Best Quote IX  

Posted by RogueDash1 in , ,

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros, and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they got their way, the United States will have the religious freedom and women's rights of Saudi Arabia, the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for gay people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won't multiculturalism be beautiful?

Robert A. Hall

Dead on. The flip side to that view is that in much less than thirty years, there will be a backlash against this kind of liberal idiocy, and the country will move back to the right. This kind of cycle has been going on for a while now; since the Renaissance for our own culture. But what I can't help but notice is that the cycle itself moves ever more leftward. So I don't expect the coming conservative swing to take as far to the right as Reagan, and the next swing left will take us past the Obama administration. My question is: when do we stop cycling far enough back to the right to be unable to fix things?

Hat Tip: Conservative Grapevine

Daniel Hannan  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Heh: "pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility"

Hat Tip: Cassy Fiano

Capitalist Smackdown  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

One of the statist fallacies is that there exists people who are more intelligent and virtuous than everyone else; nobles who need to tell the uneducated masses what to do. The problem is that no such man has ever existed that is able to resist the temptation to abuse his powers. (Except for that one guy 2000 years ago.) So statism fails to help the people, as the leaders help themselves instead. Capitalism at least tries to work around this lack of virtue, as Friedman puts it.

Hat Tip: Big Hollywood

Best Quote VIII  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce.

Karl Marx

Though I doubt he was talking about socialism or statism when he said it, it certainly applies to our continued attempts to try his ideas, despite the warnings that Nazism and Communism provide for us.

Hat Tip: Right Wing News

Liberals are Evil  

Posted by RogueDash1 in , ,

But I'm not the only one saying it.

This speech was given by Evan Sayet to the Heritage Foundation two years ago. He gave a followup speech this week.

My favorite line was this one:
Stupidity is a luxury and you will find time and time and time again that those who are overwhelmingly on the left are those who can afford to be. Those who do not suffer the consequences of their stupidity...

Hat Tip: Big Hollywood and Right Wing News

The Orlando Tea Party  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

I went to the Orlando Tea Party yesterday. Some five to six thousand people showed up for the event. We got there around noon, and by then the amphitheater was full, so we got seats outside the bowl. We couldn't really hear the speakers, so I don't know the specific message at this rally, but I've been following the events on Instapundit and other blogs, so I don't think they said anything with which I disagree.

One of my friends made t-shirts for the event. (I left my camera at home, so I'll have to post some pictures later). He brought a bunch extra and sold all of them within an hour.

Most people at the tea party seemed to be in good spirits. Everyone was smiling and talking to each other. It really felt more like a day at the park than a political protest. Signs and t-shirts not withstanding. Nobody was ugly or calling for a revolt. And that makes me wonder whether or not these tea parties are having any affect. The government does not listen to conservatives. Liberalism is the sanctioned view from the universities and other experts. Congress could probably ignore us without suffering much. Though I rather expect them to give us minor sops to appease us while furthering the socialization of America.

On the other hand, many thousands of people have turned out for these tea parties across the country. How far can we be pushed, I wonder? Nobody likes what the federal government is doing, but few people seem outright angry about it. Most people seem to hope that we can vote out the liberals in the next election and vote in some actual conservatives who will follow the Constitution. And as long as people believe that, no revolution will happen. But I expect that a bunch of Republicans will be voted in the next election, and they will socialize America slower. But I don't think they will reverse what we are going through now.

Which would put the current government in a precarious situation. What happens when other people recognize this? What happens if people realize that the game is rigged so that the liberals always win? That liberal policy always harms civilization and increases chaos? I don't even want to think about what would happen if conservatives realized that their government was their active enemy. But liberalism/progressivism leads to a collapsed third world country.

And so liberals hope conservatives don't know how high the stakes are. And conservatives hope that liberals will change their policy, but if they don't, we can vote them out. And unless there is a flash point, there things will stay.

For the Greater Good!  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

I have finished my first XV8 Crisis Battlesuit. As the battlesuits are infantry, I have painted them much like my Fire Warriors. This particular suit is in a Fireknife configuration, equipped with a plasma rifle, missile pod, and multi-tracker.

I have modelled this one in flight, cruising in to the fire zone. This represents the Tau's jump-shoot-jump tactic, and makes for a more interesting model.

