Wednesday, September 28, 2005

10-Day Absence

I'll be away from Internet access for the next ten days, and will pick up from here when I'm back.

Toynbee offers a plausible explanation on how muslims came to base their culture on slavery - I'll post on that when I'm back. Fortuitously, Melanie Phillips today describes one of their slaving targets - England!. Neal Stephenson gives a fictional perspective of this in volume 1 of his splendid Quicksilver trilogy.

The muslim addiction to slavery helps explain their self-defeating behavior. If the only outcome you seek is enslavement of the rest of humanity, there's nothing you won't do to them. Which means that there's nothing they won't do to you...

The Future Of Islamic Depravity

Muslims wage war against innocent civilians with a cruelty and cowardice that are characteristic of dispossessed dominant minorities. The good news is that historically, such groups never return to power and are always extirpated.

Here are some recent examples of muslim war-fighting - skip over this if you know the stories or have a weak stomach.

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In Israel, Palestinian killers murdered a pregnant woman and her four daughters, who were aged 2, 7, 9 and 11. After shooting up the vehicle and causing it skid off the road, they went up to the car and killed all the occupants at close range. Can you imagine the scene in the car? The woman and her kids either dead, unconscious or screaming with pain and shock. And can you conceive of any man who would shoot each of them?

In Iraq, we had the head hackers (now dispatched by our special forces). Their display of strength was to kidnap unarmed civilians, hog-tie them, and saw their heads off while recording their death agonies. The videos they posted are still avidly watched by their co-religionists. Oddly, they showed some concern for the nurse they captured, shooting her before disembowelment.

Again in Iraq, try to put yourself in the minds of the men who drove up to a school, took the 6 teachers captive in front of the school-kids, and shot them. This is part of a long series of slaughters of civilians - in funeral processions, mosques, while shopping or at religious gatherings. Not to mention the murder of little kids who commit the crime of taking candy from Americans - remember the pathetic pile of tiny, blood stained sandals?

And on 9/11 and 7/7, muslim guests in our societies slaughtered not our power brokers or soldiers but ordinary men and women going about their lives. Many muslims celebrate this as a great victory.

The killers have their supporters in our societies - LGF chronicles them daily.

In the UK, Tony Blair is advised by a "moderate" muslim lawyer who called the Holocaust "a big lie" and says that Blair is controlled by a sinister conspiracy between Freemasons and Jews. Another "moderate" muslim adviser tried to get the Brit Holocaust Memorial Day scrapped, on the grounds that it was not "inclusive" - he refused to attend the events organized for that day. The (non-muslim) Mayor of London hosts muslims who advocate execution of homosexuals and little girls & deny women basic civil rights.

******

There are four examples of similar behaviors in modern history:

1. The Japanese in WW2, who routinely decapitated, bayoneted, crucified or raped their bound captives.

2. The Hutu people that hacked to death about 1 million of their fellow Tutsis using hatchets and knives.

3. The Germans in WW2, who had (among other perversions) a penchant for burning women and kids alive. If you're ever in France, visit Oradour-sur-Glane, an example of the slaughter they repeated in thousands of towns and villages across occupied Europe.

4. The Serbs in former Yugoslavia, who considered themselves brave to machine gun thousands of bound men, including kids and old men.

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There is a pattern to these groups of sadistic cowards: they are all dispossessed dominant minorities. And in their sadistic rages always bring about their own destruction.

Many muslims believe that their historical birthright is to rule the world, yet, due to their own inadequacies find this gaol unreachable. In Iraq, the 10% of the population that is Sunni Arab ran Iraq until 3 years ago and cannot accept the prospect of sharing power with Sunni Kurds and Shia Arabs.

The WW2 Germans thought themselves members of the Teutonic race, which had been oppressed by the Jews but now was destined to rule a world of Untermensch. The Japanese had similarly seen their civilization revealed as inadequate when it was forced to open up by the West.

The Hutus and Serbs had run their countries and were facing the prospect of sharing power.

So these dispossessed dominant minorities became depraved - abandoning valor, humanity and decency.

What happens to these groups? Historically, they are defeated in detail and their leaders killed - an old US warrior of my acquaintance called the Japanese solution: "Flat tops, Corsairs and Nukes".

The solutions for Germany and Japan worked well - almost too well in the case of the now-timid Germans. The Serbs are an open issue - we have hunted down and killed many of the bad actors, but some are still free. The Tutsis destroyed the Hutu armies in battle, won power and are slowly eliminating their murderers - and even rehabilitating some.

Israel is in good shape - I hope the leader of the group that killed the mother and her little girls saw the missile homing on his cellphone before it took his head off. Israel's warrior people, defended by a security fence and equipped with very advanced conventional and nuclear weapons should be able to eliminate its enemies.

Iraq is looking good too, beacuse the Shias and Kurds have the oil, and the Kurds have good armed forces. As the US and UK withdraw and the world looks elsewhere, the Sunni terrorists will be extirpated by the other two groups.

How the US and Europe will deal with their nests of depraved muslims remains to be seen. But deal with them they they will - once dispossessed, dominant minorities stay dispossessed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Having a Laugh

"Having a Laugh" is currently Brit slang for an obvious deception - when London authorities initially claimed that the 7/7 bombs were just an electrical problem, a London cabbie remarked "They're having a laugh - it's the mossies". ("Mossies" is the Brit term for their Islamic guests.)

Blair is now having a laugh. The London Telegraph joyfully reports "IRA Arms Dumped". Sure, right into armories of splinter terrorists.

The dumping (my ellipsis and emphasis):

The IRA has finally put its arsenal of weapons and explosives amassed during 35 years of the Troubles out of action, the (retired Canadian general) head of the international arms decommissioning body said yesterday.

Gen John de Chastelain said he believed that the IRA had disposed of all its arms but questions were raised over the verification procedure when he said that his assertion would have to be taken on trust.

...Roman Catholic and Protestant clergymen...witnessed the decommissioning of an arsenal that was believed to have contained more than 1,000 rifles, 500 handguns, 40 mortars, at least one surface-to-air missile, six flame throwers, 600 bomb detonators and three tons of Semtex.

