Monday, April 24, 2017

Neil Tyson = Trofim Lysenko

I just want to share two articles on the Progressive fraud known as anthropocentric climate change. These articles highlight one notorious example of politicalize "science." From Forbes, "The Disgraceful Episode of Lysenkoism Brings us Global Warming Theory."



From Quadrant, "Lysenkoism and Climate Science,"

Lysenkoism damaged mainly Soviet science and society, whereas Hansenism has now been exerting its pernicious influence worldwide for more than twenty years. The climate alarmism involved has long been undermining the precious public trust from which science draws its traditional influence and sustenance, and now Climategate has opened up new sinkholes all over the place.
Hansenist climate alarmism has also damaged the standing of many leading science journals and science organizations, which have replaced their formerly careful editorial and organizational balance with environmental alarmism and naked global warming advocacy.

There are other examples of neo-Lysenkoism such as the acid rain and alar panics of the 1980s.

Contrary to the lies of the Fake News matrix, real life versions of Robert Stadler and Floyd Ferris are not scientists.

Hopefully, someday reason will triumph over government funded "science."

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Battle of Berkeley

We are one step closer to Weimerica.


The police in such cities as Berkeley have abandoned real Americans to the violence of fascist mobs comprised of "antifa" Fake Americans. Said real Americans are not prepared to surrender their fundamental rights to traitorous scum. As the above video shows, patriots are beginning to organize and take on the fascists in the streets in order to defend their lives, liberty and property.

There is little doubt that the street violence will escalate, since Social Justice Warriors always double down. In the next confrontation, look for SJWs to deploy knives and maybe firearms. They have already used gas and explosives. Sadly, President Trump has not commented on the use of street violence by the left to kill the First Amendment. The administration needs to RICO the "antifa" vermin before someone gets killed - along with our basic rights as Americans.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Vietnam War and Fake News

For any informed individual the phenomenon of "Fake News" is hardly a new thing. There is, of course, the New York Time's cover-up Stalin's genocide in the Ukraine. Those around at the time remember the mainstream media's incessant shilling for Stalin's successors from the 1960s to the fall of the Berlin Wall. A classic example of media malfeasance is its coverage of the Vietnam War.

To demonstrate the media disinformation campaign on the Vietnam War, it is only necessary to ask two questions. "Have you ever heard of My Lai and Lt. William Calley?" Next, "have you ever heard of Binh Nghia and Private Larry Page?" Most people will answer "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second one. That's because one story fit the leftist media narrative and one did not.



The village of Binh Nghia is the subject of Francis "Bing" West's classic work on counterinsurgency The Village. Pvt. Page was killed in action in the Village bravely defending his "ville," and its people from communist guerrillas bent on murder and tyranny. As West describes the mission:


This is the story of fifteen Americans engaged in a fight for 485 days. No unit in Vietnam had a higher fatality rate.The odds of going home alive were fifty-fifty, a coin flip. More Marines died in the area called Chulai than in Desert Storm. The civil war in the village was as personally complicated, as staggering in its costs and as unyielding in its opposing beliefs as was our own Civil War. In Binh Nghia, the local guerrillas had relatives and protectors in the Viet Cong companies across the river and back in the mountains. The communists now rule Binh Nghia; yet the memorial to the Marines who fought there remains, and the villagers remember them by name, all these decades later.


Since it doesn't fit the narrative, few Americans have heard of the heroic actions of American soldiers and Marines in the Vietnam War. The Marines of the Combined Action Platoons were all volunteers. Many extended their tours in Vietnam in order to remain with their units and village. No need to ask yourself why you have never heard of them. The depiction American soldiers in Vietnam as murderous losers was the Progressive media narrative. Hamburger Hill is a rare movie about Vietnam that rejects this narrative. Here's a classic scene of Dylan McDermott's character encountering Sam Donaldson's clone:


More well-known is the media's presentation of the Tet Offensive as a military defeat for the US and South Vietnam when the opposite was true. The following ten minute video produced by Accuracy in Media and hosted by Charlton Heston documents the lies. My Lai is a household name. Few have heard of the thousands of Vietnamese civilians murdered in Hue by the communists.


