Monday, August 31, 2009

Seventy Years Ago in Poland

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland in an act that would eventually plunge Earth into a second world war. The evils of socialism were fully unleashed at that point, with Hitler the fascist and Stalin the communist agreeing to split the country.  While this went on, Great Britain and France dithered about going to war, despite their alliance with Poland that required them to. 

So why did they dither?  I always thought Chamberlain was simply a weak fool and this article in the Telegraph reinforces that view.  I would submit that weakness is always rewarded with force, especially when dealing with dictators and I am watching the same behavior with Obama in his foreign dealings. Look for the violent and dangerous men of the world to take advantage of that in the years to come.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is a New Concorde Needed?

Ran into this photo gallery at the Telegraph depicting renderings of a proposed super sonic transport (SST) being developed by Supersonic Aerospace International.  It is a pretty bird aimed at the business class traveler, essentially a Mach 1.6 private jet that is quiet enough to be used at more airports than the old Concorde SST.  Given the immense costs of fuel used to fly any "super cruise" plane, I don't see a valid market for it during hard economic times.  Sure there are some sheiks out there who would love such a toy, but even they have felt the pinch the last year. Unless there is a huge turnaround in the global economy in the next decade, the timing of the aircraft will be poor.

Interestingly, Lockheed's Skunkworks designed the 'QSST', or Quiet SST, plane. The lack of afterburners should reduce takeoff noise considerably, but the F-22A Raptor pilots have found that it is more economical to use afterburners to reach supersonic speeds and then throttle back to cruise.  It will require a lot more fuel pushing through the so called "sound barrier" of denser air from what they've said.

You can visit the home page of SAI here and get more information.

It would make a great model kit though, look at those lines!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another False Flag Operation

In Denver, the Democratic Party Headquarters had its windows smashed in and efforts were made to blame Tea Party protesters.  So who actually got arrested?  Someone who had been on the payroll of an SEIU front group.  That vandal is no conservative and the question is being raised over what the local Democratic chair new about this.

Part of the problem the conservatives and libertarians have had understanding the opposition is comprehending that the end justifies the means to the left.  To some degree, they intellectually get that the other side lies and even the relativism involved, but they fail to understand just how far they will go to achieve their goals.  When you suffer from ethical relativism in addition to moral relativism, anything goes to win.  That includes posing as the other side to frame them for bad behavior.

Ironically, it would be a relief if Maurice had a grievance with the Democrats and did this for revenge of some kind, but I doubt that will be the case.  Instead, the political situation in the country continues to deteriorate and I think we'll be seeing a lot more unrest as the far left get frustrated.  Opposition is not something they handle well, much like adolescents.  With generations never growing up and raising following generations to be perpetual teenagers, we'll be seeing a lot more stupid acts such as this one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Large and Small

Been an interesting couple of days in the news, so more links that caught my eye:

It has often surprised me how I find stories being reported in the UK on events in the USA that aren't getting a lot of attention, ones that should be.  Take designer children for instance.  I had no clue this was actually being done, now I find the specter of eugenics rearing its ugly head again reported in a foreign newspaper.  The narcisissm and selfishness of people is astounding, allowing immoral acts like this to be profitable.  Simply wrong and not good for our culture.

I refuse to "tweet." For those unfamiliar with the term, it is posting short little snippets on Twitter.  If Twitter (actually all texting) isn't a sign of the dumbing down of the West, I don't know what is.  Now it is being compromised, just like MySpace and Facebook have, with worm attacks. While not as severe, it shows the inherent weakness of social networking sites to data theft.  I'm on Facebook and never warmed to it due to the triviality of the atmosphere, so my checking in is getting more infrequent. Frankly, it is a stultifyingly boring time waster.

Two years ago, Rushford, MN flooded and amongst the losses was the Tenborg Community Center.  It was a great place to hold political conventions and meetings, located at a reasonable distance for people from Fillmore, Houston, and Winona counties.  I grew fond of the place and was saddened by it becoming a total loss, when I'd hoped it would be rebuilt or at least replace by a new one.  Now it looks very much like the financial disaster of our time is making it unlikely, unless help from private enterprise enters the picture. That's too bad, as Rushford is a good location.

Things could be worse. At least I don't have a former neighbor trying to blow me up with a mail bomb.  Even small towns have weird things like this happening these days, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by Houston, MN getting its share.  Fortunately, no one was harmed, but still...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote of the Day (or month as often as I've posted)

Two weeks ago, town hallers were supposed to be members of the Brooks Brothers brigade, Astroturf division. Now they’re well-armed anti-government militias. At this rate, they’ll soon be android ninjas with laser vision. Wait, strike that. They’ll be really racist android ninjas with laser vision.
Read the rest of Jonah Goldberg's piece on the administration playing the race card repeatedly.

