Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kentucky Ice Storm vs. New Orleans Hurricane

It has been bizarre how little the ice storm that hit Kentucky and Arkansas has been in the news, considering what happened there. My father lives in Kentucky, and a few days ago he was telling me from his hotel room in Tennessee that they were told there would be no electricity for 3 weeks. He said there were reports of looting in Madisonville, the nearest small city to White Plains, where he lives (pop. 500) and that the national guard was called out. He said the tops of trees throughout Kentucky were out. Anyone who was still in Kentucky would have to go to Tennessee or Evansville, IN to get food, gas, etc. He said he was planning to get a generator and a heater and try to go back and rough it out.

What is odd to me is how little this has been covered in the news. It was only today that I even saw it in FoxNews.com. I guess nobody cares about a bunch of hillbillies who were displaced by a storm and forced to live in substandard conditions and flee to other states. I guess nobody wants the President to look bad, either. This almost seems like a negative image of what happened a few years ago in New Orleans.

Denis Dutton on The Colbert Report

Steven Pinker Reviews The Literary Animal

I review Steven Pinker's review of The Literary Animal on the Emerson Institute blog.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Walter Williams on the "Stimulus" Package

Walter Williams on the fiscal realities of the "stimulus" package. The government conveniently forgets or is ignorant of the fact that recessions are cyclical, and the less the government does to help, the quicker the recovery. In fact, there would be fewer, shallower recessions if we had some simple, consistent, easily-understood economic rules in place that the government wouldn't touch. Legal stability in the economy would go much farther to stabilize the economy and prevent wild swings than anything else the government could do. In other words, they have done enough. Like a 19th century doctor trying to bleed someone until they recover, but in fact cause them to die, the government needs to stop "helping" us so we can finally recover.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wanting Obama to Fail

The Democrats are truly pathetic, sending around a petition against Rush Limbaugh because Rush said he wanted President Obama to fail. The fact is Limbaugh wants Obama to fail in the same way I want him to fail. I want Obama to fail in the same way that President Clinton failed: at getting his policies passed. Only by failing in that manner can he, like Clinton, be a successful President. I do want Obama to have a successful Presidency -- but that just happens to mean that he absolutely must fail at getting his economic policies passed. This is what Limbaugh meant, and it's what any patriotic American should mean, and want.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grade Redistribution

Here is a brilliant satire on wealth redistribution by Mike Adams. It occurs to me that one could also establish an egalitarianist policy and give all students the average for the whole class. I wonder what would happen to the average over the semester?

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's Time We Got Rid of All Those Burdensome Children!

On ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, Nancy Pelosi admitted a lot in the following exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

So, children are a burden to society, as far as Pelosi is concerned. Specifically, they are a burden to government, and Pelosi considers the government and the economy the same (how else does what she says make sense?). I guess if you want to help out the economy, you should do your civic duty and get an abortion. Have to get rid of all those burdens on society. This is typical Leftist thinking -- if you don't fit into the system, we have to get rid of you.

Of course, her plan won't do anything about the immediate economy. Further, eliminating parts of a system do not necessarily improve the system or make it grow. In fact, it is more likely to reduce the complexity of the overall system over time. Of course, by putting it in these terms, many on the Left would accuse me of dehumanization. But it is they who, in advocating the elimination of potential children, who are dehumanizing. Anti-life is anti-growth at any level.

The Real Shame

Kyle Queal should be ashamed for firing his girl's basketball coach for refusing to be ashamed of his team demonstrating their excellence on the court. I was considering enrolling my daughter in Covenant School when she was old enough to attend, but how can I justify that decision when it is clear that the headmaster of the school is intent on first apologizing for and then punishing excellence? Those who complain that "these are children after all" are masking a hatred of excellence behind such rhetoric. The Covenant School girls' basketball team did what they should have done in playing their very best; the opposing team showed their integrity in refusing to throw in the towel at halftime. It would have been disrespectful and condescending to the losing team for the winning one to "give them a chance." The adults involved should be ashamed that the children are the ones showing more honor, integrity, and backbone than the adults.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Left's War on Choice

