Supreme Courts: The Anglosphere Challenge

June 30, 2005

Mark Steyn, reviewing global social trends, thinks the future lies with the Anglosphere. But, unless someone gets rid of the US and State Supreme Courts, the Anglosphere won’t make it.

Steyn suggests the decline of religion is the biggest cause of social and demographic collapse.

There aren’t many examples of successful post-religious societies. And, if one casts around the world today, one notices the two powers with the worst prospects are the ones most advanced in their post-religiosity.

Russia will never recover from seven decades of Communism: its sickly menfolk have a lower life expectancy than Bangladeshis; its population shrinks by 100 every hour, and by 0.4 per cent every year, a rate certain to escalate as the smarter folks figure it’s better to emigrate than get sucked down in the demographic death spiral.

And then, of course, there’s the European Union. Every day you get ever more poignant glimpses of the Euro-future, such as it is. In East Germany, whose rural communities are dying, village sewer systems are having a tough time adjusting to the lack of use. Populations have fallen so dramatically that there are too few people flushing to keep the flow of waste moving. Traditionally, government infrastructure expenditure arises from increased demand. In this case, the sewer lines are having to be narrowed at great cost in order to cope with dramatically decreased demand.

Where does he get this stuff from? Anyway, the EU is indeed perfectly agnostic, but some parts are still solidly religious (like our Southern Med base). Still, his conclusions are interesting.

For Britain and Ireland, two relatively dynamic provinces of a moribund continent, there are only two options: share the pain and expense and societal upheaval, or decide that you’re not that “European” after all and begin the process of detachment or at least semi-detachment. When the Continentals bemoan “Anglo-Saxon” capitalism, they have a point. Of the 20 economies with the biggest GDP per capita, no fewer than 11 are current or former realms of Her Britannic Majesty.

Further.

…if you eliminate populations under 10 million, the GDP per capita Top Five are, in order, America, Canada, Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom. And if you make it territories with over 20 million, the Top Four is an Anglosphere sweep. In other words, the ability to generate wealth among large populations does indeed seem to be an “Anglo-Saxon” thing.

He concludes that the EU is doomed:

A political entity hostile to the three principal building blocks of functioning societies – religion, family and wealth creation – was never a likely bet for the long term.

I agree, but…the biggest Anglosphere nation has an all-powerful judiciary which is hell-bent on killing off religion, and is undermining the family and wealth creation.

Advertisements

Mansions Then And Now

June 30, 2005

The Gandalf’s spent yesterday celebrating a significant wedding anniversary.

We stayed at a splendid country house, now an upscale hotel. Built 1620 and updated to match the designs of Andrea Palladio in the 1700s, it’s set in about 1,000 acres of ancient parkland. In the evening, kitted out in full evening dress, we enjoyed a superb performance of Don Giovanni, staged in another country house – this one in a mock-grecian style.

Which reminded me of the modest aspirations of America’s founders. Jefferson’s Monticello and Monroe’s Ash Lawn are a fraction of the size and majesty of the typical English country house of that time.

The gap has now closed – the likes of George Soros and other financial fat cats have mansions quite as big as Brit ones.


Bushido and Islamic Terrorists

June 30, 2005

The Japanese army in WW2 behaved as atrociously as the Islamic terrorists of today, although conditioned by the cult of Bushido rather than the religion of Islam. Luckily for the Islamic terrorists, we are not fighting them the way we did the Japanese. Yet.

Bushido began as:

The traditional code of the Japanese samurai, stressing honor, self-discipline, bravery, and simple living.

Prior to WW2, the Japanese expansionist adapted the Bushido code to energize their armies.

They were indoctrinated from an early age to revere the Emperor as a living deity, and to see war as an act that could purify the self, the nation, and ultimately the whole world. Within this framework, the supreme sacrifice of life itself was regarded as the purest of accomplishments.
‘Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.’

SUICIDE

Like the Islamic terrorists, Bushido exalted suicide. For example, after losing his carrier at Midway:
Yamaguchi probably could have…put his talents back to use for the Japanese navy to fight another day, but that was not the Bushido way.

And the cult of suicide ran right to the end with the Kamikaze pilots idealized in
Empire of the Sun. About 1,900 dove to their deaths.

DECAPITATION

The Japanese were as obsessed with decapitation as the Islamic terrorists. Here are a few examples – if you have a strong stomach, read Russell’s The Knights of Bushido.

decapitation

Malaya. Japanese troops decapitated 200 wounded Australians and Indians left behind when Australian troops withdrew through the jungle from Mar.

