The Scriptwriters of Alien Abductions: Dare We Name Them? (Part Two)

As well as information on David Jacobs’ research, I’ve lately found on Netflix a documentary about Stan Romanek. This rather Walter Mitty-ish middle-aged American claims to have been abducted by aliens several times since childhood. The only evidence he has to support his outlandish story is highly advanced physics equations burned into his memory about navigating space-time, videos of ghostly intruders into his house, corroborative testimony to abduction events, medical examinations of strange scarring that turn up no probable cause, and a photo of his “alien daughter” which was viewed by dozens of people before it disappeared from his camera as they all looked on. What a prankster, this guy!

Stan never had any asteroidal chips inserted into him; but his unearthly hosts did leave peculiar marks on his body from time to time, it seems, and also took a keen interest in breeding hybrid humans from him (hence the daughter). I can’t for the life of me, and with the best of wills to bear out Romanek, think why they should do this. What do you do with a half-human whose immense almond eyes and pixie stature give it away as something bizarrely different—something beyond a mutation? You can’t very well seed the human population with such leprechauns and expect to take anyone but a college professor by surprise. Why not, if you’re an alien traveler, just put in an appearance yourself, like Michael Rennie in The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original version, made before our race began to degenerate precipitously by interbreeding with computers)?

Be that as it may, Romanek’s easy recitation of equations which perhaps a dozen people on earth understand—and among whom he most definitely cannot be numbered—inclines me to believe at least some of his story. Then, too, there’s his recent arrest for possessing child porn on his personal computer. Turns out that the NSA is fast developing an m.o. for uploading forbidden porn onto targeted computers and then sending agents to take the owners out of circulation. Most effective—for who would want to plead the case of a creep or a pedophile? If there are NSA fingerprints on any part of this man’s story, then the eagerness to shut him up virtually proves that he has something embarrassingly true to say.

And back to the implanted chips: who would have access to asteroid fragments? Aliens, I suppose… and also anyone who could pilfer some of the harvest of NASA’s exploratory flights.

Who manufactured the circumstances behind the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? Who once drafted plans to stage a bloody attack on Miami as a pretext to invade Cuba? Whose response to petitions for the whole truth about 9/11 is to ridicule and defame the petitioners? Who switched our astronauts to a private radio frequency whenever they started to remark the presence of inexplicable phenomena on and around the Moon? Who has so mastered Soviet technique of dezinformatsiya that unimpeachable testimony about UFO activity is hopelessly compromised by sensationalist folderol (such as endless sloppy TV documentaries)?

Who would profit from having a convenient “panic” button to push or a source of popular hysteria to rev up as an occasion to declare martial law? Who could pump victims with hallucinogens (perhaps only those with certain blood types) and then parade robots or dwarves in costumes before them?

Who demands to know your income, requires you to have insurance, would like to mandate your having yearly flu shots, exacts a whole battery of inoculations of your children before they may attend mandatory schooling, aspires to confiscate your firearms “for your own good”, monitors your drinking water so that it’s as salubrious as the crystal effluvient of Flint (Michigan) taps, and increasingly governs the news you see on the Net and over TV and radio?

Gee… I just don’t know who that might be. Do you?

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Two Suggestions for a Better World (Don’t Hold Your Breath)

First, the NFL. (I hate football, by the way, and have never been a consumer of the NFL’s product.) Certain conscientious players will don black armbands prior to the raising of the flag. The anthem completed, they will remove the signs of mourning and go on about their business. When a svelte female sticks a microphone in their face after the game (funny how women seem so eager to assert their presence in the most brutal of all our sports), they will explain that they wish to honor their nation–but also to grieve publicly the loss of well over a million defenseless babies annually to abortion. (“They are fetuses,” snarks Answers.com if you use the “b” word.)

Then let’s see how the NFL reacts. Care to place a bet?

