Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR

the voice of humility wishes everyone a happy and politically incorrect 2008 Anno Domini.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fear of Knowledge

The iSteve blog has a post about Anthropology titled Almost makes you feel sorry for Jared Diamond ...
. It is interesting enough, but is important to the voice of humility for providing a new definition for our ongoing Short Dictionary of Politics project. Herein we quote Mr. Sailer,

But there's another reason cultural anthropologists love ethnographic dazzle: political correctness. PC is essentially a fear of knowledge. The cultural anthropologists wallow in data and despise generalization and reductionism for fear that somebody might turn data into information, knowledge, and, God forbid, wisdom.

The voice of humility is an accomplished enough thief to work it into our dictionary thus:

Political Correctness: A fear of knowledge. Under the regime of political correctness as practiced in the United States and some other nations, any evidence disproving accepted doctrine must be denied, if not suppressed.

As we have stolen from Mr. Sailer, we will go against normal practice and link to his fundraiser, Panhandlemania. The voice of humility does not solicit money for others, but if you are not going to endow us with vast generosity, we would rather you donate to Mr. Sailer than NPR.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Acception That Proves the Rule

My kids got the movie, Accepted, out of the library. It is not much. Minimalist plot summary: Goofy kid can't get into college, starts one of his own and succeeds. In watching the movie accepted, it is obvious why “hero,” Bartelby, has not got into college. Stupid parents beget stupid kids. It is one long unending not so funny vulgarity. I don't know what it is about golf and college movies, but it appears de rigeur that there be an anti Anglo-Saxon jibe about anti-semitic blackballing. Hey, it's almost 2008, someone has to get the script writers of worthless movies a life.

So why do I waste time on something I think is complete dreck. The truth is, I'm not sure it was a comedy. Oh, it definitely wanted to be a comedy with nonstop lame jokes. Unfortunately, there was just a tad too much reality. The plot line of kid sets up college that is all things to all youth, well, is that not a lot of what college is sold as?

Lets take a look at a admissions web page for one of New England's popular colleges where cool kids go for a serious but fun four years (at least),

Imagine yourself at Middlebury College, with four years to try new ideas and explore the subjects and pursuits you feel passionate about. Four years to explore a liberal arts curriculum so diverse and interdisciplinary that it would take over a century to experience it all. Four years to act in a student production, do research with faculty scientists, join a relief mission to a third-world country, hike the Long Trail, or play left wing on the hockey team. Where would you start? No matter where you choose to begin, Middlebury offers abundant opportunities for learning and growth—and opens doors to the future you envision.

Ah well, I'm sure no catalog ever said something like, you will spend hours in the library doing term papers and we expect you to toe the line and if you don't, maybe voke ed is for you.

In a prior post, I told how I was required to read Newman's The Idea of a University the summer before I attended a papist undergraduate institution. To my utter shame, I remember so little of it. I vaguely recall some of it in that an undergraduate curriculum at a Liberal Arts college should be knowledge for its own sake. Well, I guess the fellow in the film was pursuing the goal of blowing things up with his mind for its own sake, but that is hardly a liberal art. No matter, we want you to grow and learn at Middlebury while we open doors for that future you envision.

South Harmon Institute of Technology, the name of the college in the film (yes, they meant that acronym) also wants you to grow and learn. The standards are undoubtedly looser than Middlebury's but the idea is really little different.

Now, do not get the idea the voice of humility is decrying this. After all, if we have a real system of liberal education, maybe one hundredth of one percent of the population might qualify. That is not on. The country would not stand for it and the thought of an aimless horde of seventeen year olds being unleashed on the country to search for work they are unqualified to do and probably does not exist is scary to say the least. No let them ferment for a few years and take jobs that the country needs like drug counselor or campus security worker.

Indeed, we have been marching toward this for well over a hundred years. No, it is not something that started with the post WWII GI Bill. Christopher Lasch, In the Culture of Narcissism wrote that The president of Princeton was hoping the success of the football team would lead to interest and applications to his college among Kentuckians well over a century ago. Princeton, that bastion of privilege, where the BA is a ticket to membership in the elite actually had to sell itself to rubes in the hinterlands?

The growth of college has probably been the most successful rent seeking enterprise in world history, putting the pre-christian pagan priesthood that it has much in common with to shame.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

From the Sublime

Over on the Black Sea up until a few days ago there was a lovely picture picture of Hope Sandoval of the band Mazzy Star with the words, "I want to taste the breath that's true."

Since then, he has posted a picture of some specimens of what looks to be Underclass Caucasia and below has the words of Hank five before Agincourt, as written by Billy Lancerattle, "For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition."

In looking at the picture, I am more reminded of the words of Wellington before Waterloo, "I don´t know what they do to the enemy but they scare the hell out of me."

I reflected on this picture in relation to my post on inequality, Watsonia Delenda Est just below. Anyone who thinks that if the other just disappears we will enter into a state of Nirvana need only look at the picture at the Black Sea and remember the words of JJ Walker,

Northern Ireland shows that when there are no Blacks or Jews around, people can improvise.

There is no society so poor that it will lack for an underclass. ergo inequality ergo conflict.

As to the couple in the picture at Black Sea, had he been at Agincourt, no matter how many acts of valor Baldie might perform, the only gentling of his condition possible was centuries away. If the battle took place today, Henry would not have knighted him, but would have given him leave to undergo electro shock with twice the voltage for Blondie.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Watsonia Delenda Est

James Malloy quotes W.D. Hamilton on GNXP,

... [M]ight it be fair also to say that the champions of 'no difference' in race or sex, or intelligence ... are the guardians of a greater 'untruth' that allows people to live together in mutual harmony, implying that these critics really deserve to be praised as our protectors even when they are factually wrong? ... it is roughly how the self-appointed guardians choose to present themselves - leaving aside, usually, the step of frankly admitting that they are promoting factual untruths when they know that they are.


The problem with the quote above is that no matter what is said and done, we don't live in harmony. If there were real acceptance of each other, why rock the boat. Unfortunately, as there is no equality, it can not be glossed over with happy talk. Equality does not exist in nature and has never existed amongst men and women. If there is not equality then there can only be jealousy when the observation of group differences occurs. This is tragic. When members of Group A complain that a test was designed by Group B and thus benefits only Group B members and Group B members reply that Group C test takers had no part in the design of the test and outdo Group B it has no effect on the argument because the conclusion, if true is still felt as an insult. Do Group B members not feel jealous of Group C because Group C is relatively small here and intermarries at a high rate. If there were fifty million Northeast Asians swamping colleges would American Caucasia's attitude become similar to Black America's? No, I don't expect ranting about "Yellow Skin Privilege."

Our species is, in the main, nothing to write home about. We strut and brag and yet so few of us have ever advanced mankind. We are using the storage batteries charged by others. Let us read the words of Ralph Adams Cram, whose writings on the subject influenced Albert Jay Nock to abandon egalitarianism,

Yes, but there is another side to the question. However repulsive and degrading the general condition of any period in the past, there never has been a time when out of the darkness did not flame into light bright figures of men and women who in character and capacity were a glory to the human race. Nor were they only those whose names we know and whose fame is immortal. We know from the evidences that there were more whose identity is not determined, men and women lost in the great mass of the underlying mob, who in purity and honour and charity were co-equal with the great figures of history. Between them and the basic mass there was a difference greater than that which separates, shall we say, the obscene mob of the November Revolution in Russia, and the anthropoid apes. They fall into two absolutely different categories, the which is precisely the point I wish to make.

We do not behave like human beings because most of us do not fall within that classification as we have determined it for ourselves, since we do not measure up to standard. And thus:

With our invincible—and most honourable but perilous—optimism we gauge humanity by the best it has to show. From the bloody riot of cruelty, greed and lust we cull the bright figures of real men and women. Pharaoh Akhenaten, King David, Pericles and Plato, Buddha and Confucius and Lao Tse, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius and Virgil, Abder-Rahman of Cordoba, Charlemagne and Roland; St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Louis; Godfrey de Bouillon, Saladin, Richard Coeur de Lion; Dante, Leonardo, St. Thomas Aquinas, Ste. Jeanne d'Arc, Sta. Teresa, Frederick II, Otto the Great, St. Ferdinand of Spain, Chaucer and Shakespeare, Strafford and Montrose and Mary of Scotland, Washington, Adams and Lee. These are but a few key names; fill out the splendid list for yourselves. By them we unconsciously establish our standard of human beings.

Now to class with them and the unrecorded multitude of their compeers, the savage and ignorant mob beneath, or its leaders and mouthpieces, is both unjust and unscientific. What kinship is there between St. Francis and John Calvin; the Earl of Strafford and Thomas Crumwell; Robert E. Lee and Trotsky; Edison and Capone? None except their human form. They of the great list behave like our ideal of the human being; they of the ignominious sub-stratum do not—because they are not. In other words, the just line of demarcation should be drawn, not between Neolithic Man and the anthropoid ape, but between the glorified and triumphant human being and the Neolithic mass which was, is now and ever shall be.