For comparison, I have placed a Fire Warrior next to the Crisis suit. The Crisis suit is quite a bit bigger than a Tau, though this one looks even larger since it is hovering off the ground. I'm really liking the way this army is turning out.

New Artwork  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

I went to the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival this morning. It wasn't quite as big as the Mt Dora Arts Festival, but they still had some neat things. What I got this time was a print of a photograph by John & Debora Scanlon.

Obviously this doesn't match my Chinese paintings I got last month, but I think it is a very beautiful piece, and it does go with the old world, somewhat exotic theme I am going for in my home. Plus I have a lot of wall downstairs, so I don't have to hang it near the Chinese stuff.

And now that I am starting to decorate, I dug this painting out of the closet. I got it in Jamaica while on a cruise about this time last year.

I'm not sure where I'll put this one. Perhaps I'll hang it in the downstairs bathroom. I could make it a Caribbean theme. I do like the ocean and the tropics, but I don't want to mix a bunch of disparate styles in one room. And it's a small painting, so I think the bathroom idea will work.

A Modern Day Tea Party  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

So Gtmunch just sent me a link about an Orlando Tea Party this weekend. I think it will be an interesting adventure. This will be my first foray into political activism. I wanted to write down a few thoughts before casting my lot.

Of great concern to me is the vast difference between my view of the world, and that of the liberals. It is only in the last two years that I have begun to discover the various, fundamental beliefs that make up a person's philosophy on life, the universe, and everything. I started this blog in part to write down what my beliefs are, how they compare to other philosophies, and how they all play out in the world.

And what I have found in my learning is that these different worldviews are not compatible. They contradict. Which means at least one of them has to be wrong. It's simple logic; the law of non-contradiction.

But it is more than just right and wrong. For I do not believe that liberal philosophy merely wrong, I believe that liberal philosophy is the most destructive force in society today. It's not something over which I can compromise. But this puts me in a very awkward position. My beliefs place me in direct opposition to my government. I consider what the Democrats are doing in Washington to be evil. They are systematically destroying American civilization.

That's one hell of a statement. But I can't come to any other conclusion. I believe that the best society is that which is built upon Biblical teachings. The humanist and naturalist philosophies that underpin liberalism are in direct opposition to Christianity. And they know it. That is why Christianity has been ever more marginalized for the last century by progressive policy makers.

The government wishes to mandate how we should live our lives; tell us what proper behavior is, and beliefs are taboo. Which is also what Christianity does (and Islam, and Judaism, and Buddhism, and so on).

So I think the best I can do is live my life according to the teachings of Christ to the best of my ability.

Which brings us back to the Tea Party protests. I really can't tell how much affect they are having. I don't think the powers that be in Washington care at all. So as far as policy goes, I think it's a complete wash. However, it does let people know that they are not alone in disagreeing with their government. But I really don't expect it to go as far as the original Boston Tea Party. Even though we are far more aggrieved than the Colonists. Nobody really wants an armed insurrection against the most powerful nation in the world. It might have worked 233 years ago, but the deck is considerably more stacked in government's favor today, and few people are willing to give up their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, since life is still pretty damned good for most of us.

Best Quote VII  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

Christianity has not been tried and found false - it's been tried and found too difficult.

C. S. Lewis

Hat Tip: Michael McGruther at Big Hollywood

Best Quote VI  

Posted by RogueDash1 in , ,

It's a Recession when your neighbor loses his job. It's a Depression when you lose your job. It's a Recovery when Obama loses his job.

Hat Tip: Burt Prelutsky at Big Hollywood

Pr0n's Law  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

The cumulative number of women who have posed topless on the internet doubles every eighteen months.


I was doing chores this evening, and my mind started having strange philosophical discussions with itself. I mean, what else is it supposed to do while I vacuum and mop? At any rate, I got onto the topic of pornography. It is a continual problem for every man, and definitely one I struggle with (on the occasion that I actually struggle, instead of giving right it).

But what caught my mind's eye was the conventional Christian wisdom on pornography. Namely, that it desensitizes men to sex and sexual acts, causes men to disrespect women , and treat them as nothing more than sex objects.

