By lex, on May 17th, 2011
Ententes Cordiales may come and go, but for the better part of seven decades the US and the UK have enjoyed the mutual benefits of a “Special Relationship” that far exceeded those between major powers historically. The Special Relationship under-girded the Atlantic Alliance, and enabled each party to count upon the other for “cooperation in economic activity, trade and commerce, military planning, execution of military operations, nuclear weapons technology and intelligence sharing.”
By lex, on May 12th, 2011
Good for me, but not for thee at Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now makes his associates sign a draconian nondisclosure agreement that, among other things, asserts that the organization’s huge trove of leaked material is “solely the property of WikiLeaks,” according to a report Wednesday.
“You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information,” the agreement reads, “the misuse or unauthorized disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage.”
It’s never really been about openness or transparency. It’s always been about Julian.
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By Whisper, on April 23rd, 2011
A week ago, Mark Thompson posted a fairly myopic essay on the TIME website demonstrating (if anything) that he is not familiar with the concept of the United States being a maritime nation. To him, I would recommend a book written by a very smart man about the importance of a sovereign contemplating coastal geography in the course of national development. Most of us in the naval service consider it to be somewhat of a primer. Just because a near-peer competitor has developed a weapon that could potentially threaten our capital ships is no reason to mothball the fleet.
There are some gems hidden in the rough of the TIME article, but it was the mis-characterization of incentive pay and bonuses that ultimately led me to discard Thompson’s argument as unworthy of rebuttal.
Thankfully, someone did take the time to reality-check some of his numbers.
Later (with 800′ on the waterline and nicely making way), I look forward to exploring this further – but for now, let me say this: we are fairly compensated. From E-1 to O-6, your service men and women are making good money. The E-1 and the O-1 freshly out of high school or college may not be banking what their peers are initally, but within a couple of years they are comfortably exceeding their former contemporaries.
The bonuses and tax-free pay for those on the tip of the spear are (IMHO) just the way a grateful nation shows its appreciation for the less than 1% of the population that are at any given time actively putting some skin in the game. These “special pays” are not excessive and are not being abused.
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By lex, on February 14th, 2011
Oprah Winfrey recently joined the chorus of voices calling for a new level of respect and civility in our public discourse. Victor Davis Hanson, being a classical historian, reaches all the way back into the dark ages of 2004-2007, when those calling most loudly for courtesy accepted a very different standard of behavior for themselves:
Yes, yes, I remember those eerie times well. There was Jonathan Chait’s New Republic essay about why “I hate President George W. Bush.” (Oprah, where were you?) Garrison Keillor was more clever in his hate of Bush’s Republicans: “brown shirts in pinstripes.” Howard Dean, likewise now angry over the incivility of today’s politics, in that era declaimed, “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.” Do we recall the NAACP chairman of the time, civil rights movement veteran Julian Bond, saying of Bush & Co.: “Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side”? (Oprah, where were you?)
Of course, those were utterly different circumstances. American soldiers were fighting in two foreign wars, for example. There were prisoners being held without trial in Guantanamo Bay. Federal spending was exploding the national debt. We had privacy concerns.
All changed, changed utterly.
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By lex, on January 29th, 2011
There being Egypt, and what it is? Ain’t exactly clear.
Nevertheless, former George W. Bush cabinet member Elliot Abrams is waving the red flag in front of the New Accepted Wisdom on the Middle East and blames Bush – mostly for being right:
“Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?”
The massive and violent demonstrations underway in Egypt, the smaller ones in Jordan and Yemen, and the recent revolt in Tunisia that inspired those events, have affirmed that the answer is no and are exploding, once and for all, the myth of Arab exceptionalism. Arab nations, too, yearn to throw off the secret police, to read a newspaper that the Ministry of Information has not censored and to vote in free elections.
By lex, on January 14th, 2011
Occasional readers will be aware that their correspondent likes Sarah Palin. Not likes in any, “She’d make a great president” kind of way. Because I’m not convinced that she would. But in a heart’s-in-the-right-place, plain spoken mother-woman-pol of self-made success kind of way. Who’s hot.
What’s to hate?
Well, plenty it seems. The latest red flag in the eyes of the haters is Palin’s use of the words “blood libel” to describe the libel that she was somehow responsible for the mad lunacy which resulted in bloodshed in Tucson. The haters point out that “blood libel” has a very specific historical meaning, and that it therefore cannot apply to goyim.
By lex, on January 9th, 2011
Six people are dead in Tucson, and a sitting US congresswoman is in critical care after having survived an assassination attempt. This is both a personal tragedy for the families of the victims involved, and a national stain – we’re not long on political assassinations, over here. Getting rid of politicians is what the ballot box is for.
I watched enough of Jared Lee Loughner’s YouTube channel to realize that the kid was just plain nuts. Delusional. Possibly paranoid. Waiting to go off, looking for a reason. Any reason at all might do. Even none.
What are you going to do? Some people are just wired wrong. Drug abuse usually doesn’t help.