A cryptic comment or two

Beneath the false bottom of America’s role in the world, as the status quo superpower and guarantor of strategic peace in the aftermath of the Cold War, was prior Soviet penetration of U.S. government.

The Rosetta Stone of Soviet penetration of the U.S. government is Cuba.

Sources:

“American Betrayal” by Diana West, for how deep that penetration was from 1933 through WWII.

“Stalin” by Edvard Radzinsky, for the depth of deception initiated by the Bolsheviks, their intimate enforcers the Chekists, and especially by Stalin.

“Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA” by Edward Jay Epstein, for how Soviet deception began early, in the 1920s with “the Trust,” and was renewed over and over again right through the Reagan era. (“Deception” was published in 1989.)

“The Terror Network” by Claire Sterling, for the levels of denial in the West about who was running the terror groups in Europe and the Middle East from the late 1960s through the 1970s (with a look at the Cuban role in their training and deployment. “The Terror Network” was published in 1980.).

If you know the movie “The Matrix” (forget about the sequels) you’ve got a pretty good epistemological model for how deeply deceived the natural standpoint of Americans is on their own history since, most distinctively, 1933. Diana West will take your breath away starting there. Radzinsky will show you how deep the enemy was and is, i.e., how far beneath morality and ethics. Epstein shows the plays that the Soviets ran over and over again on the West, always with great success. Sterling, very courageously, got right into the face of something no one else would talk about, at least in public.

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So far, in “Green Hell”

It is as always mostly about Jack Taylor’s moods and their swings, and the Irish of Galway. Though the murder has now occurred and Jack’s American ex-friend is the accused. Jack knows better.

This is Ken Bruen’s 2015 Jack Taylor novel. I had it on my list (down the queue) and said that I would get to it “next week.” I got to it and I’m in.

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“‘Gross Negligence’ Laws”

Something about the FBI, Hillary, and up to ten years in prison.

Never place a bet on the Clintons no longer being above the law, but if you don’t understand that this is the Obama White House that’s after her, you will likewise not get that she’s never been pursued by a more serious enemy. I hasten to add that she could have been indicted weeks or even months ago. Instead, she’s being toyed with, perhaps for some further purpose.

Maybe that purpose is something as simple as preparing the public for the shock of an indictment. Maybe the purpose is to demonstrate that the Obamas still dominate the Party. Maybe it’s both and more.

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Books in “the stack”

My late great mentor, Sandra Oddo, who I wish I could sit down with this autumn and drink a gallon of her pretty bad home brew, always had this mountain of paper on her desk that she called “the stack.” She was a big woman and it was a big stack, and she would occasionally plow through it. I’ve been building quite a stack of books the past couple of years. Here are some that I’ve been reading, skimming, and not yet opened:

1. Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass (2001) by Theodore Dalrymple. Dalrymple is a now retired doctor who worked in a British inner city hospital and a prison. I’ve been skipping around in this and haven’t found a bad paragraph yet. A brilliant writer. I need to go end to end with it.

2. Strategic Failure: How President Obama’s Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America (2015) by Mark Moyar. The premise of the title seems obvious to me, but I suspect that it’s worse than I thought. I’ll apply Stan Evans’s Law of Insufficient Paranoia, that no matter how bad you think things are, they’re worse. I’ve just glanced at Strategic Failure, but I’m going to bounce around in it sometime this coming week.

3. Thieves World: The Threat of the New Global Network of Organized Crime (1994) by Claire Sterling. I’ve read three of the late Claire Sterling’s books (The Terror Network, The Time of the Assassins, and The Mafia) and think that she’s the best journalist of her time. I started Thieves World but put it aside because like all of her books it demands total, compelling attention. I hope to get to an end-to-end read of it soon.

4. The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West (2015) by Michael Walsh. About fifty pages into it. Fascinating literary take on the induced evil of Frankfurt School attacks on Western culture, in which Walsh so far is leaning on the great work of Milton. I have a disagreement with Walsh over his premise, but I won’t discuss it here. He’s doing a good job with it, however.

5. Diary of a Man in Despair (1966) by Friedrich Reck. Written during the 30s and 40s by a German “landed gentleman” (he had to keep it hidden; the Gestapo eventually arrested him and he died in Dachau in 1945) about the grotesque nature of Hitler and the Nazis and their immense sickness and what they were doing to Germany. A friend sent me this, the second book he has sent me in recent years, and like the first book this one is strong stuff. Very strong stuff. I can’t think of anything quite like it. About sixty-five pages into it when I laid it down.

