Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Highlights from FPM:

Agree or disagree with the content, David Horowitz's features some of the most provocative (and intellectually diverse) polemics in its daily offerings.

Today's edition is especially interesting. Three articles in particular stand out; each of them, like David Horowitz, pull no punches to make their points. And note, just because I cite these articles doesn't necessarily mean that I agree in toto with their content. I feel I have to make that reservation because in reading them...well you'll see. They really do pull no punches.

First, an interview with Christopher Hitchens, where Hitchens explains his philosophy of organized religion and many other things (I like the religion part the best):

I was quite young when I concluded that the stories in the old and new testaments were both nasty and untrue. I was also quite young when I noticed that they were used, by rather questionable authorities, to keep order and to invest their own status with a little extra penumbra. I continue to notice this kind of thing, and I try keep up with the archaeology and science that combats belief in the racial and tribal mythmaking of the Bronze Age. Some agnostics and even Atheists say that they are sorry that there are no grounds for belief, but I am glad. It would be horrible if we were the objects of a permanent supervision by an unassailable power, which kept us under control even after we were dead. At least in North Korea, you can escape the divine leader by dying... Meanwhile, it's pretty obvious that the priests and rabbis and imams are at least sensible enough to demand power in this world rather than the next. If they are all such materialists, who am I to disagree?

If there had been a divine creation, or if there is a god or an afterlife, which there is every possible reason to doubt, it could not be within the competence of the clerics to know this. So one can start by eliminating from the argument those who claim to know, let alone those who claim to know what god thinks about sex, for example. I think one should proceed from there to eliminating the power of religion over public life, and keeping it in the home or in the private mind. If I thought I had found a redeemer or prophet who really cared about me, I imagine I should be happy. But those who actually affect this belief can't be happy until I believe it, too. This shows, among other things, their own insecurity. I say to hell with them. At the moment, this certainly helps give me a reason to live, not that I feel I need one.


Next Susan Sontag's obituary by Roger Kimball:

In "What's Happening in America (1966)," Sontag tells readers that what America "deserves" is to have its wealth "taken away" by the Third World. In one particularly notorious passage, she writes that "the truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, and Balanchine ballets don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history."

What can one say? Sontag excoriates American capitalism for its "runaway rate of productivity." But she has had no scruples about enjoying the fruits of that productivity: a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1964, a Merrill Foundation grant in 1965, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1966, etc., etc., culminating in 1990 with a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award.

The kernel of Truth in Sontag's otherwise despicable condemnation of civilization is that the West is responsible for unleashing Marxism-Communism on the world, and that system certainly was a cancer on all of humanity. But luckily the West also "cured" that cancer by defeating communism.

Finally an article on Kwanzaa by (theocrat) Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson entitled, "Kwanzaa -- Racist Holiday from Hell":

In an earlier time, blacks held a strong faith in God. But over the past 40 years, the black community has largely let God slip away. Sure the community has maintained the outer trappings of religion, but the solid morality at its core is nearly gone.

Enter a God-hating black racist named Ron Karenga. Born Ron Everett on a poultry farm in Maryland, Everett invented Kwanzaa in 1966, based on an African harvest festival (though it takes place during the Winter Solstice!), and celebrating the first Kwanzaa with his family and friends.

Calling himself “Maulana” (Swahili for “Master Teacher”), Karenga became a black nationalist at UCLA, and formed his group, the United Slaves (US) for the purpose of igniting a “cultural revolution” among American blacks. US members followed Karenga’s “Path of Blackness,” which is detailed in his Quotable Karenga: “The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black.”

It gets better:

On May 9, 1970, Karenga and two others tortured two women who Karenga believed had tried to poison him by placing “crystals” in his food and water.

The Los Angeles Times described the events: “Deborah Jones, who once was given the title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electric cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes at gunpoint. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vice. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said.”

Karenga was sentenced to one-to-ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment. At his trial, the question arose as to Karenga’s sanity. The psychiatrist’s report stated: “This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and illusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment.” The psychiatrist reportedly observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons, and he believed he’d been attacked by dive-bombers.

Eight years later, California State University Long Beach named Karenga the head of its Black Studies Department. By this time, Karenga had “repented” of his black nationalism and had become just a harmless garden variety Marxist. This must be our esteemed university system’s idea of repentance!

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