Friday, November 04, 2005

I have a question

If bloggers are inconsequential, little, partisan pip-squeaks prattling on with their keyboards, then why are governments worldwide, including ours, freaking out over them? And those "journalists" who use the internet to criticize bloggers create their own blogs to do so? Doesn't that put them in the same realm?



Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Iraq War and the Job Market

On the 25th I posted a link to This piece by an anti-war "mouthbreather". I called it clap-trap. And it is. I've given it a lot of thought though since then and come to the conclusion that maybe the basic concept of looking at the war and comparing it to the free market or the job market isn't such a bad idea.

However, there are much different conclusions one should come to if they look at it objectively, rather than through the prism of the narrow-minded anti-warism that the author did. Frankly, there's not a subject out there that an anti-war activist can't twist to fit their ideology by ignoring certain facts.

The author sates the obvious first:
If a growth industry is appealing enough to a worldwide audience, it tends to establish itself quickly elsewhere in areas closer to pools of ready labor and targeted consumers, particularly when the start-up capital for such an industry is minimal. Industries exempt (legally or not) from compliance with the normal labyrinth of government regulation enjoy an additional competitive advantage in their ease of entry into the marketplace. Then too is the issue of product design and delivery. Anywhere implement or product manufacture is relatively cheap and simple and its delivery not overly encumbered, industries can take root.

From this point on she parts with reality and goes on to theory and speculation, by considering the job pool and the consumer to be separate entities in her application as if it were a tangible product like toilet paper or a service like tax preparation.

The closest product market it could be compared to, and still be far removed from, is sports. And they are both taking the same route. Imagine the guy who runs into a busy market wearing a bomb vest, or the guy setting the IED at the roadside, as the quarterback. Bin Laden and Zarqawi are the coaches, or team owners.

Here in Jacksonville our Jaguar players demand more and more money and the owner sees less and less profit. In Iraq the jihadists demand more and more money and the cult leaders can afford fewer and fewer bombing operations.

What does the Jaguar owner do? He has several choices. He can tell the players they can't have the money and they'll go play for another team. Only the true believers in the game (which are few when money is such a strong mitigating factor) would stay. He can move to another city which will more easily support the increase in wages. Or he can shut down the franchise and look for some other means to support himself.

The "insurgents" in Iraq are demanding more money. The jihad bosses were paying $500 for a bombing operation. Then they were paying $1000. They are paying an average of $1500 per operation now. The price will only go up.

What does the jihad boss do? This is getting more expensive for himm. He can tell them they can't have the money and the "employees" will get real jobs or just leave. Only the true believers would stay, and we know they are a small minority. He can move operations to go bomb other people where labor is cheap because monetary support is slowly drying up and assets are being frozen daily. Or he can close up shop and blend into the civilian crowd and try to regroup.

Some try to compare the war in Iraq with the decade long insurgency in Afghanistan against the Soviets. They say, "Look. They hung in there and the soviets finally left." There's no comparison. The soviets didn't have a competing product nor did they even attempt to establish one. The Iraqis are being offered freedom and liberty as an alternative. And they are responding. Because of this one strong factor the front of the war on terror will move from Iraq to somewhere else or it will become even more splintered into smaller pockets and more random appearances.

The insurgency has peaked in Iraq and while some will say that more soldiers died this month than last month, therefore the insurgency is stronger, is a stretch in correlation. By this reasoning, as my friend GM said in another matter, "If correlation was in fact the same as causality" then the number of coalition deaths is what determines the terrorist's success, or lack thereof.

If we are to try and look at it as a market strategy or as a marketable product at all then we can only deduce that this is not a supply and demand issue nor is it a viable job market. Because the jihadists are consuming their own product. It could only be considered, for lack of a better term, a "closed market" and with less and less support it will collapse under its own weight.

It's only a matter of time.



