June 25th, 2012

Godzilla, default

On this day in history:

The forces of the KPA, armed with T-34s, heavy artillery, and Soviet-made jets invaded the Republic of Korea, inaugurating the last conventional war between Great Powers and one of the bloodiest wars of the 20th Century. The Korean War of 1950-3 (and from an international legal standpoint, 1950-onging), was a war which for the Korean people was a horrid tragedy, caught between the evil and competent regime of Kim Il Sung and that of Rhee, evil and incompetent, with the USA soon involved, and then a few months later China entered the war when MacArthur made his idiot damn fool move to the river Yalu.

Korea was the first trench war since WWI to feature trench warfare as a decisive aspect of the conflict, and here would be a mixture of US incompetence and US demands on the part of the military to cover up its FUBARs by nuclear saturation bombing, a decision wisely not adhered to by Truman when another US General actually started winning battles with the US Army whose supposed collapse in morale justified the use of nuclear weaponry to start with. That the war is spoken of as a US-Chinese struggle is accurate, that it was such means Korea today remains an atavism of the Cold War, a Stalinist relic ruling a grim, impoverished, over-militarized society in a museum piece of all that was most evil of the Soviet-style system, with South Korea having evolved in spite of US influence into  stable, well-run democracy with a military among the world's best.

The invasion that came on 25 June out of nowhere was in its own ways as disastrous for Korea, on the seemingly small scale, as the 22 June invasion was on the big one. And it's worth noting that this war, for all its horror, is a forgotten one. Let us take a few minutes today to remember the veterans who are still here with us from this war, and those who gave the last full measure of devotion in it.
  • ja_va

Healthcare law

“The decision on Obamacare goes well beyond health care,” Mrs. Bachmann, a Republican and a vocal opponent of the law, wrote in an e-mail. It “will determine whether or not the court believes the government has a right to mandate that Americans buy a product or service, a direct impact on our freedom and liberty.”

Yes, very fine words, there is only one problem - Americans have already purchased this "product or service". And they keep on consuming it every day. The real question is - who is going to pay for it? Does Federal government have a right to make you pay for something you consume? Or do you have a right to use the service and then make taxpayers and insured folks flip the bill?

'Cause you really have to be naive to think that people who have no insurance "do not consume product or service" in the form of medical care. Of course they do! They show up at the emergency room and get treatment. Perhaps not the best treatment, but they do receive it. And more often than not it is so late in the process that the treatment ends up being a lot more expensive than it would be, should preventive care been done in time. But they wait till the problem is so severe it becomes life threatening, and they take enough time to spread it, if it is contagious, and then they go and get treatment. It is soooo very unconstitutional to make them pay! How very "free market" of representative Buchmann.

I have another suggestion - lets be consistent here - why should we restrict freedom of thieves and robbers to rob and steal? This is very unconstitutional! They have a right to knock you on the head and clean up your pockets in the night! How can the government tell them what to do and how to behave, and then lock them up in a cell if they do not obey? What a dreadful intrusion on life of free citizens!

Or, perhaps, if we do not enjoy been robbed and stolen from, we should just lynch these people on the spot, and not let government with its dreadful regulation interfere with our freedoms! Think how much taxpayer money spent on courts and policing could be saved! Talking about balanced budget! Amen to Liberty.
Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!
  • htpcl

On confirmation bias

O hail, my fellow mercantile materialists pious noble folks! See, I might be getting it way too simplistically here, but the way I see it, "confirmation bias" = when someone has pre-decided to believe in something without having checked all info on the subject; and then scrambling for all sorts of sources and evidence that would confirm said premise while ignoring all contradicting evidence, thus fortifying their pre-conceived prejudice at the expense of objective investigation of the true facts. (Oh wow, it didn't sound as simple as I intended).

Case in point: a chat I recently had on a local blog over here:

They: Hey, did you watch the new documentary on National Geographic? It was about the body relics of St. John the Baptist that were found in a church in Sozopol! What a unique documentary! They proved everything about the relics... they showed evidence that it's probably part of his body!
Me (e-squinting): Really? They proved "Probably"? How exactly?
They: By the method of exclusion!
Me: But this method cannot be ever a direct proof for anything...
They: Well sure, but it's an established method in archaeology! After all, no contradictory evidence has been found to disprove the conclusions of those scientists!

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  • dwer

So, he should take full credit?

Mitt Romney, March 18, 2012: “He gets full credit or blame for what’s happened in this economy, and what’s happened to gasoline prices under his watch, and what’s happened to our schools, and what’s happened to our military forces. All these things are his responsibility while he’s president.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), April 6, 2012: “The president holds the key to addressing the pain Ohioans are feeling at the gas pump and moving our nation away from its reliance on foreign energy. My question for the president is: what are you waiting for?”

Boehner, April 6, 2012: “The president’s own policies to date have made matters worse and driven up gas prices.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Feb. 28 2012: “This President will go to any length to drive up gas prices and pave the way for his ideological agenda.”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), March 13, 2012: Obama is “fully responsible for what the American public is paying for gasoline.”

Aaaaaand... Experts predict average gas prices may fall below $3 this fall after dropping 14 cents in two weeks.


Of course, the people above are not coming out announcing that the DROP in prices is to President Obama's credit. Personally, I recognize that the president probably doesn't have that much power over gasoline prices, but what drives people to obfuscate in this manner? LET'S TALK ABOUT TALKING!