Archive for July 2008

A Box in A Box?

July 27, 2008

Cute girl, funny music, and a bunch of anti-social commenters

When ever I go to one of these youtube videos and see such comments, what I usually am thinking is “just how much of humanity can be sacrificed and our civilization would never even notice the loss”?

This is must be how Nature played the game with the dinosaurs and other species and why war doesn’t seem to set back our species for long.

Cause there’s a a lot of expendables in our species.

And there goes another one.

Self-Mugging Video

July 27, 2008

This was funny because it was just too ridiculous. Watch the bedroom episode one.

Socializing Your Dog To Behave Well

July 25, 2008

This was interesting since human beings have the same kinds of social and anti-social spectrums of behavior.

The link talks about some of the common myths or truths about how to train dogs not to fight other dogs.

On another note, PETA doesn’t like Batman The Dark Knight because of dog issues. I know, I know, what else is new.

H/T Cory

Self Defense Issues in Canada

July 24, 2008

Good article.

Generation Kill Comments

July 23, 2008

I was posting some comments over at Cassandra’s place and the blog said “my comment was denied due to questionable material”. This is the section that I couldn’t figure out on how to bypass the spam filters. I tried to shift some of my comments around, so the ones at Cass or here don’t actually follow my “read a line and respond to it” format. Mostly it does, but even I don’t remember in what order it should have gone by now.

Yet here comes Generation Kill and …. silence.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Jeffrey, Generation Kill is an… entertainment program. It’s not Haditha, it’s not Abu Ghraib, and it definitely ain’t the Fall of Saigon. Why should serious people treat that on par with gross media distortions and lies?

You might think it’s a good thing to waste their time on Hollywood entertainment, rather than the real issues facing America, but that’s not exactly going to be convincing to the Milbloggers.

What does that do to your theory?

That wasn’t his theory. He probably borrowed it from the intellectual masters of “the military will only heal once we beat it to a pulp with criticism”.

It does nothing to my theory.-Jeff

That’s not too surprising, is it Cass. After all, it was never his theory to begin with so how can you “do” anything to it?

As to false information and the twisting of statistics, everyone is susceptible.

Susceptibility and enemy action are two different things.

I’d still trust the NY Times and the International Herald Tribune to get the facts straight over most bloggers

*thud* Did ya hear that loud crash sound Bill and Cass? That’s the sound of what’s known as “dimensional rift predictability”. Where once you keep punching holes into reality to get into the sweet nectar of fantasy la la land, the holes eventually start making these sounds when they open up in a different location.

Bill, stop distracting me with your thong..

The thong’s the strangulation take down tool. Bill’s wit and charm is the distraction.

I simply stated my opinion based on my experience as a consumer of different types of media.

Actually, Jeff, what you did was go in a round a bout way using way too many words in order to purposefully obfuscate the issue and then have to correct yourself after the fact.

Your sampling of different types of media perhaps gave you a clearer grasp of contradictory beliefs, but it didn’t do too well for your ability to communicate truths.

The Times and their anonymously sources stories in particular don’t engender trust.

Maybe that’s why they outed retired CIA interrogators, Cass? They wanted to show the public that you can trust the NewYorkTimes… to sell you down the river if the price is good enough.

And yet you trust them? Why?

Got to trust somebody, Cass. Might as well be their propaganda masters and spiritual leaders.

And I allow comments on my posts, so readers like you are free to disagree, or fire away at anything I’ve said in real time.

I would never dare to fire away at the Mistress of Statistics. I might get strangulated by the numbers afterwards…

Food for thought. Some of the original sources the news outlets use *are* blogs.

Most of those “original sources” are from the government and military. So if somebody doesn’t trust the military or the government, yet trusts the media, when the media is only as good as their sources inside the military or gov… one wonders what happened to logic after Socrates died by a democratic vote.

I don’t trust the Times because I’ve caught them out one time too many on subjects where I happen to know something about what they’re reporting on.

Well, that’s their fault then, Cass. They didn’t reprogram you in time.

They have on many occasions grossly distorted easily verifiable facts.

