Work and Days

Imus, Iran, and Illegal Aliens

Who is worse—the racist bully or the racist buffoon?

I never cared for Don Imus because he was always a bully, who tried to dress up his adolescent mind with two-bit cruelty, usually directed against some deer-in-the-headlights guest he assumed was too fawning to object. I liked Imus even less when I heard his latest stupid, racist remark. And I liked him least of all when I heard him fawning to the disreputable Al Sharpton to save his job—without reminding this racist huckster of Sharpton’s own past defamation in the Tawana Brawley case, his anti-Semitism and racism against Hasidic Jews in the Crown Heights theater (“diamond merchants;” “the blood of innocent babies”) as he fired up his mob followers (“Kill the Jews”), and the incitement in the shameful Freddy Fashion Mart violence, where his thugs yelled “Burn the Jew store”, and subsequently did leading to the deaths of seven innocents.

What are “ho’s”?

Part of Imus’s career implosion revolves around the phenomenon of out-of-touch stupid wannabes whose knowledge of black people (cf. Imus’s reiteration that he was “rapping”) comes from rap music, and therein they make the leap that because black thuggish youth use such despicable terms about African-American women, it therefore opens a window for others to use the same nomenclature—though perhaps with a different intent.

Should he be fired? Who knows? But the industry established the penalty long ago. Ask ESPN after releasing Rush Limbaugh for far tamer remarks that race not ability was a factor in the media support for Donovan McNabb.

More on Iran

Iran’s national security council, or what passes for it, at least has a consistent strategy: while the West hems and haws and a weaker UN issues sanctions, full steam ahead to nuclear proliferation, at critical intervals aided by inciting more violence in Shiite Iraq. Now provoke a war in Lebanon; now unleash Moqtadar Sadr, and always—remember the country is run by a hostage-taker himself—take hostages.

The general rule with Iran: no matter how barbaric and savage the Iranian provocation (take hostages, invite in Holocaust-deniers, promise to wipe out Israel, send out the Hezbollah thugs), they will always earn a pass due to fear of oil-price spikes or cut-offs, to lust for free-floating petrodollars, or the shrug that Iranian theocrats are like the crazy street people who scream and yell at the passer-by and so earn exemption from the rebuke given the more sane. In the end, their most clever ploy is to sound and act crazy. All the talk about the well, the 12th imam, no one blinking while Ahmadinejad spoke, etc sets the stage for nuclear acquisition: nothing works better than a nuclear power acting crazy, and thus apparently immune from classical deterrence.

The World Turned Upside Down

The news has not been kind to Great Britain the past few days: the discussion of omitting in some schools study of the Holocaust in fears of offending Holocaust-denying Muslim students; the BBC cancellation of a documentary about the most recent Victoria Cross winner in fears of being too positive about Iraq; the Iranian hostage taking that humiliated the Royal Navy, the mockery of British rules of engagement, the confessions of the prisoners, followed by the crass hucksterism of the former hostages as they elbowed each other to cash in. We might expect this from Swedes, French, or Spanish, but the British?

Various exegeses arise about what’s going on in the UK: creeping socialism, utopian pacifism, cultural relativism, rising Islamic unassimilated minorities in the large cities; deep jealousy and anger at the American upstarts who don’t play obedient Romans to the smarter British Athenians; fear that the Euros won’t like their adherence to the old “special relationship” with the U.S., etc. But these serial anecdotes are a thin scab that scarcely hide the deeper wound that for some time now Britain, well, is not the Britain we knew.

Illegal aliens and crashes

Recently Bill O’Reilly has been sermonizing about a spate of recent fatal auto accidents involving culpable illegal aliens, who either had no license, registration, insurance, or were under the influence—or various combinations of the four.

I wrote about this five years ago in Mexifornia. I now have had five “incidents” in which illegal aliens rammed cars at high speed into my roadside vineyard, causing thousands of dollars in damage. All fled the scene. None of the wrecked cars was registered or licensed under legitimate names or insured. I have experienced two incidents when non-English speaking aliens fled into my yard, police cars in hot pursuit through my driveway. In one case, the fugitive reappeared in my shrubbery after the police left empty-handed, and I made a citizen’s arrest (the detained was very polite, and later charged with meth production and sale), the returning police quite embarrassed that for all the macho high-fiving and tough talk they had lost their suspect.

