Theft by Proxy

Billy Beck points to something that has long troubled me.

It’s like this. It’s becoming easier and easier to just play along, to pull up around the fire and join in the Cannibal Pot Hysteria (as Beck calls it) along with everyone else. Just look at everything Uncle Sam has stolen from others for your benefit in terms of money, time, and diverted attentions?

Most of you would never in your whole lives think of taking something from someone else through an explicit act of coercion. You would not dream of making other men your slaves, to serve your values instead of their own. Yet, each and every one of you, every day, benefits to some extent from the spoils of government coercion and theft. Some of you have positioned yourselves such that you essentially can’t live with out it, anymore.

I suppose it will continue like this until there’s nothing left to steal.

Sand Castles

All of which makes it imperative that civilizations be willing to robustly defend themselves. Rome didn’t collapse because the barbarians were too strong for Roman legions to defeat. Rome collapsed because its citizens no longer regarded the defense of Rome as either a duty or an honor, and entrusted it to mercenaries who, being mainly barbarians themselves, were unwilling to defend it against barbarism.

Today’s overcivilization, however, is even more dangerous than the type that leveled Rome. Today, the overcivilized portion of the citizenry shies away from any defense of civilization at all. They worry that our use of force will be illegal unless we can get the UN to sign on. They quail at the thought of quagmires. They deride the goal of democratization as arrogance. They refuse to "judge" other cultures for fear of seeming bigoted. Nor will they ever attempt to assert the superiority of our civilization, despite the fact that it eliminated chattel slavery throughout the world, healed a multitude of diseases, and put men on the moon. No doubt such moral vanity makes the overcivilized think well of themselves.

That’s Dale Franks of QandO, adding commentary to this article by John O’ Sullivan in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Go ahead and read both. I’m not going to quibble with some of the confusion in the Sun-Times article, like, for instance, how is the 'arguable rightness' of Bacon’s 'wild justice of revenge' not also the arguable rightness of rational, values-oriented anarchism? But I’ll pass on dissecting that one.

The overall point here is important, though. What we are talking about, essentially, is the difference between those who seek to defend governments and institutions and those who seek to defend a particular way of life (versus, I should say, no life, or anti-life).

Needless to say, the overcivilized are those most interested in protecting and defending the EU, the UN, the government of the United States, etc. The civilized are interested in protecting freedom as the only way of life. The overcivilized are like children making sand castles, where the protection and defense of one little structure built of sand becomes more important than the overall freedom represented by the vast expanse of sand itself.

Let’s face it. Better than half of the crap from the opposition surrounding this politicized struggle over the rightness of the war, i.e., the killing of Islamists, is that all that “talent” in the EU and UN for negotiating peace deals and treaties is just plain going to waste. Yea, right, what a goddamned shame.

As a footnote, “Man on Fire,” the film mentioned in the article happens to be one of the very few I’ve written a review about.

Lion Wanna Cracker?

Ever listen to kids playing, creating their own rules for some particular game? It can be a riot. They’ll pose to one another some series of lofty and complex rules with all sorts of exceptions, then, beginning to realize some of the consequences for their own stakes in the game, abandon everything and just go about having fun.

Couldn’t help but have that vision in my head as I read this load of silly crap.

No Escape

I'm glad to be seeing more and more of this, around, since I've been saying and writing it since 9/11.

It has taken awhile, but it appears that many are finally coming to the realization that this is a battle between our civilization and their anti-civilization. Here, there is no synthesis possible. Both their will and spirit must be broken, or they must be utterly destroyed. In conventional conflicts, such as the wars of history, there is always common ground upon which to build an eventual truce. Here, there is next to none. Not only do they desire your death, they have no love of life themselves.