They reported that the miners trapped in the tunnels were alive, when they were dead and they would have known this if they had listened to the official PR officials.

The media loves tormenting the powerless and the weak, calling it “straight down the middle news” after their torrent of devastation has passed. Katrina people eating each other.

What the Mass Sepsis Mind, aka Main Sewer Media, reports is what they want to be true. And if you let them get away with it, it will become the de facto as well as de jure truth. Given the world of the MSM is so cruel and barbaric to innocents, that’s not something most people on the side of Good and Light will tolerate.

And while the editing cycle at a mass media outlet isn’t perfect, it’s frequently better than the hit and miss self-editing that I’ve seen on many blogs. For every Villainous Company or Zenpundit (who does a fine job even though I disagree with Matt politically) there are 50 slop troughs masquerading as “news and opinion” blogs.

The difference is, the media has all of those 50 people as well, they just happen to be editors, publishers, and the executives in charge of overall policy in addition to what news will or will not be printed or reported.

In the blogosphere, those 50 people are at the bottom of the social hierarchy, not at the top. Except for Daily Kos, of course.

Especially since I came back, I really regret that I don’t have time to do the kind of job I would like to do.

Then just sit back and read the comments, womyn!

Never could unnerstand why the PX carries those durned thongs. Distracting, they are.

I speculate that it is for heat dissipation.

Batman: The Dark Knight

July 22, 2008

[I'll tell you flat out when I'll utter a spoiler, But mostly I'll tell a story and describe things, but you'll never really know whether they are part of movie or not, unless I spell it out directly. If you don't want to hear about the character developments in the film and want to go into the movie without any preconceptions, then don't read on. If you have seen the film or even if you haven't, and just want to talk philosophy and ethics concerning issues derived from the issues Batman: Dark Night raised, then keep reading.]

Batman: The Dark Knight is a very dramatic, thrilling, and captivating film.

It is normal fare for what Hollywood uses as their conscience, capacity for logic, and ethics. Meaning, the use of logic, correct ethics, and conscience is reserved solely for the good guys, not the villains. The good guys have logic gaps as well, since after all, the same guys who set them up also set up the villains. But you don’t notice it unless the villain’s bad logic is already playing out on screen.

As for ‘conscience’, that is normal Hollywood fare in that only good guys have consciences. Bad guys aren’t always that way. If they were, then we couldn’t kidnap and threaten to execute the family members of ‘bad guys’ to force them to do things our way. If they were bad, and if bad people never have conscience pangs for their actions, then why would bad guys care for their families?

Hollywood also scales it by degrees. Some people inadvertently helped the bad guys, but they themselves see themselves as good people who are just forced by circumstance, whether that be blackmail, greed, bribery, or threats against family members, to go up against the Status Quo order, which in this case is Gotham city and its protectors. This still reinforces the Hollywood paen to the soul of badness that bad guys don’t have a conscience. That’s not actually necessarily true. In most cases, what people see as a “lack of conscience” is actually a different in moral standards.

The third aspect I introduced, ethics, is probably the most important of the three. Ethics has to deal with what is always right, if not always true. And what is “right” is determined in this fashion. What is right is choosing the best course which will lead to the best conclusion, so far into the future that you cannot even imagine it.

The FOunding Fathers did the ethically correct thing and thus we have what we have. If they went down a different path, if they chose the ethics of Hollywood, if they betrayed their nation for petty funds and convenience, then things would be different.

The Dark Knight, in this instance, actually does a very good job illustrating different ethical standards. You have the police, or the side of the good, fighting crime the “right” way, by putting them in jail. Again, that’s a Hollywood thesis, but not exclusively. It’s also a Western decadent sheep idea. Next you have the bad guys, who are alternatively nihilists, useful idiots, or mobsters interested in greed.

Then you have Batman, who is supposed to be inbetween the two. The Dark Knight, the savior of the city, with no limitations, jurisdictins, or petty legal lawfare red tape to prevent him from getting the job done. But that’s not actually true, in the movie at least. Batman will not kill. Batman will arrest people and give them to the police rather than ripping their innards out, filming it, and hanging the pieces of meat, complete with video footage, in the public square so that both criminal and law abiding citizen may witness the price of going against order and peace.

