Chaos Manor View, Friday, July 15, 2016
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
The news has been depressing. The failed coup – the media is now calling it the Keystone Coup – in Turkey spells the end of the separation of mosque and state that Ataturk founded. The Army was specifically commanded to insure that separation, and several times came out of barracks to dismiss a government that abridged it. This was unique in that once the government adjudged to be trying to install an Islamic Republic was gone, hew and very free – at least by Middle East standards – elections were held. Over the past few years, Erdogan has been able to purge the Turkish Army of officers loyal to the oath of brotherhood that Ataturk left as his legacy; and now with this coup attempt he has all the excuses he needs to eliminate the rest and appoint others to command. Turkey will now become an Islamic Republic, relying on plebiscite and “democracy” to establish Sharia law.
Given the secularization of much of the Turkish upper middle class, this will take time, and the economic effect on Turkey’s thriving tourist industry will be large, but it is inevitable. The Turkish relations with Israel, at one time friendly and already greatly deteriorated under Erdogan, will continue to go downhill.
The US will soon be required to choose between our Turkish “allies” – the treaties are still in force although one suspects that Erdogan will repudiate them soon enough – and the Kurds, who are our only real friends in Iraq, but who have close attachments with the Kurds in Iran and in Turkey. Turkey is already in a state of counterinsurgency with some Kurdish elements in Turkey. That will not likely diminish.
The Framers of the US Constitution universally had rejected “democracy” at the Federal level, and discouraged it in the States. In the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, the US Constitution left most government activities to the States; when I was growing up the most visible sign (other than the war) that there was a national government was the presence of the County Agent of the Department of Agriculture, who encouraged (but had no power to enforce) contour plowing and various other gulley elimination processes, and distributed many government printed handbooks on better farming methods. Newspapers had stories about Federal Agents and bank robbers and other public enemies, but I knew no one who had ever had much contact with the feds: “Don’t make a federal case out if it” was a common expression, as federal cases were Big Deals – and quite rare. That was during the Depression, and during the War there were more signs of Federal activity, but it wasn’t until the Great Society with explicit redistribution of wealth (“take it away from the haves who don’t need it much and give it to the have-nots who need it so much” , Lyndon Johnson once said).
And with the establishment of Federal Aid to Education (you can build 5 schoolhouses for what a B-52 costs) and then the Department of Education, a bureaucracy was created which can exist only so long as the schools are bad. It of course keeps growing, but somehow the schools are worse than they were before it was founded. And getting worse. If they ever got good, the bureaucracy would not have jobs. Oddly enough, that bureaucracy grows every year, as the schools get worse. We now teach college juniors things I learned in high school. That t seems acceptable to the Department of Education.
Enough. I have work to do, and so do you. Wallowing in depressive news doesn’t help. We’ll get back to something constructive.
We’ve had some problems. The back street wall has been falling for forty years, and finally made it.
It has to be dealt with. I’ll have more later.
I got one of the first iPads about the time I got brain cancer. Apple advertised that “You already know how to use it”. And they were right. I got a lot of good out of that iPad. I got out of the habit of carrying and using it, and haven’t even turned it on since the stroke; but I keep remembering that I liked it, and I miss having something easy to use at the breakfast table when I want to make notes or often look something up. The iPhone does a passable job as a portable computer, but not so much for a stroke victim; I’m just too sloppy a typist to be very comfortable with it.
I’ve been using the Surface Pro for that job, but it gets increasingly complex to use – they offer enhancements and improvements that I don’t need and which confuse me in the morning – and I kept longing for the easy to use companion I had in the iPad. So, Saturday, I went out and got the latest iPad, and this morning I tried it.
I will probably go back to the Surface. I don’t already know how to use the new iPad. I don’t even know how to close a window I don’t want, other than pushing the one button it has to get back to starting over. The pencil, which works very well, has no place to store it although I’ll look for an accessory I can glue on, and the pencil comes with a small cap which I will almost certainly lose; I’ve already misplace it twice, and I don’t need one more damn thing to worry about.
I’ll still keep trying because I remember how much I liked the old iPad; but of the new iPad cannot truthfully say “you already know how to use it”, and so far I have found no great benefits over the Surface Pro. I’ll carry either the iPad or the Surface or both to WorldCom this year, and so far the Surface alone is the decided favorite. I’m open to suggestions.
It took me an hour to install the Wall Street Journal app this morning. The App Store kept popping up suggestions for software I don’t need, and I don’t know how to close those popup window except to push the button and start over. So it goes.
Volume VI is now out! Seven down, two to go.
THERE WILL BE WAR is a landmark science fiction anthology series that combines top-notch military science fiction with factual essays by various generals and military experts on everything from High Frontier and the Strategic Defense Initiative to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. It featured some of the greatest military science fiction ever published, such Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” in Volume I, Joel Rosenberg’s “Cincinnatus” in Volume II, and Arthur C. Clarke’s “Hide and Seek” in Volume III . Many science fiction greats were featured in the original nine-volume series, which ran from 1982 to 1990, including Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dickson, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, Gregory Benford, Robert Silverberg, Harry Turtledove, and Ben Bova.
THERE WILL BE WAR Volume VI is edited by Jerry Pournelle and features 25 stories, articles, and poems. Of particular note are “Battleground” by Gregory and James Benford, “The Eyes of Argos” by Harry Turtledove, “The Highest Treason” by Randall Garrett, “Crown of Thorns” by Edward P. Hughes, and “See Now, a Pilgrim” by Gordon Dickson.
