Saturday, May 27, 2006

Conflict and China


A warning from the Joint Chiefs of Staff a couple years back, reminded Congress that the U.S. Military optimally needed to be able to fight two major wars simultaneously, and still have a reserve for the unexpected, a condition which has rarely been achieved by any nation. The reason, though unstated, was the risk that a major opponent of the U.S. might wait for us to become committed to a conflict, then make an aggressive move on its own, counting that the Americans would not be able or willing to also oppose them. Specifically, the most likely opponent considered to take such an action is the People’s Republic of China, although recent events have suggested that other nations also see an opportunity because of difficult conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The reasons the PRC is considered the most prominent threat rise from several factors, not least the fact that America is commonly viewed by most nations to be on the ascent. At the end of the 1970s, the U.S. appeared to be in sharp decline, but beginning with Reagan, the nation has rebounded in all sectors, so that today the United States is viewed as a threat to create an effective world hegemony. This is because the U.S. not only owns a military so far ahead of anyone else that one-to-one conflicts are considered suicide, but also runs an economy which is growing at a rate once considered impossible to maintain for its size and scope. The worries about deficit spending are real, but other nations see it as a proportion of the GDP, well under control relative to other nations. Or to put it another way, while the PRC has boasted of some strong growth recently, the fact that Beijing refuses to allow independent auditors to confirm the financial statements released by Chinese companies compromises any confidence in those numbers. The United States’ reputation for strength and stability is better than ever.

In contrast, the regime in Beijing is facing some hard realities. Communism does not blend well with anything but hard-line militarist policies and a police state mentality. And of course, the rather sudden death of the Soviet Union caught the Party Boys by surprise - yes the Warsaw Pact had actually been seriously ill for some time, but the Politburo is not in the habit of looking for bad news, or listening if someone is brave or rash enough to tell them what they do not want to hear. State projects to make Hong Kong and Shanghai appealing to foreign investment has met with limited success, but again the refusal to allow independent confirmation of Beijing’s claims to success have soured a portion of the interest.

A number of commentators have remarked on the growth of spending on the Chinese military, especially the development of offensive weapons. However, when examined in greater detail and context, it becomes apparant that these weapons are being developed independent of a fully functional support system. China has long desired to develop a true blue-water navy, but has not been willing to make the massive investment necessary to develop a true Pacific Ocean fleet - the Communists have been fascinated, for instance, with building or acquiring an aircraft carrier, but have not developed the support structure which a carrier group would need. This includes the development of agreements for foreign ports to serve the group’s needs, both material and security. China, therefore, appears to be pursuing military goals on a basis of convenience rather than aggressive doctrine. That is, the military is placated by the pursuit of its favored projects, but the nation has not created a plan comparable to SIOP, and no wonder - the bane of any oligarchy is the risk of military overthrow, so a strong leash must be kept on any force. Instead, China has pursued a more indirect approach, developing consular ties and commercial agreements, best evidenced by recent programs to bring foreign investment to Hong Kong and Shanghai. The problem for China rests with its determination to retain central control - Beijing’s Politburo continues to ignore the need to allow independent audits of Chinese businesses, which naturally damages its claims to strong growth. Even so, China has been largely successful in bringing industrial growth to its coastal cities, creating markets for its finished products, and establishing confidence in the Yuan. A reasonable conclusion from this condition would be that China does not present an immediate threat to the U.S. by its military, but that its economic plans must be watched.

Update on The Illegals Issue

My last segment on the President’s May 15 Speech - Race Issues - led to some concern that I support the bill recently passed by the Senate. I want to be clear, that I do not support the Senate bill. The Senate’s bill seems to me to be no better than a hodge-podge of compromises, the worst kind where no one gets what is really needed, and all sorts of special-interest groups are able to grab from the cookie jar. I greatly prefer the House bill, especially since the House seems to much better understand that the issue must be broken up into its component parts to be properly addressed.

The important point I wanted to make in discussing the race aspects of the Illegals issue, is that there are important consequences to the way in which the issue is addressed. The issue must be focused on security, then immigration. The Republicans have allowed the Left to cast ths as a Civil Rights issue, which is being spun in a way which can only damage the nation.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Speech, Part 5 – Race Issues


Americans take a great deal of comfort in our rights. We like to think that we are secure in our persons and homes from any unreasonable action by the government, specifically because the Bill of Rights is in place to stop would-be dictators and police statists. We could be very wrong.

The old Soviet Union had a very nice Constitution, filled with respect for the rights of the people and such. Problem is, the KGB simply ignored it when it was inconvenient. It’s true the United States is set up with three branches of government to prevent that sort of thing, but the question comes up, what if a situation rises where all three branches agree to change what they say the Constitution means?

We’ve certainly done it before. A fellow name of Dred Scott found out that fleeing to a free state didn’t keep the Supreme Court from declaring he was still someone’s property. Many thousands of Native Americans were driven across the country from their homelands, because the Army had the power to make it happen. More than a hundred thousand Japanese living here legally in the United States lost their freedom and possessions during World War 2, because the government ruled that in their case, Due Process did not really apply, even when they had not been accused of a crime.

What’s this nightmare scenario theory have to do with President Bush’s speech from back on May 15? It comes down to this; if the hardliners get their way, then things are going to get real tough for anyone who could possibly have done anything to help Illegals. And since far and away, the largest demographic group which makes up Illegal entry into the United States is Hispanics, that means that businesses, hospitals, schools, law enforcement, you name it, are all going to be pushed to treat Hispanics by a different standard than other races.

Think about it. Let’s say you own a business, and a guy comes in looking for a job. At most places, you give the guy a look and let your gut tell you whether you like his attitude. If you do, you get him a slot and you start on his paperwork. A lot of people don’t have all the papers they need for their I-9, and frankly, if you think someone’s worth hiring, you probably tell them something like ‘bring it in before I do the payroll’ and such. And frankly part 2, most small businesses are not real amused by the government’s requirements. It’s one thing to cover your bases, but small businesses do not have the kind of time or resources to spend a lot of effort on files and paperwork, and adding steps for the government’s satisfaction that don’t do one thing to make your employee or company more productive, just comes across as one more thing to hate about government; it has the distinct feel of government making small businesses do the government’s job for them. If the guy has his driver’s license and Social Security card, you’ve done what you need to do, and adding more restrictions is not going to fly.