For all that the film tried to deal with the dichotomy between “vigilante” and “law abiding systems of justice which the police uphold”, in the end, Batman and the police are one and the same. Bruce Wayne just has more wealth and power, and because he has no direct hierarchy to answer to, his actions and responses are much faster than Gotham’s police department. Nor can Bruce be swayed by greed or ego trips or corruption, cause he did not become Batman cause he needed money, power, or fame.

Because Hollywood chose that particular brand of ethics to deal with, they couldn’t create an ending that satisfied people like me. If they watered down the morals (diff from ethics) of the villains as much as they watered down the faith and capacity for violence of the ‘good guys’, then that would be an entirely different story. A Batman that refuses to kill villains that aren’t really villains, can be a good story about redemption and use of auxiliary counter-insurgency forces. A Batman that kills everyone, when everyone may not necessarily be guilty or in need of killing, is not a good thing. But a Batman that lets people like Zawahiri or Zarqawi live in jail and then get released later on, is worse than “not a good thing”.

Hollywood and most of America still thinks fighting evil consists of “laws” and “police regulations”. Laws are only as good as they are effectively enforced. If it takes a year to execute a mass murderer… the law just became ineffective. Especially when the buddies of that mass murderer is holding people hostage and executing them to release their leader.

But, and there is always a but, when all is said and done, the producers and writers of the film did NOT water down the actions, evil, or morality of the villains in this movie. Chiefly, the primary villain. The Primary Antagonist is one of the most well done villains I have seen yet, on the scale of sheer sadism, nihilism, self-destruction, and moral justifications. This is a serial killer that is totally amoral, yet likes to pretend he has morals and even “ethical standards”.

For any other villain, Batman’s “morals” about refusing to kill criminals in the process of burning down the city and killing people, could have been tolerated and accepted by me, even if it was rather ridiculous or ineffective in my world view. But given the primary villain in Batman, that little weak and pathetic “standard” about not killing just went down the toilet where it belongs.

Here comes the spoiler section, so stop reading if you haven’t seen the movie.

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Let’s cut to the chase here. When Harvey Dent started talking about luck and chance and how that was all “she” got, that chance was the only thing that lead to her death rather than his, is complete and utter baloney. The Joker was the one that lied to Batman and told him the location for the girl, thus leading to Batman’s decision to save her rather tahn harvey. Batman let Gordon take care of that. Gordon failed. Batman succeeded. Except… Batman saved Harvey. Ahhh, chance was it? No, not chance. It wouldn’t even be chance if somebody else had created this “mastermind” plan to set up this Catch 22 situation. For Harvey to be convinced by the person who murdered his fiancee to go killing off his former allies is… retarded. Not just for someone in the audience that’s supposed to just sit there and accept this fact, but for Harvent Dent himself, who as a prosecutor, certainly knows how to MANIPULATE people.

And the fauking Joker, now he’s one carefully constructed psychopath. Almost as good as Zarqawi in his prime, before we jellied his brains with a couple of bombs. Batman refused to kill the Joker’s arse when the Joker let him run him over with the bike. What was he thinking? That more good would come if he followed the “plan”, with the plan saying “give evil another chance”? Yeah, that’s a good plan. That’s a good “system” of justice.

Concerning Z-Man, we killed his ass and got what we needed to wipe out his other sonsobitches, leading to the Sons of Iraq after awhile. We had our cake and ate it too, people. Why? Because we did the right thing. We did the ethical thing and the best ethical system will provide you better long term results than any “moral code”. By moral code, I obviously mean the relativistic standard of right and wrong that changes from city to city, nation to nation, culture to culture, and religion to religion. Ethics never changes, because the best and right course is the best and right course, regardless of who you are. Ethical standards are ideal and may never be possible or even feasible to follow all the time. nut if you can, you should, for you will benefit much from it: not to mention the good it will do the rest of the world.

