Perspective from Across the Pond

What a phenomenal piece. It was apparently published on Monday, but I didn’t see it until a friend e-mailed it to me. I would have placed it in today’s Assigned Reading, but I don’t know how many of you make the jump to the linked articles, and I wanted everyone to read Hitchens’ work.

Of course, I am a little more optimistic than Hitchens. I see a light at the end of the tunnel and think we will reach it, driven in four years by the fact that people may very well not be better off than they were today (even in this economy). While Obama certainly could put forth some proposals with long-term ramifications, or get busy nominating judges to the federal bench (he will), I’m not sure that his changes will be insurmountable.

Either way, agree with me or not, please read the Hitchens piece, enjoy it, and pass it along.

– Jeff

The Night We Waved Goodbye to America … Our Last Best Hope on Earth
By Peter Hitchens, (UK) Daily Mail

Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.

The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship – its nearest equivalent – is focused on a man who actually did something.

I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.

It already has all the signs of such a thing. The newspapers which recorded Obama’s victory have become valuable relics. You may buy Obama picture books and Obama calendars and if there isn’t yet a children’s picture version of his story, there soon will be.

Proper books, recording his sordid associates, his cowardly voting record, his astonishingly militant commitment to unrestricted abortion and his blundering trip to Africa, are little-read and hard to find.

If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular saviour, then you can believe anything. He plainly doesn’t believe it himself. His cliche-stuffed, PC clunker of an acceptance speech suffered badly from nerves. It was what you would expect from someone who knew he’d promised too much and that from now on the easy bit was over.

He needn’t worry too much. From now on, the rough boys and girls of America’s Democratic Party apparatus, many recycled from Bill Clinton’s stained and crumpled entourage, will crowd round him, to collect the rich spoils of his victory and also tell him what to do, which is what he is used to.

Just look at his sermon by the shores of Lake Michigan. He really did talk about a ‘new dawn’, and a ‘timeless creed’ (which was ‘yes, we can’). He proclaimed that ‘change has come’. He revealed that, despite having edited the Harvard Law Review, he doesn’t know what ‘enormity’ means. He reached depths of oratorical drivel never even plumbed by our own Mr Blair, burbling about putting our hands on the arc of history (or was it the ark of history?) and bending it once more toward the hope of a better day (Don’t try this at home).

I am not making this up. No wonder that awful old hack Jesse Jackson sobbed as he watched. How he must wish he, too, could get away with this sort of stuff.

And it was interesting how the President-elect failed to lift his admiring audience by repeated – but rather hesitant – invocations of the brainless slogan he was forced by his minders to adopt against his will – ‘Yes, we can’. They were supposed to thunder ‘Yes, we can!’ back at him, but they just wouldn’t join in. No wonder. Yes we can what exactly? Go home and keep a close eye on the tax rate, is my advice. He’d have been better off bursting into ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’ which contains roughly the same message and might have attracted some valuable commercial sponsorship.

Perhaps, being a Chicago crowd, they knew some of the things that 52.5 per cent of America prefers not to know. They know Obama is the obedient servant of one of the most squalid and unshakeable political machines in America. They know that one of his alarmingly close associates, a state-subsidised slum landlord called Tony Rezko, has been convicted on fraud and corruption charges.

They also know the US is just as segregated as it was before Martin Luther King – in schools, streets, neighbourhoods, holidays, even in its TV-watching habits and its choice of fast-food joint. The difference is that it is now done by unspoken agreement rather than by law.

If Mr Obama’s election had threatened any of that, his feel-good white supporters would have scuttled off and voted for John McCain, or practically anyone. But it doesn’t. Mr Obama, thanks mainly to the now-departed grandmother he alternately praised as a saint and denounced as a racial bigot, has the huge advantages of an expensive private education. He did not have to grow up in the badlands of useless schools, shattered families and gangs which are the lot of so many young black men of his generation.

If the nonsensical claims made for this election were true, then every positive discrimination programme aimed at helping black people into jobs they otherwise wouldn’t get should be abandoned forthwith. Nothing of the kind will happen. On the contrary, there will probably be more of them.

And if those who voted for Obama were all proving their anti-racist nobility, that presumably means that those many millions who didn’t vote for him were proving themselves to be hopeless bigots. This is obviously untrue.

I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America’s beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the world, with 15th Street – which runs due north from the White House – the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan.

As I walked, I crossed another of Washington’s secret frontiers. There had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.

They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.

Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.

These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.

They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?



  1. Anonymous says:

    GOD help America…

  2. Anonymous says:

    @ Anonymous, 3:55 PM

    I’ve been following the Obama-documents developments on Jeff’s blog (and elsewhere) for many weeks.

