Tuesday, June 30, 2009
At Fletc they have on one wall a famous set of booking photographs that were taken by the NYPD. They show the deterioration of drug users over time. There are a few sets of them also in binders but the most striking is of a beautiful girl who over about three years turns into a horrible old woman. You can literally see her wither month by month. We were told that they were also displayed where those arrested are processed at The Tombs and that when she was brought in she would point proudly at them and say "That's me."
Horrified I asked how could she? The Instructor of the drugs class, who is also a Law Enforcement Officer with about 30 years experience and a Minister, shook his head and said "She doesn't see, no one sees. When they look in the mirror they only see the beautiful girl in the first photograph."
It may be a gift that enables us to endure pain or compete against youth that lays us vulnerable to the temptations of life but in a real sense at some point we stop seeing ourselves change. In the addict the change is just more dramatic.
This has little to do with Fred who was a good man and a shrewd observer. He will be missed.
These cultists are practicing the methods of Leninist party control within the academic community. Has Daniel Hannan heard about this? Taxpayer money is expended on these conferences and the schools and foundations that employ these people.
But the Ursus is noble and authentic and deserves respect. We can reach it if we learn to listen and it will unclench its fist. Go on give it a hug and look up at it with real big eyes. Go on, you first.
Many years ago a tribe of happy Physicists received a Messenger from their King. He was a mighty lord who went by the unpronounceable name of NSF, which proved how mighty he was. The message proved how kindly their King was and said "Investigate the Unified Field Theory." Even better attached to the message was a nice thing called a Grant. So all the happy physicists retired to the Field of Brookhaven where they fed the Grant to their fetish object an enormous beast that was known as the Accelerator. Soon the mighty creature began to hum and many lights dig blink and there was a clattering of teletypes, for the thing was ancient and did still punch cards. A great sheaf of paper, green it was, came forth bearing numbers. Now these were various and strange and some interpreted them one way and some another and a few would hold them and the punch cards up to the light and see pretty patterns. But soon the babbling of Interns did cease as they perceived the great stillness emanating from where their Lords did assemble. Fellows were they and Fool Profusers and they wielded Tenure. As soon as the stillness had spread it was followed by a murmur that rose to a babble and then almost to a roar. The elderly among the Fellows gestured wildly with their pipes and the Interns stared about amazed and with wild surmise. For the chamber echoed with the cry,"We got it. It all fits. We have proven It.!"
The most senior of the Fellows nodded and heard his colleagues but learned and wise in the ways of things that deliver and consume the Grant and having passed the ordeals of peer review he spoke. "We must do it again and yet again. Three sets the Journal shall demand before we may publish."
And at that moment all went dark.
Three days later they found and replaced the fuse that had failed but they could never duplicate the experiment.
It took God 72 hours to rebuild the Universe and rewrite his laws to get around them.
John de Beer,
I want the Trademark on that. It is a natural for a line of Ready to Wear and Accessories.
We’re all going to get rich!
Compare the original NY State Constitution with the current bloated monstrosity. It goes with the farce that is the NY State Legislature.
No clear expression of words is proof against deliberate assault by subterfuge, violence and brazenness. The Honduran Constitution stated clearly that the President is held to one term and gave penalties for attempting to over ride that bar. Chavez and Obama are angry that the Honduran courts and army read the document they took an oath to uphold.
Perhaps we can have an amendment that makes them write all laws using words of only one syllable all of which must be found in the Webster's Third edition dictionary. Otherwise some Clintonite word parser will smile at a 2000 word limit and come up with a law written using german expressions of 12 syllables each.
All members should be on oath that they have read and understand the matter they are voting on, no proxy or paired votes should be allowed. Violation of this should lay the member open to a civil charge of Fraud by any citizen, not withstanding other provisions of the Constitution granting members immunity and making each house sole judge of its conduct.
While we are going over the wish list of Constitutional reforms, we have done this before, the consensus top item on our list is usually repeal of the 17th Amendment. Like with the strategic impact of removing Saddam it could be the one targeted blow that changes everything.
Who has replaced the Congress and the citizenry? Soros and the Chinese.
America’s great good fortune is that no hostile superpower stands ready to benefit from its paralysis and confusion.
OK, maybe they only count as Powers now and not Super Powers but that is semantics.
Obama is like wee Jimmy Carter, head down in the weeds while the adults move pieces on the board above him. (Apologies for the metaphor mangling)
Also Spengler is unfair to Bernard Law Montgomery. He was a difficult personality and in the end the plan failed but by every criterion his intentions were more honorable and his procedures were more professional then are those of the posturing academics and corruptocrats of this administration.
Spengler is spot on about the dynamic instability of Islam. They must conquer or die.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.
- Hassan Nassrallah
The call of the dark, the desire of means without ends, is not new. It is in fact a very ancient temptation.
There must be some reason why human beings are susceptible to this appeal. There must be some survival advantage that is gained under some circumstances in having members of the tribe enter a herding mode in which critical faculties are suspended and submission to process and authority becomes of overriding concern. The refinement of modern totalitarians is that they tie this stultifying cult of death to enabling and mobilizing rationalizations that are themselves rooted in the opposite instincts. The totalitarians are able to manipulate the crowd including the intellectuals by casting their appeals not as peans to power and stasis but instead as the opposite, as an expression of a desire to perfect and protect and rationalize.
The emotional device needed could draw on great energies to support those who claimed infinite power. It served the Pharaohs and Japanese Emperors (in China they were not gods but the Mandate of Heaven served a similar purpose), where the god was present but subject to success or failure, and was distilled in Islam. When the totalitarian is moved off stage, beyond the reach of normative evaluation, and the doctrine of Free Will is traduced then there is no control over the evil to which people can be lead. Once the regime of totalitarian control is established the individual is extinguished.
