Put Out the Fire In Your Hair

image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/users/davidblaze-1524661/

Sometimes the crazy is so crazy I don’t even know what to do about it.

For instance, even what is nominally OUR political side was posting “start world war III” memes on facebook.  Yeah, I get you, I get you, some were really funny. But here’s the thing, they’re also truly, bizarrely, outlandishly crazy.

Why? Because there is no path, as things are right now, for the thing with Iran to start anything like WWIII.  While Iran is an oil producer, its capacity is kind of diminished in recent years, and in any case, there is no way that Europe, much less Russia and China are going tow ar against us over Iran, of all places.

Yeah, yeah, joint military exercises. Those have been planned for months, and at any rate, one thing is to have a joint military exercise with your crazy cousin, to show the rest of the neighborhood you’re totally friends. Another is to actually go to war with the big kids in the neighborhood, whom your cousin has been throwing rocks on for years, to defend your cousin’s putative sanity or honor or something. In the long run? Iran isn’t even that hard to defeat.  Also, it lost its best friend, funder and supporter when Obama left the White House.

As for running around with your hair on fire, because Trump engaged in “assassination” of a foreign leader: if you are Rand Paul you’re allowed to do that.  Why? Because he also bitched, loudly and often about Obama’s happy go lucky murder by Drone. But even he should take a powder on this one for various reasons (he won’t. Big  L Libertarians share with liberals the belief that the rest of the world are big, harmless teddy bears and that if the US doesn’t commit violence no one will attack us. Also the belief that if we don’t retaliate, the crazies of the world won’t attack again.  Look, I don’t get it either. All I can say is that they must have grown up in a much more…. sheltered neighborhood than the one I grew up in. There you learned quickly that it doesn’t matter how peaceful you are. There’s always a crazy bully who’ll attack you because you nostriled at them wrong.) The main reasons being that this was an enemy combatant in a war zone. That he was actually part of the military of another country (a part of the military devoted by that country to actions abroad) doesn’t make it better. This is not a case of “oh, they’re just invading this country, still, at least nominally, under our protection, so we’re not allowed to shoot them.” No. It is very much a case of good riddance to bad rubbish. Where he’s going he won’t terrorize any more innocents.

Yes, I understand, technically — but not happily — that we can’t simply drone Maduro, blow up Evil Chinese Winnie the Pooh or take the mullahs out one by one. I do understand that it might have horrible international implications. (But what if we did them all at once, on camera, and laughed maniacally while we did it? Oh, come on.  Surely there’s an insanity defense for nations. Like nuking the moon, but more so. Okay, yes, yes, I know. But my inner 13 year old DOESN’T. Deal.)

However, if one of those…. ah…. gentlemen were in a theater of war in a country we’re obligated to protect, for the sole reason of attacking us, if he had in fact led an attack on our embassy?  Yep. Perfectly all right to drone the SOB. Much more so than most instances of death by drone under Obama. (And incidentally, can we convince those people to attack our embassies? in person? Because…. Okay fine. I get it. No. I get it. Being adult means you never get to have any fun. I’ll be sulking here, but I totally get it.)

Then come the bed wetters and nail biters who are afraid, somehow, this will personally lead to their deaths, unless they apologize to Iran right now and tell them how sorry they are.

Look, it’s mean to make fun of the terminally neurotic. But I’m going to assume, again, they came from a neighborhood where there was no interpersonal violence among the young. Because if they’d ever been through group wars, they’d know telling the other group “please don’t attack us” is what will MAKE THEM ATTACK YOU. Because it makes you sound weak. Which, of course, you are, but it doesn’t mean the US is. Pull your socks up, stop sniveling, and for the love of heaven, talk to someone over 55, who remembers when Iran took over our embassy and held our people hostage while Jimmah fiddled. Ask him about all the times that Iran screamed “Death to America.” Their claim now that they only hate Trump is either disingenuous or an admission that they have invented a time machine. Which do you think is more likely?

And what do you think their plans for YOU are if they get Trump out of the way?

Grow up. I know five year olds in tough neighborhoods with more intestinal fortitude than you display, and more strategic thinking too.

The fact is, you moral cowards and wretched snivelers are only going to lead Iran to attack us again (as they did tonight) because since the media amplifies your whining, screaming, and temper tantrums, Iran will assume that we’re all in agreement with you and won’t let meaneviltrump hit them again.

Which means they’re going to attack instead of surrendering, thinking they can win this, to the glory of the caliphate. Or something. And then we’re going to really, really hurt them. We’ll probably shut down their oil business, which means they’ll have to eat sand. Not to mention that no matter how targeted, SOME innocents will be caught by our retaliation.

If that’s what you want: to increase casualties as much as possible, most of them amid Iranians, carry on. You’re on the right course.

If not, have some milk and cookies and take a coloring book to bed. When you’re old enough to read about strategy and history and to fully comprehend foreign cultures are different from us, and that Middle Eastern Cultures are very very different, we can talk again.

Then there’s the kids. Okay, I was going to say it’s not fair to laugh at the maleducated young. But the truth is, if they are as ridiculous as we were at their age, before we shed all the cr*p they taught us in high school (and double for college) they need to be laughed at.  It is the sound of unbridled guffaws as you state the very important opinions TM you acquired from your teachers and professors that often cause you to reconsider that they might not be in line with reality. Right?

So, let’s laugh at them.

The young people are running around wearing la chevelure en flambe this season are afraid… wait for it… of being drafted.

It’s okay, it’s okay. I swear I’m okay to type.  I’m sorry. Did my laughter alarm you?

Yes, I know they’re being scared by the dems, who have one play book: “Hey, in the sixties, we got the young people on our side by threatening them with the draft. Let’s do it again.”  The dems are so much like the Iranians in that each has only one play in their playbook — we’re pissed off at America. Let’s find the nearest US embassy and attack it — that I’m not surprised the Dems are defending the Iranians.

But the truth is both embassy attacks and the draft are contingent on the conditions at that time. The Iranians made the fatal mistake of thinking Trump is Obama. (I guess all Americans look alike to them.) And the dems… never mind. They are managing to scare the young people…

So, listen you young idiots: contrary to what the Dems tell you, in the 21st century, war is rarely a matter of warm bodies.  I will grant you if we were fighting China, we might need a lot of warm bodies, because they have a lot of warm bodies. But even that is highly unlikely. Unless we have a dem president who hampers us and puts both our military legs and one arm in a sack, we’re unlikely to need to overwhelm the Chinese with your skinny bodies. We’re more likely to fight them with technology. You see, we have an advantage over them. Our tech tends to work.

I’m not saying that should we get in a real pinch people won’t be drafted. But if they are, it will be a selective draft.  The new, technologically equipped armed services aren’t likely to need to recruit ten underweight barristas and five overweight computer gamers.  Actually, of the two the computer gamers are more likely to be needed, but it’s still not likely.

If they need people, it will be “We need five civil engineers, ten mechanical engineers, and 20 medically trained people in this age range.”

The era of the warm bodies sent to war to become cool bodies has passed.  I understand that the dems think progress is moving steadily towards the 1930s, but it ain’t gonna happen, and war is very different now.

Before they get to you they’ll call back all the reserves (and we have a lot) and a lot of the veterans.

If they ever need to call you up in batch lots, it is because some virus has decimated most of the fighting age population of the US, while leaving say China and Russia intact.  And honestly, if we get to that point, I’ll set my hair on fire myself. Because outside of a John Ringo novel, that war is already lost.

So put out the fire in your hair. Relax. No, the missiles flying tonight are NOT a sign that Donald Trump should not have killed Al Soleimani. It might be a sign that your bizarre displays of childishness has convinced Iran that the US is ripe for the plucking. But I don’t even think that. I think these were pre-planned actions. They were going to hit us anyway. These things take time to plan, you know?

The only way to prevent this from going on is to not ignore that Iran has been at war with us since 79.  Wars don’t end when one side stops fighting. Unless that side surrenders. And I don’t know about you, but I have no intention of living under the mad mullahs.

No, wars end when we take away the other country’s ability to keep attacking us. If in the process we liberate the long suffering Iranian people from their Mad Mullah oppressors? Bonus.

But I don’t like foreign adventurism. And honestly? This is a tiny skirmish. If we get the fifth column to shut up for ten minutes, it will be over.

Put out the fire in your hair. You’re disturbing me while I’m eating popcorn waiting for the whole impeachment farce to collapse.

Iran? Meh. We’ll get this shut down, whether Nancy likes it or not. (She doesn’t. No president without a D after his name is allowed to kill foreign enemies.)

But at least now, the actual enemy in our midst has self-identified. It’s not nothing.


450 thoughts on “Put Out the Fire In Your Hair

  1. You’d think Rand Paul would have got the message about deterrence and justified retaliation when he was beaten down in his own front yard by a crazed NeverTrumper Democrat neighbor. Most other “libertarians” these days, as far as I can tell, are just liberals who want a new name for what they are now that they’ve made “liberal” an epithet.

    As for the Democrats, well, I’ve long since lost patience with their posturing. They’re not “anti-violence” or “anti-war,” they’re just on the other side.

    1. “Adhering to their [the United States’] enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

      Yes, I know the odds of getting that actually applied are non-existent, but that doesn’t mean I can’t call it such when I see it.

      1. Getting it applied is oe thing, but forcing the Dems and MSM (BIRM) to eat that toad on a regular basis is something we can do. ALL GOP candidates for House & Senate ought be encouraged to loudly and repeatedly denounce the Dems for irresponsibly stoking fear amongst Americans and for encouraging those who would do us harm.

    2. Rand Paul – politician with half a brain. As opposed to Nancy Pelosi, a politician with two brains, one’s lost, the other is out looking for it.

    3. You may not be interested in Foreign Policy, but it is interested in you.
      There’s also a hippy dippy idea that Ideals make people do bad stuff.
      Nonsense- bad people who want to do bad things are great at finding some Ideal to justify themselves. The actual reasons aren’t that important.

    4. I went to some LP meetings back in the 90s and came away with the idea that LP stood for “Legalize Pot” based on who had the most energy and organization or “Libertine Party” based on everyone else.

      And I’ve got pretty strong libertine cred.

      1. The LP also has the luxury of being able to have Ideological Purity without any of that nasty and messy pragmatic stuff that’s part of actual governing. A bit like childless 19year old pontificating on the best way to raise children.

        1. The fact they indulge that luxury is what kept me out. It told me they didn’t want to govern in the sense of winning and leaving everything alone. I realize they don’t want to govern in the more common sense.

          1. They’re not all that different than the Trust Fund Trostkyites in that regard, making even more efficient spherical vacuum cows.

          2. Right if they REALLY wanted to do something they’d work first at the state legislature levels. Why? Because to actually have any control you need to have some input into the decennial gerrymandering and to get that you have to control state legislatures (or at least be a controlling portion of the vote). Pretty much no 3rd party (but the Dixiecrats) ever paid any attention to anything other than the presidency. So they’re spoilers at best, and really just vanity candidacies.

            1. Not just that, but going against “approved” thought with the idea that governing less governs best they need some proof of concept. They also need some proof of success to get credibility.

              I’d start at the local level, county commissioners (they will do better rural than urban at first). Use that to capture state legislature seats.

      2. Back in the 1970s I thought the LP sounded like a good idea. One of their early Pres candidates came to my town and gave a talk. Met the man afterward. He did not have a single thought of his own in his head. And he had a deadly-serious fellow following him around (watching =him=, not the crowd) who was apparently his handler. This fellow would interrupt and finish answering questions whenever the candidate stumbled.

        Based on various observations since then, and cemented by one rather peculiar report from inside National Review, I’ve concluded that the Libertarian Party is actually wielded *by* the DNC, as a reliable way to split the conservative vote. I expect that few, if any of the LP candidates (let alone voters) are aware of this.

        And after watching Gary Johnson intimidate an interviewer… I began to wonder what kind of crypto-authoritarian philosophy is actually behind the “non-aggression principle” — it parallels being required to let every playground bully beat your head at their pleasure.

        And after several exchanges with the folks at the Zero Aggression Project… concluded their Open Borders stance is either a religious point or comes down from on high, because they have no logical defense of their position.

        1. Based on various observations since then, and cemented by one rather peculiar report from inside National Review, I’ve concluded that the Libertarian Party is actually wielded *by* the DNC, as a reliable way to split the conservative vote. I expect that few, if any of the LP candidates (let alone voters) are aware of this.

          I’m sure at least some of them do it, but I think it works because the weakness of the Libertarian party is that they’re using Leftwing parts to try to build a Rightwing result. And a lot of them want to keep this or that chunk, or share an assumption, that doesn’t work with the rest.

          And since it’s such an intensely philosophical thing, response to someone stepping on that feels like a personal attack, to which they respond rather poorly.

        2. Libertarian politics are really attractive to live-and-let live types. I think they could work IRL if they were utterly subordinate to several religions.

          Yeah. I know. I was living in lalaland

          1. A culture of strong families could also cut it.

            The Shire works as an anarchy because of their strong families and because their flaws — smugness, insularity — don’t cause it to break down.

            1. And even the Shire HAD a government; Tolkien just never emphasized it. The fact that Saruman’s bullies could defeat it so easily shows the limitations of an anarchy confronted by ruthless totalitarianism.

    5. Hey Rand, how’s that non-aggression principle workin’ out for ya? convinced your neighbor to sign on to it yet??

      1. I was lectured in detail by a paulian how they were not isolationists, they were non-interventionists!
        They didn’t like it when I told them the difference was one figures “Nothing bad will ever happen to us if we ignore the rest of the world”, whereas the other thinks “If we just ignore the rest of the world, nothing bad will ever happen to us.”
        I also knew some who were going for RP unless he lost the nomination then they were voting Dem in hopes we would get Canadian style single payer. (-_-)
        not the brightest group I came across in life

        1. Your response is much pithier than mine– I eventually figured out that “aggression” and “intervention” meant “you’re not allowed to do stuff I don’t want. If I think it’s a good idea, though, then you’re just responding to aggression.”

          So, a value judgement– which would be less obnoxious if they’d just admit there’s a value judgement, not a law of nature.

          1. I eventually figured out that “aggression” and “intervention” meant “you’re not allowed to do stuff I don’t want. –“
            They are/were very much leftoid in that.

  2. I am reminded of something that I read somewhere, probably in a foreword to a military-SF anthology. I believe it was written by Jerry Pournelle. It went something like “Wars begin when one side either overestimates their chances of winning or desires to commit suicide, and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In theory, both sides expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time.”

    Our job with Iran is to make sure they don’t overestimate their chances of winning a war with us. We can do nothing, of course, about any desire they may have to commit suicide.

    1. “We can do nothing, of course, about any desire they may have to commit suicide.”

      Sure we can do something – we can opt to oblige them.

        1. Muslim jihadi gets to the Other Place after a successful suicide mission.

          An beautiful being meets him, kisses him on both cheeks and says, “Ah Mohammed! Right on time! Please, this way to your reward.”

          He leads him down a gold and marble hallway to a large door that opens into a dark room with the smell of incense and the sound of music coming from it.

          “Enjoy your eternity my friend”, the being says as he closes the door behind him.

          And then the lights come on, revealing 72, old virginal “women”, each more vicious and hideously ugly than Medusa herself. And that was before they all smiled showing mouths full of very sharp, pointed teeth.

          His screams could be heard echoing down the halls for miles.

              1. I’m thinking of Julian May’s Exile novels.

                The female dwarfs, female ogres, etc had teeth there. Nobody (even their males) tried to rape them.

                Note, I think there is some folklore about women with that “feature”. 😉

                1. I know there’s several science fiction stories out there with beautiful alien women with that feature or close variants. Stephanie Osborne’s Echo and Omega series even had one in it that had the hots for Echo.

                2. Vagina Dentata, what a wonderful phrase. Vagina Dentata, ain’t no passing craze. It means no willy, for the rest of your days. It’s our reproduction free, philosophy. Vagina Dentata.
                  (Sung to the tune of Aucuna Matata. I’m sorry. Did I mention only one cup of coffee this morning?)

                    1. There is a lot of folklore about it, particularly among Native American tribes. There is a hero tale about a guy who got warned, and managed to sleep with seven sisters (cannot remember if he just killed them, or if he used an artificial appendage to do it), and then killed all of them and their dad. But yeah, I don’t remember much, and don’t really want to.

