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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Venezuela is the Model for Marxists. How do you transform a thriving democratic nation into a socialist/marxist state?  Just look at Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez is omnipresent.  He has his own tv shows.  He wins elections by a combination of voter intimidation, fraud, and pandering with bread and circuses.  The government of Venezuela wasn't changed, Chavez just took over while the people just watched in stunned disbelief.  

Now look what's happening here.  B. Hussein was elected by a combination of voter intimidation (armed black panthers patrolled outside polling places in some areas), fraud (ACORN has had multiple instances of its workers being jailed for proven fraud), and by pandering with bread and circuses.  Our government isn't changing, we're just watching in stunned disbelief while B. Hussein consolidates his power.

Friedrich Hayek, the famous political philosopher and economist, taught that socialism at first attracts many people because of a concern to help the needy, but eventually it attracts those who like to be the ones deciding who gets and who doesn't get handouts.  This is true not only in deciding the level of poverty for receiving welfare, and not only for the death panels that will decide who lives and who dies with a state monopoly on medical care; it is also true of which businesses get support from the government.

So now we're seeing the administration attempting to intimidate businesses for speaking out against B. Hussein's political policies.  This Chicago style politics is not new, but clearly has advanced to a higher level than before.  With total control and ownership of many banks and most of the car manufacturing industry, not only is B. Hussein getting quasi legal power over private business, he's also shown how he intends to quiet dissent.  He can threaten companies with either never getting government handouts or contracts, or he can nationalize them pretty much at will, or he can threaten them with "investigations" which is a very creepy precedent.

I'm all for the idea that businesses shouldn't be getting handouts from the government, but the fact is that with rising socialism we have gotten to the point that many businesses can no longer survive if they must compete against all the other companies that get these handouts or contracts.

This is perhaps the most fundamental problem with socialism.  Yeah, it's wrong to give one person's money to another person because that is essentially theft, but that is petty corruption.  The real problem is not the loss of money by individuals, though that is bad enough by itself.  The big problem is that socialism gives the govenrment power, and that attracts those that like to wield power for their own benefit.

If the government's power is limited, then there is less they can do, and there is less power to fight over.  The key to civilizing politics is to limit the power of government.

Instead we're getting Chicago style politics, inspired by the cult of personality of the likes of Hugo Chavez.  There's no need to be like Castro and Che and murder so many people when all you need to do is control who gets what in medical care or business.  Then the nation will gladly worship the dear leader, and fawn at his daily television broadcasts.  There's no need at all for such overt acts when all you have to do is be like Hugo, and smile your way into despotic power over a nation that will not rouse itself to protest so long as it gets its bread and circuses.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

There are Fates Worse than Resigning

250px-General_Stanley_A_McChrystal_01.pngMen are getting shot at, blown up, separated from families, maimed, divorced, and made to live in cold and hot weather in the most austere living conditions.

This is a war, and that's what we can expect.

But many senior officers have only modest discomforts and rarely face any danger.  Not all, of course, but many.  This is not a dig on senior officers who aren't kicking down doors or manning machine guns.  Their jobs no longer require them to be on the front lines and that's fine.

Their job is to provide the tools, training, tactics, planning, intelligence and other support for those that are on the front lines.  I don't say this with any air of superiority.  I don't think that anyone in the rear is morally deficient or not doing all they can do.  Someone has to be in those roles and it's their turn, that's all.  Generally, I've seen Marines not on the front lines be very supportive and bend over backwards to help those that are.

General McChrystal has threatened to resign if B. Hussein, our marxist president, doesn't give him more troops in Afghanistan.  Whether this is effective or not remains to be seen.  If he resigns, what would happen to him?  He will retire and live comfortably on his monthly retirement check even if he never works another day in his life.  He won't go on to become a famous general who wins a war, he won't get an additional star on his collar, he won't have much direct impact on the future of the army.

It seems a small sacrifice on his part compared to those who go home in zippered bags.

My thanks to General McChrystal, if these stories are true.  He seems to be a man who has kept a good perspective on what it means to look after the welfare of his men.

Update:   Evan Thomas of Newsweek had the following to say about the possibility that McChrystal might resign:

McChrystal was clearly troubled—"a bit bothered," as he put it—by the rumors appearing in the media that he might resign over his differences with those unnamed other experts in Washington. "It is my responsibility, my duty—my sacred duty," he said, to tell the unvarnished truth to his leaders, but then to carry out their orders. He would not resign, he said, even if they rejected his advice.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Art Acevedo is a typical thuggish cop. The chief of police in Austin wants to harrass people who say their opinions of him.

Well, here's my opinion.  I don't like you.  I don't like your police officers when they stand on a street corner and harrass people walking by, yelling out insults and commands that are entirely out of place.  

