Catalan Police Culturally Enriched With Scabies

An image of a Mossos d’Esquadra patrol.

Many thanks to Pampasnasturtium for translating this article from La Vanguardia:

Union complaint

A Catalan police union requests that areas where foreign minors have been present be disinfected to avoid scabies outbreaks

They demand that “the appropriate orders” be given and advise not to mix work uniforms with daily clothes

The Catalan police union (SME: Sindicato de Mossos d’Esquadra) has required that “the appropriate orders” be given to “disinfect” all areas, vehicles and spaces where Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MENA: Menores Extranjeros No Acompañados) have been during recent weeks, and that the program against biological hazards such as scabies be applied ex officio.

In a (public) statement the association recalls the conditions that favor the appearance and spread of scabies, and explains the main symptoms.

It also advises not to mix work uniforms with daily clothes, and to wash the former with water at 60ºC (140ºF).

The recommendation arrives after minors with this status recently had to sleep in police stations, both those of the regional and municipal (Guardia Urbana) police forces, due to the situation in which the usual public reception services had collapsed.

[Translator’s note: from an associated report, there have been more than 2,000 of these arrivals in Catalunya since January 1 2018, compared with a total of 1,489 for 2017, and 684 in 2016.]

Catalan police: Mossos d’Esquadra

The Cultural Significance of the BurkaBag

The B had this video in his pending list (he’ll add the transcript later). Since his pendings reside on the computer in my office, I get to peek at them. Thus, your early access…it’s only four minutes long, not enough to dissuade me from watching. Besides, there is something about a French woman speaking English; she brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the conversation, non?

The speaker, Céline Pina, outlines the choices of costume facing Islamic women in the West. In other words, choices that wouldn’t confront them had their families stayed in their country of origin. For these bagged women, they might as well have not bothered traveling westward.

Thanks to Ava Lon for the translation:

Video transcript:

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Like Islam, TB Has Always Belonged to Germany…

…Or so Mutti will soon be telling us.

The following report by Egri Nök was published earlier at Vlad Tepes in a slightly different form.

Europe: Multi-Resistant Tuberculosis Pathogens Found In Refugees

by Egri Nök

An original translation from Die Welt:

Multi-Resistant Tuberculosis Pathogens Found in Refugees

By Claudia Sewig, January 16, 2018

Scientists substantiated the outbreak of a multi-resistant strain of tuberculosis. It was discovered in 29 refugees who had come to Germany via the Horn of Africa.

The tuberculosis trend, which had been declining for many years, has turned around. This is what the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI) in Berlin announced at World Tuberculosis Day 2017, pointing out a relation with current migration movements. Scientists at the National Reference Centre (NRZ) at the research center Borstel (Segeberg district) managed to substantiate a Europe-wide outbreak of a multi-resistant strain of tuberculosis with 29 refugees. The strain showed a remarkable combination of resistance to four different antibiotics.

The increase of cases involving persons with a migration background caused the NRZ scientists to conduct further research. In general, newly-arriving refugees are screened for transmittable diseases in the entry exam according to paragraph 62 of asylum law (AsylG). This includes an x-ray of the respiratory tract, which can determine a tuberculosis infection. But only ten percent of the people who are infected with the pathogen become ill — half of them in the first year after infection, the other half even later.
Since the law for protection against infection (IfSG) was introduced in January 2001, numerous characteristics of each tuberculosis patient are recorded and, in anonymised form, transferred by the 400 health offices in Germany via the 16 land offices to the Robert Koch Institute.

Refugees came via Horn of Africa

The research center Borstel now announces in a publication in the professional journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases” that the researchers from Schleswig-Holstein and their colleagues of the National Reference Center for Mycobacteria (NZM) Switzerland identified a hitherto unknown tuberculosis pathogen in 2016.

The molecular-biological examination in combination with patient interviews enabled the scientists to partially reconstruct the chain of infection. The data pointed to infection before the arrival in Europe, in a Libyan refugee camp at Bani Walid.

It is likely that the strain developed from a clone of a tuberculosis strain that is common at the Horn of Africa, and developed the critical combination of resistances. All 29 patients from seven European countries were refugees who had migrated to Europe via the Horn of Africa.

