Archive for February 2005

Grammer lessons

February 28, 2005

Yeh, grammer lessons.

Who or Whom?

This is a nice handy guide for people, like me, who find it difficult to get the feel for who, whom, whoever, and whomever. I rely on my grammer “feeling sense” when I’m writing something, but if I don’t have any experience with writing something like it in the past, my “sense” ain’t going to work.

Congressional shittakes roundup

February 28, 2005

Greyhawk tells it like it is with these politicians whom are hackery masters. He has a good round up of links and video, go see for yourself just how much someone can make a fool of themselves on camera, if you missed it on Fox in the first place. Good news are never old news.

SANCHEZ: And unfortunately, as I said, this committee has had a hard time assessing where we really stand with the Iraqi army as an effective fighting force.

Over the past year, we’ve received incredibly widely fluctuating estimates of that. And I think you have a real credibility problem on this issue.

RUMSFELD: Fluctuations of what?

SANCHEZ: The fluctuations of — the numbers that you bandy around about how many troops we really have out there that are Iraqi police, et cetera, et cetera.
RUMSFELD: [I]n the materials we provide you, there are, I think, 12 or 15 different categories. There are police, civil intervention force, emergency response, border enforcement, highway patrol, dignitary protection, special police commandos for the interior department, army, national guard, intervention force, special operations, air force, navy for the military.

Now, you say we bandy around numbers. They’re not my numbers. I don’t invent them. They come from General Petraeus. If you look up there, what you’ll see is that the numbers originally, as I said in my remarks, included site protection people. And that dropped it by about 70,000.
We originally talked about on duty only, then we changed it and said trained, then we took the site protection out.

This has all been perfectly transparent to everybody. There’s no bandying at all.

And now we’re saying trained and equipped, just in the ministry of interior and defense. They are Petraeus’ numbers.
SANCHEZ: I have Petraeus’ numbers. They’re different than your numbers, by the way.

RUMSFELD: Well, what’s the date? They aren’t different because these came from Petraeus. He may have two sets of numbers, but they are not different if the date’s the same.

The date on my paper here is February 14th. What’s yours?

SANCHEZ: December 20th.

RUMSFELD: Not surprising there’s a difference.

*Spewing out Coffee*

EuroNews 2

February 28, 2005

Starting the engines of growth: As the Old European economies stagnate, the Eastern and Central Europe is adopting tax policies designed to spur growth. Many countries in the region, for example, have adopted flat taxes. Romania is the latest New European to restructure its tax system – the centerpiece is a flat-rate of 16 per cent, “replacing three income tax bands ranging between 18 and 40 per cent, and a corporate tax previously at 25 per cent.” Taxes, particularly corporate taxes, throughout the Eastern Europe are already generally significantly lower than in the West. No wonder the Old Europe is hating the competition and trying to undermine the low tax push.

Why it matters: Because as V. Arun, research analyst with Frost & Sullivan writes, “low tax rates coupled with cheap labor prevalent in the [Eastern European] countries can have a drastic impact on the employment, investment, and industrial production in the EU member states. As a result, the corporates in the west are bound to move eastward in the hope of benefiting from the tax advantage.” Yes, it will take quite some time for the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, ravaged as they still are by decades of communist economic vandalism, to reach the levels of economic development and the standard of living of the Western Europe, but as the Western Europe refuses to face the economic and demographic challenges, it might happen sooner than we think.

Chrenkoff is like a black hole that sucks in data and spews out information.

He is a good role model for future internet central nodes, places and people who convert HUGE amounts of internet sourced data to usable information at the touch of an index finger.

Rumsfeld Attacks

February 28, 2005

Another view of RUmsfeld

Some people like Rumsfeld, some hate em. Read Greyhawk’s take on the man. I don’t know Rumsfeld well nor do I particularly care to, but I certainly have been swung from one end of the spectrum to the other in terms of whether Rumsfeld was a good or bad SecDef.

World War I flash

February 28, 2005

World War I

Here’s a little mind quizz. Read the below and made up your mind whether this sounds European or it sounds American. Then click the link to see the answer.

