Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Security and Specialization

"Years ago, when the West entered onto a path of decadence, it became fashionable to deny the historical consequences of permissiveness and bad behavior. As the old standards fell away, new standards of 'tolerance' and 'acceptance' took hold. With the fall of colonial empires and the upsurge of student radicalism in the sixties, the notion of 'barbarians at the gates' became outdated. Heaven forbid that anyone should be described as a 'barbarian' or as 'uncivilized'. ... One could no longer use words like 'decline' or 'fall'. Perhaps such words hit too close to home. Better to deny the very history of decadence. ... The American Heritage Dictionary defines decadence as: 'A process, condition, or period of deterioration or decline, as in morals or art'. The fall of the Roman Empire involved an across-the-board decline. ... Sophisticated manufactures in the west Roman world largely disappeared within a period of three lifetimes. Literacy, comfort and trade also collapsed. This was the greatest economic downturn in the history of mankind. ... Civilization doesn't always move in an upward direction. Decline and fall is more than possible; such has actually happened. ... The Roman economy began to move downhill around the fourth century. There was widespread enervation, a loss of intellectual acuity within the elite. Effeminacy had taken hold at a time when warfare was hand-to-hand. Incredible as it seems, the Roman Empire became vulnerable to a relatively small number of barbarian tribesmen. After penetrating the empire's frontier, these tribesmen found easy pickings within a defenseless interior. When the legions were lost or destroyed, entire regional economies were plundered and ruined. ... What led to Rome's weakening? In describing the city of Rome in the middle of the fourth century, Ammianus Marcellinus wrote of the vanity and materialism of his contemporaries. Rome became great through virtue, he argued, and virtue had given way to vice. Decades before the barbarians broke into the empire, causing the economy to unravel, the Romans were focused on entertainment and self-gratification. ... To borrow a phrase from Neil Postman, the Romans were 'entertaining themselves to death.' A great and prosperous civilization was about to dissapear. ... You do not need atomic bombs to depopulate cities or empires. A foreign enemy, admitted inside an empire, can disrupt trade and stop the flow of revenue. ... Civilization is fragile. Trade can be disrupted and peaceful industry can be knocked out of operation. It doesn't take as much interference as you think. In his book, The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization, Ward-Perkins describes the fragility of sophisticated economies: 'to understand the full and unexpected scale of the decline--turning sophisiticated regions into underdeveloped backwaters--we need to appreciate that economic sophistication has a negative side. ... However, because the ancient economy was in fact a complicated and interlocked system, its very sophistication rendered it fragile and less adaptable to change.' Our modern economy is more complicated, more interlocked, and more fragile than the economy of the Roman Empire", my emphasis, JR Nyquist (JRN), 21 November 2008 at: http://www.financialsense.com/stormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2008/1121.html.

"It is as natural for the moms to be overly concerned about the bumps and bruises as it is for the fathers to be encouraging independence and self-reliance. Yin and Yang represent two complementary energies in nature, the balance of which determines the health and harmony of a marriage, a family, a village, and even a nation. These same Chinese philosophers warned however that unhealthy families, like unhealthy nations, are usually the victims of an overabundance of either the feminine yin or the masculine yang. ... While an excess of yang energy was considered explosive and dangerous, what happens in a country like contemporary America when there seems to be a dangerous oversupply of feminine yin? In his book, The Suicide of Reason, Lee Harris argues that our present state of liberal democracy has led to 'eliminating the alpha males from our midst, and at a dizzingly accelerating rate.' Instead of supporting and valuing testosterone's virtues we're 'drugging our alpha boys with Ritalin.' ... For Lee Harris however the feminization of American men comes at an extremely high price: 'The end of testosterone in the West alone will not culminate in the end of history, but it may well culminate in the end of the West.' ... An excess of yin is now causing many of our states, like California, to go broke, Despite these examples an 'uncaring' America was the chief rallying cry of Barack and Michelle Obama during the recent election. ... We're at a critical moment in our history however, when the forces of yin in America threaten to bury, not complement yang. Despite what the radical feminists might tell you, alpha male energy is natural and necessary for many things, including national survival", my emphasis, Ed Kaitz, 22 November 2008, link: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/11/the_testosterone_crisis.html.

