Draw Mohammed

I neglected to track the date for this, and have been busy.

After recent events I knew I needed to come up with something effective, and actually do it this year.

Crudely Drawn Offensive Image

Clearly I wasn’t invited for my graphical art skills. This is one of those projects where I realize how badly I screwed up, but don’t quite care enough to go back and do it right.

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Knowing What We Know Now

The most significant thing we know now that Bush did not is that the Democrats would be stupidly partisan to the point of being traitorous and disastrous.

Three fundamental factors which drove his decision are still the same. A power that does not reprise invites further attack, and cannot prevent them from continuing. The only means for this, beyond nuclear weapons, is to kill people by battling them with conventional force. Iraq is a better fighting ground, because the logistics lets us kill enough using conventional force.

WWI saw the earliest large scale use of chemical weapons on the battlefield. In WWII, both sides had fairly ample stocks of chemical agents. Hitler did not use German stocks of chemical and biological weapons because he knew Churchill would happily gas him given an excuse.

During the Cold War, the United States of America had a two part policy to keep these weapons from being used. The saner powers were deterred from using them by the threat of retaliation, and by minimizing any practical benefit. The crazier powers were prevented from having the ability to use them, and additionally weakened wherever possible.

Democratic policies have resulted in widespread chemical warfare and nuclear proliferation in the middle east. Any Monday morning quarterbacking can incorporate the likelihood of general nuclear war in the middle east.

What options amounted to more than sticking one’s head in the sand and wishing?
1. Invade conventionally and liberate
2. Invade conventionally and set up a tractable dictatorship
3. Invade conventionally and massacre
4. Extort for prisoners and nuke those powers which are not cooperative

Democratic ability to interdict conventional invasion and sabotage NBC control policy, in hindsight, substantially increases the practicality of option 4.

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Don’t Just Follow The Money

Written on 5/13

Time for another round of blame game fallacy bingo.

Today I heard that Democrats are trying to blame the recent train crash on the GOP by way of the budget fights. More cynically, they are trying to capitalize on it as part of their efforts to defeat what they see as unreasonable GOP austerity measures.

What role could budget shortfalls play in a train traveling in excess of twice the speed the turn was rated for?

One possibility is that the machines are not technically sound. Given the maturity of the technology, this would have required professional engineers and managers to have signed off on falsified technical reports, for profit, with nobody resigning in protest or blowing the whistle. An organization which can get all of its ‘engineers’ to do that is not going to fix things given all of the money in the world.

Another hypothetical is that they didn’t have the money to hire and train competent people. For example, pot smokers should not be doing critical work on trains, which requires paying extra to attract more valuable workers and to run a solid drug testing program. The problem with this argument is that management should know when key employees cannot meet safety standards, and in this case, not run the train if they can’t find the people. Which means again management is either ignorant, restricted in firing, restricted in operating or fraudulent in ways that money cannot fix.

Another idea, proposed by the good people of Twitter, is that perhaps a systems update and overhaul could have kept human issues from mattering. Firstly, engineers do sometimes think it best to have humans in the loop, because they do not trust enough the reliability of the automatics. A governor that stops the engine from going faster than the lowest maximum speed is technically easy, but would tend to make running the train worthless. I have no knowledge whether a system that would do a proper job is technically feasible or desirable for a passenger train. The Federal government is notorious for facing challenges when procuring large innovative technical systems.

If it isn’t off the shelf, public rail could easily have had a dozen attempts at such fail, for all I know. If there is a solution on the market, and the Fed’s inherent budget, management, and procurement issues have prevented adoption, I doubt a few years of appropriations have made much difference. Furthermore, fancy automatic safeguards also ultimately rely on the people behind them.

The core fallacy is that if the budget could have induced an undetected bias towards running unsafe trains in Amtrak, Amtrak can never be trusted to safely operate trains. If low appropriations caused the accident, the only way to prevent future accidents is to shut Amtrak down.