So, if the U.S. Government starts leaning on businesses for possibly hiring Illegals, then what you’re going to see businesses do, is one of two things. Some will simply lie to the Government, on the idea that the Government has no business trying to turn private business owners into snitches, or else they will likely avoid the problem altogether by simply not hiring Hispanics. One way does nothing to solve the problem, and just makes enforcement that much harder, and the other punishes an entire demographic sector out of a heavy-handed bureaucratic ploy. It would cast the Republican Party as the new ‘Jim Crow’, this time with cause, and the resulting courtfights would flood dockets and solve nothing. Already the specter of such a draconian action has led to the public displays and rhetorical plays by the Left, to pour gasoline on the issue.

President Bush, unlike the foam-flecked leaders of the ‘Hysteria Now!’ movement, understands that any solution has to be palatable, functional, and reasonable in the context of balancing security with the sense of freedom. We used to laugh at the notion of a policeman stopping a person in public for no cause other than to check his papers; it is only rational to oppose any plan which treats an entire race of person as suspects because of their race. We can, and must, do better than that.

Next – Summary: Where Do We Go From Here?

A Thought for the Weekend


A lot of people are getting ready to go driving this Memorial Day weekend. And that means a lot of people will be tanking up their cars, and probably complaining about the price of gas. It seems appropriate to me, to remind those folks of something I wrote back in August 2004:

The next time you tank up, you might think better about the men who work hard to bring you gasoline for your car, your heating fuel, or any number of petroleum by-products. Some just work their butts off to do that, some risk their butts to get the job done.”

Please click the link and read it. The man deserves to not be forgotten.

The Power Of Money


Judith Apter Klinghoffer has written a thought-provoking piece on the threat posed by Islamic Banking. The article briefly considers the threat posed when companies and nations are unaware of the possibility that subversive interests may be influencing, even controlling the company with which they deal.

For me, however, it’s actually a bit of good news. You see, Islamic Law is called “Sharia”, and whatever its technical definition from place to place, in actual practice it generally amounts to whatever the regime in place wants to do. For example, even before the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, Shah Rezi Pahlavi was in the habit of having friendly mullahs issue fatwas supporting his actions, be it Land Reform or additional Police forces. One of the ironies of Islam, is that if you are powerful enough, you can get the backing of a mullah or five, and it is not at all uncommon to find fatwas in contradiction of one another. So I am not inordinately worried about someone getting a fatwa in order to enable a finance deal.

What intrigues me about the finance fatwas, however, is that they risk severe consequences. What I mean is, traditional Sharia does not allow Muslims to charge interest – at all. I think the way they get around it now, is the notion that Muslims would be charging interest from non-Muslims, a sort of way to enforce the Jizya on non-Muslim companies and countries. But what really got me thinking, is something I noticed while researching the political transition of countries in the region; the Middle East, with a few notable exceptions, is about 50 years away from being bankrupt.

It works like this; the Middle East first became important to the known world, because trade routes between Africa, Asia, and Europe had to run through it. This created two economic classes; the merchant and the bureaucrat, each benefiting from the traffic of goods through their countries. This led to the development of roads and a network of market towns and the precursors of consulates, as nations found it useful to put emissaries and representatives in places where they could gain an advantage for their nation’s goods ahead of another nation. When Islam came to power, shortly after seizing towns which made fortified and defensible positions, the Jihadists in short order took over trade towns, specifically for the economic strength of such possessions. A major reason why the Islamist invasion of Europe began through Portugal and Spain, rather than the other way around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, was the lure of claiming the Western ports. The nations of the Middle East have always sought to gain a sound economic base through control of shipping by land and sea. This was based on the acknowledgment that the Middle East produced little in the way of finished goods, and could barely subsist on its raw resources. For this reason, the Middle East was of little concern to the Ottoman Empire, save that the roads and ports should be secure.

Then came oil. Oil was a critical element in the advance of the Industrial Revolution, and both Europe and America grew on the nourishment of petroleum. Discovery of Oil in Arabia in 1859 began a rush for exploration, as this coincided neatly with strong growth in the use of oil for engines and factories. By the start of World War One the Middle East was a catalyst for contention and bargaining. This condition only grew in strength and priority through the 1970s, at which time the Middle East played its trump card, the OPEC Embargo. Unfortunately for OPEC, the card was badly played, and instead of its desired effect, only changed world conditions to counter Middle East aspirations for power – the Soviet Union in particular took a hard-line approach to ensuring the continued flow of oil.

Oil, at least as it is traded today, is running out, and especially the “light sweet” crude from the Gulf. That is to say, the oil reserves known to exist in the Middle East have about 40-50 years before their production will drop off precipitously. The problem is simple geography; there is only so much oil which can exist in one place, especially where exploration and new drilling development has been curtailed for a variety of reasons. The West, especially the United States, has the advantage that they have large regions of probable fields which are as yet untouched; at the moment they are financially unprofitable for drilling, but in a few decades that may well change, depending on both economic and technological conditions. Therefore, the U.S. has long-term options unavailable in the Middle East.

And given the massive expenditures of Middle East nations in the past 50 years, the drop in production around 2050-2060 will effectively cause an immediate collapse in both GDP and government revenue for countries in the region. This will destabilize all of the extant governments in oil-based economy countries, leading to revolt regardless of the character of the regime in place, unless a replacement source of revenue is developed and stabilized.

So here we are in 2006. On the surface, first-world nations are far too dependent on the Middle East for their energy needs, but in context they are in far better shape than the Middle East. The Middle East still offers little more than oil, and that oil is running out. There is development in the West of alternative energy sources, albeit not fast enough, but in four decades there is reason to expect demand for oil to be reduced as functional alternatives to be developed. This claim can be and should be considered and critically weighed, but in another place. For now, the significant point is that Middle Eastern nations are beginning to see the end of the road on the revenue from oil, and it is approaching faster than they have expected, or for which they are in any way prepared. The question to be considered is what, precisely, the region will do when the oil money is gone.

For the Islamic nations, this explains the interest in banking. Historically, many nations with poor resources and little marketable material have turned to banking to make their living. The legacy of “swiss banks” and such have long fed the imagination of fiduciary minds, the fantasy of people paying you a fee to hold their money for them. While they have monies in their vaults to invest, setting up banking arrangements seems a wise long-term pursuit for these nations. International Banking today is in many ways the modern version of merchant shipping in the past.