The higher beings amongst us are infinitesimally rare and for all practical purposes are a species above. The brilliant fellows at the right tail of the bell curve as measured by tests are so few. That they are almost never descendants of Sub Saharan Africa or are Women is seen as injustice before any reflection takes place.

Well, I am descended from a nation that has not had that many members of the intellectual elite. By intellectual elite, I don't mean senior partners in Biglaw. There have been some of those from amongst us and valued members of other overblown so called professions. No, I mean a Newton or Gallileo or Archimedes or Einstein. The color of their skin or gender is irrelevant as any of their achievements have benefited all. Still, there is resentment.

You know, I wish people of my ethnicity were top of the pops. I kind of resent that Jews score consistently better. I also remember the early fifties when parents would not let kids play together for fear of Polio. A relative by marriage spent the last few years of his life in an iron lung and was soon buried in his well decorated uniform. I played with his son at the beach where he could at least take off his braces to swim. One day we went to a building and waited in line. My sisters and I were given a shot. Soon, no parent stopped their kids from going off to play.

The point is, the scientist who conjured the vaccine may not have been Pythagoras, but he was no slouch. If the choice were my kid in an iron lung and a Jew getting a scholarship that obviates that, well, I hope I would not be churlish in the matter.

Ah, but the reigning egalitarianism denies there is anything special in any accomplishment. If only discrimination or prejudice were extinguished then anyone could be anything. In practice this means the game is rigged and we hope for the golden day when anyone can be the equal of Stephen Hawking in brainpower, and, only brainpower. Does anyone really believe this?

It seems about a thousand years ago, but I vaguely remember a Firing Line show with Malcolm Muggeridge and Germaine Greer and a bunch of Lefty Brits. At one point, Muggeridge opined about a doctrine that no one really believes and likened it to the Marxist idea of the withering away of the state. The implication was that even Marxist were not stupid enough to believe in such tripe anymore. All the assorted lefties tried to look as if they were not there. They could not say, "Quite right there, Malchie, old boy," but they hardly wanted to stupidly say how it was an article of their true faith.

Well Germaine, as a sub-mediocrity myself, I lead all in hailing your installation in the grand pantheon of the Gods of Mediocrity. She has had a good run in a life of self promotion but is like all the other deniers on Firing Line or the attackers of Watson. Down deep they know that inequality is all pervasive as was Marxism a crock. They also know their own limitations. As expressed in Fewtril #216 of Deogolwulf

Mediocrity tends to a tolerance of everything but excellence.

That makes sense. If all the gods we make are mediocrities, when a real one shows up he has to die.

I live in a nice enough house with many wonderful things. I drive a car that transports me great distances. All the arts and sciences that are in these, I had no part in creating. The smallest of the inventions were the genius of others. It is so with all but the tiniest fraction of humans. It has not been a bad life and I am grateful.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Orwellian Language of the Year

Okay, I really don't like to do the W pile on, but sometimes I can't help it.

The radio is on as background noise in the kitchen and our pres is giving his weekly address. Most of what I hear is blah blah blah blah blah as that is what it is. I do hear one thing, "Congress needs to pass a bill to protect the middle class from higher taxes."

I'm down witcha, George. File a bill that reads, "Any tax that attacks a middle class citizen, either physically or with hate speech shall serve a sentence not less than three years or more than ten and shall pay a fine of not less than $10,000 or more than $250,000 or its equivalent in real money."

There mon president, as they say, mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

They're Taking Him Seriously

Yup, people are taking notice of Ron Paul. On the strength of a $500 donation from a white supremacist wacko Ronnie is being accused of all but Holocaust Denial at Bald Headed Geek. Daniel Sieradski is upset that the candidate is not in constant contact with him.

Look kids, if a non interventionist foreign policy scares you that much, the voice of humility will tell you how to kill my boy's candidacy the easy way. All you have to do is bring up his ideas about Social Security.

"We’ve all heard proposals for “privatizing” the Social Security system. The best private solution, of course, is simply to allow the American people to keep more of their paychecks and invest for retirement as they see fit." American voters won't be scared about Ron Paul's thoughts on the gold standard, but they do get worried when you tell them they might not be getting a "free" check no matter how inflated the currency it is paid in.

This method of attack is also dishonorable. Still, it is preferable than using up the term anti-semite. Reserve that for people who really deserve it.

Also posted at The Neutralist

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Suppression

One can be celebrated in this world for Speaking Truth to Power, but if you actually "Speak Truth to Power," you get squashed like a bug. If you want to see what the fate of truth to power tellers is look at the White Rose and Franz Jägerstätter not to mention people who merely whispered truth and got into the maw of the Gulag.

The voice of humility does not speak on subjects like heredity or genetics because we possess only the dimmest understanding of the science. We do believe that we possess normal human powers of observation. As to our environment, suffice it to say, there is no equality anywhere whether amongst individuals or groups. To say otherwise is to be willfully blind.

Now Mr. Watson was not speaking to "Power," but "Power" overheard his conversation. I don't want to get into why he caved because he may have had some very important reason for doing it. However, had he told his oppressors to take a hike, the victory for truth telling may not have been decisive, but it would have been welcome.

It is also to be noted, it does not appear that he made his remarks about Africa and her children with either joy or rancor, but with a tone of regret. His statement of pessimism regarding that continent helped to land him in hot water. It would be interesting if his critics could be polled so we could find out who of that ilk is optimistic about the future of the "Dark Continent."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Not Yet A Believer, but

I haven't had that Billy Graham crusade moment where I head up to the altar and profess belief in the possibility of a Ron Paul nomination and election but the voice of humility is fidgeting in his seat.

You see, even though we still doubt, some others have, if not belief, fear. I saw the Congressman's performance on youtube and I saw Chris Wallace serve up what he thought was going to be an unhittable curveball. Of course it ended up a chest high slow one that Ronnie hit out of the park (why do I do this? I hate sports metaphors).*

Chris:

So, Congressman Paul, and I’d like you to take 30 seconds to answer this, you’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaeda? If they want us off the Arabian Peninsula, we should leave?

Ron:

I’m saying we should take our marching orders from our Constitution. We should not go to war — (cheers, applause) — we should not go to war without a declaration. We should not go to war when it’s an aggressive war. This is an aggressive invasion. We’ve committed the invasion of this war, and it’s illegal under international law. That’s where I take my marching orders, not from any enemy. (Cheers, boos.)

Now, granted this is Fox and not CNN, but your man has to have them rattled enough that they come up with questions like this. Or.....have they seen the light. It looks like a partisan question, but anyone who has seen him answer before has to know this is nothing he could not handle.

In countering Ron Paul, Mr. Huckabee made an interesting comment.

Congressman, we are one nation. We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country, the United States of America, not the divided states of America

One is reminded of Chesterton's quip:

"My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."

Now the former governor does not look like the type who comes from an intemperate family and I would never suggest that his mom ever even drank let alone to excess. Still, we can note that if she were to have ever had, say, ten manhattans of an afternoon, Mike would match her out of loyalty.

Boston radio commentator, Jon Keller was paying attention to the Thompson announcement. He notes that our thespian has not said anything other than a few bromides. His conclusion on the future of that campaign, "While absence makes the hear grow fonder, familiarity breeds contempt."

*Please note, my doubts notwithstanding, I support the candidacy of Ron Paul, not because it might be viable, but because he is the only near sane candidate of either party.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Steve Sailer, the last holdout

Steve Sailer just can't seem to leave Vietnam. He is going to end up like those two Japanese holdouts in the Philipines found decades after the war if he doesn't let it go. Give it up, Steve, we need you here.

Let's look at the last paragraph of his article, What's the opposite of the sunk cost fallacy?,

The NVA tried a tentative offensive in December 1974, following the Democrats midterm election triumphs, found that the US wouldn't provide air support, so launched a massive offensive in March 1975. The South Vietnamese collapsed about as quickly as France in 1940.

Now, if a tentative offensive is begun in December and the crusher launched in March, what was the ARVN doing in between? I don't think they were starved for equipment as I remember all the stuff the NVA captured after the fall of Saigon. If the South was going to survive, it would always be as some kind of welfare case. We are better off gone.

In a prior article, Vietnam, he makes this claim,

Today, with American air power so unchallenged, it seems strange that the Democrats didn't want to allow air support of the South Vietnamese. After all, a couple of decades later, a Democrat President got involved in an internal dispute of negligible significance to America, and bombed Yugoslavia into ceding control of its internationally-recognized Kosovo province, at minimal cost in lost aircraft.

