Off the top of my head *UPDATED*

Sick kid, work, 200 backlogged real world emails — haven’t yet formed coherent thoughts based on this morning’s reading.  Having said that, I’m still thinking, and offer these off the top of my head paragraphs.

Arlen Specter’s re-labeling is meaningless.  He’s long been a RINO, and he’s merely aligning his party affiliation with his votes.  Some have commented that he looks terribly ill, so this may be akin to a deathbed conversion.  If he is indeed ill, I hope that whatever ails him resolves itself with the minimum of pain and inconvenience (and that is true whether he ultimately recovers or not).

I’m beginning to wonder about his whole swine flu thing, not least because it’s forcing me to keep a kid with an ordinary cold home from school.  If this were truly a serious epidemic, the first thing to do would be to close the borders (the official borders, at least) to Mexico for a couple of days, despite the potential economic hits.  Two days of a closed border, and closed flights, of course, is a lot less serious than America in thrall to a deathly epidemic.  The fact that Obama hasn’t done this tells me (a) he’s an idiot or (b) he knows something about the flu deaths in Mexico that we don’t know.  I think it’s (b), especially given that his first agenda item with regard to the flu was to push his socialized medicine plan, and that despite the fact that Mexico, the country in which people are dying, is a socialized medicine country.  [UPDATE:  And this just makes my point about Obama creating or using a created epidemic for his own ends.]

The most interesting thing I’ve heard about the flu is that, since new flus are combinations of viruses from old flus, it is entirely possible that Americans have had a version of this flu before, while the Mexicans haven’t.  That’s why we’re getting in but, so far (and thank God) not dying from it, while the Mexicans are very hard it.  Mexicans may also be dying, of course, because of that socialized medicine problem, but who knows?

As you may have noticed, Charles, at LGF, is waging quite the war with certain European and European oriented blogs, based on his contention that they are neo-nazis, because they comport with neo-nazis.  That got me to thinking about Europe and political extremism.

As I see it, one of the problems with Europe, and it’s an old problem, is that the Europeans, for all their wonderful old-world sophistication, are lousy at moderation.  Perhaps it’s because, if one ignores the Muslim outsiders, each European nation, aside from being geographically small compared to America, is pretty damn homogeneous and inclined to statism (either monarchical or parliamentary).  That means that these cultures can turn on a dime, and turn hard.

Big, noisy, genuinely multicultural, opinionated, individualist America is about as wieldy as a large ship.  Creating a mass movement is difficult (Obama mania notwithstanding, especially because a mere 53% of the popular vote means that the real mania is confined to the media).

The end result is that, when indigenous Europeans identify a parasite in their midst, whether a harmless Jew or a harmful, fully wired Islamist, these same Europeans go from 0-60 in seconds in terms of mounting a united offense.  Moderation gets by-passed, and they go into full “kill the alien” mode.  In America, at least before the dawn of a 24 hour a day lockstep media, that kind of swift movement is difficult to orchestrate.  There are too many competing voices, and there is (or, pre-media, was) too much land to cover.

Europe has also been in thrall to PC so long that the only ones who even squeaked about Muslim extremism were the extreme right organizations.  Now that the lumpen masses are starting to squeak, and the government is refusing to acknowledge that there may be validity to those squeaks, the only ones they can turn to are the pre-existing neo-nazi organizations.

All of which is to say that, once you make common cause with those Europeans who are worried about Islamists, you seem invariably to fall into bed with the neo-nazis.  The European moderates are still moving lumpenly through the PC mist, and only the extremists are reacting — and they’re doing so extremely.

I don’t know if I brought any clarity at all here, but I’m not sure that approving the fact that some Europeans have correctly identified a problem in their midst is the same as falling in, hook line and sinker, with the more extremist views of those same Europeans.  On the other hand, if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

And that’s off the top of my head.  Back at ya’ later.

UPDATE II:  One more thought for this hodge-podge.  Charles Johnson has pointed out that the Ron Paulians have infiltrated tea parties.  I don’t like the Ron Paulians because they make unabashed common cause with American neonazis who, in turn, are unabashedly proud of their violent racism and antisemitism.  However, I don’t think the fact that Ron Paulians — all of whom call themselves libertarians — are involved should taint the tea parties.

Genuine libertarianism, free from the icky Ron Paul taint, is very simple:  less government.  I think that the tea parties were a true, grass roots expression of classic libertarianism — American citizens rising up to oppose increased statism.  Certainly that was true in my neck of the woods, because I know many of the people who attended and they are true small government people who simply want less government interference, while maintaining a strong defense.  They are also pro-Israel and not racists in any way, shape or form.

The fact is, though, that Ron Paulians are everywhere, and it would be silly to imagine that they wouldn’t want to attend an event like the tea parties.

The thing is that, just because the crazies like it, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.  The goal is to limit the crazies to participating roles and make sure that they don’t get the power.  Essentially, we’re facing the flip side of what happened on the left, which is that a whole lot of good ideas (such as equal opportunities and treatment for blacks and women) got co-opted by the radical left, who turned these good ideas into identity politics and vehicles for the Communist idea of equal outcomes for all, as opposed to the American idea of equal opportunities.

UPDATE III:  I haven’t commented on PlaneGate, and really can’t add to what Power Line has to say.