Some of the most damning evidence of media malfeasance in Vietnam is provided by scholar Mark Moyar in his book Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965 on the events leading up to large scale American intervention. His article from ten years ago, following the death of "journalist" David Halberstam, provides a brief synopsis of media malpractice that included events leading up to the assassination of Republic of Vietnam president Ngo Dinh Diem.

From the time of William Randolph Heast, and the rest of the yellow journalists, to shilling for Stalin, to smearing American combat soldiers, to evading the jihad, to current reports on the leftist anti-free speech riots in Berkeley, the main stream media's primary purpose has been to sell the Progressive agenda to unsuspecting Americans. Don't be fooled again.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.


According to William F. Buckley upon his first meeting with Ayn Rand in the early 1950s she said to him, “You are too intelligent to believe in God” (140). Their exchange would inaugurate one of the most famous feuds of the American political right. At issue was more than just Rand’s personally animosity towards religion. Jennifer Burns argues that historians’ who exclusively focus on the postwar rise of the religious right obscure the nature of a movement that is a loose confederation of conservatives, libertarians and Objectivists. While the conservatives have been the dominate force in the right, these other groups have had a large influence. As Burns ably demonstrates, the main point of contention within the right has been on how to properly ground, define, and defend capitalism. Burns contends that historian George Nash, in The Conservative Intellectual Movement in American Since 1945 (1975), was mistaken in dismissing Rand’s influence on the right. She further observes while ignoring Rand, Lisa McGirr “inadvertently quotes Rand” in Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (2001). However, Burns does note that there is a growing, academic interest in the development of the secular right in recent years (297). Her book is based on research conducted at the Ayn Rand Institute where she was the first academic scholar allowed complete access to the Ayn Rand Papers.
 
 
 

Burns places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of the prewar reaction to the New Deal by the defenders of capitalism and classical liberalism. She argues that the members of this “old right” fashioned secular arguments in defense of their political beliefs. Burns goes further by alleging that these views carried over into the postwar era and continue in influence right down to the present day. In The End of Reform, Alan Brinkley cited the importance of F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom that was published in 1943. Brinkley states that because of this book Hayek, “became … an important voice on behalf of some form of libertarianism in modern society.”[1]

However, Brinkley fails to mention the other four significant “libertarian” books that were published in 1943. These books are God of the Machine by Isabel Patterson, Memoirs of a Superfluous Man by Albert Jay Nock, The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane, and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Of these books, Burns considers Rand’s the most important because it “offered renewed energy to libertarianism at a critical time” (95). Burns continues by documenting the continually growing influence of Rand throughout the postwar era.
 
The military draft was one issue that both sharply distinguished Rand from the traditionalism of the religious right and illustrates her huge influence on the secular right. Rand would argue that the traditional right’s support of the draft and censorship demonstrated an authoritarian nature that it shared with liberals.[2] On January 1962, Rand commenced publication of The Objectivist Newsletter in partnership with Nathaniel Brandon. After the publication of her last novel, Atlas Shrugged, in 1957, Rand redefined herself as a public intellectual and philosopher. This effort included not only the periodical, but also the Nathanial Brandon Institute that operated independently to educate those interested in Rand’s Objectivist philosophy. It is through these two vehicles that Rand became a significant force on the right and with right leaning student groups. Therefore, when Rand forcefully argued against the draft in 1966 it was a bombshell in conservative circles. Burns cites the libertarian walkout of the Young American for Freedom convention in 1969 as the culmination of “the tension between free market capitalism and cultural traditionalism.” The highlight of the convention was when libertarian members burned a draft card causing “shocked silence” then “pandemonium” (256). Although Rand had little use for libertarians as “hippies of the right,” her influence with younger conservatives was obvious.
 
In a too brief epilogue Burns documents Rand’s continuing influence not only in conservative politics, but also on American culture at large. Rand’s combining of reason with rational self-interest as a foundation for her politics as a “radical for capitalism” has made her an important figure in America’s culture wars. Burns cites Rand’s growing popularity with businessmen. Burns demonstrates that Rand’s influence in the business community dates from the early 1940s. For example, Burns notes Rand’s friendship with Leonard Read, head of the Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles and later founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE): “within a few years Read was able to ‘set the tone of the Southern Californian business community,’ as one historian observes” (102). The historian quoted here is Lisa McGirr. Parenthetically, Burns’ footnotes and short source essay are most helpful in elucidating the historiography of the American right.

