A Beer Night Essay: Civilization

Civilization is fragile. I think that’s a hard thing for modern folks to grasp, particularly modern Europeans, and to a somewhat lesser extent Americans. We have become so accustomed to the trappings of a civilized society that it becomes a bit difficult to imagine that it may not be there some day.

I got started on this train of thought when my brother posted this the other day. James Carrol does a respectable job of putting suicide/homicide bombings (I am still looking for a more fitting expression- suggestions are welcome) in to a perspective that Modern folks can grasp, but he fails to comprehend the fundamental thrust of it all. The folks who are blowing themselves up in order to kill those they see as the enemy are not trying to erode our trust in our fellow man. No, they are trying to bring our Civilization crashing down around our ears.

Imagine the following, and try to be honest about your reactions:

Erase everything that has happened in Israel the past decade or so and imagine instead that the Intifada consisted of Muslim extremists marching in to public spaces in Israel, dousing themselves in gasoline, and setting themselves on fire.

Imagine that they did this regularly. Every month… every week… every day. Imagine what your opinion would be today. I’ll give you a hint: we would all have a Hell of a lot more respect for these folks than we do today, in the real world.

In my view this all points to a division between what is civilized and what is barbaric. Buddhist monks immolated themselves in Vietnam and everyone took notice. There were American Quakers who did the same. They sacrificed their lives to show the world that there were people who cared so much about what was happening that they would do anything to get Joe and Jane Six Pack to pay attention. Civilized people seek to draw attention to wrongs by dramatic demonstration. Barbarians seek to glorify themselves in the destruction of those they despise.

Civilization is fragile. Suicide bombers are a seemingly small, yet profound dent in what we consider to be civilized behavior. It is in these small increments that civilizations can be destroyed. Death by inches. Rome did not fall in a day, it fell a step at a time. Western Civilization is not immune from such creeping destruction. What makes the difference is the recognition of the threat and a determination to fight it.

Darwin is a merciless master, whether dealing with species or cultures (spare me your protestations, in this narrow description Cultural Darwinism fits the bill quite nicely, thank-you very much). We as a civilized nation are faced with annihilation. This is not hyperbole, or extremism, or fear-mongering- it is cold, hard fact. Fail to defend ourselves and in two or three generation, perhaps less, everything Modern Western Civilization holds to be Self Evident Truths could be crushed under the heel of militant reactionary/religious fervor.

Cato the Elder put it succinctly: “delenda est Carthago.” “Carthage must be utterly destroyed.” Our Carthage is Militant Fundamentalist Islamofascism. The dead hand of Darwin is watching, and its verdict will not be swayed by good intentions or political correctness. We know what is required. Have we the courage?


A Little Clarity about WorldCom

Live from the WTC has an excellent break down of the WorldCom debacle for those of us lacking the requisite accounting skills to understand exactly what's gone wrong.

Don't Sweat the Little Crap

Vodka Pundit enjoins us all to take a chill and keep the apoplexy under control. Folks, there really are things out there that just are not important.


Murder by Suicide

With the suicide bombings in Israel still at the forefront of the news, the ongoing struggle between the so-called 'martyrs' and the Israeli people continues. James Carroll of the Boston Globe has an interesting, though ominous view of the phenomenon of these suicide bombers. We ignore his words at our peril.

George Bush has Tough Love for Palestine

Joe Katzman makes a pretty good case for the idea that if Bush could force his plan to fruition it would be the kindest thing anyone has ever done for them.

But Steven Den Beste has a much grittier analysis of what Bush's speech really means. In his view, there's gonna be a whole shitload of tough before the love gets around to dropping by...

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Just when I was forming the opinion that Blog-o-Land was rapidly degenerating in to a USENET-like realm of flame and counter-flame, I ran across this on my nightly tour of the blogs. Thank-you, Dr. Simon. I damned near broke my butt falling out of my chair...

A Plan for Palestine

Well, the President has finally laid his ideas on the table, and personally, I like them. In particular, I like the fact that the onus for making this work rests in large part on the shoulders of the Palestinian people, the ones I have repeatedly said were complicit in terror by simply accepting it. I've said they are living their own special brand of damnation, now they have a chance to rise out of it, with promisies from the US (the Imperial Power at play, here) to support thier efforts. They have no more excuses- time to shit or get off the pot.

I also like the completely unambiguous calls to the other Arab nations to cut the crap and stop fanning the flames. I wonder how this went over with our "freinds" the House of Suad in Arabia? Or with the >Collection of Meaningless Noises? Glenn Reynolds reports that the BBC was so miffed by the speech that they dropped it half-way through. That's good enough for me.

UPDATE: I might have given the impression that I think this actually has a good chance of working. Sorry, I'm too cynical, the Forces of Evil (tm) are awfully determined to stop this, and the "Ordinary Palestinians" are still behaving like, well, sheep.


More sillines from Warblogger Watch

Ran across an article over at the Collection of Meaningless Noises. I know, I know I advised everyone to stop paying any attention to these folks, but I just couldn't help myself. It's like passing a car wreck on the highway- you know you shouldn't, but you have to look, just a little. It's my own damned fault for having a link to them on my list.

Anyhow, the following was posted in response to a question of "How will the Palestinians get a state?"

Answer: Likely through international fiat, much like Israel did. Amazing that Israel, which owes its existence to the affirmation of international opinion, operates in complete indifference to the same.

Now, this is pretty funny, but predictable coming from a Big "L" Liberal. International fiat? Are you perhaps referring to the UN? The UN which has just about enough power to blow its own nose? Exactly how is the International Community, in any form, going to impose a Palestinian State upon Israel? With what army do you expect them to enforce this? The UN is not the creature it was back when Israel was created, and the situation for the Palestinians now is not at all comparable to what existed in the British Mandate back in the late 1940's.

Let's get a little reality in to the picture here: the only way this could happen is if the United States of America chooses to make it so. The Left may not like this, but it comes with being the sole extant Imperial Power. Yes, boys and girls, I did indeed use the "I" word. To force the creation of a Palestinain State will require an army, and there is not an existing army in the world outside the USA's that could do it. No international UN force of Dutch, Benagali and South African Peace Keepers would be able to keep a lid on what the extremists amongst the Palestinians would do once they had a nice safe place to plan and organize. And before that throbbing vein in your forehead bursts let me assure you that I do understand that the vast majority of Palestinians just want to live in peace. I also understand that a warped, viscious minority of them want to create a fresh pile of bloddy Israeli corpses every day. I also understand that teh peaceful majority has so far done nothing to reign in the maniacs. I also understand that this makes them complicit.