John Stossel on the Left's War on Choice. And he's right. The Left do not want us to be free to choose. They are convinced that we are too stupid or bad to make the right choices so they, in their infinitely greater wisdom and virtue, must make it for us. Never mind that so far there is little to no evidence that anyone who has ever entered government anyplace has ever shown greater wisdom or virtue than the vast majority of the human population. Typically, they have demonstrated that they have far, far less.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations Obama

David Horowiz has a marvelous article on the pride we should feel about Obama's Inauguration. And he is right, we should. There is a significant part of me that is very happy he is President precisely because of what it has done and will continue to do for us as a nation. He is my President. Being the person I am, though, that means that he will have to withstand my loyal opposition from my tiny little corner of cyberspace. I'm sure he can take it. I wish him nothing but true success (which means he will have to have many failures in order to succeed, as former President Clinton knows). I hope Obama has a wonderful Inauguration Day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hope and Obama's Presidency

Tomorrow we inaugurate Barack Hussein Obama our 44th President. And all I have right now is hope.

I hope Obama is not as economically radical as his associations suggest he is. Which is to say, I hope he only happened to associate with Marxists and that he is in fact not one.

I hope that Obama's presence in his church in Chicago was in fact nothing more than a cynical act of political expediency and in no way reflects either his religious beliefs or general ideology.

I hope that Obama has very, very wise advisors when it comes to international affairs.

I hope (and, yet, cannot hope) that nobody on the international scene decides to test Obama.

I hope that Obama's economic "recovery" bill won't put this economy into a depression. Unfortunately, economist John Lott isn't hopeful.

I hope that Obama's tax cuts pass -- any tax cuts are better than none.

I hope Obama supports Israel over Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran.

I hope Obama does in fact have a successful, uneventful Presidency. He will do so if he abandons his redistributionist ideology and embraced free market economics. Perhaps someone will be able to communicate to him that reality works, and replacing the spontaneous order economy with ideology has not, does not, and will not work.

And, if none of my hopes come true, I at least hope that the Emerson Institute will receive the funding it needs to fight for the free market by supporting the right artists and scholars.

Cultures of Vengeance and Abu Ghraib (Reprint)

This is an article that was published by TechCentralStaiton (now, TCSDaily.com). I am publishing it here because I can no longer find it in the archives at TCSDaily.

Cultures of Vengeance and Abu Ghraib

When the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke, many asked how it could have happened. The first assumption many jumped to was that the corruption must have come from the top – as though corruption were unusual, and could only be explained if one top person was corrupt. This is a safe assumption when dealing with dictators, as the majority of the corruption is indeed at the top. But, as the subsequent investigation showed, in a country where power is decentralized, corruption does not have to spring from the Presidency, or even the military leadership. Even the head of the prison was apparently unaware of what was going on under her watch. So we are still left with the mystery of the source of such corruption as would lead to the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

My answer at first sounds like a cliche: it is institutional. When most people say this, they mean that the institution’s rules create corruption, and if we only had the right rules, we would eliminate corruption forever. What I mean to suggest, however, is that the very institution of the military – and of the police, for that matter – is corrupting, regardless of the rules. Now, before you get angry (or, if you are of an anarchist slant, jump for joy), let me explain.

The purpose of a military in a just society is to protect the country from invasion or otherwise being threatened. When an invasion or attack occurs, its purpose is to take vengeance on those who hurt or try to hurt us. In the same vein, the purpose of a police force in a just society is to protect the citizens from criminals. And when a crime is committed, its purpose is to take vengeance on those who committed the crime, by tracking them down and arresting them – though sometimes this vengeance is necessarily more direct. This is the very definition of what a military and a police force are supposed to do in a just society, to keep its people safe. When someone performs an injustice, it is their job to punish that person, or capture them so they may be punished. It is also the reason why these institutions are inherently corrupting.

What is Revenge?

Revenge is the punishing of an injustice already performed; it is defined as the returning of evil for evil. Killing a fellow human is evil – murder is prohibited in all cultures, even if the definition of murder sometimes varies – yet it is sometimes necessary in self-defense. But even if killing someone is justified, any time you kill someone, it corrupts you. This is why so many who have killed in self-defense feel guilty afterwards, even knowing if they had not done it, they or others would now be dead. This is why the military and police departments have psychiatrists. The doing of evil, even when necessary to prevent a greater evil, is corrupting. Since the military and the police are our institutions of revenge, they become cultures of revenge, and cultures of revenge are always corrupting.

