Links with Remarks

So, what have other people been talking about, eh?

  1. Well, that’s true, … but actually just about everyone toward the top of the world-class game is effing hard core. The exception is the few who are not.
  2. Hmm. (if true) Don’t worry that’s matched by the liberal intellectual and political elites who underestimate it.
  3. There is a serious problem when people who give voice to the cry of “teh racism” don’t bother to deny the actual fact that there was cheating involved. Is your race supposed to give you license to cheat? Or what?
  4. Now that’s very cool. On the not-very-cool and not completely unrelated news, my Christmas present for my daughter (glow in the dark plant seeds which were (supposed to be) genetically modified with jellyfish DNA to glow) … haven’t arrived.
  5. Speaking of very cool. Bet you could shoot planes with that. Somewhere recently I read that many many inexpensive drones with explosives would make tanks and capital ships like the one carrying ordnance linked obsolete, forget both sides have drones. You’re going to have a bloody war (as it always) with defensive and offensive drones fighting. That is just another front. You’re still going to need ships to carry troops, ships to protect those ships, tanks to protect infantry, and as always … infantry. I don’t think that’s changed yet.
  6. Speaking of unrestrained power in motion. This is interesting to watch.
  7. What passes as liberal labor theology is just out of my site racism. Until the minimum productivity/wave fanatics stop talking about US wage laws and start pushing for global wage standards … it’s just racism of a different sort.
  8. A very strange architectural wonder. My sweet wife has a fascination for very small houses (I think there is a movement, but don’t recall the phrase). I think the about 100 sq foot houses require a warm climate where you can do much of your living outdoors. Which is nice. It just isn’t where the thermometer reads single digits for much of the year (if at all).
  9. So, Mr Obama opened a can of stupid and declared that the Crusades were a Christian war of aggression in which atrocities were committed. Here’s as close as an even handed look at that point of view as you’ll find. I mean, if “because it was war and all wars contain atrocities” and Christianity was involved (just as Islam is involved in ISIS, which he denies (keeping that can open)) therefore … uhm. Isn’t this supposed to be a “smart” President. Why such a simplistic shallow view of the Crusades? Hmm?
  10. University budget cuts and how it is pointed out how an argument of this hardship is not made correctly.
  11. If true … the President should be excoriated for many lifetimes.
  12. Who is paying for ISIS/ISIL? (who is playing their video?) Answer should be nobody. Why isn’t it nobody?
  13. An economic indicator of hard times ahead. So, optimists, ‘xplain why that’s not a problem.

 

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13 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    #5 I’m not clear why future wars would be bloody? At what point does having actual people involved become pointless? For example, in the Star Wars Universe a big credibility problem is that there seems to be no reason why warring factions would ever want to mess with people, why not just use drones? Battlestar Galactica tried to answer that question by asserting the moment robots get to a certain level of intelligence, they can turn on you. But as anyone whose ever played a video game set to hardest mode knows, very non-intelligent computers can control very deadly weapons.

    #9 Terrorism is not a major problem, we know this because the right cares more about taking offense at imagined rhetorical sins than actually worrying about loved ones falling victim to terrorist attacks.

    But pealing back this issue, Obama never said that Islam ‘wasn’t involved’ with ISIS nor that the Crusades were Christianity. He said that both involved aggression, violence and wrong that were justified by appeals to the main religion of the region. This is not, though, quite the same as saying the religions themselves caused either.

    Long before the Crusades, both the East and West pushed back and forth sometimes into Europe and sometimes the West into the East. There were no Christians, in Alexander’s army and they didn’t encounter any Muslims as they marched to India. If neither religion had ever taken hold, it is probably very certain the Middle East and West would still clash periodically.

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Re #5,

    At what point does having actual people involved become pointless?

    ’cause machines don’t vote. Remember Clausewitz. The purpose of war is

    Clausewitz defined war as “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will”.

