Saturday, June 08, 2002

Andrew Sullivan spent much of his space last week doing something unusual for him: writing with some degree of contempt towards Americans. And why? Because we're not avid Soccer fans (opps, "Football" fans).

And here I thought one of the things Andrew agreed with the Left on was "diversity", including "diversity of cultures", only I didn't think that he would emulate them and exempt ours from that. It is the "diversity left" which often wishes America was less American, less Western, less unique, and more like everyplace else. Only I didn't think he, of all people, would share this aspect of the "diversity-homogenization" Multicult.

Well, lets just hope this year's World Cup Championship is again decided by a telling Penalty Kick Shootout. That'll certainly get the attention of American sports fans. Just like in '58, when America's passion for Professional (NFL/American) Football got kicked off when the championship game was decided by a thrilling Field Goal derby between the Baltimore Colt's kicker and the New York Football Giants kicker.

Or not.

Until fewer of the qualifying teams think their goal during the allotted time should be to huddle around their own goal like Gollum protecting his "precious", refusing to send more than one player across the center line, and getting even more reticent and conservative if they're scored against (playing to avoid another goal against rather than pressing aggressively to seek an equalizer), Americans just ain't gonna get that worked up about watching soccer (as opposed to playing it).

And yes, I know that description describes to a "T" how the U.S. team played in France '98. All the more reason why it didn't catch on. The American national style, if one develops, will have to combine daring and drive. Not passivity and caution. That's the only way Americans (the worlds "Type A People") will become a quality team. Looks like we're working towards that with the U.S. squad in Japan & Korea this go around.

But we're just not going to cheer for a group of people huddling around their goal, playing to not loose as opposed to striving to win. The style will have to be. . .well, kind of like how we play hockey. Which we've practically hijacked from Canada now (the team that plays in the State I live in used to be in Quebec).

So perhaps the world (or at least Andrew) should be careful what it wishes for, and not want us to get too into Footba. . .er, Soccer. Leave us to our own games, lest we start hiring away the best players from your game to play in our league, or worse, entire teams.

Friday, June 07, 2002

Liberating Tolerance: I mentioned the concept of "Liberating Tolerance" but did not define it. Herbert Marcuse's own pithy little definition is that it "mean(s) intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left".

This is also not coincidentally the sort of "tolerance" taught on many University Campi today. Not necessarily explicitly, but implicitly. This is why folks are told they're being intolerant if they would prefer not to have a Hamas sympathizer as a Commencement speaker, or trying to "silence" him, but the same University can demonize those who hold Conservative views, refuse to allow their opinions to be published at their own expense (while paying leftist speakers to come talk about how oppressed they are), and even look the other way or tacitly sanction the destruction of papers that express some Right-wing point of view, without the tolerance of diverse perspectives even being an issue.

The most obvious examples, of course, are with speakers. Leftist speakers paid with state funds (when speaking at a State University, where do they think their speaking fees come from? A hippy commune?) to talk about how oppressed they are and how this country stifles dissent (and no one notices the irony) (By the way, don't anyone say "well, Commencement speakers aren't paid", just because it's Commencement time now doesn't mean these folks don't collect cushy speaking fees at other times of the year) . Meanwhile, Conservative speakers rarely enjoy the same prominent bookings, when they are scheduled the administration often tries to (and sometimes succeeds in) come up with an excuse to cancel, and are not infrequently subjected to the sort of abuse and being shouted at that, if it were to happen to a speaker from the Left would be a national cause celeb, harped on as an example of McCarthyism and incipient Fascism. So who are the Fascists and McCarthyites?
Why My Blog is Superfluous I: Steven Den Beste had a fine Two-Minute Hate directed at the uselessness combined with venality and wickedness that is Yasser Arafat, the Hero that Launced a Thousand Murder-Bombers. All I have to add is. . .um, dittos.


Why It is Not Superfluous: Pacifists are a "free-rider" problem, properly understood. Pacifism in the face of wickedness is not a solution. But only a few of the "peace activists" are actually Pacifists. Most are so-called pacifists and so-called "peace activists". The difference distinguishing them from actual Pacifists and actual peace activists is that they only direct harangues and diatribes calling for peace and non-violence at one side. They're often self-described Revolutionaries of some sort or another as well. They're not for peace as such, or pacifism. They're for one side's victory, and/or for the defeat of one side, and use rhetoric as a weapon to pursue these goals. Some, for example, aren't for Islamofacism as such but are just so fanatically opposed to the U.S. as to want it humbled by anyone. Thus comments such as in this about Pacifism as a strategy are fine as far as they go. But in most cases (including current situations), that substantive, actual Pacifism strategy is not the one being employed. It's the "so-called pacifism" strategy of using the rhetoric of "peace now" as a weapon against one side, while often excusing violence by the other that I mentioned above. There are some. . .telling. . .articles at the and websites effectively excusing not only the violence commited by Palestinians, but excusing it being directed against civilians, on the grounds that "no civilian is innocent in a Democracy". Thus Israel, in this inversion of virtue, suffers in the eyes of these "enlightened" activists for the fact that its political system is more reputable than that of the Palestinian Authority. These people are for peace in the same way Axis Sally or Tokyo Rose were for peace during WWII or Tom Hayden and Hanoi Jane were for peace during the Vietnam War.

