Quote of the day – history edition

“First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…

Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset… Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…

In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think… The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

— Senator Ted Kennedy, defending the Immigration Act of 1965

Pinnochio

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Saturday Sounds

Since this song is said to have been inspired by Iran’s 1979 ban of rock music, it seems appropriate to play today as Iranians protest their government in large numbers.  May they rock the Casbah until the mullahs fall.  Obama didn’t do these dissidents any favors in 2009.

But he’s not president anymore

#Iranprotests

Why is this not considered an act of war?

The Islamist regime of Recip Erdogan in Turkey is clearly using 4th generation warfare against its neighbors in Europe:

An explosive report has revealed that close associates of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and officials of his AKP Party are funding and arming criminal gangs in Germany. This information reportedly was leaked by German intelligence to several media outlets, which subsequently published the allegations…

In response to this week’s media reports, State Office for the Protection of the Constitution chairperson Burkhard Freier described the biker gang as a “paramilitary organization.” Said Freier to ZDF: “For us, the Osmanen Germania working as security guards, carrying guns, engaging in violent crimes and clashing with other groups show that they are a paramilitary group. Their political agenda also strengthens this impression.”

Founded in 2015, “Osmanen Germania” advocates an ideological mix of Islamism and Turkish nationalism.

In May 2016, German police intercepted a weapons shipment of automatic weapons to the group…

Erdogan has also demanded that Germany approve more visas for Turkish citizens to relocate there, threatening to send more waves of refugees if German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t comply.

Read the entire story at the link above.  Kemal Ataturk established a secular Turkish government at the beginning, and the country has long sought acceptance into Europe.  Integrating Turkey into Europe has been problematic, though, due to history, culture and not least of all, significant religious differences.  In recent years the secular nature of Turkey has been undermined, and under Erdogan the country’s actions are coming to resemble those of Iran — a revolutionary, totalitarian regime determined to export its particular brand of Islam.

Europe can ill afford to bring in any more “refugees” who can then serve as shock troops for subversive activities or engage in general mayhem.  The best way to shut down that threat is to close the border and expel of all the “refugees” admitted in recent years.  A fitting policy would be to void the residency of any who arrived after September 11, 2001.  Given his own public statements (essentially threats), Erdogan has no grounds to complain about such a policy.

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Saturday Sounds

The “October Revolution” in Russia 100 years ago actually occurred in early November, as calculated by the modern (Gregorian) calendar the Soviets adopted after their revolution.  By the Julian calendar still used by the Russian Empire, the revolution occurred Oct. 24-25, 1917.  Calendars, aside, as we close in on the 100th anniversary of the advent of Communist rule it’s worth taking a moment to review that century’s legacy.

…and to remember there are still plenty of people — including at least one recent West Point graduate — who believe the system is still the answer for what ails society.  Never forget where it really leads, though.

Hagiography exemplified

hag·i·og·ra·phyˌ   haɡēˈäɡrəfē,/        noun

1. The writing of the lives of saints.
derogatory: adulatory writing about another person.
– biography that idealizes its subject.

See for example the New York Times article about “How Mao Molded Communism to Create a New China.”  In amongst the portrait of Mao as a “tiger” and “monkey king,” the article completely fails to mention Mao as the greatest mass murderer in history, responsible for an estimated 45 million deaths.

It’s as if the newspaper’s “Red Century” series is meant to indoctrinate a new generation into believing communism wasn’t all that bad

For more fun examples, see the Times’ story on “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s Odd Journey From Victim to Criminal”…   (Note to the Times: entering a ‘naked plea’ — essentially “no contest” — on charges of desertion tends to have that effect.)

History is rarely black and white

One of the most obvious targets of multiculturalism over the past 40 years has been a reinterpretation of Columbus’ voyage to the New World.  Where Americans in the early history of our nation learned the rhyme “In the year of our Lord 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” today’s progressives take issue with every part of that statement.  Their reinterpretation might run something like “In 1492 of the Common Era, Columbus unleashed all the New World’s terror.”

Columbus was neither saint nor monster.  It’s a symptom of the culture wars we live in that people expect to subscribe solely to one of the two views above.  Perhaps only a descendant of both Christopher Columbus and Montezuma II can truly appreciate the mixed bag of results from that fateful voyage of discovery:

History has some truly evil people. Columbus is certainly not one of them. Most often, history is not made up of perfect people and evil ones, but of complex people who must be understood in context.

