Sunday, January 28, 2007
  So near, so far

Polistra would really like to support Sam Brownback for President.

Brownback is Polistra's homeboy: grew up in central Kansas, graduated from K-State and KU. He's rock solid on matters of life and death, and understands the religious basis of this war vastly better than other candidates. He also understands the enemy, as witness his recent judgment about the various anti-surge resolutions. Other pro-war candidates are saying that the resolutions will embolden the enemy; Brownback accurately judges that the enemy is already dialed to Maximum Bold, and thus won't be affected by our discussions and debates.

But: He's making an awfully poor start on the campaign. His interview this morning with Chris Wallace on Fox was miserable. He didn't know the basic positions of the other candidates, seemed generally unprepared, and struck a Grand Senatorial Attitude, resembling John Kerry. As in "You dare to ask ME such presumptuous questions?"

Polistra hopes that Brownback's handlers will give him a good workover! We don't need niceness from our Pres, but we do need a sense of respect for questions.

= = = = =

Addendum: Some questions deserve the "How dare you" response. Gotchas, sucker punches, low blows. For example, every single question ever asked by Helen Thomas and David Gregory. But none of Wallace's questions were unfair or inappropriate; all deserved straightforward answers.
 
Saturday, January 27, 2007
  Time capsule

Ever wonder how FDR handled disloyal Americans? Not just the complainers. Then as now, everyone bitched and grumbled. But then as now, we had some genuine traitors who were actively and concretely supporting the enemy and its ideology.

Here's a 2-minute segment from a March 1942 news broadcast on WBBM, a major Chicago station that is still going strong. The first bit is about Father Coughlin, who had begun as a normal populist, mainly agreeing with FDR's welfare programs, but later veered off into pure Fascism and hatred of Jews. Note that the Post Office was ordered to stop mailing Coughlin's newsletter, and the Department of Justice convened a grand jury to investigate other 'Axis propagandists'.

And here's a Wiki entry on Coughlin, which doesn't mention the event in this broadcast.

The modern equivalent, of course, would be shutting down CNN, which has become our most active and virulent spewer of pure treason. You couldn't use the modern Department of Justice, though, because it is only interested in protecting Mohammedans. You'd never in a million years get DOJ to operate against the enemy.

The rest of the news segment is less dramatic. It's about a Republican National Committee meeting in Chicago, which agreed to support the war effort fully and to turn away from previous isolationist tendencies. Those isolationists (like Charles Lindbergh) had been uncomfortably close to Coughlin's populism, and had been associated with anti-Semitism.

Modern equiv: Think of how the DNC would react if Bush shut down CNN and convened a grand jury to investigate other seditious organizations. I'll bet the Dems would suddenly find all sorts of good reasons to turn away from isolationism, eject Keith Ellison from Congress, and cease supporting Abu Barack Hussein Obama.
 
Friday, January 26, 2007
  "GLOBAL WARMING UPS SEA LEVEL!!!"

That's the scary headline on CNN just now. Well, it's true, but it's not news. It's just as fresh and newsworthy as "TRAINS GO FASTER THAN HORSES!"




We've been on a warming trend since about 1840, and the sea level has been rising nice and steady since about 1840. Look at this graph.... can you see anything different about the last few decades, when we've supposedly been desecrating the Earth Goddess with our profane exhalations of CO2? Nope. The last few decades are rising just the same as the first few.

Full story here.
 
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
  Algore

In the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, Algore's propaganda film has stirred up a frustrating controversy. A "science" "teacher" used the film in class, without any coverage of the truth. A parent objected, saying both sides needed to be given. Amazingly, the school board took the side of the parent and stopped the film.

This is a good result, but frustrating because the parent wasn't really objecting to the total falseness of the film; he was a self-described "creationist" who agreed with the lies but only objected to the secular context of the lies. He wanted the same lies to be presented in a religious context!!!!!!!!!!!

"It's not that we don't believe global warming is happening. It says so in Revelations," said Hardison. "We've been expecting it for what, 3,500 years now?"

AAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!!


The teacher defended herself: "I thought the use and interpretation of data was thought-provoking."

AAAAAAACCCCKKKKKK again!!!!!! In teaching science, you're not supposed to present "thought-provoking" data. You're supposed to present ACCURATE data. This illustrates the total Leninization of science. Truth is whatever the Party says it is, and Algore is unquestionably an authoritative member of the Politburo.

One Communist parent was quoted as saying: "Make no mistake, the moratorium is prior restraint of free speech."

