Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Strategic View

It seems our Congress, the Media, and the World in general continues to view the “War on Terror” as some sort of political strategy foisted on us by the current administration working in league with the oil companies. Certainly this seems to be the view share by a great many people, especially those in Hollywood (e.g. George Clooney). However, this is simply not the case because the war on terror did not begin on 9/11/01 nor will it end with the establishment of a civilian and secular government in Iraq. In fact, Iraq is simply another battle – or series of battles in the larger war – the Jihad – being conducted by the Muslims. This does not minimize the gravity of the situation in Iraq but it should be put into the same context as the Crusades, the struggle in Spain to displace the Muslims, the Mah’di in Sudan, and the sundry battles and skirmishes that have been fought between Christians and Muslims along their borders since the death of Muhammad in 632 AD. From that time until now the Muslims have been single minded in their pursuit of world domination – that is to convert the entire world to Islam.

Following the death of Muhammad Islam swept across the Middle East and North Africa in an explosive growth but it ran headlong into the Eastern Roman Empire. At the time, the Western Roman Empire was in a shambles. Rome had been sacked, there was no central government or authority and the barbarians were gleefully destroying every vestige of Roman power. The surviving Eastern Empire was beset by plots, intrigues, poor communications, and the rising power of the Christian Church. The people under the protection of Constantinople were being taxed at an ever increasing rate and receiving less and less protection and benefit. Against this backdrop the Muslims gave people a choice – the sword or convert to Islam. For most this was not a difficult choice to make. After all Islam accepts the precepts of Judaism and Christianity with the exception that Jesus is viewed as a Prophet of God rather than the Son of God. The Muslims also brought peace and structure to what was becoming an increasingly chaotic situation.

This was the First Jihad which spread Islam across all of North African and into the Iberian Peninsula. The West was still in chaos with small kingdoms, fiefs, and an aristocracy that was essentially a series of warlords vying for power, prestige, and loot. There was little to stop the spread of Islam until Charles Martel – the father of Charlemagne – stopped them at the battle of Tours – celebrated in the poem :The Song of Roland”. However, the pressure on the Eastern Empire was relentless and ultimately the Emperor summoned help from the West and thus the First Crusade was born. Unfortunately the government in Byzantium had not realized that the West had deteriorated to such an extent and the army that came to their aid was bent as much on looting as freeing the Holy Land from the Infidels. Worse the Crusaders were truly barbarians and their conduct and treatment of the Muslims was so barbarous that it is remembered even today. The Crusades never really resolved anything and there the matter sat with various battles and skirmishes continuing off and on until 1492 when the Spaniards defeated the Muslims at the battle of Granada and drove them from Iberia.

During this period of Islamic expansion and growth the Islamic world was beset by its own internal dissentions and factions seeking power. Gradually the Ottoman Turks came to power and with the Second Great Jihad they succeeded in destroying what remained of the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453 and the great cathedral of Saint Sophia became a Mosque, which it is to this day. Even though the Ottomans continued their pressure on the West it was an empire rooted in theology and this proved to be its Achilles Heel. While the military continued expanding into Eastern Europe, internally the empire was beset by warring sects and rivalries as each small group proclaimed that it was the “true way of the Prophet”. This fragmentation weakened the Ottomans overall and by the late 1600’s the Venetians had defeated the Ottomans at sea and the Austrians had defeated the Ottomans at the siege of Vienna.

Although the Ottoman Empire remained intact, in reality it gradually fragmented into various Sheikdoms, principalities, and roving tribes – the Arabs. This situation continued up until World War One when the Ottomans – through diplomatic bumbling by England and France – sided with the Germans. Lawrence of Arabia was dispatched to the Middle East where he was very successful in exploiting this internal dissention by turning the Arabs against the Ottomans (Turks).

Although Lawrence made many promises to the Arabs the French and the English never intended to honor any of them and at the end of the War the French and English merrily divided up the Middle East into “spheres of influence” and “countries”. Thus the world witnessed the birth of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Iran, Arabia, et al. In some cases these had historic precedent (e.g. Mesopotamia – now Iraq) and in others (e.g. Jordan), the boundaries were arbitrary. The sheer arrogance of the English and French is breathtaking and it was their actions that reignited the anti-western sentiment and gave birth to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The group that felt most betrayed was the Arabs who were under the control of the House of Saud who had been placed in power by the English. Ironically, the Arabs were not well educated and consisted mostly of nomadic herdsmen. Because the holy cities of Medina and Mecca were on the Arabian Peninsula they fell under the control of the Arabs, who were simple people with a fundamentalist view of Islam – now called Wahhabism.

It is virtually impossible to draw parallels between Islam and Christianity but to gain some perspective on Wahhabism consider that the Sunni’s are similar to the Catholics, the Shi’a similar to protestants, and the Wahhbi’s equivalent to some minor Christian Sect who believe in the absolute literal reading of the Bible. If the teachings of this sect were to gradually spread into the mainstream of Christianity it would be similar to what is happening in Islam. There are two aspects of Wahhabism that have an immediate impact on Christians and Jews in particular and the world in general. The first of these is a virulent hatred of Western Culture which is being used as a scapegoat for the failures that plague the Islamic countries. The blame for these failures in growth, development, and prosperity are being shifted onto the West rather than being accepted as internal failures. This is roughly equivalent to the Germans blaming their economic failures prior to WW II on “the Jews”. The second and more overt problem of Wahhbism is the literal reading of the Qur’an, which calls for the destruction of all Infidels – men, women, and children. This hearkens back to the First Great Jihad when the Byzantines were given the option to convert or die. This is the same option being given today because Wahhabism calls for the complete destruction of anything that is not based on a literal reading of the Qur’an – hence we Muslims killing Muslims. This is the basis for the horrific conduct of the Taliban in Afghanistan, some of the barbarous practices in Saudi Arabia, and oppressive practices of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. It is Wahhabism that gave rise to the new Ali Pasha of Islam (military leader) Osama Bin Laden who is now leading what he calls the “Third Great Jihad”.

However, this War on Terror to the West but the Third Great Jihad to Islam did not begin with the first attack on the World Trade Center or on 9/11. In fact, this actually began in the 1920’s and the first battle began with the fall of the Shah of Iran and the capture of the American Embassy in Teheran. The Shah was an American Ally, a secular Muslim and embarked on a plan to “westernize” Iran. Sadly he misjudged the temper of the Iranians and the extent that Wahhabism had spread through the teachings in the Mosques. The Shah was allied with America and was not strongly anti-Israel. Of course this misjudgment toppled his regime, cost America a valuable ally, and inspired the militant Muslims to occupy the American Embassy. The West lost this battle due to the timidity of President Carter.

President Carter’s inability to react to what was seen as an act of war by everyone on the planet but him and his administration, indicated to the Muslims that America was a paper tiger. With the assumption of power by Khomeini, the Shah’s military was purged and opposition to the fundamentalist regime suppressed. This was the first major battle in the Third Great Jihad and it was a resounding tactical and strategic victory. The Wahhabi’s now had a base of operations funded by the oil wealth of Iran and the first step in the restoration of the Great Caliphate was now complete. The long range plan is to restore the Caliphate, which was formerly based in Baghdad. This plan calls for the overthrow of the secular governments of all countries with a Muslim majority and their replacement with a religious one loyal to the Caliph (i.e. the secular and religious head of Islam). If successful this strategy would result in theocratic governments in Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, the Emirates, Kuwait, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon, Chechnya, Tunisia, Syria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Palestine, and Israel. Beyond that-- and the second phase of the strategy -- would be the overthrow of the governments of Spain, France, Albania, Macedonia, Armenia, and possibly Greece. This strategy was initially successful in Afghanistan and significant inroads were made in Chechnya and Pakistan but the Russians have stymied (so far) the efforts in Chechnya and General Musharraf blocked them in Pakistan by staging a military coup. The Americans aided by a military coalition drove the Taliban from power and are on the way to setting up a moderate Muslim state in Afghanistan.

The strategy of this Third Great Jihad is to infiltrate governments and the military as a prelude to taking over the country. The incumbent secular leadership is either overthrown in a coup or assassinated, but this has not always been successful. Examples of this strategy are the assassination of Sadat and attempts on Hussein in Jordan, Mubarak in Egypt, and Musharraf in Pakistan. Pakistan is a particular target because of their nuclear ability and the military and intelligence services are already infiltrated by Al Qaeda. Strategically Al Qaeda is most likely behind the confrontation in Kashmir between the Muslims and Hindu’s. The target is most likely Musharraf with the hope that the instability in Kashmir will destabilize his position and bring about a coup by pro Al Qaeda Officers.