Tony Blair said: "This is the moment we have been waiting for. It has taken years of patience and perseverance and often disappointment.

Of course there's no reason at all why the IRA fear state gang should disarm. If for some unknowable reason they did so, they'd want to be believed and would do the deed in public, not in hiding in front of a couple of clerics and a retired Canadian general. And real decommissioning would involve some mighty explosions.

The Clinton-bashing Reverend Ian Paisley is now having a laugh at Tony (my ellipsis).

Unknown numbers of IRA weapons have ended up in the hands of splinter groups and no-one can say that all have been decommissioned, the Reverend Ian Paisley said today.

He said the intelligence estimates used by members of the International Independent Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) to judge whether all the IRA weapons were gone had been revised.

"Part of the weapons that should have been decommissioned have disappeared, and the security forces admit they are probably in the hands of dissidents."

He said even the weapons estimate used had an upper and lower tolerance - but the (retired Canadian) general had refused to disclose whether weapons actually decommissioned met the higher or lower level.

(The Reverend Paisley) said they "got the greatest surprise of all" when they discovered that improvised weapons were not covered on the intelligence lists.

So, the IRA has handed its weapons to its buddies - folks like the Real IRA who murdered 29 old people, women and kids using a decoy bomb to herd them into the kill-zone of their IED. And the IRA has kept some weapons. And they've retained their IEDs.

Very funny. And very Canadian.

The World Seen From Berlin

If you want to understand the German world-view, take a look at Der Spiegel's in-depth feature about how hard life is for Kofi Annan and the UN.

You don't get to the Oil-for-Food scandal until you're in part 2, by which time the average reader will have nodded off. The corruption of Annan's lieutenants, the pedophile habits of the his peacekeepers and the tendency for terror states to reign on his human rights council don't get a look in.

Oh, and it's Bush's fault for not letting the Germans have a seat on the Security Council - apparently Schroder hoped that he could ignore the US. But he couldn't!

The Rage of the Dispossessed US Dominant Minority

The great historian Arnold Toynbee explains the rage of the American left – it’s a dispossessed dominant minority that believes that its divine right to rule has been stolen!

In his “Study of History”, Toynbee analyzes all 21 successful civilizations, from Egypt through Babylon to the West. Updated in 1945, it’s ten dense volumes - I read the abridged
two-volume set, hard going, but worth the (8 week) effort.

Toynbee shows that civilizations begin, grow, decline and die in the same way. They are created by stress, grow through inspired leadership, begin to decay during a “time of troubles” (for example the Roman Punic war), and decline through an Indian Summer of what he calls a Universal State. Then they die.

He’s weak on the effects of democracy on this cycle of birth and death – it’s a new phenomenon, only present in one of the 21 civilizations (ours), and in what follows I’ve extended his model to account for democratic self-renewal (e.g. Reagan, Thatcher).

Toynbee shows that as a civilization begins to decay, its ruling class ceases to lead and becomes oppressive. He labels it a “dominant minority”, which rules over an increasingly disaffected “proletariat”. The Caesars after Augustus were a dominant minority - Caligula is an example.

Members of a dominant minority break the law or social codes with impunity – Caligula married his sister. If we look at the US, some members of a dominant minority are easily visible:


- Edward Kennedy left a woman to drown. That’s at least negligent manslaughter, but he’s never spent a minute in court.

- John Kerry negotiated with the North Vietnamese while it was at war with the US, and he held a commission in the US Navy. That’s treason, but he has not had to account for it.

- The US MSM routinely violates social norms, for example displaying images of the dead and suing to retain the right to do so.

These examples are visible because the perpetrators are politicians and media. They probably represent the tip of an iceberg.

This US dominant minority is made up of rich East Coast WASPs and their MSM lieutenants. If the US was like all earlier 21 civilizations, this group would be running the US for the next few centuries as it declined and then died. But US democracy has changed the rules and the leadership has passed to a new multi-ethnic group drawn from all classes.

The dominant minority’s loss of power explains its sheer rage – from their perspective, they’ve been robbed of their birthright! How can an “uppity nigger” distinguish the Supreme Court by his presence? How can an aged film actor or a swaggering cowboy run the nation better than they could? What right have a bunch of pajama clad amateurs to breach the MSM’s monopoly? What right has the nobody Bolton to beat up on their sacred UN? And so on.

They hate because they’ve been robbed!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Iowahawk Excels

In case you missed it, take a look at this, first putting away any fluids or substances that hysterical laughter might cause you to involuntarily inhale.

I particularly liked Al-Zarqawi's personalized thank-you notes to parents of suicide bombers:

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. _AL-DURRA____:

Please find enclosed a Ziploc containing the remains of your martyr _TARIQ____.

Though he is now frollicking in Paradise, his comrades and I will always remember him for his ___POKEMON COLLECTION____.

Thanks to his holy sacrifice, we are one step closer to __EXTERMINATING THE JEWS___.

Yours in Sharia,

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi

Quarantining Killers Of Innocents

Islam purposefully kills women and children, so Israel is behaving rationally in walling itself off and building up its nuclear arsenal.

On Saturday, Palestinians launched a barrage of rockets against Israel from the territory which Israelis ceded to them 2 weeks ago. In retaliation, Israel struck back at the launch points and leadership.

The attack killed Islamic Jihad's top commander in southern Gaza, Mohammed Khalil, and his bodyguard as they drove on a coastal road.

The army said Khalil was responsible for the deaths of 17 Israelis, including a shooting attack that killed a pregnant woman and her four young daughters as they drove near a Jewish settlement in May 2004.


This is the horror that Khalil orchestrated:

May 2, 2004. Mother, 4 daughters, killed in Gaza shooting attack

A pregnant mother and her four daughters were shot dead Sunday after two terrorists opened fire at Israeli cars traveling near the Kissufim Crossing at the entrance to the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip.

The dead were identified as Tali Hatuel, 34, eight months pregnant and her daughters Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, Merav, 2 all from the settlement of Katif.

Police said the white Citroen station wagon, carrying the family, spun off the road after the initial shooting, then the attackers approached the vehicle and shot the occupants at close range.

Israel cannot live with a people that perpetrates depravity.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hard Choices: New New Orleans Or Missile Defense?

