Friday, December 14, 2007

Of Invading Armies and Flying Saucers

I have seen much made in recent days of the supposedly "principled" stand that the only moral use of an army is in defense of ones homeland against invading armies.

In the Nuclear Age, if another country were to actually get an army and navy together to attempt a landing on our shores what is likely to happen? Either those boats would be recalled tout de suite, or the world gets a a new radioactive parking lot where the invading country's capital city used to be. The United States has too many nuclear weapons in too many locations for any army to be able to seize both them and our leadership before we could retaliate.

In short, those invading armies ain't coming, and really haven't been coming since about 1945. Making war upon the United States must be accomplished by other means: espionage, subversion, and terrorism. But those are subjects for another time.

So what is one to think about someone who says they support the military only insofar as they defend our nation from invading armies? Much as one who says they support our military only insofar as they defend our nation from invading flying saucers. One suspects they merely wish to disguise their holding a more unpopular negative view of our armed services.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Some Simple Principles

Make the best possible choices. Sometimes in life there are not so much good choices as less bad choices. Don't hold your breath waiting for the perfect option to come along, and be understanding of those who have made different decisions in the same circumstance.

What you don't know is as important as what you do know, if not more so. Know as much as possible when making a decision what you do not know. It is what you do not know you do not know that can bite you in the ass.

Anything can look good on paper. Reality is messier.

It can always be worse, no matter how bad it is. Contemplate this before blindly throwing away what you have for the unknown.

If what someone is doing does not seem to make sense, ponder it some more while being as fair as possible. You may get your answer.

You are not as clever as you think you are. Not by half. Clever people are so much fun to outwit because they get so mad at how simple it was to do so.

Sometimes things are not what they seem. Then again, sometimes things are exactly as they seem. Don't be thrown off.

In pursuit of complexity do not neglect the simple. This is the failing of so-called clever people.

True change in a free society must come from the bottom up. Changes imposed from the top will be resisted, be they changes in the direction of socialism or even in the direction of freedom.

The means of pruning bureaucracy are much like the management of herbivores with a high rate of reproduction. You must either reintroduce its natural predators or issue hunting licenses. Either way, Bambi dies. Deal with it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For an Empire, We SUCK

Let's face it. To call America an empire can't happen without dumbing down the term "empire" into meaninglessness. Jonah Goldberg thinks so, too:

...But unlike the Romans or even the British, our garrisons can be ejected without firing a shot. We left the Philippines when asked. We may split from South Korea in the next few years under similar circumstances. Poland wants our military bases; Germany is grumpy about losing them. When Turkey, a U.S. ally and member of NATO, refused to let American troops invade Iraq from its territory, the U.S. government said "fine." We didn't invade Iraq for oil (all we needed to do to buy it was lift the embargo), and we've made it clear that we'll leave Iraq if the Iraqis ask.

What? Oh, come on, now! Gandhi was forced into organizing the Indian people because the Indian government under British rule was little more than errand-boys for the Brits, and America leaves when politely asked to by the Philippines?

South Korea is all huffy about our presence, and our biggest concern is not about a bunch of uppity Asians, but whether North Korea is behind the movement in South Korea? We destroyed the government of Japan and set up from scratch a new Japanese government.....and we just left once we were sure the Japanese were handling things OK?

And let's just look at our most recent awful hegemonic actions, now. After an unprovoked attack on our soil, we simply took out a pair of hostile governments in hopes of establishing a pair of less-hostile governments, and are working to knock out some trans-national movement that fueled the attacks in the first place. So where are the toadies? Where is the guy in the pith helmet who wants to be called "bwana?"

America sucks at the empire business.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to the salt mines!

I hope anybody who reads my blog has had a wonderful Thanksgiving. But sadly, it's now balls-to-the-wall until Christmas (and about 90 days thereafter for me).

Anyway, I would like to draw your attention to this article. In fact, the author has a very interesting series on Ron Paul and his.....interesting supporters .

