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Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth



Updated: 2017-10-11T06:41:48.198-04:00

 



Walter Cronkite

2009-07-17T20:31:39.456-04:00

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1916-2009

"And that's the way it is..."



This is masterfully done...

2009-07-13T16:26:37.310-04:00

Via Whited Sepulcher

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Photo of the Day

2009-07-09T18:36:19.302-04:00

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A cynical take on the G-8

2009-07-08T21:35:44.704-04:00

The G-8 is little more than a collective of international leaders who meet, trade platitudes, express their dismay at the current crisis du jour, raise their eyebrows, shrug and leave with the agreement that "something is extremely fucked" and that the offending "something that is extremely fucked" will be atop the agenda the next time they waste space, time and media attention. At best of times the G-8 is garnished by a maelstrom of young, bored, leftist and generally ignorant protester's who aren't sure of why they're waving fists and screaming but are happy to do so because it's in direct disagreement with whatever the well dressed authority figures of the G-8 have decided.



Is there really a political motive behind the closing of Chrysler dealerships?

2009-05-27T19:46:50.891-04:00

This bit of political gossip broke a few days ago and has since grown to just below political nightmare for the Obama administration. Beyond the willy nilly selection of dealers that seem to ignore whether or not said dealer is profitable, this bit from Reuters: Lawyer Leonard Bellavia, of Bellavia Gentile & Associates,who represents some of the terminated dealers, said he deposedChrysler President Jim Press on Tuesday and came away with theimpression that Press did not support the plan."It became clear to us that Chrysler does not see the wisdomof terminating 25 percent of its dealers," Bellavia said. "Itreally wasn't Chrysler's decision. They are under enormouspressure from the President's automotive task force."Remember President Obama's assertion that the government has no place in running automakers. That assertion seems to be, at last in part, in doubt.And now Gateway Pundit's round up, which you can read in full here. Earlier it was reported that the Obama Administration may have targeted GOP donors in deciding which Chrysler dealerships would have to close their doors.** Last night it was discovered that a Big Dem Donor Group was allowed to keep all 6 Chrysler dealerships open.... And, their local competitors were eliminated by Obama's task force.** The closings also tend to be in "Red" Counties where Obama lost.Gateway Pundit is an obvious partisan but the evidence presented is remarkable even if it's not conclusive. President Obama is looking a potential political conflagration in the eye well beyond that of his recent Supreme Court selection, which may be an inadvertent and temporary media buffer. He's got some 'splainin' to do and the sooner the better. Other "small matters" like North Korea, Pakistan, Israel and Iran loom.Image via the AP. [...]



North Korea: Six party talks are a failure

2009-05-25T15:01:35.419-04:00

I am in whole hearted agreement with the sentiments expressed by Chirol at Coming Anarchy in his latest post detailing North Korea's second apparent nuclear test. The six party talks have been an abject failure in containing North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Quite the contrary they've been little more than international acquiescence to North Korean extortion. Elam Bend, writing in the commentary of Chirol's post, links a Wall Street Journal article written by John Bolton four days before yesterday's test. I agree with Elam Bend that Bolton is often a bit over the top in his bluster and rhetoric. This article is not, however, one of those occasions. An excerpt:A second nuclear test is by no means simply a propaganda ploy. Most experts believe that the 2006 test was flawed, producing an explosive yield well below even what the North's scientists had predicted. The scientific and military imperatives for a second test have been strong for over two years, and the potential data, experience and other advantages of further testing would be tremendous.What the North has lacked thus far is the political opportunity to test without fatally jeopardizing its access to the six-party talks and the legitimacy they provide. Despite the State Department's seemingly unbreakable second-term hold over President Bush, another test after 2006 just might have ended the talks.So far, the North faces no such threat from the Obama administration. Despite Pyongyang's aggression, Mr. Bosworth has reiterated that the U.S. is "committed to dialogue" and is "obviously interested in returning to a negotiating table as soon as we can." This is precisely what the North wants: America in a conciliatory mode, eager to bargain, just as Mr. Bush was after the 2006 test.If the next nuclear explosion doesn't derail the six-party talks, Kim will rightly conclude that he faces no real danger of ever having to dismantle his weapons program. North Korea is a mysterious place, but there is no mystery about its foreign-policy tactics: They work. The real mystery is why our administrations -- Republican and Democratic -- haven't learned that their quasi-religious faith in the six-party talks is misplaced.It's too early to say with certainty what the ultimate response to North Korea's test will be. The response thus far has been united but predictable condemnation:US: Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea's isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of deliveryChina: The Chinese side vehemently demands North Korea abides by its denuclearisation promises, stop any actions which may worsen the situation and return to the six-party talks process. Russia: North Korea's latest actions cannot be evaluated as anything other than a violation of UN Security Council 1718, which among other things requires Pyongyang not to carry out nuclear tests.Japan: As it is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, [Japan] condemns and protests it strongly. It is a challenge to the whole of the international community and increases tensions. We, as the only atomic-bombed nation, need to take stern action.South Korea: We are seriously concerned about North Korea's second test of a nuclear device. It's a direct threat against the peace and stability in the region as well as to the world.I would however state, with certainty, that this is a pivotal moment for President Obama in which he must decide between continuing or abandoning a process which clearly hasn't worked. The former will be the easier choice but will, I would opine, accomplish little more than enabling the North Korean regime. The latter will be the more difficult choice as it will entail Obama doing the unthinkable; actually pissing somebody off as China will be less than happy with any course that both isolates the North Korean regime and deviates from the six party talks. Given th[...]



