Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Get your Filthy Paws Off My Toys, You Dirty Trained Ape

Un-Jackbooting the Thugs
© 2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Charges Dropped Against ‘Lemonistas’

Article Synopsis:
Three women responded to a spate of arrests and forced closures of children’s lemonade stands across the country this past summer by setting up their own lemonade stand on the Capitol grounds in Washington DC; they were arrested. Capitol Police rationalized.

They’ve got a point: They were arrested by a cop on a bicycle, who told them they couldn’t be selling lemonade on the Capitol grounds, as it is federal property. The women informed the cop that federal property was bought and paid for by tax money, and as they were some of the people who provided said money, the property is as much theirs as anyone’s.

...there was a fourth to their Terrible Trio, as the entire exchange was videotaped, a prudent forethought in pretty much all government interactions citizens may find themselves involved in nowadays.

When the arrests were made in August, a Capitol police spokesman lied through her teeth and claimed that the three were, in fact, not arrested for selling lemonade. They were arrested for “failure to obey a police officer” – by not ceasing their sale of lemonade – for “unlawful conduct” – by selling lemonade – and for “vending without a license”. They vended lemonade.

So apart from it being completely about them selling lemonade, it had nothing to do with them selling lemonade.

Gotcha ... wink wink nudge nudge.

Conclusion: While there is a reductio ad absurdum which is important to keep in mind – we don’t want everyone descending on DC to open up a lemonade stand on Capitol grounds [on the other hand, what could it hurt: it might turn a buck that could lower the deficit] – the complete inability of our government to honesty deal with the citizens they claim to serve demonstrates why government, at all levels, is increasingly decreasing the amount of respect they garner from the general public. When you arrest someone for selling lemonade, just say so. Explain the difference without distinction in court.

Headline: Judge Blocks Welfare Drug Testing Law

Article Synopsis:
A federal judge blocked a Florida law that required those applying for poverty assistance to get a drug screening; they would be reimbursed if they passed. It was objected to by a Navy veteran who was trying to complete school. The ACLU argued that mandatory drug testing violated Fourth Amendment rights.

Odd time to be pedantic...: Of course it violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a ‘duh’ moment to anyone who can read. The 4thAM says nothing about any justification for searching a citizen except that it can only be done after getting a warrant citing Probable Cause. Wishing to receive free money from the government isn’t Probable Cause for drug abuse.

But wishing to get a job as a government contractor is considered a good enough reason to completely ignore the 4thAM altogether; drug tests are mandatory, and the search is considered “administrative” ... which is one of several invisible ink addenda to the 4thAM that [apparently] only federal judges can read. Drug testing for federal contractor jobs is justified by stating that “the taxpayers” have an interest in seeing to it that they are not paying a hop-head to sew buttons on military uniforms, process auto registration forms, push papers, keep their multiple wars going, or collect trash outside the US Capitol building resulting from all the lemonade sales.

Don’t “the taxpayers” have just as much of an interest in seeing to it that they aren’t paying a hop-head to sit on his ass all day and do nothing besides being a hop-head?

Seriously, it’s one or the other. Either the automatic presumption that people are druggies is enough justification to warrantlessly search them for evidence of drug abuse before allowing them to do what they are trying to do ... or it isn’t. Pick one.

Conclusion: What this ruling indicates is that it’s acceptable for our welfare system to fund the drug habits of those who are dispossessed. Momentarily setting aside the curiosity as to what could have inspired such individuals to become dispossessed in the first place, or to remain dispossessed in the second, among those things the government can do to reduce the loss of respect they earn is to be consistent. Either it’s a warrantless search, or it isn’t. Government is not supposed to be a Chinese menu.

Headline: Sex Toy in Luggage Elicits Love Note from TSA

Article Synopsis:
A feminist blogger [and lawyer] flew from Newark to Dublin Ireland with a small Battery-Operated Boyfriend; TSA left their standard “Notice of Inspection” card, with the hand-written advice to “Get your freak on girl.” The luggage owner twitted and blogged about the incident, as well as emailed a New York City newspaper, calling it “wildly inappropriate” and plans to file a formal complaint when she returns to the US after talking to the Irish about abortion. She is ‘retiring’ the vibrator because of sanitation concerns. TSA initially denies involvement.

Blogger Bob versus the BOB Blogger: The woman, Jill Filipovic of “feministe” fame, is apparently as shameless as I would be if ever given the opportunity to bump and grind to the pre-flight handjob. Good for her. The more notoriety TSA gets for their abuses of authority the quicker they’ll be curtailed.

It cannot come soon enough, frankly. TSA claimed originally that there is no evidence to suggest one of its agents wrote the note ... on an official TSA “Notice of Inspection” card. They have since admitted that not only was there evidence for it, an agent did in fact write the note, and TSA’s public face, Blogger Bob, announced on their own website that the Newark agent has been “disciplined”, though he will not specifically say how. It’s an issue with the agent’s “privacy”.

It’s a sad day when government agents who routinely courteously rifle through the personal belongings of private citizens attempting to do nothing more heinous than visit Grandma, or – in this case – give a tired and tedious lecture on abortion to foreigners, are stripped of dignity and often publically humiliated, but the guy who steps over even that distant line in the sand cannot be named or have described what corrective actions were taken against him. It might make him feel foolish.

Yeah, yeah, poor agent. Gotta respect the privacy of the guy who is paid to invade everyone else’s.

Typical TSA “discipline” includes reassignment and retraining. Not even agents who have run luggage theft rings were fired, though several in Honolulu were “recommended” for it. About all TSA will say about the agent here is that he is no longer inspecting luggage. I.e., he was reassigned.

I see management in his future, with or without a stop – to drool, no doubt – at the porno-scan monitor.

Conclusion: Isn’t it piling on at this point? Ten years, not a single identifiable terrorist interdiction; hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of their agents abusing authority; hundreds of traumatized citizens left in tears or puddles of their own urine in the name of “security” that isn’t measurably enhanced. And now a perfectly innocent BOB gets shelved because the agent who has the misplaced authority to deprive citizens of their privacy and dignity can’t help but gloat about it in crass terms. Talk about getting a freak on.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Arab Spring Allergies

Arab Spring Allergies
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Afghanistan Would Back Pakistan Against US

Article Synopsis:
Hand-picked by the State Department, Afghan President Karzai says that if the US attacks Pakistan he would urge Afghanistan to back their muslim brothers. Pakistan is being used by muslim hotheads and the Taliban to stage raids into Afghanistan against Afghan political targets and NATO military targets.

The Writing on the Wall, part I: The US has been making increased attacks in Pakistan for over three years now due to Pakistan’s inability – or unwillingness – to interdict the Taliban raids on Afghanistan. The Taliban and the remnants of al Qaida live, work and operate in Pakistan virtually unmolested except by the US, and Pakistan doesn’t like it when the US is better at cleaning up Pakistan than Pakistan itself.

Pakistan has complained multiple times about the US invading its territory to hit Taliban targets. And while the territory is indeed part of Pakistan when looking at a map, the fact that they are not controlling it means, when looking at the centuries of International Law, that for all practical purposes it does not belong to Pakistan. It belongs to the Taliban, and Pakistan has no business complaining.

...unless they are truly allied with the Taliban, and the Taliban acts with Pakistani grace.

Pakistan was the only nation to have officially recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan from 1995 until they were deposed by NATO forces in late 2001 when they were scattered into the Hindu Kush. To assume that there is no affection remaining is naïve.

It is even more naïve to assume that a tribalist mindset 5,000 years in the making which sees “The West” as little more than a last resort to be taken for immediate gratification and then thrown away can be changed by a mere decade of baubles and cajolery. They will side with their own against outsiders almost every chance they get.

Conclusion: Karzai got what he wanted: political power. Now he doesn’t care who’s on his team as long as he gets to keep it. The US is pulling out of Iraq – he knew that was coming. The US will one day pull out of Afghanistan – he knows that’s coming too. He knows that Iran will pull Iraqi strings after the US leaves. He knows that the Taliban will pull his when NATO leaves. He’s just being prudent; he has a political power-base to look after, and he can’t be worried about a trifling thing like “terrorism” and who is blowing up whom.

Headline: New Libyan Leader Calls for Sharia

Article Synopsis:
The leader of Libya’s “transitional government”, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, in the wake of Muammar Khadafy’s death, has declared that all Libyans would enjoy a nation free from further tyranny by imposing Islamic Law. Obama congratulated the new Libya. The UN wants to investigate the death of Khadafy to see it he was executed.

The Writing on the Wall, part II: Libya is composed of a handful of tribal alliances all of whom hate each other and all but one of which can only agree that they hated Khadafy even more than they hate each other. The revolt in Libya was a tribal conflict and little more; democracy, let alone any other western enlightenment, was not the basis for this – or any other – portion of the self-delusional “Arab Spring”.

All the tribal affiliations in Libya – including Khadafy’s own – are connected with one or more of the pan-islamist philosophies that are all “al Qaida-related” by sympathies, payrolls, and objectives. Khadafy dropped his outright alliance with terrorism mainly due to having his house bombed by Reagan. Being a power-hungry megalomaniac had an upper limit even for him, it would seem.

For the New Libya to announce that they will embrace Islamic Law with a kiss on the mouth should not be a surprise to anyone... who understands what is currently happening. This includes me, but excludes most of our current government which cannot stop endlessly praising Arabs and near-Arabs for throwing over their tyrants by popular will.

Conclusion: A nation run by Sharia is a nation devoted to anti-western sentiments. A nation devoted to anti-western sentiments is a nation that will breed pan-islamist yahoory. And, kind, considerate us that we are, we helped them get there.

