“We must do our duty and convince the world that we are just friends and brave enemies” - Thomas Jefferson
The good folks at Amazon had no trouble finding a copy of The Communist Manifesto, but are having difficulty locating H.L. Mencken's Chrestomathy. Have you ever gone to "customer service" at a bookstore, and asked the enlightened, leftist seer of the Temple of Delphi to find a conservative or libertarian title? If you haven't, please do so. You will be given a look as though you arrived via a watermelon truck with duct tape on the tailgate. The mere fact that you are literate will astound and amaze them. If you really want to arouse suspicion, and possibly get reported to moveon.org, ask for an ultra-left title along with something by Michelle Malkin. I suspect they have a little red button underneath the counter that is a hotline to the politburo of political correctness.
I lived in Grand Cayman for a while (complete culture shock, so much that several future blog entries will be devoted to it) and walked in a bookstore to browse around. I am not really much of an Ann Coulter fan, but flipping through her book Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right (by the way, check out the objective, well informed, ad-hominem "reviews" by people who have obviously not read the book), I had a few chuckles and decided to purchase it. The woman at the counter, who was not a native Caymanian but more likely part of the Canadian invasion of the island, was the store owner. With no invitation on my part, she opined that she would hate the book, and proceeded to lecture me on her inside information on the Iraq war. After she was done screeching, I said "I'm sorry you hate this book so much; so sorry that I am no longer interested in purchasing it from this store. And the last thing I wish to do is to burden you with this bothersome cash." I walked out and went to another bookstore. This time without a political lecture.
Anyway, I digress. I bought the Manifesto not to change my political views, but to get a better understanding of the leftist mind. It is not a large volume; about fifty pages in interestingly large print. It is larger than a pamphlet, but I think it more likened to a restaurant menu than an actual book. What first amazed me was that some work, so small, contained an ideology that resulted in tens if not hundreds of million dead and even more living in bondage and fear for the better part of the last century. Cuba and North Korea have yet to escape it, and Hugo Chavez seems to be an ardent fan.
Now, being the poster child for Attention Deficit Disorder, I found an interesting snippet from the Communist News Network regarding the cognac gargling gargoyle and his nuclear program. To save you the trouble, I can sum it up as follows:
1. North Korea has a nuclear plant at Yongbyon.
2. They are tearing it down.
3. They have decided to slow down the dismantling because of......
4. Nasty Americans who are not giving them enough fuel oil, still have them classified as bad guys, and a laundry list of other grievances.
5. CNN doesn't think the the NK's are as bad as mean old W painted them. CNN also thinks the NK's are telling the truth.
6. CNN is actually naive enough to think this is the sum and total of the North Korean nuclear program, and Kim Jong Mentally Ill is cooler than Gorbachev's Perestroika.
7. The New York Philharmonic is coming to visit.
Just how (and why) the United States is supposed to take care of North Korea's every need, else risk a nuclear attack, is well, beyond logic. This is similar to the street thug promising not to shoot you as long as you hand over your wallet. No mention of where China stands in all this, having a long career as the sugar daddy for these whackjobs. If North Korea, no, the United States had any sense, it would be explained to them in no uncertain terms, that give up your nuclear ambitions COMPLETELY, or not only will you be hungry and cold, you will also glow in the dark. The track record over the last several years clearly shows that the NKs have no intention whatsoever of keeping their end of ANY diplomatic agreement. Why should we think something has miraculously changed, and important proof of this is that a Western symphony has been invited to Pyongyang to please the "Dear Leader"?
Well, enough for to day. Have to read about "worker's paradise" and the ultra-evil bourgeois, which I strive everyday to be. Moreover, I wan't to find out what makes communism so wonderful that nations that subscribe to this philosophy have their borders lined with concertina wire, guard dogs and land mines. Not to keep invaders out, but to keep their own people in.