Observe that even the kamikazes of Japan in WWII were rational in the context of war. That is, they did not resort to this tactic until the war was essentially lost. It was a defensive tactic, to protect the homeland from the eventual American invasion. In the case of the practitioners of the “Religion of Peace,” their suicidal missions are offensive. They are willing to kill themselves—not to obtain or defend the freedom of their countrymen—but to destroy your freedom and countrymen. This would be like setting fire to your own home in hopes that the flames will carry over to your neighbor's, whom you want to see devastated. Within that logic, on what basis can you begin any negotiated settlement?

When they value your destruction more than their own lives, you have literally nothing to offer them in trade or even appeasement. Your only alternative is to utterly dominate them, and destroy those who do not unconditionally submit and surrender.

During the cold war, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) worked as a nuclear doctrine because even communist ideology could not stamp out the Russian zeal for love and life, here and now, on planet earth. How could such a doctrine possibly work against those who welcome their own deaths just to cause yours? The implications are sobering, and yet, the most serious "moral" issue of the day is getting rid of George Bush precisely because he is [imperfectly] taking this battle on.

When you try to mix life and anti-life, what can you possibly get? Whatever it is, it's not life, and from it, there is no escape.

Ignorance of Youth

I still recall with clarity a day driving in the car with my dad during the years I was being educated at an institution of higher learning. We were talking politics, and then I said it, the singular most ignorant thing to ever cross my lips in the field of political philosophy.

I think that everyone should be guaranteed to have their most fundamental needs met: food and healthcare.

Of course, I had no idea of the philosophical premises one would have to hold in order to logically arrive at such a mandate, what those premises would represent in a wider context, how those premises would contradict everything crucial and fundamental about being an individual, and the human disaster that must necessarily follow from exercising them to their logical conclusions. That all came later.

This new film about Che Guevara titled The Motorcycle Diaries, Robert Redford, the Sundance Film Festival, and all the people who cheer such an evil tool of human injustice reminds me of my youthful ignorance.

(Link via Billy Beck, who has an apt analogy on the matter.)

Let’s Get Something Straight

As the intellectually honest, liberal-but-complex Christopher Hitchens aptly pointed out in a Fox News interview I saw the other night, the Dan Rather Documents everyone has been talking about are fabrications, not forgeries. Most precisely, they are fabrications with a forged signature.

Calling them forgeries lends credence to the story, for which there is no credible evidence.

Sent Items

Not a lot of blogging lately, but the inspiration comes and goes. Also, I've been quite busy and have been doing more flying in the last few months than in the previous two years.

Anyway, here’s a few snippets from my email Sent Items folder in the last few days:

On Bush

My only support for Bush is based on his ability to act steadfastly in this ghastly business of killing the hundreds of thousands of practitioners of Islam who need killing until they finally get the idea and pacify themselves. It's a dirty job that the leftist pacifists and appeasers are not up to, but needs doing nonetheless.

History provides a good a lesson here. Oh, the left's wringing of hands that we not do anything to aggravate or upset the Soviet Communists as they infiltrated country after country and supported communist revolution on communist revolution. We know who was right on that score. The hawks (who are the real peacemakers, not the doves) were right. And they're right again, only this time, we're not fighting against a political and economic system that's rather thinly disguised as an ideology. I mean, face it, half the crap you hear spewed nowadays by liberals and lefties is right out of the communist playbook. That bullshit rhetoric can exist quite prominently across quite a spectrum of economic systems. (As an aside, this is also why communism is by no means dead as a political or economic system: the ideology is alive and well.)

This time, we're fighting an honest-to-God primitive ideology that is so pernicious, virulent, and nihilist that we have little choice but to kill those who've been infected by it. But someone, a leftie no less, in Esquire magazine no lesser, said it all far better than I.

On Rather’s Blather

(in the context of a discussion over Michigan’s unemployment rate)

The only reason for the Dan Rather quips is that he's now become a symbol, a metaphor, if you will, of what the major media has become, or perhaps has always been. They use economic statistics (like unemployment) out of context to support their biases, and manipulate or disregard them when they go against those biases. People should not allow themselves to be so easily "DanRathered."