6. Drilling Through the Core: Why Common Core is Bad for American Education (2015) Edited with an introduction by Peter W. Wood. Just got it in the mail. Ordered it because it was recommended by Stanley Kurtz, whose judgment I trust. Never followed Common Core, but this will get me up to date when I find time for it. It’s going to be dry and scholarly, but that never bothers me if I’m getting something reliable.

7. Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs (2015) by Michelle Malkin. Michelle’s a nerd when it comes to stuff like this; she loves it. So do I.

8. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (2005) by Thomas E. Woods Jr. Woods just lays out the evidence, discusses it a little, but lets it speak for itself. I’m 125 pages into it, and it’s good. If you don’t know how profound the Church’s role was in the development of universities, art, science, and architecture (that’s how far I am into it, more to come, like international law), then this book will get you up to speed.

9. Green Hell: A Jack Taylor Novel (2015) by Ken Bruen. Last year was my Ken Bruen year. Raced through at least six of his novels (I lost count), both in the Jack Taylor and Inspector Brant (though Brant is not actually an inspector) series. I ordered this one for Madam Vandam, who is similarly addicted. I keep saying “next week.” So, I’ll read it next week.

10. Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America (1990) by Joseph D. Douglass, Jr. Devastating. People go on endlessly about the war on drugs, but it’s the sound of one hand clapping. According to Douglass and his main source, a Cold War Czech defector, there was first a war with drugs, carefully organized and orchestrated from Moscow.

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Boehner

When the cocktail hour comes before lunch, that’s a real problem.

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The Biden speculation

If Biden gets into the contest, his wave function will collapse and it’s not going to be a happy time for him. He’s as stale as Hillary (and staleness is very bad) and doesn’t quite have the malodorous appeal that Sanders has to the infantile base. But the White House approves of Biden speculation, otherwise it would go away along with Biden. So he’s possibly their stalking horse, but for whom?

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Public schools update: Chicago

Ex-Chicago public schools chief to plead guilty in contract kickback scheme.

As I like to say, there are some people who think they are above the law, like Eliot Spitzer and this woman, and then there are those who can prove it, like the Clintons.

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Monday morning

It was a horrible weekend in New Paltz. A fifteen-year-old, a student at the high school, committed suicide. I don’t know her parents, but I ache at the very thought of their agony. Suicidal ideation is something I don’t pretend to understand. What sets it off, especially in a kid, is a mystery. It tears friends and families apart, that much I know.

The three people I’ve known who killed themselves each left gaping holes in the lives of others, including my own.

When I was in college I had a friend, Mike, who I worked with one night a week for several hours, sitting side by side at a table, attending to the layout of a newspaper. He was a great guy and a good friend. A few years later we had a very minor confrontation over something. I forget what. We remained friends, but the closeness of our friendship ended.

Many years later, when I got in touch with a mutual friend, he told me in a matter of fact way that Mike had done the carbon monoxide thing in his car in his garage. Something about a failed marriage. And it still hurts when I think about it. Maybe if we had stayed close he could have called me and I might have talked him out of it. That’s how friends and family think about such things.

So, first, don’t do it. Don’t let those thoughts take you over. Turn to someone. Turn to God. Think about your friends and those who love you. Shake it off, pull yourself out of it, and live.

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The killer in Oregon

My recommendation to people interested in what happened, in the sense of how this man stepped out of his isolation and alienation to murder nine people, is to keep following the story after it falls out of the big media news cycles.

The authorities so far (next day) are being a bit closed mouth about the details. Chris Mercer was obviously not your routine 26-year-old, so the question remains as to what it was that sucked him down into the vortex of a compulsion to kill as many people as he could.

I followed the case of James Holmes (the mass killer in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting) well beyond the initial media uproar, and wonder how many people learned that Holmes had been seeing a University of Colorado psychologist and that he had, in fact, threatened her. She knew he was dangerous and reported it to university officials, but when he was dumped out of the university neuroscience program and out of the university itself, there was no indication at all that the university told local police that Holmes was a threat.

In other words, Holmes had been in the mental health net, but he didn’t slip through it. He was tossed out of it. The university was hoping to be rid of him, and that was that.

So, follow the story beyond the immediate horizon. You can do that by continuing to do Google searches on it when it starts to disappear from the national media. You’ll get the local, regional, and state news reports.

