Thursday, September 30, 2004

It Starts

It had been rumored that the terrorist strongholds, including Fallujah, would be reduced starting in October.

And what do you know, although it's still Sept. 30 here, in Iraq it's already Oct. 1, and the offensive has begun!

This is just as I had hoped. Rather than react to the provocations last Spring, that were designed to create a joint Sunni-Shia revolt, with Sadr in the South and Zarqawi to the North, we contained those uprisings without giving them the pre-packaged media victory that was sought.

Rather than just level the city, we were being much smarter. The Russians levelled Grozny a few years ago, and that didn't do them any good.

As operations unfolded last Spring with the Marines in Fallujah before they tried their experiment of handing security over to locals, we discovered they had perfected a new form of urban fighting that was incredibly safe for our troops and lethal for the enemy, that relied on heavy use of snipers, precision strikes, and remorseless robotic drone surveillence.

Instead, we spent the Summer gathering intelligence, making databases, finding out who was who, and gradually preparing the battlespace with almost daily airstrikes on Fallujah and elsewhere. And while holding the line with the Sunnis, we turned our attention to Sadr's Iranian-backed "Mahdi Army", and without a great deal of fanfare, exterminated them by the thousands.

So now we're going in hard. They probably know exactly where the enemy is. The force is a full brigade -- that's a serious attack with several thousand soldiers and combined heavy arms.

The other reason for the delay was to wait for more, better-trained Iraqi forces to follow-up our victory, which weren't available last Spring, as ultimately the ongoing security has to be provided by Iraq itself. And there's a government for them to be loyal to.

We also find
senior military officials said U.S. and Iraqi troops in the past month have killed or captured more than 100 al-Zarqawi associates and have killed six members of al-Zarqawi's inner circle.
I also think this is highly amusing that it starts mere hours before the first Presidential Debate. It could have been yesterday, it could have been tomorrow, but instead it's right now. Ha!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Global Warming

Is the globe warming?


Do we have anything to do with it, and can we even do anything about it?

Answers to both of those questions are far less clear.

What we do know is the globe was much warmer than it is now in relatively recent times, only about 1,000 years ago. That was in the Middle Ages. They weren't making much Greenhouse Gas then.

The recent warming is only relative to a particularly cold spell around 1600. It was rather nasty, and is called "The Little Ice Age". The warming since then corresponds, it turns out, to an increase in solar activity as measured by sunspots.

We're actually due for another Ice Age. Wouldn't that be just grand? Imagine Boston under a sheet of ice, oh, about a mile deep!

We'd be begging for a little global warming then, wouldn't we?

It turns out the famous academic paper that everyone latched onto, that seemed to show temperatures shooting up in recent decades, higher than ever before, was all wrong.

The authors were forced to issue a retraction in Nature magazine.

You can read all about it here and here.

But John Kerry says he's going to still go with junk science and reduce emissions that contribute to "global warming".

What that really means is, lower your standard of living.

What does Kerry care? He's got his "family" SUV. He can afford to have energy cost more without it affecting his lifestyle.

How about you? How much extra money do you have sloshing around, that you can freely spend on higher energy costs without caring?

They say Bush is the candidate of the Rich. Sure, Bush is probably like 50 times richer than I am. But you know what? Kerry is actually about 50 times richer than Bush! And it's only one more step of 50-times from Kerry to Bill Gates, the world's richest man.

That Kerry pretends to be the candidate of the common man, or the little guy, is something that can hardly be said with a straight face.

These dour Malthusians are always wrong, always have been, and always will be. They always want you to cut back and consume less. Look, if a resource is finite, there's no use conserving it, as it's just going to run out anyway, and no one's ever going to do anything about it until it's gone, so you might as well use it! Finding something new is always going to be somebody's problem in the future, what do we care exactly when that happens?

The fact is, there's actually more proven oil reserves in the world today than at any point in history! That's right, we have more and more supplies each year rather than less and less, because it's being found and exploited faster than it's being consumed. That's hardly what I'd call "running out". And there's lots more oil in the world than in "proven reserves"!

In fact, it's not accepted yet, but there is some evidence that oil in fact is not a "fossil fuel" like coal (of which we have gargantuan quantities), but rather a substance that is being continually produced deep within the Earth! Wouldn't that be something, if oil turned out to be renewable?

I'm always surprised that people when I tell them these things aren't happy, but rather disappointed, as they hoped we'd be running out of oil so we'd turn to "cleaner" sources.

One wonders just what level of immaculate cleanliness will finally satisfy them.

One often hears the "statistic" that the greedy, gluttonous United States, "with only 5% of the world's population, consumes 30% of the world's resources!" I got news for ya, that's deliberately constructed to mislead. As if our "consumption" of any particular "resource" prevented someone else from using all they needed!

You're supposed to imagine a fixed pie, you see, and we're grabbing a bigger slice than is fair, when everyone else goes hungry with the crumbs. That's not how it works! The other half of the story is we produce 30% of all the world's goods and services with those resources!

In a closed system, consumption equals production, by definition. I mean really, we only "consume" a resource in order to process it into something else. And if we didn't "consume" it, wouldn't the other countries that wanted to export it to us to sell for money so they could buy food be really unhappy if we stopped "consuming" what they had to offer? If we didn't "consume" so much, the rest of the world would fall into poverty!

But the "environmentalists" who dreamed up that saying know that, but they want to mislead you to thinking we're taking the bread out of the mouths of Third Worlders, just to make you feel guilty about being an American, and to despise the Capitalist system that creates enormous wealth and prosperity.

I've listened to many of these people, and in unguarded moments they always reveal the same wish: that 4 or 5 billion people would be killed off, preferably by something we were ourselves responsible for, and then the rest (including, presumably, themselves), would live in some fantasy pre-modern Eden, in tune with Mother Earth (oh, I'm sorry, "Gaia"), and in harmony with Nature, completely non-exploitively, whatever that means.

Somehow they imagine modern medicine will still magically survive, and that mana will fall from heaven, or the fields will clear and sow themselves.

Get a Grip

The naysayers are out in force. For example, James Fallows argues the Iraq war was a terrible distraction:

Among the opportunities lost, Fallows argues, were a chance to reassess our "inglorious bargain" with Saudi Arabia, a chance to wage a comprehensive war on terror, and a chance to improve the situation in Afghanistan—all amid a climate of international solidarity that followed September 11.

Perhaps the most worrisome development, Fallows suggests, concerns the threat posed by the other members of the "axis of evil"—the ones that we know have or are developing weapons of mass destruction. With our standing in the international community diminished, our military considerably weakened, and the trustworthiness of our intelligence in doubt, he explains, Iran and North Korea have much less to fear from America than they did before Iraq: "the United States now has no good options for dealing with either country."

Get a Grip!

I don't find it convincing. Assume there was no Iraq war. Then what? All sorts of magic seems to happen. Let's even assume Afghanistan, because of that, somehow vaulted to a modern, rebuilt, thriving Eden. How does that really help us? What extra measures could be taken against NK and Iran? It doesn't lay out how we'd stop those programs -- would the rest of the world just like us more and so do our bidding?

Not likely.

NK already has the bomb, we'd still have no direct easy military option regardless of the Iraq war! We can't go back in time to the Clinton administration and change that! In fact, NK is stalling further talks until AFTER the U.S. election -- obviously hoping to hold out for a Kerry Presidency!

You got that? The Evil Dwarf of Pyongyang is hoping for Kerry win so he can keep forcing his people to resort to cannibalism and eating grass to avoid starvation.

Actions have consequences. Think very hard about who around the world will benefit and rejoice from a Kerry win, and who will will be crushed and dispirited.

With millions of oppressed souls hoping for a Bush win, to vote for Kerry under these circumstances just to feel better about yourself at the coffee house with all your pseudointellectual friends -- when the man doesn't even have any coherent policy anyone can articulate -- is sinful self-indulgence worthy of nothing but scorn.

Sure, Bush has made mistakes. He's not all we might want. But does anyone honestly believe Kerry will be more aggressive in waging the WWIV?

Or will he cut and run under some sort of "peace with honor" rhetoric?