There are, however, significant problems for the Islamic Bankers. As Ms. Klinghoffer has mentioned, there is and should be serious concern about the security of deals brokered through nations hostile to Occidental customs and policies. And on the flip side, one can hardly imagine the radical Jihadists approving the procurement of interest-bearing investments, however they are carefully worded. Banking is inherently a secular pursuit, and as such must find itself continually in opposition to Sharia.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

GoooooooooooooooooD Stuff!


Watch It.

Love It.

Watch It Again!

(ht The Anchoress)

A Tale Of Two Felons


The jury in Houston returned its verdict today in the “Enron Trial”; basically no surprise, as founder Ken Lay and CEO Jeff Skilling were found guilty on most counts against them. In addition, a judge ruled against Lay in a Bank Fraud case which was tried before his bench, waiting for the jury’s decision before releasing his own.

There is a lot of information on the case, testimony as well as documents, but my gut call on the trial is this; one man was a cold-blooded villain, and the other a well-meaning fool who let his priorities get way out of line. I say this because of the financial fates of the men when Enron collapsed; Skilling sold short, obviously aware of what was happening and trying to save his own fortune, while Lay lost millions by hanging on to Enron stock – yes, he sold some stock right before the crash, but he appears, from what I have seen, to have put that money into the company in a desperate move to avoid the collapse. Skilling didn’t give a fig about anyone but himself, while Lay was trying to save his company.

Don’t think I am saying Lay is not accountable for his actions. Lay is responsible for what happened, in the same way that a drunk driver, though he doesn’t mean to harm anyone, is still responsible for the wreck. And in the matter of this trial, it means that Lay and Skilling are both looking at a lot of time in federal prison.

The lesson, unfortunately, will be missed by most of the people who should get it. In the case of Skilling, it means that sometimes crooks get caught, but we know from history that greedy people are always looking for a way to get around the rules. And in the case of Lay, a lot of people need to learn that good intentions don’t mean you don’t have to pay for your mistakes, especially when they destroy the fortunes and work of so many people.

Blogrolls and Honor


Readers will note that I have made some changes in the Blogroll. I have added some blogs to my roll, some which were way overdue for mention, and frankly there are still a few more I need to add. There is one blog I keep trying to add, but every time I do, it totally screws up the layout, and I have no idea why that happens.

One thing about my blogroll, is that I am picky. Maybe too picky. The thing about my blogroll, as opposed to everyone else’s, is that I regularly read every blog which is on my roll. Maybe not every day, but I try to get to them all. So while some blogs have a roll listing everything short of Democraptic Underground, I am more selective.

Also, I generally find something I agree with in every blog on my roll. I may not jibe 100% with everything they say, but in large measure if a blog is on my roll, I am recommending it. I mention this, because of the Blogosphere habit many people have of playing ‘you put me on your roll, and I’ll put you on mine’. Sure, it drives up traffic, but I have to say I shake my head when I see a blog with literally a hundred links or more; they cannot possibly say they are aligned with all of them. I am considering a tiered system, where I would note the blogs I always read, and the ones which are usually worth a visit if I have time and the inclination. This would help separate, for example, Democracy Project, with which I agree a lot, from Polipundit, which I keep on the roll out of respect for past and some degree of curiosity, but with whom I have little in common these days. There are also some blogs on my roll which do not post everyday; I may have to call them the Inactive Reserve or something.

I have also removed some blogs from the roll, because they have stepped over a line I consider unacceptable. Early in my blogging career, I wrote an article on the difference between how the Mainstream Media was treating the War in Iraq, and how things were really going. To my surprise, I received emails from a couple active-duty Marines serving in Iraq, who appreciated the support – this was in early 2004, when the media was going all out to slander the military as incompetent and vicious. I realized that my words were reaching a much broader audience than I had expected, and this reminded me that I have a solemn responsibility to keep in mind the effects of my articles. I don’t pretend that I reach the same sorts of numbers as the A-listers, or even the B-listers or C-listers. Yet it remains a fact that words have meaning, and if someone takes the time to read your stuff, then what you say matters. I mention this, because of the unfortunate poison in the tone used by some Conservatives. In some cases the blogger has chosen to regularly address the President and his supporters in a way which is deliberately deceitful and disrespectful, of the man and of his office. And in one case, the blogger posted an article so defamatory and false, that despite a great respect for work on many other areas, and for the blogger’s talent as a writer and unique perspective, that I cannot in good conscience recommend that site.

So, the work on the site layout continues. And if you know of a good blog which I have not seen (or which I continue to forget to add), please let me know. I love finding good minds.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thought For The Evening

" "

Nothing says “Term Limits” like both parties demanding elected people not be held to the same standards as regular folks.

What’s in YOUR freezer?”

Hang Right Politics


The Blogosphere got a little bigger today, and a little better, with the opening of 'Hang Right Politics'.

HRP will discuss elections, politics, and national issues from the right-handed perspective. I should also mention that there is a Texas flavor to the place, which is always a plus.

Please give them a visit!

The Speech, Part 4 – It Costs HOW Much?!


The Rabies Wing of the Republican Party has really been going full-tilt after President Bush. There’s no sense, really, in trying to sort out why – why does a dog chase cars, or Al Gore believe he will win the White House in 2008? Madness is its own explanation. But the dishonesty of these hypocrites is demonstrated by the fact, beside the known examples, that none among them discusses the cost of their demands. Instead, they try to ‘low-ball’ the estimate by only discussing the immediate and material costs of the actions they say must be undertaken before anything else. This sort of behavior is dishonest on its face, especially since the public has a right to know the scale of the commitment they are being asked to fund.

The Federal Budget 2007 is running at 2.77 Trillion dollars. That is not only a huge number, it’s important to understand that the only ways new expenditures on controlling the border and apprehending illegals can be done, would be to either increase taxes, increase deficit spending, or cut other programs. And judging from the last several budgets passed by Congress, that third option is not a real strong contender. So the questions are:

1. What is really needed, in cost, to secure the border?
2. What will it cost to apprehend illegals in-country, and deport them?
3. How will the Federal Government pay for these as-yet unknown costs?

Frankly, no one has really even discussed these points yet. Anyone who thinks that the total cost of the fence/wall is only in buildng it, and who fails to consider the cost of its maintenance and repair, the surveillance of perimeters, the staffing of response teams, and of course the equipment needed by the support and interception teams, is not serious about the issue.