My big disagreement here is that the hanging of conspiracy theorists around the GOP's neck is really only supposed to last through the primary. Antiwar voters are the biggest threat to Hillary Clinton in the Democrat primary. If they had mobilized behind Dennis Kucinich or some other staunch antiwar Democrat against "I-Was-For-It-Before-I-Was-Against-It Part Two," Hillary would have to punk-slap a guy really popular with the base off the nomination, earning a lot of ill will in the general election (well, more than she already has).

With Ron Paul in play, and with no chance in Hades of winning the GOP nomination, people who would otherwise work within their natural constituencies within the Democrats to get them to drop Hillary and take a stronger antiwar stand can go waste their votes in the GOP primary on Ron Paul. Oh, and by the way, if these guys voted in the GOP primary, most states will exclude them from voting in the Democrat primary---oh darn!

When Ron Paul does not get the nomination (NOTE: I said WHEN, oh yes I did), it's not like these guys were planning to vote GOP anyway. They will, come the general election, either go polish their tinfoil hats some more, or hold their noses and vote for Hillary. Take it to the bank.

It might be interesting to see what would happen if Ron Paul ran independently, but I think that the Democrats have a contingency for that, too: Remember all that money from Stormfront, the KKK banners, etc? A friend of mine has a bet going, one that I am far too smart to take him up on: The moment Ron Paul actually becomes a threat to the Democrats, all of a sudden, the SPLC or some other "anti-racism" Democrat lapdog with good media connections will strike at Ron Paul for these connections to hate groups.

You really want to know what the pisser is? Domestically, I agree with much of what Ron Paul says. We do look to the state to solve our problems far too often. A lot of what the government does can be done by the private sector more effectively and efficiently, so long as the actual enforcement of laws is not involved. We do have far too many government agencies and way too much regulation. I'd love to get rid of it all. The important distinction is, I don't think Ron Paul can do it.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I am probably going to say something unpopular, but anybody who knows me knows I am used to being unpopular.

Our current situation is that millions of Mexican citizens sneak into our country in order to earn a better living than they could otherwise get in a corrupt Third-World quasi-republic. With the monies these illegal immigrants send home, the corrupt semi-republic is enabled to stay in power and not do a damn thing about its poor other than hand them swim fins and a map to the border. This is bad.

Believe it or not, it could be worse.

As corrupt, venal, and parasitic as the current Mexican government is, the alternative, which could come about with the USA cutting the umbilical cord to Mexico, is much worse.

The latest ploys of Chavez and Castro have been to fund leftist political candidates for Presidential elections throughout Latin America---which in some cases (such as Bolivia) became "one man, one vote, one time." Chavez's money in 2006 was on Andrés Manuel López Obrador. This was not a situation that breeds trust in his commitment to the rule of law at the Latin America desk at Langley (completely forgetting his behavior after the election). This is not to say that Andrés Manuel López Obrador would have ended up being some kind of dictator had he won in 2006, only that he may have ended up beholden to the forces that would have brought him to power. And those forces are far from kindly inclined towards American interests. If they couldn't have gotten AMLO to cancel elections, perhaps they would have gotten his cooperation on some other means of giving the USA a headache.

And what if he did cancel elections and close newspapers? Imagine if an avowed dictator took power in Mexico, and newspapers and television channels started being shut down, dissidents started getting arrested in the night, and protestors got shot. Moreover, in all likelihood, the Mexican dictatorship would have been a product of Cuban and Venezuelan meddling, and thus swear fealty to Castro and Chavez. All of a sudden, those illegals would suddenly become putative refugees. Short of a deal along the lines of "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" (which the US struck in order to be able to maintain a presence in the Straits of Florida), there is no way we are sending a single Mexican back under those circumstances. And we would pretty much have to welcome everyone who can smuggle themselves out.

In short, AMLO needed to lose in 2006. And if it weren't for illegal immigration, he might just have won. I've done the math.

What if The Wall were in place in October 2001, as some have suggested, and the illegals were in Mexico for the 2006 elections? I did some math and Wikipedia-ing, and dug up my memories of Statistics and Research Design for Psychology majors:

The statistics were as follows:
About 399,000 Mexican illegals/ year per Pew Legal (this may be a conservative estimate)

Only 32,000 of eligible legal residents of other nations voted in the Mexican elections of 2006

Turnout was 58.90%

The final vote tally of the top two candidates was Calderón 35.89% (15,000,284 votes), López Obrador 35.31% (14,756,350 votes), a difference of 243,934 (or 0.58%) votes.