                    2. Heh, there you go. I should have known that you would know what I was talking about!

                      I prefer the “hero kills monsters with a bouncing skull ball on fire” motif.

                  1. If this was within the possibility of genetic engineering radical feminists would be lining up for the procedure. I am surprised their isn’t some kind of piercing that mimics it. It probably exists but I am afraid to google it.

                    1. I’ve actually heard of a version developed as an anti-rape deterrent in South Africa. It’s basically a lady’s condom, but with the inside lined with essentially super fine porcupine quills that have to be surgically removed. Because obviously the kind of men who forcibly rape women so often that the women have to wear these things as a daily protection are totally going to let a woman go after that, and not, say, kill her as a warning to any other women who try to booby trap themselves.

                    2. If I had a bunch of tiny little thorns in my penis, I would be in no shape to kill anyone. I’m not sure if I’d be able to do anything, actually, beyond whimpering and dreading the inevitable moment that I had to urinate.

                      That’s probably something of a universal among guys, even monstrous ones.

                    3. In one of the Thieves World stories, a spell-caster casts a spell that heats up metal to encourage those visiting him to disarm. The local brothel madam is present, and has to quickly remove a metal contraption with a very sharp blade from between her legs.

                    4. I’ve actually heard of a version developed as an anti-rape deterrent in South Africa
                      During the Viet Nam unpleasantness there we rumors of local ladies doing something similar with razor blades. Never hear the rumors confirmed. Same speculations of (im)practicality apply.

                  2. Must have been very bitter coffee at that 🙂

                    Kali’s teeth are an artificial variant available at sex shops near you (well, probably not, but they’re only a browser away).

                    Note, poster is not responsible for any Googling the reader may do.

                3. There are Native American stories about women who have “teeth in the wrong places”. In the version that I vaguely recall, the hero puts a stone in first to break all of the teeth, and only then does the deed properly. And then he marries her afterwards. My recollection is that the woman’s mother was the villain in that particular version.

          1. My favorite version:

            Osama bin Laden gets to the afterlife and is immediately greeted by George Washington. Washington beats him to a pulp, then moves on. Next comes Thomas Jefferson, who runs him through with a sword. After that, James Madison fires a cannon through him.

            After a while of this, OBL complains to the Angel Gabriel: “Why is this happening? Where are my 72 virgins?”

            Gabriel says, “It appears there was a bit of a mispronounciation when Mohammed reported what I told him. I said you’d get 72 VIRGINIANS.”

              1. I liked the misinterpretation that instead of 72 virgins it was “a 72 year old virgin” … you know how telephone/telegram works, or whatever it was called centuries ago.

      1. Or to quote the Blue Oyster Cult song Divine Wind which I linked to in connection with a post last week, “If they think we’re the devil, then let’s send them to hell”

    2. One of the “There Will Be War” anthologies. IIRC, either the first or second one.

      To Rand Paul, and all of his acolytes: The only way that we can “leave other countries alone” is to cut all economic ties with them; no imports or exports. Also, to become an armed camp, to ensure that they leave us alone or be utterly destroyed. (Aside: sorry, Phantom, that policy would probably mean we’d have to take over Canada – several strategic minerals simply are not in our current territory.)

      To Nancy Pelosi and all of her acolytes: I will listen to you about this when you condemn Saint Franklin (serial adulterer) for “provoking” Japan into war. He not only cut off their oil and scrap metal supplies, but told our Asia Squadron that they should shoot back if the Japanese fired on our river patrols.

      1. There is a massive, drastic difference between interacting with other countries (and their economies) and meddling with their internal affairs, which we do with dreary regularity any time we feel we’re a superior nation. THAT is what Rand Paul has an objection to, along with heaping piles of money onto nations that are theoretically friends, like Pakistan, while they’re plotting behind our backs instead of doing something useful with it – like balancing the budget.

        I’ve never seen an indication that Rand Paul (unlike his father) has a problem with a strong military component to the nation that’s willing to respond to aggression. His issue is when we provoke that aggression by sticking our noses in where they don’t belong – always with the best of intentions of course. Gotta pave that road, yanno.

        1. I don’t think we should give money away.
          As for our “interfering.” Some are better than others, but mostly the US interferes very little compared with other nations. AND NEVER PROPAGANDIZES.
          I know that is opposite what you heard, but I’m sorry, I grew up in Europe in the seventies and early eighties.
          As for not intervening in their internal affairs…. This is why I left the Libertarians. You and Rand Paul are willfully naive. See, actually the other countries will call the fact we buy and sell from them interference. Apparently the fact we sold computers made Portugal not create its own computer industry in the seventies. MUST be true, I heard it so often.
          Seriously, you people went to very nice kindergartens, didn’t you? You don’t understand the kids who envy your crayons and therefore feel you’re oppressing them, obviously.
          The other thing is Rand Paul IS objecting to military retaliation to an attack on our embassy, which IS an act of war.
          Look, I like a lot of what he says and does. I think he’s an honorable man. But this “one world” bullshit that presumes EVERYONE is a rational actor, including bizarre and perverse cultures with dreams of world domination (No, Americans AREN’T one, to quote Dave Freer, Americans are lousy imperialists. All they want to do is go home) and that they’ll leave us alone if we leave them alone?
          That’s a delusion on a level with ANYTHING the Soviets ever sold.
          I’m sorry. I earnestly wish it were otherwise. But it is not.

          1. Never propagandizes? Never?

            What, then, is that toxic sludge our film and television industry dumps into other cultures? Does nobody even consider how offensive this …

            … scene must be to Islamic countries? At least Hollywood has recognized it is best to not insult Chinese cultural values.

            1. Who cares? Anyone who can’t appreciate a hot red head in tight leather dishing it out physically, clearly is an inferior man.


            2. “At least Hollywood has recognized it is best to not insult Chinese cultural values.”

              Poorly. See also baizuo .

              Hollywood, the NGOs, our … flawed … Academy has managed to export U.S. SJW race-and-intersectional theory to Brasil. We sell narcissism very well, God forgive us.

          2. What SHE said.

            Now, I am in some agreement, at some times, with Rand. Messing with another country for anything but pragmatic national self-interest is really not our business.

            Especially interventions for “moral” reasons.

            Serbians want to kill off Bosnians (and vice-versa)? Not our business.

            Quadaffi wants to kill off internal opposition to his regime? Not our business.

            ChiComs want to eliminate Uighurs and Tibetans? Not our business.

            Iranians want to throw homosexuals off of roofs, rape women and then stone them for loose behavior? Not our business.

            (Note, much as I would LIKE TO bang the various heads together and make them play nice, it’s a losing proposition. Every. Damned. Time.)

              1. We’re not the world’s nanny.

                Agree 100%.

                Nanny state at home is bad enough. Let alone making our armed forces become one for the world or our tax dollars be used to pay for it.

              2. However, if we hulk around making gorilla noises, and occasionally throw a big rock, most of the would-be bad actors decide getting 800-pounded is not such a wise idea, and tend to not require nannying and don’t get too medieval on their neighbors. It’s when we sit down and make ourselves small and weak that all the petty bullies run amok.

            1. I would however allow, hell, encourage Americans of good will who wish to make war on oppressors.
              Wanna go defend Hong Kong? Do Feminista guerrillas want to go punish the Mullahs? Does the Pink Army want to save kids from being hanged for looking at each other funny?
              You have our blessing, we won’t stop you. However, if you’re caught we’re not going to war to rescue you. You’re on your own, you’re fighting for the good and may G-d bless you.

              1. And you can never come back. That is current law and must be so or we as in America is responsible for everything that you did.

              2. We should really encourage Blacks and everybody else to go over and start eliminating all the Slavers and Sellers. This is God’s work and only Allah is against it. Find them and kill them.

              3. “Do Feminista guerrillas want to go punish the Mullahs?”

                No, they carefully avoid the topic of those men who regularly and demonstrably oppress women.

                1. Meanwhile, all the Muslims carefully refrain from objecting to Chinese concentration camps for Muslims.

            2. Now, I am in some agreement, at some times, with Rand.

              It is important to have a voice like Rand Paul in the Senate. Maybe even two or three such voices. Four such voices strikes me as embarrassment of riches and enough for a majority (or even significant bloc) seems disastrous.

              Heck, there’s even room in the House for such voices as that All-Out Crazy gal, but she should not be representative of any party not involving a keg.

              1. Father and son are very much “Yeah. Right. Good one! Wait, What?!”
                Father had far more Wait What? moments than son, but as I’ve implied before, the apple is obviously from THAT tree.
                I won’t say he’s the sensible one, just more sensible than his pops.

            3. I’m a bit odd about this. I’m willing to MAKE it our business, if we are ready to go full-on Imperial about it. It took a few hundred years of British rule to bring India out of near total barbarism to something that can look sort of civilized if you squint. We aren’t going to do it for another country in four or eight years. So, when somebody wants us to stop some gawdawful behavior in some benighted hellhole, my question is, “Are we going to conquer the place and make them act like us for long enough to matter? Five or six hundred years? Run sewers, teach modern agriculture, build industry, establish a legal system? Because if we aren’t, then I wanna stay home, thanks.”

              1. Objection, if you start with something that’s at least Klingon level civilized– like Japan– you can do it in less time.

                But for heaven’s sake, the places that are full on “let’s be nothing but tribal twits”?

                God Himself took thousands of years– yeah, that wears a path, and maybe we can fix stuff simply by making it so that the a-holes can’t FORCE folks to stay, but it won’t be fast.

          3. I’ve been thinking the same that anything we did to Iran is justified because attacking the embassy (native land btw) is an act of war. They are at war with us already. Now I don’t go for the WWIII idea because I think if no one else gets involved that it would be like spanking the toddler.

        2. A coupla factoids for you. One, Iran DECLARED WAR on us in 1979, a declaration never rescinded. Therefore, any action whatsoever we choose to inflict upon them is perfectly legal and justified, both by international law and practice. If we have not poured a can of whoopass on them, it’s only because they’re too insignificant to bother with.
          Two, there is no support for a draft among current volunteers. No current infantryman, and I was one, wants to fight alongside anyone that doesn’t wanna be there.
          Three, two years is the minimum time required to train even a “cannon fodder” infantryman, and the military is highly unlikely to train someone, only to let him out as soon as he is minimally trained.
          Finally, we could completely close the Straits of Hormuz with less than one carrier battle group. A few subs could easily do it. This would be the death knell for the Iranian economy, and have them begging for peace. Trump knows this.

        3. Well, in this case, Rand is wrong, again. Killing General Terror was not sticking our nose in where it didn’t belong. We’ve had the goods on that guy for years, and did little to nothing about him. We finally get clear cut link between him and the embassy attack and set up for another planning session, and the President approved taking him out.

          And as most people who paid any attention saw, the Iranians “mourning” his death and protesting against America, killed about 3 times more of their own people than we did in the drone attack. That’s not the act of sane, reasonable people. Most like, progressive Democrat-socialists.

      2. It would be hard to fuck up Canada worse than it is now. An invasion by the Americans would mean a tax cut and a doubling of economic activity. Most of us wouldn’t even notice the difference, except it would be easier to get a job and everything would be 25% cheaper at the store.

        1. B-b-b-but your fabulous national health care system! What would you do if you had to make due with those heartless American hospitals?

          1. Oh ghod, don’t get me started. I know shit that would turn your hair white.

            Canada isn’t bad as long as you have Friends in the trade. Close relative is a doctor, they can hook you up. But if you don’t have that, and you’re really sick, try to be hit by a transit bus in Big City USA. The shittiest county general is better than any Canadian hospital, if only because they’re not allowed to let you die.

            1. I’ve a friend in B.C. who had a six pound ovarian cyst, 20 inches long. They told her to come back in six months to see if it got bigger. Real quality care there…

              1. Long story short, Canuck friend’s mom was deliberately misdiagnosed and let die of bone cancer. Friend got cancer young, was instantly treated. Friend demanded explanation, which the retiring doctor provided on the sly: She was old, and would pay no more taxes. You’re young, and will pay a lot of future taxes.

            2. From what I’m seeing, even our local hospital has gotten better over the years. I think it’s part of the transition from thriving lumber county, to dirt-poor former lumber county, to retirement destination for a lot of western states.

              I’ll have a colonoscopy scheduled fairly soon; preop is tomorrow, and this will be at the hospital. There’s a day surgery center that does it too; competition should keep standards up. (Prep will be interesting. What I used in ’02 (Soda-Phosphate) is now considered dangerous, especially with the meds I’m taking.)

              1. Hmm, Murphy’s Law of Winter came to pass. When I *have* to go to town, we just got 5″ of snow. 1-3″ inches were predicted.

                “Oh well, we need the water”, he says while shoveling/plowing today. At least it’s an afternoon appointment.

        2. Yeah, there was a thing about the Imperial Americans invading and occupying Mexico, and while the universal reply by anyone with any knowledge of that warm and corrupt paradise was “Oh, Heck No!” or semantically similar, my thought was “Were us Imperial ‘Mercuns truly in need of a resource-rich conquest to spend decades assimilating, why not look North?”

          I mean, really, which would you take first?

          1. As I’m living through a (relatively mild, thank the Lord) Midwestern winter, conquering Mexico sounds more appealing. Ask again in 6 months. 😛

                1. You Sir are not a mouse. Although we do have a wallaby wandering around and from a certain angle they kinda look like a giant mouse, maybe?

            1. Point of reference. The U.S. did invade and conquer Mexico. Then we gave it back to them and went home. Still haven’t decided if that was wisdom or utter stupidity on our part.

              1. And we did the Treaty of Guadalupe (I believe) where we bought the land we tried to buy before the war. After we won the war we sent somebody to make the deal. The Mexicans were so taken aback they didn’t know what to do for a while. The final deal paid MORE then we offered before the war.
                We could have just taken it but we bought it. Much harder to justify trying to take it back.

                1. Wasn’t that after they went “hey, American folks, please move here and keep the raiding tribes off our backs, we’ll give you tax breaks and leave you alone,” and then changed their minds when the tribes weren’t attacking?

                  Don’t get me started on the Spaniards in California who were NOT impressed by Mexico deciding that they got to claim the Spaniard’s land. (no link for that, was history of folks I grew up around)

                  1. For Texas, pretty much. American settlers and entrepreneurs were recruited to be a buffer against the Comanche; offered some nice bennies … and then about a decade later, the deal was reconsidered. (Pray we don’t reconsider it again, was pretty much the Mexican reaction.)
                    As for the greater portion of the Southwest that we got after the Mexican-American War, Mexico claimed it, technically – but could do bloody-all to administer, protect and defend. The Mexican settlements in New Mexico and in California were essentially on their own, and damn tired to being mal-administered from far-distant Mexico City.

          2. Considering most provinces of Canada speak an understandable variation of the King’s English, Canada would be easier to integrate into the U.S. than Mexico.

          3. If we did go to war with Canada, our streets would instantly be filled with protesters yelling, “No blood for syrup!”
            Oh, he’s a lumberjack, and he’s OK.

        3. Beg to differ. The type of American with the time and interest to spend administering a subjugated population might manage to be as bad or worse. Barring provocation sufficient to have Americans contemplating mass murder. We’ve got our own business to mind if problems aren’t serious, and anyone who doesn’t make so much more money on their own business that they /can’t/ afford to to take on the job is probably some kind of screw up.

          1. Well. The big news today is that Justin grew a BEARD! Wow, right? So exciting!

            The Canadian media is all a-twitter about the prime minister’s facial hair. Because any distraction is a good one, I guess.

              1. No, you’re thinking of Obama.

                But speaking of, it does seem like Michelle the Klingon warrior princess does have a bit of razor burn in the jowl area sometimes…

                1. I am also seeing a lot of pimping of her recently. Some Life special issue on her amazing life/abilities/superpowers/whatever.

                  I wonder if she is going to be the presidential great white hope.

                    1. A bitter Klinger …

                      Rather startling to realize how transphobic that show is, in retrospect.

                2. Hey I have friends that are Klingons! It’s offensive to compare them to the Ex first lady. The Klingons at least have some sense of honor. And much better fashion sense, I mean look at the cool gold sashes they wear.

