The Dead Are The New Weapons Of War …

Gazan Dead: 2914

Gazan Dead: 2914

Gaza is splitting the Israeli coalition government, per reports. Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to have accepted the Egyptian brokered cease fire with Hamas over the objections of his cabinet and without consulting them first. This spotlights a growing problem that seems to be changing modern warfare and especially, changing its results.

From Gaza, Hamas feels free to lob missiles into Israel. Some, but not many Israelis have been wounded and killed thereby, so far. Israel can grit its teeth and take it, lob missiles right back into Gaza tit for tat, or invade Gaza to shut off the sources of the bombardment. Ignoring these acts of war is obviously suicidal at some point. Europe and the U.S. upon whom Israel depends, will not allow Israel to return indiscriminate missile fire; the TV and Internet images of dead Palestinians and their children generate unacceptable public relations in those countries. So Israel invades from time to time in search of the rocket launchers and ammo. But these invasions are inevitably cut short by rising public revulsion as the dead bodies pile up, leving Gaza to fester until the next eruption repeats the scene. This keeps Hamas alive.

Hamas tries to assure that as many dead women and babies as possible result from this; it stores rockets in schools, locates military installations at hospitals ad fires rockets from residential neighborhoods. And it makes certain that the news media see every dead body and on occasion, fake ones too. This is broadcast all over the Internet. As result, Israel is winning every battle but it is losing the war. The world is shifting to support the Arabs against the Jews amidst rising antisemitism in many places.

The same pattern was seen in the latter part of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The Americans and other coalition forces were subject to increasingly restrictive rules of engagement, the rules laid down by commanders governing when and how soldiers could shoot back or attack the enemy. The Taliban enemy had adopted the same tactics of hiding among civilians now seen in Gaza and every civilian death was featured on the news while soldiers’ casualties were often simply statistics. This has altered war; having a powerful military is not helpful if the politicians handcuff it for public relations reasons.

This is a handicap for countries that have an elected government; elections are in essence, public relations campaigns and leaders subject to them cannot, as Prime Minister Netanyahu obviously recognizes, afford a baby-killer image. Dictatorships and terrorists have fewer of such worries. Independent entities such as ISIS and in practice Hamas are effectively free of such concerns and may even revel in the torn bodies of Jewish babies.

This is reversing the old power equation; it used to be whoever had the most and the biggest guns that could pile up the highest heap of dead bodies was the winner, as demonstrated at the end of WWII. Now, the Internet and cell phones are turning those bodies into weapons for the other side.

War is hell, they say; that is because the machinery of war is intended to kill people and destroy property; it has no other application. And today, that offends people when they look at it. That may change when one of the dead kids is their own, but likely not until that occurs. And even then, the way the media handles it will affect the political impact of the event.

In summing up; a country had better avoid war these days unless it will occur out of sight as did Iraq and at first, Afghanistan or if visible, the public is prepared to witness and accept mayhem. With today’s conditions, winners are tending to be less those with the strongest military and more, those with the strongest stomachs.

Posted in Culture, Death, Foriegn Policy, Israel, War | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Teens With Genes From More Than Two Parents Seem Healthy …

Dr. MoreauThe health of some special Teens  is under study amidst controversy because the kids have more than two parents. Conception in vitro at a fertility lab apparently included genes from at least three parents. This appears to disturb some folks. The kids are now 15 and the fertility mavens are interested in comparing them to standard,-two parent progeny for obvious reasons. We are interested too and thought you might be also.

Our interest isn’t scientific, though or at least, not biologically so. We’ll leave that to the eggheads. Our curiosity is directed at the societal, legal, economic and governmental effects of this new sort of procreation. We haven’t heard anything along those lines from the fertility folk; they’re just assembling their human babies without worrying over any of that, so we’re worrying a little for them. Waving test tubes around without thinking too much about what’s in them seems a neat way to acquire those ‘unintended consequences’ we hear of, usually after it’s too late.