Open Diplomacy – There should be no secret treaties between powers
Freedom of Navigation – Seas should be free in both peace and war
Free Trade – The barriers to trade between countries such as custom duties should be removed
Multilateral Disarmament – All countries should reduce their armed forces to the lowest possible levels
Colonies – People in European colonies should have a say in their future
Russia – Russia should be allowed to operate whatever government it wanted and that government should be accepted, supported and welcomed.
Belgium – Belgium should be evacuated and restored to the situation before.
France – should have Alsace-Lorraine and any lands taken away restored.
Italy – The Italian border should be readjusted according to nationality
National Self – Determination – The national groups in Europe should, wherever possible, be given their independence.
Romania, Montenegro and Serbia – Should be evacuated and Serbia should have an outlet to the sea
Turkey – The people of Turkey should have a say in their future
Poland – Poland should become an independent state with an outlet to the sea.

Wilson might not have been the “shit” in US Presidents so to speak, but he was far smarter and wiser than the British and the French.

Which is why I find it pretty funny that the Europeans keep talking about how “unsmooth” George Bush is compared to Schroeder. If the Europeans have gotten “smoother” since World War I, I don’t even want to know what sort of thing they think is “good” now.

The most unsmooth President of the United States in his worst, is wiser than the smoothest political liar in Europe.

Old Europe, of course.

Japanese Culture

February 27, 2005

UPDATE: What is a Senpai?

There are interesting parallels between Japanese culture and the American culture of circa 21st century. If you go back even 50 years, the two cultures would be unrecognizable in any attempt to locate the similarities. In WWII, the kamikazes were seen by the Japanese as a Divine Wind that would sweep the American navy off the oceans. This line of belief was consistent with their other cultural belief that their Emperor was Divine. Given the desperation the Japanese Navy was under during the Pacific War, they had great need for a Divine Wind. Just as they had a great need for a Divine Wind, a tsunami, to wash over the invading forces from mainlaind China in Japan’s distant past. (In which, originated the entire concept of the Divine Wind)

The Americans, on the other hand, saw those suicide attacks as acts of desperation. Things you would do only when you had no other choice available to you. Something you would do, if you ran out of weapons and was fatally wounded, with the carrier you are attacking right on the doorstep of your nation. Congressional Medals of Honor are given to people who have brushed this kind of desperation, saving as a consequence people who would otherwise have perished if not for their actions. But in all these cases, these brave men and women were given the Medal of Honor because they did not plan to die; what they planned to do was save other people’s lives by risking their own. The Japanese kamikazes were feared by the American Navy because they assumed the Japanese had the same motivation as Americans would have, when sacrificing one’s life for one’s country. They assumed the Japanese were extremely determined, and had many pilots who were skilled aces willing to do what it took to damage US carriers. They were only right partially. When the shock value passed, when the Americans realized that these people were doing this out of an act of desperation, planning to die, they realized the true extent of the inefficiency of Japan’s methods. And that is why, the Medal of Honor is awarded to those who didn’t plan to die while saving others, the Medal of Honor is awarded for those who try their hardest to save as many lives as possible, including their own, and actually succede in saving the lives of others if not their own. Because desperation is one thing and hopelessness is another. Desperation can bring strength to the warrior, in dragging out deep rooted strengths that would otherwise have been hidden. Hopelessness is a condition those in desperate situations may fall prey to, and it is something that saps the strength of a warrior’s heart.

The Kamikaze did not have much effect on the war, because the conditions that lead to it already spelled the doom of the Japanese Navy. By indoctrinating the most fanatically loyal of pilots to serve as kamikazes, the Japanese Navy was trying to get a quick fix. But they should have known, that in war, there were no quick fixes. These kamikaze pilots were the most fanatical, the most brainwashed that the Japanese culture could produce. And hence, they were only given a few hours of flight training. Most of those pilots couldn’t even have landed the plane on a carrier deck, if they were given a chance to. This in effect, decreased the worth of the sacrifice through dilution. When an American sacrifices himself, he does so with the knowledge that he will lose more personally than he will gain. When a Japanese kamikaze sacrificed himself, he did so with the knowledge that he was expected to kill himself and others, knowing that failing to accomplish his mission will bring dishonor and shame upon his name and his family’s name. Therefore he has more to lose by living than by dieing. Directly opposite that of an American, who will lose more than he gains.

