The Long View 2007-11-15: A Real Mortgage Crisis; Confucian Christianity; Hillary's Harridans; Ron Paul & Eurasianism; Social Security 401(k) Hoax; Shadowless Invader; The Coming Military Buildup


Combined with John J. Reilly’s historical analysis of universal states was the observation that political entities follow the economy. Accordingly, he expected that a possible future universal state would need to incorporate features of the cultures of both ends of Eurasia.

A Real Mortgage Crisis; Confucian Christianity; Hillary's Harridans; Ron Paul & Eurasianism; Social Security 401(k) Hoax; Shadowless Invader; The Coming Military Buildup

This is the way the world ends:

Judge Christopher A. Boyko of Federal District Court in Cleveland dismissed 14 foreclosure cases brought on behalf of mortgage investors, ruling that they had failed to prove that they owned the properties they were trying to seize...On Oct. 10, Judge Boyko, 53, ordered the lenders’ representative to file copies of loan assignments showing that the lender was indeed the owner of the note and mortgage on each property when the foreclosure was filed. But lawyers for Deutsche Bank supplied documents showing only an intent to convey the rights in the mortgages rather than proof of ownership as of the foreclosure date...“This is the miracle of not having securities mapped to the underlying loans,” said Josh Rosner, a specialist in mortgage securities at Graham-Fisher, an independent research firm in New York. “There is no industry repository for mortgage loans. I have heard of instances where the same loan is in two or three pools.”

If this problem is not papered over, the result could be most awkward. An economy can tolerate a high degree of political instability. It can tolerate a high degree of monetary instability. What it cannot tolerate is legal instability, where it is impossible to say who owns what.

Real estate has always been treated differently from other kinds of property. This difference is not just an anachronism. Land really cannot be treated like a negotiable security.

* * *

Fans of a Sinicized future will be especially pleased by this argument for ancient Chinese wisdom for the modern Catholic Church:

That Holy Mother Church borrowed from and built upon the best of pagan Greek philosophy is as uncontroversial as it is indisputable. Similarly, when Catholic missionaries brought the Faith to the Far East, they found in Confucianism a preparatio evangelium that would aid them in spreading the Gospel to the peoples of China and the nations influenced by its venerable traditions. ...The average Christian today in the West today is less likely to be influenced by our great traditionalists from Edmund Burke to Russell Kirk than by Captain Kirk. But mention Buddha or Lao Tzu, and one is likely to get at least a listen. Is it possible then that de- Westernized Westerners are ready to hear from that greatest of Chinese philosophers, Confucius, who is simultaneously the most misrepresented in the West and most compatible with Western thought? ... the Confucian concept of li that the Catholic Faith is able to find a needed intellectual armament for the battle she now faces. Just as li is more difficult to understand than jen [benevolence], the concept is also more difficult to translate. It has been rendered variously as "etiquette," "ceremony," "rite," "ritual," or "propriety."..The Confucian understanding of li went beyond the ancestral rite to include ceremonial music and human relationships as well. It is obvious where Confucius would stand in the liturgical battles of the past four decades; he would be on the side of those who want Gregorian Chant and Palestrina, not folk guitars, at Mass. Also, the Catholic laity should find much with which to agree in the Confucian five relationships, between father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger brothers, ruler and subject, and friend and friend.

The piece also points out, by the way, that Confucius distanced himself from all religious questions. In some ways, he was like Voltaire: essentially a classicist who helped begin an age of enlightenment. That is not what he became in later Chinese history, of course, and it is not how he would be used by a universalized Confucianism.

* * *

Watching Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is like watching that old film of the Hindenburg beginning to dock at Lakehurst: you know that Fritz up in the rigging is to about strike the match for that unfortunate first cigarette in the New World, but it is still hard to believe that anything so awesome will soon prove to be so fragile. If this is also your assessment of the situation, you will no doubt find merit in Camille Paglia's description of Queen Hillary's disruptive court:

Aside from the stylish Huma, there's definitely something weird and cultish in the sycophantish cathexis onto Hillary of the many nerds, geeks and vengeful viragos who run her campaign -- sometimes to her detriment, as with the recent ham-handed playing of the clichéd gender card. I suspect the latter dumb move, which has backfired badly, came from Ann Lewis (Barney Frank's sister), a fanatical Hillary true believer who has been spouting beatific feminist bromides about her for the past 15 years. (The transcript of my tangle with Lewis about Hillary on CNN's "Crossfire" in 1994 is reprinted in my second essay collection.) Hillary seems to have acolytes rather than friends -- hardly a reassuring trait for a potential president whose paranoia has already been called Nixonian. Isolated monarchs never hear the bad news until the people riot and the lynch mob is at the door.

Maybe she will pull it off, but I doubt it. Ditto for Rudolph Giuliani.

* * *

Meanwhile, the Think Tank Monkeys have alerted me to Andrew Walden's account of the Ron Paul Campaign and its Neo-Nazi Supporters:

Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) is the only Republican candidate to demand immediate withdrawal from Iraq and blame US policy for creating Islamic terrorism. ...Ron Paul set an internet campaigning record raising more than $4 million in small on-line donations in one day, on November 5, 2007....[Michael Medved wrote him to ask for an explanation]:

More specifically, your columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press -a publication of the nation's leading Holocaust Denier and anti- Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the "comforts and amenities" provided for inmates of Auschwitz.