No, no, no, no, and no. Schools can always choose which books or movies to include in their curriculum. Parents can object to the choice, and schools may accommodate the parents. If you must put this in 1st Amendment terms, it's an act of publishing: choosing which content to distribute. So the school was exercising freedom of the press. This point is often misunderstood by people on both sides. Most situations described as "censorship" are in fact choices made by publishers, and are thus implementations of the 1st Amendment, not violations of the 1st Amendment.

Story here.

= = = = =

Afterthought for clarity: Constitutionally speaking, there's nothing wrong with the school presenting the film, and nothing wrong with pulling the film. Both choices are strictly OK, though it's better for the 'spirit of the system' when a school responds to the parents who pay its taxes. My objection to presenting the film is tied to the proper role of science ... the sacramental status of accuracy, if you will.
 
Monday, January 22, 2007
  As I was saying.....

Just ran into a perfect example of America's failure. A family in Wisconsin is taking their girl to China for stem cell treatment of a rare neurological disorder. Embryonic? Nope, umbilical cord cells.

Brooke will receive six injections of 10 million stem cells over a four-week period at Xiaoshan Hospital in Hangzhou, China.

The treatment uses stem cells from the umbilical cords of healthy Chinese babies rather than the more controversial embryonic stem cells ...

The treatment is not available in the United States, and it is not yet approved for Brooke's condition, Vicki said.

American doctors "want it to be safe, but yet it takes so long (for government approval)," she said. "But for the types of cells she's going to be getting in China-the testing, trials … they're all done. There are hundreds of patients who have been successful already."


Yes sir, ethics. We want it to be safe ... from lawsuits. And we'll kill as many people as necessary to achieve that kind of safety.

Article here.

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  A Cat can look at a King

Thinking about the Canadian discovery of the cancer cure [see previous post]....

In the past, America was the center of innovation. That isn't true any more. Most of the significant invention and technical development now happens in Japan, Korea, Canada, and other countries less infested by lawyers.

American research suffers from four big problems, aside from the natural and inevitable waste and inertia of institutions.

1. The tenure system was meant to allow free thinking, but in fact it just forces young researchers to spend their brightest years on unoriginal work to satisfy their superiors.

2. Peer review was meant as quality control, but in fact it just stifles ideas outside the narrow orthodoxy of the Left.

3. Fear of terrorism by animal-rights types. Any project involving crops, trees, or farm animals is in severe danger of going up in flames.

4. Fear of litigation, as implemented by university Ethics Committees, aborts new ideas before they can even be considered. Any research idea involving human subjects must pass through the Ethics Committee; if it might cause slight discomfort to the subject, or if it might show a distinction between sexes or a distinction between ethnic groups, it is dead on arrival.


With those endemic problems, it's no wonder the original work is happening elsewhere.

=====

When I started thinking further about the fear of litigation, I bumped into a couple of truly strange exceptions.

An Ethics Committee never has a problem with embryonic stem-cell research. Wonder why? Oooohhhh, I see! The Committee is made up of leftists who enjoy poking Christians in the eye, but most of all, embryos don't have lawyers.

Even stranger, the European nuclear research center is preparing some experiments that could collapse the Earth or the universe into a black hole. Where's the Ethics Committee on this proposal? Oooohhh, I see again! After the universe has collapsed, there won't be any lawyers, so no problem! (O consummation devoutly etc.)

=====




With all this in mind, Polistra the Cat looks at the King of the Church and asks:

Meow, Your Holiness! You've spent your life, as Professor and Pope, thinking about the connection of faith and reason. Faith expands reason and reason expands faith. Faith protects reason and reason protects faith.

You've also talked lately about reciprocity.

You also know, far better than I, that the Church invented universities as places where serious thought can be protected from superstitious witch-hunters and rough criminals; and where serious thinkers can be protected from their own strong tendency to use thought for devilish purposes. Works both ways.

I know you have divisions of lawyers at hand these days, because of the priest sex-abuse mess, which was part real and part witch-hunt.

And you know, far better than I, how much money and property the Church has lost in that mess.

So, Your Holiness, consider this modest proposal:

Mobilize those divisions of lawyers and SUE THE BASTARDS!

Join the Duke lacrosse players in suing the university and Kidnapper Nifong, on grounds that Duke failed to follow the old Catholic principle of protecting students from false imprisonment.

Sue Governor Arnie and his legislature for subsidizing human sacrifice in the form of embryonic stem-cell research, and sue any companies or universities that accept Arnie's blood-money.

Sue EarthFirst, ALF and other enviro-terrorists, and all politicians who support them.

Sue the European Hadron Collider for attempted murder of the entire time-space continuum.

Sue Planned Parenthood, the AMA, the UN Population Organization, and any other institution that spreads abortion.

Sue the Supreme Court "justices" who voted for Roe v Wade, and/or their heirs and/or legatees and/or testamentees and/or executrices if decedent.

