Archive for June 2005

Trade vs. Strategic Interests

I’ve posted an article at Dean’s World which has me thinking of a fundamental difference in the way people consider trade:

I view trade as existing in an overall strategic framework. In short: military concerns trump trade concerns.

However there is an opposing view which views strategic resources in terms of a broad economic framework. In such a view, the military is subservient to the interests of trade.

Hmmm….

Corporate Maxims

Here’s a couple that I’ve been searching the origins of:

1. The amount of time spent making a decision is in inverse proportion to its importance.
i.e. Men will spend months researching a stereo or computer system but take a job in an instant.

2. In a business meeting the least likely option will be the one most likely to happen.
i.e. If your boss says “The chances of the takeover succeeding are minimal,” get your resume out fast.

3. The importance of a company’s data or processes are in inverse proportion to the age of the technology running it.
i.e. The CEO’s Blackberry may be bluetoothed to his laptop, but the hundreds of millions of accounts the firm services will be running on hardware older than the people supporting it.

4. A firm’s proprietary knowledge is rarely recognized as such by internal resources and will be apparent (and freely accessible) to everyone else.

i.e. A CIO’s personal shopping list will be protected using 128 bit RSA encryption, while his meeting notes will be on a shared drive or password protected using his wife (or mistress’s) name.

5. The likelihood a project will succeed is in direct proportion to the size of its stakeholders.
i.e. If you want to kill a project, give everyone possible a stake in its success.

Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory…

... is what these fascist apologists want to do. Link here. Hat-tip: PowerLine.

New Offerings at the Ministry of Propaganda

Comrades! MiniPro has just minted two new slogans:
Vote Republican
Democrats Suck Sticker
Long live the glorious (counter) Revolution!

Newspapers Suck – Here’s Why

Well the title says it all – because they really do. I was just reading a Powerline article about the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and got to thinking about how pissed I was on Sunday when I read the Delaware Newsjournal and thought “My god, it’s like reading the New Indicator.”

The “New Indicator” was the campus Communist rag of my alma-mater UC-San Diego. Nobody read the thing because it was full of socialist slogans – meaning lots! of exclamation marks! – as if punctuation could make up for the emptiness of the writing.

This was the time before blogs, and one when I considered myself to be closer to the Left side of things, so for an aspiring political writer I thought that I would join the New Indicator and see if I could add some substance to the thing. I

I attended one meeting with my roommate Adam – a Jewish biker from Philly (email me you bastard) – and all I recall is a terrible smell in the office and listless hippies who needed no-doze or crystal meth to get up off their butts and take a bath. So, to make a long story short, that was it for me and the New Indicator which – according to a recent alumni caller – is no more. Boo fucking hoo…

It used to be that I read at least two newspapers a day – in Japan it was three being that the English ones were quite small. Now I don’t read a single one daily, and often skip the Sunday edition of the NewsJournal because honestly, who gives a rat’s ass about the Mayor of Elsmere using a city vehicle to pick up his kid from Little League.

Why? Becuase the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, LA Times, Philly Inquirer – all the newspapers have the same Leftist slant. They run the same Left-wing columnists with the token Robert Novak and Cal Thomas. They run the same articles from the pro-European/anti-American Reuters, French AFP, and leftist AP wireservices. They run the same Left-wing anti-Bush, anti-military, pro-UN and pro-transnationalist opinions. Even their formats are the same. First section important news, second section local, then sports, business and finally lifestyle.

There is nothing new in newspapers. There are no innovative ideas. There is no balance to the slant – only the dogma that newspapers are non-biased. Most newspapers hold monopolies in their markets and when criticized deny it by saying that there is no market for a right-wing newspaper – ignoring the fact that the start-up costs for a newspaper are just as prohibitive as for a software company with a new operating system to take on Microsoft.

So I’ve stopped reading all newspapers and rely upon weblogs in their place. This has happened gradually over the past 4 years and during that time I notice that blogs have lessened their reliance on the mainstream media for content. Years back most blogs used a newsarticle as the basis for discussion, but today the Blogosphere has its own articles and columnists and the reliance upon newspapers is decreasing.

