Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Calm Down

Blackfive is beginning to scent panic on Iraq, citing a long authoritative post at Daily Kos explaining that recent security improvements in Iraq, presumably including events in Anbar, stem from the circumstance that Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his milita to cease offensive operations for six months. I disagree with the "Gift From Sadr" theory, and readers may want to read my Pajamas Media piece to see why.

Doctrines in distress must be progressively modified to maintain their credibility. The classic example was the Ptolemaic theory that sun revolved around the earth. After the evidence began to go against it, the theory was modified by the addition of epicycles, a type of complex celestial movement, to make observations fit the theory. The complex ballet included deferents, equants, prograde and retrograde motions, an entire scaffolding of evolutions to prop up a theory in trouble. Some cling to geocentric idea to this day.



Historical debates go on for a long time. Anyone who remembers the ups and downs of its history should realize that the campaign in Iraq isn't over till it's over. The near hysteria Blackfive detects in reaction to the possibility of an American victory in Iraq reflects both the torment of suspense and a loss in confidence. Still, nobody psychologically invested in the orthodoxy of defeat should jump in despondency off a bridge -- yet. And even if such a victory should be forthcoming the narrative of defeat can always be salvaged from it through the modern day equivalent of epicycles; some alternative explanation giving credit to the enemy, be he ever so wretched as Moqtada al-Sadr.

But disappointment should never go so far as to obscure what it was all about. The War in Iraq was in part about domestic political upmanship, it's true. But except to meanest and most partisan of minds it must ultimately have been about the future of Iraq, the security of America and the soul of Islam. And however we arrived at this point that future, that security and the prospects for that soul seem better off today than had al-Qaeda or Sadr won, though I know some will debate the point. But the broad minded man of the Left shouldn't care who "won" for so long as it works out well, as it is looking to do. It is sometimes good to be wrong about your worst fears coming true; to be luckier than you thought.

One of the most comical true stories I ever heard was about a man who spent a lot of money getting a thorough medical checkup only to be disappointed the doctor found nothing wrong with him. He felt cheated somehow, that he hadn't received value for money. Had he stopped to consider he might have realized how lucky he was to be disappointed. If Iraq turns out well so be it. That would be justification in itself to anyone of good will.

54 Comments:

Blogger Stan Smith said...

" The War in Iraq wasn't about domestic political upmanship"

...but, Wretchard, the anti-war movement is. Most of those who are "against" the war are either against it for political gain or for anti-American reasons. Very few (in my experience) are really "against" the war per se.

11/06/2007 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

[url="http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/talkradio/transcripts/Transcript.aspx?ContentGuid=2f5dfe0c-0c4c-480f-8f13-a5f6f437b4cb"]Michael Yon Interview[/url]

Seems the lefts and Dems have hitched their wagon to a falling star.

I have a dream.

It is October '08. Hillary (likely) and Rudy (strong maybe) are locked in a tight race for the Presidency. Nearly a year of relative calm in Iraq has forced the Democrats to shift the focus of their campaign on to the economy and health care as they and their media allies do their best to ignore the success that is now Iraq. Rudy and the Republicans, however, refuse to play along, reminding the voters at every turn which party stood for victory and which party advocated defeat. The campaign message is, gasp, securing and expanding the victory in Iraq. Just before the third and final debate, unannounced President Bush lands in Baghdad to deliver a speech before the Iraqi parliament. In route, the President orders his motorcade to stop and gets out to walk among the Iraqi people. Just like in Albania, the President is mobbed. The chants of "Bush! Bush! Bush!" are defeaning as the Iraqi people acknowledge their librator and champion. The President is visibly moved by the outpouring and the cameras of the world capture the moment. Triumphant, Bush continues on to the Iraqi parliament. There the scene on the streets is repeated as the Iraqi politicians salute the man responsible for the transformation of their country. The man that believed in the Iraqi people.

The President begins his speech quoting an Arabic proverb, in Arabic, "Only the tent pitched by your own hands will stand" and goes on to praise the Iraqi people and their courage in raising their "tent". In a speech interupted by numerous times by standing ovations the President recalls the individual acts of bravery and sacrifice of both Iraqi and American patriots in the long battle to bring peace and freedom to Iraq. "Where once we stood apart as enemies, we now stand together as brothers. Together we will build a lasting peace for the people of Iraq and all the Mideast. Thank you, and God bless." Back home the Left fumes in bitter silence as even their media allies have to acknowledge the President's tour de force in Iraq.

11/07/2007 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

The epicycles wind up being a Fourier series for the elliptical motion, so are not strictly speaking incorrect. It's just a coordinate system change.

11/07/2007 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

I'm relieved to know that only military "success" and not political reconciliation counts. So once we do some clean-up work, the troops can come home, right?

11/07/2007 03:16:00 AM  
Blogger Stankleberry said...

Poor Shaun.

11/07/2007 03:35:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

From Wikipeida "Amazed at the difficulty of the project, Alfonso is credited with the remark that had he been present at the Creation he might have given excellent advice."[3]

But offering advise about a theory that is patently incorrect is...

Shaun Mullen said...

"I'm relieved to know that only military "success" and not political reconciliation counts. So once we do some clean-up work, the troops can come home, right?"


Shaun, read the PJ piece and get heliocentric about the topic. Our military success in Iraq has not occurred in a violent vacuum, nor is diplomatic progress possible without security. They are a part of the same strategy. Ultimately, political reconciliation is a measure of military success, as well as military success being a measure of political reconciliation.

BTW, Very nice piece on Eleanor Roosevelt at your site.

11/07/2007 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The real war is against global warming and the real battle is against CO2. I think if we could get everyone on the planet to agree not to produce CO2 for six months that would be a good start. But I won't hold my breath.

11/07/2007 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I have an old friend that was utterly obsessed with the Y2K computer disaster. He’s an engineer with a specialty in computers and apparently felt that computers were SO important that anything affecting them adversely would be catastrophic.

