Bastille Day - Laramie Hirsch first posted this on his own site, but has agreed to post here at MOTW, as well. This week’s Bastille Day in Paris featured a man flying...
9 hours ago
The benefits of drinking green tea and eating raw fish are extolled in a new study showing that Japanese women live longer than any others. Their ultra-healthy diet — no bread, no dairy — means that they live to an average of 86.4 years, considerably older than British women at 82.7 years and even the famously healthy Italians at 84.4. The Office for National Statistics said however that there was no reason why British women should not catch up with their Asian counterparts if they adopted a similar lifestyle......
What both cases illustrate, with their fuzzy rhetoric masking ideological pressure, is a serious moral defect at the heart of elite culture in America.Vox commented: Dogmatic and dishonest
I think the interesting question to ask here is not why these organizations are behaving in this morally defective fashion, but rather, why now?Today, Vox posts a message from Anonymous Conservative:
Something difficult to pin down is activating amygdalae. It's telling everyone's brain that bad is coming, and everyone is trying to assuage those amygdalae, to turn off all the uncomfortable warning alarms they are producing in their brains. Conservatives buy up guns and canned goods to ease the stress level and lower the warning level by preparing. Liberals, deep down know the collapse is the end for them, so the only way to assuage their amygdalae is to retreat even deeper into the bubbles of denial that are producing our problems the begin with. Part of that denial is sending anyone who doesn't tell them the future is happy far, far away, so they won't have to think about it.Perhaps it is...the horror.
“What is to be done?” is not a neutral question. The agent it invokes already strains towards progress. This suffices to suggest a horrorist response: Nothing. Do nothing. Your progressive ‘praxis’ will come to nought in any case. Despair. Subside into horror. You can pretend to prevail in antagonism against ‘us’, but reality is your true — and fatal — enemy. We have no interest in shouting at you. We whisper, gently, in your ear: “despair”.
The Fidesz party is estimated to have won 133 out of 199 mandates in parliament, the election office said after 96 percent of the votes were counted. The leftist alliance is forecasted to win 38 seats, while Jobbik is expected to win 23 seats.Hungarian politics is now the complete opposite of most Western nations. Where the center parties rule as the far-left party pulls the center towards the left in most of Europe and North America, the decidedly conservative Fidesz rules as Jobbik pulls the nation further right.
Orban has trumpeted a more than 20-per cent cut in utility prices but value-added tax (VAT) is the highest in the EU. Poverty rates are high and a harsh “workfare” scheme forces the unemployed to perform menial work in return for benefits.The left is paying for their attacks on Fidesz. They lumped them together with Jobbik and tried to destroy them both in the Western leftist controlled media. Now Jobbik is surging in popularity and even the left has to admit Fidesz is not Jobbik.
As for the anonymous replier, while his analysis of the situation might be sound (if a woman is intent upon valuing herself only in terms of her physical perfection, she'd better realize her assets are under constant assault by time, a battle she's slated to eventually lose), his terming what the putative gold digger is doing as "classic pump and dump" doesn't quite fit the mark. A "pump and dump" is a stock scheme whereby worthless goods are pushed by fast-talking boiler room operators upon unenlightened buyers, resulting in these purchases unnaturally inflating the share price far beyond its intrinsic value. The scam's operators then sell off their own holdings of these securities once the market hits its high, leaving those they've duped to endure financial ruin as the share price comes crashing down. If the gal's physical assets are as she represents them ("spectacularly beautiful"), then there is no "pump" to the scheme — although what she's trading in will eventually decline in value, it is as represented today.
"He who is unaware of his ignorance," writes Richard Whately, "will only be misled by his knowledge." And that is the trouble with the liberal, the socialist, the Communist, and a dozen other species of political cranks who have achieved respectability in our time: they disregard so much of what is constant and latent in life. They fail to notice; they fail to appreciate....