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WTF Clintons?

Who would have thought last year that Hilary would overtake Barack in the chances they have sold their soul to the Soviets.

The Clintons made a lot of sense as domestic mobsters with sick paraphilias. The only possibility worse than them being compromised enough that this isn’t a greater risk, or them being ill enough to take an avoidable risk this size, is that they may get away with it.

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Ready For Hilarity

The feminists will try and have you vote for a victim blamer, whose only real qualifications and accomplishments involve being married to the lying rapist who forever discredited the idea of feminist opposition to rape.

But, they interject, Senator and Secretary of State. We know well she was incompetent, and left the latter position in order to avoid liability for her enormous screw ups. The real sticking point is that the Clinton mafia got those positions for her, not her own competence. The major abilities she brought to the Clinton mafia were in silencing victims, and evading responsibility for crimes.

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Policy by Polling

Did you see the survey about how few women would go back in time and shoot Hitler?

In 2067, women will make up 85% of the population. The GOP’s support for anti-Hitler and anti-NSDAP policies will prove suicidal when the electorate desires the opposite.

In other word’s ‘they will be your best friend’ is still as self impeaching an argument as it was during recess.

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Short Form Dramatic Presentation for 2016

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Smart Diplomacy, Part… Whatever

Let me see if I understand this. Obama is having his crack team of statesmen work with Iran on some sort of Middle East peace deal which gains the civilized world nothing and grants the Iranians free reign to develop nuclear weapons. And of course he’s coming up with this “treaty” without bothering with pesky details like ratifying said “treaty” in the Senate. You know, since he’s a former constitutional scholar and all, he knows that this cool and whatnot.

Now the Saudis are launching military operations in Yemen in response to Iranian-sponsored activities there and are now demanding that they get their own nuclear weapons as well. So now we are seeing the beginnings of an honest-to-goodness nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Can somebody please explain to me how any of this is a positive development for the United States or for our allies?

Somebody please wake me up from this nightmare.

Marcus

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Ted Cruz

Looks like he’s going to run…

Fuck you establishment Republican Party!

The pants-shitting will continue and grow exponentially when Rand Paul announces his candidacy as well…

(Rubbing hands together menacingly)

Excellent… most excellent!

Viva la Tea Party!

I’m out

(Drops microphone)

Marcus

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The Bump Fire Stock pt Deux

I finally brought mine out to the range today and it functioned flawlessly.  I cannot believe how easy it is to operate.  Some of the videos online showed people struggling with it for a while until they got the hang of it, but that wasn’t my experience at all.  It functioned great right out of the box.

This happy experience more than made up for my breaking the charging handle clean off my DSA para-rifle.  So I guess I have a perfectly good reason to visit the gunsmith.  Unless of course I am content with a $2,000 paperweight sitting in the safe.

Marcus

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Ready For Hillary

I am fully prepared.

The simple fact of the matter is that likeability is extremely important in a Presidential election.

Bill Clinton has a lot of likeability. He has cultivated it diligently because he is a charm type sexual predator. He would not be near as effective at that sort of predation if he wasn’t able to disarm people with his personality.

Hillary has never cared about that, and it shows.

There is a decent chance Bill married her because of her proven willingness to cheerfully defend a rapist. It isn’t clear how they feed into her appetites, but the social strengths Hillary has most developed are discrediting others and intimidation.

Common wisdom is that she purely loves power. In this case, she simply does not care what Bill does to other women. The alternative model is that she enjoys it when other women are abused.

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RIP PTerry

I first found Pratchett when I was on a little people kick, and found his trilogy.

I’ve since read Good Omens, a fair amount of his individual titles, and played some on the Discworld MUD.

He also did good work advocating for nuclear power.

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Has anyone seen this?

I’m looking for a show that is essentially New Yankee Workshop, except that the projects are components of firearms.

I think this should exist if it doesn’t.

Continue reading
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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?

Continue reading
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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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