    For me it comes down to the fact that, rather than cough up the long-form, vault version of his birth certificate somewhere along the line, Obama uses maneuvers such as lack-of-standing arguments. (For contrast, I’ll cite an example. My understanding is that McCain was sued over the same issue, and, though his case also was dismissed for lack of standing, that he produced the vault version of his birth certificate nonetheless.)

    Fact: Obama’s Constitutional eligibility for the Presidency has been questioned in lawsuits.
    Fact: Using the Berg case as an example, his motion to dismiss was based not on the argument that the case has no merit, but on the argument that the plaintiff “lacks standing.”
    Fact: He has yet to produce — even of his own volition — the definitive version of his birth certificate, which logic suggests he’d be happy to do in the spirit of unequivocally laying the matter to rest.

    Besides Obama’s resistance to fully documenting his Constitutional eligibility for the Presidency, there’s the fact that he’s made virtually no other documentation about his background available other than, I believe, a one-page letter from his physician that attests to his good health.

    Taken together, his response to the BC issue and his guarded stance on his education records, medical records, and other background materials are worrisome — or should be worrisome to anyone using a modicum of critical thinking and common sense when taking the measure of this person who stands to be sworn in as the next President of the U.S.

    It’s really that simple; no “gullibility” involved and no tinfoil hats required. (I daresay the “gullible” ones are those who opened their wallets and/or cast their votes for the candidate who has a paper-thin, unaccomplished record in government, a scantily documented past, a vast network of bizarre affiliations and alliances for a Presidential candidate, and several counterintuitive proposals for serious issues such as the economy and foreign policy — because they want “change.”)

    P.S. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that, from what I gather, either nobody’s minding the store or nobody knows who’s supposed to be minding the store when it comes to determining whether every Presidential candidate or President-elect is constitutionally eligible to take office. That’s a tremendous issue — one that’s far bigger than Obama and one that simply can’t be “papered over.” But it’s Obama waiting in the wings now — and there’s certainly no time like the present.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear anonymous:

    You can use all the tinfoil hat remarks that you wish, but AMERICANS have a right to know who is going to be their President. I really do get tired of people using that term “tinfoil hats” anyway. It’s so worn out.

    Americans have a right to know, that’s it… final! So if that makes me have a tinfoil hat on, at least I don’t have rose-colored glasses on.

    From Anonymous

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, I’m a Scientologist and I can’t stand Obama The Marxist. I consider myself a patriot and think that you might do a little research on a religion that has a bigger problem with fascism than you do.

  5. Anonymous says:


    Who can define or tell me the meaning and/or significance of the phrase “tinfoil hat”?

    I keep seeing the phrase used here and I’ve searched through all the reference books on Bartleby and tried to find the meaning but can’t.

    Can anyone help me out? I’d like to have a good explanation so I’m not struggling to define this phrase for myself based on context.

    Thanks readers!

  6. Anonymous says:

    One thing that has been nagging at me is that after BO’s two recent trips to Hawaii, on his return he made the remark that ‘all the hurdles had been crossed, and it was a clear path to the White House’ or words to that effect. I can’t remember which site I saw that on, but it seemed curious to me at the time.

  7. LEL says:

    When white people become a minority in America, what are the chances that we will be afforded any rights and freedoms? White liberals promoting multiculturalism are unknowningly facilitating their own demise. America will not exist as we have known it in a few decades.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @ Dear anonymous:

    You can use all the tinfoil hat remarks that you wish, but AMERICANS have a right to know who is going to be their President. I really do get tired of people using that term “tinfoil hats” anyway. It’s so worn out.

    Americans have a right to know, that’s it… final! So if that makes me have a tinfoil hat on, at least I don’t have rose-colored glasses on.

    American’s do know who is going to be their president. No rights have been violated.

    What you are asking for in terms of birth history has already been verified by the Department of Health of the State of Hawaii. But you don’t believe that. Why? I’ll tell you why, because your mind has been twisted in part by the likes of Berg and Schlussel.

    Nearly every US company asks for some form of ID when hiring people. If you owned such a company and someone from Hawaii presented a short form birth certificate you’d accept it, make a photo copy of it, and place it in the employee’s file. If you had question’s about it’s authenticity, you’d contact the Department of Health of the State of Hawaii, and if its officials verified the document, you’d be satisfied with no further questions asked. You wouldn’t demand a long form vault copy for your records, you wouldn’t send a digital scan of it to “Techdude”, and you wouldn’t accuse your new employee of fraud. You’d be satisfied. And that’s what’s final.