But the long range strategic plan of Al Qaeda is much more complex and far reaching. It seems to have three objectives. The first objective is to drive the United States out of the Middle East. This objective rests on the assumption that the United States is incapable of bringing its military might to bear for any extended period. Viet Nam is considered an example of this and the current strident voices in Congress and the media are viewed as the precursors for this inevitable withdrawal. The second objective is to gain control of the Middle Eastern oil reserves. This not only would provide Al Qaeda with enormous funds but it would give them a stranglehold on the West – especially Europe. They encourage Americans and the media to believe that we rely on Middle Eastern Oil for survival. This may be true of Europe but it isn’t true of the US. We not only have our own (untapped) reserves but we get substantial amounts of oil from the North Sea. But the perception is sometimes more powerful than the reality and with control of the Middle Easter Oil Al Qaeda could pressure the West to acquiesce in virtually any objective they might set. France in particular is vulnerable because by forcing France to allow greater immigration the Muslim population could increase and effectively convert France into a Muslim state. The third objective is to gain Nuclear weapons. The initial attempt failed in Pakistan but Iran has always been in the pocket of Al Qaeda and without doubt they are pushing hard to develop nuclear weapons. Once this is done – and it appears imminent – they will attempt to destroy Israel. They most probably will attack the US in Iraq and the new Iraqi government if it is viewed as secular.

The wild card here is Israel and the Iranians are well aware of it. Israel has nuclear capability and if attacked with nuclear weapons there is little doubt but that they would retaliate in kind. The US would be unable to prevent this. There is also the possibility that Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike against the Iranian nuclear plants and the US would probably be unable to prevent this as well. Strategically the waters are muddied even further by growing unrest of the Iranian people who are growing tired of the Mullahs – just as the settlements in the New World grew tired of the religious rule of the Puritans. If the Mullahs persist in their strict enforcement of anti-western policies, which is actually a war against western culture – it could eventually bring down the government. The probability of this happening would be greatly increased with a Pro-America secular government in Baghdad.

With even a little reflection and analysis it seems obvious that the current administration has been able to thwart these strategic plans. The Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan. Egypt has finally conducted what appears to be a free election and at the very least Mubarak’s stranglehold has been loosened. Pakistan is cooperating with the US and gradually driving out the Al Qaeda sympathizers. Pakistan and India seem to be moving to an accommodation relative to Kashmir. Yemen has been more cooperative and has actually tried and executed some of the Al Qaeda militants. The insurgents are steadily losing ground in Iraq and a secular government looms on the horizon. Al Qaeda has lost their base in Afghanistan and have been forced back into Iran but the Iranians are under increasing pressure from the UN. Essentially the administration has placed the UN into a “put up or shut up” situation relative to Iran and Al Qaeda.

These successes have not gone unnoticed by Al Qaeda and they have been actively lobbying in the UN and have launched counter strategies. The UN is dominated by countries with significant Muslim populations or countries (e.g. France) who are opposed to the US and resist any action by the UN that might threaten Al Qaeda’s strategy. Al Qaeda has also launched counter strikes in the form of terror attacks in Spain and England in an effort to separate America from our allies. This worked in Spain but has not worked in England although it has weakened Tony Blair. Then Al Qaeda is behind or at least supporting the various anti-war demonstrations both here and abroad. It is unlikely that these anti-war activists are aware that they are being manipulated by Al Qaeda. They are being motivated by a virulent dislike of the current administration or a sincere belief that war is evil. There is little doubt that these people are being supported by Al Qaeda if not directly certainly indirectly. The objective is drive the US out of Iraq, restore the Taliban in Afghanistan, topple the Saudi Royal House, and to weaken the US militarily and economically.

The historical precedent for this is Europe after WW I. The anti-war crowd gained control of the governments in France and England. The English Parliament disarmed unilaterally over a long period of time in the mistaken belief that in so doing they would not present a threat. In reality by disarming they presented an easy target. The “peace at any price” philosophy dominated Europe and the result was the Germans occupied all of Europe – including the neutral nations – within months. This is the scenario that Al Qaeda is trying to duplicate. So far they have not been successful but they hope to install a more pliable administration in the next election and the extreme left is moving in that direction.

Part of this strategy is to force the US to subordinate our interests to the UN. However, the current administration had signaled the UN that this isn’t going to happen. The appointment of Bolton as UN Ambassador demonstrated that the US is tired of the way the UN is operating. The Oil for Food scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. However, there are many liberals who are ashamed of any national sentiment and sincerely believe we need a global government in the form of the UN. There is little doubt but that Al Qaeda was astonished by the reaction of the American people following 9/11. They had not anticipated how America rallied around the President or the President’s resolve. They attempted to defeat him and were further astonished by his re-election. At this point they are looking forward to the next election and will push for a total withdrawal of American Troops from the Middle East and a return to the UN.

We are engaged in life and death struggle, which appears to be unnoticed by many of our leaders. Too many Americans view this “War of Terror” as an “Oil For America” or a “Bush War for Haliburton” which is a view being pushed by Al Qaeda. The reality is this is a war of survival and it is at its base a religious war with no quarter asked or given. It is quite probable that this war will go on for years possibly a hundred years or more. From the perspective of the Muslims this is simply an extension to their struggle (Jihad) that has been going on for over thousand years already. However, the weapons technology has now progressed to the point to where an end point could be realized. We cannot falter now – we must press on – regardless of the cost.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Today once again brings dire predictions regarding Global Warming, the melting icecaps, the destruction of the environment, and the usual “the sky is falling” hysteria. An examination of even elementary geology will disclose that the Earth is subject to radical change. Marine fossils are found in the Himalayas – unless you are one of those people who think these were put there by Satan I think we can conclude that at one time those mountains were under the sea. Considering the current height of the Himalayas we can also conclude that there has been considerable change in that area regarding climate and activity. But this isn’t just true of the Himalayas, we find fossils across the globe that indicate that the area where they were found was once sea bed, open plain, forest, prairie or whatever. One only has to look around today to discover that the weather associated with coastlines is different than that associated with deserts. The fact is that the Earth is constantly changing and the weather changes with it. The idea that these changes are the result of activity by mankind is slightly egotistical and certainly not borne out by any facts.

Beginning in the 1960’s and continuing into the 1980’s there was considerable concern voiced by the usual gaggle of academics over “global cooling” and the possibility of a coming ice age. This hysteria was duly reported by the media but as the cycle shifted from cooler to warmer these same eco-terrorists and anti-technology greenies shifted to global warming. In both cases this same group of people blamed the cooling/warming trends on industrialized society. This army of anti-technologists is largely led by the academic community and the extreme political left – not the Democratic Party per se, but the real extreme-- left who are characteristically anarchists, Marxists, and Progressives (generally a pseudonym for communist). The fact is that weather records show that a warming trend began in about 1890 and continued steadily until about 1945 when the trend reversed and a cooling trend began.

The fact is that weather trends develop and continue for very extended periods of time and possibly even a thousand years is insufficient to actually determine any significant trend or deviation. Geologic changes – mountain building, tectonics, subsidence, etc, take very long periods of time and climatological changes follow these same long range trends because they are closely tied to the geological changes. Of course the argument mounted by the eco-terrorists is that industry (those evil capitalistic business types) are interfering with nature and accelerating these natural processes. The only solution to this is to immediately set in motion regulations (like the Kyoto Treaty) that will control industry, penalize industrial nations, and thereby restore the planet. Of course these actions only apply to the Industrialized nations and are in fact simply an indirect way of achieving the larger goal of wealth redistribution.

Bear in mind that these same eco-hysterics cited cold weather, increased snow falls, storms, hurricanes, poverty, earthquakes, headaches, and hang nails as examples of evidence of Global Cooling and the forthcoming end to our “inter-glacial” period. When the cycle reversed these same examples were used by the same people as evidence to support their assertion that we were killing the planet through Global Warming. Of course the media is comprised of Journalism Majors who were trained in Universities by Progressive or at the very least – liberal—professors so their inclination is to attribute all evil to capitalism. Few if any of these “journalists” have any scientific training and certainly have not demonstrated any critical thinking. Then these wild and unsubstantiated assertions are supported by people like Vice President Al Gore and scientists (Stephen Schneider, Crispin Tickell, Paul Erlich). The alarm was sounded by Newsweek Magazine in 1975.

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states. (Newsweek April 28, 1975)

A more recent opinion was published in the “India Times”

Greens say, rightly, that the best scientific assessment today is that global warming is occurring. Yet never in history have scientists accurately predicted what will happen 100 years later. A century ago no scientists predicted the internet, microwave ovens, TV, nuclear explosions or antibiotics. It is impossible, even stupid, to predict the distant future. That scientific truth is rarely mentioned. Why? Because the global warming movement has now become a multi-billion dollar enterprise with thousands of jobs and millions in funding for NGOs and think-tanks, top jobs and prizes for scientists, and huge media coverage for predictions of disaster.