                  1. Michelle would look pretty good in a Next Gen Klingon outfit. Or actually, one of those original Trek gowns, if she got to wear a long cape or something.

                    Barack , not so much.

                    1. I think we have to agree to disagree here. I do not think she would make a good looking Klingon. No comparison to K’Ehleyr or B’Elanna Torres (although they are 1/2 Klingon) and no comparison to Lursa or B’Etor. Though given I’m a Rigellian it may be my views on humanoid appearance are a bit, well skewed.

                    2. Nah, the Cardassians were more like Japan crossed with Soviet Russia– he never gave the impression of the kind of drive to be The Best at, well, anything.

                      I got more of a Romulan vibe off of him– one of the ones that was nowhere near as smart as they thought, not the really scary ones.

            1. I wonder what the over/under was on their being able to shoot him up with sufficient testosterone for that?

          1. I think all Americans should have to qualify for duel citizenship. if they had to risk their lives for it, they’d appreciate it and work to keep it better.

      3. Tee-hee. Where’s that memory hole when you need one?

        Prominent libertarians once advocated assassination as an alternative to war
        Libertarians have been among the most vocal critics of President Trump’s decision to order the killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani. But there was actually a time when there were prominent libertarians who advocated assassination as an alternative to war.

        It’s worth noting that the libertarian objections to the Soleimani killing fall into two broad categories. One has to do with the question of whether Trump had the legal authority to order the attack without Congress. But the other is the substantive criticism of whether it’s a good idea to take out a prominent foreign leader.

        In the past, however, there has been a strand of libertarian thought that actually saw targeted killings of America’s enemies as a way to eliminate threats without the need for major military engagements that killed civilians. To be clear, this doesn’t mean it was a universally accepted position among libertarians (as if such a thing exists), but it was a prominent one.

        Harry Browne, who was the Libertarian presidential nominee in 1996 and 2000, explicitly argued that the U.S. should offer a bounty on the heads of our enemies … In the wake of Sept. 11 and as a presidential candidate, Ron Paul advocated U.S. enlist the help of private individuals to capture terrorists by issuing ““letters of marque and reprisal.”


        1. The objection to the use of assassination instead of conventional war for changing a regime or policy of a nation is elitism at its purest sense. It’s the duty of the proles to march and die at their leader’s behest or whim. Leaders are supposed to be protected and sacrosanct. Totally off limits to any consequences more violent than a temporary 1% loss in investments.

          1. Leaders are supposed to be protected and sacrosanct.

            Leave it to Progressive Historians to misunderstand why, in medieval times, there were prohibitions against killing knights. It wasn’t a Class-thing, it was a Ransom-thing. Anybody able to afford the training and equipment of knighthood could afford several years’ wages for his captors to return him intact.

            You’d think “Historians” who believe everything is economic determinism would understand a motive like that.

    3. Which they MAY because of their end of the world prophecies.
      But I think — a friend says they’re even worse than the Portuguese about overestimating their importance due to their history — that they just think they can win.

    4. Option 3 — one side expects to lose but deems surrender a worse fate.

      This is why Sun-Tzu advised always leaving your foe an (apparent) escape hatch and why Cortez burned his ships. And why Sun-Tzu instructed, “In death ground, fight.”

      Examples: denizens of the Warsaw Ghetto (although many did surrender) or the US Marines (and attached US Army & British Royal Marine units) at the Chosin Reservoir.

  3. Well, Iran won the last war with us without even having to make a formal declaration. They got Unkuh Jimmuh to agree that the Iranian military that invaded and held the US Embassy in Tehran were “students”, and then they got him to pay ransom too.

    Invasion is sovereign territory is recognized as an act of war by every nation, and embassies are sovereign territory. Q.E.D.

    The US slunk off with its tail between its legs and the Ayatollah walked tall in the Middle East after that.

    That’s not even bringing up the never-intended-to-succeed “rescue” debacle…

    1. I wouldn’t call the events under the Peanut Farmer (and lousy engineer, so I’ve heard) “the last war”, but the early engagements of an over-40 year long Long War.

      I see the situation with Iran as analogous to the Civil War after Grant came to the field. (Wrong side of the war, but Jimmy could have been a ringer for Jubilation T. Cornpone.)

      1. With the exception that J.T. Cornpone’s.. exploits… were correctly named.

        Since the link example has not (as I read & type…) been posted…

      2. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s most immediately preceding concluded war was the Iran-Iraq War, and I don’t think you could say anyone won that one.

        The current set of Iranian interactions with the US falls under the war they declared on the US in 1979, and it has not yet reached any conclusion.

    2. Operation Eagle Claw was never meant to succeed? That’s a new one on me. May I ask why you say that?

      I’m of the opinion that Jimmy Carter sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves, where the military is concerned. (Of course, he often doesn’t get all the blame he deserves either, but that’s another topic for another time.) Years ago I read a book about Cold War spying, which contained a story that I’ve not seen anywhere else. It seems that after Eagle Claw failed, Carter and his lead military advisors planned a second rescue attempt, starting with a large-scale amphibious invasion to establish a base on Iranian soil from which another hostage-rescue mission could be launched. However, thanks to the Walker spy ring, the Soviet Union found out about this plan long before it was ready to go, and assembled an invasion force of their own along the Azerbaijan-Iran border. If the US operation had proceeded, the Soviets would have used it as an excuse to invade Iran themselves and conquer it – except they would have come as liberators defending Iran from the hated Americans. The end result would have been Iran as a Soviet satellite and the USSR having a solid grip on the northern Persian Gulf. That was strategically unthinkable, so Carter canceled the invasion plan.

      Is it true? I have no idea. But it fits with the fact that Carter did an awful lot toward rebuilding the US military after the debacle of the Vietnam pullout. Many of the weapons that were used to such smashing effect in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom got either development or production funding under the Carter administration.

      1. Carter’s first 2 years in office had flat defense spending, cancellation of major projects (eg: B1), and proposals to withdraw US forces from various parts of the world (eg: S. Korea). A US foreign policy centered on human rights was going to lead to a new era of peace and cooperation (hah!). The world’s bad actors took full advantage of this. Deployment of the SS-20 (which alarmed Helmut Kohl & NATO) and (most importantly) the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan finally got Jimmah to reconsider his policy of detente.. He proposed a significant increase in defense spending in ’79.
        There was a followup plan to Eagle Claw – Operation Credible Sport.
        It involved landing a JATO equipped C-130 in a soccer stadium (WTF!) and taking the hostages and rescuers out in a single plane. Videos of the STOL C-130 tests (and a crash) can be easily found.

        1. “Carter’s first 2 years in office had flat defense spending, cancellation of major projects (eg: B1), and proposals to withdraw US forces from various parts of the world (eg: S. Korea).”

          True. OTOH, I looked this up once, and it’s also true that many of the major weapon systems used in Desert Storm got either R&D or production funding under Carter: the AH-64 attack helo, Tomahawk SSM, Maverick AGM, Hellfire AGM, M1A1 tank, Bradley APC, F-117 Stealth fighter … Maybe it all happened in ’79 after the change of heart you talk about, but at least that shows he was capable of learning from experience. That alone makes him a cut above the average liberal.

        2. I have seen video of the practice flights of that JATO laden 130. Impressive when they got it right.
          The test pilot (I want to say it was a woman) got it wrong on landing once and broke the airframe in half. The idea was then scrapped, as being too unlikely to survive landing (it was only a few feet too soon).

        3. Jato equipped C-130s do okay taking off from ice packs around the poles where you have too much friction with the skis for the engines alone to get you off the ground. But 100 yards is ridiculous for anything other than vertical take off and landing. And rescuing hostages with 100 ultra lights is nuts.

      2. > Operation Eagle Claw was never meant to succeed? That’s a new one on me. May I ask why you say that?

        If you look at the men they selected, the equipment they were to use, and the “plan” they were supposed to execute, there are only two real possibilities:

        A) the men assigned to the job were Three Stooges level of incompetent

        or B) they were set up to fail from higher in the command chain

        I’m giving them credit for doing the best they could under B).

        They were mis-equipped, too many of them were newbies with no combat experience, their communications sucked, and their mission plan was a mess of wishful thinking and handwavery. Have you ever *looked* at that “plan”? Its basic premise was that the Iranian police and military would stand there like cows and watch while they waltzed into town, “extracted” the hostages, waltzed back out, and flew away farting rainbows and high-fiving each other.

        “I have this nice bridge for sale, hardly used…”

        1. My history collection has a book on (IIRC, American) military misadventures (“SNAFU” is in the title, but a quick search on the ‘zon came up dry.) There’s a detailed chapter on the rescue attempt, but it’s been a few years since I read it. Have to dig it out.

    3. I dunno…. I probably donated my copy, but used to own the autobiography of Col. Charlie Beckwith, founder and first CO of Delta Force. As I recall, Col. Beckwith mentioned Carter visiting the unit shortly before Eagle Claw was launched. Carter seemed to desperately want the mission to succeed, but was in way over his head with the whole situation and unable to reign in all of the military leaders who wanted their branches to have a piece of the action during the mission. IIRC, Beckwith blamed Eagle Claw’s failure on clueless military bureaucrats who forced their ideas onto the plan and made it impossibly convoluted and complicated while simultaneously refusing to release the resources required to actually make their already-stupud ideas work the way they insist they should.

      Which is not to say that Peanut Boy wasn’t the second-worst POTUS in history, mind. But just like the rest of his presidency, he folded like a wet noodle instead of putting his foot down.

      1. To give a bit more grudging fairness to the man that should have stayed in Georgia – he did not have the options that Trump did when the embassy was attacked. No forces anywhere near, except in Turkey – and that would have been in full view of the Soviets. Who would have been delighted to play a bit of tit for tat by passing the word to the mullahs before the operation even lifted off.

        1. Note that the Jimmeh Ascendency was completely Teddy Kennedy’s fault – had he not been drunk driving with extra-marital squeeze Mary Jo and driven off that bridge, Teddy would have been the 1972 nominee, and even given his losing that race to the very popular Nixon, according to the Dem rulebook it would have been His Turn again in 1976.

        2. And as to fairnness to Jimmeh:

          Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi had an heir, and if Jimmeh would have supported his passing off the Shah-dom to the Crown Prince instead of bloody revolution we could have skipped a huge chunk of the past 40 years of bloodshed.

          I doubt that the Soviets would have invaded Afghanistan if it meant the very well armed and western trained Iranian Army would be on their flank. If there had been a western-camp Iran when the Soviet Union fell, the various terror groups that were cut off from Soviet funding would have had no alternative income source. The immense bloodshed of the Iran-Iraq war would never have happened. And if for some insane reason Saddam still acted up, just imagine how much sooner we would have been rid of Saddam Hussein with a friendly Iran just across the border from Baghdad.

          The power politics in the entire region would have been vastly different.

          Jimmeh has a lot to answer for.

          1. There was a discussion some time ago on Diplomad (sorry, cannot recall when, or what the original topic was!) among some old long-time State personnel (as the Diplomad is a retired medium-level functionary) about how it came about all of a sudden in the late 1970s that the Shah of Iran was a brutal nogoodnick and we (the US) simply couldn’t support him any more blah-blah-blah. The commenter was pretty low-level and new at the time, but simply no one could understand who or what was driving this. The Shah was our most reliable mid-east ally, and certainly no worse than most autocrats in power in the Middle East, so … howcome? He was told, that this was coming from the very top … yeah, Jimmuh himself. There was speculation in the thread that Jimmuh had swapped backing from Saudi Arabia for a promise to destabilize their chief rival, Iran … which if true (and others on that thread seemed to think it plausible as I do) then practically everything that has happened in the middle east since then can be laid on Jimmuh’s fat, Saudi-loving, anti-Semitic head.

            1. I’ve read memoirs by both ex-CIA and ex-KGB who were *there*, and they both said the first they heard of the revolution was on local TV. Their snitches and sources either disappeared or claimed to know nothing.

              Both admitted their intelligence services were mostly marking time in Iran; the Shah was stable, there were no internal or external concerns worth mentioning, and DUDE WTF?!!! they claimed to have had no warning at all.

          2. The terrorists would likely have just turned to the Saudis for their funding if they’d lost the Iranian pipeline. Would Wahhabi-backed terrorists be any less reprehensible than Shiite-backed ones?

        3. “To give a bit more grudging fairness to the man that should have stayed in Georgia – he did not have the options that Trump did when the embassy was attacked.”

          He also conducted foreign policy under a very dark cloud: the Walker spy ring had given the Soviets the keys to our naval ciphers, and as a result the KGB knew Carter’s plans about military action pretty much as soon as he did. They knew what he wanted, what he didn’t want, and exactly what kind of pressure would make him fold. I’ve often wondered what kind of effect that had on Carter’s state of mind. Sometimes I think it made him pretty much flip out, and that’s why he was so hard-left and anti-American later in life.

          1. The problem with the Walker theory is they weren’t neutralized until 1985, as Barbara Walker didn’t report on it until 1985.

            That means Reagan operated under the same shadow, yet was more decisive.

      2. Which is not to say that Peanut Boy wasn’t the second-worst POTUS in history,

        Looking back over the last few, I think Carter may be down to number five on that list. James Buchanan is pretty universally reviled, Clinton and Obama are certainly in the top five, and I think an argument can be made that JFK earned a place in there, not simply for the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam but also for recognizing the government employee unions that have done so much to drive the Administrative State and deepen our national debt.

        Wilson and FDR deserve consideration, too … Nixon’s establishment of the EPA and Endangered Species Act merit consideration.

        1. If you’re judging on men who have done the most damage to the USA and her citizens, FDR heads that list. JFK nearly killed the whole Earth, but we all got lucky that day because Nikita Khrushchev figured out that Kennedy was nuts and backed off. That makes JFK #2. (See what I did there?)

          Jimmeh was merely an incompetent socialist. Pretty small beer compared to JFK the fucking PLANET KILLER. We were sooooo fucking lucky that day…

          1. JFK was only partway nuts – the rest was because he was so high on the painkillers for his back.

            I’ve seen creditable history that contends if JFKs actual physical problems had been made public in 1960, Nixon would have won easily.

            1. My understanding was that his back was bad enough to keep him out of the Navy without Old Joe’s intervention.

              How much of a war hero JFK was is open for debate. OTOH with MSM promoting him as such, reality wasn’t going to have much bearing. On the gripping hand, if Joe Jr survived the neolithic drone bomb experiment, it would have been a hell of a tale. Rather different JFK for president, I suppose.

          2. I don’t know about the Cuban missile crisis being a planet killer. USSR at that point has few true ICBM’s (handful to high dozens) and they’re not necessarily fueled and ready to go. Their bombers are a non threat (Bears and Badgers mostly, slow prop jobs easy prey for the US interceptors), sub based missiles very few. There were live nukes in Cuba ready to go on IRBMs, although most were very range limited, although the warheads were NASTY (9MT and possibly dirty). So big US cites get hit, and bases and cities south of say the Carolinas and east of Alabama. Europe and Britain on the other hand are white fish products (Schrod as we say up here in the northeast). USSR wishes it comes out as well as Europe , it probably ends up with no cities and no bases. Would you get a Nuclear winter? Maybe though estimates on that go from 20-30 attacks being enough to needing to be in the handful of hundreds. US east of the Mississippi is probably back to near neolithic state or at best 18th century. Very bad (and that’s an understatement for probably 50-100million dead). but not world ending.

            One alternative timeline that’s always interested me would have been Nixon winning in 1960? Does he go with Bay of Pigs (it is an Eisenhower period plan)? Does Khrushchev push against Nixon or does he understand Nixon better and not even try that ploy? I think Khrushchev thought JFK was even more of a pushover than he was, and thought the Cuba missiles were a fair Equivalent to the Thor IRBMs in England and Turkey. Do we get an assassination attempt? That one depends wholly on who you think was trying to kill Kennedy and why. If Nixon is killed what kind of president would Henry Cabot Lodge make? Do we get the Space program, without a a martyred president and an ex House and Senate leader to drive the program (and invest in his state) does congress just ignore it?

