Archive for September, 2009

I consult the ghost of Xenophon on Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009


“Ah, Xenophon, I am glad you could spend some time with us.”


“I was not doing anything.”


“We have a bit of a problem in Afghanistan. Despite overwhelming military superiority, we are losing.”




“It is a mountainous land east of your journey through Asia – the people there somewhat resemble the Kurds.”


“Ouch! Kurds! Tough fighters, never give up. They never accept that they are beaten. Lots of little ambushes, right? Like that?”


“Right. Exactly like that.”


“I regret that I had to kill so many brave men. Station your most valiant men, your best equipped men, and your most able generals in the rearguard, and get out as swiftly as possible, as I and my men did.”

“Unfortunately, if we do that, they are likely to raid us again.”

“They raided you before! Well then, kill enough of them that they do not do it again. One in ten might suffice, then get out … though if they are anything like the Kurds, you might have to go back in and double up.”

“Ummh … it might be hard to find the right men to kill.”

“Kill the women and children. The brave men will appear soon enough. Kill the brave, and the rest do not matter.  Then get out.”

“The women and children?”

“Spare some of the pretty ones, of course, to please the troops. ”

“Our allies might find this tactic disturbing.”

“Did these Afghans raid you first?”

“Some of them did. Others disapproved strongly.”

“Evidently not strongly enough.  You need tougher allies.”

Next, the ghost of Raffles.

The brilliance of Sarah Palin’s “common sense conservatism”

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

When the nation is in trouble, “common sense conservativism” sure sounds mighty attractive, even if you do not know, or much care, what precisely it means.  Sarah Palin is a politician who has her finger right on the pulse of the ordinary American.

If you are a “common sense conservative” then that implies that other conservatives, such as perhaps “compassionate conservatives”, are naive utopians who brought disaster on the nation, which makes them very like the “hope and changies” of the nutty left.

And Sarah Palin, after explaining she is “common sense conservative” then proceeds to stick it to the Bush/Obama regime for pissing away trillions of dollars, nearly a year’s income for every American:Sarah Palin, Hong Kong, CLSA Asia Pacific Markets Conference, Sept. 23, 2009

We got into this mess because of government interference in the first place. The mortgage crisis that led to the collapse of the financial market, it was rooted in a good-natured, but wrongheaded, desire to increase home ownership among those who couldn’t yet afford to own a home. In so many cases, politicians on the right and the left, they wanted to take credit for an increase in home ownership among those with lower incomes. But the rules of the marketplace are not adaptable to the mere whims of politicians.

“Good natured but wrong headed” Can you say “compassionate conservative” and “hope and change”?

Observe the reaction: The speech was supposedly boring. It was also supposedly so outrageous that people walked out in disgust. Furthermore, she supposedly did not say anything. She said nothing, nothing, nothing, NOTHING – a reaction that sounds like people sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming “I can’t hear you”, a sure sign that a politician has struck gold, for it is clear that she said something, and that that something was very far from boring.

President McCain would have been worse.

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Doctor Zero argues that a President McCain would have been better for various reasons, among them:

none of them would be a Truther, a supporter of cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal, or a communist… let alone all three. His Supreme Court nominations would not have to defend their racial theories of judicial supremacy at their confirmation hearings.

And that is precisely why McCain would have been worse: He would have implemented the policies of financial ruin, national socialism, economic destruction, defeat and humiliation, from the “center”, and these policies would have been associated with Sarah Palin instead of Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright.

The improbable economic growth of Argentina.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Over the last hundred years or so, Argentina as swung violently, and with increasing frequency, between policies of on the one hand constitutionalism, rule of law, and the free market, and on the other hand populism, bureaucratic decree, and national socialism.  It has also swung violently between being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and being a typical third world poverty stricken hellhole.

After the last crisis, it swung violently towards national socialism, populism, and bureaucratic decree – and yet is reportedly experiencing tremendous economic growth, greatly reduced poverty, vastly improved equality, social justice, public health, great medical care, and so on and so forth.  And everyone is reportedly happy and loves the government for its wise, good, and successful policies.

Reported real growth in GDP is 8%pa.  Reported inflation was 3.6%pa. 

