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

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Now This is Spin

In the current season we are going to hear a lot of after primary comments from candidates about how an abysmal finish presages inevitable victory. We laugh about our times and such behavior. Come, come mes amis, the Nineteenth Century gives us an example of positive thinking that puts all our fuhrer wannabees to shame.

Relieved from the necessity of guarding cities and particular points, important but not vital to our defense, with an army free to move from point to point and strike in detail the detachments and garrisons of the enemy, operating on the interior of our own country, where supplies are more accessible, and where the foe will be far removed from his own base and cut off from all succor in case of reverse, nothing is now needed to render our triumph certain but the exhibition of our own unquenchable resolve. Let us but will it, and we are free; and who, in the light of the past, dare doubt your purpose in the future?

Jeff Davis penned those lines just after the evacuation of Richmond and before Appomattox. To be fair, he expected a guerilla campaign that would have probably drained the Union coffers and might have succeeded, or not.

He specifically ordered Joe Johnston to execute the plan. Joe ignored him. I can understand Joe's attitude, "I was holding off the superior forces of Sherman before Atlanta and frustrating Billy no end and you relieved me for that dope, Hood. Hey, you want to sleep outside with the lice for a few years, be my guest." I don't think your man was spinning as much as he was delusional. This is the question we may want to ask about the candidates.

the voice of humility gives the all time Spin Award to the late Emperor of Japan,

...Despite the best that has been done by everyone — the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people — the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.

That, "not necessarily to Japan's advantage" stuff May be histories greatest understatement. Although the words don't express anything good is happening to Japan, the word surrender is nowhere. The "We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers" when you did not have much choice is worthy of honorable mention.

No, I think our species is devolving, our spinability is not keeping up.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Wicked Smaht

Here in Los Angeles, the more dismal murders -- such as one teenager shooting another over graffiti-tagging rights to an alley -- are committed mostly by the usual suspects. In contrast, the colorful capers that Quentin Tarantino or the Coen Brothers would find cool, the seemingly brilliant schemes that somehow go awry and end in a bloodbath, are perpetrated primarily by white newcomers from either the Middle East or the ex-Soviet Union: Armenians, Israelis, Persians, and the like.

Yet, Hollywood seems instead to be falling in love with an ethnic group that has been here even longer than the Italians: the Irish. Working class white Boston, where killings, while rare, frequently remain unsolved, has been the setting for the recent Oscar-winners "The Departed" and "Mystic River."

Steve Sailer wrote the lines above. He may be right, now, but not too long ago, there were two Irish* gangs one (The Winter Hill Gang) that was attritted by government action and morphed into its successor run by a very cool customer, Whitey Bulger who, when the government was close, took off and is still at large. You can see his picture just below OBL's on the FBI's ten most wanted list.

Anyway, one of Bulger's minions, John Martorano (don't let the name fool you), is going to be on Sixty Minutes this Sunday. John confessed to around twenty murders. He was one of a number of prolific killers. Things may have calmed down and I've been away for a long time, but contrary to what Steve thinks, there is enough material for several novels and exposés, documentaries. You could get hundreds of movies and a few operas.

In the nineties, I had a business interaction with one of the gang members. Nothing sordid or illegal. Be assured, I limited this to the minimum possible. This was not a higher ranking guy, but he was scary.

The area is changing. East Boston, once heavily Italian has large swaths where MS 13 is big.

I live now in near as rural an area of the Bay State as you can find East of the Connecticut River. I go rarely to the Boston area. Last year I went to a family funeral. My extended family members are almost all college graduates and live away from Boston and its neighborhoods where less than a generation ago we all spent time. We have done what we could to, at least unconsciously, lose the "accent." As we were talking, someone brought up the movie, "The Departed" and everyone fell to discussing the stars and their attempts at mimicking the patois. As the conversation proceeded, I noticed that everyone had slipped back into the accent.

Below is a video of comedian Steve Sweeney. I think it is funny and worth watching to see how you do not want your kids to grow up talking.

Note, Sweeney mentions the number and the Herald. That paper is the direct descendant of the Record American that came out in several editions every day. On the sports page would be the US Treasury Balance. I always wondered why that was so. Before the state lottery started picking the number the last three digits of the treasury balance was it. Just putting that out there if anyone had so much time out to wonder about that.

*One could even say Italo-Irish as the gangs included some Italian footsoldiers, but, hey even the local Mafia chief was half Irish.

Comedian Steve Sweeney

Posted Jun 21, 2006

Boston Comedian Steve Sweeney performs at the Marriott Hotel

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Short Dictionary of Politics

This was published 2006 with a few additions since. Below is the updated version.

Please note, this is not exhaustive list. Readers are invited to submit suggestions for further installments.

Also, there are no claims to originality. I do not want to be part of the company of Ambrose and Kearns-Goodwin (non sum dignus), so some of the ideas I assimilated (e.g. the civil rights entry), I just don't remember from where.

Assisted Suicide: The ultimate reform of the Social Security System. If senior citizens utilize assisted suicide en masse, the system's solvency can be greatly enhanced.

Bombing: Diplomatic method preferred by US Government policy makers pioneered during the Clinton administration.

British Royal Family: Founder of the family, William, started out as Capo di Tutti Capi of Norman Mafia. Descendants and others built the organization into a successful franchise over centuries, despite family infighting. Today, family has no real role as they have been kicked upstairs to mainly ceremonial positions. Currently undergoing branding crisis as members are not terribly appealing as celebrity material. Family should consider new ways of appealing to public. Should seek the assistance of Mr. Frank McCourt who turned a stupid and unappealing childhood into an industry.