North Korea's second nuke test

2009-05-25T00:10:47.211-04:00

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Via the New York Times:

North Korea said it had successfully conducted a nuclear test on Monday, raising the explosive power and level of control of its nuclear device to a new level, its state media said. 

"We have successfully conducted another nuclear test on May 25 as part of the republic's measures to strengthen its nuclear deterrent," the North's official KCNA news agency said.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency also quoted a ruling party official as saying that a test was conducted.

US Geographical Survey recorded unusual seismic activity near the site of North Korea's previous test in 2006 shortly before the NK government's claims:

Unusual earthquake activity was reported in North Korea's nuclear test area on Monday morning, the United States Geological Survey reported. The agency said the earthquake, which happened at 9.55 a.m. local time, had a preliminary magnitude of 4.7.

The timing is interesting as it comes a day after the suicide of South Korean ex-prime minister Roh Moo-Hyun




Robert Gates on pink boxer shorts

2009-05-23T12:29:23.654-04:00

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"Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage. I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that - a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his crosshairs."

Via NPR.




On gay marriage

2009-05-06T20:34:25.935-04:00

Early last month my home state, Vermont, became the first state to legalize gay marriage via statute. Our governor, Jim Douglas opposed the bill citing first, the states civil union law (passed a near decade ago) as a sufficient legal measure to extend same sex unions legal benefits similar to traditionally married couples and later vetoed it, citing the ever important economic crisis as a matter of priority. In the end the Vermont legislative branch overrode the governor's veto and same sex marriage was legalized. The state of Maine has followed in similar suit today and New Hampshire is on the brink.

I'll be honest and admit that I, during the heated and much publicized governmental battle, remained largely ambivalent regarding the outcome. My personal perspective on this was (and remains) that any lifestyle that doesn't directly threaten my personal safety, the safety of my fellow citizens or the general structure of the civilization on which the latter two depend upon for their existence, should be accepted socially and legally.

That said, I am an activist in only "all things me and mine" and, given my lack of personal identification with it, this cause simply didn't fall into the narrow confines of "matters to be critically considered." Someday I may have to answer for that bit of selfishness but in the meantime life is complicated, busy and very much not in accordance with what I'd resigned myself to years ago. So you'll excuse me if, upon hearing of the reversal of governor Douglas' veto, I didn't lift a fist in celebration or whoop it up, rather merely nodded and thought "makes sense."

I've had discussions on this topic both online and off and never have I met a coherent argument against gay marriage that didn't include either religious prejudice or blatantly subjective bias. No argument has ever convinced me that, on the whole, the recognition of gay marriage is an inherent danger to me, my fellow citizens (beyond their selective and imaginative discomfort) or my society. Now, a decade after legalized civil unions and a month after legalized gay marriage, I've yet to see even circumstantial evidence here in my state to support the cause of those in opposition, much less anything strictly empirical.