            1. Nixon winning in 1960? At a guess, no Bay of Pigs — he would have been aware of Ike’s reasons for shelving it and had no need to prove his toughness to Khrushchev, having already confronted him in the “Kitchen Debate” at the July 24, 1959 opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow. If he had permitted the invasion he would have supported it instead of leaving them hung out to dry as JFK had. Whether it would have been successful is impossible to know, but it would not have been the debacle that occurred, strengthening our foe and betraying our friends.

              It is much harder to gauge the effect on the space program … except, having recently listened to The Right Stuff I am reminded that the US was well on our way to developing true space craft: piloted ships capable of independently rising to space and returning under their own power. Absent the glamorous hubbub of a “Space Race” we likely would have remained focused on developing a sustainable space program not dedicated to generating headlines and little else.

              As for the Cuban missiles — they probably don’t go in. Even a JFK admirer like biographer Richard Reeves (President Kennedy: Profile of Power) acknowledges that JFK came off so badly in early debates with Nikita (including getting so tangled up that, in one debate, he reversed positions and denounced Capitalism) it is a near certainty he tempted the Soviets to push their luck and exploit his callowness. That would have never happened with Nixon in the White House.

              A key difference between the two presidential candidates is that JFK had a tremendous ego, cocky and privileged and was sure he could glib his way through any problems. Nixon, OTOH, lacked any such confidence and always over-prepared for any circumstance, doing deep background research on his opponents. He was a grind who left nothing to chance if it could be avoided. Additionally, in 1960 he was not paranoid, having not been subjected to the betrayal of a man he thought (one of his few) friends.

              1. No Bay of Pigs means no nukes in Cuba – they were only demanded to deter another invasion.

                But a fully backed Bay of Pigs, with US air cover and US troops committed as a subsequent landing wave, would end up substituting Cuba for Vietnam as the 1960s war, and I think an island with no sanctuaries the enemy could walk to would have been a guerrilla war the US could actually have won outright. And with Cuba down to an occupied simmer, only low level aid to Vietnam, and no Great Society bushwa, maybe a lunar program could have continued. Nixon would have been gone in honorable retirement by 1968, and in contravention with the otherwise very good “For All Mankind” series, the USSR was nowhere close to getting the N1 working even by 1970, so even a slightly slower Apollo program could have continued and got there first by, say, just before the 1972 election.

                And what would the hippies have had to protest if the occupation of Cuba was basically done by 1965?

                1. RES I hadn’t realized that the Bay of Pigs was a shelved plan, I had thought it was still active. Though it would not surprise me to know the direct action side of the CIA was pushing for it they always seem to have had an excessively good opinion of themselves. And yes I think Khrushchev and Nixon had a much better feel for each other and to some degree grudging respect for their opponent.

                  Mike I’m not sure no Bay of Pigs means no missiles. Ostensibly that was why Cuba wanted the missiles. But the USSR needs to counter balance the Thors in the UK and Turkey. On top of that Polaris is online in the Washington class SSBN and the Minuteman ICBM (Solid fuel, NO prep time need to load fuel like Titan or Atlas, or the Soviet missiles) is coming online, and the existing Titan and Atlas missiles way outbalance what the USSR has online. Add to that the Bomber leg of the triad, B52s, B58s, tankers to fuel them and XB-70 well on its way to airborne . The USSR KNOWS it is seriously outclassed a fact we only guess at correctly because of direct overflights by U2 and earlier RB47. They’ve got stuff coming online but for 61 to maybe 63/64 they know they have a huge gap. And the Russian psyche seems to KNOW its always in imminent threat of attack/invasion. History does kind of bear them out (e.g, Germany France, Poland, assorted Northern foes (the real Rus) so Khrushchev might have given it a shot anyways just to get some leverage. Particularly because our mix of stuff has some strong first strike counter value capabilities and counter force against the early Soviet ICBMs which were not always siloed. There’s wheels within wheels in this stuff, we are bloody lucky we got out of the 60’s and 70’s without someone lobbing a few nukes.

                  1. I read of the origins long ago and cannot now cite sources … but I can [searchengine]:

                    The Trinidad Plan – Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Bay of Pigs
                    In the middle of the Cold War in Central America, a battle was fought, that could drastically change the geopolitics of the entire region by completely removing the Soviet supported Castro Regime in Cuba.

                    The objective of this military action, also known as the Bay of Pigs invasion or the Battle of Girón, was a joint operation in which troops of Cuban exiles and elements of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America invaded Cuba in April 1961 with the purpose of creating a foothold. Once successful, it would form a provisional government that would seek the approval of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the recognition of the international community.


                    On March 17, 1960, the Eisenhower administration instructed the CIA to organize a paramilitary unit composed of Cuban exiles with the purpose of defeating the Fidel Castro regime without implicating the United States. It had to look like an uprising organized by Cuban dissidents. … The original plan, named Trinidad, was prepared by the CIA in 1960, during the administration of President Eisenhower, who supported and promoted this type of covert operations of the CIA, and had already been successful in Iran and Guatemala. Those who planned the operation in Guatemala led Trinidad.


                    With the end of eight years of government under the Republican Party, the new administration of Democratic President John Kennedy would not continue the same level of support for the operation against Cuba that the Trinidad Plan needed.

                    Kennedy was informed about the final version of the Trinidad Plan on Saturday, January 28, 1961. The Plan needed to be activated by March, no later than April, due to the arrival of Cuban pilots trained in Czechoslovakia and flying MiGs. Additionally, the rainy weather in April, which would hinder military activities not only in Cuba, but in Guatemala and Nicaragua as well, where the Brigade and its air support would depart.

                    A beachhead, established on Cuban soil and maintained for two weeks to a month, was needed.

                    The final meeting to decide on how to proceed with the operation was held on March 15, 1961 at the White House. Kennedy decided not to approve the Trinidad Plan and ordered the creation of an alternative, one that was not so “spectacular” as Trinidad. In a few words, a much more discreet plan.

                    In just three days, the CIA produced the new plan, named Zapata. … On April 17, 1961 when the 2506 Brigade disembarked at Playa Girón, Kennedy, mainly motivated by his advisers in the State Department, ordered a series of additional changes in the plan that all but guaranteed the invasion’s failure before it began.


                    Emphasis added. It ought be obvious that with JFK taking office in January 1961 there was no way the plan could have been developed under his aegis. As the article asserts, he hastily revised the plan (it is clear that I — or my source — was in error about Ike having shelved it) and tried to do it “on the cheap.”

                    It is also a (!) case of the CIA being blamed for State Department failure.

    4. “That’s not even bringing up the never-intended-to-succeed “rescue” debacle”

      It seems that way because everyone involved in planning the rescue with any knowledge of the region or USN capabilities was over-ridden by Pres. Petty Gamma-boy Carter.

      Sometimes sufficient incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

  4. The other night, I was talking to one of my (mostly) sane “Liberal Democrat” friends. She admitted that Soleimani was a bad dude, but didn’t understand the legality of how he was killed. She was under the impression that it was illegal for a US President to order an “assassination”. Sigh… I explained the difference between “assassination” and a military action and why Soleimani was a valid military target. So when the news says “assassination” they aren’t really using the correct word. she seemed to understand. This friend isn’t stupid, she’s actually one of the more moderate Democrats I know. She’s just stuck believing in the Democrat party line and has trouble thinking outside that context without help. I can understand that, I’ve been there (Republican in my case, but it’s the same idea)

    Then, in all seriousness, my friend worried about Iran’s technological advantage (particularly in the realm of Internet Hacking), and asked how we could possibly defend ourselves…

    yea… sigh… it was a long evening. Mostly of me trying real hard not to fall over laughing.

    1. Someone tried to make the argument asking how I would feel if a foreign power assassinated our Secretary of Defense (claiming that would be parallel to Soleimani).

      My response was longer but in essence 1) I would consider it an act of war, but then attacking a US embassy in a third nation would also be an act of war, so that’s fair. 2) If Mark Esper were to travel to a nation, take charge of a group of guerillas, have that group of guerillas attack a third nation’s embassy while remaining present to oversea operations, and his command post were attacked by the third nation and he were killed, I would consider it “fortunes of war.”

      There is nothing I am aware of in US law or international treaty where a field command engaged in actual military operations (legal or illegal) becomes immune from attack simply because of the rank of individuals present. The idea is patently absurd.

      1. Forgive me if memory has lapsed, but weren’t Democrats some fifteen years ago cheering the idea of the assassination of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and George W Bush?

        For that matter, hasn’t celebutard George Lopez yukked it up about assassinating Trump?

      2. Worth noting: targeting Soleimani was far more legitimate than anything the Obama Administration initiated in Libya.

      1. Well, in fairness, if you have a paranoid mindset towards overestimating American vulnerabilities, a paranoid mindset towards overestimating the number of America’s adversaries, and the awareness that very different procurement organizations might be able to field tech we could never imagine, we have a strong need for research to advance our own military technology. The Iranians are totalitarians, or at least have tendencies that way, and hence are going to be massively much more screwed up then we are when it comes to fielding systems. I can’t see how anyone can seriously follow recent military technology, and conclude that the Iranians are fielding better tech than we are. Iranians are far from being inherently stupid, but everything technical I’ve seen* from the Iranian government has failed to impress.

        *All open sources, I have no classified knowledge.

        1. Inherently stupid? No. But cultural blinders can cripple. Take your normal, average, everyday man. Add in unquestioned laziness- the bolts will stay tight if Himself wills it, the rains will come if Himself wills it, et cetera. Mix with a bit of amoral familism. Shake well. Flavor with a healthy dollop of Heinlein’s “bad luck.”

          What you get is tribalism, at best. Not particularly well suited to feats of technological prowess, all told. A few exceptions that escape the headsman’s ax, likely. But few, indeed.

          We’re all a flavor of humankind. Some things encourage greatness of soul, others indomitable will, still more allow great thinkers, artists, builders, soldiers, bakers, and candlestickmakers. *grin* Other soils grow different kinds. Sometimes adversity raises up men such that we should all aspire to. Quite often the result is far, far less.

          The culture prominent in Iran has many roadblocks for those on the path of technology these last few decades.

          1. The culture prominent in Iran has many roadblocks for those on the path of technology these last few decades.

            Spent 35 years writing software. For 6 of those years I actually got yelled at if I didn’t meet someone’s arbitrary deadline. Not one I set. One someone else set after being told it was impossible … no way … it wasn’t happening. I could sit there & (mentally) wave my middle fingers. Granted my actual answers were coached in business professionalism without excuses; usually coached with “What was the date I said it could be completed if no surprises or additions? How many additions? Still on track for my original date.” Iranian culture would have me DEAD 8 or 10 times. That doesn’t count the fact I’m female writing software in an mostly male group; so that makes 11 times. By my count: Death for being a female programmer. Death for each time I told them “no can’t make that deadline” it will be this date, at the beginning. Death (I don’t know how many times so not counted) for telling them “Nope not meeting your deadline”. Death when their deadline wasn’t met.

            Yes. Sure. That makes for great/excellent quality technology. /sarcasm off.

      2. “Technological WHAT?”

        That was my response (internally). Externally, I calmly explained that;

        a) Iran hates our guts, so anything the can do they are already doing.
        b) IF Iran managed a successful cyber attack, in the long run it would be a benefit to America. Far too many companies pay lip service to cyber security. A wake-up call might be expensive on the front end, but would pay for itself (and more) in the long run because it would light a fire under the US to do better in this regard.

        1. Stuart, I hope you’re right about a successful cyberattack being a “wake-up call”. But I’m very much afraid you’re wrong. American computer-equipment manufacturers don’t care about security, because security is expensive and adds no marketable value to the item in question. Look at Android: thousands of known exploits, more surfacing every day, and yet Android smartphone manufacturers still won’t build in better security or any easy way to update the OS. Or look at the many, many “Internet of Things” devices that can be hacked and used to launch DDOS attacks — that have the login credentials hardcoded in and the end user can’t change them.

          I think the only way we’ll get better cybersecurity is to require it by law.

          1. If then.

            The legislatures wouldn’t know good from bad security if it followed them home, and beat them half to death in front of a crowd of witnesses.

            We’d be lucky to get something Google and Amazon cooked up to keep competition from entering the market.

  5. Last night’s attacks by Iran appear to have been for show. They targeted two bases one in the Sunni area & one in the Kurdish area with low U.S. troop numbers & not much around them. No casualties have been reported.
    Khamenei is saying that’s a “proportional response” to the strike the killed Solemani.
    Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.
    They had to tell the Iranian people they had retaliated. With no U.S. casualties they are pretty sure Trump won’t retaliate militarily against them for making holes in the sand.
    Boy, WW III didn’t last long at all did it?

      1. Powerline is reporting that Iran claims (falsely) to have killed 80 US personnel and wounded another 200, so yeah, the missile attack was a face-saving measure for internal consumption. They’re counting on Iranians not having access to outside news sources that contradict the government’s official claims, and therefore believing that their government wasn’t massively outmatched.

        1. I have seen reporting that the missiles fell near but not actually on the supposed targets. All the missiles.

          It’s a shadow play for Iranian domestic consumption, all while purposely not upping the ante with any US (or Iraqi) casualties.

          1. Sat imaging now shows that, in contrast to the earlier reporting I noted, apparently the vaunted and “technologically advanced” Iranian missiles actually did hit something other than sand outside the wire, at least at the Ayn Al Assad airfield over in Anbar province.

      1. I thought the Cold War was really WWIII, just conducted in slow motion until the CommieRooskies finally folded, so this last less-than-one-week-duration-world-war-that-only-actually-occured-inside-Iraq was actually WWIV, so now we’re up to WWV.

  6. One funny thing about the current “They Are Going To Draft You To Fight Trump’s Wars”, is that there were Democratic Kooks in Congress during George W Bush’s Administration who Wanted A Draft!

    The Kooks imagined if the Children of Republican Politicians were Drafted then those Republicans wouldn’t support Bush’s War.

    Of course, these Kooks were the types who believe only Stupid people and only Poor people willing joined the US Military.

    Well, IIRC when one of these Kooks submitted a Bill to reinstate the Draft, the Republicans in Congress brought it up for a vote and then voted it down. IIRC even the Kook voted against it. 😆

    1. Somebody really needs to actively attack the current Selective Service system on the grounds that it is under current rules and regulations a blatant example of gender bias and so unconstitutional as it now exists.
      In fairness it is only just that all citizens register for the draft upon achieving their eighteenth birthdays and that we stop discriminating against women based solely on their sex.

      1. Selective service should be for all American citizens, and selection should be based on universal physical and mental requirements; not gender-specific. Should be 100% voluntary, but with one caveat: if you are selected and choose not to go, you forfeit the right to vote, hold government office (elected, appointed, or hired), or work for any government contracts for the rest of your life.

          1. Agreed, male and female. That’s also why the age range of citizens and legal residents subject to the Selective Service system should be expanded – there is absolutely no reason why a fit young person should be sitting behind a desk at a glowing screen in Rearareastan at some supply depot, or sitting in a Patriot battery control center, or a million other basically sedentary military jobs, when there are plenty of 30- and 40- and 50-something warm bodies that could fill that seat.

            The existing rules were set for a population that aged a lot faster physically worn out at age 40, where now marathon runners in their 60s and older are commonplace, plus the jobs in the Vietnam-era military that were screen-staring-while-seated in nature were a lot fewer.

            If we are going to keep a draft, it has to be viewed as a full-mobilization last option in case of significantly dire need, in which case it would be insane not to just call up everyone and assign people the jobs they can do.

            1. > no reason

              Other than the built-in attitude that all soldiers must be interchangeable pieces. Well, cross-trainable pieces, given modern specializations. The sandbox and wargame officers really prefer all their pawns be identical, even if that costs them skills and abilities they could make good use of.

              1. I would argue the existence of the ASVAB test battery indicates the system itself recognizes that not all such pawns were imbued by their creator with equal personal cognitive attributes.

                Sure they happily ignore those test results whenever slightly convenient, but they do try and figure out at a questionably coarse level where an inprocessing individual draftee could best contribute.

                So within the assumption that those staring-at-screen jobs don’t need a high-PFT-score person, no reason why that pool of older citizens and legal residents could not be drawn from. Heck, for purely staring-at-screen jobs, draft folks in wheelchairs. That’s my point about full and complete mobilization.

