Tuesday Highlights

Well, links?

  1. Stupid scholastic tricks.
  2. In a barely comprehensible move, an openly sexist site bemoans sexism.
  3. This is not unrelated, i.e., sexism noted.
  4. Obamacare continues to be a disaster.
  5. Just think some publisher paid her money to write that tripe. As for myself, it would take a great deal of money to convince me read even a little bit of it. I suspect that is true of a lot of people. Which makes it confusing why a publisher would want to publish such things. She is however, quite color blind when it comes to money.
  6. This book however, looks interesting.
  7. Speaking of books, this is what happens when two administrations in a row ignore David Petraeus’s book on counter-insurgency. Particularly the importance of other governmental agencies and specialties be engaged in rebuilding and enriching the country in question.
  8. Ice sheets melting, CO2 not implicated, oops.
  9. So I missed this when I sojourned in the wilderness. Did you?
  10. Medical ethics.
  11. Stupid liberal reactions noted.
  12. Two speeches.
  13. Screw the nanny state. Just stop it now!
  14. Why not “and”?
  15. Awesome illustrations.

20 Responses to Tuesday Highlights

  1. 14.Why not “and”?

    The same documentary should be done about the right. IRS, Benghazi, etc…..all the scandals the right claimed were ‘smoking guns’ of how evil or stupid Obama was/is turned out to have little or nothing to them. The right can’t even keep it’s stories consistent or straight (to date no one can coherently explain what exactly was wrong about Benghazi, for example).

    So what is this inability to simply mount a coherent, critical argument agains the Obama admin? Is the right simply stupid or are they evil? Is the right even the right? Perhaps the right has disappeared and been replaced by left wing operatives who are under cover?

  2. Not sure I follow #7. What does outdoor schooling in Afghanistan have to do with counter-insurgency? Could the US suppress insurgent in Afghanistan forever? Of course, but then rather than ignoring a ‘book’ on the topic we’d have to ignore our casualities as well as a huge amount of resources being spent on essentially social work in a country that speaks a different language and has a radically different culture than ours. What exactly makes that cost in our interest to pay?

  3. 4.Obamacare continues to be a disaster.

    6M people have gained coverage who didn’ thave it before, while the ‘diaster” is that 1.7M applications are still being processed….which doesn’t really tell us much since with Medicaid you have to make sure an applicant is eligeable which can be a bit of a tedious process since you have to verify their income (or lack of income).

    So how is this a diaster? Well it’s a diaster because what the other side wanted here wasn’t all the 7.7M people to gain coverage, they wanted 0 people to gain coverage.

  4. Boonton,
    Re #7, all your remarks indicate is that you too have not read or bothered to understand what was said in the book.

    What exactly makes that cost in our interest to pay?

    What cost? You make things up and complain about costs. Your imaginarium is vast but not connected to the real world.

    Re 14.

    all the scandals the right claimed were ‘smoking guns’ of how evil or stupid Obama was/is turned out to have little or nothing to them.

    Untrue. I’ve told you what was wrong with Benghazi. You’ve ignored my remarks and intentionally misunderstood them (more than once). I am unable to mount a coherent critical argument to someone who ignores facts, disavows events and is blind to reality. I’ve been reading that more and more of the left’s rank and file are saying Obama’s admin is inflexible, unwilling to learn, and not open to outside (Democrat) suggestions. In the political realm this constitutes incompetence. The first question might be is why can’t you see it?

  5. What cost? You make things up and complain about costs. Your imaginarium is vast but not connected to the real world.

    I’m happy to contribute towards your one way ticket to Afghanistan where you can implement your program to end all violence there and set up a functioning school system of indoor classes for zero cost in terms of money or blood.

    Untrue. I’ve told you what was wrong with Benghazi. You’ve ignored my remarks and intentionally misunderstood them

    Has the right understood your stance on Benghazi as well? If so why the incoherency? Are they stupid or evil?

    I’ve been reading that more and more of the left’s rank and file are saying Obama’s admin is inflexible, unwilling to learn, and not open to outside (Democrat) suggestions. In the political realm this constitutes incompetence

    Actually this sounds like just about everything humans do. What do Star Wars fans say about Lucas’s new movies? That he’s inflexible, refuses to listen to them. What do workers say about your boss at your job? What do sports fans like to say about the coaching of their favorite team? If this is what you bring to the table as evidence then I think you perhaps ate a few too many wild mushrooms during your wilderness adventure.

  6. Boonton,

    I’m happy to contribute towards your one way ticket to Afghanistan where you can implement your program to end all violence there and set up a functioning school system of indoor classes for zero cost in terms of money or blood.

    I see. It was “my” towers in NYork that fell. Gotcha.

    Has the right understood your stance on Benghazi as well?

    I don’t understand the question. You’ve asked for what I thought was wrong. I told you. Now you insist what I tell you was wrong is universally understood by “everyone” on the right. Hmm. Do you hold yourself and the left to such standards. I think not.