What is happening at the hands of Columbus’ detractors is political, not historical. As his direct descendant and namesake, I should know.

Two cultures meeting for the first time in 1492 was no easy thing, but blaming Columbus for everything that went wrong hides the truth about him and about those who followed him. It also obscures the great things that the countries of the American hemisphere have accomplished.

What is lacking in the anti-Columbus narrative is any sense of history or of nuance…

Those who now question Columbus conveniently ignore the fact that slavery, cannibalism, warfare and even human sacrifice all existed in the Americas before he even sailed.

The modern Columbus points out that today’s generation has a difficult time understanding how religious faith permeated European society in the early 1500s.  Thus it is difficult for the modern “don’t judge” generation to understand the reaction of Europeans to seeing towers of skulls adorning Aztec architecture, or the bloody sacrifice of scores of natives by Aztec priests.  There was no sense of moral relativism at that time — or for centuries afterwards.  What the natives were doing was simply wrong by the most basic understanding of the Spaniards’ moral foundations.  So “civilizing” natives became a driving force in colonialization — as well as a rationalization for cruel behavior on the part of some Europeans, who took it as a license to abuse the “savages.”

This rationalization for abuses is rightly criticized today.  But it leads frequently to another error: assuming that the abuse of the natives means that their culture was somehow more noble than that of their sometime European tormentors.  This overreaction leads some today to whitewash the history of the precolumbian Americas. It’s not hard to detect this at work in the arts, when a prominent Hollywood production can be entitled “1492: Conquest of Paradise.”

Despite Disney’s Pocahontas singing about painting with “the colors of the wind” or the obvious parallels to the native experince in blockbusters like Avatar, the New World of 1492 was not some sort of New Age pantheistic utopia.  Such things simply don’t exist on earth.  Only the rejection of the Christian worldview (which sees all of creation as fallen and flawed — even the Western Civilization that was once known as Christendom) can lead to such a romanticization of indigenous life.  Yes, the arrival of the Europeans meant much of that way of life was lost.  But unless we’re arguing for a return of human sacrifice to one-up the current revival of tattoos, it’s hard to see that as a bad thing.

The truly sad thing is that so many of those today who focus on what was lost take little to no time to think about what was gained as well.  Representative government was unknown in the Americas before the Europeans arrived —  and it further developed and prospered in the incubator of the New World.  Even the poorest in the hemisphere today largely enjoy a standard of living higher than that of their ancestors (though you wouldn’t know that by the rhetoric of the Marxist-inspired Bolivarists who have wrecked Venezuela without any help from Columbus). By focusing on the admitted excesses of the post-1492 story, the tale of the very progress the progressives claim to seek is lost. Instead, grievances are nursed and divisions maintained.

Who benefits from that?

Pravda on the Hudson

The New York Times has been running a series of articles noting the centennial of the October Revolution in Russia in 1917.  It’s certainly a good idea to keep people mindful of the impact of what the Times is calling the “Red Century,” as the only way to learn from history is to study it.

The problem is it seems most of the time in these writings that the Times hasn’t learned a thing:

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To be fair, such headlines are in keeping with long tradition at the Times, always looking on the bright side of Communism.  Their tweet today is a classic:

chinese women

“For all its flaws…”  Wow.  ‘Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?’  To be fair, the Times article being advertised does reveal it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for women under Mao.  But the tweet headline above comes from the closing paragraph, thus putting emphasis on the alleged positive developments.  Not once, however, does it mention the impact of millions of Chinese girls aborted–sometimes due to State force– because of China’s one-child policy conflicting with the traditional Chinese preference for male children.  A rather amazing omission.  Guess the Times considers abortion accessibility hand in hand with women “dreaming big.”

When I’m shaking my head in amazement that so many young people today see collectivism in a positive light, I have to remember this is what their vulnerable young minds are being fed.  This is simply more of the subversion I referred to in yesterday’s post: treason spread out over time.  With a century of well-documented communist experience behind us, modern defenders of centralized planning and top-down social organization are left only with the No True Scotsman defense for Communism: “it’s never really been tried”–all the efforts of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot notwithstanding.  If only a society would fully embrace it, it could work, they say.

After all,

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I wonder what “big dreams” the young woman in the photo above might have had…