Philippines. The Bataan Death March — 7,000 surrendered men died. Those that could not keep up the pace were clubbed, stabbed, shot, beheaded or buried alive.

CIVILIAN KILLING

Like the Islamic terrorists, the Japanese specialized in torturing and killing non-combatants.

Dutch Borneo. The entire white population of Balikpapan was executed.

Java. The entire white male population of Tjepu was executed. Women were raped.

Singapore. Japanese soldiers bayoneted 300 patients and staff of Alexandra military hospital. British women had their hands behind their backs and were repeatedly raped. All Chinese residents were interviewed and 5,000 selected for execution.

THE ALLIED RESPONSE TO BUSHIDO

The allied response was brutal.

– Japanese prisoners and wounded were routinely killed on the battlefield.
– Extensive use was made of flamethrowers.
– The British bayoneted Japanese at every opportunity.
– The US, with UK help, developed and dropped nuclear weapons on Japan.

None of these allied responses were pretty, but they worked.

When judging the comparatively restrained behavior of the allies in the Global War On Terror, critics should reflect on what will happen if we lose, and what we may yet may have to do to secure our liberties.


Our Next War

June 28, 2005

The drones and bunker-busters will soon be headed out – the newly “elected” Iranian president is a monster who really wants nukes.

From the WSJ (subscription).

Mr. Ahmadinejad was involved in planning the seizure of the U.S. embassy and helped organize Khomenei’s Islamic Cultural Revolution, during which universities were shut down and ideologically suspect lecturers and students were arrested and shot.

In the mid-1980s, he worked as an interrogator, or worse, in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison, according to Iranian sources. Mr. Ahmadinejad then joined the Special Brigade of the Revolutionary Guards, where he was an officer in the “Jerusalem Force,” which had responsibility for terrorist attacks and assassinations abroad, including against prominent Iranian dissidents.

In the late 1990s, he was one of the organizers of Ansar-i-Hezbollah, government-sponsored vigilantes assigned to break up peaceful demonstrations. In April 2003, Mr. Ahmadinejad was appointed (not elected) mayor of Tehran, where he set about organizing “Abadgaran” (Developers) groups, which seek to return Iran to sterner Khomeinist principles.

Finally:

Mr. Ahamadinejad says Iran is entitled to any weapons it might want, including nuclear arms, abandoning the ambiguity so dear to Jack Straw and Joshcka Fischer.


Avoid SCOTUS During Thunderstorms

June 28, 2005

SCOTUS has moved from dispossessing working class people to mocking God, a really bad idea. On the bright side, look for a bunch of vacancies soon.

The despots have ruled that the Ten Commandments upon which the light of Western Civilization is founded may be used only as historic interior decor.

They should have thought about this precedent. In 1984, a lefty atheist was appointed Bishop in the Church of England.

He has pursued what he calls an “open, liberal theology” and raised doubts about the historical accuracy of the Gospel accounts of the resurrection and virgin birth. In Easter in 1984 he challenged the orthodox view of the Resurrection by saying that it was “not just a conjuring trick with bones”.

He was crowned (or whatever they do with bishops) in the ancient York Minster.

Just Three days later:

Historic York Minster engulfed by flames

A massive fire has devastated large parts of York Minster causing an estimated £1m damage.

North Yorkshire Fire Brigade’s report to the Home Office confirmed that lightning was the most likely cause.

The Lord minimized collateral damage by timing his strike 3 days after the crowning, and when the Minster was empty. SCOTUS may not get the same forbearance – as well as speaking evil, they do it.

So, stay clear.


The US Has Just Begun To Fight

June 28, 2005

It’s in the nature of warfare that, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and the rabbits bolt. Hence the wailing about US military “overstretch”. VDH has performed a comprehensive demolition of this (my emphases). Turns out the US has just begun to fight and has ample capability to fight elsewhere.

But surely, the sky is falling!

Recent dips in Army enlistments also fueled a new conventional wisdom: that the U.S. military is almost dangerously undermanned, exhausted, and overstretched. An unpopular war, domestic opposition, televised casualties, extended service, divorce and social dislocations, an improving economy, and supposed disparity in the sacrifices made by troops of different races and classes have all, it is said, conspired to cut recruitment to the volunteer army and reserves to alarming levels.

