Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Syria and Iraq and ISIS

ISIS is primarily a result of our bulling into the Mid-East china shop, overthrowing Saddam Hussein and Qadhafi, messing with Egypt, and spreading mayhem and money all over the place there, instead of minding our own business. John Jay Myers puts it very clearly and succinctly, and I couldn't agree more. Here's what he said in full:

What did Syria ever do to us or anyone? Assad had his country running .... let's just say "okay" at least compared to every other Middle Eastern Country and then we decide "it's time for him to go, his country is way too stable" so our CIA goes about trying for regime change, and ends up creating ISIS by funding just anyone who wants him out. Now we are asking this guy (Assad) to help us with the problem with ISIS.... 

We should have left Saddam, Assad and Gadhafi alone, we need to leave Russia alone, we planned regime change in Ukraine, which started this escalation in Russia.
We are Team America (and I don't mean that in a good way) and I am certain I know the answer and it's to stop sticking our dicks in hornets nests and wondering why they sting.
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Quibcag: The illustration is Isis from Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王 Yū-Gi-Ō!? "Game King"), not the same thing at all as the ISIS we're talking about.

Corrections?

Time to do some corrections, sort of. In my last post, about the teacher, Patrick Wayne McLaw, a commenter informed me that all this took place in Maryland, not Massachusetts. So I Googled McLaw, and found this on Wikipedia:

In 2013, while at Salisbury University, he helped a student from Stephen Decatur Middle School publish an eBook on Amazon.[2]

Later in 2013, he was hired as a eighth-grade Language Arts teacher at Mace's Lane Middle School, Dorchester County Public Schools, Maryland.[1] Dorchester County, Maryland is the birthplace of the World-Famous Harriet Tubman across the Choptank River is also the birthplace of the World-Famous Frederick Douglass in Talbot County.

In April 2014, McLaw was nominated for Dorchester County's "Teacher of the Year" award but lost.[3]

In addition, McLaw worked for the Delmar School District near eight (8) years in different postions such as: Project Manager and Administrative Assistant. [4]
Suspension[edit]

In August 2014, he was suspended from his position after school officials learned he had written science fiction under a pen name about a school shooting. Cambridge Police Department searched his home for weapons, as well as the school building, but found nothing.[5][6]


So, it seems that his job was in Maryland, but since the Cambridge Police Department searched his home, he seems to live in Massachusetts, unless there's also a Cambridge Police Department in Maryland. I'll let you all decide just what really happened.

Ah, I just came across this, which clarifies matters:
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/in-cambridge-md-a-soviet-style-punishment-for-a-novelist/379431/

Now, in the same post, I used this quibcag, and expressed my ignorance as to the identity of the girl. Well, here:
Vulture of Critique sets me straight, and tells me the girl is Lucky Star (らき☆すた Raki☆Suta), and he's quite right, I should have recognized her. However, I have to correct him, sort of. I've evidently given him the impression that I was in Nam. I was not. Both I, and my co-blogger, Baloo, are Vietnam era vets, but neither one of us left the States. We spent our tours in North Carolina, where, as a matter of fact, we first met.
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Moving right along, a commenter took THIS POST to mean that I think Donald Rumsfeld would have been a good President. I do not. The post is speculation about what would have ensued if he'd been President instead of Bush the First. I think he would have been at least as bad a President as Bush the First was. When I'm done here, I'm going back to make that clear at the beginning of the post.
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Finally, in the post
The Obvious Solution to ISIS, another commenter took it as serious, instead of ironic. It's very hard to be ironic on the net without somebody misunderstanding. For the record, I do not think that diversity is strength, and the post was meant to show that it is not.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Craziness in Massachusetts

I think it's fairly well established by now that Massachusetts, collectively, at least, is nuts. And we're also well aware that educational authorities everywhere in the country are at best cowardly lickspittles who bow and scrape before every manifestation of whatever the latest trends in political correctness may be, and at worst, enthusiastic supports of the whole cultural marxist ball of wax. We all know the stories about kids being punished for chewing their pop-tarts into the shape of a gun, drawing pictures of soldiers in their notebooks, or yelling "bang" on the playground instead of "Kum-ba-ya."

So if you have educational authorities in Massachusetts, you're in for a real treat.

Over at Atheist with a Gun, Parabarbarian has the latest tale of the Massachusetts nomenklatura's adventures in social engineering and general batsh*t crazy behavior:

Bizzaro State of Massachusetts

Patrick Wayne McLaw, an eighth grade teacher at Mace's Lane Middle School in Massachusetts, has been suspended under circumstances charitably described as mysterious.
Cambridge Mace's Lane Middle School Teacher on Administrative Leave
Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace's Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country's history set in the future. Now, Patrick McLaw is placed on leave.
Aliases? Such a sinister word. Anyone with more than two brain cells left to rub together would call the false name an author uses a "pen name". Why would the reporter choose a baleful word to describe the man'snom de plume except to demonize him? Maybe it was just ignorance but the article has been updated at least once and the word is still used so, for the time being, I am going to go with it being evil over stupid.