Change: 1. Old, To transform or convert. 2. New, Politically, whatever you want it to mean.

Civil Rights: In truth, there can only be three: Life, Liberty and Property. Anything else is the attempt of one group to secure privileges at the expense of another group or society itself. Of the three above, Property is the most important. If the individual's property is secure, there is little reason for anyone to take his life or liberty.

Communism: Natural religious progression wherein lower caste man is made into his own god and enslaved in his own name. Lasted far longer than could possibly have been expected. Still claims believers in the professorate.

Democratic Party: American cargo cult masquerading as a political association.

Demagogue: Person who appeals to the emotions to gain power or fame. See also: Politician.

Department of Education: American cabinet secretariat responsible for extracting money from the public while convincing them that the decline in public education is being arrested. Judging from the department's growth amidst continuing school failure, policy is an unmitigated success.

Election: Auction in advance of stolen goods. (With thanks to H.L. Mencken)

Equality: In nature, an impossibility among the human species, which despite evidence is almost universally desired.

Feminism: Formerly a movement to secure women rights to opportunities not generally open to them. Today, the movement exists to secure power for women who attend highly selective institutions. Practical effect has been disastrous for less highly placed women who now have access to the same stupid and boring occupations men have had to do for eons. Current philosophy is heavy on misandry. The religious aspect of the cult has one sacrament.

Green Party: So far, only significant role has been vehicle for Ralph Nader, Ross Perot of the left.

Her Majesty's Government: Political wing of the British Army.

Iron Law of government
: Everything eventually reduces to its absurd. If this is an actual law of physics that exists in nature is not known. In politics and government, it cannot be denied. Whereas in business a company can go bankrupt (unless it is publicly favored), in the realm of government, if (actually, when is more appropriate) a program attains absolute failure, it becomes a candidate for increased funding (e.g. DARE,).

Nazi: Common smoke screen name for National Socialist German Workers Party, the German variant of socialism. The success of this party in bringing ruin to most of Europe, its own population, as well as racial enemies cannot be gainsaid. Its accomplishment was so complete that the whole enterprise collapsed after only thirteen years of operation, whereas the Soviet version started decades earlier and met its demise several decades later. Impresario of German Socialism was Adolph Hitler, a man with the soul of a ward boss who nevertheless was able to foist his program on a nation with near universal literacy and a very high degree of advanced education. The success of the program, along with golf, argues against the continued progress of evolution. Despite the socialist nature of the ideology, other socialists have had amazing success in making sure National Socialism is not identified as the philosophical soul brother it is.

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. (via Steve Sailer)

Politician: In the American democracy, generally a person who lies in seeking election to public office because there is ample evidence of little profit in speaking the truth (e.g. would Woodrow Wilson have been reelected if his slogan had been "He's hasn't got us into war yet, but, he intends to"?). See also demagogue.

Populist: Highest form of demagogue.

Reform: Word has no real meaning yet is impossible to oppose. The question, "Are you against x reform?" can never be answered negatively without destroying politically one who so answers no matter the actual value of the reform proposed. The word's greatest value is that it is as an accurate marker for poseurs (e.g. John McCain).

Republican Party
: American political association with no other permanent purpose than to secure executive positions, legislative posts and patronage emoluments.

Reverend: 1. Title marking certain persons who after serious study and piety are ordained as suitable to lead and instruct the faithful. 2. Honorific applied to certain class of charlatans (examples: Rev. Paisley, Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jackson)

: A method by which one elite manipulates the masses to transfer power from another elite due to real or perceived oppression. The success or failure of the revolutionary party, once the ancien regime is overthrown, depends on how well they manage their transition from belief in ideology to practical management of the entity they have stolen.

Self-esteem: the psychological notion used to justify rampant egotism (with help from Theodore Dalrymple)

Social Security: The perfection of a system discovered by a Signor Ponzi wherein early "investors" are paid off by the subscriptions of later participants. System requires ever more contributors to stave off inevitable collapse. Due to the default of Ponzi's path breaking enterprise, he eventually suffered incarceration. Managers of our Social Security system expect no such problems as they have tools to deal with eventualities such as invisible default (i.e. one can start collecting at age 105) or monetization.

Soviet Union: Several countries that were controlled by an apparatus known as the Communist Party. For approximately seven decades said apparatus was able to rob the people in their own name. Went out of business when there was no more to rob.

Tolerance: 1. Old, permitting free expression of views one does not share. 2. New, suppression of thought, or speech found uncomfortable by favored groups.

Transgender operations: Current form of approved ritual mutilation.

University - public
: A public university is mainly a large scale day care provider. Most do some practical scientific research.

University - private: Private universities are generally smaller scale day care providers. Very selective establishments exist mainly to mark the children of a certain class or wealth as members of an elite.

War on Drugs
: Growth industry whose constituency is well served by the government regulations that propel it.

War on Terrorism
: Campaign that will utilizing all the lessons of the drug war while also inventing its own.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Do not use me so, I wish to be known for my mind.


Okay, I admit I am a horribly flawed human being. I am always consulting sitemeter to see how much traffic comes here. I love it when someone arrives due to a search for Quintilius Varus. Unfortunately, the biggest search is for the girls in the picture above. What is also interesting is the places the searches originate from. They tend to be often Middle Eastern or if European, cities known to have large Middle Eastern populations. In this country, university towns are heavily represented. I have the feeling the people who are looking at the Italo-Celtic Central Massachusetts babes are not spending as much time studying the holy books as they should be.

Anyway, I am not a pimp and in a few days, the picture will be gone.

Do not use me so, I wish to be known for my mind. Though that may not be all that great an idea.

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