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More Cultural Enrichment for Italy: AIDS from Nigeria?

According to a politician from an Italian nationalist party, the flood of migrants into Italy brings with it a significant risk of AIDS and other serious contagion.

Many thanks to FouseSquawk for translating this article from Il Giornale:

Migrants, the complaint to the government: “There is a risk AIDS among Nigerians”

Of the more than 80 thousand Nigerians who have arrived, more than 15 thousand could be HIV-positive. The complaint by FDI: “The government says it was for prophylaxis to protect Italians.”

Sergio Copper
July 17, 2017

“The government does not underestimate another serious problem regarding the immigration emergency in Italy.”

While the ports of southern Italy are filled with thousands of newly arrived immigrants, the deputy for the Brothers of Italy [Fratelli d’Italia, FDI], Edmondo Cirielli, launches a new, ominous warning that, at least until now, has not been taken into account. “Those who land on Italian shores,” he points out, “come primarily from Nigeria, country with the second-largest number, after South Africa, of people living with AIDS.” He now wants to know whether the government is doing something to prevent, or at least monitor this risk.

Supposedly, according to estimates, at least 20% of the Nigerian population is HIV positive. “And,” calculates Cirielli, “because in the last three and a half years more than 80 thousand Nigerians have arrived, it is to be assumed that more than 15 thousand of them are HIV positive”. Nigeria is, moreover, the fourth country in the world for tuberculosis, and 22% of people with this disease live with HIV. “This is a very serious situation when you consider that too many people are not in treatment,” says the representative of the Brothers of Italy who, at this very hour, has submitted a parliamentary question demanding to know “what initiatives the government intends to take to ensure the safety and health of members of law enforcement, volunteers and all those involved in the landing and rescue operations on our shores and in the immediate following phases.”

Cirielli wants to hear from the government “whether unions of all workers and cooks in the military who intervened at the time of landing and throughout the national territory” have been informed of the risk of contracting HIV “since you are multiplying acts of delinquency of immigrants.” “The government of Renzi’s Democratic Party,” concludes the supporter of the Brothers of Italy, “says it is for prophylaxis, to protect all Italian citizens.”

Berlin: Some American Views on Merkel, Immigration, and Culture

Oops…Munich, Berlin…DUH.

Mostly people complain about the cross-talk on these shows, but interruption is something people do – i.e., get passionate and become engaged in making their own views known.

Despite the interruptions here, some important points emerge. Do readers think these opinions could be spoken publicly in, say, Germany?

White Masochists Just Wanna Be Safe, Ya Know?

At the recommendation of a commenter, I looked at Black Pigeon’s new video. I’ve seen his work before, but I don’t remember hearing about his own background before this. It proves to be quite interesting. One presumes he’s talking from his own background of The Privileged White…but then again, he’s a Black Pigeon, isn’t he?

The ugly phenomenon of White Masochism has a counter-reality: those mixed race folks who desire to “pass” as white and leave the burdens of ethnicity behind. That isn’t discussed by Black Pigeon but for American Southerners, it’s simply part of life – an obvious and eternal reality. “Whiter is Righter” is lived out in places like, say, New Orleans, all the time. The rage of those Black Lives Who Natter (on and on) stands against those silent “almost white” folks who sneak over the Color Border to get out of the whole mess, or those who marry whites in hopes their children can be spared the pain of being not-white. You can watch it happen among the rich and famous all the time.

Life is full of existential burdens, skin color – oops, “ethnicity” being just one of them. If Zeus would flash a bolt of white light and make the whole world pale – or at least those who found their rage on their color – they’d find something else to differentiate and kvetch about. That’s just how we are…

So onto the joys of being Japanese and not having to pretend we’re all alike:

We have a donor who lives in Japan. She’s been there for some years; from her name she would appear to be of European extraction. Considering what is going on, I pray she remains safe.

An important reminder:
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Scott Adams: FBI Director Took a Bullet for the U.S.

Normally I wouldn’t mirror a whole post from another site. However, Scott Adams has closed his comments section, so it is no longer possible to discuss what he asserts in his latest essay. It is my hope that what he has to say will provoke discussion. Need I say, courteous , thoughtful, and robust discussion, both about Mr. Adams’ contention and about what other readers’ responses may be?