We’be already had all sorts of discussion over whether designer babies are a good idea when we obviously cant manage the design we already have. So we won’t dwell on that. We’ll consider a few other things.

Do we want anyone who wishes to play Dr. Frankenstein? Or do we prefer that the government require say, licensing and supervision? We’re informed that a camel is a horse designed by a committee; do we want humans produced under bureaucratic regulation?

Should this form of parenting be available to those who can pay or is it owed to everyone at public expense?

Should all the less successful results be offed or allowed to persist through Obamacare? What should be done with one of these when a latent defect appears at say, age 8?

Will all three parents be liable for child support? How will custody be decided when that is needed? The teens reported here mostly have 3 or so parents; should there be a limit on that number?

Proceeding onward, what if some fertility lab wants to establish a business of assembling, surrogate-mothering and selling these industrially built kids? If that’s allowed, what will the lab do when it has too much inventory? What will happen if China uses the idea to produce millions of warriors?

There are lots more lovely possibilities here and note: None of this is sci-fi; we’re already looking at the health of existing 15 year olds. It’s happening.

Another question: If government steps in, you get two things for sure: babies designed to satisfy politicians … and a black market in babies that don’t meet the government standards. That last will give rise to enforcement machinery, right? What will happen to unauthorized kids gathered up by government agents in enforcement raids? Or found in the homes of unregistered parents?

The list could go on and on as the fertility folk blithely implant and play with genes. We think that this field will be both unstoppable and a lot of fun, particularly for those sensitive to black humor. It might not be so much fun though, to be a kid.

See you on the “Island of Dr. Moreau  !

Posted in Ethics, Eugenics, Government, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An Incredibility Shrinking Presidency …

Shrinking ObamaPresident Obama appears to us to have reached that point in his political trajectory where he has passed apogee and is falling back to earth. Even Democrats are now complaining of what he has done or what he hasn’t done. And the media, that until recently seemed to have photoshopped any wrinkles out of his golf pants, is beginning to treat him like well, not like a Republican, but like say, a First Lady who has lent her name to an unpopular Department of Agriculture scam intended to get subsidy money into the pockets of vegetable growers. The Prez’ halo has slipped the traditional six inches and taken on the appearance of a noose. Why? What happened to the love?

One of those circulating emails passed by recently bearing a list of the important Obama Administration folk who are married to highly influential media figures; it was an extensive list. The people on both the administration and on the media side of the list were important names; it gave the notion of “being in bed with the media” or contrariwise, “being in bed with government” a whole new dimension.  And this was all Democrats; we suspect there is an equally impressive GOP list available.

“Crony capitalism” seems to be an understatement of the case, at least when it comes to the media. Add in the revolving door between Wall Street and the U.S. Treasury and American business and government seem to have nearly completed a merger. From our perspective, of course.

It seems to us that the directors of this enterprise have decided that in view of the accumulating negatives clinging to the Obama Administration going into the approaching off-year Congressional elections, it is time to distance more vulnerable Democrat Congresspeople from the Prez. He is beginning to be apolitical handicap for some of them. Best be seen as a critic so as to dump off that load before November.

Beyond that looms the 2016 Presidential election; for that, the Presidential flowering has shaded out all prospective new presidential hopes but those of Hillary Clinton, whose sun had already risen pre-Obama. But given that length of time in the political garden, she has collected enough aphids that a few new, unspotted hopefuls seem needed to hedge Democratic bets. To provide room for these to grow, the President has to be cut down to size; the recently appearing criticisms are a likely start of that.

To balance that cost, we suppose that the criticisms of any apparent Republican November and 2016 Democratic opponents will ramp up forthwith. If of course, that is possible.

This will be a neat trick if the Dems can manage it. They will need to remove the Presidential canonization while somehow avoiding making him look too bad; awfulmess must be reserved for the GOP. Room must be left for those who will continue to defend the President as well; they must look at least, plausible.A Democrat must not appear to bumble.