Okay, enough ranting. I think I'll stick to baseball this week...


Ants, Angst, Death and the Middle East- After all, it is Beer Night

I've been waging a war against pavement ants almost since the day we finally became homeowners a little over a month ago. The driveway is not in the greatest shape, but having just bought the place I haven’t got the money for a good case of beer, let alone a driveway replacement. Anyhow, on an average day there are thirty or more little anthills popping up in the cracks in the pavement. I see the industrious little brown buggers swarming over any little piece of digestible organic matter that happens to fall on the ground (a lot, actually, since we have kids who regularly snack out there).

One day there was in incredibly large knot of these beasts lumped over an errant puddle of orange soda and suddenly I’d had enough. Out came the Raid can and they were dispatched, forthwith and with extreme prejudice. Next came the strategic bombing campaign, blasting each neat little anthill with a solid dose of chemical nastiness.

Now, I’m not entirely stupid regarding these things, I recognized right away that this was little more than an opening salvo in a war that has no realistic endpoint short of repaving the driveway. I went to Google and started searching under Pest Control, Ants, etc and after wading through all the Orkin pages I came across a couple of helpful hints, mostly having to do with pesticides, spray tanks and just how long you should keep the kids and pets away after application. Not entirely reassuring. Then I hit the jackpot- a little environmentally friendly bit of advice that also appealed to my more macabre side: A suggestion that all it took was a little patience, a narrow-tube funnel and a pot of boiling water.

It all makes perfect sense- fill the nest with boiling liquid and the ants die; even the ones in the little “safe” rooms they create get cooked by the steam. It kills the eggs the same way, a little poached ant-larvae on toast, as it were. If you can’t visualize it think Middle Ages>Castle>Siege>Wall Assault>Boiling Oil . So there I was one fine morning before many of them had stirred from the nests, clutching my funnel and a teakettle full of Bubbling Ant Bane. I swear I could hear the ultrasonic screams as I unleashed my wrath upon them.

“Drink boiling death, wretched arthropods!”

It is, of course, a futile expectation that this is a war I can actually win. The best I can hope for is to coax them off my driveway and in to the lawn where they belong. Keep your silly nests out from under my driveway and we’ll get along just fine, that’s what I’m thinking. I have my reasons, such as that they encourage water seeping under the pavement, making a bad situation even worse, but dammit, I’m a member of the dominant species and I don’t have to explain myself to them. Just pack up and move.

It is working- the nests return after each treatment, but they become fewer and fewer as the industrious little hives determine that this is a battle not worth fighting. They are slowly moving on (or being wiped out- I shed no tears as there are plenty of ants in the world) and I am willing to bring an end to my campaign once they fully accept the inevitable.

Of course, almost unavoidably, I began to draw comparisons between this little act of insect suppression and the on-going madness that is the Middle East. I even had all sorts of oh-so-witty (at least to me) little jokes and metaphors to toss in to the mix. I could blog this and the few friends who looked it over would chuckle and maybe one or two of them would be disturbed. Who knows?

But I couldn’t do it. Not because I lack the talent or the wit (quiet, you!), but because there are lines that I just refuse to cross. You see, I tried to do it, I got as far as what there is above… and then I got mad. At myself. For being an asshole. And as soon as I decided to shelve the entire mess I immediately started to feel better. Still…

“Silence doesn’t cut it, John. There’s something you want to say.”

There are a lot of folks who have things to say about the situation in Israel, and they are quite eloquent, even poignant. I look at the words and I wonder if I have anything really constructive to add to the mix. Perhaps I should take my amateur scribblings and toss them in to the box in the closet and leave it to those better equipped to bring real meaning to the text. I even said as much the other day. Then I check back at Amish Tech Support and I find that Mr. Simon has a little faith in me… and out comes the box.

When I was growing up I had a vague awareness of what was going on in the Middle East. Even then I had the firm notion that the Israelis were the Good Guys and the “Arabs” were the Bad Guys. I finished high school, went to college, left college, went back to college, left college again, and that view pretty much remained constant, even in the face of what passed for “enlightened thought” on campus back in the early eighties. Oh, I came to the conclusion that the Palestinians were in a pretty crappy bind, but I couldn’t agree that it was the Israelis’ fault. But throughout that time it was all “over there.” I never really paid a whole lot of attention to it.

It wasn’t until Gulf War One that I really began to follow what was happening, mostly because of the news coverage here in the US that portrayed the Israelis as some sort of slobbering beast that had to be held in check as Saddam chucked Scud missiles at them. Somehow I knew that the Israeli government was both smarter and more sophisticated than everyone in the US media (and Saddam, for that matter) gave them credit for. So I started watching more closely, and I’ve been growing steadily more despondent ever since.

The problem is, I agree with Asparagirl’s recent evaluation of events, even if her words were written in a moment of depression. I don’t see any grand plan that is going to “solve the problem.” I think the last, best hope for that was lost when Arafat refused to accept a deal that gave the Palestinians 95% of what they wanted, and quite frankly, it may have been too late even then. Still, I’ve done a very nice job of maintaining a state of denial, but that’s been breeched and obliterated by the events of the past few months. This will end when the Arab nations finally develop nuclear weapons of their own. As soon as the more strident of them have the Bomb the pressure will build and the only thing holding them in check will be their own sanity.

Forgive me my lack of faith in their sanity.

Once Israel is faced with the threat of nuclear attack it will only be a matter of time.

So when a bunch of kids were blown to bits on a bus in Jerusalem, it was just another step on the road to total destruction. I stopped being able to be horrified. Disgusted yes, but not horrified. And that is where I was when I stumbled across Mr. Simon’s little thought experiment. I wanted to write something because I knew I should be horrified, but I couldn’t make myself feel it, not in my bones. The best I could do was black humor and I knew that that was a road I just didn’t want to follow because doing so would somehow make me complicit. Sure, humor has its place in every situation, but in order to make it work one has to possess and be able to express a deep-rooted understanding of the fundamental manifestation of pure evil the events represent. Once you grasp it, and can be certain that others understand that you grasp it; then you can try to make jokes.

I wasn’t there before. I am now, but I’m not in a joking mood. And it’s Beer Night, so here it goes:

I don’t see how any person whose worldview is rooted even remotely in reality can see any “negotiated” path to peace with people who can do this and cheer about it. What we are dealing with here is naked, unmitigated evil. It does not matter if the “ordinary Palestinians” are not so committed to the fight as the death-warped “martyrs” who bring their brand of righteous murder down upon school children and secretaries, the fact is that they tolerate these animals, and by tolerating them they are complicit in their actions. After the Second World War the Allies did not accept the protestations of German civilians who clamed not to know about the atrocities of the Holocaust so no thinking, reasoning person can give me any damned reason to start accepting excuses now.

