Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Name:
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Chopping At The Root

The Confederate Yankee has noted an interesting and exciting development in the citizen's war against illegal aliens. The Minuteman Project is now going to California to seek out and pillory businesses that knowingly follow a policy of hiring illegal aliens to lower their labor rates. This puts The Minuteman in a whole new league.

The Minutemen are making hay while the sun shines. They are using their fifteen minutes of fame to score like a playoff NBA team. I am now even more convinced these guys are the legitimate article and are trying to make the US a better country.

Why? because they are smart about it.

How? By knowing what makes criminals commit crimes. Criminals commit crimes because it pays.

Who gets paid by illegal immigration? Organized crime lords and shady US business organizations. When MS-13 issued its fatwa aginst The Minutemen, they knew what they were talking about. The Minutemen have engaged a group of enterprising criminals and are now engaging the people who patronize their illegal business.

Larry Elder pointed out that The Minutemen had slowed the rate of illegal immigration across the Arizona border by 75%. These people get results. They get those results by being a whole lot smarter than they get credit for.

These dishonst companies that knowingly hire illegals should go ahead and underestimate The Minutemen. You'll end up the way Gray Davis did when he underestimated The California Recall Movement.

Should We Fear The Assassin's Mace?

China has undoubtably upgraded their economy and their image as a world power. Has this upward trend also upgraded their ability to mount military expeditions beyond their national borders? Do the Chinese really want to fight the US?

Like many aspects of Chinese policy the answers have more than one side. Yes, the Chinese could hurt us very badly in the short term. They have 500 ballistic missiles and build 75 more each year. Also, they have the best and latest that the Russian defense industry can build. This has been advantageous to Russia because it helps them maintain these industries even when the Russian Government can't necessarily buy an economic order quantity of their wares.

The "no" side of the question relates to logisitical sustainability. The Chinese do not produce high quality metals themselves. They cannot build the types of rolled steel alloys necessary to armor tanks against KE missiles. They also depend heavily on imports to sustain what industries they have. China would have to win a major quickly. Otherwise, the Chinese might use themselves up early, like a poorly conditioned boxer, then, as Japan did in World War II, get nailed with the haymakers towards the end.

It seems increasingly likely that the more nationalistic elements of China's government and society would like to take the US down a notch or two. Like many other countries, they see the US presence abroad as a sign of our domination and their inability to prevent that domination. They resent our support for Taiwan and would like more than anything to reclaim the island in a way that utterly humiliates the United States.

This perhaps provides the normative underpinning to their new "Assassin's Mace" weaponry program. Based on a doctrine called "The Inferior Defeats The Superior" when roughly translated from Chinese, this doctrine calls for the Chinese military to develop a series of weapon systems that enable it to nuetralize the C4I advantages of a superior, more modern, military force so that the battle can occur on a lower technology battlefield.

While the Chinese may want to take over Taiwan, there still remain obstacles to this course of action not limited to the proximity of The US Navy. The Chinese may have upwards of 111 million people who have undergone military training at some time in their lives, but that doesn't mean they have enough airlift and sealift capability to make it to Taiwan.

Also, the Taiwanese own many more modern fighter aircraft and have far more experience in training their pilots how to fly them. Thus, even if they destroy the US Navy's C4I grid over Asia and fire enough cruise missiles and SRBMs to keep our surface fleet at bay, they may be losing the third dimension of the battlefield and thus not have what every attacking force absolutely needs; freedom of manuever.

China also suffers from some societal pressures that would possibly preempt prolonged military aggression on the part of it's government. By limiting the number of children families could legally create, the Chinese have given themsleves what Thomas P. M. Barnett describes as the "1-2-4 Problem." Here one Chinese young adult supports a mom, a dad and four hungry grand parents. It's an inverted monetary pyramid that makes the US Social Security system look almost sane and logical.