Oops, this legal stuff gets addictive.

Anyway, Your Holiness, that's the proposal.

Reciprocity.

Protect the thinkers from devilish outsiders, and protect the thinkers from their own devilish temptations.

Your church invented this civilization; it's time to guard the patent.

And best of all, you just might win back some of the money you've given to the witch-hunters.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007
  Probable cure for cancer

Worth waking up for...

Wouldn't you think a nearly complete cure for cancer would be big news? You'd think so. But in our drawkcab news media, it's much less important than lip-smacking prurient coverage of the hot schoolteacher making it with the quarterback.

Nevertheless, it's real.

Dichloroacetate, a fairly simple organic chemical. Minimal side effects; already approved by FDA for another obscure purpose, and it definitely kills most tumors.

It's being developed in Edmonton, so the Canadian media are covering it, but I couldn't find any mention in any major US news organization.

Why no mention? Because it's so simple it can't be patented. So there won't be any exclusive profits for one company.

Check this story.

Or this one.

= = = = =

Aside from news, you'd also think governments would be clamoring to fund this development, for the sake of bragging rights. And you'd think scientists and foundations would be doing the same. Nope, the governments and the scientists are only excited about putting billions into embryonic stem cells. More proof, if any were needed, that our governments and scientists are firmly in the grip of Gaia-worship. For modern Commies, the thrill of sacrificing innocent unborn babies is a religious requirement and a blood fetish, and it takes absolute precedence over such minor uninteresting scholastic trivialities as curing cancer.

= = = = =

And I should add the name of the discoverer: Evangelos Michelakis. If this works as well as it appears, the name of Michelakis will belong in the Pantheon of medicine, along with Galen, Pasteur, Jenner, Fleming and Salk.
 
Thursday, January 18, 2007
  Resting again




I've got a couple of small but paid graphics jobs to work on, so I'll let Polistra rest for a while. Part 2 of 'Cr, Dr' will just have to wait....
 
Sunday, January 14, 2007
  Huckabee

Listening to a C-Span interview with Mike Huckabee, former Ark governor who is running for Pres, or maybe he's actually running for Vice-Pres. I've been trying to figure out what's so odd about this guy, and I finally caught it. He thinks America has been acting too much like a bully. He thinks we need to lose weight and pay attention to our diet. He thinks we need to support art and music in public schools. He thinks everybody needs to Just Get Along. He agrees 10000% with Al Gore on the need to sacrifice the human race to Gaia.

In short, Huckabee is running as a woman.

What we need at this point in history is a man, no matter how he's dressed. And since Romney has gone squishy, the only man among the likely candidates is Hillary.
 
Thursday, January 11, 2007
  Cr, Dr



Polistra has been wandering around the Middle Ages lately, trying to pin down the time and place where Western Civilization took off. Where and how did the Jewish and Christian world start its long and impressive flight into art, music, science, commerce, and decency, while the Mohammedan world stayed on the primitive ground in all those areas? If there is a common factor, will it help in reforming or converting Mohammedans? Or if that's impossible, will it help in defining and reaching Victory?

We've already talked about the art and music, and about the religious area, but we haven't connected the two.

First, as a sort of disclaimer, let's factor out the constants. All major faiths include a cross-section of humanity, from good to evil, smart to dumb, rich to poor, pious to hypocritical. The good end of the human spectrum will do noble things in the name of religion, regardless of the religion's teaching or tenets, and the bad end of humanity will do evil things in the name of religion. All major faiths claim to follow their scripture, and all fail in various ways. All of them try to answer two big questions: How do we get to Heaven? How do we deal with the material world and the varied forms of humans?

Those are the constants. The variables are: How does each faith answer those questions, and does each particular answer lead to understanding, prosperity and morality, or to stagnation and savagery?

In the modern Western world we have four contenders for the future of civilization, which we can abbreviate as Rome, Mecca, Willowcreek, and San Francisco. Here in the Middle Ages we have only Rome and Mecca; the other two will join the battle later.




We'll focus on a major invention of the 1300's: double-entry bookkeeping. The basic idea of DEB is that you record every transaction on both sides of the book, distributing the money value of each transaction into proper categories. The left column is labeled Dr for debitur meaning "it is owed". The right column is headed Cr for creditur meaning "it is believed" or "it is expected". In the simplest sense, the Dr records what you pay, and the Cr records what you receive. [In reality it can get rather more complicated, but we'll stay basic here.]

For instance, you pay a contractor for labor and materials to build a desk. The amount of the check shows up in the Dr side, showing value paid out; the value of the labor and materials are placed into separate sections on the Cr side, indicating value of labor received and value of materials received.

