Not-a-Lemming

Never run with the crowd. They're probably headed over a cliff.

June 2009 - Posts

How Republicans Can Beat the Deomcrats

I'm not a Republican. But I am a conservative.

I'm not a member of any political party. It isn't because I don't care, however. Quite the contrary, I am terribly concerned about the direction this nation is taking. I just don't have the time and energy. Like many Americans that have been called "The Silent Majority" I'm too busy working and raising a family to even get down to the courthouse and register, much less attend political rallies on weekends for people who have no more business running the country than I would have participating in a beauty pageant.

Conservatism is dying fast. Conservatism. That word's picked up a lot of baggage in the past few years as has the word liberal. Conservative simply means a conservative or limited interpretation of law. The law is what it says and there's nothing between the lines. Judges don't make law, they interpret based on what the writers of the law intended.

Liberal on the other hand is a liberal or broad interpretation of law. Liberals believe there is writing between the lines of law and a liberal judge will interpret law based on what they believe the writers would have meant had they written the law today.

Personally I think both liberals and conservatives are necessary for a healthy state. Too many conservatives and the law becomes rigid, inflexible, and merciless. A terrible burden. Too many liberals and the law becomes meaningless with little or no consistency. One balances the other. Except right now things are seriously out of balance and tipping rapidly towards the demonization of conservative thought in general.

Conservatives have been damaged through their affiliation with bad leadership. George Bush II was a Republican and was supported by conservatives. Guilt by association because, in addition to coping with an attack on our soil, he completely ignored the economy. The result is a terrible recession. We can argue all day long about who's fault it really was - an after effect of Clinton, a liberal congress, etc. In the end, a Republican was in the White House so he gets the blame. That's the mantle you don when you accept power. If you don't like that fact, don't whine when you lose elections.

At the moment conservatives are rapidly losing ground. Obama is a master politician and statesman even if he is one of the most liberal politicians in Washington. I believe that in time the people will realize this and when that happens we must have a viable alternative. The current Republican Party ain't it.

The current Republican Party is the party of greed and selfishness. They cashed in big time during the 90's and 00's. I personally know at least five people who became millionaires over the last dacade and a half. Yes, they did work hard and they deserve their reward. The potential for reward is what drove their hard work and innovation. The problem is what happened after they became wealthy. To a man they disengaged from greater society, upgraded their homes, bought vacation homes, purchased luxury automobiles, and began taking expensive international vacations. Consider the governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, who ran off to drive along the coast of Argentina because, "I wanted to do something exotic ... to get out of the bubble I am in." What?!? The bubble he is in? I'll tell you what bubble he is in - he's in a bubble of greed, selfishness, and self-importance. He's got no business advising anybody of anything and what wisdom he may have once had is long gone. What an irresponsible twit. He's living in fantasy land. (NOTE: So Sanford was out screwing around on his wife and children. Clearly the man has no concept of the word vow/oath. Just one more evidence that the elites feel they are not bound by rules the rest of us follow implicitely - further proof that the wrong people are there for the wrong reason. And he probably ran as a family values, Southern, Church going man.)

One of the reasons liberals succeed is because they put their money where their mouth is. The Jews have remained a powerful and viable ethnic group for thousands of years because they help one another, directly, in everything from starting businesses to publishing books. And I don't mean through charity to the local synagogue. And not through spreading their wealth thin across multitudes of low-class losers. No, they directly support the talented among themselves. Simply having talent and working hard is not enough. It has never been enough. Help is always required to break through. Help is how liberals cultivate emerging talent regardless of the initial standing of the talent because they know that in the long run strengthening their ideological base will strengthen themselves. Conservatives have forgotten this. Rush Limbaugh with his rugged individualism and pulling on his bootstraps is complete bunk. In the end, somebody who thought there was money to be made, set him up as a talk show host. It wasn't his radio license or his station, but listening to him you'd think he invented not just radio, but the concept of language itself. Rush agrees with me on many things but he's taught me nothing.

