Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ask Brainitor!

Dear Brainitor: So what is the real deal with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Were we really attacked because we are "good" and they are "evil"? Is it that simple?


Dear Confused,

That simple? Not even close, Confused. So, let me take a few paragraphs to unconfuse you, which is several dozen books less than you'll get from "intellectuals" whom I won't name except to say the word "court" should be in front of that noun.

To untangle your confusion, let us borrow the Wayback Machine from Dr. Peabody and Sherman, which we will use to return to the end of World War I, when the Ottoman Empire (known in those days as "the sick man of Europe") fell apart, as empires always fall apart, including the current iteration known as the "government" of the United States. The people in the Middle East asked the U.S. to administer the area, because they trusted us. Hey, we were supposed to be for Truth, Justice and the American Way, right? Ha ha! Fools! Nobody in his right mind should trust any government. Remember, that's why we fought the American War for Independence.

Now, less than 100 years later, most everyone over there has wised up and doesn't trust us at all, and it ain't hard to understand why. It's certainly not because we are the Good Guys and they are the Bad Guys, which is the kind of simple-minded nonsense you see in comic books, which, as we all know, are for children and not adults. Not that any government is adult.

Instead, it's because over the past 50 years, the US administration has supported every dictator in the Middle East, ostensibly because they were "anti-Communist." Said dictators were supported no matter what appallingly gruesome things they did (with our blessings, money and weapons) to their citizens. Indeed, we installed a lot of these dictators, such as the Shah of Iran, who was less "royalty" than I am. We even helped install Saddam Hussein, who was the U.S. ' buddy for many years, which is why the government supported and armed him in his war with Iran. Henry Kissinger, of whom I have pictures eating his boogers, said of the Iranians and Iraqis, "Too bad they both can't lose." (I also have a picture of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, back when the sonofabitch was our sonofabitch.)

That's one reason some of them hate us. The second reason is because the U.S. blockaded Iraq for over 10 years after Desert Storm (in which the U.S. attacked Iraq , not the other way around) and contributed to the deaths of many, many Iraqis, most of them infants and old people. The exact number is not known, but it has seven figures in it. Said the monstrously ugly Madeline Albright (I mean morally, of course, since I wouldn't make fun of an ugly woman, no matter how hagridden she appears) about those deaths, "I think it was worth it." I bet you do, Madeline, I bet you do.

Another reason is because the U.S. has given Israel oodles and oodles of money, no matter what it did to the Palestinians, some of whom are Christians. Contrary to Israeli propaganda that the Israelis were "people without a land" who moved into a "land without people," there were Jews, Christians and Muslims living peaceably in the area until they were overwhelmed with immigrants and removed by force of arms from their homes.

The aforementioned is why there were attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Revenge, yes, but it was mostly to draw the U.S. into a World War with the Muslim world so they would hate us even more, and bleed the U.S. dry of blood and treasure. And it seems to be happening. So I guess the poor old damfool George Bush fell right into the trap.

All I can say, in one word: wow! And to add this: When I was one of God's little chillum, I heard that anyone could be President. I see that saying is true, no matter how narrow your head, or cockeyed your leer, or how much you pretend to be a Texas cowboy when you're finally an East Coast Yankee.

Well, Confused, your question has been answered in just a few paragraphs!

They don't call me Brainitor for nothing, you know.

Dear Brainitor,

Just what the heck is the problem with George Bush? The verbal gaffes, attacking countries on the other side of the world that didn't attack us, the belief that we can remake foreign countries in our image. Please enlighten me.


Dear Puzzled,

I am here to rescue you from your unenlightened puzzlement. George Bush does indeed have a problem. However, "having a problem" is true of almost every politician, so Bush is not alone in his mortification.

Apparently, you want me to analyze the innards of Dubya, especially those between his ears, which you insinuate don't work quite right. Alas, you are correct.

There are several theories as to what is wrong with him. One is that his 20 or so years or heavy drinking has changed the old synapses and neurons to the point they can't snap back to where they're supposed to be. In common parlance, Bush is a "dry drunk." You could say his "possession" by "spirits" has had a not-so-good effect on him.

Another theory is that he's just dumb. This I do not believe, since he has an MBA from Harvard. Admittedly, he was a C student, and would have never gotten in without his rich daddy's help (can you imagine him being some poor ol' country boy from Missitucky and getting in if he wasn't a Bush? I can't.). Still, one does not get such an MBA unless one has a brain. Instead, I offer this: Bush doesn't use what brains he has. He's also impatient and not particularly interested in analyzing anything. If he were a monkey (and he is rather simian-looking), he would be Incurious George.

George isn't a Texan, and that's relevant. He's a New England Yankee wearing a cowboy hat, and such types (with or without cowboy hats) have always been the kind of trouble-makers who think they can force everyone in the world to conform to their beliefs, no matter how goofy their beliefs are. That might be one of the reasons he believes he can export the wacky leftist dream of "democracy" to parts of the world that don't even know what the word means (H.L. Mencken, a wiseguy and a smart guy, correctly described democracy as "the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.") Ol' H.L. was a real card, wasn't he?