To the “ordinary Palestinians” I say: “If you are not actively opposing those of your people who would sow random death then you are guilty of murder. You are damned.”

Damned. I’ve never been a terribly religious person- more of a Den Beste style “Engineerist” than a Bible thumping Christian, but if there is a better word for a person or a culture that glorifies the wanton slaughter of innocents, that wallows in blood-lust, that knows no solution but death and destruction, well I’ve yet to find it. You are damned. Damned by your actions. Damned by your inaction. Damned by your words. Damned by your martyrs. Damned by this warped perversion of your religion. And in case you do not believe me, I think you yourself can make a convincing argument that you are burning in your own little Hell, right this minute. A Hell to which you hold the keys. A Hell you can escape any time you like.

I can discern the “Good” from the “Evil” here by a simple little exercise in hypotheticals:

Case 1:

The Palestinian people rise up, toss out their leaders, muzzle and lynch the fanatics and declare in a single voice “Enough! No more war! No more Death!” How long until there is a real Palestinian state?

Case 2:

The Israeli people rise up, toss out their government, muzzle and lynch their own fanatics and declare in a single voice “Enough! No more War! No more Death! No more Apartheid!” How long until another jihad-addled maniac immolates a busload of children?

I know the answers to these questions, and anyone who is honest with himself agrees with me.

I no longer feel despair over this mess. It is more of a grim resignation to the idea that this is unlikely to end in a joint Israeli/Palestinian chorus of “Kumbaya.” Unlike many, I don’t believe that the Palestinians will push the Israelis too far- they have a cultural imperative against genocide. No, it is the aforementioned specter of the “Islamic Bomb” that will likely prove to be the proverbial straw. So far only Pakistan amongst the Muslim nations has nuclear weapons, and the government, at least for now, is not run by fanatic mullahs. But eventually there will be nuclear weapons in the hands of people who would dearly love to see Israel destroyed, and I need not remind anyone that right up there with Israel is the United States. For that matter Western Europe has no reason to be feeling all snug and secure in such a scenario, either.

When that time comes Israel will act, with or without the support of the US. What comes next is just a ghastly uncertainty.

So, we have Damnation. Present tense for the Palestinians. Looming for everybody else. And Israel lodged right in the middle of it all. The Apocalyptic crowd ought to be going nuts right about now.

There. I’m done. Sorry, friends and neighbors, there are no new ideas here, no “if only…” scenarios. No answers. Today a Palestinian gunman attacked an Israeli settlement, killing a mother and three of her children…

God help us all.

The Middle East According to Clausewitz

Stephen Den Beste does a thorough job of breaking down the possible outcomes of the Israeli/Palestinian war. Of particular interest is his assertion that the only way the Palestinians will give up terrorism is if they are utterly defeated. I think he nails it pretty firmly, even if I am a bit less optimistic than he is.

Higher Education at its Finest

James Lileks takes on the task of deconstructing a poll of college students. Kind of like shooting fish in a barrel, except that the kids who responded to these questions are as ideologically blinkered as your average islamofascist pinhead.


Global Warming....or Global Lying?

Despite all the other goings on around the world, such as wildfires, islamofascist human bombs, Al Qaida, Enron, and so on, the ugly monster of global warming keeps raising its head. The title of this post ought to tell you my take on the whole thing. I must admit that I stole the second half of the title from Thomas Sowell's June 6th column. Though I can agree with some of those touting the effects of global warming, I'm not convinced that it's all the fault of us big bad humans. Global warming and its companion, global cooling, have been going on for billions of years without any of us being around. To think that we are the sole source for climate change is stupid at best and egotistical at worst.

The fact that some of the global warming fearmongers are willing to color the truth or lie about reports or extracts supposedly written or endorsed by respected scientists shows the lengths that some of them are willing to go. They wring their hands at the fact that the U.S. has no intention of impoverishing itself to live up to the Kyoto treaty (assuming the U.S. Congress would be foolish enough to ratify it).


We've won, they just don't know it yet

Over at Winds Of Change, guest columnist M.Simon reveals that the Islamic world has already lost its struggle, it just doesn't know it yet.

And if it becomes so commonplace...

I was going to comment again on the latest atrocity perpetrated by those fucking satanic islamic-fundamentalist-pinheads in Jerusalem today, but I wasn't sure exactly what to say so I decided to sit on it. I mean, how do you get people to understand what this means, personally? Then Amish Tech Support revealed this, and suddenly I understood that I didn't need to write anything at all. Go read it.

Money, The Root Of All Foolishness

It seems that the U.S. has barely finished redesigning its currency and already the Treasury is moving to change it again. Now they’ll be adding different colors, holograms, and goodness knows what else. Do you think they’ll get it right this time? After all, twice in as many decades the U.S. introduced a 1 dollar coin and both have failed miserably, for different reasons.

The first, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, looked too much like the quarter and was often mistaken for one. Americans stayed away from them in droves.

The second, the Sacagawea dollar, has faltered because the Treasury failed to do away with the dollar bill. The coin, distinctive in its color, is not confused with other coins. Even the blind (Oops…um…sight impaired. Damn political correctness!) can tell the difference between the quarter and the dollar. The Canadians understood that in order for its dollar coin, affectionately known as the loonie, to succeed it needed to do away with the dollar bill. The UK replaced the one pound note with a coin and did away with the bill. Neither country has collapsed due to the change. Neither would the U.S.

It’s about time the U.S. Treasury got its act together and stopped wasting the taxpayer’s money by fooling with the taxpayer's money.


Freedom of Speech…but only if you agree with us.

Despite what David Horowitz wrote in his article, he has overlooked one salient point about the radical left taking over our university and college campuses— The First Amendment doesn’t exist when someone disagrees with them.

How many times on how many campuses around the U.S. have conservative (or even moderate) campus newspapers been confiscated and destroyed by the radical left in the name of ‘Free Speech’? How many times have learned and erudite speakers invited to campuses been heckled and shouted down by the radical left, in effect silencing them because they hold a viewpoint different from the leftists?

Too many times.

What can be done to stem the tide of leftist-think in such situations? The answer is quite simple.

Prosecute them.

