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March 19, 2011 03:04 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“We can be knowledgeable with other men’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men’s wisdom.”

–Michel de Montaigne


58 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Google is probably going to change a lot now. Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots. I think we’ll see a lot more innovation coming out of Google if he can truly shake it up.

    And for those of you thinking of (or already) starting your own company – Don’t Bet Big. Little Bets Are The Ones That Turn Into Billion-Dollar Ideas. There is a ton of truth in this – most every large success came from a something other than the original idea behind a company.

  2. and morning paper said fighter aircraft converging from France, Britain and UAE to begin operations under US command and control out of Naples. French already engaged in enforcement  

    1) Does this mean Rs don’t have to order freedom fries anymore?  

    2) Why not Egyptian fighter planes and Egypt in a lead role?  They have a terrific air force, mainly courtesy of US military aid, and their population ought to be in sympathy with the Libyan rebels.

    Do like no mention of US fighter aircraft engaged. US ships bombarding Libya’s air defenses and runways to clear way for European and Arab forces.  Hope it stays that way as far as US involvement. Hope we see more active Arab involvement.

    Now that Yemeni protesters are being  trapped like rats and slaughtered, how will we justify far more restrained response  there and in our other allied Gulf nations?  

    On the other hand, even if we wanted to, even if we operated out of pure pro-democracy idealism ( The Bush so-called freedom agenda? ha!), how can we possibly take on any more wars?  One thing for sure:  If we  hadn’t become embroiled in Iraq and weren’t still embroiled in Afghanistan for no terribly good reasons we’d have more options in every aspect of our foreign policy and domestic economy. Thanks again, President Chen…oops…Bush.  

    1. Did you see the Blitzer interview of Secretary Clinton? Anyone who hasn’t should watch it. She’s not really know for candor, but she seems candid in it. And reasonable. The only time I heard bs it was more of an excuse, like shut up and give a pass just this once (on Japan downplaying meltdown threat) because things are a little crazy over there right now.

      For the first time since I was four I didn’t hate her.

      The point? She pretty well says what you just said about why we aren’t (or can’t) doing (or do) more. And then she says what has to happen before we do (or can). It was logical; I could totally see where the difficulty was.

      Blew my mind! So watch it if you haven’t. I think, looking at it sideways, she even kind of explains why if it becomes OK for us to move in, we wouldn’t necessarily have to (at least not in a significant way).

      1. when she says she absolutely doesn’t want to be VP, Pres, Defense, nothing else, no thank you.  I think this is freeing her to be her best, most candid self. I’ve never liked her in the past either but respect her more and more these days. She’s got smarts, guts and can be a very charming diplomat.

          1. am encouraged that, so far, we’re letting others do the flying and not even considering US ground troups.  I do approve of the job HRC is doing as SOS.  She doesn’t make the final decisions. It’s her job to do the best she can with whatever. I think the Saudis, Egypt et al should be taking care of this one.

        1. I’ve finally grown to admire her.

          But she’s bound to be getting tired. She’s just been working too hard for too long (including as First Lady, then Senator.) I think State is her last post. How could she have the energy to run for Pres? Gotta give it to her for her dedication to our country. I think she’ll be rewarded with recognition as one of the greats of the early 21st Century.

          1. This is a great post, and at this point a great legacy, to go retire on. Because she is too old to do anything else reasonably.

            Grandkids will be coming soon. You done good, spoil some babies and enjoy some quiet years. Maybe a few talking head positions and/or a seat at a pundit table to keep busy. Whatever. Just enjoy it.

            In the meantime keep keeping on.

            To a few other people; I would point out that we didn’t make this particular war. It’s sad and upsetting whether the international community stays out or not. One of those days I’m glad to not be making the decision, although I’m not entirely sure how it could be worse.

            While I know someone will ultimately have to be the fist, I’m glad it’s not us. Our communities are global; time to act like it. My original point had nothing to do with the actual ground fight, merely pointing out a welcome shift for (most of) the American people.

    2. …all the aircraft the US has that’s good at ground strikes is in either Iraq or Afghanistan (or somewhere nearby.) The Enterprise is in the Red Sea, so to attack the Air Defense Network around Tripoli, they’d have to fly across Egypt and then most of Libya to attack those targets.

      The French aircraft came from the SE part of France. They flew recon missions, handed off the targets to NATO airborne controllers, who then sent in French jets to attack the stuff on the ground near Benghazi, and also did some prelim strikes against the Tripoli Airfields.

      Once they confirmed what airfields they wanted to shut down, the US launched Cruise missiles against the airfields to crater the runways and other facilities,and also added a bunch of antipersonnel mines to discourage any repair.