This appears to be closer to the truth but it fails to address the political underpinnings of the issue. The fact is that Global Warming / Cooling is simply a veiled attempt to further the extreme left’s agenda to redistribute wealth and to destroy any vestige of capitalism. The reality is that climate changes have occurred through out the history of the Earth and will continue to do so.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On The War On Terror

The number of US casualties in Iraq is approaching 2000 so the usual anti-war, anti-Bush crowd are beating their breasts once again and demanding a withdrawal or at the very least a time table for a withdrawal. Then we have the extreme left who call the entire operation an invasion and occupation of a “peaceful” country. Peaceful apparently meaning one that has not attacked the United States or at least not attacked us in a manner that can be directly traced to them. The potential for attack and the probability that they have already attacked us doesn’t count. The murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent and unarmed people doesn’t count. These are the lineal descendants of those same people in the 1930’s who were convinced that if no one bothered Hitler he wouldn’t bother them. Austria didn’t matter – it was mostly German anyway. Czechoslovakia didn’t matter because it was largely German – or at least Hitler claimed it was. Of course Poland was a little different but then the Poles did take some land that once belonged to Germany so they just got what they deserved. Murdering Jews – well who knows if that was actually happening – besides the Jews were persecuted for generations so what else was new? The bottom line for the “peace at any price” crowd was “don’t do anything and Hitler will let us alone”. Of course he simply invaded Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Holland, even though they protested they were neutral. To people like Hitler there was no such thing as neutrality and the same is true today of the war on terror. The Muslims do not have a nation state so they cannot be attacked but they strike at the West from shelters protected by “neutral” or certainly “non-belligerent” nation states – like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Syria. Yet the current crop of “pacifiers” are treading the same old path of do nothing, concede, give in, pacify, and above all “understand” their position and they will stop.

Niccolo Machiavelli addressed this issue of avoiding war and I offer these two observations:

“..there is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others”

“ must never allow disorder to continue so as to escape a war. Anyhow one does not escape; the war is merely postponed to one’s disadvantage.”

Every opportunity to actually stop Hitler was thwarted by the idea that war could be avoided by concessions and understanding. The same is true of the current war on terror. We are treated almost daily to the left (especially from the universities) who are insisting that the War of Terror is nothing other than a power grab for oil and was initiated solely for that purpose. That the Muslims have every right to attack the United States for our “arrogance” and “cultural destruction”. Although many of these people are highly educated they seem to lack any true grasp of history or foundation for the current situation.

Following the death of Mohammed Islam spread very rapidly – mostly through conquest and very quickly Islam dominated all of North Africa, Spain, all of the Middle East, Albania, Armenia, and all of southern Russia, much of India, and Mongolia. Of course this was not one vast political entity but it certainly was a loosely knit empire. Then the Crusaders came and their brutality helped to unify the fragments into an Empire under Saladin. This Empire existed under the Ottomans until 1917 when it was broken up by the French and British who in their inimical colonial was proceeded to divide the spoils and create these fake nation states that now dot Africa and the Middle East.

This European Arrogance gave birth to the Muslim Brotherhood which came into existence in the 1920’s as a militant secret society. The Brotherhood isn’t quite as secret as it once was but it still exists and it has been directly responsible for much of the unrest and terrorism. It was the Brotherhood who assassinated Anwar Sadat as well as other “moderate” Muslim leaders. While this group started as a political movement it has evolved into a militant religious movement bent on restoring the Muslim Empire and destroying the West in the process.

This is a real war and it is the worst kind because it is a religious war on one side and not even recognized as a war on the other much less a religious war. This war has been in process for almost a hundred years and has the probability of going on for another fifty years. This war can only be shortened by taking direct and forceful action which is what the current administration is doing. To stop this and to attempt to go back to a policy of concession and understanding will not stop the war, it will simply prolong it. Machiavelli has been proved right over and over again and it is time some of these people who think any armed force is uncivilized wake up before it is too late.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Is Male Fashion and Oxymoron

Is Male Fashion an Oxymoron

Apparently the plethora of Men’s Health Magazines aren’t enough now there is a plan afoot to market a “Man’s Fashion Magazine”. I have no idea who thought this up but I would guess it is a feminist attempting to blot out any semblance of masculinity or possibly a gender confused male who is attempting to demonstrate his softer side. Who ever is behind this idea certainly isn’t a student of history – fashion or otherwise.

The last radical change in male fashion came as a result of the French Revolution, when the Citizens truncated all of those parasitic aristocrats dressed in fancy satin pants. Of course those aristocrats were replaced by the Egalitarians who were distinguished by there almost total lack of humor let alone any fashion sense. Eventually these precursors to Socialism and Marxism were rapidly treated to the same exercise in truncation as the aristocrats but their basic sense of male fashion remained until it was brought to maturity by Beau Brummel in the early 19th Century. Since that time male fashion has evolved at roughly the same pace that one associates with Darwinian Evolution – that is – tweaks here and there with an occasional mutation that offers some dramatic change, a flash of humor, and a series of photographs that provide hours of amusement to grandchildren. In this category we find a) the Nehru Jacket b) bell bottom trousers, c) tie dye shirts d) leisure suits and of course all of those polyester disco shirts including the gold chains and medallions.

Since this fashion aberration brought on by those flower power rebels who now inhabit our universities (complete with their retro peace symbols, long hair, and drug induced political hallucinations) men have returned to their standard fashionable wardrobe which hasn’t changed very much since Beau Brummel and certainly no major change since 1900. I would say that the majority of (straight) men manage to get by on the same basic wardrobe. Essentially men’s closets and drawers contain the following essentials:
Levi’s ( two pair minimum)
Khaki’s (one pair minimum)
White shirt (several for business types)
Blue dress shirt (several for business types)
A belt – black or brown
Shoes (black wing tips for business types , work boots for others
Pair of casual shoes
Some sweat shirts and sweat pants
A neck tie (several for business types)
Underwear (provided by wife –otherwise optional)
For hunters – some camo
A suit (for business types)
Couple of knit shirts

As you can see a Fashion Magazine for men doesn’t seem to have much of a future unless it is being heavily marketed in San Francisco. And this brings me to the newest thing which I have observed in magazines and the recent (and rare) movie I have attended and that is guys who don’t shave. I’m not talking about guys with beards and mustaches – I’m talking about those guys who look like they just got up and forgot to take a shower. I recently saw a movie that spanned a lengthy period of time but the hero never shaved but never grew a beard either – he just remained perpetually unshaven and dirty looking. Perhaps there is something that I am missing here but I find it hard to believe that women find this unkempt look attractive.

Oh well – perhaps I am showing my age – in any case it ought to be interesting seeing how well a male fashion magazine fairs

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Observations on Iraq

I wrote this is response to some one who was questioning the Iraqi situation on the basis that more troops were needed.

The first military rule is to not interfere with the commander on the ground. I am not there, neither is Bush or Rumsfeld or even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Therefore, I have bowed to the CG's in Iraq who have consistently stated they didn't need more troops. I realize that Generals -- especially multi-starred ones are at heart political but I cannot believe that any American General would sacrifice even one trooper for his personal career -- Since I am not there I accept the fact that the number of troops on the ground is sufficient. I note that many of the voices calling for more troops are either political voices (congress people -both sides) or media. In either case (with some exceptions) these are not qualified voices. I have a high regard for Senator McCain but he was a pilot not a command officer so even he has only a limited knowledge of what it takes to fight a ground fight. Kerry was a Naval Officer with limited command experience and to my knowledge no tactical experience.

The war itself is somewhat problematic -- at least from my perspective. The root causes are deep and go back years if not centuries. The British and the French in their last gasp as colonial powers signed the Sykes-Picot (secret) Treaty, which in effect said that they would divide the old Ottoman Empire between them. This created totally fictious countries -- Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Arabia, Kuwait, Palestine, and arguably Iran. Turkey was shrunk to it's current size and the Kurds once again lost Kurdistan. Under the Ottomans the Arabs and Jews lived peaceably. The Jews and Christians paid some nominal tax to be non-muslim. Unfortunately the Colonial Powers failed to take into consideration the people and the property they were so happily dividing up. The Muslim Brotherhood began in the 20"s along with terrorism. The war intervened but the Muslims joined with Hitler and the Nazi's actually had two SS Divisions made up entirely of Muslims (this is true -- I didn't believe it either and looked it up). Following the war the creation of Israel simply brought the battle and terroism to the forefront. Since Harry Truman supported the founding of Israel and the Brits and French essentially stepped aside the US was left holding a very dirty stick.

My point to this is that of all of the middle eastern countries only two were essentially secular -- Lebanon and Iraq. Reagan failed to deal with Lebanon after the bombing of the marine barracks. For Bush to take up that fight would have involved taking on Syria as well as Iraq and possibly igniting a major conflict stretching across the entire middle east. . Strategically attacking Iraq was probably a good thing because if it succeeds in returning the country to a secular one he will have driven a wedge into the heart of the Arab world. The fight here seems to center on Oil, ego, and immediate threat. Oil is really not terribly relevant since Iraqi oil primarily goes to Europe. The ego's are on both sides and to a large extent this is just belly bumping. The issue of immediate threat is much more relevant and not nearly as clear as the media and various politicians would have you think.

I do agree that the administration and the military both thought that the population would rise up against Saddam and when that failed to happen it caught them off guard. I also think they had expected that Iraq was more secular and less religious than it is and that caught them off guard. I don't think the Pentagon realized they were embarking on a religious war and that is what this is.

I think this is a war unlike any war we have ever fought. In Viet Nam we were fighting a nation state with an organized and generally recognizable enemy. Here we are fighting individuals who belong to no nation state but are religious fanatics whose loyalty is not to a country but to a feudal lord whose power lies in a religious foundation. These people are invisible -- even in Iraq. They are like assassins -- they hide and they smile and they attack from the shadows. Would more troops help? Would more troops simply provide more targets? What about the loss of life? These are all very hard questions and I have no glib answers. I know the number of casualties are astonishingly low but then any is too many. For myself I continue to read and research the area and the history in an effort to grasp the strategic significance. At a tactical level I accept that the military commanders are doing their job and that the political leaders are doing theirs since they all have information I don't have. I know from my reading that this issue goes back decades and that this is a war that has been going on for at least 70 years and quite probably will go on for another 50.