I welcome any contrary (or supportive!) views as this subject, despite the addition of (essentially) two states, is far from being a historical matter. There are already concerns in Maine regarding a referendum which may well reverse the statute.



What's in a name?

2009-05-04T19:47:20.473-04:00

This is where twenty bucks and too much time on your hands can lead:
A British 19-year-old has officially changed his name to "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined."

The Glastonbury, England, teenager -- originally named George Garratt -- said his new name, which is thought to be the world's longest, has so outraged his grandmother that she is no longer speaking to him, The Telegraph reported Monday.

The teen said he used an online service to officially change his name for a $20 fee.

"I wanted to be unique," Captain Fantastic said of his name choice. "I decided upon a theme of superheroes."



A Photo and Quote: Sir Michael Caine

2009-04-28T18:08:46.413-04:00

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On Britain's tax policy:
"The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent, and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America," he said at the weekend. "We've got 3.5 million layabouts on benefits, and I'm 76, getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them. Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it up."



Air Force One incites momentary panic in NYC

2009-04-27T18:53:50.533-04:00

You have to question the judgment of whomever it was that decided a low fly by over NYC for a photo op was a good idea.

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Via purpleslog on twitter.



The problem with the tea parties

2009-04-25T21:45:00.500-04:00

What began as a grass roots initiative in true libertarian form has become a partisan pundit hump fest. What looked to be a breath of fresh air in the ascent of new, non-traditional third party politics was quickly devoured by right wing ideologues and, naturally as the sun sets in the west, left wing flame throwers piled on.Oh their message is reminiscent of the noble, early efforts; fair taxation, a government of the people, by the people, etc. However, the tea party's new custodian's bring some baggage. The now infamous rants of some imbecile suggesting we burn the books, "The ones in college, those, those brainwashing books," at an event sponsored by Glenn Beck. Or the populist, anti-rich melody of John Rich serenading a Hannity tea party crowd on the evil yankees of Wall Street being responsible for the demise of Detroit's automakers (which I watched live and so you'll have to hunt down those lyrical moments on your own.) Apparently waning interest in massive SUV's and unsustainable, union driven wage and healthcare demands make for less romantic country songs.Once the coup was accomplished and the tedious blowhards stepped to the helm, the leftwing firebreathers held forth with their own salvo. Two infamous examples: The pathetic bit of "journalism" espoused by CNN reporter Susan Roesgen, who may well have Shepard Fairey's "Hope" tattooed on the small of her back. Her indictment of Fox News for it's political impartiality is a clear case of pot, kettle, black. The racist rant of Jeneane Garofalo on the Lord of Vanity's tedious effort at "news analysis" recently and the simpering of the host, which exceeded that of a bad case of salmonella in it's nauseating quality. In Garofalo's world (a world in which one suffering from advanced stage neurosyphilis might find themselves) any who disagree with the President's stimulus package hate black people.The problem with the tea parties is that they've been boosted by the status quo on both sides of the traditional partisan extreme. Any revolutionary magic they held has been eviscerated by political hackery and partisan static. The third party message has been hijacked by little more than shallow, partisan, populist combat between the two parties that libertarian's view as the root of America's manifold political maladies. Now "owned" by right wing punditry and shat upon by their left wing counterparts the tea party has become a caricature. And that's a damn shame because it'd be nice to finally see the American people divided from traditional partisanship in mass dissent demanding genuine change. [...]



Here there be racist toddlers

2009-04-18T22:50:42.333-04:00

File this under passive fundamentalism:
The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can "recognise different people in their lives".
I wonder if the NCB has given any thought to how such pervasive, intense scrutiny and constant control of a child's behavior effects the child's development?



North Korea's latest tantrum fails

2009-04-05T11:51:59.060-04:00

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And it is as much a tantrum as it is anything else, I'd opine. A want for international attention and a saber rattle to keep the nuke talks on the front burner and the extorted aid flowing in.

The Taepo Dong 2, which allegedly has a wide enough range to reach Alaska, fizzled after lift off, failing to leave the planets atmosphere. It's "satellite" payload now rests with the fishes in the Pacific.
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials acknowledged today that North Korea launched a Taepo Dong 2 missile at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday which passed over the Sea of Japan/East Sea and the nation of Japan.

Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.

