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The Fifth Republic

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After reading this article, A French Revolution in Iraq?, I begin to understand how incredibly klutzy the French are.

France began its own path toward democracy by explicitly rejecting this [Anglo-American] view. Unlike the American Founding or England’s Glorious Revolution, the French experience exulted in humanistic ideals about man’s potential. The immediate result was the orgy of the guillotine, followed by a cynical regard for religious values and institutions. “We will strangle the last king,” cried the revolutionaries, “with the guts of the last priest.”

France is currently working on its fifth incarnation of a republic since the end of the Napoleonic era. We are still on our first. The Articles of Confederation don’t count because there was no revolution to bring about the Constitution. The Articles were not doing the job, and so were refined into the Constitution we follow today.

The French claim that we are the naive ones, but it is the French that are naive. They believe that they can stab us in the back and be friends again instantly. They believe that once the process of democracy in Iraq is started, it can stand and survive on its own. Both of these views are wrong on so many levels that it isn’t funny, it’s sad. To see a country that was once a superpower, now collapsing due to its own selfishness and indifference is disheartening.

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Humanism Education

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We’ve been over this subject before. Compassion-Based Schools Teach Kids ‘Untrue Drivel,’ Critic Charges.

Of course it’s centered in that great Liberal stronghold of San Francisco. Unabashedly teaching unsubstantiated left-wing psychobabble to children and passing it off as “humane education” makes me want to pull out what little hair I have left.

“They are going to be teaching alarmism, which inherently means filling their heads with untrue drivel designed to breed a new generation of modernity-loathing robots,” Horner added.

This couldn’t be more of a brain-washing indoctrination if it was being done in China or South Korea. I understand that these people must exist (how can you have good without bad?), but it’s the influence that they have on our young that enrages me.

Fight this wherever you see it. Please.

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At no time will my fingers leave my hands

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The title comes from a line some magicians use for a laugh before they pull off a big illusion.

I got a chuckle out of this headline, Secondhand Smoke Scam. I have a clear bias against smoking, both my parents and sister smoked. I remember sticking my nose into my shirt every time my parents lit up while we were in the car, yelling at them to crack the windows.

But this falls into the misdirection category, where you pick a lay audience to announce your findings, then refuse to release your data to peers for critical review. You do this to maximize your “findings” while tap-dancing as fast as you can to fool the very people who can shed light on what you want to keep secret.

Rabid environmentalists have done this for years. They either make up stuff out of blue smoke and mirrors, or they take one little fact and bend it way out of context. In either case, they start screaming it at the top of their lungs, hoping for it to ripple outwards and get into the national consciousness before they are found out. When the real facts emerge, they are downplayed to the point of invisibility.

Almost every liberal group with an agenda have done this at one time or another. Which is why I am very cynical in regards to any flashy “findings.”

Color me not impressed with this “study.”

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The Homeless

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Until I landed in my apartment, stable on my medication, I was homeless off and on for three years. There were the big blowups that got me into the hospital, but there were lots of smaller blowups that resulted in me grabbing my backpack and walking out of the house for three days to a week. I’ve slept under bridges, in doorways, in missions and libraries, in summer and winter. It was an experience that you should do your best to avoid at all costs.

Telling The Truth on the ‘Homeless’ talks about the underpinning causes of homelessness. You can’t solve the problem with the Liberal solution, which is to just give housing to the homeless. You need to treat the problem of why these people are homeless. The right thing for the wrong reasons and all that. Normally doctors treat the symptoms to cure the disease, but in this case that doesn’t solve the problem. You have to have a patient who is willing to address the problems as to why they are homeless, or confine them to long-term care facilities where they get the treatment if they like it or not. But that money and facilities simply do not exist. Psychiatric facilities are there to treat acute problems, not the long care stuff.

Because I had a family that was dependent on my disability money, there was nothing left over for me to use for the long-term care that I really needed, such as a care home or my own place to live like I have now. It took the fortuitous break of getting a job where I could support myself and walk to work.

While my family and I still have a long way to go, my relationship with my family is at it’s best since I became sick.

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Gun rights and personal responsibility

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You do have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, don’t you? How about in your car? Garage? If you do, then you’re my kind of person. You’re careful and thoughtful, keeping well aware of realistically possible emergencies.

Do you have a crime extinguisher? You know, a firearm. Are you familiar with its operation? Do you take it to the range often to keep yourself familiar with it? (you can also have fun with it at the same time) Do you get to carry it with you where ever you go? Gun Rights Advocates Take Aim at Concealed Carry Bans talks about the fight in the last holdout states that do not let law-abiding citizens carry concealed firearms.

Guns prevent crime. Gary Kleck did a careful study to prove that gun control works, and found out the exact opposite. Lawful defensive use of firearms results in the prevention of 2,500,000 crimes a year. In 97% of those incidents, all it takes is for the citizen to show the weapon and the criminals run away. Only in 1/2 of 1% is somebody actually shot or killed, and of course those are the only incidents that make the news.

Back in the 90’s, Florida (a concealed weapon state) had a rather serious crime wave in rapes. The police took action and the headlines sum it all up, “POLICE GIVE GUNS, TRAINING TO RAPE VICTIMS.” Don’t you know, the bottom fell out of that particular crime wave.