In reading the 9/11 report I discovered that the Clinton administration was well aware of what was going on and what needed to be done. President Clinton made several attempts to nip this in the bud but was over ridden by his staff. Many of the things that Bush did immediately after 9/11 were put in place by Clinton. I notice that the Clinton's have been very quiet concerning this issue and I think with reason. I think they are well aware that Bush is simply executing some of their plans, adding some his own, but doing what they recognized needed to be done all along.

I admired General Patton and had a low regard for Eisenhower. I admired General Schwartzkopf but had a low opinion of Powell for the same reasons. There are big differences between command officers and Pentagon Warriors. I take exception to arm chair generals and pundits who sit in Washingotn or elsewhere and critize events and affairs on the basis of limited knowledge, limited experience, and with hidden agendas. While I was still in the active reserve I held a civilian job that brought me into contact with many foreign nationals. During the height of Viet Nam my wife and I had a cocktail party attended by several foreigners. These people were astonished that the Army had not put a stop to the demonstrations, taken over the media, and imprisoned the leaders of the peace movement. I spent the entire evening attempting to explain the Constitution and that as an Army Officer I was sworn to uphold the Constitution -- NOT THE GOVERNMENT -- and that the Constitution guaranteed the right of these people to speak their mind and consequently I was expected to protect them even if they were spitting on me and the things I believed in.. Trying to explain the freedoms that we enjoy and how the military is sworn to protect the exercise of these was difficult. Later I observed how the Chinese, South Africans, and Latin Americans handled dissent. Our way is better. I don't think Iraq is a quagmire. I don't think it is going to end soon. I don't know if more troops are needed. I do think that we need to recognize this is a religious war that is not bounded by national boundaries or recognized governments. I think everyone has the right to their opinion and they are free to criticize the administration. I was recently on a flight from Calif with several uniformed soldiers. All of these young men were moved up to first class and got a round of applause from the passengers. A big change from the Viet Nam era.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

Sometime ago I took the Arthur C. Clark test determining how oriented I am to the future meaning did I have a clue regarding what is in store for us down the road. Although I scored a respectable 19+, I am led to these observations regarding this test, its validity, and the future. I disagreed with Clark on 20 of his answers, sometimes while wondering precisely what this crazy person was thinking.

My first observation is that Futurists are either self-anointed or appointed by society and the media and rarely do they have any credentials that raise them above the average person. In any case their public record of accuracy leaves much to be desired. Their prognostications are a mixture of dreams, wishes, and current projections usually mixed with a liberal dose of personal biases. So it was with Arthur C. Clark. Writing Science Fiction does not make him any more of a futurist than reading his science fiction stories makes me a futurist. This raises several questions: Should we listen to a "futurist"? Should we act on what a futurist says? What makes a futurist more knowledgeable than anyone else? Remember, Chicken Little wasn't totally wrong. SOMETHING did indeed fall on his head.

Some of Clark's answers were dated and showed a blind faith in technology without any recognition of practical business issues. Any one who has ever worked in R&D knows that moving something from the lab to production has a very low success rate. A great many wonderful ideas and products die in the cost analysis. For example Mr Clark forecasts a commercial future for the Space Shuttle. It is unlikely the Space Shuttle will ever be used for any viable commercial purpose, certainly not passenger traffic. The Space Shuttle is a technical triumph, but not a commercial one. Commercial Space traffic will require a new technology – probably anti-gravity and until some very inexpensive method is created to get a space vehicle off the ground we will be anchored to Earth.

Arthur Clark is a well known anti-war advocate, so his response indicating that man would not survive World War III represents his personal bias, not rational thinking. In the nearly 50 years since the Atomic Bomb was first used, it has not been used by any one else. Yet wars have been on-going during that entire time. In fact we have been engaged in world war against Islam for at least 20 years and possibly longer depending on how you measure it. It is highly unlikely that there will ever be another world war between nation states and even if there were there is no reason to believe atomics would be used and even if they were, I believe mankind is resilient enough to survive it.

Clark's anti-war bias again shows itself over and over again and is the basis for his prediction that we will have done away with nuclear arms by 2045. The technology is simple (by today’s standards) and it is unlikely that these arms will ever go away. But having them, having the capability to have them, and using them are very different things. Weapons technology is REPLACED not ABANDONED. Remember, the invention of the crossbow doomed the mounted armored knight. This weapon, even today is formidable. At the time society and the church railed against the use of this "ungentlemanly" way of killing people. But those peasants were tired of being slaughtered by those mounted gentlemen so they continued building and using crossbows and the mounted Knight was doomed. Atomic weapons will be abandoned when there is a better weapon available.

Personally, I expect technology to permit parents more of an opportunity to work at home, at least on a part-time basis. What will be the impact? I believe as this comes about we will see dramatic improvements in the divorce rate, crime rate, quality of life, and overall productivity. This will also contribute to an overall improvement in the environment. Although this was not a point Clark addressed, I think it is a real trend. We already see wireless access points everywhere which enable people to work wherever they happen to be.

My favorite disagreement with Clark is in the use of Robots. Like so many people, he views robots anthropomorphically. Therefore he concludes that people in the 21st century will primarily use their robots for housecleaning, rather than for laundry, cooking, etc. This borders on the laughable. From the perspective of the Computer Scientist we are surrounded by robots today. A robot opens/closes my garage door, cooks my food, answers my telephone, and sniffs for unauthorized fire or prowlers. True, these robots don't look like Robby and don't talk back to me, but they provide the same function. We already have most of the robots described. Clark is simply waiting for them to look like him. There is a dark side to robots though. I believe they will contribute to the isolation of many people. Once people can stay at home and work some will opt to have less and less to do with people at large. It is these people that will turn to their robots for companionship. You see this already in the growing popularity of electronic bulletin boards and telephone party lines. My question in this area is what impact will "virtual reality" have on our lives? I know it will be significant, but will it be for the good? Once our robotic slaves begin to talk to us, I believe all of these problems will be raised by a magnitude.

In short, I disagree with Clark, just as I disagree with most Futurists. The people best able to look into the future are those who are trying to solve a real problem today and answer specific questions.

The Constitution and Constitutional Rights?

First it is worth noting that many of the “rights” we view as being guaranteed in the Constitution are not even mentioned and that many of the rights that are mentioned have been grossly distorted by the Supreme Court, which has usurped power from both the executive and legislative branches.

No where in the Constitution is the Supreme Court granted the right to determine what is and is not--Constitutional. They were not granted a veto over the legislature yet they have assumed this power incrementally until today the country is ruled not by a representative government composed of three equal branches but is ruled by nine individuals who have absolute power and who can and do impose their will on the people regardless of what the people want. The people’s representatives can pass legislation reflecting the will of the people and this legislation can be approved by the President and then overturned by the Supreme Court who can impose their personal beliefs on the people. There is no doubt but that the Judiciary is out of control and the country is no longer governed by a representative government but is being oppressed by a group of increasingly capricious judges appointed for life.

This situation was forecasted by Robert Yates, writing under the name of “Brutus” in essay 11 of the Federalist Papers. Yates wrote:
... And in their decisions they will not confine themselves to any fixed or established rules, but will determine, according to what appears to them, the reason and spirit of the Constitution. The opinions of the Supreme Court, whatever they may be, will have the force of law; because there is no power provided in the Constitution that can correct their errors, or control their adjudications. From this court there is no appeal.

This power in the judicial will enable them to mould the government, into almost any shape they please.

This is precisely what is happening and the government that the Supreme Court has decided that we need – or deserve – is socialistic and not capitalistic and certainly not a government that reflects the will of the majority. It was the Supreme Court that decided they had this power of “judicial review” which had this been done by an individual it would have been called a coup.

The Constitution never intended to prevent people from praying in public or in government buildings -- it intended to protect their right to pray. The Supreme Court has unilaterally abolished our right to exercise our religion in public – particularly Christianity. The Court is more liberal when it comes to Devil Worship, Idolatry, or any thing that calls itself religion as long as it doesn’t involve anything written in the Bible. This concept of the “separation of church and state” didn’t exist until 1947 when Justice Black included this in one of his opinions which set a precedent that has led to the current sad state of affairs.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The court has unilaterally legalized abortion. It doesn't matter if you are pro-life or pro-choice the fact is that no representative body at either the state or federal level ever passed legislation authorizing abortion. There is no "right to privacy" written into the constitution. This concept was put in place by the Supreme Court who has used it's own precedents to justify protection of criminals among other things.

The list goes on and on but the bottom line in all of this is that the Supreme Court has incrementally seized control of the country and has eliminated any vestige of representative government. What we have is a sham because ultimate power rests with the Supreme Court and they have demonstrated that they act on their 'feelings" rather than the will of the majority.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Religion of Peace

Once again we are being treated to some vivid examples of how the Religion of Peace is practiced. We have people who have murdered or attempted to murder dozens, if not hundreds, of innocent people demanding "their rights". These are the people who view all westerners as "Crusaders" who are determined to destroy Islam and crush all Muslims. These are the people who view the (disgraceful) partioning of the Ottoman Empire not as a political act by victors in a war but as an overt attempt to destroy Islam and to steal their riches. These are people whose education -- if they have any and many do not -- is totally overshadowed by their religion because they cannot (and do not) separate their religion from their daily lives. The countries that we see are actually artificial (not totally but mostly) and our idea of a government established independently from religion is not only foreign to them but it is a sign of our degradation.