Now for health care. The abortionist’s comeback is always, “Well, you don’t care what happens to the fetus after it becomes a child…” which is correct, in a way–because it’s Mom and Dad who are supposed to care about the “fetus” both before and after it “becomes a child”, and too often neither cares at either time. Implicit in the comeback, you see, is the assumption that Mom will give her new baby one hell of a life. She already has six or eight other babies, and she hasn’t bothered to care for any of them. (Needless to say, Dad–or the dads–is/are nowhere in sight.) We, on the other hand, are supposed to care–meaning that we’re expected to keep ponying up tax dollars to buy every new child food, clothing, health care, and education. Mom doesn’t even trouble herself to look for a job: her job is to have babies and collect monthly checks for them. If one of the dads should decide to marry Mom, and if he should have a job other than sharing in the baby-bonanza, he chooses to keep the kids on Medicaid rather than buy into the group policy offered at work. So we continue paying…

If my wife and I had been able to keep more of our own money over the years, we could have adopted one or more children. We wanted to… but the process is costly and lengthy. Women are either aborting their unwanted babies (excuse me: fetuses) or else consigning them to Grandma and collecting Uncle Sam’s check. So… yeah, maybe some of us begin not to care much for this situation.

Here’s my suggestion: how about a box on the income tax return that you could check and then designate X dollars for the health care of babies born to parents illegally resident in the US, legally resident but unmarried and unwilling to practice birth control, or married and gainfully employed but unwilling to take the insurance offered at work? If “caring” in such circumstances appeals to you, then you can donate however many thousands you wish. Nancy Pellosi could easily manage six figures a year out of the millions she has garnered from marginally legal but patently unethical insider trading.

As I say… don’t hold your breath.

Finally, a stray thought: why is it that evidence of brilliance in our far-distant ancestors can only be explained by hypothesizing visits from extraterrestrials, yet the current generation is styled the most brilliant ever because its young use smartphones–the assumption being that all of them could assemble the circuitry or write the code for the software? Can any of them even average his grades without using the Math Ap or logging onto Blackboard? But, hey… we don’t build campfires, and we have nice teeth!

The Top-Secret Vision of the Dark Elite (Part Two)

The quasi-political spin that concludes Steven Greer’s documentary Unacknowledged bothers me. I’ve seen this movie too often, where imperialist generals and mad scientists coalesce behind Dick Cheney to take over the world. Oh, I can believe—all too easily—that our government is behind the creepy livestock mutilations performed with laser technology that have filled back pages of local newspapers for decades now. The objective, supposedly, is to insinuate into the popular imagination the image of a pitiless extraterrestrial surgeon pulling critters apart as an entomologist might dismember a butterfly, thus bringing to a simmer the brew of a panic in preparation for a later boil-over. Abductions of humans by this weird race of dissectionists (claims one of Greer’s interviewees) have likewise been funded by some insolubly intricate disbursement of our tax dollars. I confess that I can visualize only too readily our unchecked civil servants acting like sociopathic adolescents in the chem lab. It’s what they do. I never did think that such activities fit the profile of an ET, who would surely have mastered the rudiments of anatomy before traveling across the galaxy and would also have developed less intrusive ways of analyzing a new world’s fauna.

I’d really, really like to know just what schemes are being nourished with my money by psychos in white coats. I’d like to know, too, just what slaughterhouse our rulers are leading us into; for it’s fairly obvious that we are being primed to take to the streets in race riots or food riots or panic over a nuclear attack or an EMP, since the engineers of the Phoenix Lights could indeed avert any of these threats if they wanted to rather than hastening them all along, as they’re doing now.

I should parse the previous sentence: here’s what I mean. Let’s assume that government activity such as whatever’s happening in Area 51 has indeed created technology capable of maneuvers that no professor of Physics at any public university would consider currently possible. We may even bypass the supporting claim that this technology has been parasitized from visiting aliens: let’s say that the “black budget” has financed anti-gravity vehicles by assembling a new generation of Werner von Brauns. We know that these vehicles exist, because hundreds of residents in Phoenix (just to name one locale) saw them on March 13, 1997. A nation that can author such futuristic physics cannot possibly have left its power grid unsecured out of mere oversight: one might as easily imagine a nuclear sub sinking because the last guy off the conning tower forgot to close the hatch. Likewise, whatever energy permits large craft to defy gravity and zoom away suddenly like a lightning bolt should more than suffice to crush ISIS and free up our grain for the dinner table rather than the gas tank. Yet our interests—yours and mine—are obviously not a high priority in the grand vision.

That being the case, I should like to know exactly what the vision is. Do they—our government, our Dark Elite—simply not care if we live or die, or is Step 8 of the Plan to remove most of us, deliberately and permanently?