Most of the world is a mystery. Consciousness is a little clearing in a vast forest; every individual has his own special relation to the area of mystery, his own little discoveries to impart. Discovery is by definition unpredictable, and it is absurd for the state to foreclose the process of learning. There are moods when we are too exhausted to imagine that there is still more to be learned; an ideology is a system of ideas that wants to end the explorations we are constantly making at the margin of consciousness, and to declare all the mysteries solved. This is like the congressman who introduced a bill a century ago to close the U.S. Patent Office, on the ground that every possible invention had already been invented.
Only a madman, one might think, would dare to speak of changing the entire milieu -- "building a new society" -- or even to speak as if such a thing were possible. And yet this is the current political idiom. It is seriously out of touch with a set of traditions whose good effects it takes too much for granted; it fails to appreciate them, as it fails to appreciate the human situation.
A political and legal system has to be based on the moral habits of its citizens, if it is concerned with anything more than power. To say that "that government is best which governs least" is not to yearn for anarchy: it is to say that those laws are best that don't require a huge apparatus of surveillance and enforcement. The foolishness of Prohibition was that it pitted the law against deep-rooted ways of life. Socialism makes the same mistake on an even larger scale. As Burke puts it, "I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to that pitch of presumption, to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases."
The conservative isn't embarrassed by the particularity of his traditions; he loves it. He neither shares nor understands the liberal's passion for taking positive measures to cut the present off from the past, as by erasing traces of christianity in the law. It is Christianity, after all, that has formed our ideas of law. To accept this fact is no more to "establish religion" than writing the laws in English is to "discriminate against" people who don't speak English. Christianity is the basis of our moral idiom. Anyone who doubts this should try to imagine imposing the U.S. Constitution on a Moslem or Hindu country. Roosting Christianity out of our political tradition is like rooting words derived from Latin out of our dictionaries. It remains embedded even when it isn't noticed. There is no real point in trying to take it out or, for that matter, to put more of it in....
The liberal has no specific objection to totalitarianism for the simple reason that he is already operating on totalitarian premises. He may be less headlong and bloddthirsty than the Communist, buth he has as little regard for the past as little sense that there may be anything in the tradition he inherits that deserves the effort of appreciation or surpasses his understanding. He judges everything in terms of a few ready-made political categories, which are expressed in a monotonous cant of "equality," "discrimination," "freedom of expression," and the like. He never thinks of these as possibly inadequate to his situation, because he never thinks of himself as working in partnership with the past, let alone as the junior partner in the relationship. Patience and humility aren't the marks of the malcontent. He is too busy making war on poverty to think of making his peace with prosperity: if the real economy doesn't spread wealth as quickly and evenly as he would like, he blames it and tries to remake it, taking no responsibility, however, for the adverse results of his efforts.
The chief objection to liberal moralism, in fact, is that it is immoral. This is equally true of all ideologies that dispense with realities they can't include in their visions. The economy, they think, has failed; the family has failed; the church has failed; the whole world has failed. But their visions have never faileD, no matter what their cost in waste of human lives and possibilities. The dream itself is sovereign; to reject it is to be guilty of refusing to aspire; to embrace it is to lay claim to a moral blank check. As Burke said of the French revolutionaries: "In the manifest faulure of their abilities, they take credit for their intentions."...
On this view, the existing rules of society have been made by the strong, for the strong, and are inherently "exploitative" of the weak. If follows that if the weak are to be protected, it must be not by maintaining the rules but by making exceptions to them. The fluidity of "the weak" muddles the situation, but this has not stopped liberalism from making zigzagging demands of the law. In 1964, for example, it sought, and got, a federal "civil-rights" law that seemed to have the neutral character of real law, and was understood to mandate "color-blind" behavior; then it turned around and demanded that the law be applied in color-conscious ways, implying that the very color-blind application it had formerly promised would be, in essence, "discriminatory." So this law, which was impartial in form, was turned into a device for racial privilege, and citizens who had supported the law because it offered to protect the weak were now told that if it were applied the way they had been assured it would be applied, it would favor the strong!