Saturday, January 28, 2006 

A Gold Watch for Hitler

Before
After

I think it has been pretty firmly established that Hitler was a pretty rotten guy. After all, we've been badmouthing him since the 1930s, the 1920s for some of our older folks. As a matter of a fact, he's been dead for 60 years and we just can't shut up talking about him, even though his government has been defunct and unable to implement policy for all that time.

I once read some sage who stated that a problem of modern society is that old Adolf was evil made flesh and that with his death Hitlerian evil was effectively banished from the Earth. That's not true. Adolf wasn't the first "Hitler" and he wasn't the last. Compared to gems like Pol Pot, Hitler's percentage of his own population wiped out makes him look like a piker.

I, for one, am getting sick of Hitler references when there is so much fresh evil in the world. How refreshing would it be if the next time someone who couldn't refute one of your arguments called you a "damn mullah" instead of a "damn Nazi". I've even heard on some Internet forums they have a Hitler Rule that says whenever someone compares someone else to Hitler or calls him a Nazi, the discussion thread is considered officially dead.

So, I say we give Adolf and his Scary Men a metaphorical gold watch and move on to current and fresher hells. A wonderfully descriptive term has been coined for our most worrisome enemies: Islamofascists. Never has a new term captured its target concept so well. Naturally, the Left (big fans of the Hitler/Nazi analogy) objects to the term. I think it's illustrative to review what Fascism is. My dictionary defines it as:

A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.


If one substitutes the term religion for the phrase nation and often race, you will find a description that sounds creepily familiar. I have read of Islamic clerics that state explicitly that (paraphrasing) "Church IS the State." This is a political philosophy, movement, or regime that has been known to execute women for wearing make up.

Political Correctness be damned. It isn't a sin to know who the Bogie Man is.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 

Public Education Must Die! #3

Reason Online has an intriguing article by John Stossel on American education. He discusses an ABC Special Report that he has done entitled "Stupid in America", which was to air Friday. Unfortunately, I was distracted by family matters and forgot to watch. Still, I think the article was informative enough.

As I'm sure that I've mentioned at some point, I'm a recovering public school teacher myself. A career that I committed myself to in a moment of altruistic weakness. I know, it's a horrible thing for a individualistic, scientific, capitalistic, Objectivist, Age of Reason-loving man to do to himself. But after years of meeting and dealing with working teachers I began to feel a calling.

I realized that many of those kids probably went days at a time without hearing a rational voice, or without having their spirits and rational yearning crushed, either by the teachers themselves of the pack animal-like mentality of their fellow students. I decided that I could make my contribution in that way.

Unfortunately, this was not to be so. When I started out I figured the easiest way to be a good teacher would be not to do all the stupid things my teachers did while I was growing up. All this accomplished was a greater appreciation of what my favorite teachers went through. It seems that half the stupid stuff my teachers said or did was district policy, the other half was state law. Maybe this is why administrators view innovation as equaling insurrection.

So we Americans pay more for education than any other nation on Earth and then get the following from Stossel's article:

...we gave identical tests to high school students in New Jersey and in Belgium. The Belgian kids cleaned the American kids' clocks. The Belgian kids called the American students "stupid."

We didn't pick smart kids to test in Europe and dumb kids in the United States. The American students attend an above-average school in New Jersey, and New Jersey's kids have test scores that are above average for America.

The American boy who got the highest score told me: "I'm shocked, 'cause it just shows how advanced they are compared to us."
We start off with a reminder of a peculiarly American phenomenon. The more time American kids spend in school the less they seem to know.

At age ten, American students take an international test and score well above the international average. But by age fifteen, when students from forty countries are tested, the Americans place twenty-fifth. The longer kids stay in American schools, the worse they do in international competition. They do worse than kids from countries that spend much less money on education.

This is a similar phenomenon to the one that Michael Barone wrote about in "Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future". It famously asked how a nation that produces so many spectacularly incompetent 18 year-olds can simultaneously produce so many extraordinarily competent 30 year-olds. In a nutshell, Soft American coddles them until they are 18 or so, then dumps them unprepared into the clutches of Hard America which rapidly separates the wheat from the chaff. A civilian baptism of fire if you will.