This contrast, has some peculiar consequences. And those consequences are, that American sacrifices are inherently more potent given the personal nature of that sacrifice. When an American goes off on a “suicide mission”, it is with the knowledge that his potential death and that of his friends, will save the lives of more Americans. The pilots aboard the US carriers that fought in Miday, had to fly a first wave attack against the Japanese carriers. By punching a way through their defenses and presenting a tactical threat, they paved the way for the bombers to strike directly at the Japanese Carriers with their fighters still being rearmed. Those fighters were either destroyed entirely as a force, or just about. But it was only through their sacrifice, that the Japanese was pushed back so severely at Midway. Pushed back to such an extent, that the next great battle would be the Marianas Turkey Shoot, when the US had rebuilt the Pacific Fleet.

You can see a definitive pattern here. The United States has its share of kamikazes, but our kamikazes do not do it for personal honor and glory. Our kamikazes are like the Divine Wind, with no individual strong point or weak point. We are a force of nature, that works in tandem with the environment of war. American teamwork creates this result. That the sum of that teamwork, creates a Divine Wind that is greater, far greater, than the sum of its “parts”. The Japanese was content with believing that sacrificing young idiots, filled with foolhardy notions of honor and glory, equaled the killing power of a Divine Wind. The Americans brought to the table, the realization that individual glory must be subliminated to the interest of the greater group. That if one must sacrifice, he should sacrifice to save the lives of the members of his group, rather than for his own personal welfare. The Japanese culture dimly reflects this, as Japan is a nation centered around group psychology and “teamwork”. Yet, Japan’s warrior philosophy, the Bushido code, did not reflect Japan’s industrial byproduct, teamwork. In the end, the conclusion is that the Americans, as backwards as they were in 1950, had successfully combined the traditions of American culture with American war making. The Japanese, with their unsuccessful attempts at creating a working warrior philosophy, failed. The consequences for their failure, were obvious. Although, by failing, Japan paved the way for a future in which they would relearn the ways of making war, from the opponent that beat her in the first place. It would be America who would teach the Japanese, how to make the best of their own in making and winning wars. As time immemorial in Japan’s history, the student will learn from his master, eventually becoming the master himself.

The American occupation brought many cultural changes to Japan, social as well as legal. MacArthur instituted limits in the Japanese Constitution, to prevent Japan from reaching a level of power before Japan was ready to handle it. With the intent of course, that Japan would be so limited, that by the time Japan overcame those limits, the United States would have so much power that Japan would not be able to threaten us. Since it was a Constitution, Japan could ostensibly in the future, change that Constitution. Unlike France’s way of dealing with Germany after World War I, which was to extort money from Germany to stop Germany from building itself up. MacArthur’s changes to their Constitution would not expire before the US was well on its way to becoming a superpower. By limiting Japan’s early access to a military, it was the same as if a sensei was limiting the things a student would learn when under the sensei’s care. A sensei would not teach the various one hit deathblows and nerve centers to a student, untried and unwise. A sensei would first test that student’s character, morality, duty, and judgement. In effect, the Americans became Japan’s “senpai” during the Japanese occupation.

A senpai is an older classman that looks out for and protects a younger classman, in a Japanese school. It is a social responsibility and title. In the school of international politics and superpowers, Japan had much to learn.