The word “avenge” comes from the Latin a-, “to” and vindic_re, “punish,” which is derived from deik, which is also the root of the Greek word dik√©, which is typically translated as justice, but which carries with it the idea of balance. There is a sense of balance in doing evil for evil, but it is a balance that leads to escalation, making the world less just, not more. There is a balance in everyone being equally evil, but is this any sort of balance we really want?

In his Rhetoric, Aristotle points out that there is a kind of good that is good because it is better than another choice – but that this is the worst kind of good (the best kind of good is that which aims at the beautiful). Vengeance is this worst kind of good, when it is a good. If corruption cannot be eliminated in a culture of revenge, can one at least reduce the corruption? A bad kind of vengeance would be one where a greater evil is given for a lesser evil. A better kind of vengeance is then one where an equal evil is given for an evil. But I think we can agree that we do not want a police or military force with members as evil as those they are fighting. If we want better, less corrupt protectors, we need laws where, if revenge is needed, the revenge is a lesser evil than the one originally perpetuated. To do this, of course, would require the identification of “evil,” including levels of “evil,” so we do not make the mistake of using a greater evil against a lesser one. A historical example is prohibition in the early part of the 20th Century in the United States. Since alcohol was illegal, buying and selling it could get one put in prison. This was a greater evil (putting someone in prison) for a lesser evil (buying and selling alcohol), and most would now say it was using an evil against something that was and is at least morally neutral, since drunkenness and alcoholism are bad (these being actions), though the social benefits of drinking and the health benefits of at least red wine are good. During prohibition, we saw dramatic increases in all crimes, particularly murder, organized crime, and police corruption. When prohibition was repealed, the crime rates all dramatically decreased. This is why it is important to be able to identify what is good and what is bad, or even evil.

Forgiveness is the giving of good for evil. Forgiveness is not rewarding evil – rewarding evil would itself be evil – but rather a gift of love to those who do wrong. Nor is forgiveness the elimination of punishment for doing wrong. Forgiveness occurs both during and after punishment, after the person has been corrected. One has far less corruption in a culture of forgiveness, as no evil is returned for evil. Thus is evil lessened in the culture. As a gift freely given, forgiveness is good, and makes the culture in which it is practiced good. Forgiveness is, like kindness, a gift which makes the recipient better for having received it. To get forgiveness and kindness, we must first give it. If the world is not as forgiving and kind as you would like it to be, it is no one’s fault but your own. You can give forgiveness and kindness, but you cannot take it. You thus cannot make anyone forgiving or kind – you can only be forgiving or kind yourself.

It is impractical for a government to forgive even if it is best for its people to be forgiving. The purpose of a military and a police force is to practice vengeance for a society so the other members of that society do not have to do so – and are thus protected from its corrupting influence. The people who volunteer to serve the military or as a police officer are thus volunteering to put themselves in moral jeopardy so the rest of society can be good. Corruption occurs among those who do not have the moral fortitude to withstand the corrupting influence of vengeance. This is why the military and the police must always be policed, to weed out those most easily corrupted.

The Tragic Institutions

To have a free and ethical society, we must have a military and a police force. But these institutions, even when we reduce the corruption by making our vengeance less evil than the evils perpetuated, are still corrupting. We thus create a tragic situation: we must have corrupting institutions so that everyone else may live free of the corrupting influence of vengeance. As a society it is our duty to those who would put themselves in moral jeopardy to make sure we always have laws and engage in wars that give less evil punishments for the evils they are meant to fight, so these institutions will be less corrupting.

There are, of course, a few who will join the military or police because these institutions are corrupting. They look forward to abusing others, and expect they will not get caught. These must always be weeded out – before they join, when possible. But the vast majority of people who join the military and police join up to do good, to protect their fellow citizens. Among those are many who are morally good enough to withstand the corrupting influence inherent in these institutions. One could say that such people are, for all intents and purposes, heroically good. However, there are also those who join intending to be good, but who do not realize they are not good enough to withstand the corruption. When they succumb to the corruption, they become tragic heroes, in the tradition of Oedipus – who also fell because of his good intentions and because he had overextended himself. And, like Oedipus, such good people who have succumbed to corruption must be removed, for the good of society.