When old Dan Rather friend, colleague and fellow liberal democrat Bernard Goldberg wrote Bias : A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, published in 2001, he was scoffed, ridiculed and ignored by the elite media. In response to those experiences, he went on to write Arrogance: Rescuing America From the Media Elite, and it could not have been more prophetic (and ironic, since he was with CBS for 30 years). Identify their bias, and you are arrogantly scorned. And, now, we've seen that scenario play out in perfect timbre. First, we have the bias-based reporting to the point of being either complicit in creating and publishing forged government documents with intent to influence a national election or biased-based reporting to the point of allowing egregious sloppiness in journalistic practice just so the story can run, all followed by an arrogant refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing until the tide had so built that they had no choice but to acquiesce.

Ha, ha, ha. I'm just delighted, and anyone who ever in his life believed the major media was in any way objective and not self-serving should feel just a little bit foolish. I've been tagging their gross and obvious bias since I was 12 years old; and now no one can deny it exists any longer (though that fact of reality is not about to stop them from continuing to deny it).

On Unemployment stats vis-à-vis the politics of the day

I'm sure that you were singing this same tune back in 1996 when Clinton was running for reelection with a national unemployment rate of 5.4% (Nov, 1996), which is exactly the national rate now (Aug, 2004; source: U.S. Department of Labor). In 1996, we were right into the .com boom (so why the "high" rate?). In 2004, we're at the tail end of recovery from the .com bust and the economic ripples from 9/11.

Fact is, unemployment pretty much moves between 4% and 6% in this modern day of job opportunity, no matter what the economic policies. An economy with no or extremely low unemployment is a seriously sick and stagnant economy (in spite of the BS from political pundits and union bosses). Think about it. If there's no unemployment, there's no risks being taken, no old industries dying to be replaced by new industries with greater productive potential. With no unemployment, we're still making horse buggies. Job security is a double-edged sword. Yes, it helps create a stable and predictable workforce. It also can result in serious stagnation, leaving a company or industry open for takeover by means of competition or buyout and liquidation (or serious cost-cutting in the form of lots of layoffs).

Look at this unemployment-rate chart:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1994 6.6 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.1 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.6 5.5
1995 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.6 5.6
1996 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.3 5.5 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.4 5.4
1997 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.1 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.7 4.6 4.7
1998 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.4
1999 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.7
2002 5.6 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.8 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.7
2004 5.6 5.6 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4

10 years, and there's hardly any significant trends to talk about or get all up-in-arms about. Will Dan Rather ever show you such a chart? Of course not. It doesn't fit the left's the-sky-is-falling agenda. But, oh, man, month-to-month, and quarter-to-quarter, by God, the unemployment rate fluctuates. And, boy-oh-boy, when it goes up in a month or quarter, it's everyone's turn to jump on the bandwagon in making a big deal out of nothing.

As for Michigan, while the 300,000 unemployed may take small comfort in the overall decrease in the last year or so, I'm sure that the 4.7 million employed take substantial comfort in the fact that unemployment had peaked and is on the way down.

Incidentally, I went to Yahoo Hot Jobs and did a search for all offers in Michigan (no city specified). On just this one resource alone, over 1,000 job offers posted since yesterday.

But I understand. The sky is simply falling.

I would also add that when one's core belief is that it is someone else's responsibility to create and provide for them a job rather than their ultimate responsibility alone, then one is bound to be disappointed with frequency. The other unfortunate aspect that comes with such core beliefs is that rather than displays of gratitude towards those who create jobs for others, helping to ensure their survival and prosperity, they are scorned when they don't do more.

Dan Rather’s Blather

Former friend, colleague, and fellow lefty Bernard Goldberg has some insight on the whole affair.

