Current Events Trivia

I love current events trivia.

Did you know that there are over 80,000 adoptions each year in Japan, and that more than 90% of those adoptions are of adults?

It seems that the Japanese, a highly chauvinistic society, male heirs may not be deemed sufficient to run family businesses, and family businesses are a big thing in Japanese culture.

The article mentions one Guest House in family operation since 717, and another business in operation for 1,400 years. Obviously, if one generation only has an “idiot son” they need a male heir that is competent to run the company.

The article notes that many successful business developers find that the “idiot-son syndrome” often makes inherited wealth dissipate.

Enter Japanese matchmakers with a list of highly educated and competent 20 and 30 year olds, able to marry into business families or be “adopted.” Some are willing to give up their names to the family name.

It is surprising how other cultures have vastly different methods — but it works for them.

The Relentless Pursuit of Something

Lexus — The Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection

Obama — The Relentless Pursuit Of Taxes

Musing About Guns — Again

Once again, there is a question of profiling — because while most of the insane are not mass killers, most mass killers are insane.

We learned in the 30s that most liberals were not Communist spies,  but most domestic  Communist spies were liberals. (The others were planted nationals of other countries.)

We learned in the last decade that most Muslims were not terrorists, but that most domestic  terrorists were Muslim.

We understand that the FBI has infiltrated many radical US Mosques, as they did liberal organizations in the 30s and as they do today KKK and right-wing militia groups — and Mosques.

All of that is rational behavior, susceptible  to mis-use of course, but overseen closely to avoid problems.

The problem with the mentally ill is that they do not have meetings like Militia or KKK. The mentally ill are loners, and as difficult to find or even more difficult to find than Lone Wolf Terrorists.

That makes families, mental health professionals, and law enforcement the front lines of  defense. Some of these people KNOW almost every killer, suspect, and say NOTHING.

No two incidents caused by the nexus between mental illness and available weaponry will be the same. Terrorists prefer bombs — usually, but Mumbai was different and very successful  Anything successful will be duplicated, both by terrorists and disturbed individuals.

The disturbed are “crazy” — they are not stupid.

There is no “answer” — there are multiple answers because there multiple facets to many questions, and similar to terrorist attacks in the best prepared nations, like Israel, nothing is foolproof.

There is no Silver Bullet, there are just silver slivers. Will limiting magazine sizes save lives — probably a few, but there are already millions, and any machinist can make one. All you can do is impact the time that someone must expend, and hope that gives them time to reconsider. Nothing stops a determined individual. Nothing.

Will streamlining the mental health reporting and confinement help — probably, but mental health professionals are not mind-readers. We just assume they know the odds of human behavior better than do those of us in different professions. History tells us that is a mis-placed expectation, but perhaps it can be improved. The Italians put mental health professionals who miss signals in jail — but all that does is keep people from choosing that profession. People, and money flee discomfort.

Can we do something about a culture that is steeped in violence — probably. We have made cigarette smoking so outside the mainstream that smoking is still diminishing except among the rebellious young, whose rebellion will extend to violent videos also  Perhaps we can approach the parents who invariably pay for the violent games.

We can only have success at the margins but if we can develop a sustained movement — like the anti-smoking movement — we can slowly change things.

We can never “solve the problem, just positively impact it. Everyone with a philosophical (or political) position, and we all do, needs to find out what we can contribute to the solution.

This is like many problems, unsolvable if we stick to absolutes — it’s like the immigration problem in that we are not going to deport 12 million people nor are we going to give citizenship to 12 million law-breakers.

We have problems, We can find solutions that make the problems easier to live with even if we can’t find ultimate solutions.



Socialists Seek Equality of Outcomes — like Obamacare

Liberals send confused messages to me on many Blog boards — they contend that they are not Socialists (who want equality of outcomes), but what liberals want is equality of opportunity.

Then the liberals tell me that I personally have government health care, so why do I oppose Obamacare?

I spent 26 years EARNING my government-paid healthcare. Giving it to every swinging Richard who did NOTHING to earn anything, it IS equalizing OUTCOMES!

(I can hear the liberals gasping, “How insensitive! He hates the sick, the frail, the old! I would love to keep the subject to equality of outcomes, but I have debated liberals for decades, and know the drill. Stand by for the “sick…”)

“Leveling the playing field” begs the question, “”How level?’ because it is pretty obvious that liberals DO want equality of outcomes. They demonstrate that with Obamacare.

You see, everyone who qualifies CAN join the military and make it a career. They could equally stay in corporations with similar benefits, or even local or federal government and EARN the same “benefits.”

Millions who do join the military, (or corporate or civil service) decide that the military (corporate/civil service) is not for them — including two of my three children. These COULD have stayed in and EARNED their government paid medical care, but they will now get it anyway. When i joined the military, there was no Medicare either, and military people had government medical care. We are all, at 65, “equal” — those who served and earned, and those who…well, continued breathing.

Everyone has equal opportunity to work for corporations, or governmental entities that offer, contractually, medical benefits. Of course it is always easier to vote yourself “equality of outcomes” at the voting booth than EARNING it!

(Two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner.)

Still Musing About Sandy Hook

Those with insurance have mental care available.

Care of the indigent mentally ill is a church/synagogue/mosque/temple responsibility, as I have expressed before.

When the mentally ill are determined by the professionals in the private insurance or church(etc), and determine that one of their charges are potentially dangerous, they are ALREADY required to report to the police/courts.

We have a problem in that many of these disturbed individuals intend to commit suicide anyway, so, like suicide bombers of the terrorist sort, “punishment” of the sort we think of (jail and execution) is worthless. There are “evil” people — some are mentally ill, most are not legally mentally ill, but society needs to be separated from them.

In a population as large as 315 million, some predictable % will be dangerous mentally ill. It is finding needles in a haystack, but we can predict that the population of dangerous mentally ill will be in the already identified population of males in mentally ill populations, as (usually) known to school’s and public and private mental health professionals.

Will individuals escape identification, or if identified, escape reporting. Obviously. Nothing is foolproof, but we can certainly tighten up the process. The Gifford shooter was KNOWN crazy by his college — identified as dangerous by that college. The Colorado theater shooter was identified and in therapy with his university psychologist.

We don’t know yet about the Sandy Hook killer, but it is recently reported that his mother was working to have him committed. (There is so much bum dope about this most recent case that we need to wait just a bit to see if this shooter was in therapy.)  It is a good bet that someone(s) have previously identified him. These guys (and thy are guys) don’t  drop out of orbit.

My late attorney told the story of being told to wait while his client showed up in Court, and in the meanwhile the judge held hearing to send many people to mental institutions.  My attorney said that in every case he told the person being institutionalized that in case they were permitted weekend release, they could keep their driver license.

So, just remember when you drive — they may be out there in your lane.

A Question of Morality

: A man has lunch in a lunch pail. Lunch he paid for.

Two scenarios:

(a)    Someone comes down the street with a gun, and “shares” the man’s lunch.

(b)    Someone(s) vote to “share his lunch,” and send a man with a gun to effectuate the sharing.

In both cases, the man with the paid-for lunch, is relieved of all or part of his lunch.

(Mathematical Axion: Quantities equal to the same quantity are equal to each other.)

A is a crime. B is legal theft, because the thieves WROTE the laws. In certain central European nations of the 30s, HUGE moral transgressions were committed that were absolutely LEGAL under their laws

(I actually have more respect for the Willie Sutton in para a), because he has the nerve to face his mark, while the Willie Sutton work-alike in para. B) hire a third party.)

Recommended Reading

The spies, counter-spies, and more importantly the double (and even triple) spies between Britain and Germany is an astonishing story.

May I recommend a true story of WWII, “Agent Zig Zag” and another book, “Double Cross,” each by Ben Macintyre.

While we tend to think of the Germans as deadly efficient, but not so – I would not be at all surprised that the Obwer, the German spy operation was run by pro-German but anti-Hitler operatives, so poorly was their operation.

Because the British had broken the German Code, Enigma, the British were awaiting each and every German spy, and coldly offered them a choice – work as a double-agent, or be hanged. Many were imprisoned, a few were hanged to impress the message, and many worked for the British.

Zig Zag was an ultra successful Double Agent, Eddie Campbell, whose British cover was Zig Zag and whose German cover was Fritz. He was a British scoundrel and rake, who received the Iron Cross from the Nazis and was dropped by air TWICE into Britain, while working for the British all the time.

He and Juan Pujil Garcia, German code name Garbo and British code name Rufus, was another British Double Agent, and it was primarily his work (in concert with four others) that kept the German Panzer divisions to the north (Calais) awaiting Patton’s fake Army, while the invasion succeeded at Normandy.

(This was not easy as the Nazis had been duped by disinformation both at Sicily, and North Africa. They were sensitive to being fooled.)

Garbo ran a fake operation consisting of almost 20 non-existent spies, and the Nazi money sent to maintain that fake spy ring almost funded MI-6, the British foreign spy operation. He was so successful that he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the British – and the Iron Cross by the Nazis.

There is in addition, a documentary, appropriately called Garbo, available on Netflix.

I commend this subject, and its various source materials.