And Obrador still contested the election, though not successfully. He might have had more success with a lower margin of loss.

Now for my assumptions, based on statistics:
399,000 a year from October 2001 to July 2006 comes to about 1,596,000 Mexicans who would have been kept in Mexico. 58.90% of that number (the turnout) would be about 940,044.
Given the heavy usage of the United States's social safety net by many illegals, I guessed they would kind of like to have some free money in Mexico, and thus would be more likely to vote for Obrador. Given the multi-candidate race, I assumed that Calderón would get 80 percent of the non-Obrador vote.

At this point, I forgot my statistics class, and did it longhand.

80-20 split (80 Calderón 20 others)---Obrador wins
O: 14,756,350 + 752035 = 15,508,385
C: 15,000,284 + 150407 = 15,150, 691

75-25 split---Obrador wins
O: 14,756,350 + 705033 = 15,461,383
C: 15,000,284 + 188009= 15,188,293

70-30 split-----Obrador wins
O: 14,756,350 +658030= 15,414,380
C: 15,000,284 +225610= 15,263,496

65-35 split-----Obrador wins
O: 14,756,350 +611029= 15,367,379
C: 15,000,284 +263212= 15,263,496

60-40 split----Obrador wins
O: 14,756,350 +564026= 15,320,376
C: 15,000,284 +300814= 15,301,098

55-45 split---Calderón wins by only 582066
O: 14,756,350 +517024= 15,273,374
C: 15,000,284 +338416= 15,338,700

50-50 split---Calderón wins by only 149,930
O: 14,756,350 +470022= 15,226,372
C: 15,000,284 +376018= 15,376,302

So as you can see, it would not take a very large majority of the illegals to have voted for Obrador had they stayed in Mexico to vote in order to either put him over the top or bring the margin of Calderón's victory close enough that his attempted challenge of the results might have had more success. Even were Tom Tancredo to win the White House somehow, he would have had to deal with this reality. Sanity in American immigration policy cannot come at the expense of vital foreign objectives, such as keeping Fidel Castro's rotting zombie paws off Mexico and her oil. Because as you see, he's come close. Damn close.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Very Interesting

"There are no secrets, there are only deferred disclosures."

If true, this means everybody was wrong and everybody was right about WMDs in Iraq. In any case, keep in mind that the release of translated documentation is often done to illustrate what intelligence had actually known at the time.

In my opinion, actual stockpiles or no, Saddam had to be stopped from doing whatever he was actually doing.

One of the more interesting parts is where the bribery through the Oil-For-Food program was being discussed. I am sure we were more than aware of who was on the take at the time. Do you often believe the word of someone you know to be on the take, or is this just "cherry-picking" intelligence again?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sorry about the infrequency

You can blame a certain spotted cat for that. Ah, well, the money is good, and will make my children happy.

Anyway, the thought that has been bubbling through my mind is this: People often think we are choosing between war and peace. When that truly is your choice, peace is the better option. However, in most cases we choose between the war now or the war later. Given the unknowable things that are future events, you know under what conditions you fight the war now. The war later, who knows?

Monday, November 5, 2007

What's the Frequency, Kenneth? Part 2

Well, Blogger won't let me fix that little font snafu, so howabout I cease trying to be clever with font sizes in the future?

Anyway, back to my point: How can otherwise rational people, who would know better than to believe the CIA has any interest in some guy living in a box in an alleyway, unquestioningly enable blood libel and hatred?

The answer, I am afraid, is postmodernism, and specifically its focus on alterity. The more Other someone is, the more one seems to be obligated to take their perspective. This seems to have removed the critical faculty needed to judge between the stories of those who tell the truth and fabulators. I use the term "fabulators" instead of "liars" because lying implies an intent to deceive. A fabulator may honestly believe Jews created the AIDS virus---but they are still wrong.