You will notice one main thesis presented and several embedded corollaries. I request that you take them on one at a time so they can be responded to one at a time. After you’ve read his essay, I’ll give you my own opinion regarding the situation and what ought to have occurred. You can take that on also, should you so desire.

My agenda here is to provide a forum for those who have something cogent to say about one of the most dismal situations ever to burden our increasingly diminished “exceptional” nation. In this discussion, I have no doubt we’ll stray into the OT weeds; there are simply too many assumptions present to avoid that effect for anyone who grabs hold of Benghazi.

Hillary Clinton has become our very own Heracleum mantegazzianum especially given the fact that from long before the shooting started and into the coming decades, the sequelae of that hogweed sap will wound all of us, including those who run away by refusing to think about it.

Perhaps the chosen image should have been a nuclear bomb? After some thought, the New York Stinging Hogweed seemed more apropos to sum up the numerous hairy impeccabilities of our former Secretary of State. Thus the immediate reaction and the long-term consequences are perhaps as injurious AS nuclear radiation. Anyone who has brushed, however inadvertently, a Giant Hogweed — ah, what an apt flower symbol for (to change the metaphor) FOR this dung-covered cash cow the Democrats have shoved at us. Anyone who has come within touching or smelling distance can verify the pain. Hogweed damage can take up to six years to heal; for some it causes permanent blindness.

[Edited with better information from Mark Spahn]

You have only to look at her frozen shell-shocked gofer, Huma Mahmood Abedin Weiner, to see what happens even to those devoted to this woman. Perhaps only someone raised as a true believer within the strictures of Islam would be so blind? The choices both women made when they picked their spouses (and stayed with them) is indicative of some deep folie à deux. The next generation of psychohistorians — those far and safely outside the confined consensus of academe — will have their work cut out for them with these two women.

Mr. Adams’ book is linked at the end of this essay. I recommend it in the best way I know how: I bought the Kindle version and found it unable to surrender all the information inside: some of the material (not just his cartoons) are in images I wasn’t able to enlarge. More modern versions of Kindle may have that function, but I stubbornly stick to the original Kindle, sans the annoying touch screen “improvements”.

[Sometimes Amazon and Wal-Mart seem to be offshoots of government: they offer what they want to sell, but not always what you want to buy. Since they haven’t completely taken over yet, one is able to access places like eBay to get the older or less “best-selling” versions of things you think you need. I was able to find an old (but unused) IBM large-screen monitor for the Baron when his old one gave out.]

At any rate, I bought Adams’ book again, this time as a used paperback; I promptly bought copies for my children, too, though I realize my enthusiasms and Road-to-Damascus paradigmatic shifts are not necessarily heritable. Darn. That’s a hard lesson for some of us parents… I always give with the idea they may pass it on to someone else who might find my book gifts more amenable to their own thinking.

Now, on to Mr. Adams’ essay. It is up to you to decide: (a) is this essay straightforward, or (b) is he being tongue-in-cheek [again, maybe?]; (c) are his “facts” correct or is he sneakily trying to trip you up?, and (d) in the case of (a) how would you refute his assertions?

The FBI, Credibility, and Government

The primary goal of government is its own credibility.

That notion needs some explaining.

Governments do many things, including building roads, providing social services, defending the homeland, and more. But no matter what the government is trying to accomplish, its macro-responsibility is to maintain its own credibility. Governments without credibility devolve into chaos. Credibility has to be job one.

Consider all the different government systems around the world, and all the different laws they created. The Chinese government is different from the United States government, which is different from Jordan’s government, which is different from Great Britain. But each of those governments is credible to its own people, and that’s the key. The specific laws and the specific forms of government don’t matter too much, so long as the public views its own local system as credible.

The notion of credibility is why my political preferences don’t align with either of the candidates for president. I look for credibility in government, not for my personal agreement with a particular policy.

For example, I think laws regarding abortion are most credible when they are agreeable to the majority of women, no matter what the majority of men think. Imagine an abortion-related law that was acceptable to 90% of men but only 10% of women. It wouldn’t be credible. Nor should it be.