    If your drones destroy my drones does that mean I concede? Seriously only for a civilization that is completely fears death will that occur. Take the Western nations vs ISIS/ISIL in a drone rich environment. Our drones get operational superiority. So. They give up right then? What will to free captives, to dismantle their local political apparatus, to set up new polity? Oh, that’s infantry. So infantry will have to move in. Infantry will likely get shot at. People will die. If as is likely local control and human observation will give an edge at near the sharp pointy end, then men will be there give that edge even if it is dangerous. It is what soldiers do.

    Re, #9, so what you are saying is that Obama was (on that day) making a moral equivalence between the Crusades and ISIS. Do you personally think they are morally equivalent?

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I suppose I should rise to the slur.

    Terrorism is not a major problem, we know this because the right cares more about taking offense at imagined rhetorical sins than actually worrying about loved ones falling victim to terrorist attacks.

    Oddly enough, when Obama requested authorization to move against ISIS the right was more willing to grant him permission than the left. This because the fault the right finds with Mr Obama’s “rhetorical sins” is that he doesn’t take Islamic fundamentalist extremist terrorism seriously enough. He thinks (rhetorically at least) that ISIS aren’t Islamic and that their religious beliefs have nothing to do with their movement.

    Can you name a particular “sin” committed by the Crusades that was justified by an appeal to religion. “We raped in the name of Jesus” for example (or pick your particular wrong). I missed those statement in my history books.

  4. Boonton says:

    I don’t think ISIS v. everyone else is a good template for war. You’re thinking that because that war uses a lot of drones a wWII type war wouldn’t. ISIS.v.the West is about asymetric warfare where the US and other countries could easily mop the floor but won’t because we don’t want to committ blood and treasure and cause other people to sit back.

    A future war with great powers is still possible but I’m not clear again why people would ever have to be involved. Why couldn’t it be 100% drone on drone including drone infantry. It occurs to me this was sort of like war in the 1700’s…provided you didn’t consider enlisted men humans.

    Re, #9, so what you are saying is that Obama was (on that day) making a moral equivalence between the Crusades and ISIS.

    Not really sure how that follows from noting that evils will often be justified by the religion of those doing them. How does that imply that all evils are equal?

    In terms of moral equilivalence, there is none, if a time travelling deity offered you the opportunity to wipe some evil from history….both slavery and the Crusades would be better candidates than ISIS.

    Oddly enough, when Obama requested authorization to move against ISIS the right was more willing to grant him permission than the left. This because the fault the right finds with Mr Obama’s “rhetorical sins” is that he doesn’t take Islamic fundamentalist extremist terrorism seriously enough. He thinks (rhetorically at least) that ISIS aren’t Islamic and that their religious beliefs have nothing to do with their movement.

    That’s kind of strange since you are citing a speech where he criticizes ISIS for claiming Islam gives them justification for doing what they do.

    Can you name a particular “sin” committed by the Crusades that was justified by an appeal to religion. “We raped in the name of Jesus” for example (or pick your particular wrong).

    From Wiki’s article on the attack of Constantipole:

    The Latin clergy discussed the situation amongst themselves and settled upon the message they wished to spread through the demoralised army. (demoralized because a recent attack on the city had failed) They had to convince the men that the events of 9 April were not God’s judgment on a sinful enterprise: the campaign, they argued, was righteous and with proper belief it would succeed. The concept of God testing the determination of the crusaders through temporary setbacks was a familiar means for the clergy to explain failure in the course of a campaign.[39] The clergy’s message was designed to reassure and encourage the Crusaders. Their argument that the attack on Constantinople was spiritual revolved around two themes. First, the Greeks were traitors and murderers since they had killed their rightful lord, Alexios IV.[39] The churchmen used inflammatory language and claimed that “the Greeks were worse than the Jews”,[39] and they invoked the authority of God and the pope to take action.

  5. Boonton says:

    Also what evidence is there that ISIS should be considered representative of Islam or Muslims? The Crusades, at least, did ally a large portion of Christendom in a shared endeavor. Over the weekend I heard that air attacks have killed maybe 6,000 ISIS followers but an estimate 4,000 have come in from other countries. Interesting but rather trivial considering there are something like 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world.

