Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun



Posted by gerardvanderleun at Nov 2, 2016 10:28 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Hiroshima Day - or- Nukes: Time for a Live Demo [Updated]

Dear LowInfo Citizens,

It's been about five SIX SEVEN EIGHT years since this was first proposed. It is still something to keep in mind as you hope for change and a better world via magical thinking.

You may not be interested in false hopes, but false hopes are interested in you....

Duck and cover!

A bomb called Licorne. Fired at 18.30 on July 3, 1970, and yielded 914 kilotons (Think "57 Hiroshimas"). Imagine it being fired next door. Hope that if it is ever fired, it is fired next door.

Seventy years ago : "On Monday, August 6, 1945, the nuclear weapon Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima by the crew of the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000-140,000. Approximately 69% of the city's buildings were completely destroyed, and 6.6% severely damaged." - Hiroshima

"Little Boy," the aptly named 16 kiloton bomb that took out Hiroshima, was -- in comparison to the nuclear devices in the world's arsenals -- sort of a light field artillery shell. There was, at the time, a second bomb called "Fat Man." Weighing in at 21 kilotons it would put paid to Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. With the erasure of Nagasaki, the world was fresh out of nuclear weapons. It was only a temporary lapse. Today we've got about 25,000 of these little items of discipline scattered about.

The largest nuclear bomb ever detonated in the atmosphere was The Soviet Tsar Bomba , or "Big Ivan" which at 50 Megatons was very harmful to every living think on Novaya Zemlya Island (located above the arctic circle in the Arctic Sea) in October of 1971. Whatever else you might think about them, you can't deny those Soviets dreamed BIG dreams.

No matter what our political feelings, I believe we can all agree that the world is getting just a wee bit too hot for comfort these days, and I don't mean "Global Warming." I mean that people here and there about the globe are getting just a wee bit too hot under the collar. They seem to have forgotten just exactly what comes into play like the force of gravity when whole nations or peoples get really ticked off. Time to refresh our collective memories.

I think we need to have the people of the world focus like a laser on the table stakes of going beyond these little patty-cake wars we are currently diddling around with and look, really look, at what can actually happen with one little slip.

What we need to do this is: "The Live Demo." By this I mean we need to find a small island or deserted space somewhere on the planet and sacrifice it for the greater good by setting off one, just one, low-yield thermonuclear device in the atmosphere for all the world to see.

Think of "The Live Demo" as a remedial educational moment for the entire world; a kind of slap upside the head coupled with a large shout out of: "PAY ATTENTION!"

I believe this "Live Demo" needs to be announced -- in date, time, and place -- to the entire world with something approaching the intensity of the promotion dumped on the Beijing Olympics.

I believe that we should allow any media organization that wishes to to cover this event and provide the infrastructure necessary to film and broadcast it (from a safe distance) to the entire world in all media -- live. I believe we should re-task a satellite to give us a view of the event from space.

No matter what many may think, this event would be the essence of "appointment television" for the people of the world.

I think we should also construct some of those quaint suburbs, villages, and towns that were set up in the ancient Nevada tests to demonstrate just what happens to a family sitting down for an evening snack when the sun is brought -- for one brief shining moment -- to the surface of the Earth. (Those of you who saw the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull probably got some laughs out of this stuff, but it is not really a laughing matter, is it?)

I know that there will be an army of Environmentalists around the world that will bitch and moan about the "harm to the environment" from setting off a single nuclear device in the atmosphere. Those same people need to contemplate instead the "harm to the environment" that comes from setting off several hundred or several thousand of these devices in one very bad afternoon. They need to, for one brief and shining moment, sit down and shut up!

Then there will be those who will carp about "The Test Ban Treaty." They need to take a chill pill, lie down and think of England... or Cleveland... or Tel Aviv... or Tehran.

I can assure you that having the entire world tune in for "The Live Demo" -- and the whole world will tune in -- shall give the entire planet pause. It's not enough for humans to be told about nukes. Every so often, we need to see to believe.

Let's touch off a nuke for world peace next year on August 6. It will be a fitting memorial to Hiroshima. Nothing else we can do will have quite the same... impact.

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 6, 2016 12:36 PM |  Comments (89)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Trump's strategy is already looking effective here:"


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 22, 2016 4:45 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Joy of Painting Muhammad

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 17, 2016 12:43 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Road to World War 3

Will there ever be World War III and if so, what would it look like? Stefan Molyneux explains the technological advances which have disincentivized war between world powers and the role the European Migrant Crisis may play in future large scale conflicts.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 7, 2016 10:44 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"To see the farm is to leave it." The Story of Your Enslavement

TRANSCRIPT: This is the story of your enslavement; how it came to be, and how you can finally be free…

Like all animals, human beings want to dominate and exploit the resources around them. At first, we mostly hunted and fished and ate off the land – but then something magical and terrible happened to our minds. We became, alone among the animals, afraid of death, and of future loss. And this was the start of a great tragedy, and an even greater possibility. You see, when we became afraid of death, of injury, and imprisonment, we became controllable – and so valuable – in a way that no other resource could ever be.

The greatest resource for any human being to control is not natural resources, or tools, or animals or land – but other human beings.

You can frighten an animal, because animals are afraid of pain in the moment, but you cannot frighten an animal with a loss of liberty, or with torture or imprisonment in the future, because animals have very little sense of tomorrow. You cannot threaten a cow with torture, or a sheep with death. You cannot swing a sword at a tree and scream at it to produce more fruit, or hold a burning torch to a field and demand more wheat. You cannot get more eggs by threatening a hen – but you can get a man to give you his eggs by threatening him.

