• Military

    One unnoted correlation regarding gays and the military

    Seemingly the gayer the military gets, i.e. starting with don’t ask , don’t tell, then to openly serving, then to the current whatever transgender terminology the stature of the military has gone up, by any measure I can think of, in every quarter of society.  Come to think of it, it’s probably gone too far, and we we’re not exercising enough oversight and thought like we should.

    I have no greater point, but it’s odd that no one else has noticed the connection.

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  • Military

    We used to call it the flypaper strategy

    The more things change…

    It occurred to me today that the events in Syria/Iraq etc are more or less a replay of the events of 2005 – i.e. every wannabe mass murderer the world over is gravitating to the place where their deviancy is rewarded (sort of like Richard Florida’s “Creative Class” theory, but with beheadings).  Back then we called it the “Flypaper Strategy” and was seens as a good thing to have them all in one place, far away, and fighting military units.  Now we are all quite apprehensive about it – and worry about what happens when they come home, if they do.

    The greater meaning eludes me.


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  • Culture,  Media,  Military,  Religion

    Two from Slate

    • Hitchens on Falwell – a nice vicious hit job, closing with

      It’s a shame that there is no hell for Falwell to go to, and it’s extraordinary that not even such a scandalous career is enough to shake our dumb addiction to the “faith-based.”

    • On Generals – An interesting piece on the lack of turnover at the Pentagon due to the Iraq war. Unmentioned is the lack of turnover as a result of 9-11, which should be the larger clue.
  • Adages,  America,  Middle East,  Military,  Politics,  Public Choice,  Quotes,  Russia

    Wars in the Middle East are officially a vested interest

    I read this article on

    White House taps general for ‘war czar’ post
    President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon’s director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a “war czar” after a long search for new leadership, administration officials said Tuesday.

    In the newly created position, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would also maintain his military status and rank as a three-star general, according to a Pentagon official.

    and was reminded of this Albert Jay Nock quote:

    Experience has made it clear beyond doubt or peradventure that prohibition in the United States is not a moral issue; it is not essentially, even, a political issue; it is a vested interest.

    and this H.L. Mencken quote:

    The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.

    We have this horrible tendency in our culture to see the means (a big new bureaucracy) as an end in itself, nay, an achievement. What endeavor has failed because there are too few managers? The right managers, sure, lots of failures due to a lack of them. But too few?

    Plus an additional bureaucracy just creates it’s own principal-agent and knowledge problems.

    Functionally Lute will probably serve as a dedicated adviser, but why the title Czar? All of the Russian Czars were an odd combination of stagnant, incompetent and murderous. Why is that some role model.


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  • Military,  Tech

    Snipers and robot armies

    After reading these two articles (here and here) about new forms of sniper scopes, I have to wonder, why aren’t robot armies in the field right now? Granted, all of the shooting must somehow involve a human, but I would imagine that remote operator could be anywhere. We’ve had unmanned aerial vehicles for years now, and those fly, which would seem to be much more complicated and expensive.

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