Sunday, July 27, 2008

Senator Obama Likes the Mahdi Army's Chances

If Barak Obama is elected US President, the Mahdi Army and other criminal/terror groups in Iraq will have it made. The people of Iraq will simply have to go back to being irrelevant peasants--as they have always been in Obama's eyes.
At the peak of the militia’s control last summer, it was involved at all levels of the local economy, taking money from gas stations, private minibus services, electric switching stations, food and clothing markets, ice factories, and even collecting rent from squatters in houses whose owners had been displaced. The four main gas stations in Sadr City were handing over a total of about $13,000 a day, according to a member of the local council.

“It’s almost like the old Mafia criminal days in the United States,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, an Army engineer rebuilding Sadr City’s main market.

Um Hussein, a mother of 10 in Sadr City, the largest Shiite district in the capital and one of the poorest, said her family’s fuel bill had dropped so far that she could afford to buy one of her daughters a pair of earrings with the savings. Others interviewed listed simpler purchases that had now become possible: tomatoes, laundry detergent, gasoline.

One young man said that even though his house was right across from a distribution center that sold cooking gas, he was not allowed to buy it there at state prices, but instead was forced to wait for a militia-affiliated distributor who sold it at higher prices.

“We had to get our share of the cooking gas from Mahdi Army people,” Um Hussein said. “Now, everything is available. We are free to buy what we want.”

Before, the Mahdi Army controlled the 12 trucks that made daily deliveries of cooking gas canisters for the district, because the leader of the Sadr City district council, who was affiliated with the militia, was the one who handled the trucks’ documents.

“We had no idea when they were coming or where they were going,” the council member said, referring to the trucks.

Those who questioned the militia’s authority were dealt with harshly. A gas station worker from Kadhimiya recalled a man in his 60s being beaten badly for refusing to pay the inflated gas price last year. _NYT
Criminal extortion looks the same, whether it is being done by the Mahdi Army, the Sandinistas, Hugo Chavez' FARC, Vladimir Putin, Kwame Kilpatrick, Evo Morales, or Robert Mugabe. The cheap punk way of oppressing ordinary people is the way of the criminal thug.

Obama comes from the Chicago south side, a haven for criminal thugs and extortionists. Perhaps he has a soft spot in his heart for thugs such as the Mahdi Army, or considers them "his type of people?"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Iran Suffers a String of Explosive Setbacks

Iran is the main fomenter of terrorism in the middle east. The monkey Ahmedinejad and the mad mullahs supports terrorism in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, and various other parts of the middle east, including Saudi Arabia. It is only fitting and proper that Iran itself be increasingly targeted for sabotage and the old boom-boom.
The explosion took place in the Tehran suburb of Khavarshahar as the military convoy left a munitions' warehouse controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. According to reports received by Western officials, the convoy was taking a consignment of military equipment to Hizbollah, the Shia Muslim militia Iran supports in southern Lebanon, when the explosion occurred.

Senior Revolutionary Guard commanders immediately imposed a news black-out following the explosion, even though it could be heard throughout the capital Tehran, and no details of the incident have so far appeared in the Iranian media.

...The Revolutionary Guards' investigation into last weekend's explosion is understood to be looking into the possibility that it was caused by sabotage. Iran has suffered a number of unexplained explosions in recent months, including an explosion at a mosque in Shiraz, which had been holding a military exhibition, and another incident at a missile site that killed dozens of Iranian technicians. _Telegraph
Of course, it couldn't happen to a nicer terror state. Here's hoping for more of the same.

Do Russians Love Their Children Too? They Don't Have Any Children! How Can They Love What They Don't Have?

This is a lovely little anecdote from Reason's Ron Bailey, from the days of Yeltsin's Russia:
Cirincione pointed to the near miss that occurred in 1995 when Norway launched a weather satellite and Russian military officials mistook it as a submarine launched ballistic missile aimed at producing an electro-magnetic pulse to disable a Russian military response. Russian nuclear defense officials opened the Russian "football" in front of President Boris Yeltsin, urging him to order an immediate strike against the West. Fortunately, Yeltsin held off, arguing that it must be a mistake. _Reason
Back in the days of overt nuclear standoff, pop singer "Sting" sought to reassure anxious westerners by reminding them that no doubt Russians love their children too. They wouldn't start a nuclear war just for the heck of it.