You’ll be amazed to hear that this alarmism is misplaced!

First, the recruiting problem is overstated.

(The Marines) are about 30 percent of all combat deaths, yet make up only 11 percent of current American forces. But in May the Marines slightly exceeded their recruitment goal. The Air Force and Navy likewise met 100 percent of their requirements. The Army traditionally has had the hardest time meeting its targets, given the reputation — warranted or not — that the other branches offer more specialized training and skills that will better enhance civilian careers without the same level of risk as ground combat.

And:

Second, the (recruiting) year is only half over.

But surely the US army is just too big? No it is not.

…on demographic grounds, our current troop mobilizations are hardly a drain on the U.S. population base. In a country of about 300 million residents, we have about 1.4 million troops deployed worldwide. Yet in 1974, during the first full year of the all-volunteer army, the United States deployed 1.9 million soldiers, drawing on a population of more than 210 million.

OK, but isn’t the $ cost unprecedented? Nope.

… in the first full year of the volunteer army (in 1974), military expenditures accounted for 58 percent of discretionary spending, or about 5.5 percent of the gross domestic product. In 2003, when we invaded Iraq with 200,000 troops and conducted reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, we allotted only 49 percent of discretionary spending to defense, some 3.7 percent of GDP.

Yes, but ignoring that, what if the US really cannot afford to spend more?

We still have around 110,000 soldiers in various places in Europe, and these could be cut or deployed closer to the Middle East.

OK, so there isn’t a recruitment problem or a people problem or a $ problem and even if there were, there are plenty of soldiers kicking their heels in Europe. But that’s not the point! The ones being killed are disproportionately citizen-soldiers and minorities! That’s not true.

National Guardsmen constitute about 24 percent of all military personnel but accounted for 16 percent of those lost in Iraq.

Some 95 percent of the fatalities had high-school diplomas, though only 85 percent of all Americans have finished high school.

Blacks and Latinos made up 10.9 and 11.5 percent of the dead, respectively — about their same percentages in the general population, but in the case of blacks less than the 18.6 percent currently serving in the military.

Twenty-nine percent of those who died attended high schools in poverty-stricken areas, versus about a 30 percent poverty rate for all high-school graduates. Seventy percent of those lost were white men, although they currently make up only about a third of the U.S. population.

(I frowned at the last sentence too, then remembered all those white women).

Alright, granted all the above. But surely the losses are just unprecedented? Actually, they are negligible by the standards of our fathers & grandfathers (and that’s not to minimize the sacrifices of the men and women who have died).

D-Day cost around 3,000 Allied dead, and another 6,000 were wounded. During the Battle of the Bulge, some 19,000 Americans died and another 60,000 were wounded, missing, or captured. In the first few minutes of Pearl Harbor, about 2,400 Americans perished. And so far the 1,700 killed in action in Iraq make up about 60 percent of those lost on the first day of this war in the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

So, I would advise the new Iranian mullah not to relax too much.


Socialist SCOTUS

June 27, 2005

A quick look at the judgments handed down by SCOTUS (Brits – this the acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States – please, no tasteless jokes about SCROTUM).

The Socialist SCOTUS continues its long march through the foundations of US society.

Journalists must reveal their sources or go to jail, even when the matter they reported on did not involve a criminal offense. The new regime in Iran will love this.

File sharing companies can be sued if they are used by felons to steal copyrighted material. Socialists prefer to blame the implement not the criminal – it lets them criminalize anything they don’t like, while harming capitalist pig producers. Next stop guns.

Cable companies aren’t obliged to let ISPs use their networks to compete with their own broadband services. A good decision for the wrong reasons – socialists abhor competition.

Scott at Powerline has been trying keep his spirits up.

The 5-4 breakdown of the vote on the (Kelo) decision highlights the importance of President Bush’s standing fast in the judicial wars and of his nominating (and the Senate confirming) another few justices in the mold of Clarence Thomas. I think that is the immediate answer to the question.

I don’t think so. The lefty -in-chief, Kennedy, was appointed by Reagan. His lieutenant Souter was appointed by Bush 41. The problem isn’t that the wrong people are nominated, but that as soon as they are, all but the strongest are absolutely corrupted by absolute power.

My fear is that SCOTUS will legislate the US into an extended decline, as happened to the post WW2 Brits.

My hope that We The People will get mad and fix them.