This is a life-and-death question, both for us as individual American citizens and for what remains of our democratic republic. How does Dr. Greer advance our understanding at the climactic moment, however? What is he alleging of the Dark Elite, based on his vast experience of it? That Dick Cheney is really Darth Vader? That Hillary Clinton or Jimmy Kimmel could be the Theseus who guides us out of this lethal labyrinth? Does he think that alien captives were being held in the Twin Towers and had to be vaporized—or was 9/11 all about starting a war of diversion because Congress was about to undertake an investigation into UFO’s? And, Dr. Greer… am I reading you loud and clear on this one? You believe that China is an innocent bystander drawn into confrontation with us to lure our eye off the ball, and that the threat posed by Kim Jong Un is the latest act in a harmless sideshow?

There’s a lot in Greer’s presentation that needs to be seriously considered; but the hit-and-run montages of faces and events without any narrative comment, just when one hopes for a deeper explanation, is both confusing and disingenuous. You don’t fight disinformation with more disinformation. We desperately need undramatized, factual testimony in these matters. Dribbling subliminal, politicized messages into the brief will only make fair-minded people run the other way in the uncomfortable feeling that they are being played, yet again.

Honestly, aliens don’t worry me at all. It’s my government that keeps me awake at night. If we could crack that nut first, then maybe we could learn how to send telepathic poetry to M82 later on.

The Top-Secret Vision of the Dark Elite (Part One)

Dr. Steven Greer has made at least one documentary previous to Unacknowledged that I’ve viewed on Netflix. That’s how I knew that the man had suffered greatly—and suspiciously—for his probes into the UFO controversy. Having been warned off with varying degrees of subtlety for some time, he and his initial group of investigators were beset by a curious outbreak of cancer as contagious, apparently, as the flu, and a lot more deadly. (One recalls Aleksandr Litvinenko’s radioactive cup of tea administered by a couple of Putin’s goons.) Greer survived; his wife and many of his colleagues did not.

James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, had on one occasion in his chief-of-spies capacity manifested such an interest in tracking down the actors and the script behind America’s massive, off-budget, quasi-military R&D operations that he privately summoned Greer to brief him on the issues—privately and bizarrely, since Greer is a medical doctor who has immersed himself in “ufology” only as a concerned citizen. Woolsey was obviously convinced that more accredited sources were not giving him the true low-down. Later on, Greer was apparently told by a Clintonista of very high rank that Wild Bill would not risk prying into the Roswell/Area 51 files because his personal security—Secret Service and all—wouldn’t suffice to keep him alive beyond the first few weeks of snooping.

Unacknowledged is packed with declassified documents that support Greer’s outlandish (or should I say “otherworldly”?) claims in surprisingly graphic detail. A few insiders with high security clearances also share enough of their experiences on camera that a coherent picture emerges… or perhaps two-thirds coherent. The assertion is resonant and sustained that extraterrestrial visitors to Planet Earth are a reality, and also that some imponderably covert branch of our government has been reverse-engineering alien technology for its own undisclosed ends. One would like to suppose that these ends would be defensive, and that the extreme secrecy enveloping them would also be related to our nation’s preservation… but here’s where the picture grows hazy. The documentary floated several motives for the obsessive, sometimes ruthless suppression of information about UFO’s by “men in black”. One is that an elite band of corporatist megalomaniacs wants to deprive the world of unlimited, virtually free energy resources so that fossil fuels may still be marketed at whopping costs. Another applies the same kind of conspiratorial thinking to the arms industry. Yet another would have these neo-illuminati planning to stage an alien invasion with reverse-engineered craft so that the planet might be persuaded to create a single vast alliance—with the U.S. its leader, and the insiders leading the leaders.

Where there are too many motives, there’s no motive at all—and it’s desperately important that we figure out precisely who in our employ is lying to us, and why. I’ll explain next time.

Sayonara, Glenn Beck (Part One)

A few people are just plain wicked. Even fewer are genuine saints. The rest of us live in the vast middle space. It’s not permitted to such a one as I to judge the spiritual worth of other human beings, nor is it what I intend to play at in these paragraphs. But there comes a time when you have to make adjustments in the people whose essential skills you trust to make fair, stable, wide-angled estimates of worldly affairs. Glenn Beck is no longer on my list of such people.

