Archive for March, 2008

Who is funding terror?

Monday, March 31st, 2008

We are funding terror.

Twelve days ago, the US gave one hundred and fifty million dollars to the Palestinian Authority, much of which will be used to buy arms to murder Jews, much of which will be used to reward terrorists for their holy deeds.

Why pay off the Palestinians when there are many deserving people going hungry? Duh! The answer, of course, is that it is a payoff. If we pay them, they will refrain from hijacking US planes, refrain from murdering Americans. They will stick to murdering Jews – at least for the moment, though each time they come back for more money, they tell us that alas, unless the payment increases, they will, alas, have difficulty restraining extremist elements. Every negotiating session, they utter threats. Every time they utter threats, we pay them more. Eventually we are going to have to say no, and the dollars we have sent them will come back to us as bombs.

Now if sacrificing a few Jews would keep those @#$%^&* Palestinians off our backs, I would be all in favor of it But it is too late for that. It was too late in 622AD. When someone threatens to kill you it is war, and once it is war, the only way you can have peace is to kill your enemies, or die trying.

Tribute always ends in war or surrender. Surrender to Islam would be unimaginably intolerable. In the end, we will have to make total war, absurd though it is that a power so insignificant should threaten a power so great. But this is not the first time that utterly insignificant Muslim groups, by the power of fanaticism, by a willingness to die that exceeded Christian willingness to kill, have successfully extracted tribute from extremely powerful Christians, for example the tribute of money and slaves paid to the Algerians. It has always ended badly, and since 1529, it has usually ended very badly for the Muslims.

Housing price bottom

Monday, March 31st, 2008

When I say prices look like they have bottomed, I don’t mean that the prices sellers are asking may have bottomed.  Asking prices are, for the most part, still way too high.  But if we look at sales that are actually being made, both for houses, and for land with secure development approval, the prices are a good deal lower, the people buying are the smart money, and the people selling are the stupid money – which is a pretty good sign that prices have bottomed.  People with a good track record for making smart decisions are betting their own money that bottom fishing in today’s market is turning up bargains.  The buyers are buying with their own money, the sellers are taking a loss on someone else’s money.

Fitna the movie

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Most servers have been intimidated into silence, but the gutsy “Pirate Bay” is still serving “Fitna”, in bittorrent form, the only major commercial service still standing.

But the interesting thing is who is doing the intimidating. At first, it was a western, politically correct, demand for pre-emptive surrender..

Fitna shows a verse from the Koran urging murder, terror, or conquest. Then it shows today’s Muslim preachers urging murder, terror and conquest Then it shows acts of murder, terror, and subjugation. Then it shows another verse from the Koran urging murder, terror or conquest, then more of today’s preachers, then more dead bodies. In short, it is pretty similar to many Islamic devotional videos, similar to videos produced by the faithful to summon them to serve the faith, to donate their money, their lives, or their children, and in substantial part is composed of extracts from these devotionals.

Originally I wrote: “The Muslim reaction, naturally enough, has been “So What”. They are not outraged. They are bored. They get more than enough of this stuff from people asking for converts and donations.” This turned out to be dead wrong.

The long war

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

As I write this there is chaos in Basra.  Tomorrow there will be chaos some place else.  In Basra today Iranians are backing every pony in this race, for what they want is chaos, and chaos is easy to create.  We are pursuing a strategy based on creating order.  Creating order in the Middle East is like pushing mud uphill.

As I wrote when the attack on the Taliban was launched, it is easy to destroy our enemies, wherever they may be, but state building is hard, no one knows how to build states, and in recent time the trend is for states to fail.  I recommend we abandon state building, and focus on destroying our enemies wherever they may be without regard to states and state boundaries – including those enemies located in Saudi Arabia, Britain, and Germany.  A religion, not a state, is at war with us.