The GOP problem is no easier; the only plausible candidates are unacceptably conservative. They are at present, left dusting off Romney and Jeb Bush, which resembles entering a gunfight firing blanks. What to do, when the folk you claim to represent don’t want what you want them to want? Tricky!

We have entered the season of sleight-of-hand and legerdemain; don’t be distracted by the attractive assistant as the magician transfers the hidden card from his sleeve …

But we may as well enjoy the show, after all, we’ve paid for it.

Posted in Democrats, Politics, Republicans | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Government Spending Explained …

CURES THE ECONOMY!

CURES THE ECONOMY!

We heard from President Bush (GOP) and from President Obama (DEM) that the government must spend more to make up for the drop in our spending that started in 2008; this will get the enervated economy going again. This is named: “Keynesianism” after the clever mountebank who sold it to the British government a bit before the Great Depression. They made him a Lord in gratitude; previous economists had been preaching against government involvement.

Right; suppose Farmer John’s cornfields support the little town of which Clever Clarence is (part time) Mayor. John has a crop failure from a drought year and everybody’s hurting.

Clarence says he will save them all. He will have the town spend more, making up for John’s shortfall and the local economy will come back to even again. John doesn’t understand much but farming and he knows people are hurting — his family is eating next year’s seed corn to avoid starving — so he agrees.

Clever Clarence then raises taxes, to acquire the extra money for the extra spending. He hires a new clerk to keep track of the new spending. He has created a job. The new spending fills in the spending gap left by John. But …things don’t get better.

The new taxes go into the economy at the expense of John, who pays them from funds already depleted by drought. He might have used those funds to put in a new well for more water, but the government has taken them. He, and ultimately the town that depends on his farm, are worse off than before after the new money is spent. Keynesians talk a great game but in the real world of finance, we still can’t get something from nothing. Keynesianism is a political racket, a grift, a scam. Snake oil. Back during the Great Depression, when it didn’t work either, they called it: “Priming the pump.”

Some will insist that when the Fed helps the U.S. government spend more by printing new money, that makes it different. That claim should be spread over Farmer John’s corn, it’s as good as what the bull produces. Fed printing dilutes existing money, reducing its purchasing power; we call it ‘inflation.’ Maybe you’ve noted the price of groceries and gasoline lately?

Economics for, not ‘Dummies’ but for realists. Politicians are realists … about politics. They hire economists to bamboozle us about economics. Which is why as a taxpayer, you now owe over $150,000 plus interest as your share of the debt the pols have run up, spending money they don’ have that you therefore, owe. And we keep reelecting them …

Posted in Economics, Federal Reserve, Fiscal/Financial Responsibility, Government | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Gleanings From The Passing Scene … (Politically Uncorrected)

Alfred_E__NeumannYour Saturday selection; enjoy! Or not, as pleases you …

Brain Differences   visible via MRI show up in teens who habitually take risks. Let’s hope that the government fails to notice …

The newest casino in Atlantic City   is closing as the ‘recovery’ groans on.

A Couple , evidently seeking a Darwin Award, failed to complete the selfie they were posed for at a cliff’s edge, falling to their deaths instead.

US Jobs   now pay on average, 23% less than was the case in 2008. (Recovery bulletin)

Racism   was charged against a new app that warned users of ‘sketchy’ parts of towns. A News Crew went to investigate and was robbed …

The leader of  ISIS   was released from U.S. custody in 2009, Readers may supply appropriate comment .

You may now use an ordinary House Cat to hack your neighbor’s Wi-Fi. (Whom can one trust anymore?)

Federal Tax collections at 10 months into the government’s fiscal year, increased to a new record – but the deficit is still about half a trillion dollars. Look down the track; you see a train coming?

The Obamafolk stopped and froze a Shipment  of missiles on the way to Israel. Making things a little more even over there?

