Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

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Lexical Semantics…

December 8, 2016

and my woeful inadequacy therein….

I learned several years ago that if I wanted to have a civilized conversation with someone, internet arenas dedicated to commentary and discussion were one notch below a Hells Angels get-together for suitability. It didn’t used to be that way.

Back in the days of Dial-up connection and the iconic yet corny-from-the-start “ You’ve got mail” announcement from AOL, the early “chat rooms” were rather benign by today’s standards. Behavior mattered, and habitually rude and or insulting behavior would earn “banishment” from a “moderator”. This was not an infringement on Freedom of Speech. The sites were “owned” and operated by individuals or companies like AOL, and they were free to establish their own parameters for “membership”. The enforcement of the rules was accomplished through the culture of the base membership, with a moderator stepping in as the last resort.

I wandered about trying several discussion boards or communities before joining one that seemed broad enough to be interesting and mature enough to be enjoyable. I followed it for more than ten years, off and on, and still have the password, though I doubt it is active anymore.

Technology and society have seen a few changes over the past 20-25 years. The last site I “joined” and interacted with on a somewhat regular basis was the “comment” portion of my local newspaper’s digital edition. That was a couple of years ago, and it didn’t last. Such places are now primarily dedicated to verbal combat and adolescent behavior. People jump on with screen names and hide behind fictional identities to say things that would get them seriously hurt in the real world. They are called “trolls”, among other apt nicknames, and they took the pleasure out of swapping howdy-dos over the internet.

Another one I tried briefly advertised itself as being “libertarian and tolerant of all views”, but turned out to be run like a boot camp by some hot dog who seemed more interested in meting out penalties than in communicating. Click.

From time to time, I succumb to the temptation to stick my toe in what still looks like water but which I know to be sulfuric acid. As I scan the articles claiming to be news, I usually come to a comments section at the end where readers can offer their feedback on the subject. The first one in line usually gets by without a hitch, but subsequent ones are highly likely to attract flies, or trolls, or both.

So, this morning I had just read an article obviously slanted for the “liberal” point of view, with specific emphasis in this particular case on mocking the so-called Confederate Battle Flag and those who defend it. I have found this sort of “pissing contest” to be rather pointless, but for some reason I felt compelled to drop a short comment after someone else’s comment.

In essence, I pointed out that America seems to have its own version of the Taliban, deciding which icons and monuments can stand and which must be destroyed. The Confederate Flag didn’t pass their PC muster and therefore had to go.

The “return shot” was as swift as it was incredible. A young lady from California sporting an Hispanic name and either questionable command of the language or of the keyboard scolded me, charging that I obviously don’t know the meaning of the words I used. Oh, wow! Oh, wow in scientific notation! This college educated former editor was being scolded by a post-adolescent Green Card for not understanding my native language! I couldn’t make this up! I also couldn’t stop laughing!

I started to prepare a short essay on my understanding of the words conservative, moderate, liberal, Taliban, and some points regarding the First Amendment, and then just backed away from the keyboard and smiled.

“Nice try,” I sneered at the monitor. “You almost got me.”

 

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Why do they DO that…?

November 25, 2016

You know that kind of folksy joke about why the family dog always picks the day you have visitors, like the minister, or the Ladies’ Auxiliary, to wander into the room, turn around three times, lie down, and BEGINS TO VIGOROUSLY LICK….well, you know how it goes….

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People apparently do things for the same reason…

People are diverse by default, not necessarily because some movement decided it should be so, and it is normal for people to associate with others most similar to themselves, That doesn’t mean they hate the folks down the road.  Nevertheless, the self anointed Interior Decorators of the culture pound the podiums and preach their version of diversity, and woe unto he who dares to diversify outside of the prescribed lines!  I had a drill instructor that could lean at a 45 degree angle, bark like a seal, and spit red hot nails, but I’d wager he couldn’t even chew butter in the moral shock wave of an irate Liberal.  Don’t make an issue of my picking on “Liberals.”  I spew ridicule spherically, not just left or right.

Thus, it is not really surprising to access an alleged source of “news” only to be informed of some newly discovered social sin, verbal transgression, thought pattern, or the latest intellectual dingle-berry to drop from the stern-sheets of the PC Beast that humanity is mandated to adopt.

Why do people do this stuff, boss each other around, vie for control, and for some irrational reason other than fear actually endorse the Gods of Glib?

That’s easy.

Because they can.

So, the latest offering is just another chapter in the continuous game of enforcing the rules against government making any law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” by making rules that nip at the heels of the First Amendment like a Narcissistic Chihuahua on amphetamines.