On the morning of 01/01/00, when the only impact I could find was that the TV Guide website insisted on giving me the TV listings for 1 Jan 1900 (but they were indeed correct; seems there was not much on TV back then) I sent him an e-mail pointing out that I had successfully sent him an e-mail. He was sheepish for a bit but then explained that the REAL problem would occur on 1 Feb 200, when the REAL Y2K bug would hit for some obscure reason.

1 Feb 2000 came and went - and by then even the TV listings worked - and he then explained that the REAL impact of the Y2K bug was a worsening decay of embedded controllers that would shut down all refineries, sewer treatment plants and the Slurpee machine at the local 7/11.

We more or less quit talking shortly thereafter. But when the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 occurred he sent me an e-mail saying “See! I told you so!” Then we REALLY quit talking.

The contortions such people so through are indeed remarkable…

11/07/2007 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

The Left never acknowledges its errors. They will refuse to see any victory no matter how much cheering there is. Just like Communism that spoke of itself as the Ultimate Progress of History, so does the Left. It isn't about Iraq, nor is it about global warming, it's about them and their power and control.

11/07/2007 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

In science, you modify a theory to adjust it to data that doesn't fit. You don't get to just throw away the anomalous data, unless you can show its an erroneous reading or statistical outlier. At some point though, you start looking a new theory. Occam's Razor and KISS apply.

When you are in denial, however:

.. Efforts to maintain their denial consumes them and will lead them to escalate their anger and rage as their denial becomes untenable and ever more obvious.

• The denier will begin distort language and logic to rationalize and justify their behavior(examples of this are too numerous to mention, but I have discussed it here , here and here) . Eventually, cognitive strategies and rational argument will be abandoned altogether by the denier, because those strategies are not sustainable and are unable to convince others; at which point the person in denial will simply refer to his feelings or emotions as the sole justification.

• The denier will feel justified in acting out against those who threaten the peacefulness of their fantasy ...

• Problem solving and decision-making will deteriorate as the entire focus of energy becomes the maintenance of the denial. In place of rational alternatives, excessive emotionality in general; and specifically anger and rage escalate toward those who are "blamed" for the reality that does not conform to the denier's worldview. ...

• In the end, interactions with those in denial are characterized by the denier's frequent smugness; sense of superiority; arrogance; belittlement of alternative views; and undiluted hatred toward anyone or any idea that questions their worldview

11/07/2007 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

I believe the epicycles, etc., were based on careful observations done by the naked eye, but not the sort of observations available to Galileo through his telescope.

11/07/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

RWE,
FYI, Y2K would have been a major issue, except that an absolutely huge amount of work was put into modifying the software in advance.

11/07/2007 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

I think if we could get everyone on the planet to agree not to produce CO2 for six months that would be a good start. But I won't hold my breath. -hdgreene

That combination of statements is high comedy!

11/07/2007 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Rick:
In the mid-90's "Historians" of the Left actually held an "Anti-trumphilism Conference" in New York City, the theme of which was "Quit bragging about winning the Cold War because the West didn't." See the book "In Denial" for more details. Of course, before they ran the hammer and sickle down the flagpole of the Kremlin for the last time, the Left's position was that there was no such thing as the Cold War, just doddering Capitalism vainly trying to stop the inevitable march of Diadactic Materialism.

ExheloDriver: The position of the Y2K Doom and Gloom crowd was that the problem was SO big that it could NOT be fixed. And in the vast majority of cases nothing was done to fix it in advance and nothing happened. In fact, DoD sent much of its Y2K Fix money to Russia just to make sure nothing went wrong over there. Not sure if this qualified as Blackmail or
the World's Greatest Nigerian Oil Scam.

Yashmak: Back around 1992 I saw an actual scientific claim that "Global Warming would not be a problem if everyone would stop breathing for about 30 minutes." Hard to argue with that. In fact, I know of no problem that could not be solved that way. World Peace! End Hunger! The price of Oil! Sounds Great! Y'all first!

11/07/2007 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

FYI, Y2K would have been a major issue, except that an absolutely huge amount of work was put into modifying the software in advance.

That's true - all sorts of systems had Y2K bugs ranging from elevator-controllers to airplane navigation computers. Mostly they were fixed because people understood the problem and addressed the issue.

Of course there were also many charlatans posing as Y2K experts, and many crazies who predicted that Y2K would herald atomic war and the Rapture.

On the subject of war in Iraq - I'm not so sure it is a victory you guys make it out to be. Commercially the war seems to have been an utter failure. America's currency is declining in value and America's global prestige has been severely harmed. A never-ending occupation of a hostile foreign country seems to be really bad for the US economy.

Dobson

11/07/2007 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Tarnsman said:

"It is October '08. Hillary (likely) and Rudy (strong maybe) are locked in a tight race for the Presidency. Nearly a year of relative calm in Iraq has forced the Democrats to shift the focus of their campaign on to the economy..."

Again, all praise to President Bush! He made the tough but correct basic decisions in the war against Islamic fascism. Unfortunately there are storm clouds on the horizon:

1) The US dollar is at historic lows. Crude oil and gold are at historic highs. The nation is in debt up to its eyeballs. Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their homes to foreclosure due to the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. The US economy has done well over the last 6 years but that run of good fortune is about to end. A major recession probably means that Hillary wins by default.

2) Iran is a ticking time bomb. The moonbats want us to ignore Iran. Our honorable President would like to deal with this issue before he leaves office. Who will prevail?

11/07/2007 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

The nation is in debt up to its eyeballs. Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their homes to foreclosure due to the sub-prime mortgage fiasco.

The sub-prime issue would have been a mere insignificant blip on the vast US economy had the economy not been in such a bad shape to begin with.

I have a tough time making my fellow conservatives understand the severity of America's financial situation - not only does Federal debt limit the President's foreign-policy options, but it also cedes a great deal of sovereignty to foreign powers.

How do you like the idea that Saudi-Arabia and China own a great deal of that US Debt - it would take a brave President to upset America's creditors, they could just offload their debts, or worse still convert their Dollar reserves to Euros.