Add two more attempted break-ins. As relish, an illegal alien ran a stop-sign, hit my truck broadside, tried to flee his totaled car, and was detained by me until police arrived. What is happening now, however, is that we are collectively approaching a critical mass, where the sheer number of illegal aliens, the complete lack of accountability by our politicians, the utter chaos in much of the American Southwest now ensure that well known, affluent citizens (cf. the recent deaths of a well-known Hollywood director and his son by an intoxicated alien) no longer enjoy an exemption. The problem of dangerous drivers here illegally from Mexico is no longer just found in Sanger, Selma, or Orange Cove, but reaches Pacific Palisades and Palos Verdes Estates.

Will anything be done? Probably not, since city governments usually cater to the needs of illegal aliens and employers, and have mortgaged their very souls to ignoring the present chaos.

Outtake # 11—No Man A Slave

The beginning of the novel. Right after the battle of Mantineia the Thebans carry out the fatally wounded Melon and his general Epaminondas to the heights of Skopê above the battlefield. As the two fade out, Melon remembers their first meeting a decade earlier in the spring before Leuktra, and how the crazy idea to free the helots all began.

Chapter One. On Lookout Mountain

Melon woke. He was off the battlefield. Four Theban hoplites had carried the two wounded on biers up to Skopê, among the tamarisks and scrub oak of the lookout mountain, high above the battlefield. Yes, he was now high above the killing. On the crest, in a strong Etesian breeze, they put down Melon near his general, on thick fleece with felt covers. He was growing cold even in this Dog-star heat.
For just a moment he was clear again. The Thespian had enough strength to raise his head. Look, look down at the chaos far below, around the great walled city of the Mantineians. The Thebans were filing out the valley. The defeated Spartans did the same. So all were chanting “Antikrates,” chanting as they marched behind their killer out through the other vale.
Then Melon thought he heard music. At least something like a Boiotian single piper, likewise far off in the distance, maybe even from the other side of the hill. He could hear from below still the music, and a goat song of Thisbe at that, its melody straining its way up the hill, just to him.
But then the cluttered field below went silent and nearly dark. One eye closed. The freeze in his right shoulder from the Spartan stab moved closer to his heart and below passed his groin to his thighs. His head crackled. Torch lights inside flared and went out.
But through the other lid, Melon could still make out something right next to him, a nearby crowd of men hunching over, shuffling about Epaminondas at his side. Or at least he heard the shouting of ten or so, cursing Antikrates.
Some of the Sacred Band had pulled the black shaft out. And with that yank, the general screamed, “Leuktra.” “Leuktra.”
Then a blink later followed, “Mantineia.” These were the twin victories, his two daughters that Epaminondas now left behind for his Boiotians to raise.
How, as the icy grip came on up his breast and neck and then downward on into his knees, did a lame farmer, and at sixty from Thespiai end up alongside a man like that, here of all places, here in the cursed highlands of the Peloponnese, caught up with helots, and on a rock above the old killing field at Mantineia?

Hunt. Hunt in your memory, quickly now, for that first chance talk.
Pictures and voices came, clearer on the god’s prompt with the growing stiffness. Still time, time still. Yes, they were shouting at each other ten seasons ago or about that now—arguing on his high farm on Helikon about the Spartan wasps and snakes, in their Boiotia so far to the north.
Now as the dark clouds piled up in the west, and the body cold came further on, the voice of his all-seeing Pythagoras consoled him with all the talk of that so long ago. It was whispering even more still, as the whole story came alive with pictures and voices of those heroes he knew now dead—just as if a bard, a vase painter, and a mason were all at work together. The lesson came in full in just an eye blink, for the first time without worry about time, from his one god who had seen, known them all, and now had come inside him. Even with the hole, and the iron deep inside him, Melon tried to nod, to listen to it all at once, now for the first, only time on his way back home to Helikon.

Chapter Two. Uninvited Guests

Ten seasons earlier a half-phyle of the Spartan krypteria attacked the farm of Melon

After that first blur of an arrow Melon felt a jolt from behind and went down. His slave Chion, that giant, suddenly tackled him. The sound of a piper, Neto’s Thisbean tune they had heard, was now lost for good in the tumult.
The far bigger dark man was covering him to keep him safe. Was there a centaur or something even worse loose in the vineyard? Helikon mountain, after all, was never quite tamed. So ghosts and monsters had landed on them both? And in daylight no less?
No. Men’s arrows! Javelins too pelted the vines around the two Thespian farmers. Both heard thuds. Hits on the stumps sounded not a cubit away. Then hard voices came. They were followed by loud screams. And in Doric no less. Foreigners! Now came the whine of sling bullets in the early spring mist. Lead pellets cut the air. The mud splattered around them.
Chion grimaced. A spent ball went into the backside of his calf. No matter. Tiny, no barb. Squeeze it out when the storm passed. It missed the bone. And the big vein too…