Many decades after the start of Japan’s education, they may finally be ready to graduate. The Japanese Navy is one of the most powerful in the Pacific. They are even looking to build a carrier to project power, not just to defend the homeland. This is surprising and stunning, considering their Constitution limits defense spending to ONE percent of their GDP. It would have been so easy and convenient to spend a token amount on the military, but in reality depending on the US military alone to patrol their waters and defend their land as the Germans did. But that was not the choice they made. Efforts are already beginning, to repeal the Constitutional ban on defense spending in Japan given the new threat from China and North Korea. Once they have achieved this, they will have literally, graduated from being a protected nation under the care of the US to a nation self-sufficient in being able to defend their citizens and government. Many children born from previous wars and circumstances never did grow up to leave the care of the United States of America. France and Germany are particular examples of this kind of infancy. While Israel is like the child who has grown up, but faces a lot of financial problems because of how near he lives to criminals, requiring constant influxes of financial aid from the parent, us. Israel keeps the war going by trying to negotiate, and pining for peace, when a hammer to the kneecaps would have probably ended the conflict early on. But children who grow up, have the right to decide how they will live their life, and we have to respect that. Even when we know we would have done differently.

If Japan seizes the title that is within their reach, becomes fully self-sufficient in their defense abilities, they will have come far on the road to freedom. One of the problems with democracy is that it produces a constituency that pines for peace and prosperity, and this defect allows such democracies to be taken over by more hostile, determined nations. Japan, like South Korea, obviously has these psychological problems in their constituency, but they also seem to have the antidote as well. They seem to have the will to stand up to threats as Britain did in World War II, the ones that threaten to marginalize Japanese interests in the Pacific. They are coming close to successfully integrating their previous way of the warrior, with all the things we have taught them. The Japanese have picked up more from American culture and philosophy, than many realize.

Their final graduation will be when they can win a war on their own terms, without sacrificing their way of government. The United States has passed through many such crises, without sacrificing permanently our civil rights. We have a system that was designed through trial and error, to restrict civil rights in war time, only to regain all of those civil rights and more when the war was won. When the Japanese win a war of aggression or a defensive war, and stay the way they are concerning individual liberty in the long run, they will have evolved into a possible successor to the United States of America. Their only rival would be Australia, a sort of cousin, but even then it would be a friendly rivalry. Certainly their brothers, France and Germany, have not the aptitude nor the will to challenge them. Their possible enemies of course, will always be China and North Korea.

It is inevitable all things must die, including all Good things, of which the United States of America epitomize. There may come a time when the word of America means nothing; there may indeed come a time when our courage shatters. But now is not that time, now is the time to grow and educate successors who might pick up the pieces should we fall in the line of battle, to preserve this world that is ours to do Good or Evil on.

If America is remembered for anything in a thousand years, it will be for what we did and who we were. We will either hear the praises of our children, for how glad they were to live in a time of American hegemony, or we will be cursed as a society of infidels who dared, DARED to say that a secular government against the will of (insert name of the symbol of tyranny), makes anyone “happy”.

Synergy

February 26, 2005

This is what happens when the power of Blog plus the power of a mainstream media report’s camera, clicks together with Fox producing a chain reaction.

Ward Churchill shows his true colors on camera. A candid shot. May he be shot again and again and again. Combating freedom of speech with MORE freedom of speech.

Trackback, or how about trackstart?

February 26, 2005

Greyhawk, has a new trackback system up. I never realized until I heard the phrase “trackback” that there was an inbuilt system in the internet, that allowed a webpage to know from what other webpage a surfer had come from. I still haven’t grasped it well enough to fully understand how to make it work, but here’s to the hope that Greyhawk does make it work.

The ingenuity of our “informational society” truly astounds me. People who can Reverse Engineer an ipod to transmit data as sound waves, and then collect that data using a microphone, are the future. Whether that be the future of technology, military systems, or the beginning of the end to all stagnant societies on this earth.

Reverse Engineering

February 26, 2005

Nils Schneider reverse-engineered the iPod’s firmware. This means that hackers now have the means to move data off of and onto the iPod at will, but more interesting is how he accomplilshed it. He figured out how to get the iPod to convert its firmware to a series of squeaks (essentially, to play it like a piece of music) and then converted the music back into software.

If you listened to the environmentalist anti-humanist quacks out there, they would have you believe humanity is too stupid to figure out the “vibe” of the universe. Many personas differ, and it is not a coincidence that those personas are directly opposite in alignment to the animal rights and environmental rights activists.

