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December 30, 2008

Elite Dysfunction 101 - Israel is Again Condemned for Self-Defense

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Common Wisdom & The Out-of-touch Elites

By

Jay B. Gaskill

 

Elite Dysfunction 101

Example One

 

ISRAEL IS CONDEMNED BY THE ELITES FOR SELF DEFENSE …
ONCE MORE

 

DEFINITIONS

Elites are – almost by definition – out of touch with the rest of us “common” folk. 

 

A more formal definition holds that elites are those subgroups among the human family, the members of which enjoy a putative, self-identifying “superiority” (whether assumed via cultural, intellectual, class or economic distinction). This status as “superior” is understood to distinguish elites in some essential way (as opposed to any situational or circumstantial status) from the so called “common” people. And that seductive sense of superiority ineluctably tends to insulate all those it infects from the concerns, sense and wisdom of the common people. 

 

In other words, elites are those “superior” people who are notoriously susceptible to lapses in common compassion, common sense and common wisdom as a direct result of their sense of superiority.

 

THE PRIMER

 

Obviously, an elite primer is needed.  I offer here a capsule guide to the common ethos. 

 

The seven word pairings set out below (when expanded and explained) hold the keys to that mysterious realm of common sense and traditional values to which too many elites too often and too arrogantly have refused themselves access.

 

[1]        RIGHT                                            WRONG

[2]        EARNING                                       KEEPING

[3]        THREAT                                         SELF-PROTECTION

[4]        ATTACK                                        RETALIATION

[5]        CHEATING                                    PAYBACK

[6]        HONOR                                          TREACHERY

[7]        PARENT                                         OBLIGATION

 

 

I propose that every catastrophic mistake made by the “governing” elites (whether they pretended to govern moral opinion, great wealth or mere politics) can be traced to the arrogant failure to grasp the deep human wisdom captured in one or more of these COWARD (Courage, Ordinary Wisdom And Right Direction) categories.

 

THE FIRST EXAMPLE

Once again, Hamas, that profoundly anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic group of bloody minded terrorists posing as the legitimate Palestinian government, has launched rocket attacks on the Israeli population. 

 

Finally, Israel’s elite-minded Olmert government has reacted with common sense and significant force. And predictably, a chorus of European elites has complained that Israel not using proportionate force, providing us with the perfect First Example of Elite Arrogant Stupidity.

 

For a moment, think like an ordinary Israeli who was born, say, after 1950.  Your country was created under the aegis of the United Nations, with the blessing of U.S. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, and the general support of the Western democracies. 

 

You were born an Israeli with a legacy: to create a safe and viable Jewish state so that never again will the Jewish people of the world face a holocaust without refuge.

 

You and your fellow Israelis are right in this perspective, not wrong (See [1] above – yes, my elite friends, there still is a difference in spite of the fog of ambiguity you prefer to live in).  You have earned your place in history and on this territory [2] and you are entitled to keep it.  You are under the shadow of an existential, deadly threat [3] and you are entitled to take all necessary actions in your self-protection. You have been attacked and are entitled to take retaliation [4]. 

 

I could go on, of course.  Here’s an alternate definition of an elite:  A self-appointed member of the intelligentsia for whom the obvious is not. Re-teaching the received common human wisdom to our chattering elites is a bit like forcing aging boomers to watch Sesame Street and take notes.

 

 

A Merely Proportional Response to Terrorists Bent on Your Extinction is Folly.

 

The notion of a “proportional” response to an insult, a tort, of other assault is juridical in origin. The notion is appropriate only in the context of a fully controlled “rule-consequences” system in which the sovereign can afford a measured “justice” response and even mercy within the context of condition of overall public safety. 

 

To apply this civilized dispute resolution model to the problem of controlling nihilistic, hyper-aggressive terrorists is analogous to treating a known virulent biological pathogen with the lowest level antibiotics until sepsis sets in. 

 

It is very hard for me, frankly, to distinguish between this kind of elite naiveté and malevolent disingenuousness. 

 

Hamas needs to be decapitated and all of its bloody minded operatives must be crushed, in my opinion.  Ideology-saturated thugs cannot be curbed by soft diplomacy or military half measures.  The faux legitimacy conferred on Hamas by Palestinian local elections held under chaotic circumstances is on a par with Adolph Hitler’s super-majority in post-Weimar Germany.

 

Any elected thug remains a thug.    