Some spend on Katrina recovery is unavoidable, but $200 billion is out of the ballpark and absent tax increases and pork reduction will force hard choices. For example, completing US missile defenses will cost about the same as rebuilding France-sur-Mississippi. You may have to choose between them.

One day an enemy will lob nuclear warheads at the US. If they get through, the dead will number hundreds of thousands - much more than Katrina's 1,500 max. Here are the GAO numbers (my emphasis) for the two defense programs that will stop that happening.

Ground-based Midcourse Defense

This is the system being deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element is a missile defense system being developed to protect the United States against limited long-range ballistic missile attacks launched from Northeast Asia and the Middle East...DOD’s planned investment in the GMD program from program inception in 1996 through 2011 is approximately $31.6 billion.

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense

This is the sea-based system being deployed by the US and Japan.

The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD) element is designed to protect U.S deployed forces, friends, and allies from short-and medium-range ballistic missile attacks. Additionally, its shipboard radar can serve as a forward-deployed sensor for surveillance and early tracking of long-range ballistic missiles in support of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) mission... DOD’s planned investment in the Aegis BMD program from program inception in 1996 through 2011 is approximately $10 billion.

These two programs total about $42 billion over 15 years, with about $25 billion as yet unspent. Of the Katrina $200 billion, I'm guessing about 20% will go to NOLA rebuild - say $40 billion, so call it a wash.

Which would you prefer - a carbon copy of New Orleans, complete with a welfare-dependent brutalized underclass and hurricane vulnerability, or protection against nuclear attack? Unless you want higher taxes, you may have to choose.

Remember Gaza?

The MSM exulted when Israel removed all of its people from Gaza - including many who had lived there for decades. Now the Palestinians use their new base to attack Israeli civilians and all is silence until the Israelis retaliate. Sensible Israelis will conclude that concessions give them nothing.

The Jerusalem Post reports (my ellipsis):

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responded strongly to the firing of over 40 Kassam rockets over the weekend...At least six Israelis have been wounded in the barrages.

MyWay's front page doesn't mention these attacks, of course. But they'll soon howl at the Israelis beating the crap out of their tormentors - the Brit MSM is already on that job.

Israel mobilised thousands of troops for a potential re-entry to the Gaza Strip yesterday, vowing to "crush" Palestinian militants, less than two weeks after its last soldiers departed the territory in a historic withdrawal.

Troops began to mass on the border with Gaza while others had their leave canceled as Israeli jets carried out repeated air strikes on Palestinian militants.

The new cycle of violence began later on Friday at a military-style Hamas rally to trumpet what the militant group sees as its achievement in driving Israelis from Gaza.

Here's the "cycle":
1. Israelis give up territory to the Palestinians.
2. Palestinians use that territory to attack on Israeli civilians.
3. Israelis whack their attackers to stop them doing it again.

I'm just an engineer - not a journo - but this looks to me like a sequence, not a cycle.

Sensible Israelis will conclude that concessions make them less safe, and that will be really bad news for the MSM's pet Palestinians.

America Should Not Rebuild Its "Little Bit Of France"

Katrina has highlighted the corruption and incompetence of the low trust polity of Louisiana. It's similar to - maybe derived from - the French social model. Feeding it $200 billion of Federal subsidies will merely perpetuate a broken and alien culture and harm the President's standing.

On Friday, the Katrina death toll was 1,069:

Alabama2
Florida14
Georgia2
Louisiana832
Mississippi219


It's likely the death toll will reach 1,250 - less than my estimate but higher than I'd hoped for.

Why did the folks in New Orleans die?

The timeline is laid out in the 5-day photo sequence by Alvaro, a young Nicaraguan. It's been deleted from Kodak EasyShare, but I captured the essential details and have combined them with non-political engineering accounts.

Sunday August 28th. On the insistence of the President, the NO mayor and Louisiana governor issued a mandatory evacuation order. About 100,000 people stayed in the city. This was not completely irrational - as Rita has shown, predicted paths of hurricanes are unreliable, and Katrina could have missed. Those remaining were:
- the old and infirm with nobody to evacuate them to places of safety
- tourists without transport
- the car-less poor
- the criminal who planned to prey on the abandoned city
- risk-takers who chose to stay to protect their property

Monday August 29, Morning. The hurricane hit NO twice (leading and trailing edges?) in early and late morning. Damage was superficial - old brick walls collapsed, windows sucked out, signage and trees down. Power and telecoms went down over a wide area. 200 school buses were left unharmed in a central parking lot.

Monday August 29, Afternoon. People were out inspecting the damage and filling the bars. Some Louisiana National Guardsmen were on the scene.

Unknown to the stay-behinds, the two canals linking Lake Pontchartrain with the Mississippi had been breached in between 5 and 7 places. To save space, these canals don't have sloping earth-bank levees, but massive steel and concrete walls. Engineers did not expect them to fail and investigations continue - barge strikes are possible, but it seems odd that owners would leave barges moored in these narrow channels.

Monday August 29, Evening. The day ended peacefully, but the canal breaches widened and the city began to fill up. Amazingly, there was no siren system to warn of the breaches, so Alvaro and the rest of the city went to bed believing that the worse was over. Its probable that many people died that night - in particular the old and immobile, and those unable to get to roof areas.

Tuesday August 30 Morning. Streets were full of water and the public order collapsed. Alvaro has pictures of cops standing by while shops were looted. People who could do so fled to the Superdome which had a contingent of 300 National Guardsmen with limited supplies. Those unable to get in broke into the Convention Center, which had no cops or military.

Tuesday August 30 Evening. The damage was done. The frail and immobile were dead, the living were struggling to protect their possessions and persons in the face of collapsed public order.

The subsequent Federal effort to restore order & evacuate the city had little effect on the death toll but some effect on property damage since an earlier army presence would have reduced looting.

Conclusions

1. The primary killer was Katrina.

2. The secondary killers were the New Orleans mayor and his staff. They left 200 buses in Katrina's way and failed to monitor the integrity of the levees. One enterprising citizen used a single bus to pull out 70 old people, mothers and kids, so we can estimate that - knowing the canals had been breached - these buses could have evacuated 14,000 people on the Monday afternoon. Protection of the weak is a basic civic responsibility in high trust societies. A resolute mayor would have used the buses to save the old, young and the sick.