Haul them before a court for civil rights violations. Their right to free speech ends where someone else’s begins. This is something that they seem to forget. We should do it before the radical left uses more draconian measures to silence the critics. Think ‘gulag’ or ‘brain hemorrhage’ of the 9mm variety, or a ‘mental hospital' where psyche-destroying pharmaceuticals are used on the poor deluded souls having the audacity to speak out.

Diversity according to the Left

David Horowitz weighs in on how and why American Universities became such a sink-hole of warped Marxist True Think, all in the name of Diversity. Of course in this case Diverrsity means everything Marxists approve of and nothing they don't, but anyone who's been a student on a university campus in the past 30 years or so knew this already.

The Proverbial Straw?

This latest attack by some islamofascist pinhead in Jerusalem leaves me with the feeling that Arafat may be living his last day upon this good green Earth. At least I hope so. I don't know why this one strikes me as different than all those that came before, but it does, and very strongly. Since nobody reads this thing but my brother, myself and a few disoriented souls who land here by accident, I'm gonna go way out on a limb and make it a firm prediction: Within 48 hours Chairman Arafat will be a feast for worms.



Okay, first I have to make something perfectly clear- I really do feel sorry for this woman. I know how simple gestures can spin unpredictably out of control, resulting in consequences simply unimaginable at the time things began. I don't think she deserves the shitstorm that is probably going to fall all over her.

That said, this is the funniest goddamned thing I've heard in a long time.

The wildifre burning in Colorado, which at the time of this writing has consumed over 100,000 acres and destroyed 22 homes, was started by a Forestry Service worker who was burning a letter from her estranged husband. The irony here is inescapable on two levels. First, that somebody of her reported experience and dedication could have been responsible for such a thing. Second, that an act that is so privately symbolic, that of burning a letter from a person who has left a hole in your life, could suddenly thrust you in to the national headlines.

We know nothing of the circumstances surrounding this woman and her ex (or soon to be ex? We know nothing at all, and quite frankly, it's none of our damned business), but regardless of the situation, I wonder what the husband's reaction as when he heard the news?

Okay, enough of Tabloid Blogging. We now resume our regular broadcast schedule.


The Cave

Saturdays, I work in The Cave. This is the Network Operations Center at my company, and my job is to be the guy who keeps "manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year" from being a lie for thirteen hours every Saturday. I share my fate with several others, but I have it much easier than the poor bastards who get stuck on the rotating 12-hour Saturday night/Sunday morning shift. I see them wander in at the end of my shift and I try not to look too overjoyed at the prospect of finally getting out of this place. Conversations are usually like this:

“How’s it been today?”

“Dead. Had to restart a couple back-up jobs.”

“Any good DVD’s in the cabinet?”

“Ummm, Ishtar…”

Whimpering sounds…

It’s actually pretty soul crushing to work this way. I come in late morning and if it’s a beautiful day the walk from the parking lot to the lobby can feel like the Green Mile. I can feel my brain going in to lock down as I contemplate thirteen unbroken hours of solitude and boredom. I mean, you can only watch so many movies and trying to read is a sure fire recipe for falling asleep. It has something to do with the low drone of the cooling fans; they must resonate in some way to produce deep delta waves in the brain. So, I wait for something to happen. If something does happen, in most cases I call somebody who is in the middle of something far more engaging and tell them to go fix it. I try to retain my sanity. I blog. The company has a pretty impressive set of CBT’s but they suffer the same problem I mentioned with reading- soon, the instructors voice begins to phase with the fans, vision goes all tunnel-like… and you break your nose by slamming face first in to the bench top.

During the regular week it can be pretty engaging- there are always projects to complete, events to track down, and of course, other people to talk to. On the weekends, well, it’s pretty dead. Sure, there are times when things suddenly get very exciting and you find yourself cursing the fact that you’re dealing with twenty simultaneous crises as the phones ring off the hook and the events turn critical as fast as you can resolve them, but honestly, I can count those days on the fingers of one hand and I’ve been doing this “temporary” Saturday shift for a year now.

Today isn’t so bad- there’s Black Hawk Down on the 100” screen to keep the boredom at bay and a few new things to watch for, plus Victor Davis Hanson’s Soul of Battle for when I can take a few minutes to read- no more than a few pages at a time given the aforementioned somnolent effect of the fans.

Anyhow, that’s a long Saturday in The Cave. Only three more hours to go…


The Golden Elixir of Civilization

A couple of years ago a friend and I had occasion to journey down to Alabama for the wedding of my friend’s youngest brother. The wedding itself went just fine, but an unexpected guest named Hurricane Georges roared in from out of town and threw the post-wedding plans in to disarray. Ordered to evacuate by the Governor we high-tailed it to Jacksonville Florida where my friend had family.

It was a LONG ride. Being from New England I tend to forget how large a state, or even a town, can be. Many hours later we rolled in to Uncle Buck’s (yes, seriously, Uncle Buck) driveway and poured out of the car all sweaty, stiff and generally unhappy. Buck, a gruff ex-navy Chief, ushered us inside and before even saying as much as hello plunked down two sixteen ounce mugs of foaming amber home-brew. One sip and I could feel the knots melting out of my spinal column.

“Now that’s bloody civilized,” I sighed. Buck laughed.

“You don’t know the half of it, son,” Buck exclaimed. “Beer is the cornerstone of all of civilization.”

“Now you’ve done it,” my friend Steve groaned. “Better finish that off and get another.”

Buck leaned back in his chair and began to explain. It seems that the some of the oldest written words in history, a tablet from some 1800 BC, are a recipe for brewing beer. Not the pale pilsners that Americans seem fanatically hooked on for certain, but a brewed beverage designed to lighten the mood and elevate the spirit none-the-less. Most historians and archeologists agree that agriculture was one of the central building blocks of civilization, but why did ancient man, nominally a hunter/gatherer, suddenly take up the growing of grain?

“To increase the food supply, of course,” I opined, my own second helping of Buck’s Basement Brewery’s bitter best loosening my tongue just a bit.

“Horse-shit! Wild grains and fruits were already being harvested and there was no real need to go to all that trouble just for food. Remember, we’re talking about people who have not sat still in the same place since the dawn of time.”

It seems that even that early, Man had discovered that certain fruits and grains, properly prepared, could yield a number of intoxicating beverages. Once those ancient wanderers got a taste they wanted more. But the food supply would not support much beer making, so in an example of the problem-solving skill that has elevated Man above all other land-dwelling primates, agriculture was born.

As Buck drained his beer stein I managed to pull something up from my old high-school history days. I’m sure my history teacher, Miss DeYoung, would have been proud. I said, “Didn’t agriculture spring up about 8000 BC? Couldn’t the brewing have started after there was some excess food to spare?”