In the modern age technical tools have been added to improve the ability of the totalitarians to both coopt the messages of progress and human worth to build their machine for delivering the opposite and have vastly increased the destructive reach of the totalitarians once they are established. Harnessing intellectuals and labor both schooled for a thousand years in concepts of reason and morality and dignity in building the edifice of power was the task of establishing Sovietism. The second task was in giving the totalitarian structure the tools to absorb all competition. The Soviets failed because the system once established failed to deliver the tools that a system that respects individuality and creativity can deliver. Lenin said that communism was "the Soviet power plus electrification." Totalitarians can't deliver the electricity, as America is about to discover if the Senate gives in to all of the fantasies of the energy bill and other socialist schemes.
When considering the rise and failure of totalitarian movements the question arises of the apparent success of Islam. That is the streetlights and plumbing in Andalusia argument. There are three possible mitigating factors to counter this argument for Islamic benevolence.
1) The portrayal of given locations as tolerant over time is overstated by
Islamic apologists. Jews were dhimmis.
2) The more primitive and intolerant conditions in Christian Europe
subsidized Islamic lands by making them a relatively safer place for
Jews or dissident Christians to live.
3) Given the far slower level of technical innovation 700 to 1400 years ago
Islamic lands could benefit for an extended period off of the
intellectual capital of the people they subjugated.
The benefits of this form of parasitism no longer accrue to them in today's rapidly evolving world. This partly explains the appeal of calls to simplify or primitivize among many in the Left. Once the alternative is again rolled back to wind power the soviet power plus electrification (coal powered no doubt) will again look viable.
(who speculated that some on the Left may want to make a martyr out of Obama)
It gets worse. Apparently not only had no human being in or out of Congress read the 1200 page Cap and Trade bill before it was voted on, the delightful Mary Katherine Ham tried, but it now appears that it wasn't actually completely written when it was voted on. They literally voted on a series of place holders with blanks to be filled in later. This is worse then offloading legislative authority to a regulatory agency and it is seriously being argued that this is OK. If the bill gets through the Senate and it is signed, a given if it passes, then the only firewall remaining is the Judiciary. Why don't I have a good feeling about that? We are now in the land of just make it up as they go along and arbitrary power.
The House votes and a Clerk delivers a document to the Senate. What proof is there that what is delivered is what was voted on? None since no one had read it.
However I find your speculations about violence reprehensible, they drag down the conversation.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
It is a third of a century since Howard Hughes died.
Old stories keep coming back.
oMan and gokart-mozart,
(who decried chaos in big business and the CDC respectively)
Part of what you are seeing is the effective nationalization of the corporate world. Liberals used to hyperventilate about the Corporate Culture and how it was invading government, in the Air Force, or education, in the "factory school." The truth is that the flow has gone in the other direction. EEO regulations have been designed to make every firm that employs more than a handful of people mimic federal HR policies with detailed job descriptions and explicit evaluation and promotion criteria that eliminate all subjective standards. The fact that those subjective factors as evaluated by an experienced authority are what determines the success or failure of an enterprise is irrelevant to the bureaucrat.
In the Federal service it is a given that GS-15s and above work late and on weekends because that is when all the GS-5s-9s are gone and you can actually walk down the hall and talk to Joe.
About a dozen years ago I ran a small work center at my university. One of the students that I employed was an affirmative action pre-med (he said he was) whose ambition in life was to become an Epidemiologist at CDC. Two questions come to mind. Did he know BHO? Is he the kid who now can't answer your question?
P. David Hornik does a nice summary of the facts regarding the legal status of the disputed territories and Israel's settlements. For over 60 years the enemies of a jewish state have relied on rejection as a strategy. The response must be that actions have consequences. Refusal to make peace now must mean that you get less later. The Tamil Tigers rejected peace offers, they do not get to roll the clock back and demand a "do over." The enemies of Israel do not deserve a "do over."
The Dry Bones cartoon blog summed this up a week ago better than words can.
Obama's 3AM Phone Call
The refusal of many American Jews to recognize Obama for what he is reminds me of a term used by the Jesuits, "Invincible Ignorance."
Friday, June 26, 2009
Maybe we can do a deal. Everybody gets to question the integrity of any election in Iran where Basiji thugs are involved and the results are announced two hours after the polls close and government agents are engaged in literally subterranean efforts to destroy civilization. Everybody also gets to question the results of any election in America where Acorn thugs are involved and the results are announced by the media months in advance and government agents are engaged in massive and persistent efforts to debauch the capital markets before the election. So here is the deal, they get rid of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs and we get rid of Obama and the Democrats. Now isn't that fair?
(who speculated on Obama's dismissal of the demand that he apologize)
Obama and Ahmadinejad hate each other because they are so similar. O gets to dress better and looks normal. A gets to be more publicly honest and rant about mass murder and eschatological fantasies. Inside I suspect that there is little difference between them.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
To drag this back to the relentlessly practical, how does Michael Jackson's death affect Obama? At first blush it might seem good for the White House, distracting the public from the implosion of his Iran policy and providing cover under which they will try to sneak past the Cap & Trade bill. In my view however it will hurt Obama and the Democrats on balance. First it washes away the Governor Sanford story which was a club that otherwise would have been good for a week's worth of Republican bashing. Second Obama suffers by comparison with Jackson. Jackson might have risen to fame as a celebrity black but he had one thing that Obama lacks, genuine talent. This will help blow the froth off of Obama's celebrity and since he is definitively one of those second tier characters who is mostly famous for being famous people will begin to look at him and wonder what all the fuss was about. He is just another a black man the media is in love with and unlike Jackson's corpus the works of Obama will get limited popular radio play in the future.