Actually, the FRY had ceded this before the bombing. what caused the war to start was their rejection of this paragraph in the Rambouillet Agreement,

NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of bivouac, maneuver, billet, and utilization of any areas or facilities as required for support, training, and operations

The war ended when NATO (i.e. us) surrendered on this point. If anyone thinks being able to stay in occupation in the Balkans, let alone the Middle East is a victory, well, good luck with that.

Also posted at The Neutralist

Saturday, August 25, 2007

FREE MICHAEL VICK! Or is this another thing I just don't get?

Okay, I'm not paying much attention to the dog bites man or dog bites dog or whatever story about this fellow. If what is said about hanging animals and all is true, then he should be subject to some punishment if there are state and local statutes. Unfortunately, for this fellow, he happens to have a talent for throwing a football. Had he been a software developer, who would have known or cared.*

But punishment at the federal level? Where in the constitution is this? What next, a federal jaywalking statute?

*the voice of humility on sports. In childhood, I was a talentless baseball fanatic. I practiced and practiced to no good purpose. I followed the Red Sox with a passion when that was really, really stupid. Then, with everybody else, watching TV in a freshman dorm common room, I saw the Sox win the 1967 pennant. It was what I had waited all my life to see and I realized how boring watching other people play a sport was for me. Maybe there is some value to others that I don't understand, but when I have had to sit through a contest, I've either just tried to stay awake out of courtesy or made jokes** out of boredom. Still have my Ted Williams baseball card though, which I'll give up when they pry my cold dead hands off of it or best offer.

**The jokes were not that good. Example, when at a Bruins game, a player went down in a heap and was taken off the ice to the hospital, my comment was, "Just shows you, hockey isn't a white man's game."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hot Off The Digital Press-Ron Paul Is The Only Candidate Who Can Win The Election

Don't take it from me. In the immortal words of the late Jean Shepherd, "I don't make the news, I just report it." Well, I'm reporting what someone else is reporting. Stratfor, the intelligence service that a lot of the heavy hitters pay big bucks for has a piece today, Gaming the U.S. Elections where they prove that no Democrat or Republican can win the election. Imagine, Ron Paul is not nominated and we have four years without a president. Ooh, that does send cold, sensual chills all up and down my spine and is probably the only thing that one can contemplate better than Ron Paul winning.

Enough digression. Let's look at the relevant passage.

no sitting senator has won the presidency since Kennedy. The reason is, again, simple. Senators make speeches and vote, all of which are carefully recorded in the Congressional record. Governors live in archival obscurity and don't have to address most issues of burning importance to the nation. Johnson came the closest to being a sitting senator but he too had a gap of four years and an assassination before he ran. After him, former Vice President Nixon, Gov. Carter, Gov. Reagan, Vice President Bush, Gov. Clinton and Gov. Bush all won the presidency. The path is strewn with fallen senators.

That being the case, the Democrats appear poised to commit electoral suicide again, with two northern senators (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) in the lead, and the one southern contender, John Edwards, well back in the race. The Republicans, however, are not able to play to their strength. There are no potential candidates in Texas or California to draw on. Texas right now just doesn't have players ready for the national scene. California does, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is constitutionally ineligible by birth. In a normal year, a charismatic Republican governor of California would run against a northern Democratic senator and mop the floor. It's not going to happen this time.

Instead, the Republicans appear to be choosing between a Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, and a former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. Unless Texan Ron Paul can pull off a miracle, the Republicans appear to be going with their suicide hand just like the Democrats. Even if Fred Thompson gets the nomination, he comes from Tennessee, and while he can hold the South, he will have to do some heavy lifting elsewhere.

The Edwards hypotheses fails as he is really no different from Thompson. They are essentially the same grade phony. If one has a problem, the other has the same.

Thus, unless the Republicans want to commit suicide and leave the nation executiveless for four years, their only choice is Ronnie.

How come only guys with the name Ron can save that hapless party.

Also posted at The Neutralist.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Plus ça change

Part of Hillary's statement on Libby,

"This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice."

Remember when the Dems called the Bush Père term the Reagan-Bush Administration. That was of course, dumb because they were tying a popular president to a loser and that could only help the loser, though it was hardly enough to overcome his grand mal loserdom.

It would not be unfair to call the current and last presidencies the Clinton-Bush administration for more than just pardons. However, when Madame is enthroned, I am sure she will give us no reason to tie three administrations together. Well, I'm not absolutely sure.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Casino is Closed

A couple of posts ago, I asked for odds on whether I. Skateboard Libby would be pardoned before Ramos and Compean, The Border Two. Well, though my few readers must not be gamblers, no matter, we have an answer. I. Skateboard Libby will get to skate (or is that scoot?). No pardon, just commutation.

the voice of humility also asked if there was any speculation as to the relative comfort of the skater as opposed to the Border Two would experience during their respective sentences. The question is now moot, as himself will be poolside.

Now, there are whiners out there saying how trivial what he did was. I did not think that Bill Clinton should have suffered legally for his peccadilloes. That was the province of the First Harridan. Once he lied under oath, he deserved to be impeached and removed from office. Anyone who is privileged with high office and can't obey the law when they are part of the executive branch charged with enforcing it, deserves the book thrown at them. As it is, I did not believe there was one law for everyone before this, so I did not have to rush to the emergency room to be treated for shock.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Pink Swastika and Immigration

About a week and a half ago here in the Peoples' Republic, we saw raw power at work. Opponents of homosexuals marrying had worked to get the question on the ballot. The legislature was required to vote on the measure. Having fulfilled prior requirements, if the referendum advocates had gotten fifty votes in the joint session of the legislature acting as a constitutional convention, the measure would appear on the ballot in the next general election. The day before the vote, the referendum advocates were sure of their reps and senators. The day of the actual ballot, they had lost. Several who had been counted as solid were turned.

In Massachusetts, raw power was unleashed. What promises were made are beyond my knowledge. There were all manner of carrots and sticks available to the gay lobby and its wholly owned subsidiary, Governor Deval Patrick. Many Massachusetts legislators have skeletons in their closet and it would not be without the realm of possibility that their peccadilloes were exploited.* Talk radio mentioned some job offers.

Now, I've stated my view on same sex marriage. I am a get the government out of marriage and anything else they botch. I have no illusions that the greatest beneficiaries of happy or gay marriage will be a corps of attorneys breaking new ground in the specialty of “gay” divorce law.

The basic point here is that if there is something a group, cabal, elite, whatever, wants, they can get it no matter what the constituency wants. They can bring extreme force to bear where it is most effective, while no matter how broad popular resistance is, it can almost never do the same.

Anyone who believes the anti immigration forces have the momentum should think again. I pray the day is won, but, I would not bet on it. Every second, the forces of amnesty are not resting. If there is something in a fence sitters record that can be exploited, it will be. The resistance has little such power except, maybe, a loss of popularity amongst the voters for a Senator who goes against their desire. Depending on the time between the vote and re-election, that has only so much value.

For a more in depth discussion of the issue from an insider (Paul Weyrich), see on immigration and on Massachusetts.

*So many of our solons have had the opportunity for government housing including room and board that Boston columnist, Howie Carr will put in his column when citing such miscreants, Rep. John Smith (D-MCI Norfolk) or for federal offenders Sen Mike Jones (D-Danbury). MCI=Massachusetts Correctional Institution. The two Ds are not because Democrats are inherently more criminal than Republicans. Rather, it is because there are few Republicans in the legislature so there are more members of the Cargo Cult in legal trouble at any one time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

THE CASINO IS OPEN, sort of

First, this is not an offer of, or request for wagers. We comply with all federal laws regarding betting.

I am the son of a man who was a fairly successful small time gambler and I have given much thought as to why he did much better than his friends (and they were his friends, his company being so pleasant, I doubt anyone felt taken). I have given his good fortune a lot of thought and have come to the conclusion, if you wish to win at cards, play with people who are not as smart as you. I would also aver self control is important. Those suggestions are made in the abstract as my mom would have killed him had he taught me the craft.

So is there a point here. I hope so. If anyone has an idea the odds of I. Skateboard Libby being pardoned before Ramos And Compean (The Border Two), The casino would like to hear out of a certain curiosity.

Also, now that Skateboard is going to the slammer, any speculation as to the relative comfort of himself as opposed to the Border Two is welcome.

Monday, June 11, 2007

They Also Serve

Most of the bloggers to the right have commented wisely and well on the immigration bill. Unfortunately, the influence of bloggers is slight.

A couple of writers are on the list who might receive some stipend for their efforts. They, in this, maybe the most important question of my adult life, have not seen fit to comment. I suspect the subject is not cool enough for them to expose how they really feel.

There is one class of commenter on whom I must lavish fulsome praise. They are not my faves and I am not excited in having to shower them with homage. Let's face it, without talk radio, the game would have been up.

So does this make up for all the shilling that was done to get us into war and to keep us there. That is not for me to render an opinion on. There are 3500+ who have the final say on that.

“Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold, For Dickon, thy master, is bought and sold.”

I thought the fix was in. I thought the chutzpah necessary to even bring forward such a transparently horrible bill meant that the powers that be had it all figured out. I've read a lot on the subject and it is becoming just a big blur as every one speculates on who is behind what. This is the grandest scam in my life. Tonkin gulf, WMD, small potatoes. A few photos of NV torpedo boats and anyone can start a war. No, this is really big. To swindle folks on something so against their interest, that they know to be against their interest, can not be anything but gargantuan. The shock is, with every lie and liar in place, it did not work.

I don't have to discuss the Democrats. Enough of them in any legislature have an antipathy toward their country that they would want to make foreigners who don't want to come here immigrate. No, it is the Republicans who, if I thought they had any honor at all would boggle my mind.

Now, they are all professional politicians and are not to be trusted, but here is something in which GOPers are betraying the base while insulting its intelligence. I am not impressed with my countrymen's choices (granted the choices are not exciting in the main). Still, most of them, I should say us, are smart enough to know we are hearing people trying to put a shine on a sneaker. Still, the senators keep it up even when they know nobody believes it. Oh, the presidential candidates have flipped the flop (other than McCain), though I am not sure anyone is buying it, but the senators are staying with the program even though it antagonizes the homefolk,

Politicians will lie if they have to, but usually when caught, they try to squirm away. Not on this issue. They characterize the bill as not amnesty with tough provisions, blah blah blah. How do I know they are lying? Well, I hope no one believes they have read 300+ pages and formulated their own opinion.

There is a scenario that goes through my mind of a polished oak paneled meeting room. A couple of men in impeccable suits are sitting across from a high solon,

First man, “Senator, we want to both thank you for your support and compliment you on the eloquence of your arguments in favor.”

Senator Toungtied, “Thank you, gentlemen. It is a noble cause and you can count on me.”

Second man, “In a few years you will be up for re-election. Your principled stand on this matter may not help your candidacy.”

Senator Toungtied, “I do understand that and I have to think about that. If my stand on this issue would deny my constituents my service............?

First man, “You know, the chair of the Quisling Institute of Applied Politics at St Hubbins University will be retiring about the time your term ends. Now, your love of the Senate is legendary, but we think you would be a great fit for the Institute and could only hope you would see service there as rewarding. Of course, we can't speak for the University, but, we have heard your name mentioned.”

Senator Toungtied, plays it a little coy, “Sirs, the Senate has been my life since I was first elected and I have a hard time picturing myself any where else.”

Second man, “Bob, may I call you Bob, the perks of being the Chair of the Institute are, not to be crude, enormous. Why the opportunities for travel are as favorable as Senatorial travel. I believe one could spend a good deal of the winter doing research in, oh say, a University in the Caribbean.”

Senator Toungtied, a little indignant, “Just what are you saying?”

First man, “Bob, Bob, We are saying nothing. We know nothing, .......for certain. The rumors of, say a liaison, are just that. What evidence there might be, well I don't know. Besides, since Clinton, voters have been more accepting. You are an adult and she was, well, close to being one.”

Second man, “Almost close to being one.”

Senator Toungtied, less indignant. “I shall never dishonor the Senate, and I am immune to threats. Be assured, gentlemen, my support for this bill is absolutely on principle.”

Second man, “We expected no less.”

The above scenario is rank speculation on my part. What I have to believe is that no one is doing this on their own. What sinecures are being offered, what disclosures of indiscretions are being threatened? Possibly none. There may be some form of pressure so novel and so perfect in it's subtlety that it leaves it victims proud of the betrayal.

The more I think about it, it should be easy enough to get this one over. Handicapping New England Republicans is a breeze. Snow and Collins of Maine are always embarrassed if they can't vote to the left of Teddy. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire has always been a go along to get along guy. Sununu, is hard to figure, maybe he hates the Bush family due to the way his old man was hung out to dry. In the South, Old Trent has been a eunuch for a while now. It should have been easy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Rhetorician

Okay, so y'all have written off the pres. His sellout of the border has caused Republican talk show creatures to start condemming him to beat the band. Well, I don't sell the man short at all. I admire him. Indeed, he has given me another reason to keep him in high regard.

I was driving home this morning from the not so big city. The radio was playing George Bush's answering of questions. I was vaguely listening when one fellow asked the president in effect, if Osama is so bad in Iraq now, isn't that because we invaded as he was not there before. I'm not too clear, but that is the sense I got.

Now the true answer to that question is, Hell, yeah. George did the only thing he could. He didn't answer the question. His reply, as best I remember it was, "So what you're saying is, the option would have been to let Saddam stay there." He then went on to cite the litany of all the works of evil of the late President.

It was a tour de force of what in another language they call being glich francach caca laca, or, cute as a shithouse rat.

Alright, I grant it is a low sort of cunning, but no matter. He was not talking to the people on the White House lawn or rose garden or wherever. He was talking to the people who hate the guy who asked the question. I am not sure even they are listening anymore, but it was the people he needed to talk to.

It's too bad he can't talk to them about immigration.

Also posted at The Neutralist

Monday, May 21, 2007

Al Fin on war

I enjoy reading the blog Al Fin as I have an interest in science even though I have no real scientific knowledge or ability. Sometimes, though, he goes on to other subjects and there we disagree. Below are a couple of places.

AL FIN I

On May 11, 2007 he quoted approvingly from another blog,

The U.S. military currently possesses command of the global commons. Command of the commons is analogous to command of the sea, or in Paul Kennedy’s words, it is analogous to “naval mastery.” The “commons,” in the case of the sea and space, are areas that belong to no one state and that provide access to much of the globe. Airspace does technically belong to the countries below it, but there are few countries that can deny their airspace above 15,000 feet to U.S. warplanes. Command does not mean that other states cannot use the commons in peacetime. Nor does it mean that others cannot acquire military assets that can move through or even exploit them when unhindered by the United States. Command means that the United States gets vastly more military use out of the sea, space, and air than do others; that it can credibly threaten to deny their use to others; and that others would lose a military contest for the commons if they attempted to deny them to the United States. Having lost such a contest, they could not mount another effort for a very long time, and the United States would preserve, restore, and consolidate its hold after such a fight. ...

The United States enjoys the same command of the sea that Britain once did, and it can also move large and heavy forces around the globe. But command of space allows the United States to see across the surface of the world’s landmasses and to gather vast amounts of information. At least on the matter of medium-to-large-scale military developments, the United States can locate and identify military targets with considerable fidelity and communicate this information to offensive forces in a timely fashion. Air power, ashore and afloat, can reach targets deep inland; and with modern precision-guided weaponry, it can often hit and destroy those targets.


He then writes,

"Most people who comment on the state of the world lack even a basic understanding of the firmer layers of reality beneath the media facade."

Yeah, so what. The last part of the last paragraph tells us


“At least on the matter of medium-to-large-scale military developments, the United States can locate and identify military targets with considerable fidelity and communicate this information to offensive forces in a timely fashion. Air power, ashore and afloat, can reach targets deep inland; and with modern precision-guided weaponry, it can often hit and destroy those targets.”

Well, the rest of the world knows that and there are precious few who are interested in taking us on in that realm. That does not mean no one wishes to take us on. A heck of a lot do. They are just more subtle about it. Those planes and ships don't do us much good against the suicide bombers. Anyway, the great beneficiaries of our world service are the Chinese*, who get to safely send all the exports to us and the oil producers who can ship non Texas Texas Tea here without fear of any piratical mishaps. What are we sending out of the country. The jobs don't travel by tanker.

Some may argue that this trade is win win. I am a free trader, but I think there is an analogy with the US auto industry here. The car makers made deals with the workers that insured future costs would be a drag in competing with foreign competition. As we are the only nation seriously paying for the security of the commons, this is a competitive cost we impose on ourselves that leaves us at a disadvantage. Of course there are many other ways we shoot ourselves in the foot. Will our excessive spending across the board lead us to disaster. That is for another day and for the black magicians of the occult craft of economics to discuss.
*I believe Al is on firmer ground as regards China here.

AL FIN II

In the second Al Fin post he presents a youtube video of Uncle Jimbo. Uncle Jimbo is presenting a rant wherein he explains the difference between a peacetime army and the army in time of war. Now, I know I disagree with Uncle Jimbo on the war. I do feel some sympathy with the lad, though. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and gets to hang out in a la la land. I know what that is like as I get to spend a good deal of time in the Five Colleges area in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. I believe our adventure in Iraq is stupid. Still, spend enough time in a university town and even though one can't justify the war, you would almost want to support it in the same way that the moralizing about smoking makes me want to take up cigarettes so I can blow smoke in someones face. Of course, he continues to live there, so he must in some way enjoy it.