That kind of pacifism is scalable; it can be infinitely elastic for some (like the "downtrodden" or the Palestinian Arabs) while being inflexibly rigid for others (like Israelis, or Americans). Call it "Chomskyite" or "Guardianist" pacifism. It's origin is really in the Frankfurt School with the likes of Marcuse and his "Liberating Tolerance" ethos. This policy isn't so much hand-in-glove with America as the rest of his post implies (with them playing mother to our stern father, or good cop to our bad), but directed against us. As the good Captain is aware, the European Elite are very candid about their goals, at least in their own media and among themselves and in their media at home (thus the difference between, say, Chris Patten's columns when he's writing for, say, the Washington Post vs what he writes for European papers). So it's sustainability has to be evaluated in a different light. It aims at a definate goal, as expressed by various EU leaders over the years, and has utility as a method of achieving that goal. The only question is whether it has enough utility to succeed.
Chock Full of Goodies: Over at NRO's The Corner, Stanley Kurtz pointed out this month's issue of Policy Review, which is full of super articles (I read Robert Kagan's Power and Weakness elsewhere last week). Power and Weakness is spot on, except (well, "except" doesn't make it "spot on", does it?) that I'm not sure Europe's military weakness is as terminal as the article implies. Nor is their preference for multinational instutions entirely tied to their military position. See, Europe benifits from a "have your cake and eat it two" situation. Or at least the EU does; they insist upon being treated as a single, economically powerful entity when it benifits them, and yet each individual EU country gets a separate vote (same as the U.S.'s one vote) in international institutions. Thus they don't have to be as that, say, the World Court (HQ'd in a EU Country) will be used against them - it's far more likely to be packed with magistrates drawn from EU countries than with American judges (especially since, because of their "weighted voting", they were able to insure that the model of Jurisprudence the World Court will use follows that of continental Europe). Stalin wanted a setup like this after WWII for the Soviet Union's membership in the UN. He pushed to get separate membership, and separate votes, for each of his Republics (and he would have apointed all of the representatives). When the US countered with "ok, then we'll have one for each State", a compromise was reached. Ukraine got a separate seat, and the Security Council permanent member veto also arose. But Stalin didn't push for such a weighted membership in his favor because of impotence. He just tried to use every tool possible to get an advantage. Europe is doing the same, and would be trying to manipulate multilateral institutions in pretty much the same way as they are, even if they were a military powerhouse. I'm not saying there's anything iligitimate about that - we tried to do the same in the past and shouldn't do otherwise now. We should just be aware of what's going on, and not be patsies about it (and opting out of some of these treaties is one way to not be a patsy about it). James S. Robbins also pointed to this Digital Classroom piece on the Codetalkers and why they weren't used in Europe against Germany.
Results of a One-Party State: Only Democrats have a chance of winning elections in DC (and only a certain kind of Democrat at that). The result is ossification, and services, such as the police department, which are completely incompetent. A little competion in politics would do wonders here, but the folks of D.C. would have to open their mind to giving another party a chance. Like they did in NYC with Giuliani.
NYT Self-Parody:
Prosperity Booms in '90s. Women, Minorities Hardest Hit
Yes, I'm late on this one, but I'm just getting Blogging. Gimmie a pass here.
I think I've finally got my page layed-out in a fashion I'm happy with. Broke-up poor Eliza's template pretty bad doing it, though. It's hardly recognizable.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Ug, I'm Trying to Eat: Seeing Billy Bitchcakes buttcheeks during dinner time was not amusing.
First semi-substantive post:

Michael Long has a column on NRO today saying that War Brings Out the Nuts on the Left. Hey, buddy, these guys have always been like that, saying pretty much the same things. You're just noticing them more now that there's a war on.
Yay! I'm a Blogger. I have to silence that little voice inside that says NO ONE CARES.
Welcome To My Non-Humble Blog

Well, here's my first post, such as it is. What does one say in a first post that won't sound lame or haughty? I'm sure some folks managed. It probably doesn't matter because all of six people are likely to read this. . .