Friday, July 31, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"The endless ride"

(who suggested doubling the Navy as a jobs program)
Whatever anyone thinks of your sociology your economics is on target as is your strategic vision. We should be doubling the armed forces in 48 months and laying the groundwork to double it again. We should ensure that we have 8,000 robustly survivable strategic systems in the triad and equally robust ground, air and marine forces and the logistics to go with them. If we did and Putin sneezed in Georgia's direction or Lil Kim failed to say "Please" and "Thank you." then we could just raise an eyebrow and they'd shut up. We can and always could afford this. We have the people, the technology and the money and the people would support it. The stripping of America's defenses has nothing to do with the budget. If we wanted to we could open up dozens of coal plants and mines with clean technology, real "green" jobs for real workers that work. We could also build a dozen large and 50 small secure nuclear power plants. The first step is tort reform.

Comment on Theo Spark,
"While we've been distracted .....from Rico"

The story in these graphs is simple. We got hit hard on 9-11. President Bush held things together and when the Republicans took over the Congress the economy began to get back on track. There was much foot dragging and when the Democrats got Congress back in '06 they proceeded to break up the ship and cut holes in it while Bush was helpless to stop them. The Democrats used the economic disaster that they created to take power. Once in power they have insulted our allies and coddled our enemies. Now everything is melting down completely and the US is being left with no financial, military or moral power while the world runs either away from us or over us.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"The House of the Rising Sun"

During the Republican debates last year I paid attention to the candidates body language and how they interacted. It was very obvious that Mitt Romney was the least popular man in the room. While they all disagreed with Ron Paul on the issues and had an interest in seeing John McCain slowed or had little social rapport with Mike Huckabee it was clear that on a personal level they could all get along. Well maybe not Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul but on that issue I agree with Rudy. This means exactly as much as it means. The Presidency is not a High School popularity contest and none of those men were running for "Miss Congeniality." On a policy level I had few disagreements with Romney and felt he had a good resume. On the religion issue I thought he got a raw deal and the MSM went into full blown bigotry feeding in an effort to pump up division among the Republicans. Still there is something to be said for the judgement of one's peers. I am on record as noting that the Electoral College is designed, as is a parliamentary system, to use the vetting skills of experienced leaders to select one of their own.

Peter Boston,
(who explained how Kennedy School grads can cause disasters)
A friend of a friend has a Slinky factory that is underutilized. We can get a Rider attached to the next Interior Department dam authorization bill that will ensure that all airplanes have 10,000 Slinkys attached under the wings to be deployed in the event of emergency. It might save lives, for the children.

Permit me to riff on my Electoral College, leaders selecting leaders theme. Perhaps for 2012 the Republican Party could pump up voter interest by selecting their candidate through an American Idol/ Survivor hybrid. All the Elected Republicans in each state/territory/overseas unit get to caucus and select three "favorite sons/ daughters." At the first cut we would have a pool of about 160 names. These then get to meet in twelve regional rounds, ten for groups of five states each plus two more for non-state units and the Internet Wild Card entries. This second round would cut the field to 36 names. For the third round there would be a series of responses to public questions in electronic Town Hall format followed by registered party member voting in a system the requires winning applicants to meet a minimum threshold across several regions. The top 12 candidates would be advanced to the fourth level. At levels four, five and six the candidates would meet for public debates and then vote among themselves. This would winnow the field to 8 and then 6 and finally 4 candidates. The 150 plus candidates from the original field would then reassemble, in what could be called the Convention, and pick the 2 leading candidates. The members of the Party would then have a national primary that would select the final standard bearer. This process would last for exactly eight weeks and would rivit the public's attention during an otherwise low ratings period leading into the Fall campaign season.

Change you can believe in.

buddy larsen,
(who noted that the Black Panther story makes the US a Banana Republic)
Everyone thinks they are the Top Banana going into the monkey. Everybody is the same coming out.

(who attacked Romney and McCain as "RINOs")
Haven't you figured it out yet? It was the ridiculous insulting and tantrums by paleoconservatives calling a decent honorable, and on most issues worthy and electable, man called John Sidney McCain names like "McShame" that got Obama elected. We did not get into this mess simply because of the brilliant tactics of David Axelrod or the cupidity of the owners of NBC or the intimidation and vote fraud perpetrated by Acorn and the New Black Panthers. We lost the election because to many people who should have known better stayed home or cast some silly minor party protest vote while claiming that the Republican wasn't good enough and that America deserved to experience real pain to purge it of left wing illusions. Well now you have us all experiencing the lesson that rejecting McCain guaranteed would happen. Trillions in wealth are being destroyed, the Constitution and laws are being shredded, millions around the world are being consigned to tyranny and possible murder. I hope you are happy with what you have bought us. If only you were a Moby that said those things intending to help elect Obama and get these results but I suspect that you are not. You will simply protest your sincerity and blame McCain for not being pure enough to meet your ideals.

You may be correct about Romney but let us not make the same mistake twice.

(regarding Orthodoxy versus Electability)
These things, like most things, go in cycles. In the 1960's the Left Wing true believers broke up the Democratic Party over Vietnam, which like most wars started under the Democrats. That resulted in a string of Republican victories. The Gramscian project of marching back into power has been a result of them learning to be patient and methodical and build alliances. The Conservatives should not abandon their principles, for one thing that is a proven vote loser, but they do need to stay focused on practical politics. To much is at stake to retreat into a cloister.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"The constipation of power"

In the Canoe Club they taught us the official doctrine called “Control by Negation.” There is even an acronym for it that is used in both verbal communications and message traffic. It is called UNODIR and it stands for “UNless Otherwise DIRected.” You tell your boss what you intend to do and then go ahead and do it unless you hear an order to the contrary. The Captain can send a signal, “UNODIR will precede to Freemantle OZ for 3 days R&R before reporting to contingency Operations in the Horn of Africa.” The Department Head might say to the Captain “UNODIR I’m going to submit a CASREP for gun mount 52 so that we don’t have to use the parts stored for mount 51.” The Division Officer could say to the Department Head, “UNODIR I’m going to have the Gunner’s Mates conduct security drills in Marine Officers berthing during the dinner hour. In each of the above cases it is highly likely that you might then see a hand reach through the message traffic or the shipboad telephone or simply the air to grab respectively the Captain, the Lieutenant Commander and the Ensign by their throats while a voice said “No you will not.” Since people quickly learn only to formulate and then inform their seniors of planned orders unlikely to be countermanded the system works rather well.

If Congress was functioning correctly it would set up structures and guidelines and limits for the agencies and states and courts to fill in. When a court makes a ruling that needed correction Congress has the explicit power in the Constitution to limit the Appellate authority of the Judiciary by issuing Exceptions and Regulations. (Art. III sec. 2 para. 2)

We need an Amendment specifying that no Act may become a Law unless it’s text has been published and read in public at least 48 hours before enactment, with the exception of a Declaration of War and Acts pursuant thereof. Even in that case the actual text of a law, as opposed to an enabling regulation, should be a matter of public record. To vote for something without being on oath as to understanding the text being presented should constitute Fraud.

(who wants to do objectionable things to Congress)
The Members of the legislature are not subject to impeachment. They can expel one of their own members by other procedures. No member however can be charged in a State or Federal court for anything they say while attending a session.

(who trotted out the "birther" line)
The definition of Natural Born standard does not include two citizen parents. It is an expression of jus soli not jus sanguinis. Citizenship can be conferred either by being born under the sun (on the soil) or by the blood. We have had Presidents before who had a parent who was not a citizen. Winston Churchill was born in England, that is why he was ineligible. Aside from the very unlikely possibility that BHO was not born in Hawaii is the possibility that he gave up his Natural Born status by claiming foreign citizenship after his 18th birthday. That possible loss of the special Natural Born status is not the same as saying he is not a citizen. He would not have lost his US citizenship when he was taken overseas as a child and the US would not deny him his citizenship just because he claimed a foreign nationality when traveling or applying for financial aide. You only lose your US citizenship if you formally renounce it as an adult or if you take a foreign citizenship to avoid paying US taxes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Shoot the hostage"

My first reaction to Somalia is to give it back to Italy, only I like Italy.