As to catching people already here in the country, the only way to find them and deport them begins with good old-fashioned police work. Now, does anyone want to guess how difficult it is to find people who keep a low profile, who are not violent or conspicuously flagrant in their behavior, who to all outward appearances are simply working and raising their families? No, I am not saying we should not try to catch people who are here illegally; I am saying that the physical difficulties in doing so are far tougher than the Rabies crowd is willing to admit. The manpower necessary to find illegal families, locate them and remove them, is significantly greater per-capita than any other type of law enforcement operation. And given the scale demanded, the cost quickly moves beyond the practicable scope of any known agency.

That's why President Bush is intent on a temporary worker program - it not only reduces the number of targets for law enforcement to pursue, it also lowers the incentive to try crossing the border illegally. Also, if pursuit should become necessary, the additional identification measures make it easier for law enforcement (ICE, etc) to find the offenders. Unlike the Rabies demands, the President's plan works on making the numbers more manageable, so that the most dangerous and violent illegals will not find it so easy to hide in a crowd.

Next: Part 5 – Race Issues

Well Said Indeed


The Anchoress and I seem to share a similar opinion of the President.

My Disagreements With President George W. Bush


Many times at the old place, and a few times over here, some spittle-flecked assassin of the President’s reputation has noted that I sometimes say that I do not agree completely with the President on all issues, that indeed there are some points on which I differ with him sharply. This observation is always followed by a demand that I confess, in detail, where and how I differ with President George W. Bush, a demand which I have always ignored. These rhetorical hyenas take this as a tacit admission that I do not actually differ with the President on anything, and they further take my claim of difference as an example of dishonesty. Since this has come up again, I choose to defend my position and honor, explain why I refuse to play the ‘mock the President’ game, and why any reasonable person would do the same.

Let us say you have a friend. You differ, as people do, on certain opinions, sometimes strongly. You might even think that you need to set your friend straight on a couple areas where you think he’s way off base. But let’s say some bad news comes along for your friend. Whatever your differences, now is not the time to harass him on where you disagree, but to support him as his friend; it’s what real friends do. Also, if it happens that the places where you think he’s wrong are less important than the places where he is right, you keep that in mind. Those people who claim to have ever been a Bush supporter, but who think now is any time to attack and malign the man, are just like those false friends who claim to be noble but just do as they please, painting it as an ideal because they don’t like to face the reality of their scurrilous perfidy.

I choose not to discuss the specifics of where I differ from the President, for three specific reasons. First, the President has gotten the largest issues right. He has handled the War on Terrorism well, and has listened to the right people on Iraq and Afghanistan. Time was, people used to realize those were the big issues and nothing else, nothing, came close. Bush has also named two significant Justices to the United States Supreme Court, and a slew of solid picks for other federal posts. Frankly, no President in memory, Reagan included, has done as well on that count, and given the Liberal strategy to ignore the will of the people by governing through courts, the significance of those choices cannot be overstated. The other issues, even where they are important and timely, are very small indeed next to these major issues. Those who now attack and mock the President after such accomplishments show a petty and disgraceful lack of honor, indeed.

Second, those who malign and attack the President do so in pursuit of a course which must inevitably damage the Republican Party and the Conservative Cause. While Republicans of late have been less than diligent in performance of their duties, only the greatest of fools could be persuaded that reducing Republican numbers in Congress or lessening the influence of President Bush could do anything but increase the power and influence of the Democrats, whose character and sinister intentions are well known. The whole example of History stands to warn against reducing the number of members who, if they do not wholly support the will of constituents, at the least do not do the damage that the Socialists of the Left would commit. Further, President Bush has plainly been a good and effective President, when he has the support of the electorate behind him. Where he has been steadfast and honest, for his support to dissipate because spokesmen and individuals of popular influence prefer their own whimsy to his leadership, then those narcissists who attack the President do also attack the nation, and their pride wounds the soul of America. There is no way to avoid this diagnosis.

And third, I should be willing to discuss my in-depth opinion of the President only in an environment where both sides move away from extremes. That is, there is no reason why I should admit to any disagreement with the President, where the other side would simply take that admission and use it as ammunition for yet another spiteful attack on the President. Also, there has been no sense of reciprocity; those within the Conservative Movement know full well, that President Bush has done a great deal of good, for the nation, the Republican Party, and for the Conservative Movement. America is clearly a better nation for his time in the Oval Office. Yet when they speak of him, it is always in complete derision and insult, with no measure of respect for what he has done. The man plainly has earned better, and I will not countenance the behavior which does not admit to the honors he has garnered through hard work, perseverance, and steadfast faith in God, his ideals, and his commitment. If you would find from me where I differ with George W. Bush, you must first reaffirm where you would commend him. Put away the hypocrisy of using the Left’s own weapons of slander and gossip, and return to those values which have identified Conservatives, if you wish me to regard you as a Conservative.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Late "24" Update


This Just In;

We have just received a strange message from a Chinese Shipping Boat somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

The message, in it’s entirety, was :

“oh 胡扯, Bauer 逃脫了".

Yes I got your email.

The Enemy Speaks


One good thing about an Al Qaeda press release, is that you can analyze it to see what the enemy is thinking. These days, the same logic applies to the domestic enemy. In this case, I am writing about the Boston Globe, which published an interview with purported historian Morris Berman, along the now-familiar argument that when 9/11 happened, it was somehow not an atrocity committed by fanatical madmen, but actually a desperate response to American aggression. Utterly false and so offensive as to strain belief that it should be given credence by any national publication, this lie nonetheless has been pressed so often that it needs refutation once again.

To examine Berman’s screed in the full light of daylight, it seems to me best to begin by summarizing his main points from the interview. They are as follows (all cited claims are direct quotes from Berman):

"Bush is essentially Wilsonianism or Trumanism with the sleeves rolled up."

1. Comparing sitting Presidents to past leaders is a common parlor game. And you may note that Berman does not bother to define his terms, when he speaks of ‘Wilsonianism’ and ‘Trumanism’. Instead, he simply throws them out together as implicit examples of evil American greed. Real Historians however, the kind who actually know about such individuals, would remind Berman, rather strongly, that the extant world environment each of those three men inherited is quite different from each other, and so comparing them so casually is not merely invalid, but so false as to be either deliberately deceitful or incredibly stupid. Wilson, for example, desperately wanted to keep the United States out of World War I, but events forced the issue, and a reluctant Woodrow Wilson submitted to an outraged public and Congress. As for Truman, he inherited a full-blown war in its final phases, and had to resolve the conflict to the best of his ability, in a job he neither wanted nor for which he had been properly briefed. The way in which George W. Bush is like those men, is that he, as they, did not desire war, but had the matter forced upon him, and he was compelled to address the crisis to the best of his ability. The fact that all three of these men were seeking peace but took up war only because there was no other sane recourse, rather proves the lie to Berman’s ‘Empire’ fantasy.

