Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There is no justice, there are only consequences.

As I see no evidence of the hand of God in the suffering or elevation of either the guilty or the innocent, I am left with human laws. And human laws, faulty, arbitarary, and oppressive as they often are, do not always bring about justice. Perhaps they never do, for who or what can compensate for people or things permanently lost?

We will not punish those who committed these horrible crimes of war and indifference because we are complict. We let it happen because we flattered ourselves that we couldn't do such horrible crimes, couldn't kill around a million people including thousands of our own. We might wince and shrug at a lot, but we will not accept that we kidnap, torture and murder. That's what the bad guys do, we've heard incessently for six years. If we impeach Bush and Cheney, we would have to admit what we've become. All the dirty lies would come tumbling out, and we would no longer be the Good Guys.

No matter how hard they try, though, people can't live with this kind of dissonance between myth and reality. We are no longer as isolated from foreigners or the consequences of our actions. So we are going to flounder for a while, confused and unsure about what to do. And the anger that has been kept to a low simmer all these years will burn like the wildfires in California.

It's not our punishment. It's just a consequence of our actions.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, Part I

Part I: The Adventure Begins

In a Secret Location, deep beneath the bowels, entrails and colon of Pennsylvania Avenue, a Meeting of Diabolical Minds takes place. It is the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, each a hero (or a heroine or a Coulter) in his (or hers, or Coulter's) own sphere. They are:

Col. Glen Reynolds—famous defender of guns, wherever they are needed to fight the Brown Menace.

Michelle Malkin—a creature of the night, with an insatiable thirst for blood under her modest, cheerleader-clad fa├žade.

Jonah Goldberg—A barefoot man-boy with cheek, famous for being so lazy he got his research assistant to paint his fence.

Hugh Hewitt—a man so colorless that he can be seen right through, unless clothed in the garb of authoritarian man-love. Might also be an albino.

Ann Althouse—A respectable professor who digs deep into the evil aspects of her psyche when she drink an experimental potion know as “Merlot.”

In this episode, our heroes gather to plan their latest campaign.

Reynolds: Ladies and gentlemen, we are here to investigate the latest Leftist plot, a purported attack on one Randi Rhodes. Our mission is to reconstruct the incident, thereby revealing her insidious lies.

Malkin: Perhaps we should just give her the benefit of the doubt. It could have had a perfectly innocent explanation.

The group bursts into peals of laughter.

Hewitt: (chuckling) That was a good one, Malkin. You’re brilliant.

Reynolds: Heh. Indeed. But back to our plan. We will reconstruct the incident here, in our Secret Location Deep under Pennsylvania Avenue. First we’ll need someone to pretend to be Rhodes.

Hewitt: Pick me! Pick me!

Reynolds: Ann, you be Rhodes.

Althouse giggles and blushes.

Reynolds: Malkin, you be the pavement.

Malkin: (shakes pom-poms) Yay! I get to smash a face! This sure beats hiding in the shrubbery! Can I have a snack if she bleeds?

Goldberg: What about me? Don’t I get paid, I mean have a job?

Reynolds: Jonah, you’ll count the broken teeth and measure the force of impact.

Jonah: Cool! (yelling) Hey, intern, get in her and measure something!

Althouse: Broken teeth? But I like my teeth. They’re shiny and all in a row.

Reynolds: Goldberg, we’re deep in the bowels of Pennsylvania Ave. Nobody can hear you yell for your intern. And somebody get Ann some Merlot.

Althouse: No, really, I oughtn’t, well, okay, just one glass.

Althouse drinks the seductive potion, shudders, and licks her lips, her eyes appreciatively taking in the small yet perky sweater that Malkin is wearing.

Hewitt: I think I hear screaming, Reynolds. I thought no one else was here.

Goldberg: You know what, I think someone’s screaming someplace. I thought you said no one was here, Glen.

Reynolds: By George, Jonah, I think you’re right. But don’t worry, he belonged to Karl Rove. We don’t ask questions here in the League of Extraordinary Bloggers.

All: Right, boss.

Althouse: Hic!

Part II Later, after this commercial message….

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The funeral for Irony is at eight.

Via Tbogg, the words of young, stalwart, not-in-Iraq Tagg Romeny, son of Mitt, on why he's a Republican:

"I love the Republican beliefs in strength, fiscal conservatism, capitalism, self-reliance, respect for life, and a commitment to family values, to name a few."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Logic of Repression

More and more I am seeing people point out the painful and painfully obvious fact--people do what they want to do. I would add, people also do what they need to do. Illogical actions are often based on emotion, not reason, and only understandable by that standard. (Illogical actions are also often perfectly logical as long as you know the true motivation of the actor, but that is another story.) Understand the emotion and you will be able to understand the action, and fight it if necessary.