I find it interesting that Barone chose those two ages to compare. They are 12 years apart; the same amount of time it takes to earn a high school diploma. One might say that students spend 12 years getting their diploma and 12 years getting over getting it.

I have personal experience with this. I was fortunate (unfortunate?) to be smart enough to skate through public school. I could learn by "osmosis" as some people say, or as I liked to call it, the sit and "soak method". Except for math, I could passively absorb enough information to pass my tests. I was the kind of student who got an A on almost every test, but a zero on almost every homework assignment because I rarely turn any in. It usually averaged out to a C and I could keep concentrating on "important" things, usually the bosom on the girl sitting next to me.
Going to college was almost as easy--at first. My coursework as an underclassman was pretty breezy too. Then I hit my upper division classes and found myself losing the battle against organic chemistry. I completely lacked the self-discipline necessary to tackle that course. Up until that time I had considered having to study 2 or 3 hours a week to be an outrageous burden. Nowadays, when I'm taking classes, I feel guilty if I don't study 2 or 3 hours a day

Stossel's article puts the blame on a cause familiar to card-carrying capitalists the world over:

This should come as no surprise once you remember that public education in the USA is a government monopoly. Don't like your public school? Tough. The school is terrible? Tough. Your taxes fund that school regardless of whether it's good or bad. That's why government monopolies routinely fail their customers. Union-dominated monopolies are even worse.


I feel a multi-part series coming on.

Friday, January 13, 2006 

The Enlightenment Oracle Speaks #7


If you think this one was bad, wait until the next confirmation hearing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 

Kissing Saudi Feet

⇐British Midland International management training session.

Just about the time I think our more thick-headed fellow Westerners are beginning to get it, I read this painful report at WordNetDaily. It seems that a British airline by the name of British Midland International, Inc., makes flights to Saudi Arabia, and has imposed a new dress and conduct code to avoid offending any Saudis. Nothing to worry about, just more dumping on your own citizens rights to appease the whims of tyrants.

The flight crews are no longer allowed to bring Bibles along, nor can they wear religious jewelry, including crosses. Female employees are required to walk two steps behind male employees, and (my personal favorite)Teddy bears are banned. This kind of Dhimmi boot-licking is just exactly the opposite of the message we should be sending. I get so frustrated with all of the "invertebrates", both here and abroad.

It's getting to the point where the minions of the Liberal/Wimp Axis need to get a spine even if we have to shove one up their asses ourselves.

Monday, January 09, 2006 

Teddy Kennedy--Author

A common road sign in Massachusetts

I read a post on Malkin's blog that Ted Kennedy has branched out into children's literature. I can't help but find that entirely appropriate. We can't expect Kennedy's 3 remaining brain cells to crank out Age of Reason now can we?

We can hope, however, that if he is successful he might retire from the Senate. I mean have his body retire too, not just his mind. To that end I would like to suggest a few titles of possible follow-on books to his "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C.":

  1. What to Do When Daddy Takes the Training Wheels Off of the Oldsmobile
  2. Crackle, Crackle, Sizzle, Pop. Oh No! It's My Liver, Make It Stop!
  3. Dead Girls Tell No Wives
  4. Only Sissies Read Bills Before They Sign Them
  5. Hangover Remedies for Preschoolers
  6. The Joy of Action-Figure Sex (with Alex Comfort)
  7. One Hundred and One Things You Can Do With Vodka
  8. Self-esteem When You're Not Important Enough to Assassinate
  9. The Fine Art of Erotic Teeter-Totter (with Alex Comfort)
  10. How to Make a Wet Bar Out of Dry Sand
  11. The Book of Simulating Virtues
  12. Robbing the Honor Bar for Little Fingers
  13. Bagging Bikini Babes for Beer Bellies
  14. One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor!
  15. The Tao of Liquor
  16. Skipping Through the 12 Steps

Saturday, January 07, 2006 

Tragedy in West Virginia

I originally opted not to comment of the recent mining disaster in West Virginia, not because I didn't care, but I thought others would probably analyze it to death, which is rapidly turning out to be the case. I've changed my mind, however,

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I was a miner myself, spending six years of my life underground. I didn't work in a coal mine, thank God, but I did work in an underground potash mine near Carlsbad, NM, my hometown. It was called, reasonably enough, the Potash Company of America, but now we call it extinct.