Besides, I thought we wanted Razuli dead.
(who linked to the KIngston Trio playing "The Patriot Game."
Small world connections. When I was an Ensign in San Diego I lived in Mission Valley and the only place I could walk to was a bar called "The Patriot Game" that had the portraits of the Easter Martyrs on the wall and hosted the bands that played in Boston, New York, Chicago and if I understood no where else before coming to this small place out West. The food was good and the Guinness was excellent and I got a bad feeling as a junior officer feeling the place was funneling money to the IRA.
During college I learned to shoot pool in a similar place in Back of the Yards. It occurred to me that if everyone whose descendants claims they were in the Dublin Post Office on Easter morning was really there then the British had to call out the army. There must have been thousands of people trying to jam themselves in. Then again they might have been like the huge numbers of Frenchmen who claimed after the war to have been in the Resistance or the millions of Germans who were keeping a Jew in the basement.,
Professional Journalism may turn out to be a transitory phenomenon, like the video rental store.
Before the late 19th century most reporting was done by actual participants. Explorers, sailors and soldiers sent back reports of what they had seen. Commercial travelers and diplomats recorder their memoirs or sent messages home that might be published. The role of the Publisher in print, broadcast or online is now that of an aggregator of independent contractors. This is a return to tradition.
Years ago I watched a conference in the University of Chicago's Harper Library on the Future of Broadcast Journalism where I wanted to ask if this was the going to happen. I remember that the professional journalists even then were devoted to the twin themes of institutionalism and credentialing. No one wanted to hear my question.
The sheer hubris of pathetic little people like the Iranian Mullahs who think that the Lord of all creation will change the rules because of their petty obeisance to a corpse in a well or Al Gore and company reducing the music of physics to a scheme to fund a confidence game or welfare fraud slush funds pales when confronted with the power of reality. One of the most haunting images in LOTR was of the great inescapable wave climbing over Númenor. We are but insignificant specks in the greater balance of the Universe but there is a spark of something greater in us.
The earth could crack and swallow Qom at any time.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Nothing is real and nothing can be trusted.
Obama’s testimony in a court should be rejected out of hand if he claimed he witnessed murder in broad daylight. Country folk have a saying about a man. They say “So and so has a Word” It is a possession, a quality, you have it or you don’t. Obama does not have a Word. In the end that is all a man really can have. So he is nothing.
(who speculated on a letter to Hezbollah before Lebanon's election)
Good point but I would think that they might be smart enough to deal with Hezbollah through emissaries. Reagan got burned by delivering a message and a cake to Iran back in Iran-Contra time. The clowns around Obama are to arrogant to learn from history.
What ever you think
Don't say it in Ink
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
(who defended the Honor of France by questioning America's motives)
Badly argued. All the whining and petulance and lashing out to say You're Another or Bush-Cheney-Rich means nothing. It is what we call "flinging poo" to distract when there is no argument. Saddam bought the French government, among others. Deal with it. The corruption runs deep and Sarkozy is trying to peel it back a little. He will be fought at every step and traps will always be prepared for him to step in. He is not from Mars so he had to be around as shady deals were made. Hopefully he sees that it is in his interest and France's to try to make things better. If you want to understand the strange creatures called the Anglo-saxons then understand that in addition to all the wheels within wheels and commercial links the arguments about Democracy and Sovereignty and Law and Liberty and Civilization and humanity and everything else that men of all political parties, Bush and Reagan and Kennedy and FDR, and Churchill and Gladstone and Disraeli and Burke and many more talked about are very real to us. When all is said and done then we are very capable of planning and executing a policy like the Invasion of Iraq in the expectation that it will change the dynamics in the future. Without knowing the results in advance, without relying only on pure Cartesian Logic, we can have faith that if the present is unacceptable then the future can be made better. The games model here could be pool, that is pocket pool and not billiards. Bush executed a good break and without certainty as to the results in advance he showed sufficient skill that some of the balls are starting to drop into the right pockets.
(who noted that NASA ignored email at work)
You are on to something. While efficiency is an overriding concern in business, except where government is concerned, in social relations the appreciation of the medium as well as the message may be more pronounced. However in the corporate world an executive may deliberately relegate electronic communications to the staff and prefer proper documentation. Tradition and inefficiency indicate formality which represents power. That is why the boss sits at a big desk with nothing on it but a button to call in the secretary.
In private life getting someone's attention is the content so while there is a role for texting and tweets there could also be a return to old fashioned pen and ink. I would expect that as times get harder there will be a tendency to discriminate in favor of luxury goods at retail and a renewed effort to display a consciously Retro-old fashioned lifestyle among the upper middle class. Printed calling cards may come back along with hand written notes. Young women may start again to be picked up for a date, as opposed to going out to meet an acquaintance for a hook up.
Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp were Fine philosophers. Well Larry was a Fine but Moe, Curly and Shemp were Howard philosophers, which beats Harvard any day. Curly Joe was middling but Joe Besser just plain scared me.
The baby boomer left are counting on China to help hold down their health care costs. Need a kidney on short notice? Special orders are no problem. In 20 years the trade may well flow in the other direction. The narcissists of the American left simply refuse to see reality. Why do they still think the world will serve their interests once they have have turned over power to the thugs? These idiots will deliver their own grandchildren to be the body parts farm for China.