UJ's little talk is not bad. It reminds me of de Tocqueville's commentary, Causes Which Render Democratic Armies Weaker than Other Armies at the Outset of a Campaign and More Formidable in Protracted Warfare. He is right, the less adept are replaced by those more competent. People move up to where they belong.

Where he is wrong is that de Tocqueville wrote about how, when the peacetime army goes to war, it is at a disadvantage with all the time servers. As the battle rages and the homeland is threatened and other avenues of advancement in the nation are cut off, the military becomes the only outlet for ambitious people to rise. This is not happening here. The bright lad will not forego the position at the hedge fund to serve in Iraq. Yes, we have good men fighting, but one must doubt that there are going to be a lot more gushing out of the pipeline. In fact, we have even increased the number of cat IVs* we are enlisting.

If anything, time in this respect is on the side of the enemy. Poor, uneducated and with few prospects, there is no dearth of lads who do not see a glorious death as that horrible compared to their current meager existence. Amongst that pool of recruits, there are probably many who are officer material and will rise in their society in the way de Tocqueville outlines for a democratic army facing a foe with the potential to dominate its homeland. These unlucky ones will miss out on Jihadi suicide and will have to make do with all the mundane aspects of gathering intelligence, planning strategy and keeping up the level of mayhem. With us there, they have no reason to ever give up.

All wars are different and doing too much Vietnam analogizing is probably unhelpful. Still, if these guys think that a twenty year field exercise in a desert country is going to be in any way a victory, then they have no right to call anyone else a moonbat. That is simply the truth.

*Low scorers on the qualification exam.

Also posted at The Neutralist.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Newspaper Theft Hits Massachusetts Campus

Usually, campus newspaper theft occurs because a bunch of lefties perceive an article to be racist/sexist/classist or something politically incorrect and they have not sufficiently intimidated the writers and editors so the only righteous path left to them is a form of direct suppression. Often, the crime goes unpunished because the administration understands the highmindedness of the censors.

In the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts, where we love to make fun of things like the Texas cheerleader murders* we have a very recent case of campus newspaper theft. Did someone respond to racist/sexist/classist screed. Not at all. A bevy of campus beauties commandeered the issue because their photograph appeared in the paper. The lassies were wearing halters and low rise shorts and had letters written across their stomachs and had arranged themselves to spell the name of a player at the women's lacrosse game they were attending. The picture is below.


PICTURE REMOVED

As you can see, the women were offended by the objectification obvious in the photo. Ah, actually, no. They were upset that it made them look fat. Now, none of these girls appears corpulent. It is just that they are a season or two past what the outfit calls for in body shape. They were not horribly, for Americans, self conscious, therefore the unsuitabilty of the attire did not register until they saw the paper.

Now stealing the paper is wrong. If it matters to you, take action without resorting to crime. Either dress with some taste, hit the gym, or wear a burqua. I was thinking we need some slogan analogous to "if you don't want to do the time, don't commit the crime." "If you don't like the pictures we take, put down the fork and move away from the cheesecake" was the best I could do. As a full fledged gourmand who has never met a piece of cheescake he didn't like, I have little standing to suggest abstention when it comes to matters of cuisine.

These girls have learned a lesson. The administration is suggesting they be made to pay the cost of the press run. They should have screamed objectification.

*Of course every few years a hockey dad will fly off the handle and kill a ref, but it is an emotional crime of passion, not cold blooded murder.

Salt Lake City in Second Day of Lockdown

Dateline May 9, 2007

Salt Lake City is under lock down for a second day as police and National Guard units try to contain rioting by thousands of young people described as wearing the typical uniform of polo shirts and dockers protested the bigoted remarks of Al Sharpton.

Pundits have observed that there has been nothing like it since the "Hymietown" firestorm that drove Jesse Jackson from public life.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

UPDATE-How the boys got to New Jersey

It appears the Jersey Jihadis, or, if you would, the Jerseyhadis did not all come through the airport. Three of them came across the Mexican border.

I know my president, hearing this has ordered the building of the fence post haste.

I thought this wasn't supposed to happen

By now, almost all the arguments for the Iraq adventure have turned to dust. WMD, never were. Democracy, yeah, that's going to happen. One that is still in play is the we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here schtick.

Except it is kind of gone now. The Jersey Boys destroyed that. Actually, they are not really from Jersey, but they reside there now. These fellows never understood that according to the rules of the game, they were required to attack us in Iraq. If they attended New Jersey schools, then the heavens cry out for reform. Or, maybe they are just kinda garden variety dumb. What is it that people feel the need to video themselves.

Except for that little Faux Pas, they did seem on their way to producing some mayhem. Now, for there to be any truth to the we must fight them there so we don't have to here, then Fort Dix has to be defined as part of Iraq. Here, I am on fairly solid ground in disagreeing. Fort Dix is my alma mater. I spent eight happy weeks there. Well, I spent eight weeks there preparing to fight all the battles of the Viet Nam war that took place in the continental US.* Not once did I see a sign, either in English or Arabic, stating that the facility was the property of the Iraqi govenment.

So I am guessing that a reasonably intelligent person would say, if you don't want Jihadis here, you don't let people from Jihadi breeding areas into the country. These lads did not come ashore as frogmen. They probably landed at an airport, went through immigration after some documents were presented and disappeared. Obviously, your government does not really care.

So there is no reason to think our troops are going to do any good over there. Come home boys.

Also posted at The Neutralist

*I was particularly stalwart in the campaign against boredom.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Answering a reader and coming out of the closet

In a recent post titled Jihad Ain't What It Used To Be a reader left a comment taking issue with a statement by Clark Stooksbury that I quoted,

"Once you get past aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers and Cruise Missiles, our power is rather ordinary and we have racked up numerous failures to prove it."

The reader, commenting as anonymous, left this,

"Stooksbury is either joking or ignorant. The limiting factor on our power for the last 50 years has been political, not military. A lot has changed since you wore a uniform."

I asked him to be more specific and he was kind enough to answer,

"I'll see what I can do. No, I don't think putting Iraq in same class as Carthage is the answer; it's awfully tempting when considering the "Sunni Triangle" but isn't the answer. That is a broad topic beyond the scope of a comment system, so I'll return to my point.

My first issue with Stooksbury's statement is that it's rather farcical. You might as well say, "Apart from his singing career, Sinatra wasn't much of an entertainer." True, but intellectually dishonest. But even excepting the "big sticks" I don't see a strong case for his statement. Is our Army and Marine Corps second-rate? That’s laughable. That muddle of rejects and dopeheads reformed itself quite thoroughly after 1973 and has plenty of successes to show for it.

By way of demonstrating that I occasionally have moments of insight, I'll consider other ways of looking at the statement. Perhaps he meant, "because we are unwilling to sink to the sort of slaughter which our enemies respect" or a similar statement regarding asymmetric warfare. This is true overall, but is a matter of intentions, not capability.

There are other possibilities. Perhaps we're not very good at interfering with the affairs of other nations. I present recent events in Somalia in answer to this point, where the Ethiopians are having a ball. Would that more of our wars were fought in that matter.

But I think his point is that our power-projection is hampered by lack of political will. This returns to the matter of capabilities and intentions, and perhaps there I can find some common ground with the man. Our leadership has failed to engage the national will, but we've also shown that we're inclined to "cut and run" in the way Bin Laden thought we were.

Lastly, when I referred previously to political limits I had Korea and Vietnam in mind. An old campaigner like yourself is no doubt familiar with those cans of worms. For the record I consider Korea less than a failure and ‘Nam a mistake best laid at LBJ’s feet. But they’re not Iraq.”

To say the least, I disagree. I shall take issue first with the term Political Will.

Anonymous states, “But I think his point is that our power-projection is hampered by lack of political will.” I think I read Mr. Stooksbury enough to believe he does not mean that, but I shall address it anyway.

It is bad taste, of course, to quote myself, but I think my feelings on the idea of “Political Will” are recyclable,

"During a rare moment of lucidity while pretending to be a college student, I remember a professor talking about Helmuth von Moltke. This Prussian general had come to the United States to observe the American Civil War. The lecturer mentioned how von Moltke had observed the railroads in America and went home to invest and make a killing in German trains. Von Moltke also had another observation. He contradicted any idea that the spread of democracy would lead to a more peaceful world. Rather, democracy would lead to mass armies as the whole nation needed to be involved in the war effort and the people propagandized for the national crusade."

Thus the elite (or wannabe elite, the neocons) will progagandize the country to get their way. Of course, the people, not proselytized would never say, “Hey, we gotta show them Persians not to screw with us.”

I take issue with the idea that it is only political will we lack and our military is up to the benefial hegemony thing. If that were so, we would be cutting the length of deployments instead of stretching them to fifteen months.

The last part to address is this,

“I present recent events in Somalia in answer to this point, where the Ethiopians are having a ball. Would that more of our wars were fought in that matter.”