This human farming has been the most profitable – and destructive – occupation throughout history, and it is now reaching its destructive climax.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 9, 2016 8:54 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Allahu Akbar!: The View from 2018

In May of 2018, the second year of Mrs. Clinton’s administration, national puzzlement was high over the continuing wave of mass killings. A week before, nineteen children had died in the Blaintree Kindergarten massacre in San Francisco when Mohammed Shah Massoud, Faisal ibn Saud, and Hussein al Rashid burst into the school and began firing.

As in the shooting three months earlier of thirteen in Washington by Mohammed Faisal and Sala al Din Hussein, and in the preceding fire-bombing of the Hancock Tower in Chicago by Farouk ibn Mohammed, experts struggled to make sense of events. The head of Homeland Security, Chupamela Sanchez-Jones, explained it succinctly: “It is almost impossible to prevent attacks when they have nothing in common. What do you look out for? What is the connection between killing children, firebombing a restaurant, and flying aircraft into buildings? There is none. It is baffling.”

Everyone of importance—the New York Times, MSNBC, NPR, the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and Salon—agreed that there was no obvious motive. Time and again for many years attackers had come from nowhere and killed for no reason. There was no pattern except the strange cry, “Allahu Akbar.”

Mrs. Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, Wilhelmina “Creepy” Crawley, offered an explanation.

“My staff at the Pentagon have determined that “Akbar” is a combination of “AK,” automatic Kalashnikov, which I am told is a form of gun, and BAR, Browning Automatic Rifle. This shows an unwholesome fascination with guns. We are investigating links to the NRA:”

Many more details at | Fred On Everything

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 11, 2015 5:15 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;" St. Crispin's Day #600

It is essential to preserve not only history, but the myths of history as well: Agincourt600 – Commemorating 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING HENRY. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin, Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispin's day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 26, 2015 11:19 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How is Our Strategy in the Middle East Working? "What strategy?"

From the opening episode of this year's Homeland: "They're there for one reason and one reason only, to die for the Caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That's their strategy and it's been that way since the 7th century."

Asked what he would do, Quinn suggests 200,000 soldiers on the ground and an equal number of doctors and teachers. Told that that is not feasible and asked for another solution, Quinn says, "Hit reset -- pound Raqqah into a parking lot."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 9, 2015 11:06 AM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Today is the 70th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb: The Trinity Nuclear Test July 16 1945

How Quickly We Forget: When you give the bomb to Iran this is what you're messing with....

The expanding fireball and shockwave of the Trinity explosion, seen .025 seconds after detonation on July 16, 1945.

"Rope tricks" are seen in this image of a nuclear explosion taken less than one millisecond after detonation. During operation Tumbler-Snapper in 1952, this nuclear test device was suspended 300 feet above the Nevada desert floor, and anchored by mooring cables. As the ball of plasma expanded, the radiating energy superheated and vaporized the cables just ahead of the fireball, resulting in the "spike" effects.

Upshot-Knothole Grable, a test carried out by the U.S. military in Nevada on May 25, 1953. A 280mm nuclear shell was fired 10km into the desert by the M65 Atomic Cannon, detonating in the air, about 500 feet above the ground, with a resulting 15 kiloton explosion.

This "Survival Town" house, photographed recently, was built some 7,500 feet from a 29-kiloton nuclear detonation—it remained essentially intact. Survival Town consisted of houses, office buildings, fallout shelters, power systems, communications equipment, radio broadcasting station, and trailer homes. The test, called Apple II, was fired on May 5, 1955.

A 1971 photo of a nuclear bomb detonated by the French government at the Moruroa atoll, French Polynesia.

Observers view atmospheric testing during operation Hardtack I—a thermonuclear detonation during the Pacific tests in 1958.

All from InFocus @ - The Atlantic

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 16, 2015 10:38 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
'There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them' -- Pakistini Taliban attack school, kill 140+

Coming soon enough to a city near you. Because.... "it's judgment that defeats us."

132 children shot dead as Taliban gunmen storm military-run school in Peshawar in Pakistan The young boy described how, after they burst in shouting 'Allah-o-Akbar' - which means 'God is greatest' - one of them shouted: 'There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them'.

He said: 'I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches.' Khan said he felt searing pain as he was shot in both his legs just below the knee. He decided to play dead, adding: 'I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn't scream. 'The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again. 'My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me -- I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.'

Kurtz: I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen.

But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies! I remember when I was with Special Forces... seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out; I didn't know what I wanted to do! And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it... I never want to forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it's judgment that defeats us. Apocalypse Now (1979) - Quotes - IMDb

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 16, 2014 1:35 PM |  Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Life During Wartime: "We dress like students, we dress like housewives Or in a suit and a tie"



Have We Gone From a Post-War to a Pre-War World?: Only a few years ago, most western observers believed that the age of geopolitical rivalry and great power war was over.

Today, with Russian forces in Ukraine, religious wars exploding across the Middle East, and territorial disputes leading to one crisis after another in the East and South China seas, the outlook is darker. Serious people now ask whether we have moved from a post-war into a pre-war world. Could some incident somewhere in the world spark another global war?.... The Middle East today bears an ominous resemblance to the Balkans of that period. The contemporary Middle East has an unstable blend of ethnicities and religions uneasily coexisting within boundaries arbitrarily marked off by external empires. Ninety-five years after the French and the British first parceled out the lands of the fallen Ottoman caliphate, that arrangement is now coming to an end. Events in Iraq and Syria suggest that the Middle East could be in for carnage and upheaval as great as anything the Balkans saw. The great powers are losing the ability to hold their clients in check; the Middle East today is at least as explosive as the Balkan region was a century ago.

