Monthly Archives: June 2018

Getting the Band Back Together

By lex, on December 29th, 2011

Writing in the WSJ, Iain Murray and James C. Bennett see an opportunity for NAFTA to serve as a lifeline to Britain:

The European Economic Community (EEC) for which the British signed up in a 1975 referendum—a community of free trade and cooperation, not supranational bureaucracy—is long gone. Worse, even today’s less-palatable EU will soon no longer be on offer. Sometime in the next few years at most, Britain will likely face the choice between immersion in a powerful centralized European mega-state and full exit.

Most probably, the choice will be made in an atmosphere of crisis, with dramatic media coverage proclaiming impending doom for Europe. Britain today needs to think seriously about a Plan B, so that it does not have to take an option it will regret for lack of coherent alternatives.

Britain does have other choices. To find the country’s new role, British leaders should look to North America.

It’s questionable outside a major meltdown that the UK should leave the Eurozone and marry economies with the Anglosphere. But I like to hear it talked about, if only because the rumors will make Nicholas Sarkozy’s head explode.

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Good Idea

Posted by Lex, on July 9, 2010


Perfectly Orwellian name:

U.S. intelligence officials have grown increasingly alarmed about what they believe to be Chinese and Russian surveillance of computer systems that control the electric grid and other U.S. infrastructure. Officials are unable to describe the full scope of the problem, however, because they have had limited ability to pull together all the private data.

Perfect Citizen will look at large, typically older computer control systems that were often designed without Internet connectivity or security in mind. Many of those systems—which run everything from subway systems to air-traffic control networks—have since been linked to the Internet, making them more efficient but also exposing them to cyber attack.

The goal is to close the “big, glaring holes” in the U.S.’s understanding of the nature of the cyber threat against its infrastructure, said one industry specialist familiar with the program. “We don’t have a dedicated way to understand the problem.”

The information gathered by Perfect Citizen could also have applications beyond the critical infrastructure sector, officials said, serving as a data bank that would also help companies and agencies who call upon NSA for help with investigations of cyber attacks, as Google did when it sustained a major attack late last year.

Great gallumping swathes of our critical infrastructure are tied to networks that are chock full of Chinese, and not all of them are Nice People who have Only The Best Intentions.

But the guy who came up with the name “Perfect Citizen” really ought to be taken out back and beaten with a stupid stick until the blood runs out of his ears.



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Death Squads

Posted by lex, on December 29th, 2011

As if live wasn’t hard enough on the Hindu Kush, innocent villagers are being accused as spies and murdered by a Pakistani death squad known as the Khorasan Mujahedin:

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Lambs and Lions

Posted by lex, on December 22nd, 2011

Quite coincidentally, two occasional readers sent me infographics which have very different stories to tell. The first is of the tech savvy millienial generation, which – despite an appalling job market – remains optimistic about their long term prospects.

The second one?

That has to do with the exchange of lead for gold as a precious commodity.

The gist of it is that while the rising nation optimistically sleeps on their parents couches waiting for economic conditions to improve, their parents are stocking up on guns and ammo.

Perhaps its one of those “life experience” things.


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2011 Retrospectives

Posted by lex, on December 23rd, 2011

Start with this one, by Peggy Noonan.

I particularly like the references to Lady Thatcher.

The lady is in the top ten of my end-of-days dinner companions. I would very much like to see her square off with Mr. Churchill, also atop the list. Which includes Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and I’ll need a little more time to flesh out the list.


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‘Bout Time

Posted by Lex, on July 1, 2010


The US military has, after 9 years of grueling combat, finally found a living soldier  * worthy of nomination for the country’s highest award for valor:

The Pentagon has recommended that the White House consider awarding the Medal of Honor to a living soldier for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to U.S. officials.

The soldier, whose nomination must be reviewed by the White House, ran through a wall of enemy fire in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley in fall 2007 in an attempt to push back Taliban fighters who were close to overrunning his squad. U.S. military officials said his actions saved the lives of about half a dozen men…

The nomination comes after several years of complaints from lawmakers, military officers and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that the Pentagon had become so cautious that only troops whose bravery resulted in death were being considered for the Medal of Honor. Gates “finds it impossible to believe that there is no one who has performed a valorous act deserving of the Medal of Honor who has lived to tell about it,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, who declined to comment on specific nominations…

Obama presented a posthumous Medal of Honor in September to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti for his heroism in exposing himself to enemy fire to retrieve a wounded comrade. But honoring a living soldier with the nation’s highest award for valor would give the president an opportunity to ease some of the military’s feelings of estrangement from the rest of U.S. society.

Such a ceremony also would allow the president to honor military heroism and virtue, sentiments that Republicans say Obama does not celebrate frequently enough.

It’s Washington of course, so the WaPo has to find a political angle.

Which is a damned shame.


* Link changed 04-11-18 – Ed.

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Posted by lex, on December 23rd, 2011

WESTPAC sailors of a certain age will nod, knowingly.

The more things change, the more they remain the same in the land of Not Quite Right.

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