How many people do we know who possess great talent and ambition but who are stuck in life? Good, hard working men and women who have dreams and plans but who must spend their time working to earn money for their families. While this ethic is good and pure and necessary, a lifetime spent struggling prevents their values and ideals from percolating outward. Back to Limbaugh. Clearly the man hasn't spent much time cultivating family values. This is epidemic in our nation. As soon as plans are threatened, divorce follows. What wisdom is there to be gained from that? Though it does make climbing after success easier if shedding excess baggage is as easy as taking out the trash. How many wealthy elites do we know with children in rehab or worse? The wealthy among us have far more time to mingle and attend political functions while their lives of ease have robbed them of wisdom. I don't know how many times I've heard a conservative say, "I don't have time to go to a rally, I have to work!" Or, upon seeing a teeming multitude of fanatical liberals, saying, "Don't those people have jobs?"

We may laugh when we say this but it is exactly why conservatives are getting killed. Passion, wisdom, and a connection with the people don't come from wealth. Passion, wisdom, and oneness with the masses arise from struggle, perserverance, and commitments honored. Marx knew this when he wrote the Communist Manifesto with its emphasis on class struggle. He knew that the elite had no connection with the masses and was able to use basic principles of human nature to create a movement that shattered world peace for a hundred years. We can use these same tactics, but instead of using them to make everyone mediocre, we can use them to provide an avenue to greatness.

So how do we win?

First, wealthy conservatives must realize that their fortune wasn't made in a vacuum. Their hard work was a major contributing factor and should not be minimized, but a stable society full of hard working men and women was just as important. And somewhere along the way they received help.

Second, unbridled avarice is incredibly damaging to everyone. Indeed, the very privations that once drove innovation and ambition, once removed, contribute to rot of the soul. Down that path you once go, never enough will you have to satisfy. Better to have a bit less than enough. Better to stay lean and ready to fight than go soft. You did not create the society from which you benefitted, you are only a part. You will die and if all you leave is money for your children, your life will be a failure.

Third, stop whining about the media. It isn't their fault. Media or no media, if it was so great to be a conservative everyone would be one. Make conservatism something to be sought after. Right now, ideology for the sake of ideology doesn't pay bills. Just ask the Russians.

Fourth, wealthy conservatives must seek out talented conservatives from among the masses and aid them in their path to success. Whether young or old doesn't matter. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes conservatives make is in thinking that a man or woman must be young to contribute from their benevolence. In many cases, the best candidates are middle-aged, middle-class men and women, battle-hardened from a lifetime of raising children and working tough jobs so that they have developed deep, penetrating wisdom. You want to talk about perserverance? It is only because of their dedication to family that they have been unable to 'get ahead.' It is these people, that once turned loose, will destroy their liberal counterparts. DESTROY. Wouldn't you love to see that carnage and know you had a part in making it happen?

Fifth, and without this step, nothing will change. Directly help these talented individuals. How, you may ask? Form a non-profit and pay their salary. Hire them directly. Give them money so they will have the time and resources to succeed. Whatever it takes, because you know damn well the opposition is doing exactly that. We all know the Democrats are using our tax dollars to buy votes through an infinite number of programs. And how many liberal elites have non-profits that give grants to liberals? George Soros. Bill Gates. The list goes on. You want to win, you better get out and buy some of your own votes, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped one more conservative to success.

Don't make the mistake of thinking this is charity. It isn't. This is war. And in the immortal words of Private Hudson, "We're getting our asses kicked right now!" Yes, you can accept your reward from society, retreat into your hilltop mansion and drive your expensive cars to and from the airport. You have the right to do that, but is it right? When you see the news and shake your head at the deplorable state of society, you have only yourselves to blame. You have the means to make a lasting change. A true legacy to leave your children and grandchildren. Will you not put aside your thirst for material goods, largesse, and a life of ease and entertainment that you have rightfully earned, and turn your resources towards saving the nation. Without you it will not last.

Iran: A Great Country

Well, at least it used to be.

There was once a land called Persia. The people who lived there were proud, intelligent, and strong. Their's was among the first of the truly great empires that arose on our planet. Indeed, much of the world's cultural heritage has roots in Persia.

As a nominally Christian nation, the United States has typically decried Persia as evil and uncouth. While Persia has never been from the Judeo-Christian heritage, such a characterization is nevertheless, patently false. No, Nebuchednezzar wasn't a Jew and didn't follow the Jewish god. But the land he ruled was a great empire with an advanced legal system, world class engineering, art, culture, and civic organization. It lasted far long than the United States will. Hammurabi himself - one of the earliest lawgivers of our species - was a king of Babylon and is considered the first king of the Persian Empire.

