the leftist experience

[T]he moral destruction of communism was worse because the confusion between common morality and communist morality remains deep rooted.  With the latter hiding behind the former, it is parasitical and polluting, using common morality to spread its contagion.  Here is a recent example: in the discussions that followed the publication of The Black Book of Communism, an editorial writer at the French communist newspaper L’Humanite’ announced on television that 85 million deaths did not in any way tarnish the communist ideal.  They represented only a very unfortunate deviation.  After Auschwitz, he continued, one can no longer be a Nazi, but one can remain a communist after the Soviet camps.  This man, who spoke in good conscience, did not realize at all that he had just articulated his own most fatal condemnation.  He could not see that the communist idea had so perverted the principles of reality and morality that it could indeed outlive 85 million corpses, whereas the Nazi idea had succombed under its dead.  He thought he had spoken as a great and decent man, idealistic and uncompromising, without realizing that he had uttered a monstrosity.  Communism is more perverse than Nazism because it does not ask man consciously to take the moral step of the criminal, and because it uses the spirit of justice and goodness that abounds throughout the earth to spread evil over all the earth.  Each communist experience begins anew in innocence.

Alain Besancon, A Century of Horrors, 2007.

American leftists will ridicule their comparison to communists, however, in moral relativity, in masking harmful policies under good intentions, and in denial over their policies’ historical failures, leftists and communists are a distinction without a difference. [Read more...]

contrived continuity

The psychological state of the militant is distinguished by his fanatical investment in the system.  This central vision reorganizes his entire intellectual and perceptual field, all the way to the periphery.  Language is transformed: it is no longer used to communicate or express, but to conceal a contrived continuity between the system and reality.  Ideological language is charged with the magical role of forcing reality to conform to a particular vision of the world.  It is a liturgical language for which every utterance points to its speaker’s adherence to the system, and it summons the interlocutor to adhere as well.  Code words thus constitute threats and figures of power.It is not possible to remain intelligent under the spell of ideology.

The most obvious sign that ideological insanity is artificial is that it is reversible: when the pressure ceases and circumstances change, one gets out all at once, as if from a dream.  But it is a waking dream–one that does not block motility and maintains a certain apparently rational coherence.  Outside the affected area, which is the superior part of the mind in a healthy person–the part that articulates religion, philosophy, and the “governing ideas of reason,” as Kant would say–the comprehensive functions seem intact but focused on and enslaved by the surreal object.  When one wakes, one’s mind is empty; one’s life and knowledge must be entirely relearned.

Alain Besancon, A Century of Horrors, 2007.

The Republican mistake of the 2008 election was to embrace a portion of the left’s ideological insanity to bring in moderates, which ended up ratcheting the debate to the left.  Whoever concluded that Republicans could score by giving the ball to the opposition should be fired. [Read more...]

blowback

“Because white guilt is a vacuum of moral authority, it makes the moral authority of whites and the legitimacy of American institutions contingent on proving a negative: that they are not racist.  The great power of white guilt comes from the fact that it functions by stigma, like racism itself.  Whites and American institutions are stigmatized as racist until they prove otherwise. . . . .[T]he larger reality is that white guilt leaves no room for moral choice; it does not depend on the goodwill or the genuine decency of people.”  Shelby Steele, White Guilt, 2006.

The moral authority that comes from an absence of moral choice is actually no moral authority.  This is a prescription for endless manipulation–by both blacks and whites–which Steele documents at length.  He also wrote, [Read more...]

Death Tax

Colorado Ranchers Pray for Death of ‘Death Tax’

Farmers also can use conservation easements. They donate land to a qualifying tax-exempt or governmental organization and agree to keep it as open space or use it for agriculture, said Durst.

Adding up all exemptions, Durst projects that less than 1 percent of farms will be subject to the estate tax in 2009.

It’s interesting how  Ron Durst, senior economist for the Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, and the Associated Press consider donating your land to the government to be a tax exemption.  Let me get this straight, if the government takes a portion of your wealth, that’s taxation, but if you give the government all of your wealth, then it’s a tax exemption. 