Headline: Strong Islamist Vote in Tunisian Elections

Article Synopsis:
Tunisia held its first “real” election within hours of the death of Khadafy just over the border. A reported 90% of the eligible voters turned up, and there are indications that “islamist” votes are going to be the vast majority. Of the Islamist parties running for parliament – which are all of them – the Ennahda party is the most moderate; analysts are expecting the Ennahda party to hold the most seats. Regardless of the outcome, Ennahda says it will form a coalition government with all other parties, thus ensuring militant pan-islamists ruling Tunisia. The Carter Center is among the Western observers in attendance.

The Writing on the Wall, part III: The trend-setter for the idiotically ballyhooed “Arab Spring” was, of course, Tunisia. Its pro-western, secular government was considered “repressive” by the same type of poli-sci nitwit who considers curfews and bedtimes parental tyranny. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a teenager who has school the next day, or citizens who are hell-bent on revolution in order to impose a theocratic regime; if the government doesn’t give them the freedom to rebel, fail World History, or burn down the King’s palace, you’re a brutal dictator.

The sheer numbers of people who failed World History are staggering: it’s 1979 Iran all over again. Without the Ayatollah. The main reason the Shah was “repressive” was because for twenty-five years he was being targeted for assassination and his government was targeted for revolution by that portion of the Shi’a population which wanted a theocratic dictatorship under Sharia rule. The Shah repressed those who wanted to assassinate him and start a revolution. By which I mean: he didn’t let them do it. Then Jimmy Carter got elected US President, and since the US was Iran’s best friend, when Carter told the Shah, “Y’know, Reza ... maybe they wouldn’t want to assassinate you if you were nicer to them...”, and three years later the Shah had to hightail it for exile in Los Angeles.

But that ploy was universally frowned upon by The West, and even caused worry-wart Jimmuh to wring his hands and wrinkle his brow over it. Greater Islamia seems to have learned a lesson in the last 32 years: if you want to install a muslim theocracy, with its nonpareil dictatorship and requisite repression of women, minorities, and other religions, non-religions and indeed everyone not in the ruling crowd, then first jabber about the prior regime’s despotism, claim some vague democratic ideals for after the revolt succeeds, and then hold an election where the only people running for office are those who want to install a theocratic dictatorship. Saying the right words goes a long way in doing the wrong thing, particularly to westerners who failed World History.

Hey, if the majority votes for a dictatorship, then it’s democracy. Right?

And Jimmy Carter is there to ensure it all goes smoothly.

Conclusion: The “Arab Spring” is looking more and more like the Winter of Western Discontent. Muslim theocracies are multiplying like bunnies.

News of the Stupid

You Can’t Make This Up
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Strip-Search Demanded at Scrabble Tournament

Article Synopsis:
A Thai contestant in the annual Scrabble tournament demanded that his British opponent be strip-searched after the Thai claimed that a ‘G’ tile went missing. Judges turned out pockets, but refused to strip down the limey; the Brit won the match by a single point. The tournament itself was won by a New Zealander.

‘G’ is for Giraffe: It is worth noting that the ‘G’ is worth two points, and if Ed Martin did indeed dispense with a ‘G’ he couldn’t use on his rack, then the point difference at the end of the match would have caused Chollapat Itthi-Aree to win. It’s a simple enough matter to count the ‘G’ tiles on the board. If there are three, then none are missing. If there are not three, then something is screwy.

Something was screwy and the ‘G’ was replaced. But the judges didn’t want to make things screwier by pulling a TSA over a board game.

Conclusion: Sometimes when you stick your neck out, you get your head lopped off. That’s the downside of being a giraffe. That, and you can’t spell it without a ‘G’.

Headline: Actress Sues Amazon for Revealing Age

Article Synopsis:
An Asian-American actress who is 40 years old has sued Amazon over its Internet Movie Database website [IMDb.com] which lists the actress’s age. The actress filed the suit under the name “Jane Doe”, and accuses Amazon of misusing personal information she supplied to IMDb. She wants $75 thousand for compensation over her difficulty getting work and a round million in punitive damages.

Free Publicity versus Public Records: Let’s just ignore that names and birthdays are a matter of public record in this country. The woman can’t find work and it’s all because IMDb listed her actual birthday. This, she claims, causes producers to get confused over the fact that she is 40, but doesn’t look it ... and so she can’t get a job as a 40-something character. Then, because she IS 40, she can’t get a job as a younger character even though she doesn’t look that old.

I suspect that this actress was having problems finding work long before she signed up for IMDb’s premium service – which is what inspired her to do so. IMDb is free publicity of a type not provided by TMZ or Entertainment Tonight, which tend to concentrate on Celebrities Behaving Badly. Hollywood producers of either the big or little screen do not rely on websites to cast their roles. They rely on agents and auditions.

Conclusion: Find a new agent and try out for roles that call for petulant whining. You’ve got that down cold.

Headline: Ashton’s Troubles Sinking ’Men’

Article Synopsis:
The replacement star of Charlie Sheen’s Two and a Half Men character has run afoul of the tabloids for hooking up with a [say it ain’t so, Kutch] Republican bimbo, on – and what a coincidence this is – his and Demi Moore’s sixth wedding anniversary. The show’s ratings have been sliding this year after Sheen’s character was written out of the plot.

So, wait a minute ... you’re tellin’ me that ...?: Charlie Sheen had put the show into unscheduled hiatuses at least once a year due to his stints in rehab, his arrests, his compete disappearances after which he was found holed up with some prostitute or porn star, his coked-up bouts of hotel penthouse trashing, and everything else – which includes being temporarily fired after publically calling the show’s producer several uncomplimentary names during a drunken rant.

But the understudy boinks a gold-digger and the show tanks?

I think I shall remain skeptical.

There are many more likely explanations for the show’s circumstances than Ashton Kutcher’s tabloid dalliance. In no particular order they are:
1] Charlie Sheen was actually good in a formulaic sitcom [he wasn’t];
2] The audience tuned in just to see if Charlie Sheen was blotto during filming [quite possible];
3] The audience figured out that the theme of the show is trite and hackneyed, the writing triter and hackneyeder, and that without the spectacle of the real-life train wreck that was Charlie Sheen it just wasn’t worth tuning in for any longer [very very likely].

Conclusion: I cannot get back the fifteen minutes I used to watch this lame-ass “show” recently before I concluded that its ratings were a sign of the End Times, but I will advise Ashton to watch his back. You don’t often mess with a cougar and live to tell the tale.

Headline: Greek Protesters Clash with Police

Article Synopsis:
Greek labor unions have staged a two-day general strike against the Greek government over its attempts to save the country from financial ruin. Catastrophe can be averted by passing a law to limit Greek spending, because without that law Germany and other foreign governments will not cough up any more cash to pay Greek bills. Students have joined the strike declaring that they won’t be able to find jobs without the free college education they “deserve”.

2+2=222, now: This is what happens when a sense of entitlement spreads across an entire nation unbroken for generations. The unions are demanding that their unsupportable benefits not be stopped, college students are demanding that they be given unlimited education, and the people who pay for it aren’t even considered part of the equation.

Their disconnect from reality is astounding. I’m used to having children around the age of 5 or 6 having no practical comprehension of the role that money plays in the real world. “Why can’t we eat at McDonalds?” day after day after day after day. By the time they’re 14 or 15 they’re pretty solid on why not. At least mine were.

So what’s the primary difference between the Greek unions and my teenagers? Seventy years of training in entitlement. The Greek students are complaining that they’ll have to leave the country in order to find a job.

Yep. That’s what socialism does for you.

Conclusion: So long Greece.

Days of Atonement

Days of Atonement are Upon Us
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Sarandon Calls Pope Nazi

Article Synopsis:
Susan Sarandon referred to the current Pope, not the prior Pope, as a Nazi at a film festival in The Hamptons. The crowd didn’t mind; the crowd didn’t appear to notice. Catholics did mind, though, and demanded an apology. Jews also objected and demanded that Sarandon apologize to Catholics.

Godwin’s Law for Dummies: Sarandon can’t pull off the ballsy bombshell leading woman like she used to, and is now more suited to being the frumpy spinster with 95 cats. Unless she can gain herself some free publicity by uttering gratuitous ‘edgy’ comments, that is. Then Hollywood producers will see that she can still be the ballsy bombshell living by her own uncompromising rules.

Those rules call for universal love, tolerance, patience and acceptance, for she is a liberal. And she holds fast to those uncompromising rules unless one is rich and non-liberal, or religious. Or, apparently, had been forcibly abducted at gunpoint into Hitler’s youth programs as a teenager. Then all bets are off.

Conclusion: You know you stepped in it when both the Catholics and the Jews are outraged. Breathe through your eyelids, sweetie.

Headline: Facebook Fans Unite for Blago

Article Synopsis:
Former IL Governor and Senate Seat Seller Rod Blagojevich is up for sentencing soon, and his wife Patti asked her 1,500 facebook friends to write letters extolling her husband’s virtues that the attorney can present to the judge in lieu of character witnesses. A facebook post wishes Rod could be President.

Land of Lincoln, indeed: Blago’s other friends are all in office, in jail, or indicted, and their testimony at the sentencing hearing would be worthless. So the call went out to those Illinois citizens whose lives were personally touched – for the better – by the graft and corruption of IL Democrats’ machine politics.

And who in Illinois wasn’t touched for the better? The best part of IL Democrats’ machine politics is that nobody gets hurt. ...unless you consider your government being sold to the highest bidder to be painful, or bribery and extortion to be atrocious, or barefaced rationalizations of all of it to be degenerate.