No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM assessed the space launch vehicle as not a threat to North America or Hawaii and took no action in response to this launch.
It'd be interesting to know if any recovery efforts (US/Japanese) were possible or planned.

Image via GSO



The "90% of Mexican cartel guns come from the US" Myth

2009-04-05T11:19:30.560-04:00

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's recent indictment of America's guns being unwitting enabler's of the looming disaster that is Mexico very likely had gun control advocates salivating. Various media reports have put the onus on American gun dealers, citing the "fact" that some 90% of Mexico's cartel weaponry is from the US. Those reports, in leaving out one whopping detail, were completely wrong.

In fact, it's not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, "is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S."


But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

"Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market," Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

Full story.



A Fine Example of Political Dissent

2009-03-31T20:28:36.628-04:00

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Literally trillions of dollars tacked to a wall. A single five spot tacked to a wall and stamped with whatever message here in the US wouldn't make it more than a minute, I'd guess.
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Note the observers aren't scrambling over each other to tear the notes off the wall. Too much effort for too little return. Trillions, mind you.

Perhaps the finest illustration of the virtually worthless Zimbabwean currency, the corruption of Robert Mugabe and one of the best examples of popular/political dissent I've ever seen.


Via Chris Albon on twitter and the "Zimbabwean" newspaper on flickr.



Top shelf analysis of Mexico's civil war and the looming cross border nightmare

2009-03-29T22:31:14.563-04:00

Via Zenpundit who introduces his analysis with this fictional thought experiment:WASHINGTON, DC - Flanked by the embattled President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon and the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, a weary looking President Barack Obama used a press conference to angrily denounce as “Alarmist and inflammatory” a recent report issued by the conservative Heritage Foundation that declared the massive chain of UN administered Mexican Refugee camps in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as ”a bottomless well for narco-insurgency” and “a threat to the territorial integrity of the United States”. The camps, home to at least 2.5 million Mexican nationals, are dominated by the “Zetas Confederales”, a loose and ultraviolent umbrella militia aligned with the feuding Mexican drug cartels that now control upwards of 80 % of Mexico.President Obama’s political fortunes have been reeling recently in the wake of high profile incidents that include the kidnapping of his Special Envoy for Transborder Issues, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and the car bombing assassination of popular California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that killed 353 people in Sacramento last month. Both events have been tied directly to factions of Zetas “hardliners” who operate with impunity on both sides of the US-Mexican border. President Obama used the conference to point to the “clear and hold” COIN strategy that has recently restored order and even a degree of tourism to Las Vegas, once the scene of bloody street battles between Zetas, local street gangs and right-wing American paramilitary groups, as a sign of the success for his administration. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill remain skeptical and say that it is likely that President Obama will face a primary challenge next year from Senator Jim Webb (D- Va), a former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, who called the president’s COIN strategy “The right course of action” but ” Two years too late”….Yes it's extreme but it's not fantastic nor beyond the realm of not too distant reality.The number one threat to American national security has finally found front burner status. That's the good news. The bad news is the Obama administration seems to consider US/Mexico trade on par with the looming threat to American security. Hence the cosmetic policy promises and sickly sweet, ego assuaging "atta boy, Calderon" rhetoric Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been heaping on with a snow shovel.Responding to the SecState's assertion that Mexico's problems are merely a "public safety challenge" (It's just a flesh wound!) Zenpundit speaketh sagely:This line that Mexico is fundamentally sound, while helpful to President Calderon’s political standing when expressed in public, is analytically speaking, sheer nonsense, and if enforced in private, counterproductive to having sober USG interagency planning sessions to make certain that worst case scenarios, like the one imagined above, never come close to materializing. Such politicized groupthink also interferes with effective cooperation with Mexico to address a 4GW type problem that has already mestastasized to a dangerous degree into American territory.Good stuff. Read the whole shebang here. [...]