"'As I read the ominous headline: 'Somali pirates demand $25 million ransom for supertanker'; 'Somali pirates seize 9 vessels in 12 days'; 'Yemen powerless to combat Somali piracy'; 'Maersk says rerouting some of fleet due to piracy'--I nearly fell into despair. Then I listened to America's modern-day prophet Elijah, Dr. Michael Savage, rallying the troops on his radio show earlier this week, and my soul was revived. What did Savage say? ... 'Who is this Admiral Mullen? What does he mean he was "stunned" at the rise in piracy in that area? Is he crazy? Has he been on 'The View" TV show or taking a cruise off the coast of California? Oh yeah, that's right Admiral Mullen is one of those Harvard-MBA-Type military leaders that calls in his military commands on his trusty iPod.' ... After Savage's fire-and-brimstone diatribe, I fell into a somewhat melancholy mood and silently uttered this Socratic soliloquy to myself: 'Where are the real men? Where are the great generals like George Washington, William Tecumseh Sherman, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall? ... Where is Gen. George Patton when you really need him?' ... Savage then stated why in 1775 the U.S. Navy was created in the first place: to secure America's independence from our colonizer, Great Britain. ... It was America's unflinching resolve to fight Islamic terrorists who attacked our merchant ships that inspired one of the verses to the Marine's hymn: 'From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli' ... 'Tripoli' refers to the First Barbary War (1801-05) and the decisive battle of Derne. ... When I was a little kid, I recall watching all those classic war movies and documentaries. One image that haunts me to this day is when President Harry Truman, that insecure little haberdasher, fired the great World War II hero, Gen. Douglas MacArthur. ... Gen. George Washington, dead, Gen, MacArthur, dead, Gen. Marshall, dead, Gen. Patton ... they're all dead! What military man do we have to protect us? George W. Bush gave us a politcally correct admiral with a Harvard MBA and no navy aircraft combat experience named Mike Mullen. ... 'Attack' doesn't seem to be in [Mullen's] vocabulary; he seems part of this new generation of metrosexual military officers what are thoroughly feminized and politically correct in their training and war strategy. That's how Mullen rose through the ranks. The Washingtons, Shermans, MacArthurs, Pattons have all been thoroughly purged from the ranks of the U.S. military,and only Harvard MBAs are left to fill the officer core. No wonder America hasn't definitely won a war since World War II--our soldiers and military leaders have been utterly emasculated by the socialist left. ... Dr. Savage concluded with these statements: 'we need "warriors" not "worriers", and 'If we have the greatest military in the world, but are afraid to use it, what good is it to us'?," Ellis Washington (EW) 22 November 2008, at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=81667.

JRN nails our civilization's vulnerability. What? Specialization of labor is a potential wartime weakness. Yes. Even in bad weather. JRN's article reminded me of Spiro Agnew, "Last week the Vice President complained in Jackson, Miss., that the South has too long been 'the punching bag for those who characterize themselves as liberal intellectuals.' Maybe he has a point about the South, but he outdid himself in New Orleans by saying of the Oct. 15 Moratorium: 'A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals", Time, 31 October 1969, link: http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,839090,00.html. Here, here. Did Agnew have Mark Lilla (ML), my 22 November 2008 post, in mind?

How Neanderthal Kaitz! To think national survivial requires physical force and the will to use it. I go further Kaitz, I think radical feminists, who exist in the West on men's sufferance, men with weapons who protect them, should be told in terms even they can understand, "shut up". I see our new, touchy-feely military that debates what to do with Somali pirates. My answer: dispatch a few destroyers, helicopters and P-3 planes to the area, identify the pirate ships, order them: FREEZE! If they don't, blast them out of the water with 5" naval guns. Our navy can use the practice. How insensitive. How Neanderthal. Once we've done that four or five times and released videos of the pirate ships sinking, I expect Somali piracy to decrease 99%. If not, as the Terminator would say, "we'll be back". One of Winston Churchill's favorite military leaders was Erwin Rommel (ER). German Field Marshall Rommel? ER once told his troops, "In the absence of orders, your orders are: Find the enemy and kill him!" Could a US general say that today? ML would be reduced to tears. ML might think he was "elevated" to tears.

My plan to deal with the Somali pirates. Have Congress issue entrepreneurs Letters of Marque. This is big potential profit maker. Goldman Sachs (GSG) sells units to finance the ships. Build say thirty 52-gun copies of the USS Constitution (USSC)! Relive history! Hang pirates from the mizzenmast! Only $10,000 per four-month voyage. With a compliment of 450, that's $4.5 million gross a voyage. Oh, the sailors may ransom the pirates instead of hanging them, splitting the proceeds, tax free! (I'm a CPA and considered potential tax consequences). The USSC cost $303,000 in 1797, or $12 million today. Only concessions to current capabilities: radios and refrigerators. For a fee, the P-3s alert the USSCs to the pirates' locations. Even the Navy makes a few bucks. Got that Lloyd Antoinette Blankfein (LAB)? Raise say, $500 million for the project and GSG collects a $35 million fee of which $3.5 million goes to your truly! How about it, LAB? Too squeamish? What's wrong with you anyway? Alternatively our "pirate tourists" blow the pirates out of the water using 1805's cannons! I heard Savage on the radio and had the same reaction as EW. I know who today's George Patton is, Ann Dunwoody (AD)! On 14 November 2008 Bush promoted AD to four-star general! A logisitics four-star? A female person with no combat experience. Today's army has numerous career paths, including that which I mentioned on 25 August, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/08/new-army-career-path.html. "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad". Indeed.


Anonymous said...

Exactly.. what GS needs is new asset class >> de-pirating underwriting. Right on. Goes with the FDIC/Goldman bonds.

Radical feminsts are fading away. Their message is silly. Woman aren't men ... like yin isn't yang.

Alpha... like Seeking Alpha? They have some good financial writers. IA should publish on Seeking Alpha.

aaron said...


aaron said...

It seems to me we have plenty of alpha males in our midst and that they are destructive and ignorant in equal points.

In my opinion, costly expenditures on "modernizing" our nuclear arsenal is an investment, like the vast amounts we have historically spend on the military in the past, that will leave us with nothing, to show for it.