The choice is not peace with defeat, or victory with endless and expensive war, rather the choice is what kind of endless war we shall fight.  If we do not fight, the enemy will not stop fighting. This war has been running from the massacre of the Jews of Medina by Muhammad in 0624, to the present day, with a brief one hundred and thirty year interruption from 1830 to 1960 caused by colonialist victory over the middle east.  To keep the Middle East quiet during that colonial period required mass murder on a very large scale in the most troublesome spots and the frequent and credible threat of mass murder in other spots.

Islam is a problem.  The original message and example of Mohammed was that Muslims must pursue domination and exercise theocratic state power, thus solutions based on tolerance and separation of Church and State are inherently unworkable.  Tolerance cannot work, because coexistence is unacceptable to true Muslims.  We can only coexist with those versions of Islam that accept separation of Church and State – which very few do.  Islam is not just another religion, just as the Communists were not just another political party.  If we are reluctant to commit genocide, and therefore unable to credibly threaten genocide as we did during the colonial era, we cannot stop Islam from fighting us, thus must find ways to fight Islam that are less expensive than the way we are doing it now.

Yes, the enemy is Islam.  Not radical Islam, not Islamofascism.  “Moderate” Islam does exist, but is an insignificant minority, subject to almost as much repression by mainstream Islam as Christians, Jews, and apostates.  Whosoever accepts certain key doctrines of Islam must always be the enemy of all who do not accept those doctrines, and thus always our enemy.

We should of course, encourage our enemies to fight each other, and fund and arm some of our enemies against other of our enemies, but should not mistake the enemy of our enemy for our friend.

Tolerance is an effective tactic for ensuring peace if those one tolerates reciprocate, or are sufficiently weak.  It was not possible to tolerate most communist parties during communism’s strength, and it is no longer possible to tolerate Islam now that the tide of colonialism has receded.

Global warmers lie again 2

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

The Salt Lake Tribune tells us

Antarctic ice melt shows warming is speeding up

The sound of a chunk of Antarctic ice hundreds of years old and seven times the size of Manhattan collapsing into the ocean should be enough to rouse the concern of even the most staunch global warming skeptics.

A more accurate headline would be “Rapidly expanding Antarctic ice shelf spawns gigantic icebergs.” The antarctic ice shelf has grown, as one would expect from this years globally cooler weather.

Losing in Iraq, part two

Friday, March 28th, 2008

An hour or so ago I read that the surge was about to be diminished, because it is unsustainable, and posted “Losing in Iraq, part one”

I guess Sadr read it also, for a few minutes ago I read that the Green Zone is being shelled and the oil is being cut off. I read it and posted, Sadr read it and started shelling.

The major alternatives:

  1. Declare victory, since we aimed to slaughter Al Quaeda (radical Sunni) and have done so, and get the hell out, leaving Iraq’s oil in the hands of our victorious enemies (radical Shia) who will use fund attacks on us, as radical Shia are already doing in Iran.
  2. Let our enemies get the oil, but make sure that there is unending war between our various enemies, so that they spend the oil money killing each other instead of us.
  3. Slaughter enough radical Shia, and their families, that the remainder decide to play nice and let someone have the oil who will use it buy whiskey and whores, rather than rockets and bombs
  4. Ethnically cleanse Basra and Khorramshahr, and staff the oil ports with non Muslim workers imported from all over the world.

Of course, if implementing any of these options, will need to do so with fewer troops, but the last two options would seem to require quite a few troops.

The above was posted in 2008-03-28.

Revision added a year later:

Although the the British failed to control the oil, eventually the elected Iraqi govenment, with US assistance, recovered control of the oil, contrary to my expectation, which was that the oil would wind up in the hands of our enemies.

This, denying the oil to our enemies, constitutes victory in Iraq, and was attained without the extremely destructive measures I thougth necessary.  But I retreat to the position, that victory is costing too much, and a few more victories like this will result in us all praying towards Mecca five times a day.

Losing in Iraq, part one

Friday, March 28th, 2008

When the US began its attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan, I said that destroying our enemies anywhere in the world would be easy, but building states would be hard, would most likely fail, for no one understands how a state is built, and the trend of the times is for states to fail.