Legally every person held in Gitmo is an unlawful combatant and that makes them Pirates. Remember when airplane hijackers were properly referred to as "Air Pirates?" A couple of days ago I was driving a car of young people for work, some college students and a law student or two. One of them was describing how his professor had assigned a book on the crimes of the Bush administration, listing all sorts of violations of international and constitutional law, especially with regard to internment. I got excited since clearly most of them believed in this and no one would dream of challenging it. My point of view was grudgingly allowed to be aired but only as an indulgence to the old guy. After all what could I know? Their oh so cool Professor said differently and I was only well better educated then him in all likelihood, with experience in things like the military including Intelligence and Interrogation as well as Law Enforcement.

I have said before the cold but true best way for the US or Israel to deflate the value of a hostage or prisoner captured by the likes of Hamas, the Taliban or AQ is to hold a state funeral for them.

Comments on The Belmont Club,

The committee, led by “nationally recognized experts,” will not investigate the arrest of Gates, nor will it “make any judgments” on the officers involved, Healy said. The committee “will identify lessons to be taken from the circumstances surrounding the incident” and will advise the police department on how “those lessons can be applied” to its policies and practices.
- City Manager Robert Healy

Sentence first, verdict afterwards
- The Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland

They intend to advise the police department on how to apply lessons that are derived without bothering to investigate what actually happened. The deal I suspect will be that nothing goes formally into Crowley's Official File and the municipality spends money on counselors and interveners, possibly with kickbacks to Gates. Of course the next time there is a reported crime and the police do not respond effectively the city will face a lawsuit. However it will be hard for the victims to prove that best practices were not used. Consider what would happen if a lawsuit faced every teacher, either in a public school or in a prestigious college, who talked nonsense in front of a class. Proving malpractice in a law enforcement or any government administration setting is much harder then in a medical setting. Otherwise lawyers would be terrorizing bureaucrats and school teachers instead of physicians.

Of course there is more money in shaking down doctors and insurance companies but there is a nice living to be made from shaking down the police and City Hall. Teachers seem to have less to offer the legal profession.

A winning slogan for 2012?

Nobody owes you a damn thing.

joe buzz,
(who amongst other things was discussing beer)
I also wonder why Gates didnt just call the Harvard maint. staff instead of getting jiggy wit his own crowbar.

Harvard, as Gates' landlord, should charge him $2,000 for damaging their property.

BTW, I usually wear Black and Tan on St Patrick's day. No one should be ordered to share alcohol with anyone. Crowley should decline to drink with Gates and Obama.

Addendum, members of the Foreign Officer corp are paid to drink with monsters and smile. Crowley is not a diplomat.
A diplomat is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country

(who insists ex cathedra that the police can just back off and await orders)

Since I think you are dumb I will use small words. In the past the cop or the nice person has been found dead since there was a bad guy in the house when the good guy came out and said “All is OK” or looked angry or scared. If the cop did not search then he or the good guy could end up shot. So now the cop must search the house when sent to make sure all is in fact OK. Since Gates did not make clear he was the good guy and did act like there was a bad thing for the cop to fear the cop had to act like the worst might be true. Got it?

All in words of one syllable. Agreed you are a Troll but not on fact a Moby. A Moby would pretend to be on the officer’s side and would in fact make outrageous statements, such as racist or violent threats, to discredit this site and the serious people who come here.

Consider another public safety issue that is not a law enforcement one. You live in an apartment building on New York’s Upper East Side. You are worth a lot of money and so are your apartment and possessions. There is a fire in another apartment below yours and suddenly the firefighters are banging on your door. Can you stand behind the locked door explaining to them that you have a very nice collection of Limoges porcelain and Hummels on the sideboard and Baccarat crystal on your tables? They will break down your door and smash everything in their way as they tear open your walls to chase the fire. They will smash open your windows and snake their hoses through to pour water out and you will be left with six inches or more of water on the floor of your ruined apartment. They are there to save lives and they love their work. Get in their way and a cop will drag you off in handcuffs.

Domestic calls are incredibly dangerous. More dangerous then traffic stops.

Had a dream that Officer Crowley walks in and informs his host and fellow guest that they now have evidence that Gates was fomenting a confrontation to conceal that he was engaging in illegal conduct with a minor and that while the Sergeant was not empowered to act in his official capacity while in the White House, due to his being temporarily disarmed at the request of the Secret Service, he would be waiting outside when Mr Gates emerged. My dream ended with Chief Justice Roberts telling the President that he could not protect an offender from State prosecution with a Presidential pardon and the Secret Service telling the President that they would do nothing to impede or hinder a Law Enforcement Officer from acting outside of the White House.

Comment on Theo Spark,
"The World's Third Largest Navy ..."

This expansion of India's armed forces is big. China is moving to surround India in a major way with seaports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The US is imploding under Obama. Israel is looking at the existential threat from Iran. Australia is significantly expanding its military. When the music stops and the players scramble to sit down it will get ugly.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club, "Without borders"

There is always a series of tensions between one's online personality and reality. The idea to me was to adopt a nome de plume to ensure my privacy and safety. The Net is infested with maniacs who are quite capable of hunting down people who they perceive as purveyors of untruth. The problem is how to trust others who are using the same tools of anonymity as I am? The problem was made clear to me by the Tea Parties. You had to establish a Facebook presence to sign up but I did not want to do so in my real name since that would establish a link between my online and real personae. Yet if my real identity was known other social and even professional benefits could flow. Ideally to me one day Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes would look at The Belmont Club for inspiration and think, "Who is this clever fellow LotM?" However without a clear link to my real identity that becomes less possible then a lottery win.

The technical limitations of the Wordpress interface are real. The best blog around from a technical viewpoint is Little Green Footballs, they even have a closed from public view chat room feature. The owner had been originally associated with PJM in some technical advisory capacity but that quickly fell through and the site has failed to grow and establish itself as a significant intellectual presence and community for reasons that I do not wish to pursue here.

I have the original pre fallback site Belmont Club in my Bookmarks folder so I must have started following it back then. No idea what link I followed to get here or when I started commenting.

Some threads back when our host began urging us to think in practical terms I opined that to me the Club is a place of deep carpets and deep chairs for discussing deep thoughts over deep tumblers of Port. We need another room, perhaps a social network site would do, where the sawdust is deep and we can arrange events and exchange information on logistics and tactics. A place where the conversation is lubricated by glasses of Whiskey. I propose calling the second site The Tack Room.

Our world is pulled by two horses named Faith and Works, not my religion but I have been trained, with the Belmont Club a place that nurtures our faith. We need another place that will nurture our works.

Sam W,
(who assumed he was older then everyone and queried PJM's time stamp)
Clearly seems to be California time.
Don't know how old you think I am. My chief asset these days is my immaturity. Tired of mundane time constraints? Seeking to escape to place of both shadows and substance of things and ideas?
Welcome to The Twilight Zone.

The BC needs improved indexing and search features.

(who fears minimum wage Acorn mobs tracking IP numbers)
The reason to fear the armies of the unwashen is not their fearsome aptitude for index card shuffling. A decent computer system can do that task better. The dependent mob will be useful for more direct action. Voter role fraud, ballot box stuffing, council, committee, caucus and convention packing, business lobby blocking for intimidation and blackmail (Jesse Jackson pioneered that) and ultimately “we know where you and your children live.” Remember the trips to visit the AIG executives homes after the bonuses were revealed? They tipped their hand early on that one and it seems that orders went out to tone things down lest the public be awakened. Would that evidence of coordinating messages between Acorn and Rahm Emmanuel could see the light of day. Imagine what would happen if a bus load of angry people showed up outside of Jaimie Gorelick’s door demanding her ill gotten millions back?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Comment on Pal2Pal,
"Obama Numbers Tank in Daily Tracking Poll"

Are there any brakes on this roller coaster? My expectation is that BHO's core support will sink to 25% and hold between there and 20%. That will put him in the negative range at no less than -15. If the strong negatives rise above 45% and the mild positives sink below 20% then the Democrats will have to start looking at their options. If there is a serious move to replace Joe Biden with someone who can at least act presidential then we know that the plug is being pulled on this administration. My expectation is that they will go down fighting and cause as much damage as possible on the way. They have nothing to lose.

Comment on Riehl World View,
"A Gatesgate At Henry Gates' "Bogus" Charity?"

The abuse of PBS as a shill for projects used to raise many for favored members of the Nomenklatura sounds like a good story.