I’ve tuned into Beck off and on for years. I liked many of his guests. Where else do you get to hear commentators as keen as Michelle Malkin and Ben Shapiro, or men as honest as Louie Gohmert and Burgess Owens? Yet I vividly recall being shaken by the treatment Debra Medina received on Beck’s radio show when she was challenging Rick Perry for governor of Texas. The year escapes me—perhaps 2008; but the interview ended when either Beck or his point man, Pat Gray, blindsided Medina with a question about one of her staffers being a “truther”. Like Medina, I had never heard a definition of this ragged, patched-up word. Struggling after clarity as her final seconds ticked away, Debra offered an entirely reasonable generalization to the effect that everything our government does at any level should be subject to public scrutiny. Her line of communication once severed, Beck and Co. went on the attack. They immediately began an indignant, derisive, and contemptuous assault upon all such people as dare to believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney would have planned the slaughter of 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Medina was now one of these… and her candidacy tanked irretrievably.

Personally, I have no doubt that we haven’t been told the full truth about the collapse of the World Trade Towers (and particularly about the accordion-plunge of the squat WTT 7). That doesn’t amount to my accusing the Bush Administration of mass murder—a supposition grotesque to the point of clinical paranoia. It means I want the full truth. Why do people like Debra Medina and me deserve to be designated “truthers” the way a playground bully might designate a child with asthma a “gasper”? Especially when Beck devotes so much of his airtime to ferreting out forgotten or suppressed historical details and constructs his professional persona so meticulously around honoring neglected artifacts, dancing around the new girl with his buddies at recess and chanting “truther” doesn’t suit the dignity of the desired image.

The “dignity deficit” has been a recurrent problem with me. Talk-show hosts, to be sure, enjoy a license to engage in buffoonery… but not so much a host who lays special claim to being a devout Christian and the one reliable adult in the room. Inappropriate are the endless permutations of the word “butt”, the eighth-grade flights of sarcasm, and the occasional too-intimate details of the host’s personal life. Even the musical overture (lately discarded) to the televised version of Beck’s show on The Blaze morphed from a tasteful collage of real-life sequences to a very odd comic strip featuring heads of major historical figures yapping out the lyrics like PAC Man eating up dots. Was the subliminal message here that Beck considers himself history’s puppeteer, able to pair any two politicians (and there were some bizarre pairings) and make them mouth his little ditty of togetherness?

Ah, yes… the “togetherness” thing. Beck the Preacher will alternately grow choked up in his appeals for unity and resonant in a prophetic lather as he scolds, “Wake up, America!” For a week or two, he wants to greet illegally entering children with teddy bears and soccer balls along our border; then it’s back to warning gullible stiffs like me that the economy can’t make it to Christmas. (I’m grateful for the warning, and I believe the economy may very well “accordion” like the Trade Towers: but you can’t stay on high alert for a decade running.) If we are at rest, we should snap to attention: if we have our finger on the trigger, we should chill out. We are to stop fighting with each other over such meaningless trivia as the propriety of the gay lifestyle and rising for the Anthem at NFL games… but those of us who feel uncomfortable with the ostentation of public prayer must nonetheless sit through the itemization of the host’s prayer life and even through a benediction concluding his nightly newsroom discussion-group. I pray, too—in my closet, as Jesus recommends. Perhaps these televised prayers, with Beck himself the hub around which the wheel spins, are supposed to make us bond… and since such unifying endeavors require a stage and an audience, the Good Shepherd can’t afford to be bashful.

Does Glenn, in his defense (if this could be a mitigation rather than an exacerbation), honestly believe himself to be a prophet touched by the One True God? His audio and video archives brim with oft-retrieved pronouncements he has made about the new millennium. Ever quick to remind the world that his prediction of a caliphate-seeking uprising in the Middle East was scoffed at by mainstream news media, he seems convinced that nobody else anywhere was sounding the alarm. At the same time, a convenient amnesia appears to settle over such forecasts as the one about Putin’s imminent takeover of Poland (imminent in… 2014). Personally, I have never sought—in Beck or anyone else—a prophet or a speaker-in-tongues: I seek someone who will tell the whole truth about events in the news (you know… a “truther”!) and perhaps provide some mature moral context to frightening trends. In this latter regard, where is the prophet, I wonder, when Beck marvels over the nanobot-ridden “transhuman” extolled by his friend Ray Kurzweil, then anguishes out loud over possible unfortunate consequences of the new robot-man? My own inner Jeremiah is lapping Beck’s every day on this track!