"Life During Wartime"

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway
A place where nobody knows

The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, I lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver
Hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, couple of visas
Don't even know my real name

High on a hillside, trucks are loading
Everything's ready to roll, I,
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the night time
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mud club, or C. B. G. B.
I ain't got time for that now

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
You ought to know not to stand by the window
Somebody see you up there

I got some groceries, some peanut butter
To last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers
Ain't got no headphones
Ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time?
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard
I can't write nothing at all

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
I'd love you hold you, I'd like to kiss you
But I ain't got no time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock
We blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed

We dress like students, we dress like housewives
Or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle so many times now
Don't know what I look like

You make me shiver, I feel so tender
We make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving
You ought to get you some sleep

Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, and it burns like a furnace
The burning keeps me alive

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 9, 2014 5:44 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Locate & Identify Enemies of Freedom


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 20, 2014 7:01 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Papers, please


"As in all things, in all times, stay away from crowds.

The photo is from 1943, a rainy day in Marseille in the south of France. The occupation forces have cordoned off part of the city and rounded up the civilians. The Reich is desperately short of workers, these people will be separated from their children and sent to labor in Germany—completely legal under their War Powers Act. Working conditions will be harsh, they'll be all but unbearable before war's end. Many will die or be debilitated from abuse, hunger, overwork, disease or in Allied bombings. Those in good health, wearing durable shoes and clothing, are the most likely to survive. Those who are elsewhere on this rainy day in 1943 have the best chance of all." ol remus and the woodpile report

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 28, 2014 11:11 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It May Be a Bit Overwhelmed Militarily But You Still Gotta Say, "Hey Ukraine got talent!"

"Roxanne! ....You don't have to put on the red light!"

After the studs and the flames, stick around for the Peacock gown, and the Sandra Bullock cameo in a blonde braid where she speaks in tongues.

And yes, it is entirely in Ukranian. And no, there are no subtitles.

Somehow I think it will hold your attention.

HT: Enos Sporf

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 22, 2014 9:43 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
'Believed to Be Russian Soldiers'


"Less than two weeks ago, after Ukrainian protesters appeared to have ousted President Viktor Yanukovych,

thousands of soldiers bearing no insignia or identifying marks began appearing in Ukraine's pro-Russian Crimean peninsula. Russian authorities deny that these men are invading Russian soldiers, instead describing them as "local self-defense forces" wearing uniforms available from army surplus centers. - - In Focus - The Atlantic


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 12, 2014 10:21 AM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Three A.M. Phone Call


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 2, 2014 9:01 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ashes Ashes All Fall Down

"Click flash blade in ghetto night,
Rudies looking for a fight.
Rat cat alley, roll them bones.
Need that cash to feed that jones.
And the politicians throwin' stones,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Commissars and pin-stripe bosses
Roll the dice.
Any way they fall,
Guess who gets to pay the price.
Money green or proletarian gray,
Selling guns 'stead of food today.
So the kids they dance
And shake their bones,
And the politicians throwin' stones,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 2, 2014 1:42 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Gathering: How Russia Invaded Crimea


From — Editor's Picks — Medium :

In the past two days, Russia has proved it’s capable of carrying out fast, coordinated military operations across its borders.

Not only have Russian troops invaded and occupied Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, but with deteriorating security in Ukraine’s eastern provinces, there’s a risk that Russia might go farther.

At first, it wasn’t clear who exactly who the armed men were who appeared at airports in Sevastopol and Simferopol overnight on Feb. 28. But on March 1, the Russian senate unanimously approved a request from Pres. Vladimir Putin to use the military “on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the social and political situation in that country.”

The operation was already underway. Russian forces had launched a coordinated takeover of key sites, including airports, government offices, television stations and the two land routes connecting Crimea to the rest of Ukraine.

Someone sabotaged Ukrtelecom, which provides phone and Internet service to the peninsula.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 1, 2014 5:01 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Graphic from Contemporary Issues & Geography: INVASION OF THE CRIMEAN PENINSULA

Large version after the jump:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Mar 1, 2014 12:18 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Video: Russian attack helicopters entering Ukraine

According to local media, this video allegedly shows about ten Russian attack Mi- 24 Hind helicopters entering Ukrainian air space through Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian republic where 58.5-percent of the population are ethnic Russians.... The Daily Beast claims that the 2,000 Russian soldiers are part of a Russian "private military force," not actual soldiers from the Russian Army. Other people are saying that these are disguised Russian special forces.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 28, 2014 7:28 PM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Syria: Boot Camp for Terrorists ("And the beat goes on... and the beat goes on.")


"Many will arrive with no military training, and no doubt most coming from Europe will have little if any experience handling firearms.

Few will have felt the heft of a machine gun, or realize how heavy and powerful it really is. Before the war, they will never have smelled the lubricant burning off as the barrel glows orange, and the gun becomes so hot that it begins to fire on its own. Their ears have not heard the tics and tinks a hot gun makes as it cools in the darkness after prolonged firing, and after the war, their brains might make the same tics and tinks, and keep firing on its own.

"When they step into the wars, most of their noses will be virgins to the smell of plastic explosives,
the scent of time fuse burning, and they will not have known before how to make a large bomb using little more than cotton. When they have not seen a female for a month, they will smell and sense her from a block away. For those who survive and return to Denmark or Germany, they will know this and much more, and with their passports, it is a simple flight to Orlando.

"If there are questions just how big and bad this wolf is growing, watch:
Syria War - Al-Nusra Front Insane Heavy Intense Urban Firefight. [Below] Men who can fight like this will find it a simple matter to take down a shopping mall, or to stage an audacious ground assault on a civilian airport. When the foreign fighters return home, and their brains begin to cool during long nights, some will be shattered and broken. Others will move on with life, while a smaller number will have found what they love most in life, war.
"Wars never end.
They just go home, and not always to the home they came from." From Michael Yon, Dispatches, Not a Crosswalk

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 28, 2014 10:00 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meet the New Russia. Same as the Old Disney.