It has been documented in state after state that when the citizens are allowed to lawfully carry weapons, the crime rate goes down. When the criminals know the victims have a fair chance to shoot back, they change their habits.

I myself used to have a carry permit. I had a lot of self-imposed restrictions. I couldn’t yell at anybody, no matter how idiotic they were. I was very careful as to where I went. My family could not stand on my gun side. I was always alert to my surroundings. I trained constantly, and at my peak I could draw from cover and put two rounds in the center of a target up to 25 feet away in under 3/4 of a second, well under a defensive reaction time. But it was all worth it.

You can never know when violent crime will strike you and your family. All you can do is be prepared for it when it does happen. Are you ready for it?

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Government on a Commission Basis

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This article, Child Welfare System Must Grow Up, shows what happens when a governmental agency is paid on a commission basis.

The incentive here is 180 degrees out of what it should be. Yes, there is a need to sometimes got a child out of a hostile environment, but it is also important to reunite the child with the parent(s) after the problem has been solved. If the problem can’t be solved, you need to transition the child into an adopting household as quickly as possible. Leaving a child in a ‘temporary’ situation for years does terrible damage, but when the governmental agency gets paid for how many kids are in foster care, that is exactly what happens.

The human cost of rushing children into foster care does not stop when they reach 18 years old. According to CDDS data, among youths who “emancipate” from foster care, 50 percent do not complete high school; 45 percent are unemployed; 33 percent are arrested; 30 percent are on welfare; 25 percent are homeless.

These are statistics that do not need to happen. Get the foster care system away from a commission basis today.

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The Importance of Research

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I have been dealing with some rather personal issues over the past multiple months. Being depressed, I never thought about it much, thinking it was just a by-product of the depression. Well, after my appointment with my Medication nurse, I spent some time with my family. I mentioned my problems with my wife again, and she went to my computer and looked up the side-effects of my medications. Sure enough, all of my issues were the uncommon side-effects of one of my medications.

The medication in question is a ‘last-resort’ medication, the one to go to when everything else has failed. This has given me pause, and now I will spend the next month thinking about the subject on whether or not to change this medication. I will be bouncing this off my Case Manager. While these side-effects are seriously impacting the quality of my life, I worry about the impact of a bullet with my brain even more. Decisions, decisions.

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Good Vs. Evil

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First, a reading assignment: This Perfect Day by Ira Levin.

I picked this one over Brave New World, THX 1138 and 1984 because if it’s idyllic perfectness. In your reading assignment, you have truly a perfect world. Everyone is equal, no Alphas, Betas, Deltas and Gammas, and there is no war like in 1984.

This Perfect Day describes a Tranzi’s idea of heaven. The world is one big Family. The Benevolent UniComp takes care of everyone, from picking a nameber (Name/serial number, like Mark GH5178392), to deciding where you live and what you do. ‘F*ck’ is an acceptable word, but ‘hate’ is used as a swear word. You eat cakes and Cokes every day. The price is total conformity. Any deviant behavior gets you grabbed and taken to a medical facility where the ‘sick’ person is ‘helped.’ You are constantly pumped full of psychotropic drugs to keep you happy.

The standing question is, can good things happen in such a world? I mean the bad things were eliminated, like war, crime, poverty, intolerance and hate. Does this mean that only the good things were left? And what else was given up? Individuality, self-determination, worship of God, freedom and the like. Are these good things?

In Oh, God! Book II, the little girl that God picked to be His messenger asked God, “Why do bad things happen to people?”

(I’m paraphrasing here, I don’t remember the exact conversation)
God replied, “Have you ever seen a top without a bottom?”
“Nope,” said the little girl.
“How about a left without a right?”
“Nope.”
“An up without a down?”
“Never.”
“Then,” Said God, “how can you have good without bad? You tell what the good things are by comparing them to the bad things. If you have nothing to compare good to, is it really good?”

I believe the single thing that makes America great is the freedom to choose bad over good. That doesn’t mean I’m soft on crime or whatever. I firmly believe there should be serious, negative consequences for doing bad things, just like there are serious positive consequences for doing good. It is this very action/consequence cycle that should propel us towards good, but doesn’t always do so.

Just look at the rest of the world. Nowhere else is anybody able to have as much freedom and power as the American people. Nowhere else do you see people who work harder, produce more, are more innovative and play harder than America as well. We are the people who invented the light bulb, powered flight, the computer and landed on the moon.

Good and bad are on a bell curve. Every time you take a serious piece out of doing bad, you lose some of your greatness in the process. I am quite sure we could take a serious bite out of the drug trade by executing dealers on the spot. But what would that cost us in the long run? What freedoms would we lose in order to allow such an action? And what are the long term effects of the loss of such freedoms? Not developing some important piece of technology? How about not saving someone’s life?

The consequences of ‘getting rid of bad’ at any cost are myriad and uncomprehendingly complex. It’s like in the 1978 series Connections James Burke starts off with a touchstone. He then draws a line from innovation to innovation, one invention or idea building on the last one until he arrived at the atomic bomb. There is just no way to determine what the long-term consequences will be to our actions if we are not very careful.