Let’s look back, again, at the movie’s plot. Batman refuses to run Joker down. Joker gets captured and put into prison. Batman’s love and Harvey’s love gets snatched by one of Gordan’s corrupt cops and Harvey was as well.
He then uses a useful idiot sucicide bomber that blows out Gotham’s holding cell, after Joker goaded an officer, who was INSIDE the fauking room with Joker, to get close and get taken hostage. The bomb was set off by a call from a cell phone, which any person that have seen how iEDs work, would have guessed long ago. Giving a violent psychopath a phone which he can call anybody and give out any orders… real smart dumb arse Gotham police. All you guys are good for is coming afterwards to clean up the bodies on the pavement.

The reaction of US military personnel to terrorists using human shields? Shoot the human shields and kill the terrorists, but whatever else you do, don’t make human shields more valuable to terrorists in the future. That’s the ethical thing to do. The “moral” thing to do is to save your fellow officer by giving the Joker a cellphone and thus preserve JOker’s civil liberties and the life of a cop, but this has the annoying consequence of killing dozens of officers in the long term. That’s the difference between “ethics” and “morality”.

Also, Harvey has got to be the world’s biggest idiot if after hearing how JOker wanted Harvey to fall and thus ensure that Joker wings, to believe that Joker killed Harvey’s girl because it wasn’t “personal”. Oh, yeah it was. Trying to make someone good into evil by setting it up so his fiancee is killed with the help of the police Harvey was supposed to work with, is not “personal”? If that’s not personal, I don’t know what is.

Unlike the Left and pacifists, I actually have a valid alternative when I see something I don’t like or hate. The plot in Batman: Dark Knight is solid and very dramatic. What needs to be changed is not to make Batman kill the joker first off and thus prevent the Catch 22 decision between the lovable girl and the crime fighting prosecutor. All you need to do is to alter the sequences to the ending.

Harvey can still go crazy. Batman can still have let JOker live and thus personally allowed the deaths of many more individuals. Batman once said that he would turn himself in because he didn’t want anyone else to die because of him or because Joker’s using him as a justificatin. But Batman values his morality about not killing more than he values the men, women, and children that will be killed when he lets Joker live? That’s not ethical, but it is moral, to Batman at least. And I believe it is also moral to Hollywood. So long as your conscience is free, who cares about the long term consequences that ethics warns against?

However, the difference is here. Batman has to fight Harvey first, than the final fight with the Joker. Batman has to convince Harvey that this flipping coins BullShit is pretty ineffective and how he’s been brainwashed by the Joker.

It would be better for Batman to deduce the ultimate goals of the Joker, rather than have the Joker tell the Batman at the end and boast about his “victory”. Then, Bruce can convince Harvey of such things. Harvey can then turn a new leaf and volunteer to entrap the Joker so that he can be arrested. Batman agrees, on principle, but wants to use himself as bait, with Harvey the one going to deceive the joker about a full proof ambush of Batman. Since the Joker doesn’t want to kill Batman, the most plausible scenario for why Batman should be attacked is if he has the wife and child of Gordon with him. You see, Harvey had failed to kill them and teach Gordon a lesson, so he is now asking the Joker for help. This makes perfect sense since the insane Harvey was going to do exactly that, until Bruce stopped hm.

Joker sets things up in the perfect fashion that he always has, except this time, the occupation forces( Coalition, Police, and Local Auxiliaries) know exactly where, when, and how the terrorist/insurgency will attack.

The advantage of the attacker, meaning the Joker, has always proven too much for Bruce and Gotham. But now it is Bruce and Gotham that has the upper hand on the Joker. And all becaue the JOker believed that anyone could be corrupted, that anyone, deep down inside, will sell each other out if it means lasting a few more minutes.

You will have taken down the villain by using his own beliefs against him. What is more just than that?

But as for the specifics, Harvey sets up the ambush with Joker and sets up the counter-ambush with Batman via that secret communications thingie they have.What they don’t have one? Then make one up. When Joker attacks, Harvey backstabs the Joker, but keeps him alive because he has returned to his old prosecutor and lawyer self. Batman, however, has different ideas. The vigillante that he is and the person who allowed Joker to live and thus be freed to kill more people, now realizes that it is far better to kill evil people than to let them use the “justice system” to kill justice and the people fighting for justice. How is a system of justice going to work when all the people for justice are dead? Are good people born automatically or something from a dispenser every time you lose one to the Joker?