It’s almost as though that which we traditionalists have identified as clearly right or wrong needs to be reconsidered, in Beck’s eyes, as dividing the nation—and that which most of us would as soon allow to lapse into the background scenery needs to be center-staged. Why does a man who insists on praying over a panel discussing the day’s news express little interest in defending traditional marriage? Why were the details of Barack Obama’s thoroughly misty past not worth exploring, yet the world must stand up and take notice that a twenty-year-old line from the mouth or the pen of Newt Gingrich proves him to be a General Franco in waiting?

At these moments, Beck reminds me of the eponymous character in Gide’s Immoraliste (and our lion of historical research, I’ve no doubt, would mock me mercilessly for citing a Frenchman). Surrounded by wealthy, stuffy landowners who see poaching as a threat to the survival of civilization, the new arrival in their aristocratic midst blunders upon some malefactors one night and… and discovers that skulking around with them is one of life’s great pleasures. Glenn Beck seems to like to slip over to the other side just when you think he’s holding down your flank; and before you know it, he’s giving you a sermon on the evils of choosing sides. Tricky, that.

Is a Five-Year-Old’s Tantrum Protected by Free Speech?

I’m getting a little tired of hearing about free speech this week from people who can barely talk. If a pre-schooler crawls up to the American flag and wipes his nose on it, you sit him down in time-out. If an adult does it, you call him a champion of free speech.

Glenn Beck seems to think that reverence for a flag is akin to goose-stepping nationalism—a position not devoid of merit, but very odd in a man who also styles Confederate secession a pure and simple act of treason. (The fine art of “becking” could be a subject for another day: you achieve it by savaging convictions or figures associated with your ideology yet unattractive to you for purely personal reasons, thereby showing your broad-mindedness to the far political polarity.) I’m not going to say that athletes who take a knee as the flag is raised are vile traitors. After all, I myself have refused to mouth the Pledge of Allegiance ever since I discovered that defrocked Baptist minister and rabid socialist Francis Bellamy composed it in 1892 to program school children into believing that individual states had no rights. Yet I still stand for the Pledge. I do so because I realize that others around me don’t know what I know, and that their act is thus intended to show devotion to constitutional government rather than rejection of self-determination. In the same way, I would be appropriately quiet if a group of Jews or Muslims among whom I might find myself were to engage in a quick prayer that made little sense to me. It’s a question of manners. Why go out of your way to make others feel awkward?

Exhibitionists do precisely this: it is their definitive characteristic. They don’t care if you notice them with admiration or contempt, as long as you notice them. They need to occupy center-stage.

And here’s why I cannot accept “knee-taking” as anything more than the attention-grabbing gesture of an obnoxious brat. Expressions without any verbalization—without actual speech or even the few words of a placard or bumper-sticker—rely heavily upon context to be interpreted. I might wish to fly the Confederate battle flag in my front yard to advertise my support of the Tenth Amendment… but, no, that would be a terrible idea, because so many KKK types have decided to commandeer the flag as a condensed advertisement of their claim to be superior humans by virtue of their DNA. Did you know that the word “swastika” is used in Sanskrit Vedic texts to convey a certain meditative posture? Yet neither you nor I would hoist a swastika to ask the household not to disturb us during our meditation time.

The American flag, at this point in our history, represents to the vast majority of us the idea that we remain united in our support of certain humane values, whatever our specific differences. In this context, refusing to rise for the anthem, turning one’s back on a flag-raising, fixing one’s hat firmly aloft while stuffing one’s hands in one’s pockets, and other such displays would be interpreted by 99.9 percent of the native adult population as overt contempt for those core values. The contemptuous should not be stoned or driven from the crowd. (One of our core values is that no one may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.) Their message, though, is clear: they’re giving the bird to the notion of a transcending endorsement of principle, declaring instead that some specific circumstance or other has exploded the principle’s credibility. They’re “saying” as much in semaphore, though they may say something else in speech or print after the fact. I can’t torch an emblem in public and then claim later that I wanted to show my warmth of feeling for what the emblem represents. Nobody would interpret my behavior that way, and I would be a) insane if I truly expected otherwise, or b) a slippery hypocrite if I argued otherwise.

