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Friday, December 11, 2015

Ben Carson: My Impressions from a Live Event

I decided to attend the Ben Carson rally at Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana last night. I would be remiss if I didn't write about it; the event was very different from what you see on television. The clips don't do it justice, and the sense of overall perspective you get from a live event is much more comprehensive.

Dr. Carson spent the night pacing and thinking aloud. That's the best description I can give of it. There was no teleprompter. There was a podium, but he never stood behind it. He paced across the stage the entire time he was talking to the audience, much as I do when thinking to myself. He didn't yell or spout talking points. He had only one take-away line: "If I was an Islamic terrorist and I didn't infiltrate the Syrian refugees, I'd be guilty of terrorist malpractice!" (Quoted as closely as I an recall.)

But that's not who Dr. Carson is. He's not a media-savvy public personality like Trump who knows exactly what to say to get attention. He's not a career politician who is well-practiced at delivering a barn-burner from the stump. I highly doubt he even uses a speechwriter. What he does very well, however, is think.

Most of his thoughts were hard to refute. I particularly liked the idea of giving corporations that relocate to the U.S. a six-month waiver from taxation. We weren't getting any tax revenue from them overseas anyway, so what would we be losing? That type of logic made perfect sense to me. If anything, we'd be increasing revenue from the income tax paid by employees.

There was one idea of his that seemed a bit unworkable (making colleges pay for the interest on student loans as an incentive to lower tuition rates), but to hear a candidate make sense 98% of the time is amazing. I'll trust that the other 2% will be addressed as he delves deeper into how to implement things. I still see Dr. Ben Carson as the best candidate running this election season, with Ted Cruz coming in a close second. A victory by either candidate would mean great things for America.

I was impressed by the cogency of Ben Carson as he addressed the crowd last night. He made the point forcefully and repeatedly that we need not fall into the trap of limiting ourselves to one of two choices when it comes to the issues affecting us. There is always another way to solve a problem if we are willing to think about things enough. Again, this type of calm rationality is not something we would get out of a career politician. However, it is exactly what we need.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Do video games turn today's youth into quitters?

I am 42 years old, so I'm entitled to the occasional fit of "good old days" ranting. To me, the 1980's were halcyon days. Sure, we had no cell phones, no Internet, and no disc-based gaming. Video games were, at best, cartoonish or badly-pixellated renderings of objects and people that you interacted with on a 2D plane. You tended to see a bit of interference in the background of your TV set from other channels as you played on channel 3. Still, the games were fun back then. Plus, you actually had to have some skill to play them.

You were constantly challenged by the games you played. All games were in essence a form of competition. You were out to beat your last high score, or even better, your friends' high scores. There were levels, but most games had no end to them; they just looped around, at least until Super Mario Bros. changed that paradigm. Even then, you had to beat the game using only a set number of lives and continues.

You tried and failed and tried again and again, or you realized that you had wasted $50, which in that time was a small fortune to a kid. So you sat Indian-style on the living room floor for hours struggling through Bionic Commando... 
Continue reading.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Putin Envy

Vladimir Putin may be many things, but the man is not a wimp. This is a guy with whom George W. Bush famously had a wrestling match. He's a guy who actually blows ISIS installations sky-high. He's a guy who actively pursues territorial ambitions. He's straightforward and unapologetic.

Meanwhile, we've had Barack Obama, who has none of the positive qualities of Putin. Granted, Putin is a dictator who represses freedom of expression. Then again, the same could be said of President Obama. After all, he has infamously decreed that he will pursue his agenda whether Congress passes it or not. Very undemocratic for a Democrat, I must say.

 Republicans, meanwhile, are split between to candidates with very distinct personal styles. On one hand we have Ben Carson, a genius who is soft-spoken but direct and unapologetic in his views, much in the vein of Ronald Reagan. He is the literal incarnation of "Speak softly but carry a big stick." His domestic agenda would reshape the economy in a profound way, not radically but more in a reactionary fashion. Taxes would be set at a flat 10% for all Americans, a tithe. Obamacare would be repealed in favor of an HSA-based model that puts more purchasing power in the hands of health care consumers. Marriage would be restored to its historic definition as a union between a man and a woman. Internationally he would defend America's interests in an unapologetic manner.