It is difficult for most of us to grasp or understand how these people think, especially those who are educated and who have been exposed to the west. However, we must also remember that it wasn't too long ago that the West was engaged in numerous bloodthirsty wars between Catholics and Protestants waged by educated people and that Islam still lives in the 7th Century. These are people whose religion instructs them to kill infidels and their Imams drill this into their heads.

We are constantly being told that Islam is a religion of peace and that the Muslim Community condemns violence. I have yet to see or hear any strong voice of condemnation emmanting from the Muslim community. Instead I hear meek and mild protestations followed by the ubiquitous BUT -- that excuses and justifies horrific acts of violence because of the War in Iraq, the Palestinians, or whatever excuse is handy at the time. What is glossed over in the West is that these acts of violence have been going on for a very long time. The Muslims still think they should have Spain (screw El Cid, Charlemagne, and Roland), that they are entitled to revenge from the Crusades, and that they have a right to all of the Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, Uzbechestan, Checnya, Pakistan, --- well the world. While accusing the West of being the instigators the Muslim community conveniently forgets that it was the Muslims who attacked Israel not vice versa. It was the Muslims who murdered Sadat, It was the Muslims who attacked America, It was Musims who murdered thousands in Iraq, and it is Muslims who are killing Muslims not the West.

Even within our own society we hear people like (traitor) Jane Fonda, calling for "peace" and understanding of the Palestinian position. First, in order to have peace you must have some one to negotiate with -- and that would be whom? Secondly, there must be some desire for peace but there has never been any indication that the Muslims have any desire for peace. What they desire is the complete desruction of Western Society, the death of all infidels, the establishment of Shar'ia Law, the destruction of Israel, and a return to herding goats.

It is time that we understand this is a WAR -- an unconventional one and one that has already been going on for more than 70 years and has every indication of going on for many more years. It has lasted this long because too many people make excuses, believe that Islam is peaceful, that we need to "understand" the Muslim position, and if we would just stop fighting and give them what they want, we would have peace. Unfortunately peace is not the absence of war, and there will be no peace in this war. This is war with no quarter given and it is a struggle to the death. It is a religious war and it the time is long past for us to understand that our adversaries want our totally destruction.

It is time to charge these Imams who preach violence with sedition, to deport Muslims who advocate violence, and to close any Mosque where hate and violence is preached. To a large extent what we are experiencing is the fruits of multi-culturalism. This is a philosophy that divides and prevents assimilation. If these people are not assimilated or refuse to be assimilated then we have seeds of civil war.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Once again I am distracted by my consulting activity so I probably won't be able to post very much for a while. In the meantime I have come to the conclusion that we really should enforce the Geneva Convention and the common rules of war relative to the war on terror. Essentially these say that anyone captured on the battlefield in civilian dress can be summarily executed. This was done to german soldiers in WW II and General washington applied this rule to Major Andre in the Revolutionary war. If the tortures at Guantanamo we should end their misery and simply execute them which would be within the Geneva Convention. It is also worth noting that the desecretion of the Qu'ran seems rather one sided since desecretion by Muslims to the Bible is deemed acceptable conduct. In fact the Qu'ran specifically calls on Muslims to kill anyone attempting to prosyletize. Very nice religion but rather one sided -- too bad the ACLU and Amnesty International is so filled with ideologues they cannot seem to read anything that leads to conclusion other than what they THINK is true. Can you spell loser?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Morality, Ethics, and Business

It seems to me that we are a country in conflict – not just politically, which has always been the case, but conflicted in some very fundamental ways. Business and businessmen have always been under attack in this country and in many cases these attacks were warranted. I submit Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Gould, et al. and more recently we have the gaggle of CEO’s who have gotten caught with their moral, if not their legal, pants around their ankles. The result of these transgressions has been a concerted and continuing attack on business by those who either have an agenda of their own or people who are simply ignorant of business. But this malaise goes far beyond just business – it has infected people who are outside of business – people who seem unable to understand the role of business and the sources of revenue and jobs. These are the people who seem to think that the money the government spends on welfare, jobs creation, foreign aid, medicaid, social security, and the many other government programs comes from the government. Apparently, the belief is that since the government prints money they can print as much as they want without regard to business or economics. These are the people who are always shouting that the “rich” should pay more, that corporations should pay more, and the “unfortunate” should pay nothing at all. This is Robin Hood economics but it really is only the tip of the iceberg. The conflict is much deeper.

Labor Unions were crucial to breaking the stranglehold of management on labor because the fundamental raison d’etre of the unions is to control the supply of labor. However, these unions today are anachronisms and they no longer work because they can only control the supply of domestic labor and as they raise the cost of that labor the businessman is forced to move jobs overseas in order to remain competitive. The result is that the labor unions are destroying more jobs than they are creating but the attacks are on the businessman not on the labor leaders. The attitude is that the businessman has a moral obligation to retain workers even if they are over paid and the products they produce can only be sold at a loss. Naturally the solution to this problem has been discovered by our European Allies and that is government ownership and restrictive tariffs. What goes unsaid is that the unemployment rate in Europe is roughly twice what it is in the US and that the competitiveness of European products is sinking rapidly. But once again the conflict is deeper.

The crux of the problem seems to be the belief that the businessman has a moral obligation to retain unproductive people, to take a loss, and to share the revenues even if the revenues don’t cover the costs. We see the idea that those who work hard, who educated themselves, and who continue to retrain for the future have a moral obligation to share their wealth with those who failed to get an education, who failed to improve their skills, or who simply those who would prefer to sleep in a cardboard box to working. There seems to be a pervasive attitude that the government has a moral obligation to care for the “unfortunate” by forcing the productive citizens to share their wealth. But the irony of this conflict is that those who espouse this belief also seem to be the same people who are leading the charge against the moral reforms urged by the Christian community. The term “Christian” is almost always said with a sneer and preceded by some denigrating term but it is these same Christians who are attempting to care for the poor and unfortunate. Their crime seems to be that they are trying to do this without benefit of any government program and to be effective the government must be involved – this is the socialist way.

The irony here goes even deeper because when the government attempted to sanction these self-help Christian driven programs the left went into paroxysms of Constitutional interpretation. It seems that while it is necessary that the government confiscate the wealth of some to give to others, this cannot be done voluntarily by Christians or involve Christians in any way. The fact is that 82% of the population consider themselves “Christian” which means the 18% are something else ranging from Atheists to Zen Masters but it is this small minority that is tyrannizing the rest. This leads me to the conclusion that religion and the “separation of church and state” actually have little to do with the situation. It seems to me that these attacks are motivated almost entirely by those who are anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-religious, and anti-government – not government per se but government by the people. These are the people who want us to be more socially conscious but only in their terms.

Michigan like many states is suffering from budget issues – primarily self-inflicted by the unions – but regardless of the cause the result is a reduction in programs. The state legislature is considering taking adult children off of the roles of welfare recipients and taking those who have been on welfare for more than four years off of the roles altogether. This is creating a major partisan flap since the left consider this morally wrong. Of course the exceptions are always trotted out as the rationale for not changing anything. Naturally there are people with adult children who for one reason or another are unable to work and there are those who can work but who cannot make a living wage (mentally handicapped for example). Of course there are valid exceptions but these exceptions are used to justify robbing the rich to give to the undeserving. And this brings us to another fundamental point and that is “ethics”.

There is really no need to explore the ethical issues surrounding the recent abuses by various executives in too many companies. These are ethically bankrupt people who have used and abused their position and power for selfish reasons, but what about the ethics of the workers, the politicians, and the various extremist groups? What about their ethics? Is it ethical for a union boss to demand higher wages and greater benefits knowing that the end result will be fewer jobs for the workers whom he represents? Is it ethical for a politician to take money from a special interest and support legislation that is not in the common interest? Is it ethical for environmentalists to destroy private property because they don’t agree with how it is being used? Is it ethical for someone who purports to be a religious leader (e.g. Jesse Jackson, Jerry Falwell) to use their position for political purposes? Then what about the ethics of the entertainment industry?

Statistically movies that are rated G are more profitable than movies rated R but yet Hollywood continues to crank out trash. It is now accepted for anyone to use foul language in any social environment and this can only be attributed to Hollywood and the movies they crank out. Free speech has been stretched to the point that anyone can say anything – but is that really true? Is our speech really free? Can we actually say anything we choose? If you believe that try using the word “niggardly.” A young man (obviously educated) lost his position because he used this word which is a perfectly valid word but it sounds like one of those forbidden words. In fact while you can curse at will and in any environment you cannot say anything that might be construed as racial or insensitive to a minority. So we find ourselves in the situation where Hollywood and the movies are exercising their legal rights but fail to see that they have any ethical responsibility or that their actions have coarsened our society.