I guess so, but only because you’ll have nothing left to tax.

Putin throws Obama under the bus

“Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence is another possible mistake.

True, the state’s increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent.

The concentration of surplus assets in the hands of the state is a negative aspect of anti-crisis measures in virtually every nation.

In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.

Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.

And one more point: anti-crisis measures should not escalate into financial populism and a refusal to implement responsible macroeconomic policies. The unjustified swelling of the budgetary deficit and the accumulation of public debts are just as destructive as adventurous stock-jobbing.”

The following text is a transcript of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Putins speaks at Davos

change that defies belief

Surreal Spending
The House is poised to take a final vote on the compromise $800-billion spending bill on, appropriately, Friday the 13th, with the Senate likely to follow soon after.

In my 36 years in Washington, I have never seen such a surreal environment, with hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed taxpayer money being spent without committee hearings or even meaningful public debate over the thousands of new and expanded programs the bill funds. [Read more...]

Insubordination

In Colorado, employees who refuse to adhere to policies announced by senior management get shown the door.

The Elbert County Planning Commission, however, made up of people appointed by the BOCC and who serve at the pleasure of the BOCC are hell bent to regulate land owners in Elbert County using the Master Plan, contrary to the expressed intent of the BOCC and contrary to the expression of the voters on November 4th who chose against pro-regulatory Democrats.

Planning Commission members Grant Thayer, Richard Carlson, Paul Crisan, David Hoos, Mike Kelley, Anthony Osborn, and Lisa Shipman and their complicit facilitator Richard L. Miller, Director – Community & Development Services, should all be shown the door.  These planning commission members should NOT be re-appointed to the planning commission by the new BOCC in January.  And in so far as Mr. Miller has facilitated their insubordination, he should also be excused from the county payroll.

The majority of Elbert County citizens who do not favor regulatory planning deserve a planning commission and a planning department that respects their majority view.  This insidious and incessant leftist push back against the majority of Elbert County voters through regulatory planning should be unequivocally shut down.

The voters at large gave their consent to be governed in county matters by electing commissioners to the BOCC.  Those elected commissioners are expected to represent the majority of voters who elected them.  A minority of voters, however, have taken over the planning commission and imposed their minority view that the master plan is regulatory in Elbert County.  This is the same minority who lost at the polls last November 4th.  Planning commissioners and the planning department have aided and abetted this minority in the takeover.  This minority of voters and their enablers do not represent anything close to a majority view on regulatory planning, yet, they parse every bit of official language from every related subject into the assumption that regulatory planning already exists, in order to create the false impression that the majority desires it when it fact the majority does not.  And after doing so, they applaud themselves.

The majority of voters are unaware of the charade of the planning commission and don’t even know their rights are being swept out from underneath them by a minority of pro-regulation leftists.  Meanwhile these leftist experts at judicial and bureaucratic manipulation, who can’t win at the ballot box, work tirelessly to control your private property in Elbert County.  They think that because they care so much about what you do with your property, that their caring confers upon them the right to order you to dispose of your property in the manner they dictate.

Go to any planning commission meeting.  Watch these usurpers toy with your rights.  Watch them laugh out loud and congratulate themselves after a particularly onerous session.  Watch them wield the power of dictatorship.

If our next BOCC does not put a stop to this farce in January and appoint planning commissioners who respect the historical advisory nature of the master plan, and who respect the wishes of the majority of Elbert County voters for a non-regulatory master plan, then the majority of voters should vote them out of office at the first opportunity to do so.

Listen to the applause in the link above.  Listen to this dictatorial bunch ride roughshod over the 5th Amendment and your property rights.  Listen to them take your rights with impunity.  Listen to them publicly insult the BOCC members who appointed them to the planning commission.  Then do something about it dammit.  This is an important battle folks.  Don’t let them steal our rights.