 
The main limitation of the book stems from how Burns approaches ideas. Burns’ attempt to place Rand within her historical context is a laudable goal. However, the author over-emphasizes this point by claiming the Rand’s ethical and political ideas, “[a]ll sprang from her early life experiences in Communist Russia and became the most powerful and deeply enduring of her messages” (2-3). Burns overstates the case. The claim that Rand’s atheism, individualism, and support of laissez-faire were just a reaction to her early experience with the horrors of Communism is not tenable. Rand’s rejection of religion can be viewed as a necessary precondition for her later development of Objectivism. As Burns noted towards the end of her book, “Rand considered Solzhenitsyn the worst kind of Russian mystical collectivist….” (273). In other words, intellectuals in opposition to Communism could adopt many different foundations for their arguments. Experience alone is an insufficient explanation for why Rand chose to develop her unique philosophy in defense of reason and capitalism. Another related problem with Burns’ book is that she does not appreciate just how radical Rand’s ideas are. As a result, Burns makes strong claims on Isabel Paterson’s influence on Rand’s philosophy. Burns’ contention that Paterson was of greater importance to Rand than Aristotle is not convincing. Burns’ approach also leads to her overemphasizing biography. Less space devoted to Rand’s already well-known personal life would have left more room for elaborating on how her ideas have influenced the political right and American culture. Despite its limitations, Goddess of the Market provides needed insight into the historical roots of the American right and Rand’s place in it.        
 
[1] Alan Brinkley, The End of Reform (New York: Vintage Books, 1996), 158.
 
[2] Ayn Rand, “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New York: Signet, 1967), 249-266. Ayn Rand, “Censorship: Local and Express,” in Philosophy: Who Needs It? (New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1982), 211-230.
 

 

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: The Grim Reapers At Work in the Pacific Theater: The Third Attack Group of the U.S. Fifth Air Force, by John P. Henebry. Missoula: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 2002


When Pearl Harbor was bombed, John Henebry (1918-2007) was a young lieutenant just out of flight school. On 2 September 1945, he was a full “bird” colonel standing on the deck of the USS Missouri watching the Japanese surrender ceremony. His memoir, written late in life, recounts his experiences during the war. There is a brief opening chapter describing his childhood interest in aviation and education at Notre Dame University, which included civilian pilot lessons. After Notre Dame, he joined the then US Army Air Corps and received his wings in March 1941. He arrived in Australia in September 1942. Henebry spent most of the war with the 3rd Attack Group, including serving as its commanding officer.

 

The book is written in a narrative and episodic framework. It is a fascinating account from the inside of the legendary Fifth Air Force efforts in General Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Theater. The above painting by Michael Hagel dramatically depicts the massive raid upon the Japanese stronghold at Rabaul on 2 November 1943. “I was serving now as Group Operations Officer and helped coordinate the mission, determining targets, number of aircraft, flight patterns” (p. 114). He then led the 3rd Attack Group in his B-25 gunship “Notre Dame de Victoire.” He provides a vivid recollection of this low-level attack on the Japanese transports and warships in the harbor of this heavily defended target.

On their attack run, Henebry’s crew bombed two Japanese transports. In return, they took some hits from the heavy cruiser Haguro. However, their troubles were just beginning,

 

As we moved toward the Solomon Sea and home, a Japanese fighter plane, one of the 125 to 150 estimated to be in the skies, jumped us. Our rear turret guns had been knocked out by the Haguro. So we had no defensive fire and not much speed because of our damaged rudders and tail section. Our assigned fighter cover was busy at higher altitudes and could offer no relief to our immediate problem. Those pilots probably hadn’t even seen us being jumped.

            The Japanese fighter made a pass from our rear and hit the left engine hard. He knocked it out quickly. He must have been firing 20 millimeter guns, standard equipment for Japanese Navy fighters. (p. 120)

 

The Zero then pulled away and abandoned the attack. Henebry surmises that its pilot either thought the B-25 was done for or was too far from base and needed to return. Henebry then describes his remarkable piece of flying. He piloted the severely damaged aircraft to the nearest friendly held island across 300 hundred miles of ocean at wavetop level. The plane was so crippled that he had to ditch in the surf a few hundred yards from Allied held Kiriwina Island. They were quickly picked up by a US Navy PT boat. The crew was fine with only a few minor injuries. The “Notre Dame de Victoire” is probably still at the bottom of the Solomon Sea.