But it isn’t just Hollywood that has some culpability for the destruction of civility, ethics, and morality we can look to the universities for some of this. Professors are mostly left over from the Viet Nam era when they stayed in school to avoid their duties and responsibilities. Since that war went on longer than expected these incipient draft dodgers eventually became PhD’s with no employable skills so they just hung on as professors. It is these people who have disgraced academia and have turned it into an arena of indoctrination rather than education. Free speech is essentially dead at our universities. Students are expected to be opposed to Christianity, representative government, conservative causes, anti-drug legislation, or the government, except in those cases where the government is exercising its authority to suppress individual rights. We are in the midst of a serious destruction of our moral fiber, ethics, and the representative government we all expect. The time has long past to stop equivocating and to act in our own self interest.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Land of the Living Dead

Once again I have returned to the land of the living after visiting California, where it is perpetually sunny and each day brings another influx of illegal aliens and sun worshipers. Why these people are drawn to this land of the dead – not only brain dead but morally dead as well – I have no idea. When you ask the answer is always the same – the weather. Every day is a beautiful day and you have the beach, the mountains, skiing, the desert, -- in short you have everything except a parking place. What no one is willing to admit is that while the beach is only minutes away there is no parking and if you are lucky enough to find a parking place the beach itself is filled with some pretty strange people and generally not a place to take your family – unless of course they have completed their sex education course with honors.

Then you have the mountains which are beautiful – but what goes unsaid is the end of the phrase which is – when you can see them. In the period of one week I did not see the mountains except once and even then they were only a shadow seen dimly through the brown muck which they call air. Of course the good news is that if you can actually get to the mountains then that same brown muck shields you from seeing the sprawl of houses, strip malls, and freeways. One of the challenges in getting to the mountains is the traffic. It is hard to imagine twelve lanes of cars going 10 miles an hour for miles and miles. The logical question is where are all of these people going? Naturally the answer is that they are 1) going home, which is only 100 or so miles from where they work, 2) they are going to the mountains or desert; 3) they are headed to the beach – but the fourth option is never mentioned and that is that most of them are looking for a parking place.

The traffic is terrible and it is that way virtually 24 hours a day. However, California is a state filled with enlightened people who generally feel they are smarter than the rest of kids so they have solutions for everything. Most of all they are the Nannies of the world so they feel that most of us are too stupid to make decisions for ourselves so they must take care of us. Consequently there are signs everywhere telling you about the dangerous chemicals in the buildings (janitorial supplies), alcohol is dangerous (no warnings about drugs though), and that coffee cups contain hot liquids. The signage is everywhere – but in English even though almost no one actually speaks English there anymore. My favorite traffic solution offered by the enlightened elite are the diamond lanes. As stated earlier the traffic is horrendous and moving at a walking pace. The brilliant solution offered by the state was to create special lanes for those people who have more than one person in the car thus reducing the capacity of the freeway by 25% . The intent was to encourage people to develop car pools but alas the law of unintended consequences took effect so the result was to create even greater traffic jams.

But remember this is California, the land of the liberal elite. This is the state that guarantees anyone who can sneak into the country Constitutional protections, welfare, free education, and free medical. This is a state where the homeless are subsidized with stipends – a state filled with people who feel and care for their fellow man and who are willing to protest at the drop of a liberal cause. However, the traffic is terrible which makes it difficult for these liberals to get to the place where they can protest the plight of the poor and downtrodden – so they have come up with the solution – TOLL LANES. Therefore, for the limousine elite they can use their personal money by buying their way around the traffic jams they caused for the poor and downtrodden so they can rush to the places where they can protest for the poor and downtrodden. The hypocrisy of this seems to escape them.

In spite of what most civilized people would consider drawbacks to living like this the reality is that people are flooding into California – many legally. The result is housing is hard to come by but you can still buy a 1940’s two bedroom one bath bungalow for – depending on location -- $500,000 to $900,000. Selling a house there is quite an experience because you simply place your house on the market and wait for the bidding to begin. No one ever reduces their price because they always expect someone to pay more than the asking price. So who would pay this kind of money for what most people would consider a shack or at best a starter home? The brain dead – that’s who – these are the people who feel that living in perpetual sunshine is more important than having quality. There is no doubt but that California is the home of the living dead – their brains have been cooked by all of that sun.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Rights in Review

The newspapers are an endless source of insight into how the media think, liberals feel, and union labor reacts. It seems that Carly Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett Packard) had the temerity to state – flat out – no spin or diplomatic political correctness – that NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO A JOB. This unvarnished statement gave the liberal press the vapors, caused some of the audience to swoon, and the unions to erupt into paroxysms of socialist regurgitation. Ms Fiorina rightfully pointed out that America is competing in a global economy where China and Russia have brought 300 million people into the workforce – workers who are competing with Americans for jobs. Many of these foreign workers have skills equivalent to Americans and many more have technical skills that are increasingly hard to find in America. She went on to say that the American education system is failing and that if something is not done soon to bolster our education in math and science America will no longer be able to compete.

Naturally this statement was met with denial and she was castigated for being out of touch, callous, and unfeeling. Notice that none of these attacks actually stated that she was WRONG – just that she was UNFEELING. What has gone unnoticed is that it is this focus on feelings by the elite media and the liberals that is the root cause. Such subjects as arithmetic, reading, and writing are no longer germane to the typical curriculum – instead we teach how to use calculators and computers – not how to build or design them. We focus on sex education rather than biology. We allow students to express themselves in writing but don’t mark off for grammar or spelling for fear of hurting their little egos by showing failure. Geography is deader than Latin as are the multiplication tables. The result is we are graduating kids who can’t read or write or even make change without a machine. These are the people that we are expecting to compete in a global labor market where the competition has been drilled in fundamentals from the first grade. Obviously this is an unrealistic expectation but then we send these same poorly educated kids off to the Universities which have ceased being centers of education but have become a cross between a poorly run business and a propaganda machine for the liberals.

These same under educated kids enter the university unprepared and disinterested in education. For the most part these are the final four years of high school where they are free to indulge themselves in sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. They take majors in gender studies, black studies, political science, philosophy, but rarely do they get involved in engineering, mathematics, physics, or any of those classes that require hard work or might prepare them for work as adults. These are the people who leave college and believe that they have a RIGHT to a job because that is what their left wing progressive professors have told them. They are offended at the idea that they have no skills and that the market for Philosophers has softened since Aristotle made it pay. The ardent graduate in gender studies think that they are entitled to a high paying job and the fact that they can’t get one is demonstrable proof that business is run by a bunch of misogynistic old white men. The idea that the businessman might be looking for someone with skills remotely connected with his business is never considered. The government should investigate this discrimination because these graduates have a right to a job.

I don’t buy any of this and think that Ms Fiorina, like Bill Cosby before her, told the truth and the liberals can’t handle the truth. The country had better wake up and get control of this situation before the American labor force sinks to unsuitability for anything other than raw labor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Once again the newspapers bring new insight into how liberals think but in reality they don’t think – they feel. Liberals are always in favor of helping the poor and the expense of the rich. They are in favor of education but with diversity, love, and understanding for everybody. They see all cultures as equal and sincerely believe all persons (they cannot bring themselves to say men) are created equal. They feel these things just as they feel that those that have worked hard and have accumulated wealth have a moral obligation to share that with the (how I hate this term) less fortunate.

Today we are treated to the New York Times informing us that Wal-Mart could pay their employees more. Of course this is true, any employer – including the New York Times—could pay their employees more and the reason they don’t is called “competition”. Customers – like the readers of the New York Times – are only willing to pay a certain price for a product and once the cost of that product is out of alignment with similar service providers the customers go elsewhere. Apparently this simple economic fact is outside of the educational scope of reporters employed by the NYT and the liberal establishment. The liberals essentially hate capitalism, competition, and anything that allows one person or group to gain more than what they feel is fair. The fact is that Wal-Mart is a business that started out as a small business and is now the largest business in the world. Because of this the liberals think they are morally obligated to pay more to their employees, pay higher prices to their suppliers, but not charge more for their products although that would be OK if it resulted in making them less competitive.

The entire argument revolves around the belief that Wal-Mart has a moral obligation to pay higher wages because they are profitable. However, nothing is said about other companies paying their employees more just because they are profitable. The attitude is that Wal-Mart is exploiting their workers but Wal-Mart has over a million employees, world wide and over 20,000 suppliers. Apparently the majority of these employees and suppliers are satisfied because if they aren’t they can certainly go elsewhere. Clearly the liberal community simply wants to destroy Wal-Mart because it is a vivid example of successful capitalism.

This brings us to the other item in the Newspaper where we are informed that government cuts in spending will reduce the number of internships available for low income students. First, it is worth noting that government cuts in spending never seem to impact any of the pork barrel projects, research grants to academia, or foreign aid, but they always seem to impact the poor, the down trodden, education, and fire and safety. But this is beside the point of this article which implies by its wording that students coming from affluent families will still get internships while those in low income families will be left out. How this conclusion is reached is not explained and I suspect it is not explained because it is untenable. As anyone who has ever hired an intern knows the number of internships is small but the ones that are available go to the most aggressive applicants with the best set of skills. It has nothing to do with their families and certainly has nothing to do with their need.