      I’m going to guess that the next round of attacks during the night tonight will be against Tripoli, and will shut down both the communications and power grids in the city. (This was what was done in Serbia.) Depending on the targets, this is when some civilians might get killed.

      If there are any critical road junctures or military facilities between Tripoli and Benghazi, I’m also willing to bet they’ll get nailed next with bombs and mines. The idea is to make the Pro-loyalist forces stay where they are, and not be able to receive any new orders to attacks or to retreat in any effective manner.

        1. A third war when we can’t afford the two we already have.

          The Arabs didn’t have enough money or interest to police their own part of the world?

          If our foreign policy is that we only take out madmen, we have a lot more countries to go.

          There’s truth in the bumper sticker — we’re making new enemies faster than we can kill them.

          1. so I was not at all happy to hear that, in spite of what I read in yesterday’s paper about French and UAE aircraft, in fact there will be no military participation by any Arab country.  Also heard on NPR this morning that the no fly zone will be patrolled by French and US pilots, while yesterday’s story didn’t mention US pilots. So this really does suck. So US fighters, yes.  Arab fighters, no.  That’s total bull.

            I can see the value in intervening with air cover to try to prevent genocide but I think it’s vital that this not be another story of West on Muslim warfare.  The Arab League members asked for this but they don’t want any part of military action against a Muslim country. Clearly, they want us to be the bad guys when civilians get killed and when it all goes to hell in a handbasket.  Screw that.  

            The western allies involved should have insisted on full participation of Arab air forces, making it clear that this is their fight against a mad man they want ousted. If I ruled the world we’d have told these Arab nations that if they won’t be the military face of the operation, there will be no operation.

            What tentative support I was willing to entertain for this operation on the condition of Arab nation military participation is gone. Period.  Should have listened to Ralphie. Should have known better.  Once again, this well and truly sucks.  

              1. They approved this and asked for it, they should be footing some of the bill, along with the French and British who were the really forces behind the no-fly zone.

                But, tired of war as we are, I firmly believe that this was the right thing to do.

                1. they would have to shoulder a fair share of responsibility with both their wealth and their forces. Why should we let them maneuver us into being the bad guys when things go bad?  Why should we take all the risk and leave them all the political cover? We should have told them you’re coming in with us or we aren’t going in.  Period.

                  What about protesters being trapped and slaughtered in Bahrain?  What about thousands of demonstrators being fired on in Syria?  In Yemen? And that’s just the Middle East.  

                  Libya is unique in that Qadaffi’s Arab neighbors know he’s a dangerous madman and wish him gone. But that does us no good if we let them off the hook.  We still wind up being the hated infidel aggressors without them. They’ll be the first to say we’ve gone too far the first time there’s an incident with civilians. Their hands will be the only clean ones.  

                  They’ll keep on having their deals with us while their official newspapers keep  blaming us for their own people’s consumption at the same time.  Screw that. They should be in or we should be out.

                  This is exactly why the western world should have gotten off oil long ago and should get it done ASAP, no matter what it takes, even if, at first, that means higher energy costs.  It will be the most worthwhile investment we could possibly make.  

                  One more American death while the Arab state dictators and Kings and Princes get a free pass will be one too many. It’s their madman in their neighborhood.  Let them do the lion’s share of the spending and their forces do most of the bleeding if they want a change.  

    3. from Military Quotes

      US Army telephone answering machine.

      We’re sorry, but all of our units are out at the moment, or otherwise engaged. Please leave a message with your country, name of organization, region, specific crisis and a number where you can be reached. As soon as we have sorted out the Balkans, Iraq, Korea, China, the Y2K Bug, marching up and down the streets of Washington, D.C. and attending the compulsary Consideration of Others Training, we will return your call.

      Please speak after the tone, or if you require more options, please choose from the following options: If your crisis is small and is located near the sea, press 1 for the United States Marine Corps.

      If your concern is distant, with temperate climate and good hotels, and can be solved by one or two low-risk high-altitude bombing runs, press 2 for the United States Air Force. Please note that this service is not available after 1630 hours , or on weekends. Special consideration will be given to customers requiring satellite or stealth technology who can provide additional research and development funding.

      If your inquiry concerns a situation which can be resolved by a bit of grey funnel,bunting, flags and a really good marching band, please write, well in advance, to the United States Navy. Please note that Tomahawk missile service is extremely limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

      If your inquiry is not urgent, press 3 for the Rapid Deployment Force.