UPDATE IV:  And I have to say that Michelle Malkin’s tribute to Obama’s 100 days is the must-read of the morning:

Come on, who’s surprised? The White House-engineered photo-op of low-flying Air Force aircraft that caused terror in New York City this week epitomizes the Age of Obama. What better way to mark 100 days in office than with an appalling exercise in pointless, taxpayer-funded stagecraft.

The superficiality, the unseriousness, the hubris, the obliviousness to post-9/11 realities: They were trademarks of the Obama campaign and they are the tattoos on his governance.

He never leaves home without his teleprompter. All the Obama world’s a stage. Or a world ready to be staged.

So, is it any wonder he would staff his White House Military Office with a clueless paper-pusher who saw nothing wrong with spending inordinate government resources – and recreating 9/11 havoc — to update Air Force One publicity shots? And who planned, believe it or not, to do the same in Washington, D.C., next month, where 53 passengers and 6 crew members on board American Airlines Flight 77, and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the Pentagon were murdered by the 9/11 jihadists?

All for some damned publicity shots.

No one should be shocked. Remember: Barack Obama is the frivolous man who concocted his own presidential-looking Great Seal before he was elected. An ego big enough to publicly display a ridiculous “Vero Possumus” (“Yes, we can” in Latin) motto and a regal eagle with the Obama campaign logo emblazoned on its chest is an ego capable of far more reckless things. Obama orchestrated a grand photo-op in Berlin, Germany, to declare his world citizenship at the Siegessäule Victory Column – a soaring monument of arrogance championed by Adolph Hitler and Third Reich architect Albert Speer. He manufactured his own Open Temple of The One in Denver for the Democratic National Convention last summer, replete with fake Greek columns.

Read the rest here.

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  • Mike Devx

    Book said,
    All of which is to say that, once you make common cause with those Europeans who are worried about Islamists, you seem invariably to fall into bed with the neo-nazis. The European moderates are still moving lumpenly through the PC mist, and only the extremists are reacting — and they’re doing so extremely.

    I’m not going to blame these poor Europeans for climbing into bed with their intolerant hard core nationalists. They have absolutely nowhere else to turn.

    The entire mechanism of their national governments and the supranational EU tyranny is focused on denying them any control over their futures. This includes the rapidly escalating Islamization of all European countries. More and more EU leaders are saying that they must “be nice to Islam” so that when Islam comes into control in a decade or two, the Islamists “will then by nice to them”.

    At the same time the actions of the EU are ensuring that only the hardline Islamist jihadists will establish control over the EU. The scope of the mistake they are making is stunning in its scope. If you envision just what is going to happen, it goes from stunning to horrifying. A horror movie could be made about the year 2030 in Europe.

    As each year passes, more and more of the ordinary people in the EU sense this, and their attitude is shifting from unconcern to concern to alarm to even terror. This will only continue. What can they do, when the entire government suppresses their ability to effect any change?

    Especially when the solution truly is, in fact, a return to nationalism, a return to religious principles, and the importance of faith and family? That is the path that restores to the people their God-given freedoms and liberty. (They must also take responsibility for national defense and slash social welfare programs, but that’s a derivative responsibility…)

    The only leadership they see around them, that will allow the people to save themselves, is those hard-line hard-core, often bigoted and intolerant parties on the fringe of the right. It’s understandable then that, rather than simply surrender, they’re going to throw in with those parties.

    Perhaps other national parties will emerge that aren’t intolerant, racist, and bigoted. But for now, that’s the only game in town. I can’t blame the people for at least temporarily, throwing their support there.

  • Ymarsakar

    That’s why we’re getting in but, so far (and thank God) not dying from it, while the Mexicans are very hard it.

    Bad nutrition, bad healthcare, stress, and horrible sanitation will kill anyone, disease or no disease.

    As for the neo-nazis, I haven’t seen a complete or even partial analysis of their strengths and weaknesses yet. I therefore do not believe them to be a sufficient threat, either to Muslims or to the “moderates”.

  • Danny Lemieux

    MikeD, speaking as a (half) European, you are absolutely spot-on in your analysis. The reason that EUros resort to mob violence to is that it is the only political outlet that remains available to them. They have been politically disenfranchised for decades. By disenfranchising the middle, the EURO Left has forced people toward extremes. This will also happen in the U.S. under this Democrat regime, now that they have achieved their grip on power. I expect that violent suppression of dissent will be next.

    Charlie Johnson at LGF has an obsession with the alleged “right wing” nature of dissident parties like Vlaams Belang (Belgium) or the BNP (UK) to the point of totally losing his perspective. The point is, though, these organizations have been demonized beyond recognition by the EURO Left. Why? Because, like the scorpion, the LEFT cannot help being what it is. The Left, whether in America or EUrope, reflexively lies and demonizes because they have no intellectual credibility.

    I am with Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugged on this one []. She is ardently Jewish and Zionist and she has no trouble making cause with these organizations and their leaders.

    As you say so aptly, MikeD, this is all a horror story in the making and we in the U.S. will not be spared.

  • Ymarsakar

    Until Charles actually gives me something approximating a military intelligence assessment, both threat and psychological, of these “neo-Nazis”, I take his pet peeve about as seriously as I do the people who keep going on about Bush and Saudi Arabia.

    Bush didn’t sell us to Saudi Arabia, Obama and Clinton did. Concrete facts that tend to get into people’s preconceptions.

  • Ymarsakar

    And don’t forget the state department. Kimmit got confirmed for it and he was the one that decided Abu Ghraib should be given to the media for “public justice” instead of the military releasing the photos themselves in order to get ahead of the enemy news OODA cycle.