December 2nd, 2010


Speaking of Cruel and Unusual...

Some Heinlein ruminations, x-posted from elsewhere:

I was just thinking about the following quote from a Robert A. Heinlein book:

"I do not understand objections to `cruel and unusual' punishment. While a judge should be benevolent in purpose, his awards should cause the criminal to suffer, else there is no punishment -- and pain is the basic mechanism built into us by millions of years of evolution which safeguards us by warning when something threatens our survival. Why should society refuse to use such a highly perfected survival mechanism? ... As for `unusual,' punishment must be unusual or it serves no purpose."

Robert A. Heinlein - Starship Troopers

Your thoughts?
  • paft

Technical Problems and Bad Faith


Alex Witt: Glenn, I want to start with you because I know you know Julian Assange, you have interviewed Julian, you’ve been following this story. Shed some light for us, because a big question a lot of people have is, what does he want with all this, what’s his ultimate goal?

Glenn Greenwald: Well, he looks at what the United States has done over the past decade, beginning witht eh most criminaland destructive act ovr the entire earth over the last, say generation, whichwas the attack on Iraq and the huge number of civilians it killed…


Witt: Uh, we just lost him unfortunately. Jonathan, let me bring you in…

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the sad demise of the 'Harrier Carrier ' and its political implications.

Ok, I am not a military man myself, but anyone with a serious interest in politics has to know about such things. The sad fact is that Britain is losing it's Invincible class carriers and replacing them with something bigger.

Following some rather disparaging comments about this ship and it's class in one libertarian community, I want to say a few words about the role of Naval forces, about military procurement, and the military/ political interface, as I see it.

Lets talk about two very different wars, shall we?

Back in the 1960s, America sent super sized carriers, B52 bombers, and just about everything they had short of nuclear warheads into a war zone on the other side of the world. They stayed about 10 yrs, and they fought a mostly irregular guerilla force that had little air support, and no naval presence. The war ended with the eviction of American forces from South Veitnam by victorious Communist troops from North Vietnam.

Fast forward a few years to the the 1980s. When Argentina invaded the Falklands, Britain launched an invasion force to the other side of the world, and it faced an enemy on land that outnubered it 5 to 1 in battle, it faced an enemy that had air support, naval support, and regular soldiers. The Task Force stayed in the South Atlantic for less than 6 months and totally vanquished the foe, expelling the Argentine occupying forces from the Falklands.

That, ladies and gentlemen is largely how to use your military, and how to fight a war. Collapse )
SR71 Tarmac

A Setback in Iranian Nuclear Development

Well, this is certainly interesting.  Not that I can say I am particularly heartbroken, or even terribly surprised.  Stratfor has come to the conclusion that it was most likely a foreign power with inside help.  That much is probably pretty obvious to most.  So the question is:  Which foreign power was it?  For that matter, which internal group do you think helped?  Do you think the foreign power was the lead in this or the internal element?  Finally, how much of a setback to Iranian nuclear development do you think this is, and what is Iran likely to do about it?

(no subject)

It's looks as if former VP Dick Cheney is going to be hit with bribery charges in Nigeria.

Now I don't think for a minute that Dick is going to be tossed on a plane in cuffs for trial over there. But it is on more on the pile of this guy's terrible legacy. It'll certainly be interesting to see the media take on all this. In the end I doubt much will come from it. Cheney's going to have the best lawyers in the world watching his back. But it should be an interesting sideshow none the less.

The Media Hysteria Regarding Wikileaks

The media's reaction regarding wikileaks' releases is an example of how the so called Fourth Estate has been compromised. I am not talking about just the right but also the left, they both have an invested interest on attacking and marginalizing Julian Assange and Wikileaks for their own self interest.

It is no secret that rightwing organizations have a problem with anyone or anything they see as a threat to America or America's interests but before we skip this issue there is a need to actually analyze and dissect their response to understand their drive. People need to remember that the rightwing media is driven mostly by ideology, not just partisanship. For example when the documents were released we saw a lot of criticism aimed not just against Wikileaks but also against Obama for failing to protect these secrets. But something funny happened along the way, if you remember in one of the leaks there was a reference that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered American diplomats to spy and gather DNA on foreign diplomats (even our allies). Now a lot of anti-Hillary rightwingers jumped on this issue just to continue to propagate their sentiments against her, but surprisingly (or not) many rightwing institutions tried to either minimize the criticism or shift the issue back on attacking the Obama administrations and to emphasize his failures regarding the security of America's intelligence or they increased their attacks against Wikileaks as an attempt to shift the conversation. Why? Because believe or not to attacking Hillary Clinton's actions on that issue would also meant attacking certain policies that are tantamount to Imperial Policies, policies that are supported by many who believe it is for the good of America's interests to spy on others, and you have to be a fool not to see that.
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