Sunday, November 18, 2012


It has been a week for re-assessing previously held opinions and twisting my way past mood affiliation.
  • Occupy, for all their silliness, is doing something commendable
  • I had always taken the claim that we have soldiers all over the world at face value. We are still in way too many countries (the writer seems to assume that troops in Germany makes perfect sense), but the article and attached report have been a reality check.
  • The British have been working at it longer than we have, but this is still pretty impressive, in the sense that the logistics behind the holocaust were impressive.
  • America has more software engineers than farmers.
  • I found a new blog (added to blogroll), War Nerd. A dyed in the wool jingoistic reactionary who is nonetheless terribly intelligent and knows what he is talking about. Here he talks about Air Force procurement, singling out the astonishgly sleazy Michael McCaul (Note: he is not Dallas area, he represents the conservative parts of Austin and Central Texas, and is, shamefully, my representative. The very first campaign I ever worked was a failed attempt to get him out of office). Here he demolishes a number of criticisms of drone warfare. He doesn't get at my problem with them (because me! I am special!) that we shouldn't be running around the planet killing people willy-nilly and it would be just as objectionable if we heli-dropped marines to slaughter everyone at a wedding.
  • Superman as a democratic figure.
Of course, I have read somethings that were less disputable:
  • This is spot on. I have never in my life seen a police officer who was not placed there to make my life more difficult, from highway patrol to security checkpoints. I know that there exists a romantic notion of an officer who walks around helping people and deterring crime, but I have never personally encountered such a cop and it has definitely skewed my perceptions of the force. They probably don't care what I think.
  • Why doesn't this article tell us how far away the planet is? I suspect that whenever people read articles about space, the question in the back of our minds is, can we send a rocket there.
  • How does even the most scummy of scumbag pro-lifers justify two abortions before marriage? One could well be anything from medical concerns to not being ready, but seriously, if they don't want children there are less expensive ways to manage that. More than any hypocracy, it makes me wonder if these two are stupid or incompetent or what.
  • The American justice system at its finest.
  • Buried in this article is something I have been meaning to write for a while, and now I don't have to. There is very little of value that can be gleaned from textual analysis.
  • A magnificent and less controversial article from War Nerd.
  • And another. Seriously, quit reading this and go over to his archives. Here is the video he links, and here is an unrelated video with explosions.

Finally, where would we be without good old Japan? They make the world's best toilets, and they also make this:



  1. Why doesn't this article tell us how far away the planet is? I suspect that whenever people read articles about space, the question in the back of our minds is, can we send a rocket there.

    You can tell people the answer to the former question, but the answer to the latter would just be depressing. Because, regardless of what the distance was, the answer would be 'No, we can never get there in any conceivable situation during your lifetime, nor probably for a hundred years after that'. And that would just make people less likely to read these kind of stories.

  2. Bah! Our Deus ex Machina will be along any moment to carry us into a golden age straight out of Star Trek. After all, 100,000 science fiction novels can't be wrong.