I was fortunate enough to work in what are among the safest and cleanest underground mines that exist, though they did have their dangers and I had a couple of close calls. I really don't think that people who have never worked, or at least been, in a mine can truly appreciate what it's like. It's dark, of course, and dirty, but it is ungodly loud when the machinery is running. Speaking of the machinery, most of it is constantly looking for an opportunity to rip off an arm or a leg, or at least burn the hell out of you. Old timers, those guys with only 7 or 8 fingers, are often so deaf you have to practically scream at them to make yourself understood.

Then, of course, there is the cave-in, the danger that everyone knows about. Where I worked we didn't have cave-ins per se. We had "Falls". Unlike other mines where loose material pours in upon you, what was over our heads either didn't fall, or it came down as one solid piece, sometimes 2 or 3 feet thick and 30 or 40 feet wide and dozens or sometimes hundreds of feet long. A particularly large fall, in addition to the loud noise,would produce a wind that would blow past you. If it was close enough, your ears might even pop.

Even under the best of conditions, it still sucked most of the time. I worked in what is sometimes called a "stoop mine". That means the "roof" is so low that you can't stand up. On a lucky day I got to work in an area 60" high, or an unlucky day I worked someplace 48" high or lower. In those places, you're stooped uncomfortably for the whole shift and the mining machine itself can barely squeeze through. I found it to be a disturbingly surreal environment. That's why miners make good money, and most deserve more.

I started working as a miner at the age of 19 and quit when I was 25. It was the best money I could make with a high school diploma. Now, I'm 45 years-old with a double degree and even some grad school behind me and I realize that I've never equaled the pay I got 20 years ago. Just something to think about because, as a man once said to me, "If you can't grow it, you have to mine it.

Prayers for the families in WV.

 

My Pony Car Comes Galloping Back To Me

Sometimes it does pay to get out of the bed in the morning. Sometimes good things do come to those who waited. Sometimes you do the "My Name Is Earl" things and sweet karma blows you a kiss. It looks as if all that is happening to me. An unachieved goal from my wicked and ill-spent youth may finally be achievable. My favorite car of all time is coming back after an absence of 34 years.

Chrysler Corporation (I don't recognize the dreaded and evil merger with the even more dreaded and evil Daimler-Benz) has built a retro-style prototype based on the 1970-1974 Dodge Challenger, much like Ford went back to the basics on their new Mustangs. The car is to have 2 doors (like God intended), rear-wheel drive (like God intended), and a ridiculously large Hemi V-8 (like God and the Devil both intended).

My only concern is that they'll screw us like they did with the new Charger just recently. The prototype for it was of the same vein. Retro-styling back to the original Chargers and all the goodies as well. We loyalists were heartsick when, somewhere along the way, the new Charger turned into a four-door upside down bathtub. Much like the current day Republican Party, Chrysler has a long history of kicking its most loyal customers in the balls at every opportunity and sucking up to potential customers that will always hate them no matter what they do because they are who they are. Maybe this time we'll get lucky.

 

Exit The Wonkette

I will have been blogging for a year this March and I'm old enough that I still deem blogging to be a new phenomenon. At least it's new enough that I still meet people who have never heard of it or think it is some sort of obscene sex act. So, I can't help but be amused when a blogger announces his or her "retirement", though I've deleted a number of said retirees from my blogroll.

Now, the famous Wonkette has announced her retirement and I'm both amazed and baffled at the amount of virtual and physical ink she's getting for it. I became aware of her very shortly after beginning blogging this past March. I saw that she was getting a lot of praise as well as links so I naturally checked her out. I was more than a little appalled at her site. I read all that I could and when I grew weary of cringing I moved on. I tried again sometime later just in case I caught her on a bad day,week, month, or whatever, and found it pretty much the same. Then I literally forgot about her.