With respect to Iran, we're working hard -- very hard -- to get Europe to support security council sanctions, and they're refusing. Not going into Iraq wouldn't change that. There's nothing to stop us from bombing Iran, and being in Iraq makes it SO much easier to do so!

Also, the draining air patrols of the no-fly zones over Iraq we had been maintaining for 12 years are over, which has really freed up the air force. We couldn't be BETTER positioned to launch sustained punitive strikes into Iran!

In fact, one might argue that if Bush lost a year, then heck, we need to give him 4 more to finish up! Not following through on regime change everywhere in the Middle East WOULD turn this into a lost, wasted cause.

So how would more "attention" to those problems make them go away, as if thinking about them equates to solving them? There are no purely diplomatic solutions to Iran or NK.

Would Arabs stop using terrorism because a completely different ethnic group is being successful in Afghanistan? Would inspectors still be in Iraq, or would they have long departed, allowing him to start up his nuclear weapons programs that everyone agrees he had waiting in the wings?

The basic problem with their analysis is its fundamental view of the source of terrorism. It believes it comes down to our "policies", meaning support of Israel; they seem to imply more Arab-friendly policies would get them off our back, which is a recipe for appeasement.

Instead, the real root cause has to be addressed, and the only way to do that is what we're trying to do: inject the virus of liberty and capitalism and modernism directly into the heart of the Arab world. And we've positioned ourselves strategically to strangle Iran and pressure Syria, the last 2 big bastions of terror-supporting regimes in the Middle East.

The critics don't provide any alternate concrete plan, other than to imply things would magically be better without the mistakes they can easily point to in hindsight. Attacks have increased? That's not the measure of success! Of course they will increase, because we've ratcheted up the war and turned it hot. That's like complaining that battles with Germans increased in 1943 and 1944, ignoring that the battleline was moving closer and closer to Berlin. The real question is WHERE the terror attacks are happening -- and they're not happening here, they've been confined to the Muslim world and the underside of Europe, which is pushing back the battleline.

I can't understand the metrics these critics are using. They lack all sense of scale with history.

Quagmire? In the last 6 months, since the "uprising" started, our casualty rate has been under 3/day. By comparison, in 1968, it was 41/day over that worst year. In ww2, is was 205/day. Civil War, 480/day. The Germans were losing 2,500/day in ww2, and the Soviets 10,000/day -- and that's what winning looked like!

Then these complaints that we're "using up" the reserves? That's what they're for! Rather than being "stretched", the army is getting stronger, as everyone is turning into an experienced veteran.

We can strike them wherever they are. It's a big country, having more troops doesn't really help with that. The question is, are there missions not being performed because of too few troops?The answer is no, from what I'm hearing, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. They're not there to patrol like cops, there could never even in principle ever be enough to do that, that's for local forces.

The true "root cause" of Islamic terrorism is a combination of a lack of modernity, capitalism, and liberty, ignited by a literalist Islamic ideology, and evangelized by Saudi and Iranian money and clerics. If Saudi is going to come down, Iraq's oil had to be freed from an unfriendly tyrant first as a strategic move for the sake of the world's economy: China and Japan need foreign oil even more than we do. If Iran is going to come down without driving the friendly population to support the mullahs by invading, it could be done easily by a blockade of its one-dimensional export-dependent economy, which requires sealing its borders, which means having troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and free use of the Gulf without interference of Hussein's missiles and provocations, which all required as a first-step strategic move the invasion of Iraq.

While many of the armchair strategists, including myself, are enormously frustrated by lack of decisive retaliation in Fallujah, and of sparing the mosque at Najaf -- the Jacksonian impulse is to level the places -- there could be a good reason.

Either the Bushies are all micromanaging dopes who suddenly got squeamish, or they're (including the generals) incredibly level-headed professionals making shrewd game-theory decisions. The whole plan of the terror masters was specifically to create "events" in Fallujah and Najaf, to provoke an overwhelming response, for which they had set up many women and children to be casualties for propaganda purposes, all captured on al-Jazeera cameras. Iran was hoping we'd bomb the mosque!

The major strategies of our opponents in Iraq -- to try to ignite a civil war and/or a general uprising against us -- is failing miserably! In a country of over 20 million people, at most 0.1% are mobilized against us, and many of those are foreign imports.

By not giving them what they want, their staged events become apparent tactical victories for them but actual strategic defeats. We keep Sadr around because he's so inept - the risk is someone better might replace him!

Syria and Iran and even the Saudis realize they cannot survive long if Iraq is transformed. They're pulling out all the stops. Terror and the states that support it are not distinct -- Iraq is indeed the central theatre in the GWOT, as it focuses all our enemy's efforts there.

It's really al-Qaeda that's the sideshow. The critics are complaining we're not going after the mosquitoes, when the real solution is to drain the swamp of the states that support them. That requires changing all those societies by dragging them out of the middle ages. Don't miss the forest for the trees!

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Problem With Democrats

The big problem with the Democrats today is they lack any purpose, apparently, other than pursuing power at all costs, even to the detriment of the country.

That's because they succeeded marvelously in enacting all their major socially progressive programs that were their prime raison d'etre over the last century, and have simply outlived their usefulness.

Workers' rights? Check. Social Security? Yep. Unemployment? Civil Rights? Education programs? We've got it all.

And we thank them for it. Really.

These programs are imperfect, but they function in the real world, given finite resources. No, all poverty and misfortune and injustice have not been purged from society, but they never will be. Conservatives, distrustful of large government programs, are satisfied with "good enough"; idealistic revolutionaries are never happy until perfection is achieved, even if it means fascistically stomping on people "in the way" of "progress".

It is a combination of this partial success, along with general American optimism, that makes class warfare a losing issue for the Democrats, even with many of the working class. Not everything in life is economic, and even then, many harbor the desire to become rich and don't want to find that being rich has been outlawed once they get there!

This is described at a bit more length in this Peggy Noonan article.

The social programs in place may be tinkered with, but they are not going away. And pushing them further and making them bigger just leads to prohibitively high taxes and regulation that drags down all growth and expansion.

The one thing the Left has never come to grips with is where production comes from.

What, stuff just falls from heaven everyday, does it?

In physics, it's a Law of Thermodynamics that useful work cannot be extracted from a heat engine unless a temperature differential exists: you get heat energy to flow from the hot place to the cold place, and in the process can divert some of it into work.

I believe a similar concept must apply in Economics: useful economic activity cannot take place unless there exist differences in wealth across which money will flow. The richer person has the disposable cash to spend, the poorer person has an incentive to do work to get that money.

It's an unpleasant system, but otherwise there's no incentive for any economic activity.

And then everyone's equally poor.

One might wish otherwise, but that's reality.

The small businessman -- not an elite, country-club figure at all -- is more likely to identify with Republicans once they find the tangle of laws and taxes and hoops and red-tape they have to go through just to try to start up their business!

So just "more of the same" from the Democrats is not welcome. And they are not needed to preserve what has already been won.

Unable to reinvent themselves, they seem to be simply grasping for power for its own sake, and it's quite unbecoming.

I listen to these Democrat attack dogs making insane proclamations that Iraq was never a threat, and we're less safe now, and only turned Iraq into a terrorist "haven" by invading.

Even assuming that last point were true, isn't that exactly what we'd like, to create a high concentration of terrorists in a country other than our own, that also just happens to host half our army with free reign to strike the terrorists whenever they are found?

I can't believe these people truly believe the illogical nonsequitors they spout. They can only be engaging in sophistry and rhetoric for the sake of winning debating points, and they have to know it.

And to do so in the middle of a war, with lives on the line every day, merely for their own ambitions, is the very definition of disloyalty.

Yes, the Democrat party is disloyal to America.

Disloyal! Seditious! Traitorous!

In the present circumstances, I can't possibly understand how anyone can justify a vote for a member of this party, let alone for positionless Kerry-Kerry-Quite-Contrary. Nostalgia isn't a good enough reason. What have Democrats done for us lately?

Their behavior is disgraceful and unjustifiable -- except in their own minds because their "cause" is "good".

