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.