"We feel that the world is at our disposal. And when other nations move to protect their resources, for example, we get enraged and interpret it as anti-Americanism."

2. Berman’s ‘other people’s resources’ shot is just a thinly veiled reference to the old ‘War for Oil’ fable, which is as false now as it ever was. Again, Berman makes no attempt at all to support his charge, but lets it hang as if it were a universally-accepted truth. The beauty of the lie is that it takes a lot to explain the true situation in the Middle East, but for here, I would remind the reader that in every contract or negotiation, the United States has always paid a fair market price, by mutual agreement, for everything purchased from any company or country with which we do business. The record shows the United States has a better track record for fair prices and compliance with contractual terms than any of its rivals on any continent.

"By the late 1790s, virtue here was defined as success for yourself and your family in a competitive market."

3. Berman slanders every decent person in the United States, by his claim that ‘virtue’ here is defined in material terms. The millions of Americans who served in the military took real material losses to do so, but chose country and duty over profit. The thousands of charity workers who continually send out more food, clothing, medicine than the rest of the world combined do so for ideals better than anything Mr. Berman understands. Millions more Americans regularly participate in community and social projects which improve living conditions for the poor and homeless, provide hope for the unemployed and the disabled, and comfort for the lonely and sick in measures which Berman has managed to overlook only through deliberate blindness. That Berman could toss out such a blatantly false charge demonstrates only the meanness of his own cold hard soul.

"We undertook, after all, to annex half of Mexico in the middle of the 19th century. That was hardly foisted on us; it was part of Manifest Destiny and a religious vision."

4. Berman, like many Socialists (for that is how his perspective reads to me), hopes to play on the poor knowledge of History by Americans, and so to place guilt where a better understanding would lead to Berman’s immediate rebuke. Mexico, to speak bluntly, wanted to become an empire in much the same fashion as the Spanish Empire they threw out. Corruption, Militarism, and a cruel Aristocracy were not only defining characteristics of Mexico under Santa Anna, but in large part continued in Mexico through the 20th Century. Berman makes the false submission that American foreign policy in the 19th Century must be judged in the light of 21st Century Nirvanism – the mythical presumption that America must be blamed for all ills, and that the solution is always American defeat. The concept of Manifest Destiny was not so much a government initiative, as a phrase used to describe the national mood of the day, and Berman ignores the clear advances which expanding the union brought; improved social order and services, a standardized education program and the closest thing to a universal standard of human rights known to the 19th Century. America circa 1890 compares well indeed to the rest of the world, if one considers the conditions found in 1890 Mexico, Canada, or any other country.

"[F]rom the time of Truman until the present -- with one exception, Jimmy Carter -- nobody could become president unless they indicated that they were going to serve and expand the national security state."

5. The ‘National Security State’ canard plays on the fears of Liberals, especially Socialists. Berman is again deceitful, in that he ignores the very real threat from the Soviet Union, as if the KGB was not in fact pursuing ways to learn our secrets – Berman hopes that his readers have forgotten that the first Soviet atom bomb was developed early, because Soviet spies stole U.S. plans – and find holes in our defense. And now Berman hopes to deceive people into forgetting that there are governments firmly resolved to destroy the United States of America, if they can find a means to do so. Berman ignores the very careful balance used by President Bush, protecting civil rights while vigorously pursuing the defense of the nation.

"Americans have trouble getting their minds around the fact that what happened on 9/11 was reactive rather than offensive. We had been doing certain things to the Arab and Islamic worlds for decades, and finally they decided they weren't going to take it anymore."

6. The notion that the 'Arab World' was just striking back on 9/11 is grossly insulting, especially to the Arab World. Berman is lying, front to back, to pretend so. The last 40 years, at the least, of American actions in the Middle East have been those of a nation which keeps its promises, which filled the security void brought about when Britain abrogated its agreements, especially with the Littoral States (look it up). Unlike many European and African powers, the U.S. has been constant in its positions and has honored its commitments. Berman, like many Socialists, hopes to sell the lie in order to hide the actual record of countries like Russia, France, and China in the region.

"I say that there are two possible paths: One is that we decline rapidly; the other is that we decline gradually… By 2030, maybe a bit later, we'll be pretty much a second-rate power in the world."

7. Berman finally lets his mask slip a bit, when he admits that his view of the future is only loss and despair. Again he proves himself quite a fool by such a notion. Many men before have claimed that America’s best days were behind her; they have been and continue to be pathetically wrong. The strength of America is not her material wealth, though she owns that. The strength of America has not been her force of arms, though thank God for the men who take up the weapons when we are at need. The strength of America has always been the continuing blessing from God, made manifest in her leaders and armies in every aspect where we are challenged. Berman only shows his weakness, by pretending the challenge we face now is anything but of the moment.

"What have we become, finally? A civilization dedicated to turning everything into a market."

8. The final point by Berman is no more than a feeble repeat of his failed claim, the braying of a despondent mule. I only need mention this, because too many people have taken to listening to mules for their advice and counsel. America needs better than mules and barking dogs for its information, which is why the Blogosphere is not merely a convenience, but an essential component of the century to come.

UPDATE: I edited the piece, moving claims and responses together point-by-point, because even I thought the first version was hard to read!

Blogs I Read Every Day


I am in the process of updating my Blogroll. But in addition to that, people have asked me what blogs I read, and what I find interesting. I read quite a bit, and so I visit probably 30-40 blogs in a day, sometimes flitting through like a bee on its way to somewhere else, but other times I find an article compelling, and I read it with all the dedication I give to Scripture.

My first stop of the day varies a bit, but most of the time I head to Chris Muir’s cartoon, ‘Day By Day’. If Muir is not rich and famous for his work, it just proves the world is not just. We kind of already know that, but even so, Muir is amazingly witty and talented.

After that, I set my barometer by taking a look at Real Clear Politics. RCP is a good overview of the media, although I have to say it’s been less than impressive of late. Something about the recent Op-Eds just seems stale and dull, but hopefully that’s just because the MSM harps about the same old garbage.