Last week America suffered the loss of Sydney Schanberg, widely regarded as one of the greatest journalists of his generation. Yet as I’d previously noted, when I read his long and glowing obituary in the New York Times, I was shocked to see that it included not a single word concerning the greatest story of his career, which had been the primary focus of the last quarter century of his research and writing.
The cynical abandonment of hundreds of American POWs at the end of the Vietnam War must surely rank as one of the most monumental scandals of modern times, and the determined effort of the mainstream media to maintain this enormous governmental cover-up for over four decades raises serious doubts about whether we can believe what our newspapers report about anything else.
A couple of mainstream academics, one liberal and one conservative, whose names would be recognized as those of prominent public intellectuals, dropped me notes strongly applauding my effort to reopen the POW controversy and help get the truth out at last. [snip]
It is long past time to open the shameful story of Americans abandoned for reason of state: I am not sure what happened, but we ought to know.
Death of a Nation?
It is not, I think, the death of a nation, but it is a good summary of the history of the situation, and some insight into the present. it cannot be ignored.
Nukes in Europe — New Yorker story link
As usual, I know many of the statements of “fact” in this article are flat wrong, but consider it worth reading just for a description of the issues. I think it does, sort of, state some of the vulnerabilities that I have concerns about — before the author goes off into the weeds of ignorant opinion. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-h-bombs-in-turkey
This probably falls under the headings of breaking news and of “I told you so…”, the latter for which I don’t feel any personal satisfaction. Link only: http://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-arrests-incirlik-air-base-commander-1468760920
I’ve been advocating for some time that responsible guardianship of U.S. military assets requires withdrawal from Turkey, and ultimately from NATO. I once wrote about this in an e-mail to you. This is one of the kinds of events I feared might happen.
It may be likely that this particular problem will be cleared up quickly. I only have slight hope at this point.
I am well out of the loop, but as you say, some of it is flat wrong; but it does raise some issues that need consideration by the incoming President, whomever that may be.
What Really Died At Auschwitz?
Here’s an interesting viewpoint. The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Velar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper. It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe and here at home, and for that matter, to the rest of the world.
Entrance to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp which operated 4 gas chambers where 6,000 people were put to death each day by the Nazi regime.
What Really Died At Auschwitz?
by Sebastian Velar Rodriguez
I walked down the streets in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of these people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it.
It is now approximately seventy years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Christians, and nineteen-hundred Catholic priests who were murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated. Now, more than ever, with Iran among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ because it offends some Muslim in the United States? If our Judeo-Christian heritage is offensive to Muslims, they should pack up and move to some Muslim country and stop turning America into another third-world slum like that from which they came!
We need to think carefully about where we go next
I just read the following article on the Fox News site –
The title sounds a bit mellow-dramatic… until you read the article. The pick quote sums it up: “No longer can the patrolman simply worry about the reported crime itself but rather he or she must approach these events as though they are potentially walking into the next Dallas or Baton Rouge.”
The rule of law that became the hallmark of our culture is based upon the idea that everyone in the culture agrees to its rules. We hire police forces to deal with the minuscule few who choose to live in the culture but not to obey those rules. When the few who refuse the rules are no longer a near insignificant percentage of the population, the rule of law begins to fail.
The advent of high technology has given us powers beyond our ancestor’s dreams. It has also made the percentage necessary to bring about the downfall of a civilization dramatically smaller. When these vastly empowered malcontents turn on the people charged with keeping the rules in place, the concept of “to protect and to serve” looses its meaning in the resulting avalanche of violence.
In spite of all the hand-wringing over the militarization of our police equipment inventories, the police are neither trained nor equipped to deal with daily armed combat. That was never intended as part of their role in society. There is however a group that is trained and equipped for just this situation. It is called an army and its members soldiers.
Armies fight wars… it is the reason for their existence. A soldier is trained intensively to cease thinking in the terms of a civilian living in a community and to start acting as a warrior who follows orders to kill people and break things. Armed combat is what they train for and what they are best at. It is, simply, what they do.
It looks to me like our opportunity to live in communities protected by policemen and women who serve as our guardians against a malevolent few is slipping away. It will likely be replaced with order enforced by soldiers who are governed by very different priorities.
Before we go there, we all need to think long and hard about what that change will mean and how drastically our daily lives will be altered by it.
We are still owned by the “Too big to fail Banks” and if you are an exec at one you cannot be prosecuted.
Have you ever wondered why the crippling 2008 financial crisis generated almost no criminal prosecutions of large banks and their top executives?
Then take a moment to read the congressional report issued on July 11 titled “Too Big to Jail.” Citing internal documents that the United States Treasury took three years to produce, the report shows how regulators and prosecutors turned a potential criminal prosecution of a large global bank — HSBC — into a watered-down settlement that insulated its executives and failed to take into account the full scope of the bank’s violations.
Another modification involved penalties to be exacted from executives if HSBC failed to live up to compliance requirements.
While initial terms called for voiding the entire year’s bonus compensation at the bank if it did not meet compliance hurdles, the final deferred prosecution agreement said only that a failure could potentially void the bonuses. This revision, the report said, “apparently leaves open the possibility for executives to get their bonuses, despite failing to meet compliance standards.”
Must be nice. Seems to me that we need to convert really big banks into a multiple moderately sized ones.
Subj: Everything you need to know is on the Internet, eh?
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.