Russia's "Severodinsk"

Disney's "Nautilus"

Nuclear Cruiser of New Generation: "While the testing of “Severodvinsk” nuclear cruiser is about to finish, many experts believe that Russia has got the superior position in the development of submarine technologies. The Russian submarine may hit enemy ships, other submarines and shore targets. It will start to operate in the Arctic soon."

Russia's "Severodinsk"
Disney's "Nautilus"

“Severodvinsk” launched cruise missile

Nuclear weapons arms control was easier in the old days when a strategic missile was the one that could hit a target far away and a tactical weapon had a near-battle field range. Not so any more after Russia’s successful launch of the submarine based Caliber cruise missile in the White Sea yesterday.
The new supersonic missile hit its target, reports Rossiskaya Gazeta. The Calibr missile has a flight range that exceeds 2,500 kilometer, according to the portal NavalToday. With such range, the cruise missile can be defined as a strategic weapon if tipped with a nuclear warhead. The new START agreement between Russia and USA does, however, not include long-range cruise missiles into account, a fact said to weaken the deal.
Another cruise missile the submarine is believed to carry has an even longer range, 5,000 kilometer according to an infographic posted by RIA Novosti.
Cruise missiles tipped with nuclear warheads were officially removed from all the Northern fleet’s multi-purpose and attach submarines in 1992. An agreement between President Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush (the older) from October 1991 stipulated such removal. This was two months before the breakup of the USSR. In January 1992 Russian President Boris Yeltsin confirmed the deal to remove all non-strategic nuclear weapons from naval vessels and scrap 1/3 of them. The rest were put into onshore storage facilities.
Since then, multi-purpose and attack submarines sailing in the Barents Sea and other world oceans have not been armed with nuclear weapons. At least not officially. .....

There. Now don't you feel better?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 22, 2014 1:05 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Lull at the Turn of the Year


"A boy waits to receive winter aid, donated by Muslim Hands, a U.K.-registered international aid organization, in Kabul, on January 5, 2014." -- Afghanistan: December 2013 - In Focus - The Atlantic


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 6, 2014 12:28 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Dark Continent of Spooklandia



Of course this is all only according to the Washington Amazon Post ... which, of course, lies all the time. Often, of course, at the behest of Washington insiders. And so, of course, we would automatically assume that the totals are larger than the ones presented here. Think of this as a "baseline" and scale up as your paranoia dictates.

As it stands this chart means that 1 in 17 working Americans works for Spooklandia. But relax, what could go wrong?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 29, 2013 2:54 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Life During Wartime [UPDATE: Many Egyptians blasé about the Muslim Brotherhood]


The new normal: Egyptians at the beach while #matrouh city burns in the background #egypt In Egypt - Business Insider

UPDATE: Muslim Brotherhood had to be dealt with. Working-Class Cairo Neighborhood Tries to Make Sense of a Brutal Day -

Egypt seemed more divided than ever after a brutal day of violence here that left hundreds of people dead. Supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, mourned those killed, vowed revenge, planned their next moves. Many other Egyptians, though, directed their ire at the protesters who had camped out in the streets for weeks. For them, what occurred made sense.

“It was necessary,” Akmal William, standing in his auto-detailing shop on Talaat Harb Street, said of the raid by soldiers and police officers. “They had to be strict.”

In Imbaba, a neighborhood that seems to catch all the nation’s political currents in its congested alleyways, many people regretted the bloodshed. But they asserted that the alternative was worse. The Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Morsi’s political party, was holding back the country with endless sit-ins and protests, many said. And the longer the army waited to act, the weaker Egypt seemed to them.

That conviction only grew stronger amid reports about Islamist violence, including the storming of a government building in Giza early Thursday. Mr. William, a Coptic Christian, was preoccupied by a spate of attacks on churches and Christian homes across the country, a spasm of collective scapegoating by some of Mr. Morsi’s supporters.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 15, 2013 4:51 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Kicking the Can: "I'm from your government and I'm here to hel...." BANG!


They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain

The Whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like Anybody very much.

-- Sheldon Harnick @1958

I don't like any government very much, and, I'd wager, neither do you. Even if you're a part of it. Still there are times when I feel sorry for those who have chosen to take their gift of life and place it, like a used tea bag, into the lukewarm, thin gruel of government for decades. I'm told it has its rewards and that, these days, those rewards are substantial, but working in the government is a devil's bargain for anyone with even the slightest shred of a soul.

Turning to The Holy Hymnal of Bob Dylan today's preacher would take as his text, "Even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked." And if he cut out the word "sometimes" he'd be up to date. For today said presidential potentate does stand naked daily and it is not a pretty sight. Of late it would seem that it is a sight grown so disturbing he needs to have clowns don masks and scamper through shit spattered sawdust to take our eyes off the sight of his foolishness, failure, and buck-naked narcissism.

There's has never been a cure for bad politics found in faces of clowns, only in the tracks of their tears. Even with all the immense resources that are his to squander, our current presiding clown still has to get up and pretend to steer the ship of state he has long since run into the rocks. He pretends to steer and his crew on the bridge proclaims through their media bullhorns, "All is well. All is well. ALL IS WELL!," all the while edging towards their leaky lifeboats.

Once the song was "Hail to the Chief," then it became "Hail to the Chimp," and with this administration it is becoming not "Hail to the Chump" but the more up-to-the-minute hymn,

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

Such is the state and fate of those stained and "I'm so smart" souls who have to show up every day at their "government jobs." Yes, they have security, high pay, opportunities for graft, unremitting oral sex from the media, and fabulous benefits. But they also know that somewhere down the road there's the slow train of a bad day, a very bad day, heading their way. And on that "very bad day" their soft and powerful job is going to get very, very demanding.


