29 June 2008
Homosexuality is a mental disease; this is not "my opinion," but rather psychological fact. If society is to allow same-sex marriage, it might just as well indulge those afflicted by a different aberration, bestiality, and allow matrimony between people and animals; or likewise regard fetishism, and thus permit a person to wed an inanimate object.
20 June 2008
17 June 2008
In contrast to the opinions of many generally astute commentators, I don't think it's much to this country's credit that a major party has made a (partly) Black man its presumptive nominee for the presidency. It would be less to our discredit if that party had nominated someone, of any race, other than Barack Obama, whom the non-partisan National Journal magazine named as having the farthest-Left voting record of any senator, who associates with false prophets and other radicals, and who owes his recent success to just two factors: 1) the very fact that he does belong to an ethnic minority, and 2) the fact of his almost total anonymity outside Illinois prior to late 2007. The first factor has already received comment from others, such as Missouri Congressman Clay (a Black Democrat), and so I'll reserve my remarks for the second one.
Some editorialists have observed that Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to nominate surprise candidates; indeed, according to John Yoo in an opinion column called The Democrats’ Super Disaster, the concept of the "superdelegate" originated in the Democrats' desire to avoid repeats of just this sort of nomination, the sort that occurred in 1972 (McGovern) and 1976 (Carter). These editorialists, however, in attempting to explain the sudden prominence of B.O. despite his lack of distinction, always attribute it to either his supposed eloquence or a knack for political success. His public-speaking ability is adequate for a public-office seeker, but he doesn't qualify as any great orator. As for the depiction of him as an electoral juggernaut, it must be considered that, like Clinton in 1992, he won office in 2004 largely by default, for the campaigns of the Democratic front-runner and the Republican nominee both were sunk by personal scandals; in fact, when he had previously sought a seat in the US Senate he had lost the Democratic nomination (to a former Black Panther!), and even his initial election to the State Senate was effected by the disqualification of all his rivals.
Democratic politicians of the past several decades have, as a rule, had pronounced flaws, more of which become evident as time passes; logically, therefore, one who became a public figure recently will be viewed less negatively than one who has been well-known long enough for his poor judgement and low ethical standards to acquire infamy. I therefore posit that Obama, like the previous dark horses from his party, has benefitted from his hitherto obscurity. It may be only hypothesis, but until someone puts forth a better explanation, I'll go with this one.
Since "Ted" is a dimin. of a name such as Theodore, why does Sen. Edward Kennedy go by it?
I once worked in a library; during my breaks I would peruse any periodicals that had caught my attention, even if they were left-wing rags—I mean, mags—like Mother Jones. It was actually instructive to read these (although I don't recommend this practice to either the naïve or the faint of heart), not, of course, because the content had any value of its own, but because the leftists who wrote it expected no one but other leftists to read it; under such circumstances, they vent their contempt for the common people in whose interests they otherwise pretend to act.
12 June 2008
If the Universe really began with an explosion, doesn't this event deserve a more dignified name than "the Big Bang?" Why don't we just revert to calling the beginning of the cosmos "the Creation?"
09 June 2008
Be wary of someone who levels the accusation of "not being a team player" at someone else. The criticism might be justified; on the other hand, it might be a way for him to coerce others into doing his will, without acknowledging his despotic nature to either them or himself.