I have read that the Ethiops are buying arms from North Korea with our blessing. As Ethiopia is not known for its treasury, I expect that we are in some roundabout way, paying for said arms. We are a country with a bizzare foreign policy.

Whatever regular readers I have probably understand that I am not a fan of current US foreign policy. It is time for me to come out of the closet. No I’m not gay. Well, I like to think I am happy enough to consider myself gay, but you know what I mean, and I digress.

My disagreement with our foreign policy is near absolute. The Wilsonian experiment is a disaster. I am not however an isolationist. I dislike the term as it is more an epithet than a description. I consider myself a neutralist.

I thus invite readers to look at my other blog, The Neutralist. I have been cross posting articles that touch on foreign policy over there as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Ministry of Comic Relief

In the Monty Python sketch the Piranha Brothers, One of their victims is being interviewed and defends Dinsey as not really wanting to nail his head to the floor, but he had to do it. His last comment is,

“You gotta remember about ol' dinsey, 'e was cruel, but,'e was fair”

A number of years later, on British TV they were interviewing the recruiter of a mercenary force commanded by a certain ex Brit officer named Colonel Callan, notorious for shooting some of his own men in an encourager les autres situation. The ensuing uproar made it necessary for someone to go on the telly and defend the indefensible. The last comment of the recruiter was made with the exact intonation of Dinsey Piranha's defender,

“You gotta understand, Colonel Callan is a maniac. But, 'e's a brilliant officer.”

One could suspect after that, that Monty Python was not parody.

Now let me go out on a limb and suggest the possibility that Mr. Michael Palin, one of the Monty Python crew, has some sinecure in 'er Majesty's government as he is completely in tune with its outlook. Below from Antiwar.com/blog,

Blair’s Britain Beyond Parody

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 in News by Matt Barganier|

A few days ago, Terry Jones of Monty Python fame penned a funny and insightful piece about the UK-Iran “crisis.” It began as follows:

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills.

The same day Jones’ piece appeared in the Guardian, the following appeared in the UK’s Telegraph:

“It was deplorable,” pronounced our tight-lipped Health Secretary, “that the woman hostage should be shown smoking. This sends completely the wrong message to our young people.”


Well, the hostages are home from their suck up fest in Iran and have changed their tune. What a hell it must have been. It appears they were put in time outs. Picture Steve McQueen in the cooler for.......hours. They have changed their syncophantic tune and are now screaming about the hell they endured and hoping to cadge a few bob out of Fleet Street for their trouble. Hey they are only following
Fewtril#179, one of the maxims of Deogolwulf , the modern La Rochefoucauld,

Rather than simply shirk one’s duty, it appears much more decent to make a principle out of one’s disinclination to perform it.

It may not be the homage of vice to virtue but as Deputy Minister Palin might say, “Close enough for Government work.”

Being from the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I have to put up with a lot of comments about Teddy and Barney and the constant pressure to be politically correct. It is a comfort to know there is a goofier realm and there will always be an England.

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this very large open air insane asylum

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jihad Ain't What It Used To Be

I am glad the Brits got home safely. It was all theater and the Iranians got the Tonys as far as I'm concerned. We don't have TV so other than a few breathless spots on radio, all I know is what I've gotten from the net. I promise that will never stop me from shooting from the hip.

One interesting article from Spiked Online. It seems media outlets in our mummy country were reporting wild Persian mobs calling for blood. The mob turned out to be eleven orderly lads outside the foreign ministry in Teheran.

I did see a picture of angry people calling for something on the Drudge site. What they were calling for, I can't say as it was a still photo. I guess they were Iranian because the caption said so. Just looking at that photo, I could tell that crowd was on something. My guess is Geritol. Maybe they have multiple dependencies and are popping Centrum Silver as well. Clearly the Iranian Revolution as a popular force is spent.

There may be only one thing and one man that can unite that country. A bombing campaign by George Bush. Maybe that is why the mullahs have not backed down. No matter what we threaten they seem to be defiantly yelling back at us, "Yeah, you and what army?" Maybe they think our land forces are so thin now that they can deal with an invasion. I don't think they are fearing a bombing campaign. Surely they have dispersed what needs to be dispersed by now. A lot of bombs constantly falling for a few weeks or months on what? Watever old armament they possess is probably more valuable to a scrap metal dealer than on a battlefield. No, the stuff they need to keep is the stuff that could turn Iran into one big Sunni triangle, except they are Shia.

Clark Stooksbury says it best, "Once you get past aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers and Cruise Missiles, our power is rather ordinary and we have racked up numerous failures to prove it."

BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.


Kipling, The Young British Soldier


the voice of humility is going out on a limb and speculating that Faye Turney's recruiter never recited Kipling's verse as the proper attitude of the British serviceman or woman facing capture. We speculate the subject of capture never came up at all. Now as Yanks, it is possible that we have the Queen's forces all wrong and the selling point is the danger. Thirty years or so ago, it was different, but some got the wrong impression.


Colonel Come in, what do you want?

Private Watkins enters and salutes.

Watkins I'd like to leave the army please, sir.

Colonel Good heavens man, why?

Watkins It's dangerous.

Colonel What?

Watkins There are people with guns out there, sir.

Colonel What?

Watkins Real guns, sir. Not toy ones, sir. Proper ones, sir. They've all got 'em. All of 'em, sir. And some of 'em have got tanks.

Colonel Watkins, they are on our side.

Watkins And grenades, sir. And machine guns, sir. So I'd like to leave, sir, before I get killed, please.

Colonel Watkins, you've only been in the army a day.

Watkins I know sir but people get killed, properly dead, sir, no barley cross fingers, sir. A bloke was telling me, if you're in the army and there's a war you have to go and fight.

Colonel That's true.

Watkins Well I mean, blimey, I mean if it was a big war somebody could be hurt.

Colonel Watkins why did you join the army?

Watkins For the water-skiing and for the travel, sir. And not for the killing, sir. I asked them to put it on my form, sir - no killing.

From Monty Python


Watkins just did not get it. How kind of his colonel to set him straight that death might occur. Now, no war stories here, but thirty five years ago in the US Army, I would not have seen the colonel. I would have been lucky to see the first sergeant who would have been happy to explain that someone might be killed and by the way, that latrine might need some attention. I have left out some of the nouns and adjectives that he would have flavored the discourse with.

Of course that was all a long time ago and the marine recruiter,who spoke to my high school graduating class in assembly did apprise us of the opportunities, “We lost twenty five men on a hill last night and we need some recruits to replace 'em.”. It was a brave show and we all laughed. I doubt any recruiter is doing that these days, if they even get into a school.

It appears the Brit captives faced overwhelming force and resistance would have been suicidal. You might think that the captured British personnel would have defiantly given only name, rank, serial number and date of birth. I don't know if any did but Faye Turney spoke on TV

“Obviously we trespassed into their waters,” British sailor Faye Turney said on the video broadcast by Al-Alam, an Arabic-language, Iranian state-run television station that is carried across the Middle East.
“They were very friendly and very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we’ve been arrested, there was no harm, no aggression,” she said.
Turney, 26, was shown eating with sailors and marines. At another point, she was seen sitting in a room with a floral curtains, smoking a cigarette.
“My name is leading sailman Faye Turney. I come from England. I have served in Foxtrot 99. I’ve been in the navy for nine years,”


Now, Sailman Turney I am sure faced duress and may have made statements to mitigate treatment of the other crew members captured with her. Had you or I been there and faced mistreatment I suspect sooner or later we would give in.

This is a problem for us and our Anglo allies (probably soon enough to be our non allies). It looks like it will be more so as time goes on if we wish to fight more of these little foreign adventures. Somehow, a “mum”* writing to her babies won't do much for a government's polling numbers.

The US.Army uses a computer game to recruit. All high tech and antiseptic.My son is a nerd and I went with him to Wired's Next Fest at the Javits Center in Manhattan. We were a bit disappointed as it was mostly just gadgets, but the display by the Army's Natick lab was instructive. They were demonstrating the completely connected soldier. I asked the guy in charge the purpose. His reply was that if someone needed to takeover command it could be approved at higher headquarters and they could keep tabs on the battlefield. Yup, those of you who were worried that there was an impending shortage of bureacracy in your nation's forces, be at ease. Centralize upward. Scene a few years from now: “President Pelosi, Spec 4 Lars Vijayswarti here. ColonelMcSanchez was just killed along with everyone else in the Officers' Club Humvee and I am taking command. Over.” “Spec 4 whoever you are, President Pelosi here. Keep me informed and when you surrender, please observe protocol. You will be liable for any breach of courtesy to your captors. Over”

The Japanese were harsh on their own men in their fight to the death cause your dead if you are captured policy. I don't think it is preferable to honorable internment as a POW, but it beats being part of the Oprah show that went on in Iran.