In any event, the 3rd Attack Group soon exchanged their B-25s for the A-20 ground attack bomber. Their A-20s would also receive modifications as low-level strafers. It had a crew of only two – pilot and rear gunner.

 

On the lighter side, Henebry tells the story of a B-25 named “Fat Cat.” One day in New Guinea, three B-25s were written off as damaged beyond repair. In such cases, the aircraft were usually cannibalized for spare parts. But, not in this case. Instead, these three aircraft were used to build one flyable B-25:

 

“Fat Cat” also was a squadron team effort—sheet metal workers, instrument specialists, engine geniuses. Master Sergeant John B. Chesson was a major spark plug. Murry Orvin specializing in crew chiefing airplanes. Sergeants Meredith Bryant and Bill Hackett urging the men on. I was Squadron Commander and cooperatively turned a blind eye. The resulting “Fat Cat” became the only stripped-down hot rod B-25 in the Pacific theater. (96)

 

The “Fat Cat,” sans bomb racks and machine guns, was ready to fulfill her primary mission: flying tired aviators down to Australia for a little R and R. And then, returning loaded with booze and steaks. Needless to say, the “Fat Cat” did not officially exist on any Air Force inventory. Eventually, the “brass” got wind of the latest Fifth Air Force exploit and retired the “Fat Cat.”

Henebry made the new US Air Force his career. He served as an Air Division commander during the Korean War. He retired as a Major General in 1976. This lavishly illustrated memoir is worth reading for anyone interested in the topic.

 

 

 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Reaction To Edward Said's Orientalism (pub. 1978)

Edward Said’s “Orientalism” thesis mates together cultural relativism, Foucault’s subjectivism and Gramsci’s ideas on cultural subversion. The result is less viable than a mule. Said could not get through the introduction without playing the victim card. This is fitting, given that his thesis contends that the Middle-East has been, and remains, the victim of Western imperialism. Here we can witness a tenured professor at Columbia University, a Harvard Ph.D., a past president of the Modern Language Association whose books are required reading in university classrooms throughout the country, whining about his “uniquely punishing destiny” (27) in the racist, imperialistic West. If this was not so pathetic and absurd, it would be funny.



Said’s sniveling connotes the purpose of his life’s work: to inculcate guilt and self-loathing into his Western readers in order to further his Gramsci-like cultural agenda. Said states his agenda in the context of a discussion on one of his many bĂȘtes noires, Paul Johnson. Said was responding to an article where Johnson argued in favor of the neo-con enterprise that the civilized nations should impose their rule on the world’s failed states. Said correctly identifies a growing gulf between the “public consciousness” on the superiority of Western society and its values and “a wide sector of intellectuals, academics and artists” who have imbibed the ideas of cultural relativism and multiculturalism (348). Said’s purpose was to close that gap by corrupting the field of Middle East Studies and indoctrinating undergrads.

Said’s thesis is based on his view that there is no real difference between the Orient and the Occident. His position is that if not for Western “Orientalists” imposing their narratives upon the East, the very concept of “East is East and West is West” would never have arisen. Said unites this idea with his well-known view that the West requires the “Other” in order to define itself. Said agrees with Foucault and Thomas Kuhn that knowledge and scholarship are about power and domination and little else. In a passage on this topic, Said describes his view of Western scholarship as simply the result of a consensus which imposes a narrative structure based on authority (21-2). In this discussion, Said does not even acknowledge the existence or possibility of knowledge and truth. It is Said’s hope that his acid wash of literary theory will help intellectually disarm the West during its period of cultural decay and death: “indeed if it eliminates the ‘Orient’ and ‘Occident’ altogether, then we shall have advanced a little in the process of what Raymond Williams called the ‘unlearning’ of ‘the inherent dominative mode’” (28).
 
It should go without saying that Said’s rubbish has been thoroughly eviscerated by such real scholars and historians as Keith Windschuttle, Ibn Warraq and Bernard Lewis. For example, in 2007 Warraq published his masterful Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Nevertheless, Said’s mendacious work is still de rigueur in American college classrooms. While on the other hand, most university libraries will never purchase a copy of Warraq’s book. Of course, Said’s continued popularity in academia says more about that institution’s culture than that of the Middle-East.  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

300 Spartans Versus 10000 Academics

I wrote this review not long after the film 300 came out. It's still relevant today; and, the movie is still worth watching.