Iran is a ticking time bomb. The moonbats want us to ignore Iran. Our honorable President would like to deal with this issue before he leaves office. Who will prevail?

Can America afford a 3rd war? It seems to me that the Iranians know that any threats of war are empty. In any case, they have had years to develop their expertise in guerrilla warfare, and have been stocking up with Russian-made weaponry just in case America decides to attack.

A military victory in Iran might be possible, but at a greater financial cost than America can currently bankroll.

Again, all praise to President Bush! He made the tough but correct basic decisions in the war against Islamic fascism.

These serious financial problems are direct consequences of the policies of GWB & the Federal Reserve. They are not mere cycles - this is what happens when a big-government President over-spends.

11/07/2007 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/07/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

11/07/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Dobson said:

"These serious financial problems are direct consequences of the policies of GWB & the Federal Reserve. They are not mere cycles - this is what happens when a big-government President over-spends."

I agree with Dobson that the Federal Reserve must accept some blame for the up coming financial crisis. Also the President as chief executive is obliged to accept blame when things go bad just as he is permitted to accept credit when things go well. However this upcoming economic crisis is something that we Americans inflicted upon ourselves.

We have been living beyond our means for decades. It was obvious when the sub-prime mortgages first appeared that this would seriously impact the economy. However there was this conspiracy of greed that allowed the sub-prime mortgages to continue. Likewise, we all knew that continued foreign trade imbalance would eventually catch up with us and sink the US dollar. However that knowledge did not stop us from buying on credit cheap Asian made consumer goods. Finally, Peak Oil has been common knowledge since the 1970s but there was no real effort to free ourselves from petroleum dependency.

Seduced by greed, this is a disaster that we inflicted upon ourselves. We will only begin to appreciate the magnitude of our folly when Hillary is inaugurated as our new president.

11/07/2007 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

Seduced by greed, this is a disaster that we inflicted upon ourselves. We will only begin to appreciate the magnitude of our folly when Hillary is inaugurated as our new president.

... and suddenly finds she has all those extra-constitutional powers that George W. Bush awarded himself in the name of freedom. What do you think Hillary would do with a "signing statement"?

Likewise, we all knew that continued foreign trade imbalance would eventually catch up with us and sink the US dollar. However that knowledge did not stop us from buying on credit cheap Asian made consumer goods. Finally, Peak Oil has been common knowledge since the 1970s but there was no real effort to free ourselves from petroleum dependency.

Quickly - somebody shut him up! If the truth gets out, everybody will panic.

:-)

Seriously - these are big problems. I'm troubled that conservatives spend so much time worrying about "islamofascists", "flag burning", "abortuaries" and "the gay agenda" when really this is the big one...

Please tell me how small government conservatives managed to get suckered in to supporting the biggest big-government Republican that has ever served?

11/07/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Dobson said:

"Seriously - these are big problems. I'm troubled that conservatives spend so much time worrying about "islamofascists", "flag burning", "abortuaries" and "the gay agenda" when really this is the big one..."

I must disagree. As bad as these other problems are, Islamicfascism comes out as the Big One. All it takes is the detonation of two Tsar Bombas mounted on the decks of ocean freighters manned with suicide crews, one in New York harbor and the another off the Port of Long Beach. Then the United States starts doing a very good imitation of a snake with its head cut off. Needless to say, we would find ourselves in a Third Conjecture situation. Over three hundred D-5 missiles from Ohio class ballistic missiles submarines would in a period of about 20 minutes terminate the existance of somewhere between 100 million to a billion people in Muslim countries. That's the Big One we need to worry about.

11/07/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

Do you know how much it costs to refine that much fissile material? It's certainly beyond the abilities of any terrorist group I know about to manufacture such a device... however a wealthy enemy state might be able to make such a weapon.

But in a sense, I think you are right. A covert attack on the US mainland is probably a more relevant threat than "the gays" - the question is, will America be able to afford the kind of defense infrastructure that would be able spot a 25 Ton bomb hidden in a sea-container?

I've always believed that the war in Iraq is a distraction from American security. I'd like to see an iron-ring of defence around America rather than over-extend American forces "liberating" foreign countries that do not particularly wish to be liberated.

Unfortunately sustaining a strong defense requires a healthy economy. I believe GWB has mis-allocated the US defense budget away from the home-land and has over-borrowed in order to finance these wars abroad.

The end result is that America is relatively weak, and the sort of risk you identify are more of a threat now than ever before.

11/07/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Dobson said:

"I'd like to see an iron-ring of defence around America rather than over-extend American forces "liberating" foreign countries that do not particularly wish to be liberated."

We can't build an iron-ring that would defend us against a suicide freighter Tsar-bomba. The bad guys would not even need to sail into New York harbor. They could detonate the thing in international waters off the US coast. The only feasible defense is to keep the bad guys from making these things in first place, i.e. regime change or preemptive attacks. Eventually we are obligated to take out the Iranian capability. Likewise the Pakistanis if Musharraf loses control of their nuclear arsenal.

11/07/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard,

Thank you for providing an 'out' for those who saw the worst and never believed in success.

That is an adult solution to a complex problem.

Lincolnesque...

To be a bit less Lincolnesque...

Poor Shaun (11/07/2007 03:16:00 AM)

11/07/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

We can't build an iron-ring that would defend us against a suicide freighter Tsar-bomba. The bad guys would not even need to sail into New York harbor.

So assuming that this is the case, can America afford to "shut down" all the bad guys who might wish to do this? Reigeme change costs money, but over-spending has put America into the current awful financial situation.

Would it still be worth going into Iran if it bankrupts the USA? What about all the other countries that allegedly "hate our freedom"?

By the way, who would build this hypothetical Tzar Bomba? The USSR built only a handful of these giga-bombs at the height of the reigeme. Iran and Pakistan cannot afford that much fissile material, but China, Russia or Saudi-Arabia might.

So just who are you targeting for reigeme change? Any nation harboring crazy people looking for revenge or the wealthy "allied" nations who actually do have the ability to build this kind of device.