The problem is that that narrative doesn't really match up with my experiences. I do not feel that I treat women with disrespect, or only think about having sex. Nor do I feel more inclined to behave that way after viewing porn. And of the men I know who have viewed porn (or still do), all of them are well behaved towards women. So either I've only met the outliers, or the conventional wisdom is lacking.

It seems to me that pornography is more of a symptom of society's problems with the relationship between men and women, rather than a cause. That disrespect and sexual objectification are more prevalent is obvious (hello rap culture), but I think that has more to do with America's growing self-centeredness. The it's-all-about-me-I-don't-care-about-anyone-else attitude and the loosening and often outright abandonment of moral restrictions leads to disrespectful, degrading behavior, since one is concerned with one's own pleasures, and not whether that hurts someone else.

And that seems to me where porn lies. It is selfish. It is sexual gratification without the hassle of getting a woman's permission first. Actually, right there I can see how pornography can contribute to this problem. Like any other form of selfishness, when you become used to indulging in your pleasures at your whim, suddenly finding yourself restricted in a similar area (say your girlfriend isn't in the mood) will make you resentful.

But this does put the root cause on our own selfishness, and our growing inability to deal with it when we don't get what we want when we want it. So it looks like the Church does have a point and pornography does feed the problem. But what the Church misses (or I have missed) is that the problem is the continual selfish indulgence in every sin to the point we get angry when we can't indulge for some reason. Pornography and sexual degradation are the problems associated with lust. I bet it would be easy to find obvious examples of the other deadly sins.

And this also explains why my own experiences did not match the conventional wisdom. We (my Christian friends and I) understand and accept that we can't always get our way, and that selfishness is wrong, so we don't flip out when the universe doesn't cater to our whims. So while we unfortunately still indulge in our own favorite sins, the Holy Spirit keeps it from dominating our lives.

Best Quote V  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

This stuff starts on the playground, really. Who among us hasn't been hauled to the principal's office after hitting back at the school bully - and then told, gosh darn it, he's here all the time but you're supposed to be better! It's the tactic of the thoroughly cowardly bureaucrat.

Some of us want punishment for whoever started the fight; some of us want punishment for whoever finished it.

This is why so many wars have been started under democrat Presidents. It's also why, the wars our country fought that finished with a lasting, enduring, durable peace, were fought before we had the United Nations. Since then, every wildfire around the globe, rather than being altogether extinguished, just subsides into a smoldering slow burn ready to erupt into an inferno at any time.

House of Eratosthenes

This reminds me of a story one the people I met in college told me. She said she was in Model UN, and one time they were running a scenario where they were representatives of NATO countries at a time when terrorists had taken control of a NATO building in Brussels. They were tasked with resolving the situation. After many hours of debate, they released a statement saying that an attack against one was an attack against all. So the terrorists blew up the building, killing thousands, including themselves.

She told the story as a funny anecdote of how a group of people (a committee, really) are unable to come to any kind of decision, even in a crisis. In retrospect, however, I think they modeled the UN very accurately.

As a counter point, I offer this story from one of my high school friend's time in JROTC. He was invited to the Pentagon to do some war games. Their scenario was the acquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea. North Korea was preparing to invade South Korea, and they were supposed to stop them.

Their solution was to launch a series of cruise missile strikes at North Korea's anti-air defenses (said defenses provided by the Chinese), and then bomb the ICBM launch complex as well as North Korea's military staging areas. This caused the Chinese to 'aid' North Korea by invading South Korea. And to stop that monstrosity, they nuked one Chinese ballistic missile sub base and a staging area where China had massed close to one million troops, thus negating China's military might.

The coordinator ruled that China dropped out and America won the war.

Foyer Furniture  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

I found a neat table for my foyer. I was at Ashley Furniture looking at sofas when I saw this. They were getting rid of them to make room for a new model, so I got one of the floor pieces on sale.

This kind of bound chest look is not at all what I was originally looking for. I was thinking of making the foyer have an oriental look. However it looked interesting, it was the right color wood, and I think with the right accents, it will still look good in an oriental style.

I've had trouble finding a foyer table. My foyer is rather small (it is a town home, after all), and the stairs start right in the foyer, so I had to find something small enough to not block the stairs.

