Friday, April 20, 2018

Tal Tsfany, Sophie Anwar and The Ayn Rand Institute's Continuing Deconstruction of the USA

The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) recently announced that Tal Tsfany will be replacing Jim Brown as CEO on June 29, 2018. Apparently, Brown was just an "interim" CEO, although that was news to everyone. Tsfany is being advertised as a "long-term" leader. As an retired US Air Force officer with a WASPy sounding name, Brown was an odd duck for ARI leadership. 

Tsfany immigrated to the United States from Israel in 2006. He has spent most of his professional life as an executive in the high tech industry. He is the co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel. Despite this resume, there is little of his writing available online. His background is very similar to that of previous CEO and Chairman of the Board Yaron Brook. One could hope that Tsfany will take ARI in a different direction from that established by the globalist and materialist Brook. However, there is good reason to believe that Tsfany is nothing but a Brook clone who will continue ARI's downward spiral. 

Sophie and Tal: Better Americans than the Real Thing

The evidence that Tsfany is just another shallow globalist is a children's book he just published titled Sophie. The Obleftivist running The Objective Standard (TOS) is orgasmic in his praise for this work. That alone should send up red flags for discerning readers. Parenthetically, in the aftermath of l'affaire McCaskey, TOS and ARI's principals were not on speaking terms. Now it's a lovefest between the two organizations. How, why and when this came about is a complete mystery. Apparently, both the principals and principles on this issue have changed. But, it's not for "students of Obleftivism" to reason why. It's for them to follow the ever changing alliances and feuds of the Obleftivist Establishment (OE). And, to keep writing checks. Especially, to keep writing checks. 

Anyways, Sophie is destined to become a classic, but not in the way the author intends. The style is not bad. The first half of the book moves along well. The second half drags and contains too much description. The characters, plot and theme are all introduce in the book's first chapters. There isn't any reason to keep illustrating the same points for nearly one-hundred pages. 

The book's theme is about as subtle as a train wreck. The narrative is told through the perspective of thirteen-year-old Leo. During the summer he meets a new, mysterious girl in town. They hit it off and become friends. The central thematic point is that Sophia is an illegal alien "refugee" from Syria. She and her mother live in poverty. Except for the odd jobs Sophia works, they have no visible means of support. Sophia is a combination of John Galt, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby. The melodrama is so thick that I was surprised that Sophie didn't have a little brother named Tiny Jawaid. How shamelessly Dickensian is this work? Well, there's this,
Sophie, on the other hand, didn't buy anything for herself--she just saved as much as she could for the immigration lawyer. She was buying groceries every other day after school and also passed through the pharmacy to buy medicine. Her mother's coughing got worse and worse, and Sophie spent most of what she earned on her mother's bills. Whenever we came back from work to put our tools in the little tin shed, I could hear Mrs. Anwar's hacking cough getting louder and more frequent. (p. 79)
Yes, immigration lawyer. The main plot driver is Sophie's need for $5,000 to pay a lawyer to take their case and get them a visa. Apparently, the story takes place sometime in the early 1990s. In this dark, intolerant period of American history the entire legal industry of pro bono immigration attorneys supported by various foundations didn't exist. 

The characters are shallow and two-dimensional. As with Charles Dickens, Tsfany's characters are mouth pieces for a particular viewpoint or social stereotype. Fully formed and believable human beings, they are not. Sophie should have a "Supergrrl" logo on her shirt. She is, of course, better than the Americans the author, no doubt, hopes will soon be replaced by their immigrant betters. For example, "You scored the highest in the entire state, Sophie. You should be proud of yourself" (p. 126). Needless to say, Sophie knows more about the meaning of America than anyone in town. She was taught the essence of America by her grandfather in Syria, who was a university professor. Leo is a great representative of future American manhood in his role as foil and beta orbiter to Sophie. 

The book's villain is equally a cartoon character. Ingrid Sanders is a composite of Jerry Falwell and Hillary Clinton. Sanders is running for mayor and takes a rather bizarre interest in some poor immigrant girl. She attempts to use Sophie for her political campaign. When Sanders' plan blows up due to Sophie not playing along, she rats out the Anwars to the INS. Sanders is a professional power luster who uses altruism to mask her true intentions. And, but of course, she's active in her church. Nevermind that many Christian churches are tirelessly working to bring in all the Sophies they can find. Again, with the subtlety of a Moslem suicide bomber, all Christians in the story are odious people.  

There's no telling for how long Tsfany's elevation to CEO of ARI has been in the works. Sophie was published on 9 January 2018. I doubt that these two events are completely unrelated. Sophie seems little more than a calculated "F you" to real American Objectivists who don't want their nation's culture and borders erased - and, who don't hold their fellow Americans in contempt. 

