Why Do We Blog? 6

I think there are several reasons why people write articles for their web-log, or blog. First of all, if you have something to say, it is a good place to say it. Plus, you have the added reason that somebody else may read your essays, and be convinced that your opinion, or presentation, is good. On the other hand, with other people reading your essays, there is the overwhelming chance that others will disagree with you.

Another reason people write blogs is because they are narcissistic. They just want to say something, or they want to become known in certain circles as an expert, or knowledgeable person. That works sometimes, and many people will cruise the so-called blogosphere just to make inane comments on others’ blogs. They are called, trolls.

Some people write essays on their blogs because it is their profession. Lots of journalists have their own blogs, or maintain a personal blog on their employer’s website to voice their personal 0pinions. Many times, their blogs are quoted as actual news outlets.

Blogging got it’s reputation from those who operate their blogs as alternative news sources. Many main-stream media stories have been struck-down, or negated by the attention of bloggers who are always on the lookout for bad journalism. Indeed, it has gotten to the point that it is preferable to read blogs instead of main-stream newspapers, or to watch network television news shows. It is sometimes amazing how the public is taken for granted, or as stupid, by the main-stream news media. One of the biggest examples is the Dan Rather/ CBS News hoax with the forged George Bush National Guard papers. The documents were clearly manufactured for Rather’s agenda-directed news casts. Rather later tried to say that even though the documents were false, they were correct. What human being in their right mind would accept this patently false assertion?

Some of us write because we like to write. I am not a professional writer, but I do have an agenda which pretty much anyone can see if they read my articles. I think lots of us are the same way. We are also under the impression that our opinions can make a difference, and occasionally we are disappointed that world events don’t seem to be affected by our constant advice.

It is easy to be a blogger, but it is hard to find something significant to say. Many bloggers just comment on current items in the news. Others comment on things within their field of expertise, and still others talk about personal things, sometimes to their detriment

One thing I know is that now is the time to start a blog if you have anything to say, at all. Somebody, somewhere will read what you have to say whether they agree or not. With enough bloggers out there espousing the same message, anything can happen.

Happy blogging, everybody.

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Career Bureaucrats Are Far Worse Than Our Elected Politicians Reply

I rarely re-publish someone else’s articles. This article is a worthwhile read by an American citizen now living in Venezuela. The link to his blog is in my blog-roll, and is well worth adding to your list of favorites.

Asylum Watch

On the 15th of May, I wrote a post titled The Bureaucratic Swamp That Is D.C. (District of Corruption). It that post, I quoted from an article in the Washington Post by George Will who, in turn, used this quote from Christopher DeMuth (a Fellow of the Hudson Institute) at George Mason University:

Government power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, Washington power is increasingly concentrated in the executive branch, and executive-branch power is increasingly concentrated in agencies that are unconstrained by legislative control. Debt and regulation are, DeMuth discerns, “political kin”: Both are legitimate government functions, but both are now perverted to evade democratic accountability, which is a nuisance, and transparent taxation, which is politically dangerous.

My good friend and favorite satirist, Manhattan Infidel, left a comment saying: “it’s now the government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats“. I agree with him and…

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In Memorium 4

ArmyPicIt was a cold January day when the doorbell rang at our little house on the dead-end of Netherwood Street. My father answered the door, and a lady presented a telegram from the War Department. There was anguish in his voice when he alerted mom, “Mother, Jimmy is dead”. My brother, Jimmy, had been killed on December 24, 1951 in Korea.

I remember these things as if it were yesterday. Everyone in the whole house went into screaming fits of crying, with my mother and father retiring to their bedroom with their grief. It was not their first son to die for his country. Their first-born, Charles, had been declared dead after missing in action in the South Pacific during World War II.

It was what every soldier’s parents fear the most. Their child will come home, no more.

Jimmy was a big guy, standing about six feet, two inches tall. He would come home from school, or delivering newspapers and throw me over his shoulder, rough-housing with me like big brothers do. He was the guy everybody liked, and he sang bass in a gospel quartet. Somewhere in our family keepsakes is a small vinyl record he and a group of soldiers cut while on leave, singing a gospel song titled, “Keep On The Firing Line”.  It was appropriate for a singer of Christian songs, and a soldier.