“A reasonable question,” Buck admitted as he drew another 24 ounces in to his stein from the refrigerated keg mounted on the bar, “but it violates the time line. Trust me, boy, I’ve had lots of time to think about this.”

According to Buck, it seems there is a lot of evidence that man knew how to tie one on for some time before organized agriculture really took hold. Given the evidence of man’s affinity for mood-alteration (Remember the 60’s? If you can, you weren’t really participating…) it only stands to reason that the tribal elders decided to increase the grain supply so they could brew more hooch. Sure, they told the women (who probably did 90 percent of the work) that it was all for more food, but then what real man actually lets a woman know what he’s thinking?

At that point I noted Buck was unmarried, but chose to remain silent. He was our host, after all…

“So,” I prompted, “if agriculture was the direct result of the desire to brew more beer…”

“Then everything that sprang from civilization finds its roots in beer. We’re talking religion, art, law, and science… all of it owes its existence to beer. It’s the Golden Elixir of Civilization.”

Friday Night is Beer Night

At least it is for John. Chan is a much more sober fellow, which means he also rarely shoots from the hip in venues such as this. On the off chance that anyone is curious, Chan is the Elder brother and I am the Younger. I'm 40 years old, married to a woman who really is making a good case for sainthood- perhaps someday I can convince her to contribute... ahh, another day. There are three kids at the JAE Homestead in the Live Free Or Die state, all boys, all seemingly possessed of the same Curse of The Critical Mind.

God help you all. At least none of them drive. Yet.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, it is Beer Night, an occaision that has taken on many meanings as I trudged from late teens to oh-so-more-stable forties. When I was eighteen, beer night meant trying to score a case, the drinking age having been raised to twenty-one in the stae where I resided at the time. In my early twenties, Beer Night meant the glorious re-stocking of the Beer Fridge, that magnificent edifice within which no morsel of food was ever permitted to reside. At one point there was a gleaming white Amana, can't remember the model, but my dorm mates and I could cram 21 cases of Rolling Rock in to that pig. I miss it. By my late twenties, things had slowed considerably, what with the addition of a mate (oh, man, I hope she never reads this!) and the first Future President For Life- Beer Night became Thursday nights at Eldios after getting off the evening shift, pounding down three beers and three shots of Crown Royal between Midnight and Last Call, returning home before the buzz had even begun to rise, and then sitting down to a liesurely couple of brewskis while watching STNG on the tube.

The Thirties arrived. By then I had a decent but uninspiring day job and Beer Night had become Friday- the acquisition of a twelve-pack of Coors Extra Gold and maybe a nip of Crown Royal, plenty to last the entire weekend. There was a brief flirtation with Total Sobriety, but quite frankly, I found it over-rated. Sure, I had more energy on Saturday mornings, but the overall improvement in quality of life for all concerned was pretty minor. Still, the urge to become slightly buzzed continued to mellow, and the dreaded Fortieth Birthday was creeping up. I'd made a Big Career Change. I had (still have, for that matter) a job that actually challenged me. Beer Night has been reduced to a Six Pack of Natural Ice on Friday nights. Okay, sometimes I add a little shot of Rumpleminz, but the stagger factor is minimal and somehow I think that I have reached equilibrium at this point. I no longer feel guilty for getting a buzz on and I still have all the energy I need for the weekend.

Why drink? It's a legitimate question. I like the feeling a good beer buzz gives me. I actually enjoy it more now than I did when I was eighteen. Back then the buzz took over and I sometimes (okay, lots of times) wound up doing very, very stupid things. One incident involving my car, a cat, a swamp, three tow trucks and a state trooper comes to mind whenever I think back on those days, though to be honest The Worst Day of My Life occured when I was eighteen and I was stone-cold sober at the time. Still, it seems to me that what stands out are all the fuzzy, blank-spots in my memory. Obviously, there was a serious lack of self control at that time. Once I got married things quickly settled down, though there was the occaisional relapse in to teen-stupid mode. It was about 25-30 years of age that drinking became more of an inspirational outlet than a dreary habit, perhaps because I no longer spent half the nights of the week in a stupor. Today, when I am working on a project, be it writing, laying out a server environment, tackling a pernicious infrastructure problem, or whatever; if I get stuck, sometimes chucking the whole thing and having a few beers lets me take a different view that points out where I need to go. I like getting a little irrational, and these days I drink at home- the food is cheap, the bathroom is clean and my bed is fifteen steps away. This is all, of course, terribly Politically Incorrect, but fuck it. I like a good beer buzz. Does that make me evil? I think not.

Friday night is Beer Night. You have been warned.

Political Correctness is Fascism

The concept of Political Correctness has been with us now for some time. If memory serves correctly, it started somewhere out on the Left Coast (probably at Berkley). The idea that we should strive to not offend people may have been a good idea, but unfortunately it had flaws. The biggest of them is that in trying to offend no one, Political Correctness (PC) offends everyone.

It started small, trying to get people to use less offensive terms in describing people-
‘vision impaired’ rather than ‘blind’; ‘hearing impaired’ rather than ‘deaf’; ‘differently-abled’ rather than ‘handicapped’ or ‘crippled’. (An acquaintance of mine served in Vietnam. Towards the end of his combat tour in 1971 he stepped on a landmine and had both of his legs blown off. Tell him he’s ‘differently-abled’ and he’ll beat you over the head with one of his artificial limbs as he tells you "I’m crippled, dammit!")

Then it started getting really ridiculous.

‘African American, rather than ‘black’ (Actually, shouldn’t it be American Africans? They’re Americans first, aren’t they?); ‘Native Americans’ rather than ‘Indians’; ‘vertically challenged’ rather than ‘short’; ‘horizontally challenged’ rather then ‘fat’; ‘socio-economically disadvantaged’ rather than ‘poor’; ‘misunderstood’ or ‘victim of society’ rather than ‘criminal’. The PC crowd bends over backwards in their efforts to offend no one. In the process they make themselves look silly while at the same time annoying everyone in earshot. Paradoxically many of them sound so condescending while being PC that they offend just about everyone…..except another Politically Correct fascist.

The push for PC speech has gotten more strident as the years go by. And as I have watched it I have gotten the feeling of déjà vu. It took me a while to figure it out. But then someone I worked with was talking about George Orwell and it all came together-
Politically Correct speech is identical to Orwell’s Newspeak in the novel 1984.