When we look at what happened at Abu Ghraib, we can see it is an institutional problem. We now know who among those who worked at Abu Ghraib, as well as their superiors are either most corrupt or most susceptible to corruption, meaning we can now remove them from the ranks. What should be most remarkable is how very little corruption Abu Ghraib actually represents. Considering how many armies through history made it a practice to murder, steal, rape, and torture, we should be proud of ourselves for having as little corruption as we do in the military – just as we should be proud of ourselves for being so outraged by it when it does occur. This suggests that our institutions of vengeance are working as they should.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Nationalizing the Banks

Well, it's almost official: we are nationalizing several banks. I expect the same kinds of efficiencies and profitability we see in all the other nationalized companies around the world. The federal government seems determined to turn this into a depression -- and a further excuse for more nationalizations. Hold it, wait, I think I just answered my own question on why they would do something that would cause a depression. Never mind.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heinrich Heine on Nature and Poetry

"Like a good poet, nature does not like abrupt transitions. The clouds, as bizarre as they sometimes appeared to be shaped, have a white or at least a soft tint that corresponds harmoniously with the blue sky and the green earth, so that all the colors of a region melt into one another like gentle music, and every view of nature has the effect of quieting pain and calming the spirit. [...] Just like a great poet, nature knows how to produce the greatest effects with the fewest means. It has only a sun, trees, flowers, water, and love. To be sure, if the last is lacking in the heart of the observer, the whole view will probably seem to be a poor one; the sun is then only so-and-so many miles in diameter, the trees are good for kindling, the flowers are classified by their stamens, and water is wet."

-- from The Hartz Journey, The German Library 32, pg. 125

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The EPA's Plan to Make Global Warming Worse, Clear Cut Rain Forests, and Reduce Biodiversity

The EPA plans to tax ranchers for each cow they own to fight their contribution to global warming (from flatulence).

The EPA can, of course, only tax American ranchers.

The ranchers will pass on the price of the tax to the consumer in higher beef and milk prices.

This will increase the demand for foreign beef -- including beef from places like Brazil.

In places like Brazil, grazing land is created by clear cutting forests.

Trees absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Thus, the EPA's tax will contribute to global warming, clear cutting of rain forests, and the reduction of biodiversity in other countries.

Great plan.

Idiots.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Scholarly Life of Ironies

Oh well, it looks like I won't be teaching philosophy after all. It seems the dean for the college I was set to teach at didn't approve of my credentials. You see, you have to have 18 graduate hours of philosophy to teach philosophy at the community college level, and UTD, where I got my Ph.D. has a strange, interdisciplinary program where philosophy classes, per se, aren't offered. Thus, one has to argue for each and every class. I thought for certain I had it:

HUSL-6372 -- Existentialism (school of philosophy)
HUSL-6370 -- Foundationalism and Antifoundationalism (metaphysics)
HUSL-7333 -- Rhetoric and Philosophy in Conflict (was also cross-listed as HUHI-7333)
HUSL-6370 -- Beauty (aesthetic philosophy)
HUHI-7379 -- Topics in Rec. Cont. Phil. -- Nietzsche
HUHI-7340 -- Germans and Greeks (history of philosophical thought)
HUSL-6355 -- Game Theory in the Humanities

I think the first 6 would be easiest to argue, though the last one is in essence informal logic and decision theory.

Now, here's the funny thing: this Fall my book, Diaphysics, a work of philosophy, will be published. So I can publish a book on philosophy, but I cannot teach philosophy. I also will have a paper published soon (after revisions are finished) on economics, though I also cannot teach economics. It seems I'm readily getting published in fields I'm not qualified to teach, but I'm not getting published in fields in which I am qualified to teach (creative writing, literary studies, humanities). Go figure.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Article on the Rejection of Beauty in Art

My brother would be outraged by the first (about) half of this article on modern art and the rejection of beauty, but it's worth getting to the end. He would also argue that he's not had this experience at his MFA program at UNT, but then UNT sounds like an exceptional program.

Analysts Suggest Horsey Set Buggy Whip Maker Can't Turn Around Company

Things were so bad last year that a single Toyota model, the Camry/Solara midsize car, outsold the entire production of buggy whips.