Refuting Noam Chomsky – North Korean Defector Speaks

Since Chomsky is enamored of the place yet oddly doesn’t call it home, here’s the take from a man who deserted his post 40 years ago and defected to North Korea:

Deserter Apologizes for Defecting to North Korea
Deserter Apologizes for Defecting to N. Korea

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

WELDON, N.C. — On the eve of his return to the remote Japanese exile island that he now calls home, U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins (search) apologized for his more than 40-year-old decision to abandon his post for life in North Korea (search).

Jenkins, who was expected to leave his boyhood home of North Carolina early Tuesday morning for an afternoon flight from Dulles International Airport to Tokyo (search), said his decision to defect to communist North Korea in 1965 was wrong.

“I let my soldiers down. I let the U.S. Army down. I let the government down, and I made it very difficult for my family in the United States to live,” Jenkins said.

Speaking at his sister’s home in Weldon, the 65-year-old Jenkins said he lived in harsh conditions in North Korea. While there, he thought he would never again see his mother, Pattie. They were reunited last week.

Jenkins was a 24-year-old sergeant with the U.S. Army’s 1st Calvary Division when he left the squad he was leading on patrol in the Demilitarized Zone and walked into North Korea on July 5, 1965.

While he appeared in North Korean propaganda films and taught English, Jenkins said North Korean agents were never able to break him and he was never brainwashed. On Monday, he called North Korean leader Kim Jong Il “an evil man.”

“He only believes in one thing — his own personal luxury life,” he said.

Jenkins remained in North Korea after his Japanese-born wife, who had been kidnapped from Japan in 1978, returned to her home country in 2002. The couple was reunited last year in Japan, where he was court-martialed and served 25 days in a U.S. military jail.

Jenkins’ wife, Hitomi Soga, called for more attention in the United States and Japan to the plight of Japanese abductees she said remain in North Korea.

“There are still people in North Korea who were abducted, and I want more people from Japan and America to pay attention and help solve this problem,” Soga said through an interpreter.

The couple — along with their two daughters, who accompanied them on their visit to North Carolina — have no plans to move permanently back to the United States. Jenkins has said the primary purpose of his weeklong trip was to visit his ailing mother and make a final visit to his homeland.

“He’s certainly not a hero. He didn’t get a parade coming home,” Michael Cooke, of Raleigh, a boyhood friend and Vietnam veteran, said Monday. “What he did was a despicable thing.”

But Cooke said he spent more than two hours Friday night catching up with Jenkins, his family and three other old friends from their days as boys in Rich Square, a town about 30 miles southeast of Weldon.

Cooke brought along old photos and a copy of the 1954 Rich Square telephone book to help remember names long forgotten.

They spent no time asking Jenkins why he deserted, or about how he lived for decades in one of the world’s most isolated countries.

“We didn’t get into any of that heavy stuff,” Cooke said. “We didn’t get an apology.”

The most telling moment of their reunion, Cooke said, was seeing the joy in Jenkins’ 91-year-old mother’s eyes. “Ms. Jenkins seemed as happy as she could be to have her son home,” he said.

When asked Monday about reuniting with his mother, Jenkins became emotional.

“It’s very difficult to express, to put into words, how I feel,” he said. “I didn’t feel I would ever see her again.”

President Joe Biden

The first of many reasons why that phrase is a bad idea:

1. Biden has never upset the banking industry.
Do we want a president with such deep ties to the banking industry, one who co-sponsored bankruptcy reform that is nothing but a sop to the credit card companies?

Summer News Lull

Some people are concerned that Americans have forgotten we are at war and have lost the will to fight. I think that the problem isn’t quite as desperate-sounding and can be explained through the usual summer news lull which has happened every year since I started the Razor, with a little bit of “reversion to normality” thrown in.

It reminds me of the first issue of The Onion after September 11 which boldly proclaimed “We want our boring lives back!”