Negative connotations are illegal in the world of Orwell’s book. Nothing is bad. It can only be ‘un-good’, or ‘plus-ungood’, or ‘double plus ungood’. It was how the fascist government of Big Brother in Orwell’s vision controlled the populace- control the language and you control the thoughts of the people. And that is the message the PC crowd is pushing today.

Of course the politically correct Fascisti keep telling everyone that their intentions are good. But all fascists say that.

And we all know where that road leads.

A Modest Proposal

In the very early Eighties our youngest sister went to Smith College in Northampton, MA. Back then, as now, Smith was a hot bed of leftist True Think with a frightening mixture of rabid feminism and incipient Political Correctness. For four years she slaved away after her degree in Mathematics, finally returning home with her diploma.

As you might imagine, she also came home with a slightly more left-of-center worldview than she had departed with. Our father, a curmudgeonly fiscal conservative, alternated between amusement and despair whenever politics were discussed at dinner. He finally fell back in to the old standby of "Those who cannot be led, must be pushed." One exchange that comes to mind quite clearly came when our sister and her live-in boyfriend of the time stopped by for dinner. Our parents are not prudes so this was not an unusual thing, and they actually liked ‘Geoffrey’ a lot, despite his socialist take on the human condition.

That evening we were digging in to chicken parmigiana while Geoffrey waxed philosophical on the failure of government to effectively deal with poverty. Dad, never one to pass up a good straight line, began taking him to task over the multiple billions of dollars already spent to aid the poor. What did Geoffrey want to do, throw more good money after bad? Then Geoffrey made the mistake: he asked our father what he thought the government should do.

Dad looked him straight in the eyes and said, "Just make me Emperor for two years. Give me complete control of society and in two years there won’t be any more poor people."

Looking for the entire world like a deer in the headlights of an on-rushing Mack truck Geoffrey asked him how that would happen.

"Simple: After two years the malingerers will have jobs and all the others will have starved."

Our dad is a nice guy. No, really!-- he paid to have Geoffrey’s shirt cleaned after he spit a mouthful of chicken and marinara sauce all over himself.

Eventually our sister was forced back to reality by the Great Equalizer: she got a job, saw all that cash being sucked out of what should have been an impressive paycheck for all her hard work and began to wonder just what she was getting for her money. Welcome back, sis.

The reason that particular episode sticks out is that it was the first time we were clued in to a Basic Truth: where governments are concerned tinkering around the edges rarely fixes problems. Even Thomas Jefferson noted that a healthy government probably needs a good revolution every now and then just to keep it fresh and vital. With everything that is and has been going on in Washington we think this idea deserves a new examination, so here we are to toss out a modest proposal.

First, Presidential Elections are irritating to no end. The heck with this Campaign Finance Reform stuff; let’s just do away with the election all together. Let the Senate elect the President and then he can appoint a Vice President with the approval of the House of Representatives. They’ll serve for six or seven years and then are replaced. We should also ease the rules for removing anyone who turns out to be a bum. This change accomplishes a couple of things: it removes the Presidential Election as a source of corruption, and it restores the proper perspective to the relationship between Congress and the Executive. The Imperial Presidency that most of us have grown up with is a holdover from the end of World War II where the President retained an inordinate amount of power due to the semi-state of war that existed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. This was never the intent of the Founding Fathers who wanted most of the political power to be in the hands of Congress.

As for the Senate, we believe it actually works pretty well as is in that it was designed to be the stabilizing force in the Legislative branch. The House of Representatives is where the real change needs to come. People seem to think that because Representatives only serve two-year terms they have no real power, but nothing could be further from the truth. Collectively the House outweighs the Senate and the Presidency and as such it needs to be more accountable to the people. We would make it so by simply returning it to the people. Do away with elected Representatives and institute a draft.

One fine day, there is a knock on your door. There stand two Federal Marshals. One of them hands you a letter. "Congratulations!" the letter would read, "You have been chosen by the Selective Service Administration to serve your Congressional District as its Representative to the House for a period not to exceed three years." They give you five minutes to pack a small overnight bag, kiss the spouse and kids goodbye, and then bundle you off to do your duty.

We could run a draft every year, replacing a third of the House each time so that there would always be a group of Representatives present who were familiar with the way things worked. As far as restrictions go, limit eligibility to any citizen over age 21 who has not been convicted of a crime in the past five years and we would also suggest that no one be allowed to serve consecutive terms. You might be drafted again (unlikely, given the numbers) but never twice in a row.

A final restriction that is almost always suggested by anyone with whom we have ever discussed this: no lawyers in the House.

Beyond the very simple restrictions we would add dispensations for extreme medical situations and the like, but still make it very difficult to weasel out of serving. We also would need to take a close look at compensation, job retention and the fulfillment of contracts and other obligations that might have been entered in to before the prospective Representative was drafted. While this might seem a daunting task we must remember that we would only need to deal with about 150 people a year. Somehow we have to think that the government has the resources to deal with this.

Why do we like this idea? As we understand it (and we freely admit that we are not Constitutional scholars) the House of Representatives was supposed to be the voice of the Citizen in our government. It was intended that Representatives be ordinary citizens who served a term or two then returned to their normal lives. As anyone can plainly see this is no longer the case and has not been for some time. A drafted House rectifies this situation in a simple, brute-force fashion. Spare me the smarmy, glad-handing politician seeking our vote- we want our Representatives dragged kicking and screaming in to office. They would be housed in comfortable, but relatively inexpensive condos in Washington and when in session the Representatives would wear identical lime-green jump suits with their name stenciled on the front and their Congressional District number on the back.

Assuming we could force this idea through the existing political process, what would the over-all effect be? First, the President would at least have the support of the Senate, and he would be very much aware that he served at the Senate’s pleasure. The President would be merely Commander-In-Chief and leader of the Executive, as the Constitution intended. The House would be about as non-partisan as one could imagine since the selection process would be free of any consideration of party affiliation. The People (that’s all of us) would be spared most of the election year displays of lying and corruption as the only officials actually elected would be the Senators. The country could save a lot of money and angst.

Another very positive effect would be that a lot less would get done in Washington DC. With the House in the hands of citizens unbeholden to any outside forces or special interests, what is the incentive to act on anything but the most critical issues? Remember: it is in the House that all spending and budget bills originate. Who better to assess the costs and predict the benefits of programs than those who struggle day to day to make ends meet and who often find themselves at the mercy of laws passed by a Legislature that felt it just had to ‘Do Something’? It frightens us to think of a Congress that feels it has to make new laws every day to placate its money-laden masters. Furthermore, since we take away the need to keep an eye always turned to the re-election campaign, our Representatives should feel liberated to vote their conscience based on their understanding of the law and the Constitution. We would still have the Supreme Court to correct any egregious mistakes, but since we should see fewer laws being passed in the first place there shouldn’t be too many mistakes to deal with.