    Actually this sounds like just about everything humans do.

    Apparently you think politicians are not human. Building consensus is a political act. You realize that.

    What do workers say about your boss at your job?

    I’m sorry if “my boss” never listened to input he wouldn’t be a boss (or my boss) anymore.

  7. I see. It was “my” towers in NYork that fell. Gotcha.

    So 9/11 was an Afghan protest against outdoor classrooms?

    I’m sorry if “my boss” never listened to input he wouldn’t be a boss (or my boss) anymore.

    A boss who doesn’t listen to input is different from a boss who has people complaining he doesn’t listen to them.

    I don’t understand the question. You’ve asked for what I thought was wrong. I told you

    Let’s have fun again, tell us again what’s wrong.

  8. Boonton,

    A boss who doesn’t listen to input is different from a boss who has people complaining he doesn’t listen to them.

    Oddly a boss who listens is one who doesn’t have people complaining and one who does not is on who does have people complaining. There may be a small set of bosses who never listen who do not have people who complain. But not many I suspect, just as good listener bosses probably don’t have said complaint. You were saying?

    So 9/11 was an Afghan protest against outdoor classrooms?

    Huh?

  9. Huh?

    Your link is talking about open air classrooms in Afghanistan and you’re linking that to the WTC falling on 9/11. How does that link? Is your premise that if Afghanistan isn’t a nice place, we’ll suffer terrorist attacks in the US? Afganistan was a nasty place long before 9/11 and the 9/11 terrorists weren’t even connected to Afghanistan. The only connection was that OBL set himself up there in between moving around between various countries from Africa to finally Pakistan.

    Oddly a boss who listens is one who doesn’t have people complaining and one who does not is on who does have people complaining

    In general I would not measure the quality of a leader by whether or not he can keep the complaints muted or quiet.

  10. Boonton,

    Your link is talking about open air classrooms in Afghanistan and you’re linking that to the WTC falling on 9/11. How does that link?I made a connection via Petraeus’ book. Why is that unclear?

    In general I would not measure the quality of a leader by whether or not he can keep the complaints muted or quiet.

    You truly think that the opinions and remarks of a persons followers are unconnected to the quality of his leadership?

  11. There’s no assigned reading list for this blog, if you have a point to make make it.

    You truly think that the opinions and remarks of a persons followers are unconnected to the quality of his leadership?

    Not unconnected but unclear. A bad leader may generate a lot of complaints, but a good leader may do so as well. Likewise a poor leader may also generate few complaints. Hence absent more info complaints tell us nothing about the leader’s quality.

  12. Boonton,
    Yes. But the primary point being made is that people in general and politicians in particular haven’t read or absorbed the main lessons from Mr Petraeus book. Your ignorance of same proves the point. Petraeus made the point that an essential part of counter-insurgency is to build up infrastructure in the country involved, roads, schools, power, water, economic opportunity, & so on. The armed forces are not the primary tools our government uses to do those things in foreign soil, you might be aware that there are organs and programs to do those things in needy country, however those facilities are underdeveloped for the task at hand. Development of same would be good, but in the absence a poor man’s alternative is to have the armed services accomplish those things. Neither Mr Bush nor Mr Obama took that lesson to heart, even though developing those capabilities would be a very good thing for the world at large outside of Iraq/Afghanistan and liberals like yourself would, one might suspect, heartily embrace such enlargement. But ignorance abounds.

    And don’t even try to go on about the high risk to life and such in those environments. Chicago (and many other US cities) have higher murder/per/pop rates than experienced in those “dangerous” countries.

  13. Given unlimited resources and willing to spill a lot of blood, everything you say is doable in Iraq.

  14. Boonton,
    No. That should have been done, but couldn’t because the resources weren’t there. They could have been for Afghan, but still haven’t been developed. Still waiting on a glimmer of intelligence in the White House and in the beltway in general.

  15. Boonton,
    And “willing to spill lots of blood” as possibly compared to “willing to stand by and see much more blood spill”. Which these days seems to be our choice.

  16. “Petraeus made the point that an essential part of counter-insurgency is to build up infrastructure in the country involved, roads, schools, power, water, economic opportunity, & so on.”

    How did this work for Iraq? According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Iraq#Post_2003_war, Iraq produced about 4500 MW right around the time of the 2003 war. In June of 2013 it’s 10,000 MW on average. So we more than doubled Iraq’s capacity in a decade (and the war itself did not damage Iraq’s power plants much so it’s not like we were just replacing what we broke). Pre-war the country got only 4-8 hours a day (except for Baghdad which got 16-24), now it gets 15 hours a day on average.

    So that’s just a small slice but if I lived somewhere where 110+ days were not unusual I’d sure appreciate having 2-4 times more electric uptime than before. But after all that work how exactly do you account for the fact that we have an insurgency in Iraq now?

  17. Boonton,

    Iraq produced about 4500 MW right around the time of the 2003 war. In June of 2013 it’s 10,000 MW on average.