On October 11 Stormfront Radio endorsed Ron Paul for President..Ron Paul is supported by Patrick Buchannan, whose website carries videos and articles such as: "Ron Paul epiphany" and "Ron Paul a new hope." ...The mis-named 9-11 "truth" movement has also been a big source of Paul support. ... Singer and Democrat contributor Barry Manilow is also a Ron Paul contributor and possibly a fundraiser. ...Paul supporters also involved in leftist groups such as Howard Dean's "Democracy for America." MeetUp lists other sites popular with members of the Ron Paul national MeetUp group. chimes in writing:

"Brothers and Sisters, please vote for Ron Paul in the Republican Primaries. It's our obligation to come together and try to stand up for not only our best interests, but the best interests of the entire Ummah."

There is no reason to doubt that Ron Paul is the well-meaning isolationist Libertarian he purports to be. However, readers of this website will have little difficulty understanding why his candidacy has attracted that particular element of the political fringe. The mention of Willis Carto, the patron of Francis Parker Yockey, is the key. We see here an expression of a fringe version of Eurasianism: Anti-American, anti-Atlanticist, anti-modern, usually in some degree pro-Russian and pro-Islamist. "National Bolshevism" is a term that Eurasianists in Russia and Europe sometimes use to describe themselves. In American patriots, the Eurasianist program takes the form of radical isolationism: the connection there is the Traditionalist critique of America, common to most forms of Eurasianism, as a corrupt society that corrupts the rest of the world. And yes, this critique does come right around the ideological universe to shake hands with anarchist antiglobalism.

Again, this all has little to do with Ron Paul himself. Ron Paul is the Eurasianist Candidate because American self-isolation is a predicate for the Eurasianist program.

Yes, Barry Manilow.

* * *

On the theme of exotic phenomena, what are we to say when an Unexplained Blue Cloud Floats, Darts Around Customers At Gas Station:

A strange blue cloud seen floating and darting around customers, freezing for 30 minutes and then speeding from an Ohio gas station, remains unexplained even though it was caught on security cams. The ghostly image was seen moving near and over cars at a Marathon gas station located near the corner of State Road and Pleasant Valley in Parma on Sunday. Surveillance video of the image showed it flipping and then sitting in the same location for 30 minutes. It then flies off the screen at a high rate of speed.

"It gives me the chills," a witness said.

Security video then shows it coming back and resting on a car window before floating away. Several people said they believe the image is a ghost or an angel.

If the video and still images are still available at the link, note that the frisky cloud does not cast a shadow. Actually, I was reminded of the viral-gas Martians in Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men who almost exterminate the Second Men.

* * *

These people are ineducable, meaning both the Republican Establishment and the editors of Investor's Business Daily:

[H]ats off to Thompson for his [Social Security reform] plan. It would trade off future benefits of those now working — people over 57 wouldn't have their benefits touched — in exchange for letting them create 401(k)-style accounts. He would have government match the private savings that workers put in. And it's entirely voluntary...Democrats have pushed for a tax hike to "fix" Social Security. It won't work. The program already takes 12.4% of the average worker's pay. Raising the tax would hurt the economy by making it more costly for businesses to hire workers and to give out pay raises...The crisis is right around the corner. By 2017, according to Social Security Trustees estimates, the program's costs will exceed its income; by 2035, costs will be 17% of all wages — requiring a nearly 50% tax hike or massive benefit cuts. By 2041, it will be bankrupt.

In reality, any financial institution that is solvent until 2041 even if no changes are made is very solid indeed. The "impending crisis" is that many of the existing 401(k) portfolios are going to prove to be booby prizes when the era of Gray Society slow growth kicks in. Nothing is accomplished by trying to fob the risk off on to individuals. Well, no, one thing is accomplished: these proposals lose elections for the candidates who make them.

* * *

Iraq has rarely rewarded optimism, ever, from the fall of the Ottoman Empire until this day. Nonetheless, even at the risk of jinxing the situation, let us consider Tony Blankey's Veterans' Day comment, Victory in Iraq:

But as of Veterans Day 2007, I think one can claim a very real expectation that next year the world may see a genuine, old-fashioned victory in the Iraq War. In five years we will have overturned Saddam's government, killed, captured or driven out of country almost all al Qaeda terrorists, suppressed the violent Shi'ite militias and induced the Sunni tribal leaders and their people to shun resistance and send their sons into the army and police and seek peaceful resolution of disputes. And we will have stood up a multisectarian, tribally inclusive army capable of maintaining the peace that our troops established

Maybe. And maybe we also showed (or will have shown when the war is really over) that suicide bombing is not an invincible tactic, and that something really bad can happen to countries that are persistently and violently hostile to the United States. But we broke a sweat. To return to Tradition for a moment, the wicked Baron Evola once noted that the archetypical universal ruler subdued opposition by the rumor of his imperturbability. To put it another way: if you insist on running a global police service, then police actions must be seen to be effortless, frictionless, and infinitely repeatable. If the Iraq War had ended when President Bush made that unfortunate aircraft carrier speech in May 2003, the war would have demonstrated just that. As things stand, the war may have demonstrated the opposite.

There will be many differences between the post-Iraq situation and the post-Vietnam situation. Among the most important will be the expansion of the armed forces to the point where they have some hope of carrying out the strategy they have been assigned.

Copyright © 2007 by John J. Reilly

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