Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Six Frigates, The Epic history of the founding of the US Navy

I finished a book I had been reading tonight: Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy, Ian W. Toll.  I have had a fascination with naval history as of late and learning more about the early US navy seemed a natural choice. Going into this book I will admit a dearth of knowledge on the early naval history of America, I knew there was a Tripolitan War, a Quasi War, and a War of 1812, but I had no idea how interwoven the early American politics and economics would interesect in the story of the original six frigates.

The book tells the story in an enthralling and engaging manner, often the talesof naval combat sound more like Patrick O'Brien than dry military history.  Six Frigates also ahs the enormous plus of being unapologetically enthusiastic about America and its early history.  It rarely if ever lapses into post modern recrimination towards America, for a modern work this is rare.  Six Frigates weaves politics, drama, action, history, economics, and Americanism into an enthralling tale of how, why, and who was responsible for starting, fostering, and building America's navy.  I would give this book 4 out of 5 broadsides

Pros: Action very well written, almost dramatized.  Facts are essentialized, does not get bogged down in unnecessary detail.  Engaging at all levels.

Con:  Have a reference book of sail terminology handy while reading; I thought I knew a bit about naval speak....I was wrong.  Could have used a codex in the back with a list of all the principle people involved, was hard to keep track of all the names.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Freedom is not Free, Americanism and Memorial day

In America, the last Monday of every May is a day of thanks and remembrance for the over 1 Millions servicemen who have laid down there lives serving the cause of Freedom.  Why is Memorial day unique to the American culture, and how should Americans remember those who have paid the ultimate price to their nation?

(Continued after break)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What can the Catholic Church do to help its Flock following Conclave?

So for the second time in the last decade the Vatican is electing a new Pontiff and the question around the world is:  'What will the new Pope's policy be'?  Will he be a force of modernization, in the vein of John Paul the 2nd, staunch Conservatism/Traditionalism like Benedict the 16th.  Regardless the outcome of the Papal Election, the first question the new Pop will undoubtedly ask is 'What Can I do too help my Flock'? The answer would be shocking:

(More after the Break)

Monday, September 10, 2012

"We Shall Never Surrender" 9/11, Victory, and our current Peril.

11 years ago America was viciously attacked by 8th century Islamic zealots.  Nearly 3,000 American Citizens were murdered in cold blood while living productive, exceptional lives.  America's response was rightfully swift and brutal, the Taliban were easily dispatched, the Muslim world was terrified, the nihilist left was quite; in short, a terrible attack was met with righteous justice, epitomized by the original operation name for the Afghan campaign "Operation Infinite Justice".  Why then 11 years later is America losing it's war against Islamic totalitarianism?

It certainly is not the individuals soldiers fighting prowess.  The 19 year old Private in Iraq or Afghanistan has the ability to call on more devastation and firepower than any fighting force in history.  Their training and equipment represented hundreds of thousands of dollars and a unique irreplaceable life.  Is it our military high command, who issue the idiotic Rules of Engagement that prevent our Armed Forces from defeating the enemy?  Somewhat, but the US is firmly under civilian control. So the government must be the answer?  In larger measure surely, but the government is the summation of the wider culture at large, not the drivers of it.

Ultimately it is moral ideas that dictate policy at all levels.  America's current policy is so engrained with self sacrifice that is a wonder we have made it this far.  Make no mistake we are losing the moral battle with Islam, because we refuse to acknowledge the morality of our own survival.  Preserving the individual rights of Americans is the only job of a properly constituted American government. We must recognize the enemy we are fighting and act accordingly.  Only then can Liberty survive.  I close with a quote from renowned historian Victor Davis Hanson:

"This bloody past suggests to us that enemies cease hostilities only when they are battered enough  to acknowledge that there is no hope in victory - and thus that further resistance means only useless sacrifice."

(Note:  I am obviously taken a lot of context for granted, See "Nothing Less than Victory" by John David Lewis and "Winning the Unwinable War" by Yaron Brook for  a more detailed analysis)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The GOP convention and why I will vote for Romney.

The GOP convention ended tonight and the 6-month foregone conclusion concluded, Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee.  Tonight you are also hearing from about the least enthusiastic supporter Romney voter out there.  Politically Romney and Obama are mirror images of one another, sure Romney makes token concessions to the economic efficiency of Capitalism, but both agree on one important political principle; the supremacy of the Group (Collectivism) over the Individual (Individualism). So, if that is the case, as a liberty valuing voter, why vote for Romney, why vote at all?

The most obvious answer to this question lies not in politics, but in morality.  Romney accepts the Collectivst code of sacrifice implicitly and as such is a mixed hodge podge of political ideas, some good, many terrifying.  Obama on the other hand is an explicit Collectivist, he honestly believes, and will force you too as well, that 'You are your brothers keeper' and 'You didn't build that'.  Romney does have actual experience in the business world and will at least soften any forthcoming regulation, which will help everyone, BHO on the other hand, and I do not say this speciously, may not allow another election to take place (see his comments to Vladimir Putin "After the election I will have more flexibility"). Their are myriad of reasons to vote FOR Romney, the most important being you are voting AGAINST Obama.  The second most important reason is one I would take a moment to talk about, his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan is miles away from an ideal Individualist candidate.  He is far too religious, has made far too many compromises in important areas, and reflects a disturbing trend in the GOP towards theocratic principles (thought not nearly as bad as that cretin Santorum).  In some very important ways Ryan is a crucial step towards the right candidate.  He is a fighter, he will stand up to the democrats, he is a Fiscal Hawk when it comes to the budget deficit, and in many areas he does express some explicit Individualist tendencies.  Paul Ryans praise of Ayn Rand, though he explicitly rejects Objectivism, puts into the culture the only set of ideas that will eventually save this country.  Paul Ryan, though far, far from perfect, is a baby step in the right direction.

In our current political climate an ideal Individualist candidate would have very few people to talk too, Romney Ryan 2012is about the best case that someone who is fighting for Liberty can hope for right now. We must keep fighting for what we believe in, the first step in that is getting rid of Barack Obama.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A few thoughts on the Death of Neil Armstrong

Truth be told,one of the reasons  I thought about starting this blog was one my heroes dies on Saturday.  Neil Armstrong was a man who truly personified some of the best aspects of the America spirit.  At 6 years old Neil took to flying and never looked back; he pursued his passion for his entire life and never apologized for it.

Obviously his most well known moment was being the FIRST HUMAN BEING TO WALK ON ANOTHER CELESTIAL BODY.  Think about that for a minute, what kind of dedication, commitment, bravery, and passion would it take to step into a tiny capsule and be the first person to accomplish something great?  What kind of man is capable of that?  Neil Armstrong was, he truly had 'The Right Stuff'

Mr.Amstrong's accomplishments are far too numerous to chronicle here  and that is not my purpose.  All death is tragic, but the greater tragedy in Armstrong was the utter lack commentary.  An American hero had left this wonderful world he helped to build, and no one seemed to notice.  Neil Armstrong was a living embodiment of the statement 'It can be done and I am the one too do it',  He was a Heroin the purest sense, a paragon to point to and say 'This man lived well strive to be like him'.

I for one will never forget what have done, Godspeed Mr Armstrong, one giant leap indeed.

Open for Business

So I've decided to try my hand at this blogging thing.

So the question you may be asking is, "Who is this guy who starts a blog improperly mixing Greek and Latin words"  My name is Kyle Vafiadis, a 28 year old male living in Saint Louis MO.  I work as the Technical Director for a food Packaging convertor here is town (we are the worlds largest manufacturer of private label microwave popcorn in the world).  I have a pretty eclectic range of interests, ranging from Ancient Greek history, Philosophy, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, energy technology, manufacturing, home brewing and on and on.

The second question you might be asking is "What do you hope to get out of this blog".  Well, like most people I have a fair amount to say, but also like most people, I don't have a forum to really talk about it the way I want too.  I am particularly interested in Big Ideas, whether its politics, history, economics, sport and culture, and anything in between.  I imagine this blog becoming a repository of my thoughts relating disparate events and interests into a coherent integrated story.

So, here goes nothing, glad you could join me.