Thanks to President Ahmadinejad the captives are going home. It was a bright move on his part, reminiscent of Paul Kruger's letting go of Jameson's buffoons. I suspect the Persians knew what they were doing. Brownie points on the world stage and they would not have to put up with whining self absorbed, entitled westerners.

* Text of purported letter from captured British Faye Turney to her family, including husband Adam and daughter Molly:
"We were out in the boats when we were arrested by Iranian forces as we had apparently gone into Iranian waters." "I wish we hadn't because then I would be home with you all right now." "I'm so sorry we did because I know we wouldn't be here now if we hadn't. I want you all to know that I am well and safe." "I am being well looked after, I am fed three meals a day and I'm in constant supply of fluids." "The people are friendly and hospitable, very compassionate and warm." "I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologize for us entering into their waters." "Please don't worry about me. I'm staying strong. Hopefully it won't be long till I'm home to get ready for Molly's birthday party and with a present from the Iranian people." "Look after everyone for me, especially Adam and Molly, I love you all more than you will ever know."

Not wanting to be overly tough on Faye, but is that why are you spend a lot of time on a ship on the other side of the world when you love them more than they will ever know. Not wanting to sound sexist, well not caring all that much if I do, but she does not look like the type one would say, “Yer mother wears combat boot,” about. There was a reason why armies have men with tough guy personnae. Oh well, at least she had her constant supply of fluids.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Someday, I plan to write some thoughts on Islam. I have not solidified a position on the matter. I do have issues with it, but I would not say I trust sites like LGF. People are always saying where are the moderates. Well, I think I have found some. This group of Muslims is offering to pay for lawyers to help the John Does being sued by the Flying Imams, which is more than any Christian groups are doing. If anything, the Methodists would be hiring attorneys for the Imams.

Of course, I hardly want this blog to descend into rampant kumbayahism, so I have found a moslem whom I can sink my anti clerical teeth into. Sheik Mohammed Omran has told his followers at an Ozzie mosque that the terrible drought Austtralia suffers from is caused by the displeasure of Allah. I am guessing the implication here is that if the denizens of the land down under convert en masse, the heavens will open.

The Sheik did not have the thinking cap on when he came up with this one. Now, the home of Islam and the most Islamic of nations is in Arabia. When you think of Arabia you think of, let me think here, desert, sand , dry, hot. Enough, I am starting to choke with thirst from my little word assocition. My guess is that Allah must really hate Arabian Muslims. Whereas every now and then Austalia lacks for rain, the drought in the peninsula is never ending.

While we are on the subject of moisture or the lack thereof, the point goes to Jesus on this one,

"the rain falleth upon the just and the unjust"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

An Injustice against one, blah, blah, blah



I got this from my daughter. Another reason why she is homeschooled. I'm sure glad we did not shell out cash no matter how chic the uniform.

Every now and then I see the bumper sticker with "If you think education is expensive try ignorance." How true.

Anyone raised in the environment knows a school with Padua in the name is Papist. They ain't like they used to be.

Oh,and if any feminist wants to slam me. I am under no illusions. You could do just as much damage at a boys' prep.

I am so much more obnoxious now that I can post youtube. the voice of humility institute is instituting the Youee Prize for youtube stuff it likes and this is our first award. Great work, Mr. Albino.

UPDATE So my son came home and we asked if he wanted to watch it. In a bored know it all tone, he let me know they have been ending women's suffrage for a year now and Mr. Albino's creation is not original.

We have not decided whether or not to rescind our award.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

schadenfrende

I'm a nobody from nowhere. If that were not enough, I've taken up blogging and it has not exactly been a self esteem lift. I edit and think I've got it right and a few days later, when I'm deleting the word processing document and see my uncorrected mistakes, I do feel stupid. I feel Sister Therese is looking down from above and saying, "We did not expect much anyway."

So when a major institution goofs up, it is a boost to my spirits. In an article by Michael Powell and Nina Bernstein titled In Tragedy, Glimpsing Oft-Overlooked Newcomers’ Lives I came across this paragraph,

"Lurking behind their economic troubles is another reality. Roughly 3,5000 Malians enter the United States each year on temporary visas. But precious few attain achieve citizenship: About 85 Malians a year, and as few as 19, since 1996. Only a handful have been granted asylum, typically women seeking refuge from genital cutting, which is widespread in West Africa."

Mike, Nina, (please, I hope you don't mind me being so familiar) I think you meant "attain or achieve." Don't mention it. I am always here for you. Okay, Sister Therese, lay off!

I know, I know. I'm being unfair. Mike and Nina work fast and leave the editing to someone else. Maybe all the money lost at the paper of record has meant the lesser staff is not as good as it once was. I'm jus greatful, becaus f they can slak of at the Grae Lady, So ken i.

Hat tip to Dennis Mangan.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A NATION ONCE AGAIN. maybe not.



From Taki's Top Drawer I came across De La Rey. De La Rey is an Afrikaaner song from the new South Africa. It mentions no dissatisfaction with the current government, but glories in the righteous struggle against Britain in the Second Anglo-Boer War. It is sung by a young Afrikaaner who performs under the name Bok van Blerk. I've read it described as a rock song, but is more a folk ballad. It is like a good Irish rebel tune in that it sounds to be a great song to sing after a pint or four, I'd guess as my four pint days are long gone. The Brits no longer govern so one would think it is all a bit harmless.

Except that South Africa has a lot of history. Different racial groups, different ethnic groups in what is termed a rainbow nation, but is not much of a melting pot. The question is, is the song just about resistance to the colonial conqueror or is there a subtext of wanting to go back to the bad old days of Afrikaaner enforced apartheid? Beats me. Mr. van Blerk has said he is singing not about triumphalism, but pride in who he is. Fair enough.

Koos De La Rey was a brilliant and chivalrous general who fooled a number of English officers gallant enough themselves to see his greatness. He had not supported a war with the imperial government, but like Lee, gave it his all when it came. After the war, he did his best to reconcile Boer and Brit. His record on race, I know not, nor has anything I've read go into it. I'm surprised the thought police have not looked into this. So because of the man's sterling rep he was chosen as the eponymous Boer of the new nation. Nah, his name worked better in song than De Wet or any of the other war heroes.

Of course the thought police may not have a take on General De La Rey, but they do have a verdict on the young Afrikaaners who have a few brewskis and sing the ballad teary eyed and surprise, surprise, it ain't good. Hey, I'm a world away, so what do I know. They could be dead on. Still, there is little doubt from experience where they would come down.

Max du Preez, anti apartheid Afrikaaner when it was not easy to be one, puts it this way,

There's an element here of a search for identity, a search for pride, he said. They had to go back 100 years to find a hero to praise because there was nothing in between. After the Anglo-Boer war there is nobody in Afrikaner history that you can glorify except maybe rugby players.

Du Preez sees the song as cover for resentment at the post-apartheid order.

When they sing about how nasty the British were to the Boer women in the concentration camps and "general come and lead us because we will fall around you", they're not thinking about the British, they're thinking about blacks. Their enemy is now black.

Afrikaners don't have a cause anymore. They have become their own cause over stuff like affirmative action and crime.


Hey, the guy is there on the ground so I am not the man to say he is wrong. He may be the right fellow to look into the collective soul of his countrymen. I would like to know what he thinks the young Afrikaaners should adopt as an identity other than just fading into oblivion.

Another Afrikaaner, Newspaper editor Tim du Plessis, puts it this way,

University lecturers who are in regular contact with smart young Afrikaners say there is a steely determination among these youngsters that has been absent for quite a while. They come to the universities to equip themselves to stand on their own feet. They no longer complain about affirmative action because they believe to do so is futile. The are asking no favours from the new SA.

They know the public sector is a no-go area and they don't care. The corporate sector is best avoided also because of affirmative action and black economic empowerment (BEE) rules.

As one student put it: "I want to qualify as a professional or start a business where I can work for myself, be comfortable, but remain small enough not to be bothered with BEE. Or become well-qualified so that I can work anywhere in the world."


also,

Afrikaners are merely migrating to a new space. It's a natural, spontaneous process without the erstwhile marshals of the Nat party, the Broederbond and the Afrikaans churches.

It's not the dead-end radicalism of the Boeremag, but it's also not ANC co-option personified by the acquiescent presence of Marthinus van Schalkwyk in the Mbeki cabinet.

They had no choice but to become new South Africans. Now they want to be new Afrikaners."

Who is right, how will it work out. In time, we shall have an answer.

But, it is not just South Africans who have an opinion in the matter. One American blogger,calling herself NYMary, has looked into the Afrikaner soul, or at least listened to the music and found it wrongthink, and so replied to one of her commenters..