Pair alterity with the intellectual vanity so encouraged by liberal arts faculty that a liberal education gives students the tools to become experts in anything to which they put their minds, and you have people poised to take any fool at his or her word, as long as they are exotic and different. Now to the mix of alterity and intellectual vanity, let's add the typical wealth of First World intellectuals, specifically their disposable income.

Now, if you are a member of some exotic group wanting to raise money for a cause, you have a gold mine in a bunch of people who don't understand you and your situation, but think they do, who will open their wallets for you. All they need is a story that conforms to their expectations. Just point out how you are oppressed, how those guys you hate are oppressing you, throw in some Rousseau/socialist nonsense about the way your people lived before Those Other Guys came along, wear some exotic native costume while doing so, and turn up your accent a bit. Bingo, your cause is rolling in the dough, and you can now go shopping for weapons.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

What's the Frequency, Kenneth? Part 1

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I'd pegged you an idiot's dream
Tunnel vision from the outsider's screen
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh
You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh...."

---From the REM song

For those of you unfamiliar with the song, or the incident that inspired it, Read up!

No, this is not really about Dan Rather, though he's an interesting case in and of himself. This is about the man who attacked him, William Tager. According to the Wikipedia article referenced above,

Tager later claimed that he had come from a parallel universe some 200 years in the future. He also claimed that because everyone in the future had a double in the past, he had mistaken Rather for his future double, Vice President Kenneth Burroughs, and that he attacked Rather in an attempt to recover the information needed to stop the television signals being sent to his brain and return to his own time


Imagine if psychology were still in the days of Sigmund Freud, and some shrink had to sit there and untangle that mess. What, exactly, led him to believe that he came from the future? Who is Kenneth Burroughs, and why does he think Dan Rather of all people would be this Kenneth Burroughs? How would television signals in your brain prevent time travel? Why would he choose the "signals beamed into my brain" delusion over other such popular delusions as being Napoleon? How did potty training go?

Screw that. What likely happened to Tager was that he showed all the signs of one or more psychiatric disorders, was locked up and put on medication, and any talk about Tager's mother, potty training, or Tager's mother's potty training was done on the back end. Well, yeah---isn't that the way stuff like this gets handled?

Sure it is, so why do people try to minutely dissect the delusions of the "Arab Street" and the motivations of terrorists?

More to come when I've had some sleep.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's At Stake

2008 is an historic opportunity, and this time, it is vital for both parties that the Republicans win at least the White House, if not control of at least one part of Congress. Why would this be good for both parties, you may ask? Because if Hillary loses, and the Dems lose seats in Congress, this will be a repudiation of the divisive game the Democrats have played these past seven years, and it gives Democrats an opportunity to kick George Soros, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and the Clintons to the curb. Maybe Democrats will come back with serious answers to the questions of our times, and they can act, as they should, in constructive criticism of GOP policies---something they have failed to do.

Think of the organizations on the Left causing the most trouble in American politics right now, such as Media Matters, MoveOn, and the like. If you want a good reference, check out Discover the Networks some time, and then let's play a game: Six Degrees of Hillary Clinton. You will likely not get that far out.

Now, let's compare the organization on the Left with its parallel on the Right-- for example, Media Matters on the Left and the Media Research Center on the Right. One very noticeable difference is that the org on the Right swears no allegiance to a particular conservative candidate, and acts as a resource for the entire movement. Its history can often be traced to the GOP re-org after Goldwater's defeat, and it grew organically as part of the conservative movement.

The same cannot be said for the organization on the Left. The Clintons built for themselves a network of organizations meant to parallel and counter similar organizations on the Right. This is an advantage in that the Leftist organizations can coordinate their message, and make the Clintons' favor indispensable for career advancement. However, the disadvantage is that the whole farm has been bet on winning in 2008, and the fate of these organizations is uncertain should she lose.

So, what happens if Hillary loses?

2008 is Hillary Clinton's last chance. She wouldn't have a prayer in 2012. In 2012, the youngest people to have remembered the Clinton years before people got disillusioned with them in the late '90s would be hitting their late 20's and early 30's, which some who study astrology call the Saturn Return. Whether or not you believe in astrology, you have to admit a lot of your life changes between the ages of 28 and 32. One of the bigger changes you are likely to see is a moderating of your politics as experience has often counteracted theory. Those young liberals the Clintons counted on in 2008 would be married suburbanites getting somewhere in their careers in 2012. Also, it's going to be harder to keep any screwups of the Bill Clinton Administration classified through November of 2012, when you consider that 2012 would be 20 years since Bill Clinton was first elected.