11/07/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

re: y2k fizzle

Reminds me that we did not hear about other 1st and 2nd world countries who did not spend one dime (ok, maybe a few dimes) on y2k (regulation, remediation, etc.) going offline "the day after." Some in Congress noticed this as well.. and it's a factor in the general diminishment of respect for science and tech in the policy process (thank you Mr. Gore).

Granted, the U.S. may have had a problem because some of our institutions lack any competitive stress that otherwise forces modernization - or "recycling", and our government systems are/were clearly archaic, but that's not about y2k, that's about government protected (either direct or regulations creating high barriers to entry) businesses, and government itself being too big (and the agencies themselves being more jobs programs with political (union) constituencies than automation showcases).

11/07/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Dobson said:

"By the way, who would build this hypothetical Tzar Bomba? The USSR built only a handful of these giga-bombs at the height of the reigeme. Iran and Pakistan cannot afford that much fissile material, but China, Russia or Saudi-Arabia might."

This is a bad topic to get into a detailed technical discussion about since anyone can read this website. Google Tsar Bomba and you'll find that most of its mass was in its lead tamp and lithium deuteride secondary section. The primary trigger or bomb pit of plutonium or U-235 would have been no greater than what is used in any other sort of nuclear weapon. The Tsar Bomba's yield would have been doubled if the lead tamp had been replaced with a U-238 tamp. U-238 like deuterium are not closely controlled materials. The Iranians, Syrians, Pakis and NorKs can get as much of it as they like on the open market. The only real barrier is the U-235 or Pu-239 for the bomb pit. The critical mass for a bomb pit of U-235 is about 50 kg. This is a sphere with a diameter of 17 cm. The critical size can be reduced to about 15 cm with the use of a neutron reflector surrounding the sphere.

In summary, the big barrier against the Iranians building a Tsar-Bomba is acquiring 50 kg of U-235. This is something that we need to be very afraid of. I'll comment no further on this topic.

11/07/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

Reminds me that we did not hear about other 1st and 2nd world countries who did not spend one dime (ok, maybe a few dimes) on y2k (regulation, remediation, etc.) going offline "the day after."

It was a bigger problem in the US than other countries because the USA had computer systems long before developing and nations.

I'm sure we all know of businesses that run IBM mainframes which in turn run applications that were first built in the 70's. IBM makes big money out of selling computers to run very old software.

The Y2K problem was largely irrelevant to small businesses who used newish desktop PCs, on the other hand it was a real nuisance to all kinds of integrated and industrial systems.

Like I said before - just because charlatans and profiteers tried to make money out of Y2K bug hysteria does not mean that there was no Y2K bug.

It was a very common bad design error (representing a year as a 2-digit code) which was mostly not that hard to fix, but sometimes hard to spot.

11/07/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

"lithium deuteride secondary section"

I seem to remember that it's not so easy to manufacture this stuff either - care to comment? It's not all that stable, so you have to make it fast.

Forgive my history but something like the tzar-bomba was the culmination of nuclear weapons expertise. It was built by a group of genius scientists who had been involved with a series of nuclear tests. They had experimental as well as theoretical knowledge about how to make things go boom...

Now who is it amongst our enemies that has this level of resources and expertise?

DOBSON

11/07/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger John Wright said...

"Commercially the war seems to have been an utter failure."

Am I the only one who sees the high comedy in this baroque comment?

Since the end of the Bronze Age, wars are generally not commercial enterprises. They are judged, not in terms of profit and loss, but in terms of triumph or defeat.

Now, perhaps if we actually had gone to war to seize the Iraqi oil fields and sell the items from the Iraqi museums, we could have turned a profit.

11/07/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger dobson said...

Since the end of the Bronze Age, wars are generally not commercial enterprises. They are judged, not in terms of profit and loss, but in terms of triumph or defeat.

Here of all places I thought I would be free of romantic ninnies who think that wars are fought for triumph or honor. What a sad joke that would be if all the trillions that we have spent in Iraq or Afghanistan were for a sense of triumph?

You are plain flat wrong. I think a famous Marine said it better than I ever could:

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

11/07/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Stan Smith said...

Dobson:

I urge you to read W's post "The Bells" above, re: our Iraq adventure and its accomplishments. That's what we're fighting for.

Some "racket."

11/07/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Dobson’s themes seem to be an attempt to trivialize the threat of Islamic fascism while dismissing the worth of military resistance to that threat.

It’s not clear if D. is sincerely arguing, or is simply being a spoiler. Dobson slyly uses the “reductio ad absurdum” device in pretending that the only real threat we face depends entirely upon an adversary in full control and possession of a super-sophisticated technological and industrial base. In any city in which they were detonated, “dirty” bombs constructed from conventional explosives in combination with radioactive isotopes commonly used around the world in medical and industrial devices would suffice to create panic and disruption. The technical training needed to design, construct, and deploy Weapons of Mass Anxiety is easy to come by. Panic and disruption are plenty devastating.

Consider the reverberations through American (i.e., U.S.) business after the 9-11 attacks in New York. The immediate damage might have amounted to a few billions of dollars in lost revenues, insurance payments to families and businesses, the lost firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, radios, rescue equipment, and --- oh, yeah --- some three thousand productive and energetic citizens. But the later effects on travel agencies, airlines, hotels, cruiselines as people stayed home instead of vacationing outside the U.S. lead in turn to thunderous blows to advertising agencies, media outlets that would have broadcast the ads, and subsidiary suppliers in a chain of toppling dominos. I’ve seen thoughtful estimates on the order of half a trillion dollars in lost revenues resulting from the attacks by 18 or 19 terrorists with 3 hijacked airliners.

At the same time, Dobson seems blind to the threat posed by the Y2K hysteria, which was a potent problem apart from the actual vulnerability of computer systems, which was being relentlessly reduced at considerable cost in the months after it had been identified.