Well, America has its boring lives back. After all if you are seriously moved by the trial of Michael Jackson or the engagement of Paris Hilton, then feel free to pat yourself on the ass and say “Yes, the terrorists haven’t triumphed. I’ve got my boring life back!”

Such a lull and complacency cannot be countered. The only thing that will change it is a large-scale terrorist attack on American soil. Barring that the only people who are paying attention right now are news junkies like me and barking moonbats who mistakenly assume the silence they are hearing is people agreeing with their ravings.

Sorry, it’s not. It’s simply the Summer News Lull and American infatuation with its own navel.

Yet Another Reason to Hate Microsoft

From Roger Simon:

Microsoft’s new Chinese internet portal has banned the words “democracy” and “freedom” from parts of its website in an apparent effort to avoid offending Beijing’s political censors.

Users of the joint-venture portal, formally launched last month, have been blocked from using a range of potentially sensitive words to label personal websites they create using its free online blog service, MSN Spaces.

Attempts to input words in Chinese such as “democracy” prompted an error message from the site: “This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item.” Other phrases banned included the Chinese for “demonstration”, “democratic movement” and “Taiwan independence

Recent Posts At Dean’s World

Here are a few of my recent posts at Dean’s World which you might want to check out:

Beatniks and Rednecks (a DW Best Submission!)
Moral Equivalence and Koran Abuse
I Choose Not To Drink
Steven Den Beste – Godfather of Bloggers
Sick of Star Wars (and George Lucas)

Beatniks & Rednecks

Originally posted at Dean’s World: A Best Submission!

I’m not much into lifestyles anymore. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more family-focused, and group-identity is down there with “paint the basement walls” in terms of priorities. But one group that I’ve always liked were the Beatniks of the 40s and 50s.

I still have the copy of “On the Road” that I read in high school, took to college, then to Japan, Africa and finally to middle age in Suburbia. Opening the book today it is hard not to feel the rush, the flight into the unknown, the celebration of living and breathing and “being” that Kerouac captured in that work. “On the Road” is a long trip across America and through the human spirit, and even as I live in the same house I’ve lived in for years, the book still tempts me to grab the Wife, the Kid and the Pets and just start driving West – job, mortgage and credit card debt be damned.

I got to thinking about the Beats at a parish carnival the Family visited Saturday night. The parish was in a working class part of town where liquor stores and gas stations compete with one another for prime space along the main boulevard before it ends at the Interstate. The Wife noticed that the people in the crowd seemed to wear their tax brackets on their faces, prematurely aged from a life of hard work, hard living, and hard playing. Cigarettes were ubiquitous, and it was impossible to get away from the smoke. Hip-Hop culture dominated the predominantly white crowd, but there were a large number of mixed-race families and a few Latinos, one wearing a silk-screen of the black Virgin Mary with the words “La Raza Unida” printed underneath. Was the shirt racist? I asked to the Wife. “Don’t be so sensitive,” she wisely replied.

I felt like an outsider, but I usually do in large crowds which is why I do my best to avoid them. But the Kid loves carnivals and being a Parent trumps personal likes or dislikes, so we had gone together. As I stood in line, watching the Ferris Wheel “Carny” work the ride, I noticed that unlike the board expressions shown by the other Carnies, the man seemed to enjoy his job. He was polite to the riders and even joked with them as he manned the throttle, locked the pipe railing, and warned each rider to mind the latch.

The Beatniks came from working-class backgrounds for the most part, but they were intellectuals too. Some of them had served in World War 2 – Kerouac in the Merchant Marine which during the War wasn’t exactly the safest job – and others, like Allen Ginsberg, came from academia. Neal Cassady, Kerouac’s and Ginsberg’s muse for their early works, even came from a hard-scrabble background of a drunk and abusive father.

They were not elitist – or at least they didn’t start out to be. The Beats celebrated the Working Man. They appreciated the artistry and skill shown by workers doing their jobs, a concept which connected them spiritually to Zen Buddhism as exemplified by the poetry of Gary Snyder and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Photographer Robert Frank’s landmark work, The Americans, shows slices of everyday American life and manages to convey the beauty and perpetual motion of its land and people in a way missed by the Look and Life photographers of the era.