                1. My daughter (the two-hitch Marine, who alas is going on 40 and beyond being recalled for her technical specialty) is of the opinion that if the Corps only set up an overage-veteran component, who could reenlist and serve in various capacities (depending on relative fitness and health overall) such a body would be absolutely terrifying. Kind of like Cohen the Barbarian. They’ve seen it, done it, got the t-shirt, don’t take any BS… It amuses us both to contemplate this scenario.

                  1. That sounds very practical, honestly.

                    Basically the inactive reserve, but show up at least once a year– maybe do something little like let folks have commissary privileges’ or something rather than pay, since they’d need an ID anyways.

              1. Female fighter pilots can also pull more G, but comparatively lack upper body strength vs. male fighter pilots, which still mattered a lot for just flying the thing aggressively in aircraft as recent as the F-14 and F-15 and A-10, though less so in the F/A-18 and not much at all in the F-16 due to the non-moving stick, which is also a feature of the F-22 and F-35.

        1. >> “Selective service should be for all American citizens”

          Conscription should be for NO American citizens. It’s slavery, and unless you’re drawing solely from among convicted criminals it blatantly violates the 13th amendment.

        2. I completely agree, and further think that there should be a draft for police and fire service as well.

          1. No, there should be a draft for Congress-critters. Randomly select representatives and senators to serve one term each, and then randomly select their replacements. And then they’ve got to live among the people they represented.

            Could 535 random people actually do a worse job than the ‘professionals’ we’ve got now?
            Don’t open that!! It’s the original can of worms!

          2. Rather than drafting for police & firefighters, how about a draft for ALL government bureaucratic positions? Served in the three year between High School and College, with credit toward a scholarship tuition discount or fees associated with setting up businesses, technical certification or pension? ([Hades], a lot of guys (and increasing numbers of gals) are surfing for porn on the web, they could do that on the government payroll.)

            I can think of nothing more likely to inculcate healthy contempt for government bureaucracy.

            1. I would like to revise and extend my prior remark:

              …with credit toward a scholarship tuition discount or fees associated with setting up businesses, technical certification or pension? ([Hades], a lot of guys (and increasing numbers of gals) are surfing for porn on the web, they could do that on the government payroll.)

              It’s the keyboard, gotta be the keyboard. Couldn’t possibly be these wonderful wallaby paws.

      2. Can’t remember where I was reading it yesterday but someone was writing that the Selective Service Administration had been sued over that issue and lost. Their response seems to have been “Well, when Congress tells us to do something different we will but we don’t have the authority to make changes on our own” and Congress has continued to ignore the issue.

  7. The other question is about the Ukraine 737 that went down after leaving Tehran.
    First from reports it just slowed down real fast at altitude. That is not the way mechanical failures happen.
    Second Iran is NOT turning over the Black Box.

    My read and others: Iran troops shot down the plane. Probably by accident.
    But will they admit that or try to stone wall.

    Oh and Allah sending earthquakes near their Nuc Power Plant?

    Last night was NOT good for Iran.

    1. Yeah, the chances of that crash being purely coincidental are low. Very, very low.

    2. If I were writing a Jack Ryan novel it would have been a deliberate hit on the craft because someone on board had proof that 50-whatever people weren’t trampled to death in an excess of passionate grief at the funeral but that they were revelers who were shot.

      Still, *probably* it was a very horrible accident. It’s always the most likely thing. No more deliberate than two large earthquakes yesterday.

      1. Killing Salami probably shuffled the deck in Iran’s power structure. The 737 downing could have been an accident, but I could also easily believe that the death of someone(s) onboard was a deliberate act as part of a sudden jockeying for position in Iranian “politics.”

          1. It’s a Muslim attempt at appropriating Solomon’s name.
            Though given how many wives the wise king had — a THOUSAND? — if they were more than ceremonial, we’re all probably descended from him.

              1. And yes, I really do have it on the wall. Got it out of the back of the “Faith and Life” catechism manual for our parish.

                Hangs next to the Amazon “world history timeline,” because we’re homeschoolers, that’s how we roll. ^.^

    3. “My read and others: Iran troops shot down the plane. Probably by accident.”

      That does seem plausible. When I heard that the plane had an engine fire, my first thought was “FOD in the engine intake.” But a hit from a small SAM would produce a similar effect, wouldn’t it?

      1. Not really. Follywood depictions of anti-air missiles are fantastical, to say the least. Most modern (or even modern-ish) anti-air missiles use fragmentation warheads (think along the lines of the old “pineapple” style grenades) that are detonated when they get close enough to have a chance of the shrapnel hitting the aircraft.

        Airplanes tend to generally be fragile, aside from anomalies like the A-10. They can’t be armored up too much or else they won’t fly (or won’t do so fast enough), and having to carry other things like cargo, munitions, and crew that generally means the less airframe mass the better.

        As for the airliner in question, pictures I’ve seen of the debris have a whole bunch of little holes in the skin with the edges pointing inward, like you would get from a missile fragmentation warhead detonating nearby. My guess is that their anti-air defenses were on high alert for potential responses to the missile barrage, and some idjit had an itchy trigger finger. (Said idjit is probably residing in a shallow grave now, or soon will be, if I’m correct.) Even allowing for the apocalyptic mythology of the Mullahs, there’s no profit in it being a deliberate decision from on high.

        1. some idjit had an itchy trigger finger.

          You saying it was some guy with no balls going off half-cocked?

      1. Khamenei made the mistake of asking “Allah, how could this week be any worse”?

      2. Maybe the CIA has an underground bombing ring in Iran, and this was a GOP false flag to make us think the Iranians shot it down. Hahahaha.

        There were a lot of Canadians on that plane. Still confident we should not have a war of extermination against the Canadians? XD

        In all seriousness, it’ll be interesting to see if this has any impact on the other issues Boeing has to deal with.

    4. Also, the Ukranian airline that owns the plane has apparently cancelled all service to Iran.

      I suspect they have strong hints it wasn’t an accident.

      1. Well, it wasn’t an accident accident.

        Most credible explanation I’ve seen was an Iranian Air Defense dude got spooked.

          1. American sources are now reporting it as well. Apparently both the US and Iraqis have evidence showing Iranian air defence radars targeting the airliner just before it burst into flames.

            1. I am reliably informed by Representatives Omar, Tlaib, and AOC that this is a result of US aircraft using false transponder signals to spoof Iranian air defense into mistaking American attack craft as harmless passenger planes.

            2. Press reported US infrared missile launch detection systems saw two launch flares, tracks of the rocket plumes, the detonations and then the fireball when the fuel tanks went on the plane.

              The predecessors to the current missile launch detection systems, even though those sats were originally designed to warn about Soviet strategic missile launches and thus were relatively slow (any strategic launch would be a half hour from target, so an every-60-second scan was good enough), were sensitive and precise enough back in Gulf War The First Half that they were picking up and tracking aircraft afterburners over Iraq, and that was a long time ago with sensors that didn’t “stare” but instead spun past every so often. The current systems, of which there are a lot more, do now “stare” and thus offer continuous coverage, to the point that the Iranian missiles were tracked precisely enough that the targets could be determined and warning given in enough time to matter.

              It is also possible that there were stealthy drones overhead watching Iran that night (otherwise Questions Should Be Asked), so the US may have even better IR video of the whole sequence of events, as well as the RF from radars and intercepted comms.

              In any case, the Iranians have now fessed up, so the question is moot, though it remains informative who reflexively tried to blame the US.

    5. You can have more fun with the earthquakes reported about the same time.

      “Yeah, we just *said* those ELF installations in Wisconsin and Michigan were for talking to submarines, and we *said* we closed them a decade ago. Wink wink, nudge nudge…”

      As far as the aircraft… note that Iran has shot down at least two Russian aircraft in the last few years, so they’re pretty antsy about stuff coming in from the east, no matter who they think it might be.

      1. Undermining enemy defenses is an ancient strategy. I wonder if we have the capability of drilling a directional well from Iraq to underneath their nuclear research sites. Then send down a small nuke… They’d never admit it had happened and we wouldn’t admit to the capability.

          1. Fracking and horizontal drilling are separate processes. We’ve technically been fracking all wells since the beginning of the 1900’s, even vertical wells. Which is why people having kittens over it is so irritating.

            What blows my mind completely is that the drillers can control the drill direction on a two mile lateral from the drill rig at the surface.

            Looks like the record horizontal reach so far is 8ish miles. Unreal.

            1. Yeah, I’m waiting for when horizontal drilling from shore-based rigs is able to reach out and get at the offshore oil that is known to be off the California coast.

              If they drill from the shore, there’s no chance of a blowout oils spill at sea then, is there? Kinda blows up the CA.gov watermelons whole rationale for not going after those fields.

                1. The fact that oil formation is a natural process, and that oil seeps and tar pits and such have been part of the environment for eons, especially on this coast, is not allowed to be mentioned in the Glorious Peoples Plastic Straw Free Bear Flag Republic.

      2. no no, ELf no longer exists. All those installations so many out of work Yoopers worked on are figments of our imagination now. That goes double if you are one of the people who are affected by the operation of the ELF (a few folks seem to hear and feel the stuff)

        1. I bet I’m one of them. I was in an underground mall in Beijing during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, and I was the only person around who seemed to be affected. (Found out later folks in the skyscrapers felt it when the buildings started to sway.)

          1. all those I’ve seen having issues were female. Not saying there aren’t guys out there who hear/feel things from it, just that women seem most likely to. I think someone else mention a guy who said he heard it, but all the reports I have seen it was women.

            1. I have the frustrating issue of having very good hearing in terms of sounds — I can pick out the beep of my husband’s ringing Bluetooth on a convention floor, the whine of electronics, rumbles from distant thunder/ planes — but frequent problems with processing sounds. It is incredibly difficult to understand what someone says to me while any kind of lyrics are playing, and even in quiet environments, I find myself asking my husband to repeat sentences because I heard the sounds but they came out as so much noise.

              1. I get the same, not fully getting the sounds bit , but mine is from damage due to a VERY loud racecar, and an ear infection. Tinnitus is my companion. I do hear fairly low (over a distance I could sorta hear elephants doing their subsonics), and used to hear fairly high, but like my eyesight, I notice it is more narrow as I age. The area just near my tinnitus low tone is especially hard to pull conversation out of (females and Mumbai tech support guys on the phone).

  8. In the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war they two nations fought each other to a stalemate (although each claimed victory). We slapped Iraq down not once but twice in rather short order, the first time forcing them out of Kuwait and the second forcing regime change, and can expect to do the same in Iran should we go that route.

    Other nations are no more likely to come to Iran’s aid, not openly anyway, than they were to Iraq’s so the possibility of conflict with Iran spreading into a major regional conflict, let alone a global one, is non-existent.

    But the whole thing does provide an opportunity for anti-American breast beating, doesn’t it? “Adhering to their [The United States’] enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

    1. The timing of the, er, “incident” looks interesting. The plane took off just as Iran finished the missile launches, when the AA people at Tehran airport would most likely be expecting unfriendly visitors.

  9. BUT I NEED THAT FIRE — the updraft it creates is all that protects me from the sky falling on y head!

    I can prove it, too: since I set my hair on fire the sky hasn’t fallen, not once!!!

    I’ve also got computer models demonstrating how much it’s needed.

      1. But pirates are used to fire – after all, they weave burning slowmatch into their beards and stuff.

        So not protection from pirates then.

        1. knew of a Late Model and Modified racer sponsored by a Tux rental place who wore a Nomex Tux . . . though the tie was part of the zipper cover flap.
          It looked cool.

  10. I fully expect an Iranian show of force after the strike. And I expect it to be mostly posturing so they can save face. So their rocket launches and cyber attack are completely expected. Given our media bias, I expect this molehill to be described as if it were rivaling K2 in difficulty. They can make things difficult for shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, and they can send trained people out to do terrorist things, but I don’t foresee them doing anything on a grand military scale. Their best bet is probably cyber attacks, which can get really annoying, but aren’t likely to be all that devastating.

    And young people have probably always been apprehensive about the future. The media playing it up doesn’t help. There won’t be a draft, Mad Mike covered this a couple a days ago on sacred cow slaughterhouse. China was, is, and will continue to be, our biggest threat. I remember thinking after Tiananmen Square that we be most likely to face China soon and losing sleep over it. But, I was 17 at the time with no real life experiences. And then Saddam decided to flex his muscles again and everyone forgot about China for a decade. Seems history is repeating itself. This time it’s Hong Kong and the Ayatolla, but the best bets for action have changed from physical to cyber.

    1. Given that the Chinese are dependent upon shipped oil, I suspect they would look dimly upon any disruption through the Strait of Hormuz.

      If it comes to ground warfare the PRC might even decide to provide troops both for blooding and for grabbing spoils. Unlikely but not inconceivable.

  11. There won’t be any draft. There wasn’t one even back in Gulf War I or II. By the way, I still have 4 more years of eligibility to involuntary recall before I hit actual retirement age. And I didn’t even receive a single letter from the DOD that they were even considering requesting a recall. There were some very specifically targeted specialties that ASKED by name if they’d come back (friend of mine in Naval Logistics did for 5 years and got enough credit for full military retirement benefits after he’d gone reserve early and missed out.) What’s really scary is that I’m probably still more physically fit than half the teen/tween recruits the military gets.
    – – –
    About the Iran rocket attack. How’s that story go? Some ?British? naval commander, facing an overwhelming force, fired off a single cannon shot deliberately missing everything, and then struck his colors? But he had to fire the shot or be court-martialed for cowardice in the face of the enemy? The rocket attack sounds like the modern version of that story.
    – – –
    And yeah, the Soleimani hit was legal, at least according to the section on laws of war from my Senior NCO Academy books.

    1. Far as the draft goes, I am still eligible too. And in the skills bracket that *might* be selected on a second or third pass (still unlikely, thankfully). Ain’t lost a wink of sleep yet, don’t look to. Draft is a stupid idea anyways. Absent existnetial threat, there’s no point.

  12. It’s nice to see that after 8 years of near-silence during the Obama Drone Wars that the anti-war movement still exists.

    1. Right? Right? Right?
      I guess we’ll see people with walkers, on wheel chairs and using oxygen tanks standing on street corners again holding up “No blood for oil.”
      I tried to explain that if wanted OIL we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq but Saudi Arabia. Then I gave up.
      I’m looking forward to waving my middle finger at them again as I drive by. (But not if husband is with me. It disturbs him. As does my screaming out the window “Move to Venezuela.” Though if he’s feeling indulgent, he lowers my window so I can do it.
      And hey, remember the peace camps? There was on in an abandoned gas station near us (like two blocks.)
      One night son and I printed up a lot of posters, pointing the way to/welcoming people to the Neville Chamberlain memorial camp. They were all gone in a day, but what the hell. We felt good about it.

      1. “One night son and I printed up a lot of posters, pointing the way to/welcoming people to the Neville Chamberlain memorial camp. ”

        I approve. Enthusiastically.

      2. Wouldn’t people (on the Left) have to know who Neville Chamberlain was fr that to take any effect? Might as well have labeled it the Vidkun Quisling memorial camp.

      3. Ever notice the ones screaming “No Blood for Oil” are also the ones screaming not to drill for oil domestically?

        1. These days, they post it on twatter. Or other social media. From their parents’ basement. With absolutely no clue about how the entire medical industry would go back to, well, not leeches and amputations, but horrors nonetheless without plastics.

          1. WE don’t need oil anyway!
            (yes, I have seen this said on the old Elf Life forum, maybe Winger. Cars had some oddball dumb-asses infesting his forums)

            1. Yeah, well it got so much easier to protest from the comfort of an easy chair on your phone than actually going out in the weather and holding little signs. There’s… real live people out there, you know?

            2. The “no oil” problem concerns me when it comes to world building for science fiction. We do so much with petroleum that the lack of it, say, on Mars would likely force some profound differences in how things are done.

              One thing that I do though is instead of the “science-fictiony” synthetic fabrics most people wear natural fibers. Not because they’re rare and valued, but because it’s easier to raise flax and angora rabbits than it is to spin polyester.

              Everything in outer space being made of plastic makes no sense unless we get good at making stuff out of cellulose.

              1. In ‘Alien’ the Nostromo was hauling a refinery loaded with thousands of tons of oil, because there was none left on Earth and they needed to ship oil from other star systems to make plastics and chemicals.