The most substantial potential for disaster at the turn of the calendar on 01 January 2000 was the panic of the ignorant. But panic seems to have characterized a number of doomsayers, such as the idiots that pounced on the “Population Bomb” concept of the mid-1960s --- Cousins of the hectoring scare-mongers who had read the scary indictments of DDT identified in “Silent Spring” but failed to consider the consequences to third world nations denied the only effective eradicator of malaria-bearing mosquitos. Now their inheritors bleat and gnash their teeth about “Global Warming.”

Unregenerate turdlings.

In the late 1970s I met a 16-year-old who could not tell me the difference between a proton and a crouton. Nonetheless she was satisfied she knew enough to proclaim all uses of radiation evil. With others of the “Clamshell Alliance,” she had proudly laid her body astride the path to oppose the construction of the Seabrook Nuclear Power station in New Hampshire. I keep thinking how the Greens in Germany in the last few decades have managed to thwart the construction of new nuclear power-generating plants, so Germany is forced to purchase surplus electrical power from its neighbor France, which uses nuclear power to generate some 80 percent of its electric power output.

Hey, I know DDT weakens the shells of various raptor eggs and causes physical deformities among lots of creatures exposed to the chemical in the water. It has been used unwisely, rashly, thoughtlessly. That’s not the same as saying that there is no rational or beneficial protocol for its use. Similarly, I’m not arguing that temperatures are not rising around the world. But keep in mind that many people were convinced in the mid-1960’s that the world was sliding inexorably into a new Ice-Age.

More to the point, because of the looming trimph of the ignoramus in our culture, we are well into the onset of a new dark age.

11/07/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger dobson said...

Stanley, your naivety is touching my heart.

I bought shares in Halliburton, Raytheon, Taser, Boeing & Lockheed. They are doing real well right now. War is good business for these fine American companies. I'm just sorry that most Americans do not own shares like I do then we could all profit from this war.

I do not think this is immoral because I am not one of those weeping liberals who cry shame at good honest profit.

War is big business - perhaps the biggest one there is. I know it helps sell it to some folk by pinning flags on it and giving it some moral sugar-coating and razzle-dazzle, but really that's not needed.

If a war is well-managed it will make a lot of folks rich, and that's the biggest feel-good there is. Everybody wants to be a winner.

On the other hand, if a war is mis-managed (e.g. big-government overspend) it can propel a nation towards bankruptcy. I think GWB's too busy trying to get that feeling of triumph, and has forgotten that he's also supposed to be growing the US economy.

He may end up with neither.

Would you thank GWB if he won a war in Iraq but let the Democrats in at home?

11/07/2007 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger dobson said...

Dobson slyly uses the “reductio ad absurdum” device in pretending that the only real threat we face depends entirely upon an adversary in full control and possession of a super-sophisticated technological and industrial base. In any city in which they were detonated, “dirty” bombs constructed from conventional explosives in combination with radioactive isotopes commonly used around the world in medical and industrial devices would suffice to create panic and disruption.

That's right - a dirty-bomb is a LOW TECH threat that can be made from everyday materials (e.g. those found in a bombed-out hospital). The threat of a tzar-bomba style attack is ludicrous by comparison because the materials and technology are beyond the reach of all but a few super-powers.

Unfortunately the bulk of the US defense expenditure is wasted on fighting a battle on a foreign continent, wheras we should be strengthening defenses against a potential dirty-bomber. That means we need good Homeland Security, and not get bogged down by foreign police-work.

I’ve seen thoughtful estimates on the order of half a trillion dollars in lost revenues resulting from the attacks by 18 or 19 terrorists with 3 hijacked airliners.

See what I mean - it all comes down to the economy. That's right again and I'm glad you are seeing it my way.

Of course this is a massive under-estimate because it does not count the increase in federal spending on the "war on terror" that may have amounted to as much as $2 trillion over the last six years.

As I've always said, the terrorists first target was not the twin-towers but the economy. Anybody who fails to see that ends up fighting a long and costly war against the spectre of islamofacism - and ends up weakening the US economy.

More to the point, because of the looming trimph of the ignoramus in our culture, we are well into the onset of a new dark age.

I see it as a triumph of the deadbeats - who took out a sub-prime mortgage on the whole of America and got a whole country into deep debt.

11/07/2007 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Mastiff said...

Dobson, the core of your position seems to be based on the mistaken impression that the American economy is structurally weak.

It is certainly structurally flawed. It has been injured by unsound monetary and fiscal policies in ways that we all here agree on.

But you are neglecting three things in your analysis:

1. We have the most sophisticated financial system in the world. It is designed to absorb and mitigate risk and promote liquidity. We saw in the aftermath of the Amaranth debacle just how far we have come; while the LTCM meltdown caused a chain reaction destroying several national economies, the comparable losses of Amaranth left barely a trace in the long term.

2. We have the most industrious and creative businessmen and innovators on the planet. More than that, many of these types distrust the government and are hard at work trying to circumvent it and all of its works. At this point there is little market for their services, simply because the formal system works so well; but if the dollar actually crashes, we will see a new birth of commercial freedom that the Fed will be powerless to stop. (See for example Ripplepay.)

3. Finally, the United States has been busily entangling the rest of the world into our financial system, such that everyone will hurt badly if we have an economic collapse. This is especially true regarding China and Saudi Arabia; if you owe the bank $100,000, the bank owns you, but if you owe the bank $100 billion, you own the bank. And boy do we own these guys!

A sinking tide lowers all boats. We are the tide. Everyone else are the boats. If what matters is relative economic strength, we have little to fear from a sudden calamity. What should worry us more is a longer term structural adjustment; but that is outside of the scope of our discussion.

11/07/2007 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger nccardfan said...

"I've always believed that the war in Iraq is a distraction from American security. I'd like to see an iron-ring of defence around America rather than over-extend American forces "liberating" foreign countries that do not particularly wish to be liberated."

Oh goody. The Maginot Line.

11/07/2007 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger dobson said...

Oh goody. The Maginot Line.

The Maginot line was a defensive fortified wall, famous now because it was so easily circumvented.

If you had bothered to read my comments you would have known that I was not advocating a border-wall but general homeland security. The core of this would be improved intelligence both within the USA and overseas.

