin Powell to damn clever by half in leaving Saddam in Baghdad after the 1991 Gulf War? Yes but that does us as much good as blaming the whole mess on Jimmy Carter. Going home is not the answer. Doing so and more important advocating doing so concedes the debate to Obama and Company. The Left are always going to be as disruptive and obnoxious as possible in the hope that other voices withdraw from the debate. They are like the derelict on the subway who surrounds himself with bad smells and offensive mumbles to drive away other people. Throwing up our hands over Iraq makes as much sense as throwing up our hands over vote fraud at home. We are still stuck with Minnesota even if Incitatus Franken is soiling the United States Senate.

The catalog of ways in which our enemies both foreign and domestic have fought to disrupt our efforts and deny the US victory is long. Remember the French working to deny the 4th Infantry Division access to Turkey for the initial invasion? Our meek acceptance of Chirac's betrayal empowered our enemies. After the four Americans were lynched in Fallujah I advocated a carthaginian response for that city. The champions of war by lawyering crafted a more nuanced response which worked when backed by massive American ingenuity and support but which is likely to erode as we withdraw. Similarly our failure to eliminate Muqtada al Sadr when we had the unquestioned authority to do so emboldened the ankle biters. If we had siezed the opportunity in 2003 to drive the price of oil down to $15/barrel we could have broken OPEC. That would have bankrupted both the Saudi/Iranian terror machines and Russia. It also would have strengthened our hand with China. All those hesitations and errors were a result of obstruction from the Left.

The fact is that we must play the hand we are dealt and not kick over the table or go home. Teddy Roosevelt was right. We must stay in the arena.

(who defend the Christian position on contrition)
You are of course correct in regard to the theology but unfortunately a religion is not merely a theological abstract but it is also a mechanism for molding human behavior. Setting aside the problem in Islam, where the use of the highly unsuitable example of Muhammad as the "perfect man" results in conduct at wide variance with any higher moral ideals, let us consider Christianity. The restatement of the moral code of Judaism is as you note clear and the use of the morally blameless Jesus as an example to emulate is certainly superior to that in Islam. The problem is that the mechanism of the Church is staffed by people who are fallible. The inevitable confusion over the role of works, as mediated by the institution of the Church, in conferring absolution from sin is what results in so many persisting in the belief that a show of contrition is sufficient. Your position that a true redress of error is still called for is admirable but unfortunately people will naturally tend to view absolution and grace as commodities. That is what caused the indulgences scandals of the Middle Ages and Luther's break with Rome.

bogie wheel,
(who commented on communitarianism versus individualism and High Noon)
Well done. Personally I have no problem with communities coming together to solve problems and protect themselves. That seems more Conservative and civilized then relying on a Leader to do it for you. The problem with Socialists is that they conflate the family, the community and all of humanity into one amorphous mass. A family is a socialist unit. Everybody has to pitch in because things need to get done and everybody gets helped regardless of whether they picked up their socks. A community, probably up to the size of Aristotle's ideal polis of 5,000 voting citizens or a total population of 50,000 to 250,000, can impose many obligations on its' members. The reality of the competitive market will constrain the temptation to drain the public wealth. Federalism seeks to preserve the legitimacy of local authority while constructing a shared power in which all have a stake in promoting common trade and security. When dealing with the bulk of humanity it is best to be guided by biblical injunctions regarding the just treatment of strangers but not to presume that you share common goals or the quality of Comity that is essential to accepting the authority of laws enacted by a common Sovereign.

Foreman was a better Artist then he was a Communist.

bogie wheel and Mongoose,
Thank you for your thoughtful replies. I quibble only to polish the product. Humans can alter the terms of their associations. We can adapt, adopt, emigrate, intermarry and otherwise change the terms of the basic family and community units that we identify with. Doing so can bring vitality to our democratic culture and a strong democratic culture can make the tools of flexibility more resilient. That does not mean that the reductio ad absurdum of open borders and random illegitimacy are to be celebrated or can be endured. There are optimums for everything.

RCM, who said,
Quite frankly, it appears to me that no religion is served well by many of those who profess it and I am left wondering how Judaism, equally hindered by man’s obstinacy, does it better?
Thank you. My guess is that Judaism is protected by its' modesty. The supremacist urges and Messianic visions in the original pre-Mosaic community were burned off thousands of years ago. Jews, like Shintoists, do not profess to proselytize but only to bear witness as examples of rectitude. It is unusual for a Jew to claim that theological values justify imposing one's will in a secular setting.

In this it differs from Islam where individual members claim that the example of the Prophet and the text of Koran justify imposing their will to compel the submission of others. Of course in Islam there are no secular settings, all of society is either part of the Ummah or subject to compulsion.

That does not deny that many Jews justify their liberal political activity as an expression of religious values. It is my belief that they are generally in denial as to the coercive nature of the secular authority that such political activity calls on.

The other factor that has protected Judaism from substituting a focus on social manipulation for the infinitely harder one of focusing on individual responsibility is the loss of the Temple and the associated Priestly infrastructure. The rise of Rabbinic Judaism has undoubtedly made for a more adoptable and survivable faith and a community that has been spared from the temptations to engage in wasteful internal disputes in the name of conformity or external quests for power. If the Temple had remained Judaism might have ended up like Shia Islam or Eastern Orthodox Christianity. She is well freed of the limitations and corruptions that any such human institutions are prey to.

Old Salt,
There is no doubt that the rot is deep but I would not despair. There are three things I want you to consider. With me it almost always three things, it's the training.

First while it is probable that a majority of Americans voted for Obama it is not certain given the prevalence of vote fraud. Remember Ohio where multiple students from out of town voted and left the country. Remember Indiana where more votes were counted then people registered. Remember the suppression of the military vote everywhere, especially in Minnesota.

Second it is certain that a sizable number of the people who voted for Obama really did not know what they were getting. That may be incredible to those of us who follow these issues over time and it does not speak well for the quality of the voters who allow themselves to be bamboozled by the media. It is better then saying that a majority actually believes in and wants an impoverished weakened America in a world ruled by Dictators.

Finally the election of Obama was not achieved by the swelling of his support among the young or the Democrats. He was elected because large numbers of Republicans and Conservatives stayed home. The left worked hard to divide the right and suppress the vote and they succeeded. The blogs were full of screeds usually initiated by Moby agents but then repeated by Republicans who should have known better, that McCain was just a RINO and that they would go fishing on election day or would write in Ron Paul.

The "objective effect" to use a term from the left of your counsel to write of America and retreat into survivalist mode would be to multiply the future victories of the totalitarians. So keep doing the hard work, visit High School kids and old folks and political meetings and keep spreading a good message about America. Keep swinging and get out there, get to work.

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