While in high school, Jimmy talked our parents into signing for him to join the National Guard in Memphis. This was supposed to keep him out of the war in Korea because the Guard was not expected to be called-up for active duty in that war.

The National Guard was federalized, and units from all over the country were used to bolster the fighting units having a hard time in Korea. The Memphis unit was the 196th Field Artillery. It was a battery of 155 millimeter howitzers. Those are the really big guns.

At times he would send home pictures, and one set showed a field littered with the bodies of dozens of Chinese soldiers. I don’t know how Jimmy got these pictures past the censors, but we still have them.

The 196th had been firing their howitzers for over 24 hours when it happened. Jimmy was the crew leader, and they loaded a defective round. It exploded in the gun’s breech, killing the entire gun crew. Years later as I was graduating  from college with my engineering degree, I interviewed with a unit of Sperry-Rand out of Louisiana that had manufactured ammunition for 155 mm howitzers. The interviewer told me that there had been a problem with defective ammunition they had manufactured during the Korean War.

If you remember I spoke of two brothers dying while in service to their country. I never knew the brother killed in World War II. He was also much-loved, and it was years before my father stopped going to the train station in Memphis, looking for a son who never returned from the war. I am writing about Jimmy because he is the one I knew.

Some people don’t understand why we honor our war dead. In my opinion those who don’t understand this just don’t understand honor. Honor is not something automatically given, it has to be earned. Just living a life and dying does not generate honor in and of itself. Honor is given to those who serve others.

It is this service to others we honor, and do so in memory of those who gave their lives in battle for things some people don’t understand.

Little Things Mean A Lot 6

This essay was inspired by a man named Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of a very famous book, “The Black Swan”.  This is not about the Natalie Portman movie, it is a very interesting book on where our financial experts went wrong leading up to the economic disasters in the last few decades. It is a bit mathematical, and certainly covers some philosophical points. It may be boring for some people, but for those who want to know how some things work, it is well worth the effort.

The term Black Swan  comes from the fact that for centuries, nobody knew there was such a thing as a black swan. All swans in the known world were white. One day, people went to Australia and lo-and-behold, what did they find but black swans. No longer were all swans assumed to be white.  The discovery of black swans was a totally unexpected event.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb took that idea, and describes the 9/11 terrorist attacks, hurricane Katrina, the US financial system disasters in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and the 2000’s as black swans. They were all big, life changing events, not predicted, and most people believe they should have been predictable if only we had connected the dots. That’s a black swan.

How do you make yourself ready for an unpredicted, really big, life-changing event? Think like a boxer. These guys work out extensively every day by doing calisthenics, getting punched on the body and the face, and by keeping to a training diet. When the big fight comes, their body is in condition, and they are ready for the big punches their opponent is certain to deal them.

Being able to handle all the little punches, adversities, and problems in everyday life is one way to be ready for the “Big One”. There are obviously many dimensions to this idea, and many are sound. Allergy shots are given everyday to inoculate the body from the really big shock of a heavy, Atlanta Georgia allergy season. Infants and toddlers should be allowed to crawl on floors, go to those pre-schools which are germ incubators, and to generally let their little bodies learn to cope with the little attacks of daily life so they can grow up prepared to handle the tough, and germ infested world.

Is there any connection with the economic world, i.e., government and other institutions?

Socialism, communism, and fascism try to insulate people from the economic travails of life, i.e., joblessness, bankruptcies, natural calamities, fraud, and greed. Instead of letting people learn to deal with joblessness and their own economic problems, the state tries to protect them. Inevitably, the government is going to screw up big time (lowering credit standards for home buyers), and a VERY BIG catastrophe will ensue. It is the big government-caused disaster that hurts people, not the little ones they have accustomed themselves to handle.

It is endemic to big government and big corporations that are “too big to fail” that really bad things will happen, on huge scales. If the government is limiting depositor risk in the banking system by bailing out big banks, all they are doing is transferring the bank’s risk of doing business to taxpayers. This should be considered criminal, it is certainly illogical, and in many cases, stupid.

We have heard all our lives, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I have extended it to, “Don’t let the little people get you down”. Now, the watchword is changing to, “Watch out for Big Brother”. He is here, he is malicious, and he is unrelenting. Look for more big problems, bank failures. crony-capitalism, and downright corruption in our government.

Corruption goes hand-in-hand with big government.