I take this same thinking to how a president should fill Supreme Court openings. For maximum credibility, we should have eight justices instead of nine, equally divided by liberal versus conservative credentials. That way nothing gets through the Supreme Court unless one of the liberals or one of the conservatives switches sides. That’s how you get credibility. Compare that to a 5-4 court that always votes conservative or always votes liberal. With a biased court, every decision will lack credibility with half of the citizens. That’s a problem.

[From Dymphna: a sidetrack onto a brief history of the Supreme Court. It leaves out much of the real history, but this is enough for our purposes here to let you examine Mr. Adams’ assertion about the best number for Supreme Court justices. This is an example of what I mean by his tongue-in-cheek assertions vs. his desire to ascertain how persuasive he can be, even with a bad idea. As such, it serves as a good lead in to his next theme.]

This gets me to FBI Director James Comey’s decision to drop the case against Hillary Clinton for her e-mail security lapses. To the great puzzlement of everyone in America, and around the world, Comey announced two things:

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Bill Whittle’s Conversation with Barry Obama

Mr. Whitttle’s new, brief video mainly concerns Orlando, but with cuts to show other Islamic butcher shops around the world.

He warns us about the graphic images. Well it’s Islam, innit? Those original and creative “Graphic Butchery Я Us” folks have single-handedly done so much to solve the world’s over-population problem that any day now the UN will be presenting an award to the Sunnis for their tireless global reduction of masses of people into their constituent parts. It’s a tough job, but hey…if Planned Parenthood gets awards, why not other butchers? Unlike PP, however, Islam hasn’t not yet found buyers for their dismembered parts.

Try China, y’all.

In his talk Mr. Whittle missed one group they attack with even more ferocity than all the rest: other Muslims who have strayed from the One Truth. Europeans who have had cause to witness the depredations in the “refugee” camps can tell you how they set upon one another with relentless cruelty.

Wikipedia’s information page even uses the real name for what ISIS had to do to the majority Shi’a in Iraq before it was able to continue on to butcher all those infidels. “Genocide” of Iraqi Shi’a was what they did, Mr. Whittle. It’s crucial to remember that. And this is proof again of how steep the learning curve marked “Bloody Islam” truly is.

And that, folks, is the real deal, no matter what airy-fairy smoke Mr. Obama would use to blow up your obscure the truth.

Ted Cruz Apologizes to Thin-Skinned New Yawkahs

Y’all know we don’t follow politics much. Time for that closer to the election. And some of you know I found Ted Cruz’ call out to evangelical Christians a mite theocratic.

But I’ll give the man his due. Though pilloried for denigrating “New York values” everyone knew what he meant. He was talking ’bout them Big ‘L’ leftists, those big city slickers and their flim-flam ways. They’ll getcha every time. Just wait till the next time it snows and see whose street gets plowed first.

Well, you can imagine the huffery, the Cruz beat-down. Finally all those professional New Yorkers like former N.Y. Senator Hillary “ChillBill” Clinton and the other Bill, Communist mayor of New York City de Blasio – they all just piled on Cruz. Not to mention the dynastic Governor Cuomo. Y’all remember his daddy, Mario, right?

[Yep, we seem to have dynasties popping up everywhere. Baby Doc Trudeau’s daddy cut quite a figure in his day, even if he was cuckolded. And that current governor of California followed in his father’s footsteps, too…though he really ought to have stuck it out in the seminary and prayed for his state instead of running for office. Not for nothing is Jerry Brown known as “Moonbeam”: he recently banned the use of the word “alien” in his state. Nor will the nickname “Redskins” be allowed. Can’t say it, even though native Americans keep telling us they don’t care…and as if it mattered, given California’s actually serious problems with aliens. Maybe even UFOs.]

So Ted Cruz did the manly thing: he offered a +two-minute, full-throated apology to New Yorkers, sans note cards or teleprompters.

After Obama, it will be difficult to imagine presidents who simply get up and talk. Let me repeat those magic words…”after Obama”. Or even “post Obama”. There oughta be a song. Or even a whole musical…

Hat tip: Louder with Crowder. He’s a conservative comedian. No, that’s not an oxymoron.