Friday, October 28, 2005

The Trolley is Off the Tracks

Peggy Noonan has one of the most thoughtful pieces I've seen written in a long time. Her thoughts are mine exactly. I've wondered for a long time now if I'm just being an alarmist - that all will be well no matter my concern - but now, I'm not so sure.

What do *I* think would be a good start to getting the trolley back on track? Stop the ridiculousness. Stop changing the rules at the whim of a few and to please an ever increasing number of minority groups of who-demands-what or whose-feelings-are-hurt-today. Sure, the "size" of government and who controls each branch is a problem, but more importantly, the result of that as the "scope" of each branch and whose lives and quality of living are controlled by a few has run amok. Some things should be left for society to dictate themselves.

There are those in government who have sold their souls to those who promise them money and power and some who can't be bought and still fight the good fight. It's our responsibility to support those who engage in the important fights and leave our individual lives to us. Make the government do what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to protect us from outside forces, maintain our infrastructure and provide us with justice in our courts. Nothing more. Protect us from that which we personally have no control over. NOT protect us from ourselves. NOT provide us with food and water and clothing ten minutes after a hurricane. NOT tell us how to raise our children. NOT to bastardize our constitution and interpret it so loosely that we can lose our homes and livelyhoods to greed. NOT to correct discrimination with reverse-discrimination.

If one parent beats their child to death - "no" parent is permitted to spank their unruly child without fear of humiliation and jailtime. If one woman uses her blow dryer in the shower - every blow dryer company in the country is at risk of heavy fines for not applying warnings to all who buy their product not to do the same. If one person kills another for greed and another kills for racism, punishment differs. A teacher must say grace in secret before they eat their lunch.

Ridiculousness.

There are those in our government who seek to punish the rich for their gains and redistribute it to the poor indiscriminately, yet they amass their own wealth and power at the expense of those same poor they claim to want to protect. They blantanly arrange the rules to make themselves exempt from their rules. Utter hypocrisy.

There are those in academia whose ideals are so mislead that when they see the wheels come off the trolley as it goes off the tracks, they steal the tracks. They try to make everything that made us great disappear into a fog as they attempt to rewrite the rules and indoctrinate our children into a model of every past failure in history. To socialize and institutionalize every aspect of our lives because they don't like what someone did twenty or even one hundred years ago. To ensure that everyone, no matter their contribution, is rewarded the same, ignoring the human nature in humans. They wear Che Gueverra t-shirts, romanticizing his blood-soaked insanity, and look down their noses at the working class. They applaud the ban on DDT which has caused the deaths of millions, yet, demonize the deaths caused by the liberation of a country.

And here's her money quote that sums it all up:
I suspect that history, including great historical novelists of the future, will look back and see that many of our elites simply decided to enjoy their lives while they waited for the next chapter of trouble. And that they consciously, or unconsciously, took grim comfort in this thought: I got mine. Which is what the separate peace comes down to, "I got mine, you get yours."

......

That's what I think is going on with our elites. There are two groups. One has made a separate peace, and one is trying to keep the boat afloat. I suspect those in the latter group privately, in a place so private they don't even express it to themselves, wonder if they'll go down with the ship. Or into bad territory with the trolley.

The only thing I would add to it is that the "I got mine, you get yours" elite crowd do it at such an advantage the rest of us will never enjoy unless we act. We put them there. We need to take them out.



Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Antiwar.com Mouth Breathers

[*coughbullshitcough*]

The anti-war link above is such clap-trap. If one wants to put this war in the context of economics as the writer did, it would be better to assume that far more would go to Iraq to earn money without the threat of dying in the process. Any war has an economic impact, but in a far different sense than the writer espouses. One would have to believe that poverty first breeds terrorism without knowing that terrorism and extremist beliefs breed poverty which in turn breeds more terrorism - as those who support terrorism or commit it and embrace extremist beliefs are summarily rejected by society at large, then they hole up in smaller communities and in turn reject the larger society. You can't jump into the middle of the terrorism/poverty loop and arbitrarily call it the starting point. Couple that with fanatic religious beliefs and then you have your job pool. Without the fanatic beliefs, her whole theory collapses. There are people all over the world who live in abject poverty and do not resort to terrorism.