George Soros and his ilk? Well, I am one of the ones who ascribes pecuniary motives for Soros's actions. He made a killing bringing down the Pound Sterling, and I think he wishes to do the same with the US Dollar. So far, this seems to be costing him a lot more than he bargained for. A defeat in 2008 may finally get him to cash in his chips before he loses his shirt.

There's a whole house of cards stacked atop one thing: Hillary Clinton winning the Presidency in 2008. Pull her card, and the whole thing comes crashing down. In its place, a revitalized, serious, adult, patriotic progressive movement might finally have a chance, and American voters may again have a choice between two parties who may have ideological differences, but who will stand up for this country all the same.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blood for Oil

I believe that the real reason the United States invaded Iraq is not something mentioned on a regular basis, the rationale dates before 9-11, and oil has a whole lot to do with it.

The story actually begins in the Summer of 2000. June 10, to be exact. Bill Clinton was still in office, and Mohammed Atta had been in the United States a whole week, after having secured a place for flight lessons. The GOP Convention where George W Bush was first nominated was not to be for another month and a half.

June 10, 2000 was the day Hafez Al-Assad died. Given that both Hafez Assad and Saddam Hussein were part of Ba'athist movements that had ultimately seized power in their respective nations, and had both ruled their nations for a very long time, it would not be unreasonable to watch what happened with Syria as an illustration for what would happen were Saddam Hussein to die while in office.

The succession of Bashar Assad to Syria's "presidency" was, by all accounts a very smooth transition. Thirty years of absolute rule was long enough for Hafez Assad to clear away all threats to his successor. Much was made of his past as an opthamologist who had a liberal education. Then he, to no surprise, turned out to be much like his dad.

Camp David negotiations broke of a month and 15 days later, and the Palestinians were again armed for a fight. On September 27-28, the fighting started again. Considering the number of Palestinian leaders hiding in Syria, can one imagine finding a new source of funding may have pulled Arafat from the negotiation table. Guess who was suddenly finding themselves freer to act?

Now, applying the lessons of Syria to Iraq, it could be surmised that without intervention, upon Saddam's death, one of his sons would rise to power, and very likely start doing those things Papa couldn't get away with. On top of that, Iraq was an OPEC nation, and was actively bribing various nations with oil rights using Oil-For-Food. So it looked like sanctions on Iraq would likely die with Saddam. On September 10, 2001 this was a moderate threat, and kind of an annoyance, but what could you do?

In the wake of the next day's events, and the subsequent War On Terror, the question of Iraqi succession was no longer annoying and inconvenient. We could no longer afford to lose sanctions on Iraq and wait for Uday or Qusay to fornicate upwards enough to re-merit the sanctions. Given all the bribes given out by Saddam, that would be a fatally dangerous wait.

And so, we invaded.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


After a late night's work, I have one working brain cell. And it's demanding a shift differential plus overtime. And I totally sympathize.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Any questions on Cuba?

"I'll check back with you after two years. If you've done as I ask...... I'll take out that neural block. Then you can deal with Bester....."

Lyta to Garibaldi in Babylon 5: "The Wheel of Fire"

Why do they parade an increasingly incoherent Fidel Castro in front of the cameras in Cuba? Isn't Cuba yesterday's news? Isn't the Cuban-American vote the only interest the USA has in Cuba?

If you even have to ask these questions, you would be amazed at the answers.

Read up sometime on some of the business deals the Castros have made with various state-owned businesses in places like Europe. Then remember those resources Cuba would need to move offshore to participate in these ventures, as well as its other reasons for moving money offshore (funding intelligence operations, buying frills for the elite, etc.). Look at the lack of success and the debt to these other governments Cuba has accumulated. So what do you think happens when Fidel finally dies? Can we say......probate? 