While, in the name of “defending our freedom”,  we send weapons and warriors half way around the globe to vanquish some folks who have the audacity to destroy the symbols and sacred doo-hickies of Middle Eastern populations who don’t practice the “only religion the only way”, things are getting dicey here at home, too.  We have our own version of the Taliban going around deciding which National Monuments displaying crosses violate the First Amendment and demanding that they be removed (polite for “destroyed”).

As with virtually any action perpetrated in the name of achieving or enforcing some “good”, these things can only be done at the cost of someone else who happens to be on the wrong wavelength, go to the wrong church, belong to the wrong political party, speak with the wrong accent, or in some other way qualify to be redefined as irrelevant.

Why do they do that?

Because they can.

…and why can they…?

…because, basically, nobody tells them they can’t.

Well, I’m here to tell ‘em they can’t.   I’m all for helping those in need, but I’m not at all for making that mission into a Cabinet position and turning it into some massive industry that consumes an immense quantity of raw materials and produces absolutely nothing.

I’m all for “defending our freedom”, but I think it’s long past the time to learn the difference between shit and shinola.  When German U-boats cruised our eastern seaboard, and Japanese aviators barbequed Pearl Harbor, we wasted no time juggling smoke and mirrors.  We defended our freedom, and we did it definitively, and we did it well.

When our nation was again attacked on September 11, 2001, “defending our freedom” once again became the priority.

What we need to do, however, is figure out where the real line is that separates genuinely “defending our freedom” and just acting as District Sales Representatives for the munitions industries, their foot-warmers in Congress, and others who keep our economy afloat by promoting and feeding global conflicts.

And for those who are still capitalizing on stage time from the recent election, I would suggest they stop projecting gloom and doom because Donald Trump seems to have grabbed the brass ring.  Get over it.  We don’t put kings in the White House, though some of them seem to think that was the deal.  No one man or woman is going to fix everything and make America great again and no one man or woman is going to flip a switch and turn the USA into a 3rd world country or a glassy spot on the globe.  Either of those two roads can only be chosen and followed by The People.  I trust our system of governance as it was devised.  I don’t necessarily trust many of my fellow citizens to understand it and follow its wisdom.  A culture of entitlement has been fostered and developed over the past few decades.  Oddly, it isn’t the recipients of “free lunch” that benefit from this atmosphere, it is those who manage the game and dole out the goodies.  And, I’m not saying they are bad people.  They aren’t.  I blame a damaged system and each and every one of us who has spent our time finger pointing instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing something productive.

It can’t be fixed all at once, but we need to start somewhere.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to have government get the hell out of the way so the American people can do what they have always proven they can do best.  Produce.  Create.  Protect our freedom.

So, I’m saying to those who think otherwise, it’s time for you to move on.  Government doesn’t make things, doesn’t fix things, doesn’t produce anything.  The people do.  You have graced the living room floor of America and done your “ablutions” long enough.  Get out.

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A “Save-the Day” candidate!!!

April 1, 2016

or something like that ….

I would like to take this opportunity to announce my availability as a write-in candidate for President of the United States.

I have no party affiliation, but, like most people, I have agendas. My platform? To get government out of the way so the People can exercise their greatness freely. I won’t promise to do anything spectacular to get the media’s skivvies in a twitch because, unlike the current contenders, I realize the fact that my job will be to work with Congress, to lead them, not to bypass them or order them around. I see the wisdom in following the guidelines of the Constitution as opposed to digging around for ways to exploit loopholes. If elected, I don’t intend to spend one minute working on a “legacy”. I mean, who would waste time on such a thing other than a consummate Narcissist? I didn’t pay people to sign my yearbook, for cryin’ out loud, and I didn’t expect those whodid to pay me for the privilege….

Forget the “vetting”. I’ll show the media and the pucker-butts my rap sheet. Who cares? That was then and this is now. Besides, I’ve never regretted anything that I didn’t enjoy the hell out of first, and boy, have I had a blast! Fortunately, other than a few misdemeanors and adolescent social faux pas, I am fully qualified for the office. Well, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m a bit of a windbag and I do know a few.

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I’m not a bumpkin, either. I graduated from college. I’ve been around. I’ve dined with the Governor. I’ve chewed on a cold boloney sandwich in a six by eight. I’ve shaken the hands of Senators, Representatives of Congress, a future Secretary of Defense, and a couple of Hell’s Angels.

But enough about me.

Never mind. Why should I care to run for the most impossible job on the planet?