Gates produces, and is I would think compensated for, two shows. These are promoted by PBS and local affiliates. Other PBS shows, think Charlie Rose, run segments that add to the visibility and prestige of the project. Everyone connected with these programs is paid using charitable or taxpayer dollars. The publicity generated is used as a form of unpaid advertising to support Mr Gates' for profit business.

Jobs for the boys. It's the Chicago Way.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,

We can celebrate the looming collapse of the New York Times more then that of the Ivies for two reasons.

First because as a corporation the Times is less capable of reform. A school replaces it’s student/customer base who are the bulk of it’s presence, every two to 7 years, depending on the unit considered. The faculty and staff turn over more slowly but senior tenured faculty are a fairly small group and, like with the SCOTUS, a change in Administration and political environment could produce dramatic shifts. The Times is the frozen expression of the personality of Pinch Sulzberger and as such may be the least reformable entity in America.

Second because while the Times is circling the drain due to the technical and market shifts that indicate that their influence would be declining under any circumstances our objections to the influence of Harvard and her peers is personal. The fact is that there is a need, a natural need, for elite educational institutions. If Harvard did not exist we would have to invent it. The problem therefor should not be how to get rid of Harvard but how to reform or replace it.

Why is there a Center for Gender Studies at any school? What legitimate heuristic or analytical purpose is served by diverting scarce resources to such a purpose? Just exactly what have the schools of Education or Sociology contributed to human knowledge in the last forty years? We just had a whole thread that touched on Skip Gates’ racist bailiwick. These and all disciplines should all be subject to periodic review. Chicago, to its’ credit, closed the Library School and the School of Education, which were famous in their day. More regrettably to me they also closed their renowned Department of Geography when they felt it could not keep to the standards expected.

See I only raise two reasons. I am getting better.

E. Nigma,
(who shared an opinion that Stanford was no better than Ohio State)
Just remember Stanford is America's only Junior University. It is in fact The Leland Stanford Jr. University. Named in honor of the deceased son of the railroad tycoon, robber baron and Governor, L.S. Sr. But to really get a rise out of them just look around what has been built on the old family ranch and call it Taco Bell U. The real problem with that place though is that it violates the Iron Law of Academic Excellence, which states that great schools shall be located in places where bad weather and hostile poor neighbors help to drive the students into the library.

Joe Hill,
(who called for taxing endowment income)
You could make an argument that the American endowed universities are in a position analogous to that held by the English monasteries before Henry VIII ordered their dissolution.

Joe Hill,
(who misplaced his "c" key and asks "why do we need seas?)

Follow The Fleet, 1936 Movie
(Irving Berlin)
Fred Astaire

We joined the Navy to see the world
And what did we see? We saw the sea
We saw the Pacific and the Atlantic
But the Atlantic isn't romantic
And the Pacific isn't what it's cracked up to be

We joined the Navy to do or die
But we didn't do and we didn't die
We were much too busy looking at the ocean and the sky
And what did we see? We saw the sea
We saw the Atlantic and the Pacific
But the Pacific isn't terrific
And the Atlantic isn't what it's cracked up to be

They tell us that the Admiral
Is as nice as he can be
But we never see the Admiral
Because the Admiral has never been to sea

We joined the Navy to see the girls
And what did we see? We saw the sea
Instead of a girl or two in a taxi
We were compelled to look at the Black Sea
Seeing the Black Sea isn't what it's cracked up to be

Sailing, sailing home again
To see the girls upon the village green
Then across the foam again
To see the other seas we haven't seen

We owe the Navy an awful lot
For they taught us how to do the Sailor's Hornpipe
And they showed us how to tie a sailor's knot
But more than that, they showed us the sea
We never get seasick sailing the ocean
We don't object to feeling the motion
We're never seasick but we are awful sick of sea


Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Getting better"

My expectation is that the good Dr will soon receive a version of the Joe the Plumber treatment. Any parking tickets he owes will be dissected by Time magazine and the sad tails of the cat that got hit by his car and the girl who dumped him in High School will occupy the Great MInds who are interviewed by Charlie Rose.

Leo Linbeck III,
(who wrote on tort reform in Texas)
Dan Quayle touched the third rail of tort reform and became a test case for "the politics of personal destruction." The techniques used to demonize him and falsely convince most Americans that he was an idiot were a refinement on the methods used to destroy Robert Bork's nomination to the SCOTUS. The trial lawyers are the true soul of the Democratic Party. The campaign against Quayle could be seen as a precursor of the campaign against Sarah Palin. The lady should know who her enemies are.

(who pointed out that eventually we all die)
lambkins, we will live
- Pistol, Henry V

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Loaves and fishes"

In a parliamentary system the Leader of the Opposition forms a Shadow Cabinet. The Opposition may be loyal to the Sovereign but it does not pretend to be loyal to the government. They are by definition a government in internal exile waiting to take power at a moments notice. In the American system the roles of Head of State and Head of Government are conflated. This leads to endless confusion and even such piffle as hacks complaining when Rush Limbaugh says that he wants Obama to fail. Also the American system encourages infantilism by the party out of power. They are essentially encouraged to take a two to four year vacation during which they may criticize but have no obligation to propose an alternative. This does not serve either the parties nor the Republic well since if the out party does take office it is usually due to the failures of the incumbents and not due to any articulated proposals of their own. That means that instead of being ready to hit the ground running and govern from day one the new administration will spend at least six months finding where the bathrooms are and how to get anything done. The Republicans are particularly hard hit by this phenomenon since they are not leavened by as many experienced bureaucrats and do not have as large a network of NGOs, think tanks and academics to draw on.

If my previously described desire to reform the Electoral College were adopted it should hopefully encourage potential candidates to articulate their positions in a more meaningful and assertive way on an ongoing basis. Right now the Republican leadership should be attacking everything about Obama right down to the way he cuts his hair. They should be assertive, confrontational and on top of every issue and they should be disciplined. The thought of local Senators acquiescing to Satomayor in order to cut a deal with local immigrant advocate groups should be anathema.

Armeggedon Rex,
(who noted the sorry record of politicians in parliamentary systems)
You are correct in all your caveats. My suspicion is that the universal quality of politicians was well understood by the Founders and they crafted the federalist system as the best device to peel off the grossly incompetent or parochial before they could demean the national stage. That proved an imperfect reed even before the Civil War and since the passage of the 17th Amendment it has been in effective abeyance. We need to find a way back to Madison and company's original intent.

(who noted Bush 43 was ill rewarded for seeking to be a "Uniter")
My instinct was that Bush erred in bringing Ted Kennedy onboard for the Education reform bill. He gained nothing for it but abuse.

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"When to smile, when to sneer"

(who pointed there are unpleasant repetitive tasks in life, like fighting the moral corrosion caused by tribalism and racism)
Now about that trash under the sink. I was hoping that somebody could explain that to me. My four footed friend is looking worried. Like it might be coming out to get him.

Being late to the party I hope I might repost some comments I made about Gates and BHO on LGF.
(Here on my previous blog entry.)

One day John Kerry will pull the "Do you know who I am?" to jump a line and some guy will say "That's my wife" and cold cock him.

One day and it might be soon Barack Obama will pick up the phone to order a $100 hamburger and he will hear laughter in reply. People will simply stop listening to him. He depends on the assent of thousands of people he has expressed contempt for. The Secret Service, the military, the law enforcement community are not his naturally greatest supporters but they were not a priori hostile. Thousands of them voted for him and they are in fact disciplined socialist communities, whose members are inclined to believe that with proper leadership government can do things. The sign that the political establishment knows the end is coming might be if they induce Joe Biden to retire and replace him with some Democrat who could do the job.

john lynch,
(who felt Officer Crowley should have just walked away)
No you are wrong on your facts and on the law. The police officer was responding to a complaint. He had a duty to determine if there was a break in. He had every right to be there. By impeding his investigation and failing to follow simple directions Mr Gates created a breach of the peace. He aggravated that situation by his abusive conduct. Until he properly identified himself it was the duty of the officer to treat Mr Gates as a possible burglar. Gates caused the problem. He has full ownership of it.

Do you want to live in a society where a man can beat his wife and then when a cop comes to the door yell at him that everything is fine and there will be no problem if the cop just goes away? That sounds like the path to a Middle-Eastern lawlessness in which Palestinians get to blow things up and also get to complain that the real problem is the beastly Israelis building a fence and having checkpoints to get in the way of the efforts to blow things up.

