Archive for August, 2010

“Western Suicide–Liberalism”

August 30, 2010

Western Suicide–Liberalism”

Ok, it is not the easiest read. But then defending America has never been an easy job. Take the time and effort to read and understand the following article by  Pat Buchanan.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.  8/30/10

Where are the Republican leaders who will reject pandering and prejudice?” wailed The Washington Post in its most recent editorial in support of Cordoba House mosque near Ground Zero.

Like the controversy over the mosque, the Post editorial reveals the two Americas we have become, uncomprehending of and hostile to each other, even as we drift apart.

To the Post, opposition boils down to three arguments, all of them “objectionable.” The first is a wrong-headed belief “that the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center and killed almost 3,000 people there in 2001 really did represent Islam.”

The second is that, as many families of 9/11 victims associate the terrorists with Islam, to build a mosque near the scene of the massacre would be sacrilegious and wounding.

The third is cynical politics. As two-in-three Americans oppose the mosque, siding with them and savaging supporters of Cordoba House is to run unconscionably with the crowd.

None of these arguments is acceptable, says the Post, for they represent misunderstanding, prejudice or “repugnant” politics.

What the Post is saying is that opponents of the mosque are all either bigoted ignoramuses or political panderers.

Quite a statement, when a Time poll finds that 61 percent of Americans oppose the mosque and 70 percent believe that to build it near Ground Zero would defile hallowed ground.

“(T)he right response to misunderstanding and prejudice,” said the Post, “is education, not appeasement.”

In short, rather than yield to ignorance, bigotry and demagoguery, the Post will undertake to tutor us on how to think correctly.

This is a pure extract of liberal ideology. Few better examples of faculty-lounge obtuseness to the feelings of the people among whom they live are to be found. Yet, the editorial has a point.

For, in Webster’s, there are several definitions of “prejudice.”

The most pejorative one is “an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race.” Another definition, however, is simply a “preconceived judgment or opinion.”

It is this idea of prejudice that Edmund Burke endorsed:

“Many of our men of speculation, instead of exploding general prejudices, employ their sagacity to discover the latent wisdom which prevails in them. If they find what they seek, and they seldom fail, they think it most wise to continue the prejudice, with the reason involved, than to cast away the coat of prejudice, and to leave nothing but the naked reason.”

“Naked reason,” pure rationalism, permeates the Post editorial, which ignores that vast realm of sentiments, such as patriotism and love, that reside in the terrain between thought and feeling.

“The heart has reasons that the mind knows not,” said Pascal.

True conservatives are people of the heart who use the weapons of the mind to defend the things of the heart.

Why would Americans be reflexively skeptical and wary of Islam?

We were born a Christian nation, an extension of Christendom. For most of us, it is part of our DNA. And for a thousand years, our ancestors fought a war of civilizations with Islam.

In the name of Islam, Muslim fanatics massacred 3,000 of us. In our media, the names commonly associated with Islam are al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

What are sins in Christianity — adultery and homosexuality — are capital crimes in Islamic countries. From the Copts in Egypt to the Chaldeans of Iraq, Christians are persecuted and purged in the Middle East. Few remain in the old Christian towns of Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem. Christian missionaries in Islamic countries risk stonings and beheading. Muslims are attacking Christians in Nigeria, Sudan, the Caucasus, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Are there scores of thousands of patriotic American Muslims, hundreds of millions of decent, peace-loving Muslims around the world?

Undeniably true.

Yet one would have to be obtuse not to understand that a Western nation that opens its doors to mass migration from the Islamic world is taking a grave risk with its unity and identity.

An apprehension about that is what Burke called the “latent wisdom” of a people.

This is not an argument for war with Islam, but for recognition that “East is East and West is West” and America cannot absorb and assimilate all the creeds of mankind without ceasing to be who we are.

Prejudice is prejudgment. And if prejudgment is rooted in the history and traditions of a people, and what life has taught us, it is a shield that protects. Only a fool would reject the inherited wisdom of his kind because it fails to comport with the ideology of the moment.

“Prejudice,” wrote Burke, “is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, skeptical, puzzled and unresolved.”

Without prejudice, we are tabula rasa, blank slates, upon which any ideology may be written, including what James Burnham called the ideology of Western suicide — liberalism.

 

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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Four!!!