Harvey, however, disagrees, and in the process of arguing with each other over who is more moral or more ethical, the JOker springs out one of his numerous surprises. Harvey commits an act of self-sacrifice and takes the knife for Batman. Joker takes that time to escape on hands and knees.

Batman: Why did you stand in front of me? I am the one wearing armor.

Harvey: I guess it was just… instinct, after so many have died to protect me. Given what I have done, this is the smallest price I could ever pay.

Batman: Then it looks like I’ve won the argument. I’ll take care of the trash from here on out.

Harvey: Good *grins* luck, Batman.

Batman: It’s Bruce, and she would have been very happy with you by her side. Go and give her my love.

And thus the Dark Knight is born.
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Final Encounter with the Joker

Usually it goes on like. Joker says “you can’t kill me, you need me alive for your precious *contempt showing* order and schemes. Batman says “you may need me, for without me, your precious chaos will be just another type of order and scheming. How do you think you have gotten so far against me and my allies? It was due to your schemes, not due to your impulsive “rash” actions. You are a schemer, and you know this deep within your twisted little mind. If you ever killed me, you would be left with the position of most powerful man in Gotham. You could then no longer deny that you have become a servant of order, a protector of the status quo, after my death. You cannot kill me. But I can kill you”

Batman: Why are you wondering, why have I changed my mind? Because I have finally realized, after being taught many lessons by you, that chaos needs to burn and destroy but the same is not true of those fighting for Light and Order. We do not need people who excel in chaos. In some respects, Gotham needs you like they need me. We are both men of chaos, we just simply use our powers and preferences for opposite ends. But my end goals do not require your continued existence. But yours require mine.

The Joker’s reaction to that may be manifold. Psychosis, denial, scorn, disgust, fear, etc. Any reaction will be very satisfactory to the people in the audience like me. For while the JOker still has many options, given he is still alive although not for long, the Joker has been pinned into an insupportable position by his own beliefs and by the strength of the people he wished to torment and destroy. The Joker has options, but none of them will save him or cause any more grief to any more others.

Batman will end this, finally, and if Bruce likes to add in some crucifixion, impalement, amputations of limbs, and destruction of taste, tongue, sight, fingers, and feet… well, they don’t call him the Dark Knight for nothing I suppose.

I prefer my ending to Hollywood’s ending.

Oh btw, had Batman killed and ripped apart the gangsters supporting the Joker, the Joker could never have done a tenth of what he actually did. A single man, without resources or great wealth, taking on both a city and Batman? Such criminal masterminds simply do not exist for long, at least in one piece.

But the idea that you take apart organized crime through prosecuting them, is wrong. You take down organized crime by turning the people in organized crime to your cause.

Harvey allowed “her” to do the exact same thing to the Hong Kong banker, after all. So why does Harvey all of a sudden scorn Gordan’s use of flawed and corrupt cops? Should have eviscerated the mobsters and all their underlings when you had a chance. THEN, you would get people that will betray the mob for you, for you will have demonstrated that your power reaches farther than the Mob’s power.

If we had adopted Hollywood or Harvey’s strategy towards gangs and criminals, we would still be fighting the Sunnis in Al Anbar.

Talking with Anti-Iraq People

July 21, 2008

It’s an interesting audio and written interview. It’s by CJ.

For the first audio clip, when she said that thing about face to face communication being the solution. Well, that’s what the US military is dong in Iraq. Face to face, door to door, tribe to tribe, communication. You certainly can’t do that sitting in DC sipping Star Bucks, now can you.

And CJ should have asked her “why do you think oil prices are going up when the Oil Corporations are supposed to have stolen so much oil from Iraq”.

I think I can guess the answer, but still.

CJ’s remark about Japan having some natural resources we could exploit or steal was priceless. The only natural resource Japan has that we should exploit is Japanese anime, calligraphy, and martial arts.

I agree that the people doing drive by idiotic comments should shut it. This woman sounds anxious as it is. Jeez, I don’t get that anxious even when doing public speaking. Depends on the crowd, I suppose.

The person CJ is interviewing, the one that sounds nervous, isn’t actually a Leftist, by my classification. She doesn’t accuse you of doing things solely to defend her own positions or whatever. A potential classical liberal that just never made the full transformation in time?

Hey, I got an idea, why don’t we invade Canada? They speak the same language as us, mostly, and they are so much nearer to us, so the cost of stealing their oil should not by anywhere the same as invading Iraq.

Basic physics say that objects in motion tend to want to stay in motion. This can be applied to violence or what people call the cycle of violence, violence begetting violence. It also means that violence can be stopped by an equal and opposite force, which is our violence. Physics has many wise things to say about our world if only we just open our minds to it.

As you’ll find out, I kind of found it odd that Jennifer actually said this lady, Reese, knew more than she did about the topic.

What that actually means to me is that Reese has more explanations and justifications for her self-delusion. Jennifer had to think long and hard about certain things and it was obvious she was making an honest attempt at something she had never experienced before.

Reese, I presume, will have ready made answers to the common challenges available. It is what propaganda arms usually do. Come up with rote answers that are valued, not for their logic, but because these are the answers everybody says. Everybody they know, at least.

Let’s see how my views play out after listening to the audio.

Well, one thing she started off with was by fishing in CJ”s waters for advance knowledge of his current tactical position so that she could assault it. That’s what I thought at least, when she asked “why do you think we went to Iraq for” after CJ had asked her a similar quesiton.

One thing concerning her concern for civilian casualties is how she never speaks about how the people CJ was fighting and killing in Fallujah were the ones torturing and executing families, simply cause I guess it was a way to pass the time. TO say that it is now the US military in the wrong for killing those murderers, is to simply allow the unjust to go free simply because you don’t feel a particularly potent need to ensure that the sons and daughters, of a family you will never know, continues to live.

Reese’s comment about how you don’t solve assailants going into people’s homes to torture and kill by indiscriminately dropping bombs on the entire neighborhood. That’s a classic Leftist defense technique, where they defend their beliefs by making you look bad. It is not ever really about how there’s no way to actually defend yourself against violence without violence, so they prefer to talk about your “indiscriminate” use of violence. They don’t have any solutions to violence so… might as well make your lives miserable in the process.

Aristotle and releasing killers from jail

July 18, 2008

The incident of Susan Atkins, part of the Manson murders, and Olmert’s decision to release Kuntar (along with 4 other enemies of humanity) in exchange for the dead bodies of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers, is a disturbing trend in human affairs. Here is my response to the Susan Atkins incident.

Since what I spoke of came partially from Aristotle, I’ll let him carry the torch further.

* The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning…. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else. (II.1389a31)

In our society, with the focus on eternal youth and on how much wiser the “children” are, it is not too surprising that this kind of behavior is much more present here than it ever was in Ancient Athens.

Men … are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody’s friend, especially when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states, suits about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteries of rich men and the like, which are said to arise out of the possession of private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different cause—the wickedness of human nature. (II.1263b15)

Human nature has been the same ever since the dawn of humanity. And if you aren’t convinced, then realize that this piece was written many thousands of years ago, even if it was translated relatively recently.

# Any one can get angry — that is easy — or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy.

Helen likes to say that equality is the goal. Not as easy as she makes it out to be, for the very virtue of “equality” isn’t even equally distributed amongst the population.

Last time I checked, not even God could redistribute virtues from the virtuous to the sinful that need them.

* Different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government.

* Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.

Equality should not mean “you have one path in life and one path to happiness and this is it”. To die with dignity is not to be provided with comforts and honors, like release from prison, from others.

* Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.

Which supports my contention that jokes exploit an underlying perception of an unspoken truth. Most other people would say that you are spoiling things by analyzing jokes and looking deep. I say that they are superficial in matters of philosophy and life.

Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.

Tony Snow

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.

Concerning why citizens obey laws in a democratic republic as opposed to the People’s Republic of North Korea.

The corollary is also that wicked men force others to obey from fear as well.

Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.

Obama.