When you sell the desk for more than you paid, the received check goes on the Cr side, the original labor and materials are 'taken out' on the Dr side, and a new entry appears on the Dr side, representing an abstract 'payment' to the account called Profit.

At intervals, let's say every week, you total up both sides. If the Dr total equals the Cr total, you know that you've entered things properly.

In the world of commerce, DEB made it possible for businesses to grow larger and to engage in more risky endeavors. By keeping a firm handle on the flow of values in both directions, DEB allowed owners to analyze the risks and benefits of a new venture. And new ventures, funded by a reliable system of banking and borrowing, are the source of expanding wealth.

= = = = =

In the realm of religion we have a flow of values as well.

All Christians believe that the main or infinite exchange has already happened, when Christ was sacrificed on the cross, in exchange for the chance of eternal life for his followers.

Christians differ on how we partake in that original exchange, but all of them agree that it is infinitely sufficient and infinitely 'divisible'.

The Roman approach is distinctly DEB-ish, with its constant back-and-forth flow of sin and confession, penances and indulgences. A hundred Ave Marias in the debit column equals a credit of a year in purgatory. Every week you run the balance in the confessional box, and you know where you stand.

Luther objected to this religious bookkeeping, which had become a tool for plain old corruption in his time. He took a columnless approach, in which we pay exactly once for our share, with a single leap of faith, answered by God with an infinite reward. [Benedict refers to this as 'low-cost salvation'.]

Calvin raised Luther's proportion even higher: You may perform leaps of faith, but they don't matter. If God wanted you to have a portion of the original value, he's already put it in your hand. Your job is to polish it up and make it shine.

Now what about Mecca? The Mohammedan approach is entirely different. There is no original sacrifice, no infinite store of value to be distributed. You have to make your own sacrifice. You get to Heaven by performing Jihad, which means sacrificing yourself in a perfectly literal sense to expand the territory under Mecca's control. Territory and control are again perfectly literal: church and state are identical by definition. Your chances are even better if you sacrifice some infidels at the same time, thus decreasing the non-Mohammedan population. It's a zero-sum game with payment at the end. The entire burden is on you, with no indulgence or forgiveness.

= = = = =

This primary difference translates to other parts of life.

Rome takes the position that material things are part of Creation, and has a long-standing habit of 'sacralizing' material things and human habits. You can be comforted by things, if you use them moderately and reverently. You are encouraged to create beautiful art and music, for the glory of God. Troublesome human habits can be turned into sacraments (i.e sex ==> marriage), and Rome takes advantage of special tendencies by creating religious orders. Every debit and credit in the human domain is thus placed where it can be used best, and each can be paid or received against your heavenly account. Logic and reason are also part of Creation, and expanding the realm of knowledge is thus a form of sacrament.

Mecca forbids the charging and receiving of interest, which means that creating new wealth is impossible. (Of course it still happens, but in an underground and corrupt way.) Mecca forbids most art and music. Because Allah is arbitrary and unreasonable by definition, expanding knowledge is pointless.

So it's really no mystery after all.

Rome has figured out how to use and balance the debits and credits of human behavior. Everything that advances civilization is considered as a debit to the glory of God, and God enters a credit on our heavenly account. Small failings can be forgiven by debiting a penance, which clears guilt and resentment from the earthly books.

Mecca simply forbids the most important activities of civilization, and requires unquestioning obedience to an unfathomable god. Guilt and resentment are explicitly cultivated as engines of Jihad.

= = = = =

Note: I intended to add a Part II, comparing Mecca and Rome to the more modern faiths of Willowcreek (ie Prosperity-oriented protestants) and San Francisco (ie the strange Western merger of Lenin and Mussolini that is normally called "progressivism"). I got distracted by bad weather and other bad events, and lost the chain of thought. I did return to the point more recently, but without the inspiration that illuminates Cr/Dr. For instance, here.
 
  Stay the Course part deux

There's a whole lot of high-pitched discussion about George W. Vichy's latest speech. Why, I don't know. It's totally unsurprising.

Fact 1: A 'cycle of violence' only ends when [at least] one side is so thoroughly destroyed and discouraged that it gives up.

Fact 2: The best way to keep a 'cycle of violence' running is to introduce 'peacekeepers' whose job is to damp down the violence. This prevents either side from making the conclusive strike that would convince the other side to give up. You can see this phenomenon among kids on the schoolyard, among criminals in prison, and among primitive quasi-humanoids like Arabs. When teachers, prison guards, or peacekeepers are watching, you can fight at a moderate level without ever killing enough of the enemy to reach a conclusion.

Fact 3: Worst of all, the teachers, prison guards, or peacekeepers can become a common enemy, and end up taking most of the violence.