Try this on for size: You know how hard it is to change yourself when you want to change? Now imagine the impossibility of changing others who don't want to change.

Then we have George's religious beliefs, which tend toward the apocalyptic, Evangelical, Jesus-is-coming-back-soon kind. That's why he supports Israel no matter what the country does: Jesus, according to some interpretations (based on a very few sentences in the Bible), will only come back when Israel regains the borders it had a couple of thousand years ago. Anyone else over there doesn't count to these people (often called "Christian Zionists"), even if the "anyone else" gets croaked by the truckload. They ignore that little comment, "But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only." But what's new about taking a few sentences out of context?

Well, all of that doesn't sound too promising, does it? Maybe or maybe not. I've read the Pope thinks Bush might be the anti-Christ, which is one of those things that make me go, "Hmmm." If it's true, then all of those Evangelicals are in deep doo-doo, which is just fine with me. As always, only time will tell. If it's true, it's one of those things that make Brainitor smile a big smile.

Brainitor does not know all, but he certainly tells what he knows.

Next week: an answer to the question, "Are the neocons really traitorous, backstabbing, cowardly, chickenhawk armchair generals, all of whom desperately avoided military service?"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

If I Was God

Easier to Sink Than Fly

"Treat people like children and they become infantile and cranky." - Paul Theroux

I was raised in an environment that I can only describe as having a lot of white trash living in it. Because of that, I will immodestly say I am an expert on these people. It was from them I learned that it is easier for people, and societies, to sink than fly.

I know all about their watching bad Jerry-Springer-type TV, never reading a book, the drugs (these day, the home-grown meth labs in trailer parks), the attempt to live on welfare and not work, the fighting, yelling, arguing, the drama and excitement as the meaning of their lives, the self-pity and the self-righteousness. The lies and the attempts at manipulation to make you feel sorry for them. The irrationality.

They never have any intellectual interests, have nothing transcendent to live for, and when they do become religious they fall for the simplistic and stupid, such as fundamentalism. It's easy for them to understand.

The women have children simply because they want to have children, without any thought as to whether or not it's good to have children if you're not married and live in a trailer while you're on welfare. The parents think the children belong to them, and one of their favorite sayings is, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it."

These people never grow up, and in many ways are a combination of not-too-bright child and adolescent. The writer Theodore Dalrymple put it this way: "For people who have no transcendent purpose to their lives and cannot invent one through contributing to a cultural tradition (for example), in other words who have no religious belief and no intellectual interests to stimulate them, self-destruction and the creation of crises in their life is one way of warding off meaninglessness."

Some people just don't know what to do with being self-conscious. They end up bored, and as the sociologist Robert Nisbet listed, some of the cures are war, murder, revolution, suicide, alcohol, drugs and pornography (he should have added politics).

Simply put, these people are trying to ward off boredom, and doing it the wrong way. Dalrymple put it like this: "The result is a combination of Sodom and Gomorrah and a vast and impersonal bureaucracy of welfare." That's what I mean when I say it's easier to sink than fly. It's easier for a society to create another Sodom and Gomorrah than another Scottish Enlightenment.

Are people like this born or made? Here I can only quote Jesus: the poor are always with us. Some people, no matter what advantages they have, are going to sink straight to the bottom.

For others, the structure of society and government gives them a boot downward. The bigger government is, the more it destroys mediating institutions between the State and the individual -- families for one -- and the easier it becomes for people to sink.

Society and culture are supposed to elevate people. I consider them to be a thin film on top of a lot of flawed human nature, and they are easily damaged or destroyed, most especially by government interference. When that happens, people start to sink again, and quickly.

One of the reasons I am against long-term welfare is mothers end up marrying the State instead of the father of their children. Their families consist of mother and child, and the husband is the welfare state. That's not good for the children, and I've seen far too much of what these kids turn into. Not always, but enough of the time to be noticeable.

The State tries to elevate people by "taking care of them." It not only makes people dependent, it turns them into perpetual children by making them eternally dependent on others to support them. And when adults never grow up, they don't merely remain childish; they turn into trash. Drinking, drug-abusing, child-abusing, work-avoidant trash.

I don't remember reading about any of that in Brave New World or 1984. Richard K. Morgan, though, had an insight into that mindset in his Market Forces.

Unlike anarcho-capitalists who think we can live without government, I think there must be government. If we were angels, we wouldn't need it, and if we were devils, it wouldn't work at all. But humanity is halfway between angels and devils. But government really does need to be as small as possible. The problem, as always, is how to keep it small.

The State has always been the worst killer in the world. But it also turns adults into children, or prevents them from growing up in the first place, by destroying families. Marx would have loved that, I'm sure