Ever since August of 2006, I would hazard a guess that many nations that possess both Cuban debt and Cuban assets have been doing their level best to keep the assets from leaving their countries, in anticipation of seizing them  as personal assets of a deceased Fidel Castro. I would also hazard a guess that George W is doing his damnedest to keep these same nations advised to the best of his ability as to what US Intelligence knows about Fidel's health. 

Speaking of what US Intelligence knows about Fidel's health, it is an open secret that some kind of deal was struck to keep the United States from harming a hair on Fidel Castro's widdle punkin head in order to end the Cuban Missile Crisis. Given the nature of dictatorships, in that dictators like to ensure their own physical survival, it is very likely that the terms of this deal expire on Fidel Castro's death. So it has been very much in our interests to know everything we can about the current state of Fidel Castro's health. I sure hope you don't think it was a coincidence that George Bush had breakfast at Versailles in Miami the morning before the announcement of Fidel's stepping down?

Given the USA's quick recognition of Fidel Castro's government in 1959, it seems we were ignorant of Castro's true agenda and employer in the KGB. For all the allegations those on the Right make about alleged KGB ties with the Vietnam-era antiwar movement, especially its most violent side, why have we seen little published proof of this? Could it be that since at least 1959 or 1960, KGB activities in the Americas went through Cuba, which is still under the same government, and still hostile to American interests, and for whom US Counterintelligence files are still classified?

Very likely. 

If so, doesn't this funding of subversive activity and making our nation chase its agents around our country kinda go beyond the stated reasons for the embargo (uncompensated expropriation of American resources--which is also true) and make the long continuation of the embargo a little more justifiable?

And as for Cuba's continuing significance, remember what happened when VENONA was declassified, and the world finally could see the guilt of many people whose innocence in the 1950s during the Rosenberg prosecution and the Army-McCarthy hearings was bandied about by the Left? Just think what being able to declassify Counterintel files on Cuban agents and their contacts, the pay stubs in Havana for supposedly "independent" thinkers, and the purchase orders for the weapons of violent activity are free for the entire world to read and document?

Given George W's problems with some of these guys, don't you think he's just dying to let the world know?

Well, I'm glad I could answer your questions today. Now on to work with me!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


From the movie, "Life of Brian:"
Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the f**king Judean People's Front.
And the Judean Popular People's Front.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
And the People's Front of Judea.
Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
The People's Front of Judea. Splitters.
We're the People's Front of Judea!
Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

I was talking to my mother last night. My mom, and anybody who knows me would be shocked, actually supports the same candidate I do, namely Rudy. She is very worried about the threats made by much of the Religious Right to bolt the GOP if Rudy is the nominee. And Mom has always been Miss Christian, quite dismayed at her Pagan daughter.

I think she doesn't have anything to worry about, as long as everybody remembers who and what the GOP is facing in 2008, and keeps their eyes on the prize.

Religious Right types? I want you to close your eyes and visualize your perfect 2008 candidate. Now visualize the Clintons' bought-and-paid-for smear machine getting ahold of him. They will find anything they can on your guy and flog it all over the news.

And what they don't find, they will try and make up. The only reason the TANG documents were revealed to be fakes in time for the 2004 election was because the forger used a blatantly anachronistic font. If our forger had enough clue to switch to Courier (yes I know the spacing would still be wrong, but that's a much harder case to make), John Kerry would be President.

Never bet the farm on your opponent's stupidity, as reliable as it may seem. Your ideal candidate may be squeaky clean, but one deliberate misquote, one really good Photoshopping session, one really good document forgery, and he's toast.

So the GOP got a clue: If your candidate is gay-friendly, there's no point in "outing" his campaign manager. If your candidate has owned up to past or current pro-choice views, there's no point in digging up a past speech espousing those views. If he publishes his own embarassing photos, he puts the Photoshoppers out of a job.

Fortunately, it seems most folks on the right, religious or no, have gotten that clue.

Look at the folks who go all over the Dextrosphere claiming otherwise. Then check their post count and post history. And don't forget the mobys are out there. This is not saying there aren't legitimate conservatives with a beef against Rudy, just that I think some of this alleged dissent is overblown.


I think I am understanding Blogger now. Anyway, welcome to the blog.