This is exactly how the UN functions, and exactly why the UN keeps wars going instead of stopping them. Adding more 'peacekeepers' only spreads out the moderating effect, allowing the 'cycle' to continue even more widely and kill more of the 'peacekeepers'.

So the New Way Forward is just more UN-style thinking from the man who felt he had to justify the Iraq war in a way that would satisfy the UN. It's simply Stay The Course Part Deux, improved and enhanced with even more American casualties.

= = = = =

Afterthought: The three examples (school, prison, Iraq) have something else in common, which I didn't intend, but which shows the other way to break up a cycle of violence.

All three are cases of forced mixing, Stalin's favorite trick. 1. Find groups that can't stand each other. 2. Push them together. 3. Let the fighting run for a while, then bring in the authorities to calm down the fighting. Guarantees that the pre-determined "victim" group will love the authorities, no matter how brutal.

In the case of Iraq, the mixing was done by Britain in 1920, probably without Communist intentions, and Saddam took full advantage of the phenomenon. It appears that the Shia and Sunni subspecies are very quickly doing their own de-mixing, but our fantastically stupid (or just Stalinist) insistence on maintaining the mix will get in the way of this natural calming process.
 
  Rabinowitz is back

Dorothy Rabinowitz, the only investigative reporter in America, has finally weighed in on Kidnapper Nifong's witch hunt.

Mr. Nifong is no anomaly--merely a product of the political times, a prosecutor who has absorbed all the clues about the sanctified status now accorded charges involving rape, child sex-abuse and accusations of racism. Which has in turn ensured their transformation into weapons of unequalled power. Like others before him, the DA quickly grasped the career possibilities open to him with such a case and proceeded accordingly--denouncing racism, and the rape and assault of a helpless black woman, and the Duke athletes guilty of these crimes in every media interview available to him (and they were many).

For all the public shock and fury over his behavior, there is little that is new or strange about Mr. Nifong. We have seen the likes of this district attorney, uninterested in proofs of innocence, willing to suppress any he found, many times in the busy army of prosecutors claiming to have found evidence of rampant child abuse in nursery schools and other child-care centers around the country in the 1980s and throughout most of the '90s. They built case after headline-making case charging the mass molestation of small children, and managed to convict scores of innocent Americans on the basis of testimony no rational mind could credit. Law officers who regularly violated requirements of due process in their effort to obtain a conviction, they grasped the special advantage that was theirs: that for a prosecutor dealing with molestation, and wearing the mantle of avenger, there was no such thing as excess, no limits to what could be said of the accused. In court, rules could be bent, any charges presented, and nonexistent medical evidence proclaimed as proof positive of the accusation.


Rabinowitz, all on her own with no media support, broke the spell of the previous witch hunt. This time around, the cable channels have been on the side of the angels (albeit slowly and reluctantly), so the work of Rabinowitz wasn't so desperately needed.

What we really need is a complete overhaul of our court system. We won't get it, though; our criminally insane political class still operates under the bizarre delusion that our court system is "the best in the world", and the even more bizarre delusion that the legislature and executive have no power over the courts.

We will get the overhaul when the Caliphate is complete. Count on it.
 
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
  Enlightened Moderns? (part II)

The discovery that amniotic stem cells are just as good as embryonic stem cells is the big story today. It's certainly big news, because it drives the final silver nail in the embryo-sucking vampire. (Or it would if anyone had any common sense.)

Big news to be sure, but it turns out this discovery isn't new news!

One of the scientists responsible for a breakthrough in stem-cell research has reported that he encountered heavy resistance to the publication of his work because it used stem cells obtained from amniotic fluids rather than from embryonic tissues.

Paolo De Coppi told the Italian ANSA news agency that a groundbreaking paper published this week in Nature Biotechnology had previously been rejected by four different journals. "It took seven years to get our paper published," he said.


Yes, that's right.

SEVEN YEARS.

Just one more proof, which we didn't really need, that the main job of 'peer review' in scientific journals is to enforce Leninist orthodoxy.
 
  Chomp, chomp, chomp



The city of Spokane actually responded to my email about water pressure, and actually fixed the problem!

Here's their response:

Thank you for notifying us of this problem. The cause of your varying water pressure has been traced back to a failing pressure reducing valve located at the Waste Water Treatment plant. The faulty valve is being replaced by city crews. Your water pressure should return to normal once work is complete.

I don't know if others had reported the same problem, and of course the "local" TV "news" didn't say anything about it. The "local" TV "news" was too busy, as always, with far more urgent matters, namely the usual series of meaningless and false "scientific" "studies" about breast cancer, cholesterol, breast cancer, cholesterol, breast cancer, cholesterol, breast cancer, cholesterol and breast cancer.
 