"Basically they're done," said Jebediah Mason, a transportation analyst with the consulting company Outter Insight in Williamsburg, VA. "There is no real possibility of turning this thing around as an industry in my opinion."

Buggy whip producers will not comment on speculation about its future, spokeswoman Jezebel Morgana said Wednesday.

"We are completely focused on our plans to ensure the future viability of our company," she said.

U.S. sales of buggy whips fell 30 percent last year, the worst decline of any major goods producer. Analysts say most buggy whips don't look, feel or drive horses as well as they used to.

The Horsey Set plans to introduce an electric buggy whip in 2010, but until then, there are few promising models to boost sales. Many analysts predict that by 2010, The Horsey Set will be acquired by another buggy whip maker or sold in pieces by its majority owner, New York private equity firm 19th Century Capital Management.

The Horsey Set's chief financial officer has said the company needs $7 billion every 45 days to pay parts suppliers, and analysts question whether the company's meager sales are generating enough cash to make those payments.

Analysts also say an acquisition by Ass Sets is still possible. The two companies discussed it late last year before Ass Sets backed away to focus on its own cash issues.

Friederick Hayek, a University of Chicago economics professor who has been critical of government subsidies and bailouts, said Horsey Set's sales numbers are "further evidence of an unviable entity."

When buggy whip makers went to Washington late last year, their aim was to get enough money to become viable again. They wound up with only enough help from the Bush administration to get them through March, when President-elect Barack Obama will be in office and might provide more aid.

Hayek said giving the carmakers any money is burning cash.

"I'm a big fan of not throwing good money after bad," he said. "The idea that you would enter into a financing relationship like this without any parameters is more evidence of the complete insanity of all this."

A Treasury Department spokeswoman noted that the agreement for the government's buggy whip maker's loans required that the administration designate someone to keep analyzing the companies' finances and viability.

Hayek said it's too late for Horsey Set and Ass Set to solve their problems, including high labor costs and union work rules that hinder competitiveness.

To get the loans, Ass Set and Horsey Set had to agree to negotiate concessions from creditors and the United Buggy Whip Makers union, but the specifics have yet to be worked out. The government can call in the loans March 31.

Horsey Set's Chief Executive Obediah Numbrain, in a presentation to the Senate Banking Committee last month, said the company could stay alive in the long term with reasonable concessions, a $7 billion bridge loan and $6 billion more out of the $25 billion Congress allocated to develop new wrist-efficient technology.

The Bush administration provided a $4 billion loan. Now, Horsey Set is counting on an additional $3 billion in aid for its financing arm, Horsey Set Financial.

Some lawmakers say buggy whip makers need time to wring out the concessions, and point out that the recession and nearly frozen credit markets are at least partly to blame for poor sales.

"You could make a buggy whip that could run on air or could fly and people wouldn't buy it," said Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. "I'm hoping that we may see some of that investor consumer confidence come back."

Horsey Set, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., and Mule Train Co., in nearby Dearborn, are also waiting on a decision from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on whether they can become industrial loan corporations. That would mean the government could guarantee their debt, making it more appealing to investors, whose cash Horsey Set could use to make more buggy whip loans at better terms.

Some lawmakers have noted that automakers, including Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Germany's BMW AG, have the industrial banks, placing the domestic auto industry at a disadvantage.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., whose state is home to Horsey Set, Ass Set and Mule Train, said much will depend on how the Obama administration executes the terms of the buggy whip bailout.

In his presentation to Congress, Numbrain used charts that showed Horsey Set could post an operating profit of $400 million this year if Americans buy about 11 million buggy whips overall. But in this economy, analysts predict the figure will come in smaller.

NUubrain said Horsey Set will improve whip economy on 19 models this year, about three-quarters of its product line. Besides the electric buggy whip, it also has a deal with Ass Set to produce a Horsey Set subcompact in 2010.

Last month, Horsey Set showed off prototypes of a new 300 Whipper, Thrasher performance whip and Cat-o-Nine Grand, as well as new, more luxurious handles under development for nearly all of its products.

The problem, says Numbrain, is that significant new products don't arrive for another year. And Horsey Set may not make it until then.