On AIG

2009-03-18T20:15:27.665-04:00

I'm not an economist nor am I particularly interested in economics beyond my own checkbook. That bit of admission aside, I have to put out a complaint regarding the knee jerk, populist nonsense that entails impending legislative reactions to AIG's shameful payout of bonuses to those that, according to all the firebreathing pundits on both sides of the aisle, were instrumental in getting us into this mess in the first place. This complaint is directed at our fearless leaders.First: I get and share the anger. I get the shameful irony of flinging millions of dollars in bonus cash at shit performance.Second: The bonus pay out was based on contracted agreements made a year ago. I'm not a lawyer, and if I was I'd not be a specialist in Tort law but I suspect a contract is a binding, legal document. The patent stupidity in promising (via a legal document) a fixed bonus for performance as of yet not performed is not lost on me. Never the less, it was a contractual agreement.Third: All the threats and general huffing and puffing lent forth by our government now should have taken place before they shoveled tax payers hard earned money into the pit of AIG. That TARP money should have included conditions regarding the payout of pre-arranged bonus's. It didn't. Lesson learned for our governmental pontiffs including our new President who's seeing his historic honeymoon collapse into a realist's nightmare. Welcome to reality during crisis, President Obama.Study the affair fully (the assbackward bonus nonsense was hardly a new facet of America's financial elites) and react with measured consideration (even if a weekend holiday looms) not hair-on-fire-ass-catching haste. Remember this is the global economy we're dealing with here, not just the next election cycle.Last: These Presidential and Legislative threats to levy taxes on those bonus's scare the shit out some of your constituents. Namely those not blinded by the populist nonsense you lot are spilling forth, but those that see weaponized or punitive tax to be way out of the boundary of both our countries constitution and spirit. AIG failed economically, the federal lunch lady's that flung our tax dollars over their shoulders failed to perceive and pre-empt this failure. The onus is on AIG but it's also on our fearless (and well tanned and manicured) leaders.To our coiffed, rested and tanned leaders I say: Give these snake oil salesmen their promised gold and name them so that we prole's and the ratings driven mainstream might obliterate them in a satisfactory and constitutional fashion. [...]



The "Stealth" Fairness Doctrine

2009-03-08T16:50:34.480-04:00

(image) When the Senate passed a bill that would grant Washington DC legislative representation they also passed an amendment to encourage diversity in broadcast media.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNSNews.com on Thursday that she supports an amendment to a Senate bill that would force the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership and to ensure that broadcast station licenses are used in the public interest.”
Snip
The amendment, sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and attached to a bill (S.160) that would grant Washington, D.C., a vote in the House of Representatives, was approved by the Senate last Thursday in a party line 57-41 vote.

When asked whether she supports Durbin’s amendment, Speaker Pelosi said, “Certainly, I support Mr. Durbin in most things.”

“Diversity in media ownership is very, very, important,” said Pelosi.
Snip
Minutes after the passage of the ‘Durbin amendment’ last Thursday a separate amendment that would ban the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, which was proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), was also attached to the same D.C. voting rights bill and passed by a vote of 87-11.

But Pence told CNSNews.com that Durbin’s amendment would mandate a “stealth Fairness Doctrine.”

“Its clear to me that Democrats, having failed in their frontal assault on talk radio in America through the Fairness Doctrine, are now shifting strategy to a form of regulation that is essentially the Fairness Doctrine by stealth,” Pence said. He added that he is not surprised Pelosi has endorsed Durbin’s plan.

Further government control of media outlets under the guise of enforcing diversity is a slippery slope and a very bad idea.
Just for the record I'm an NPR listener 99% of the time so I've got no personal dog in this hunt.



Friends don't let Friends Laugh and Drive

2009-03-07T20:48:47.059-05:00

A laughing motorist is a safety threat to fellow traveler's, at least according to one British policeman;
Gary Saunders, a company director, was using a hands-free phone when he burst out laughing at a joke told by his brother-in-law, who he was talking to.

A few moments later he noticed a traffic officer flashing his lights at him and gesticulating at him to stop his Renault.

When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: "Laughing while driving a car can be an offence."