Ever notice that the Left is always about Motive? That's all that matters. Purity of Motive. They strive for some social Utopia, so any atrocity or dirty trick is allowed, nay, even demanded, in pursuit of that Greater Good! Witness trying to steal the 2000 election by corrupt recounts, or the willful use of forged documents in Rathergate.

But the obvious good of freeing 50 million people from terrible, oppressive totalitarians of the very worst sort is derided by the Left, simply because they don't trust Bush's Motives. The tangible outcome for the liberated is less important to the Left than the pleasure of refusing to give credit to Bush because he has to be driven by oil or Halliburton or Karl Rove, rather than by high-minded ideals of social justice.

What miserable, useless people!

Some, however, have seen the light: witness this interview with former Lefty Christopher Hitchens, in which the interviewer is appalled at his 9/11 conversion to neo-conservatism, when the scales were finally burned from his eyes by what happened that day, and he saw that mere political points were less important than, you know, fighting real Evil.

And this Evil isn't Capitalism or "the Man", it's Islamic Fascism.

And it's new ally, the anti-bourgeoisie (and hence anti-American) Left.


A clarification to the previous posting, "Elections & Foreigners" -- it was implied, but perhaps not obvious, that when I was talking about foreign opinions not mattering, it was intended specifically with respect to United States policies. I did not mean that in a broader sense!

As a further example, I recall this same Portugese student was also at the time circulating petitions in support of gun bans, which I felt was outrageous meddling in our affairs, especially as he was not planning on living here very long anyway.

And my recommendation is for them to strengthen themselves so as not to be overly pre-occupied with U.S. issues, rather than demanding a vote to compensate their own weakness.

This illustrates the impulse behind claims we must be beholden to the United Nations, which in effect gives the rest of the world an unearned veto power over our actions.

Elections & Foreigners

Back in the early 90s, whilst in graduate school, a fellow student in the physics department who was from Portugal (and was a rather bright fellow), would make comments to the effect that the United States was the source of all the world's problems, and the only way there would ever truly be lasting peace would be if all the other countries in the world got together "to smash the U.S."

Such a patently absurd, not to mention rude, point of view caused me great consternation for quite some time.

Until I realized, with contented satisfaction, that this person's opinions mattered not one teensie tiny little bit in the big scheme of things, because he was not an American, and couldn't vote in our elections.

But my opinion did matter.

The most powerful government in the world courts my vote, not his.

And thus he was as ignorable as the inconsequential brayings of a jackass.

I found it further ironic (beyond the obvious point of him coming here to study) that although he could have become an American, as our way of life is theoretically open to all, and thus elevated himself to having opinions of significance, I doubted I could have ever become Portugese if I wanted to; they even have official lists of approved Portugese names for babies that must be used on all birth certificates there, so not being native born I would surely not be welcome.

And of course he (and his wife who was also studying here) planned to go back to Portugal -- a kind of Workers Paradise, to hear him describe it -- to raise a family, as it was just so horrible and violent here.

He was apoplectic over my explanation of how deadly force was allowed in most states to defend one's home against intruders -- to him this was barbaric and he couldn't understand why there wasn't an epidemic of people just inviting their enemies over for tea and then freely murdering them by claiming they were intruders.

Anyway, it seems they're finally on to us, realizing their impotence: witness this article making a case that the rest of the world should be able to vote in U.S. elections because the outcome will affect them. They even have the gall to quote the Declaration of Independence:

That 1776 declaration is worth rereading. Its very first sentence demands "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind": isn't that exactly what the world would like from America today? The document goes on to excoriate the distant emperor George for his recklessness, insisting that authority is only legitimate when it enjoys "the consent of the governed". As the world's sole superpower, the US now has global authority. But where is the consent?
It's a novel passive/aggressive argument: claiming a right to political power precisely due to their being so supine and weak as to be unable to govern themselves.

Bite me.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Same-sex "marriage"

There are very good reasons to strongly oppose same-sex "marriage" that have absolutely nothing to do with appeals to religion or morality, and even have nothing at all to do with gayness (which is why I call it "same-sex").

This is an important issue because it strikes at the very foundations of the most basic of human civilizational institutions, and is pertinent due to decreed legalization in Massachusetts, which will lead to possible national imposition via the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution -- all that will take is the whim of 5 unelected liberal Supreme Court justices.

The first objection is procedural. The second is on the substance (or lack thereof).

First, marriage cannot possibly be a Natural Right, since what they're really asking for is the benefits that come with it, which are, well benefits. And as such are rightfully the province of of the Legislature, not of the Courts. Otherwise we are ruled by an aristocracy.

I mean, what, is same-sex marriage more obviously an inherent Constitutional Right than, say, oh, woman having the vote?

That's a plainly stupid proposition and you all know it.

And yet, did the Suffragettes go and get a judge to declare women should have the Right to vote? No, they did not, because it was not Constitutionally obvious.

Instead, they did what the rules of our system dictated, and went out, and made their case, and got the XIXth Amendment passed.

And it was a long struggle, and they earned that Right.

And yet somehow it's clearer that marriage, the oldest human institution, that predates all known religions and even civilization itself, and was never ever anywhere in the world in any culture at any time ever applied to same-sex couples, is more fundamentally a Right than women having the vote.

Yeah. Sure. If I were a woman, I'd be outraged at the notion.

I'm outraged enough as it is!

I mean look, the whole thing has been turned on its head: instead of gays having to make the case why same-sex marriage is a great idea and trying to pass an Amendment to say so, we've been put in the position of having to pass an Amendment to squelch what should be an obvious absurdity. It is truly insane that this claim of an abridgement of an imaginary "right" is taken seriously for more than a nanosecond.

Now, our libertarian friends will claim that it's not government's business who gets married to whom, and shouldn't be up to government to decide who can and can't. Which is up to a point true: government (and society) really doesn't care who is shacking up with whom, as far as that goes. But it's a silly argument to make, when they then turn around and claim that then all of a sudden government should administer certain legal protections and benefits to the married couple!

Talk about wanting it both ways!

This also takes care of the "Equality" argument. The fact is, gays already have all the Equality they could possibly hope for when it comes to living their lives!

First of all, gays can get married -- to someone of the opposite sex, just like anyone else. And that's not a facetious argument.

Second, there's nothing stopping any of them from having a ceremony to declare their Lifepartnerhood with their beloved, and having all their friends and family applaud and recognize their love, and then living openly as a gay couple for the rest of their lives, especially with the Lawrence v. Texas decision which outlawed anti-sodomy laws.

From the libertarian point of view, then, gays have already achieved full equality and freedom in their relationships, without any government interference.

Nobody is stopping them. And if some church or whatever group wants to hold a ceremony, more power to them.

But when they then demand government step in and force everyone else in the country to not merely tolerate, but outright celebrate their union, and bestow it with a special set of benefits, it is completely disingenuous to not expect society (by way of government) to have any say in defining who can be married!

The point that is missed is that marriage is not merely about Lifepartnerhood.

If it were, then of course there could not be any objections to same-sex "marriage".

But marriage is specifically about, at its core, uniting the two different sexes of our species.

That's what it means.

That's what it's for.

That's always been its point.

Which gets to the substantive argument that same-sex "marriage" is a gargantuan oxymoron.

It's only because we've forgotten what marriage is about, in our modern world of abundance and leisure, that revolves around our self-gratification. Marriage has come to be seen merely as an expression of self-actualization, and perhaps a declaration of love for another individual.

And that's nice and all, but really, who cares?

I mean good for you if you found your Soulmate, but why does anyone expect the rest of us give a damn?

Why does that in itself justify any recognition or support from society?

It doesn't.

People have become so accustomed to entitlements that they just assume for some reason that declaring "marriage" is somehow license to essentially open a big bridal registry to be satisfied from the public till.

They forget marriage is recognized and supported and subsidized by society because it serves a useful social purpose: bonding a male to a female.

And by definition, same-sex unions simply do not serve that social purpose!

Bonding a male to a female benefits society in two key ways. First, obviously the Tyranny of Testosterone dictates that it is males that cause almost all mischief, violence, and mayhem in society -- and especially "rogue", single males. But when bonded to a woman, this instinct is calmed.