What!? Already? Who Killed the Unicorn?

Quick, bring in the choirs from the Netherlands to give the Germans a little Dutch courage. Germany is suddenly closing its borders!

Heavens to Betsy! Has Germany lost its mind or come to its senses?

From the New York Times:

Germany Announces Emergency Border Controls Amid Migrant Crisis

Germany announced on Sunday that it was invoking emergency powers to start protecting its borders, seemingly reaching a point of overload after greeting with open arms tens of thousands of migrants pouring into Europe, and urging other European nations to do the same.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière announced the decision to impose temporary controls on Germany’s southern border with Austria, after thousands of migrants have crossed over in recent weeks.

The announcement followed a meeting of top officials to discuss the migrant crisis, after the flood of people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other troubled areas into Munich and other Eastern cities continued unabated for the second weekend in a row.

The emergency measures, which are said to be temporary, would presumably allow Germany to turn away migrants from the Balkans and other areas whose citizens are not fleeing war or persecution…

See the rest at the URL, above.

“Playing Ever Dumb(er) About Radical Islam”

Many of us at Gates of Vienna don’t distinguish between “Islam” and “Radical Islam”. When push comes to shove, to us it’s all the same 1400 years of treacherous barbarity. ISIS gets the headlines at the moment because it knows what the media want. But that’s merely tactical.

However, one can see why others might make such a distinction; thus for the sake of this essay let’s just bracket any differences in order to examine a City Journal essay which seeks to discern the strangeness of Obama’s seeming disconnect about reality and Islamity (yes, that’s my own neologism. “Islamity” and “insanity” seem to be cut from the same black cloth of destruction and death. Obama maybe has a silky tee shirt made of the very same fibers).

Mr. Whalen’s considerations of Obama’s need to “play dumb” about RadIS have the ring of truth, and for that they deserve your attention. They resonate.

All of us know President Obama has done serious damage to the morale of average American citizens with his dissembling and dodging. He appears to be a congenital prevaricator, and his game of dodge ball is similar to President Clinton’s pushback against the scores of women who found ol’ Billy less than a gentleman. Look back to Clinton’s infamous “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” and you have the essence of the fakery of Obama’s semantics. Same old repetitive dissembling, maybe for different reasons, maybe not. It just may be the case that in his head, semantics is all that counts. Integrity never even gets to sit on the bench in the sport he plays on us.

Mr. Whalen describes Obama’s long-standing refusal to discuss reality as average Americans understand it, and he ticks off some examples of the divide. Then he says [with my emphases]:

Obama’s main source of political support comes from secularized segments of the American population, mostly progressives who — unlike the working-class and Christian conservatives Obama despises — don’t “cling to guns or religion.”

Nevertheless, Obama and his fellow progressives do follow a moral code, which is usually described as Political Correctness (PC). They enforce their PC morality with an iron hand. Tell the PC gang that Bruce Jenner is not a woman, or that you’re a Redskins fan, or that all lives matter and — aided by accomplices in the mainstream media — they will label you a racist and run you out of town. [or find other ways to silence/ruin you — D] But tell them you’ve just murdered four Marines and a sailor, and they’ll focus on your dysfunctional family. Tell President Obama four Jews were gunned down by an Islamic radical in a kosher market in Paris, and he’ll call the attack “random.”

And should some black teenage thug get killed while showing how he’s too cool for rules, you can almost say Obama’s lines with him in the aftermath. We’ve witnessed enough of these in the past seven years to know already that he will have an opinion, he will state his adolescent solidarity with the thug, and he will make an explosive situation worse before he leaves to play golf while municipalities are left to clean up the mess Obama created. Deliberately.

It has become increasingly obvious that this President no longer cares whether anyone outside his “secularized segments” believes him. Complain about it and you’re simply one of “them”; the left has been turning “them” into organisms that take up too much room for a long time now.

Mr. Whalen makes an important distinction, though, between PC’s moral vacuousness and what he calls KC — i.e. Koranic Correctness:

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A Little Insider Baseball (U.S.-type) News

Unless you’re familiar with American politics, the whole of this may not be comprehensible. Who outside the U.S., for example, is aware of that excrescence, Geraldo Rivera? I hope not many have had to endure him. For an example of “you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up” here’s Geraldo’s defense of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and marketing of fetal/baby parts. No, it’s not satire.