A President who is very much aware that he is not king, a House peopled with Representatives from every sector of society, absolutely devoid of the corrupting influences of special interest money and election year grandstanding. Yes, we could enjoy living in that America.
Now, about that pesky 16th Amendment…

Of course, this is not the first time this proposal has been aired. We did managed to get it run on World Net Daily
Some others have claimed that attorney Gerry Spence has also proposed something like this. As I've said more than once, where do you think he got the idea?

UPDATE JAE: Actually, I seem to remember Chan and I kicking this idea around 20 or more years ago. As for the title of the article, well, the first time I used it I somewhat jokingly suggested that the solution to World Pollution was to systematically kill two-thirds of the world's population. I mean, sure, it would work, but... You'd be amazed how many folks out there have never heard of Jonathan Swift!


What rights does Muhajir have?

There's been a fairly sprited discussion regarding the status of Dirty Bomber Al Muhajir over at InstaPundit, in particular about his status as both an "unlawful combatant" and a US citizen. I weighed in a bit, but I'd like to get a little more in-depth than is appropriate for the comments forum.

First, I am not terribly concerned about Al Muhajir's Constitutional Rights. At an individual level it is pretty easy to dismiss abrogations of the Constitution when dealing with islamic militants; however, it is in these small concessions to "expediency" that the Constitution is slowly rendered irrelevant. Over many decades it has been this nod-and-wink attitude in Congress and on the part of the public that has reduced the Tenth Amendment to little more than a space-keeper between the Ninth and Eleventh. So, while I may not be concerned about Al Muhajir's rights, I am certainly concerned about mine, so I'd damned well better pay attention to his. As is often said: "If the Law does not protect everybody, it does not protect anybody."

I Am Not A Lawyer. That said, let's move on.

I am not arguing that the government has no right to detain Al Muhajir indefinitely, and in fact Eugene Volokh provides the precedent set in WWII (link via InstaPundit), but that it is essential that the government act within the bounds of law to do so. The more strident amongst us may be inclined to say "To Hell with the law, put him away where he can't hurt anyone- there's a war on, after all," there just does not appear to be any pressing need to side-step due proccess here. It is not as if anyone was suggesting Al Muhajir be let out on bail, or that any judge would grant bail if it were suggested. The man isn't going anywhere. So, while it may be desirous to spirit him off to military custody where his lawyer cannot raise silly objections to having his brain peeled like a grape, the benefits of doing so outside the judicial process are minimal while the dangers are very great.

Consider these:

It is possible that after review of the facts the courts could rule after the fact that the transfer to military custody was done illegally. In this scenario he could conceivably walk out of jail in a few months.

If the courts stand by and allow this action to proceed without any review, it becomes just a little easier to do this again- in law, precedent is very, very powerful.

The way I see it, there is nothing to gain by moving outside the judicial process, and a couple of very good reasons to avoid it. Fortunately, from this perspective, the courts have been taking a good look at this as Al Muhajir's lawyer filed for habeas corpus review. Habeas Corpus has been denied and I haven't seen what the courts had to say about it, but since there will be more, very public action I think we can safely say that this is being handled transparently. My only question is this: had Ashcroft not been so desperate to show some kind of success on the legal front and gone glaringly public with this, would there have been enough of a stink to get people's attention? I can see the story surfacing on the Black Helicopter circuit and getting lost in the clutter, though perhaps the Blog Nation would have picked it up and forced it in to the spotlight.

Then again, perhaps not.


Mars needs Freedom!

Glenn Reynolds has a new article up on Tech Central Station where he discusses the nature of a constitution for a Mars colony. He writes:

The United States Constitution isn't perfect, but it's lasted a long time, through all sorts of stresses, without producing the sort of tyranny or genocide that has been all-too-common elsewhere, even in countries we generally regard as civilized. So perhaps it's been demonstrated to be "fault tolerant."

But the interesting (and worrying) thing about proposals for new constitutions for outer space is that they mostly take it for granted that the United States Constitution offers too much freedom

Personally, I see the above as a given, in that in nearly all colonial situations of the past few hundred years it seems that the powers-that-be at least attempted to keep the colonials under some sort of closer control. After all, particularly in the case of India and to an incrementally smaller extent in the Americas, colonies were wealth-building expeditions. Many colonies actually were company projects (East India Company, anyone?), which fits in with other observations in the article where life on a future space colony is compared to life "in an oppressive company town."

Glenn goes on to make a pretty convincing case as to why this does not have to be so, but I think he's missing the point, which is: it probably will start out that way, then begin to loosen up as circumstances make it unsustainable. The article actually makes this case in a roundabout manner by citing the experiences of the Navy in Antarctica, but the author (god bless his optimistic soul) sees this as evidence that rational people should latch on to in order to avoid making the same mistakes again. Instead, it is my position that bureaucracies being what they are we will doubtless see a repeat of the past. We just hope that we don't have to have another Revolutionary War in order to set things aright:).

Just a way to express yourself...

Came across this at On The Third Hand. It does an awfully concise job of summing up the proper attitude toward the unspeakable bastards the US is up against these days. Gonna order a few t-shirts, I do believe.

Stats?! I don't need no stinking stats!

I mean, honestly, over the past couple of weeks I've seen several writers crowing/critiquing/bemoaning that state of their stats. Beyond the obvious feel-good effect of knowing somebody is reading, why this should be at all important is beyond me. Unless you fall in to the strange category of folks who honestly believe they nwill someday make a living doing this kind of thing (and why wouldn't you? Some folks thought they could sell petfood on the net and retire rich, so why not a career in net-bloviation). Of course, according to my counter, the most frequent visitor to my blog has been, well, me. Talk about your navel-gazing...


Dirty Bomb Plot, Redux

The Winds of Change has a pretty damned thorough look at both the plot, what it means, and how the timing of the release of information benefits US strategies.

The Dirty Bomb

By now most people have had time to hear about and digest the reports of the foiled dirty bomb plot against (most likely) Washington, DC. While I certainly am happy enough that this man was detected and arrested, my cynical side has to wonder why this was kept under wraps for over a month. One would hope that the driving force was a desire to make sure all the threads actually did form a knot around this martyr-come-lately, but the timing seems awfully fortuitous what with revelations regarding alleged lapses in our internal intelligence gathering.