While it is beyond the scope of this blog entry to detail the history of Persia, it is one of the oldest continuous civilizations with evidence of organized habitation dating back to at least 7000 BC. Throughout the ancient world the name of Persia was respected for thousands of years. True, they were defeated by the Greeks, but this doesn't make them any less important and worthy of respect. No less evil than any nation that has ever engaged in imperialism, which includes nearly every successful nation at one time or another. I even seem to recall the United States invading a few countries and maybe not doing too well.

Through the Middle Ages the learning of the great western thinkers was preserved by Persian scholars who extended the work of Euclid, Archimedes, Socrates, Hippocratus, and others. In fact, the Renaissance would not have happened but for returning crusaders who brought with them the preserved works of the ancients.

So what happened? Because Iran is a piece of crap. The name of course means, "Land of the Aryans," in a nod to the Germans who felt the Aryans were superior to Jews. And Sharia certainly hasn't helped either. Since radical Islam entered Iran not a single good thing has happened there. They just continue to spiral down, down, and further down. Down to the point where they are gunning down women and children in the street. What a bunch of cowardly pansies. Shooting unarmed girls! It is the religious elite, of course, who use sacred texts to justify any act, no matter how heinous.

But Iran could become great again. The first thing they have to do is get rid of that name. Change the name back to Persia. Second, get rid of the mullahs. They are doing no one any good. Take them out and shoot them like the rabid dogs they are, grind them up and feed them to pigs. Then set up a true republic where all of the leaders are elected and the people who get elected actually win the election. Will it be perfect? NO. But it will be better than what they have now, with a ruling council whose members are accountable to no one. Only in this way can a once proud land and people regain a place of respect and honor among the nations of the Earth. Because as things stand, Iran makes North Korea look good.

Posted: Tue, Jun 23 2009 1:44 PM by FutbolGuru | with no comments
Filed under:
The United States Versus North Korea

Actually I'm not sure we would win. Not that we don't outgun them, but that place is a lot like Afghanistan. Very mountainous and overflowing with patriotic fervor. I won't call them fanatics because they have good reasons for acting the way they do based on the information they have. But winning that war isn't really what this post is about.

Information about North Korea is hard to come by but I feel qualified to write about North Korea. I'm qualified because I spent years researching a novel about a Los Alamos nuclear scientist who gets abducted by North Korean commandos and brainwashed into helping them with their weapons - for a while at any rate. It's a great book and you'll come away not only knowing how nukes work (and why they are so hard to build) but why and how North Korea is the way that it is. And why our current policy never seems to work. Unfortunately you will never get to read it because the odds for a lowly FutbolGuru to catch the attention of a NY publisher are just a few zeros better than winning the lottery.

No, this post isn't about a matchup between the US and DPRK - the real name for North Korea is Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, BTW. Generally her citizens refer to their country as Choson. This post is about how the US and the DPRK are alike. Sometimes a comparison essay is far more illuminating than a contrast essay. And often more truthful.

Most essays about North Korea begin with pointing out how the KWP (the nominally communist Korean Workers Party) control everything. And they do. Lemmings, lemmings everywhere. If you aren't in the KWP you can forget it politically. But they are democratic as their name implies. Every leader is elected to office by the people. Of course there is ever only one candidate on the ballot, the party sanctioned KWP candidate. So when Kim Jong-il gets elected as Chairman of the Party, or head of the National Defense Commission, the ballot contains only his name.

As Americans we tend to laugh at this. But is our 'system' really much better. They get on party supplied candidate. We get two party supplied candidates. At best our electoral system is only twice as good. Especially when it produces candidates like Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Jimmy Carter, and John McCain. The occasional independent candidate is pilloried in the press by both sides. They have one party, we have two. As far as our political system is concerned, we're only twice as good!

What about propaganda? North Korea believes it is the best country in the world. It calls itself the 'workers paradise.' That title is a laughable joke at best. Conditions for workers are abysmal. Party members get better treatment but eve that depends on the depth of the famine. There are accounts of guards during the Pueblo Incident, standing in a utterly barren field, surrounded by denuded hills, loudly decrying the agricultural perfection of the Juche system. These people have actually come to believe their own propaganda! But are we really that much better?

