"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States

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Saturday, April 16, 2005
  What's Up With China
Gus Van Horn has done an amazing job of covering the latest developments in China, and their implications for the rest of the world. I don't even bother reading about what's going on over there any longer, because I know Gus will condense the essentials into an easy-to-read format.

As if that weren't enough, he's even gone to the trouble of creating an "index" of all his posts on China; this is where he'll include all future posts on China as well. Definitely a resource you should bookmark! Here's the link: Chinamerica Central. Thanks Gus!
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 12:46 AM
Friday, April 15, 2005
  Happy 50th Birthday McDonald's!
Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine has a delightful post on McDonald's 50th birthday: Supersized.
When I was a columnist in San Francisco, I reviewed the opening of a then-fancy new McDonald's on Van Ness -- and I panned it. Ray Kroc [a co-founder of McDonalds] wrote a letter to the editor complaining that I was a "codfish aristocrat." He assumed I was just another burger snob. But I called Mr. Kroc and told him that I had once been caught by a survey going to McDonald's in Chicago five times a week; I was an addict. I believed in his credo of QC and I was saddened by the lack of quality I found in his newest emporium. The tone changed immediately: He knew he was talking with a believer and he said he'd get on the case immediately. He did. The restaurant quickly shaped up.
I too admit to succumbing to a need for McDonald's every now and then - when I was in college, I regularly ate their several times a week.

You can learn more about Ray Kroc and the founding of McDonald's here: The McDonald's History - 1954 to 1955.
Ray Kroc mortgaged his home and invested his entire life savings to become the exclusive distributor of a five-spindled milk shake maker called the Multimixer. Hearing about the McDonald's hamburger stand in California running eight Multimixers at a time, he packed up his car and headed West. It was 1954. He was 52 years old.

Ray Kroc had never seen so many people served so quickly when he pulled up to take a look. Seizing the day, he pitched the idea of opening up several restaurants to the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, convinced that he could sell eight of his Multimixers to each and every one. "Who could we get to open them for us?" Dick McDonald said."Well," Kroc answered, "what about me?"
Such is the stuff that heroes are made of...
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 1:07 AM
Thursday, April 14, 2005
  Free Blog - Easy to Start
If you're already a member of Objectivism Online (and if not, go become one now), you can now create your own blog there through the forum. If you already have a blog, you can also "register" your blog with the forum, thereby giving your blog added exposure to a large community of Objectivists (hat tip: Truth, Justice, and the American Way).
The option to create your blog is in the top left of your control panel (My Controls on top right). Once it has been created, you will find additional options and settings there.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 11:59 PM
  The Greatest Threat to Representative Government?
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, on the most dangerous threat to representative government: (hat tip: ACS Blog).
As presently constituted, Perkins will point out, the federal judiciary presents a far greater danger to the United States than many other threats facing Americans today. “The court has become increasingly hostile to Christianity, and it poses a greater threat to representative government -- more than anything, more than budget deficits, more than terrorist groups,” he said last week.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 3:06 PM
  This Ought to be Interesting...
From the Washington Post:
Connecticut's House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would make the state the second to establish civil unions for same-sex couples, and the first to do so without being directed by a court.

The state Senate overwhelmingly approved a civil-unions bill last week, and lawmakers said they expect to endorse the House version as early as next week. Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) said Wednesday that she will sign it.
Religious conservatives have been crying foul ever since "gay marriage" was made legal in Massachussets last year, on the grounds that "activist" judges had legislated from the bench. Will they be satisfied now when legislation has been passed "democratically"? Of course not, because conservatives are not opposed to tyranny, only to a limitation on their power. That's why they called for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

In the wake of the Terri Schiavo debacle, I don't see any real likelihood of such an amendment passing. I'm cautiously optimistic (with a large emphasis on the caution), but I think the conservatives will treading lightly in the future on any controversial issues.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 8:55 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
  Filibusters and Defections
Further evidence that the conservatives' support in the Republican party isn't unanimous (from the AP):
Two groups normally allied with Republicans have bolted from the party's effort to ban judicial filibusters the first major defections from a conservative push to prevent Senate Democrats from blocking President Bush's judicial nominees.

The National Right to Work Committee, a 2.2 million-member group critical of unions, and the Gun Owners of America, with 300,000 members, say they fear eliminating judicial filibusters could eventually lead to doing away with filibusters altogether.

Both groups have benefited in the past from use of the Senate parliamentary tactic to block gun control and labor bills. A filibuster technically is unlimited debate, and requires 60 votes from the 100-member Senate to stop.
I've blogged about the filibuster before (here and here); it's good to see two prominent Republican groups standing up to the conservatives. While I'm not a die-hard supporter of the filibuster as an end in itself, I think it can be a very valuable tool in preventing both disastrous legislation and disastrous judicial nominations. And in today's political environment, it's an excellent means of culling the political process, which in the majority of cases only creates further inroads to a dictatorship.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 4:16 AM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
  Anti-Communist Reading List
Mike Adams has a short piece on Townhall.com: An anti-communist reading list.
Hardly a day goes by without parents asking me for advice on how to protect their children from the harmful secular and socialist influences they will encounter in college. Today, I present a reading list, which should help any high school student understand the reality of socialism long before setting foot on a college campus. It will help abort any professor's attempt to advance his agenda by rewriting socialism's disgraceful history.
I hope you noticed the casual way secular was thrown in along with socialist, as two equivalently evil things. What makes this introduction to the list most interesting, however, is the fact that out of the ten books he recommends, 4 of them are by Ayn Rand (Anthem, We the Living, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged)! I found this a little surprising, only because he appears to be a conservative. Cringing at the prospect of what he would say about each novel, I was actually pleasantly surprised. Here's his take on Atlas, which is a far better review than I ever expected to hear from any conservative:
This is my favorite American novel. It is my second favorite novel behind "The Brothers Karamazov." Based on her other writings, Ayn Rand seems to have considered John Galt's speech to be the highlight of the novel. Francisco d'Anconia's speech at Jim Taggart's wedding was my favorite part of the novel. At over 1000 pages, this one is going to take time for your high schooler to read. If they refuse, you can always teach them a lesson about capitalism by paying them to read it. The results will be well worth the investment.
To paraphrase Betsy Speicher, "You'll know Objectivism is winning when a conservative recommends that parents pay their children to read Atlas Shrugged!"
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 12:20 AM
Sunday, April 10, 2005
  Cox and Forkum - Penal Injustice
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 10:33 PM
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