Yes, I feel sorry for government workers from the most princely potentate to the most puffed up little Hitler down at the DMV. It seems to me that all their "power" -- from that of global annihilation down to that of driver's license denial -- only distracts them from the real fate of their jobs; being run over -- sooner or later -- by that slow train everybody knows is coming. Coming soon.

Man’s ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don’t apply no more
You can’t rely no more to be standin’ around waitin'
In the home of the brave
Jefferson turnin’ over in his grave
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan
And there’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend

Over in the middle east it's already come around the bed and is pulling into Apocalypse Station. Over here our "public" servants are still getting up every morning and kicking that can.... kicking it down the road.... hoping that when that very bad day arrives they are up, up and away in their private government jet, heading to some paradise out among the impossible islands where nobody, but nobody, is going to track them down and hang them, like some cut-rate Mussolini, from a meat rack in the public square. Fat. Chance. The Very Bad Day sees all and takes all. And they know this. Which is why the first and last skill of "the governing class" is kick the can.

Seen as a tragedy the "governing class" is trying to keep the train on the tracks until we arrive at Paradise. Seen for what it is, "the governing class" does little more with the human race than Buster Keaton in the clip below. It tries to keep the train moving with scraps of fuel, broken tools, and always inches from derailment. All while the real pagent of history flows by on either side in the opposite direction. This as the "governing class" kicks the can after Max Sennet villains down a railroad spur that it can't find in a silent movie from long ago. Viewed from space this whole thing is comedy, but viewed from space isn't everything?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Aug 15, 2013 8:10 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Islam's Forbidden Dogs: Coming Soon to a Country Near You


Face it, Islam and Iran shouldn't happen to a dog:

Iranian mechanical engineer Azar poses for a picture with her Terrier dog Pony in her bedroom in Tehran, Iran, on May 28, 2013. For decades, pet dogs were rare and thus tolerated in Iran, where the Islamic beliefs cherished by the vast majority of traditional Iranians consider dogs as “najis,” or unclean. But in recent years the soaring number of pet dogs — owned by the middle class scattered across Iran with a keen interest on imitating Western culture — has alarmed the authorities who have now criminalized walking dogs in public, or driving them around the city. The police warning seems to have effectively scared dog lovers, forcing some to walk their dogs in secluded areas and ask for home calls by vets. Via KA-CHING!

"Almost cut my hair, it happened just the other day.
It's getting' kinda long, I coulda said it wasn't in my way.
But I didn't and I wonder why, I feel like letting my freak flag fly"

-- Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Once firmly established it's the small things that determine the frieze of a fascist dictatorship. Long ago, in that brief shining moment of Hippie Camelot, we used to say that one of the reasons for having long hair was "freedom." We used to say that if "the Man" could make you cut your hair, he could buy your soul. We were, of course, determined never to sell out.

In the final analysis, however, we didn't have to sell out. We bought in. And in buying in we never really had to hide our hairstyles or hide our dogs like Azar above. All we had to do was conform our minds and adjust our behavior to march in lock-step with the latest little, teeny-tiny, small, not-so-bad-at-all, very next baby step away from liberty and towards the creation of a really-much-better-you'll-see society of no offense and fine fairness to all. After all, all "nice people" do, so why wouldn't you?

The things we needed to do to be "nice people" were all, we were assured, such small things. They were all such minor adjustments. To your speech. To your thought. To your soul. We would, in trade, have a lot of freedom for sex and a lot of good feelings about always doing the "right thing." We would also be fed, and housed, and healed until it was the right thing to do to starve us and kill us "for the greater good." And with a final free hit of morphine off we'd go, smiling, with the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper" playing through our earbuds. After all, all "nice people" do, so why wouldn't you?

The rusted world of rulers and ruled, of satraps and slaves, we were making, inside our own minds and outside in our communities, would never, ever make us hide our hair and hide our dogs and cower in our rooms. No, we would always be free to let our "freak flag fly."

Wouldn't we?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 25, 2013 10:36 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In

Found at Random Thoughts and Musings

The Golem of Government:

With almost Tolkienesque malice it seeks to see all, hear all, and know all- and owing to complacency that runs the gambit from your blithe acquiescence to your active participation, increasingly looks close to meeting its total information omniscience goal. Yet, the Golem is possessed of no craft, no subtly, no art. Its sensory organs inform crude appendages that know how to do nothing but squeeze, smash, stomp, kidnap, and explode the targets of its interest without apology or feeling. Moreover, the Golem has no sense of proportion, happily imposing costs of $10 billion on the developed world to collect less than one tenth of that in revenue for itself, raining fire from the sky upon any collection of persons it feels might maybe contain a couple troublemakers. It thinks nothing of shutting down the 20th largest city within its borders (at a cost of many billions of dollars) to hunt down a single sleep-deprived, starving, wounded, and suicidal criminal. Likewise, it laughs to spend hundreds of thousands in time and expenses to ransack those of its Subjects' entities with operating budgets of $20,000, $15,000, or even less, or to ruin a mid-sized enterprise with a displeasing political orientation over vague foreign regulations on the exportation of wood. It Is Past Time To Kill "Just One Child" (But It Is Probably Too Late and You Don't Have The Guts) | finem respice

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jun 10, 2013 6:55 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
IWO: 19 February – 26 March 1945
Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 19, 2013 9:13 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Memo from Israel to Palestine


[Note: Republished again from 2003 in what has become almost an annual event. "The peace is not winnable, the war is, and only war can bring about some kind of manageable peace." -- Dan Greenfield @ Sultan KnishFaster please.]