That is the thing about the liberal establishment, they want to make hiring dependent on race and need and independent of ability. It doesn’t matter if you can’t read or write or have only elementary qualifications, if you are homeless and poor you deserve to have a job or to be admitted to the finest educational institution on that basis alone. The liberals still cannot grasp the egalitarian concepts that underpin communism and socialism don’t work and have never worked. Rather that raising up the lower classes they bring down the upper classes so that everyone is equally poor. No one has any obligation to share their wealth or provide for the poor. If they do so then that is a choice but not an obligation.

Friday, May 13, 2005

War Is Peace

The world is filled with people who predict the future, some of these represent themselves appropriately as Fortune Tellers, Psychics, and Tarot Readers but others – especially those in the intelligentsia – represent themselves as strategic thinkers or Futurists. These Futurists are either self-anointed or appointed by society and the media. In either case their public record of accuracy leaves much to be desired. Their prognostications are a mixture of dreams, wishes, and current projections usually mixed with a liberal dose of personal biases. Just because a person has many letters after his name or figures prominently in academic circles or the media doesn’t make them any more of a futurist than the Fortune Teller or the average man-on-the-street. This raises several questions: Should we listen to a "futurist"? Should we act on what one of these self-anointed know-it-all says ? What makes one of these prognosticators more knowledgeable than anyone else ? Remember, Chicken Little wasn't totally wrong. SOMETHING, did indeed fall on his head.

Many of these Futurists are media stars or academics and virtually all are known anti-war advocates, so their dire predictions of the future and urgent demands for total disarmament to gain world peace represents a desire not a future. They base their forecasts on their belief that mankind would not survive World War III because it would be an atomic holocaust. However, this represents their personal bias, not rational thinking. In the 50 years since the Atomic Bomb was first used, it has not been used by any one else. Yet wars have been on-going during that entire time. In fact there has never been a period in world history when there has been world peace. IF there were to be another world war and the current Islamic based terrorism certainly falls into that category, there is no guarantee atomics won’t be used and if they were, I believe mankind is resilient enough to survive it.

Ever since the invention of the Atomic Bomb the anti-war peace at any cost community has been struggling to convince the United States to disarm or at the least to destroy all of our atomic weapons. The rationale appears to be that if the US were to disarm there would be no need for other nations to develop or maintain their atomic weapons and world peace would prevail. What goes unsaid is that the US is an imperial power run by jingoistic politicians bent on world domination Рsort of cultural death by forced democracy. The idea seems to be that the Cubans, North Koreans, Indians, etc. are all happy where they are and would be peaceful if the US would just disarm. The naivet̩ of that is self-evident to everyone but the anti-war activists.

Atomic technology is simple (by today’s standards) and it is unlikely that these arms will ever go away. But having them, having the capability to have them, and using them are very different things. Weapons technology is REPLACED never ABANDONED. Remember, the invention of the crossbow doomed the mounted armored knight. This weapon, even today is formidable. At the time society and the church railed against the use of this "ungentlemanly" way of killing people. They did it anyway and the mounted Knight was doomed. Atomic weapons will be abandoned when there is a better weapon available.

This brings us to the current world situation specifically North Korea and Iran. Both of these countries are determined to become nuclear powers and both Russia and the EU are more than willing to help them. These governments want the revenues and jobs that come with providing this technology to these rogue states. Besides, they are not the ones at risk. It is highly unlikely that either Iran or North Korea would mount a pre-emptive strike on Europe or Russia while it is much more likely that if either of these countries would actually employ their atomic weapons it would be against the US and Israel. The destruction of Israel would not be viewed as any great loss by either the Europeans or Russia since both are highly anti-Semitic and would see this as a positive. A damaged or weakened US would bring these countries back on the stage as world powers both militarily and economically.

These are realities that academia and the political left simply ignore in their belief that the great threat to world peace is the United States and our military. These are people who want to belief and feel rather than think. They reject any fact or critical thinking that would conclude that a strong military is the path to peace and that sometimes war or the threat of war brings peace.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Revolutions and the French

American history in general is not especially interesting since it is mostly composed of political struggles between politicians with some moral relevancies here and there. Nevertheless, in reading the papers of some of the founding fathers, it is fascinating to see their differences, their likes and dislikes, but most interestingly – how they perceived current events. This is especially true of the French Revolution, which today is viewed as an unnecessary bloodbath conducted by extremists in the name of “democracy”. To many people – even today – the French Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution, but the only similarities are in the term “Revolution” and beyond that there is no similarity at all.

It is fascinating to read the papers of the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson during this period and to see how the Americans viewed the French Revolution. Jefferson, like Madison and others saw the French Revolution as a natural result of the American Revolution. The French citizens were simply exercising their right of self-determination. But Jefferson was a Francophile and continued to make excuses for the French even as their excesses grew. He ignored the real meaning of their call for Liberte`, Fraternite`, Egalite` even after Citizen Genet arrived on the scene and Americans began calling themselves “Citizen” in the French Style. He ignored Genet's attempts to undermine the Administration until they became so extreme that even he could no longer ignore them. Eventually even Jefferson had to accept the fact that Robespierre, Danton, and Marat were out of control and were conducting an unnecessary bloodbath. But to criticize the French would have been impolitic since there was such support for the French among the American public. Plus Hamilton and others were highly critical of the French Directory and how they were conducting their affairs.

We tend to forget that the American Revolution was actually just one theater in a global war that had been going on prior to 1776 and raged off and on throughout the period and only ended with the exile of Napoleon. In fact this European War had been going on during the reign of Louis XV and then under Louis XVI as well. Wars cost money and this one was no exception and France was essentially bankrupt. Louis XVI was inept at almost everything and he had simply continued the policies of his father and grandfather without regard to the cost. Consequently the population was restive at first and then moved to rebellion. Whether or not the American Revolution had any influence on this is arguable but some certainly saw that it was possible to throw off the yoke of monarchy. Nevertheless, the country of France was effectively bankrupt and turned to America for the money owed to them by the American Government. Jefferson felt that a failure to support the French Revolutionaries would be hypocritical since they were attempting the same rebellion that the Americans had just successfully accomplished. Besides the French were still enemies of Britain and Jefferson essentially saw Britain as the arch enemy of America. The result was Jefferson recognized the money owed to the French as a legitimate debt owed to a legitimate government while Hamilton saw this as an attempt by an illegitimate group of thugs to get the money they needed to maintain their control over what was clearly a bloody purge.

It is worth noting that during this entire contretemps Washington remained above the fray. Generally his attitude was “the French be damned”. He never forgot nor forgave the way the French and British aristocracy treated him. He felt the Europeans got what they deserved and that the future of America did not lie across the Atlantic but to the West. His policy was always to grow America, to exploit our resources, and to let the Europeans stew in their own juice. This essentially became the cornerstone of American Foreign Policy up to the First World War when America became a world power that overshadowed the Europeans.

The fact is that during this entire period – in fact from the fall of the Roman Empire – the French and English were at war with each other and even today they detest each other. The French have never been able to establish a stable government and the French Revolution was really just another example of that inability. Once Louis XVI was executed and the son Louis XVII disappeared (or died your choice) the rise of a military dictator was inevitable. Napoleon just happened to seize the moment and ultimately the crown as well. However, unlike Washington, Napoleon was unable to relinquish power and establish a democratic government. Instead he succumbed to the intoxication of power and launched France on wars of conquest and thus betraying the revolution.

Washington set an example that has not been duplicated since. Instead we see revolutionaries like Lenin, Stalin, Castro, and Mao Tse Tung, seizing power for themself and failing to give up their power in favor of a democratic government. Only Washington was able to give up total power and step off of the world stage. This has set an example for the world and this example is repeated with every change in administration. Today the French and most European countries are democratic and are able to change administrations without killing each other, but they owe America and George Washington a debt of gratitude. The American Revolution stands unique in history and the French Revolution was typical of all other revolutions where the outs over threw in the ins and then proceeded to continue business as usual.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Save My Victims

Once again the liberals have raised their voices to accuse those who insist that every one is in a position they created for themselves of being “uncaring” and lacking in compassion. These are the people who wring their hands, shed tears, and demand that some one should do something to help all of these victims. Of course how these victims became victims is never really discussed and certainly their actions prior to their victimization, is never criticized, because that would be cruel. Naturally their demands that someone do something to help these victims never actually includes them, it is always the government – meaning the taxpayer – meaning the undeserving rich, because the poor should never be taxed because they are victims of capitalism and business, not their own poor decisions. The result is everyone is called on to sacrifice and help these victims of earthquakes, floods, drug addiction, AID’s, and whatever problem that can be blamed on “big business”.

The reality is that these victims are almost universally the result of their poor judgement and bad decisions. People flood into California and build homes on every piece of land ignoring the fact that the entire region is subject to devastating fires and earthquakes. But when these disasters strike somehow these liberals feel it is the responsibility of others to pick up the pieces and help these people rebuild – in the same place! Then we have the “poor’ and “homeless” and surely something needs to be done about that. The rich don’t deserve their wealth so we – the liberal elite—should take their wealth and give it to the poor and homeless. The fact that these people are poor and homeless is the direct result of their decision not to get an education, to not develop any skills, to not development any self-discipline, to take drugs, or to foolishly spend what they do have – these are never considered. These are poor people so the liberals think the rich should be robbed of their wealth without regard to the risks they took, the sacrifices they made, or the effort they expended to gain their wealth.