After that, I am ready for a blog of the more regular sort, and for that I usually start at Betsy’s Page. Betsy Newmark does not write long pieces, but she’s very good at picking the significant articles of the day, and so she provides a guide for where to look in the Blogosphere.

After that, these days I check out something if Betsy’s Page points out something, but after that I head to Lorie Byrd, not only to see how she’s doing, but also because Lorie is simply fun to read. Makes my coffee taste better, to not grind my teeth while I’m sipping my caffeine.

Now, I have heard a lot about how people are never going back to Polipundit again. But I do, for a number of reasons. For one thing, I still consider the site owner a friend of mine, and I wish blessings on all my friends. Second, I admit to a certain morbid curiosity as to how the site is doing. And third, I have a more than sneaking suspicion that two of the regular commentors will start writing articles. It’s sort of happening now, with Poli posting articles sent by the commentors to him by e-mail. Hey, whatever works.

Obviously, I check in on A.K. McClure over at Redstate, and I will be visiting Wizbang! more often since Lorie will be there, though I have to say that something about that blog always bugged me, so for now they won’t be on the blogroll. That could change, if Lorie has the effect I hope.

I also like to visit Michael Yon’s site, “Micheal Yon: Online Magazine”, for the obvious reason that I prefer first-hand reports about the War in Iraq, to anything the overpaid nominal media has to offer.

For the same reason, I also regularly visit Bill Roggio’s “Fourth Rail”; Bill has done an amazing job on several levels, and his understanding of the strategic context of the region is required reading for anyone who wants to understand American Foreign Policy.

More later, but that’s how I start my mornings, and I recommend these sites to everyone.

I Chose My School


Readers who have read my work before, are aware that I am pursuing my Master of Business Administration degree. The question had always been, which school?

I have written at length on the importance of choosing a school which meets your individual needs, specifically here, here, and here. I also rated the best values for an Online, AACSB-accredited MBA school in the United States. The AACSB, for those unfamiliar with the AACSB, this stands for 'the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business', which is internationally recognized as the top tier for business schools.

So, after a long process of evaluating options and weighing the likely result of choices, I have elected to pursue my MBA at the University of Houston at Victoria.

Now, all I have to do is let Rice, Tulane, Gonzaga, and all the other schools which have swamped me with brochures and mailers know that I have made my choice.

Then I can start figuring out the specifics of what I will spend my first semester!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thoughts On The Future


For those interested in how the five writers from Polipundit are doing as the first week since the PoliNova blew, a brief rundown:

Jayson Javitz: Closed his personal blog, “Political Vice Squad”, several months ago, and has no plans to re-open anytime soon. Jayson is teaching as well as running his own legal practice. He might be lured out to do a guest piece once in a while, but cannot say if and when that might happen.

Alexander McClure: Does not have a personal blog. Alexander joined Redstate last week, which pulls between 15,000 and 30,000 hits a day.

Polipundit: Has turned his group blog into a personal blog. Polipundit was pulling just over 15,000 hits a day when things got ugly; his pace since the 17th has been dropping a bit, and now averages around 8,000 a day.

Lorie Byrd: Her personal blog, “Lorie Byrd”, was pulling around 350 hits a day before the blow-up, but is now cruising at a steady 2,000 hits. Lorie has just announced she is joining Wizbang!, which presently averages a very nice 48,000 hits a day, but which will be likely to do even better with Lorie’s addition.

As for me, I am presently at a pace to average 600 hits a day, but that’s started to slow a bit, and may drop down to under 500 for a steady pace. Even so, it’s significantly better than I saw before the Big Boom, and I thank you all very much for that.

I do not know what my plans are, in terms of joining another blog. To be honest, I had hoped to talk the other writers into a new group blog, but that is not going to happen now.

One thing I will have to keep in mind, is to make sure it’s a good fit if I join up with someone else. One obvious need is compatibility with anyone I share space with, and in addition, since I will be starting my MBA studies this fall, that will also be likely to impact my blogging, if only in that I would be doing a lot more business-related articles. I have four priorities where blogging is concerned:

It has to be authentic for me, not packaged because someone thinks ‘x’ is the flavor of the month;
It has to be fun sometimes, and change the mood from time to time
It cannot get in the way of my family
It has to be good for blogging, good for Conservatives, and good for America

One thing you can count on – whatever I decide, I will be sure to let you know, and as always I respect and appreciate your comments.

Template Weirdness


One thing I have to admit right away; I am not real good in technical issues, which means that as I try to improve the layout of my blog and increase my blogroll to include everyone who deserves to be there, that the appearance of the place may look a bit strange at times.

Hopefully, i will get the hang of things in a bit. Until then, please excuse the decor.

Terra Firma


The people who hate Dubya have really been noisy of late. One thing which has followed me over here from my old blogplace, is the habit of some who dwell on only one issue, who now find it impossible to reconcile my support for the President with some common-sense statements I have made on their pet issue.

Now I have mentioned before, that my perspective on George W. Bush is colored by the fact that I know the man, and his family; he simply does not lie, nor does he make promises unless he does his level best to keep them. Anyone who knows his mother Barbara, frankly, would expect no less. But even if you just judge the man by his public record, his positions on major issues have been long known, and he has been faithful to his promise for a very long time.

This is not to say that a Republican or Conservative may not disagree on a given issue or plan of action. I certainly differ from President Bush on certain items. That said, I have no taste for those whose difference on an issue is taken as license to defame the man. On the issue which has taken the extremists’ attention the most over the past month, the President’s policies and initiatives have been consistent and reasonable, yet many have claimed he was somehow “lying”. Presented with evidence that the President has not lied but has been consistent all along, they react by calling their opponents names. And this is the problem which plagues the condition for the Fall elections.

The facts are these; throughout the history of the Republican Party, the GOP has always represented reform, relative to the Democrats. And from time to time, parts of the GOP have chosen to “punish” the party for not falling in line with extremist demands, ‘extremist’ being defined not as a position with which I disagree, but single issues on which those persons demand complete control and obedience, threatening boycott or defection if their terms are not met. The technical term is ‘extortion’, and it has no place in Conservative politics. In historical context, such behavior has, without exception, resulted in weaker Republican control and influence, and since the Democrats in no way support Conservative interests, such actions inevitably worsen conditions from the perspective of any rational Conservative. Or to put it bluntly, if anyone is lying, it is the person who tries to claim that refusing to support Republicans is anything but supporting the possibility of Democrat control of Congress – after all, refusing to support Republicans increases the chances of Democrats winning, and increasing the chances of Democrats winning this fall can only increase their chance of taking over control of one or both chambers of Congress. The extremists have tried to deny this, but it’s really simple math.