To: The Palestinian People
From: The People of Israel
Re: Final Notice Before the Termination of Our Relationship
Date: "To Be Determined"
(To be filed in your "Permanent Conduct Record")

AS YOU KNOW from our repeated meetings over many years, we have repeatedly done our best to accommodate your incessant demands regarding employment, compensation, housing allowances, health benefits, and other items of mutual interest as we have endeavored to work together on "Project Peace in the Middle East."

We have, with your agreement and assurances of a better performance, given you time, money, professional help, medication and a more than reasonable offer of land for you to live in while you work out "your issues." In the course of these meetings we feel we have been more than forthcoming in our attendance to your "special needs."

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 19, 2012 9:25 AM |  Comments (76)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Chinese General to America: Please Cut Military Expenditures... Suckers
Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 12, 2011 11:44 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Principles of Tyranny
Posted by Vanderleun at May 22, 2011 9:02 PM |  Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dead Zero: "The way of Islam is the only way, the predestined way..."


An excerpt from Stephen Hunter's new novel,Dead Zero: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel


I am no Lee Harvey Oswald, surly and bitter and luxuriating in his own self-imposed bitterness. I am no John Wilkes Booth, full of grandiloquence, theatrical self-dramatization, narcissism, and insanity. I am no Leon Czolgosz, an idiot.
I’m just a man who sees the future, understands what it must be, and humbly aspires to facilitate it as mercifully and swiftly as possible. I did what I did because the West is no longer worth defending. It has been destroyed by the people it was built to protect: its women.

The West lasted from AD 732, when Charles Martel defeated the Muslims at Tours, until 1960, where it fell without a battle. In 1960, the birth control pill became widely available. Many think of it as heaven, sexual nirvana, the route to self-expression, wish fulfillment, and liberation for millions of women. I think of it as Auschwitz in a bottle. It was and is genocide, as, using it, the women of my generation happily traded off 1,200 years of unparalleled growth, wealth, security, stability, scientific and ethical progress for a second BMW in the garage. The West ceased producing at a sustainable rate, while Islam continued to populate the world. You may look elsewhere for the demographics. This fact cannot be avoided: we Westerners currently may be analogized to upper-class Brits on the deck of the Titanic, April 12, 1912. My, my, why is the great ship tilting a bit? Why, dear, it’s probably some minor malfunction that the handsome young men will soon fix. Meanwhile, may I have another aperitif, steward?

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 28, 2011 11:00 PM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Current Russian Method of Dealing with Somali Pirates: Seize, Search, Blow Up, Burn to the Waterline

Warning: It's not pretty, but it is pretty effective.

1:30: "Why do you lie to me? This is not a fishing boat."

From YouTube - Russian forces V somali pirates - behind the scenes

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 23, 2011 10:46 AM |  Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Patton and the "Modern World"

In uncertain times, certain things bear repeating.

"I want you to remember that this War on Terror, as well as our presence in the Middle East, is necessary and inevitable. To those who can’t understand that, they need to spend more time on the History Channel and less time in the Goddamn chat rooms."

Mike Kaminski wrote and acted this brilliant variation on George C. Scott's signature role.

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 3, 2011 5:17 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
David Mamet on How to Write for Television


Interested in getting better at writing? I always am. If you are as well this letter/memo written by Mamet to his writing team for the television show, The Unit delivers the goods. Ostensibly "Made for Television" but anyone interested in improving their writing for any medium would do well to mine it for nuggets of gold. Particularly appealing to me is this injunction:

"The audience will not tune in to watch information. You wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. No one would or will. The audience will only tune in and stay tuned to watch drama."

If I were a tattooing sort of guy, I'd have this tattooed on the back of both of my hands and set it to flash in flaming subliminal letters on my monitor three times a minute.

It is the Talmud to the Torah of:


That's a commandment to remember when writing on the various subjects, arguments, concepts and commentary that arise in the current struggle henceforth to be known as "The Thermonuclear Phase of the Culture Wars."

Long ago, a friend of mine quipped, "Better ideas require better arguments," and while that's true it is also dated. As they wind their way

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 27, 2010 12:31 PM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Chart Wars

Pay Attention: "A great, short talk by TargetPoint's VP and Director of Research, Alex Lundry, at DC Ignite. He addresses the issues of subjective messaging through visualization, the emergence of open data, some ideal data visualization tools, a set of quick lessons in graphic literacy, and a short list of recommended visualization books, all within the time span of 5 minutes."

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 26, 2010 8:26 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Warrior Song

Again I ask, "Where do we get such men and women?" And now I add, "Why have we saddled them with a President whose most notable achievement is to find whole new frontiers in dithering?"

"The Warrior Song" Now Available on iTunes. All profits donated to the Armed Forces Relief Trust. Get it from the source HERE.

HT: Little Miss Attila “Kill with a heart like Arctic ice.”

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 27, 2009 10:23 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Brutally Simple: My Current Exit Strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan
Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 28, 2009 11:50 PM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Quisling Time: I've said it before and I'll say it again, "The Road to a Democrat Led Defeat of America Goes Through Afghanistan"


Leslie Gelb is "lost" and thinks Americans are "confused" about the stalling policy of Obama on Afghanistan:

Nothing significant has changed to account for the shift from Mr. Obama's confident policy proclamations to his temporizing statements of recent days. The president certainly understood before last week that the situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating. And he knew when he was inaugurated and when he first uttered his colorful "war of necessity" phrase that his party, and the public generally, were increasingly opposed to the war. == Leslie H. Gelb: Obama’s Befuddling Afghan Policy -

I'm not: The Road to a Democrat Led Defeat of America Goes Through Afghanistan @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Afghanistan deserves to be fought and won on its own terms, not as a stealthy way of retreating from the field altogether. Anybody who tells you the Iraq war is useless and Afghanistan is the "real" war is really telling you Afghanistan is just the long way home. Wagging our tails behind us.
In the Obama book still unpublished but being written day by day with the working title, Dreams of Myself, it's not enough to "transform" the American giant into a compliant second-rate nation, it must be gelded as well.