    Underlying this nitpicking there is actually a core idea the right has, yet they don’t seem to want to be very articulate about it. They are following Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations model of global affairs. In that, conflicts are driven not by territory, resources, or great powers but by clashing ideologies of major blocks of global civilizations…one being the west and another Islamic. (Actually Huntington identified many more such as ‘Orthodox’ for Eastern Europe, Russia and the old USSR…sub-Sahara Africa was a possible civilization as well but post 9/11 this concept seems to have degraded into a ‘West.v.Islam’ model).

    The problem then with Obama’s speech is not so much nitpicking over whether or not Christianity was ever used to justify bad things. The problem is that it ignores a Civilizationial conflict by presuming much of the Muslim world is not allied with ISIS).

    The problems with this thesis are:

    1. If ISIS does somehow capture the core essence of Islam or the values of the Middle East, why is it such a failure? 10,000 followers out of 1.6B does not make for much of a global ideology.

    2. If ISIS is so important then why is it only able to dominate out of the way unimportant areas?

    3. Why is it unable to unite Muslims but instead seems to spend almost all of its time fighting against other Muslims?

    This all hints that Obama’s rhetorical strategy of isolating ISIS has abnormal radicals who are at best misusing Islam and in reality don’t really have any understanding of the faith they profess to be fighting for as more likely to yield fruit than a Crusaderist ideology that attempts to use the old Cold War model of competing global ideologies as a rallying cry.

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I don’t think ISIS v. everyone else is a good template for war.

    That isn’t relevant. The relevant question is about whether a drone only combat was reasonable. The question at hand was to make concrete one side in the battle and whether if their drones were destroyed that would be enough for them to cease hostilities. Would you prefer the Russia/Ukraine? Look at any two combatants. If your drones are defeated … does that mean you now will do what you enemy requests? That their will shall now be asserted over you? I don’t.

    Why couldn’t it be 100% drone on drone including drone infantry. It occurs to me this was sort of like war in the 1700’s…provided you didn’t consider enlisted men humans.

    The point is to assert your will over the enemy by force. Having achieved drone superiority, should they now capitulate? Let me ask you an parallel question, why has it not been that the establishment of air superiority marks the end of hostilities today? The answer is the same as why drones make warfare less bloody.

    I’m not seeing an individual atrocity justified. They’ve justified a siege of a city. Not an atrocity per se.

  7. Mark says:

    Interesting that you can pretend that the right has (one?!) singular unstated “core idea” yet can’t actually articulate singular (?) the core idea you own side or own President have.

  8. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Also what evidence is there that ISIS should be considered representative of Islam or Muslims?

    Who made that claim? Or do you think “X should be considered (by whom) as a representative of Y” is equivalent to statement’s I have made or will support (X is motivated by Y, X is in Y). These are not equivalent. Why argue the straw man?

    Re #1. Seems to me you suffer from a genesis problem. You can’t talk about Constitutionality of an act until it is a court case. When the act is proposed, you ask (‘where are the cases?’ as if they would appear the day the action in question was suggested). ISIS/ISIL has been around for what, 3 years? Now they have thousands of followers and you suggest that a few years after their emergency why not all Islam? Hmm. Same problem as above, you seem to think things take less time than they do.

  9. Boonton says:

    That isn’t relevant. The relevant question is about whether a drone only combat was reasonable. The question at hand was to make concrete one side in the battle and whether if their drones were destroyed that would be enough for them to cease hostilities. Would you prefer the Russia/Ukraine? Look at any two combatants. If your drones are defeated … does that mean you now will do what you enemy requests?

    Yes, if drone armies took over Eastern Ukraine then I’m sure the area would either unite with an expanded Russia…or set up a state allied with Russia. Might individuals try to fight on? Sure, but what happens when two nations infantries end a war?

    Having achieved drone superiority, should they now capitulate? Let me ask you an parallel question, why has it not been that the establishment of air superiority marks the end of hostilities today?

    Depends on the nature of the conflict. Of course we’ve only really seen air based drones so far. The other shoe will be ground drones.

    Interesting that you can pretend that the right has (one?!) singular unstated “core idea” yet can’t actually articulate singular (?) the core idea you own side or own President have

    Regarding ISIS? That they are a bunch of radical thugs who misuse Islam to justify what is essentially piracy? What more do you want as a ‘core idea’.