(who cited Peggy Noonan's critique of Obamacare)
If you get in a car I am driving you put on your seat belt. However I have said that I object to laws mandating people to wear seat belts and also to laws that force business owners to forbid smoking in private property. When I express these opinions the reply I often get is "We are entitled to tell people how to behave because if they get sick or injured it will cost the taxpayers money when people use the public hospitals." Public supported health care justifies an infinite level of regulation of public behavior.

A few years ago I actually filed a complaint against a Police Officer for abusive misconduct. It was an extremely hot Summer day, about 102° and I walked my dog from one side of a 8 lane road to another using a subway entrance. There were almost no passengers present and there was a cop leaning in the shadows. When we returned from stopping at a Dry Cleaner he called me over and said the dog wasn't allowed there. His attitude was fairly unpleasant and when we got out of the station my beast got sick, which to me is a clear sign that it was stressed. Later I had to go through the station again and the cop was still there. I asked him to identify himself and he replied by writing me ticket. That struck me as abusive and retaliation so I filed a complaint. At the review board hearing the cop lied through his teeth and said that "upon further reflection he decided the original incident merited a ticket" that being a rote formula in these situations.

I always told my troops that if a member of the public (i.e. a Customer) demands to know who they are they should hold up their ID and point at their name tag and offer to bring the person to a Supervisor who can give the person a Comment/Complaint card. I didn't want them handing out the cards themselves because one got in the habit of mining the public for compliments in a way that I found abusive.

Gates and Obama have both spent their lives avoiding situations in which a real Boss could evaluate their work and fire them. That has nothing to do with race directly. It is true that part of their method is to ensure that they have not been under the authority of strong managers, particularly strong managers of color. Both have found a path in University settings that short circuited the expected peer review quality control systems. America has thousands of black private sector supervisors and managers now who would toss these guys out on the street or threaten to break them in two if they talked rot and failed to deliver.

I wonder what Larry Summers thinks about all this?

Big dogs don't bark. In Anglo-Saxon culture people with real authority are 1. technically competent at their jobs and, 2. other directed, that is not selfish in their pursuit of power. Once I told a class that if a Little Old Lady walked into a dealership while the President of General Motors was there and walked up to him as he was surrounded by other men in suits and asked "Excuse me. Are you a salesman? I am a poor widow and I was wondering which is the right car for me?" he would smile and focus on her. The rest of the conversation should go like this. First thing would say is "Yes of course I am a salesman." The second thing he would say is "Perhaps though my friend Mr Jones here is better acquainted with what we have in stock here today. Please take my card though and let me know if I can be of any help to you." This would be followed by Mr Jones, the franchise owner saying, "Thank you Ma'am please come with me I am certain that I can make you happy. Please excuse me Mr Smith (the President) I will get back to you soon."

Barbarians are always puzzled by the courtesy of people in authority in Anglo-saxon culture. They either mistake it for weakness or in a display of psychological projection they assume it to be a display of arrogance and dishonesty. The Barbarians then get to wallow in self pity and blame their intended victims when their aggressive plans fail to deliver.

Obama wrote in his book that he viewed civility as an act, a mask that he can put on to disarm white people and facilitate his advancement. For BHO the truth is predetermined and revealed to those who are more perceptive due to cultural and racial authenticity. Satomayor's "Wise Latina" resonates with him. He does not view courtesy as a means of facilitating communication to determine the truth and enable productive work to be performed to mutual benefit. He is a Barbarian.

Once at The Capital I saw a United States Congressman get stuck running the elevator for five minutes. He smiled at the tourists and was OK with it.

buddy larsen,
(whose middle daughter is toying with Judaism)
It comes in 3 steps.
1. The secret handshake.
2. The secret of paying wholesale.
3. Never reveal to whiskey the secret of fabulously loud mouthed women.
The last is more powerful then The Terrible Secret of Space.

Actually the first time anyone walks into a Rabbi's office and asks about joining the Tribes he will say "What are you nuts?" and throw them out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Comments on Little Green Footballs, "Obama: I Hope This Becomes a Teachable Moment"

See also on LGF's next thread.

1. The Audacity of Hope = The Arrogance of Spin
2. Teachable point, the POTUS blathers like an overpromoted adjunct
     lecturer and people might die.
3. Did he really say beer? Very condescending. The British used to invite
     union leaders into Downing Street for Beer and Sandwiches
     to resolve a strike.
4. Every thug and low life now knows that it is open season on Gates'
     house. The police won't dare respond aggressively to a reported
     break in.
5. Be Fair. If Obama only got to comment on things he knows something
     about he'd be like those Mutes going around handing out
     Talk to the Deaf cards on the subway.
6. Gates apparently yelled "You have no idea who you're dealing with!"
      To which the answer is "Correct Sir and until I know you will obey
     my instructions."
7. Where are those Youtube videos on what to do when stopped by the
     Po-Leese? Someone was kind enough to point me to Chris Rock.
8. Did this prize have anything to do with charming Michelle at Princeton
     before Lucky Harvard snagged him?
9. Failing to follow proper instructions from a Law Enforcement Officer
     can get you arrested for impeding a lawful government activity.

Compare Obama's small minded non-apology to the fine job that Jeff Bezos did after Amazon stepped on its' reputation by deleting files without warning.
1. Big dog does it right. Little dog whines and makes a mess on the floor.
2. Idiots focus on point scoring rather than problem solving.
I'm sorry, too, Dmitri... I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right.
- Dr. Strangelove

3. In the meantime our Chief Diplomat and the North Koreans are
     throwing poo at each other. This was the gang that was going to restore
     the world's respect and affection and trust for us?
4. When I make a mistake, it's a beaut!
     - Fiorello Laguardia

Not my usual BC style but I thought the change couldn't hurt for once.

Tweet sent to Mary Katherine Ham

The delightful MKH sent a tweet that she was with frinds and all their parents had been together the same good length of time. So I replied as follows.

Is there an opportunity here for Al Gore? People who want to be dumb and get divorced can pay him so your parents can be good for them.

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"You can't beat City Hall"

For 200 years it has been a given that we should expand the electoral franchise. As New York Governor Al Smith said "The cure for the evils of Democracy is more Democracy." We now need to ask if we have passed the reductio ad absurdum of that principal. Personally I could support an Amendment that stated that no person may vote in any election either state or federal if the majority of their income is derived from that level of government. This determination of this disability however shall not consider income obtained from any service as an enlisted member of the Armed Forces or from service as an officer in the Armed forces called to active duty for training or during hostilities.

My structuring the franchise limitation to compensation and not to union membership is designed to address some of the loopholes that would inevitably arise with a narrower definition. Inevitably if the restriction was worded to narrowly a host of evasions would arise. For example I could anticipate the creation of "contracted service providers" that would be funded from the public treasury but which on paper would be separate or even private agencies. The wording of the Amendment would have to make clear that if your income arises from the distribution of wealth collected using the tax authority, which rests in itself on the coercive potential of the police power, at either the State (which includes all subsidiaries in America) or Federal government then you do not get to vote at that level. The efforts to frustrate such a restriction will probably get complex, with entities set up funded 45% by the state and 45% by the national purse, with the balance filled by "user fees" or foundation grants. The practice of lobbying or supporting lobbying by any entity or person not entitled to vote should be firmly suppressed.

Jamie Irons,
(who spoke of unimaginative Utility Industry Executives)
For decades, at least until the Savings and Loans Scandals, the Thrift business was the home of the financial underachievers. Dim bulbs like Uncle Billy in "It's A Wonderful Life" had a simple life. They took in deposits by offering 2% interest, made loans at 3% interest, and made it to the golf links by 4 PM. In the Industrial world Utilities had a similarly sheltered existence. Generating a safe regulated return on investment for the widows and orphans who were the stockholders left the Executives with few problems more complicated then finding their way home after getting drunk at the Country Club. The English sent the fool in the family into The Church and Americans used regulated industries to the same purpose.

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"The Strong Horse"

These days the arabic speaking inhabitants of every country tend to get called Arabs. Insofar as the term Arab means anything as an ethnic category that is probably a misnomer. Most North Africans are of Berber descent and the Egyptians were certainly a distinct and separate group, but complex as befits a civilized and much conquered trading hub, before the Islamic conquest. It was only after that event that two tribes were moved from the Arabian Peninsula to the Nile valley. There was to be sure commerce and genetic exchanges between the two sides of the Red Sea for thousands of years. Still it can help to divide the Semites into groups. There are the Jews descended from some original Northern tribes and the original Canaanites. There are the South Arabs of what is now Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman and the Gulf coast. There are the North Arabs of the Levant and Iraq, who are probably descended from Aramaic speakers. In North Africa there is a mixture of the original populations, who predominate in the interiors, and Arab imports. The percentage of Arab blood present varies but is generally stronger to the East and thins out as you move West.