Monday, January 08, 2007
  Smelly buildings, wiggly water

Listening to reports of the mysterious mercaptan smell in NYC. The Fox folks aren't quite thinking clearly. They stated that people were smelling the gas inside buildings, and that people were going out on the sidewalk to get fresh air. Then they talked about how the smell could be drifting north from Jersey City or somewhere. Good old drawkcab swen again. If you're smelling it INSIDE buildings and you have to go OUTSIDE for fresh air, this means the smell is not drifting in from OUTSIDE. It's a problem with the natural gas distribution system, possibly an overpressure in the pipes?

I've been noticing an odd phenomenon here for the last three days: a variation in water pressure. Not flow, pressure. Of course increased pressure causes increased flow, but I know it's essentially a pressure variation because I can hear the water heater singing various notes, unlike its normal steady howl when turned on. Varying water pressure can be dangerous, because flushing a toilet when the pressure is at a low point can lead to "siphoning" of the tank water back into the pipes.

= = = = = =

Putting these together, I wonder if someone is experimenting with a new way to sabotage city utilities?

(I've emailed the city water dept twice, but no response. Not surprising; in Spokane you don't count unless your name is Cowles.)
 
Saturday, January 06, 2007
  Wind, rain, snow

Wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind, wind!!!!!!!!!!!!!

= = = = =

I'm exhausted.

Last night another big gale. Not quite as bad as the previous one, in terms of hours anyway.

Telegram for the Democrats: If you want to lock in your majority again, follow FDR. Just as the previous peak of bad weather in the 1930's went beyond the ability of private companies and local governments, this decade's similar peak is doing the same. FDR insured total Dem loyalty by using federal resources to solve some of the problems of the time.

Today's problems are somewhat different because we're mainly urban, but the idea is the same. Electricity and water flow are still the areas that need most fixing. Replan the electric grid. Rewire vulnerable areas with underground wiring. Clear-cut urban forests. Rethink dams and levees. Replan the arrangement of airport hubs. Do more research on weather control, including steering jet streams and busting up hurricanes.

All these big projects are possible, and all would be even more possible if we weren't spending big money and big resources on big projects in Baghdad, which will only serve our enemies when they take over again. More precisely, the savage primitive camel-fucking Arabs will not even use the projects. They will simply steal the copper and iron and sell it for scrap.

Dems, you can roll over George W. Zero in this field if you dare to think big.

Think FDR.

= = = = =

Afterthought: Interesting that I didn't even consider begging the Republicans to take on this idea. Didn't even enter my head until I re-read the message and spotted the missing choice. It's not a question of ideology; just competence. Begging the Rs to do anything at all would be like begging a mouse to win a chess championship. No, that's not a good analogy, because the mouse could conceivably push just the right piece into the right spot on the board by pure chance. The R's are so firmly committed to idiocy that they wouldn't even allow a random act of competence.
 
Friday, January 05, 2007
  Steve King's great idea

Steve King of Iowa, the best only competent member of Congress, is talking right now on C-Span. He is proposing an extremely interesting idea.

Acknowledge the power of the blogosphere to act as "auditor" for the government, by placing several Rescission Bills in each session of Congress. Each Rescission bill would start out as a "shell", and each member of Congress, responding to constituent "auditors", would be able to add items to the bill. The items in this bill would be subtractions, not additions; each item would be like a line-item veto for some appropriation in other pending bills.

He's calling it the CUT act, which isn't the best possible name, but it is certainly the best possible idea.

Bravo, Steve!
 
Thursday, January 04, 2007
  Enlightened moderns?



Just started reading a fascinating little book by James Woods, How the Catholic Church built Western Civilization, about the early days of science and universities.

Opened it at random and immediately hit this passage:

A glance at the history of the medieval university reveals that conflicts between the university and the people or governments of the town were not uncommon. On one hand the university was a boon for local merchants and for economic activity in general, since the students brought money to spend, but on the other, university students coud be irresponsible and unruly.

This hasn't changed at all in 800 years! Hate the students, love their money: remains true from 1207 AD to 2007 AD!

In 1231 Pope Gregory IX issued the bull 'Parens Scientiarum' on behalf of the university at Paris. ... In this document, the Pope tried to establish a just and peaceful environment for the university by granting a privilege known as 'cessatio', the right to suspend lectures and go on a general strike if its members were abused. Causes for such a strike included refusal to fix ceiling prices for lodgings, an injury or mutilation of a student for which suitable satisfaction had not been given, or the unlawful imprisonment of a student.

Having lived much of my adult life in college towns, I can appreciate the 'ceiling price for lodgings'!