It’s like the Treaty of Versailles. The conditions of the treaty on Germany made World War II inevitable, but at the time they thought they were making sure war wouldn’t happen again. Irony can be pretty ironic.

Which brings me back around to my old Conservative idea of doing the right thing for the right reasons. This is not an easy task, let me tell you. You can do the right thing for the wrong reasons pretty easily, getting positive short-term results. But then something will come back and bite you in the rear later over it and it will leave you wondering, “What did I do to deserve this?” All must be in positive alignment, action, motivation and intent, to obtain a long-term positive outcome. Remember this always and you will do much good in this world.

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Let’s not do that again

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Wow. That ‘something’ to help me with the insomnia laid me out like a sledgehammer to the forehead this morning. I made it to work, but I was in no condition to drive. I came back to the apartment and I didn’t get up until 2pm. I’m still pretty laid out but feeling better.

I’m slowly looking over the news, and working on an essay or two. Later.

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My apologies

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After getting a bad start on the day, I had to do some shopping, go to a medication appointment and spent a good chunk on family time. Thus, no posting for today. But I do promise some light posting in the morning (I got something that should help with the insomnia) and substantial posting Tuesday night. All my shows are set to record so there’s no stopping me tomorrow.

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So late it’s early

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I think the main reason I haven’t been running at my best over the past few days is because I’m suffering through a rather nasty case of insomnia. I have been trying to go to sleep since 10:30 and that just means I’ve been laying in bed for the past 3 hours and 45 minutes with nothing but my racing thoughts.

Oh, well, back to try again. Maybe I’ll fall asleep in the next hour or so.

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3.25/2.75

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Following links from USS Clueless again, I happened across the Pournelle Political Axes, a 2D X/Y scale to reflect political leanings. A very thoughtful read. I have a couple of Ayn Rand e-books that I’ve been meaning to read, now that I see where she lies on the scale, it might be a waste of my time to do so.

My only disagreement was the Editor’s analysis of Reagan as a 4/2 is a little too far. 4/2.5 perhaps, but no lower. He also lists President Bush at 3/3. I would put him more on a 3.5/3.25, his leanings into Social Engineering with the Medicare prescription plan and such puts him over the edge. Otherwise Bush would be a 3.5/2.75.

Where are you?

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Caught in the act

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It seems that the L.A. Times has enraged a significant portion of its readership. This article, Readers Keep Fleeing Biased L.A. Times plainly proves that there is immense bias in the paper, both in editorializing and in the straight reporting.

[Times editor John] Carroll continues to duck the issue of another outrageous example of the paper’s hypocrisy: burying and censoring news of Bill Clinton the rapist while trumpeting claims of Schwarzenegger the fondler.

The Times has already admitted that they’ve lost 1,000 subscriptions, and they are admitting losing additional uncounted subscriptions. Add to that sales from vendors and other places where you buy it on the street, they could be looking at a significant loss of readership.

Now all that is needed is a concerted letter campaign against the businesses that advertise in the Times. Loss of advertising revenue together with loss of readership will definitely put the hurt on them.

These people are flagrant Liberals. They are doing their best to tell you what you should be thinking, because to them you’re not smart enough to know what to think about anything. When they want you to have an opinion, they’ll tell you what your opinion should be!

Me? I offer things, show you the evidence and offer my own insightful commentary. I find articles that you won’t find in your local paper. After I present these things to you, I let you draw your own conclusions. I think you are smart enough to decide that either I’m on to something or that I’m full of BS. Your decision, not mine, and definitely not the Times.

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Something is Fishy

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I lost the link, but there is a story related to Valerie Plame Outed as CIA Agent Long Before Novak Column.

NewsMax released a story just a couple of days ago about how the husband, Joseph Wilson, was going to release his memoirs. The review of the subject matter was ‘underwhelming’ according to the article I saw.

I think that Mr. Wilson has some ulterior motives, because he is howling way out of proportion as to any real damage that was done to him or his wife. He is spearheading an assault on President Bush and his administration. With the book deal, is seems to be trying to grab some of the glory for himself.

A classic example of doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. He should quit while he’s behind.

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Problems on the Right, too

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This just goes to prove that the Conservative movement has it’s loony fringe elements as well. State Dept. Outraged at Robertson Nuke Comment proves to me that there is little difference between Pat Robertson and Osama Bin Laden.

“I read your book,” Robertson told Mowbray. “When you get through, you say, ‘If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom [State Department headquarters], I think that’s the answer’ and you say, ‘We’ve got to blow that thing up.’ I mean, is it as bad as you say?”

The American way is to plain old fire them, kick them out of their jobs. They are allowed to have their own thoughts on things, but when it comes work time, they are to toe the company line. I think the State Department sees the wiggle room President Bush gives Colin Powell and tries for some of their own.

I believe that if President Bush wins re-election, Powell won’t be part of the team anymore and a lot of the Senior State Department people who aren’t toeing the line will be asked to go with him. The President needs to clean the State Department house, the sooner the better.

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