She also does not address the remaining Ba'athists in Iraq. They weren't poor. They had wealth and power. They had a lot to lose and they got it all by simply pledging allegiance to murderers and thugs. They know they can't compete in a free market so they seek to have the Ba'ath Party restored to give them that advantage they enjoyed in the past.

Of course we also have the IRA which commit acts of terrorism, but under an entirely different premise. Let me first say that no terrorism is pardonable, but the IRA lashes out at an obvious oppressor. The Islamic brand of terrorism lashes out not at their oppressors, but everyone else, for their oppressors are their own kind who cut off their hands, torture them, limit their individual economic growth and stone their wives, sisters and daughters.



Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Difference

It's fairly alarming to read the blogs and then turn on the news to get information about the latest march or rally and see the huge discrepencies in they way they're reported on. The blogs show the seemy underside that's apparent to anyone who may actually be there and the MSM takes the picture and paints pretty flowers around it before it's presented to the public.

Not that long ago all we had was the radio or the television to get that information and we were no more informed than they wanted us to be. We weren't "informed". We were "manipulated". It used to be that, on occasion, after watching something on the news, we'd later actually meet someone who was "there" and we'd finally get the real story. We were sometimes shocked at the disparity in tellings.

Now we have internet news and blogs. Now we know everything Cindy Sheehan says. Not just what the "big three" tell us. Now we know exactly what anyone said or did. Not just the edited version.

With that, I'll get to the crux of what I want to say. The Difference.

The good thing about blogs is that there aren't just three. There are millions. And nearly all of them touch upon political issues a one time or another. Some are all politics all the time. What really slays me is those blogs which come from the left side. Not all, but many. They almost all universally hate Bush. And with a disproportionately large number of those I don't mean hate - I mean foaming at the mouth, head spinning, feet stomping HATE. Now, I hated Clinton, but I was not so blindly enraged to miss some of his good points.

A disproportionately large number of the lefty blogs (not just the bloggers but all those who comment on them yet don't have blogs) completely support Cindy Sheehan. Not in the respect that they simply believe that everyone should have their say. We "all" believe that everyone has that right. Yet, they support everything about her and they blindly go on marches and attend protests and engage in some pretty whacked out rhetoric. Sheehan supported Lynn Stewart even though it was pretty obvious that she had passed on information from terrorist to terrorist in a time of war and to the detriment of our country. And the lefty blogs support her much like MSM. MSM paints flowers around their "reporting" and the lefty blogs defend with words.

THAT, my friend, is why we talk about MSM bias. They go hand in hand with the left.

When I went to work the other day I had to go the long way around because of the "Million More March" on the main street. Followers of the infamous Louis Farrakhan. And let me tell you, there were an awful lot of people there. People who don't seem to have a problem with his hate speech, his believing that there's a mothership hovering over our planet and his constant race baiting and wild conspiracies.

It's embarassing.

And the local news covered it as "Wow, such a pouring out of hearts and they were so organized, and blah, blah, blah." No one said a word about the trash and filth left behind for others to clean up. The harsh words spoken between people that nearly escalated into fighting and the whacked out ideas brought forth using race baiting and class baiting.

These people have no problem endorsing these nuts. But at the same time, I suppose to validate themselves, they wish to equate the right with extreme religious types like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. I don't know about you, but I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. And I've yet to run across one (even on the right) who thinks these guys are A-OK. Frankly, their political following is small. I don't think they could get such a large group to protest or march. So this equating the right with these nut jobs is shear blather. Most of us on the right know a bigot when we see one. And we're not afraid to say so. Many of us are not very fond of Tom Delay and without actually "hoping" he goes to jail, we do want justice served if he has done something wrong. Just like Karl Rove. If he's done something wrong, he should be punished. We're not that unreasonable. I wish I could say the same for the left.