Did Omar Sharif change from being a Copt to being an Arab when he converted to Islam?

More on "A crummy bunch" and the 60's

Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth I saw the Grateful Dead and New Riders of the Purple Sage on a double bill at The Fillmore East.

If you can remember the 60s, you weren’t there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Going underground"

What would you want to salvage if you were furnishing a refuge from the Apocalypse?

For the purposes of this problem assume a space large enough to hold fuel to operate lights and appliances for 6 months and supplies for 4 people for that time and additional storage of 150 cubic feet. Would you count on electronic records being sufficient? Would they be useless after? Would you be determinedly utilitarian, filling the space with the Boy Scout Handbook and Army Field Manuals? Would you include sheet music from select composers and schematics for building your own piano?

The Britannica 11th would be assured a place in my ideal bunker. Spiritual texts? The Conservative Masoretic Jewish Bible, the King James and Book of Common Prayer, the Vedas and Buddhist Sutras. The Koran after the shaking stops I can do without.

buddy larsen,
(who thought no cities have been destroyed since WW-II)
Gary Indiana.
Before the flood I dated a girl whose father was a retired Gary Cop. They were possibly the last white people left in town. The sign at the city line read “City On The Move.” Wags asked if the last one to move would please turn out the lights. A visitor from the British Social Democrats came to Chicago and I gave him a tour of Gary to show what intransigent union irrationality and racial politics can achieve. The place looked like Japan or Germany after WW-II with entire blocks in what was the downtown completely leveled.

Gary was ahead of its time. It was a sign decades ago of what could be in store for us.

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Just a crummy bunch of towns"

(who recommended for young people the Czech cartoon, Fantastic Planet)
"Prophylactics for teenagers" sounds like a blog entry designed to generate traffic.

The test of Klotkin's theory should be the fate of Google. Will it stagnate as the Red state economies wither under Obama's assaults and they discover that no Red states means no customers and no customers means no income? Will Google drown in the breakdown of public order and loss of services caused by the implosion of the Blue state model that nurtured it? Will they have to move? If so where to, China?

California was a microcosm of the national dichotomy. They choose to eliminate the jobs in oil production, defense, and agriculture that had paid for the universities and the media markets. Even the great incubator of Liberalism the film industry was built by hard headed Republican businessmen. The growth of the fantasy that wealth could be separated from production and intellectual activities such as writing and acting were sufficient is a conceit that can be traced to the breakup of the studio system. Another unintended consequence of the anti-trust suit of 1948, see US v Paramount Pictures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"An ally of America"

This is heartbreaking. The story about the computers with preloaded results from the election that never was remains in lockdown. What does Mexico have to say about all this? Laws and Constitutions mean nothing to Obama. We are naked in the dark.

We need not the Bull Moose but the Polar Party. Symbol a Polar Bear and dedicated to the Polar Opposite of everything Obama does. Triple the Armed Forces, build another 8,000 nukes, cut social welfare, free the economy, crush our enemies. If only the Elephants were Polar Bears.

Cute too.

Now that Chavez has unzipped in front of the Hondurans and said “Make my day” what can they do? The Venezuelans and America if we act as Chavez’s client and back him, have now thrown the Vienna protocols to the list of laws, conventions and constitutions tossed under the bus. Will the Hondurans bundle the Venezuelan “Diplomats” onto a plane? At what altitude will they be delivered?

Just sent the following to Foxnews:

Dear News Manager,
There is a story that USA Today gave one paragraph to two days ago that the Babalu blog has. It claims that the Hondurans found 47 computers preloaded with detailed results for the Honduran referendum that never happened. If this is a false story put out by the current Honduran government then it hurts their credibility. If the story was true then it is proof that Zelaya was planning massive fraud like what happened in Iran and the Supreme Court was right to order his removal. That would make Obama a willing dupe or partner to a criminal effort to steal an election, which would be huge. The story should be investigated and given exposure either way.

Barack Obama has a hack lawyer’s contempt for the law.

Tim Geithner has a hack investment banker’s contempt for money.

Michelle Obama has a hack manager’s contempt for labor.

This is a frankenstein subset of the Peter Principal.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"North of the border"

Comments closed on the last thread just as I was hitting submit on my final effort. Seconds count in life.
So I am offering it here.

CPT. Charles,
(who had a link on Honduran computer ballot stuffing)
First they Ignore it, then they try to kill it. If, and it is a very big if, this story of pre stuffed election results gets out I expect a serious debunking exercise complete with chin pulling on The News Hour. Obama is personally invested in the Honduran Zelaya. That makes the nascent Honduran dictatorship officially To Big To Fail. Once the cheap suit of BHO's credibility starts to unravel we will see increasingly desperate efforts to shore him up. He is like Michael Jackson's nose writ large.

(who wondered what the fate of CIT meant to GE)
Lehman Brothers so far is the only company truly sent to the wall. Everything else has been used as fodder to pay off favored allies of the DNC. The theft of GM and Chrysler must not be allowed to stand.

(who expects deflation)
To me it looks like we are heading for a swan dive. First we fly up and then we head down. Oh look, someone took the water out of the pool.

M. Simon,
(who commented on Russia's problems)
The condition of the fleet, the expiring lease in Crimea, the economic and demographic pressures, and all the other issues that others have raised that I commented on above, all point to the same conclusion. Putin and Obama are facing a closing window in which to act. The next three months may be a rolling crisis as the totalitarians get desperate. God helps those who help themselves but in his beneficence he might be offering us a second chance.

(who quoted the BC subject linked video as a possible GOP slogan)
Anybody who is too big to fail is too big to exist.
The second wave of billboards and T-shirts should have iconic images for the words Big and Fail.

buddy larsen,
(who noted one man's presence at every financial disaster for the last 20 years)
Larry Summers has one trait that makes him invaluable. He has already been shot and left to bleed.

By rescuing him the Obamists have bought an operative with no internal brakes. He is like a Zombie now. Isn't it interesting that the powerful coalition that ousted him from Harvard, cast him forth from Paradise with flaming sword to bar his return, has had not a peep to say about his return to a position of influence? When have these extremists ever been so accommodating once they settled on a victim? True they sold themselves out regarding the more serious offenses of Bill Clinton but they never before had to reverse course like this. It is more akin to the cycle of adulation denunciation and rehabilitation in a Stalinist party drama.

(who accused the commentator whiskey of being an insane misogynist)
Your frustration with whiskey is understandable but do not get to upset with men in general or The Club in particular. The distinctions that I for one draw between whiskey and MC or C4 may seem arbitrary but I hope that they are defensible. The latter two I see as using the BC as a vehicle to express their animus at the members of this community and the communities and civilization we cherish. The bottom line is that they do not choose to be of the Club even when they are in it. Our fermented friend truly means no harm, even to you. For one thing while his mantra may be narrow and repetitive it is not without some merit. Fortunately most participants in this discussion reply to him by drawing out other factors, failures on the parts of men that may have a synergistic relationship to the forces that are described regarding women.

When we as members of your virtual family start looking seedy I hope that you will discreetly brush off our shoulders and smooth our jackets before sending us off to battle. That is sure to get a better response then pasting long passages in a foreign language and expressing contempt for those present, as someone does.

Bottom line, he is not what Dr. Johnson called “A most unclubable man.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Do not forsake me"

The more appropriate movie should be Blazing Saddles.
This is the revenge of the Enarchs and Old Europe on the Bush/Rumsfeld alliance with New Europe.

(upon the appearance of an abusive agitprop Kremlin apologist)
A few threads back I speculated on when we would see the return of the chorus from the Lubyanka we had last year. Now as July is sliding down towards August it is beginning again. Remember it folks, the first shot of the Caucasus War of 2009 was fired in The Belmont Club.

Walter Cronkite passes. Thread worthy I would think. Early harbinger of the power of the press to lose a war with uncounted costs in lives and treasure lost.