                Then Sigourney Weaver blew it all up just to get rid of one pesky critter, and MISSED.
                Erik: “It’s reassuring to find that the world is crazier than you are.”

        2. And doing so on social media with their fancy toys that in many cases have cases made from petroleum-based plastics, never mind some synthetic fabrics that are also petroleum-based.

          1. I once had a long, long, long list of items made with or in need of petroleum . . . medicines, their food in multiple ways . . . They really hated it when you said ” Prove you’re serious and right, okay. Send me your PC and go out in the forest and build a shelter, and live there the rest of your life.”

                1. I didn’t mention who’s actually paying the bills, just the people holding the physical card. 🙂

  13. This won’t end well for Iran. If they don’t stand down on the nuke production, there will be further action that will be detrimental to them. Personally, I think last night’s shots were nothing more than posturing by Iran to show the other islamic nations they weren’t going to roll over (even as they were doing just that)… I’m betting there aren’t two Iranian leaders within five miles of each other today, and they are sure as hell NOT using cell phones or computers. They are posturing and bluffing, and probably praying to allah that we don’t call that bluff. When you throw in their internal strife, which is NOT getting any coverage, they are probably trying to distract their own people too. Re the hysterical apologists, tar and feathers would be a good start.

    1. What internal problems? Our media tells us that the peace-loving Iranian peoples love their leaders enough to give their lives at their funerals and are very disappointed in the poor Americans being misled by the evil warmonger Trump. /sarc

    2. “We’re not going to roll over for the Americans, really. We’re just on our backs with our arms and legs in the air because we’re inventing a new Islamic form of yoga…”

  14. The one, perhaps only or one of two (the other being population..) that would be of possible concern regarding any ‘kinetic’ engagement with China is that the Chinese for the moment appear to have some advantage in sheer production. Fortunately, they are also just sane enough to realize that if they mess things up, the “golden eggs” stop – and the ‘goose’ will be mighty sore, too.

  15. We had a talk last night with our 11-year-old after he mentioned he was nervous about the news (they read articles in class.) So I (with my broadcast studies degree) and my husband (with his history degree) explained to him how even with the best of intentions it is very easy to get lots of things wrong in news reporting, as well as the fact that alarmism sells.

    I also explained that when I was a kid in the 80s, there was no way we were going to make it to the year 2000; we were all going to die in MAD nuclear annihilation. That was just How It Was Going To Be and never mind the nightmares.

    Basically, the talk boiled down to “If you’re concerned about something you read in the news, or even just want to know more, come talk with us. We’ll give you context.” And then on the car ride to Scouts I told him how stopping fires entirely is not what we want to do, and doing that is part of the reason that we (California) and Australia are having big problems now.

    1. left out of the alarmism news, is nearly 200 instances of the Aussie fires being man caused, either via Arson (and last I saw 24 arsonists arrested) or negligence (62 of those arrested last I looked) and accidentally. Certainly none because the Greenies blocked any fuel mitigation of any sort. Greens love dead animals and people.
      Also there were more arson cases with no one arrested yet.
      Aussies might need to look into eco-terrorists or figure our why they got so many arsonists. egad.

        1. In the US, they often don’t print the names because they know if they did, the story would break apart.

          When the forest service prevented on-site folks from stopping a fire at a Really Bad Time, and set the Methow on fire– they tried to charge folks who set backfires next to their houses with “arson.”

          Literally the entire ***** mountain was on fire, the only place it could GO would be their house, but they DID set fires…..

          1. The Aussie Arsonists are likely greenies creating this situation to get their way. If the names came out the names would be tied to the protesters like an albatross.

      1. Lookit all the actvists protesting and notably being:
        -Utterly useless in fixing anything
        -Incredibly indulgent in their selfish politicizing of something that frankly is looking increasingly and more plausibly like was something they caused for their gain
        -Provided no help to victims of fire-ravaged areas
        -did these protests even when the Victorian police begged them not to (and I am not sympathetic to the Vic Police because they were okay with being political in their applications of police protection as well, so there is some schadenfreude for me there) because having to police the protests stretched their resources already

        Incoherently screaming bludgers, the lot of them.

        1. This is much like GWB and Katrina. within hours of the failed levee it was somehow GWB’s fault and he needed to go. Never mind the levee that failed was the subject of a lawsuit by the ward’s residents (They wanted it repaired, the Corp of Engineers, the City, and the State wanted nice new locks that did nothing special. The 9th ward residents lost that case. Twice)
          Never mind the Gov. and the Mayor hated each other and were not talking. Never mind neither was doing the things that HAD to be done before GWB could even start to make the Feds do their work. GWB was also critisized for staying in Texas as the storm hit. For some reason he was supposed to fly into a storm track to do what he could do anywhere on the planet.
          reality has nothing to do with it,
          using corpses you caused as a soapbox to trumpet from, is

          That’s why the are after ScoMo.
          The reason is simple, they think they can take him down. If Pete Garret was PM, they’s be protesting still, but for Moooorrre Green (read communist) legislation.

          1. Just as America’s Dept of the Interior earns blame for out-of-control fires in the American West, Green policies (NOT Climate Change) in Australia are the cause of the present environmental holocaust:

            Celebrities, activists using Australia bushfire crisis to push dangerous climate change myth
            Celebrities and posturing greenies the world over have seized the opportunity of Australia’s bushfire catastrophe to push the dangerous myth that climate change is to blame.


            I lived in Australia through the past two decades of escalating fire crises and it’s not climate change that has caused today’s disaster, but the criminal negligence of governments that have tried to buy green votes by locking up vast tracts of land as national parks, yet failed to spend the money needed to control ground fuel and maintain fire trails.

            Instead, they bowed to an ideology that obstructs necessary hazard reduction and prevents landowners from clearing vegetation around their own properties, all in thrall to the god of “biodiversity.”

            How’s that biodiversity now on incinerated land sterilized of all life forms?

            I’ve interviewed local volunteer firefighters who bitterly recounted the bureaucratic obstruction they faced in performing prescribed burns in the offseason to prevent uncontrollable summer conflagrations.

            One of my guides was Australia’s foremost bushfire researcher, Dr. Phil Cheney, who has spent 30 years trying to convince authorities that if ground fuel is reduced in a scientific, systematic fashion every year, fire intensity is reduced to a manageable level, no matter what the weather conditions. A quadrupling of ground fuel means a 13-fold increase in the heat generated by a fire. Hazard reduction won’t prevent fire but it will reduce its intensity so that it can be controlled.

            So whether or not you believe the most dire predictions of climate alarmists makes no difference. We can’t dial down the Earth’s temperature any more than we can lock up every teenage arsonist.

            The only practical way to prevent unmanageable fires is to reduce the one variable we control: ground fuel.


            “Long unburnt fuels in national parks are the primary cause. Basic fire management states that a fire needs oxygen, a heat source and fuel. The only one of those that can be manipulated is fuel. The more fuel, the more intense the fire, the harder it becomes to suppress the fire.”

            As dangerous fuel loads have been allowed to build up in southeast Australia, ever more cataclysmic fires have erupted until, finally, this season came a perfect storm of the country’s most extreme drought since the turn of the 20th century and record high temperatures.


            For more than 20 years, Australia’s Greens party and greenies infiltrating government bureaucracies have obstructed the hazard reduction that experts like Cheney and McArthur recommend.

            Despite their attempts to rewrite history, submissions to bushfire inquiries from as far back as 1992 are evidence of green opposition to hazard-reduction burning as a threat to “biodiversity,” and their urging that resources be spent instead on water-bombing helicopters, as well as on the amorphous task of stopping climate change.


            In the dairy town of Taree, farmer Warren Buttsworth was charged with “unlawful clearing of native vegetation” because he dug out the roots of casuarina trees still smoldering underground weeks after a bushfire was extinguished.

            In rural Victoria, volunteer firefighter Liam Sheahan was almost bankrupted when he was fined $50,000 for clearing trees to create a firebreak around his property. Five years later, when the deadly 2009 Black Saturday fires swept through the area, his was the only house left standing.

            Last year, under pressure from green activists, the government of New South Wales, home to much of the fire destruction today, even listed prescribed burning as a “key threatening process” under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

            Climate change has become an excuse for green mismanagement.

            1. PNW. In particular the Cascades & Coastal forests have more acreage under trees & underlining brush now under timber management & fire suppression than when the pioneers got here on the first wagon trains. All setting up another Tillamook or Oxbone, and other historical burns.

            2. Yeah, It is California on an international scale. When the last leftoid coalition gov’t was in power they had a ton of silly greenies in place like the aforementioned Peter Garret (Frontman of Midnight Oil) who had a program for insulating houses that had a tendency to burn the houses down.
              Like Cali, these places have so much ground clutter that the normal big fear of forest fire fighting, Crown Fire, is not needed for out of control firestorms.
              Add in the 180 or so claimed arsonists (wtf y’all? Is that number a bit inflated i.e. 180+ arrests for starting fires, some of whom are arsonists, others just negligent, or did it jump that damned high?) and you get what they got in Paradise, CA on a grander scale.

          2. Even when the PM did personally do something, like fight the fires himself, he’d be heavily criticized and told he was shirking his duties and putting people at risk. That’s EXACTLY what they did to Tony Abbott when he took up his fireman’s hat during his tenure as PM.

            Nothing will ever be good enough for detractors so they should be roundly ignored. It’s really ridiculous that the ghoulish politicking by the watermelons is going on, and I am only hoping this will mean a result like what happened in 2016 and the last British elections.

            Abbott’s out there now too. Good man.

              1. Yep, Abbott is a volunteer firefighter. Iirc he considers it damn important, and his detractors were muttering about it.

                Morrison isn’t, wasn’t and I don’t think is. The wailing from councils and local state level government is stupid. They wouldn’t like it if the feds took over those things, and lessened council powers…

                1. again much like GWB during Katrina. I was busy asking leftoids, whining he did too little in the lead-up, what he was supposed to do that wasn’t a violation of the Constitution, wasn’t a violation of natural physics, or require clairvoyance.
                  Never got an answer to that, now after, some of the blame could be on him, but really it is much the same issue as the lead-up. Those in Louisiana were too busy blaming others and arguing among themselves, and making it harder for those actually trying to help, and the news pretty much ignored anything else (like a whole town being wiped off the map) because the people weren’t standing yelling about it being GWB’s fault.
                  I know y’alls pressholes are the same way.

            1. “Farmers who would like changes in local level legislation that reduces council powers and gives them.more autonomy over their properties again”????

              What kind of nation would a crazy idea like that produce? Why would anybody think that people who live on land and depend upon it for their livelihoods would know it better and care more deeply than folk who like looking at it as they drive by?

              At least under feudalism the tenants only had to win the approval of one person, a person who prospered as they did.

              1. I know, so unthinkable, right? That people who live in an area might have reasons to do things that don’t fit the grand visions of bureaucracy from far way! How dare! The mere peasantry know better than an easily manipulated mentally and emotionally damaged school dropout.

    2. Son watches me for my reactions, and since I was jeering more about the Democrats gibbering in abject, calculated displays of werepy terror than the ‘looming war’, he relaxed, and isn’t worried.

      Was rather nice that he paid attention.

      1. It’s hard for him to watch us, since I haven’t watched broadcast news since I got my degree. Like I said, it’s so easy to get things wrong with the best of intentions, and if you have primary sources (like full speech files, oh yes), it’s always best to go to those instead of the ten-sentence quick view that you’re going to get in TV.

        Okay, I will watch the weather when things are going on there. That’s actually useful.

  16. Have not read all the comments so excuse me if some has already stated the obvious …

    “You’re disturbing me while I’m eating popcorn waiting for the whole impeachment farce to collapse.”

    Impeachment farce collapses Nov 10, 2020 when both Senate & Congress is majority Republican & President Trump is reelected, not a minute before.

    Why? If Senate shuts down impeachment because of failure to prosecute by not officially transmitting articles from congress to senate. Or senate proceeds without congress. Or congress does their job with the articles (yes, I know, quit ROFLOL already). Then senate comes to the logical conclusion and declares PDJT innocent of all charges of the articles. Congress is just going to come back and redo the impeachment for anything else. Repeat & rinse until the asshats are kicked out of government at the polls.

  17. The only way I see conscription happening is if it turns out that all that lovely new tech in theatre can be hacked _and_ we fail to adequately hack-proof our tech shortly thereafter.


  18. I admit, I giggled a lot when someone at WeaselZippers posted a link to one of the parody videos of “Bomb Iran.” Brought back memories from Gulf War I, among other things. No, I’m not in favor unless they start it “for reals.” (Although I might be tempted to have “Rock the Casbah” playing before class tomorrow. But I’ll probably save it for when we get to 1979.)

    1. Yeah, there were quite a few posted, including the really old Vince Vance and the Valiants song. Brings me back to my childhood.

      And btw, the CIA did do a few helpful things. They paid WHIO Radio’s long distance bill, when our talk show guy kept calling the “students” occupying the US embassy in Tehran, to check on the hostages. (He thought it up, just on a chance, because he often did call up newsworthy organizations just to find out what someone would say. Our government got in on it after it worked, but basically the poor guy ended up being the only reliable link to the embassy for quite a while. Holy crud, that was a scary afternoon radio show to get home from school to.)

        1. Not that I know of. In fact, there seems to be very little in print about the whole thing, and one history book ludicrously claims that WHIO (one of the oldest commercial radio stations around) was UD’s campus radio station.

          Basically, dude called the embassy trying to get an American (I think somebody from Ohio was there, so he wanted to know if this hostage thing was really happening). Got a “student” who didn’t speak English. Guy tried French, student talked to him in French. Basically was startled that a foreign local radio station was talking to them. Stayed on the line. Eventually got another “student” who spoke English and called himself “Mr. X.” (Jerk who loved the sound of his own voice.) Stayed on the line for two hours or so and said they could call back.

          So they did, mostly not on the air because the State Department and the CIA set up a secure place to talk where they could listen and advise (over at UD, which was where the “campus radio” idea came from). Even before that, the radio guy had found an actual Farsi-speaking student at UD to help out with translating, but I never heard his/her name.

          (As an Air Force town and a tech area, we suddenly had a fair number of Iranian/Persian refugees in town at that point. Not poor or unskilled. The two Iranian kids in my school were tech/computer whizzes like their dad.)

          The guy worked at WHIO for a few years, but then seems to have either changed jobs to another radio station, or vanished into government work. There is a guy of the same name who runs a luxury fishing resort in Costa Rica, so I kinda hope it is him.

  19. Which means they’re going to attack instead of surrendering, thinking they can win this

    You’d think they’r have learned* from the Germans crossing into the Rhineland in 1936, emboldened by the unwillingness of the far more powerful West to fight

    The remilitarisation of the Rhineland (German: Rheinlandbesetzung) by the German Army began on 7 March 1936 when German military forces entered the Rhineland. This was significant because it violated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties, marking the first time since the end of World War I that German troops had been in this region. The remilitarisation changed the balance of power in Europe from France and its allies towards Germany, making it possible for Germany to pursue a policy of aggression in Western Europe that the demilitarised status of the Rhineland had blocked until then. Hitler had officially violated the treaty of Versailles. … Under the terms of Locarno, if Germany should attempt to attack France, then Britain and Italy were obliged to go to France’s aid and likewise, if France should attack Germany, then Britain and Italy would be obliged to Germany’s aid. … By 1936, when German troops marched back into the Rhineland, the majority of British people believed that Hitler was right to violate the “unjust” Versailles treaty, and it would be morally wrong for Britain to go to war to uphold the “unjust” Treaty of Versailles.

    and thus, arguably, provoking WWII.

    *Not really – if observation of the Left has taught anything, it is that they rarely learn and, when it comes to History, what they mostly learn is wrong.

    1. Actually, I think that’s the model that the few who actually know anything are using: Germany in the 1930s ended up a near-peer enemy to the US* starting from defeat, occupation and enforced de-militarization in 1919, so Iran could get there too.

      No. Frigging. Way. There is no path within any sort of reason that allows Iran to expand its economy and military to any level past minor regional power. In 1930s terms, think Brazil or Chile.

      Iran is not nor will ever be (within the next century, anyway) a near-peer competitor with the 21st century US hegemonic superpower.