The long and the short of it is that these Basiji guys really do not like women. The alliance that the Left has built among women, homosexuals and moslems is one of the most unnatural beasts on earth.
What conservatives need is a face that does not present itself as sanctimonious, because the media have preprogrammed the people to read that as hypocritical. Most people now see life as a television show and everyone now expects a scandal to be revealed before the last commercial break. What works better is a happy honest presentation that straight forwardly says "Yes we like women." That is why conservative actors and musicians are feared by the Left far more than politicians. The Rock Star is inside the Left's OODA loop.
A simple lesson. Behold the Islamic world, subtract transfer payments from energy extraction.
Do you want your country to end up like that? Now that you understand the impact of stultifying thought control on wealth creation perhaps we can find a better model to emulate.
Think of the children
Monday, June 22, 2009
Everything old is new again. Reread Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Hame Again, especially the Credo at the end. We have dealt with fascists before, worse ones in fact, and faced them down. The Left has always had a soft spot for strong men, whether a Mussolini or a Castro. The interesting question to me is why did a small selection of dictators never make the grade and achieve popularity? Benito Mussolini before 1934 was popular in America. There are public monuments to fascist Italy in Chicago and New York. Hitler however was never seen as acceptable in America. Since WW-II the allegiances of the American left have become increasingly alienated from the nation it purports to lead or remodel. It has also become steadily more elitist in both its domestic organization and its external affinities.
Every successful revolution starts when the troops will not fire on their own people. That was true in France in 1789 and in Russia in 1917. Trotsky has a moving passage describing how the people crawled under the bellies of the Cossack's horses to get to the demonstration at one point and the soldiers did not fire. At that moment the Old Regime was finished. Our host has noted this happened also in the Philippines. In China in 1989 the people of Beijing co-opted the local military units and the CCP brought in the Mongols and other provincials to clean our Tien an Men Square. The Iranians are now students and possibly clients of China. They have brought in the out of town bully boys from the sticks. Will this work over time or will the military units break and defend the people? Partly this is complicated by the fissures within the regime. It is true that all the leading figures, Mousavi, Rafsanjani, Khameni and Ahmadinejehad are tied to the legacy of Khomeneism. That does not mean that we should not assist as possible in the development of a revolutionary space. The concrete has to crack before a flower can grow. Charles II's entrance into London was made past the serried ranks of General Monck's troops from Parliament's New Model Army.
The point about using outside forces to control the cities does not imply that the majority of the rural population supports the regime. What is important is to ensure the reliability of the force used to suppress the people. To do that they must be drawn from another community. They must be Others. This Otherness can be achieved through various means. For a small elite a rigorous program of indoctrination can sever the bonds between a cadre and the community they become a parasite on. In Eastern Europe they had the institution of the Barracks Police. The defining characteristic of which was that they were recruited from social rejects. The Chinese move military units around and replaced the local forces when they proved unreliable in 1989. In ancient Athens the town was patrolled by Scythian archers.
Thank you for this information. I have been following the rapidly unfolding events in Iran using the links at Pajamas Media from Richard Fernandez's Belmont Club. It appears from your last thread that the fringe Left (can we call them the fringe when they are in the White House?) are seeking to import their Code Pink San Francisco values and tactics into New York City.
Friday, June 19, 2009
The Left believes that saying something until the masses believe it is Reality. To them if CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS say it then it is true. They believe that we must believe that Hillary Clinton is the smartest woman in the world's or that Michelle Obama is beautiful and stylish or that Barack Obama can create wealth with words because they say so. Whether they actually believe any of these things themselves is beside the point. Unfortunately for them there are more audiences and voices then they can control. The students in Iran are like the small boy in the fable. and the boy is yelling that the Emperor has no clothes.
(who asked for a definition)
"Aggressive Diplomacy" refers to conditions demanding extraordinary efforts outside of standard diplomatic practice. Therefor rather than relying on normal diplomatic staff to communicate the interests and concerns of the US government special representatives and dedicated staff are dispatched. The willingness to undertake exceptional sacrifices, such as booking a contingent of transcontinental First Class seats on short notice, in itself demonstrates the importance that we attach to the issue of concern. These special emissaries will go even further to establish their aggressive posture. Frequently they will forego wearing neckties altogether and wear a simple DoS polo style (available online or by order in a range of colors) short sleeved shirt under their jacket.
"but from a strong, internally coherent Iranian nation that explodes outward from a natural geographic platform to shatter the region around it.” - Wretchard quoting Totten quoting Kaplan.
aka Tinkers to Evers to Chance
Is the geopolitical setting of Iran as unique as indicated? If so does that explain their impact?
The Russians and Germans have historically followed the pattern of exploding out onto their neighbors. The difference from Iran is that in the European cases it is the lack of secure natural borders that has been used to explain their tendency to expand. So which model is correct, strong boundaries breed instability or weak ones?
China has tended to dominate the hinterlands by expelling minority nomadic communities who wrecked havoc as they traveled outwards. The Huns were only the most prominent of a series of such migrations who could be viewed as slow moving primitive weapons of mass destruction. The Chinese did not care where the barbarian hordes landed as long as they headed outbound.
My expectation is that it will be seen that the Iranians have been punching way above their weight while traveling a self destructive road that denies them the resources that match their pretensions. They can not use their resources and numbers to expand on the Russo-Germanic model (a past model that those two no longer have the demographics for) and they cannot dominate their neighbors or minorities so thoroughly as to use them as weapons to spread destabilization in the Chinese way. The expectation that nuclear weapons will prove a magic bullet to ensure their authority is also flawed.