But now that Russians are not having children, and the ethnic Russian population is shrinking by nearly half with each generation, what is the Russian's attitude on nuclear war? They have 2,000 live nuclear warheads aimed at the west, on a hair-trigger.

What would it take to set it off? Somebody saying something mean about Vladimir Putin? You never know. Read Ron Bailey's final installment from the Global Catastrophic Risks Conference at Oxford.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Obama Proposes Powerful Civilian Security

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said Wednesday. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." _ChicagoTribune
Taking a page from the playbook of other charismatic and powerful leaders in history, US presidential candidate Barak Obama is considering the formation of a civilian security force just as strong and well-funded as the US military. A strong, well indoctrinated civilian uniformed force of otherwise unemployed youth, might present an imposing presence on the streets and neighborhoods of America.

Obama has long wished for an organisation that would provide opportunities for "youth service" for young people. Giving youth a sense of purpose and belonging to something larger than themselves, is an important goal for an Obama administration.

Chairman Mao made good use of such a force in China's Cultural Revolution, as did Pol Pot in his forced collectivisation of Cambodia. The former USSR had its Pioneer Youth organisation, which provided for a seamless link between the Soviet secret police and everyday Soviet families and schools. Even the much-scorned Hitler of Nazi Germany was able to make efficient use of such a youth force for many years.

If a leader is charismatic enough to provide a focal point for youthful idealism, large numbers of otherwise idle youth might be attracted to national service--particularly if they were paid, and were given the power to punish others less ideologically pure.

The only question that remains is which crucial cause should Obama pursue first after his inauguration? The destruction of the fossil fuel industry, or the creation of the new civilian organisation as powerful and well-funded as the US military? What to call it? The Obama Youth Movement, perhaps?

H/T Infowars via email tip.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Further Unraveling of Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez is unhappy. It seems that oil giant Exxon refuses to accept Chavez' theft of billions of dollars of oil production infrastructure that Exxon built. Chavez is accustomed to getting his way, and is quite capable of throwing a temper tantrum or two whenever his aims are thwarted.
MARACAIBO, July 13 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday oil prices could hit $300 per barrel if U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil again freezes Venezuelan assets in a dispute over a nationalized oil project.

Exxon (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) won court orders freezing $12 billion in assets held by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA after the OPEC nation took over a multi-billion dollar oil project, heightening tensions with the United States and helping to raise oil prices.

A London court later overturned Exxon's temporary asset freeze, but Chavez said the company could seek further action against Venezuela.

"If they freeze us there will be no more oil for the United States, and the price will go to $300," Chavez said during a televised meeting with Caribbean and Central American leaders as part of an energy cooperation scheme called Petrocaribe.

Chavez also said oil prices were being influenced by a "speculative bubble", the collapse of which could send prices as low as $70 per barrel. _Source
Chavez is clearly talking out of three sides of his mouth, hoping desperately to score points with one strategy or another. Perhaps the recent failures of his allies--the narco-terror group FARC-has Hugo feeling a bit on edge lately. You might even call the rather clownish and rotund Latin dictator a bit paranoid.

Paranoid or not, in predicting $300 a barrel oil prices, Hugo Chavez makes the best argument yet for his ouster. He continues to destroy the civic and social infrastructure of his country, along with the oil infrastructure that would have meant so much to a more free and democratic Venezuela. Chavez also demonstrates how the term "low life third world leader" can be both redundant and an oxymoron.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When the Call of the Whino Fills the Air

Why do affluent people whine so much? There seems to be a competition between developed nations and semi-developed nations such as Russia, to see whose population can whine the loudest. The epidemic of whining has been commented upon in the US:
"We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline," said the former Texas senator. "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession." __CNN
It is talked about in the UK:
Complaints and the people who make them are often seen as confirmation of the new miserabilism - a condition that led an outburst from Tom Harris MP asking why everyone is so bloody miserable in a world where in the UK at least, we have a lot to be grateful for. __Source
Chronic complaining is becoming an art form in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Canada. Where would the growing army of attorneys, "journalists", activists, "diversity" consultants, pseudo-environmentalists, doomers, and hobby-wankers be without this clamoring culture of complaint? You can understand why the vocational whiners whine. It's their job--they get paid for it! But why do so many people devote so much of their spare time and mental energy to dwelling on the "empty space" in their glass, completely ignoring the abundant liquid sustenance?