If ever someone figured out how to do the things the quacks complain we should be doing, it will be those who favor ingenuity and research, not those who favor stagnancy and hopelessness.

I feel good and secure in the knowledge that the US can elevate people who can reverse engineer an ipod like that, just as I feel good and secure knowing that there are Lt. Generals out there, though scorned by the fake liberals for his words, who are more than capable of guarding the gates from the barbarians.

EuroNews

February 26, 2005

A round up of news links about Europe, from the Daily Telegraph.

“But the way the French eat has changed. More and more French people are eating in McDonald’s and snack bars, because of the limited time they have for lunch. That is particularly true in big cities. In the not-so-big ones, people might not have a three-course lunch like they used to, but they will still have a cooked main course and dessert and a glass of wine.”

Opinions differ, read for yourself.

I returned home infuriated, however I booked my appointment nonetheless, took another day off work and drove the three hours. All went smoothly this time, however, I was informed that now I had my green card I would not need my stamp and therefore had made a wasted visit. . . twice.

Or in the view of people who can’t even get a greencard, a redundant trip. In the view of those worried about terroists, it is a worry that will duplicate itself as more and more of Europe is taken over demographically by non-integrated immigrants.

The colonists return to England, bringing with them a dose of old-fashioned certainty. Soon the headmaster is elected to lead the Tory party back into government. His draconian policies are startling but, except for a few insignificant losses (immigrants, civil rights, the presumption of innocence, the European Union, Scotland and Wales), very successful.

If these are the best the imaginative British mind can come up with about change in their government, many people are in trouble.

About 100 people gathered in the shadow of St Briac church in Bourbriac to protest on behalf of locals unable to compete in a housing market driven by the spending power of foreign invaders, especially the British.

I find it interesting and ironic, that the so called cosmopolitan and sophisticated “Europeans” are protesting about foreign people coming in and buying land at greatly inflated prices from the local owners. The same is occurring in New York, and New York land is far more valuable than “Breton” land pound for pound so to speak. Except, the Americans welcome the buyout, as they get a good return on their real estate. But then again, Americans are entrepreneur like, while Europeans have no such motive given that they depend upon the state to redistribute wealth when it comes for their retirement. Americans tend to want to make their own money, to use as a retirement fund, and hence usually have a greater and safer nest egg than any government could realistically give.

No wonder France has umpthing something unemployment and Zero economic growth. Read on for more European hospitality.

One letter from a French official stated that the Special Operations Executive was not an operational unit, despite losing 104 agents on French soil or in German captivity.

“The attitude of my own country makes me feel ashamed,” said Mrs Riols’s French husband, Jacques. “It embarrasses me as a Frenchman.” Mrs Riols, who has dual nationality, is 78 and her husband will be 84 next month. Both are in good health but accept that in appealing to Michèle Alliot-Marie, the French defence minister, they are making their last attempt to force a change of heart.

All I can say is… what the heck did you expect from the French in the first place?

It is not just Britons, fed up with overcrowding and poor weather, who look to another continent for a new life. Across the Channel, the Dutch middle classes are quitting clogged roads and street violence in numbers unheard of in living memory.

Australia is a top destination for a wave of migration among educated Dutch people, sparked by racial strife and increasing unrest in the Netherlands. The murder of homosexual populist politician Pim Fortuyn and film-maker Theo van Gogh are seen as linked to the exodus. More people left Holland in 2003 than arrived.

Europe has serious problems if Europeans are heading for the Outback to get away from the Europeans. Even native integrated Europeans don’t like the place, and we wonder how come Europe doesn’t “assimilate” their immigrants as well as we do. Brings up the question why anyone even goes to Europe in the first place. Terrorism perhaps? Cheap labor to support EuroCare? All are possibilities, but healthcare doesn’t seem to be one of them. Australia seems to offer better socialized healthcare than the Europeans who came up with the system could, certainly they wouldn’t find their subsidies in the US.


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