I don’t expect the Mercer case to resemble the Holmes case, but I do expect that there will be a lot more to his story than will be caught in the current avalanche of coverage. And that having an intelligent discussion of his case and the problem of mass shootings will be impossible without those details.

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Poor Hillary’s Almanac of Emails

Hillary has already taken this email episode well beyond the horizon of common sense. It is her persistence at it that puts on display the realm of the grifter and confidence man, who must play the mark’s common sense out beyond its alarms without setting them off. Even as she fails at that, she keeps going. This kind of training comes from where?

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You only get one Yogi Berra

There won’t be another. When Stengel was in the dugout and Yogi was behind the plate for the Yanks, that was more baseball genius in one place than before or since. Yogi’s ten World Series rings, his three MVP awards, and his personal honor, and his good natured and remarkable wit, are testimony to a baseball career and a life that kept him in the hearts and minds of Americans for almost seventy years.

God bless you Yogi.

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Ben Carson finds out…

…that political correctness is the Left’s sharia law.

Andrew McCarthy explains the latter.

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Historical notes

When I was in my mid-twenties, my friend Bobby G. said to me, “every time I see you, you look desperate, you have desperation in your eyes.” He was trying to tell me to calm the &%$# down. It was a general theme of the time. One was supposed to be “mellow.” And “mellow out” was a frequent admonition. It wasn’t my style and I used to mock that line by saying of someone who had recently died that he had “mellowed out.”

Later, in an adjoining era, another friend who was a frequent guest at “perpetual dusk,” as he called my loft down by Chinatown in Manhattan, loved to complain that I expended ninety percent of the day’s energy in the first ten minutes of the day. Actually, what he was really saying was that I expended ninety percent of the energy that he would expend in a day during the first ten minutes. I was prone to ramping up my energy throughout the day.

Back to when I was a student journalist, editing the campus newspaper, I had a friend who had great natural talent as a cartoonist. Not words, but images. So I was always over at his place going through his notebooks and asking what he had for me. Eventually he said, “you’re the most demanding person I’ve ever known.” He didn’t quite mean it as a compliment. But the horrible thing is that I was probably the last person who saw his work the way I saw it and hence the last person to ever demand any art from him at all. See how it works?

When I wrote the novel Corpse in Armor, the first draft took three months. It was the best time I’ve ever had as a writer. I loved every minute of it. It was the year that followed, the re-writing and editing and production of the novel that I described as like dragging a barge across dry land.

But if you’re wondering why the sequel has never come, that’s another story. Corpse scared me because even before it came out, parts of it started to happen in real life. When I was writing it I kept asking myself whether I was going too far. Five years later it’s obvious that I didn’t go far enough. I told another writer, a friend who has been at it his entire life, that in the past two years I’ve completely revised my understanding of history and politics, and it’s the greatest revision I’ve ever experienced. Greater, far greater, than my transition from Left liberalism to being a conservative. Not to mention far more frightening than anything I captured in Corpse. More about that another time, maybe.

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“Plastic Bags Are Good for You”

A long note to the self-deluding environmental religionists.

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“Answer: The Marxist mechanism that disconnects facts from conclusions to make war on our minds”

Question: What is ‘PC’?

Diana West. If you haven’t read her book, “American Betrayal,” you need to do that ASAP.

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New Paltz: I’m still laughing…

…at the six-story condominium apartment building WITH an adjoining hotel that’s being proposed for the Pit, the hole in the downtown donut that sits behind the village hall.

No, that most assuredly wouldn’t “fundamentally transform” the downtown village core. No more than, say, building an 18,000 seat NHL arena in the park that runs along North Front and sits behind Huguenot Street would change the sense of things in the historic district.

The solution to development of the Pit is the same as the solution to the Millbrook Preserve. The village should buy it from its owner and then leave it alone.

The Pit isn’t just an empty space. It’s integral to the unique organic design of the magnificent, classical, small-town downtown of the Village of New Paltz. Think of the village core as rotating around the Pit. As I said in a previous item here, the Pit gives the downtown its three-dimensionality and its illusion of size. The Pit, like time, is what keeps everything from happening at once.

New Paltz will change. The downtown will change. But it must not be ruined. The Pit is a small piece of open space that no one thinks about, most of the time, but it does a very big and essential job.

P.S. I have no problem with a hotel, by the way. Maybe the owner of the car wash on 32 North, across from My Market, would sell that property to a developer. A condo-apartment building, however, needs to be tucked away. Maybe North or South Putt has a site.

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