Primarily because those currently running scare the pants off of me and a whole lot of other people, and those with the PC credentials to go for it themselves are more interested in protecting their PC credentials. They had help with such decisions from millions of misguided citizens who either want the USA to “goose step its way to greatness” or fulfill Kruschev’s prophesy by jamming our path to full Statism into passing gear.

My core politic is a mixture. I think all existing parties have good points and are full of bovine flapjacks on others. Generally speaking, I believe the Constitution is central, and that we should strictly follow it in spirit in order to properly respect it, especially when making adaptations for “context”. I value the concept of the individual as primary, and that of public servants as just that.

I believe it is important that we have a strong legal system that provides rational and appropriate consequences for crimes of violence and property. Personal property is inviolate. Nobody has the right to take the property of another, or to interfere with their use of it. Including government.

I believe in equal treatment under the law for all people. That does not translate into equal accoutrements of some statistically median lifestyle or unlimited freebies to make it feel that way. Nevertheless, I believe in generous welfare and support for those who are unable to care for themselves. That means safe and reasonably comfortable housing. That means basic nutrition, which does not include snack foods, soda pop, lobster, or gourmet fare. Specifying allowable purchases does not violate anybody’s rights. Nobody is “entitled” to any extra credit for being on a “list”, nor should anybody merit any less, for the same reason. I would be interested to see how Congress addresses these issues.

Religion is none of the government’s business. That means government does not promote or show disfavor toward any matter of spirituality, but maintains a neutral position while still following the law. No sacrificing virgins, for example. You can burn a cross if you so desire, but do it on your own lawn. That kind of thing. The Taliban mentality of removing existing historic monuments and icons because they don’t live up to the Politically Correct mandates of the moment is not OK. That behavior violates the rights of those who created such monuments and those who enjoy them. It also violates the right of those who don’t actually give a damn, but by so doing the Taliban effectively are dictating to them certain belief systems and using force to promote them.

I would support and encourage movement toward a society where individuals are free to pursue their dreams to the best of their ability. Not everybody has dreams, of course. Many just wish to have enough to get along, or at least only have enough drive to pursue that level. That’s fine. The rest of society is not obligated to supplement their ambitions, however, in order to achieve some statistically pleasing standard of living.

At least one candidate believes everyone should have access to a “free” college education, not because they are smart but because they can prove they can’t afford it. Of course they can’t afford it, they haven’t graduated yet. As far as education is concerned, I think everybody should have access to college loans, and counseling to assist with applying for any of the thousands of grants available from private industries and other interests. Other than that, debt can be a great motivator for performance. Or, one can acquire an education incrementally, over a period of years, working between enrolled semesters to save money or to play, or whatever.

We have to be realistic about economic matters. I believe the cry to “audit the fed” is a reasonable action, as is serious consideration of returning to a money supply founded upon tangible assets. Moving off of the gold and silver standards was not done because it was a good idea for the people or for the country, but to favor the agendas of a few.

I won’t argue that the Federal Reserve was a bad idea back when it was created, but I will argue that it is a good idea to chew on the question of whether it is a good idea in this particular part of the twenty first century. We are no longer a keystone in the brick and mortar industrial world because that world has changed and given way to an economic environment centered around technology and computer science. Regardless of nationalistic viewpoints, we need to accept that the economy is now global in nature, and if we wish to participate and play king of the mountain therein, we have to understand the rules of the game. I read somewhere that one of the barriers to that understanding is our archaic vision of a “factory” being a structure where raw materials go in the front door and finished products come out the back. The factory still exists, but is segmented around the planet instead of just around a city lot down by the tracks. We play an important part in that economy, but the “brick and mortar” folks are just going to have to find some new way to earn a living. Their ancestors had to do the same thing when the horseshoe and carriage industries fizzled out.

One thing I have a very strong politic about is that government should not be an industry, nor should it operate like one. The USA embarked on a reasonable, rational, and Constitutional path some sixty years ago when it began a concerted effort to eliminate the conditions that disallowed a huge portion of our population equal access to the rights and privileges enjoyed by others. Why they were denied is not relevant at this point. However, the Why has replaced the original problem of deprivation and continues to be a seemingly insurmountable issue today, with the historic deprivation itself actually serving as an “Oh, yeah…that too…” kind of point. We need to learn from, and end, that approach to Constitutional issues.

Just as acting like American Taliban in protecting the freedom of religion concept tends to

violate the very principle it claims to represent, overly exuberant efforts to “end poverty” and all of its cognates has been said to actually give those conditions a certain immortality. Look at it this way:

A need is discovered. Johnny needs shoes.

A program is started to identify other people who need shoes and to provide them with some.