That's just a fact. That's why, for instance, driver's insurance rates instantly drop for when when they tie the knot. It's in the cold, hard, actuarial tables that married men become safer, less aggressive drivers.

The female is clearly a civilizing influence on the male, when a relationship is committed to. And clearly, a same-sex union does not produce this effect.

The second key reason is of course the children that are expected to be produced. Even couples who do not intend to have children will always have the future option to. And a man-woman couple is better for raising children than a same-sex couple.

Yes, that's right! Now of course I'm not saing a gay person can't be a fine parent.

Don't put such a silly argument into my mouth, and simmer down, and listen to what I'm really saying, rather than having a hissy-fit.

I take it as given that a gay person can be just as good a parent -- no better, no worse -- than a heterosexual person.

But the average hetero couple will ALWAYS be FAR better than the average gay couple as parents.

Why? Because the hetero couple provides the child with both important psychological role models of a male father and a female mother.

Lacking either a mother or a father is a serious, serious blow to a child.

And a gay couple will always lack one of those!!!

There's no way around that fact.

We might wish it to be otherwise, but it's not.

The unpleasant truth is gay couples do their children a disservice. The child is in fact put in a terrible, untenable position of feeling like they should defend their gay parents out of loyalty, and yet knowing they were deliberately robbed of half their developmental experience.

And society should not celebrate that fact.

Sure, you can show me some anecdotal cases of outstanding gay couples raising children, and of poor hetero couples who are terrible as parents. So what? Public policy should never be driven by the exceptions!

There will be some overlap, but everyone must concede it's mathematically certain the average hetero couple will be better, because of the male-female synergy, unless you resort to claiming gays are somehow individually superior as parents. And thus the best will also be better than the best gay couples.

And that's even if they decide to have children, which most won't, which again points out the lack of a reason for society to recognize it. Social-policy and Law are meant for the general case; the exceptions -- in either direction -- are not relevant.

And now we see why the claim that opposing the "civil right" of gays to marry is the same as attempts to outlaw marriage between the races fails, because the male-female bond between different races is not diminished, and thus there's no good reason for banning such unions because they serve the same basic purpose for which marriage is intended -- which same-sex marriage does not.

It makes no sense for society to give the same recognition to different things that are of unequal utility. If we intend to do so merely out of magnanimity, the risk is great that marriage will be further weakend as its true reaons for existence get further and further ignored. It will indeed then be dumbed-down to mere Lifepartnerhood.

We've apparently already gone far in that direction; time to reverse course!

Look, it's like arguing that the numbers "1" and "2" should be equal. I mean, look, poor number 1 is always feeling overshadowed by 2. Wouldn't it be nice if they could be the same? Yeah, it would, but guess what, 1 does not equal 2, no matter how much we might wish it so.

And I repeat, nobody is stopping any gay couple from having a ceremony to declare their unending devotion! It's claiming their relationship has the same social utility, and hence status, as marriage that is absurd on its face.

All the relevant rights to live as they choose are already granted; remaining legal issues can be handled by private contracts.

The burden of proof, then, is on the gays to convince us of why their relationship should have special societal recognition, when weighed against the risks of weakening an institution that's already in decline. And that cannot be done.

The real reason people support gay marriage is merely to show how ostentatiously "tolerant" they are, which is nothing but Vanity.

And that's a Deadly Sin.

Woo-hoo, again!

Wow, more good news!

JERUSALEM - Israel's claim to have killed a Hamas leader in the Syrian capital on Sunday marked an escalation in the Jewish state's war against the violent group, embarrassed Syrian leaders and turned up pressure on Damascus to expel Palestinian militants.

The explosion in a Damascus suburb killed Izz Eldine Subhi Sheik Khalil, a leader of the Hamas military wing, in what was described by an Israeli commentator as an intricate operation in hostile territory and an example of Israel's long reach.
The breaking of the old "taboos" of sanctuaries for the mass-murdering enemies of civilization continues apace. These are fantastic developments. Half-measures only prolong conflicts.

Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap. --Isaiah 17:1


Bush says Iran will not get nuclear weapon
US President George W. Bush says "all options are on the table" for making sure Iran dismantles its nuclear program, and that Washington will never let Tehran acquire atomic weapons.
Well now, that's pretty unequivocal, and the best news I've heard in a long time.

Why? The key to winning -- actually winning, as opposed to "managing" -- the War on Islamic Fascism, is eliminating the rogue states that provide sanctuary, support, and potentially -- and most dangerously for the continuance of Life as We Know It(tm) -- nuclear weapons.

And such states are far easier to deal with if they lack nuclear weapons -- which is why our options are already limited in dealing with North Korea (thanks a lot, Jimmy and Madeline, you pathetic fools).

Without the support of these states -- and their number is dwindling -- social network theory is indicating that terrorist groups like al-Qaeda must necessarily fracture down to relatively manageable groups of 80-150 members at most, or else their security is blown.

Small groups like that cannot wage any kind of sustainable campaigns, and do indeed become mere law-enforcement issues.

But with the backing of a state, with diplomatic privileges, passports, and other resources, they can safely grow to larger sizes and become potentially unstoppable, undeterrable delivery vehicles for WMD, which threatens our very civilization.

And an Iranian nuclear capability would make destroying their evil theocracy infinitely harder.

Now we finally have a statement from the White House, that indicates they understand this.

This is the only issue that should matter in the next election, because all other issues depend, you know, on us being alive.

Or at least not under martial law.

And Kerry's position, stated on his website, is to give Iran nuclear fuel to help them along on their "peaceful" project...And if that fails, well, he'll try to get the IAEA to refer them to the hopelessly divided and ineffectual Security Council...

I'm sure that has them quaking in their boots!

The argument that he really doesn't mean that, and that cooler heads will prevail in the end, is ludicrous on two counts. First, nobody stopped a similarly ridiculous plan to "help" North Korea that way in the 90s. And second, the people making that argument are the very same ones who denigrate Bush as some kind of puppet that only does as he's told, as distinct from Kerry, who is ostensibly smarter and has real ideas...except when it comes to this idea, when Kerry is DEFENDED by arguing he's, well, nothing but a puppet who is going to do as he's told.


Now even Kerry supporters have been infected with flip-flop-ism!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Posting Light

Posting will be light this week due to travel.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Too Prescient

No sooner do I predict future political violence from the enraged Left after the election, they start the next day!

Perhaps you've seen this photo:
Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va.
Well isn't that special? Big Union fascist thug caught on film taunting a little girl to tears.

And also this:

Michael Husar, 58, was arrested Friday after allegedly having an alcohol-induced bout of air rage aboard a Northwest Airlines flight to Anchorage, which was diverted to Winnipeg, Manitoba, because of the incident...Officials said Husar, a supporter of Sen. John Kerry, was engaged in a discussion on the upcoming presidential election with a woman seated next to him - a President George W. Bush supporter - when she became turned off by his belligerent attitude and complained to the flight staff...when flight attendants approached Husar, he became enraged...
And add to that obviously forged documents, conclusively proven as frauds, that continue to be peddled by CBS, mouthpiece of the DNC.

They're starting to lose it. It will only get worse.

Violently stifling dissent has always been the hallmark of the despot.

Imagine if they were in power!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The War That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Just saw this story:
MOSCOW - Russian police investigating the deadly Beslan school siege are looking inside their own squad house: One of the attack organizers was allegedly a former cop who disappeared six years ago.
And of course the first thing that popped into my head is, "and let me guess, he's a religiously-motivated Muslim?"

The article goes on to list some possible motivations:
Police have been implicated in kidnappings for ransom and accused of allowing Chechen rebels free passage through checkpoints — motivated by either money, sympathy for the fighters' cause or family ties, or a combination of all three.
Well, ok. Then about 5 paragraphs later, we find
Taziyev, a Muslim, is accused of becoming an adherent of the extreme Wahhabi sect of Islam — the same as al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden
What a surprise.

The bland phrase "sympathy for the fighters' cause" (notice the neutral "fighter", for which your mind is supposed to supply the understood modifier "freedom") masks the fact that Orthodox Christians were singled out as victims, and simply for inflicting punishment on them rather than for any political demands.