Donald Trump is just the opposite. He is loud and brash and often sticks his foot in his mouth. He rarely if ever apologizes for these gaffes, however, choosing instead to attack anyone who points them out. His domestic agenda is conservative with regard to foreign policy, but on other fronts he can seem somewhat liberal at times. His tax plan is to raise the percentage of taxes the middle class and moderately wealthy pay and to reduce or remove taxes from both the lower class and the ├╝ber-rich. He would surely defend American interests abroad, but might also alienate key allies by attacking them unnecessarily. The traits that most attract people to him can also make him appear unpresidential.

We want a Putin, someone who is an unapologetic nationalist. We want someone who will boldly defend our interests at home and abroad. That is why Trump's candidacy has some real clout; whether his domestic policy is sound or not, there is no doubt that the man loves America and will do his best to promote our interests. With Russia's economy in the toilet, Russians still love Putin for the same reason--he's a proud Russian, whether or not his domestic policies are working.

Personally, I favor Ben Carson. My only fear is the "Romney factor," that perhaps the man is too soft-spoken and nice to debate as forcefully as necessary to win. Trump will go for the jugular, not afraid of the personal attack. I'm hoping Carson will be just as forceful in his quiet-yet-powerful way. Trump is clever. Carson is wise. The question is, can a wise man win the presidency? I guess we'll find out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why can't gays leave Boy Scouts alone?

Well, they're at it again. The homosexual privileges crowd is once again attempting to hijack the Boy Scouts of America. They're using an old political hack who happens to hold office in the Boy Scouts as a mouthpiece for their agenda. The president of the BSA, Robert Gates, proclaimed:

"We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be... The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained. The one thing we cannot do is put our heads in the sand and pretend this challenge will go away or abate. Quite the opposite is happening."

Gay privilege organizations behaved predictably. They praised Gates' statement and then promised to push for more concessions. Chad Griffin, for example, stated:

"We welcome as a step in the right direction President Gates’ announcement that the organization will not revoke the charters of chapters that welcome LGBT Scout leaders and employees. But, as we have said many times previously, half measures are unacceptable, especially at one of America’s most storied institutions."

The issue should never be about who wants what or what percentage of the population believes in X, Y, or Z. The Boy Scouts of America stands for something. It stands for being, in part, "morally straight." You can't teach that convincingly if you change your moral code with every shift in public opinion. Moreover, the BSA has an obligation to protect our boys. We wouldn't want straight men taking a young group of Girl Scouts camping, would we? Does not this same principle apply to gay men and the Boy Scouts? We are told by the pundits that, in fact, it's the straight men we need to watch out for.

The statistics used to promote the lie that straight men are much more likely to molest boys (an idea that is ridiculous on its face) are so blatantly misrepresented that they deserve their own chapter in the history of propaganda. There are several facts to understand before the raw numbers will make any statistical sense. First, nearly all sexual abuse is committed by men, a fact that is a sad testament to the general moral inferiority of the male gender. I guess that's why the Boy Scout program needs to exist, though--young men need moral training. Secondly, only about three percent of the male population, as examined by multiple studies, is homosexual in orientation. Third, roughly one-third of sexual abuse cases involve boys. Using a simple ratio comparison, the ratio of female sexual abuse victims to straight men is 67:97 and the ratio of male sex abuse victims to gay men is 33:3. In context, gay men are almost sixteen times more likely to abuse their preferred victims.

You will not hear the facts in context from the mainstream media. You will not hear them from any politician wanting to go with the flow and avoid offending anyone, even when the safety of our young people is at stake. When placed in context, the data are clear. All most of you will ever hear is that twice as many straight abuse cases happen as gay ones. No proportionate analysis of the data will be tolerated.

It's like the old saw--there are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics. The media will manipulate the numbers any way they have to in order to create the image they wish to portray. Journalism is dead, and we were too busy nodding our heads to notice. In the meantime, the Boy Scouts are in danger of both a loss of their founding principles and a wave of molestation cases. We have to protect our youth, whether or not this makes us popular. Giving up our principles will not save the movement; it will destroy it.