Actual inflation was 21.6%pa, which would mean real growth was something like 8%+3.6%-21.6%, which is negative ten percent per annum, a massive economic shrinkage, at which rate they will be back to third word hell hole mighty fast.

Now that we are hearing less of the wonderful health care of Cuba, we will probably be hearing more of the wonderful economic growth of Argentina.

Aiming to lose in Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Obama tells us

I’m not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of …  sending a message that America is here for the duration.

Thereby announcing to our enemies America is not there for the duration.

If you aim to win, you aim to intimidate your enemies, so you always say you are going to fight to the bitter end and turn the place in even more of a barren wasteland than it is already. If you announce in advance that you are going to bug out should things get tough, things are guaranteed to get tough.

Obama is smart enough to know this, so I conclude that for political reasons, he aims to lose in Afghanistan, and aims to justify the defeat by a disturbingly large level of American casualties.

A lot of blogs call for a surge, a bunch of blogs are outraged Obama is not retreating already but the great wrong is staying there without intent to win.

Northwest passage not open for cargo traffic

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

The situation has not changed, and is not going to change, for global sea ice remains the same as ever it was.  But since the world is supposedly warming, we need regular announcements that the northwest passage is opening.

Eureferendum provides a nice fisking of the latest report of the Northwest Passage opening

Over the last hundred years or so, the Northwest passage has been briefly open from time to time, for sailors willing to take their chances.  Sometimes they get through, if the wind blows the ice in the right direction.  Sometimes they do not.  This makes it worthless for commercial cargo traffic, since if the weather goes bad, you have to turn around, and face a risk of getting stuck in the ice until next summer.  So you cannot transport goods through the Northwest passage on predictable schedule, and for predictable costs.  You can take a tourist trip through – provided your passengers agree not to demand a refund if the ship has to turn around, and provided you call in the icebreakers at the first sign of getting stuck.

Darwinian and divine morality

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Morality derived from human nature (and thus from Darwin’s sociobiology) differs from divine law as expressed in the New Testament in significant ways. It is Aristotlean and Randian morality, is fundamentally selfish. Aristotle and Rand tells us to cultivate our own excellence.  Darwin tells us we commit ourselves to conduct that will enable us to get along with others because humans are a social and political animal, we need to cooperate with others to achieve our goals.

Thus one should return good for good and evil for evil. Vengeance is not the Lord’s. He will not repay. One should do good for one’s kin, and forgive them their sins, and good for one’s friends, but not be nearly so forgiving of their sins. All men are not brothers. One should not harm other people without compelling and urgent reason, but the standard of what constitutes compelling and urgent reason is considerably greater for neighbors than it is for distant strangers. All men are not Hebrews.

It is a considerably more manly and muscular morality than that of Christianity.  Transnational progressivism is Christian morality, Americans putting themselves on the cross for Muslims as Christ did, which is why we are losing in Afghanistan. Darwinian morality is classic Greek morality, Xenophon explaining that he had urgent need to slaughter, rape, loot and burn his way across Asia because the incorrigible bad conduct of the savages around him gave him no real alternative.

Losing in Afghanistan 3

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Aid Watch says:

every sensible economist, political scientist, development worker, and journalist that I know thinks our current course in Afghanistan can have only one outcome — disaster.

Michael Yon tells us we are at war with pretty much the entire Pashtun population.

Global Guerrillas tells us

you can’t change a society through changes in governance or targeted force in any time period of relevance, and if you do try, you will spend yourself into the ground and generate widespread opposition.

The current program is to make Pashtuns into progressive democratic liberals in Washington’s own image. This will fail, and should fail. Pashtuns need to be defeated, not morally uplifted.

There is no Republican party

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

If the Republican party existed, it would be going after Van Jones’ scalp and the Obama health plan, rather than Glen Beck and Sarah Palin going after them. Glen Beck is not a party member. Sarah Palin holds no party office and is hated by the Republican party leadership with a hatred that verges on madness. The leadership of the Republican party, like the pretended movement in support of Obama’s health plan, is itself merely astroturf manufactured in Washington. (more…)

The error of Nazism

Friday, September 11th, 2009

The Nazis are hated for what they were right about (Darwinism), not for what they were wrong about.   The error of the Nazis is the error of Mencius Moldbug:  Hobbesianism. (more…)