 

I can only hope that President elect Obama has learned by now that  half measures, like those of the early Olmert administration, virtually guarantee a more deadly confrontation later, and that the common wisdom is common for a good reason…

 

JBG

 

December 15, 2008

Detroit is THE HUMPTY HUMPTY GARDEN

Welcome to the Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com    
As Posted On
→The Out-Lawyer’s Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog1   
→The Human Conspiracy Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog3 
Also check out the “OutLawyerGaskill” channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/OutLawyerGaskill ...
All contents, unless otherwise indicated are --
Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008 by Jay B. Gaskill
Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article - except for personal use - is needed. Forwarded links welcomed.
Contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail at law@jaygaskill.com

 

 

THE HUMPTY HUMPTY GARDEN

 

In the children’s’ nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty was a giant, sentient egg that, having fallen off the wall, could not be reassembled by a team of government horses and men.

 

It’s the perfect metaphor for the American automobile industry.

 

SCHAIVO IN DETROIT

 

Generous Motors is the Terry Schaivo case writ large. 

 

Ironic, isn’t it?  The liberals ridiculed the social conservatives’ obsession with a judge’s decision to pull life support from a brain damaged patient.  Now the conservatives are ridiculing the liberals in their obsession with attempts to resuscitate another patient on life support. 

 

We should not be talking about resuscitation of the almost-dead, but recovery of a garden.

 

The American automobile industry is a complex ecosystem, much like a garden of imported organisms, ill suited for the current growing conditions and artificially supported by a system of “climate adjustments”.  I’m taking about plant nutrients, artificial rainfall, supplied heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, that sort of thing.  Except that the federal government - in its infinite political wisdom - has been supplying air conditioning in the winter and a furnace in the summer...

 

So here is the single most radical solution yet proposed:

 

Let the U. S. automobile market adjust itself to natural conditions.  The same organisms will not grow in the same abundance?  Good. Eliminate all of the distorting climate adjustments – in the form of government imposed edicts about how to run the car business.  And do it yesterday.

 

Of course there is the problem of the weeds and pathogens, and the need to continue the water supply during the transition.

 

The water supply is ongoing credit.

 

The weeds and pathogens include antiquated union contracts, hidden subsidies to foreign competitors and the unbearable legacy costs of an antiquated and burdensome pension system.  Unless there is a bankruptcy or two (and I’m agnostic about whether that would or would not be a good step right now), the union contracts will not (and should not) be abrogated; they will simply die a natural death during renegotiations.

 

Now, I’m no heartless fool. Fixing these things will require federal help. For example, we will need to remove or ameliorate the burden of pension obligations without cheating the pensioners.  This will require federal subsidies and a completely revamped pension system, replaced by a new one for current and future workers that no longer provides defined benefits and encourages workers to stay in the game much longer than the present system does.  But that is another thorny topic for another rainy day.   

 

PREPARING THE SOIL

 

Here’s what can be done right now with little or no actual appropriated federal money (but not without “revenue” costs, of course – I’m not that naïve!):

 

(1) Repeal the complex and outmoded tangle of laws and regulations that govern the automobile dealership and parts supply networks.

(2) Repeal the anti-trust laws as they apply to the American automobile industry for at least 15 years. [Anti-trust laws presume that we need to take steps to preserve competition.  We’ll be lucky to emerge with a single American car manufacturer able to compete on the world stage.]

(3) Provide a 100% investment tax credit for all product innovation, manufacturing relocation and retooling (within the US).

(4) Freeze all safety and environmental regulations at their 2004 levels for 8 years. There would only remain voluntary compliance for all the newer requirements as market conditions permit. [the market is already safety and environmentally driven.  Bureaucrats are just getting in the way and adding costs.]

(5) Forbid all private-citizen class action suits against American car manufacturers (allowing for cases brought by state attorneys general only).

(6) Pass a national “right to work” law specifically applicable to the US automobile industry for the next 15 years. [No we’re not eliminating the unions, just making them work for members.]

(7)Tie the corporate income tax for American car manufacturers to the lowest number for any foreign nation that sells cars in the US. [this does not fully level the international playing field, but it’s a healthy start.]

 

The market place works.  The critics of the free market are playing a game: Clog the market with a network of impossible barriers, distortions, subsidies and regulations to the point that it fails, then make the claim - “See! Capitalism has failed once again!”

 

Free market economics represents are elementary ecological principles applied to commerce.  Where are the really smart environmentalists when we need them?

 

JBG


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