The extremists also ignore a critical point in the nature of national politics; no one measures a political party by support for a Senator or Congressmen. We do not think of the 1990s as the “Foley Era”, or the 1980s as the “Tip O’Neill Years”. No, history always treats time segments by the President in office at the time, and again without exception, things work when the party in power supports the President, and they fall apart whenever the party refuses to support the elected leader of the Free World. As someone has mentioned, elections have consequences, and this is never more true than when we discuss the President of the United States. Liberals would love to pretend that George W. Bush does not have a mandate because he was elected, but the truth is, he does in fact have just such a mandate. This is why the people who have succeeded in trashing his Job Approval ratings by refusing to stand with him, have poisoned their own numbers even more so. And people who make the choice to publicly attack the President when he is from their own party, do not generally do well in their re-election bids.

And finally, if the man’s proven character, the need for Republicans to support the President in order to advance Conservative agenda, and the desirability of simply being honest about him are not enough, I would remind the audience that President George W. Bush is personally and directly responsible for policies which resulted in the end of Saddam Hussein’s reign in Iraq, replete as it was with prisons and torture rooms, even for children. It was President George W. Bush who ignored the pee-their-pants posturing of the media and sent troops in to remove the Taliban from control of Afghanistan. It was President George W. Bush who calmed the nation after 9/11, and who reminded the world that America was in a war against Terrorism, not Islam. And yes, it was President George W. Bush, who proposed tax cuts long overdue for Americans, which effect spurred the economy back into motion, and who had the courage to propose reform for Social Security. And yes, it was George W. Bush whose judicial nominations have been solidly founded on a philosophy opposed to Judicial Activism, and in support of Constitutional compliance.

I know where I stand, and why. And my ideals require me to support the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

Axis Of Evil 2006 - Iran, North Korea, and ... Kroger?


I try to be a nice guy most of the time, but one thing I really do not like, and have frankly no patience for, is organized lying. Oh, I get it that a lot of people lie for a long range of reasons and habits, and sometimes it’s just a dumb thing people start doing for no good reason, like the guy who could tell a story about what happened to him one day, and he turns it into a grand adventure. I’m not talking about those kinds of untruths, especially when the speaker/writer makes it clear he is not presenting his tale as fact. I’m talking about people who make dishonesty an integral part of their way of doing things, whether one means the ‘nuclear material enrichment for peaceful purposes only’ excuse in Iran, the ‘we’re not really assisting terrorist groups, we just happen to be talking with a few men who happen to belong to such groups’ canard out of Pyongyang, or the ‘Sorry, we just happen to not that advertised item in stock ... again’ line from Kroger.

All right, all right, I am not seriously suggesting that the deceptive advertising practices at Kroger are really comparable to acts of state which endanger the lives of millions of innocents. But it gets under my skin, anyway. You see, one thing I love about America is the success of its businesses, but an amazing number of them are, well, very badly run. Just take a hard look sometime at the operations protocols at your own place of employment, and I bet many of you will notice a few illogical moves. And one strong example of near-ubiqutous moronics in practice would have to be grocery stores.

To my mind, and I admit that I may refine my opinion when I have the schooling to reconsider it from a deeper perspective, a business needs to have one or more of three things in order to succeed:

1. Low price, relative to other area merchants of the same or similar products;
2. Convenience, in terms of meeting a broad range of needs or desired items, fast service, or in some other way offering a time and effort savings relative to other area merchants;
3. Unique quality or product, the offer of something simply unavailable from other area merchants.

That really should be obvious. Looking at the flyers in any local newspaper or mail-outs, the attempt by so many grocery chains to claim low price is obvious, but the pursuit of elements 2 and 3 is all but ignored. Sure, the commercials make the stores look convenient and high-quality, but there’s not much real effort made to actually meet those standards in real life. Some years back, the Randalls’ chain here in Houston made a strong effort to do a great job at service, but they had higher prices than their competition, and the experiment was junked by new owners. Now, they still have notably higher prices, but distinctly poorer service. Other stores have had their heyday, but as a chain none really stands out. The HEB chain once seemed poised to grab significant market share, but they got spend-happy with building a bunch of SuperStores, which resulted only in more crowded parking lots, longer lines, and naturally, higher prices.

I could go on about the sector of retail grocery stores, but for this article, I wanted to make clear that in my choice for spending money, the wife and I simply pay attention to the ads, and buy what’s on sale. We are not impressed with ‘offer valid only with minimum purchase’, by the way - the idiot who thought that up is clueless about the priorities of the shoppers I know. There happens to be a Kroger store just down the street from where I live, so they would seem to own the ‘convenience’ trump card. They have, however, shredded that card, through the practice of advertising and inventory supply so shoddy as to seem to be deliberate lying.

Popsicles. My daughter loves popsicles. And the ad in the paper showed a 10 boxes for $10 offer for the red-white-blue “Firecracker” popsicles of the ‘Popsicle’ brand. Simple enough, eh? But they did not have them at the store which is down from my house. Nor was this the first time that has happened. Or the second. By my count, this is the fourth consecutive time that I have gone to that Kroger store to buy a specific advertsied item, only to find that it was not available. So, since I had promised my daughter we would get those popsicles for er, we went to another Kroger store, about 6 miles further away (so much for ‘convenience’). I should have known what to expect, as I had encountered the same failure to supply the advertised product three times in a row there, as well.

So, it was annoying but not surprising when I could not find the advertsied popsicles at that store, either. The closest red-white-blue popsicles availabe were ‘Bombpops’, at $2.99, basically three times the price, plus the gas for having to go to two stores.

When I went to checkout, I asked the clerk for the manager. She got what turned out to be another clerk, who heard me out and then went to get the real manager on duty - supervisory tip; if you are in a position where you are likely to have to deal with customer comments or complaints, it is simply poor customer service and bad tactics to have the customer speak to any extraneous level of interference. In retrospect, I find it telling that the manager was actually on the floor, passing the clerk’s aisle at the moment when I asked to speak to the manager - she turned and looked at me, then kept walking away - which tells me now that from the beginning, this manager was far mroe intent on ignoring the problem rather than in addressing it.

To shorten the story just a little bit, I got my $2.99 back for the ‘Bombpops’ and was charged $1.00 for a single pack of ‘Firecrackers’ the manager managed to send someone to find somewhere in the back freezer.