      For that matter, neither will Russia. China is the only one with a possible path, and that’s assuming they are not lying on their economic reporting (Hah!).

      * 1930s Germany near-peer: While the Nazis built up peer-level land and air forces, they never were a peer sea power with pre-1939 Britain or the pre-war US, nor were they ever economically close – they never had a pre-war GDP close to that of the US even with all FDR’s efforts to delay the US exiting the Great Depression. I should go figure out mid-war at max territory adding up the GDP contributions of all the Greater Deutschland occupied and allied countries + Japan and it’s occupied territories, which would be what, sometime in 1943. Maybe GDP might have started to come close to where the US was pre-1941, but by 1943 US war production expansion had expanded US total GDP significantly, so probably not, but I’d have to work it through to make sure.

      1. It is worth noting that Nazi Germany had no, zero, nada, zilch, not any aircraft carriers. They apparently managed to launch one but inter-service squabbling prevented the Graf Zeppelin from ever being completed.

        After Germany’s victories in the West in 1940, the Kriegsmarine placed higher priority on coastal guns and other defenses for its new bases. When it came to aircraft, this was originally to have been navalized Messerschmitt Me-109T fighters (the “T” signifying Träger, or “carrier”), and Junkers Ju-87E dive bombers, but Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring insisted that the Luftwaffe’s growing needs precluded spending too much time and money on more specialized aircraft for a naval vessel. The final blow came after the disappointing Battle of the Barents Sea on December 31, 1942, and Adolf Hitler’s subsequent rant against the entire High Seas Fleet. Although the new naval commander in chief, Karl Dönitz, talked Hitler out of scrapping the entire fleet, on-and-off work on Graf Zeppelin ceased for good and it was never made fully operational before April 25, 1945, when it was scuttled in Stettin.

        Great foresight.

        1. Nazi Germany wasn’t even a peer sea power with Italy, which actually had an effective (if small and somewhat outdated) navy. That’s not even looking at the heavy hitters of the era – Japan, USA, and UK.

          And the Washington Naval Treaty only put the US and UK at equal levels while it was in effect. When Japan announced it was withdrawing in the mid-30s, well…

          The majority of the Essex-class carriers that were built during World War 2 were ordered BEFORE the war started. And a similar number of battleships were ordered as well (though most of them were cancelled).

          Also worth noting is that under the Washington Naval Treaty, France was allowed equal tonnage with Italy. But France’s navy is one of those things that everyone likes to brush under the rug and quietly ignore given what happened with it.

          There was no way that Nazi Germany was going to have a chance to play with the big boys.

          Also, from what I’ve heard, the Graf Zeppelin’s design was a mess. Her final design was supposed to incorporate sixteen 15cm guns, and a number of smaller weapons. Germany never had the opportunity to perform the trial and error with aircraft carriers that the UK, IJN, and US all did. And decisions like the 15cm guns make that clear. Even if the Germans had finished her, she probably would have been an utter and complete mess.

          1. The only way the Nazis would have been a significant naval threat was to build nothing but the best long range submarines that they could in massive numbers before the war starts. Doenitz knew this was the lesson from the first world war, but then WWII kicked off years sooner than they had been planning towards, and the Nazi’s national prestige made them misallocate naval construction resources to the battleships and the Graf Spee until it was too late.

            Which decision arguably saved the world.

            If the Kriegsmarine had launched and crewed 300-400 U-boats by September 1939 instead of the 56 they actually went to war with, Britain could have been starved into surrender, and the USSR could have been cut off from US aid as well, and absent all the US aid it is questionable Stalin could have continued the war.

            The USSR took this lesson to heart and built a huge number of long range attack subs after 1945. Only in the 1960s did they start building any major surface units in volume, and even by the 1980s the Soviet Navy surface fleet order of battle was still pretty much purely defensive for protecting the SSBN bastions in the Barents Sea from the US Navy to preserve their nuclear retaliatory capability. The only Soviet Navy offensive capability aside from the SSBNs were the attack subs, which were a major threat to things like the NATO Reforger massive reinforcement of western Europe concept. And thanks to espionage the Soviet nuclear attack subs (and their SSBNs) were getting a lot quieter and herder to counter than they had been originally, and were still being built in very large numbers compared to the attack subs NATO was building.

            The thing to look for from China going forward is not their carrier effort, which is likely just as much as waste of resources as the Graf Spee was – it’s an uptick in the build quantity along with the quality of their sub fleet.

            1. The Chinese carrier is built with something different in mind. I don’t think China anticipates going toe to toe with the US anytime soon. There’s too much to lose if that happens. But it’s a prestige thing. Aircraft carriers are The Symbol of naval prestige. And they’re an effective means of power projection, particularly against many of the weaker nations in the world today. Those are nations that China might get into clashes with as it attempts to build its “not colonies” throughout the world, and gra- er, offer deals that aren’t at all lopsided and disproportionate *cough* for various resources that China needs.

              As an example that we might (but probably won’t) possibly see in the not too distant future, the US doesn’t really care about the Persian Gulf that much these days since we’re a net exporter of oil (though our allies care). But China does. And if the Tehran were to get feisty again after Trump leaves office, and decide it wanted to close the Gulf, then fixing the problem might end up falling on Beijing’s shoulders.

              1. Kind of funny to consider it is not a prestige thing with us, it’s pure pragmatism: they’re just the most convenient way of doing what we need done.

                1. The US Navy announced its ability to globally project force with The Great White Fleet. That was essentially a prestige event by Teddy Roosevelt. Everyone needs to start somewhere. And if China is going to try and rival the logistical reach and power of the US (which they need to do to have any chance of competing globally for the top spot with the US), then carriers are very useful.

                  So I wouldn’t say that there aren’t also practical aspects to the PLAN carriers.

  20. I see one viable path towards WWIII and conscription from this, and that requires that the American people conclude that exterminating the Iranians is an appropriate and necessary goal.

    To exterminate the Iranians, we first need to defeat them, and we probably would have to also defeat the Russians. Might as well exterminate the Russians at that point. Adding the defeat and extermination of the PRC populations is not that much more crazy. That would be definitely WWIII scale, and might need conscription to supply the ground force for pulling non combatants out of the rubble and murdering them.

    As long as I recall, the Iranians have not withheld any act that would hurt us.

    We’ve probably decreased their ability to hurt us. That would make it less likely that they succeed in pissing us off so much that we exterminate them. We also decreased their ability to portray themselves as strong internally. This makes it more likely that the current Iranian government will fall. If the current Iranian government falls, it may be replaced by something that we can tolerate enough to avoid the need to exterminate the Iranians.

    1. The Iranian people are mostly pretty nice. Their government stinks.

      There is a big conflict in Iran between traditional Persian customs and ways of life (which include lots of non-Muslims, and a fairly relaxed form of Shia Islam), and the Ayatollah brand of Shia Islam. There is a lot of opposition to new religious ideas that are worse and to injustice, a lot of desire to get back to modernity, and a lot of pride in being Persian in heritage. There’s bitterness over the mishandling of the Iran-Iraq War, over family overseas being unable to visit safely, over all the people in prison, suppression of traditional art and music, Shia scholars in Qom who are not part of the ruling faction, and so on. The most popular Iranian musicians live in LA and London, because they can’t legally work in Iran.

      But there are also a lot of people who are tied closely to the government, who have pensions and paychecks tied to attending demonstrations regularly, and so on. But a lot of those people got trampled the other day, so they are not in a good mood, either.

      I grew up with Iranian Persians who had to flee the Ayatollah. I like the Persian holidays and poetry (although it was not improved historically by being associated with even relatively benign forms of Islam). I would like to see Iran a free country that is a decent place to live.

      I don’t know if it will happen. I hope someday it will.

      1. Oh, and of course the Iranian economy stinks, even though it is a country full of natural resources, and even though it used to have all sorts of modern industry and facilities. Everything in the infrastructure keeps getting worse except the Internet, and the Internet routinely gets shut down (on purpose or by “bad luck”). Gas prices are ridiculously high, in a country that makes gas. Poor people and old people have a lot of trouble surviving.

        Since the world economy is getting better, obviously this grates on even the most gung ho supporter of the government.people

        But yeah, banning all the traditional holidays as “un-Islamic” was probably the worst move by the government. If even your mom thinks you are an idiot, how do you keep people thinking your power is legit?

      2. > The Iranian people are mostly pretty nice. Their government stinks.

        Air-dropping a supply of small arms and how-to manuals would be cheap enough…

        1. I doubt air dropping small arms would accomplish much. It’s not like it’s hard to make AKs. In fact, that’s one of the points of the AK is that it’s easy to make and maintain.

          If a group seriously wanted to clandestinely arm itself with small arms, it could probably do so easily enough.

          1. The entire Middle East is awash in AK-47’s. There are more AK-47’s than stray dogs, and there are a lot of stray dogs. Shipping in more AK-47’s would be like sending them sand.

            The AK-47 has two virtues, and two only: they are cheap, easy to make, and hard to break. That’s right, three virtues.
            Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

            1. I would think sneaking in a couple million glock 19s would be a better strategy for helping a resistance movement, just being easier to conceal, and maybe a a couple tons of c4. Plus a couple million cell phones set up to be hard to track – maybe something with built in mesh networking capability, and the ability to securely access the web via satellite or something, since the mullahs favorite new thing is to shut down the internet whenever demonstrations happen.

              But I recognize many are very grateful I am not in charge of things like that.

          2. The connections you need to get weapons tends to put you in cahoots with some dangerous folks– and it’s pretty valuable to be able to tell the guys in charge where the revolutionaries are, isn’t it?

            Thinking about some of the other disfunctions in the middle east, I think the problem may be that it’s such a low baseline of trust– for heaven’s sake, one of the reasons that Christian slaves are so valuable is because you can trust them more than your own cousins.

            Just… try to envision living like that.

            A girl that has been brutalized and sold to you, that you brutalize, is more trustworthy than your extended family.

            Given how many of these groups treat the women or anyone else weaker, I can see how they’d have such an issue– and I remember supplying guns to the folks with a more Christian notion on female humanity actually worked pretty well, the groups are usually identified as punching way above weight. Theory: part of why they can do so is that the women can guard themselves.

            1. That is actually another fissure of disagreement. Shia Islam in Iran traditionally believed in monogamy, female religious scholars, occasional female mosques, big libraries, and a certain amount of coexistence with Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Buddhists. Also music, poetry, roses, and moderate winebibbing. (Mostly because of Persia.)

              So when the Ayatollah’s successors have tried to introduce polygamy and temporary marriage, along with destruction of vineyards, persecution of poets, and banning pop music and wedding dances, it hasn’t gone over well.

            1. I’m not sure whether you can make a country free by helping them get free, unless the “help” is pretty minimal, or late stage after most of the freeing has already occurred.

              Iran is full of smart, determined people. But how are you going to turn demonstrations into a rival civil government that can take over? I am pretty sure that the U.S. cannot do that. Every culture is different, and they need to homebrew a system they can make work for them.

              1. Yeah, and this is where I say something inhumane.

                Of course, Trump is basically a sane ethical Buckman, so we may well avoid the worst case scenarios.

      3. Iranian people are mostly pretty nice. Their government stinks


        Sadly, it’s true of the U.S.A. too. Let’s pray team Persia and team America get a chance to fix that.

  21. And the dems… never mind. They are managing to scare the young people…

    We (and our political leadership*) need to denounce irresponsible fear-mongering. There will only be a Draft if the Dems retake power because only the Dems benefit from a Draft. There sure as [Heck] ain’t nobody in our military who wants our forces saddled with a bunch of worthless, snot-nosed, whinging, untrained cannon fodder who are certain to complain to their parents and elected representatives because the D.I. didn’t say “Please” between “Incoming!” and “Hit the dirt!”

    Commencing a Draft on entering a war is tantamount to declaring, “We can beat them with one hand tied behind our back!”

  22. Talked with somebody I just met about this Monday. I was basically unpersuaded that the Iranians had anything much to throw at us.

    Was a little bit excited, feared I was wrong, late last night when I heard about the rockets. It was too soon to tell what had actually been accomplished.

    I’ll be embarrassed if this seriously escalates.

  23. As with all executive actions under either party…

    You think that’s an abuse of executive power? Take Congressional action to rein in the power of the executive — not of the individual, but of the office. The Legislature *has* ceded too much power to the executive, whether this is or is not a good example of same.

    You think the 9/11 era authorization of the use of military force (AUMF) gives Trump, as it gave Obama, too much power? A case could certainly be made. I might even agree with you. So pass a law ending it. Make this, or any future president, make the case for a new one if and when circumstances require it..

    You think we should not be able to do drone strikes on high value targets who are conducting strikes on U.S. targets without Congressional authorization? I might not agree with you there, but a case could be made. Make it and pass legislation embodying it. If this, or any, president wants to argue that it’s unconstitutionally restricting executive power (as all have done since the War Powers act was passed), let them make that argument.

    You just want to whine about executive power when the executive is not of your party, while doing absolutely nothing to move that power back to the Legislature? That’s nice. Have a cookie.

    1. Yep – draft and pass laws like they mean it and I will believe them. Otherwise, it’s all just ignorable outgassing.

  24. wars end when we take away the other country’s ability to keep attacking us.

    Not quite sure I agree with that. Say, rather, when one side convinces the other that further attacks on the first will cost far more than they’re willing to pay. Hiroshima & Nagasaki did not destroy the Japanese military production, it destroyed their belief they could win, or even survive.

    Weakness is provocative and leads to war. In all History I know of only one instance in which a nation went to war expecting to lose, and (by happenstance) Grand Fenwick won that one. Reasonable natios do not start wars, so by definition deterrence must be such as to compel the unreasonable nations.

    Our Founders were students of the lessons of Rome — that is why they feared a Republic degenerating into Democracy. They understood the motto: “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” — If You Want Peace, Prepare for War. While it is true they abjured the Federal government maintaining a standing army that was in large part because they expected the states to do so, in the form of trained and “well regulated” militias.

    And no, dip-Schiff, that does not mean controlled via government regulations:

    The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.

    Unfortunately, as was learned through bitter experience in 1812 and the Mexican-American War, militias tended to be difficult to maintain in well regulated state and that war making required professionalism. The Founders weren’t infallible, but they were wise. They established mechanisms for revising the Constitution through popular mandate (as opposed to unaccountable judges.)

    1. I could’a swore I used /BLOCKQUOTE between “expected” and “Unfortunately.” Stupid keyboard. (Yeah, that’s the ticket, this keyboard is faulty, has wyrms inside it. The Chicoms are hacking my Lenovo. Nothing wrong with my typing, nothing at all.)

      1. Seriously, there are known cases of USB keyboards containing malware in the USB drivers. In Windows, for example, the OS will automatically install any device drivers it finds on a USB device and then they can run with privileged access.

        One popular method of industrial espionage is to scatter some thumbdrives with driver malware in the lobby or parking lot. Because no matter how often you warn people, a percentage are going to pick one up and jam it into the USB port to see what’s on it… which is also why some organizations fill the USB ports with hot-melt glue.

        1. Reportedly the thumb drives used to get malware into the Iranian airgapped centrifuge controllers and make the centrifuges go boom were loaded with porn in Farsi.

        2. As someone who works in IT, any and all suspension of disbelief in the movie ‘Skyfall’ went out the window when ‘Q’ hooked up an unfamiliar computer to the network.

          Funny thing is…

          I once mentioned that scene to a friend of mine who owns his own store. A few days later he related to me that just a couple of hours after our conversation that day, he caught one of his employees sticking an unknown USB stick into the store computer “because the employee found it and wanted to know what was on it”.


  25. Sigh. I was at the end of my first hitch in the Air Force, my daughter was a month away from being born, when the Iranian takeover of the US Embassy went down. I never thought I would have to wait forty blankety-blank years for our government to remember where they left their spine, and take forceful action against them.

    Better late than never, I suppose. My daughter says that all the military and veteran blogs are practically giddy with happiness over General Salami finally getting to meet his 72 virgins.

    1. “General Salami finally getting to meet his 72 virgins. Virginians.”

      Fixed it for you. 🙂 Still think this is funny.

      1. So if you go look into what the q book actually says, it’s basically “In paradise pious men will be safe and comfortable, dressed in rich silks, and I will marry them to houris with wide pretty eyes who will bring them lots of fruit on request, and they won’t die more than the once it takes to get there”.

