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Assange and Yamamoto

A month after his historic victory at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said:

A military man can scarcely pride himself on having "smitten a sleeping enemy"; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten.

Betraying secrets is a weak form of heroism, if it can be considered heroic at all. It is a sneak attack. If your life was on the line, would you rather rely on a WikiLeaker or a warrior?

Perhaps much of the outrage at Mr. Assange is displacement. Instead of feeling shame in themselves (or their government), the anger is refocused on the one who exposed them.

If the secrets were important, why were they not protected better? Who was responsible for vetting whichever scoundrels betrayed the team?

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Grassroots Warfare

Recent travels along the intertracks have led me outside my usual routes and on to several military-focused bloggers. I used to be a big-time wargamer (never a real soldier, though), but that interest has been dormant for quite a while. Nevertheless, I still find it fascinating.

Military procurement is as much a political issue as an economic or technological one. That hasn’t changed since I stopped paying attention. Expensive and flashy weapon systems always get priority when Congress decides on military funding. The ordinary infantryman has no lobbyist in Washington.

From my studies of war, I remember that infantry is called “the Queen of Battle”. Everything else in war is ultimately deployed to support the infantry. The goal of war is to enable your troops to occupy unmolested a given patch of ground. It’s about control of territory. And that’s what the infantry does.

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Total War at the 38th Parallel

The two Koreas have been posturing for each other for over 50 years. It seems a hopey-naïve view to think they’ve been doing it just for the theatrics.

Isegoria posts:

Marching, shoulder to shoulder, into machine-gun fire is the height of folly. No amount of élan or “heart” is going to overwhelm entrenched machine-guns. To modern Americans, even marching at a line of enemy soldiers armed with muskets seems downright insane.

But soldiers did it, right behind the officers who led them. Napoleon, who knew a thing or two about warfare, declared that the moral is to the physical as three to one — it’s not the size of the dog in fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Why would he say that?

Because it’s true — largely — just not for marching into modern automatic weapons or massed rifle fire. Throughout most of history, posturing — convincing yourself and your enemy that you’re bigger, meaner, and scarier — has been far more important than physical fighting ability:

It is widely known that most killing happens after the battle, in the pursuit phase (Clausewitz and Ardant du Picq both commented on this), and this is apparently due to two factors.

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Bristol’s Shine Reflects on Sarah

A few posts back, I wrote about Sarah Palin improving her brand by letting people get to know her better:

Even better if the whole family shared some camera time to help take away the “otherness” in her negatives.

Maybe even have one of the kids solo in the spotlight for while. Say, in a competition to show how values and character and spirit were transmitted from mother to child.

That same day, this appeared on Bristol Palin’s Facebook page:

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Funhouse Morality

This Salon.com article accuses the anti-WikiLeakers of hypocrisy and/or double standards. It strikes me as a hall of two-way mirrors. What you see depends on where the light is shining. When we accuse an opponent of using situational ethics, we implicate our own use of “flexible standards”:

If "a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail" because of the WikiLeaks disclosure -- even a "single one" -- then the entire WikiLeaks enterprise is proven to be a "disaster" and "Assange is a criminal" who "should be in jail."  That's quite a rigorous moral standard.  So let's apply it elsewhere:

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Personifying Palin

Neo-neocon concisely summarized the essential challenge Sarah Palin would face in a run for President:

Yes, she’s got name recognition, all right. But people have made up their minds about her, and her negatives are both high and seemingly set in stone.

Pretty but stupid is the perception. She’s not a person, she’s a punchline.

The particular kinds of stupid Palin suffers from seem correlated with one’s location in political space. The Progs think she’s a creationist simpleton reading from a cartoon Bible. The establishment righties think she’s not sufficiently sophisticated for the nuances of national and international politics. Somebody could probably accurately map the political space using opinions of Palin as coordinates.

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Politics is a Three-Dimensional Space

Andrew Napolitano strikes a chord I am tuned to:

Government cannot be trusted to expose itself.