(who personally forgave Walter Cronkite for causing our defeat in Vietnam)
The thing about forgiveness is that it is personal. I can forgive the harm you have done to me but do I have the right to forgive the harm you did to another? On Yom Kippur Jews recite the Kol Nidre reminding God that the promises made to God are forgiven by him. The caveat is always noted that God does not forgive the injury done to a human being. That is the great moral triumph of Judaism that both Christianity and Islam fail to equal. They both make God a partner in a corrupting show in which people run to him for absolvance rather than clear the debts they owe to each other. This is like a child that runs to tell their father that they feel terrible that something happened to their sister, suspecting that doing so will get them off the hook for hitting her.

So while you can forgive Mr Cronkite for the injury he might have done to you and can even advocate others forgiving him as members of the community you cannot absolve him of all responsibility for the sufferings of millions brought on by America's defeat and retreat, including by extension the blighted lives, wasted treasure and empowered tyrants brought on by the rise of Obama. Actions have consequences and the final determination of payment for harm done but not acknowledged in this world is left to a judgment after we are departed.

That said I do not believe that Mr Cronkite was a bad man. He was a good man who meant well and erred. The impact of his actions may well have surprised even himself. It was not all of his life but it was an important part of it. It should be viewed as neither more nor less than that.

High Noon, the title sequence with the original soundtrack, by that old cowboy Dmitri Tiomkin and Lyrics by Ned Washington. Sung by Tex Ritter, whose son John set his own standard for popular entertainment. Youtube has disabled embedding for the movie.

Every frame in High Noon is a perfect photograph. John Wayne hated the movie. Eisenhower and Reagan and Clinton liked it.
For the alternative see 2:37 Son you're on your own.

buddy larsen,
Rio Bravo was Wayne's answer to High Noon. A good movie actually but Wayne was wrong or rather let himself get played like a bull following the cape. The real issue was HUAC and the McCarthy era. Milos Foreman was blacklisted, The socialist ideals in the film seem pretty abstract to me. Perhaps in a Socialist paradise the community would not need a Lawman but would all stand together, like in The Magnificent Seven. Perhaps Wayne just objected to the portrayal of pioneering Americans as cowardly. In that sense it was an extension of film noir dysutopianism to the golden age of mythic America.

Old Salt,
(who wants to withdraw completely from Iraq/Afghanistan now)
The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.
- Otto von Bismarck

In this case however I disagree. The woulda, coulda, shouldas of the Iraq wars will keep graduate students happy for many years. Were Bush 41 and Colin Powell to damn clever by half in leaving Saddam in Baghdad after the 1991 Gulf War? Yes but that does us as much good as blaming the whole mess on Jimmy Carter. Going home is not the answer. Doing so and more important advocating doing so concedes the debate to Obama and Company. The Left are always going to be as disruptive and obnoxious as possible in the hope that other voices withdraw from the debate. They are like the derelict on the subway who surrounds himself with bad smells and offensive mumbles to drive away other people. Throwing up our hands over Iraq makes as much sense as throwing up our hands over vote fraud at home. We are still stuck with Minnesota even if Incitatus Franken is soiling the United States Senate.

The catalog of ways in which our enemies both foreign and domestic have fought to disrupt our efforts and deny the US victory is long. Remember the French working to deny the 4th Infantry Division access to Turkey for the initial invasion? Our meek acceptance of Chirac's betrayal empowered our enemies. After the four Americans were lynched in Fallujah I advocated a carthaginian response for that city. The champions of war by lawyering crafted a more nuanced response which worked when backed by massive American ingenuity and support but which is likely to erode as we withdraw. Similarly our failure to eliminate Muqtada al Sadr when we had the unquestioned authority to do so emboldened the ankle biters. If we had siezed the opportunity in 2003 to drive the price of oil down to $15/barrel we could have broken OPEC. That would have bankrupted both the Saudi/Iranian terror machines and Russia. It also would have strengthened our hand with China. All those hesitations and errors were a result of obstruction from the Left.

The fact is that we must play the hand we are dealt and not kick over the table or go home. Teddy Roosevelt was right. We must stay in the arena.

(who defend the Christian position on contrition)
You are of course correct in regard to the theology but unfortunately a religion is not merely a theological abstract but it is also a mechanism for molding human behavior. Setting aside the problem in Islam, where the use of the highly unsuitable example of Muhammad as the "perfect man" results in conduct at wide variance with any higher moral ideals, let us consider Christianity. The restatement of the moral code of Judaism is as you note clear and the use of the morally blameless Jesus as an example to emulate is certainly superior to that in Islam. The problem is that the mechanism of the Church is staffed by people who are fallible. The inevitable confusion over the role of works, as mediated by the institution of the Church, in conferring absolution from sin is what results in so many persisting in the belief that a show of contrition is sufficient. Your position that a true redress of error is still called for is admirable but unfortunately people will naturally tend to view absolution and grace as commodities. That is what caused the indulgences scandals of the Middle Ages and Luther's break with Rome.

bogie wheel,
(who commented on communitarianism versus individualism and High Noon)
Well done. Personally I have no problem with communities coming together to solve problems and protect themselves. That seems more Conservative and civilized then relying on a Leader to do it for you. The problem with Socialists is that they conflate the family, the community and all of humanity into one amorphous mass. A family is a socialist unit. Everybody has to pitch in because things need to get done and everybody gets helped regardless of whether they picked up their socks. A community, probably up to the size of Aristotle's ideal polis of 5,000 voting citizens or a total population of 50,000 to 250,000, can impose many obligations on its' members. The reality of the competitive market will constrain the temptation to drain the public wealth. Federalism seeks to preserve the legitimacy of local authority while constructing a shared power in which all have a stake in promoting common trade and security. When dealing with the bulk of humanity it is best to be guided by biblical injunctions regarding the just treatment of strangers but not to presume that you share common goals or the quality of Comity that is essential to accepting the authority of laws enacted by a common Sovereign.

Foreman was a better Artist then he was a Communist.

bogie wheel and Mongoose,
Thank you for your thoughtful replies. I quibble only to polish the product. Humans can alter the terms of their associations. We can adapt, adopt, emigrate, intermarry and otherwise change the terms of the basic family and community units that we identify with. Doing so can bring vitality to our democratic culture and a strong democratic culture can make the tools of flexibility more resilient. That does not mean that the reductio ad absurdum of open borders and random illegitimacy are to be celebrated or can be endured. There are optimums for everything.

RCM, who said,
Quite frankly, it appears to me that no religion is served well by many of those who profess it and I am left wondering how Judaism, equally hindered by man’s obstinacy, does it better?
Thank you. My guess is that Judaism is protected by its' modesty. The supremacist urges and Messianic visions in the original pre-Mosaic community were burned off thousands of years ago. Jews, like Shintoists, do not profess to proselytize but only to bear witness as examples of rectitude. It is unusual for a Jew to claim that theological values justify imposing one's will in a secular setting.

In this it differs from Islam where individual members claim that the example of the Prophet and the text of Koran justify imposing their will to compel the submission of others. Of course in Islam there are no secular settings, all of society is either part of the Ummah or subject to compulsion.

That does not deny that many Jews justify their liberal political activity as an expression of religious values. It is my belief that they are generally in denial as to the coercive nature of the secular authority that such political activity calls on.

The other factor that has protected Judaism from substituting a focus on social manipulation for the infinitely harder one of focusing on individual responsibility is the loss of the Temple and the associated Priestly infrastructure. The rise of Rabbinic Judaism has undoubtedly made for a more adoptable and survivable faith and a community that has been spared from the temptations to engage in wasteful internal disputes in the name of conformity or external quests for power. If the Temple had remained Judaism might have ended up like Shia Islam or Eastern Orthodox Christianity. She is well freed of the limitations and corruptions that any such human institutions are prey to.

Old Salt,
There is no doubt that the rot is deep but I would not despair. There are three things I want you to consider. With me it almost always three things, it's the training.

First while it is probable that a majority of Americans voted for Obama it is not certain given the prevalence of vote fraud. Remember Ohio where multiple students from out of town voted and left the country. Remember Indiana where more votes were counted then people registered. Remember the suppression of the military vote everywhere, especially in Minnesota.

Second it is certain that a sizable number of the people who voted for Obama really did not know what they were getting. That may be incredible to those of us who follow these issues over time and it does not speak well for the quality of the voters who allow themselves to be bamboozled by the media. It is better then saying that a majority actually believes in and wants an impoverished weakened America in a world ruled by Dictators.