Far more important, note the last phrase. Compare with Duke University's response when its students were unlawfully imprisoned by Kidnapper Nifong. Instead of declaring a 'cessatio', Duke aided and abetted Kidnapper Nifong by expelling the students and cancelling the entire Lacrosse team.

Maybe it's time to let the Church take the universities back from government. The Church has certainly done a better job with K-12 education, as every competent big-city parent knows only too well.
 
  Yes, St Francis is appropriate......



Polistra has been listening to Boehner and Pelosi doing their little love-dance.

Pelosi cited St Francis of Assisi as the patron saint for the new session, and unfortunately Francis is exactly the right saint. Not just for the House but for the George W. Vichy Government as well.

Francis, who lived in the 1100's, went on a Crusade because it seemed like the proper thing for a wealthy young gentleman of the times. Somewhere along the way he got "turned out", decided to give up on defending Christianity, and instead tried to bring as much Mohammed as possible into Christianity.

Here's a lengthy passage from Francis's life as given in Abraham's Tent.

Francis then took a companion, Illuminatus and set out, unarmed and filled with love for his "enemy" brother, to visit the Sultan of Egypt, Malik-al-Kamil. The men of the Sultan's army captured Francis and Illuminatus and dragged them, beaten and exhausted, before the Sultan - just as Francis had wished.

The Sultan, for his part, was receptive to these two unarmed messengers from the enemy camp. St. Bonaventure, in his Major Life of St. Francis, described the event, "The sultan asked them by whom and why and in what capacity they had been sent, and how they got there; but Francis replied intrepidly that they had been sent by God, not by (humans), to show him and his subjects the way of salvation and proclaim the truth of the Gospel message.

When the sultan saw (Francis') enthusiasm and courage, he listened to him willingly and pressed him to stay with him" (quoted in St. Francis and the Foolishness of God, p. 85).

Today, evangelization is not seen as appropriate inter-religious dialogue. In Francis' context, however, his enthusiastic desire to share his "good news" with the Sultan, without insulting Islam or refuting Mohammed, was unique and disarming.


= = = = =

My interruption: When Benedict XVI talks of "dialogue" with Mohammedans, I wonder if he means this Franciscan form of "dialogue", i.e. surrender?

= = = = =

In the encounter between them, both Francis and the Sultan were changed. When Francis finally left to return to Italy, the Sultan showered him with many gifts and treasures. Because he had no interest in worldly wealth, Francis refused them all, except one special gift: an ivory horn used by the muezzin to call the community to prayer. On his return, Francis used it to call people for prayer or for preaching.

Francis also shared with his community his new and deep respect for his Moslem brothers and sisters, breaking down the cycle of enmity and misunderstanding that fueled the Crusades.


Yes indeed, the perfect patron saint for Pelosi, Boehner, and G. W. Vichy.
 
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
  Forward!



A little blast from the past, showing the proper way to treat an enemy with respect. Yes, that's right, respect. No condescension here. We portrayed the Japs as ugly, nasty, horrible people who needed to be defeated totally. Smashed, crushed like rats in a trap. They were not shown as poor dumb misguided folks who would be nice if they just had the right to vote in elections monitored by Jimmy Carter.
 
  Ledeen's excellent thought

I rarely spend time and space reprocessing other blogs ... especially when the other blogs have thousands of regular readers and I have at best 3 irregular readers. Rather pointless use of bandwidth. I'm making an exception in this case, because Michael Ledeen has made a tremendously important observation, which doesn't seem to have generated a significant response.

Ledeen said:

It's a commonplace in the study of mass murder—especially the Holocaust—that it's a lot easier to kill lots of people in a relatively antiseptic way (bombs, usually) than to kill an individual one-on-one. It's not easy to find an executioner, it's easier to find a guy who programs a bombing run on a computer. And it's easier to find a technician to run Nazi gas chambers.

Technology made it easier to set up these antiseptic killings. It separated the killers from the killed, the killers didn't have to watch or even inflict actual death, they didn't have to harden their hearts as their enemies suffered death agonies. If you dropped a lot of bombs on Germany and Japan in the war, you knew innocents would die, but you never really faced those people, and it was, after all, part of war, wasn't it?

But then the wheel turned once more. Weapons became amazingly accurate, and "precision bombing" became possible. And when that happened, it suddenly became necessary to face all kinds of very complicated targeting decisions. Lawyers were brought in to approve each and every target. And when the technology failed, or some guy at a computer or in an airplane or on the battlefield failed to get it exactly the way the lawyers had stipulated, there was suddenly hell to pay. War crimes, etc.

So paradoxically technological advance made mass murder easier, and now it's made it much harder. Which is to say, even the most lethal technology isn't either all good or all bad. Sometimes it pushes us in one direction, sometimes in another.