Historically the best deterrant to terrorism and other kind of extremist violence has been effective intelligence & police-work. Unfortunately we seem to be policing the wrong country, having embroiled ourselves into a civil war between to rival islamic factions.

I think we have all identified the threat of a low-tech bomb as being at least somewhat credible. My question to those who think war in Iraq prevents this kind of attack is ... how?

Dobson, the core of your position seems to be based on the mistaken impression that the American economy is structurally weak.

Spoken like a true patriot... but unfortunately like somebody who does not spend a great deal of time in the finance industries.

The simple fact is that while the US has great infrastructure so do a lot of other countries. And while the American economy is resilient it has taken a lot of hits recently - most importantly we have a big-government President who does not know how to balance his books.

He has got America into debt, which means a great deal of the American economy is now owned by Russia, China, Saudi-Arabia and other foreign interests.

If the American economy was so tough then the dollar would be riding this out instead of tanking. I think you have allowed your patriotism to cloud your vision.

if you owe the bank $100,000, the bank owns you, but if you owe the bank $100 billion, you own the bank. And boy do we own these guys!

This is the sort of myth spread by the financially ignorant. You really do not get it... all this debt means that America has ceded it's sovereignty over to it's creditors.

You have described an incredibly unstable situation. Do you honestly think it is cool to be in so much debt? Have conservatives forgotten the value of spending no more than you earn?

All it takes is one of the creditors to get frightened and start selling off. This will trigger other panic-sales and before long you have a genuine credit-crash.

The funny thing is that the Soviets thought that fighting the cold-war was more important than balancing their budget. They built an astonishing war-machine but they could not sustain it because they bankrupted themselves. Are you advocating the same policy for the USA? I hope not.

DOBSON

11/08/2007 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

Mastiff, did I imagine it or did the dollar get even weaker since I last posted on Belmont? Oil is up another 1$ per barrel with a record 100$ barrel predicted sometime before the end of this month, and speculation that China is about to offload a great deal of it's Dollar foreign reserve onto more stable currencies.

Now what was it you were saying about the US Economy's stability? Do you charge for your investment advice?

11/08/2007 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

If you had bothered to read my comments you would have known that I was not advocating a border-wall but general homeland security. The core of this would be improved intelligence both within the USA and overseas.

The comment about the Maginot Line is still apt. A determined foe will find a way to circumvent the most comprehensive defense. THAT concept is what nccardfan was doubtless referring to. Without resorting to draconian security measures, it's difficult to see how we could create some sort of iron-clad defense against terrorism in this, an open nation.

On the other hand, I have to remember that there have been NO successful terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11, not for lack of planning or attempts to make such an attack by the foe. From that point of view, we're apparently already doing what you suggest.

You do know, dobson, that a weak dollar carries as many benefits for our nation as problems, right? It makes our exports more attractive to other nations, inflates the cost of imports, leading to increased consumption of domestic goods, which in turn benefits our own industry (which has suffered due to relatively low cost imports over the last few decades).

He has got America into debt, which means a great deal of the American economy is now owned by Russia, China, Saudi-Arabia and other foreign interests.

The majority of our nation's debt existed before Bush ever took office. As a percentage of national income, it's still lower than it was at the end of Bush 1's term. And incidentally, only 23% of that debt is foreign owned. The rest of the debt is domestic. Comments about other powers "owning a great deal of the American economy" are as specious as they are sensationalist.

11/08/2007 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Stan Smith said...

Yo, dobby:

When you owe the bookie $100, it's just not worth his time to work at getting it back, he just whacks you. When you owe the bookie $10 Large, he has to work with you. You might suffer a couple of broken legs, but you'll live. You see, the bookie never gets his money back if you're dead.

Capisce?

11/08/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

You do know, dobson, that a weak dollar carries as many benefits for our nation as problems, right?

Such as?

A weak-currency is often favourable for companies that are net exporters. It means exports are cheap and money flows into the country.

On the other hand, a weak currency is usually disastrous for a net importer, especially one which lives beyond it's mmeans: A weak currency means you spend you deplete your reserves even faster.

Since when did my fellow conservatives start imagining that there was a virtue in being in debt.

Just in case you need another prod, here's a dose of reality from those ultra-liberal moon-bats the Financial Times:

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2007/11/07/8713/the-dollars-slide-13-down-and-falling-faster/

The comment about the Maginot Line is still apt. A determined foe will find a way to circumvent the most comprehensive defense.

Are you trying to argue that homeland security is impossible or that it's not worth increasing our security? Or perhaps you mean to say that America's homeland security is no better than the Maginot line?

Finally Stan says something I can agree with:

When you owe the bookie $100, it's just not worth his time to work at getting it back, he just whacks you. When you owe the bookie $10 Large, he has to work with you. You might suffer a couple of broken legs, but you'll live. You see, the bookie never gets his money back if you're dead.

So basically the Chinese are going to take what they can and then leave us like a broken, twisted warning to other dead-beats who cannot pay their dues. That's something to look forwards to!

THANKS GUYS, YOU REALLY MADE MY DAY (NOT).

Seriously, I got sick of liberals who think that debt is OK as long as it's spent on social-security only to find out that conservatives also think debt is OK, as long as it's spent on war.

When is somebody going to stand up and say the freaking obvious - DEBT IS BAD!dc

11/08/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Stan Smith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/08/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Stan Smith said...

Dobson:

Debt is bad only if one must collect or pay that debt immediately, or in the near term. Otherwise, it's simply a fact of economics as practiced in the world today. You have a mortgage, credit cards, car payment? Or are you so flush from your stocks that you can pay cash for everything?

The Chinese could cripple the US, of course, but what good would that do them? The Saudis could bankrupt the world by charging $400 a barrel for oil, but what good would that do them? When your economy depends on the purchases of a country that owes you money, you don't bankrupt that country in order to get a short-term return at the expense of ruining your own economy and negating any chance of recovering the remaining debt.