The Iranians are facing a world where larger and wealthier neighbors have access to equal or superior technology and the surrounding ethnic or imperial communities, Chinese, Indian, Turkish and Arab, will manuever to carve up the resources of the Iranian periphery.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
When people are fighting totalitarians it does not help to point out that the only available locus for them to rally around is imperfect. It can be seriously flawed even but what we need to consider is that the very act of rebellion build a space for liberty to grow. Let us support Mousavi and not criticize him while the Iranian people use him as a tool to rally against Ahmadinejehad. Once the currently dominating forces of repression are weakened we can then focus on the next problem. Keep your eyes on the prize. As long as we do not allow ourselves to fall into the error of supporting someone even worse then we should be OK in championing the opposition to the governing tyrant. The perfect should not be the enemy of the sufficient and we should ensure that we do not enable the merely sufficient or even undesirable to fall to the benefit of the truly dangerous and evil.. When we (that is Carter) withdrew support from the imperfect Shah the did not consider that Khomeini would be far worse. When people say that we should accept the current illegitimate leaders in Iran because the only alternative on the stage is also linked to hateful or antagonistic doctrines they are similarly short sighted.
Monday, June 15, 2009
The Cambridge ring were initiated into the world of secrecy and lies and contempt for average people because they started as a homosexual, or in Philby's case pan-sexual, cabal. In the intervening 75 years discrimination against homosexuals has been officially repudiated with the NY Times of Pinch Sulzberger and Frank Rich leading the charge. One argument for changing official standards is that making people less susceptible to blackmail might actually improve security.
Once I met Admiral Bobby Ray Inman who confirmed to me that when he was in charge of the National Security Agency and it was reported to him that a young man had engaged in practices that could cost him his security clearance the Admiral had the person brought to his office. The Admiral, in front of witnesses, handed the young man the telephone and said "Call your Mother and tell her what you are." After the painful phone call ended the Admiral said to the employee, "Good, now you can't be blackmailed. Get back to work."
However the emotional and cultural standards of Olympian disdain for the common herd that marked aristocratic homosexuals, an expected attribute of any closed sub-culture, has now spread into the larger culture of the educated and professional classes. This sense of superiority is needed for membership in the vanguard groups that socialist enterprises rely on. That is what permits them to experiment on the rest of us like we were laboratory mice. People like The Clintons or the metrosexual poseurs who man the Democratic Party do not get drawn into politics to cover for their sexual peccadilloes, except possibly in Hillary's case. They take sexual license as a perk that comes from their membership in an elite devoted to power.
Myers is an amoral devotee of the machine. His fantasy was to be the quiet friendly little man behind the curtain controlling the belching machine of the Great and Powerful Oz.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
My hope for Iran is that after the sturm and drang of the revolution will come a Thermidor and then a swing to normalcy. The risk is that they might swing to far, like France did between revolution and counter-revolution. A better option to hope for is that the Iranians are blessed and get to follow the English model. Remember that the English in the 16th to 17th centuries had a religious experience at least as dramatic as that which has consumed the Iranians for the last thirty years. The result was the Restoration which manifested itself in a thoroughgoing rejection of all enthusiasms, especially religious, that did them well for two hundred years. That this has now left the moribund Church of England vulnerable before Islam's religious passions is an unfortunate byproduct. Perhaps within a few years the world will be astonished at an Iranian secular flowering.
An illegitimate regime elected on a basis of theatrics, subterfuge, corruption and fraud in Iran and dedicated to Messianic fantasies that promote poverty and violence will now ratchet up its challenges to the thousand year long developed, at the cost of great blood and treasure, Western system of individual liberty and dignity and scientific rationality. It does this at the same time that the bulwark of Western civilization is itself crumbling having fallen under the sway of a regime elected on a basis of theatrics, subterfuge, corruption and fraud in America and dedicated to Messianic fantasies that promote poverty and violence.
Marcos was less dangerous because he was less pretentious. He was a straight forward old fashioned thief.
Friday, June 12, 2009
It is time to tell my patient friends in The Club more about my furry friends fate. One month ago he had been passing a dark liquid as his bowel movement and had stopped eating for a few days, he was unable to get up and I was lifting him a few times a day to wipe him off, his weight had gone down from about 75 lbs to about 54 lbs, the vets said they thought he had internal bleeding and insisted on my bring him in. His right rear foot was swollen to twice its size and his left rear knee had a nasty open pressure sore. He growled when I touched him and had not had a bowel movement in 27 hours. However I had taken a hand truck and laid it flat and got the building porter to cut a piece of plywood to form a platform that I put a pad on so I could take him outside where he could smell fresh air and hope to relieve himself. That did get him to accept some chicken breast that I fed him by hand. I ordered the beast not to give up. He was carried into the vet on a stretcher and the doctor said the dog was suffering and should be put down. He then moved to examine the dog's feet, without warning me first. For the first time in his life the animal bit someone. Just before that he delivered an enormous and spotless with no blood dump on the examining table. I said No to the Veterinary and took him the next day to the Neurologist who prescribed a steroid, a painkiller, antacid and Tylan powder but expressed doubt.
It is with considerable pleasure that I can relay to my friends in the club that my four footed friend has had a miraculous recovery. He is now almost running and waving his favorite squeaky toy in the air and flirting with passing girls. His weight has rebounded to 63 lbs. There is to be sure still some balance problem when he lifts a leg next to a tree. He is effectively cured and might be with us for three or four more years.
I for one never doubt the efficacy of prayer.