If too many of the "1's" get killed in a major war, China has a social problem that their fledgling modern economy may not be able to solve. However, this rests upon the benign assumption that the Chinese leaders care more about the welfare of their own people than they do about gaining international power and influence. Sometimes that's a safe assumption....

The bottom line remians that China will always remain a dangerous potential adversary. They will always want us out of Taiwan and will always want to pay back Japan for the Rape of Nanking and other heinous attrocities committed in The Second World War. Both of these goals are thwarted on a daily basis because the US has a lot of fire power stationed where the Chinese wish we would not meddle. This puts us in an inexorable competition with The Chinese that could easily turn just as bloody as it once did on The Korean Peninsula. Thus, if we were smart, we'd remain very afraid of The Assassin's Mace.


Update I: Vodkapundit offers the possibility that China's longterm strategic goal is the conquest of Japan.

Choreographed Temper-Tantrums.

In reaction to the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope, a certain segment of the blogsphere has thrown a rather predictable, choreographed temper tantrum. Here we have America Blog.

Boy, It does sound like they are going to be installing "showers" and "ovens" at the Vatican.

I see people talking about the Rat Pope's homophobia, misogyny (did his doctoral thesis on St. Augustine!), intolerance, rigid hard-line attitudes, his almost blatant electioneering from the Vatican for Bush, his condemnation of other faiths and on and on and on and on.

Well, now it is time to turn attention to the Biblical admonitions against unclean menstruating women and a return to animal sacrifice.

The saddest part is that they only took 2 days to pick this guy. That means it was pretty unanimous. I can't wait to see what dark ages this takes us to.

Hail to the new Nazi Pope! Back to the Dark Ages!

Hile Pope Ratzinger .....no wonder so many people have left the catholic church....now they can try to strenthen their flock via 3rd world countries....

Well, that explainds the red, black and white robes......what a f***** up world....a Nazi Pope...

What can one expect from a filthy Nazi?

the catholic church has always trived on violence - any belief that it is a peaceful church is delusional.

This from a Nazi bastard wearing a dress - and no doubt with a past in child-molesting. Can we say projecting our sexual guilt on others, perhaps?

WHY WHY WHY anyone would belong to this Church is beyond me. Especially if you are gay OR a woman. It's almost like the gay Log Cabin Repubs. But worse.

The only way the Catholic Church will change is for people to wake up and see they are fools for following it or continuing to call themselves Catholic. Surely of the 60 million americans who do - only a handful actually follow it all to a T anyway. WAKE up SHEEPLE!

I guess he doesn't get called Holy Father - he'd prefer Mein Fuhrer.

Now that we have Pope Adolf 1, that should be more clear to everyone.


Here's a standout, even amongst this crowd- note the KKK spelling of Catholic, and advocating "nuking" the Vatican:

Maybe they're trying to incite the Religious War that every right winger has been waiting for for so long. The arrogance and insensitivity involved with putting a freak like this in charge of the kathlick church is sure to piss off a lot of people (Jews, WWII vets of all religions and nationalities). Perhaps someone will finally nuke vatican city after this brilliant move by 115 senile, out-of-touch old men (in dresses).

So why this screed of unadulterated hate speech from the 'compassionate, caring liberals'? They didn't get to intimidate The Vatican into selecting a Pope they approved of, so now they are going to throw their temper tantrum. It would be a more impressive show if this weren't so predictable.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Another Difference Between The People And The Elite

The original Latin noun Pagan, Paganis had a far different definition in the era of The Roman Republic than it does today. The term originated in the days before Constantine decreed Rome a Christian Empire. The Pagans lived far a field from Rome and grew its food supply in orchards and grain fields. They were often looked down upon as stupid and ill-informed. The noun had a negative connotation to it; like calling somebody a peckerwood today.

Fast-forwarding to modern America gives us a totally different view. The modern zeitgeist concerning religion has been informed by the writings on Engels and Marx who describe religion as "the opiate of the masses."