Childish brats, I suppose, don’t fully qualify either for insanity or hypocrisy. And since five-year-olds can’t write, you can hardly expect them to pen an op-ed; or since their vocabulary consists of about five hundred words, you can hardly expect them to go public about legal or social dysfunction and enunciate a plan to address it. Even so, a child who was truly upset about an environmental condition would throw a fit intended to highlight the condition rather than himself. He wouldn’t wait for a very public, very solemn moment and then roll on the ground screaming.

What we have here is a crisis of boys raised without fathers. They passed their juvenile years acting out so that some adult might notice them and impose limits upon their lives… which never happened. Now, apparently, they’re going to spend the next two decades of their biological manhood playing the same game.

 

True Slaves Are Self-Made

This past week, I happened to hear a bit of discussion on Michael Savage’s radio show that pertained to nineteenth-century painter Giulio Rosati’s work. The specific subject was a series of paintings sharing the title, “Choosing the Favorite”. Each work graphically portrays a white European slave girl being made to stand stark naked before some sheikh or caïd who is eyeing her critically to decide if she’s worth the oily dealer’s asking price. Savage remarked that the painting (and he spoke as if there were only one) induced him to look more deeply into Arab enslavement of European coastal populations depredated by piratical raids. An entire Irish village was once emptied of its inhabitants when these corsairs swooped in unexpectedly. The total number of white Europeans thus lost to the Arab slave trade–the men to find an early death toiling in galleys, the women and children to satisfy the voracious sexual appetite of wealthy grandees–exceeded one million from the early Renaissance to the first years of the nineteenth century. Jefferson’s war on the so-called Barbary Pirates finally ended these atrocities.

Surprisingly (to me), Savage professed ignorance of most of these historical facts. He is far from alone, apparently. Indeed, the prevailing opinion of the slave trade among contemporary Americans seems to be that white Southerners raided deep into Africa and bundled their captives off to plantations in the Carolinas and Mississippi. In fact, virtually all of the mercantile sea traffic that reached the South hailed from home ports far to the north or across the Atlantic; and as for the actual slave raids, these were conducted by Arab traders and their minions on the African mainland. That is to say, at the heart of some of the filthiest chapters of human history from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentieth century stood imperious lechers like the sheikhs represented by Rosati: the sort of people whom Western civilization is now forbidden to revile and is, indeed, often to praise as superior figures unsoiled by our Western values.

In the canvas that I have reproduced above, especially, the sheikh looks down his nose at the shivering girl as if a maitre d’ were begging him to taste of a dish whose smell was a bit suspect. This is our beacon of true civilization!

I’m very much in step with Savage, as far as feeling indignant that Islam would so long tolerate such depravity; and I’m further indignant that the slave trade’s roots would be so neatly extracted from our history books. I’ll always remember my pity and disgust when, as a young man, I learned that Cassius Clay had transformed himself into Mohammed Ali in protest against the European Christian tradition responsible for enslaving his ancestors. Clay seemed a pretty cool guy: a lot of us were drawn to him. But come on, man! If you want to register outrage about the imposition of slavery upon your forefathers, why would you embrace Islam? Don’t you know that it was Christianity which eventually abolished slavery throughout the Western hemisphere? Didn’t you know that, in the days of our youth, slavery was ongoing in places like Ethiopia?

Now I find, having probed about the Internet in search of Rosati’s paintings, that certain people consider it “white supremicist” even to acknowledge the history of European enslavement by the Barbary Pirates. The reasoning seems to be that no slavery was anywhere near as prolific and brutal as the Southern enslavement of Africans, and that to remark the existence of any other slavery at any other time or place is thus a deliberate bid to understate the crime committed by Americans in the early nineteenth century.

I irresistibly remember a passage in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Citadelle when I read such folderol. The work’s fictitious speaker (a noble caïd, actually) is commenting upon a group of beggars as they compete to see who can get his open sores and tumors to run with the foulest puss and draw the most attention from prospective almsgivers. (Saint-Ex knew a thing or two about African slavery: he once bought a slave’s freedom from his Arab masters and flew him north to an area of temporary safety.)

Is this really where we’ve come? I haven’t yet noticed any veterans with artificial limbs commanding, “Open that door for me! Get out of that chair and let me sit! And buy me some food, while you’re at it! Can’t you see I have an artificial leg?” What man possessed of a single ounce of pride could imagine saying such things? Where, then, is the manly pride of those eternally reciting their eternal grievances?