The best line on a job I see so far is selling fancy bed sheets at a famous but to be undisclosed location for one third the in itself ludicrous income I was drawing a year and change ago. That is to say it will probably be for less than Unemployment but I can't turn it down. Holders of GEDs in my small home town are pulling in more and my probable boss will be about half my age. My intentions are to be the soul of enthusiasm.
Thank you. Since I declined to spend $5,000 in the interest of science we may never know but the best guess is a bad lumbar disc.
They are good souls. It would I suppose be inappropriate to remember after your story what Groucho as Rufus T Firefly said to Margaret Dumont as Mrs Teasdale after she told him that her husband had died in her arms?
To drag things back to the level of theory for The Club I have been considering where the first Veterinary went wrong. I know that he is a good man and a good doctor. Veterinarians are charged primarily with easing suffering. In this they differ from physicians who treat human beings for whom the relief of suffering is a secondary concern. The ending of a life is therefor an inextricable part of the Veterinarians craft and many of us would no doubt find it harder to put down a dog than a man. The dog being innocent and the man deserving and all else being equal. The doctor concerned said to me that he felt that because the animal was bright alert and responsive, to use their jargon B.A.R., his inability to stand and play or do other normal functions increased his need to be destroyed. So why did I persist and deny the impulse that was put to me as the more humane path?
The Veterinarian erred in two ways I felt. First he arrogated until himself a standard that denied the broader range of experience that thousands of animals do live with successfully every day. You see animals with mobility problems and wheeled carts that live joyful lives for several years. While this is a difficult and complicated process it should not be dismissed a priori. The costs and procedures need to be properly evaluated in each case. In some cases it will prove to be at best a dragging out of the end that only does inflict suffering, that may be true for many but not all larger breeds.
Second and more importantly here the Veterinarian failed to take into account new information. He reached his initial expectation based on the report that the dog could not walk and had possible internal bleeding. When the animal delivered a large pile of evidence that he was not bleeding and did with support walk a few steps he did not modify or even take a moment to reconsider his position. That is why I refused him. To my mind the beast's hostile reaction to being touched was a good sign, indicating that he had not given up. If he had just lain there passively and the Vet had paused and gone "Hmm that is interesting but on balance I must urge you to this course" then I might well have yielded to professional authority.
Now of course the doctor looks uneasy when I go to his office for supplies. I do not intend to change practitioners. For years now it has been his partners that treated my friend and I like the office. His problem is that even though I do not intend to act against him he can not forgive me for being correct. It is much easier to forgive someone else for being wrong.
About a month or so ago my wireless mouse was eating batteries so I went to Home Depot and got the big set of 48 AA batteries in the G-D clamshell case. Taking out my very nice Gerber folding knife I proceeded to cut my thumb next to the nail. Cursing my stupidity and dripping blood I walked over to the nearest ER, a branch of Long Island Jewish. I told them I had no job and no insurance and no money and wanted to know if I should go to the City hospital or the VA or if I needed a stitch. They said not to worry and I sat for about an hour. Eventually a young man, possibly a med student but probably an intern, ran some water over the thumb, said I was fine and needed nothing and I could go home. I stopped at the desk and again they declined to quote any prices, although I had repeatedly asked what if anything I would be charged. A week later I received a bill for $1,111. They can go hang themselves. I will not pay. It is that simple and if I ever win the lottery then I will hire lawyers to charge them with fraud. As far as I am concerned it is the same as if you walked into a restaurant and looked at a menu and smelled the kitchen odors and then were handed a bill before you walked out. To me it is as if you and your neighbor found a box and were arguing over who it belonged to so you took it to a lawyer and asked him how much it would cost to settle the dispute and he said I'll tell you after we open the box, which turns out to have nothing but a roll of moldy toilet paper in it, resulting in the lawyer then charging you the thousand dollars.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
1. Prisoners reported captured by U.S. units without embedded
outside media goes to near zero.
2. Rash of unexplained incidents, live grenades, snakes, heavy
equipment accidents, discourage media embeds.
3. Within 90 days there is a near mutiny confrontation when
senior officers start confiscating black flags from the troops.
4. Intel collection goes to near zero and new reputation for
ruthlessness becomes legacy of US military.
Outside questioners are a key to the health of any bureaucratic system. Government can provide this function but not if it is also providing the service being inspected. Within a corporation the inspecting oxygen can be provided in part by the general public in their roles as shareholders who can question management in a public meeting. The deep and overriding contempt that most professional employees of large organizations such as banks have for the shareholders is a fact. Most Annual Reports are carefully crafted like a magician's trick to obscure more than they reveal. The Annual Meeting is a painful and inconvenient ritual that would be scheduled for a Tuesday morning on Diego Garcia if management could get away with it. The American Red Cross has actually moved it's meeting into an online format, with proclamations as to how much more convenient this is for all concerned. No need to worry about any public demonstrations or having the Directors embarrassed before an audience. We can expect that trend to spread like wildfire.
Literally engaged in "Hand Waving."
When in doubt his preference is always to lie. About the past present or future, he knows nothing or looks to kick the can down the road. There is no evidence that Obama has done any homework nor is there any evidence that he has ever sat down and constructed an argument that took more than four pages to lay out. Nor is there any evidence that he has any familiarity with the accumulated intellectual capital of Western Civilization.
Most American Presidents have been decently educated and met popular expectations in filling their rhetoric, both formal and off the cuff, with references that were not solely drawn from a speechwriter's clipping book. While I might not agree with Bill Clinton on most policy issues, I am reasonably confident that he is a person who genuinely enjoys immersing himself in the details before he speaks on policy and who is reasonably familiar with the basic texts of the Western intellectual and literary traditions as taught in good college preparatory programs during the 1960s and by the Jesuits at Georgetown. Reagan had a good education at a time when most did not get to go to college and his off camera work ethic was prodigious. While we have had other Presidents who were arrogant and ignorant, Jimmy Carter leads the list, I do not think that any have demonstrated the sheer lazy shallowness of Obama.