While most well-educated people would admit that Marxism had severe shortcomings, this view of religion has taken hold with force amongst the self-selecting intellectual elite in modern America. This view of religion held by Marx, Nietzsche and many other Post-Enlightenment philosophers has made agnosticism, if not outright Christophobia, an unstated requirement to be admitted into this circle of intellectual brilliance. In essence, these people have come to feel they prove a certain toughness and superiority by casting religion aside and proving they don't need to walk with a crutch.

This puts them outside the intellectual and social realm of the rest of America. They respond to this the same way the supercilious elite of The Roman Republic responded to being surrounded by a bunch of back-woods illiterates who worshipped the tree-spirits. Rather than stopping to question the dissonance they experience from people who don't share their views on subjects such as abortion, euthanasia, or the basic decency of Pope John Paul II, they scoff at such things the way Sulla and his good old boy network would have laughed at the practitioners of Nature Worship in Pre-Imperial Gaul.

Or, they go strongly to the ad hominum and attempt to intimidate any who oppose their views into silence. Recently, The Drudge Retort, ran a story about John Paul II receiving nutrition through a tube in his nose during the last days of his coalescence. The comments were truly illuminating. Here's a sampling of what our enlightened elite had to say about the then mortally ill pontiff.


1) Time to let the old fart go....

All he can do is barely wave. He can not even give a sermon....

PULL THE TUBE!!!

2) No. Keeping him alive cripples the power of the Catholic church. Leave it.

3) Kinda like Ah gets new-trition from the rolled up hunerd dollar bills stuck up mah nose! SSnniiiiifff!! Ahhh! (signed GWBUSH)


Now these are the very deep thoughts of a group of people who consider themselves far superior to the rest of the human race. A self-selecting elite that finds itself increasingly disconnected from the rest of the country around them. Perhaps a few of these geniuses would wake up one morning and wonder how terrifically brilliant they really were if 7 out of 10 people lived a totally different life than they did and were basically glad of it. But they don't. When they don't blame it on others, a la John Edwards' "Two Americas Speech", they consider it an affirmation of their own superiority.

While I'm not sure Jack Kelly accurately predicts a 4th Great Awakening over the Terri Schiavo incident, there is a genuine philosophical need to define what constitutes a human being, and how that life should be valued. Engaging that debate without a biased understanding of Christian Theology regarding that subject could very well be like showing up to a gun fight with only a knife. Religion will inform the politics of tomorrow no matter what the elitists believe.

This may not presage the dreaded Rovian Theocracy that many on the left currently rail against. Jimmy Carter won the presidency with the strong support of religious voters and Bill Clinton didn't give those votes away without a fight. However, this is because both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton knew that they had to at least follow the example of Henry of Navarre and accept that maybe Paris was after all worth the mass.


Update I: Of the Mind puts the spotlight on a blogger who blames Pope John Paul II for the child molestation scandal. Read the post and judge for yourself. Honest criticism or shiek, Post-Modern Christophobia?

Friday, April 08, 2005

At The Bottom Of The Pyramid

For about two months after I graduated from college, I went back home to my home town while I waited for my Army OBC reporting date. This was a fairly boring and uneventful two months except for one peculiarity. These two guys I knew but wasn't really buddy-buddy with in High School, I'll call them Huey and Louie, kept trying to get me interested in this phenominal opportunity.

This phenominal opportunity was something called "interactive marketing." This was the current euphemism for AMWAY. These guys had been duped into joining a pyramid scheme and now were looking for a way off the bottom. All of a sudden they noticed "Good Old Steve" was back in town and they both hoped to latch on to the sucker who would take them off the hook.

Needless to say, I had no real desire to sell scented soaps and Fruit Of The Loom underwear to 20 of my closest friends. It took me about two weeks to get rid of Huey and Louie and as far as I know, they still have that lifetime supply of mens underwear stashed in their parents' garage somewhere. However, it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of younger Americans felt the same desperation with the US Government's very own federally funded pyramid scheme. Namely, Social Security.