By the way: the documents are fake. If you think there's any question about that, you're either too uniformed to have an opinion on the matter (i.e., so shut up), or, you're a completely hopeless idiot and should just, uh,...shut up.

You Go, Ann

I'm normally not able to sit through an entire interview of or read a whole column by any of the unabashed shills for either party. Ann Coulter usually counts among those. Nonetheless, she's got one here that's worth a read. It's quite funny to boot.

(link via Burgess-Jackson)

Clear Thinking

I’ve yet to hear or read very much of it during the whole Swift Boat Vet and Texas Air National Guard controversy. So, allow me to lay down some proper perspectives in clarity, here.

First, I have no doubt of the approximate accuracy of the following assertions of fact:

1. George W. Bush used influence or had help in obtaining a post with the Guard, and that his purpose in doing so was to avoid Vietnam.

2. George W. Bush, at one point or several, failed to live up to all of his duties and commitments involving his service in the Guard.

3. John Kerry knew about the 3-purple-hearts-and-you-can-transfer rule ahead of time.

4. John Kerry grossly overstated minor flesh-wound injuries in order to rack up 3 purple hearts in 3 months of combat duty. He himself lobbied for these awards, which is very unusual in itself.

5. John Kerry came back to the U.S. and publicly and falsely accused his fellow soldiers of being war criminals.

6. John Kerry, in a show of meaningful symbolism, tossed away his ribbons/medals (there is zero distinction to be made in the context of what the act symbolizes).

I, unlike most people, make no claims upon others that they don’t voluntarily agree to commit themselves to, for their own reasons. That includes military service of any sort, at any time, under any circumstances—no matter how dire. The lives of 20-somethings are not mine, or yours, to dispose of as you deem appropriate in pursuit or defense of your own chosen values. I served in the military, but it sure as Fuck wasn’t in the service or sacrifice of you bunch of worthless fools. I had my own reasons—my own values to pursue—and I deemed the risk to be worth it, for me. I’d never presume to evaluate that tradeoff for anyone else, much less determine that the unwilling sacrifice of their young lives is a justified means to my ends.

And don’t go telling me that Kerry or Bush had obligations of a contractual sort because they volunteered. They were both facing down a draft; therefore, their service was coerced.

Alas, I fault neither Kerry or Bush for wishing to limit or evade service in Vietnam during a shooting war and taking certain steps in pursuit of that desire. Let’s stop pretending that we’re fighting against falsehoods. We’re not, and you all look really stupid acting as though either guy didn’t pretty much do exactly what’s being asserted.

There’s just one reason, however, that I don’t see these behaviors as being in any way equivalent. Bush’s are the predictable actions of any normal guy who’d prefer not to go get his ass shot off at the pleasure of a bunch of ungrateful fools. Kerry’s are the actions of a virtual creep sociopath. What’s more, I don’t ever recall, for a single moment, Bush making any big or notable deal whatsoever of his Guard service. In fact, I’ve heard him make light of it and praise the service of others over his.

Kerry? That Shithead can’t go a minute without painting himself a hero, when everyone knows he’s just a weasel. Far worse, he’s on record making everyone else, including genuine heroes, out to be war criminals.

Bush has nothing to answer for in this regard. First, he has never made it an issue at any time. Second, with all due respect to you, Dan Blather, cooking up a mess of forged documents does not “raise questions” that need to be addressed—other than, of course, the questions about your objectivity that I was asking as a teenager 25 years ago, quite capable even then of seeing through your “clever” bullshit.

And for a final dose of clarity in the matter, ask yourself whom those most respected and respectable people in the US Armed Services respect as their Commander-In-Chief; and then ask whom they will never, ever respect for even a brief second. On this point alone, every one of you who would saddle the Valliant Soldier with such a disrespectable piece of excrement for a CINC, while at the same time professing concern for "our troops," are a bunch of goddamned liars. You don't give a putrid shit for those troops. Your actions speak far louder than the bullshit emanating from your flapping flytraps.