I’m speaking in generalizations somewhat here, which happens whenever you talk about groups of people – especially those counting “loners” like Kerouac and “socialites” like Ginsberg as members. But it struck me as I walked through the crowd that the Beats were the last counter-culture group that weren’t elitist. Ever since the Beats evolved into the Hippies of the ‘60s and the Hippies found themselves at odds with the “common people”, the counter-culture has been elitist and when that counterculture became “pop” culture, that elitism came too.

Today’s pop culture sneers at what it calls “Red States” or the “Nascar Crowd” – yet the Red States continue to swell with immigrants from other states and NASCAR remains the fastest growing sport in America. Green Day may make a killing on calling them “American Idiots” yet the same people that buy their records continue to enlist in the military. I wandered through the crowd and realized that this was the America that remains undefeatable. It was a crowd that wouldn’t be losing any sleep over the treatment of terrorists at Guantanamo and probably cared as much about America’s image abroad as they did about Michael Moore’s grooming habits or lack thereof.

And I realized that the elites come and go, but these people will always be here. They might have a few more piercings and tattoos than their predecessors, but they will remain solid and steadfast, constituting – dare I say? – the bedrock of American society.

Lileks Makes a Funny Today

On what most men would call, the Wuss:

The traditional man still exists in China, Le Louet said, and “is not ready to go”. But in Europe and the United States, a new species is emerging, apparently unafraid of anything.

Except the Chinese man, who will kick his ass if they look at him the wrong way.

Moths and Flames

Left Wing intellectuals and Islamic Fundamentalists.
Amnesty International and Islamic Jihad.
Self-Hating Jews and Islamic Fundamentalists.
Abused Women and Condemned Killers.
College Students and Socialism.
Sensitive Men and Andrea Dworkin-style Feminists.
Europeans and Islamic Fundamentalists.
African-Americans and “Culture of Victimization”.
Jimmy Carter and Dictators.
American Businessmen and China.
American Businessmen and India.
Democrats and Howard Dean.
Mainstream Media and Al-Jazeera.
Star-struck parents and Michael Jackson.
The Left Wing and Fascism.

Moral Equivalence: The Greatest Evil

The longer I write, the more I begin to believe that any type of equivalence, be it moral or cultural, is just plain evil – if not stupid. Here are my thoughts on Islamic Jihad jumping on the Koran-abuse Bandwagon.

That’s right: Islamic Jihad. This is the outfit that blows up children at pizza restaurants and celebrates it in art.

Sometimes it is really, really hard not to hate people who tolerate this – or worse – make moral equivalence arguments to justify such acts.

They are not moral people. In fact they may be people, but they sure as hell aren’t human.

Amnesty’s Travesty

Michelle Malkin on Guantanamo and Amnesty’s report here.

Unreality-based liberals would have us believe America is spitefully and systematically torturing innocent Muslims at Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, our own MPs have endured little-publicized abuse at the hands of manipulative, hatemongering enemy combatants. Detainees have spit on and hurled water, urine and feces on the MPs. Causing disturbances is a source of entertainment for detainees who, as Gen. Richard Myers notes, “would turn right around and try to slit our throats, slit our children’s throats” if released.

R. Emmett Tyrrell writes about it here:

Do you remember the reports in the Weekly Standard of some of the detainees’ response to the presence of female American soldiers at Gitmo? The chaps exposed their male members and masturbated. In some cases, they reached for their toothbrushes and performed unspeakable acts with the brushes on parts of their anatomy that would amaze our female soldiers. Well, an American lady lawyer on a humanitarian mission will know the proper response. She might read the Bill of Rights to her client. She might bill her office overtime.

Jihadists know how to play the liberal media – which is rather ironic since such liberal “rights” as gay rights and abortion rights championed by liberals would be thrown out of a very high window – followed by the homosexuals and feminists that champion them.