The motion picture 300 demonstrates the split between Western intellectuals and the public.  Released in March 2006, 300 depicts the battle of Thermopylae fought between the Persian host and a handful of Greek hoplites in 480 B.C.  The title refers to the 300 Spartans who led the Greeks in this battle and of which all but one was killed.  Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller the movie was immensely popular.  According to Variety’s online report (May 2, “Ripple effect of '300' hits Cannes”) 300 was a “runaway success” that is “an extremely good omen” due to its box office success.  Worldwide the receipts for 300 are approaching half a billion dollars.    

While both movie goers and makers have “nothing but love” for the action epic, the same is not true for many reviewers and intellectuals.  For example, Variety’s review of March 9 by Todd McCarthy compares the film to gay porn and to Gerald Butler’s Leonidas as a “blowhard.”  Dana Stevens writing for Slate online compared 300 to the notorious Nazi propaganda piece The Eternal Jew.  Stevens described the movie as a “race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth” that was an “incitement to total war.”    

It is the theme of 300 that has the critics hostile not its style.  In the opening voice-over that sets the stage for the movie’s action, the narrator states the Greece was the “world’s last hope for reason and justice.”  300’s epilogue dramatizes the battle of Plataea where the combined hoplites of the Greek city states defeated the remnants of the Persian army.  Before the battle a Spartan hoplite steps forward and declares: “today we rescue the world from mysticism and tyranny.”  For a popular action movie to base its theme on the connection between mysticism and tyranny and that reason is the source for justice and freedom is truly amazing.  It is for 300’s unapologetic view that Greek (Western) culture was/is superior to Persian (middle-Eastern) culture that has the intellectuals frothing.

One of 300’s most interesting reviews was penned by Mustafa Akyol for the Turkish Daily News: “300: Orientalism for Beginners.”  Akyol characterizes the film as “a crude Orientalism and a thinly veiled fascism.” By “Orientalism” Akyol makes clear his agreement with the thesis of Edward Said’s hugely influential book of that title.  According to Akyol, and Said, it is this Western portrayal of the Islamic world as “irrational, absurd and stagnant” that is responsible for the hostility between East and West.  Said stated the problem as the unenlightened Western masses refusal to follow their academic superiors:


The important point, however, is that a largely unexamined but serious rift has opened in the public consciousness between the old ideas of Western hegemony (of which the system of Orientalism was a part) on the one hand, and newer ideas that have taken hold among subaltern and disadvantaged communities and among a wide sector of intellectuals, academics, and artist, on the other. (p. 348)


The “intellectual affairs” writer for Inside Higher Education, Scott McLemee, although admitting to never having viewed the film, described those who did as “young, impressionable, historically clueless viewers.”  There is a rift between the public and professional intellectuals particularly in the United States.  The fault, however, is with the intellectuals who long ago abandoned the Western values of reason and justice for those of mysticism and tyranny. 

In 1983 Prof. Leonard Peikoff gave a lecture at the Ford Hall Forum on “Assault from the Ivory Tower: the Professors’ War Against America.”  In his opening statement Prof. Peikoff notes that upon his first arriving in the United States in the 1950s to attend New York University he was struck by his American professors’ hostility to their own country.  “I do not know another country in which anti-patriotism has ever been the symbol of an ideology on such a scale.”  Prof. Peikoff states his belief that this is caused by the fact that America was based on an ideology.  The Founding Fathers Enlightenment ideals, based largely on classical Greece and Rome, are “anathema to today’s intellectuals.” 

In his discussion of postmodernism the historian Mark T. Gilderhus states that, “as the theory holds, Enlightenment ideas about reason, objectivity, and possibilities of progress have no validity….” (History and Historians, pp. 133-4)  It is post modern nihilism that explains why in a conflict between east and west, whether 2500 years ago or today, so many Western intellectuals side with the Other.  On a positive note, the fissure between the nation and its intellectuals has become apparent to growing numbers of Americans, hopefully new intellectuals will arise to again enshrine reason and justice as America’s basic values.