Those books are what caught the attention of police and school board officials in Dorchester County. "The Insurrectionist" is about two school shootings set in the future, the largest in the country's history.

According to the Amazon page for the book the story is set almost 900 years in the future.
On 18 March 2902, a massacre transpired on the campus of Ocean Park High School, claiming the lives of nine hundred forty-seven individuals--the largest school massacre in the nation's history. And the entire country now begins to ask two daunting questions: How? and Why? After the federal government becomes involved, and after examining the bouquet of black roses that lies in front of the school's sign, it becomes evident that the hysteria is far from over.
Leaving aside any arguments about what human society will look like 900 years from now, that seems a pretty safe distance in time. So just what are the authorities afraid of? This is even more mysterious. According to a related article:
“The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,” Phillips said, with no weapons found. “A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him. McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”
So no firearms were found or even implied but, despite that, he is being held "...at a location known to law enforcement..." No charges have been mentioned nor is there any indication I can find that Mr. McLaw has been allowed to see a lawyer. For writing a book.
Just when I think I can see the bottom of the pit of human stupidity, someone shouts, "Challenge accepted!" and demonstrates that is goes even deeper into the darkness.
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Quibcag: Not sure who the girl is, but she's doing an appropriate facepalm.

Mangan on what a nation is for.

There are a lot of reasons for it, but in contrast to most countries, we in the West have come to think that the purpose of a country, and the government of a country, is to benefit mankind in general instead of the actual people of that country. To most of humanity, that's an absurd idea. Countries like Japan, Israel, Korea (both halves), Mexico, etc., all believe that the welfare of their own people comes first. In theory, at least (though one might disagree with their strategies), that's the purpose of all their government policies, domestic and foreign.

Taking the most Western of the major Western countries — The United States, France, and the UK — it would seem that their policies are the opposite. Domestically, they seem to concentrate on welcoming and benefiting immigrants above everything else. The adverse impact on their own citizens doesn't seem to matter to their governments. And as for foreign policy, all these countries seem to be obsessed with improving things in other countries, most especially the Third World. Of course, their policies often don't benefit these other countries at all, but that's almost always the stated reasons for their intervention in them, diplomatically, economically, and militarily.

But dissident groups in the West want to change that. Hungary is a good example. Mangan writes:

Novel idea: a nation belongs to its citizens

WSJ: Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy (HT reader Valkea):
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April.

“The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said.

At a meeting with Hungary’s ambassadors to foreign countries on Monday, Mr. Orban recited part of his speech in Ypres, France at the European Union prime ministers’ summit and commemoration of the World War One centenary.

There he said he wanted to include in the leaders’ joint statement that immigration is wrong, and Europe’s aim is to cease immigration.

I don't know that I'd go so far to say that immigration is (always and everywhere) wrong, 
but certainly under the present circumstances it leaves much to be desired. Go ask 
the residents of Rotherham, Oxford, Leeds, and now Manchester, and presumably other 
British cities.

What a novel idea, that a nation should be run for the benefit of its citizens.

Immigration is turning Europe into, well...

[illustration]

Instead, Orban wants to, gasp, try to increase Hungary's birthrate.
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Read the whole thing, and see the illustration, here:
http://mangans.blogspot.com/2014/08/novel-idea-nation-belongs-to-its.html
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Quibcag: The girl is the Hungarian figure from Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア).

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Alternate History Question: President Rumsfeld?

I think I found this link at Dailykenn.com, but in any case, it's a fascinating question, asked over at National Review Online. Go there and give it a read, and then I'll give my reaction.....

If Reagan Had Picked Rumsfeld as His Vice President, Would We Never Have Had President Clinton?
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My reaction is maybe. Clearly, Rumsfeld would have been a good choice for Reagan. His resume wasn't as good as Bush's, but his credentials were solid. I doubt that he would have ever been perceived as wishy-washy as Bush was, and I'm virtually certain he would not have picked Dan Quayle as his VP. My guess it that it would have been either Jack Kemp or Howard Baker. Let's say Baker to add a Southerner to the ticket. He would certainly have won over Dukakis, for the same reasons that Bush did.

And, assuming that Gulf War I would have happened as it did, and the Soviet collapse had done so as well, I expect Rumsfeld would have been much better at taking credit for both, and would not have been challenged for the nomination by Pat Buchanan, changing the 1992 from a downer to an upper for Rumsfeld. Likewise, a Perot candidacy very well might not have taken place.  Now, with Baker on the Repubican ticket, Clinton would most likely not have picked Gore as his running mate, and would have gone with, say Jerry Brown, and regretted it. My guess is that the election would have been closer than in our history, but that Rumsfeld would have beaten Clinton and served a second term.

Then what? Baker would have been 67 in 1996, and probably would not have been nominated. Having lost, Clinton probably wouldn't have been nominated a second time. My guess: Mario Cuomo with Bob Kerrey as running mate would have beaten a Republican ticket of Phil Gramm and Arlen Specter. Cuomo-Kerrey would win again in 2000 against Lamar Alexander and Jack Kemp.