There a still a few things I have to do in the foyer before it's done. The most important right now is to get a door stop, so the door doesn't swing into my new table and beat it up. A trip to Lowe's and half hour's work should take care of that. After that, I want to hang up a mirror over the table, put in a shoe rack by the hat stand, hang up that picture of bamboo I got at the festival, replace the light fixture with something oriental or Himalayan looking, and get a Chinese or Thai dragon to go on the table. Which is more plan than I have for the rest of the house.

For the Greater Good!  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

After many months, I have finally finished my Devilfish Troop Carrier. I painted the ship blue with lots of white trim and panels, in keeping with my Ice Planet theme. Whereas my infantry have white armor over black jumpsuits, I wanted the vehicles to be a little different, so they would stand out better.

A rear view.

And a profile shot.

I'm going to go back to working on infantry for a while now. Even in batches, they are quicker to build than vehicles. This puts my total army at 1 Devilfish, 8 Fire Warriors, and 2 Gun Drones (not counting the ones on the Devilfish). I have a long way to go.

The Prisoner's Dilemma and Society  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

I found this article while wandering around the Anchoress' website today. It's on the prisoner's dilemma. The prisoner's dilemma is as follows:

Two suspects, A and B, are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal: if one testifies for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent, the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both stay silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a two-year sentence. Each prisoner must make the choice of whether to betray the other or to remain silent. However, neither prisoner knows for sure what choice the other prisoner will make. So this dilemma poses the question: How should the prisoners act?


I've seen this before in video games where my character is prisoner A and one of my companions is prisoner B. The question is always phrased as a moral choice, do I screw my friend over, or do I stay loyal to my friend and risk losing? I always choose based on whether I'm playing a good guy or a villain.

But Bill Whittle points out something I hadn't considered before. If the other prisoner chooses to screw me over, then it is best for me to do the same. And if the other prisoner chooses to cooperate, then it is best for me to betray him. It is always in my best interest to betray my opponent. And if the other prisoner is rational, he'll choose the same and we both server two years.

This is pretty straight forward, and I might have gotten their had I considered it an economic question rather than a moral question. But what really interested me is what happens when you play the game over and over again, with the same two prisoners. Computer simulations show that choosing what the other prisoner chose last turn (tit-for-tat) gives the least time in jail for the prisoner.

Most Americans know that it is cooperation that generates the most wealth. I make my stuff, you make your stuff, and we and everybody else trade it all around until we have the stuff we want. Every economic system, from capitalism to socialism, is based off this idea that each person makes/does something useful and gets useful things in return.

Where things get interesting is in how each system deals with cheaters. If cheaters are punished, then cheating will be rare and cooperation will prevail. That is, if the imposed costs of cheating, fraud, stealing, going back on your word, and whatnot are greater than what you gain from cheating, you will play by the rules, even though cooperation has its own costs.

This is the tit-for-tat. Cooperation, specialization, is required to create the type of wealth seen in the United States. In order to write good software, I have to focus most of my time and energy on it. Which means to get food, I have to buy it, which requires that I trust that the company will pay me for what I write, and that the grocery store will accept that money in exchange for food and not give me a box of shredded paper instead. But this only happens if cheaters are removed from the game.

This is one of the rules of capitalism. The actors in the market are generally honest, and the dishonest ones are punished, so that self-interest leads to cooperation.

Communism, on the other hand, simply assumes that cheaters will disappear.

If cheaters are allowed to play, then society quickly devolves into a free-for-all. If some people take without giving back, then everyone else has to work harder to make up the difference. But as more people realize it is better for them personally to cheat rather than cooperate, then there will be more cheaters and the good people will have to suffer the additional costs of providing for them.

A concrete example: I want electricity for my house. I can either buy it from the electric company, or I can hook my house to my neighbor's house, who is paying the electric company. If there is no punishment for not paying, then of course letting my neighbor pay for both of us is my cheapest option. But if cheating is acceptable, then everyone will cheat. And if nobody pays for electricity, then the electric company stops providing it.

For most of history, and even much of the world today, people have been stuck in this state of not trusting. It is a point of equilibrium. I take advantage of others where I can because if I don't I will be taken advantage of.

This is why family is such an important part of most cultures. You can trust family, in a way you can't trust the random strangers you might meet doing business. So the clan or tribe becomes a group of people you can cooperate with, because you know they won't take advantage of you.

I think this will be a very useful lens through which to examine America's current economic crisis, and the societal break down that has preceded it.

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