The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Noise Like This Makes Me Glad I Spent That Time In Afghanistan Trying To Help Them Become Like Us

Posted on | October 16, 2011 | 34 Comments

by Smitty

Via Insty, there is a story about fix a speeding ticket for the offspring of a deputy.

Hey, that’s just how things work in Afghanistan: you know people, you pay them, you buy the desired outcome.

Other than going after these people hammer and tongs, I can’t think of ways to reverse a culture of corruption. Suggestions?


34 Responses to “Noise Like This Makes Me Glad I Spent That Time In Afghanistan Trying To Help Them Become Like Us”

  1. Joe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Did you think David Chase just made it up when Tony would get his tickets fixed in the Sopranos?

    Episode 31: Another Toothpick -The drive home from Dr Melfi’s office was frustrating. Carmela clams up and Tony takes out his frustrations on the accelerator, which results in his being pulled over by one of New Jersey’s finest. Officer Leon Wilmore refuses a bribe and issues Tony a ticket, inspiring some not-so-enlightened commentary about the African American officer’s job performance. Later, Tony asks Assemblyman Zellman to “handle” the ticket; Zellman goes him one better and has Wilmore transferred. He’s lost his eligibility for overtime and has to supplement his income peddling lawn ornaments at Fountains of Wayne. Fountains of Wayne is located in Totawa, NJ on Rt 46 W, at the junction of Rt’s 23, 46 and 80. 

    Yeah the Sopranos is fiction, but there is some underlying truth about corruption. 

    And it is not just New Jersey and Illinois (or for that matter Louisiana).  There are little corrupt activities happening all the time everywhere.  We need to make sure they stay little. 

  2. DaveO
    October 16th, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Unmarked minefields and gem mining – a useful, if sometimes unfortunate occurence.

    In America, the only solution is to reintroduce Prostestant Christianity and encourage its practice.


  3. Joe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    That post has a certain Anamika quality of incoherence.  Okay, I will play, any particular denomination DaveO? 

  4. ThePaganTemple
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    I liked it when it came back to bite Zellman on the ass, literally, when Tony gave his ass a good belt spanking.

  5. Christy Waters
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

    I think hammer and tongs is a grand idea.

  6. ThePaganTemple
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    Smitty, it is what it is. You just have to work with these people playing by their own rules. It is their country, and their culture. In fact, I did a post about this, that does have an idea that’s never been considered, I’ll post it later. But bottom line, Kabul will never be Kansas City.

  7. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    As the token Papist on staff here, I find your comment not only dumber than dirt, but bigoted into the bargain. Care to rephrase that, Muttley?

  8. Richard Mcenroe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    It’s Illinois, Jake…

  9. Richard Mcenroe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

    I believe he was referring to the sturdy and upright Puritans, who eschewed personal finery (unless, as their leaders, they didn’t) but who wore their plain and modest attire tailored from the finest silks and broadcloths.  As anyone knows, it’s easier to virtuous in silk.

  10. Dianna Deeley
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    Perhaps you are right that Kabul will never be Kansas City, but corruption damages everyone and everything. How to root it out? Tentatively, explain that the reason civil servants are so poorly paid is that corruption is assumed; that every time someone pays or takes a bribe, he’s really screwing himself.

    Though I don’t suppose that really sinks in with a lot of people. Otherwise, banks wouldn’t have to chain the pens down, would they?

  11. dad29
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    Other than the fax machine (and a female lead in the drama) what’s the dif between Illinois and the ‘stan?  Smitty’s right:  that’s exactly the way it works over there, too.

  12. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    Right idea, wrong weapons, after all how far can you throw a hammer or a tong with any accuracy?

  13. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    Which isn’t to say Kansas City won’t become Kabul.

  14. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

    Do they chain the pens down on the Sunday talk shows?

  15. Christy Waters
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    I guess my mind’s a little more twisted than yours.

  16. Joe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    Wombat, I suspect DaveO is a moby trying to stir up trouble.  But if he is serious, my guess is his politics and “Protestant Christianity” are closer to Jerimiah Wright’s version. 

    And Richard, silk undergarments breath, are an excellent base layer in winter or summer, and never chaffe.  Is that too much information? 

  17. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    That’s hard to imagine.

  18. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    It always takes a strong hand at first. Collateral damage ensues, but the strong hand is necessary.  (A long-shot possibility is a movement that starts locally and grows, like puritanism, which may affect those in power.  But peace-based movements only seem to work from inside an already established civil society, or by moving to the wilderness.)

    The popular history of Wyatt Earp includes the fact that he always relieved men of their second amendment rights while they were in Dodge City (Tombstone? Both?)  It helped tame the town, and like Arpaio, Earp became a legend for it.

    This brings into question the failings of popular movements.  The biggest failing is always–always–the failure to define success and what to do once it is achieved.  This is why we are stuck with useless looters like Al Sharpton and the Jacksons, Senior and Junior.

    The strong hand must give way to actual civil society. The trouble is, throughout history, only a few men, like George Washington, are wise and brave enough to see the necessity.

  19. Bob Belvedere
    October 16th, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

    I used to throw tongs, but one time my back gave out while doing it.  Christ, those Chinese fellow weigh a lot.

  20. Bob Belvedere
    October 16th, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    It happens everywhere.  Fixing tickets is a time-honored American tradition.

  21. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    I’m confused. Weren’t the Puritans the guys who followed Cromwell and shaved their heads so they’d fit better in the cannons when the artillery ran out of ammo?

  22. Cube
    October 16th, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    Publish every instance of this corruption, with names and make them defend what they did.  Don’t just shine the light and then let it go.  And if they’re elected officials, publish a reminder near Election Day so folks  can make an informed choice.  Then if they’re dumb enough to continue voting for the same corruption tell them after the election to pound sand when it bites them.

  23. Joe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    I could think of a few politicians who need a “Zellman” beating. 

  24. Joe
    October 16th, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    The Puritans were the uptight Calvinists who went out to do good and did very well. 

  25. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    How did that work, exactly? When a Puritan died in battle, at a time when the artillery had run out of ammo, one of Cromwell’s officers decided, “well, since this man won’t be needing his head anymore . . .”?

  26. Anonymous
    October 16th, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

    I throw down some tongs when I’m slow cooking pork ribs on the grill.  

  27. ThePaganTemple
    October 16th, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

    I think Michelle probably does that Barack once or twice a month.

  28. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    Joe stole that from James Michener’s Hawaii, where it was used to charge white people with exploiting the poor dumb brown people under cover of Christianity. Sounds right at home over at #OWS.

  29. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    Diana, you (and everyone here, especially Smitty) should read The Last Centurion by John Ringo. It goes into detail about “general-trust” vs “familial-trust” societies. Muslim countries tend to fall into the latter.

    There are several different types of societal
    trust but they really boil down into two major groups. Familial and general.
    Familial is the society where if you loan your lawn mower to your cousin, he’ll
    give it back. But if you loan it to your neighbor, who is not your cousin, you
    don’t know if he’ll give it back or not. So you don’t loan it to your neighbor.
    You don’t do anything for anyone if you can possibly help it. You don’t trust
    the cop unless he’s a cousin. You don’t trust the banker unless he’s a cousin.

    If you’ve ever been overseas (or, hell, in certain
    areas in the U.S.) and had someone say “I have a cousin who . . . ”
    then you’re in a familial trust society.

    Then there are general trust societies. The U.S.
    is, by and large, (and we’ll get to Chicago, L.A. and Detroit in a second) a
    general trust society. In most segments of American society you could loan your
    lawn mower to your neighbor with a fair expectation of getting it back. If you
    didn’t, you could take him to small claims court and the judge wasn’t going to
    care about you or your neighbor, mostly, just about the merits of the case.

    Trust is vital in a society. If societal trust is
    too low, people trust no one. Except, maybe, their cousins.

  30. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    K_Bob, when a peace-based movement heads out into the wilderness, especially if it’s wilderness which has someone else living in it, history shows 1 of 3 options: it isn’t nearly as peace based, its’ members become slaves, and / or its’ members become deceased. Without the structure provided by that “already established civil society”, peace is a lot less viable.

  31. Richard Mcenroe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    That’s what you’re told.

  32. Richard Mcenroe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    More like “Oi, prithee, prithee mite, take a butcher’s n’see if the bloody thing’s loaded…’

  33. DaveO
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    “Unmarked minefields and gem mining – a useful, if sometimes unfortunate occurence.” This is a reference to both A-stan and greed in general.

    And no, y’all know I’m no moby or a member of the trolletariat. What I think Smitty is alluding to is the morals, mores, and religious practices of Afghani muslims – the parallels among Americans.

    Islam in A-stan has 2 major, non-islamic influences: the mysticism of the Sufi, and the world-view of Buddhism. This world-view demands that the universe and all in it are finite.

    For example, say you own a car. Because you own a car, someone (probably an Afghani) can not have a car. All resources are finite. Therefore, to get a car, what must a man do?

    Why, blow up his neighbor’s car. Or his neighbor. Or, for style points in Heaven: blow up a Jew or an American (double points if the victim is both).

    This world-view is the same as Malthus described. If some American is making money hand over fist, well that means another American can’t. This creates the ‘I gotta get mine, first’ philosophy we’re seeing among the Progressives and their cannon fodder. And, to a growing extent, among government employees (elected, appointed, and hired).

    The attitudes that support this world-view is the feeling that ‘the fix is in’ whether the thing is justice (meaning there is a consequence or reward for every action), employment, elections. Marriages become finite. Children are taught to expect consequence/reward to be tangible. Churches excuse the sin to keep the sinner – and yet only conservative churches grow.

    Christianity, in contrast, does not ascribe to the finite, but to the infinite. Basic M1A1 Christianity is simple, provides an easy to use framework, and allows people and society to grow to the infinite. One doesn’t have to stab their neighbor in the back, or covet the neighbor’s anything. That is why Christianity is the number 1 enemy of the Progressives and their allies. 

    So Wombat Socho, if you’re up to quoting from the catechism on how Catholicism (Roman and/or Eastern) argues for or against the point, go for it.

    I heartily encourage all readers of this blog to stay a while in A-stan. But don’t get greedy – the minefields were never marked.

  34. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    I take it you won’t be joining us in the compound.

    We’re all stocked up on Wyler’s, too. No Kool-Aide here!