The Borg, The Draft And Dana Milbank
I was fortunate enough to spend several years as an officer in The United States Army Reserve. You could say I was a nice enough guy, but never quite made it to Colonel.* Even given that somewhat limited background, I feel I learned sufficiently what an army does well and what an army should not be used for. Suffice it to say that the true purpose of an Army is to blow up our nation’s enemies or be powerful enough to command the respect of others to the point where they check their animosity towards us at the door. An army is not an institution that should ever be used for social engineering. Thus, a recent article by Dana Milbank** had me imagining an American version of Pinochet. Milbank opines below:
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As I make my rounds each day in the capital, chronicling our leaders’ plentiful foibles, failings, screw-ups, inanities, outrages and overall dysfunction, I’m often asked if there’s anything that could clean up the mess….But there is one change that, over time, could reverse the problems that have built up over the last few decades. We should have mandatory military service for all Americans, men and women alike, when they turn 18. The idea is radical, unlikely and impractical — but it just might work.
Knock-Out King, Mayor Gordon Jenkins, and Why The Police Will Just Let Us Eat Each Other
We on the P.G.P.D for the most part are now looking the other way. After almost [deleted] years on the job I find this disheartening but a necessary fact to survive in today’s, what appears to most officers, an ANTI-POLICE environment. We are even being told by some supervisors to keep a low profile so “you’re not next on the front page”! I became a police officer to help people [deleted] years ago in P.G. County . . . but I now share the attitude of most officers, just let them eat each other, we have to survive.
Fred Reed, “Let Them Eat Each Other”
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Honorable Redstate Blogging Community, I give you Hizzoner, Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins after being popped for flyin’ blind. LANGUAGE ALERT. Or as YouTube blogger Carmen Rue put it: “Jenkins curses repeatedly while interacting with officers, calling both white and black policemen numerous hateful racial insults, creating a hostile work environment for the officers and other employees at Village Hall which threatens their health and security and appears designed to diminish the quality of service they are permitted to provide to the public.”
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JFK’s Unfortunate Legacy: The Weaponized American Conspiracy Theory
Unlike a lot of post-modern Americans, I hold no great love for President John F. Kennedy. Unlike some of my Conservative compatriots; I don’t consider the man Satan Incarnate either. My sum total opinion of JFK could be stated by “Bones” on an old episode of Star Trek. “He’s Dead, Jim.” And regardless of his political impact, that is a sad, sad thing. But what is more tragic is that he hasn’t been allowed to lie in peace. His assassination was weaponized to maximize its political impact and by extension, it has given birth to the tradition of weaponized American conspiracy theories.
There are some who believe The Single Bullet Theory. Others believe in Camelot. A few believe in both or neither. Sadly, as long as it remains a useful political exercise, there are those who will push political conspiracy theories modeled on what was thrown to the paparazzi swine after the fateful day in Dallas, TX back in 1963. I find this to be a shame – both for The Kennedy Family and for American Democracy.
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Janet Yellin’s Predicted Monetary Policy And The Tragedy Of The Commons
Garret Hardin’s intellectual popularity was a product of the Malthusian Fallacy. This doesn’t mean that he was analytically unintelligent. Even when Ptolemy argued the world was flat, given his data set he had a mathematical point that had to be systematically refuted by Copernicus, Kepler, Newton et al. Hardin makes the same sort of economic point, in his seminal piece “The Tragedy of The Commons” even if he is has been proven wrong about it with respect to human overpopulation.
Hardin argues that commonly held property will be exploited without conscience because the costs thereof are not directly visible to those who use the property. The end result of this exploitation will be systemic failure as the exploitation is inexorably extended to a logistical limit beyond which a meta-stable economic system can no longer attain sustainable equipoise. Or as Instapundit Blogger-In-Chief Glenn Reynolds puts it, “That which can’t continue will eventually stop.” One example of a commons that is being exploited towards inevitable tragedy is the current monetary system involving fiat currency.
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The Worst Thing about the Census Bureau, Unemployment Rate Conspiracy Theory
Boy! The pollsters sure taught Barack Obama a thing or two! If the election happened tomorrow, do you know who would beat him like a rented farmer’s mule? Mitt Romney! Of course, there’s a catch. The election was a year ago, and Mitt was the mutt that just didn’t quite have the sniff when it counted. Could this be the sign that the Progressives are finally on the way down from their hubris-laden perches of power and influence? It could be, but I have my skeptical doubts.