Conclusion: Rod for President. With all the bids and bribes and paying-to-play he’d bring with him, he’d have the federal government solvent in no time, just like he did with Illinois. We never give imposture enough credit.

Headline: Deferred Doomsday Due Friday

Article Synopsis:
Harold Camping, whose religious crackpottery predicted the end of the world on May 21 2011, rescheduled the event to Oct 21 2011 when the world refused to end on time. His other end of the world failed to materialize in 1994. In the event that this newest apocalypse also fails to arrive, we are slated for a series of End Days in 2012 that are sure to have at least one winner in the bunch.

Repent, sinners, for the end is nigh: We have the Mayan calendar nonsense to worry about. The Mayan priests – good at math but not good at inventing wheels – constructed an intricate calendar that lasted for 3,600 years. Sadly, the Maya lost their civilization about 600 years before their calendar ran out, and they never got around to making a new one. The lack of a new Mayan calendar has some New Age-y types running around like a chicken without a new calendar, and the last day of the Mayan Long-Count is therefore ripe with meaning – apart from the Mayans needing to go to Hallmark and buy a calendar, that is.

Also full of meaning is the reappearance of Planet X, which is the reputed “twelfth planet” that coincides with both amazing technological advancements in human civilization as well as major disruptions to same. The same millennialists who dispute Mayan sagacity wield this in its place, when they aren’t wielding the Amazonian battle-axe of polar alignment with the center of the galaxy which ushers in the age of matrilineal world-rule.

Then there are the asteroids, polar shifts and cosmic rays of yet other millennialists who use more and more scientific foofaraw to explain the plausibility of their particular boogeyman. All have events occurring, predicted, or “possible” in 2012 and that cannot be summarily dismissed as easily as Harold Camping’s lunacy can. These other predictions or “possibilities” are scientific, after all, and not based on a groundless and mere belief that god will punish the sins of mankind.

Conclusion: Pull up a rocking chair to the porch and crack open a beer. There’s sure to be fireworks, if only due to the lack of fireworks.

Headline: Midwest October Drier and Warmer

Article Synopsis:
Many parts of the American Midwest have gone without rain for three weeks, and the temperature has been above average for most of the region. The usual suspects attribute it to Global Warming. Meteorologists take a break from watching meteors to predict cold and rain coming soon.

Weren’t we just ...: Among the possible ends of the world is climatic change, due to the actions of mankind. When the weather is warm, “climate change” is called Global Warming and is used to frighten the gullible into avoiding the beach due to the imminent rise of the oceans; when the weather is cold, “climate change” is called Climate Change and is among the paradoxes that continually provide science with the opportunity to prove up is down and black is white; when the weather is normal, “climate change” is called a “conspiracy by deniers” to mock the findings of science without having a proper appreciation for it.

Global Warming is a clearly scientific possibility, and has nothing at all to do with unproven beliefs or the sins of mankind, and thus it cannot be dismissed as the same type of religious twaddle as most other apocalypses are. Just because it is entirely predicated on the sins of mankind, the belief in which has not yielded a single scientifically demonstrated prediction, and will entail the destruction of civilization does not mean that it is ... like ... built around a religious belief that the sins of mankind will bring about their ultimate destruction, or anything.

It’s completely different.

It’s science, dammit!

Conclusion: When you go out to the porch to watch the fireworks, dress for warm weather. Or for cold. They’re a little unclear about which. But isn’t that just like the apocalypse to be unpredictable?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The King is Dead

Long Live the King
©2011 Ross Williams

Being a Cubs fan is difficult for all the well-known reasons. It’s also difficult for some not-so well-known reasons – particularly when the Cubs fan lives around St Lose. My wife spent a decade in Chicago, becoming a Cubs fan during that time, and always thought I was joking – or at least grossly exaggerating – when I told her what it was like to live twenty-five miles from the Arch.

Then she moved in with me and found out for herself.

I was not joking. I was not exaggerating.

Within two months, as we were walking down a street, some young-ish woman crossed the street to insult us. Soon after, a guy she sorta works with and doesn’t know very well came up behind her and started yelling at her about the evil, rude and unreasonable things the Cubs had recently done – like taken a series against the Cardinals or something.

I’ve been assaulted at Busch Stadium, I’ve watched other out-of-town-team fans being assaulted at Busch Stadium – in front of stadium “security” – who did nothing about it [and I could swear I’ve seen the same “security” person at Lambert in a TSA uniform recently], I’ve been screamed at across parking lots to “go shopping in Chicago, loser” by adults in their sixties who should know better than to be so childish, I’ve been screamed at by strangers at work when Cubs pitchers beat the Cardinals, I’ve been insulted in foreign countries by Cardinals fans who cannot manage to leave their childishness at home, and I once had a guy follow me 25 miles from my office to a Home Depot parking lot because I have a Cubs license plate holder only to insult me and drive off laughing.

Cardinals’ fans are, on the whole, ass holes. They are poor sport turds, and very annoying.

They are neck-and-neck annoying with the group of idiot Cubs fans who make the rest of us look like twits. Here is their story.

The Cubs were owned for decades by the Wrigley family, the people who made chewing gum. And for decades the Cubs had decent teams, winning the pennant every three years for a long span. Then they stopped being good. Old man Wrigley got old and tired, his kids would rather spend the family money than learn how to make it [with gum or baseball, either one], and the team languished. They had a few decent runs in the late 60s and early 70s, but each time lost out to the Mets, and the Wrigley family sold the Cubs to the Chicago Tribune in the early 80s.

The idiot Cubs fans hadn’t been created yet, but this event – Wrigley selling the Cubs to TribCo – is a watershed moment in the idiot Cubs fan history.

Yay”, screamed Cubs fans; “Someone with money and a vested interest in having a good team now owns it, and they’ll make the Cubs better!” TribCo operates both WGN radio and WGN television which, at the time, broadcast the Cubs exclusively. Having a good team would mean ratings and ad revenue. TribCo also operates the Chicago Tribune, one of the nation’s leading daily newspapers, and which covered the Cubs significantly more than it did the crosstown White Sox.

Among the first things that TribCo did was hire the Phillies GM, Dallas Green, who’d built a great Phillies team of the late 70s, and it hired Harry Caray, the larger-than-life broadcaster whose drinking and womanizing exploits were nearly as legendary as his broadcasting personality. Caray, virtually singlehandedly, built a nation-wide Cubs fanbase on WGN-TV, one of three “superstations” among the cable television companies springing up around the country.

Kids the nation over would get home from school, turn on the TV hooked up to their new cable system, and watch the Cubs. Millions of fans were born.

And they became the core of the idiots.

In ’84 the Cubs had the best team in the National League and lost in the playoffs to an inferior Padres team, arguably influenced by the dictates of the Major League front office which could get more money for themselves by rearranging the playoff schedule so that the fifth game, if there was one, would be played in San Diego instead of Chicago as it should have been. There was a fifth game ... in San Diego ... and the Cubs fell apart after leading the game at one point.

The Cubs had another playoff team in ’89 and lost in four to the Giants.

But hey! two playoff teams in a decade after none at all in the 70s, the 60s, the 50s ... since ’45! Good going TribCo. This is improvement.

Then the 90s arrived. The Cubs were middle-of-the-pack also-rans, and the legion of Cubs fans born of Harry Caray’s eloquence which, by the fifth inning, would be quite slurred, were used to having a playoff team every five years. Then Caray had a stroke in ’96 and his slurring became medical instead of medicinal, and the ’97 team started out 0-fer-April. All this on top of a new pastime that had recently been invented allowing baseball fans to pretend to be General Managers on their own by using the previous day’s game stats, and the Idiot Cubs Fan movement was in full swing.

Suddenly everyone who had a successful rotisserie team – or even an unsuccessful one – knew more about how to construct a baseball team than the people who actually play, coach and manage the game. The legion of Cubs fans started demanding specific off-season moves be made. And the Cubs, probably moreso than any other team, are particularly sensitive to the whims and wishes of its fans, whether consciously or sub-. Yankees fans had always been there for them – they are The Yankees, after all. The Red Sox fans were always there as well – they were the not-Yankees. The Cardinals fans were always there ... being assholes – they were the only team for a thousand miles in any direction for decades.

The Cubs? Chicago was north-side, south-side until TribCo bought them and WGN went superstation. Then it was nation-wide, south-side. But what publicity giveth publicity taketh away, and keeping the fans happy became job one.

It was no longer enough to have a well-heeled owner coughing up cash to buy an expensive team – which the Cubs did very consistently under TribCo. They also had to win. Consistently. And now.

And every cultivated after-school Cubs fan who could read the Baseball Encyclopedia could tell the suits at TribCo exactly how winning was done, and could do it far better than those who had spent their lives in the game. The after-school Cubs fans were armed with arbitrary statistical reductions that were only coincidentally relevant; those in the game were not, and thus they knew nothing about it.

This premier arrogance created – or compounded – a large number of preposterous situations that would never have happened with other teams. Cubs fans, to the degree that online grousing constitutes en masse unity, have demanded that managers get fired, GMs fired, players traded ... and it eventually comes to pass. Cardinals fans hate Tony Larussa, for example; he is a slimy, left-coast liberal in the mostly conservative Midwest, he is an animal rights sissy boy in farm country, he is a vegetarian in meat and taters land, he is, for godsake, a loyyer. He’s moody and snippy and condescending, he’s talked down to Cardinals fans on multiple occasions, not to mention the beat reporters – there’s much to talk down to on both fronts, frankly – and he uses his managerial fiat in ways that Cardinals fans, who also play rotisserie baseball, cannot comprehend. They cannot comprehend it because they mostly never played baseball, or never played baseball beyond little league.