Finally the election of Obama was not achieved by the swelling of his support among the young or the Democrats. He was elected because large numbers of Republicans and Conservatives stayed home. The left worked hard to divide the right and suppress the vote and they succeeded. The blogs were full of screeds usually initiated by Moby agents but then repeated by Republicans who should have known better, that McCain was just a RINO and that they would go fishing on election day or would write in Ron Paul.

The "objective effect" to use a term from the left of your counsel to write of America and retreat into survivalist mode would be to multiply the future victories of the totalitarians. So keep doing the hard work, visit High School kids and old folks and political meetings and keep spreading a good message about America. Keep swinging and get out there, get to work.

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Words and the man"

In order to create followers, the Transformational Leader has to be very careful in creating trust, and their personal integrity is a critical part of the package that they are selling. In effect, they are selling themselves as well as the vision.

Rezco. The one thing that can destroy a politician are the twin convictions among his audience that he is a Hypocrite and that he is playing them for Suckers. For some reason children are usually better then adults at detecting the fraud and adults are better then children at detecting a megalomaniac.Obama is surrounded by cynical frauds and may be one himself. The public could handle that he is a successful fraud if the machine wasn’t so cynical in manipulating and abusing people. The media have worked to infantilize the audience so they could be easily manipulated by mass imagery. The risk is that that may make them more likely to reject a false messiah who is revealed to be a fraud.

buddy larsen,
(who proposed putting Obama on a Mount Mushroar)
Let's start a movement to change the name from Mount Rushmore to Mount Limbaugh. Just the entertainment value of watching the Obamanots foam at the mouth will be worth a little trouble. Perhaps the Alinskyites will try to have it blown up like the Taliban did to Binyamin Buddhas

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Let a hundred choppers bloom"

After a Hundred Flowers comes the Rectification Campaign. Larry Summers having been purged once is a compliant tool in pushing the socializing agenda. Five minutes with Rahm Emmanuel suffice to tamp down most nervous Congress-critters.

Regarding the military arts the American way of war is not simply a matter of largesse, of teeth to tail ratios. It is a cultural matter built up over generations that empowers the Scout, or Ranger or Seal or Tanker, at the spear point by assuring him that whole apparatus and the nation behind it are there with him. In Leon Uris' Exodus (or was it in James Michener's The Source?) there is a wonderfully graphic description of how corruption could destroy a 1950s Egyptian Army before it could reach Israel.

Once I gave a lesson illustrating two small units, one Israeli and one Syrian, facing each other in the Golan. To begin with I was very clear that the individual Arab soldier could be assumed to be as brave and as intelligent as the Israeli facing him. What then explained the repeated differences in their results? It is not a matter of equipment per se. The arabs had the best equipment that at various times the British, French and Russians could provide. They had the money, the manpower and the materiel. What they did not have was a sense of common purpose. This can be surprising to the students since authoritarian states and communities are given to endless displays of unified marching, crisp uniforms and shiny medals along with blood curdling speeches proclaiming their unshakeable faith and unity and determination. The Israelis, even more then the Americans, appear given to endless argumentation and back biting, with a studied contempt for authority and a determination to look like they just fell out of bed.

The difference is that the Israeli soldier sitting in a foxhole in the Golan knows that the artillery crew two miles away and the communications crew 3 miles away and the logistics team 4 miles away and the medical team 5 miles away and the aircrew 10 miles away and everyone in the entire country have no greater concern then the safety and success of that soldier in his foxhole. The arab in the foxhole facing him could be at the tip of the mirror image in organizational and technical assets but at the critical moment he knows that he is alone. The stultifying effects of Soviet centralized command doctrine follows from that cultural condition.

There is another example that illustrates the military benefits of a democratic culture. Consider three European nations, the English, the Germans and the Spanish. If you took a random sample and asked the man in the street to rank them according to their reputations for "Militarism" I predict the results would be 1. Germany, 2. Spain, 3. England. Germans are famously aggressive and militaristic, after all they produced Kaiser Bill and the Nazis. German men were so determined to be seen as manly that they would refuse to carry umbrellas. Spanish culture has given rise to the concept of machismo. Spanish men are in literature endlessly willing to resort to violence to assuage their wounded honor. They fight bulls to prove how tough they are. As for the English, how tough and manly is their reputation? Weak tea, umbrellas, gardening and sexual confusion do not make for a very tough image.

How have these three nations actually performed in combat over the last 400 years? The English last lost a sizable war when some upstart colonials got help from the French over two hundred years ago. Arguably that could be considered a Civil War within the English community. Spain won a guerrilla campaign against France two hundred years ago and since losing their Empire have generally remained quiet except for when they got mauled by the Americans in 1898. Arguably that may have been intentional on their part as an "Honorable" way to cede remaining colonial burdens while showing an aristocratic contempt for the lives wasted. The Germans were part of territories that eventually came together on the winning side to defeat the French in 1815 and had one winning episode in 1871 against, you guessed it, the French. Since then they have caused enormous carnage but they haven't won a war.

The point is that people at first glance confuse "manliness" with combat effectiveness and war-fighting ability. Obviously I am not arguing against the utility of fostering traditional qualities of courage, discipline and aggression in building a winning military. What we must not due is confuse those qualities with the vices cultivated by Authoritarianism. Democracies win wars.

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Smoke gets in your eyes"

The logic behind refusing the condemned man a cigarette should not be because of concern for their health but rather over the possible effects of second hand smoke on the prison staff. That is the same logic behind banning smoking in restaurants and bars. It is claimed to be a measure to protect the staff. Those arguments do not work for me in regard to a private business where it should be up to the owner to balance the benefits of welcoming different customer groups, some will like a ban and others will not, and the costs or benefits of different HR policies in recruiting employees. Since the government owns the prison I have less trouble with a ban in that location. Similarly I would find it more justifiable for a legislature to pass a ban on smoking on the publicly owned sidewalks then in a private establishment.

When my father was in the Army the order given when they took a break on a march across Africa or Italy was "Smoke 'em if you got 'em." Dad told me that he quit smoking for a New Year's Resolution in 1946. Some decades later I thought that would be a nice thing to do myself as a mark of respect to him. The problem was that I did not smoke so I had to take up the habit so that I could get the moral benefit of quitting.

Ladies and Gentlemen I have found the key to shedding a bad habit. I am cheap (my real first name is from Scotland) and pretentious. Naturally I would not smoke cheap cigarettes like Lucky Strikes. As an aside though Luckies do have a history. The original label had a green circle made with a magnesium based dye. The label was changed to red as part of a big advertising campaign, "Lucky Strike Goes to War." The war effort probably benefitted by the addition of enough magnesium to make a tank.

So I found a tobacco shop under the Illinois Central tracks that sold Balkan Sobranies. They came in a metal tin with ten cigarettes each. The cost was $1 to $1.25 per tin. Since I was a poor college student I could not afford to keep up the habit.

Getting seasick is a noncareer enhancing condition in an Ensign.
My first ship was still in port and I was on the bridge when a Mustang came over to me puffing his cigar.
What's the matter son? You're looking kinda green.

I barely made it to the bucket back in the Combat Information Center (CIC).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,

The interview process for this administration appears to be handing a set of numbers to the applicant such as those given above and selecting the candidate who grins and goes "Woo Hoo."

In the old Soviet Army the standing policy for an officer when in doubt was to generate "activity." Note that this is not the same as achieving results. These policies were designed by people who dream of going on casino cruises where they can prove the infallibility of a secret system called always double down.

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Going to the dogs"

My mother said that she had a cousin who was a gentle scholarly man with a good university degree who later became an Accountant. So the Army naturally made him a mule driver and sent him to the Solomons. Apparently the Army Regulations specified how much weight you could load on a mule, and it was less then the weight carried by the average infantryman.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Who saved GI Joe?"

People hear inner voices. We communicate with different intelligences than just other humans by formal speech and logic. It flatters me to think that I know what my four footed friend is thinking and he undoubtedly knows what I am thinking before I do myself. Old couples really do complete each others sentences. Could spirits and gods once walked the earth with us? Have they withdrawn under the light of new forces but are still out there in some refuge? Personally I doubt it but functional human beings not only can believe but more to the point may need to believe to believe in more then what is mechanically verifiable. I have a friend who is a Homeopath. She believes that her pills and solutions have an effect. Millions agree with her and the claim that there is an aura that instruments fail to measure.