UPDATE: Well, it seems that the only safe Boy Scout troops are those sponsored by conservative religious institutions. You know where to register your boys. Nothing is 100%, but the odds are in your favor.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Historical Framework for Ending Islamic Chauvinism

I realize the title of this post is a bit verbose, but it's really the most precise heading for what I want to say. I've spent a lot of time, years actually, pondering the parallels I'm about to describe here. After the events that have occurred since September 11, 2001, I don't see much of an alternative to the course of action I am about to lay out here. I don't relish the thought of these actions. They involve the deaths of thousands. They would result in the demise of a culture and a major world religion. And yet, to preserve all that is noble and true, I fear no other end is possible.

You see, Islamic chauvinism is becoming dangerous to the continued existence of the West. Those of you self-loathing liberals out there might see this as a good thing, yet consider what would replace us. Indeed, the very culture that permits you to question its superiority and express those doubts is the one that will die if it does not defend its existence. Western culture is unique in this way. Precisely the attributes that make it superior also make it difficult for us to admit its superiority. Western culture is unique in its open-mindedness. It is unique in the quality that allows for critical self-evaluation. The culture of the Muslim world does not permit criticism of its tenets. The Communist cultures of the world, China, Cuba, et al, punish through legal sanction criticism of a Statist value system. Those nations that permit and even encourage self-criticism do so inasmuch as they have absorbed the ideas and values of the West.

I introduce the topic in this way because we will never take the steps necessary to defend our liberties, our way of life, unless we recognize that it is worthy of drastic steps to defend it. We once recognized this, and were committed enough to destroy entire cities and terminate an entire religion to protect ourselves. We need such determination again.

Peace is never achieved without total victory. Such a victory is not merely political or the result of a treaty. It is psychological. It is the breaking of the will of the enemy, total and absolute domination of one society by another. It is achieved by the vanquishing of one party by the other. Only then will the conquered people be malleable enough to submit themselves to the will of the conqueror. For the self-doubting West, such a result is borderline anathema. Yet history demonstrates, over and over, that such is the case.

Let us use the defeat of Japan as an example. I was discussing this topic with a friend of mine, Hiroyuki Okano. He explained to me that the overwhelming defeat of Japan in World War II had the additional consequence of disproving the religion of Japan. Under Shinto beliefs, the emperor was a god. He was literally divine, a descendant of the sun god. As such, he was considered all-powerful. The Japanese, in this sense, worshiped Japan itself, personified in the emperor. After the decimation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the promise that Tokyo was next, the emperor was forced to submit himself to the will of the United States. By so doing, he admitted his fallibility, which proved that he was not all-powerful, that he was a mere mortal instead of a divine being. That tenet of the Shinto religion was destroyed. Shinto survives in cultural celebrations and traditions, but it is no longer chauvinistic. Nobody in Japan believes that the emperor is infallible. That aspect of their culture and religion was destroyed with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Islamic world has a very similar perspective to what Japan had at the onset of World War II. Foreign peoples were seen as filthy, inhuman enemies whose destiny was to be forcibly replaced by Japan. The same mindset exists in Islamic fundamentalism. It is all or nothing. Resistance to conquest is seen as the equivalent of violence against the religion. When the West resists invasion, it is portrayed as a new Crusade. Of course, such a perception ignores the very real geopolitical causes of the Crusades, which began with an Ottoman invasion of Byzantine territory. Even in that context, then, it was the West resisting conquest, even if the participants in the Crusades did commit some extremely vile atrocities against the residents of the lands they were ostensibly trying to free.

The only outcome I see that would result in a lasting peace and security for the West and our culture is massive destruction inflicted upon the Muslim world, a destruction never before seen. Nations that support or condone terrorism within their borders or as proxies for their political agendas will have to be virtually obliterated. We must force the Islamic world to sue for peace under any conditions necessary. We must demonstrate irrevocably that God is not on their side, that He does not accept the notion that Islam should be used as a weapon. ISIS-infested lands must be incinerated; pinpoint strikes via drones are not having a significant effect. The Muslim world must be crushed, its spirit and will broken. Yes, I am speaking of nuclear weapons.