August 30, 2010

 

Four!!!

The following cartoon is by Richard Ramirez, from Townhall.com

VTM

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

Let Us Put Aside Ideologies

August 28, 2010

Let Us Put Aside Ideologies

I liked the following comment on one of my recent post by Brice Petgen. So, her it is on my main page.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Let us put aside ideologies, or at least try to minimize their influence. There are certain realities that occur with immigration as it currently exists. Immigrants tend to cluster together in similar areas. When you have a large influx of unskilled immigrants cluster in an area, you have a higher incidence of poverty. As the poverty increases then there is an increase in crime. It is not a function of ethnicity but of the relationship between crime and poverty. What happens when there is an atmosphere of come one come all is that we wind up inviting increased crime rates. That puts a strain on the society that the infrastructure is not prepared for. Also with an increase in unskilled immigration there is a direct effect on the social service system, medicaid, welfare, education, health care, etc. Again the infrastructure is not prepared for such an increase. The inability of the infrastructure to deal with the new consumers is a key reason why open border or semi closed border policy is truly unsustainable.

Skilled immigration does not share the same effect on the current infrastructure as unskilled immigration does due to the reduced poverty rate. As such the U.S. should encourage large amounts of skilled immigration and also encourage significantly reduced levels of unskilled immigration.

Skilled immigration is key to the growth of the U.S. It increases our greatest strength, our diversity. It also adds increases in tax revenue to the federal government. Also immigration also helps to reduce the effects of the reduced birth rate in the U.S. Again it is the skilled immigrant that we need more of, but we should also welcome smaller amounts of unskilled immigrants.

As for Washington being left or right, yesterday’s radicals become today’s conservative heroes.

Brice Petgen

It Is Not Very Moral

August 27, 2010

It Is Not Very Moral

Please enjoy one of my favorite authors. A true intellectual: Thomas Sowell.

The following is taken from Dr. Sowell’s article on Townhall.com

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 8/27

One of the things that makes it tough to figure out how much has to be charged for insurance is that people behave differently when they are insured from the way they behave when they are not insured.

In other words, if one person out of 10,000 has his car set on fire, and it costs an average of $10,000 to restore the car to its previous condition, then it might seem as if charging one dollar to all 10,000 people would be enough to cover the cost of paying $10,000 to the one person whose car that will need to be repaired. But the joker in this deal is that people whose cars are insured may not be as cautious as other people are about what kinds of neighborhoods they park their car in.

The same principle applies to government policies. When taxpayer-subsidized government insurance policies protect people against flood damage, more people are willing to live in places where there are greater dangers of flooding. Often these are luxury beach front homes with great views of the ocean. So what if they suffer flood damage once every decade or so, if Uncle Sam is picking up the tab for restoring everything?

Television reporter John Stossel has told how he got government insurance “dirt cheap” to insure a home only a hundred feet from the ocean. Eventually, the ocean moved in and did a lot of damage, but the taxpayer-subsidized insurance covered the costs of fixing it. Four years later, the ocean came in again, and this time it took out the whole house. But the taxpayer-subsidized government insurance paid to replace the whole house.

This was not a unique experience. More than 25,000 properties have received government flood insurance payments more than four times. Over a period of 28 years, more than 4,000 properties received government insurance payments exceeding the total value of the property. If you are located in a dangerous place, repeated damage can easily add up to more than the property is worth, especially if the property is damaged and then later wiped out completely, as John Stossel’s ocean-front home was.

Although “moral hazard” is an insurance term, it applies to other government policies besides insurance. International studies show that people in countries with more generous and long-lasting unemployment compensation spend less time looking for jobs. In the United States, where unemployment compensation is less generous than in Western Europe, unemployed Americans spend more hours looking for work than do unemployed Europeans in countries with more generous unemployment compensation.

People change their behavior in other ways when the government pays with the taxpayers’ money. After welfare became more readily available in the 1960s, unwed motherhood skyrocketed. The country is still paying the price for that– of which the money is the least of it. Children raised by single mothers on welfare have far higher rates of crime, welfare and other social pathology.

San Francisco has been one of the most generous cities in the country when it comes to subsidizing the homeless. Should we be surprised that homelessness is a big problem in San Francisco?