They don’t know what they’re talking about.

But the Cardinals’ front office does. The Cardinals have yet to pass on Larussa, they trade popular players, keep unpopular players, and ignore the protests of the fan mass left and right. The Cardinals are a business and, as much as it grieves me to say, a successful one.

Whether the Cubs are aware of it or not, the Cubs organization is being run as a democracy and not as a business. And it’s run as the worst form of democracy possible: catering to the passing whims of the loudest mouths in the mob.

Those loudest mouths demanded that “can’t miss” Corey Patterson be promoted post-haste. He was, but didn’t understand major league baseball, and he flopped. Those loudest mouths demanded that “can’t miss” Mark Prior be treated like a china doll. He was, and broke when too many people looked at him cross-eyed. The loudest mouths demanded that Sammy Sosa be jettisoned for being a prima dona instead of slapped with a team fine and scolded. He was jettisoned.

Then those loudest mouths demanded one right fielder after another to make up for the loss of Sosa, who the loudest mouths continually complained about not being able to field, throw, hit without striking out or run the bases. And the Cubs supplied those loudest mouths with one right fielder after another, and who have mostly been decent, serviceable players, but none of whom were Sosa and so all were demanded to be jettisoned as well.

Jeromy Burnitz was the first. The high-power, low average hitter. Great guy. Lasted a year.

Jacque Jones. Decent average, some speed, a little power. Started slow, finished hot. Two years. He was run, not walked, out of town.

Kosuke Fukudome. “Fook”. The loudest mouths had heard there was a good Japan League outfielder whose contract was ending – go get ‘im. The Cubs did. The loudest mouths went bananas in glee. The Samurai Savior. Homered in his first game to send it into extras, where the Cubs lost. But Fook didn’t have the power he was expected to have, and while he was a good fielder, he wasn’t Sosa and he had a goofy swing besides, so the loudest mouths said “Get someone else”.

So with Fukudome still under contract, the Cubs got perennial flake Milton Bradley. Bradley was run out of many games – his reputation preceding him – and was stampeded out of town.

Back to Fook, who was still a good fielder, good hitter, some power ... but he still had a goofy swing. The loudest mouths complained he was paid too much, and he was traded in his final contract year to a contender.

The Cubs currently have no right fielder to speak of, which means the loudest mouths are doing what they do best: speaking. Loudly.

Jim Riggleman managed the Cubs through lousy teams, including the ’97 fiasco with the lost April, and ran a ’98 team to the playoffs as the wildcard. He was fired in ’99 for being ineffective. The loudest mouths demanded a proven manager, not a nice guy who could sit placidly through an 0-fer-April.

Don Baylor had taken the Colorado Rockettes to the playoffs, so the Cubs hired him to replace Riggleman. Baylor did nothing except pull Can’t-Miss Patterson out of a game for dogging. When the loudest mouths saw Dusty Baker losing favor in San Francisco, Baylor was sent off on an ice floe and Baker was hired to the huzzahs of the loudest mouths.

And just like every Hollywood movie script ever written about the Cubs, the first season was magical until ... let’s not go into it. But suffice it to say the main people who hold grudges are the loudest mouths, and the only people who really bring it up are those who are not Cubs fans. The season after that was the Cubs to lose – and they did, in the last week. Missed the playoffs by that much. But they still had a better year than the season before. Stupid Cardinals.

By the next year the bloom was off the rose, Sosa played hooky, and the Cubs went, eh, more or less .500. The year after they stunk and it became Dusty’s fault. He was too unconcerned, he played too much with his toothpick, he refused to play kids and relied on rusty veterans. He phoned it in.

The loudest mouths looked around and demanded, hmmmm, Piniella. It was a toss-up between Piniella – a world series winning manager and fiery temperament who would not suck on a toothpick – or Joe Girardi, who had only run the Miami Marlins by being a father-figure to their newest Loria sell-off squad. The loudest mouths went for Piniella. Therefore so did the Cubs.

Hollywood script writers went for it in a big way, as could have been predicted. Lou’s first season the Cubs made the playoffs. Got bounced in the first round. Lou was second-guessed – loudly. His next season – the Milton Bradley season – was a great season. But bounced in the first round of the playoffs, again. His third season, a decent team, around .500. His fourth season, his mother got ill, he got tired, the loudest mouths were hollering that he hadn’t punted enough bases or gotten thrown out of enough games to make his point ... he retired with over a month left to play.

The loudest mouths not only went wild for Fook in ’08, but demanded – by name – Alfonso Soriano, the biggest name in the post-‘06 free agent class. The Cubs made it happen.

The loudest mouths demanded that the best arm in the Cubs organization, Carlos Zambrano, be kept a Cub. He was.

The loudest mouths demanded that Aramis Ramirez, the only third basemen since Santo to hold the spot, effectively, powerfully, All-starly, for more than a few weeks at a time be kept a Cub. It was made so.

Soriano is a power-hitting ... well, he doesn’t really have a position. The Yankees used him at second. And he made a great designated hitter. The Rangers did the same. The Nationals put him in left and he pouted about it for a while, then took the field. The Cubs signed him to play left. And as a left fielder in the National League, he makes a decent designated hitter. But since the National League thankfully doesn’t have the monstrosity of a DH, he plays left. And he’s a decent hitter. Not great, but decent. And the loudest mouths who were insanely gleeful at the January of ’07 Cubs Convention at the prospect of having Soriano locked up for 8 years have been calling for him to follow Milton Bradley on the greased track out of town.

Carlos Zambrano is a fiery individual; a throwback player. He’s – to keep the analogies in the current National League Central – what Bob Gibson was if he were mixed with Mario Soto. But the modern baseball fan fancies himself kinder and gentler. That is a euphemism for weenier and wimpier. The fans today play rotisserie baseball, and therefore the players are nothing but their numbers. And numbers don’t get grumpy.

Zambrano gets grumpy. Frequently.

Zambrano would be a great pitcher, according to the loudest mouths and the rest of the sissified baseball fans today, if he’d only be someone other than himself. And ... well ... that’s just not going to happen. Ever. In the battle between desire and reality, just like between theory and reality, when the two disagree, reality wins every time.

Zambrano is a good pitcher; he’ll give 200 innings [if he’s allowed to pitch them], he’ll win more games than he loses when he has a decent offense behind him, he’ll even provide significant amounts of his own offense, he’ll have a respectable ERA,... and he’ll also have a handful of games where he blows up, melts down, and fits his hissy to another tirade. The only meaningful question is: do you want a good pitcher? Or do you want a pleasant pitcher? Because with Zambrano, you can’t have both, and that’s just the way it is.

But the loudest mouths don’t understand this because they never played baseball and are too involved with their stack of silent baseball cards. All they know is that when Zambrano gets pulled or tossed out of games where he gets grumpy, they lose points in their rotisserie league, and then they get grumpy and demand that Zambrano get “anger management” and suspended from the team until he does, or – this season – just suspended from the team altogether.

And the Cubs have made it happen, always.

Aramis Ramirez is a very good hitter, power and average, doesn’t strike out as often as his power suggests he would, he has become a very good fielder after a rough start, but he is not exactly what anyone could call fast. When Ramirez hits into a double play when him having speed to beat the relay could have allowed the tying or go-ahead run to score, the loudest voices demand that the Cubs get rid of him and get someone who feels like running as fast as someone being paid so much should run. Ramirez has seen the writing on the wall and assumes he shall not be back next season.

The loudest voices have played similar rotisserie games with Derek Lee, Felix Pie, Michael Barrett, and more pitchers than can be named, and the Cubs have almost always fallen in line and complied with the loudest voices.

John McDonough used to be the Cubs PR honcho. After the loudest-voice retirement of General Manager Andy MacPhail, McDonough was made the new GM. McDonough, being raised in PR and not baseball, relied very heavily on his assistants, particularly Jim Hendry. Hendry and Oneri Fleita were the two most responsible for rebuilding the Cubs farm system left in disrepair by the 90s GMs – who are best to not mention by name. McDonough quickly left the Cubs to become the GM for the Chicago Blackhawks, and that left Jim Hendry, as the chief deputy and main architect of the Cubs roster, the GM.

Under Hendry the Cubs had the best teams in franchise history going back nearly a full century. Three division championships, nearly a pennant until ... what we won’t discuss; in years the Cubs didn’t win the division, they had two very good seasons, two very bad seasons, and three seasons where they were in the middle of the pack. And that includes two seasons which were marred by a flux in team ownership.

TribCo went broke, as nearly all large newspapers are doing in the internet age, and TribCo got bought – cash – by a corporate reinventer. He didn’t want the Cubs, and wanted to sell the team. The Major League front office and the TribCo bankruptcy court couldn’t figure out who, what, when, where or why, let alone how, and the sale of the Cubs took a full year and a half and affected the team’s participation in player signings for two seasons – two of the bad seasons of Hendry’s tenure, by the way.

Of course, the loudest mouths hailed the removal of corporate TribCo as the Cubs owner, for they declared that a team owner who spent money like water, as TribCo did, and only got a few playoffs to show for it was clearly inferior to an individual owner.

Like the Wrigley family.

Which had no success whatsoever from 1945 until 1980 when they sold it to a corporation.

At any rate, TribCo eventually sold the Cubs to the Ricketts family, which owns one of the more famous discount stock brokerages – in a down market. And the loudest voices have been yammering since the transition of ownership to have the architect of the most successful Cubs era in a century be fired.

Here’s your hat, Jim; what’s your hurry?