A recent report by the Social Security Trustees, does nothing to asuage the sense that the generation of workers now aged 25 to 35, are the newest suckers with the garages full of scented soap and unmentionables. The excellent blog Cold Hearted Truth tells us that according to the Trustees, "benefits are scheduled, not garunteed." Run that one by your attorney for a smarm check.

An FAQ at the Social Secuity website (www.ssa.gov) gives us a more comprehensive, and even less reassuring, explanation of how SS will not work. The gory details follow below.


Q. I'm 35 years old. If nothing is done to improve Social Security, what can I expect to receive in retirement benefits from the program?

A. Unless changes are made, at age 73 your scheduled benefits could be reduced by 27 percent and could continue to be reduced every year thereafter from presently scheduled levels. See the 2004 Trustees Report

Q. I'm 25 years old. If nothing is done to change Social Security, what can I expect to receive in retirement benefits from the program?

A. Unless changes are made, when you reach age 63 in 2042, benefits for all retirees could be cut by 27 percent and could continue to be reduced every year thereafter. If you lived to be 100 years old in 2079 (which will be more common by then), your scheduled benefits could be reduced by 33 percent from today's scheduled levels. See the 2004 Trustees Report

Q. Should I count on Social Security for all my retirement income?

A. No. Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of income in retirement. It is often said that a comfortable retirement is based on a "three-legged stool" of Social Security, pensions and savings. American workers should be saving for their retirement on a personal basis and through employer-sponsored or other retirement plans.


Thus, we have a pension system that promised more than it can deliver and based itself on a pyramid scheme. Thus, the older people who already contributed their whole working lives want to make sure they get what they feel they were promised.

For the younger people, these benefits weren't promised, they were scheduled. Like a minor league baseball game, these benefits can seemingly get unscheduled in a hurry the next time an older member of Congress feels like raiding the Social Security Trust Fund and leaving a risible IOU in the account instead.

Therefore, the taxes we younger members of the workforce pay for Social Security go into a lock-box. The benfits we are supposed to get back out are only "scheduled." America's so-called safety net has left it's younger generation at the base of a SCAMWAY pyramid. Social Security must be reformed and the sooner the better.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wesley Clark: The Return Of The Barracks Emperor

It's Very thoughful of Barracks Emperor Wesley Clark to advise the House of Representatives when it should hold hearings, and what they should be about. It shows a level of decorum and tact that catapulted him to such hieghts in last Winter's Presidential Primaries. He may have struck his guidon and retreated last year, but he has now returned to explain to us all how to deal with Iraq and Syria.

To whit, he has strongly reccommended we reassure both Iran and Syria that our intentions in Iraq will not cause either of them any harm. Except this would not be honest. Any action we take effects these countries. They have fundamentally organized themselves around opposing us and condemning our society and way of life. So if we are in Iraq, and we organize it to resemble the United States in any way, shape or fashion, we drop the gauntlet in front of the leadership in both of these nations. They can pick it up, or they can suffer the penalties that accrue to cowards.

While niether country can put armed formations against our Iraq force openly, they are currently using Fabian tactics in hopes that our population will demand our leadership to remove our forces from Iraq. This very well may work against the US. It has in the past.

However, reassuring two countries wo are selling weapons and providing logistical support to a guerrilla force bent on our destruction will not make these countries abate. It will enhance their belief in the effort they are engaged in. The rewards of cravenness then arrive in our inbox.

Thus, when Barracks Emperor Wastely Clark demands that the House of Representatives hold hearings about what we will do if Syria collapses, we should mail The General Emeritus a bottle of champagne and a party favor. Even if that's not what Denny Hastert would do if Syria tanked, it's what millions of other people would do in Lebannon, Isreal, Turkey, Jordan and without a doubt in Iraq as well.

Reassuring Bashir Assad of anything, is like telling the school bully who steals your lunch money that it doesn't bother you at all. It's as counterproductive and ineffective as Wesley Clark's last political campaign.

"Reciprocals"

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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