Chris Floyd understands the irrational actions taking place. He points out that if our nation--its people and leaders--tolerate torture, it's not because they are being forced to.

They lie about [torture] because they want to torture people. That's the first thing you must understand: They want to do it. They enjoy the thought of it. They want to hear the details, they want to hear about the pain, about the broken spirits and the ruined minds. They literally, physically – perhaps even sexually – enjoy the idea of people getting beaten, tormented and waterboarded at their command. There's no question about this. Bush tortured animals when he was a child, and now he tortures human beings with the same kind of furtive, sniggering, naughty glee. And when someone catches him at it, he lies about it, just like a brattish child. And now the whole administration of the United States government operates on the degraded moral level of this profoundly stunted and twisted little wretch.

It's very hard for us to believe that we are a nation of sadists, that our president tortured animals as a boy and now shows a depraved indifference to human life. That we can callously watch millions of people suffer, and indifferently hear our administration petulently demand that they be grateful for our actions. So we refuse to believe the bad news about torture, rendition, disregard for justice and law, hypocracy and malevolence. We turn our backs on our victims rather than admit we don't care if anyone else is hurt.

How can ordinary people be so callous? Psychotherapist Alice Miller explains in her book Breaking Down the Wall of Silence that children who are mistreated by their parents grow up without empathy, for themselves or others.

Children who have been beaten, humiliated, and abused, and who find no witness to come to their aid often develop a grave syndrome in later life; they have no knowledge of their true feelings, fear them like the plague, and are therefore incapable of recognizing vital connections, Without realizing it-and without taking responsibility for it—they work out the horrors that they once experienced on innocent people. Like their parents before them, they regard their actions as “redemption” for others.

That is the logic of repression. I refuse to know what my parents did to me and to others. I want to forgive them and not to condemn them. I don’t want to question them. They are my parents, and therefore they are beyond blame.

The mistreatment of my own children, horrific wars against supposed enemies, the destruction of life wherever I see it growing, allow me to raise a monument to my parents and retain my blindness.

Children want and need their parents' approval and will do anything for it, even later as adults. If people acknowledge their parents couldn't love them, they are giving up hope on attaining that love, and most people are utterly incapable of doing that. So we become callous and hard to our own pains, to preserve the illusion of love, and of course callous and hard towards others. Deeply hidden anger at mistreatment isn't allowed, since it will burst that Leave It To Beaver fantasy. So the anger is directed towards others, and everything from child abuse to wars happens as a result.

Bush, who tortured small creatures as a child, doesn't hesitate to kill a million or more people in Iraq. They are merely numbers on a sheet of paper, easy to ignore as he strives to show he is strong and right and better than his dad. Killing Saddam was perfect because it showed his father who was the real winner and it also showed his father that he would do anything to avenge him. A plea for love, a release of pent-up rage, a way to retain the power that feeds his insecure ego--he had many reasons for going to war and then staying there. Iraq is indeed very, very complicated--for some.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Guiliani Renames New York to New Amsterdam

New York mayor and Republican presidental candidate Rudi Guiliani announced today that he is changing the name of New York state and New York City to New Amsterdam and New Amsterdam City.

"The British traitors don't deserve to have the city that hosted 9/11 named after one of their crappy cities," Guiliani said. "After an anonymous government offical said that they were "performing poorly," I knew it was time to show those limey bastards who's the boss here. From now on New York is New Amsterdam, to honor the brave Dutch who know the way to fight jihad--by drawing cartoons."

The White House official who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition his--or her--identity would not be revealed, said "Britain would always be 'the cornerstone' of US policy towards Europe but there was "a lot of unhappiness" about how British forces had performed in Basra and an acceptance that Mr Brown would pull the remaining 4,500 troops out of Iraq next year....Operationally, British forces have performed poorly in Basra," said the official. "Maybe it's best that they leave."

U.S. officials said the British withdrawal demonstrated the success of the recent surge in the number of troops fighting in Iraq. "But Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said his forces "are prepared to take over security of Basra within two months and we will." Reaction on the street was less positive. Dau'd Abdul-Hadi, a street vendor near a Basra market, said, "We are thrilled to hear of the success of the coalition forces here. I would love to celebrate with my family, but unfortunately I am the only one left. Long live the Coalition!"