Raining Friday Links

Don't know if I'm up to posting a real essay today, as I'm waiting for the rain to stop to mix a mad scientist brew of sand/concrete and Sheetrock plaster to repair the hole in my bedroom ceiling. Finally tore all the plaster down from the water damaged areas and was pleased to find the lath in very good condition, with only some mold. One repaired cheap sprayer and some bleach water later it was left to dry overnight. I suppose I should take photos of it now for the classic before and after shots -- that's assuming my improvised plastering methods work!

While I assume only bots are reading this blog, I'm going to start posting links to things I find interesting on the Net in case any human eyeballs ever find their way here.

First up, a video link to Milton Friedman on Donahue back in 1979. Friedman lays out why only capitalism works very succinctly and to great effect. He also quickly lays out why government isn't the answer.

Bolstering that last point -- the automakers are having to back the "Cash for Clunkers" program. It is a fine example of how the U.S. government runs things that they are having to be bailed out of their own stimulus program. GM being involved makes this even more surreal.

"Peace of Mind. Piece of Happiness." That's the slogan for the Japanese government's new ad campaign to sell their national debt to their populace. The Telegraph rather waggishly asks what slogan the UK could use.

On a more local note, Marty Seifert was in La Crescent as part of his campaign for Governor of Minnesota. I hadn't realized the number declaring to run was in the dozens! On the Republican side, I think he has the edge at the moment, coming off of successfully holding the caucus together in the Minnesota House of Representatives during the last session. Time will tell, of course.

The Rochester Tea Party Patriots will be holding a Health Care Freedom Rally Saturday at Noon in Rochester. Click on the link for details!

Related to Tea Party activities and health care concerns, across the Mississippi Representative Ron Kind D-WI had 800 people to deal with at his townhall in Tomah Thursday. From the article, it sounds like he got an earful. This shows how more intensely opposed the public has become to government expansion of health care. I don't remember this kind of civic involvement back during HillaryCare. Of course, the country wasn't broke back then and didn't have a possible second Great Depression looming.

On a lighter note, I've been watching how people slavishly buy the latest Apple iPod or iPhone when there are usually superior products for much less money out there. What I wasn't aware of is how technologically inferior products on the US market are compared to overseas. Just another sign of America's decay, as the article points out our falling rate of broadband penetration. Don't know if I agree on the "Wal-Mart factor" so much, I think being an 80% service economy might play into this. Or maybe it is that we have so many wide open spaces to play with that we don't need gadgets for entertainment as much as crowded Asia.

As I've gotten older, the less enchanted I've become with intellectual property rights. It seems that instead of coming up with more new and innovative product, individuals and corporations want to keep making money off of old things. With the rise of file sharing then torrenting and piracy of music, movies, television, books, and software this is surely being eroded. While I don't advocate piracy, I do think there needs to be some limits. Now the biggest torrent site, the Pirate Bay, is preparing to go legal. Reading the comments tells me that things have gone past being just college students looting music and there is a rebellion against any regulation of content. How much of it is ideological and how much is just greed is the question.

Last two articles were found on Blue's News, a gaming and tech website that occasionally has interesting oddball items.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The AP Reports on Consumer Prices

Boring sounding, right?

Well, if you are concerned with the economy, it stops being boring once you hit a specific line in the article.

Selected quotes from the article:

Prices fell 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, the biggest annual decline since a similar drop in the period ending in January 1950. Most of the past year's decline reflects energy prices falling 28.1 percent since peaking in July
Well that doesn't sound so bad, the high energy prices inhibited any chance of a recovery.
Some economists have expressed concerns that the economy could be headed toward a dangerous period of falling prices, something the U.S. has not experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Okay, that isn't positive sounding. Deflation has been a worry of mine for some time now.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday reported its first-ever drop in same-store sales for its overall U.S. business for the quarter. The world's largest retailer said a big factor was price deflation, primarily in grocery products like dairy.
If Wal-Mart is taking a hit, things are bad. They are the last redoubt of the consumer being squeezed for cash. Meanwhile, desperate efforts to prop up dairy prices are occurring in Wisconsin, as input costs are far outstripping returns. Are our dairy producers the canary in the coal mine?
The longest recession since World War II has kept prices in check as wage pressures disappeared because of heavy job layoffs. Companies have been unable to boost prices because of weak demand.
Now this is really not good, as we are a service driven economy with 80% of it being the service industry. With a good chunk of the spending vanishing due to debt, unemployment, and depressed wages, the main fuel for the engine of the economy is in short supply. We don't have manufacturing to pull us out of this one, or an influx of new workers like women after WWII.