No apology not having an advertsied product on the shelves.

No apology for a pattern of such poor inventory.

No apology for her go-to-hell attitude, when a customer needed her to do her job.

You get the idea. I should mention that in the eight collected times where I found the advertsied product not to be on the shelves, I stopped asking after the fourth or fifth time for a clerk to look in the back - they never actually had any in the back (though I could be sure to get the requisite slacker eye-roll for getting them to look), so today was a first of sorts. I received four ‘rain checks’, two of which were honored when the product arrived weeks later, and two which expired before the product ever came in. And contrary to what Kroger will promise, trying to get a rain check renewed is a lost cause. The other four times I was refused a rain check. For the record, Kroger does not encourage customers to complain. It seems to me that the manager with whom I spoke is very much in line with the Kroger Philosophy - ignore complaints and they will go away. Actually, from the smaller share of customers I seem to see there, it would seem more like 'ignore your customers, and they will go away'. And I certainly shall be going to other stores. There is, after all, no sense in spending time and effort to go to a store which won’t bother to carry the items they advertise.

I am not saying anyone else should botcott Kroger; if you find the service and selection good at a Kroger’s near you, why should you punish that location? But it sure seems to me, that one problem we have here which should be addressed, whether at grocery stores or in politics, is that far too many people are willing to promise something they have no intention of providing. That is stupid and wrong, to put it bluntly, but it is a lesson which has yet to be learned.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Remembering, and Standing


Bruce Kessler wrote an article Friday over at Democracy Project, which mentioned the possibility, however slight, of the need to flee the country because of a repressive pogrom. Bruce wrote this because of two causes. First, his family’s heritage as survivors of the Nazi purge; the Kesslers were able to flee Europe before the madness cost them their lives. The other cause is the news out of Iran that non-Muslims might be required to wear special identification, for easy identification and possibly for special “attention” by the Jihadist regime.

Bruce’s article is poignant, in that it reminds us of a failure by America to respond to a threat until literally millions of innocents had been tortured, robbed, enslaved and finally murdered. It also reminds me of my own heritage, and the price my ancestors paid for my family’s freedom.

Centuries ago, my ancestors ran amok in the highlands of Scotland. Some of them went on to nobility, but most of us just muddled through as best we could, usually by way of raising sheep and farming whatever the sullen, sodden rockscape would give up.

Then for some blasted reason, the English decided that our moss-covered rockland would be a nice addition to their Empire, and they sent a large number of armed men to press their claim. I’m not sure on the details, about why we could defend ourselves against Roman legions but not British adventurers, but in sum we lost our sovereignty and our lands. After some time the British began to make different use of the land, finding it less to their liking to graze sheep and farm vegetables, and so we were forced off the lands we had worked for generations. Forced in the ‘leave or we will kill you’ manner. A great many of my ancestors fought the British, first when they stole our country, then again when they stole our homes and fields. This is one reason why my family tree became so thin – the bloody British were only too happy to kill a Scot with the temerity to demand his rights. Kind of explains why so many people still celebrate ‘Guy Fawkes Day’

So we made our way to take residence in the towns and villages which would have us, but the British managed to screw up the food supply so bad that they started what has become known as the Potato Famine. That forced many Scots to find places on ships to America, the only haven available; the rest of Europe sure did not want us. And so my ancestors came here, destitute and starving, and in serious debt to the men who brought us over. Most of us spent years paying for the trip, but never you mind, we were glad indeed to find a country where we could hope to live without a threat against our lives and family.

I understand where President Bush started on that ‘jobs Americans will not do’ line. Time was, when the Scots and the Irish did those jobs. Janitors, yardsmen, firemen and policemen of course – back in the 1800s, there was no pleasure in wearing a badge. The citizens didn’t trust you, the city cheated you, the gangs hunted you, and your own family asked why you couldn’t do better. And the firemen just died young; they had no protection against the heat, smoke, or collapsing buildings, and there was no pension to speak of for a fireman or for a policemen. We were just ‘Micks’ after all, and no one could even tell the difference between a Scot and an Irishman, anyway. We were just people to ignore.

Then came the Civil War, and my rebuilt family took it upon themselves to answer the call. Some people argue that the War Between the States was never so much about Slavery, but you’d never know it from the Drummonds’ response. As good Anabaptists, they hated Slavery with every fiber of their being, and they regarded the United States as a nation brought up by the very will of God, and so to secede was to commit an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

So all the young men of my family went and enlisted. Most of them died, and the ones which did not came back to a family destitute all over again; the war was not kind to a common man’s family. And that brings me almost current, enough to speak of my own perspective on a people, on the right to come to a nation and hope for security, and the community of honor which a person joins not by birth, but by the decision to hold ideals above convenience, truth above sound bites, and hope above politics. Be you what race, what sex, what culture you may know, if you come to join us and do your part you are welcome and we are glad to see you. If you come to steal, we will protect against you. If you come to kill us or ours, we will strike you down. We are a nation of laws, not men.

I am not a Jew, but I will defend them. I am not a Muslim, yet I shall defend them also. I am not a Catholic, but again I will defend them against anyone who thinks that freedom is a thing which only belongs to some, or that shouts and demands will cow us into becoming as petty and small as those nations which have yet to come into the light. Britain, that nation which once thought it good to destroy its inconvenient subjects, is now our closest friend, and other nations have done the same. The world changes, and so there is hope. But old evils are still to be fought, and for the sake of the Kesslers, the Drummonds, and a thousand thousand other families which have paid so dearly for their own rights already, I will remain vigilant, and commend my children do the same in their turn. For I am, by the grace of God, American, and that is no small thing.

Greetings RWN Readers

. .

Well, it took me a couple days to remember, but I want to thank John Hawkins at Right Wing News (linked at ST since 2004) for the plug on the 19th.

I may be forgetful, but I'm slow ...

Another Difference Between Men and Women


I was getting coffee earlier this week, and on the TV some folks were watching this woman explain how she had been "abducted by aliens for several hours" one night.

And it occurred to me:

If a woman is gone all night, and when she returns she says to her husband or boyfriend that she was abducted by aliens, you can expect the man to be sympathetic, and at least to hear her out.

If a man is gone all night, and when he returns he says to his wife or girlfriend that he was abducted by aliens, you can expect the man to get physically attacked twice. Once for being gone all night, and the second time for not having a better excuse!