More Muslim Mayhem

Israel's War Comes To Seattle:

He says: "I’m a Muslim-American. I’m angry at Isreal."

So he shoots six unarmed women.

What courage! What devotion!

Oh, and what skill -- he kills only one of them, even though there was no appreciable resistance and he had the only gun in the room.

I don't want to hear that Muslim-Americans are angry at Israel, so they kill Jewish-Americans. Jewish-Americans are probably angry too. What is supposed to matter, though, is that these are fellow Americans.

It's natural to have a sentiment for the old country, and it's only human to feel more strongly for those whom you regard as brothers (as Muslims do among themselves) than for those whom you don't. Still, America is an idea as much as it is a country: a place where we leave the old tribes behind, and become a new people. E pluribus unum.

In other words, if you're a Muslim who wants to shoot Jewish-Americans in response to Israel's policies, you're not a "Muslim-American." I don't care what your citizenship is. I don't care if you were born in Fargo. You haven't got the idea. You are not one of us.

If you can't leave the old tribe behind -- just enough to avoid killing other Americans who aren't tribesmen, that's all we ask -- you should rethink whether or not you want to be here. It won't be hard for the rest of us to rethink whether or not we want you in the community. We don't strip people of their citizenship in America, but neither are we bound to accept people that make war on our women, or exercise their tribal ideas of religion by shooting up social clubs. We can put you in prison, or we can kill you. We have the death penalty here, and many of us are not unarmed victims.

On which point, I should like my Jewish female readers to note that they are targets. You know who you are. There are people who want to kill you. This guy is said to have been a lone maniac. Perhaps he was. You know there are organized groups that want the same thing. You know this is true.

There is only one way to ensure that this kind of thing doesn't happen to your families. You need to get over whatever aversions you have, pick out a handgun that suits your frame, and learn to use it, more accurately than these people.

Fortunately, that's not a high bar to cross.

You're the only ones who can stop this. The police will not be there. If this isn't to happen where you are, you have to stop it.

The NRA will help you find a teacher here. Wherever you are, they can help you.

Drop me a line if you want to talk about it.

I won't stand by and let people break America, not for Israel and not for Islam. Frankly, neither are worth it in my opinion. She is our common charge. We are the Sons of Liberty. This flame will not die. That is a promise and a warning.

Military Blue States


John at OP-FOR has a piece at National Review (a good piece, Eric?). He's chastizing, properly, so-called "elite" schools for their treatment of military recruiters, and their discouragement of their students from military service.

Which brings us to the comments at BlackFive, when Jimbo posted about the piece:

True story: I tried joining the Army a year ago and had to get one of those fancy $1,300 psych evaluations that only a professional civilian consultant can do in order to get a waiver at MEPS ["Military Entrance Processing Station" -- the place where you go to get the paperwork done and your medical exams]. Within the first 5 minutes of the interview with the psychologist I convinced him I didn't have any problems. Then instead of ending the interview there, he went on and on for the next 15 minutes about how someone like me shouldn't be joining the military. Apparently I had a 95 on the ASVAB and was doing well in college (3.6 GPA) and he was telling me, to summarize: "You're just going to be cannon fodder in the miltary. You have too much potential. Read some anti-military books to see how much of a mistake joining the military is. Your MMPI-2 results show you can take criticism, but they're going to yell at you in boot camp!"

At MEPS he faxed over his 1 paragraph evaluation that said because of my goal orientation, and ironically, my ability to handle stress, I wouldn't be fit for the military because I potentially could be insubordinate at Boot Camp. The opposite of everything he said to my face about me. Basically, the guy was your typical smug blue state anti-war liberal who wants to rescue those who don't need rescuing. He rescued two other kids that day with the same evaluation -- he just changed the names at the top of the page.

It's a year later and my recruiter gave me a call saying I can now take another psych evaluation. I'm not really sure what to think. Maybe I'll act dumb and desperate and try failing the evaluation this time?

I get called a chickenhawk by the same kind of people who keep me from enlisting.
So, basically the psych doctor didn't feel even a little bit bad about getting this poor guy damned as a psycho who couldn't be trusted to serve as a private, in order to keep him out of the military. For the rest of his life, if he applies for gov't service jobs, the kid is going to be asked, "Were you ever refused entry to the military?" and he'll have to say, "Yes, I was found psychologically unsuitable."

Can he prove he's not? It's not like proving that you don't have an ulcer. With a real medical condition, they can look and see. You can't "see" a psychological condition. How does this kid clear his name?

The best he can do is find another civilian expert, pay out another grand, and then -- if it goes well, and he doesn't get another anti-military jerk (or some psychologist who feels that young men with such feelings of aggression that they want to join the military need to be medicated and feminized) -- he'll have a "he said / she said" defense. 'Only one of them thinks I'm crazy! And they can't really prove anything one way or the other, so... um, why are you looking at me like that?'

Psychology should simply be banned from federal hiring decisions, and also from court proceedings. It is not a science, it's fortune-telling. We wouldn't let a tarot card reader ruin a kid's life and put something this damaging in his permanent record. We shouldn't let a "scientist" like this do it, either.



Praise a day at evening, a wife when dead,
a sword when tried... and beer when it's drunk.

-The Havamal

Today I can praise a very good cat, who went by the name of Arganti. She came to me as a kitten out of a hurricane the size of Texas, which left the areas near Savannah filled with wrack. The moment she saw me, her tail shot up, and she started running. Fool that I am, I took her in when she literally followed me home -- and then sent her off to live with Sovay, which she has done in queenly comfort these several years.

Sadly today I hear that she died suddenly, though not without such help as science can offer. She was always good for the things that make cats good: she was temperate toward people, not so to vermin, and she would sit on your shoulder like a pirate's parrot while you walked around.

