Thursday, February 05, 2015

Why we should cut Russia some slack

I admire the Russian people.  They suffer a generally dreadful climate and have almost always had atrocious government.  Yet through all that they have not only  survived but have made great contributions to human civilization.  One only has to mention the names of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky to know how much of our classical music we owe to Russians.  And there are other notable Russian composers too:  Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Gliere, Borodin, Mussorgsky Scriabin, Glazunov, Prokofiev etc.  The list goes on.

And in literature we think of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Turgenev, Pasternak, Nabokov, Gorky etc.  Perhaps because of limits imposed by their climate, Russians are great readers.

And in science and technology too Russians have much to their credit.  Sikorsky invented the helicopter as we know it today; the first earth satellite was Russian, and Russia's military industries are legendary.  If there were a war tomorrow, the absurd F35 fighter would be rapidly blasted out of the sky by the latest products of the Mikoyan and Sukhoi design bureaux.  Multi-role aircraft rarely perform any role well and the F35 is an extreme example of that. It is a political compromise and is as good as you would expect from that.

And I admire the Russian people for not losing their patriotism.  Most of the Western intelligentsia have lost theirs under Leftist influence but not even Communism could suppress Russian patriotism.  Despite the theoretical internationalism of Communism,  Stalin in fact had to name what we call WWII as "The great patriotic war" in order to get maximum support from the Russian people.  Patriots stand ready to support and defend their own people.  It is only nationalists who want to subdue other people.

So why has the Western world declared a new Cold War on Russia?  Because of typical Leftist meddling in other people's affairs. Ukraine is in the midst of a civil war. America has had a couple of those too so can hardly criticize. Ukraine is a botch of a country and the war is an attempt to remedy that.  Ukrainians dislike Russians greatly -- about as passionately as Scots loathe the English.  And the "United" Kingdom went within a hairsbreadth of breaking up over that just last year.  So the Russians of Ukraine want to get out from under a Ukrainian majority who despise them and, sadly, war is usually needed for that.

And Mr Putin is cautiously supporting Ukraine's Russians.  No Russian leader would do less, given Russian patriotism. The West should encourage  the independence movement in Eastern Ukraine, not condemn it.  Didn't America have a war of independence once?  So why aren't Americans sympathetic to the independence desires of others?

The cold war is hurting the great Russian people and it should cease at once.  While King Obama has been doing all he can to reduce American military preparedness, Mr. Putin has been steadily rebuilding his forces.  In the face of Western hostility he is well positioned to turn the cold war hot.  What if he decided to invade one or all of the Baltic states, with withdrawal being conditional on an end to the cold war and a large sum of monetary assistance as reparations for the damage to Russia's economy?

The West could do nothing militarily.  The USAF would not dare to deploy the F35 in its present bungled state, leaving only the ageing F22 Raptor to face the startling performance of the latest Russian military aircraft.  So Russian air superiority in the Baltic would be established from the start.  American aviators would get as rude a shock as they did in WWII when encountering Japan's Mitsubishi Zero fighter.

And no Western military would have the stomach for a fight with Russia anyway.  All that the Western militaries are good for these days for is to take on moronic Middle-Easterners  -- and they have had little success even at that.  Ever since Vietnam, the American army has lost all its wars.  There have been some battlefield successes but no lasting victories. Iraq, for instance, is now arguably more hostile to the West overall than it was under Saddam.  There would surely be enough warning in that to preclude a hot war with Russia.  Russia could do to American forces what it did to Napoleon and Hitler.

And there are substantial Russian populations in the Baltic States so Mr Putin could well declare that he was on another rescue mission.  Russians would rally to the cause.  It would take a very large sum indeed to buy the withdrawal of Russian troops under  those circumstances.  Yet the West would feel obliged to rescue the heroic people of the Baltic states from a war brought on by Western folly -- so would pay the Danegeld.  Western taxpayers would feel the pain resulting from the folly of their leaders.  The world desperately needs a leader who is a man of peace at the moment.


Life isn't fair

This 4 year old has the sort of looks that most adult women could only dream of

But here's the challenging bit.  This girl will retain most of those looks into her early adulthood.

How do I know that?  Because her mother did.

Life isn't fair.  Wise people deal with that.  Foolish people whine about it


Regulations Have Consequences

The article below by Daniel Greenfield was written 5 years ago but it is an exceptionally clear  analysis of its subject

It is part of the basic theory of government that when the regulators try to regulate the regulated, the regulated will in turn try to control the terms of their regulation by attempting to influence the regulators. In other words, that which government controls, will try to control it. Because regulation is a two way street. By regulating people, countries and industries-- you are entering into a relationship with that which you regulate.

To rule over the unrepresented creates an unstable situation. And so the regulated will either attempt to indirectly or directly influence the regulators, overthrow them or escape their control. This too is an inevitable outgrowth of the basic theory of government, one which liberals tend to deliberately ignore when complaining about corporate lobbying. Corporate lobbying and donations to both parties are a direct product of the growth of government regulation, interference in industries, bailouts, grants and other forms of corporate welfare. The more government interacts positively or negatively with business, the more business lobbyists will try to influence how those interactions go.

There is of course one easy way to end most corporate influence on politics. But it is not one that the very people agitating against corporate money in politics will champion. That is because it requires them to give up power. Corporations are motivated to spend money in the hopes of either earning a profit or avoiding a loss. Spending money on lobbying would dry up if there were no profits or losses to be gained from doing so. But the very politicians who wail about corporate money, still expect those donations to keep coming in. And they continue exercising power over entire industries and fields, which naturally summon the companies dealing in them to try to shape how that power is exercised.