    But, why would you be satisfied? You would be satisfied because no higher authority in the nation exists on the subject of Hawaiian birth certificates than the issuing authority that is the Department of Health of the State of Hawaii, that’s why.

    So if the hat fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, get a new hat.

  9. Anonymous says:

    @ Anonymous, 6:52 AM:

    I see you didn’t respond to the comment I directed to you (11/14 at 6:50 PM). Instead, you reacted to a different comment, by echoing both your derisive “tinfoil hat” dismissal of the issue and your assertion that Obama’s vault birth certificate is nobody’s business.

    Let’s recap the facts: There are multiple lawsuits concerning Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the presidency. Obama argues “lack of standing” and not lack of merit, taking care not to produce his long-form birth certificate in the process. He also doesn’t make available to the public his education records, medical records, state Senate records, law-practice client list, or other background documents. (Irony alert: Contrast this to the Obama administration’s 63-point questionnaire for White House job applicants … )

    In the realm of common sense, if not of law, this constellation of behaviors on Obama’s part engenders wariness in a prudent, independent-thinking mind. For instance, I’d never hire a job candidate who positioned himself or herself this way — and, oddly enough, Obama himself apparently wouldn’t, either. You would?

    Please, try again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @ anonymous November 14, 2008 6:50 PM and November 15, 2008 1:22 PM

    With reference to your first “FACT”: So what? That doesn’t mean the complaints or claims are meritorious.

    With reference to your second “FACT”: Read Judge Surrick’s memorandum in its entirety. There the judge said plenty questioning Berg’s, claims, evidence, and sources. Judge Surrick goes the distance to cast considerable doubt on Berg’s conspiracy claims with regards to Berg’s amended complaint (Surrick actually uses the word conspiracy), Berg’s methodology of collecting evidence, and the evidence itself. In other words, Judge Surrick did not seem to think that the foundation of the case had any merit at all.

    With regard to your third “FACT”: So what? It is Obama’s prerogative to release or not release his long form vault birth certificate. You, I, or anybody else Obama has not granted access, does not have a legal right to his birth and health records under the state of Hawaii’s laws. And your logic is flawed. What you are referring to is your belief. You believe that if Obama was concerned with this matter he would lay the matter to rest, to your relief by voluntarily releasing the document. But there are other alternatives, Obama in fact may be concerned with the matter, but his choice may have been to avoid giving the matter any more weight, thereby allowing the matter to die from its own momentum.

    Just because Obama hasn’t released the document doesn’t necessarily mean that he is hiding something. It only means that he hasn’t released the document. That’s logic!

    Another thing is that it is the courts that have ruled that Berg and others lack standing. Every judge that has taken the step to issue a memorandum has gone on the public record questioning the merits of Berg’s case. The same has happened in cases were suits have been brought against some state’s Secretary of State. And so I think you should take the time to read those memorandums, or to reread them.

    Some people think that Obama is a Muslim, a terrorist, a baby killer, the anti-Christ, the Messiah, a Marxist, a communist, a fascist, an illegal non-resident alien, etc., ad nauseam. On every front there is demand that he prove himself otherwise. Despite there being valid reasons to tick every one of those claims off as being nonsense, some folks choose to pamper their fears.

    A “prudent, independent-thinking mind” doesn’t exist if one caters to their acquired or inherent fears. A prudent, independent-thinking mind can only be possible when one exercises reason. But as far as I know, Vulcans only exist in science fiction; and even they have been known to succumb to their fears from time to time.

    There could be any number of reasons that Obama has refused to release some kinds of information. It does not benefit one to imagine what his motives might be, but perhaps you are wary. I don’t know what Obama could have done to you in the past. As for myself, he hasn’t done anything. He hasn’t even been sworn in as president yet.

  11. Katherine says:

    I voted for Obama and I considered him to be the best candidate I’ve ever seen (I’m only 27), but I have to admit I’m a little embarrassed with the way some people are reacting. Especially the people who say “Yes we did” and the person holding up that sign saying “We have overcome.” Obama is not president yet, so he’s done nothing yet. I have high hopes for his presidency as I’m a strong supporter, but I am still saying “yes we can.” I’m thrilled we elected him, but anyone who thinks this is the end of racism or that Obama will magically fix our country without help is delusional. Everyone needs to work hard (and hopefully together) to lift this country back up. Obama is just a mortal politician. I think he’s an above average one, but he’s no God!! And again, he’s done NOTHING yet. He is not president yet.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I mean, really….stop grasping at straws, people. Just because he looks Kenyan to YOU, doesn’t mean he wasn’t born in Hawaii. But I guess Dems went back in time and forged the “Births” section of the 1961 newspaper.

    I support third parties but find these efforts to be embarrassing and demeaning to all.

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