Three things I found interesting

I’m processing (that’s a euphemism for “paying”) bills, which is hogging a ridiculous amount of the space in my head.  Nevertheless, there are three things I wanted to bring to your attention.

First, you’ve probably heard already that Obama, as part of his proposal to cut military spending, is slashing military health benefits, even while leaving civilian health benefits untouched.  All the obvious stuff about his animus towards the military and his effort to steer military personnel into the ObamaCare scheme has already been said.  My thoughts headed in a different direction.  One of the things that happens every election is that the Secretaries of State in Democrat strongholds somehow can’t get their act together so as to get timely absentee ballots to the military.  When I read a report saying that the military is less monolithically Republican than everyone (including those Secretaries of State) had assumed, I wondered if that would speed up the absentee ballot process.  Now, I’m thinking that the military will be lucky if it gets its absentee ballots by 2013.

Wikileaks is now publishing Stratfor emails.  Stratfor is responding by suggesting that a lot of the material being published has been falsified, but is refusing to comment as to any of it.  I think this is a smart tactic, since it induces a note of doubt about the reliability of any of this stolen material.  As far as I know, Stratfor deals only with publicly available information, from which it draws its conclusions.  However, to the extent that its clients provide it with information in their requests for services, this is a devastating commercial blow, not just to Stratfor, but to corporations around the world.

AIDS isn’t a naturally occurring biological phenomenon.  AIDS also isn’t a product of historically anomalous rates of promiscuity and intravenous drug use that allowed it to spread throughout the Western world with unstoppable force in the early 1980s.  Nope.  AIDS is the fault of Western Colonialism.  But you knew that, didn’t you?

Please feel free to add in your comments anything you find interesting.

What does Europe’s coming collapse mean when it comes to the Muslim immigrants?

For years at this blog (and others) when we’ve written about Europe’s problems, we’ve focused primarily, not on the economy, but on those Muslim immigrants.  One of the things that we talked about a lot was the fact that these same Muslim immigrants subsisted largely on public benefits.

This little tidbit emerged with force during the riots in France, when we first learned that the banlieues that housed the rioters were welfare cities.  The European paradigm was for Muslims to show up, from Pakistan, from Turkey, from North Africa, and to be showered with the European’s post-colonial guilt payments.

So I have a question for you:  What’s going to happen with all those Muslim immigrants now that Europe is broke?  Riots?  Civil War?  Quiet retreats back to their home countries?

How America’s classrooms celebrate Columbus Day

We used to view ourselves as a shining City on the Hill, a nation that hadn’t always done right but that, more than any other nation, had changed the world’s concept of liberty — and that in the last century had saved more people from tyranny than any other nation in the history of human kind.

Our children, however, are simply taught that Western culture is an evil that destroyed perfect indigenous people.  Columbus is the perfect scapegoat for this world view.

I’m all for a nuanced view of history.  Teaching that humans are saints is always a mistake — and that’s true whether you’re trying to create plaster saints out of explorer’s or Native Americans.  Yes, the explorer’s were often brutal by today’s lights and they were certainly avaricious.  They were also brave, creative, innovative, ignorant of the dangers they carried with them in terms of disease, and many, especially the priests, acted out of a genuine belief that they were bringing a light around the world.  And yes, the Indians suffered an invasion of their enclosed world; yes, they lost their land; and yes, diseases decimated them.  But that overlooks the fact that they couldn’t have lived in a hermetically sealed bubble forever, and that no one understood germ theory in those days.  As to land loss, yes, that was a tragedy, although perhaps inevitable with a 90% decimation rate from the bacteria the Westerners never knew they carried with them.

But the Indians were also real people.  Some were helpless, hapless souls, but these souls had long been victims of other Native American tribes, even before the explorers came.  Indeed, many were delighted that the explorers had come, because they saw these armed men on horseback as a way to level the playing field.  Some tribes were vicious killers (even cannibals), some were just go-along-to-get-along people.  Their reverence for nature sprang in part because they lived closely with nature and in part because, as stone age people, they were unable to dominate nature as the westerners did.  When they had the ability to destroy, they did (as many of the Plains tribes did with their overwhelmingly wasteful buffalo hunts, which saw them drive hundreds and thousands off of cliffs).

When cultures clash, it’s rare for them to integrate and live in harmony.  One wins, and one loses.  Some cultures and conquerors are more evil than others, and some are simply more powerful.  All are products of their time.  And it’s utterly stupid for our school systems to try to pretend that the explorers were the respositories of all the world’s evil, while the Native Americans were saints on earth — pretty much virgin souls waiting to be sacrificed.  That’s a stupid and boring way to teach.