In 1776 we shocked the world and invented something new. A free, democratic society. Over two hundred years later sees the world with many free, democratic societies. Yet we continue to loudly proclaim ourselves as the center of world freedom. In truth, our government regulates our society much more strictly than most other free nations. Only on the issue of gun control do we still have an argument, as if holding weapons are the sole determiner of freedom. In fact, among the western, industrialized nations, the only nation that comes close to North Korea in sheer number of regulations and penetration of government into all facets of citizen life, is the United States! From my automobiles to the toilets in my house, from hiring practices at the company I work at to how I can build a house, every facet of my life falls under some degree of government regulation.

Literature, it is said, is both a reflection of, and the rudder of, society. North Korea understands this only too well. In North Korea artists are held in high esteem. They are trained by the state and spend their lives working for the state. Every nuance of their work is scripted and censored. The North Koreans understand that the way to control society is to inculcate them with ideology in a way they will understand. This is the single most effective means of shaping and maintaining the ideological bent of a society and they have been very good at it. Kim Jong-il himself was trained at Kim Il-sung University as a film maker and has directed numerous motion pictures. It was his first job. He even 'invented' a new form of Korean opera.

In America, despite the proclamations of various radio talk show hosts,  there is virtually no state control of the media. It isn't needed. The media has known that literature shapes society from the start. Look at what comes out of Hollywood and New York. Little of this entertainment reflects traditional American values. Rather in most cases it denegrates traditional American values in favor of promulgating liberal views. In fact, it goes one step farther by using one of the key tactics used by North Korean propagandists - it makes fun of traditional American values. The North Koreas have known for a long time that if you want to discredit something, you make fun of it. Yes, they rant and rave about Americans, but mostly they just make fun of us. They call us stupid. They dress their circus clowns as bumbling G.I.s. Very similar to the way Hollywood portrays anyone who doesn't agree with their viewpoint.

Unfortunately, especially for people such as myself, book publishing is little better than the film industry. Until you actually try to get a book published you might not realize that the entire industry is controlled by a tiny, select group of gatekeepers called literary agents. Most people who become literary agents do so because they have connections to the publishing industry and no other real talents - the same way KPW Cadres in North Korea become Party officials. Agents choose work based on whether or not it appeals to their sensibilities. Money is secondary. Just like a KWP censor. A quick Google search on 'Literary Agents" will give you an excellent indication of what is being published, and what isn't. Oh, and probably 99% of agents operate from New York City. Is there a relationship between the kind of material being censored out of publication and the fact that publishers and booksellers are getting killed? Does the industry have the ability to self-assess?

Central economic planning? They have it. Now we have it, too. Direct control of major industrues? Yes and yes. Direct control of banking? Can you say, bailout. Both nations are fixated on nuclear weapons. Both nations are fixated on missiles. Oh, and here's a few interesting questions: What two nations spend the largest percentage of their GDP on their military?* What two nations have the most men under arms?** What two nations have the fewest political parties?***

Control of political parties. Control of manufacturing, banking, and the economy. Control of literature, the press, and entertainment. Irrespective of who is doing the control, whether it be a central government or a congolomeration of unrelated entities, it is still is pretty much everything you need to maintain a society in a desired state. This is what the North Koreans do. This is what we do.

There are differences beteen the US and the DPRK of course. To imply there isn't would be ludicrous and a lie. But there are also curious similarties. And to imply the huge differences between our nations is entirely due to government would be disingenuous. Our nation was huge and filled with natural resources free for the taking (after we killed all the indigenous peoples.) North Korea only received independence after World War II, and five years after that was bombed into the Stone Age. Not that they didn't deserve it, but they are to a large degree a product of their initial conditions. And they didn't chose the best of friends. Still, it is important to recognize these differences if only to try to correct those problems that we do have here. Problems that arise, for the most part, from our similarities with a totalitarian state. Sadly, it is these similarities that will prevent a true self-assessment and, if history is any guide, only grow worse over time.

*US and DPRK.

**US and DPRK

*** US - 2; DPRK - 1

-Futbol Guru, http://mises.org/community/blogs/not-a-lemming