Contrary to the Sandbox Theory of Life that most Lefties subscribe to, fighting and ingenuity are closely related. Fighting often provokes ingenuity as brilliantly illustrated in this stunning animation.
earlier blogs I have pointed out that most people have their mother's
worldview because they learn most of their language from their mother.
Language has worldview embedded in it.
I have noticed something
else along the same lines. I find that people who dedicate their lives
to the occupations and professions that are consistent with their
mother's culture are the happiest and vice versa, the ones who don't are
What do I mean? When the son or daughter of a
Celtic mother is a firefighter, police officer or a nurse they are
usually happy. When the son or daughter of a Jewess is a doctor,
scientist, political activist or teacher they are usually happy.
are only two cultural examples. Most cultures have preferred status
occupations...which members of those cultures understand.
"fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in th e rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt !"
Would the world of politics look different if we knew exactly what can't be changed?
answer is yes. There are a number of things we know can't be changed.
To start with there will always be below average students. Below
average is an arithmetic truism. There will always be crime (even in
the most socially stable society on earth: Japan). There will always
be poverty (even in the richest society on earth: Norway).
the public sector denies that there will always be below average
students and creates community colleges and social demands that are
tragic and mean-spirited to service this half of humanity, the private
world has created a profitable and successful alternative in the form
of for-profit technical schools. There are now over 700 post-secondary
technical colleges in the U.S. and I made a handsome profit on several
of the public stocks (Corinthian Colleges COCO, Strayer Education STRA
If we can accept the reality of the knowledge about what we can't change how would we respond?
start with crime. We would get rid of the 3/4ths of every police force
that is a waste of money, since the size of a police force has no
correlation to the level of crime. We could take that money and use it
for remedial aid. Every person who is a victim of a crime could be
made whole...in so far as that is possible. Burglary, robbery and car
theft are feasible in most cases. Murder, rape and battery are harder
to remediate but victims could be paid for therapy, lost time and
compensatory time off with travel.
Poverty will always be with
us but offspring of the poor are not bound by circumstances and should
be given extra special financial and educational support. The poor need
to be accepted in much the same way we give food stamps and Section 8
housing allowances without much recrimination. We need to expand these
programs so that rewards are largely in-kind, including medical care in
special clinics for the poor. But we don't have to try and live with
the poor (who lack social control), go to school with the poor and
share anything else including transportation with the poor.
have learned, but fail to adapt to the reality that crime diminishes
the more time criminals spend in prison. That poor people will stay
away from everyone else if they are given a safe place to go and are
There are many more ways we can make the world a
better place by rejecting Puritan "fixism" for the perpetrators and
accepting remediation for the victims.
My friends seem to cringe when I write about Islam. They are afraid I will anger a deranged religious nut.
In San Francisco, I probably have more to fear from a deranged Lefty Fundamentalist of the sort who attacked Elie Wiesel.
have a view of Islam that separates out Arab Islam from the rest of
Islam. It is Arab Islamists who are revanchists, believing there was
once a great day of Arab culture. There never was such a day. The
Turkish Empire and the Persian Empire with the help of some Kurds are
the great features of Middle-Eastern Culture. The Arabs have given us
nothing besides poetry...which I can't read to appreciate.
Steyn has added another very relevant point (America Alone is his most
recent book). Arab Islam conquered by military might and kept the
defeated people as dhimmi...tax paying serfs (including Jews escaping
from Roman Catholic Spain and Portugal). The consequence is a thousand
years of Arab Islamic welfarism. Arab Islamist have no idea how to
make a living and be productive.
This is still true today. Most
Arabian peninsula Arabs live off the teats of oil. The Egyptians try to
survive on tourism, American foreign aid and the Suez Canal. The
Palestinians of Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank are pathetic suckling
pigs at the brain dead body of the United Nations. Then there are the
Syrians. Totally incompetent, hoping to control the Christian and
Maronite communities of Beirut to support them.