Mexico's Middle Class Head North

2009-03-06T20:17:53.632-05:00

I've mentioned the potential refugee scenario regarding Mexico's civil war a few times. Last December I cited a report that store owners were fleeing across the border and speculated that should violence continue Mexico will see an exodus of it's professional/middle class;It takes little imagination to hypothesize the spread of this violence not only regionally but socially. The consequence will likely entail the destruction of Mexico's already struggling professional class as teachers, doctors, business owners, etc. close up shop and head north or south for calmer waters.The LA Times reports an increased upsurge of asylum seekers:The Juarez policeman is part of a new breed of would-be refugees -- business owners, law enforcement officers, journalists and other professionals -- on the run from Mexico's vicious drug wars. Increasingly, they are seeking safe haven in the U.S. by filing for asylum.The number of asylum requests filed at U.S. border entries by Mexican nationals nearly doubled to almost 200 in the last fiscal year, and the pace has increased this year. Seventy Mexican asylum-seekers filed petitions in the first quarter, most of them in El Paso and San Diego. The figures are small compared with the vast scale of illegal immigration, but many fear explosive growth if the bloodshed worsens.The jingoist will see "smart beaners" joining their "serf underlings" in an attempt to steal American jobs. Someone with their head out of their ass will look at this and see that a "developing" state without it's middle or professional class loses not only infrastructure (schools, law enforcement, health care, merchants, etc.) but the social mortar that holds the building blocks of a state together. Mexico is failing.Great that the print media has finally addressed this en force but aggravating that the boob toob media isn't treating this with nearly the gravity it deserves. The situation in Mexico, given it's proximity and severity, deserves headline, breaking news, lots of dire graphics, catchy, shiny and apocalyptic headers (maybe even a multicolored threat assessment scale) but, instead get's "oh and by the way" mention at best. [...]



Cape Cod's 13 Year Old Cocain King Pin

2009-03-04T13:15:05.733-05:00

This is one takes familial depravity to a whole new level.
Like most boys, 13-year-old Mykel Mendes looked up to his big brother, Jordan. The two rode bikes together, did yard work together and hung out together. But when it came to the family business -- a major drug ring -- Mykel did not want to share, police say.

Mykel, a 7th grader, is now accused of masterminding the slaying of his 16-year-old half-brother so he could take over the drug operation -- one police say they inherited from their father, who is in prison for running one of the biggest cocaine rings on Cape Cod.

Jordan was found shot, stabbed 27 times and dumped into a pit, where his body was torched. Another 13-year-old friend and a 20-year-old cousin also are charged with murder.
Selling drugs is a lucrative trade and the enmeshment of drug dealing and popular culture is clearly not limited to the hero worship of drug baron's by poor kids in the inner city.



Never, Ever Bank on the Now

2009-03-02T01:32:47.166-05:00

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A recent post at TDAXP regarding the potential scrapping of the F-22 initiated a spirited and interesting debate regarding not only the future of American air supremacy but also the global primacy or hegemony of America and how it is or isn't realized through the maintenance of a virtually untouchable "Big Bang" military. I thought the above 1920 NYTimes article fit quite well with Seerov's jam in the commentary. While Seerov's comment was spawned by the writings of George Friedman it's also reminiscent of Nassim Taleb's Black Swan. More on that soon.

I'm not so much critiquing Dan's take (which seems quite agreeable with the importance of American hegemony) as much as I am the potential shift toward asymmetric warfare as the standard for both American grand strategy and the construct of the American military.

No doubt counter insurgency is and should be the focus now, given the two current theaters of war. But I fear, given the current administrations looming defense budget cuts and how they center on programs that are offhandedly lumped together as Cold War anachronisms, the US might be railroading it's strategy and military in a dangerous, singular fashion. As the above early 20th century article, lesson's of early Iraq, the Seerov comment at tdaxp and Taleb's Black Swan suggest, do not build a course based strictly on the now nor on the rhymes of history.



Nancy Pelosi can Leg Press a Minivan

2009-02-25T21:43:41.339-05:00

Any doubts regarding the immense strength and stamina of Speaker Pelosi's aged but obviously mighty legs were belied during President Obama's speech to Congress last night. Speaker Pelosi demonstrated an amazing bit of fleet athleticism during President Obama's speech to Congress, sproinging to her feet so often and with such indefatigable enthusiasm that secret service agents feared she might bang her head on the capital dome's ceiling.

Speaker Pelosi later entertained after-speech cocktail party goers by drop kicking anvils into the Potomac.

I found Nancy Pelosi, hopping up and down and smiling her way too bright, Botox constricted smile a bit unnerving. I want to believe that our President is about his own agenda. However, I fear, as foreign policy objectives take a turn against the idealism of his campaign and as domestic policy promises get lost in the shuffle, he may react to a downturn in popularity by shifting back to the left and under the political umbrella of the likes of Pelosi.