Why is the left so reluctant to purge themselves of the extremists? When will they jump back on the sane train? Will they ever?



Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Enough is Friggin' Enough!

So Berkely isn't having the Veteran's Day celebrations. I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! Berkeley? That bastion of the spirit of America? [*coughbullshitcough*]

We'll find more pro-Americanism in Baghdad than we'll find in Berkeley.

It seems that good ol' Country Joe McDonald wanted Chuck Mitchell, "a co-founder of Cindy Sheehan's organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, as the keynote speaker."

WTF?
McDonald, backed by other members of the committee, disagreed, saying that not permitting Mitchell to express his point of view would be tantamount to censoring free speech.

"Their position was that no matter what he said, because he was a member of Gold Star Families, he wouldn't be allowed to speak," McDonald said. "I've been doing this for 10 years, and this is the first time content and affiliation ever came up for discussion. I was shocked to find this kind of narrow-mindedness in my own hometown, in Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement."

Right. As if these bile-spewing anti-war protesters can be trusted to keep in the spirit of the Veteran's Day celebrations.

Free speech my ass. He's not being silenced. He's just not who some think should be speaking at this particular event. So I guess that if I join the anti-war movement and have a say in who their speakers are - and I choose Christopher Hitchens - I can say, "Hey! You're violatng his free speech," when they decline. They LOVE throwing that "free speech" phrase out there.

Give me a fucking break.

And that load of horse crap about the statement, "Their position was that no matter what he said...."? Well how about this?
Last week it appeared that a compromise had been reached, with McDonald agreeing to drop another proposal to include anti-war songs by the group Annie and the Vets.

Yep, you heard that right, folks. He tries the "I'm innocent" crap when his entire agenda is to make it another anti-war rally.

Edwin Harper was right when he said:
"They have the other 364 days and 23 hours to make their political point," he said. "This one hour should be reserved for honoring veterans, period."

Hey, I have an idea. Why doesn't a real veteran speak? Nah. That would make too much sense. But then, the lefties in Berkeley don't consider common sense when they make their determinations. They're "stuck on stupid".

And why the hell is Country Joe even heading this celebration? Yeah - "And-it's-one-two-three-what-are-we-fighting-for? Don't-ask-me-I-don't-give-a-damn" Country Joe. The Country Joe who thinks this would be a good time to get his anti-war fame and fortune back. How advantageous for him that there's another war for him to capitalize on.

I'm totally embarrased that I even bought his album 30+ years ago. I wish I had it now so I could burn it.



Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pirro vs Clinton

We know that Pirro is going up against Hillary in '06 for the New York Senate seat. I'm rooting for Pirro, but that probably goes without saying. The AP just reported that Hillary got a fund raising letter at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. from Jeannine Pirro. The AP goes on to report the contents of the letter and makes it appear that it was either done purposely or out of stupidity and doesn't, until the end of the article, say that Pirro's campaign manager said the fundraising appeal was sent because someone registered the information on Pirro's campaign Web site. Not that it was definately because someone registered Hillary to get the letter, but her campaign manager "said" it was.

C'mon. We all know someone played a joke and it was funny, I'll admit, but definately not such a newsworthy item that AP should be reporting on it. This is anything BUT newsworthy. How trifling can a major news source get? Well, it WAS the AP after all.

Clinton's spokesman Howard Wilson said, "No wonder Ms. Pirro raised so little money," and said the letter was forwarded to Clinton's Senate office. Can you say "Petty Asshole"?

While Jeannine Pirro goes to the heart of the people asking for donations, Clinton can keep doing her special Hollywood Galas for the big bucks. In the end most of Hollywood can't vote for her in the Senate race and who will determine whether or not she keeps her seat? - New Yorkers. Not the fancy pants, liberal, self-aggrandizing big mouths in Hollywood.