Wonkette is said to retiring to concentrate on more literary pursuits, a novel in particular. I do wish her luck but she probably won't need it. I find it kind of ironic though because I started blogging as something to do when I needed a break from my novel or my schoolwork. Checking the net, I found that Wonkette has an entry on Wikipedia, so she definitely arrived at some point. Doing an Images search I also find that she has done, and worn, some rather raunchy things, so maybe that's been a factor. It takes all kinds I suppose.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

Thank God! The Holidays Are Over At Last

I have returned from my New Years trip so posts should resume shortly. The holidays have had their usual effect. After digging through my clothes I've been forced to redesignate my oversized comfortable t-shirts as binding and chafing undersized t-shirts.

About me

  • I'm dostrick
  • From Texas, United States
  • The All Seeing Eye. A symbol of the Enlightenment and I like to think one day it will be a symbol of me. *** Middle-aged juvenile delinquent. *** Meyers-Briggs INTP if you follow that. *** My primary interests are in history, philosophy, languages, and literature. All the things that guarantee you'll never get a well-paying job.
My profile

Blogroll

Factists

Quotes

You can't run as a phony patriot and then claim your victory is a mandate for surrender.

--Ann Coulter--


If you kill them, they’re martyrs. If you lock them up, they’re martyrs. So kill them.

--Allahpundit--


The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.

--Ayn Rand--


There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.

--Thomas Jefferson--


For everyone but America the free world is mostly a free ride.

--Mark Steyn--


The fact is that political stupidity is a special kind of stupidity, not well correlated with intelligence, or with other varieties of stupidity. At the higher levels of the intelligentsia, the correlation may actually be inverse: the more brilliant you are, the stupider your politics. Albert Einstein seems to have thought well of Stalin; Hitlerism got its start in the universities.

--John Derbyshire--


One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

--Robert A. Heinlein--


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last.

--Winston Churchill--


One day, our grandchildren may ask us what we did when Islamic fascism threatened the free world. Some of us will say we were preoccupied with fighting that threat wherever possible; others will be able to say they fought carbon dioxide emissions. One of us will look bad.

--Dennis Prager--


Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened.

--Thomas Sowell--


It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.

--Calvin Coolidge--


It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

--Samuel Adams--


The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

--Thomas Jefferson--


All government is an ugly necessity.

--G. K. Chesterton--


America learned the hard way: it's the world of September 10th that's really crazy.

--Mark Steyn


Public schools are forbidden from mentioning religion not because of the Constitution, but because public schools are the Left's madrassas.

--Ann Coulter--


We expect nothing from the MSM. It never disappoints us.

--Joe Guzzardi--


The world will not greet you with open arms, but with a clenched fist.

--Barry Goldwater--


Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.

--Benjamin Rush--


Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like a fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

--George Washington--


It should be the highest ambition of every American...to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.

--George Washington--


"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

--C. S. Lewis--


Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggy" until you can find a rock.

--Unknown--


"They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity rather than backward to their ancestors."

--John Quincy Adams--


I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

-€”Benjamin Franklin--


There is nothing a nonconformist hates more than another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the existing standards of nonconformity.

--Unknown--


Male White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W.A.S.P.) oppression must end.

--ER--


[I]n Her Majesty's northern Dominion the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted: Canada’s private health care system is called 'America'.

--Mark Steyn--


When I sell out, this is where the blogads will go. Please remember, it's not for me. It's for the children.

--ER--


Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

--Theodore Roosevelt--


It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

--Unknown--


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.

-- G. K. Chesterton--


"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

--Robert Frost--


A formula that makes religion and politics easy to understand: (Islam - Allah = Communism)

--Unknown--


It seems amazing that no Continental politician is willing to get to grips with the real crisis facing Europe in the 21st century: the lack of Europeans.

--Mark Steyn--

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