We may abhor the idea -- indeed, even run from it -- but the unpleasant fact is, Islam is waging a religious war on non-Muslims.

The Koran is as much analagous to Machiavelli's Art of War as a manual for conquest and subjugation as it is to the Bible, if not more so.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Political Party Prediction

Prediction: The Democrat party is going to split.

By not giving official recognition to party politics in the Constitution, the natural result is for two major camps to emerge, each forced to collect as large a body of interest groups as possible into a mega-coalition. This scramble to capture the middle generally keeps both sides of roughly equal strength, and produces what appears to be only bland differences in practice between the parties -- a trait which many bemoan.

The upside is that it is thus the "majority of the middle" that gets represented, which really is as it ought to be -- most of the time.

And luckily, our system has built into it plenty of protections that temper this "tyranny of the majority", but the majority should be generally in charge, after all. Proportional-representation Parliamentary systems, on the other hand, allow minor extremist parties to sometimes wield disproportianate power by creating ruling coalitions, leading to a "tyranny of the minority" which is more toxic.

But looking at our nation's political history, it hasn't always been just Democrats and Republicans. Instead, what one finds that a kind of Darwinian evolution by recombination occurs.

What happens historically is that at times of national crisis or great change, such as around the Civil War, numerous competing parties emerge, which destroy the coalitions of the then-prevailing two major parties.

Anyone remember the Whigs, the Know-Nothings, the Free Soilers? Or the Bull Moose Progressives?

The new parties and interest groups then all jockey for position and, in a kind of game of political musical chairs, eventually settle down into two NEW major opposing parties. Sometimes the names of the old parties are maintained, but the interests they represent are forever changed.

Voices that once were in the background may come to the fore in the new coalition, and others sometimes get left out entirely and fade away.

And this is going to happen very soon to the current Democrats. Their New Deal generation is gone, along with the manufacturing jobs and their big unions.

I originally thought they might break up in 1992, when they appeared at first in disarray, unable to find a big name to oppose a then-popular Bush I, and facing a wildly popular independent, Ross Perot. It seemed to me then that if Perot were to make bold moves, he could have shattered the Democrats and seized the Presidency, forming a new, viable Reform party.

But inexperienced politically and thin-skinned, he dropped out of the race in the Summer, then rejoined belatedly in the Fall. This indecisiveness ruined his chances, though he still got 19% of the vote -- an amazing show for a half-hearted third-party candidacy!

(And good thing for us he lost! As I've always said, an efficient businesslike government -- which Perot promised -- is exactly what we DON'T need, because that just makes government better at taking your money and your Rights!)

So a charismatic Bill Clinton and a revived economy papered over deep problems within the Democrat party.

But now we find, on the Great Question of the Day -- Are we in a real War or not? -- that just over half the Democratic base believes strongly the answer is NO but the rest strongly think it is YES.

That's an untenable situation, and is why Kerry must take both sides. If he comes out definitively either way, he loses half his base.

For the Republicans, it's probably something like 80% think YES and the rest are isolationist "paleoconservatives" who grumble but have nowhere else to go.

So my wild predictions are as follows: Kerry candidacy implodes, Democrats are furious and seething; and amid recriminations and finger-pointing, the Dean wing splits off, and unites with the Greens and other anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-globalist, anti-American elements, and forms a far-left party backed by Soros money. This party probably takes a new name.

The Democrat rump of the party is seized by elements that are more realist and pragmatic, and field Hillary in 2008 -- who, in an attempt to grab more of the center, runs with Republican-in-name-only John McCain! McCain's popularity among moderate Republicans pulls off some Republicans into the New Democrats, especially among the working-class populists and maybe even the isolationists.

The New Republicans counter with a Giuliani-Rice ticket!

These New Republicans will consist of "neoconservatives" and fugitive Reagan/Zell Miller Democrats.

The Deaniac-Naderites easily siphon off enough votes to sink Hillary-McCain, and leftist political violence rises as they fade, screaming, into oblivion.

And the role-reversal will be complete: the New Republicans will be much like old-style Liberals, and the New Democrats will be the big-government reactionaries!

You heard it here first!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Health Care

Reuters is really surprising me. Another honest story!

Canada's once-proud public health system in crisis
OTTAWA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Canada often boasts its universal health care program shows it is more caring than the United States, but the system is creaking alarmingly, with long wait lists for treatment, and shortages of cash and doctors.

And far from criticizing the United States, some people are choosing to go south of the border to pay for operations in private hospitals -- institutions that are forbidden in Canada by the law that set up the publicly funded system.

...waiting time for treatment in 2003 rose to 17.7 weeks from 16.5 weeks in 2002. "This grim portrait is the legacy of a medical system offering low expectations cloaked in lofty rhetoric," the study said, criticizing the fact that governments and not doctors are responsible for allocating resources. Some delays are much longer. Patients in Ontario who require major knee surgery can wait six months to see a specialist and then another 18 months for surgery.
What's the answer? Who knows?

Clearly, on the one hand, price controls imposed by a governmental system sap innovation and lead to rationing of scarce resources.

But on the other hand, guaranteed payments in a free-market will lead to prices rising without bound.

Perhaps the goal should be just for truly catastrophic coverage. But mission creep will surely set in. Next, people will say we'd save more (Aha! Once the public gets involved, it becomes about costs!) to add on preventative medicine coverage. But then we'd surely get busy-bodies saying, well, if we're going to all be paying for someone else's poor health decisions, shouldn't we be able to require that people eat the way we want them to eat, and exercise the way we demand they exercise?

It immediately becomes about control.

Lawsuits against fast food companies have already begun. The House has passed (over Democrat objections) a bill to squelch such frivolous suits, but the Senate has not yet taken it up.

I don't want to be taxed for not having an acceptable Body Mass Index!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Continuity of Government

Given that we're not actually on a war footing as a society, I often hear people wonder what they could or should be doing.

At the least, there is no excuse for us to not all do our part to ensure the continuity of government.

Imagine an attack that takes out half of Congress. Paralysis and confusion would reign:
An attack on the U.S. Capitol not only could have destroyed a powerful landmark but also would likely have put our national government in jeopardy. “At a time when we would need a Congress most—a time of war—we could have been without a Congress,” says Norman Ornstein, a government scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

How could that happen? Because 1) Congress has very specific rules covering how it can meet, including requiring a majority of members to be present for a quorum. And 2) when there is a vacancy in the House, it can only be filled by a special election, which takes about four months. There is no provision in either the House or Senate to deal with a situation in which numerous members might be incapacitated [from a chemical of biological attack that doesn't actually kill them outright!].
But ensuring that such continuity will automatically take place may even take away the incentive to try to decapitate the government in the first place!

Furthermore, it is vitally important for maintaining public confidence in the legitimacy of the process by having a Constitutional mechanism already in place, rather than making it up on the fly.

This state of affairs is untenable and irresponsible. We must plan for the worst.

The issue has been studied by the bi-partisan Continuity of Government Commission.

Go there and find out about the issues and proposals.

Then contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them their positions on this and ask them why nothing is being done.

What it comes down to is whether vacancies will be filled by temporary governor appointment, or from a list made by the politicians themselves. The former has the advantage of being straightforward and sure to work in a practical manner. The latter latter has the advantage of being nominally more in line with the "will of the people", on the assumption that those chosen by the politicians will be of a similar ideology, which was apparently desired by the voters. But we may find such lists to not be kept up to date, or might lead to unforseen consequences of gamesmanship, patronage, or corruption.

It makes good sense certainly for governors to appoint Senators (as they represent the State as a whole), but yes, it's not exactly in the intended spirit to have such appointments of Representatives. On the other hand, the appointments are temporary just until emergency elections can be organized. My opinion therefore is that the appointment route is the most robustly workable.

Your opinion on what to do may differ from mine.

Make sure your Representatives and Senators know what it is.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Loyal Opposition

There's a very popular website for leftists called the Democratic Underground.