So far, so good.

Such a program requires personnel and a budget.

And a building.

and so forth….oh, and more personnel…

It doesn’t take too many years, and too many additional good idea programs to convert government from a service to a service industry. To many, that may still seem like a good idea. It is not; look at it this way: An industry “produces” a product or service. A product producer needs raw materials, which it purchases from those who have them available for sale. A service industry, like the brick and mortar version, also requires “raw materials”, which comes in the form of whatever “need” the service aspires to fill or resolve. Those who create income by consulting, fixing, caring for, and providing numerous other service related “products” have to compete for the business. Like any business, it requires Research & Development, Sales, Advertising, Professional Providers, Management, Accounting, and more. He who provides the greatest value for the smallest cost wins the game.

A government service industry runs in very much the same manner, with a few key differences.

Products: As mentioned, the product is “need”. In order to stay viable, even before the initially identified need is fulfilled, it becomes crucial to identify new needs to be fulfilled. Johnny has shoes. Now What?

R&D…steps in to either find needs or to create them. That’s where sales and advertising come in. Selling refrigerators to Eskimos and all of that sort of thing.

None of these functions is self sustaining or subject to the “natural” rules and forces of a market economy in thins case, however. The industry takes what it needs, gives away what it wants to, and can mandate the purchase of its products, all of this financed with money taken from the taxpaying public. The only thing missing from this formula is the gun. No it’s not. It’s there, but you won’t see it unless you decline to participate.

The welfare economy requires three things: a limitless, free supply of “raw materials” and cash, a captive market, and force. While many may appear to benefit from it,, it is primarily a “jobs program” for those employed in the industry, and the people in need are a crucial raw material and therefore indispensible. They are captured, they are husbanded like cattle.

Military: Like welfare, originally established to help the helpless and to care for those who are unable to care for themselves, military functions were originally conceived to defend the physical nation and its people from enemies “foreign and domestic”. Eisenhower wasn’t the first to notice, but he is known for voicing concerns about a “military-industrial complex. ” Such a marriage was reasonable and necessary during WWII, of course, but it was not subsequently dismantled. It found new things to do, new causes to fight for. In fact, the Unites States of America has been engaged in armed conflict of one kind or another for 222+ our of the last 230+ years…93% of our very existence. That speaks to something other than “self defense.” It is an industry<e/m>. A “profit center,” if you please. The 100 top producing “industries” are all engaged in the production, sales, and distribution of weaponry or some related “product”. When we aren’t asserting ourselves as global police, we serve as mercenaries, or “observers”. Right. That’s a little like being an “observer” at an orgy, isn’t it?

Just as an end to poverty would bankrupt the country and millions of previously middle class wage earners, starting the cycle all over again, if “peace” was ever actually achieved, our surviving brick and mortar industries and “defense” related interest would collapse.

In other words, despite our vigorous PR and traditions to the contrary, the USA is a welfare state in the making, and not in the least bit interested in world peace. We can’t afford to win either campaign.

I’d like to find a way to change that. I’d like to rally those who would also be willing to take the risks involved in becoming a productive, independent population, more interested in making and selling widgets than making and selling weapons, war, and welfare.

Unions will, of course, be among the most energetic of my detractors, as would be federal employees and civilian federal contractors whose jobs depend on serving the “needs” of the poor or of the military industrial complex.

It’s a free country, but that doesn’t mean it’s free to live here, and it shouldn’t obligate the population to pay for each others’ pipe dreams or the pipe dreams of those with a pocketful of power to play with.

That’s enough for now. I’m hungry, anyway. I think I’ll pop up to Martha’s Vineyard for
brunch…

 

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Sentient excreta

January 18, 2010

Just as Hitler’s unspeakable evil became the metaphor of depraved insanity for the twentieth century, the Taliban and Al Qaida have already become indelible logos of cowardice and subhuman barbarism for the remainder of this millennium. I cannot believe that nature could ever be so diseased as to spew forth any abomination that could top the level of those who would find the sneaky assassination of babies, children, mothers, and disabled elderly human beings to be an acceptable, let alone honorable, pursuit.

If ever there was a personification of the concept of Satan, they are it. To believe that anything short of an equal level of dedication to erasing them and their ilk from the face of the earth will suffice is naïve at best and criminally negligent at worst. One does not fight a conflagration by asking it politely to extinguish itself. When up against sentient excreta that enjoy killing, one must kill them in order to survive. That does not mean one has to enjoy doing it. I intensely dislike the need to behave in any way that resembles the enemy’s manner of thinking, but that is the only way to defeat them. Anything less is suicide.