Quote of the Day, 12-31-08

“Why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity, for what has posterity ever done for us?” –Sir Boyle Roche

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Run, Scurry, FLEE! The End Is NEAR!

Hot off the presses from the Department of Kooks, comes the prediction by a Russian professor named Igor Panarin that by 2010, the U.S. will have disintegrated, and that Little Ole Me, down here in the Peach State (Georgia, for anyone not up on state nicknames) will be under the boot of our new Mexican overlords.  ¡Hola, muchachos! Meanwhile, most of my other relatives will be flying the maple leaf instead of Old Glory.  Cali and the West Coast go to Red China, Alaska to…wait for it, wait for it…Russia!  And for some reason unknown to (sane) man, New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, along with a healthy chunk of the South, will hook up with the EU.

And the thing is that this isn’t just some ordinary professor spewing nonsense- that happens all the time.  No, this is the dean of Russia’s academy for future diplomats, and a former KGB analyst who’s predicting the USA’s imminent demise.  Fits awfully well with the anti-Americanism apparently prevalent in Russia right now.  But does it fit well with reality?  I doubt it.  Let me put it this way: Ever seen a guy out on the street with a sign saying “The End Is Near”, or read one of those “Left Behind” books?  Well, this is very much similar to that, only in Russian.  Additionally, it seems to have been lifted from a video game that I saw in a Target a few years ago.

Now, after I have jokingly poked and prodded this theory, let me ask some realistic questions: Does anyone here think Mexico is in any type of shape to be taking over the South when they have out-of-control drug cartels to worry about?  Their army is going to pieces, and they’re going to take over Redneck Country?  Nice try.  And what plausible reason would the EU have for wanting New England, plus a chunk of Appalachia?  And I doubt China would have the ability to secure such a vast swath out in the West with its present resources.  Their real problem is that they blue-water navy is pretty feeble.  Some subs, and a few destroyers, but nothing good at power projection.  No carriers, for one, though they appear to be working on fixing up that problem.

Despite all of the problems fitting it into, as Lew Black put it, “the greater tapestry I like to call ‘Reality'”, Mr. Panarin’s theories are apparently wildly popular in Russia.  Let me just say something about this.  Hate to break it to ya, fellas, but just because it’s popular, doesn’t make it true.  I’d be willing to bet that there are some fundamentalist Christians who would like the “Left Behind” series to be true, but despite its status as a best seller, it still remains a mere wet dream of some kooks.  And that’s all that this will remain.  But if I’m taking Remedial Spanish in Fall 2010, then I’ll have to eat crow.

(H/T WSJ, via Registan.net, which I highly recommend)

POSTSCRIPT

While I haven’t read the actual “Left Behind” series, I did read some of the “kids” version of the series.  I got rid of them long ago, but they still creep me out.

The Long Slow Descent of the Republicans

Today in the Department of Stupid Jokes:

A candidate for the Republican National Committee chair [Chip Saltsman] sent out a holiday CD to committee members that includes the song “Barack the Magic Negro,” a parody first aired on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

And here’s the heck of it.  Mr. Saltsman may have done a good thing- for his campaign:

Four days after news broke that the former Tennessee GOP chairman had sent a CD including a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” to the RNC members he is courting, some of those officials are rallying around the embattled Saltsman, with a few questioning whether the national media and his opponents are piling on.

It’s not piling on to question the judgment of someone who would like to head the Republican National Committee when he sends out a borderline-racist bad satire of the president-elect.  If the Republicans wish to become more than just the party of the South (and not all of the South, as Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida would testify), they need to stop pulling these sorts of stunts.  First of all, it’s not funny.  I read the lyrics for that song and it just wasn’t funny.  Second of all, you’re not going to gain more people by reaching to the right.  If anything, the GOP should be reaching out in other directions.  But this is the sort of thing that alienates moderates who want civil discourse, not bad satire.  And finally, let me offer a reason to question Saltsman’s fitness to be chairman of the RNC for a different reason.  He managed Mike Huckabee’s campaign.  As in, a failure.  I admit, Howard Dean became chairman of the DNC after failing and may have paved the way for Barack Obama to sit in the Oval Office come January, but Dean had some new ideas.  He failed because he was ahead of the curve.  The Internet, which Dean almost managed to harness, became Barack Obama’s biggest asset in the election.  Saltsman’s idea of change for the RNC?  Blame “[l]iberal Democrats and their allies in the media” for making a big deal out of his little Christmas gift.  Please join me in a communal eye-rolling at the old Republican excuse.  It’s like “the dog ate my homework,” except dumber.  Particularly because people like NEWT GINGRICH are criticizing him.  Newt Gingrich is many things.  A “[l]iberal Democrat” he is not.  Let this be the end of “Magic-Negro-gate”:  Chip Saltsman is hereby judged to be a tool.  He should be banished to the netherlands of Shame, if the Republicans hope to regain a majority.  While some people might share Rush Limbaugh’s sense of humor, I doubt there are many not on the right.

(H/T Politico, via The Daily Beast)

Quote of the Day, 12-30-08

“Willing obedience always beats forced obedience.” -Xenophon

Quote of the Day, 12-29-08

“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Quote of the Day, 12-22-08

“If I was to really get at the burr in my saddle, it’s not politics – and this is, I think, probably a horrible analogy – but I look at politicians as, they are doing what inherently they need to do to retain power. Their job is to consolidate power. When you go to the zoo and you see a monkey throwing poop, you go, ‘that’s what monkeys do, what are you gonna do?’ But what I wish the media would do more frequently is say ‘bad monkey.'” -Jon Stewart, September 29, 2004

(H/T Wikiquote)

By the way, I’m terribly sorry about not having a Quote of the Day for the last week.  My little brother was hogging the Internet computer in our house.  But I’m back!  And just to let you know, February will be the Month of Montaigne.  As in Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher and inventor of the essay.  I’m going to be reading his book Essays and reflecting on it.  And all of the Quotes of the Day for that month will be from Montaigne, unless something comes up.  Happy holidays (or whatever)!

Quote of the Day, 12-15-08

“Only the educated are free.” -Epictetus

(H/T The Quotations Page)