It's fair to say that Sophie will never be confused with Ayn Rand's favorite novel Calumet "K" by Samuel Merwin. As she explains, 
Calumet "K" is a good example of the fact that when fiction, even light fiction, contains some element of truth about human existence, it carries philosophical implications wider than its specific theme. This novel is a remarkable historical-social-psychological document. Today, its sub-title ought to be: This was America. (The Objectivist, October 1967)
Or, this was the America murdered by cultural Marxists. It's truly sad that the organization that bears her name is making common cause with the nation's destroyers. Sophie is the sort of junk trumpeted by the Obleftivist Establishment. Meanwhile, these people completely ignore Edward Cline's magnificent Sparrowhawk series on America's founding. This is just one example of their bad judgment and pettiness. 

Tal Tsfany's tenure as ARI's CEO guarantees its continued irrelevance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: Walter R. Borneman, Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America, 2008

James K. Polk was one of America's best, most successful presidents. Walter Borneman has published an excellent, well-written and honest biography of this pivotal leader. Polk is given high marks by many historians for defining his agenda prior to his election for president, then carrying out that agenda as promised. He did so in one-term. As the election of 1848 loomed, there was much speculation on whether Polk would keep his promise of not running for reelection. He did. 

James K. Polk Eleventh President of the United States
His four years in the White House was severely detrimental to his health. He died, possibly of cholera, only a few months after leaving office on 15 June 1849. But, he knew his administration would have a long lasting positive impact on the country he loved. Polk's longtime supporter A.O.P. Nicholson wrote the epitaph for the deceased president: 
By his public policy he defined, established, and extended the boundaries of his country. He planted the laws of the American union on the shores of the Pacific. His influence and his counsels tended to organize the national treasury on the principles of the Constitution, and to apply the rule of freedom to navigation, trade, and industry. (p. 344)
Nicholson neatly summarizes the four policy initiatives that Polk carried out during his administration. These four polices were: annexation of a substantial portion of the Oregon Territory, acquisition of California, treasury reform, a tariff for mostly revenue purposes. 

Polk was a Jacksonian Democrat. His four policy goals were largely those of Andrew Jackson. Borneman does an admirable job narrating how Polk was able to advance the Jacksonian agenda to a greater extent than the Great Man himself. While explaining how Polk carried out his domestic agenda, the author focuses on the Mexican-American War and territorial expansion. He deftly recounts how Polk was able to acquire Oregon by extending the 49th parallel line to the Pacific. The British were demanding that the Columbia River should be the border between the USA and Canada. Polk knew how far to push John Bull and forced them to a reasonable compromise while avoiding war. 

At the Halls of Montezuma

When Polk entered the White House, Texas had already been annexed to the United States and would become a state in December 1845. Polk ordered troops to the Rio Grande on the Gulf Coast under General Zachary Taylor. Borneman does well by fairly describing Polk's contentious relations with his Whiggish generals. As he notes, the long delays in communications between Washington D.C. Texas and California added much confusion to an already tricky political situation. 

Borneman bases his work on Polk's presidential diary and other primary documents. His book can be appreciated for its lack of psychologizing of his subject. He sticks to the record while building a fascinating history of President Polk's political career and era. The author uses telling examples to illustrate Polk's intelligence and good judgment. A rare lapse of the latter is Polk's misguided loyalty to the incompetent political opportunist Gideon Pillow. A positive example of Polk's wisdom is his concern over Congress creating the Interior Department during his administration: 
Although Polk was preoccupied with the California debate, among other last minute bills presented to him was one to create the Department of the Interior. Polk was skeptical. He found the bill long and complicated and had little time to examine it in detail. He feared "its consolidating tendency" and thought that it would centralize power over public lands in the federal government to the detriment of the states, where he thought it belonged. (p. 334)
Of course, he should have followed his better judgment and vetoed the bill. Needless to say, the Interior Department is now a Deep State land grapping empire with contempt for the American people and their fundamental rights. It should be eliminated.

To his great credit, the author does not evade the elephant in the room in his book's conclusion. He forthrightly comments that Polk's work - and that of the American people who built the American southwest into a civilized country - is being rapidly, and intentionally, deconstructed. 
The irony, of course, is that in the early years of the twenty-first century, a tidal war of Hispanic immigration continues to sweep northward from Mexico, not only into the provinces that James K. Polk  wrested from Mexico one hundred sixty years ago, but throughout the United States. It is a tidal wave of population and culture as inexorable as that which rolled into Texas in the 1830s. Whatever else history is, it is not static. (p. 337)
And whatever Mexifornia becomes, it will be far worse that the Golden State it is replacing. It is understandable that the Mexican people and their government seek to undo the decision of 1846. However, it's treason for the American Deep State - among other putative "Americans" - to have the same agenda. History is indeed not static.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Yaron Brook Denies Potential Genocide - Virtue Signals

Yaron Brook is the Ayn Rand Institute's chairman of the board. Although no longer ARI's CEO, he is still very much its public face. He seems to be putting most of his effort into his "radio" show. He uploads these shows several times a week onto his YouTube channel. Regrettably, most of these shows are over one and a half hours long. 