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Procrustean bed"

Vulgar misreading of scientific progress results in the presumption that because something can be improved it will be. This removes the all important function of negative feedback and correction.

In Biology this leads to the "Hopeful Monster" hypothesis. That is what happens when the student speculates how neat it would be if a horse grew wings or baboons were pink and the instructor dashes their hopes by pointing out that such a creature would be quickly eliminated from the gene pool.

In social situations this leads to wild enthusiasms such as financial or political bubbles. Ten years after the bubble pops it is viewed with distaste and anyone still protesting nostalgia for it is viewed with derision. There are people who's intellectual closets are filled with Nehru shirts. They supported Hitler in '36 and '02 (Buchanan) or Castro in '58 and '08 (NYT). Instead of being tested and discarded quack nostrums merely retreat until their consequences fade from memory. If the lessons of experience are not transmitted by an effective educational system then we get a cycle of concepts that should have been discredited and keep coming back. The frequency with which this happens, that is how rapidly a discredited idea returns, can be a measure of the health of the system.

The relentless destruction of our education system has resulted in a situation where truly bad ideas are no longer cleansed from the public body by the disinfecting light of experience. They fester and return to attack again. The Obama administration is the return of the second tier players from the Carter administration. We can only hope that after the disaster is over the opportunity will arise to thoroughly reform the educational and foundation systems to prevent a repetition of this condition. Right now the frequency of quack nostrums returning is very high. This indicates that the body politic is suffering from a feverish condition. If is survives and the fever breaks then reality may be rediscovered. Or we may all grow wings.

Human societies can endure for a long time while trapped by disabling fantasies but at a terrible cost. That is what happened in places where Islam dominates.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Let's make a deal"

What galls the British Left is that they know better. They wallow in their shame.
They can never forgive those who came before for demonstrating that they can do better.

There are bears in the woods. That is known to other bears and to the birds and the bees and the forest ranger. It is not known to the granola munching yuppie but it does not change the fact that there are bears. Put it another way, did anyone you know vote for Richard Nixon? Can Pauline Kael and her twenty best friends decide for the rest of us that there are no bears and that Hitchens only tripped while intoxicated? Once they get to make things up, votes found for Franken or Michelle Obama is beautiful or Bush lied, then every supposed fact is an arbitrary construct. We are in the deconstructionist wilderness ruled by an ignorant and arbitrary aristocracy. This is Hell.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Left brain, right brain"

Life is change. The NY Sun failed, although the site lives as an occasional post and for the Out&About blog. These days I rarely go to Little Green Footballs except to check link and news feeds, I visit Drudge a small fraction of when I did a few years ago. Will PJM survive? We should anticipate what the left could do to destroy alternate voices and prepare to meet the attacks. I still think our biggest threats are Moby type extremists, either real or false agent provacateurs designed to discredit us.

Media companies, NBC CBS, ABC, Fox, are essentially aggregators of independent observers and sub-contractors. Their state sponsored rivals, PBS, BBC, Al-Jazeera are not far behind. This is a return to an 18th century model of information distribution. The border between the blogosphere and traditional reportage will continue to blur. Will accurate and honest reporting by correspondents like Yon and Totten prove economically sustainable? Foundations and NGOs sponsor much of the research or reportage that produces content and I expect that trend to continue. Currently most of those entities are left of center. The old practice of the author having a Patron that the work was dedicated to may need reviving. BTW is everyone aware that Al-Jazeera has found an American outlet? It is PBS, surprise!, as al-J provides much of the content for Martin Savitch’s show, “World Focus.”

Left brain? Right brain? I prefer Pinky and The Brain.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"You better get used to it"

Our strategy after 9-11 rested on two legs.
1) Was the military response. Refuse to play the interactive game of plausible deniability and cut the gordian knot by attacking any regime that supported the terror network.
2) Was the the organizational response. Restructure Homeland Security and tear down the walls that prevented a timely response to threats. Rebuild and refocus our intelligence capabilities.

Obama has crippled our ability to prevent future attacks by undercutting both legs.
1) He has slashed our military and committed us to the rule not of Law but of Lawyers in what is a military conflict.
2) The basis of successful military and security operations is Intelligence. The threats of prosecution for engaging the enemy, the threats of prosecution for interrogating the enemy, the release of captured enemies, all will have the same results. Prisoners will not be taken. Intelligence will not be collected. Future attacks will not be prevented. Our people will die.

If the Israelis or the Israelis and the Saudis destroy the Iranian regime then Iraq wins and the Iraqi Shia become more important as a force in the arab world. If Sistani succeeds in overthrowing the Iranian regime and leads a reform of Shia Islam then Iraq wins under Shia leadership and becomes more important in the arab world. If the Iranian regime wins and destroys Israel as America crawls into a hole then Iraq wins by submitting to a client status. Maliki accommodating the Iranians makes sense. My expectation is that the Iraqis, the Iranians and the Turks will start ratcheting up pressure on everyones second favorite punching bag (after the Jews), the Kurds.

buddy larsen #106,
(who predicted that GE/NBC would shill for the administration's Public-Private Investment Program-PPIP)
There are semiofficial providers of the party line where you can see what is happening or what is said but not happening. For example it may be a good idea to keep an eye on Charlie Rose. On June 26th he had Jeff Imholt of GE on for the hour. It reminded me of the interviews he had with auto executives over the years. It was my belief that last year Dick Fuld had gone on the show to say “All is well” but I must be wrong about that.

(who said that inflation would not start until banks began lending money again)
If the market can see that 3 trillion dollars are sitting in the Fed waiting to be tossed into the economy in 12-16 months then there will be a push to purchase assets as a hedge against anticipated inflation. That should start the up spiral going. Economics is not engineering. It is not a measure of some real worth that counts but only an aggregate of expectations. Economics is mass statistical psychology. At this point the best thing the Fed could do is probably burn a trillion dollars in public, maybe in a big pile with Congress in the middle.

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"You first. No? Ok, me first."

Obama may well be on the other side but Gordon Brown is a different and possibly more troubling case. Obama is either actively working to empower islamists and totalitarians because he identifies with them or he really is a post judeo-christian civilization one worlder who is so badly educated and narcissistic that he simply does not have any conception of what the consequences of his actions will be. Obama is an outsider and at best treats the nation he is responsible for with the detached interest that a spoiled child would treat a neglected pet.

Brown comes from within a more established community of thought. Perhaps our friends from across the pond can give us more information regarding his motives. There is a long standing pacifist strain within the Church of Scotland, it has been opposed to nuclear weapons for decades. The Reformation gave rise to the Whig, then the Liberal and ultimately the Labour Party in England and in Scotland the Liberals dominated in the earlier periods and Labour more recently until the rise of the Scottish Nationalists. With the decline of the Unionist-Conservatives in Scotland there is essentially no right of center perspective in the political market. Therefor it is possible for a man like Brown to propose policies that may seem irrational to an outsider or at best appear to be evidence of a Free Rider effect that marks most of Nato without his being intentionally antagonistic to the community he represents.

The religious and political forces that shaped Brown's politics are also present in America. The left wing of the Democratic Party draws from a pacifist evangelical tradition. My contention here is that Brown is a more authentic if misguided representative of that tradition in the UK and that Obama is part of a movement that cynically manipulates that tradition to gain power and weaken its host community.

Therefor Brown troubles me because he is less of an outsider. For comparison consider a conversation I had the other day. My contention is that the worst thing that ever happened to New York City was not the attack on 9-11 but rather was the destruction of Pennsylvania Station in the 1960s. The attacks of 9-11 were carried out by foreign barbarians. The destruction of Penn Station we did to ourselves.

It is my belief that we should deal with Obama by resolutely rejecting him and denying any connection between him and our civilization. Large billboards should be erected with his image and the message;
"For Shame, How Could You?"

(who emphasized the native roots of American leftism)
We differ in emphasis and proportions not in the basic recipe.
For me the influence of Soros and the Chinese combine with Obama's overseas connections, both temporal and emotional (the book is titled "Dreams of My Father") to convince me that he has no emotional attachment to America. To him we are merely a laboratory or a stage that his ego plays on. As I say in my third paragraph above the native soil is there in America to grow this crop. In my mind Brown is less of an alien to his home then Obama is. Both may prove to be destructive and the distinction may be without a difference.