The rich are those people who receive compensation for what they produce. They do not get unearned rewards. No one is forced to buy their products or hire their abilities – this is called a fair exchange – compensation for an exchange of goods or services. This is simple fairness and it is not the responsibility of those participating in this exchange to share anything with others. If they choose to do so, that is called “charity” and is a personal choice and not something that should be forced on them by the government or some well meaning person who thinks something should be done. The happiness or the well being of everyone is their own responsibility and not the responsibility of the government. No one – especially the government – has the right to take by force the wealth of one person and to give it to another simply because that person is poor and unhappy being poor.

Naturally this assessment is viewed as overly harsh, uncaring, unfeeling, and by many as “immoral”. However, this does not mean that the rich should not give to the poor or that they should not share their wealth – quite the contrary – the wealthy can do as they choose with their wealth and many do use their wealth to benefit others. The point is that this sharing should not be foisted on them through legal force in the form of taxation or the use of public funds to alleviate the results of bad judgement. But what about the morality of those who stand around with their hand out and willingly accept the money that has been wrested from the rich through legal force. Is it moral for one to accept the gift of goods that have been taken from another? When this is done by an individual it is called stealing but when it is done by the government it is called “helping the poor” or “welfare” but the result is the same. Why is immoral for a person to want to keep what they have rightfully earned but moral for a person who hasn’t earned it to accept it from the government. What is really at play here is guilt. The liberals are actually plagued with guilt because they have more than someone else – by definition that person with a dollar less is poor in their eyes and the extra dollar they have is rightfully his. This guilt is translated into the continuing pressure to take those extra dollars and give them to the poor but in practice it isn’t their dollars they are giving but the dollars of those whom they feel are too rich. The result is a whole gaggle of people who think it is their “right” to have a job, to get food stamps, to consume more than they earn, and to take without regard for giving of for the source of what they are taking.

What is wasted on these liberals who feel sorry for all of these poor people is that their “love your brother” morality and “rob the rich to give to the poor” panacea’s don’t work and worse they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. This “rob the rich” mentality is displayed daily in calls for the rich to pay their fare share without actually defining who is rich, what their fare share is, and what would be the fair share of the poor – are they free from giving anything back – ever?
We see any effort by those who earn and produce the wealth in this country to protect what they earn as evidence of how big business is destroying the country and something should be done to protect the little guy from the rapaciousness of these rich fat cats.

The fact is that it is these “fat cats” that provide the jobs and generate the wealth for everyone, not those parasites who take and take and take as if it were their right. In fact, the liberals have convinced them that it is their right. If you can just sneak across the border then you are entitled to a job, to welfare, and to medical care at no cost to you because those undeserving rich people can share some of their wealth. The reality is that the liberals have created and perpetuate a society of victims, where no one is responsible for the result of their decisions because they are victims of some one else or some businessman – never their personal decisions. Without victims the left wing would have nothing to do so to exist they must perpetuate this fiction that business is evil and that personal decisions don’t matter.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Death To America

Several things appear to be coming together at this point in time. Recent surveys show that the younger people – mostly of college age – are moving to the right in spite of everything their liberal and progressive professors are preaching to them. It seems that there is an upsurge of anti-multiculturalism, anti-political correctness, and anti-open borders. Assuming that these surveys are accurate (see South Park Revolution) then Governor Lamm’s speech takes on a less ominous tone. This is not to minimize what he says but intended to indicate that others see the threat and gradually our society will move to correct itself. With that as an introduction let’s address some of the salient points made by the Governor.

The learned author of Mexifornia has struck a chord with me for several reasons. First, I have lived in California off and on for many years and secondly I travel there frequently on business and what I see is how the state is being transformed into a third world country. The author takes the position that the root cause is immigration both legal and illegal but I’m not so sure of this. I think the root cause is the unbelievable hyper-sensitivity of the overly liberal population. The entire state is filled with a growing minority of white people (Caucasians ARE a minority there) who take up every cause and carry it to extreme. The result is a state where English is increasingly not spoken and the languages spoken consist of Spanish, Viet Namese, Chinese (various dialects), and Hindi. Signs are in Chinese and business is conducted in Spanish. The schools are bilingual thus assuring that the immigrants don’t “lose their culture”. Any attempt to correct this situation is viewed as “racist” with that word being used as an epithet hurled at anyone who dares think that America is a Christian and English speaking country. Unless something is done soon, California will be the most populous state with a huge voting population supplemented by illegal immigrants who are illegally voting everyone else’s pocket book. The result is a huge population of homeless, welfare recipients, under educated, and unemployable people who are simply parasites protected by the misguided view that all cultures and languages are equal and that everyone has a RIGHT to be in the US.

Toynbee is an interesting fellow and his theories on history are seen as controversial by many. His major postulation is that civilization moves from East to West with civilizations growing and then declining as civilizations to the West blossom with decline of those Eastward. He did not address the issue of multi-lingual impact although this is an interesting point. The Roman Civilization existed for a 1000 years but the official language of the Empire was Latin but there were hundreds of languages spoken throughout the Empire. So the real point might be not in the number of languages spoken but in fragmenting the government by conducting official business in many languages. Therefore, the idea of teaching school in multiple languages, multi-lingual ballots, and the multi-lingual governmental documents is the real issue. This is a strategy of fragmentation and not unification.

The issue of culture is even more serious because the Judeo-Christian culture is the cornerstone of America and to ignore this is quite dangerous. This is most obvious in observing the widespread growth of Islam whose very foundation is antithetical to Christian Society. Allowing this type of culture to spread into the society as a whole is dangerous because they are opposed to many of the fundamental concepts of our society – starting with the equality of women and the endorsement of violence. Multi-culturalism is in fact very dangerous and it is time we put a stop to this, because as the Governor points out once cultures are allowed to grow and perpetuate themselves within a larger culture they move for independence and the resulting conflicts – with Muslims especially – violent conflict.

The question of education is also a source of concern. As the “Mexifornian’s” lead the charge for not calling illegal immigrants illegal and according them the rights given to citizens, we are virtually assuring a growing group of unassimilated and under educated people whose inability to function lead them to violence and destructive behavior. Illegal immigrants are not “immigrants” they are criminals who have broken the law and should be treated as such by immediate deportation without so much as a hearing. If the Mexifornians and their captive 9th Circuit Court disagree then the illegal immigrants found throughout the United States should be immediately deported to Mexifornia. At the very least the border should be closed – by force if necessary.

The idea of “Victimology” I think transcends the issue of immigration and a malaise that has been introduced via our school system. Students are no longer held to any standard partially due to fuzzy thinking educators but also by parents and courts who do not think the schools have any right to discipline a student or even expel them. The result is students come out of school with very little self-discipline and even less respect for authority. Therefore, when something goes wrong it is never their fault – the fault lies with some one else – generally with deep pockets. Therefore, when some idiot slams a car door on his hand it is never his inattention or carelessness it the fault of the manufacturer for not putting some warning on the door indicating that slamming the door on your hand can hurt. Every public building in California has a sign – in some cases many signs – stating that the building contains toxic chemicals that can cause cancer. The chemicals in question are the cleaning supplies used by the janitors in cleaning the building. This cannot be fixed as long as jurors insist on rewarding idiots for their irresponsible behavior. Many times the victim is a victim of their own irresponsible behavior and it is time many of the victims are held accountable for their bad decisions.

Another serious problem is the tyranny of the minority. This is being played out every day in our Congress and in the court system. The fact that the vast majority of people in this country are Christian is ignored and their rights trampled by a minority of secularists. Every single day decisions are made that ignore the will of the people in favor of some small special interest group which has resulted in bi-lingual schools, multi-cultural celebrations, elimination of Christmas, and the list goes on and on. If these minorities find life too difficult and find they cannot function within the majority then they should either relocate or learn to live with their unhappiness.

The issue of jobs moving overseas is much more complex and the role played by unions, the World Trade Organization, and the insatiable demand by Americans for more and more is largely ignored. The fact is that most of the jobs going overseas are manufacturing jobs and these jobs are gradually dying out worldwide. Some high tech jobs are moving overseas but my research indicates that this is partially due to highly inflated salaries in the US. But the quality of the service provided overseas is generally lacking and many of these jobs are coming back. However, the demand for skilled labor is outstripping the world wide supply. Perhaps one of the largest culprits is the unions who have raised loafing to an art form. Plus their demands for benefits have grown to such obscene proportions that they cannot be sustained. For example if General Motors lays off a worker that worker still gets 95% of their pay for 2 years. Their health benefits are incredible and they either nothing at all or only pay 7%. No wonder it is less expensive to send work overseas. Of course the WTO is a sham that permits countries such as China to compete using slave labor. This should be addressed.

However, the points made by Governor Lamm do indeed outline the Death of America or at least the America that was founded in 1776. Since the mid-1950’s the courts and left wing have been chipping away at the American Ideal and the time is long past for the majority in this country to take back control because if we don’t then the Death of America becomes a real possibility.