I don't know who you think  you are, but there's this idea in Texas and most of this country that the people are sovereign, that the police are our servants.  Perhaps you don't understand that very well.  
I'm not worried about the "damage to the organization" or the erosion in "public trust."  I really don't care.  The way to get public trust is to have a professional force that looks out for the safety of the people, not the glorification of their own bully egos.

And if you want to come and get me for speaking my mind on this topic, go ahead and try.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Curing Color Blindness

Scientists appear to have cured red-green color blindness in squirrel monkeys by injecting a virus into their eyes.  The otherwise benign virus creates L-opsin which stimulates the retinas to manufactures the cones that perceive red and green.  

It's absolutely fascinating.  It appears that adult monkeys are not prevented from properly using these new cones because their brain pathways are already wired.  Instead, the adult monkeys now appear to see the new colors properly.  

This is fascinating.  As one who suffers from a fairly mild form of red-green color deficiency, I'd love to know what I'm missing, and since I appear to have some, but not many, of the correct cones in my retina, my brain should surely be able to use them.

There are even more fascinating uses of this gene therapy, many are beyond my imagination.  But what comes immediately to mind are that some women have the ability to perceive more than the normal colors.  Why shouldn't everyone want such an ability?  

The scientists in the article even hypothesize that this type of therapy might enhance night vision as well.  I'm sure the military would love that.

This opens the door to other fascinating possibilities beyond vision.  We already know that frogs can be made transparent.  Maybe there will be other gene therapies that can be exploited to cure any number of diseases or increase muscles for the sick or even the healthy.  

Science fiction often shows the future dominated by beings so intelligent that they no longer need or have robust physiques.  I think gene therapy will make the opposite the case.  In the future we will all be tall and beautiful, not to mention intelligent, whether we are born that way or not.  We needn't wait for evolution to do this, we can take care of it ourselves.  I find this hopeful and wish the best to my great grandchildren.

Added:  I just learned that this philosophy is known as "transhumanism" or H+.  I'm surprised I'd never much noticed the term before.  

Don't Kid Yourself, Acorn's Objectives aren't Dead

Many anti-liberals are trumpeting the supposed demise of ACORN following revelations that they were actively promoting child prostitution nationwide and using government funds to promote it.

Congress appears to have acted quite quickly to cut off funding to ACORN, essentially destroying them.

But let's get something straight here.  Unless and until either someone high in their ranks goes to jail for this racket, there is not going to be an end to what they're doing.  Does anyone really think that their purpose was really to help with housing problems?  Nope.  They existed to get people to vote for democrats, either real people or ficticious people and they existed to keep cronies of the democrat party well fed and well funded.

Even if this defunding succeeds, I have no doubt that another organization will come to the fore almost immediately to do these real functions of ACORN, and I have little doubt that all the same people will be involved.

Corruption is not so easily done away with.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our Legacy

Two hundred years ago, the Irish statesman, John Curran, said, "God hath vouchsafed man liberty only on condition of eternal vigilance; which condition if he break it, servitude is the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." That was only two hundred years ago.

Our own old New England and Virginia and Carolina fathers knew that three hundred years ago, which was why they came here and founded this country. And I decline to believe that we, their descendants, have really forgotten it. I prefer to believe rather that it is because the enemy of our freedom now has changed his shirt, his coat, his face.

He no longer threatens us from across an international boundary, let alone across an ocean. He faces us now from beneath the eagle-perched domes of our capitals and from behind the alphabetical splatters on the doors of welfare and other bureaus of economic or industrial regimentation, dressed not in martial brass but in the habiliments of what the enemy himself has taught us to call peace and progress, a civilization and plenty where we never before had it as good, let alone better. His artillery is a debased and respectless currency which has emasculated the initiative for independence by robbing initiative of the only mutual scale it knew to measure independence by.

William Faulkner, "The Duty to be Free" January 26, 1953


Today I will be driving to Houston to my Marine infantry battalion to participate in my monthly drill. We're training to deploy to Afghanistan in about a year. It gives me great satisfaction to be doing that today. I will never forget the animals that murdered so many of our people eight years ago nor the animals that still vow to destroy more of us. I hope to help stop them.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Death Lotteries

The idea that the government should control how and when you get to see a doctor is communist, unamerican, and immoral.  If this ever happens here, there should be an angry change in the make up of our government leaders.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's getting easier and easier to imagine how robots may one day replace us after seeing this laboratory model of a high speed robot hand.  It's a lot of specialized programming now, but soon the "dribbling" or "pen spinning" ability will be a standard programming routine in every robot's library, much as every electronic device has a clock and a calculator now.