    Who made that claim? Or do you think “X should be considered (by whom) as a representative of Y” is equivalent to statement’s I have made or will support (X is motivated by Y, X is in Y). These are not equivalent. Why argue the straw man?

    You seem to be saying ISIS doesn’t represent Islam, but in some ways ISIS is caused by Islam, although you could get ISIS without Islam….sort of like McDonald’s may contribute to your heart attack but you can have a heart attack without McDonald’s and you can have McDonald’s without having a heart attack.

    This type of statement is sort of easy to test. You ask if heart attacks increase or decrease as McDonald’s is introduced or taken away.

    Fact is what ISIS has been doing, barbarians have been doing since history began. IMO raping and pillaging towns and villages has been the norm since the start of human history. If anything I suspect you’d find the introduction of organized religion has probably decreased that as does the introduction of strong states. Centralized power inhibits smaller regional powers. An Emperor, Shah, Pope, Dictator will demand power be centralized to himself, rather than allow warlords to have the field to themselves.

    Re #1. Seems to me you suffer from a genesis problem. You can’t talk about Constitutionality of an act until it is a court case. When the act is proposed, you ask (‘where are the cases?’ as if they would appear the day the action in question was suggested). ISIS/ISIL has been around for what, 3 years? Now they have thousands of followers and you suggest that a few years after their emergency why not all Islam?

    In 2012 the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood candidate won the Presidency with 13M votes. By 2013 22M Egyptians demanded he step down. Perhaps ISIS just needs three more years to, what? Get all of Iran and Iraq to go along with them? Inspire support in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt? They’ve been doing a great job making friends.

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Of course we’ve only really seen air based drones so far. The other shoe will be ground drones.

    I didn’t say “air drone superiority”. My question was historical. You’ve offered that maybe future conflict would be all drone based. I’m pointing out that defeat of the will to resist has not typically been granted after a limited defeat, i.e., losing air superiority. Might I ask another, if “drone vs drone” conflict ends a countries will to fight, why not just base your conflict on the outcome of a soccer match? If we lose, we capitulate. Why doesn’t this occur? That will be the answer why drone only conflict will not end the battle.

  11. Boonton says:

    Might I ask another, if “drone vs drone” conflict ends a countries will to fight, why not just base your conflict on the outcome of a soccer match? If we lose, we capitulate. Why doesn’t this occur? That will be the answer why drone only conflict will not end the battle.

    It’s 1700, you send 10,000 men onto the battlefield to confront Nepolian’s 10,000 men. Your army is defeated with your men either killed, captured or have deserted. Why do you bother to yield to the French usurper? Well because his 10,000 men are still there and will simply march into your city regardless.

    It’s 2075, your 10,000 drone force has just been destroyed and 10,000 ‘Star Wars’ type battle drones are just outside the city. What do you do now? Unlike using a soccar math, the problem for the defated force remains the undefeated force is still deadly.

    In 1700 the defeat on the battlefield didn’t necessarily mean the story had to end. Shopkeepers, peasents, and others could take up their pitchforks and try to harass the French invaders. But that would not have been likely to have been very effective, esp. if the goal of the invasion was not to micromanage affairs but to just extract tribute and pervent the creation of any rival standing army.

  12. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    You don’t surrender because of the battle, it’s because Well because his 10,000 men are still there and will simply march into your city regardless. Infantry. My claim (the one you are arguing against) is that you can’t do this with just drones, just like you can’t do it with air superiority. You need infantry.

    Unlike using a soccar math, the problem for the defated force remains the undefeated force is still deadly.

    And what are those remaining drones going to do? They aren’t going to rape my wife. They aren’t going to (apparently) threaten me in any way. Why should I care? Those drones are good at killing other drones, not men. How is that drone going to be able to tell between those who have surrendered and those who haven’t?

  13. Boonton says:

    And what will the US military do? Rape wives in Iraq and Afghanistan? I don’t think so. What would walking drones not be able to do that troops on the ground would?