In the USA nowadays, it's almost inevitable that anyone who deviates from the "politically correct" heterodoxy will be likened to Hitler or to Nazis in general. I wonder whether most of the leftists who practice this slander as a matter of routine know that "Nazi" is an abbreviation for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (also known by the acronym NSDAP, as on those banners seen in pictures of rallies in Nuremberg), and that the full name translates as National Socialist German Workers' Party; does that sound rightist to you? The National Socialists favored state control of industry, and had such hostility toward Christianity that they abolished Christmas, substituting for it a pagan festival of the winter solstice. (I'm glad that no one here in the USA would try to replace the Feast of the Nativity with a generic holiday.) Although this has been forgotten, the fact that the Third Reich flourished fiscally while most other countries suffered through the Great Depression impressed other Western countries, which, after World War II, imitated much of the regime's anti-capitalist policy. The popular image of the Führer as the consummate right-wing extremist has resulted largely from honest misconception, since, after all, when people think of him, they don't think of economics; they think about the bloodshed caused by his racial pseudo-science and by his war of aggression. This image, however, is to a degree also the product of intentional distortion by left-wingers who want the public to believe (or who have convinced themselves) that all those who don't think as they do are "racist," "sexist," "homophobic," etc. (Hitler, by the way, at least once defended the homosexuality of his future murder victim Ernst Röhm, in what would now be considered enlightened language). How ironic that it is the views of these name-callers, not those of their opponents, that bear the more similarity to those of Hitler!
03 June 2008
"Liberal," for many here in the USA, has become a contemptuous term. I, however, no longer use it to refer to the likes of Harry Reid or Hillary [sic] Clinton, not because they don't deserve the pejorative connotation, but because they don't deserve the positive, obsolescent one. Only a few decades ago, calling someone "liberal" meant that you considered him generous and tolerant; can either of these qualities justly be ascribed to most Democrats in the USA? Generous they are, but not with their own money. What they call "tolerance," especially as regards religion, is actually indifference toward issues of right vs. wrong; the intolerance with which they treat anyone who disagrees with them equals or surpasses that, real or otherwise, which made them indignant in the first place.
There was also a time in the history of Western Civilization when the noun "liberal," if the first letter were capitalized, applied to someone who belonged to a political movement or party of the same name. The United Kingdom's Liberal Party, of which William Ewart Gladstone and other worthies were members, had significant accomplishments to its credit, and so it's not surprising that many moderns would want to evoke its memory. The misnamed liberals, however, have little to do with the Liberals, who favored free trade and a laissez-faire approach to regulation of capitalism, and who made no attempts to revolutionize the social order by endorsing crackpot causes. The Labour Party formed in order to represent the interests of the working class, as had the Liberal Party for the middle class and the Tories for the aristocracy. Indeed, it was the first gaining of a parliamentary plurality by Labour, in the 1920's, that brought about the demise of the Liberal Party; the more conservative of Liberals, such as Winston Churchill, joined the Conservatives, while those of a more left-wing bent became Labourites. As for the USA, Republicans, especially modern "conservatives," generally are the true heirs of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Liberalism, as Democrats have been, from the latter 1960's onward, heirs of the left-wing movements of days gone by. (There are, of course, shades of opinion within all ideologies, and exceptions to the rules.)
Hence, the fact that I refer to leftists not as liberals but as—you'll never guess how I came up with this—leftists. The true Right, as distinguished from racism and other beliefs typically but wrongly classed as characteristically right-wing, survives in some forms and in some places, for instance, factions of the Carlists in Spain. So far as I know, it does not in the USA, except for myself and probably others who don't know that they qualify, but that will have to be the subject of another uncommon commentary.
02 June 2008
As the time for presidential primaries in the USA approaches its end, I should say something about why I don't like them. The problem is that it so prolongs the duration of election season; not only can this become wearisome to the voter as well as the candidate, it's also incredibly expensive to campaign in 50 States (or "57," in Obama's case) just to win the nomination of one's party, whereupon one has to start over. This situation obviously is not conducive to reducing the influence of money upon politics.
Why is it that when the Kuwait War (which is my name for the 1991 conflict between Iraq and coalition forces) broke out, people instantly dubbed it the "Persian Gulf War" or simply the "Gulf War," although they had used the same designation for the struggle between Iran and Iraq, which had ended not three full years earlier? Perhaps the most interesting feature of "the War" in Iraq (see my latest uncommon commentary) is that we've deviated from our odd custom, not calling it the "Gulf War" or "Persian Gulf War III" as one would expect.