      If you are in really hot trouble, please press 4, and your call will be answered by the United States Army Special Operations Command. Please note that a mandatory credit check will be done to ensure you can afford the inherent TDY costs. Also, be aware that USASOC may bill your account at any time and is not required to tell you why, as it is classified

      Have a pleasant day, and thank you again for trying to contact the United States Army!

          1. not funny. Guess it’s just a little hard for most to see the humor while our guys are being asked to go on, year after year, giving more, risking more, bleeding more and dying more for no very good reasons with no very clear goals other than our leaders’ goal of not looking like these multiple wars have been and continue to be an inexcusable waste. You may be right, Dave, but I guess we’re just not in the mood. Sorry.  

              1. But fail to realize that for us, YOU were the author. First impressions being what they are, it’s very hard to go back and be unoffended.

                This may be one of those instances where a joke told from one soldier to another takes on a completely different meaning when told by a civilian. It comes across completely differently.

                I don’t think derogatory jokes about african americans told by a white guy should be excused just because the jokes were originally written by Chris Rock.  

                1. I know a lot of service personnel and read a lot of the mil-blogs (not as much recently). And growing up in Hawaii you’ve got the military culture all around you. But I myself did not serve.

                  Anyways, this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone get upset at jokes like this.

                  1. Making fun of military bureaucracy is as old as the military itself. And that’s what this joke is about, not some apparently off-limits group that liberals think it’s inappropriate to laugh at.

                    What next, ban copies of Catch-22 because it shows insufficient respect for soldiers? Get a grip, people.

      1. Shouldn’t this be addressed to the civilians who make all the decisions as to where, when and how our military is used?  In our system the army is strictly an instrument of policy determined entirely by civilians.  One more vote for not funny because not true.  Not even in the same ball park with true.

    1. When Clinton was President and we were embarking on good times for everyone!  May the super moon bring us a super turn around from the super crap we’ve been enduring ever since the dark day Sandra Day O’ Conner, not yet Dems’ favorite swing voter, used her swing vote to appoint GW, completing the bloodless neo-con coup. There are already signs in the setbacks for some of the would be GOP dictator Governors,  not primarily religious pro-democracy movements all over the place and renewed energy among working people here to make a stand.

      Hope the Quake/tsunami/nuclear plants tragedy in Japan will be the final really tragically ultra-crappy thing for a long while and the moon will shower us with some good fortune for a damn change.  

  3. Let me say up front that I am a casual game. I’ve wasted endless hours on Topple and Rising blocks on my iPhone, I have STEAM installed on a laptop and PC, where I blast away hordes of zombies and search for the cake, and I still have a PS2 hooked up in my studio for “clients.”

    But I despair every time I see another FPS warnography game zoom to the top of the charts. Not that I want these things censored, but the fact that game companies now make more first-line revenue with games than the moving picture industry does with movies. And none of it goes back to the people engaged in the real FPS shooting, marching, flying, driving and bleeding activities.

    Well, after an email from the folks at Veteran Green Jobs, Activision is no longer on my shit list. The Call of Duty Endowment donated $100K to them for veteran job training and employment.

    Overall the Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) is giving 500K to create jobs for veterans, and another $100K to the Military to Medicine Program.


    What stuns me is that this endowment has been in motion since 2009, and none of the major Vet Service Group talks about it, or even works to get grants from it. Now that I know about it, my DAV Chapter and Dept commanders are going to hear me harp about it until the put in a request.

    Great stuff!

    1. Which goes to show how behind the tech I am. Watching kids and over-grown kids mow down simulated people on all these games is deeply disturbing and shows an appalling naivete IMO. I love how the big selling point on these games is the “realism” when in actuality they couldn’t be further from realistic.

      I’m stepping off my soapbox now.

      I’ll stick with Metroid Prime trilogy and take out those nasty space pirates! Brilliant games with amazing play control, if anyone cares. 🙂

      1. 1) Wear the same clothes for a week, and don’t bathe.

        2) Dump 3-4 cat’s worth of used litter on the ground,  and low-crawl across it a few times, making sure to cover all sides of your body with the sand/clay.

        3) Before playing, make sure you stay up for 24-36 hours sitting in a bad folding chair, stuffed in a closet with just enough room to bare stand (this is the Stryker/Bradley mod.) If you want a light infantry experience, walk to DIA and back again, and at the start and finish walk thru a car wash, spec standing at the blowers at the end.

        You can take brief naps, but have someone come and scream you awake at random intervals.

        4) For extra realism, empty out the kitchen and stuff flying pans, pots and anything else heavy in your pockets, and tie a medium sized book to your head (Kelvar simulator.)

        You’re now ready to play for 24-36 hours straight.  

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