What people seem to be forgetting is that our lax internal intelligence gathering was by design. By that I mean that Americans long ago decided we didn’t want an internal spy agency watching our every move and cataloguing our activities- we had enough of that crap during the J. Edgar Hoover days. As a result we deliberately tied the hands of our federal police force, the FBI, where such actions were concerned. Given September 11th, the idea of changing that has great merit, but to run around with perfect hindsight declaring over and over that somehow the government failed simply misses the point. The FBI worked exactly the way it was supposed to. It just turned out to be insufficient to the task at hand. So we need to fix it to reflect the realities we now face. Stop whining and get on with it, America.

Why the Muslims Misjudged US

I know I've seen this mentioned before, but since I've been reading his Soul of Battle I figured Victor Davis Hanson's article deserved another round of exposure. His premise that the rampant anti-Americanism of the radicalized muslim world is based on an ignorance of both democracy in general and American culture in partucular rings very true for me.



Ran across mention of this very enlightening article by Matt Welch on Pejman Pundit. Chomsky has been a thorn in the side of lots of reasonable folks for a long time. A few years ago I ran across a passionate follower of his on USENET and the discourse was somewhat chilling. Oddly enough, I can't find it now on Google, but I'm sure I have a copy of it in my old html archives...

UPDATE: Ah-ha! Found it! Have to love Google!

I was warned

Well, folks told me blogger had its bad days. Can't edit templates, can't add comments. It's not as if I don't want to hear from folks, it's just that I can't.


Hell hath no fury like an MBA with an internet connection...

Megan McArdle takes on the folks who think we can do Kyoto AND have a Starbucks on every corner. What a way to spend a Saturday evening!

Racist America?

Anyone out there that thinks that America is an inherently racist nation might want to take a look at a book titled "What's So Great About America" by Dinesh D'Souza. I was made aware of this book in an op-ed column by Thomas Sowell. Those familiar with Sowell will know that he does not suffer fools and is not one to recommend books unless he's read them and understands them, even if he disagrees with the author.

In What's So Great, one of the things that D'Souza talks about is racism and discrimination in America. Or rather, the lack therof. Being a gentleman 'of color', to use an old euphemism, he would understand and have first hand knowledge about both of these problems. D'Souza says "I am constantly surprised by how much I hear racism talked about and how little I actually see it."

Despite what we may have come to believe about America and its legions of racists, it is for the most part a falsehood. I've heard too many people lament the fact that the U.S. is such a terrible place when it comes to race relations. Few of them have ever been outside the U.S. or Canada. If they had, they'd see what a bunch of hogwash all this talk really is.

Western Europe is seen by many (mostly the so-called intelligensia) as a place of tolerance and understanding. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been there many times for business or leisure and found that racism and discrimination are blatant. There is nothing subtle about it. One of the countries closely allied to America is Britain. Many have the impression that the U.K. is a bastion free of racism. However I have witnessed just the opposite.

I was visiting friends of mine in the U.K this past January. 'Jim' and 'Ellen' are some of the nicest and finest people you could ever meet. Ellen is the stereotypical English matron-- fair white skin, rosy cheeks, lovely white hair, and sparkling eyes. Jim is a swarthy, dark eyed, handsome man, his hair and beard just going grey, and a perfectly perverse British sense of humor. He is also of 'mixed' race, made up of English, Italian, Portugese, and Malaysian blood. He looks no different than many older American men walking the beaches in, say, Florida. However, Ellen has been accosted many times by her supposedly tolerant fellow Britons for marrying a 'colored fella'. This in a supposedly non-racist country?

Asia is even worse. A friend that I work with is originally from Taiwan. He has seen the ugly face of racism many times. Not in Texas where he lived and went to college, but in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and a number of other eastern Asian countries. And not just against whites and blacks, but against other Asian ethnic groups. He stayed here because he didn't want his kids raised in such a place. He's also made a success of himself, working hard, studying hard, and now living the American Dream with a home of his own in a nice neighborhood in a nice town in central New Hampshire.

So now the questions some of the apologists and purveyors of victimhood must ask themselves before they start their Racist America rant are:

If America is such a bad place, then why are so many people trying so hard to get here?

If the deck is stacked againts non-whites, then why do so many immigrants of other races do so well here?

Welcome to Racist America..........

The Trendy Silliness that is Warbloggerwatch

One of the things that pushed me over the edge in to this blogging adventure was the on-going antics of warbloggerwatch and the general reaction to it by several blogs I regularly follow. Both Megan McArdle and Pejman Yousefzadeh recently took on the task of giving those folks the dressing-down they were asking for, and therein lies the problem. Back in the good ole’ days of USENET one thing that was a given in any situation was that for anyone willing to take a stand on a position there was always somebody out there willing to call them a nazi for doing so. The most interesting threads were commonly hijacked by the electronic equivalent of bomb-throwing anarchists itching for a chance to prevent any real discourse on subjects they felt should not be open for discussion. Of course, in the newsgroups one could always configure a kill file to sweep away the most egregious offenders, but as we have all learned aliases are cheap, so it was an on-going effort to keep one step ahead of the enemy. The Blogosphere (gad, I HATE that name) offers a much more civilized method of dealing with this:

Ignore them.

Now, that’s all very “turning the other cheek-ish,” early-90’s oh-so-sensitive, but in this context it can actually be quite powerful. The back and forth recently engaged in is just what the folks over at warbloggerwatch are looking for (and I am quite aware that I am not spouting anything new here). It provides validation in its own way, as in “See! They are paying attention! We can get under their skin!” This has to stop, because as long as their ad hominem methods are rewarded they will continue to screech louder and louder, but have absolutely no incentive to actually alter their tactics or refine their techniques. In short, they fail to actually learn anything. Failure, on the other hand, is the world’s hands-down best teacher. If they continue to fail to elicit response, they will be forced to change their tune or risk coming to the realization that they really are irrelevant.

Here’s how it probably ought to be handled- the pin heads make their noise. The target picks up on it. The target makes a post along the lines of “those twits are off the medication again,” with a link to the article, and just leaves it at that.

Now, if I could just get their attention so I could put this in to practice…

Everything has to start somewhere, and here I am

Okay. after long consideration I'm going to give this a try. I used to run a web site on the old GeoCities called World Domination Inc and was pretty frequent on the USENET political groups and the old pissedoff.com, but maitaining a web site was alot of work, so I set it aside, with much regret. As the name implies, this blog will likely see most input from me on weekends, since that's the only time I actually have to myself. Still trying to coerce my brother in to contributing as well. We shall see.