9-11 would have happened as it did in our time, but instead of Gulf War II, Cuomo would have responded in a more piecemeal fashion, accomplishing as much as Bush did, but not being perceived as well. This would have resulted in Fred Thompson-Rudy Giuliani beating a Bob Kerrey-Evan Bayh ticket in 2004 and being reelected in 2008 against Dick Durbin and John Edwards.

And in 2012, Rudy Giuliani, running with Mitt Romney, would have beaten the Democratic ticket of Chuck Schumer and Ken Salazar and he'd be President right now.

No Clintons, no Obamas.

Now, it's your turn. Pick this to pieces.
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NOTE!  A commenter interpreted this post as my saying that Rumsfeld would have been a good President. NO NO NO!  He would have been a terrible President, at least as bad as Bush the First. This is just an alternate history speculation about what would have followed if he had been President. Me, I wanted Pat Buchanan to be President.

Interstellar Political Correctness, AKA "Star Trek"

When we actually get to the 23-24th century era, I expect that people will have a lot of fun watching the old Star Trek tapes or pods or whatever format they'll be in, much like it's fun for us to real science-fiction novels from a century ago and and see how wrong they got it.

Actually, though, I'd call myself a Star Trek fan. Not a Trekkie, which I take to be a true-believer fan. I actually kind of missed the original series (TOS) the first time around, what with being in the Army most of the time and all, but what I did see of it didn't impress me much, probably because I'd been a science fiction reader from childhood — I still have vivid memories of reading Perelandra and Pebble in the Sky for the first time, and marveling at it. Before that, I'd read through all the Doctor Dolittle books (the unexpurgated versions, BTW) and they were certainly SF for kids.

Even for TV, I didn't think ST was all that innovative, because Twilight Zone was mostly much more sophisticated. If anything, TOS seemed like Captain Video or Tom Corbett, Space Cadet upgraded for a more adult viewership.

Then, much later, the first movie came out, and, though still somewhat hokey for a veteran science fiction reader, it was a definite improvement. And after a year or so of shaking off the TOS sensibility, Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) really got to a mature level, and was genuinely enjoyable. DS9, in many ways, ratcheted things up a notch, and added a gritty realpolitic feel to the franchise, which I very much appreciated. Voyager, by any measure, was a joke, sort of the B-Team version of ST. And my theory of Voyager, which I'm sure I've mentioned before, is that it never really happened, but was a holodeck program created by and for Clerk-Typist Third Class Janeway of Starfleet for use in her free time. Enterprise had some good writing and good ideas in it, but I thought Bakula unconvincing in his role and the whole thing never really gelled for me.

But to the point: ST is no exception to the political correctness rules of television. First and foremost, it underscores the myth of our age, that diversity is strength, as in the illustration. (Tribbles, of course, carried diversity a little too far.) In reality, the racial and cultural diversity championed by ST and other PC TV shoss is a weakness, as a moment of actual thought will confirm. If you actually did welcome welcome Klingons into Starfleet, of course, you'd have a lot of Major Nidal Hasan incidents — maybe they do, and the Federation equivalent of Eric Holder just suppresses the information. They did make Worf as believable as possible by having him brought up by human parents.

Come to think of it, I've said a lot of this before. Just put STAR TREK in the search box at the top right there and you'll find it. This post is mainly just a reaction to the nice quibcag that Baloo made for me there.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Obvious Solution to ISIS

Obama, as we all know by now, has no strategy to deal with ISIS or anything else, really. But the strategy is actually quite obvious. It eluded us all, however, until John Craig over at Just Not Said pointed it out:

Spreading the good word

Last night I asked a friend who is a Middle East expert what he thought we should do about ISIS, what with their convert-or-die ultimatums, their killing of journalists, their intent to commit genocide against the Yazidis, and their desecration of sacred Muslim relics.

He shrugged helplessly and said the situation over there is as bad as he's ever seen it. He said they would have to be stopped eventually, and that Iraq would probably have to be carved up into three parts. The Kurds, in the north, will have oil. And the Shiites, in the south, will also have oil. But the Sunnis, in the West, will be left without oil. These ancient blood rivalries and the unequal distribution of wealth are why ISIS, essentially a Sunni movement, plans to capture the oil fields in the Kurdish north.

It was when I was driving home after dinner that it hit me: the only reason there is so much strife in Iraq is, they don't yet appreciate that their diversity is their strength!

All we need to do is go over and teach them this philosophy, which has worked so well here in the U.S. In fact, that's all we need to do all over the globe.

The Israelis and Palestinians will learn to coexist in peace, as soon as they realize that their diversity is their strength.

Ditto for the Ukrainians and ethnic Russians in the Ukraine. All their problems will be over, as soon as they get the good word.

The Chechnyans and Russians? Same simple solution.

All we Americans need to do is export our superior wisdom.