    And how was the power prior to the Bush I bombings?

    I’m not getting where you figure 2-4 times more uptime means everything is good. Would you be happy with long blackout periods every day? Why do you suspect anyone else would be?

    But after all that work how exactly do you account for the fact that we have an insurgency in Iraq now?

    You ask. The Iraqi’s and US IG answer:

    The United States Special Inspector General along with many Iraqi leaders judged the program to be a miserable failure. (quote)

    Oops. So. You figure the rebuilding in Afghan is much better? How much new manufacturing has located in either Iraq or Afghanistan last year?

    The point being is that the armed services did most of the reconstruction. Not the government and NGOs that are better suited to that task. And in the wake of Iraq have these services been beefed up to build up Afghanistan? Nope. Look employed people with positive opportunity to make more money don’t revolt and don’t support, uhm, revolting people. Disgruntled, impoverished, unemployed people do (support or join). Simple as that.

  18. And how was the power prior to the Bush I bombings?

    Bush I was the early 90’s, 2003 was after Bush II’s toppling of Saddam. The article does say that in 1990 generating capacity was 9,295 MW (peak demand was only 5,100). The first Gulf War did destroy a lot of Iraq’s capacity and when it was repaired they spent the 90’s with about 4,500 MW. The cause seems to be that Saddam’s gov’t tried to reorganize the sector and the new ministry could never get it right.

    I’m not getting where you figure 2-4 times more uptime means everything is good. Would you be happy with long blackout periods every day?

    NO I wouldn’t but your point is that by making massive investment in a country we are supposed to head off insurgency. Well more than doubling their electric capacity and making sure the entire country has reliable access to electricity is a pretty big improvement. Exactly how much investment are we supposed to make in a target country? Do you have any idea what it would be like trying to provide Afghanistan with 100% electrification and near 0 blackouts? You’re not making a good case that your counter-insurgency strategy isn’t very costly.

    Look employed people with positive opportunity to make more money don’t revolt and don’t support, uhm, revolting people. Disgruntled, impoverished, unemployed people do (support or join). Simple as that.

    I think you’re missing something here. It’s not really about jobs, it’s about government. Sunnis are not going to go for a gov’t that’s dominated by Shi’ites and makes it clear it doesn’t care about Sunni interests. These are not reasons for a massive expansion into either Iraq or Afghanistan but the wisdom of pulling out.

  19. Boonton,

    NO I wouldn’t but your point is that by making massive investment in a country we are supposed to head off insurgency

    Show me a comfortable well off people that have started a revolution. Ever. And no. We didn’t make a massive investment. A massive investment would have been interesting, but Star Trek is too popular. Investment is not a gift of a giveaway. It expects a, wait for it …, return on same.

    Do you have any idea what it would be like trying to provide Afghanistan with 100% electrification and near 0 blackouts?

    And do you have any idea how long reconstruction took in Japan? 20-30 years. Do you think in the 60s beyond our economic investments in Japan paid off?

    Exactly how much investment are we supposed to make in a target country?

    More than a pittance. I’d expect those actually effective organizations to build infrastructure. I’d want our commercial interests to descend like beavers and do what they do (make money) and thereby get the target country involved in commerce and profit themselves.

    I think you’re missing something here. It’s not really about jobs, it’s about government.

    I disagree. Name 1. One! One country with sub-10% unemployment that had a violent uprising. Ever. It’s actually about jobs, security and comfort. Comfortable, wealth expecting/earning people never revolt.

    These are not reasons for a massive expansion into either Iraq or Afghanistan but the wisdom of pulling out.

    I disagree.

  20. And do you have any idea how long reconstruction took in Japan? 20-30 years. Do you think in the 60s beyond our economic investments in Japan paid off?

    Japan and Germany were both industrialized nations before WWII. China was not and China spent decades mired in poverty after WWII. Likewise S. Korea wasn’t subject to massive reconstruction efforts and yet propsered.

    Consider Germany and Russia after WWI. Neither country got any serious reconstruction effort from the US gov’t. Yet both countries were serious powers less than a generation later when WWII started.

    This hints to us that it’s more complicated than simply applying a ‘massive investment’ and 20 years later enjoying the company of a new Japan or Germany.

    I disagree. Name 1. One! One country with sub-10% unemployment that had a violent uprising.

    US Revolution, US Civil War, WWI, French Revolution and even Iraq. Look you knock only 15 hours average uptime of the electric grid but before the war almost all of Iraq had no reliable electric except for Baghdad. The US massively increased power and did it for all of Iraq, not just the elites in the capital. You’re saying with an even more massive investment they’d have 24-7 power, that’s fine but clearly life is better than it was before, this should decrease the insurgencies.

    If the insurgencies were about ending blackouts or getting more bread for hungry families, then I’d agree we could and should stop that because those are essentially engineering and logistics problems, which we are very good at solving. If insurgencies are more ‘Game of Thrones’ power plays between different tribes with different agendas and ideologies we only half understand then we should stay out.

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