The  Border Patrol  was ordered to release as many ‘migrants’ as possible; a second wave of some 39,000 kids is expected shortly and public  Schools have been directed to accommodate and educate them. Haven’t heard yet how that’s to be financed …

Investment Outflow  from the U.S. reached a new record as China, Japan and American citizens withdrew money from U.S. Treasuries and other investments.  Russia   is undergoing the same pain since it moved in on Ukraine. He who has eyes to see, let him see …

A  Hospital  somehow managed to send out 200 death notices for living patients. One now understands hospital billing systems better and might wonder how well they handle patients’ prescriptions …

A Couple   (Not the one who fell off the cliff) was busted for too much X-rated fun in a parking lot. We haven’t heard about any selfies.

Demonstrations have given rise to a new law in Spain  ; the cops may grab your phones and cameras, you must carry official ID at all times and interfering with traffic carries a large fine. Somewhere, General Franco is laughing …

A ‘’ Kill-Switch  “ bill has just passed in California. It was presented as a cell phone shut-off tool to allow government to cut service to stolen phones but  folks are now worried that it will cut service to phones carried by demonstrators and others the government wishes to silence. Naw, never!

In Florida, 3 black teens hospitalized an elderly white woman with a broken collar bone and brain injury. No headlines, no Al Sharpton and the Prez is still out on the links …

A Detroit Area School District has been forced by the Federal Department of Justice to supply teachers, staff and documents in Arabic and other languages to satisfy immigrants. Guess who’ll pay?

In New York City  15 were shot in one night; in the same span in  Chicago,   11 were shot, including a 3 year old.

A 16 year old high school Student  said in a writing assignment, that he bought a gun to shoot his neighbor’s pet dinosaur. He was arrested by police, he and his locker searched and he was suspended. The schools are right up there on the 2nd Amendment!

PIMCO (Pacific Management Investment Company) has Bedbugs   reported in its New York office. Not in its California headquarters. Yet.  We hadn’t known that these financial types had blood in them …

And the Westford Baptist Church  (The folks who picket veterans’ funerals etc.) has announced that it will go to Iraq to protest ISIS. We cannot possibly add to that …

Such are this weeks’ gleanings; we hope that you have found nourishment, amusement or apoplexy among them.

Posted in Culture, Government, Politics | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Militarized Cops Are In Fashion! (Park Your Tank and We’ll Talk)

Swat Team RaidThe Militarization  of police is attracting attention in the U.S, most of it disapproving. On a larger scale, Japan is moving away from its post World War II abjurement of military force outside of defending its archipelago. Both instances involve a move away from a more pacifist attitude in response to an increase in the danger level. Both are unfortunate; both are arguably necessary.

Some forty years ago, a bank robbery in Van Nuys, CA by a small group of robbers using AK 47 automatic rifles gave rise to the observation by the local paper, the Los Angeles Times, that the cops standing behind opened squad car doors firing pistols at the robbers looked a littel, well, silly. Like kids with popguns, really. While the military-armed robbers spraying rifle bullets commanded the scene.

Since then, the profusion of wars and terrorism has filled the world with available military weapons for bad guys at low prices. It also has provided governments with surplus weapons that may be given to domestic police who have been outgunned. A purely logical progression that has provided us today’s well known “SWAT: teams everywhere.

But little boys like their toy guns in spite of the horror of public school teachers and big boys envy big guns in the hands of others. The military stuff has spread from SWAT folks to almost every police car these days, It’s starting to scare people when they see a group of cops resembling a Special Forces attack group arresting some old lady or smashing in a residential door to serve a warrant for some minor infraction. A Federal inspection in the back-of-nowhere town of  Chicken, Alaska drew queries for its resemblance to an military invasion. We seem to have reached a point where sending one policemen when ten are available is not to be considered. Might end by reducing the manpower budget for next year, perhaps?