We may never see his birth certificate or his transcripts but does anybody think that we could subpoena him to produce a ten page paper complete with index cards that match the footnotes?
(who decried the narrowness of Obama's education)
Yes as a transfer he would I believe have skipped out on the Western Civ course, which was still the jewel of Columbia’s BA program at that time.
At work I am with many young people. Liberals in their teens and twenties, some in law school or college, overwhelmingly their ethical stance can be boiled down to narcissistic contempt. Obama speaks directly to them. The only way to break his grip on them will be to relentlessly ridicule him and treat him with contempt until it becomes embarrassing to be associated with him. This is hard for conservatives to do because it goes against their social instincts that honor three things, the office, the traditions of civil discourse and the dignity and liberty of all human beings.
The other day I was explaining to one of the youths what a gentleman is. My text comes I believe from Tolstoy but I am not sure if the character was Vronsky in Anna Karenina or one of the officers (possibly Prince Andrei?) in War and Peace. The working definition of a gentleman is "A man who strives never to be unintentionally rude." As a military officer you must be ready to kill people and that is a very rude thing to do indeed. When done it should be due to necessity and deliberately. It should be done with malice of forethought as opposed to carelessly or in a fit of pique.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The conduct of North Korea in taking hostages is completely identical to the conduct of Hamas or Hezbollah. In both cases the only rational thing to do is to drain the hostages of value.
Congress should pass an Act declaring the two hostages legally dead and proclaiming a National Day of Mourning with an appropriate ceremony in the National Cathedral. We can then make it unambiguously clear that we care for the least of our own by denying the Norks the privilege of using South Koreans as hostages by entering an aggressive campaign of interdiction and destruction of NorK assets. We should declare the 1953 Cease Fire to be void. If the hostages are returned unharmed then Congress can legally restore them to life and a new and improved Cease Fire agreement can be signed.
Remember that there is a thread that runs from North Korea to the "New Party" to International A.N.S.W.E.R. and Acorn to Barack H. Obama. North Korea is toxic and he will pay mightily to keep these rocks unlifted or to bury them very deep.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Kill anyone yet?
My God I have met some frightening people in my life but I don't think any of them could hold a candle to Michelle Obama. On four occasions I have met Hillary Clinton and each time the room temperature really did drop. She makes Hillary Rodham Clinton seem positively well adjusted by comparison.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Americans should recognize the techniques in Labour's Alinskyite campaign to personalize and destroy David Cameron. For years now the British Left have imported American Left Wing media experts to work on their elections. Does anybody know what David Axelrod and Company are up to? The tired program of guilt by third degree association is no longer as effective as it was for two reasons.
1. Repetition has bred resistance in the target population. That is offset by the fact that some have been in fact trained to respond faster without even needing all the messy logical blanks filled in.
2. The looming crisis has focused the attention of the voters and made them less vulnerable to manipulation by distraction than they were in the boom years.
As a tactic we have seen the efforts to vilify by association with persons associated with offensive groups used in politics, internet blog wars and high profile divorces. One problem with the tactic is that it cheapens our sense of outrage and allows some manipulative threats to pass. There are real hate mongers and extremists out there but attempting to demonize the Leader of the Tory party because he associates with the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia demeans Labour and weakens the ability to confront genuine extremist threats.
Israel's right wing, as represented by Lieberman, tends to lump all the Arabs together and all the Europeans. Their suspicions are not based on religious disputes or on the ideologies of political economy. They wish separation from the Other.
There is an alternative approach, more dare I say it nuanced? Israel could drive a wedge between the Christians and the Muslims and seek to rally conservative European support. Such an approach was tried by Sharon and the Likud at the time of the first Lebanon War. At that time it failed but the alternatives have not proven superior. To carry it out Israel would have to act as the champion of the Lebanese Christians and also as the champion of Palestinian Christians. There are maybe 5-600 Christians left in Gaza, Israel could insist on their safety. Israel could annex Bethlehem and expel the recent Sunni intruders. Israel could once more move to defang Hezbollah and the Syrians. The biggest problem this policy would face is the same one that the US or any democracy faces in the eyes of those contemplating alliance with us. That is the tendency of democracies to cut and run or abandon allies.
Politicians can serve a useful purpose. Not as Priests interposing between us and the truth but as communicators. That is to say less as Priests than as Pastors or Rabbis. They become not administrative servants advancing their own careers but vessels of our values. When they do it right it is in no way about them and it is clear that they represent us and express the sentiments in our hearts. The Queen of England can do that brilliantly and she should have been there. She has nothing to prove and conveys the presence of her people. Reagan when acting as Head of State, rather than Head of Government, also served in that role. He was also gifted with the ability to articulate what we knew to be true but could not express as well as he did.
My first Commanding Officer had worked his way up from Division Officer to Department head on the USS The Sullivans. Now we name warships after living politicians. What lesson does that teach to those who go in harm’s way?
Tom Hanks was invited to Omaha Beach.
The Queen of England was not.
Her Prime Minister did not know where he was.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
There must be a short story or a poem by Cavafy in which the protagonist goes to visit a country house or a nations capital, some seat of ancient power. He runs in his mind over the giants that have walked the corridors, their dignity and courage and learning and sacrifice. He hopes that he will be found worthy to join their company in any capacity, no matter how small. Upon arrival he enters and admires the gleaming columns, the echoing chambers and the carved quotations of wisdom but all seems empty. Eventually he pushes open a huge bronze door and finds, the likes of Olberman and Franks and Obama.