A few days ago, Brook had a lengthy show on several different topics, see above. One of these topics was about events in South Africa. Happily, only the first thirty minutes of this show concerns this issue. The rest of the show is on Brook's ongoing snit with Ben Shapiro that doesn't concern the more weighty topic of the potential (or perhaps ongoing) ethnic cleansing in South Africa. Brook's guest for this segment is Christo Hattingh, who is a white South African libertarian/Objectivist. Both deny that genocide is occurring in South Africa or that there is much of a threat of it happening in the near future. 

I've never been to South Africa and have to rely on news reports on current events in, and books for the history on, the country. My main interest here are Brook's reasons for minimizing the ongoing horrors in South Africa. He begins with the "liberal" smear du jour. According to Brook, the ethnic cleansing of whites in South Africa (ethnic cleansing seems to be many Africans favorite past time, e.g. Nigerian Civil War) is an issue made up by the "alt-right." The only examples he cites are Breitbart News (!) and Lauren Southern. Southern has produced a documentary on the oppression of whites in South Africa based on her extensive travels in the country. She's a Canadian libertarian and is not part of the "alt-right." 

Instead, both Brook and Hattingh argue that the motives for confiscating white own farms is mainly socialist/Marxist economic doctrine. We can leave aside here that the tens-of-millions murdered by socialists in the last century are just as dead as people murdered for racist reasons. They then claim that the ruling ANC is running away from the confiscation plan. Both of these claims are false. In late February, the South African parliament, by an overwhelming margin of 241 to 83, passed a measure to confiscate white owned farms. According to the Daily Mail, "the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa's platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February." Key factor. Key. This key factor of the new government is explicitly racist. Note how whites are being demonized for all of South Africa's problems. 

We have a small racial minority being scapegoated for the problems created by a corrupt authoritarian government. This government will now confiscate the scapegoats' property for proper looting. Where have we seen this before? If the minority in question was not white, there would be no doubt about what's going on in South Africa. But, not to worry. Brook notes that Ramaphosa was in business! He's a businessman, and, therefore deserves the benefit of the doubt - unlike Donald Trump who's the cancer of our time, according to Brook. 

Ironically, several days before Brook's show on this topic, Lauren Southern was on Australian television answering her critics. (It didn't take long for Youtube to remove Southern's thoughtcrime. Two words: common carrier.) She says that genocide is not now occurring in South Africa; but, that there is a strong possibility of it happening. She argues that the completely corrupt South African government, and its media lackeys, are covering up the horrendous crimes being committed against white farmers. She also states that these crimes are largely racially motivated. Brook states that there is also very high crime black on black crime in South African cities. It's weird to hear someone minimize nasty murders and rapes the purpose for which is ethnic cleansing by citing street crime rates. 

At the end of Brook's segment on South Africa he indulges in virtue signalling. He praises Communist Nelson Mandela, no mention of Winnie's necklaces, and goes on about how horrible Apartheid was (although, less horrible than most of the contemporaneous horrors in Africa - e.g. Idi Amin). Brook praises Mandela "for transitioning South Africa to democracy [!] without violence, which I would have expected the country to explode. Apartheid was so disgusting I would have expected the country to explode" (28:00 minute mark). But now that the South Africa government is working to foment racial hatred and light the fuse of a powder-keg, Brook sees no evil. As with any "good" liberal-leftist, Brook denies that anti-white racism is a problem worth considering. For his ilk, only white racism exists and the USA is still controlled by Bull Connor.

I hope that the white farmers retain their firearms and aren't shy about using them in self-defense. As for Brook, a friend just sent me a link to another video of Brook in a panel discussion with Dave Rubin. 

Brook's views on the right to keep and bear arms start at around the 1:23:30 mark. He's responding to a question about school shootings. He's certainly right that the government school system is an abomination whose only purpose is to indoctrinate defenseless children with the leftist liturgy. He should have stopped there. Needless to say, government schools aren't going anywhere in the near or mid term. But, rationalist that he is, Brook denigrates the means for practical action (and the individual right that makes action possible) while spinning webs of reform that won't happen for decades, if ever: 

I don't think guns matter. If they took if they took all our guns it doesn't matter and if we kept all the guns it doesn't matter that much. What matters a thousand times more is what's happening in our schools.

There you have it. Having the means for self-defense "doesn't matter."  A woman having a gun to shoot her rapist "doesn't matter." Having a gun to stop a maniacal spree killer "doesn't matter." Anti-white racism doesn't exist. The elite's plan to "fundamental transform" white majority countries into white minority countries is not itself a form of vicious racism. For some people, only abstractions count - well, and their bank account.