= = = = =

My insignificant response:

Obviously our enemies understand this point better than we do. The term "asymmetrical warfare" is normally taken to mean that Jihadis use guerrilla techniques, hit-and-run bombing, etc, because they can't face the "massive force" of a Western army.

In fact the asymmetry is the other way around. Our enemies are willing to use 20th Century anonymous mass bombings (like 9/11) because we're pinned down by our 21st Century precision and fussiness, which makes our "massive force" totally worthless.
 
  !drawkcaB

The first of the negative utopias was a rather tame book written by Samuel Butler in 1871, called 'Erewhon'. ('Nowhere' spelled backwards.) The main premise was that in the land of Erewhon, morality and criminality were inverted. [Incidentally, Erewhon's copyright long since lapsed, and it's available in full form online.]

I think Butler would especially appreciate our public treatment of Saddam's hanging. In the forward world, the job of a news report is to show you what happened. In our drawkcab world, the job of a news report is to show you other people witnessing and discussing a news report of the event, which you won't get to see.

The first major example of drawkcab swen was the idiotic Robert Novak vs Joe Wilson affair, in which the 'news' reporters knew exactly what had occurred but told us a tangled story about the attempt to figure out what had occurred, which was supposedly a mystery.

In a forward nation at war (like the US in 1943) we saw and rejoiced at every detail of an enemy leader's death. In the drawkcab swen of 2007, we see Iraqis watching their cell phones and rejoicing at the death of our enemy, but we don't get to see the enemy's death. In a forward nation at war, anyone who failed to taunt an evil man would be at least suspect; we'd assume he was on the side of the evil man. In the drawkcab "legal system" of 2007, the people who taunted Saddam are arrested.

We cannot win a war this way. We cannot even function this way.
 
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
  Cover it properly




Since we're doomed to watch the Ford coffin zooming around the country for the next several years, at least it should be on the right network.
 
Monday, January 01, 2007
  Polistra salutes Ethiopia.

[Expanding on an entry a few days ago....]




Ethiopia deserves a special salute, and needs to be viewed as an example for the world.

It is in many ways The Original Place. Anthropologists think the human species radiated from that corner of Africa, and the Ethiopians have maintained their own brand of Christianity in unbroken form since the time of the Apostles. Among all the countries on the map of Africa, Ethiopia has the longest continuous independence. It was known in Biblical times, and it was only colonized briefly by Italy, in the 1920's and 30's.

Now Ethiopia is fighting the Jihadis in Somalia on its own, with no aid from us, no aid from the UN, and no aid from the various African organizations. Despite all this, or rather because* of all this, Ethiopia has defeated the Jihadis.

Mark Steyn says it best:

In the last few days the Ethiopian military has swept through the country and the Islamist forces have crumbled before them. Both Somali troops and various foreign jihadists have thrown off their uniforms and melted into the general population. Granted, that's what they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, too: They're shrewd enough to understand it's not worth engaging superior militaries on their terms; better to wait awhile and grind them down in a dirty messy insurgency.

Well, we'll see about that. One difference between the Ethiopians in Somalia and the Americans in Iraq is that the former aren't fighting with one hand behind their back just in case some EU ally or humanitarian lobby group or fictitious Associated Press source leaks some "war crime" or other to the media. In fact, the Ethiopians have the advantage of more or less total lack of interest from the Western media. So they're just getting on with it.

And, given the potential for Islamist destabilization of their own country, they were wise to do so. The "international community" has reacted in the usual ways: calls for immediate cease-fires so that an ineffectual U.N. force of peacekeepers can go in and enjoy their customary child sex with the locals while propping up the Islamists. The Ethiopians can't be blamed for not taking the U.N. seriously. To be sure, the alternative to the jihad boys is a bunch of thugs. But that's the reality of much of the map today: a choice between being an outpost of the global jihad, or a patchwork quilt of warlords, or a bit of both with some feeble, half-hearted multilateral force mediating between the two. I don't know whether the Ethiopian intervention will work in the long run, but, if it does, the best hope for squashing the jihad might be to outsource the fight to Third World regimes less squeamish about waging it.



*Polistra's first law of human nature: "When you hear despite, think because."

= = = = =

Later, after a bit of reading: Ethiopia's Christianity started in the 4th Century, which wasn't quite Apostolic but still in the era of the "Church Fathers". Over the long years, Ethiopia's Christians have been fighting Mohammedans constantly, and mostly winning. They never gave in to dhimmitude, though they did retreat to the wilderness for a time. Here is a well-written short history of the Church and its battles with the Army of Allah. And here is a photo essay on Ethiopia's medieval cathedrals, built somewhat differently from the European version!
 

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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