I’ve spent a few years listening to the growing growls over Jim Hendry, and I still cannot fathom what runs through the minds of the loudest voices of Cubs fandom. Except possibly sewage. Their reasoning makes no sense. Hendry has been among those in the Cubs front office complicit with the loudest voices in accommodating the whim du jour, and even with such an arbitrary and disjointed program, he created ... pardon the repetition ... the most successful Cubs era in a century.

When the loudest voices wanted Soriano, Fukudome, the resigning of Zambrano and Ramirez, Hendry made it happen. When the loudest voices wanted an immediate replacement for Fook, he made that happen as well. When the loudest voices demanded that replacement be sent away, Hendry did so, and got far more out of it than anyone imagined. Yet the loudest voices were not happy.

The loudest voices spotted a successor to Hendry several weeks ago, and the Cubs, true to form, and owing much to an unprecedented collapse of a typically reliable Boston Red Sox team in the final month of the season, have today announced that Red Sox GM, Theo Epstein, Boston’s architect of two Series winning teams including the first in 86 years, has been hired. He’s under contract for 5 years.

So, welcome Theo. I’m glad to have you on board. And, what’s more, I’ll be glad long after the loudest voices drown me out, which they will by the end of Spring Training, if the past is any indication. Ricketts hadn’t owned the team for more than a week before the loudest voices – who had hailed him – started calling him the worst move since Milton Bradley.

You may want to invest in a good hearing aid, Theo. And then unplug it.

The Baby and the Bathwater

The Baby and the Bathwater
©2011 Ross Williams

While the Occupy Wall Street movement has no official set of demands, and only a rudimentary list of inarticulate, conspiratorial grievances, one among them has created a list of thirteen “desires”, let’s say, and posted it on the Occupy Wall Street web site. They are sternly noted as NOT OFFICIAL. Thank god. I guess.

Those demands are listed here, with commentary. Please hold all laughter until the end.

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

A “living wage” has no necessary connection with trade, tariffs, or national sovereignty and commerce; it has a circumstantial connection with US trade [etc] because the US wage scale is grossly out of synch with the rest of the planet. If the rest of the planet does something one way, and we do it another, and people who complain insist on calling one of those ways “wrong” ... then guess which one is wrong? That’s right: the oddball. And we’re the oddball.

If there is a market in the US for “cheap” goods, and we don’t want them from other nations, then we should make them ourselves. A $20/hr minimum wage won’t allow that to happen, however, though it will have the effect of nearly tripling my effective hourly salary. If my salary doesn’t triple, it will cause me to quit my job as the pain-in-the-ass bureaucratic rat maze it is for a job sweeping floors. If I can sweep floors and not have to put up with the officious idiots I work for and the ass holes on the street who believe they can do my job better than I can without the education, experience and knowledge needed to do it, and still earn only slightly less, then I’m going to do it. Much of what I’m being paid to do is to tolerate the bullshit from the idiot beancounters as well as the brainless ass holes who believe that because they saw Saving Private Ryan twice they know all about wars.

The most likely result from such a vacuous suggestion being enacted, though, is an inflationary spiral getting a jump-start, massive layoffs of low-skill and no-skill hourly employees, and a whole fleet of Tom Joad heading off to the next California, which I believe will be in Mexico or Brazil. Good riddance. A “living wage” is a luxury afforded upon those with an acquired skill set, with ambition and stamina ... or luck. And since luck is the result of having a skill set, ambition and stamina and perseverance, the living wage is not something that can be given away just for the asking. Or, in this case, the petulant demanding.

But it’s nice to hear someone finally admitting that the US has among the tightest environmental requirements on the planet and that it adds cost to the price of American goods, which hurts our competitiveness in the world market. I’ve been saying that for decades, and idiot leftists only fake a cough and ask me how many pelicans I’ve doused with oil this week.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Once again, health insurance does what it does because government tells it to. Does it deny coverage? continually. So does every government health system ever devised. You won’t even be eliminating the middleman here; you’re just replacing it ... with government ... which, of all the possible middlemen you could name, is the most inefficient and corruptible. Devolution is devolution.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

We’ve gone through this. If a person can “live” by being a janitor the same as he can live by being an educated, experienced, knowledgeable engineer or technician who has to put up with idiots and ass holes, then he’s going to do that which is the least trouble to him. We’ll have an overnight excess of janitors and a sudden loss of everything else. ...including the doctors your Magical Healthcare System needs who have to put up with either the insurance companies or government regulators telling them how to practice medicine. To date, the doctors have put up with it because they got paid more. Significantly more. Guess how long that will last?

What is the number one reason that nations with socialized medicine have fewer doctors per capita? They don’t get paid as well, yes. If they’re any good, they’ve been coming to the US to practice.

Demand four: Free college education.

Nothing is free. Somebody’s paying for it. And on the off-chance that this comes to pass, there’s nothing to distinguish one college grad from another, and no more jobs will suddenly open up to him for having the education. We’re back to square one, if not less, since it’s now four to six years later in the graduate’s life and still no job. That’s four to six years of not funding one’s own retirement plan, paying equity into a home, saving up for the kids college ...

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

The energy demand cannot be met by alternatives, unless you’re going to include nuclear power in that. And even then, very little is as energy-efficient as fossils. Try to wind-power your car to work, sometime. Just beware of the overpasses; they’re murder on masts under full sail.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

This is all swell, but we’ve just created an inflationary spiral by increasing the cost of no-skill labor by 300%; a trillion dollars won’t buy what it used to, and it can’t be spent all at once anyway, so the value of the infrastructure improvements will be significantly less. Your trillion dollars will be around 250 billion before long, and less than 100 billion soon after.

And that’s not considering the mootness of the infrastructure maintenance due to the lack of use it will get when we eliminate fossil fuels.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Same thing. But here we have a leg up. Since we’ve decertified fossil fuels, decommissioned nuclear power, and left ourselves with only wind mills, solar collectors and wood-burning stoves, we’ve rendered ourselves into a pre-industrial economy virtually overnight thus being incapable of maintaining the artificial condition of the rivers and wetlands, and they will self-correct in rather short order and most of your demand will be taken care of by Mother Nature overpowering the ability of mankind, absent fossil fuels, to maintain its infrastructure.

The forests, on the other hand ... alas. One of the only sources of energy left to us is wood fires, and so we may as well say goodbye to the American Forest, which is larger today than it was when Columbus opened up the rape of the New World. [And I dearly hope RAINN doesn’t wet their panties about that description].

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

We don’t need one; we do, though, need to properly enforce what we have. No quotas or set-asides. Equal rights doesn’t justify preference, from superior position, or a history of inferior treatment, either one. Divorce courts handing custody to women in 95% of all cases is already systemic abuse of our principles.

Other parts of the world could use one though. Good luck foisting it on them. Most places that need it would consider this demand to be cultural imperialism.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Wait a minute...

Weren’t we just closing down the borders at the top of this list to protect domestic goods and domestic workers? [Ans: yes we were].

Well, you can’t have it both ways. Either people will move here because we have a $20/hr minimum wage ... where they can’t find a job because there isn’t a skill/bullshit-tolerance multiplier for non-janitorial positions, or they’ll move here to deliberately undercut – under the table – the going wage for the types of jobs they can do, which leaves us in the same position we’re in currently except in an inflationary spiral ... which helps no one.

Or ... we will be moving there and taking our skills with us where we will be rewarded for having them by being paid according to the skill/bullshit-tolerance multiplier that goes with every decent job in the world, except for those parts of the world that have implemented this inane demand.

In either event, you’re more or less destroying the US economy and promoting the economies of the rest of the world, particularly in the less-industrialized nations. That’s taking even the typical American Neophyte self-loathing a bit far.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Paper ballots are at least two, and probably three or four, steps backward in the evolutionary scale of free elections. Paper ballots have been falsified starting on the day they were invented. It is a cottage industry in every banana republic in the world, where the “independent” and “party observers” which certify the counts are either corrupt or blackmailed into complicity. Or pea-brained ninnies like Jimmuh Cahtuh.

There’s a reason that much of the world needs observers and we don’t. Let’s not go there.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

You’ve just outlawed all money making it worthless, and nullified the previous demands for trillion dollar spendings, free education, free healthcare, $20 minimum wage, a “living wage”, and rendered pointless the call for tariffs for domestic goods protection. There’s nothing to protect it from without money in the equation.

Money is based on a system of valuation, and among the values possible to have is a negative value, otherwise known as “debt”. Without a negative value, there is no positive value; there is simply stuff. Hence, money is useless. But since we still have stuff, we’re back to a barter system. Bartering is only effective face to face, so we’ve essentially retribalized at the stroke of a pen. Don’t expect to trade farther than you can carry your goods – and you will be carrying them since there’s no fossil fuel for your car or for the power plant that charges your batteries.

A goat is worth a bushel basket of flour.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Well, there’s certainly no point to them now, is there? There’s no money. Debt doesn’t exist, and about the only thing they’d be able to track is whether or not a person had traded the goat for the basket of wheat flour as he promised he would around the village campfire two nights ago.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

What would unionizing accomplish at this point? Free goats? Free flour?

Nothing continues to be free.

The author of these insipid and meandering tantrums closes his dreck with the following conclusion:

These demands will create so many jobs it will be
completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.

And that is true. Finally, something he said is accurate. Everyone will be employed almost instantly. ... as subsistence farmers. The other options are to die from starvation, or become a passing ruffian who steals what he wants but never stays in one place long enough for vigilantes to string him up.

Borders will be open because they will be erased, leaving nary a dashed line on a map, not that they could be protected anyway since a central government more than a day’s walk from the frontier would give way to the first band of ruffians who could impose forcible control. The first drought, flood, blizzard or hurricane would create mass migrations ... which would be seen as a huge throng of passing ruffians coming in and thus cause territorial wars ... which would cause further migrations and further wars and, oh! what a thrilling prospect it shall be.

Let’s reinvent the Civilizational Wheel starting with self-imposed barbarism.

Can’t wait.

Irresistible Angst

The Immovable Megalith
- versus -
The Irresistible Angst
©2011 Ross Williams

It’s getting tough to be a success in this country nowadays. First, it’s hard enough to accomplish to begin with and second, if success does come then there will be scads of people who are not, Not, Not envious marching on Wall Street with signs and slogans to ... something. It’s not really decided what the real problem is. Whatever the problem is, though, they don’t like it, and the success of other people is responsible for it. That much is certain.

Greece is bankrupt and to prevent a Greek default from tipping the entire continent of Europe into a second Dark Age, other European countries are pooling what little money they have to pay off Greek debt.

In 2008, the US financial industry, paper-rich in overvalued mortgages, got bailed out by the US government in order to prevent the loss of value from taking down the entire US economy and threatening an American Dark Age.

The Greek economy is defaulting because of socialistic government policies 70 years in the making. The US economy hit mortgage crisis three years ago because of semi-socialistic government requirements to ignore credit ratings in the mortgage loan process, thus pushing people into houses they could not afford and, in many cases, had no business buying. This drove up the value of real estate, overvaluing the paper the mortgage was written on, which made mortgage lenders paper-rich in an asset they couldn’t sell for its value if their lives depended on it.

Frequently, as we found out, it did. RIP Lehman.

All of which proves one thing: there’s nothing so bad that government intervention can’t make it worse.

The solution desired by those who tend to protest the results of government intervention is usually another form of government intervention.

Health care used to be cheap for basic care and treatments, and insurance for the disastrous conditions used to be cheap. Then government added requirement after requirement onto health insurers and the cost of insurance went up, the cost of all services went up, which caused the cost of insurance to go up again, which caused the cost of all services to go up again ...

... which led to the demand for government healthcare. That oughta learn those greedy insurance companies! ...who were only doing what the government required it to do: cover everything under the sun while still making a profit.

Who are the people who like Obamacare the best...? health insurers. Yes, health insurers like Obamacare even more than the [ironic term] “progressives” do. More government intervention means that the larger the company is which provides the government-intervened service, the more likely they are to provide the service for the government, and the “too big” they will become for the government to allow to fail when government intervention causes fiscal crisis – as is virtually guaranteed.

Which brings us back to Wall Street bankers and the mortgage crisis of our government’s creation being protested by the scads of folks intent on protesting what is obvious they don’t understand. Government regulations required banks to use stupid lending practices, and then when they got into so much trouble by doing it they could have taken down the whole US economy, the US government covered their bad paper.

So it’s the fault of Wall Street for doing what the government made them do, and not the government for making them do it. And this is being intensely protested by the same type of person who, in 1773, would have dressed as an Indian, boarded His Majesty’s ships in Boston Harbor, and milled about satisfied that aimless disgruntlement was enough to impress George that, darn it, he was serious. This same type of person would have, in Paris in 1789, stormed the Bastille and the Tuileries looking for the cake Marie Antoinette spoke of.

In 2011, they have squatted in the New York financial district, and in various cities around the country, to protest ... “whatever”. Protesters are vaguely aware that Wall Street has more money and political influence than they do, but they aren’t raiding the offices of Citibank, throwing open the vaults, and issuing memos on official letterhead to rescind all bank fees and cease all foreclosures. While I doubt they’d be opposed to such moves, they don’t specifically want that. They don’t specifically want anything.

Except to demonstrate to everyone else that they are aimless, vapid, self-satisfied and lazy. And this they are accomplishing. Entering their fourth week, they have issued no demands on anyone or anything. Partly because they don’t know what they want, partly because they don’t know what they’re protesting well enough to figure out what they want, and partly because even if they did it would require a consensus among the protesters, which they are certain to not arrive at.

Congressman John Lewis from Georgia, attempted to address the crowd gathered in Atlanta last week, but could not get the megaphone. Lewis is among the black civil rights leaders who entered politics, and he knows more than most about protesting and getting results. And since he’s a Democrat, and the Democrats are currently demonizing everyone who has any money [except rich Democrats], he is rather sympathetic to the protesters’ cause.

...or would be, if the protesters knew what their cause actually was. When Lewis asked to address the crowd he was told that he was no more important than anyone else and thus could not speak unless the protesters achieved consensus to allow it. He was told this by the guy with the megaphone, who was enough better than the crowd that he himself was addressing ... by virtue of the fact that he had a megaphone and the crowd didn’t. John Lewis, after a series of “debates”, some gesticulated “votes” and various “straw polls” demonstrated general indifference to the notion of someone with a sense of purpose talking to them at all, ended up wandering away.

Herman Cain, the black Horatio Alger running for president as a Republican, cut to the chase and called them anti-American. The counter claim is, of course, that protesting is very American. However, protesters typically protest for a reason they can easily identify: “stop the war”, “end hunger”, “better wages”, regardless of the futility it may carry with it.

Those protesting have been asked repeatedly what they’re protesting against, and each time they’re asked they give a different answer, and it includes – apparently – having lousy movies coming out of Hollywood. Cain is partly right; this demonstration is not American – it’s a nursery school deprived of its nap, which is universal.

The most common of their different answers is “corporate greed”. Which is another name for “success”. And the list of grievances is contained in snivel-list compiled by the original aimless lazies squatting on Wall Street, who call themselves the New York City General Assembly.

Their Declaration of the Occupation of New York City is a dog’s vomit of environmentalist whines, century-old labor/management gripes largely settled by law, animal rights whimpers, various other group rights, factually insupportable conspiracy theories, semi-slanderous accusations, reanimated neo-Marxist caterwauling, kvetches about the realities of capitalism, and – as every gripe is prefaced with the same “they” who perpetuates all evils, as in “They have sold our privacy as a commodity” – their screed comprises a mega-conspiracy theory identifying no one and nothing as their evil nemesis. ...and doing it so vaguely as to implicate everyone and everything.

This, naturally, plays into the Democrats’ hands, as Democrats, the party of everyone and everything too disparate to have a cohesive purpose, have latched onto the Occupy Wall Street movement as a middle class uprising against everything that would save the nation from the results of Democrats’ policies ... currently on display in Greece. To the degree that the protesters are college kids – and that’s certainly what they started as – then they are not the middle class; they are the children of the middle class who may aspire to it themselves one day but, as children, they are long on entitlement, short on responsibility to themselves and others, and have a thoroughly insufficient grasp of the real world, mostly being filtered through Spongebob and MTV’s *>ahem<* Real World drivel.

To the degree that the protesters are the unemployed caught up in the toilet swirl of the largely Democrat intrusion into The Economic System, they are possibly the once and future middle class ... but they are not currently.

To the degree that the protesters are union laborers offering “solidarity” with ideologically inept nitwits bitching about the same people with money that unions bitch about, they represent only 9% of the middle class, and are a stilted and poisonous subsection, at that. And seeing as the protests have entered their fourth nonstop week, the majority of protesters are then either college kids skipping class, unemployed with nothing to do, or union laborers who cannot be fired just for missing work.

To be middle class they’d have to have jobs they report for; people with jobs confine their political protests to special events, evenings and weekends.

Instead, it is the Tea Party which is more middle class. And the middle class, through the Tea Party, is currently protesting a whole ‘nuther set of issues mostly having nothing to do with the scattergun screed of Occupy Wall Street. For the middle class understands enough of the issues behind the headlines to understand that what the Occupiers want done is doomed to failure before it starts. Not only is there no free lunch, there’s no free healthcare, free education, free energy or free freedom – all things listed as what the big, bad, ubiquitous “they” have deprived Americans of. Somebody’s gotta pay for it. In the US it’s the American middle and wealthy class, while in Greece it’s the German middle and wealthy class.

The middle class understands – from their history of having credit cards and mortgages – that if somebody doesn’t pay for it, the result is bankruptcy and ruination. Many in the middle class have themselves felt the results of not paying for it after they, at the urging of the banks doing the government’s Frank-Dodd Act bidding, took on more mortgage than they could afford and had their houses taken from them when they couldn’t make payments.

But all is not as lost as it would appear. Iran has taken to calling the Occupy Wall Street whining the “American Spring”. It is seen as a nascent revolution that will ultimately topple the western capitalist system, which they see as a good thing, just as the Occupiers do.

This revolution may actually happen.

And then the vapid malcontents will have gotten what they asked for: the end of economic wealth not indistinguishable from political power.

I’ve always wondered what apocalypse would precede the events of such movies as The Road, or The Postman, or A Boy and His Dog. Now we know.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Poor Baby

RAINNing on a Self-Pity Parade
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Greek Default ‘Inevitable’

Article Synopsis:
Greek debt is “unsustainable”, and no one who knows anything about sovereign debt is saying any longer that austerity can avoid Greek default. Greece has advised that they cannot make the budget for this year or next due to their recession, now five years long. European nations which share currency, and other Greek debt-holders, are girding their loins for up to 50 cents on the dollar payoff, and some are expecting less. Europe is hoping for a “controlled” default to spare the rest of the continent a domino effect.

There, but for the grace of god, go we: Germany, along with Austria and Finland, is attempting to figure out ways to cover Greece’s 110 billion Euro deficit for 2010; they’ve come up with a plan for easy monthly payments of 8 billion Euros. It must be nice to spend money like water in a rainstorm and have someone else pay for it.