Dr Johnson said that the prospect of being hanged concentrates the mind. Gordon Brown provides what might be evidence to the contrary or proof that the effects of the shock of decapitation unravel the senses. Brown is now effectively a Dead Man Walking. He stumbles around on stage while the other actors look at each other and the Stage Manager hisses "Get him off." Can the Queen call him in for a chat and ask if his government has the people's confidence? Can a vote be forced on some otherwise inconsequential issue?
Eventually we run out of people to unemploy so the new unemployment figures have to go down.
Obama's handlers need to swallow the past and shove it into oblivion. We can expect more talk of the future and present dramatics to distract us. As the lady almost said, Fasten your seat-belts. It's going to be a bumpy decade.
Friday, June 05, 2009
James Jesus Angleton went to his grave convinced that we had been penetrated and he was laughed at and called a paranoid. He was right. Our security clearance vetting procedures will now do an exhaustive job of finding out if you owe $500 or have unpaid parking tickets but can not verify if your college work and associations indicate that you could become a risk. The CIA relies on polygraphs which are probably most useful at discouraging people with minor peccadilloes but which real bad guys might be trained to beat. Other agencies do not use the sweat box but they do not have access to the level of real in depth background checks that would uncover a potential traitor. It certainly does not help that the downside costs for being caught are so low.
For my nickel Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson engaged in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States in concert with foreign linked agents of influence like Soros. A proper clearance process would have found them unreliable and removed them years before they did damage. They certainly seem far more deserving of punishment to me than others who are currently in prison.
(who wondered how cretins can infiltrate and rise in the system)
Here is the super secret big secret of security. All you need is a clipboard and you can go anywhere.
“Tell him you’re from MI-9″
- Basil Seal in Evelyn Waugh’s Put Out More Flags
Traitors often don’t know who they are working for. Suppose that 35 years ago a right wing guy tried to help apartheid South Africa, odds are he’d have ended up working for the Soviets without even knowing it.
Over time, some societies forget that safety is not a natural condition, but a hard won commodity.
Western Civilization triumphed because it excelled at fostering individual initiative while cultivating those skills needed for the collective application of violence. Hence, "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton". Whether the Duke of Wellington said it or not the shocking losses of the skills and the emotional reflexes needed to defend the community over the last three generations are dramatic.
Critics of Scouting and compulsory gym uniforms and Color Wars and a host of other issues complained that these activities, that had been a traditional part of maturation for generations, were secret training in militarism that children had to be protected from. They were half right. They were part of a coordinated program and the children did not need to protected from them but rather should have been encouraged to participate. These activities were part of a natural and conscious effort to instill in the youth those qualities, such as teamwork, courage, initiative, and self discipline, needed for a successful response to aggression. The key was to ensure that all those qualities were instilled in those who by education and association were not only likely to assume positions of leadership but who were also imbued with an appreciation for the humane values and achievements of the civilization that made it worth the sacrifice of defending.
Civilizations can commit suicide by adapting pacifism in the face of aggression. One example was the Khmer of 700 years ago whose devotion to Theravadra Buddhism, whatever its other merits, left them ill equipped to respond to aggression by the Thai or the Vietnamese. It is an error in logic to assume that a sub optimal choice can not be made. That would be as wrong as to assume that in biology an organism will develop a mutation that produces a desired benefit.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Things may be getting serious in Korea.
Odds are that the DPRK military would shatter if it came to war, however that thousands or tens of thousands would die in the clash. The resulting humanitarian disaster would follow from the complete collapse of the Pyongyang regime and the desperate efforts of millions of refugees, many with weapons, to find food. The impact on South Korea could be catastrophic and China and Japan might be pushed into deep depressions. All concerned should have been stockpiling supplies and planning for the end of the North Korean regime for years now.
Just heard Obama's speech. Two things stand out.
1) The condemnation of nuclear arms will be taken as a call for Israel to disarm. He spoke to two audiences both of whom are trained to hear what they want.
The local Muslim audience will interpret talk of nuclear disarmament as referring to Israel and the citations of Jewish law or morals as in fact justifying Islamic supremacism. Islam is founded on the idea that the Jews are "hypocrites" who have failed to abide by their own Commandments. They will also consider the promised wealth and technology transfers and visas as tribute from Dar al Harb to Dar al Islam.
The external audience will swallow the expectation that he was being brave in justifying Western concepts to the Muslim audience. It was designed to pacify skeptics who are afraid of the Jihad. This was a call for Appeasement.
2) His use of the Golden Rule, that is common, with interesting variations in stress, to Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism, obscures the fact that the Koran does not share the same sentiment regarding Unbelievers.
Ultimately government depends upon Consent.
The scandals in Britain and Obama’s string of deceptions and the thuggish theft of the auto companies both undermine the concept of a Commonwealth based on trust. Once that is gone all that is left is influence, and power.
Right now in NYC the subways are plastered with advertisements for the municipal employees union DC 37 condemning Mayor Bloomberg for using outside consultants when all their unionized civil servants are ready willing and eager to help. The ads all claim that the consultants are more expensive than the government employees. So why is the administration willing to hire outside consultants instead of using its own civil service staff? The answer is simple to an economist. The price difference between the two workers is a measure of just how inefficient and unmanageable the civil servants are. Rather than try to get any work out of the existing staff the administration can get better results using the same money to hire fewer but better motivated outside consultants.