I am slightly
more than an armchair writer on this subject. I'm more like a football
fan who plays touch football. I've had many Arab employees, a few Arab
friends, been to a few Arab lands and several more Islamic countries.
I have a different perspective these days on gay marriage. I see it as a plea from the world of existential angst.
I were a gay person, trying to find a current life of love and human
comfort and concerned about longevity in my relations and worried about
being cared for in my old age....marriage and family would look
Actually I have those concerns, even though marriage
is always available to me, despite having eight wonderful grandchildren
and three spectacular biological children. I realize that
nothing...nothing can diminish existential angst. We are born alone,
we live alone and we die alone...no relations, no spouse or offspring
are certain, permanent nor perfect. Families and marriage are far from
perfect and often particularly difficult. But marriage and family look
I can see where the creation of the exciting, vital and
somewhat comfortable life of the gay community has evoked these
existential questions in the growing maturity of the community. A
brunch with forty beautiful and interesting gay men in their late
thirties and early forties can look daunting when mortality raises its
It is a similar comfort with American commercial life
that is supporting the rapid growth of family friendly Mormon churches
and family friendly evangelical Christian mega-churches.
Comfort and success inevitably raise existential questions. 'Why do we live?'
Democracy is on the move. I calculated the number
of nations in 1900 and the number of democracies and did the same thing for 2000 to see how far we have
come in a century.
There were 70 distinct nations in 1900. The
reason the number is low is that many future nations were colonies in
1900. That was true for most of Africa and many parts of South Asia
including India. Of the 70 nations 15 were clearly democracies with
By the year 2000 there were 170 nations
based on UN membership. The reality is that there are 124 nations
based on the Phillips criteria: more population than San Francisco and
a GDP greater than Disneyland. Of the 124 nations 69 are democracies
with elective governments.
No matter how you look at it, growing
from 15 in 70 to 69 of 124 is dramatic growth. I would estimate that
those 69 democracies have three quarters of the global productive
economic output and 90% of the global middle class.
Dennis Ross in the New Republicconnects the dots about the Israeli
raid on the Northern Syrian coast and the associated secrecy.
Dot one: Syria's Assad was beginning to act as though Syria could have
a limited war with Israel and come out relatively undefeated, the way
he viewed the Hezbollah war outcome of last summer.
Dot two: Israel sent a message that got through to Assad and to Iran
that she knew what is going on in Syria and is always prepared to act
preemptively in her defense.
Dot three: Israel has "restored its deterrence" according to Major General Amos Yadlin, the head of Israel's military intelligence. Syria is no longer so confident it can conduct a limited war.
I saw the Yadlin quote and wondered what it meant.
John Judis sticks his neck out in the latest New Republic issue. Judis
calculates the number of delegates the various Republican candidates
will have after the first primaries end on Feb. 5th. With 2,517
delegates voting at the September convention, and 1,259 needed to
win....1,358 will be committed by Feb. 5th. The leader, Guiliani, will
have roughly 459 votes with the rest of the candidates having less.
That leaves Guiliani short by 800 votes, over seven months, to win on the first ballot, which Judis does not think he
can get from the remaining 1159 delegates before the convention.
I appreciate vote counting. I did it in my political days.
From Judis' count we can conclude that there will be an exciting and possibly brokered Republican convention.
The Democrats will have their convention sewn up by Hillary by Feb. 5th and nothing but boredom ahead.
January of this year I called it exactly right. I said that the
President and the Republican Party would deal with the political issues
arising from the Iraq War by calling attention to the more accurate
history of the Viet Nam War that places the entire failure and
subsequent human slaughter on the Democratic Congress and Senate of
The opening salvos in that exact scenario were launched by
President Bush at a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars on
shot George. I expected it and welcome it. We should be discussing the
way the Democratic party lost a war and brought tragedy to millions of
Vietnamese and Cambodians and the Democrats show us every day that they
would happily do it again in the Mid-East.
people (Huntington) tried to name the late August abrupt worldwide
stock market downturn a Minsky Moment. The Wall Street Journal ran an
article on it.
name unexplained, sometimes random, phenomenon in the hopes of
understanding them. The Minsky Moment is a mistake. A big mistake.