Farewell, then, to a very good cat. I am glad to have known her. Men and dogs have an ancient alliance both pure and noble, but the cat remains a surprise.

Web of Trust

"The Web of Trust"

Bill Whittle's latest is, as always, a remarkable explanation of the things that underlie our lives. Whittle has mastered the art of seeing what Chesterton saw when writing of the stoplight, called in his day a "signal box":

A great many people talk as if this claim of ours, that all things are poetical, were a mere literary ingenuity, a play on words. Precisely the contrary is true. It is the idea that some things are not poetical which is literary, which is a mere product of words. The word "signal-box" is unpoetical. But the thing signal-box is not unpoetical; it is a place where men, in an agony of vigilance, light blood-red and sea-green fires to keep other men from death. That is the plain, genuine description of what it is; the prose only comes in with what it is called.
Whittle sees the poetry in things that few pause to consider, and from that can envision the whole grandeur of civilization. He can see the men laying fiber cables and other men molding plastics, and still more men training for years in the use of inventions like radar -- itself a wonder. And he can put it all together for us, and show us how all that work underlies the business of bringing a plane down to the earth.

Yet I find that I think he has misread something fairly fundamental to his argument, something he says is coastline rather than map. The idea that "human beings are interchangable" is simply not quite right. The truth is that human beings are not interchangable at all -- each one is individual. This isn't just because of upbringing, as Whittle suggests, and why it isn't is a truth of the same material as the rest of his argument.

Let me explain. Whittle writes:
I mean that had Baby Billy been dropped off in the heart of the Amazon rainforest and raised by Yanomami tribesmen (and according to my mother there were times when I was in real danger of this happening), I would have spent my youth learning to hunt monkeys with my bow and 6ft. long arrows, and generally hanging around the shabono sleeping in till almost 6am. Likewise, if Baby Kopenawa had my parents, he’d probably be cranking out online essays at irregular intervals and shooting instrument approaches in experimental canard airplanes.
I think we can all agree that it's entirely plausible that Billy Baby could have been given over to Yanomami tribesmen, and grown up to hunt monkeys. There would be nothing strange in that.

Yet it is very unlikely that Baby Kopenawa would have grown up to crank out essays of the type and quality of Whittle's own, to say nothing of having his fascination with airplanes. It is not impossible, but it is not likely.

Civilization not only entails the web of trust that Whittle discusses, but it also requires a far greater degree of specialization. Whittle-the-Amazonian would have learned to hunt monkeys because everyone has to hunt monkeys. Kopenawa, by contrast, would have found himself facing a whole array of choices, to which his native intelligence and individual aspects would have inclined him to some and away from others. To succeed, which means to survive, Whittle of the Amazon would have had to do more or less exactly what everyone else did. To succeed, which means to prosper, Kopenawa would have to do what he did best.

What would that have been? There is a fair amount of research, and a great deal of practical experience, that suggests that there really are genetic inheritances that pertain to kinds of intelligence as well as physical attributes. Individual variation is more important than group membership, but if one were to exchange not one baby but thousands of babies, there would be trends that we could identify. One of the consequences of civilization and its specializations is coming to terms with that. As whole nations and peoples become civilized and specialized, the market begins stratifying them according to which intelligences are most marketable. As we understand more about the mechanism, we may wish to think more about whether to try to modify the market's results -- and if so, how we could do so.

As we become more capable of editing genetic traits, new questions arise. These questions will become more rather than less important, and more rather than less numerous, with each scientific success.

Let us say, for example, that one could modify a set of genetics so that you could replace a prediliction for one kind of intelligence (say, the kind that lets you perform a given task without growing bored for hours on end) with another (say, the ability to do higher mathematics with ease and comfort). Now let's say we have a genetic group that tends toward the first kind, and which has therefore (because the market prefers mathematicians and engineers to janitors and clerks) become identifibly poorer than other groups. What do you do about that? Anything? Nothing? Does it matter? Once it becomes in our power to change, ethical issues arise that don't exist when it is beyond us.

We cannot, therefore, adopt Bill Whittle's idea as ideology -- not that he would wish you to do so. He says to look at the coastline, not the map, and that is what we must do. His point that culture is more important than genetics is certainly true. However, as part of the business of civilization, we have to look at the genetics as well.

We should think about these things, because they are the next challenge -- the mental bridge Whittle mentions, to be considered before the first rivet is driven. There is the chasm before us. We had better give it some thought.


Things To Read Today:

The discussion, as soon as I have time to sit down and discuss, will be on Bill Whittle's newest piece. Give it a read today, and we'll talk it over tomorrow.

Also, CENTCOM has a new release on a raid north of Balad.

A case of verification. Or sock puppets. Or both.

In this post, Karrde muses on basically "How do we know what we know and how do we know who to trust?" (Or something like that).

An interesting example of trust and credibility has occurred, dissected at great length by Eric Scheie of the blog Classical Values.

Starting here, (actually that may not be the start, its just where I picked it up), and continuing here, and here and here and finally (as of my posting), here Mr Scheie starts digging into the people supposedly working at (and others quoted by) a site called Capital Hill Blues, which is supposedly a sort of newsletter site covering Capitol Hill. Or something like that.

It appears that the whole site may be the work of one guy, constantly inventing new people and quoting non-existant scholars, doctors and so forth, none of them real. Or not real in so much as Google can reveal.

This has affinities with a phenomenon called 'sock puppets' --usually referring to the antic of defending or supporting oneself with a different screen name or email address---for a classic example of sock puppetry, see Ace of Spades HQ and this post on Glenn Greenwald. Actually, there's plenty more there on that affair, and it makes for curious reading.

So, reader beware. If such things are happening, they are happening everywhere.