The gist of the article is that falling prices have reigned in inflation and how great a job the Fed has done. Me, I'm concerned, as I've been watching for deflation as a sign of another Great Depression. Time will tell if these are warning signs or just bumps in the road. Better buckle your seat belts!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh Joy, History Repeats Itself

When Hitler decided he wanted to invade Poland, he sent SS troops dressed as Polish soldiers to attack German outposts on the border. With this false flag attack, the Nazi regime had their justification to go to war -- after all, those villainous Poles had attacked the Fatherland! So how does this relate to the title of the post?

I believe history repeats itself as variations of a theme, as composers have done their own takes on other compositions. Much of the tune stays the same, but enough changes to make the new version distinct. Today we have a struggle against an ever encroaching government and those who wish to keep their constitutional rights. The current administration is a product of the Chicago political machine, which means anything is allowed against opponents. Think mafia, because organized crime is a big part of the machine.

So we've seen SEIU goons beat Ken Gladney down and shove a camera in the face of a woman capturing their thuggery. That's the obvious behavior that the ObamaCare supporters had hoped would go the other way for propaganda purposes. Then there is the more sly method of propaganda staging.

Much ado has been made by Nancy Pelosi and others about the swastika's and Hitler pictures at the Tea Parties, with an inference of the protesters being Nazi racists themselves. It has been carefully worded to make that impact, while retaining the core of truth that the signs were depicting Obama and company as the Nazi's. At the Tea Parties I've attended, I haven't seen any and the comparison has been to the communists. That isn't to say there haven't been comparisons or signs elsewhere.

But look at this, we have a bonafide false flag operation being run by Democratic Representative John Dingall's supporters. Having someone carry that around and then hand out lit pieces for Dingall afterward smacks of complete arrogance. Or is it just the security of knowing the media will cover up for you? Still, the purpose is clear, to justify continued verbal demonization of the opposition to the health care bill.

So we have false flag operations going on, as I'm sure this isn't an isolated case, plus we unions being used to pack townhalls to prevent dissent. It may be the Chicago way, but it isn't the American way.

It's like they want a war.

Friday, August 07, 2009


You know that the ancient Chinese curse of "May you live in interesting times" is true when the unions start rolling out to suppress free speech while claiming protesters are "attacking America." You can't make that kind of idiocy up, though you can satirize the mass media instructions/marching orders given out of Washington. Of course, in the left's view of the 1st Amendment, it is only valid when they protest and when confronted with an opposing view, they are entitled to slap down the opposition. Or just close the doors on anyone who wasn't snuck in the side door in an effort to pack a townhall meeting.

Hey, if someone opposes the Obamacare bill, the White House has asked that people submit their name to a list they are archiving. “These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to”

Nothing intimidating about that!

Then there is the lie about astroturfing (creating fake grassroots, a specialty of the Chicago machine's Axelrod) being spread, with insurance companies, Fox news, or the RNC organizing too well dressed protesters. Which is very silly indeed, as I have been to multiple Tea Party rallies and they are made of a wide political range of people indeed, including Republican haters. Top that off with Republican "insiders" ie: the reigning political class in the party, aka country club Republicans thinking the protests useless and plebian and it becomes clear who is really astroturfing. But don't forget, it is organized mobs causing all the fuss, according to the Democrats.

All of this is like playing with matches in a drought stricken forest. With the ever increasing reach of the federal government into literally all aspects of everyday life, the American people are getting more than uncomfortable. There is a sense that too much control is being taken away from individuals, aggravated by the severe economic downturn that shows no real sign of abatement. That is the motivation for these protests and the people who attend them.

In Discourses, Nico Machiavelli wrote that peoples are "extraordinarily revengeful toward those who have destroyed their liberty." He relates an account of the city of Corcyra in Greece during the Pelopennesian war. Ancient Greece broke between two camps, the Athenians and the Spartans, with the people of Corcyra being torn politically. The upper class nobles wanted an alliance with Sparta while the people wanted freedom and alignment with Athens. Subsequently, the upper class took over and instituted dictatorial rule that lasted until the Athenians were able to render aid to the people of the city.

The populace rose up and imprisoned the nobles in one prison, then set about executing them in cruel ways. Of course, that caused a prison uprising which ended when a crowd of the people marched on the prison. They collapsed its walls and upper story on the nobles to crush them.

Machiavelli concludes, "We thus see how true it is that a liberty which you have actually had taken away is avenged with much greater ferocity than is a liberty which someone has only tried to take away."

At the moment, with cap and trade passed and Obamacare being rushed through, people are waking up to the threat of their freedom to make choices being taken away. That's dangerous enough to cause trouble on its on. Adding in union thugs and a refusal to listen to constituents to the mix takes it from being a threat to an actual denial of liberty. If that threshold of perception is crossed, things can explode.

And one last time for the confused, please click on the difference between grass roots and astroturfers.