Yesterday we learned shocking news. Over 100 million Americans have signed up at healthcare.gov! Gappedo couldn’t build enough Pinocchios to rate this on the Washington Post lie scale, so we’re calling it a gaffe. It also comes on the heels of a less amusing foray into the domain of amateur male bovine scatology. It seems the US Census Bureau’s September 2012 Unemployment Report may have been a foray into the magical world of statistical engineering. The NY Post tells us the following:
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Toure’, Progressivism And The Attitude That Endangers A Republic
TOURE NEBLETT: Let’s just look at members who are supporting this Landrieu bill, right. Mary Landrieu from a red state. Senator Kay Hagan from a red state. Joe Manchin from a red state. Senator Pryor from a red state. Senator Mark Begich from a red state. Do you notice anything? We see red state Democrats who are dealing with the challenge of living and governing in a gerrymandered world where sometimes they have to deal with what the folks on the right – very low support from the Republican side for this – what the folks on the right want.
I’ve hated gerrymandering for years and wished someone would write an algorithm to draw Congressional Districts that would just about make it impossible. Perhaps I should feel vindicated that a cracker-jack pundit on MSNBC is seeing things my way. Here’s Toure Neblett getting religion on gerrymandering. It’s just that there are two problems. One, you can’t gerrymander a Senate District. The 2nd, more serious problem is his attitude.
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Climate Change, The Philippines and The Problem of Pain
Let everyone’s prayers go out to Naderev Sano. His hometown got hit by Typhoon Haiyan and the result was truly a humanitarian disaster. In response to this massive evil that befell the place he lives, Mr. Sano logically searches for answers. In so doing, he runs into one of theology’s most puzzling dilemmas: The Problem of Pain.
So if God is so good, why then does the rain fall on both the righteous and the wicked? How can innocent people be struck with Typhoon Haiyan? Clearly this is unjust and horrible. An immediately logical response is to claim that it can’t be the work of a loving God. The next step afterwards is to them figure out where it came from. Once you’ve accepted the existence of evil, the devil pops up in your inbox soon thereafter. In Sano’s case, he has identified this devil to be Climate Change driven by modern industrial society.
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ConAgra, Walmart and JPMorgan Lounge In The Food Stamp Safety Hammock
America’s Biggest Growth Industry! Thus we are left with stimulus spending that is not self-sustaining and a structural expansion in the food stamp program. In effect, we have an increase in the disincentive to work or to search for better paying employment….The Congress, however, has not helped its case by taking what so far has been a do-no-harm attitude toward agricultural | Read More »
American Sicko – Michael Moore Needs Education on US Murder Rates
Brett Stevens of Amerika.org made the rather bold claim that many arguments in support of Liberalism are based on a logical fallacy. This fallacy involves the old chestnut known as “begging the question.” A website on rhetoric at Perdue University offers us the following definition of begging the question (or claim).
Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. But the very conclusion that should be proved, that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use, is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as “filthy and polluting.”
The only thing missing from this nice, learned explanation was a picture of Michael Moore as a graphic example. Let us reexamine the question being begged by our intrepid filmmaker. “Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people.” Potentially valid so far – if he were also willing to acknowledge that Congolese, Syrians, Ukranians and Jamaicans also kill people.
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ObamaCare: They Knew. They knowingly lied.
“If you like your doctor, you can keep him.” – President Barack Obama. This was an obvious, blatant political lie. Not only did it turn out to be untrue in retrospect, but when the President made this statement, he knew without any shadow of a reasonable doubt that he was deliberately lying to the American People to manipulate them towards favoring the Patient Protection and | Read More »
The Great Society and The Great Pumpkin
Waiting For The Great Pumpkin “We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to | Read More »
The Saudis Grow Tired Of Barack Obama Clowning Around
Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.
– UK Daily Mail
It would take a lot to make Saudi Arabia really take a walk on being allied to the United States. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe they would just get sick and tired of President Barack Obama’s vacillations and perceived tergiversate behavior towards an old and loyal ally. Even worse than that, they may just think the man is too unserious to be reliable.
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How The Healthcare.gov Implementation Got Lost
What scares me are two aspects of this.
1) They didn’t miss by a wee-smidge. They missed the way Ayn Rand’s caricaturized failure characters missed towards the end of Atlas Shrugged.
2) The Obama Administration handled the development and its consequent failure in a way that no long-tenured professional would ever have handled it. They set themselves up to fail in both their contracting and their administration, they ignored adverse data that could have saved their rear-ends, they did none of the risk reduction that major acquisition projects require to insure success and they have no viable off-ramp or plan B to salvage this mess before the February 15th Individual Mandate Witching Hour.
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Methinks The Tea-Party Just Went Back On The Warpath
Here’s the unspoken narrative of the entire recent adventure in Game Theory that was the soon-to-be-terminated government shutdown. The Tea Party is Ba-aaaack!
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The Pirate Game, The Shutdown and The Debt Ceiling Ultimatum
The Debt Ceiling Fight As A Pirate Game Let’s say for the sake of hypothesis that the current Federal Budgetary process is so badly broken and divorced from any legitimate concern for the American commonweal that we could describe it as five pirates deciding how to divide up the spoils from looting America. Mathematician Ian Stewart proposed a mathematical game that | Read More »