Most people are not born homeless. They usually become homeless because of their own behavior, and the friends and family they alienate to the point that those who know them will not help them. People with mental problems may not be able to help their behavior, but the rest of them can.

We hear a lot of talk about “safety nets” from big-government liberals, who act as if there is a certain pre-destined amount of harm that people will suffer, so that it is just a question of the government helping those who are harmed. But we hear very little about “moral hazard” from big-government liberals. We all need safety nets. That is why we “save for a rainy day,” instead of living it up to the limit of our income and beyond.

We also hear a lot of talk about “the uninsured,” for whose benefit we are to drastically change the whole medical-care system. But income data show that many of those uninsured people have incomes from which they could easily afford insurance. But they can live it up instead, because the government has mandated that hospital emergency rooms treat everyone.

All of this is a large hazard to taxpayers. And it is not very moral.

If By decency and Propriety They Merit It!

August 27, 2010

If By decency and Propriety They Merit It!

The following quote is taken from an article on the original intent of 14th Amendment written by Mark Alexander, publisher of the Patriot Post.

The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” –George Washington

This quote demonstrates how far from original intentions we have come in our thinking about immigration in America. Our boundaries must remain sacrosanct and open to only those who will be a mutual benefit to all of us and all of them. Selection criteria must be reevaluated regularly in light of this nations current needs for quality citizens and these criteria must be enforced.

I understand that the idea of setting criteria and enforcing rules is an anathema to the modern sensitivities of the political left. But no competitive, in any realm of competition–small or large–can prevail without them.

If George Washington could speak to us today, I believe he would be outraged at America’s management of immigration.

What do you think?

VTM

Rational Fears of Uncontrolled Immigration

August 22, 2010

Rational Fears of Uncontrolled Immigration

Immigration laws must control the flow of immigrants to our country and they must absolutely control the quality of the immigrants. Uncontrolled legal or illegal immigration is a catastrophe. A lack of control over the quantity and/or quality of immigration will destroy America.

The following discusses reality-based fears about uncontrolled immigration that echo through history and have to do with much more than dislike of, and discrimination against, foreigners.

I endorse the following passage taken from Paul Kennedys’ 1993 book, Preparing For The Twenty-First Century (p.41).

Because human beings (unlike migrating birds) require so much food, clothing, and shelter and demand many other items, migration always raises the issue of the allocation of resources. If food and land are plentiful, as in the Great Plains in nineteenth-century America, there may be less of a problem (except from the viewpoint of the Indians); if the resources are believed to be more limited, as felt in many European countries today, more migration will obviously raise the problem of providing for the immigrants. Moreover, large-scale immigration raises the fear of losing control of national boundaries and traditional sovereignty, the fear that an ethnically homogeneous or “pure” race will be altered through intermarriage, the fear not merely of foreign peoples but also of strange ways of life, religious norms, and cultural habits, of the newcomers encroaching upon the property, educational system, and social benefits owned by and largely paid for by the natives. More recently, concern has been expressed that illegal immigration into (for example) the United States is responsible for outbreaks of old and new diseases—cholera, measles, AIDS—which place a further strain upon the health-care system as well as provoking new resentments against migrants. Finally, there is always the resident population’s fear that if the immigration continues, they themselves may one day become a minority.

End Quote

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 8/22/10

What Increases Social Entropy?

August 20, 2010

What Increases Social Entropy?

The following comment was sent by Howard Hawkins.

The Social Entropy that you define,and elaborate on should include the ‘Laws” of that socioculture which can sustain or drain.
Two socicultures that come to mind,with laws that drained, was the Roman Empire’s persecution of the Christians, and Germany’s (WWII) persecution of the Jews.

You may have intuitively included ‘Laws” in your comments,if so then please excuse my novice interpretation.

My response:

Howard, Thanks so much for your insightful remarks.

You got it, my friend! Social Entropy is simply my proposed measure of sociocultural health and viability. The factors that can influence social entropy levels are a great many. Certainly laws that are passed (or not enforced) are one category. But, any cultural practice, whether it be law, economic rule changes, pollution control (and much more); or changes in mores’ and folkways that increase population inebreant use, gambling, displays and acceptance of irresponsible sexual behavior, the breakdown of traditional families, aggression, and crime, etc., etc., also increases social entropy. There have been many changes since the 1950’s that appear to be increasing social entropy America.