Wrong man, wrong name.
When I was a graduate student in
economics at U.C. Berkeley, Hyman P. Minsky was one of my monetary
theory professors. Minsky was an out and out Marxist who loved Fidel
Castro and prayed vigorously for the destruction of capitalism. Unlike
most of my fellow grad students, I found Minsky narrow minded and
pathetically ideological. The Berkeley Econ department was a band of
unrepentant Trotskyites and probably still is (Only a few exceptions).
publications in Minsky's later life were focused on a not-so-unique way
that capitalism might destroy itself. He proposed that speculation and
risk inflation would grow as the periods of economic success were
extended. Markets would crash. Minsky must have hated those long
periods of economic expansion with no crashes.
happened in late August of this year won't be known for several more decades. But
one thing I do know is that if any time period of economic travail
should be named a Minsky Moment, it should be a period of general
starvation brought on by communism in Cuba or North Korea. Footnote: Haman is an evil figure in the Purim story of Esther.
The old rule of thumb of the newspaper business was that each letter to the editor represented 1,000 readers with the same view.
I don't know what the updated rule looks like for emails to the editor. Probably not very different.
So the New York Times got 400,000 readers angry at them for the despicable MoveOn.org ad they ran nearly two weeks ago (based on the 4,000 angry emails they received). That is roughly 40% of the total New York Times readership.
Forty percent is also significant because that is the discounted amount the NYTimes offered on their regular ad rate to accommodate MoveOn.org. Only 40% of their regular rate. MoveOn didn't even ask for the 60% special discount. Which the Times would not make available to an anti-MoveOn ad.
We also know from the Time's ombudsperson that the Lefty meanspiritedness was not only found in the sales department that offered the ad price, it was in the ad review department where a department head violated the Time's written and explicit policy against ads with personal attacks. This was an ad with a headline that had the most offensive personal attack anyone can make on a soldier: betrayal.
Lets not forget that the ad did America a favor. It focused the Iraq War debate on the McCarthy-like nature of the anti-War activists and it put Hillary and Obama on record as defenders of McCarthy-like behavior when they failed to join a Senate Democratic majority in opposing the MoveOn-Times calumny.
We have another tragic pacifist failure. Empirical evidence that pacifism is the way to get you and your people destroyed.
tragic evidence: the Yezidi people of Qahtaniya in Northern Iraq. Over
500 people in the small town of 3,500 were killed by four Al Qaeda
The Yezidi people are complete outcasts of
Arabia, scattered in small villages in parts in Syria, Turkey, Iraq,
Armenia and Iran. They are often described as a Kurdish people because
their language is close to Kurdish but they are not Muslims. They
possess no arms, have no tribal defense and their unique religion
denies the existence of evil. They believe in one god who created the
world and lost interest in it. The remaining deities are symbolized by
the peacock, with seven major feathers for their seven angels.
They are the Quakers of Arabia and for that they were killed. And will continue to be killed.
You've heard me express sympathy for the Left
before. The Left has a package of ideas that seem to fail every time
they are tried.
One of my sports loving friends expressed sympathy for the Left after I offered him a metaphor.
Think of the last century as a soccer game. Pro-commerce won the game 10-0 over the Anti-commerce Left.
Left had every advantage. The Left had a team, they had team colors, a
team uniform, a team band and a team mascot. The referees, the
announcers and most of the fans were Lefties. Even the soccer players
in training and the back-up players were Lefties.
In fact, the
pro-commerce side didn't even have a team all they had were a bunch of
stray members of the audience running out on the field to play the game.
Pro-commerce still won 10-0.
That metaphor is so accurate, even my sports loving friend felt sympathy for the Left.
None of this will be necessary after January of 2008 as several
companies will have competitive products including a few at Best Buy and we'll be able to sign-up
for monthly services at several networks.