The People’s Cube, on the other hand, does wonderful satire. They are pluperfectly superb in this genre, as well they ought to be: Comrade site-owner is a real, genu-wine escapee from that unwilling Russian slave state, Ukraine.

Did I say this was satire? Oh, good. Because it is, you know. Satire, I mean. Kilroy’s essay, “Democrats Unleash Perfect Presidential Candidate”, is only understandable if you know who Geraldo is:

In the wake of embarrassing missteps by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley on the campaign trail, the Democratic National Committee today announced that it has successfully recruited the perfect candidate, one that can both mobilize the entire Democratic Party base and destroy any Republican that dares challenge.

The newcomer to the race, 42-year-old Geralda Hernandez-Brown, was discovered in Atlanta by DNC operatives. Born to undocumented immigrant Maria Hernandez, and Theo “Pookie” Brown, whose ancestors once slaved in the cotton and tobacco fields of Georgia and the Carolinas, Gerald Hernandez-Brown underwent a sex change operation in 2005, and now considers xyrself gender-fluid.

“Xhe’s ideal in every way,” said DNC spokesman Christina Freundlich. “I mean, even the children from before the operation… one killed by a cop, one dead from a botched back alley abortion, climate change-induced heat stroke…the list just keeps going. Can you believe that we stumbled upon xer beneath the I-285 overpass?”

Asked whether Geralda’s religious beliefs could provide any insight to the American people regarding xer convictions and character, Freundlich exclaimed “of course xhe doesn’t believe in any god, that would be ridiculous, but xhe gets along very well with people of any faith that gives free stuff to the poor.” Added Freundlich, “which is pretty much all of them.”

When interviewed, Democratic voters largely welcomed the addition of Hernandez-Brown to the field.

Will Green of Toledo, OH, said “Hillary is a tool of the corporatists, and Sanders and O’Malley are old white males. Finally, somebody that understands the struggle and the importance of social programs. Somebody truly worth my vote!”

Qeesha D’Antelo of Fresno, CA responded “I had such high hopes for Obama, but now I realize that he’s half-white. And while he definitely doesn’t go out of his way to act like a man, he has never publicly denounced his whitemale privilege. Geralda is exactly the kind of hero I can believe in!”

Cautioned “Wolf” in Brooklyn, “sounds good, but where does xhe stand on fair trade coffee?”


See the rest of the post, and other brilliant exposés here.

Yes, and that racist image is his, too. Oh, wait. Did I tell you this is satire??


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I’ll bet when he left Ukraine, Oleg didn’t ever dream he’d wake up every morning thinking, “Hmmm…whom shall I skewer today?” For sure it is his vocation.

Oleg told me once that while his other refugee friends went to ohh and awww at the amazing displays of food in American grocery stores, his shrine was elsewhere.

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Implosion Day 2015

It was nice while it lasted, but the United States of America is gone now. For anyone over thirty-five or so, the country you knew in your formative years has been shoved so far back into the last century you’d never find it. Nor will that period — or anything resembling what we had — ever return.

Is this dissolution a good thing or a bad thing? From the point of view of our failures, it could be seen as a good, but when you look at the successes of the United States of America, this Vast Implosion is unutterably sad; each new failure will bring new sorrows for some. For others, bent on revenge, you can almost envision a sea of fists raised in wrathful joy.

Yes, as many have done, America’s failure can be likened to Rome’s decline and fall, but since we in the West believe history to be linear, the most we can do is point to similarities and differences. Compare and contrast, class.

Perhaps most importantly among our failures is how widespread and rapid was our fall. Nor is it just the United States of America whose wheels are coming off: all of what we like to call The West is breaking down rapidly as we lose (to continue the metaphor — yes, I’m paying attention, Mr. Auster, wherever you are) the various parts which allowed us to function more or less smoothly. The engine of our desire is rusting out. We’ve lost the use of several cylinders now and no one who is able to fix this machine is willing to do so. Those who are willing to get things up and running don’t have the opportunity to do so, lacking as they are in experience or accommodation by those in charge.