It is not only police, either. Numbers of Federal departments have armed police and even SWAT forces, some 21 of them at last count. Maybe it helps the bureaucrats feel powerful or something. But it’s expensive, and the taxpayers have to pay for it. And if our governors worry about guns in the hands of citizens as much as some of them seem to, maybe the citizens need to consider the proliferation of guns in the hands of our governors..?

Now seems a good time to take stock of what seems an out-of-control, progressing trend; some police are now acquiring tanks. We don’t want our cops up against AK-47’s with popguns but neither do we want remote Alaskan mining towns subject to armed invasion, let alone suburban homes. While government may be necessary for civilization, there is no good in too much of it.

Posted in Government, Police, Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Round and Round We Goes, and Where We Comes Out, Nobody Knows …

future ahead conceptThe Puritan were 17th Century Christian fundamentalists whose female garb would satisfy any Moslem excepting those who insist on faceless females. Down south in Maryland, even Roman Catholics were accepted, something that to a Puritan, was not so far from accepting a Moslem. Crafting a single nation of these disparate viewpoints was a sort of political miracle, considering that the Puritans had left England and then Holland because they could not fit in. But there was one common denominator to work with: Christianity. The United States were founded as a Christian nation, though the new government was precluded from selecting any particular flavor of belief.

Folks who could not agree with much of anyone gathered at Rhode Island where you could practice most anything, not the usual pattern for that time. It was also, in line with the attitudes of the period, referred to as: “Rogues’ Island.” And it too was part of the Founding.

Today, with the same Constitution acknowledged as in force, the central government legislates against the beliefs of most of those colonies and uses its law enforcement to impose its new mandates respecting marriage, pre-nascent infanticide and other fundamental challenges to Christian beliefs. One might refer to this as “social evolution.” As with biological evolution, it manifests as a problem because the Christian beliefs are based upon scripture that has somehow failed to evolve to match the new patterns.

The result of these trends has provided Western societies in which the practitioners of the founding viewpoints are now an irritant to the present governments as well as to roughly half of today’s citizens who no longer honor the earlier faiths. What we have called “Western civilization” is no longer a philosophically nor religiously uniform society at a very fundamental level.

In Europe, common language, mores and history help hold things together; in the U.S. and Canada, that glue is thinner, diluted by immigration from many places and today by the political multiculturalism of the Left. Political and cultural fracture lines are appearing in what was a more uniform society. Economic stresses only widen these sorts of differences as people and politicians seek others to blame for what is ultimately, their own doing.

French and English Canada remain a tension; Germanic and Latin Europe and Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Great Britain are all under political stresses. In America, California is presently proposed to deal with its problems by dividing into six separate states. The key to all this is: people are looking for answers all over the lot because the one cohesive common denominator of a common Judeo-Christian belief pattern has been abandoned. Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have advised the Founders to hang together because if they did not, they would surely hang separately. Western society has given up the credo which once kept it together, and is splintering as a result. The construct once called: “Christendom” is no more.

Another world belief system, Islam, is entering its own death agony as fundamentalists everywhere try to reimpose 7th Century mores upon modernizing peoples by bloody force. It is notable that the fundamentalists deny the use of most harmless or helpful modern technology while grabbing eagerly at the latest military hardware. Moslems are those who submit by definition; the bloody dictators that typify their cultures do not compare well to people who can see democratic governments elsewhere. These too are divisive political fault lines, liable to sudden and unforeseen political quakes like the misnamed “Arab Spring” that has thrown the Middle East into question.

It seems that the latest great civilizations are fracturing simultaneously and that the imploding international financial system will only accelerate the political dilution. Whether that will lead to more use of new tech to strengthen government controls of populations or to more open contacts and commerce everywhere remains to be seen; we suppose it will lead to both, in the order indicated. And the highway toward the next civilization will be no less bloody, for all its advancement.

Posted in Christianity, History, Politics, Society | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments