Morning Whip, May 24, 2010

When It Comes to Security, Think ‘Natural’: Security Organizations Could Be More Effective If Officials Learn from Nature [*1]

Security systems could be more effective if officials looked at how organisms deal with threats in the natural world, University of Arizona researchers suggest in the May 20 edition of the journal Nature. The authors are working with security and disaster management officials to help put some of their recommendations — such as decentralizing forces and forming alliances — into practice.

Wow. Decentralizing forces. Forming alliances. Sounds kind of . . . oh, I don’t know . . . federal–with a lower-case F. It certainly doesn’t sound like a central bureaucratic behemoth of a national government arrogating power to itself and concentrating it in Washington, DC, where it’s hours–if not days or weeks–from being able to respond meaningfully to a crisis that needs a rapid response. The Custodians of Memory [*2]

The past is a treasure easily lost in the callous obsessions of the present. We are the custodians of memory, passing the wisdom and courage of our parents along to our children. We can hold those memories dear and polish them to a radiant glow, as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and the rest of the team behind The Pacific did… or we can indulge Seth McFarlane treating them like garbage, heaping one more insult onto a generation of great American soldiers, who have been expected to quietly suffer the contempt of lesser men for too damned long.

American Apology Tour Continues [*3]

We have nothing to apologize for. If Administration officials want to apologize to anyone, apologize to the American people for the fact that after a year and a half in office, they still haven’t done anything to secure our borders, and they join our President in making false suggestions about Arizona’s effort.

The Tea Party Imperative [*4]

The American people are tired of being lied to. We’re tired of being defrauded. We’ve had it with fabulously expensive programs that do nothing but enhance the power of those who administer them. We reject the tired excuse that government only fails when it’s not big enough. We know the romance of the State is a lie. The evidence of its failure is piling up around us, at a rapidly accelerating pace.

It’s not just a matter of high taxes and choking regulation. That’s part of it, of course, but Kinsley’s caricature of the Tea Party as a mob of grouchy old men complaining about their tax returns is far from the truth – as anyone who actually attends Tea Party gatherings could tell you. Those gatherings are full of young people protesting their indentured servitude to the appetites of today’s politicians, and the future collapse of a ridiculously unsustainable system.

Americans are a generous people, unwilling to tolerate the poor dying of hunger or disease in the streets. The acolytes of Big Government insult both our intelligence and character, when they insist trillion-dollar deficits are the only alternative to despair. The energy roaring beneath the surface of the Tea Party movement springs from the growing realization that expensive government never works. The entire concept is a fraud. It doesn’t matter who tries it, or how noble their intentions are. The entrenched political elite would be much better off if their fantasies of surly voters driven by personal animosity toward President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi were true. This movement is powerful precisely because it’snot shallow.

It is not a virtue to be generous with other people’s money.

The Nationale [*5]

The most interesting question is how the Powers of Old Washington will react to the primary results. Will they double down? The Francisco Chronicle[*6] says the five important lessons from Tuesday’s elections are: Organized labor is still organized. Pete Sessions is on a serious losing streak at the House GOP’s campaign committee. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is in a heap of trouble — at home and at work. Democrats still can successfully woo working-class whites in the industrial heartland. It just might be a good year to be a geek.

Flower in a Crannied Wall [*7]

The next few years are likely to be an extraordinarily nonlinear time, when outcomes cannot be predicted accurately by reference to historical norms and success cannot be extrapolated too far into the future. We are truly at the edge of shadowy plain and it’s a case of no guts, no glory. In that circumstance those with a faster OODA loop and greater reserves will be a natural advantage.

I Feel Like I Owe It To Someone [*8]

Once Muslim clerics had made the publication of the cartoons punishable by physical violence it became obligatory to defy it. The matter had ceased to be a matter of religious dispute and became a sovereign issue, which was exactly how some Islamists saw it: Islam in their view, had always been sovereign in principle, charged with dominion over the world. What remained was the practical matter of enforcement. Some members of the Western public understood this, and while they might not have cared a fig for their countries or for nationalism in recent years, the realization that some cleric sitting in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia was claiming dominion over them, at once reminded them of why nations exist. They are there to keep just anyone from ruling over you. From the beginning of history man has stumbled under the yoke of his rulers; about all he asks for now is the privilege to be ruled by those who at least speak the same language and watch the same sporting events as he does. It is a minimal, almost pathetic request. So when the man who has to pay taxes, pick up his dog’s poop, dump his trash in the right bins, use Green Bags at shopping centers, endure public hectoring by NGOs and stop at painted lines that appear anywhere and everywhere on the road is suddenly told that to top it all, he has to obey the dictates of somebody whose name he cannot even pronounce about a subject on which he is ignorant, then something can snap.

“Islam” does not mean “peace.” It means “submission.” If you submit, then you become a Muslim, and are subject to all the rules and strictures of the Koran, apparently as interpreted by the most extreme and outlandish among the Muslim world. (The silence, if not approval, of the “moderate” Muslim world to the repeated, violent intolerance of the radical Islamists should be sufficient evidence of this.) If you don’t, you’re an infidel, and can–according to the Koran–be killed with impunity, for doing things like drawing pictures and sticking the name of “Mohammed” on those pictures.

There are people in the West who are comfortable with this concept.

They choose to submit.

There are others who aren’t, and who don’t.

One or the other. You will have to choose. Sooner or later. That is the ultimate goal of the most radical of the Islamists. Choose–submit to them in the name of their god, or die. There will be no third option.

It is not necessary to draw a cartoon of Mohammed to enrage the most radical of the Islamists. All that is necessary is for a non-Muslim (be he or she Christian, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, agnostic, athiest, or anything else) to step up and say “I will not submit to your god.” That statement, in the eyes of the radical Islamists, is equally–if not more–sacreligious than a cartoon of a historical religious prophet.Maybe those dead old mean called the Founding Fathers were on to something after all . . .

After Dumping on Arizona Calderon Admits: “Of Course” We Ask For Papers From Immigrants (Rush Limbaugh Video) [*9]

Warriorship, Writing, and Communication [*10] — “it occurred to me that one thing writing taught me about martial arts is that you can’t use inside jargon to describe techniques and principles about the art to other people . . .”

Three Science Fiction Writing Exercises [*11] — I should probably do these one of these days . . .

King of the hill: SDSU reliever Vermeulen ranks among stingiest hurlers in history [*12] — That’s in NCAA Division I baseball history, actually . . .

How To Fix Common WiFi Problems [MacRx] [*13] — Something of a PSA (Public Service Announcement, for those of you behind on your TLA’s) . . .


Faced by the linked yet separate crises in the Middle East and in Northeast Asia the Obama administration is acting like it was shot through the central nervous system, acting in uncoordinated jerks. The alliances with Korea and Japan and the special relationships with Israel and Britain lie almost forgotten like neglected toys on the floor of a spoiled child distracted by his latest bauble. Gone are the heady prospects of Grand Bargains with the Muslim world kicked off by dramatic speeches in Cairo. Gone is the idea of a swift drawdown from Iraq; or of a comprehensive solution in the Middle East. Gone is the promise of catching Osama Bin Laden. Gone is the notion that Europe, which once hated America because of George Bush, would turn like a blossoming rose to Obama. In their place are half-finished begun threads without closure: a growing Hezbollah menace in Lebanon; a defiant Iran; a belligerent North Korea; a buffoonish but menacing Chavez; a drug war on the southern border; an Eastern Europe with the shadow of the Russian bear growing ever longer across it.

There are two possibilities: First, that Obama and his administration really are this naive and incompetent; or second, that they’re systematically destroying American foreign relations with allies and adversaries alike deliberately and with purpose. There is, unfortunately for us all no third option . . .

Obama’s map of misreading [*14] — Related to the immediately previous. . .

How Civilization Deals with Torture States [*15] — Perhaps if we brought back the concept of the “gentleman” . . . yes, yes, I know, horribly old-fashioned and probably sexist and racist as well . . .

California: The Frog in the Sub-Prime Frying Pan [*16] — Actually, I think more and more of California as that “Golden-state” anchor around all of our collective necks . . .

Is There a Culture War, or What? [*17] — The entire debate boils down to the issue of the perfectability of humanity. Classical liberals believe that man is and always will be man, fallible, capable of error as well as of truth. Progressives believe that humans–specifically, the Progressives themselves, coincidentally enough–are perfectable and hence incapable of error and that they hold the secrets to the truths that are hidden to less fortunate souls–that part would be played by you, their dupes/victims/beneficiaries.

Deep Kim Chee [*18] — In a sane world, the US would have already destroyed all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production and testing sites (and for good measure taken out most of their Army and Navy installations) as a reprisal for their attack on the South Korean warship. The Korean War never has ended, people . . . it has been in a long, long, long cease-fire. That’s all. And the North Koreans seem to want to start shooting again. We should oblige them, in full measure. Their slave-“citizens” would thank us for their liberation from the enormous concentration camp known as the Democratic Republic of Korea.

The Penis and the Pagan: A Progressive Love Story [*19]

Famous for staging the violent shutdown of the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999 – and for helping Cindy “Peace Mom” Sheehan get chewed up and spit out by the anti-war movement – Fithian serves on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, that enlightened coalition of wealthy, white self-hatemongers who want the US to become a lawless, nuke-free, Communist Cuba country club, no Jews allowed.

Yeah. It gets better (or worse, depending on your point of view) from there.

ICE Chief says he may not enforce immigration law [*20] — It’s one of those Zen things . . . ‘If a person sworn to uphold the law, and whose job it is to uphold the law, decides not to uphold the law, does the law exist? Does that person’s job exist? Does that person even exist? Are we not Men? We are Devo.’

Dalai Lama Admits: “I’m a Marxist” [*21] — And yes, more Zen: ‘If a supposedly admirable and respectable religious leader comes out in support of perhaps the most wrongheaded, fallicious, brutal, callous, abusive, corrosive, spirit-destroying, corrupting, malicious, disastrous economic theory ever conceived by the mind of a human being, is he really that smart, let alone ‘holy’?’ Marxism is one of those really nasty, evil ideas that sound kinda good if you don’t think about them real hard (or if you think about them too hard) but never ever work–but that doesn’t ever stop people from saying “well, we’ll do it better than those idiots who came before us. But it never gets done better. The 20th Century should be ample proof of that–at least for those who have the courage to look.

‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Is A Perfect Phrasing [*22]

Green Jobs Destroy Good Jobs [*23] — Where an Investor’s Business Daily[*24] op-ed is quoted:

A Spanish economics professor said attempts by his country to create a green economy would fail. Now a Spanish government report confirms his findings, blunting claims that the professor’s report was biased.

The professor, Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of Juan Carlos University in Madrid, produced a 41-page study last year on the European experiment of going full bore on the conservation front. He found that “the Spanish/EU-style ‘green jobs’ agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs.”

For every green job created by the Spanish government, Alvarez found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed elsewhere in the economy because resources were directed politically and not rationally, as in a market economy.

“The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” the professor told the press.

Alvarez’s findings, of course, were rejected by the environmental left, which tried to smear him as a stooge of the oil industry.

But inconveniently for the eco-conscious, his results have been backed up by Carlo Stagnaro and Luciano Lavecchia, a couple of researchers from the Italian think tank Istituto Bruno Leoni.

The Official Scorer has changed the scoring from Home Run to an E-1 to the President for touting the wonderful, fantastic Spanish Green Jobs program in his initial State of the Union sermon. This lowers Obama’s now-dismal error rating to among the lowest seen by a sitting President since the Designated Veep rule was brought in . . .

Pondering the State of the Union. [*25] — Eight counts of moral indictment aganst Obama and the entire “progressive” agenda he tirelessly promotes . . .

VOCABULARY UPGRADE: Criminal entrants vs. illegal aliens [*26] — I like it . . .

Guarding the Northern Border [*27]

Spain Admits “Green Jobs” Program A Disaster [*28] — just another in a long, dismal line of “progressive” ideas that just don’t work in the real world . . .

The Feral Vanguard [*29]

Remember Barack Obama’s infamous conversation with Joe the Plumber, in which he said, “It’s not that I want to punish your success; I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance to success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody?” This was not merely a watery expression of Marxist principles. It was a damnable lie. Obama has no intention of spreading wealth around for the good of everybody. His objective is to transfer your wealth to the SEIU and other powerful collective organizations, to fund their lavish benefits. He even bought a car company as a gift to the United Auto Workers. The American taxpayer has pumped over $17 billion into GMAC, so it can continue to provide the UAW with wages and benefits far beyond anything those taxpayers enjoy… a wealth transfer hidden behind shell games and media manipulation.

. . .

Desperation ignites hatred into violence. The American middle class holds the power to write a different ending than the fiery death spiral twisting through the streets of Athens. That fate is only inevitable if we listen to the people who tell us we don’t have any other choices. We are a nation blessed with millions of clever minds, willing hands, and radiant hearts. There’s no problem we cannot solve, once we dismantle the failed State telling us it’s illegal to try. We can work together as free men and women, or depend on the State to loot individuals for the benefit of the collective, until they have nothing worth stealing. There are no other choices. There never were.

Misrepresenting Libertarianism [*30] — And again: Libertarianism is NOT anarchism. All libertarianism says is that force and fraud are unacceptable methods for one person to deal with another person. That’s all. That’s the complete intellectual foundation for libertarianism. So, for those of you who want to attack libertarianism, what in the foregoing statement do you actually disagree with? There’s nothing in the fundamental statement of libertarianism which denies a need for government. Indeed, a brief consideration of human nature, and the innate drive to stupidity we see daily in ourselves and in our fellows, leads us to the inevitable conclusion that anarchy alone can not be a suitable basis for human society. If everyone acted rationally, then anarchy might work. But stupid people still walk the Earth, and they will inevitably mess up Paradise for the rest of us. So, then, what to we do about the stupid people amongst us?

The answer is government–which is, in essence, the human institution that we have invented to deal with us when we act stupidly.

Of course, “acting stupidly” can be in the eye of the beholder, can’t it?

And, as an exit question: What is the recourse of the people when their government acts stupidly–repeatedly–over decades?

Leading Dem: Obama Should Make Consistent, Compelling Indictment of Conservative Ideas [*31] — When the situation begins to look desperate . . . ATTACK! You might even say that they’re calling for . . . a SURGE? (Chortle . . . )

Obama’s emerging mid-term strategy underscores his inability to lead [*32]

Revisionist History [*33] — Linked for viewing when I get home . . . Glenn Beck’s highly educational “Founder’s Friday” shows . . . can not be recommended strongly enough . . . for a self-described “rodeo clown” Beck is doing more and better political/historical work than anyone else on any “news” channel.

SDSU splits games, earns pennant [*34] — South Dakota State wins a share of the Summit League baseball regular season title . . .

Faber: Nations Will Print Money, Go Bust, Go to War…We Are Doomed [*35] — We Are So Screwed . . .

South Dakota State Earns Top Seed At Summit League Baseball Championship [*36]

A Progressive Agenda to Remake Washington [*37]

Misunderstanding Freedom [*38]

Broken Puzzles [*39]

No one has really duplicated the success of Babylon 5, whose four main seasons told a densely plotted, tightly scripted tale of war and peace, legacy and revenge, on a galactic scale. It had ancient, inhuman beings who spoke in riddles… but there were answers to the riddles, and it was worth taking the ride to learn them. The show’s weakest moments came during its self-conscious Lord of the Rings references, especially the very Gandalf-like fall and resurrection of Babylon 5’s commander, who returned to glory with a spare Gandalf in tow. Leave these indulgences aside, and forget the unnecessary fifth season, and you have a science-fiction epic that Asimov might have endorsed. It made sense, it didn’t play its audience for fools, and it rewarded time invested in puzzling over its plot twists.