The main pieces of Greek debt are national pensions for their workers [who can retire in their 50s], payroll for their government employees [currently somewhere between 25 and 30% of the total workforce], government benefits for all citizens [which includes “free” healthcare and not merely health coverage, and extremely liberal paid vacation policies and other government-paid time off work], and education [which is paid at all levels by the government].

All of what the world recognizes as Greece’s problems are currently being called “solutions” here in the US, by one group or another who demand that government fix whatever it is that these groups claim is wrong in their lives. We are forced to work too much, some say – give us more time off work, and since we need money to survive when we aren’t earning our own, give us money to not work.

We are forced to pay for our own doctors, many others whine – and since it’s not fair that some people are sicker or frailer than others and thus have more medical expenses, pay those medical expenses for us so we don’t have to.

If we want a good job [that we’ll demand more time away from] then we have to go to college – but since college costs money and not everyone has money [or parents who have money] to pay for it, give us the money to go to college ... where we will choose a degree in “women’s studies”, because employers are falling all over themselves hiring well-paid experts on women.

And once we retire it’s not right for us to still have to support ourselves – so give us a livable pension to cover the cost of our whims.

Conclusion: Watch Greece. We’re headed in their direction. Only with our $15 trillion in [current] debt, the number of our creditors willing to take 50 cents on the dollar to keep us alive can be counted on one finger of one hand. And probably fewer.

Headline: Illinois Sees Major Decline in Tech Jobs

Article Synopsis:
Illinois lost 6,400 high tech jobs in 2010, the fifth most of all states for that year. That number of jobs represents 3% of the IL high tech workforce. CA lost 18,000 such jobs, the most in the nation. State government apologists remind that IL is still among the leading states for high tech employment in the country.

Not for long, it ain’t: Last year the gubernatorial replacement for Senate Seat Seller Blago got together with his Democratic pals in the state Senate and Assembly and worked up a plan to deal with the IL budget problem by refusing to cut state spending, refusing to cut state employment, refusing to address state pensions, but raising state personal income tax by 67%, and state business income tax by 60%.

Opponents – by which I mean Republicans, independents, libertarians, Martians, Klingons and every other sentient creature not called a Democrat – warned that these measures would make people leave IL, and make businesses follow along behind them. Or maybe in front. South Dakota and Indiana both started ad campaigns – in Illinois – advertising lower state corporate taxes in their respective states.

Democrats, whose collective sentience has been debatable for at least a generation, pooh-poohed the notion of corporate flight saying, to paraphrase, “Where are they going to go? Detroit?

And, well, since Michigan saw a high tech job increase in 2010 of a modest 2,600 jobs, the answer to that is at least a partial yes.

Here’s the thing: high tech jobs are easily moved. It’s difficult to move assembly plants, refineries, and the like. It’s relatively simple to move computer-based design and tooling.

Blago’s successor, Quinn, figured out – too late – that he fucked up, and attempted to go back on his policy of refusing to address state expenditures by announcing layoffs of state employees and restructuring of state pensions. AFSCME, the state employee union, sued and won. There will be no layoffs, no pension reform, and no spending cuts. Taxes are it.

Conclusion: IL, CA and NY are the three states in the US with the worst debt problems. They are also three of the most liberal states in the US. It’s not a coincidence.

Headline: Johnny Depp Apologizes

Article Synopsis:
The publicity-shy Pirates of the Caribbean star dared to claim that submitting to the intrusion of publicity hounds who feed the nation’s appetite for celebrity “news” was like “being raped somehow”. The publicity hound after him was Vanity Fair magazine. Another young celebrity previously described her hounding by free-lance paparazzi to be rape. She also apologized.

Tomato, tomahto...: Some boo-hoo group called Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network – RAINN – piped up to give Depp a ration of shit, which culminated in his apology, which RAINN then accepted with the following self-righteous condescension: “We hope to work with him to get help to victims of rape ... and educate him about the ... experience of survivors ...”

Get a grip.

Bad things happen to people all the time. And bad things happening to one person do not make the bad things that happen to another person trivial. Depp, who is an outstanding character actor, the best of this generation if not several others, has never made a secret of his disdain for the celebrity that accompanies his profession. Without trying to put words into his mouth, it is an emotionally traumatic process to submit himself to the inspection and criticism of millions. It is a loss of control imposed upon him by others.

And unless I miss my guess – and I don’t since I’m somewhat familiar with the psychological renderings of the issue of rape – it is that same exact phenomenon that rape “survivors” declare to be the biggest problem facing them: the emotional trauma of that loss of control imposed upon them by others. Rape is what it is because of the emotional trauma involved.

The self-pitying Katherine Hull of RAINN has no business telling Johnny Depp whether or not he is emotionally traumatized by events he undergoes any more than a defense attorney has in telling a rapee that she was not emotionally traumatized by her own.

People are emotionally scarred by all manner of events: public speaking, TSA “security”, divorce court, being subjected to strangers demanding personal details just because one is an actor, politician or “reality star” ... and by rape. One is not worse than another, none are easier than others to accept if it is contrary to the personality of the person being exposed to it. Many people are not bothered by pre-flight finger fucks dished out by weenies with GEDs; others are – and we have the youtube to prove it.

Most women – virtually all, probably, and with good reason – dislike having sex forced upon them ... and then some women simply consider forced sex to be an unpracticed seduction. Different people respond emotionally to the same circumstances in very different ways: some are traumatized, others are not. One trauma is not more special than another.

We have a word that very adequately describes the phenomenon of imposed emotional trauma, and that word is rape. If Depp, who prefers exposing himself in character rather than in person, feels imposed upon in that way, then he is indeed being raped. And so is Kristen Stewart by the paparazzi.

Conclusion: Being victimized doesn’t give anyone the right or ability to define another’s reality for him. How’s the weather up there on that cross, RAINN?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

TSA Anyone?

Quarterly Gratuitous Anti-TSA Rant
©2011 Ross Williams

My wife and I just returned from a week in Florida. We flew from St Lose to Orlando for a torturous weekend with brothers that I dislike and then spent the next week recuperating from it on the other side of the state. We flew back to St Lose from Ft Myers.

We exclusively fly Southwest. Yes, they’re rather no-frills, but they’re cheaper, significantly more reliable and not intent on hoovering every last dollar out of my wallet for fees to cover their institutional ineptitude. The worst part of flying Southwest, frankly, is that their terminal in St Lose, a mile or more away from the main terminal, is the terminal that TSA chose to install their pornoscanners, which our National Savior made sure to buy lots of with stimulus money. Which means that whenever we fly anywhere we have a greater chance of being selected for the pre-flight hand job by people “put back to work” by being given the government job of electronically strip-searching free citizens in a free country.

I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that of the dozen or so times we’ve been in and through the Southwest terminal in St Lose since acquiring the pornoscanners, they’ve never, ever, ever had them turned on. On the one hand, TSA isn’t using the opportunity to compound their anti-constitutional behavior with another form of warrantless search; on the other hand, they spent a few million of my dollars for just this one airport buying two technological solutions to $25 “threats” [and training themselves to use it] ... and they aren’t using them.

Is it too late to get those few million dollars back and spend it on another bridge to an uninhabited Alaskan island that has no roads? At least then we’d have a bridge to show for it.

The bottom line was no handjob in St Lose, though there were enough blue-shirted brownshirts doing nothing who could have accommodated me, and I had selected the one I wanted to molest me as we got in line. I counted 16 [visible] trained apes at the “security” checkpoint – four more had been at the luggage scanner, one of which was actually handling luggage, and another one was undoubtedly sitting in the exit to the “secure” gate area, facing backwards to make sure no one was entering the exit-only.

Two of the 16 were checking boarding passes and photo ids, two were running the two open x-ray conveyors, two were waving people through the two open nazi gate magnetometers, and one was ferrying plastic bins back and forth in between long bouts of waiting for the plastic bins to pile up. The other nine did nothing. They stood here for a while, then they moved purposefully to someplace else – maybe three feet away – to stand some more. One sat in a presumably supervisory chair reading something. Occasionally some of the remaining nine would converse with each other in hushed tones, probably confiding the seriousness of TSA eventually becoming unionized so they couldn’t be worked so hard. One of the nine emerged from a back room and shut the door behind him. It was their break room, apparently; I saw a table with some chairs around it and some vending chip packages and cups on it as he came out.

That makes twenty-one Gestapo-lite that Friday evening in three places, of which nine were actually doing something, with one of the nine being a glorified bellhop, and another of the nine sitting on his ass watching the asses of passengers heading down to baggage claim. And that doesn’t include any others who may have been elsewhere doing some other thing critical to their function of diluting the constitutional rights of their fellow Americans they claim to serve. ...or in their breakroom resting up from the hard work of this tyranny.

The most comical event of the day occurred just before I put my ever-dangerous sneakers into the plastic bin. Some short, young gentleman with a military haircut and bearing, wearing khaki cargo pants and a brown-ish polo shirt bearing the embroidered stitchery of “TSA – Explosives Detection”, came out from between the two x-ray conveyors, peered into the knot of passengers attempting to figure out which of the two lines they should attempt to get in, he shifted his eyes from side to side with a scowl, and then returned from whence he came.

I laughed audibly at this. My wife, who knows that my laughing at any point during this inherently insane and offensive procedure is very suspicious in itself, asked me what was so funny. I pointed to Sergeant York and said, “That’s their explosives expert doing his rounds.” Five minutes later, as we were putting on our shoes after having justified our existence to the satisfaction of TSA gomers with GEDs, he did the same thing a second time. His explosives detection regimen is apparently done in the manner of the wooden bird in a cuckoo clock. The simile is frightening in its accuracy, on both ends.