Since he has a show on Fox News and writes about the importance of following the literal Constitution, he must be a righty, no? But here he is using his show to support Wikileaking.

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Hypocrisy and Situational Ethics

So often in the leftosphere, intentions matter more than outcomes. Wikileaks, for instance, is focused on truth-telling without regard to the lives which might will be lost when secrets are exposed.

I’m not of firm opinion about spilling secrets like this. My anarchist nature likes any check on government shenanigans. And few things are permanently secret anyway. It’s more a matter of timing the reveal; today is inconvenient, while tomorrow will help explain history.

But also I recognize evil in the world and accept that compromises must be made. Governments and their secrets are the best of many bad choices.

Neo-neocon makes an excellent point about the kinds of nations and governments that can be harmed when state secrets become public:

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Delusion and Denial in Powderhorn

A south Minneapolis neighborhood’s namesake park was the scene of two rapes last Wednesday:

The four boys in custody — two are 14, while the others are 15 and 16 — could face felony charges of robbery and criminal sexual conduct, though charges are still pending, [police spokesman] Garcia said.

The first assault occurred about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis. It began as a robbery and escalated to rape, according to police.

A mother was cross country skiing through the snowy park with her 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son when a group of juvenile males accosted them.

One had a handgun, police said.

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Carthago Delenda Est

TJIC likes to describe those who realize the Progressive vision is not what it promises to be as, “standing on their front porch, looking around.” It is a more strident picture than Neo-neocon’s cerebral accounts of political changers. The people on the porches are more than newly-enlightened. They are angry.

They’re looking around the neighborhood looking for allies and tracking enemies. Because the world they were indoctrinated into was a lie. On their porches, they’re seeing the world with fresh eyes. And they’re contemplating action.

Stop Shouting is on her porch. She did not buy into the indoctrination, but she is no longer willing to politely suffer Progressives and their delusions:

I am tired of being told to sit down and shut up.

I am tired of being told what I can and can not say.

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Vote Now or This Fetus Gets Whacked

A pregnant couple from the suburban Twin Cities is putting a question to the internets: Birth or Not?

The abortion issue has been a controversial topic for decades that reaches to the core of every person in America. Often voters will even base their entire choice on this one topic alone, disregarding everything else the politician has to offer in the vain hope that their “chosen one” will be able to effect change on this issue.

We all like to think that our opinions matter, but so often there is no effective outlet for our beliefs to change lives. While most people have a definite opinion about abortion and take a stance as being either “Pro-Life” or “Pro-choice”, very few have an opportunity to do more than voice their concern to their elected representative. The concerns that we voice to those around us don’t seem to change the status-quo. Unless you are put into the position of having to make this decision in a setting that actually makes a difference, the debate does not affect anything.

Voting is such an integral part of the American identity. We vote on everything. We vote on things ranging from the best singer on American Idol to who the next leader of the free world will be. Wouldn’t it be nice to voice your opinion and have it actually make a difference in the real world? Why not vote on whether to continue or abort an actual pregnancy? Your vote can help a real couple to make a decision on this issue. 

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Nexus of Yuk

The 2010 edition of the Minnesota Vikings have failed. Today’s debacle was pathetic. The defensive secondary might as well have been waving checkered flags at the Packer receivers.

Favre might still have enough ability to play in the NFL, but he would have to work for the full season. Coming in late meant he was never in sync with the team. The defensive line did not live up to the hype. I didn’t share the faith in the promise of Sidney Rice as a savior for the receiving corps. He had one good year, which proves nothing much. And don’t get me started on the lousy decisions of the head coach…

At least Adrian Peterson has cured his fumble problem. Watching him play is still a treat.

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Profitable Policy

Dinocrat has a good explanation of how U.S. trade and tax policies have worked to drive manufacturing and employment to foreign lands. Like so many issues, rhetorical framing makes it difficult to have a genuinely curious discussion.