3. The primary cause of civic breakdown was the low trust culture of the city and state, which led to a large number of feral individuals in the city and its police force.

4. The secondary cause of civic breakdown was the failure of the governor to send all available National Guard units to the city on the Monday. This was another failure in to perform the core civic responsibilities of a high trust society - to protect property.

Low Trust State Model

Individuals in low trust states lack civic responsibility and rely on a corrupt state for their salvation. For example:

September 25, 2003. The death toll in France from August's blistering heat wave has reached nearly 15,000, according to a government-commissioned report released Thursday, surpassing a prior tally by more than 3,000.

Conclusion

Louisiana and New Orleans behave like a little bit of France.

The current proposal by the President to flood the state and city with tax dollars will make matters worse, since it creates a moral hazard in which individuals do not have to account for their activities.

A better response would be to impeach the mayor and governor, to prevent any rebuilding below sea level, and to encourage evacuees to relocate to other areas.

If the President follows the present course, he will win no friends from the groups he subsidizes and will lose the support of the many who elected him to promote civic virtue.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

France? Don't Go There!

A review of the French tax and legal systems reminded me why it's crazy for an Anglo to live or start a business there.

One book, although nominally boosting France, paints a picture of classic Low Trust society in decline.

Erosion of Trust
The French tax system is based on the practice of "denunciation" - people are encouraged to denounce neighbors to the French tax authorities and are rewarded with a cut of the penalties the authorities impose.

Erosion of Justice
Tax investigation assumes guilt - parties denounced must prove their innocence.

Erosion of Property Rights
Like any other state, French state takes property for infrastructure projects, however the legal resources available to the citizen are much more limited than in Anglo societies. Plus there's a nasty trick called "preemption" that applies to 90% of all properties in France. This allows the local mayor to step in and take a property that you've signed up to buy. Or, after you've bought, require that you give up part of your property for redevelopment.

It's thought that about 60% of Brits who move to France give up and return home within two years. They're the lucky ones - many can't afford to return, having lost their capital to the locals.

The corporate level is just as bad. Here's a WSJ view (subscription, my ellipsis):

If you thought starting a business in France was difficult, try closing one.

Last month, a French court ordered Nestlé to reopen an unprofitable factory shut down in June. Apparently, the Swiss food giant hadn't met all of France's labor law requirements -- even though it had offered the 427 workers in question early retirement schemes or jobs in other Nestlé plants in France.

So when President Jacques Chirac asked his cabinet Tuesday to ensure that Hewlett-Packard "fully respects" its obligations under French labor law, it was no empty threat. CEO Mark Hurd, who wants to cut...1,240 positions in France, had better make sure his lawyers have read the fine print of the French legal code.

France's staggering (10%) jobless rate is largely the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of capitalism. Somehow, the country's fabled "social model" assumes that companies should operate like nonprofit organizations. But neither do entrepreneurs create jobs out of charity nor do they lay off people out of malice -- despite French Employment Minister Gerard Larcher's calling Hewlett-Packard's plan "brutal."

Many French understand that their current model is not sustainable, but - as in Germany - those with entitlements outnumber those funding them.

Stay away.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Cops Bust Lefties

New York cops have joined firefighters and 9/11 families to stop the left from turning the 9/11 memorial into a covert attack on America.

Hat tip LGF, the NYP reports:

Police-union leaders have joined the battle to scuttle plans for the controversial International Freedom Center at Ground Zero — a site they say should be treated with the same reverence as Pearl Harbor.

"The World Trade Center is not a place for domestic or international politics," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch wrote in a letter sent yesterday to World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Director Gretchen Dykstra.

"It is not a place for inappropriate art or entertainment and programming which trivializes or ignores the history of the site," Lynch's letter continued.

Lynch said any use of the site should be focused only on 9/11 and the lives that were lost at the World Trade Center. Among those killed were 23 city cops and 343 firefighters.

Lynch's Pearl Harbor analogy is a good one. The left would by now have converted the Arizona into a giant Rising Sun with its centerpiece a museum that chronicled the sufferings of Japanese detainees during WW2.

Another Great Chinese Achievement

Japan is building up its missile defenses, no doubt to complement its future nuke capability. This confirms the continued ability of the Chinese despots to shoot themselves in the foot.

A previous post reported the successful test of the Raytheon SM-3 ship-based Ballistic Missile Defense system. It's launched from an Aegis cruiser or destroyer and Japan will deploy it next year.

Now Japanese sources report that it will co-develop the SM-3:

Demonstrating both cooperation with the U.S. and its own ambitions to pursue missile defenses of its own, Japan will partner with the U.S. to design a nose cone for a ballistic missile interceptor, Kyodo reports, citing close sources. The interceptor at issue is an upgraded version of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) which is part of the Aegis sea-based defense system, in which Japan and other countries are quite interested. An agreement between the two countries specifying the cooperation is said to be expected soon, possibly by the end of the year.

A Japanese SM-3 will give that island nation a world class defensive system to to complement a future nuclear deterrent capability.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Spot The Republican Governor

Even the BBC should be able to figure out the politics of this Governor.

Texas is facing the ever strengthening hurricane Rita, and three days ago, its Governor did
this:

September 19. Today Gov. Rick Perry recalled the Texas National Guard, Texas Task Force 1 and other emergency personnel and equipment from Louisiana in anticipation of Tropical Storm Rita entering the Gulf of Mexico. Current projections indicate that Rita will continue to strengthen into hurricane force and could threaten the Texas coast by the end of the week.

“With the potential of another major hurricane forming in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening the Texas coast, the time is now to begin mobilizing our resources and implementing our plan to ensure an orderly response before Texas is hit,” Perry said. “For the past three weeks, our emergency personnel have been assisting our neighbors devastated by Hurricane Katrina and over the last year our state has heightened preparations for dealing with a catastrophic storm. While we continue to hope that day never comes, Texas must be ready if it does.”