And so it has proven: The surge produced the temporary appearance of relative quiet in Iraq, but our enemies knew that the surge was unsustainable. We could not keep so many men in Iraq indefinitely. And now the time is coming, that forces in Iraq must be reduced.

Al Quaeda is being slaughtered in Iraq. They are radical Sunni Muslims, and are being killed by conservative Sunni Muslims. But conservative Sunni Muslims are not our friends, merely the enemy of our enemy. The radical Shia plurality, knowing we are about to reduce our forces, is once again taking up arms against us. The moderate Shia minority are disinclined to fight them. We are hosed. To win, we need more tightly focussed objectives. If our objective was to slaughter lots of Al Quaeda, we are winning, we have won. If we have broader objectives, we are losing. Time to adopt more realistic and tightly focused objectives.

Global warming explained

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

In a paper with the deliberately boring title “A Provisional Long Mean Air Temperature Series for Armagh Observatory” C.J. Butler and D.J. Johnston find a near perfect correlation between solar cycle length and temperature from 1796 to 1992 – which implies that recent warming is real, but wholly explained by events happening on the sun.

The paper starts off with lots of worthy, important, and extremely boring stuff about thermometers. The meat of the paper is at the end, in figures four and five. Skip right ahead to figures four and five. For a more polemical account, see David Archibald

An interesting extension then is to apply this result to recent times, to predict the temperature trend over the next decade or so and interpret the global temperature observed since 2002 by the Aqua satellite, which we will be able to do as soon as it becomes apparent that solar cycle twenty three has ended. Of course we will not know that solar cycle twenty three has ended until many months after it has ended, and no one knows when it will end. If, as seems likely, solar cycle twenty four starts in May 2008, or even later, then the period 2010-2025 is going to be pretty damned cold.

Future Housing prices

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Real mortgage interest rates are high and rising in the US, because the the future value of the US dollar is uncertain.  Lenders fear the possibility of very high inflation, so demand high interest rates.  This makes it difficult to buy a house.  At the same time, borrowers fear deflation.   They fear they could put down a deposit, then be wiped out as the value of house falls, along with their job that previously enabled them to pay the mortgage.  Both may well be right, for uncertainty over the future value of money results in uncertainty over the present value of money, resulting in stagflation.  Dollars and houses could fall relative to gold, food and fuel, and fall far, wiping out both lenders and borrowers.

We may therefore expect the proportion of people who own their own homes to fall, resulting in hostility to capitalism and enthusiasm for socialism, for people who do not own stuff tend to hate people who do own stuff, and lash out to harm them, not understanding that in so doing they harm themselves.

Ordinarily, the crisis would surely mean low home prices, which would be a good thing for the strength of  the people, for the core of society is young married people planning to have children, or having children, and without such people, everyone loses hope and confidence, people despair of the future, and despair of their way of life. But as government becomes every more pervasive, and claims ever greater authority, makes ever more decisions for us, it has become harder and harder to subdivide land.  So subdivisions have fallen far behind population growth.   We have an ever more severe shortage of subdivided land, which put ever greater upward pressure on housing prices.

We need prices to fall to a level where young couples can buy houses preparatory to having children, but this seems unlikely.   Despite the crisis, despite massive foreclosures, despite high interest rates on mortgages, despite massive falls in the price of housing, houses are still absurdly expensive, and are probably close to bottom.

I sadly regret to report that I think housing right now is a very good investment, the only better investment being subdivided land with secure building approval.

Alan Greenspan on crack

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Four days ago, Alan Greenspan posted an article wondering what went wrong:

“We will never have a perfect model of risk”

“Risk management systems – and the models at their core – were supposed to guard against outsized losses. How did we go so wrong?”

Hey Alan! Check your spam folder for 2006. You will find it is full of ads saying:

“Buy the house of your dreams for no money down! No credit? Bad credit? No Income? No Problem!”

Gimme some of what he’s been smoking.