11/08/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

Stan, I am really starting to agree with you. In you excellent comment you wrote:

The Chinese could cripple the US, of course, but what good would that do them? The Saudis could bankrupt the world by charging $400 a barrel for oil, but what good would that do them?

Yes, I wonder what good it would do our friendly chums and best buddies the saudi-arabians? Surely they have only the best intentions towards America. They love us. They love Coke, Bud & McDonalds. It's not even worth imagining that the Saudis would want to harm us in any way. Fugedaboutit.

But what if the Saudis thought that the Chinese were about to dump their dollars. Might they want to dump some of their own first, just so that they save some of their investment before China ruins it all?

That's why the analogy about owing a single bookie is flawed. It's more like we made bets with ten rival bookies and they all started to realize we made bets that we cannot possibly cover.

It's like a big game of chicken because sooner or later one creditor will loose confidence, and then the game will change. It will be about grabbing what you can. The question is, how far do you trust the Saudi-Arabians, Russians and Chinese to have our best interests at heart.

There is a solution: Balance the budget, get out of debt before all this bad stuff happens. Do not borrow from your rivals. Do not over-spend.

In a phrase: Fiscal responsibility.

11/08/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Stan Smith said...

Well, Dobson, now we agree, in principle. Over-spending is bad, fiscal responsibility is of course the best policy. I just don't think that our creditors would be so foolish as to kill the goose that is laying so many golden eggs. The world's economy is so intertwined at this point that what's bad for one is bad for all.

11/08/2007 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger dobson said...

I just don't think that our creditors would be so foolish as to kill the goose that is laying so many golden eggs.

But what if the gold looses it's tarnish? For example if the dollars America pays out loose their value substantially one creditor might wish to cash-out.

What if Americans are not wealthy enough to keep exporting because of our crazy imbalance of trade?

The fact is we do not know these things will NEVER happen, so we must be cautious. That is why any form of government over-spending is irresponsible - even military over-spending.

11/08/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Dawnfire82 said...

Wow, Dobson. You know *everything.* Nuclear physics, macroeconomics, national security... are you Ron Paul?

11/08/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Stan Smith said...

It's also interesting, Dobson, that you are so exercised about military spending, as opposed to entitlement spending, which is twice that of defense (8.4% of GDP as opposed to 4.06%). Additionally, Saudi Arabia spends 10% of GDP on defense and China (officially) spends 1.7% (but it's more likely equal to the US amount).

One would think you'd be urging restraint in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs. N'cest pa?

11/08/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger dobson said...

One would think you'd be urging restraint in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs. N'cest pa?

America will have to tighten it's belt. I'm pretty sure that your defense costs are an under-estimate as not all "defence" is paid-for under the DOD's budget - but in principle I'm happy to see all budgets slashed. The alternative is bankruptcy - a situation so dire that we will not even be able to fund veteran health care let alone health care for kids.

Wow, Dobson. You know *everything.* Nuclear physics, macroeconomics, national security... are you Ron Paul?

I'm a fine product of Oral Roberts U.

(kidding)

11/08/2007 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Such as?

I suggest you go back and re-read my comment. Your response vis-a-vis the net importer does apply, assuming the population of the net importer maintains its habits. Rising costs of imports have this nifty tendency to change those habits, however.

Are you trying to argue that homeland security is impossible or that it's not worth increasing our security? Or perhaps you mean to say that America's homeland security is no better than the Maginot line?

I was not trying to argue either of those things. Simply that sinking a ton of money into improving security is worthless without also maintaining extra-national efforts to suppress the organizations seeking to bring terrorism to the US. In that, I agree with you. However, I don't agree that we're conducting that effort in the wrong country. Al Qaeda themselves explicitly stated (until recently) that Iraq was the central front in the war against the west. Should we now reorient our efforts to keep the pressure on? Certainly. However, merely improving security within the borders of the USA will not be an adequate solution.

11/08/2007 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Wow. So many remarks by Mr. Dobson and so little time! @_@

Let's begin! ^_^

Dobson: "A never-ending occupation of a hostile foreign country seems to be really bad for the US economy."

Quite right. But that has nothing to do with Iraq. ^_^

Dobson: "A military victory in Iran might be possible, but at a greater financial cost than America can currently bankroll."

Since Churchill knew that military victory against Germany would come at a greater cost than England could afford you would have advised him not to oppose Hitler? o_O

As a "fellow conservative" it is good of you to remind us that Bill Clinton was guilty of wasting the "peace dividend" by using it to finance new programs rather than to pay down the national debt but that is hardly relevant to the question of whether we would rather be free than bow to Sharia, is it? :P

Dobson: "I'd like to see an iron-ring of defence around America rather than over-extend American forces "liberating" foreign countries that do not particularly wish to be liberated."

Yeah, look how much good the Maginot Line did for the French! u_u

For that matter, look at what a great job that the "Great" Wall of China did at stopping Ghengis Khan. Perhaps "Mediocre Wall of China" would have been a better name for it? ^O^

Sorry, but if you think that any Iraqi who isn't a Baathist regrets the deposing of Saddam then you know nothing of Iraq. Likewise, you would do well to remember that historically pure defense has always been a losing strategy. :P

"Iran and Pakistan cannot afford that much fissile material,..."

No nation in Europe could afford WWI as evidenced by the war debts they could not pay. And yet WWI happened all the same. If you put your trust in the financial prudence of Iran and fail to notice that there are aspect of life that go beyond the financial ledger then you are doomed to disappointment. Carthage and the Dutch Republic both learned the hard way the value of a mountain of gold weighed against a mountain of iron.

"Like I said before - just because charlatans and profiteers tried to make money out of Y2K bug hysteria does not mean that there was no Y2K bug.

It was a very common bad design error (representing a year as a 2-digit code) which was mostly not that hard to fix, but sometimes hard to spot."