Still not sure? Here's the killer clue:

galveston
School buses evacuating thousands from Galveston

Deutsch Delicate Democracy

German media is bemoaning the "delicacy" of Afghanistan's newfound democracy. They should look in the mirror.

Just 4 years ago, islamofascist-ruled Afghanistan was mired in barbarism and devastated by over 20 years of brutal warfare. Now they've had an election, and the country is blooming. Meanwhile Germany has no leadership, is controlled by commies and its economy is headed South.

Der Spiegel:

Afghanistan's Delicate Democracy

Afghan President Hamid Karzai beguiles his enemies to prevent the country from falling apart even further. Kabul, once a devastated city, is blossoming, and it owes part of its resurgence to investments by drug barons. Former Taliban leaders and communists could end up in the country's new parliament.

Sounds good to me - commies and former terrorists are ending up in parliament beacuse people are voting for them.

The new appeal of politics has even forced the truly powerful in this country to take part in the democratic process, in which every citizen has one vote -- despite the fact that, in many parts of the country, it is the tribal leaders who tell the local people for whom they should cast their ballots.

In previously devastated Kabul:

Traffic is unbearable, and construction is going on everywhere. There are 24-hour internet cafés, jeans shops and bars that serve alcohol, at least to foreigners, and business is booming for Chinese and Russian prostitutes.

By contrast, in democratic Germany:

...the post-communist Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and a number of left-leaning, western-German malcontents -- got 8.7 percent of the vote. With that, they will send 54 delegates to the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament. As expected, the party did even better in the states of former East Germany. Fully 25.4 percent of eastern Germans cast their votes for the Left Party -- fully 8.5 percentage points better than in 2002.

And of course:

German elections are over and both Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his challenger Angela Merkel are claiming victory. In truth, both did poorly -- but they may end up leading Germany together anyway. It will be a coalition of the losers.

Compared with the Germans, the Afghans are doing a great job - they have splendid leadership, their commies and warlords are under control and their economy is booming. Germany should try this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

45 Down, 15,955 To Go

The New York Times is letting 45 editorial employees go.

The New York Times Co. and two Philadelphia newspapers announced major job cuts Tuesday as the industry grapples with severe financial problems including weak advertising and circulation declines.

The Times said it expected 250 jobs at its main newspaper group to be affected, which includes the Times, the International Herald Tribune and the online operation of the Times. Of those job cuts, about 45 will come from the Times' newsroom, the company said in a statement.

That's 45 less enemies of freedom in the world-wide army of 16,000 - a great start!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Team Britannica, Bloody Yeah

The Iraqi al Sadr Shia militia has joined a long list of thugs who have learned not to mess with the Brit Special Air Service. Sadly the Shia community has lost the Brits as an ally in their battle with the Sunnis.

The al Sadr thugs recently started to attack Brit patrols in Southern Iraq, killing several soldiers. So the Brits responded, and:

...arrested six members of the Mahdi army, the militia loyal to the rebel Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Those held included Sheik Ahmad Majid al-Fartusi, the Basra commander of the group, and his aide, Sajjat al-Basri.

On Sunday the Mahdi army said it would retaliate on Monday if its leaders were not freed. The rioting suggested that it had carried out its threat.

Yesterday the terrorists intercepted two SAS undercover agents, beat them up and imprisoned them in a militia house.

The Brit army has experience of being tortured by Iraqis, after six SAS troopers were captured Scud-busting behind Iraqi lines during the Gulf War. So the army got its men out with admirable alacrity, in spite of an ambush in which the bad guys hid behind kids armed with Molotov cocktails.

British troops who stormed a Basra jail with armoured carriers to rescue two commandos discovered that the pair had already been handed over to local militia, the Ministry of Defence said today.

Officers searched the jail in the southern Iraqi city from "top to bottom" before forcing guards to disclose the whereabouts of the men at gunpoint.

The two soldiers, who had been working undercover, were traced to a nearby house from which they were rescued in a follow-up operation.

This outcome is terrible for the Shias and good for the Sunnis.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Weasels 1: Germany 0

Schroeder's principled stand against being defended by the US paid off, so now Germany gets another 4 years of economic decline while facing an oil-rich Russia.

Davids Medienkritik has excellent coverage of the stalemate - looks like North/East Germans really resonated with Schroeder's election message.


North East Germany was the area the USSR planned to occupy when it was war planning back in the 80s. Before the next German elections Russia will be much more powerful than the old USSR - fattened on $60 oil - and looking for compliant buffer states - looks like a match made in heaven.

This Is Good?

Fox News reports:

North Korea Agrees to Drop Nukes

Perhaps on Beijing?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Driving In France

France allows its criminals to prey on foreigner visitors. It also supplies diplomatic and financial support for the Mullahs' nukes and Palestinian murder of Jews. Same motivation - French governments are predators and they support their own kind.

Mrs G and I have been looking for a (small) country place in Europe, and having been disappointed in Italy have researched France. It's scary: this from David Hampshire's Buying a Home In France (my emphasis):

Highway Piracy: (les pirates de la route) is becoming an increasing problem in some areas, where foreign drivers are are often targets. Gangs deliberately bump or ram cars to get drivers to stop, usually late at night when there's little traffic about. A driver may may also pose as a plain clothes policeman and try to get you to stop by flashing a "badge" or setting up bogus road blocks. Traveling at night in France is becoming increasingly hazardous and should be avoided if possible.

The Brit Foreign Office confirms and extends the warning (my emphasis):

There is...a continuing problem of burglaries taking place during the night whilst travelers have been asleep in their caravans, mobile homes or other vehicles. In a number of these cases, victims had first been rendered unconscious by the thieves using gas.

In Calais British registered cars may be targeted by thieves, both while parked and on the move (eg by thieves flagging down drivers for a lift or indicating that the vehicle has a flat tyre).

Visitors to Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries in northern France, many of which are in isolated areas, are advised not leave handbags or other valuables in parked cars as they can be the target for thieves.

In populated areas of the South of France, particularly in the Marseille to Menton area, you are advised to keep car doors locked and windows closed when driving as it is common for bags to be snatched from the front passenger seat, often when the vehicle is stationary at traffic lights and usually by individuals on motorbikes.