First published October 4, 2008.

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 22, 2009 10:54 AM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Strong Horse vs. My Little Pony

Osama Bin Laden: When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse. -- Transcript of Osama bin Laden videotape - December 13, 2001

The recent resurgence of Russian military posturing coupled with their invasion of Georgia last year ought to give some pause. Putin has effectively sold Russia's physical and industrial resources to his friends and now runs the world's largest criminal state. He can operate much more effectively as he has none of the drag of a communist system, but retains the desire to play a dominant role in the world. -- BLACKFIVE: Russian fists clenching

Early in August, Vladimir Putin went on vacation. It wasn't like the ongoing vacationfest of Martha's vineyard that has so tuckered out President Obama that he needs to flee to Camp David. Pictures taken on Putin's much more rugged vacation were published in Russia and around the world. In the US and Western Europe these images were greeted with almost universal derision.

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 31, 2009 2:01 PM |  Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Tehran Demonstratons and Reactions: A Stunning Slide Show


No matter what may happen, these images make it clear that the Iranians are going to need more and bigger guns sooner rather than later.

Click THIS LINK and let it play.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 17, 2009 2:35 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Furies of Iran

A supporter of defeated presidential candidate Mousavi is beaten by government security men as fellow supporters come to his aid during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. (AP Photo) - via The Big Picture -

Out of the tsunami of images, videos, rumors and reports that wash over the web during these days of Iranian resistance, this single image of a fleeting moment arrested my attention. Clicking on it will make it larger and allow you to see the expressions of the women closing in on the ayatollah's thugs. And in that flickering instant you will see what all injustice and repression fears from the people it oppresses, the emergence of The Furies.

Always female and dating back to the Age of Myth, the Furies were the agents of Nemesis:

The [Furies] Erinyes often stood for the rightness of things within the standard order.... Predominantly, they were understood as the persecutors of mortal men and women who broke natural laws. In particular, those who broke ties of kinship through murdering a mother (matricide), murdering a father (patricide), murdering a brother (fratricide), or other such familial killings brought special attention from the Furies.
Here three goons beat a man on the ground with long truncheons. A fourth man turns from the beating as he hears the shrieks close on him from the hijab-draped women. We don't know what is being said, but we can infer from the expressions and the gestures that these women have determined not to let this particular fratricide go forward.

The woman directly confronting the turning thug is especially revealing. She wears glasses and is certainly not the sort that one would think capable of bravery or violence. And yet she raises a bare hand high as if to strike this man who outweighs her and is certainly schooled in torture and murder by the regime. Behind this courageous woman come others also determined, also outraged, also, in a word, furious.

What happened after this moment? We cannot know unless the rooftop photographer can be found and we can see the other frames that came after. The goons could have turned on the women and beaten them. The goons, seeing themselves outnumbered and others arriving in the background, could have retreated to beat and kill another days. All we have now is this instant and the history that will ripple outward from it, for better or worse, in Iran over the coming days and months.

What we do know is that once you can see, in an image such as this, the emergence of The Furies in the Mesopotamian realm that gave them birth in the Age of Myth, their harsh mistress Nemesis hovers above them. And while The Furies are vengeful, Nemesis is remorseless.

All Islamic tyrannies fear their women. Here you can see the reason why.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 16, 2009 11:11 AM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Slipstream Media: Creating a New American Network - Part 1

“Strait times come in history. Our time is such a time, millennial, full of fast currents, tossing, eddied, dangerous to pass through.” – John Fowles, The Aristos


The Media is how America fights its civil wars. In this war at least half the country is both under-served and is painfully aware it is being under-served and lied to. In pop culture parlance, “We’re going to need bigger guns.”

Seen as the 4th branch of government, the unelected and self-selected Mainstream Media, in cultural and political collusion with the present government, knows this and – even as it dies – will do everything it can to prevent the arming of the people with more and better media.

To control the medium is to control the message. And control of the message means control of the hearts, minds, and votes of the people. To bring a better, clearer, and brighter message to the American people, we must have media that, like the Internet itself, “sees censorship as system damage and routes around it.” To accomplish this we must, in a network of small pieces loosely joined together, work to create a pervasive new media across America. Many of these pieces are already in place. Many more need to be created. All need to be joined in an affiliation. Mainstream media already knows how to do this and we must, to paraphrase Abby Hoffman, "Steal Their Book." Media not busy being born is busy dying.

This is the first in a series of articles on how to go about building a new American media; a media composed of newspapers, television, radio, film, music, publishing, and the multi-media capabilities of the Internet; an American media open to all and founded on the five bedrock principles of “Duty, Honor, Country, Truth, God.”

When dinosaurs die large opportunities for growth bloom within the ecosystem. The death of the old media is such an opportunity. It affords a wide range of possibilities to create a new media, a media that runs to the side of the mainstream media, but ultimately supplants it by slipping by it. For now I call it, The Slipstream Media.

By “The Slipstream Media” I mean the use of all forms of media currently in use to inform and persuade the public that "There is another system."

This series of articles will be composed of theoretical and practical observations on the content, forms, principles, funding, and business structures involved in creating a new media network in the rapidly changing marketplace of today and the foreseeable future. It will focus on, in Lenin’s phrase, “What is to be done,” as well as what can be done, and how the creation of the Slipstream Media might be accomplished.

What is to be done.

The Premise: Better ideas require not only better arguments, but also better means of distribution.