The greatest crimes are not those committed for the sake of necessity but those committed for the sake of superfluity. One does not become a tyrant to avoid exposure to the cold.

Meaning, basic security and liberty are not the goals which promote extreme actions. The greatest crimes are committed for the “greater good”. That of equality, fraternity, utopia, or what not. Master Race and all that. Islamic Caliphate and all that.

Something that is not necessary to the human condition, that is what inspires real evil and crime.

* After these matters we ought perhaps next to discuss pleasure. For it is thought to be most intimately connected with our human nature, which is the reason why in educating the young we steer them by the rudders of pleasure and pain; it is thought, too, that to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on virtue of character. For these things extend right through life, with a weight and power of their own in respect both to virtue and to the happy life, since men choose what is pleasant and avoid what is painful; and such things, it will be thought, we should least of all omit to discuss, especially since they admit of much dispute. (X.1172a17)

* And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace. (X.1177b4)

This was the particular section of the Nicomachean Ethics, precursor to Aristotle’s Virtue Theory (an Ethical theory) that demands that virtuous men and women hate what they ought to hate and love what they ought to love. Not in excess or by whim or even by law, but according to virtue.

I do not source my ethics from the Bible or any other Revealed Truth text. Which is why it doesn’t take much attribution or textual citations for me to justify saying that you should not love a murderer of innocents.

Comment Response – Castle

July 17, 2008

The people who manage this money account for EVERY dollar EVERY year, and that all gets reported back to Congress which in turn makes annual decisions about the next year’s foreign aid for training funds, which isn’t really a lot, BTW, by any measure.

The faith that Congress knows about or even cares what foreign nations use their aid for, is false. Individuals may care, but they have no system to ensure that subsidization of foreign nations is particularly beneficial to the US or even other nations. The Constitution is for that, and the Constitution was never designed for the US to govern other nations and potentates.

Even with direct intervention and with direct investment and interests involved, such as OIF 1, corruption and charges and loopholes developed and were the default position.

All of that stuff looks good on paper, but that’s all it does. Once it is transfered outside the US, it can be spent for anything. Which is the point, after all, to those kinds of “incentives”.

FACT #4: It is unethical and illegal for U.S. Government employees to accept most favors or gifts from anyone (foreign or domestic), and while many people bend or break the law, when they are caught, they are taken to task in some fashion, depending on the severity of the violation. Moreover, other nations have no say whatsoever about the kinds of positions DoS people fill, except insofar as every sovereign nation can demand the removal of a person from its territory.

It’s also illegal to destroy classified information, but Sandy Berger still has his security clearance. What’s illegal and what people are doing, are two different things.

Other nations know that when DoS people retire, the DoS folks want a little cash egg and some benefits as well as cushy jobs and consulting positions.


FACT #5: It is as much their money as it is anyone else’s, and probably a whole lot more of it than what I suspect the author of the above statement puts into the pot every year. All U.S. Government employees not exempted for some legal reason pay federal income taxes and most also pay Social Security and Medicare taxes as well, depending on which retirement system they fall under.

Now that’s one of the most irrational facts around. I didn’t realize people still believed the government spent their own money (foreign aid money at that) these days when it comes to the federal budget.

What you need to do is to defend your position, not take potshots at the “author” of what you are seeking to challenge. If you feel yourself unable to properly defend your claims, then all you need to do is to be honest and admit it.

FACT #2: DoS does not make decisions about Federal budgets, Congress does, and DoS doesn’t have jack to say about the laws governing how the money is used, Congress does. See FACT #1.

Oh, I see. That means all the things the DoD and the President spent on the war was decided before hand by the Congress. You always have the most interesting interpretations of your factoids, Sanger. As the bureaucrats always like to think, elected officials are temporary but bureaucrats are until retirement. They are the true leaders of this nation, for they are the only ones who believe that they can think in the long term, for the good of all.

Just because Congress decides to allocate funds, does not mean they decide where it goes all the time. That’s what oversight is for, dontcha know. Otherwise… we wouldn’t need oversight, Congressional or contractual based.