It is not that they lack a sense of purpose--not exactly. They have made whining their overriding purpose in life, rather than creating something productive, or solving real world problems. Why would anyone misdirect their precious and limited resource of time to self-fulfilling predictions of doom, harassment, and chronic complaint? Why cannot these avocational doom-wankers find a constructive purpose for their lives?

You have to go deeper, and ask why so many people in the affluent world are not actually "growing up." To understand the answer to that question, you need to understand childhood development better than most current schoolteachers, parents, and child psychologists understand childhood development. Is that possible, you ask? Actually, it is not even difficult. But it will require a lot of reading and objective observation of people--children, adolescents, and adults--in their natural environments. Learn to suspend judgment and try to see what is happening at all levels--social, brain development, psycho-emotional development, and on the level of executive funtion and practical skills.

That is largely what this blog is all about. The next level cannot be formed out of the psychologically neotenous baby boomers. And for every generation since them that has been trained in a neotenous and academically lobotomous way, the way out of that morass is oh, so, hard.

Because that is the shortage we are facing: a shortage of well trained and educated humans with self-reliance and a sense of purpose. Not a shortage of energy, food, health care, money, or anything else the media drones on about. We have a shortage of people--particular kinds of people. We have enough whining clones to populate the entire solar system. What we need are purposeful, independent, innovative-to-the-need-at-hand, well trained, and emotionally mature people who are willing to work hard for what they want.From a previous post at Al Fin

A Preview for America? Trillionaires in Zimbabwe

Where do you find the most trillionaires of any place in the world? In Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Mugabe has been the darling of the socialist world since he took power in an election validated by Jimmy Carter. In terms of quantity of money, Mugabe has made Zimbabweans very wealthy indeed.
The country that has produced the most trillionaires in history isn’t America, but Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. The Wall Street Journal describes what it is like to dine out on the town. “Buying anything is a ‘bizarre experience,’ said Lucy Chimtengwende from Bulawayo, who spent $12 U.S. on lunch recently, with the bill in local currency being an astonishing 1.1 trillion Zimbabwe dollars.” Inflation has been given a whole new meaning in Zimbabwe, whose currency has depreciated ten billionfold in twelve years, a rate that threatens to exceed the bounds of the database field sizes that the bank’s software developers thoughtlessly assumed would be enough. Consider the travails of a man who simply wanted to buy groceries. __Belmont Club
Mugabe knows how to promise the world to his supporters. And he has delivered a world to them. The third world, in its most degraded form.

Mugabe is much like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in that he knows how to appeal to the lowest instincts of the mob. That ability, and a bit of presto-changeo at the ballot box, can keep a person in power for a long time.

Tell the people what they want to hear, then when elected make them so dependent upon your government that they're afraid to speak out or propose a change.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fairy Tale Futures and Camelots in the Air

Barak H. Obama has not served even half a US Senate term. In fact, he has been running for US President for most of the time he has been the baby Senator from Illinois, so he still has to ask directions to the Senate washroom. Remind me again: what is the basis for Obama's claim to your vote?
...since he doesn’t have much of track record, his objective signature is scant. Obama isn’t running on his record in Chicago or the Senate. He is running on the future, which incidentally hasn’t happened yet. __BelmontClub
If you can create the image of a wonderful future in the minds of voters, the reality does not actually matter. At least, not until after the election, when your supporters start to understand that they've been taken for yet another ride, by yet another political huckster. Like the thirty-something liberated woman who'd been saving herself for "the right guy," waking up time and again to empty wine bottles, a mussed bed, and foggy, hungover memories of yet more broken promises to add to her collection.

Before it is all over, Obama's positions on the issues will have been plotted over so many different coordinates that even Bill Clinton will begin to wonder how the baby Senator gets away with it. No mystery, Bill. They just have to truly want to believe in the myth. You remember the myth, don't you?