We have foolishly robbed ourselves of the neutron bomb, which was a very merciful alternative to conventional nuclear weapons. A neutron bomb kills everything it touches, but leaves little radioactive residue to affect survivors. It decimates military targets within a limited area, much less than a conventional warhead, meaning that it could be used to destroy political and military targets within a 2.5 mile radius while leaving surrounding areas unscathed. Such a weapon would be ideal in the fight against militant Islam. ISIS troops and leaders could be vaporized while those under their oppression could be spared. Such a path would be both sufficiently forceful and the most moral alternative.

I do not wish to suggest that I see atomic warfare as a good thing. War is never good, but a sometimes necessary evil. However, it is vastly superior to having Western civilization replaced with a barbaric Ninth Century culture that sees women as chattel and enforces its religious zealotry with a death penalty. These are rapidly becoming our only realistic alternatives, as much as we may wish otherwise. I, for one, appreciate the value of our culture sufficiently to defend it no matter what the cost. Those who would criticize this post do not, period. I suppose that is their right and, ironically, a side-effect of the superiority of our culture.

Before you lambaste this post, please take the time to think unemotionally and realistically about its actual content. What I suggest is indeed horrifying. It is also necessary. Sadly, if history has taught us anything, the two are not mutually exclusive.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What the Media Have Done to America

This is a photo from Moscow, where shopkeepers are putting out our flag as doormats and enterprising businesses are selling toilet paper with our flag on it for a dollar a roll. While it is an insulting sight, to be sure, it is at least comprehensible. After all, to the Russians, it is the flag of a foreign power that they feel is destroying the national economy.

If this same doormat were placed outside a Marxist bookstore, the ACLU would be the first in line to defend it. Collegiate liberals would wipe their feet as a gesture of solidarity. Michael Moore would show up and shake hands with the shopkeepers. This in spite of the fact that America's president is, at present, a communist African-American Democrat.

We can see evidence of this disdain in the media's treatment of the cases in Ferguson and New York City. Especially in the Ferguson case, the media chose to broadcast inflammatory and false information without regard for how it would affect either the community in which the events were unfolding or the nation as a whole. While this behavior is fairly typical of the media these days, in this case it is displaying more than a simple desire to create news for the sake of gaining viewers or selling newspapers.

The media, especially the left-wing outlets, have been almost ecstatic in their reporting of the still-extant racial divide in the country. After declaring Barack Obama to be the post-racial president, the media have been hard-pressed to contend, as they are wont to do, that America is still a racist nation. As I like to say, the Race Card officially expired on January 20, 2009. However, the left-wing media template is to portray the nation as a bastion of racism, a throwback to darker, less-Progressive times.

They equate disparities in outcome to bias based on race as opposed to other factors. One study pointed out that resumes with equal qualifications but with names that sounded "white" rather than "black" garnered more interview requests under the "white" name. However, this ignores the influence of culture, which in this day and age is far more important than race. An African-American named Ronald or James will not be discriminated against because of his name. Why? His name indicates being raised in a middle-class culture. In fact, nearly any employer would hire an African-American of middle-class behavior and mannerisms over a white candidate with lower-class behavior and attitudes. This makes perfect sense, since the middle-class tends to be more cooperative and polite in its dealings with people of authority.

It is, in its way, extremely racist to equate race and culture as if the two were one and the same. This implies that race determines things such as behavior, work ethic, and the likelihood of criminality. This is, in fact, a form of racial profiling that is much more damaging than any performed by law enforcement. Let's face it--two white teenagers who are wearing hoodies, sagging their pants and walking like they're angry with the world are much more likely to be stopped and checked by the police than two black teenagers in properly-fitting slacks and a shirt and tie who are smiling pleasantly as the police drive by. In fact, I personally dare any university sociology department to run an experiment using precisely those parameters and prove me wrong.

The media in this country desire to perpetuate the impression that America is anything but the land of opportunity and justice for all. By so doing, they are desecrating the symbolism of America in a fashion that is much more disgraceful than wiping their feet on an image of the flag. It is less overt, certainly, but the intent to disparage America and all it stands for is the same. At least for the Russian shopkeepers, the action is not treasonous.