Archive for the ‘Politics+War’ Category

A Strategic View


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

Usually I read military history in an attempt to extract a big picture of events from the details.

Victor Davis Hanson’s new book The Second World Wars is a strategic view of WWII treating the war as a set of overlapping strategic problems that are discussed individually. To put it mildly, I find this fascinating. At first I felt a bit put off because some aspects of the war appear to be viewed repetitively – I was wondering “is this a bunch of articles that have been bound together?” before I realized that the intent was to make his arguments stand on their own, in each area. …

stderr 2017/11/13 strategic-view

Victor Davis Hanson: The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won


Deconstructing Trumpspeak


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

On his last show for the year, John Oliver looks at the obfuscatory rhetorical techniques that Donald Trump uses and the danger of them spreading more widely. He also looks at the slight glimmers of hope that have emerged. …

singham 2017/11/13 trumpspeak

John Oliver on Trump Presidency

The UK Has Become Ungovernable


(Guardian Comments) – Suzanne Moore:

The Tories may be in disrepair, but the issues that divide Britain – from globalisation to social disparity – run deeper than this useless government. …

theguardian 2017/nov/08 ungovernable

Cabinet ministers Priti Patel and Boris Johnson

Virginia and New Jersey New Governors Unfit


(New Yorker::The Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

Throwing caution to the wind, voters in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday night overturned the political applecart and chose as their new governors two men with no reality-show experience whatsoever.

Republican officials were staggered by the voters’ decision because, historically, reality shows have been a reliable proving ground for the nation’s finest leaders. …

borowitz-report lacking-experience

Northam, Fairfax, Herring for Virginia

Hawaii 1, Trump 0


(Patheos::Dispatches) – Ed Brayton:

On his way to Asia for a long trip, Donald Trump stopped in Hawaii and got trolled in the most hilarious way. Referencing his long support for birtherism, protesters showed up at the airport with signs saying “Welcome to Kenya.”

dispatches 2017/11/05 hawaii-1-trump-0

POTUS, Welcome to Kenya

Principles of Political Law


(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

In the last few months we’ve seen attempts by Kurdistan and Catalonia to gain independence. Both attempts were shot down with non-lethal but overwhelming military force. That’s clearly one difference between those break-aways and the more successful on in Crimea. These events ought to force any thinking person to ask “what is a ‘nation’?” and to wonder how nations establish their legitimacy.

If you look at Rousseau’s The Social Contract in that context, he was concerned with explaining how it was that people came to accept government; how they came to voluntarily make themselves subjects.

Epicurus and other anarchists (like: almost all of them!) bring a complaint against government that it does not have legitimacy because it ultimately rests its case on coercion. That Rousseau, to put it simply, was wrong: government is not established by and for the people, in operation it is more like a gang that talks softly but carries a big stick.

Robert Paul Wolff’s argument against government is along the axis of opposing government’s collective nature against individual autonomy. Personally, I find it impeccable. How can I give up my autonomy to a government in return for its promise to protect the autonomy it demands I give up? …

stderr 2017/11/05 nations

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Du Contrat Social ou Principes du Droit Politique

Inside AntiFa


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

Antifa activists explain the threat that is posed by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the US right now and why direct action to counter them, even if it leads to violence, is necessary to prevent them from growing.  …

singham 2017/11/04 antifa

Antifa interview

Iceland Bans American Televangelists


(Patheos::Laughing in Disbelief) – Andrew Hall:

Reykjavik, Iceland – This island nation situated in the North Atlantic took a monumental leap forward today by passing legislation banning American televangelists. The Icelandic Psychological Defense Act (IPDA) takes effect immediately. No American televangelist may set his or her foot in the small nation of 330,000 souls. No programming by such people may be shown on Icelandic television or played on the radio. …

laughingindisbelief 2017/08 iceland-bans

turf houses



(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

The strategic genius says, “when you are throwing people under a bus, make sure that your other staff won’t realize you’re the kind of person who will throw them under a bus, too.” …

stderr 2017/10/31 bus-undering


Excited Crowd Awaits First Arrest


(New Yorker::The Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

A crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands has gathered outside the office of Robert Mueller in eager anticipation of the special counsel’s first arrest in the Russia probe. …

borowitz-report first-arrest

March on Washington