Congress can make many laws about which nations can receive foreign aid and what not. Only the Executive Branch and their bureaucrats, however, get the final say on the details. For they are the ones that handle foreign policy. Or supposedly, anyways. Although I’m sure you can and will make an argument that Congress is still very good and powerful and all that.

I’m tired of playing with seperate rules whereby I have to take the high road, and getting shown up for doing it, while she gets to be rude and in everyone she disagrees with’s face.

I feel left out, Kat. Why aren’t you ever rude to me when you disagree with me?

I don’t start fights, John.

You probably think you just start arguments and they just happen to turn into fights because the other party can’t control themselves.

That is a very contentious issue, probably since the idea is false.

Historically speaking, when John criticized or corrected me, or Bill did, on issues concerning details and merits, I did not react in an insecure fashion and accuse them of “ganging upon me”. Either the criticism is constructive or destructive, valid or invalid, true or false. There is such a thing as action and reaction, and if my action is to forward a propositon and statement about Air Power or military photographers, then the reaction will be proportional to the action.

This is an objective way of seeing things. An objective way of arguing data or interpretations. The subjective fashion is thinking that people are out to get you just because they don’t like your arguments. It’s thinking everybody else you are arguing with is being aggressive, while you’re the victim or the person defending, thus you aren’t the one that starts fights.

The facts and order of events speak a different truth to what you have claimed, CBT. When you are always the one picking arguments with people and their comments, which weren’t directed towards you, and making up straw men and calling people names to start off with and making ad hominem attacks on their character by talking about games and what not, this does not mean you are the nation of Georgia here, who is getting attacked because they are weak and the aggressor is stronger.

Did I miss something? Did we win that war?

Given your need to protect Congressional privileges, I just didn’t want to mention that Congress ordered the US to surrender the Vietnamese to their executioners. It seems an irrelevant topic to get into, so I chose not to bring it up.

It’s quite clear Nixon and Abrams would have won that war, just like Petraeus would have won Iraq if the surge had been allowed to succede. Unfortunately for some, things don’t always turn out for the best.

As for Sanger’s unique twist on reality, the underying fundamental structure of the world is a little bit different than his take on it.

What executive branch agencies administer foreign aid
programs?

For over 40 years, the bulk of the U.S. bilateral economic aid program has been
administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Created
by an executive branch reorganization in 1961, USAID became an independent
agency in 1999, although its Administrator reports to and serves under the “direct
authority and foreign policy guidance” of the Secretary of State. USAID is
responsible for most bilateral development assistance, including economic growth,
global health, and democracy programs, Title II of P.L. 480 food assistance, and, in
conjunction with the State Department, ESF, East European, and former Soviet aid
programs. In FY2004, USAID manages a foreign aid budget of $12.65 billion,
maintaining direct control over $5.7 billion of this amount. USAID’s staff totals
8,132, of which only about 2,035 are U.S. citizens hired directly by the agency. The
largest components of USAID staff are foreign nationals (3,570) working in overseas
missions and representational offices who oversee the implementation of hundreds
of projects undertaken by thousands of contractors, consultants, and nonCRS-
22

15 USAID. Congressional Presentation, Fiscal Year 2005, p. 87.
governmental organizations (NGOs) Another 2,652 personal service contractors
perform other work for the agency.15
In addition to these programs jointly managed with USAID, the State
Department administers several other aid programs directly. Individual offices at the
Department of State oversee activities dealing with narcotics control and
international law enforcement, terrorism, weapons proliferation, non-U.N.
peacekeeping operations, refugee relief, and voluntary support for a range of
international organizations such as UNICEF. In order to manage the President’s
recent Global AIDS Initiative, the State Department has created a Special
Coordinators Office that administers in FY2004 $488 million for international
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs. These funds are expected to grow
significantly in future years: the President has requested $1.45 billion for FY2005.
The funds will be channeled through USAID, the Centers for Disease Control, the
National Institutes for Health, and other implementing agencies. FY2004
appropriations for these State Department-administered aid programs totals about
$2.75 billion.
-Source

Obama’s Mercy to the Weak

July 16, 2008

Check this out to see what Democrats tolerate as social justice. It ain’t pretty, but then again, self-delusion often never is.


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