The way I see it, increasing social entropy signifies decreasing health and viability for any culture in which it occurs.

The factors that increase or decrease social entropy is a large area for discussion. I will bet that you can identify a host of factors that would appear to be very likely to do so.

This is an area of sociocultural and cross-sociocultural research that is badly needed.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 8/20/10

Alexander Hamilton on States Rights

August 17, 2010

Alexander Hamilton on States Rights

The following is from Founder’s Quote Daily by patriotpost.com

“But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 32

VTM, 8/17/10

Social Entropy and Cultural Decline in America

August 15, 2010

Social Entropy and cultural Decline in America

A concept related to physical entropy is that of Social Entropy (Mawhinney, 1998). Social entropy is defined as that proportion of human behavioral energy, within a population, which is not available to build and maintain the socioculture–but functions as a drain upon it . In other words, any individual who is significantly incapacitated by any condition (physical or mental) represents an expense in human energy lost to build and maintain the socioculture in which they live. This cost can also be seen in the expense in the human energy and revenues which were originally invested to acculturate the individual. Additional costs are then incurred in order to rehabilitate, prosecute, monitor, imprison, or , to provide welfare for these individuals. Another hidden cost to the socioculture is added when the afflicted individuals’ maladaptive behavior patterns impact upon and harms others who are associated with him or her. I call this spreading effect of the original problem, Behavioral Contagion. Behavioral contagion can be seen as both a cause and a result of social entropy. I believe this positive feeback loop to be both synergistic and exponential in nature.

These behavioral/psychological processes, and their past and future costs, to sociocultures would appear to be very difficult to calculate. However, they can at least be conceptualized and identified as factors worthy of our grave concern.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 8/15/10

How To Predict A Culture’s Decline

August 13, 2010

How To Predict A Culture’s Decline

How can a socioculture tell when it is headed for decline? Perhaps you might think that some economic measure would tell the story. It could, but I think it would be a relatively late indicator–perhaps too late.

What is needed is an early warning system, an alarm that would alert the socioculture in question to the fact that the main source of its vitality, the core “fuel cell”, that powers its growth and maintenance is running out of energy.

The concept of physical entropy is a well known principle in science (the Second Law of Thermodynamics). This law states that energy tends toward disorganization or dissipation and that it can be transformed from a “free” and easily used form into one which is “bound” and not very useful.

What is needed for a science of sociocultural health and viability assessment is a conception that I will call Social Entropy. I define social entropy as that proportion of human behavioral energy, within a population, which is not available to build and maintain the socioculture–but functions as a drain upon it .

In any socioculture, there is a population that is working diligently: inventing, starting businesses, employing others, having and rearing children, educating others, or in some important way is expending their human energy that builds and maintains their socioculture. You could call this proportion of any population, in any socioculture, the cultural sustainers. This human energy source is free and available to do work.

An opposite force in any socioculture is that of the cultural drainers. This proportion, in any society, represents bound energy. They represent human energy that is not only unavailable to do work that sustains its socioculture, but it also functions as a drain upon the socioculture. The size of the drain relates to how much energy the socioculture must expend to acculturate or maintain this population. Infants, children, adolescents and the aged or infirmed are in this category (as we all were, and will be again). Those who are engaged in criminal activity, in jails and prisons, who are drug and alcohol addicted, seriously mentally ill, disabled, on public welfare, or otherwise unemployed are also sociocultural drainers.

These people are unavailable to do work to maintain and sustain the socioculture in which they reside and their proportion of the whole population is the measure of social entropy. Of course not all cultural drainers represent a loss to the socioculture in which they reside. Infants and children are a resource drain that promises greater returns in the future. If they are well educated and acculturated they can represent a net gain for sociocultural viability. Even many of the aged can represent a continuing gain to the socioculture if their energy can be productively utilized. Other categories of social entropy that I have identified in the paragraph above are likely to offer little or no returns on sociocultural investments.

A consortium of scholars trained in demographics, mathematical modeling and statistics might be able to develop a quantitative index of social entropy which could have great utility. Presumably, any socioculture that regularly measures its own levels of social entropy and then effectively takes early corrective actions to keep it at low proportions could sustain viability and enjoy a strong survival advantage.

Any Ph.D. students need a thesis project?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 8/2/10


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