I just thought it would be instructive to view this thread of discussion they're having, including all the replies of rousing agreement and elaboration. Some excerpts:
To the citizens of Dirtsville USA: Quit grieving for NYC...
Since tomorrow is the anniversary of the "excuse" the cowboy uses to attack anybody he wants to. You never liked New Yorkers. You hated New Yorkers remember. If you really cared about the victims of 9/11 you would vote for John Kerry because that's the only thing they want you to do....
So take your flags, your prayers, your rodeos and your country music and stick it. You're waging war because you want too, because you like it and you're not fooling anybody. You're only happy when you have an enemy, if it wasn't 9/11 it would be something else. Like "libruls". At least have the decency to admit that.
These elites consider themselves oh so superiour to the rubes in flyover dirtsville country; and oh so more intellectual and cultured and educated.

I also wish to point out their discussion policy, which is straight out of Animal Farm...or worse:

We welcome Democrats of all stripes, along with other progressives who will work with us to achieve our shared goals.
This is a "big tent" message board. We welcome a wide range of progressive opinion. You will likely encounter many points of view here that you disagree with.
We ban conservative disruptors who are opposed to the broad goals of this website. If you think overall that George W. Bush is doing a swell job, or if you wish to see Republicans win, or if you are generally supportive of conservative ideals, please do not register to post, as you will likely be banned.
In other words, it is nothing but a giant echo chamber, enforced with an iron fist. Certain points of view are dismissed out of hand. Anything but complete conformity is banned outright. That's no way to further the cause of honest inquiry, now, is it?

I guess some "big tents" are bigger than others.

My Scrapbook

A photo essay from my internet scrapbook.


Three years ago today, this pair set out to destroy us. They forced innocent people to make this horrific choice. They believe this, and want to impose the Shariah lifestyle where women know their place.

Do their minions look familiar?

When we mourned, others celebrated and cheered, despite the irony. Witness this cute toy popular in Gaza. Note the fine attention to detail around the bases of the towers, recalling these people. And this toy. And this one. (Thanks, China...)

Just part of being a kid. Just teaching values to the young.

Saddam did not plan these attacks. But he sure didn't mind.

But some in this country would rather he were still in power, and wish terrorists to be avenged. Just don't question their patriotism, even when groups like ANSWER openly advocate murder and mutiny, and wish the terrorists will win.

This is the true sentiment of the Stooges on the Left.

Memo to Iran: your days of doing this (WARNING: DISTURBING) are numbered.

Wakeup, America!




Third Anniversary

Perhaps by design, perhaps by Fate, I just received (after waiting months? a year?) the free DVD Up From Zero from the Department of Labor, a documentary about the workers at Ground Zero, just in time for the third anniversary.

Unfortunately, it seems this offer may be over; I can't find any mention of if at their website anymore.

At this time I would like to recall one of the strangest of the many "you can't make this up" rescue stories from that terrible time. If the Hand of Providence is ever to be detected in the Affairs of Men, it is in events such as this. An excerpt:
Two of the last three to be located and saved were Port Authority police officers. They were not discovered by a heroic firefighter, or a rescue worker, or a cop. They were discovered by Dave Karnes.

Karnes hadn't been near the World Trade Center. He wasn't even in New York when the planes hit the towers. He was in Wilton, Conn., working in his job as a senior accountant with Deloitte & Touche. When the second plane hit, Karnes told his colleagues, "We're at war." He had spent 23 years in the Marine Corps infantry and felt it was his duty to help. Karnes told his boss he might not see him for a while.

Then he went to get a haircut.
Read the rest here.

And Never Forget.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Credit Where Due

Did I shift into an alternate reality? Not only did the blogosphere seem to have taken down Dan Rather in 24 hours, but now Reuters issues a starkly truthful headline:

Iran Seen Using EU to Buy Time to Get Atomic Bomb
Vienna diplomats say the EU three oppose a U.N. Security Council report next week. Diplomats and intelligence officials say this may give Iran just enough time to reach the point where it has all the technology and expertise it needs to develop an atom bomb at a time of its choosing.
Guess they finally looked into the abyss. Wonder if Beslan had anything to do with this stunning change in outlook.

But is it in time?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

World for Kerry

We know that most of the world, being venal and envious, desires a weaker America.

The French have made containing our power, or "hyperpuissance", a central part of their foreign policy.

And we also find in a recent world-wide poll that wide majorities in 30 out of 35 foreign countries want Kerry in the White House, if only they could vote for him.

Ergo, it follows that the overwhelming judgment of the World is that a Kerry presidency will weaken America.


Diversity vs Assimilation

There's a wildly popular Canadian commercial for Molson Beer, known as "Joe's Rant". In it, the eponymous Joe rants about what he does and does not stand for as a proud Canadian, by drawing clear distinctions with American values.

You can see it, or just read the text, here.

The most interesting lines, being the mantra of the leftist transnational progressives, are
I believe in peace keeping, not policing;
diversity, not assimilation...
Well good for you!

I was stunned to see lack of assimilation seen as a positive! I mean, that's just incredible! And make no mistake, the ideal of the American "Melting Pot" was to assimilate newcomers into WASP culture (open to all), while maintaining pride in (but not slavish devotion to) ethnic heritage.

What happens when immigrants don't assimilate? And force the host nation to accomodate to its foreign, possibly incompatible values?

Witness Sweden:
The police now publicly admit what many Scandinavians have known for a long time: They no longer control the situation in the nations's third largest city. It is effectively ruled by violent gangs of Muslim immigrants. Some of the Muslims have lived in the area of Rosengård, Malmø, for twenty years, and still don't know how to read or write Swedish. Ambulance personnel are attacked by stones or weapons, and refuse to help anybody in the area without police escort.
Swedes, who a couple of decades ago decided to open the doors to Muslim "refugees" and asylum seekers, are now turned into refugees in their own country and forced to flee their homes. The people abandoning the city mention crime and fear of the safety of their children as the main reason for leaving.
ALL of the 600 windows at one of the schools in Malmø have been broken during the summer holiday. Window smashing alone costs the city millions every year. City buses have been forced to avoid the immigrant ghetto, as they are met with youths throwing rocks or bottles at them if they enter.
Rapes in Sweden as a whole have increased by 17% just since the beginning of 2003, and have had a dramatic increase during the past decade. Gang rapes, usually involving Muslim immigrant males and native Swedish girls, have become commonplace. Two weeks ago, 5 Kurds brutally raped a 13-year-old Swedish girl.
Yesterday a taxi firm in Odense announced they had taken the decision not to carry Somalian passengers due to a number of attacks by young Somalians on taxi drivers.
Surely, immigrants are needed in the West for growth, but they must be assimilated. (Classical historian Victor Davis Hanson discusses a similar problem we face here, in his book Mexifornia).

The doctrine of multiculturalism, however, has served only to assault our confidence in Western Judeo-Christian civilization, rendering us unable to insist that the newcomers conform, so as not to appear to imply -- horrors! -- that our culture might be better (disagree? Two words: Individual Rights).

Multiculturalist doctrine is based on the false equation that race = culture. Given that mistake, it then seems to follow that denial of cultural equality equals racism. But it doesn't.

The revisionism that suggests Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, or even the Fourth of July should not be celebrated but mourned, is part of this effort. Offhand comments by Dr. Rice are the result of this brainwashing.

But multiculturalism, which has already made such thorough inroads that there's no stopping it, will lead only to the extinction of Western identity.

Which, out of self-loathing for imagined sins of the past, is exactly what many Leftists long for.


Is the media finally having its own Watergate moment?

CBS, on its flagship "60 Minutes" "news" show, was touting newly found "memos" purportedly from the posthumous papers of a commander of Bush's in the National Guard in 1973, indicating pressure from above to ease him through the system or something.

Well it seems the fact-checking abilities of the blogosphere were gravely underestimated. All indications so far are that the documents are obvious forgeries! Updates are here.

Some of the documents have all the hallmarks of being made by MS Word, rather than on a typewriter as would have existed in 1973...

Some VERY suspicious items:
*proportional Times New Roman font (instead of a monotype font)
*kerning of letters (adjusting the spacing for various combinations)
*curly "smart quotes" instead of straight ones
*line breaks that mimic MS-Word auto-wordwrap algorithms exactly
*an auto-superscript of a tiny "th"-symbol (as in "187th")
*many other items too, such as odd diction, but the above are definite relics of the computer age: some have been able to exactly overlay an MS-Word generated document using default settings in 12-point Times New Roman with the CBS documents -- no way those came from 1973!