Well, enjoy your rage, but I claim the right to call bullshit on it. A line like "And the Khakis are walking over a nation that will rise again" is not a historical referent; it's a threat, a warning to uppity blacks that they had better keep their place. To NOT see that is willfully blind. We have Lynryd Skynryd and Charlie Daniels; you have these guys.

There is not much to say about the American groups she cites as I don't know if I have ever heard their music. As to the threat part, the big question is, is someone walking over the present day Boer? If no one is, and the intent is to threaten the innocent, then she is right. NYMary does not really go into this. If someone is walking over the Afrikaaner, maybe the song hits a nerve, but it would not be totally uncalled for. After all, genocide watch has raised an alert regarding the ongoing murder of white farmers. During the days of Apartheid, I doubt NYMary types were saying whoa when the refrain of "One settler, one bullet," was heard.

One might think there is subtext in NYMary's post. Maybe she and all other Americans who spent years incensed at the ancien regime see this song and think, didn't that nice old ANC sweep those horrible whites out the door or at least under the rug. How it inconveniences her to have to know these people still exist and again address the issue.

Ultimately, what is stupid about slagging the Boer no matter what he tries is put well by a fellow named Wessel who blogs as Mhambi,

What Afrikanerdom means today is eminently up for grabs, by cutting them no slack, by expecting the worst, intellectual left Afrikaners will help define Afrikanerdom as intrinsicly right wing. That is sad because its simply not true.

The inner contradictions of Apartheid* doomed it. World wide activism shortened its life. Are the contradictions inherent in the new system enough to cause it to come apart? I would guess the South African state will continue in some form but with more and more separateness. It is to be lamented, I guess, but it is hard enough to love one's neighbor when you are the same ethnicity. It is really tough when such things are not shared. Just ask the Hutu and Tutsi.

*See Preferential Policies by Thomas Sowell, page 30.

Also, Steve Sailer points out over at Taki's Apartheid did not much exists in the meaning of Apartness,

The problem with South African apartheid was not the idea of apartness, but the manifest dishonesty of its implementation. South African whites didn’t actually want to live far apart from blacks. Who else was going to serve them as cheap maids and farmworkers? They couldn’t possibly be their own hewers of wood and drawers of water, now could they?

Below is an excerpt from an South African English language TV newsmagazine discussing the De La Rey phenomenon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rudy, we hardly knew ye, or, maybe we know you too much

February, 1978. Massachusetts is buried under snow that was delivered during a Winter hurricane. All week on TV a man in a sweater is talking to cameras and updating the citizenry and saving them. Or so it was claimed by a supine media and the legions of hacks that served him. There has never been a storm like that and everyone who lived through it prays fervently that it never happens again and fear is so embedded still that if anyone sees a flake in February, the groceries are cleaned out so the populace can face life without despair.

The TV savior was Michael Stanley Dukakis, the only Hellene who could bring gloom to a big, fat Greek Wedding. The problem with his performance was the people didn't really buy it. He was ushered into the political wilderness for a term after he was defeated by another democrat at the next election.

So, come 2001 and another pol takes the helm at a disaster and gets the people through the emergency. The problem is there is no baseline to measure performance. People ramming planes into skyscrapers has happened only once and so we can't say Rudy did a good job compared to all the other mayors who have had to so cope. Anyway, has anyone ever analyzed all those decisions he made on 9-11. Maybe he is superior to sliced bread, but how do we know?

What we do know is not all that great. He was big into witch hunting Wall Street as that is always good copy. He made two innocents,Richard Wigton and Timothy Tabor, do the perp walk. After ruining them, he had to drop the charges two years later.

Give him credit, he hired Bill Bratton to put in place an intelligent policing strategy. Of course, too many people gave credit where credit was due and Bratton had to be fired.

It is not all horrible. There is at least one reason to vote for him. He probably looks better than Hillary in a dress.

The Past is Another Country



Via Russell Wardlow's link, I visited the Dawn Patrol website and in scrolling down came upon the video above. I must be fairly healthy for a dedicated gourmand as I thought cardiac arrest would happen. The video is about the May Procession held every Spring in the parish I grew up in during the fifities. I never remember it being other than sunny on those days. I and my sibs were part of them when we attended the parish school.

I am sure someone could do a dissertaion on all this. The pastor who is patting the dog in the video was a wonderful man. I tend to be a sceptic in most things. It is impossible for me to get away from the faith of my ancestors partly due to people like him. If the priest who took over after he died had been there earlier, I am sure I would now be Richard Dawkins instead of just anti clerical. There are other things too. I feel guilt over the way I mistreated the nuns. The few times I run into people from the school, the ones who always sucked up to the nuns are the ones who now claim to have been horribly mistreated.

Lovely music, beautiful ritual, it is all gone. Catholicism is now, in this country, little more than "Unitarianism with a pope," according to the novelist, D. Keith Mano.

Oh, the church that you see at the beginning, it burned down a year or two ago. It was beautiful inside.

For more about life in Eastern Mass during and after the 1950s visit Ponderosa65

Saturday, March 03, 2007

How many young souls must be destroyed before we do something!

Per Michael Brendan Dougherty

I was thinking just that when I tried to go to sleep last night. It was an uneasy night. Some ancient nightmare ran through my bones and rattled my guts. I saw feverish, ugly things happening in D.C.: ghosts heckling men in suits, think tanks erupting in purple flames, my friends calling out my name but I couldn't help them. Awful things. Then a light grew in the middle of it, blotting out that vision and and a child's voice said "Get out!"

The soul destroying leviathan that is our federal capital is in the process of claiming another victim. the voice of humility has no choice but to again demand that the seat of government be moved to a difficult environment. Yes, somewhere in Wyoming or some other freezing, cold, bleak landscape must become our new federal city.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Our quadrennial search for a führer

Not that anyone cares but I have been suffering a case of the slows. Not Spring Fever but Pre Spring Fever as self diagnosed. Anyway, the voice of humility intends to look at the candidates and shoot from the hip and the first installment is below.

It is that time again, the juices of ambition start to flow in senators, ex senators, governors, tree wardens and numerous other lads and lassies who dedicate their lives to the nation with no thought to any rewards other than the service they render. So for an inauguration day in January of 2009 we are now to be subject to candidates some of whom have been running since the last inauguration, if not since their childhoods.

Now, I use the term search for a führer. In truth it is not the volk that is searching for a führer but the potential führers who are searching for a volk. After all, Der Führer himself, Big Dolph* never got a majority of the German electorate and only got 43.9% even after the Reichstag fire. Memo to all candidates, if you are looking for a draft, you will have to manufacture it yourselves.

So in our country, every four years it is party time for ghost writers. Remember all those books from yesteryear. Jimmy Carter supposedly wrote Why Not The Best? to propel himself to the Oval Office. If you think it is more important to read than say, The Iliad, you can get it for 1 cent on Amazon. What I don't get is that after writing Why Not The Best?, he ran anyway.

How about Faith of My Fathers, the deathless prose of John McCain's ghost writer? Give the straight talker credit because he gave his ghost writer credit on the cover. Still, if someone says to John, "a penney for your thoughts?" he can send them to Amazon.

Plus ça change et Voilà,** we have a new wonder boy. and he has not one but two best selling books*** to inspire the nation. To be fair, he actually wrote them. Not only that, for awhile there, you could not go by a newstand without seeing Barack Obama's picture.

So what is his appeal? I've talked to people who are intrigued and I never get an answer of any substance. I can only guess that it seems he personifies what middle class white folk, while as ever, distancing themselves from the lumpen honky, want to see in a black candidate. He seems to be, in the words of Archie Bunker, "One of the good ones." Though my college educated, light skinned fellow countrymen and women would be horrified to hear it put that way, what else could it be? He has almost no track record. His schooling has been elite, but what does that prove? There is nothing to see.

Except there is. On October 22, 2002 He spoke against the impending Iraq adventure.

Now let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.


Yep, pretty clear and, as time has proven, correct. He has since seemed to come on board what ever it is the Dems have as a policy or non policy on Iraq. However, if these are his words and not just those of advisors and speech writers, he does have something under the cap.

Still, he could never get my vote as he would be the candidate of a cargo cult.

* To all those goofballs who approve of someone they call a populist: Please note, Herr Schicklegruber was the most successful populist of the last century.

** I assume this is bad French. It is the only kind I know.

*** The audacious Udolpho had some fun with one of your man's bios. I had never thought of The Temerity of Mild Physical Arousal. I am sure it will be the title of a tell all autobiography someday.




'

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I think I've found what I've been Looking for.

Glaivester has an old post on something called White Privilege. He links to Sara Anderson who does not like it.

All I know is this is horribly unfair. I am a descendant of the most benighted peasantry in history. We have never been wealthy or powerful. Why have we been left out. We are so melanin challenged we burn but never tan. Why don't we qualify.

There is an injustice here that needs to be righted. I want some of that White Privilege and I want it now.