One of the first points to get past is a notion that foreign governments are scheming and evil. Some may be, but in the general case of trade, they’re just making more effective policy choices. It isn’t that the foreigners are malicious, but that the United States is stupid.

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SWPL Radio

Public radio annoys me. It is a bastion of the kind of self-satisfied smugness that I see in most of my lefty neighbors. It is a church of superficial diversity that excommunicates anyone (see Juan Williams) for the sin of Differing Opinion.

Thus, I enjoyed this take-down of NPR:

“NPR doesn’t get a lot of public money.” This endlessly repeated assertion is apparently so important that it appears on NPR’s own website, where it features prominently in the ombudsman’s frequently asked questions page. “NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government,” the network states. This begs the question, of course, of why — if the public money it receives is so minor — NPR and its defenders fight so ferociously to retain it.

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Look It Up

The Oxford Dictionary people have made Sarah Palin’s neologism*, “refudiate”, the Word of the Year. By my count, that’s one more than the current President has accomplished. But Barry is still up 1–0 in Peace Prizes.

The Oxford experts hold that Palin means what she says:

From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used 'refudiate,' we have concluded that neither 'refute' nor 'repudiate' seems consistently precise, and that 'refudiate' more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of 'reject.'

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Security Theater—Now with more Audience Participation!

Cartoon of TSA agents preparing to grope little boy

Borepatch argues that the TSA has not just an impossible job, but also has incentives that lead them to do the worst possible job:

Consider their metrics.  How would you measure success?  Quite frankly, there's no plausible metric here - to my knowledge, TSA has never caught a terrorist in the act. Sure, terrorists have been caught in the act (the shoe bomber, the Christmas bomber), but none of these were caught by TSA. The Christmas bomber was caught by an alert airline checkin employee; the show bomber was caught by passengers on the plane.

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I’m Not the Only One

Dr. Sanity writes new lyrics for John Lennon’s hippie anthem:

Imagine no Progressives
It's easy if you try
No victimhood or nannies
No truth you can deny
Imagine people taking
Re-spon-si-bil-ity

Imagine no Obama
It isn't hard to do
No Harry or Pelosi
Just people with a clue
Imagine life without them
To tell us what to do

You may say that I'm a "racist"
'Cause I disagree with you;
But there's this thing they call projection
And it sticks to you like glue

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It Doesn’t Add Up

Stopping along the intertracks in the days since the big election, I’ve noticed a spreading meme. Progressives, Democrats and lefties are being described as innumerate:

marked by an ignorance of mathematics and the scientific approach

This is not a new development decay in Prog theory. They’ve never been able to do math. Arithmetic dispels unicorns. But now more people seem to be recognizing that the era of make-believe budgeting will be brought to an ugly conclusion by the new righty majority:

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Huh?

I’ve been listening to lefty radio semi-regularly for a couple of months. It’s quite a paranoid party they have going on. And the election this week has them really off the rails. I find the endless carping about corporations [shiver!] kind of amusing. And god bless them, I know their hearts are even in the right place sometimes.

But this afternoon I heard a couple of assertions that put the joke to the claim that they’re the reality-based community.

  • Barack Obama is not a Progressive. He’s a moderate, centrist Democrat.
  • In the 1950s, Obama would have been a Republican.

Wow. Just wow.

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Pickett’s Vote

From what I hear, the righties are giddy and frothing about their predicted victories tomorrow. I understand that this is the moment for enthusiasm to peak, riding the emotion to help carry all the voters to their polling places. But it strikes me as a perfect example of a flawed political system.

We’re rooting for teams, not ideas. And certainly not policy. Sure, there is value in doing something—anything—to inhibit the lefty steamroller. I think many of the people going to vote righty or TEA Party tomorrow genuinely believe they can stop the national collapse.

I say the battle is already lost. The righties are gearing up for their version of Pickett’s Charge:

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