Imagine that, caught by the annoying "Autoformat" feature!

I knew my moral support of Microsoft was not in vain! :-)

The media has become arrogant ever since Watergate, seeing themselves almost as another branch of government. There has been too much outright fabrication, such as the cases of Jayson Blair and others. And now CBS was so partisan, wanting these documents to be true, that they didn't do the simplest checking of their sources.

Their function as impartial judges of information has been squandered.

The internet is rendering their control of information obsolete.

How will 60 Minutes and Dan Rather respond?

Even if the documents are true, it's a tempest in a teapot. Bush, unlike Kerry, was never running on his military service record, nor built his political career on it. And the irresponsibility of a young Bush is already part of his "story" that we all know, so such revelations would even come as no surprise and have no meaning.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Breslan Fallout?

Buried at the bottom of a news item today,
In new signs that U.S. complaints about Iran may be having an impact, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Wednesday called Tehran's nuclear activities "extremely alarming" and Russia reported new delays in construction of an Iranian nuclear facility at Bushehr.
Gee, I wonder why?

The Big Picture

Given all the noise, sniping, and dishonest reporting, it's useful to step back and look at the big strategic picture. We need context: where are we, how did we get here, and where are we going?

Just what in the world is going on?

I will collect here some cogent background articles written by others that will tell you all you need to know.

[UPDATE: The keen observations of John Quincy Adams and Winston Churchill on Islam are also relevant and timely.]

1. A bullet-form outline of the root causes of Arab terrorism, and why taking down Iraq makes sense, is here. This is the BIG PICTURE.

(It includes many sublinks, some of the most important that I would have listed as "required reading" in their own right being the links on transnational progressivism, the Jacksonian tradition, and the causes of Arab civilizational failure. Come back and read those later.)

2. A brilliant strategic picture of the world, "The Pentagon's New Map", by a professor at the U.S. Navy War College, explains "why we're going to war, and why we'll keep going to war." That article later became a book. I saw Dr. Barnett give a briefing on CSPAN over the weekend, and found his views very provocative.

(About 2 years ago I wrote a letter to Rumsfeld strongly suggesting the development of special administrative/peacekeeping/humanitarian brigades, to relieve the warriors from those inevitable duties. He didn't write back, of course...But I'm pleased to see that this guy, who has his ear, is basically saying the same thing!)

3. Here is an essay that sums up the situation and outlines one possible very dark future, which underlines why it is so vitally important to win this war decisively by conventional means as soon as possible.

4. Just what DO the Islamic terrorists want, anyway? Here is an overview of al-Qaeda's deadly fantasy ideology.

5. And this long reflection which appeared in the New Yorker, after several paragraphs of introduction, outlines the deep philosophical roots of the movement, based on the writings of Sayyid Qutb in the mid-20th century. His books are al-Qaeda's "Mein Kampf".

In brief, this philosophy is a total rejection of human worldliness as sinful -- which justifies any atrocity in the name of Allah:
In his Koranic commentary, "In the Shade of the Qur'an," Qutb suggested that the believer's brief sojourn on earth should be spent "purifying the filthy marsh of this world." Rich, sexy, Truman-era America gave him a taste of this world at its filthiest and marshiest.
And in Qutb's own words,
There is only one place on earth which can be called the house of Islam, and it is that place where an Islamic state is established and the Shari'ah is the authority and God's laws are observed. . . . The rest of the world is the house of war.
And the House of War is where you live.

Media Ghouls

I intended to write an essay about the "grim milestone", as the Media Ghouls would promote it, of the 1,000th combat death in Iraq. This portrayal has no purpose but to damage our morale and sap our will, so I won't even link to the headline.

Enemy propagandists could not do better if they tried. "Lord Haw-Haw", alias William Joyce, believed WW2 to be a pointless unnecessary war instigated by Jews and International Bankers.

All he did was broadcast demoralizing propaganda into Britain.

And he was executed as a traitor at Nuremburg in 1946.

They had more moral clarity back then. They were less interested in scoring cheap political points -- treating the issue as a big game -- and more interested in winning for the broader goal of bequeathing the benefits of our free, prosperous society to future generations.

However, I discovered an essay on this topic had already been written, that even used my intended title!

I cannot improve upon it. Read it here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


The news out of Beslan just gets worse and worse, if that was even possible. Not a mere "hostage-taking", we find that in this carefully-planned, calculated, and prepared-for operation, that the children -- by design, the children! -- were systematically tortured, gratuitously terrorized, and much worse that I can't even describe,

for the sheer pleasure of it.

We must realize that these Islamic terrorists have no real demands and simply wish to stage a spectacle of slow-motion mass death, culminating in their "martyrdom." Therefore, any "hostages" should consider themselves already dead and react accordingly -- and "negotiators" must stand aside, with assault troops ordered in immediately before they can entrench themselves.

For a tale of heroism in the school, see here. Local updates are here.

What is most incredible is the media whitewash of this atrocity. Most use the bland euphemism "Chechen separatist", not telling you that Chechnya already has a degree of autonomy and the "separatists" aren't struggling for freedom from Russian tyrrany, but rather for the freedom to impose Sharia and create and Islamic state, ala the Taliban.

Chechnya is the front line in al-Qaeda's plans to resurrect the Islamic Caliphate; has been for years. This is not some local squabble in a far-away place, but an integral part of the world-wide Islamc jihad movement, and such an operation to murder non-Muslim children is part of their play-book and can be sprung anywhere, even here.

This was a professional al-Qaeda operation, complete with a squad of Arab "holy warriors".

But make this connection? Identify these murderers as terrorists, let alone Islamic ones? No. As Daniel Pipes (of the Presidential Institute of Peace) points out, the press has been using terms such as "captors", "commandos", "group", "hostage-takers", and "activists", among many others.

I have even seen "armed gang" and "masked men and women"!!!

Why, it was just like a fun Halloween party, with masks!

The inestimable Mark Steyn points out that
weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about "asymmetrical warfare".
Thus this story about demonstrations in Russia makes Steyn's point, stating
But while the emotion was genuine, the officially-approved rally was also brief and felt choreographed, prompting unfavourable comparisons with the uninhibited outpouring of grief seen in Spain after the March 11 attacks.
That's because the Russian demonstrations aren't meant as a signal of appeasement and surrender, as they were in Spain, with all the absurd "PACE" flags and "No to Terror" statements with nothing to back them up. Rather than staging feel-good grief rallies, the Russians were drawing parallels with 1945 and pledging Victory.

The Russians are worrying more about what they're going to do about it than about putting on a parade.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Another 6 Minutes

Man does not live by red-meat right-wing politics alone!

From time to time I will recount the lighter side of dating as a single 30-something.

One service I use caters to graduates of Ivy and similar schools. After viewing a short advertisement and possibly a picture, for a small fee one can then order a more in-depth biography along with contact information.

One of the questions on the long bio asks about one's "Social-political views".

Oh boy... (!)

The odd thing is apparently Ivy-league women are surprisingly left-wing. Far left wing.

Or at least, the ones who are still single into their thirties are...

At least 90% of them write something like "Progressive", "Liberal", or, shockingly, "Progressively Liberal", and usually add the friendly codicil, "and it's important to me that my partner is as well!"

So clearly one can see my problem, given that my bio there looks much like my description on my profile here.

Well lately, I just wasted another $12.90 on 4 more bios.

Even given the answers from before, nothing prepared me for what I was about to see.

One had answered

Social-Political Views:I grew up at a Socialist summer camp. Very liberal. Very.

Socialist Summer Camp?!? What do they do there, make leather covers for Mao's Little Red Book?

And then this: "I am open to most backgrounds...conservatives need not apply."

Now what was that about open minded-ness again?

Here, I'll save you $100,000 on tuition, room and board: just take a big nail and drive it up your nose for a frontal lobotomy.

Same end result at a cost of about 10 cents.

Another system I've tried several times is "pre-dating", in which you meet a new person every 6 minutes, then fill out a card saying who you'd like to meet again, and if both people match you both get the contact information the next day.