However, this failure of Will on the part of those placed to make a difference may be the saddest aspect of all: those who could make a difference refuse to do so. For America and the rest of the West, our leaders appear to prefer euthanasia via benign neglect to putting into place “heroic measures” for someone who is old and soon to die. If Grandma needs an oxygen tent and we somehow fail to notice her needs, is that really murder? By post-modern calculations, no. Thus, we need to redefine the situation in this manner: ignoring Grandma’s need for oxygen means her inheritance becomes available more quickly and can be used to lower our frightening debt levels for other, more deserving folks. In this new moral equation, failing to pay attention to Grandma is not a failure; it’s a success of a different color. The moderator at her funeral service will remind you we’re merely #MakingRoomForTheFuture. And yes, in the West the quaint custom of funerals for the non-famous will be permitted to continue — at least for a while. Even longer if China wins the war of All against All.

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The original uniting of thirteen quite diverse colonies into one federation was always dicey at best. Benjamin Franklin and Alexis de Tocqueville both warned us of the fragile nature of this project. The latter particularly warned of the consequences of universal suffrage: let everyone vote and “everyone” would vote for themselves. As a realist he understood the quicksand foundations on which utopias are built and, even more so, the ways in which they sink, unmourned.

The federation was always fraught with problems. So when the slave states tried to bow out of what they considered a union whose First Principles were being ignored, a way was made for the first truly modern war: thanks to advances in the making of machines, we were able to kill one another in massive numbers. Seven hundred thousand (or more) poor wretches died in the name of freedom; genuine liberty died, too. Lincoln rolled up the Constitution and locked it away for a while in order to let loose such fierce dogs of war that none could survive with integrity intact.

In other words, Lincoln was caught in the same bind as the Original Rebels. Our Founders knew they faced death and worse if they lost the war against England. Their compelling need for the southern states to be part of their Rebellion in order to avoid their own ruination caused them to lose sight of their First Principles; backs against the wall, the North made a truly Faustian bargain with the slave-holding states.

Slavery was (and remains) an abomination. Many historians have said it would have died out in America as an economic force with the onset of technology. Ironic, since the Machine Age was just gaining steam (pardon the pun) even as the Civil War began in earnest. On the other hand, the keeping of slaves was merely part of a whole caste system that included a strong concept of honor and family. The Arabs have a culture similar to the one extant in the American South from the earliest colonial times. They clothe their laws in “religion” and play the old shell game; amazingly, it still works.

In contrast to Jefferson’s ideal of the agrarian farmer, the much-vaunted small landholder, the Cavaliers of the South (including Jefferson’s Virginia) looked down on those who ‘labored’, who worked with their hands. In the South, the middle class was small and precarious, mostly merchants. The upper class, known in Virginia as the FFV (First Families of Virginia) ruled the state’s legislature and intermarried. This concept was carried into other states but in Virginia particularly, the notion of class reigned. For FFV, it was the Lees, Carters, Tazewells, etc. As other states took up the practice, they too adopted the “First Families of ____________”. And back when it mattered, you couldn’t nominate yourself for inclusion in FFV; you had to be invited to join.

We still haven’t healed from that War, neither side. Despite its caterwauling, the North is equally wounded, but as the purported victors, they can and do project any shame that comes to the surface onto the “bigoted South”. It’s the same dynamic you see in abusive families where wives and children are forced to stay in a dangerous union on pain of death. That works until the kids grow up, but eventually it implodes.

Thanks to central air conditioning which allowed manufacturing to move out of New England and the Midwest, the American South grew up; the union is now imploding and the children are scattering, taking sides as they go.

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The next great mistake, after the Civil War, was adopting the rules of the Welfare State. We started small with Roosevelt’s projects, and much of that work still remains. Back then, the economic depression ground on but the work ethic among average Americans remained strong. As a result, you can still see the places built by the CCC. One of the country’s favorite ‘relics’ is still the most popular destination for travelers and has been so every year since 1946. If you come to America, skip Disneyland and visit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Of course since it was a government project it took forever to finish, the last section completed in 1987. With all the conflict in which it was enmeshed, and the beauty surrounding it, you could think of it as Americana personified:

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