In the Rhone-Alps Region a British couple were recently robbed after their car had been flagged down by thieves who had indicated that something was wrong with the vehicle.

FYI, Commonwealth War Graves are the "corners of a foreign field that shall be forever England" occupied by the million or so Brits that dies to keep the French free.

Such crime exists in all countries, but in hight trust societies like the UK the local cops aggressively patrol areas being targeted in this way. But the French authorities choose not to. This is characteristic of France's low trust society, and explains French support for murderous despots like the Iranians and and terrorists like Hamas. France's government chooses not to stop criminals targeting visitors to their country because it is predatory itself and so identifies with domestic thieves and predatory foreign regimes.

We may still buy somewhere in France provided the local cops don't stop us packing heat.

Enemies of Freedom (2)

Secondary news feeds are also sources of systemic bias - for example the MyWay News home page defaults to AP and Reuters stories.

A search doesn't reveal who owns MyWay, but it smells NYT - does anybody out there know?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Net Benefits Of Offshoring

The political debate on offshoring focuses on the supply side – loss of UK and US jobs to foreigners. But balancing these losses are advantages to consumers – cost reductions and better service, as the example below illustrates.

First, the theory, in a Georgetown Public Policy Institute report on outsourcing IT in the New Economist:

In summary, most studies find the extent of job losses from services offshoring relatively small in the aggregate, but somewhat concentrated in a few industries and occupations. The job losses stem from both a direct impact of offshoring, which displaces some workers, plus an indirect impact through the productivity enhancements that it provides. However, there are still unanswered empirical questions, including the just-mentioned productivity effect.

Hmm, that’s pretty definitive!

Anyway, here’s my experience. A German friend (yes, I do still have some) is soon to celebrate a Very Special Event. She has 9 year old Dell PC, so it’s time for a processor box upgrade. I’ve never had a bad experience with Dell desktops, so checked out the Dell UK and Dell Germany websites, selected configurations, and called them.

Dell UK patched me through to an Indian salesperson who in fewer than 10 minutes figured out a price and delivery from UK to Germany. Only problem was the choppy VOIP connection.

The shipping cost from the UK to Germany was high, so I called Dell Germany. Navigated their German IVR system using my very basic German, and got connected to a salesperson in Eastern Europe who spoke perfect English. The VOIP was better than the UK service. In a 10-minute transaction, I fixed the specification, payment (amazingly easy) and shipment. Pricing was very good and beat the UK, so I confirmed the order. The only hard part was reading the subsequent German language emails confirming the order and Dell's customer satisfaction survey. But Babelfish came to the rescue.

So, here’s the equation:

  • UK and Germany lose 2 jobs – only a problem for Germany since UK has full employment

  • I can order in the country in which I want the product delivered, and work in English

  • India and Eastern Europe gain 2 jobs, growing their economies, increasing their own imports, and adding to their political stability (only China plans on making war on its customers).

  • Dell gets keener prices, so I buy more (1Gbyte RAM, 160Gbyte HDD).

Looks like a net plus to me.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have no friends, family or neighbors working for Dell and have never had any business dealings with them except as a consumer.

Brit Free Trade (Not)

The Brits have quietly abandoned Free Trade. That's bad news for the world's economy.

Here's how the Brits taxed an item we just imported from the US:

Value of shipment: $100

Value Added Tax: £12.66 ($22.79 at current rates)

Customs clearance Fee: £13.50 ($24.30)
(This is charged by the Brit delivery service Parcelforce, so may be a scam by them and/or a Brit customs)

So on a $100 import from a most favored trading partner, Brits pay about 47% tax and other charges. This high level is new - possibly a Blair stealth tax.

Lousy economics and lousy politics.

Fixing The BBC

Blair is said to be shocked by the anti-Americanism of the BBC's coverage of Katrina. If so, he has a solution right to hand - convert it to subscription funding.

The report:

Tony Blair was shocked by the BBC's coverage of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans, describing it as “full of hatred of America”, Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, revealed on Friday night.

Mr Murdoch, a long-time critic of the BBC who controls rival Sky News, said the prime minister had recounted his feelings in a private conversation earlier this week in New York.

I'm inclined to believe the report - the BBC's web coverage was very duplicitous & that's where it's on its best behavior because it's monitored by the blogosphere.

The BBC is no more America-hating than the New York Times, but unlike the NYT it uses Brit criminal law to force its funding from every Brit TV owner.

This is easily solved. The Blair government has to decide by December 2006 on what terms, if any, the BBC's forced-funding should continue. A long and no doubt heavily manipulated process of consultation is in process.

The politics are interesting:

1. The BBC execs know that they won't stay fat and happy on voluntary funding, so they're fighting tooth and nail to keep the taxation model.

2. Blair has been sandbagged by the BBC, so would be delighted to make it pay its own way.

3. Brown, who is slated to take over from Blair before the next election (likely 2009) is an unknown quantity. But he's a friend of America, so probably lines up with Blair.

4. Blair's Labour party however contains many unreconstructed socialists, and they defend the BBC as the last of the nationalized industries.

5. The many other broadcasters that compete, or wish to compete, with the BBC want to see its forced-funding eliminated.

6. The Brit people don't count - they are being "consulted".

My suggestion is that Blair extends the BBC charter only until 2010, using the cover that by that date the switch to digital will be well under way. From that date, the BBC funds itself the same way its (by then) hundreds of competitors do - commercially. If its as popular as it claims, that will be easy.

All Blair has to do is get Brown on board - these modified monarchies can be useful sometimes!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Counting The Enemies of Freedom

Key to knowing your enemy is to know his numbers, and Reuters' justification for snooping on the president at the UN gives us the data-point we need. There are 16,000 enemies of freedom feeding the MSM.

We've seen the MSM distortions on display in the Katrina debacle. In order to harm the president, they inflated body counts, inflated the toxicity of the flood waters, lied about the timeline, lied about the investments of the Bush administration in flood control, lied about accountability, and downplayed the rampant corruption within the state of Louisiana.

Their coverage of Iraq has been murderously manipulative - civilians slaughtered by terrorists "die" while coalition forces "kill", or even worse use "targeted killing" to remove their murderers.