"The good stuff doesn't come in time," Numbrain said. "We don't have any help coming really for 2009."

Porn Bailout

Sometimes you have to really love Larry Flynt. He and the CEO of Girls Gone Wild are asking the federal government for a $5 billion bailout. Brilliant satire on their part. They are actually going to make the request, but neither one is so stupid as to believe they will actually get the money. Them making the request really drives the point home, though, doesn't it? The government is picking and choosing who is going to get the money, rewarding political friends and throwing political enemies to the dogs, supporting failed ideas and policies on the backs of the successful.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

When (Former) Celebrities Are Bored . . .

I don't usually comment on pop culture happenings, but this is something that affects bloggers and blogging itself. I"m talking about the model Liskula Cohen's, to paraphrase Cohen herself, petty, stupid, pathetic attempt to sue Google over the comments made by some blogger. This sounds to me like nothing more than a pathetic attempt to get attention -- I certainly hadn't heard of her before this. It's sad, really. What won't people do for attention? If I were her, I'd be too embarrassed to even admit that I cared what some blogger said about me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The War on the Economy . . . Er, Recession

Ph, goody. Joe Biden just declared that "We're at war" on the recession. I figure if the government's war on the recession is even half as effective as the War on Drugs and the War on Poverty, this recession should become about twice as bad as the Great Depression. Idiots.

The Origins of Homosexuality?

Here's a little something for some molecular biologist out there to look into:

I've read a few months ago that there seem s to be a connection between pheromone receptors and homosexuality. Specifically, gay men have male pheromone receptors, making them sensitive to male pheromones, and lesbians have female pheromone receptors, making them sensitive to female pheromones.

I have also read that male homosexuality seems to be linked genetically to their mothers.

Add these two together, and you get a connection between sexual orientation and the sex chromosomes themselves -- something we should perhaps not be all that surprised about.

My wife has a gay friend whose brother is also gay, who has a gay uncle on his mother's side, and many gay and lesbian cousins -- again, on his mother's side. This seems to argue in favor of the genetic linkage to the mother. This got me thinking about the possible genetics behind this.

It seems likely that male pheromone receptors are on the X chromosome, and female pheromone receptors are on the Y chromosome. I'm guessing that Y chromosome also has a way of blocking the production of male pheromone receptors. We can make sense of the cause of same-sex sexual orientation with a simple phenomenon: a chromosomal recombination that placed a female pheromone receptor on the X chromosome.

How does this make sense? Through the fact that sometimes, when you add another gene to a chromosome, instead of making more of the gene, it shuts the genes off. As a consequence, the presence of the female pheromone receptor on the X would turn off the gene on the Y, meaning only male pheromone receptors would be made. This would explain the sexual orientation of gay men. It would then suggest that having an X chromosomes having this gene would make a woman a lesbian, since one of the X chromosomes would be acting like a Y.

If true, this should be fairly easy to prove.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Relativism

A fun article on relativism at New Criterion. There's a continuation of the very misunderstanding of Nietzsche that lead to relativism, but it's otherwise a good article. It does support my belief that Rousseau is the root of all evil in the West, extending into contemporary times. I am almost of the opinion that Rousseau's works should be given the same fate he was happy the volumes of the Great Library met. If one can be sent to Hell for the outcomes of one's ideas -- and I think one can -- then Rousseau is in a lower rung of Hell than even Marx. Perhaps even below Stan himself -- I think Satan was better-intentioned than Rousseau was.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Predictions for 2009

Here's a few things I hope I'm wrong about but I expect to happen in 2009.

A major war in the Middle East, focused on Israel and Iran. The U.S. will, naturally, be caught in the middle of it, not just because we support Israel, but because of our presence literally in the middle of it, in Iraq.

A minimum of increased tensions with Russia, who just cut off natural gas to Ukraine -- and thus to the rest of Europe. They will also be supporting Iran with military aid.

India and Pakistan will go to war. If Obama has any sense at all, he will stay completely out of it. I also predict Obama doesn't have any sense at all.

Continued worldwide economic collapse, with the financial center of the world shifting to China.

An outbreak of madness in the U.S. as the U.S. switches from a 1st Tier to 2nd Tier society.

Well, the second half of the last one, I hope I'm not wrong about. We need the switch.