It's pretty fun actually.

But I still haven't made any matches.

Gee, I wonder why? :-)

The topic of movies came up (like it always does), and when asked what I've seen recently, well, I had been watching some weird, silly Vincent Price & Peter Lorre movies like The Raven.

Bad choice to discuss!

You know you're digging a hole when you find yourself having to explain who Vincent Price is: "you know the guy in Edward Scissorhands? No, not Johnny Depp, the old one! Uh..."

On the other hand, I'd know I had a match made in heaven if she had responded, "Why yes, I LOVED him in The Conqueror Worm!" And then we'd quote in unison, "You took him from me! YOU TOOK HIM FROM ME!!" (I don't really enjoy this movie but the finale is effective).

Ok, that's not gonna happen in a million years.

But at least I had enought sense not to talk about Dario Argento's horror-thriller Phenomena, which features the mutated homicidal progeny of the criminally insane, a domesticated razor-wielding chimp, and a heroine (a 15 year-old Jennifer Connelly) with a strange psychic rapport with insects...

When several of the young women had mentioned they had also tried 8-minute dating (apparently there's a version of this concept for every minute from 5 to 8), I would quip, "oh, is it 33% better than 6-minute dating?"

That tended to produce blank stares.

I also didn't do myself any favors when, told by one that she had cried during the three-hanky chick-flick The Notebook, I responded "Oh, I also cried, during Spider Man 2!"

Survey says........BUZZZZ!!!

Well, I thought it was funny...

The last chick I met that night, an asian, was radiating a serious 'tude. As I sat down she sneered in a combination of boredom and contempt and opened with, "I'm a doctor; what do you do?"

I thought to inject a note of levity: "I'm a physicist. So I'm a doctor too -- but not a real one."

She was unamused.

Looks like I'm headed for... (wait for it) ...

Another 6 Minutes!

Kerry Strikes Back

Well, Senator, what do you have to say about recent events in the world?

Kerry questioned the timing of the Bush administration's announcement late on Friday that older Americans will have to pay about 17 percent more next year for their government-run health insurance.

"He promised again a couple of nights ago to strengthen Medicare," Kerry told a rally at a baseball stadium in Akron. "Then you wake up when a lot of the news is being hidden by what's happening in the hurricane down in Florida, what's happening in Russia with 200 people tragically killed by terrorists."
It's all about you, isn't it, Senator? You only see the "tragedy" through the lens of how it impacts your political message getting precious airtime, don't you?

Here's three words for you, Senator: Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

I won't editorialize further. It speaks for itself.

[NOTE: this post was originally published 9/4/2004. I was responding to a comment on 9/6/2004 and ended up posting a draft I was not happy with. I could not figure out how to delete or edit my reply, so instead republished the entire entry from scratch, comments and all.]

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Reuters Watch

The U.K.-based Reuters news agency, over 150 years old, would have you believe it's the world's premiere wire service.

But not only is it biased, it's objectively on the other side.

Consider this interesting item taken from its very own website, in recounting its corporate history. It proudly states:

During both World Wars, Reuters came under pressure from the British government to serve British interests. In 1941 Reuters deflected this pressure by restructuring itself as a private company.
Well good for you, Reuters! Wouldn't want to serve those horrible, despicable "British interests" when Civilization hung in the balance against the onslaught of murderous Nazi hordes now, would you? Could being founded by a German have anything to do with that policy through both World Wars?

This position is defended as maintaining journalistic independence and integrity:

The Trust preserves Reuters independence and neutrality. The principles of the Trust were maintained and the power to enforce them was strengthened when Reuters became a public company in 1984.
As if neutrality in the face of pure Evil were a Virtue!

Would that they actually were neutral, though that would be bad enough.

This is just a smokescreen. Note that in the recent horrific attacks on innocent children in Russia, Reuters would only refer to the Islamic terrorists as an "armed gang", even stating hours after the attack that "it remained unclear who the attackers were."

The religious angle was not even mentioned, because clearly, that could not possibly have any bearing whatsoever on anything, could it?

Because to discuss such things might offend someone.

Because it might hurt someone's little feelings.

Oh, they are the very models of professionalism and restraint at Reuters!

Even though the attackers had already been said to be speaking Arabic, such mere hearsay could not be reported until, apparently, verified in person on the scene.

It couldn't even be spoken of as "reportedly."

No, nothing but pure, cold, hard facts for Reuters! No subjectivism such as using the word "terrorist" is tolerated by editorial policy, unless someone else said it, in which case it is placed in "scare quotes" as if to mock to concept or to distance one's self from it.

One wonders, with that kind of rigor, how they can bring themselves to report anything at all.

And yet... And yet...

When it comes to reporting from Gaza or Iraq, the basest hear-say and grossest editorializing is palmed off as actual objective reporting by non-neutral Arab stringers!

Is this a news story, or a fauning PR release for Hamas, dripping with glee over the blood of the innocent?

Hamas Militants Rebound Despite Israeli Blows
GAZA (Reuters) - With two human bombs from the West Bank, the Palestinian militant group Hamas has shown that Israel’s campaign to kill off its leadership has not broken its will or wherewithal to shed Israeli blood...the simultaneous suicide attacks on two buses that killed 16 people in the Israeli city of Beersheba on Tuesday dashed speculation that Hamas had lost the ability to strike in Israel, although their resolve was generally not in doubt. The Beersheba bombings shattered a nearly six-month lull in suicide attacks that had Israelis daring to think it was pretty safe to go about their lives once again as normal.
Yes, how dare they think it was "pretty safe", those subhuman Jews! The sheer impudence of them!

The byline? Nidal al-Mughrabi.

The wire service? Reuters.

Paragons of journalistic independence and virtue.

Minions of Evil.

Civic Duty

As members of the militia, it is the civic responsibility of all people capable of bearing arms to be prepared to do so.

The militia is not an anachronism, as tragically demonstrated today in Russia. I quote excerpts from a blogger translating local news stories:

Head of the North Osetian parliament asked the civilian population to organize itself into groups and patrol the town looking for the escaping terrorists.
And comments found on another blog stated

seven are in another building being pounded by tanks and the rest are fleeing through the countryside pursued by local citizens with deer rifles.
its now been reported that the ones who tried to flee across country (now numbered at 13) are holed up in a house, surrounded by local civilians who are shooting the place apart, brick by brick.

The best-selling deer rifle in Russia is the Tigr, a civilianized version of the Dragunov SVD. Its wickedly accurate.
This is the militia in action.

It no longer seems to be right-wing paranoid fantasies that dozens of armed Islamic terrorists might rampage through some small, remote town here now, does it? It would be easy for them to arrange to ambush and neutralize the local police and block off the area for quite enough time to slaughter your children.

This is what they wish to do, proven by both word and deed.

The only defense is you, the armed citizen.

The militia.

Patrick Henry observed that
The militia, sir, is our ultimate safety. We can have no security without it... The great object is, that every man be armed.
Free men, sovereigns unto themselves, are armed; slaves are not.

How to proceed in this modern era? Congress has not followed George Washington's wishes to provide for equipping and regularly training the militia.

Or has it? At least, in accordance with its power to equip the militia, it has established the Civilian Marksmanship Program to supply surplus WW2/Korean War-era M1 Garand semi-automatic battle rifles to qualified members of the public.

That's right, for the bargain price of $300-$400 (probably 1/4 retail!), the FedEx man will deliver this venerable arm, called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General Patton, right to your door!

All I had to do was join the state shooting organization for about $30 (or one can join an actual local shooting club, but that often takes time, connections, and more money), and then went to a standard clinic hosted by a CMP-participating club for the cost of $15, which bought me 50 rounds of ammo, a loaned rifle, and some basic instruction.

I then spent some time shooting from standard match positions -- standing, prone, sitting, rapid, slow -- but no minimum score is required, just get the 50 rounds down range to get your certificate to complete your application!

After a few hours on a hot summer day, I was thirsty, tired, burned, and bruised from the recoil. It was great.

A few weeks later I got my M1. According to the serial numbers, it seems to be a late 1945 model, rebuilt in the early 1950s.

Get your piece of history.

And be prepared to perform you civic duty.