This had been going on for years - remember the Snuff Pulitzer awarded to AP for giving world wide publicity to its images of two brave, unarmed, election workers being murdered by terrorists? The AP photographer could only have taken the picture with the active assistance of the murderers.

And remember the pictures of Palestinian kid supposedly killed in cross-fire between Hamas and IDF forces? It's a Palestinian fake, promoted by French State TV - see here (hat tip Michelle Malkin).

Here's my list of the bad actors:

AP
Reuters
AFP
CNN
CBS
France 2

BBC

These are Primary Sources - they are the polluted springs that feed the lefty media in the US and UK. I've ignored non-English feeds, notably the German and French, since they don't pretend to be on our side.

So, how many people in these seven organizations actually do the dirty deeds, deciding what gets published, how its slanted and what gets suppressed?

Reuters is representative. It does a lot of damage with just 15,000 employees spread across 92 countries, of which 2,300 are editorial staff in 196 bureaux around the world.

These editorial staff call the shots, see their apologia for trying to sandbag the president at the UN (my ellipsis):

Don't blame the photographer.

That's the message from Gary Hershorn, a picture editor for Reuters, about the photo yesterday that shows President George W. Bush writing an all-too-human note during a UN meeting.

Hershorn, Reuters' news editor for pictures for the Americas, says he's responsible for zooming in on the note and deciding to transmit the photo to Reuters clients. He says (the photographer)didn't know what the note said when he shot the picture.

Hershorn is one of the 2,300 editorial staff and has enough power to try to diminish a president. The photographer is regarded as a grunt - sensible since many of their local photographers are likely active terrorists and head office needs to apply some decorum.

As a reasonable approximation, assume that each of the other six organizations has 2,300 Hershorns, making a total of 16,100 enemies of freedom - round it to 16,000.

Oddly enough, 16,000 is MI5's estimate of Muslim terrorists in the UK, and the coalition's estimate of Baathist and al Queda killers in Iraq.

Next time you get mad at the MSM, remember there are only 16,000 of them out there.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Katrina After Action Report (1)

The first question I've been analyzing for the AAR is why the levees broke - as opposed to being overtopped. Mark In Mexico has done the hard work here - read the whole piece - you may not agree with his political analysis (although I do), but his engineering research is perfect.

Overtopping was predictable under a set of circumstances that was not met. Levee failures - breaching, whatever - was not predicted except in cases where overtopping was so severe that scouring of the levee base would occur from the inside of the levee causing its collapse. That did not happen.

Allies

The WSJ yesterday reported (subscription) which nations Americans consider to be close allies.

The order isn't surprising, but the numbers are - here are the results for the NATO nations the US is pledged to defend, plus Israel and Australia. An Anglosphere/Israel alliance has appeared and NATO is gone. The EU needs to get its army in place fast.


NationRated Close Ally
UK74
Canada48
Australia44
Israel41
Japan30
Italy26
Germany24
Spain22
Holland21
Norway18
France17
Greece16

The UN Dance of Death

President Bush and Prime Minister Blair yesterday shone lights on the corruption and human rights abuses of the UN, and implored the member states to reform it. This will not happen because the UN truly represents its members, including those that sanction murder of civilians. The US and UK should walk away from this cesspit and stop giving aid to sponsors of terror.

Here's the president addressing the UN General Assembly yesterday:

"When this great institution's member states choose notorious abusers of human rights to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, they discredit a noble effort and undermine the credibility of the whole organization. If member countries want the United Nations to be respected and effective, they should begin by making sure it is worthy of respect."

And the Prime Minister urging the UN to fight terrorism:

"Terrorism won't be defeated until our determination is as complete as theirs; our defence of freedom as absolute as their fanaticism, our passion for democracy as great as their passion for tyranny," he said.

"They want us to believe that somehow it is our fault, that their extremism is somehow our responsibility. They play on our divisions. They exploit our hesitation: this is our weakness and they know it, and we must unite against this ghastly game with our conscience."

"Either hope will spread or violence will spread and we must take the side of hope. As we fight, the terrorists must know that the world stands united against them."

Sadly, the Muslim part of the world actively sponsors terror:

... a group of Muslim countries including Pakistan, Egypt and Syria blocked the West's attempts to get a universal condemnation of terrorism.

The group rejected a draft statement that terrorism amounted to the "deliberate and unlawful targeting and killing" of civilians and could not be "justified or legitimized by any cause or grievance".

The Muslim states said that this could be used against national liberations movements struggling against foreign occupation. Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians are widely seen as legitimate in the Muslim world.

The Muslim nations, driven by their lust to destroy the Jewish people, have chosen the path of blood and taken the UN with them. Our nations should have no part in this barbarism. And we should sanction nations that sponsor terror - cutting off aid to Egypt would be a great start.

R J Mitchell

I'm delighted that an American is memorializing R J Mitchell, the creator of the Spitfire to which we Brits owe our liberty. Mitchell epitomizes the Brit strength of design creativity.

Asked by Hermann Goering, his supreme commander, what he needed to win the Battle of Britain, Adolf Galland, the Luftwaffe's leading ace, replied: "Spitfires".

We should also remember the Rolls Royce design team that created the Merlin engine that powered the Spitfire and its cousin the P-51 Mustang, which later hosed the Luftwaffe out of German skies.

The Spitfire and Merlin highlight the different Brit and German strengths. Correlli Barnett in his The Audit of War describes how the Brits began WW2 with a much inferior industrial base to Germany - the Merlin was only manufactured with interchangeable parts after its wartime manufacture was subcontracted to Ford, with its American manufacturing ethos.

Barnett explains that the elliptical wings of the Spitfire made it more costly to manufacture than German opponents, the Me 109 and later FW 190.

Mitchell and the Merlin team of course knew of the manufacturing limitations, so they substituted design genius, getting substantially better performance than the German opposition, and, crucially, building in huge design stretch. Building in stretchability is very hard to do, since the designer has to envision the unpredictable future. However its worth it - a stretchable design minimizes future development costs and allows manufacturing to optimize on long production runs.

So the Brits pitted their superior design creativity against Germany's industrial creativity. A succession of ever-better Spitfires hammered the Germans throughout WW2 and in spite of their lower individual production costs, the Germans lost more planes and pilots and had much higher development costs since they had to produce a succession of planes and engines to fight the Spitfire. Barnett isn't an engineer, so he missed this.

My favorite book on the engineering is Alfred Price's The Spitfire Story - it includes tactical trial reports for all versions, and a fascinating fly-off between a Spitfire and a P-51. An excellent book on the Spitfire and the Brits, Canadians, Americans, Australians, South Africans, Poles, French and New Zealanders that flew it is George Beurling's Malta Spitfire. He describes the lengths the Germans had to go to to protect their bombers towards the end of the siege of Malta:

As (the single Spitfire squadron) got there we spotted the enemy in half light - fifteen bombers and at least eighty fighters.

That's over six times numerical superiority for the attackers - and they still lost. Design creativity wins.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Un-targeted Killing

Al Jazeera bemoans the Israeli use of targeted killing, possibly favoring the un-targeted method used by their al Queda and Baathist buddies.

Al Jazeera Monday 22 March 2004

Tens of thousands of Palestinians poured on to the streets in Gaza City to mourn the murder of Shaikh Ahmad Yasin, the spiritual leader of the resistance movement, Hamas.

Yasin was killed on Monday as he left a mosque after the dawn prayer.

It is the highest profile assassination of more than three years of conflict and sparked outrage.

They'll be happy with this highly un-targeted killing:

Fox News September 14, 2005

More than a dozen explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital in rapid succession Wednesday, killing at least 152 people and wounding 542 in a series of attacks that began with a homicide car bombing that targeted laborers assembled to find work for the day. Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility.

The Value of Blog Comments

The blogosphere gives us information insights and analysis that the lefty MSM either can't provide, or suppresses. This value can come from commenters as well as bloggers - here's an example of a thoughtful and articulate commenter with essential, first-hand knowledge, who picks up a blindingly obvious point that I (at least) had missed.

His comment is on CQ, he lives in New Orleans, his handle is Matt, and his comment is here (the "you" he talks about are the other commenters):

My name is Matt and I've lived in NOLA for the past 15 years and all I can say is most of you don't have a clue. Can we please stop all the outrage and finger pointing. Yes our governor is a joke, yes the mayor is in over his head, but nobody, nobody, not Giuliani or any other mayor or governor could have evacuated the city in time. What people don't understand is who is going to pay for all this? Let me explain.

Last year when we had a close call with Ivan, everyone knew this could happen, but what can be done? Everytime there's a storm in the gulf you cannot evacuate the 200,000 people who cannot or will not fend for themselves. How are you going to bus them out, feed them, shelter them with bathroom facilities for a week every time there's a storm in the gulf? Sunday morning, 24 hours before the storm, the predicted landfall error margin from the NHC is still 150 miles wide. If a grain barge hadn't gotten loose and broken the levee, we would all being talking about Mississippi where the storm actually hit. NOLA would be a non-story, a non-event. The storm missed us.

But back to my point about evacuating. Who is going to stockpile 10 million gallons of bottled water, 20 million MREs, etc., ? Are we going to open the Astrodome and all the other venues, mobilize the Army and Red Cross each and every time a storm is in the gulf? Are you going to pay for that? Check your facts people, 72 hours out, which is when you would have to start evacuations, the error margin is 350 - 400 miles wide. You could wind up evacuating people for no reason and to where the storm actually hits!

Don't say the city and or state should pay, there's no money. Financially speaking probably about half of the people you saw on TV, are a drain financially (yes I'm stressing that intentionally) on the city. Almost everyone who pays attention, and who could get out on their own did. Many of the people left in the city and on your TV screens, live in projects or section 8 housing at taxpayer expense, get food stamps, welfare checks, medicaid and medicare and on and on. There is a sense of entitlement in some areas of the city that you could never even imagine.

Many people didn't heed the order to leave because they KNEW Nagin would have no choice but to open the superdome. All you heard on TV was about all the elderly and the special needs people who were stranded and neglected. Give me a break! For the first 12 hours the superdome was open only to special needs people. It was all over the TV and radio, the city had a hotline and would COME PICK YOU UP and take you to the Superdome. They got 600 people in. 600!

If people will not help themselves in even the smallest ways, what can you do? Some legitimately have no means to get out, but that number is much smaller, (as someone suggested above with all the cars trapped in standing water) than the number who stayed anyway. That's probably because of the miss with Ivan and and so many other misses in the last 40 years since Betsy.

But that is still no reason not to be prepared with your own food and water. I had only lived there two weeks and friends told me if you have to go to the attic in a flood make sure you take an axe or something to breakout. That was 15 years ago! EVERYONE in NOLA knows the city's history with hurricanes and with Betsy in particular. In NOLA the local TV stations start with the Hurricane preparedness shows in May and run them repeatedly throughout Hurricane season. IF you don't have food and water for your family, you are an ass. Period. We all make choices on how to spend limited funds. You can buy dented cans at a supermarket for 10 cents a can. You can prepare regardless of your income or lack thereof, especially when you have 40 YEARS to get prepared. Bottled water doesn't go bad.

Nobody will even discuss these things because the PC thought police will crucify anyone who has the guts to discuss some level of personal responsibility.

As for the blame game, yes the president was slow, but only by about 24 hours. He should have gone on TV and announced he was waiting for the governor to ask for federal troops to put the onus on her. But it seems only people in NOLA know that Nagin got on TV saturday night and said the President called him personally and begged him to evacuate the city. He said he couldn't call for a mandatory at that time because of some legal crap about having the ability to enforce the call.

The governor is the real problem because active duty federal troops can't come in until she asks, and she sat on her butt and did nothing.

Yes, Nagin screwed up, but you've got to give him a pass on the evacuation part. It couldn't be done. Where he screwed up was tolerating the looting.

It goes on, entirely to the point, and puts me (at least) to shame.

As you'll see, Matt explains how the cost of false alarms combined with the uncertainty of the predicted point of impact of the hurricane made the decision to evacuate very difficult. I should have spotted that - decision making is my specialty.

I'll repair the deficiency in a subsequent post.