We landed three hours later in Orlando, after a major thunderstorm had blown through and closed McCoy Airfield [sorry, I still remember it from its days as a US Air Farce base]. The airport had just reopened and we sat on the tarmac for about twenty minutes waiting for one of the empty gates to be assigned to us. Outgoing flights had been cancelled for two hours and hence there was no throng of passengers waiting to get through security. There was, instead, a single passenger attempting to get through security. He was being frisked. Three other brownshirts stood around to ensure that the frisking removed every shred of the gentleman’s dignity and civil rights possible. These were the only people visible in the “security” checkpoint.

A month-long weekend with my parents’ other children, and a few-hour week at a beach-side condo later, and we were back in the grasp of our world-renowned airport security nazis. This time at Southwest Florida Regional Airport ... which is one hell of a lot of syllables just to say “Ft Myers Airport”.

Ft Myers is a small airport, nicely laid out, comfy and clean, the type favored by regional and no-frills airlines. Not at all like Lambert POS in St Lose, which sprawls over a mile in length with little more than a few hundred yards of people conveyors anywhere in it. Ft Myers has three terminal entrances requiring TSA “security”. One for Terminal A, one for Terminals B & C, and one for Terminal D. I don’t know for certain, but I’m going to guess that all three are pretty much like the “security” checkpoint for Terminal D, the one we used.

We flew back to St Lose on a Sunday in the middle of the afternoon. For Florida, this is typically the busy air travel day for visitors and tourists to leave –staying as long as they can before ending their vacations and going back to work. Ft Myers was just about as busy as we were used to seeing it: we entered the back-forth ropey maze as the only passengers in sight, there was one TSA ape checking boarding passes and photo ids, there were two x-ray conveyors open but only one nazi gate magnetometer – three more apes – one more sitting in a presumably supervisory seat, slouching and craning around to pay attention to what was behind him. Once we collected our shoes from the plastic bins we saw what it was he was listening to: a cluster of eight more blue-shirted brownshirts standing in a wad loudly discussing the Tampa Bay Rays, who play in St Petersburg and not in Tampa and certainly not in the bay, making the playoffs.

Thirteen Gestapo-lite in view, four doing something, one supervisor doing a supervisor’s nothing, and eight more yakking about baseball. And I am not including the female TSA agent who appeared to be reporting for her shift and that we followed from the ticket counter to the “security” checkpoint.

We landed in St Lose a few hours later and left the “secured” area, where the lone trained ape sat watching my backside as I went to get the luggage. I fought the urge to moon him.

TSA is a 67,000-strong “work” force, and from the looks of it much of their “work” is to stand around with their thumbs up their asses. Nine of thirteen TSA were idle in Ft Myers, 12 of 21 in St Lose. Over 60% of the on-the-clock agents at any one time ... bupkus. Less than 40% actually doing something.

And I haven’t even broached the subject – this time – about whether the something being done is worth doing and, if so, if it’s effective. No, and no, ... but I’ll wait until I’ve collected more colorful turns of uncomplimentary phrase before I describe that portion of it again.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dark Age Hither

Reaping What Was Sown
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: US Scrambles as Israeli Ties with Allies Erode

Article Synopsis:
Turkey has expelled the Israeli Ambassador in part because Israel intercepted a Turkish ship bound for Gaza several months ago carrying weapons to Hamas Palestinians; these Palestinians are using Egyptian territory to stage raids on Israel using Turkish weapons and when Israel returned fire three Egyptian soldiers were killed. The Sinai Peace Treaty may fold under pressure from “radical elements” in Egypt, where the Israeli Embassy was attacked. Saudi Arabia is maneuvering. “This is going to be a bad week for Israel.” It will also be bad for US influence.

Be careful what you ask for, Part I: Our credibility in the Middle East is built upon Israel kicking ass and us standing behind them looking like a proud papa. Our other friends in the area don’t particularly like Israel, but put up with it because, first, Israel can kick their ass more or less easily and, second, we’ll sell them all kinds of cool weapons on the condition that they leave Israel alone.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan are all pretty much looking at us to determine how they should treat Israel. When these countries watch the US over the last two years auger Israel a new ass hole, they may just decide to pile on, as they are in fact doing. Add to it that we couldn’t wait to throw Our Man Hosni under the first bus we could find, leaving Egypt in the hands of who knows who.

Actually we do know who, and it is Muslim Brotherhood, the United Way of pan-islamist hooliganism.

Turkey was caught running guns to Gaza hotheads and is now in the process of changing their diplomatic stance with Israel. Egypt has allowed Gaza hotheads to use Egyptian territory to raid Israel and is not really all that concerned about who attacked Israel’s Embassy in Cairo. The Saudis are attempting to circumvent the long-standing US position of direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis as the means of a peace settlement by getting the UN General Assembly to compel a Palestinian state into being.

Jordan? You’re the last friendly shoe. Fall if you’re gonna.

Conclusion: What did we expect to happen when we started selling out our friends?

Headline: New Al Qaida Head Hails ‘Arab Spring’, Says US Losing

Article Synopsis:
Ayman al-Zawahri blessed the revolutions occurring in half the nations of Greater Islamia while ‘analysts’ noted that al Qaida has had virtually no involvement with any of them. Bin Laden made a cameo appearance denouncing American corporate tyranny.

Be careful what you ask for, Part II: We have successfully put a once-friendly Egypt into the hands of Muslim Brotherhood and our friend Saudi Arabia scolded us for throwing our regional allies under the bus; we’ve ignored the revolt in Syria where the only direction a new Syria could possibly go is ours; Khadafy has been resting on his laurels for most of the last 20 years and so of course we help the Libyan tribes – most of whom are involved with one or more pan-islamist outfits – overthrow him.

We have publically denounced our only good friend in the area, Israel, for being ... like ... Israel, or something.

Saudi Arabia, seeing what we did to Egypt [not to mention Israel], is going behind our back to the UN. ... to help the Palestinians, who are deeply involved with pan-islamist hooligans, position themselves against Israel.

And the only thing ‘analysts’ can see is that al Qaida isn’t involved with any of it?

Doc Ayman is Egyptian. He is an ex-honcho of Islamic Jihad, an Egyptian-based pan-islamist mob. Islamic Jihad is one of the gangs fathered by Muslim Brotherhood, the prime influence-peddler of the Egyptian revolution ... that Obama couldn’t wait to applaud for overthrowing our ally. Pan-islamist outfits are notoriously fluid in their memberships, and all are “al Qaida-related” by sympathies, payrolls, and objectives.

The objective of theocratic pan-islamism is to propel Islam into world domination; the objective of political pan-islamism is to propel a political islamist onto the throne. Theocratic pan-islamism is a tool of political pan-islamists who don’t care how they get power as long as it’s theirs. Far too many westerners refuse to understand this, believing that such Machiavellian cynicism is beyond their simple Arab minds.

Conclusion: The arrogance is astounding. Or maybe what’s astounding is the ignorance. In either event, al Zawahri has much to be smug about. He can be smug because he’s largely correct.

Headline: Merkel Warns on Greece

Article Synopsis:
Greece is broke and is owned by French and German banks that have bailed out Greece repeatedly for over a year. German voters are tired of their taxes going to prop up the Greeks who spend money on what they want rather than on what they need, and are demanding that Germany stop. Merkel is afraid of a chain reaction default that would take down the entire continent. Prominent nations a few paces behind Greece are Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Iceland. China has discussed buying some debt but appears to prefer snickering on the sidelines.

Be careful what you ask for, Part III: Europe is about fifteen, maybe twenty, years ahead of the US on this rosy ride into receivership. For the same reason that the demise of the Soviet Union left the world with the US as the lone superpower, the default of Europe and the US would leave the world with one predominant culture: eastern.

Oh, sure, Japan, Canukia and Australia would remain as the world’s Western standard-bearers, by which I mean Australia would remain. Japan would re-adopt their eastern sensibilities without skipping a beat, and Canuckia would fold like a cheap card table. Australia is not enough to hang the entire Western cultural hat on.

While there is much to admire about eastern culture – it’s abiding patience and long view of history, to name just two – there is much that will be lost in losing Western Civilization ... besides a mandatory 9th grade history class. Political separation from religion, for one: we learned how to do it, albeit slowly over several centuries. The East hasn’t unless religion is obliterated altogether; where both religion and politics exist, they are the same.

Rough gender equality, as well. For all the claims of sexism rampant in western nations, I’ll guarantee the shrieking feminists would be lined up for a good stoning when the New Regime enters. That or be sold into sexual slavery. How’s being called ‘girl’ sound to you, now, girls?

Marginalization of ethno-racial difference. Boo hoo hoo, The West refuses to promote static diversity; we also don’t have tribal wars, either. It’s not a coincidence and frankly, it’s progress. So the Burgundians aren’t a recognized ethnicity any longer. They left their wine; that’s all we need from them.

Political philosophy based on the Rights of Man rather than on one form or another of dictatorship. Where would you rather live: in a nation where you have to convince the politicians that black citizens need to be treated the same as the white citizens in power? or in a nation where you have to convince the politicians that any citizens get to be treated the same as those in power ... of any color? The latter is the historical standard. It’s also the Eastern standard.

Western civilization certainly doesn’t have all the answers, but it has been mostly a benefit to anyone who’s lived with it and under it. And it’s all being jeopardized because some people’s sympathies are bigger than their [and everyone else’s] wallets. Either the free rides are over, or it’s mud shacks for all.

Hello Dark Ages my old friend
We’ve come to live in you again
Because our debt’s been quickly creeping
From “progressive” politicians’ weeping
About the profits of the wealthy when they dared to succeed
It’s only greed
They took it all for fairness