To survive and thrive, better ideas also require funding, a sound business model based on the realities of the present, and a path to positive cash flow.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 5, 2009 8:34 PM |  Comments (29)  | QuickLink: Permalink
41 Seconds in Which Social Media Avatars Diagnose the Condition of Mister Mainstream Media

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 13, 2009 1:14 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
One Moment in Time: Israel vs Palestinians

A masked man ran away from a stun grenade hurled by Israeli police during clashes in Jerusalem Tuesday. -- WSJ Photo Journal

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 7, 2009 12:10 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"The Missiles of October" Redux? It seems to me we've been here before...

Testing... testing... this is only a test.

... but, having been present during the "before" I have no desire to see just how "Kennedyesque" the current President can be. Nor should you. The last time this sort of fooling around by Russia led from hints to actions, the policy of the United States was:

Third: It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. -- President Kennedy's Address to the Nation on the Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba

Things are not nearly at that level, just yet, but "mighty oaks from little acorns grow...."

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 14, 2009 1:10 PM |  Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"It's 3 AM, the phone is ringing..."


Remember "Ready to rule on Day One?" Surveying the scene at the Oval office, Don Surber notes "There is nobody there."

Barack Obama is too busy posing for magazine covers to actually do the job to which he was elected. There is a price to be paid when a president throws a party every other night, weekends in Chicago or Camp David and poses for magazine cover after magazine cover. After 51 days in office, Barack Obama has appointed only 73 people to 1,200 jobs that require Senate confirmation.
That price might be paid at 3 AM

Ring.... ring.... ring.... ring... ring...

Hello! You've reach the New Lincoln's bedroom at the White House. The lights are on, but there's nobody home. Please listen carefully since our menu options and policies may have changed.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 11, 2009 12:09 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wretchard on Mid-East Inc.

Wretchard at his best. In an off-hand comment to his post, Belmont Club » The strike on Hamas Richard Fernandez sees what others prefer not to see:

Maybe the root of this conflict isn't "land," "statehood,"€ or even religion. Maybe its about preserving fighting and terrorism as a way of life; as a business. Palestine is an alibi for anything, but mostly it is the justification for a mode of employment, a whole series of professions, a whole raft of contractors, a self-sustaining funding network that could not exist without continuous and never-ending war. This monster has already consumed the Palestinians; stolen their future, made a mockery of their hopes.
But sometimes I wonder if the West is any better off. How much "aid", how many diplomatic jobs, how many tenured positions in universities, how many "activist's" careers, how much research and development, weapons manufacturing, military training programs -- how many jobs depend on keeping this abomination going.
This is too much of a good thing for everyone except the ordinary Israeli and Arab for the music to stop. Sometimes I wonder whether it is any more feasible to finish this war than it is to stop illegal immigration. Maybe nobody really wants either a fence or victory to happen. That would be too simple. One thing seems certain: whatever the UN or the diplomats propose isn’t going to make a dime's worth of difference. One can't read the drivel coming from the UN without wondering whether they are joking, mad or moronic. And no, Obama's not going to fix it. We are in the real world equivalent of Groundhog Day. What worries me is the suspicion that some people want us to stay there.
There is something worse than war. It is war without end masquerading as a "peace process"€.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 27, 2008 11:28 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Prophecy from the Book of Bob: Talkin' World War III Blues

Time: 1964. "I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours."

Power of suggestion wielded by Ars Psychiatrica

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 1, 2008 2:09 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
War in Afghanistan Seen As a Burrito

Afghanistan. Where every day is Halloween.

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 12, 2008 7:08 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama's War

mandrakemag-1.jpg Christopher Hitchens notes, not without irony, that

"American liberals can't quite face the fact that if their man does win in November, and if he has meant a single serious word he's ever said, it means more war, and more bitter and protracted war at that—not less." -Pakistan is the problem. Slate Magazine

Of course, that may not be so much of a problem since so much of Obama's allure depends on either not meaning exactly what he says, or not meaning anything he says. Obama communicates to his supporters in the "beyond the linear-verbal mode." What he says is not what you get, it is what you see that you get. But you are only buying the visual not the verbal.

His supporters "believe." They believe that after he is elected, the "real Obama" will emerge from behind the curtain and lead them to the promised land. The real policies of Obama are not to be spoken before the election, but left to come along after in classic Manchurian Candidate mode. Mandrake the Magician has done less hypnotic gesturing in his whole career than we have seen from Obama in this campaign.

At the same time, the thing for his supporters to worry about when it comes to Afghanistan-Pakistan is

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 17, 2008 11:22 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New Republic's Winter Soldier Scott Beauchamp Is Back...
Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 22, 2008 10:01 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Surging Towards Afghanistan-Bananistan

NEXTWARTEE.jpgObamocrats should be pleased with this war news: Pentagon Plans to Send More Than 12,000 Additional Troops to Afghanistan - US News and World Report "And there may be even more to come."

But if you think this is a "surge" you couldn't be more wrong, according to Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan,

He disputes the notion that the three brigades on the way represent a troop "surge" for Afghanistan, predicting the need for an extended involvement of a larger force. "I've certainly said that we need more security capabilities," he says. "But I would not use the term 'surge,' because I think we need a sustained presence."
Well, you can't say that [some] general officers aren't political creatures given to blunt talk. [Corrected as per Sensing's comment.]

So the non-surges surges towards Afghanistan as Pakistan shambles towards a sharia, terrorist controlled state, and the Obamacrats continually insist that Afghanistan is "the real war." Or at least they will until the US is fully surged in and engaged.

At that point the now free-floating quagmire (last seen a couple of year ago in Iraq) will come plummeting down on Afghanistan and it will become, overnight, the "wrong war."

At that point, the new, improved battlecry will be to "Retreat to Bananistan!"

Depend upon it.

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 19, 2008 3:25 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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