Hardly that bad. It came about because the mainframe programs in question were written in the 50s and early 60s and none of the programmers of the day ever thought that anyone would be stupid enough to leave programs running without change for over 40 years. In that regard they underestimated the conservatism of insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms. Hence the reason it was an issue in the 90s in spite of repeated warnings from some of the journals in IEEE over several decades. As you pointed out it became a moot point thanks in part to the fact that people did wake up in time and in part to the fact that switching over to the PC had become an option. The fact that it became an issue is a testimony to the way that humans will cause problems for themselves that are preventable. The fact that the issue was resolved is testimony to the fact that humans have the ability to solve these problems if they wake up and act in time. In that regard both the jihadis and the socialists may be regarded as Y2K bugs. ^_~

"Forgive my history but something like the tzar-bomba was the culmination of nuclear weapons expertise. It was built by a group of genius scientists who had been involved with a series of nuclear tests. They had experimental as well as theoretical knowledge about how to make things go boom..."

Quite right. And the light bulb and the telephone were also the inventions of genius scientists. But science is not magic. Invention may require genius but building what a genius has invented merely requires the skill of a technician.

"Here of all places I thought I would be free of romantic ninnies who think that wars are fought for triumph or honor."

So the concepts of winning and of honor are foreign to you? o_O

That's too bad. :P

Here's a clue. Anyone foolish enough to think that material reasons are the only reasons wars are fought is a romantic ninny among romantic ninnies and has no business insulting others. If you truly think money is the only reason wars occur then go back and restudy your Thucydides.

"Raytheon, Taser, Boeing &Lockheed. They are doing real well right now."

Quite right. And both Boeing and Lockheed did real well before the war as well. Being a well run company tends to do that in any circumstance when a nation is secure. ^_^

But honestly, given your gloom and doom tones prior to this about America's finances I'm surprised you didn't invest in gold. *snicker* . After all, it *is* the investment to have when an economy is in danger of collapsing. *snicker*. I mean, just look how good investments in that metal have been from the 1980s to the present day! *snicker*. ^_~

"War is big business - perhaps the biggest one there is."

Nah! You want to see serious moneygrubbers look to the "anti war" activists, the Socialists and the EcoFreaks instead. The fact that they're incompetant at it does tend to obscure just how nasty they are in the pursuit of it but the fact remains that people who believe materialism is the only thing that matters do tend to be the ones who go overboard in the pursuit of material benefit. ^-^

"Would you thank GWB if he won a war in Iraq but let the Democrats in at home?"

Most certainly. Dummycrats are a pain in the neck and parts lower but they are still better than jihadis. ^_^

"Unfortunately the bulk of the US defense expenditure is wasted on fighting a battle on a foreign continent, wheras we should be strengthening defenses against a potential dirty-bomber. That means we need good Homeland Security, and not get bogged down by foreign police-work."

Isolationists are always cute. Silly but cute. Did it really never occur to you that such a concentration upon Internal Security without any thought to *external* security would only lead to a totalitarian society afraid of both foreign and domestic trade? O_o

"If you had bothered to read my comments you would have known that I was not advocating a border-wall but general homeland security. The core of this would be improved intelligence both within the USA and overseas."

Your endorsement of domestic spying is duly noted. And did you really think that "improved intelligence overseas" would not involve "getting bogged down by foreign police-work"? o_O

Sorry Dude, but the best Homeland Security there can be is to destroy the entire Terror Network that grew in the 70s in both root and in branch and that requires taking the fight to the enemy rather than cowering behind a totalitarian government as you would advocate. I'll give you a 10 out of 10 for good intentions but 0 out of 10 for good judgement in this regard.

"My question to those who think war in Iraq prevents this kind of attack is ... how?"

A legitimate question. I trust you will do a better job in holding still for the answer than others I have replied to in the past have done.

1. It removed a patron of terrorists by deposing Saddam.
2. It is taking out of play one of Al Qaeda's sanctuaries. Hence the reason there have been so many foreign fighters within Iraq.
3. It has so far prevented Iraq itself from going nuclear.

Thank you for asking! ^_^

"He has got America into debt, ..."

Ooooo! Let's just ignore what boobs FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Clinton all have been, right? ^O^

"If the American economy was so tough then the dollar would be riding this out instead of tanking."

The economy is *not* the dollar. Try again. :P

"Do you honestly think it is cool to be in so much debt?"

Have you honestly forgotten that it's too late to care since Clinton pretty well blew the last chance to fix the Ponzi Scheme known as "Social Security"? o_O Do you think it will matter how much money is or is not owed if we get stuck with Sharia or if we die beneath a mushroom cloud because some fool though "Homeland Insecurity" would somehow act as a substitute for taking the fight to the enemy? Always easier to do something about debt than it is to do something about Death, isn't it? ^_^

"The funny thing is that the Soviets thought that fighting the cold-war was more important than balancing their budget. "

A good reminder that the question of whether Iran can afford to build nukes is moot, ne? Also worth remembering is that the *reason* they had to strain their budget is that America was willing to strain hers in order to stop them. Reginald Bretnor was right when he described war as a potslach and that is one reason I laugh at those poor bakas who think that war is a business.

"What if Americans are not wealthy enough to keep exporting because of our crazy imbalance of trade?"

Then we will still be better off than if we were the wealthiest corpses in the morgue because we neglected to go after those who would kill us. Next question? ^_^

BTW, if you are such a dedicated mercantilist perhaps you should brush up on your Adam Smith. ^_~

11/09/2007 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

tower;
thanks for that. I think Dobson is a wannabe reincarnation of Lindberg. Minus the piloting skills.

11/09/2007 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger Mastiff said...

Dobson,

Spoken like a true patriot... but unfortunately like somebody who does not spend a great deal of time in the finance industries.

It's dangerous to make assumptions. I do, in fact, work in the financial industry. In fact, I think I can safely say that unless you have untapped reserves of wisdom that you have not shared with us yet, I have a deeper understanding of it than you do.

You make the mistake of underestimating the human ability to muddle through. I, on the other hand, think that we can survive the current turmoil.

(It would be easier if the government wasn't over-regulating everything that moved, mind you...)

11/09/2007 08:26:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger