Harf Wrong

The choice to practice terrorism instead of engineering is driven by 1) values 2) a lack of manly firmness by world powers in opposing terrorism 3) a personal taste for cruelty.

State beggaring us to pay Danegeld does nothing to improve this.

Tyranny and corruption are the major things preventing a competent engineer from finding or making gainful employment.

Obama screwed up employment around the world by harming the US economy.

If ISIS has a single root cause, it is Obama’s horrific foreign policy.

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College Degrees

I’ve a temptation to do a ‘What do they know of a college education?’ speech, but it would not serve the purpose.

Scott Walker does not have a college degree.

Whoop-di-do.

Am I to believe that someone fresh out of school with a Psychology, Journalism, English or Hospitality Management degree necessarily brings to the table something he doesn’t have?

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More Smart Diplomacy

The Obama administration is alienating Thailand… one of our closest allies.

Some 3,600 U.S. servicemembers are participating in Cobra Gold 2015 amid a diplomatic row that could have long-term repercussions on the security picture in Southeast Asia.

The long-running annual exercise, which had its ceremonial kickoff Monday, never seemed to be in doubt despite U.S. concerns over host nation Thailand’s military coup last May.

The U.S. values Thailand’s location and well-equipped bases as strategically critical, while Thailand values access to U.S. tactics and procedures.

This year’s exercise will feature less live-fire and more humanitarian operations, but that won’t bother most of the roughly two dozen participant and observer nations, who desire Cobra Gold largely for the relationships they can forge with each other.

Despite the apparent triumph of pragmatism at Cobra Gold, the strident Thai objections over Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel’s critical remarks of the military junta during a visit to Bangkok last month shouldn’t be dismissed as political theater.

Thailand, like many other nations in the region, is determining how to balance its interests between the United States and China, whose interests often diverge over regional security. The recent perceived slight by Russel could slowly push Thailand closer to China’s camp, said Anthony Davis, a Bangkok-based analyst with IHS-Jane’s Military and Security Assessments.

“In a decade or 15 years, this may be seen as a watershed moment in a mutual recalibration of the (U.S.-Thai) relationship, which will entail a downgrading,” Davis said.

Russel bluntly discussed the coup and prosecution of Thailand’s democratically elected government, which the military and political opponents viewed as corrupt, during his Jan. 26 speech at Chulalongkorn University and in a subsequent television interview.

“Ending martial law throughout the country and removing restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly are important steps as part of a genuinely inclusive reform process that reflects the broad diversity of views within the country,” Russel said during his speech.

His comments likely wouldn’t have been taken so harshly had they been made in private, or through a spokesman in Washington. Secretary of State John Kerry and others have criticized the Thai government for crackdowns on protesters and media, book bans and other actions.

However, Thais perceived Russel as an invited guest who criticized his host. Even some Thais opposed to the military coup were angered by his comments, Davis said.

“A loss of face in this country is a cardinal sin … it is hugely important here,” Davis said.

After Russel’s departure, Thai officials summoned the U.S. Embassy’s charge d’affaires to express their displeasure.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the general who led the coup, called Russel’s comments a big disappointment.

“It saddens me that the United States does not understand the reason why I had to intervene and does not understand the way we work, even though we have been close allies for years,” he told reporters.

Last week, Prayuth pointedly thanked China for understanding how Thailand works.

He met with China Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and announced a new intelligence-sharing agreement, according to media reports.

Wanquan said China had no plans to interfere with the military regime, according to the Bangkok Post.


You can read the rest here.

“Asian Pivot” indeed.

I need a drink.

Marcus

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Obviously Unhelpful

The United Nations was originally formed after the failure of the League of Nations to prevent WWII. It was another name for the Allied faction in that war.

Corruption is a major cause of poverty. It also makes worse such things as desiease, crime, and war.

The UN hands money to people for being in the government of a country, or for having connections to people in the government of a country. By recognizing the governments of countries, and giving them seats, the UN may grant them more power than they would otherwise have. These all foster corruption.

Whenever one notices the UN doing something apparently actually helpful, one may ask if the net positive value, or even any positive result, offsets the suffering caused by pouring such wealth, prestige, and power into very marginal states.

Concluding that the UN, as it is now and is likely to be in the future, will cause more suffering than it might alleviate is fairly defensible.

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The Bump Fire Stock

I just purchased a brand-new Bump Fire stock, which means I’ll be forced to build a new gun to mount it on.

Why you ask?

Reasons.

Marcus

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A Recent Conversation at Atrocious Bunker

So I’m in the kitchen making a drink and the Old Lady turns to me and says,”So what time is the Superbowl tomorrow?”

I stop stirring the vodka for just a moment, ponder the question and then answered, “I’m not exactly sure.”

She then goes on to ask, “Do you know where they are playing this year?”

Perplexed I again answer, “I don’t even know who’s playing.  But I’m pretty sure it’s football.”

With this I pick up my drink, go to the other room and settle in for some Netflix.

Marcus

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Kabul Airport Shooting, Round II

It’s happened again.  At least this time, it would appear the victims were properly armed and able to drop the shit-stain quickly.

-BLT

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Secretary Kerry

Our good friend, the former Senator from Massachusetts, is actually a biting satire of what French and other European media strongly expressed a desire for during the Bush administration, an American government more in line with their sensibilities. Some Obama voters did so for that reason, greater friendliness between the peoples.

This song always earns my friendship, rather than undying enmity.

Foreign policy an afterthought to internal politics, no regard for for the feelings of nominally allied peoples, all that may be missing is an outright stab in the back.

Since the French like satire so much, this is just what they wanted in their grief and anger. How wise of Secretary Kerry.

Registered User is not too bright. He has a pretty poor grasp of the thinking of alien peoples. His sense of humor is also pretty terrible.

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Up Ahead

Projects and other fun stuff providing, it may be that I’ll be a bit busy for any lengthy inspiration for some months. Personally, I’ve had some frustration that has ended up very fun.

Re: the Oklahoma ‘hoodie’ law that some are claiming is racist and will not stand. It was apparently first put in place to shut down the KKK. It is enforced so heavily that there is a hooded organization with secret membership that has been active in one of the bigger Oklahoma cities for decades.

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Hate Speech for Tanya Cohen

I got the inspiration for this on another venue, but figured it would not be most welcome there.

A decent chunk of the Evil League of Evil has write ups on this particular excretion of stupidity.

The first, and most dubious, element is the assumption that anyone with the mental peculiarities must be involved in LGBT issues.

The second element is the inter-sectional thing, where an LGBT activist is necessarily also a feminist activist.

The third element is the apparent interest of feminists in murdering children.

So, anyone who has those qualities, those traits, is a danger to children, because they wish to wrench children from their home, and dismember them.

All the alternatives that came to mind were more absurd, less defensible, or more the thing to say in normal circumstances.

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Smart Diplomacy

B7HIMfsIAAAFLnf

Marcus

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Muslims

‘All N are peaceful’ has some interesting qualifications. One is that it is not violence if nobody resists. If they conceal that resistance happened, they call it peace.

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Forecast

I was a bit slow getting this together.

I saw Moe Lane’s forecasts for 2015, and noticed we didn’t have any recent election commentary here.

The guys I voted for won. We shall see what comes of it.

There are a number of issues worth keeping an eye on in the coming year.

Maybe that’s a bit depressing for tonight.

I’m not stringing my optimistic and joyful thoughts into anything coherent and appropriate, so I probably need a nap. With apologies to those inscrutable oriental time zones, like Maine.

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Drinking Single Malt…

and listening to 80’s music.

Don’t hate the playa’ hate the game.

Marcus

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Merry Christmas!

Marcus

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Sony, part two

I’d done some research on alternatives to Sony’s gaming platforms, on the theory that the Sony blackmail might be social justice warrior enough to interest the Gamer Gaters. (Apparently colds can make my natural arrogance worse.)

Now that Sony is apparently showing The Interview, I’m thinking of seeing it.

The nearest theater showing it is a far drive. I haven’t yet checked prices and times.

Anyone making plans?

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Boycott?

It wouldn’t be very effective for me to boycott movie theaters until Hollywood tells their friends and masters in North Korea where to shove it. I hardly watch movies anyway.

Okay, never going to a theater again might not be any skin off my back.

JeffStag here has an interesting analysis.

Two things jump out at me. One, I remember that a lot of Japanese companies have a particular style of operation. There is a holding company that has a controlling interest in all the other companies. There is often a bank. Or, at least the bank was standard to the Zaibatsu era system. Essentially, all financial needs can be met in house by a dedicated company. There are other support companies, then there are a bunch of different companies that specialize in the actual sectors they cover. Where they operate overseas, this often means a company incorporated in the country it does business in. So, Jeffstag’s argument about incorporation and flagging a ship may still be applicable as far as Sony and America are concerned.

Secondly is the warm relationship Japan has with North Korea. Which is to say this is a very public and obvious example of what the Norks have been doing for decades.

I’m not in shape to make very good sense now.

Given that the Norks have been kidnapping young girls, it says something that people will stand silent for this, and be up in arms about the possibility of not having someone pay for everyone’s condoms.

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Root Causes of Hostage Taking

Obviously, this was caused by Australia’s domestic violence laws being unduly stringent. They probably made those laws for racist reasons in the first place.

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Democracy in DC?

I’ve seen some arguments from nominal conservatives about the legalization of pot in Washington DC that I find troubling.

The name and title is Washington District of Columbia. Columbia refers to the United States of America. The title means the place belonging to the United States, named Washington.

The design intent was very explicit. If a state hosted the Capital, the people of that state would have too much influence over the federal government. Hence creating an area that absolutely wasn’t a state, and is not intended to be very much like a state.

The states are guaranteed a republican form of government. Districts of Columbia are essentially meant to be a fiefdom of Congress. Well, perhaps I go too far. I’m not entirely clear on the separation of powers as it applies to DC, except that it properly belongs to the Feds, not the residents.

Congress can legally do a lot more to the residents of DC than it has so far been politically expedient to do. This political expedience being driven by popularity with voters outside of the district.

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Here I thought

that the major controversies stirred up over recent events could in many cases be understood to be driven by willful ignorance.

Some people find it convenient that certain things not be discussed:

1. Pot smokers don’t like people suggesting that violent acts could have anything to do with being under the influence, or that a history of use could’ve had anything but positive effects on mental illness.

2. Opponents of capital punishment and the lethal use of force would like us to pretend that prisons are secure. Obama demonstrated that this was not true even before the famous prisoner release.

3. Some people choose to do bad things, and some do bad things out of habit. Scoldings are no more likely to work after the fact than all the pervasive before the fact scolding.

4. People claiming concern of pervasive white supremacism cling to outdated notions of such, ignoring that a modern version would rely heavily on the social left’s contribution to the destruction of family. Their apparent lack of consideration for nuance, or anything that would detract from messaging, suggests a lack of actual racial loyalty and compassion.

5. Intra-demographic murder suggests that what fighters they could call on have more loyalty to factions than to race. Combined with 4, this suggests that racial politics have as little viability and foundation for that demographic as it does for does for everybody else in America.

6. Perhaps out of a sense of decency, grieving parents who are lashing out, and clearly at least partly responsible for failing their children, are often not publicly confronted with the facts.

7. Infantry has more expedient answers to a murderous nut who has chemically screwed their pain response than traditional police do. We all know there are reasons not to try settling crime with infantry in our own population. Yet the public attention after certain events pressures departments to find a more expedient way.

8. 100% reliably safe non-lethal stopping and capture is a myth. Some bad people can be stopped while doing stuff that isn’t worth killing them before they move on to stuff that is. Either police engage and sometimes kill people by accident, or they do not, and crooks will kill on purpose. We don’t quite have the political will for the one, and so we continually flirt with the other, which we do not have the political stomach for either.

Now it seems like there is something new.

WSJ says FBI undercounts police shootings.

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