What has the expanding network of government regulations wrought? First, it has created a vast industry of lobbyists from companies who either want to avoid regulation or want to exploit regulation in order to benefit themselves or harm their competitors. Companies who want the government to pass along taxpayer money to them or create monopolies for their benefit. Companies who want government contracts for items that the government doesn't need or doesn't need to buy at that price, but will anyway because companies find it cheaper to donate to congressmen than compete fairly for the contract. All this is the result of a system in which government regulations have made it increasingly entangled with the very businesses that government is regulating.

Secondly, it has convinced many companies that it is simply easier to opt out, and move their manufacturing facilities out of the control. This has been a boon for China, but a disaster for America. The manufacturing sectors of America have become depressed, and perfect fodder for Democratic politicians to bring home the dole by taxing America's remaining businesses. But as Thatcher once reputedly said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." In America, if the process goes on, there will be two types of companies, government subsidized companies and companies that have relocated overseas. And America will finally have Europe's economy with everyone on the dole, including the companies themselves.

As government continues to press companies over overseas revenue, they will find it simpler to relocate their headquarters overseas. Some have already done it. This will deprive the system of another source of taxable revenue, which will only drive them to press down harder on the existing sources. Which will further accelerate the entire process. But the people behind it know exactly what they're doing.

The combination of regulation and taxation makes it gradually too expensive for companies to operate legitimately. That means the only possible way for them to continue operating is to either leave the country, or throw in with the system and get a grant to begin doing something absolutely useless. Under socialism, rent seeking behavior by a company is much safer than making a good product and selling it. And so the successful business strategy now relies on integrating business with government, to produce a socialist state, in which business is not simply regulated by government, but is an actual part of government.

Consider a system in which Cap and Trade can allow speculators hiding behind environmentalist credentials to rob existing companies of billions of dollars, and decimate entire industries-- through government regulation. Under such a system it makes no sense to own a factory. Instead it makes sense to visibly drive a Prius while flying a private jet around the country, talk about the shrinking icebergs while eating imported lobster, and lobbying for wealth redistribution from actual productive companies.

That is the socialist strategy. Not to destroy business. But to destroy legitimate and productive business. Business that does not rely on government for its moneymaking strategy. And in the end all that remains is a whitemarket economy that is tightly regulated, low priced, inaccessible and virtually useless for obtaining many basic products and services-- and a blackmarket economy that is unregulated, overpriced and where anything can be found. That doesn't just apply to the kind of health care system that the left would like to impose on America. That is the kind of system they want to impose comprehensively in every area of life, minus of course the blackmarket, which is of course an inevitable outgrowth of overregulation.

Regulation is inimical to economic diversity. The more you regulate a field, the less authentic economic diversity it can have, because economic diversity is a function of economic creativity and mobility. Regulation leads to central planning in the long run, and to a freeze on economic creativity in the short run. The more regulation you have, the less economic diversity remains and the economic ecosystem rewards only business strategies that are symbiotic or parasitic on government. Regulation steadily makes the government the key, and then eventually the only player in the marketplace, as it comes to control everything from manufacturing to the sale of the products all down the line.

The growing influence of corporate money on politics is not a sign of capitalism, but of socialism. Capitalism does not require buying politicians. Socialism does. And the influence of corporate money on politics parallels exactly the influence that politicians have on business. It is a two way street, and those that the regulators regulate will attempt to influence the regulators. The more this happens, the more it's a sign that there are too many regulations, not too few.

Regulators like to believe that they can absolutely control human behavior. But human beings respond in unexpected ways. And one of those ways is that they will strive to escape or seek to control, those who would control them. Democracy is the outgrowth of the practical recognition that the rule of the people is also the best way to maintain a civil and working society. It avoids the power struggle between the government and the governed. By trying to rule without representation, the power struggle resumes. Because regulations have consequences. And the first consequence of regulation is that those you rule over, will try to rule over you.

Via Rich Kozlovich


AG Nominee Lynch's Claim Illegals Have 'Right' to Work in U.S. 'Just Absolutely Crazy'

Speaking about Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s statement that illegal aliens have the “right to work” in the United States, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said he was “astounded” by Lynch’s comments, calling them “crazy” and “just not true.” asked Vitter, “Do illegal aliens have the right to work in the United States?”

“No, they do not, and more importantly, the law is very clear on the fact that they do not have the right to work in the United States,” Vitter answered.

“Ms. Lynch basically said illegal aliens have the same right to work in the United States as citizens and green card holders, which is just absolutely crazy and just not true. The law is very clear on that. And for her to say that is just…I was absolutely astounded.”

During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lynch asserted that illegal aliens living in the United States shared the same right to work as U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) asked Lynch during the hearing, “Who has more right to a job in this country" – citizens and legal permanent residents or illegal aliens?

“I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that's shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here,” Lynch responded. asked Vitter, “Do you believe Ms. Lynch’s comments reflect what the president believes about illegal aliens in the United States?”

“Absolutely, Ms. Lynch’s comments obviously reflect the president’s stance on immigration, and it’s clear she supports his position on it,” he responded.

“It’s a deciding factor for me,” Vitter continued. “I said weeks ago that I would vote against Ms. Lynch being confirmed as attorney general, specifically because of this issue. The fact that she would say something that is so contrary to U.S. law tells me she should not be the next attorney general.”

Vitter also said he was not surprised Lynch’s support for illegal aliens’ “right to work” in the United States did not get much airtime in the mainstream media last week.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Vitter explained, adding that “the mainstream media has a history of not covering things or reporting things that are critical of the president’s agenda, and clearly it’s no different with this issue.”



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1 comment:

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