        The quantity 72 and other stuff is from the non-q commentaries – other stuff such as houris being dimensioned at 60 cubits tall and 7 cubits wide (that’s ninety feet (90′) tall and ten and a half feet (10.5′) wide for those who have not converted cubits to feet in a while), but that’s OK, because that’s how tall Adam was when he escaped from Eden, so that’s how tall the pious men will be in their paradise form as well.

        I have seen varying things about the weight given the various commentaries vs the absolute q book weight.

  26. The new, technologically equipped armed services aren’t likely to need to recruit ten underweight barristas and five overweight computer gamers. Actually, of the two the computer gamers are more likely to be needed, but it’s still not likely.

    Already actively recruit the gamers. Good supply, that’s a lot of our fairly high turnover technician types.

      1. Nah, you were doing fine, I just find it cool and funny that wee recruit video game geeks as hard-core as we do football players.

        1. I knew that. Actually I know all the services go after hardcore geeks with stratospheric IQs. I think older son practically had to break the army’s heart in his second year of college to get them to stop calling (Several reasons, none having to do with unwillingness to serve) and for all I know the Navy is still sending younger son metaphorical fruit baskets (though in his case it might be the fact stratospheric IQ has strong pattern-matching component) and when he raised the fact that he has severe asthma and eczema (which under stress makes his entire face look like it was burned) as well as a heart deffect, he was told “Just apply. We can work around all that!”
          If they weren’t hot for geeks, I don’t know why they’d do this.

          1. They are always hot for geeks (the Navy). They actually grabbed me because I had a higher IQ than most coming into the Navy in 1988. At the time only 25 percent of the women who went into the electronics field were able to pass the classes. Those that didn’t pass went into secretarial type fields.

          2. Back in the day in Chicago, the ASVAB was a require test, don’t know if it is still is require. But I score really high on the ASVAB and ACT and being black kid from the ghetto, every recruiter from every branch visited me in high school, my high school guidance counselor was complete idiot, had no help with filling out college application, so ended up joining the navy punching holes in ocean aboard a submarine.

          3. All the waivers they can generate when they really want someone goes right to my point above about some jobs not needing Navy Seal physical characteristics.

            The thing that keeps our volunteer military from going after older recruits for any jobs is the Federal law requiring it to be possible to do 20 and qualify for a pension before the age 60 mandatory retirement age. This is why the Air Force max enlistment age is 39.

            But again they can waiver anything they collectively want to waiver given a large enough level of “want”.

            1. Ah, my apologies to any BUDS grads: That should’ve been capitalized “Navy SEAL”.

              1. Navy Seals always trying to leave a perfectly good submarine while underwater, just nuts.

              2. Depending on which ones you mean, the correct way to reference “Navy seals” is either “Navy SEALs” or “Navy sea lions”.

            2. “But again they can waiver anything they collectively want to waiver given a large enough level of “want”.”

              Yeah, like when Hunter Biden got a waiver to be commissioned in the Navy at age 42 – IIRC, even though he at that point had already had a conviction for cocaine use.

              1. I believe that was the USN “don’t piss off a Senator” waiver program, similar to the USN “don’t piss off an Ambassador” program that got JFK commissioned.

          4. After I qualified as a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist every single service academy sent me their admissions information, which I had not requested. That was during the Vietnam war. I declined, but they reached out multiple times. I wouldn’t even have needed my Congresscritter’s nomination.

  27. If she’s stricken with PTSD over this perhaps it is time she reconsidered her career choice and pursued something more in line with her capabilities.

    ‘Disgrace’: GOP congressman blasts Ilhan Omar for claiming PTSD over Iran
    GOP Rep. Jim Banks attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar after she said she’s “stricken with PTSD” regarding the recent tension between the United States and Iran.


    “And I think every time I hear about — I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war,” Omar said at a press conference on Wednesday.

    1. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war

      That’s right, Omar, slap yourself on the back and give yourself trophies for your ‘courage against war’ — right up until some unenlightened troglodyte blows your pacifist ass to tiny bits and you’re too dead to enjoy your self-indulgent pretensions to moral superiority.

      Sadly, that’s unlikely to happen because the soldiers you despise stand ready to kill your enemies for you, whether you are worthy of their protection or not.

      But of course you don’t let reality intrude on your delusions.

      You want to really make a statement? Go to Iran and show your ‘courage against war’ without soldiers and Secret Service agents.
      It takes two to make peace. It only takes one to make war.

        1. Shhh. It is gauche to observe how our Democrat adversaries align with our foreign adversaries.

          Because the next step is noting the definition of treason, followed by discussing the extent to which opposition to capital punishment by law school graduates is in fact a criminal conspiracy. 🙂

  28. World Wars start due to the moral weakness of the leadership of free people.

    One could argue that if Britain and France made enough of an angry fuss after the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Germany would be another decaying dictatorship, a “not done properly” version of socialism that would have resulted in hilarious memes and strange product nostalgia almost a century later.

    Moral weakness allows bullies to thrive, and Iran is nothing but a huge regional bully. Trump-for all of his sins-has dealt with that kind of bully in the past, all too often. And, at the same time as him dealing with this bully, all of his enemies are doing exactly what he wants them to do, by showing how terrible they are to the American people.

    I swear, if you wanted to have a Evil Overlord figure in this drama, it has to be Trump, because he’s playing all of the Democrats like Leonard Bernstein on a “forget the water” espresso bender…

  29. One could argue that if Britain and France made enough of an angry fuss after the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Germany would be another decaying dictatorship

    Then one would be wrong. Maybe if they had pushed back in 1932, possibly as late as 1935, but by 1939 Hitler and the Nazis were too full of themselves to be stopped in any way other than the way we did stop them — by crushing them militarily.
    Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do remember history are doomed to watch everybody else repeat it.

    1. Had Britain and France reacted with force to the re-militarization of the Rhine, there may have been a military coup against the National Socialist.
      Likewise if they had reacted against the Anschluss or Annexation of the Sudetenland.
      Had the Allies driven hard into Germany during 1939, they could have done some serious military damage, and probably forced a surrender, or at least an armistice that year- without needing a cross-channel invasion or giving Easter Europe to the Soviets.
      The longer things went, the worse our options were, and the harder it was to remove the plague of Nazism.

      1. Except that Britain had a rather small military in 1935 and until 1938 were only allowed to spend 7% of Government income on the military. The U.S., Canada, and France were spending less during that period. A more rapid buildup was begun then but they didn’t have the capability to drive hard into Germany in 1939.
        Germany had 6 armoured divisions in the middle of 1939 – the Allies none. Why do you think Chamberlain was hell-bent on appeasement?

      2. The French general Andre Beaufre was a young Captain on the French General Staff at the time of the Rhineland incursion. He said that the only war plan that existed was for complete mobilization of reservists and conscription of civilian vehicles. The politicians weren’t willing to incur the disruption and economic impact of a full mobilization, and the senior officers asserted that no alternative plan…and the Germans could certainly have been driven out at the time with a relatively small force….could be developed in time. There was also great concern that “the neutrals”, especially the United States, would view any French military action as aggression and warmongering.

        Germany was much more powerful by the time of Munich; still, the Czechs had a large army and armaments industry and a strong fortress line: they could have held out for a long time if they had not been undercut by Britain and France.

        1. Indeed. And appeasement turned that fortress line over to Germany, leaving the Czechs far more vulnerable when the Nazis decided to take the rest of Czechoslovakia.

          1. Well, more fortified passes than a Czech Maginot line, and the Maginot line itself didn’t really slow the Wehrmacht down when they eventually took it on, after getting past the Belgian fortresses without much trouble. Fixed defenses were really obsolete by the time Chamberlain had his moment at the microphone.

            The big plus the Czechs had was their armor and their armaments industries as noted above – a lot of the light tanks used in the Wehrmacht formations invading Poland and then France were actually Czech tanks, as Panzer 35(t) and 38(t). Given reasonable ground to defend at the border, and reasonable planning, and against the 1938 German panzers, the Czechs could have given a good account of themselves, but the whole impregnable Sudeten fortress line thing always struck me as just wrong.

                1. And I was told (not anything close to an expert on that period) that the French, rather than trusting their Maginot Line to do the job put their main forces behind it to back it up rather than out protecting the flanks, thus facilitating the Germans bypassing it.

                  1. Not quite. What happened was that the French plan was for the Maginot Line to channel all of the German forces into Belgium, where the French, British, and Belgian armies would be able to meet them and hopefully keep them from making it out of Belgium and into France.

                    Unfortunately, Belgium was badly politically divided in the run-up to WWII, with a sizable pro-Hitler faction, and as a result they pulled out of the deal. The French then failed to re-write their operational plans to account for this problem. When the Germans finally did invade, everyone was caught on the back foot, but the Allies still managed to get most of their mechanized forces and most of their best infantry units into Belgium to meet the German attack.

                    Unfortunately no one thought to put a good block force in the Ardennes, and everything went straight to hell from there.

        2. And Hitler wasn’t Hitler! back then. He was seen as just another radical Nationalist/ non-International Socialist, similar to a lot of other maximum leaders in Europe at the time.
          That appeasement would set them up for something far worse in a few years wasn’t really understood then, because it really hadn’t happened yet.
          The doctor good at preventing disease doesn’t get the credit that the one who’s good at curing it gets.

  30. Anyone want to bet that this thing with Krugman’s phone being hacked with the child porn is not in fact a sign that he is really a pedophile? Perhaps the Iranians did it to silence their strongest opposition in the US.

    Did Meghan Markle decide that if she wanted to hang out with pedophiles, she would have stayed in Hollywood?

    I need to try to get off twitter again.

      1. Well, I figured that if it was more than being a moron about tech, someone here would have a clue, or know where to look.

        Still a little surprising when a mad intuition pans out.

    1. Last i saw was something suggesting that he got taken in by one of those scams that claim you’ve broken some law, and need to perform some action (usually payment of a fine, unless the victim receives a call from “tech support”) to fix the problem before the cops show up to arrest you.

      There wasn’t much information, though, to make it clear whether that suggestion was accurate.

  31. I always thought the expression was ‘…pants on fire’.

    Of course, if they’re wearing their pants on their heads, that covers everything.
    “I have never known the truth or Delenn to speak only when it is appropriate.”

    1. “… pants on fire.” is the conclusion of the childhood taunt, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

      “Hair on fire” is a shortened version of the term, “Running around like their hair’s on fire.”

      At a guess, the etymology of the term goes back to (at least) Victorian times when women wore their hair unsheared and did most of the family cooking over a wood stove (itself a significant safety advance over open fires. My understanding is that the most common cause of household deaths for women was fire, either from their aprons or hair catching a spark.

      I considered looking that up for confirmation but decided doing so would be unduly responsible.

          1. Making sure interesting stories are covered with a pillow until they stop moving.

  32. I realize you probably wrote this before the details of where those missiles fell, etc. became clear. But:

    “Iran will assume that we’re all in agreement with you and won’t let meaneviltrump hit them again.”

    No, I think they’ve figured out that Pres. Trump doesn’t give a flying f**k what the wailers and screamers (or the MSM, or most celebrities – he’s a celebrity, he’s met a lot of these people) think. I think that they’ve figured out that Trump means business, that he’s liable to do just about anything, that when he said “We’ll hit your cultural sites” they had an image of the Kaaba as a flaming rubble heap cross their minds, and that they had best carefully calculate the cost of their next actions.

    At least for a while.

    1. Um, the Kaaba is in Saudi Arabia. Apart from that, targeting it would not be a good idea unless one WANTS to unite the entire Islamic world (regardless of internal splits) against one.

  33. “Iran will assume that we’re all in agreement with you and won’t let meaneviltrump hit them again.”

    I figure you wrote that before all the details of Iran’s rocket “attack” became known. But my current guess is that Iran has figured out that depending on Trump caring about what the MSM/DNC/SJWs think is a strategic blunder, which is why those rockets didn’t hit anything and why they used liquid-fueled rockets – the fueling of which is not something able to be hidden from drone and satellite cameras and which have to be fired soon after fueling, so they knew we’d know they were coming. It has become more and more obvious that a) Trump’s political opponents “ain’t got nuthin'”, b) that he’s got the guts to face whatever they try to throw at him, and b) he’s quite willing to use the weapons he has.

    He threatened to hit their cultural sites. An image of the Imam Ali Mosque/Shrine as flaming rubble will given even them pause. “He’s crazy enough – he might do it!”

  34. Roughly fifty years ago, I said something about the middle east in a conversation with my dad. I’d never seen him look so frustrated. After a minute he burst out: “You just don’t understand. They ain’t like you and me. Them bastards was born to die.”

    The older I get, the smarter he gets.

    1. Some wishes get granted, others are shot down in flames.

      Israel unveils breakthrough laser to intercept missiles, aerial threats
      Technology expected to take down a variety of aerial threats including rockets, drones, anti-tank missiles.
      The Defense Ministry has made a technological breakthrough in the development of lasers that can intercept aerial threats, including rockets and anti-tank guided missiles, it announced Wednesday.

      New laser technology “makes the security apparatus more lethal, more powerful and more advanced,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday evening.


      The ministry has been working for more than 10 years on powerful laser technology to enable the development of platforms to intercept a variety of threats, he said. It has carried out a number of successful interceptions of targets, including mortar shells, drones and antitank missiles, at a variety of ranges over the years.

      “This is a dramatic solution to rocket fire,” said Dubi Oster, head of the DDR&D Optronics Department. “We have been working on this for years. But it is challenging to get a good-quality beam to stay the size you need at the range you need… for example, a beam the diameter of a coin from here [in Tel Aviv] to Herzliya.”


      The breakthrough recently made by the ministry is based on the precision of the laser beam, which can be focused on long-range targets and which can overcome atmospheric disturbances such as clouds and dust storms.

      According to Oster, the ministry was able to take several laser beams and, with an advanced algorithm, connect them to get one strong beam that is able to intercept and take down a variety of threats. Based on high-energy electric lasers rather than chemical laser technology, the robust system will complement the other layers of Israel’s aerial defenses and will be a strategic change in the defense capabilities of the state, the ministry said.

      According to Rotem, some of the advantages of the high-energy lasers include the ability to continually use the system at lower cost, higher effectiveness and with efficient management. They will also allow for a decrease in the number of missile interceptors used and the future potential to intercept a variety of threats, including unmanned aerial vehicles, drones and guided rockets.

      “During a war, missile interceptors will at one point run out, but with this system, as long as you have electricity, you have a never-ending supply,” he said.


      “This is a weapon that you can’t see or hear,” Rotem said, adding that while it is not free since it runs on electricity, every interception will only cost a few dollars, as opposed to interceptor missiles that can run into the thousands.

      The use of two different and complementary technologies – kinetic air-defense-like systems, such as the Iron Dome, and laser platforms – “is a game-changer,” Rotem said.

      As a result of the breakthrough, the ministry has launched three programs for the development of high-energy laser demonstration systems in cooperation with the two companies: a ground-based laser system to complement the capabilities of the Iron Dome, development of a maneuverable platform-mounted laser system to defend troops in the field and the development of a laser demo system mounted on an air platform to intercept threats above cloud covers and for the defense of wide areas.


      1. In other news, several months ago I saw a story about an Israeli who had adapted this technology to kill mosquitoes.

        Yes, you read that right. You can apparently (or soon will be able to) get an anti-mosquito laser system.

      1. A more felicitous phrasing might have been, “They ain’t like you and me. Them bastards was born to die get killed.”

    2. Definitely a case of “what you hear isn’t what he says.”

      I got so damned frustrated trying to explain to people that a lot of our basic philosophical ideas are simply NOT THERE in the Middle East– all the harder because some of them, like loving your daughter because you’re a daddy, show up sometimes anyways.

      They’re not valued like here.

      It’s not made easier by my only half understanding it– I can SEE it, I can’t UNDERSTAND it.

  35. Flinging missiles that didn’t hit anything important or hurt any Americans because apparently their targeting systems are just slightly better than a V-2… there, i said it.

    And next time they fire a salvo, they are likely to see them clawed out of the sky by one of our antimissile systems.

  36. Pingback: OR IN OTHER WORDS:  Put Out the Fire In Your Hair…. – The usa report

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