If this is a Russian house cat, I don’t even want to see a Russian dog …
Clearly Russians are tough. Or crazy. Maybe both. Definitely a good reason to avoid a war with Russia. Theres’ plenty of more pictures of the cat on line as well, the damn thing even plays with a grenade: The Russian Cat of Death. Moving right along, it was a long weekend and I’m too tired to continue with my World War Two ramblings. In no particular order, a few random rants regarding recent news.
Obama and the pirates. Sigh. This probably deserves a whole post but it’s too depressing. Yeah, go team. Obama’s a big hero now … he ordered Navy Seals to gun down 3 Somali teenagers. In terms of military victory street cred, I dunno. But, but, he saved an American’s life! No, not really, the Captain’s life wasn’t really in danger, unless you count ordering snipers to shoot his captors. The Somali pirates haven’t been running around killing people, it would be bad for business. In fact this “piracy” is basically commercial extortion. Yet it’s portrayed as this huge threat to the world. (Odd how anything that threatens giant corporation’s profits is now automatically a threat to the world, nu?) And now we all have a live version of a 24 episode to feel all warm and fuzzy about. Gimme a break. What most bugs me about this (aside from the fact that it’s just going to make things worse, radicalize more Somalis, and result in dead Americans) is the pathetic mainstream news coverage of the whole situation. There’s rarely any context or history in the news, but lately it seems like it’s just they have stopped even trying. In any event I don’t approve of piracy, but this is a problem where shooting is going to make things worse, not better. And for those that can get their minds around it, here’s what a Somali has to say about the situation.
Meanwhile the so called “War on Terror” appears to be expanding in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Eritrea. I used the think that World War Three as going to be the First World fighting the Third World. I still think that. In fact, that’s pretty much what the story of the last 500 years or so has been, while there has been some squabbling over the spoils, the end result has always been the same. The west gets the spoils and the aborigines (third worlders) get the dregs. And if they don’t compliantly do what they’re told, we just make it harder for them.
Speaking of defiant foreigners, I read an interesting article on the recent North Korean missile launch. The basic point was that the Korean missile is a multi-stage liquid fuelled rocket, and that pretty much by definition this is not a military system. Liquid fuelled rockets cannot be left fuelled up and ready to go, it takes days to fuel one up. Days where it is sitting on a launching pad in full view of American spy satellites and drones. So this is not a first strike weapon, nor even much of a retaliatory weapon. In other words, once again a foreign “threat” has been wildly exaggerated.
Then there’s the whole Bush torture memo thing. Not much to say here, I don’t see it as being much more than a distraction. And maybe payback for the Republicans who simply can’t seem to open their mouths without claiming that somehow Obama is “endangering the country.” The Republicans have become one trick ponies, eight years of “We’ll protect you, they’ll sell us out to our enemies” is getting pretty stale at this point. What’s endangering the country is mindless militarism and letting the rich call the shots. I mean, spending more money that the rest of the globe combined hasn’t made us any safer, and the greatest upward transfer of wealth in history doesn’t exactly seem to be tricking down. The only thing trickling down from Washington smells funny and will ruin your nice Italian loafers if you step in it. Granted very few of us can afford those nice Italian loafers now.
And aren’t I in a good mood this week? Don’t you wish this was another World War Two Hitler post? In closing I will quote from my favourite US president, the man who tried to warn us about letting the military and the arms industry run the show. He must be spinning in his grave now:
“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
— from Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation, 17 January 1961
By every measure of military might and spending we are more secure than any nation on Earth ever was … feeling prosperous yet?
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit. Credit and copyright: A cool Russian couple and their cat. It’s an Asian Fishing Cat by the way, an endangered wild cat that lives in Southeast Asia. It’s unusual in that it has webbed feet and likes to swim, which it does skillfully. It’s diet? As the image above shows: whatever it wants.)