Tag Archives: Kvick Tänkare

Kvick Tänkare

One guy expresses an intent to build an IED, gets caught, and is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.  Another guy actually builds one, is arrested and but isn’t given the WMD charge.  The difference? Well, J. has been following instances like this where it seems the trend is:  Muslims get the WMD charge and white dudes don’t.

EnglishRussia does it again with a great photo set from Kamchatka.

I’m not religious and have a lot of respect for people of faith but I have to admit I have nothing but contempt for those who use religion to rationalize their way of life (like these guys).  Don’t tell me you follow the New Testament and then argue that God wants everyone to have a six bedroom house and two SUVs in the driveway.  So, while this isn’t my cup of tea I gotta give this guy some major props for what he’s attempting to do.  (h/t daily dish)

Yeah…this is just weird (and probably NSFW)

Necronomicox sells dildos shaped like Cthulhu and other elder horrors from the other dimension: “We saw a niche that needed to be filled, so to speak.”

Kvick Tänkare

Harper’s has a really interesting interview with an author of a new book on neoconservatism.  I usually wouldn’t consider a book like this, expecting a typical MSNBC screed but it does appear to have some promise.  Unfortunately, the term ‘neo-con’ has sort of become a catch phrase and I don’t think people understand the deeper philosophical tenets that underpin it.  The interview does a pretty nice job of hitting some high points.

War–perpetual war–is the ultimate means by which the neocons can fight creeping nihilism and promote sacrifice and nationalistic patriotism. An aggressive, proactive foreign policy therefore serves a greater purpose–to raise ordinary Americans above their daily, selfish concerns.

Shirky’s perspective on the Wikileaks issue is worth reading:

If the long haul were all there was, Wikileaks would be an obviously bad thing. The practical history of politics, however, suggests that the periodic appearance of such unconstrained actors in the short haul is essential to increased democratization, not just of politics but of thought.

We celebrate the printers of 16th century Amsterdam for making it impossible for the Catholic Church to constrain the output of the printing press to Church-approved books a challenge that helped usher in, among other things, the decentralization of scientific inquiry and the spread of politically seditious writings advocating democracy.

I find the comparison to attempts by the Church to restrict information interesting (and don’t forget that religion was a much more serious affair for people than it is now.  You could get tortured and burned at the stake for trying to translate it into English.)

I’m glad to see ‘Get your War On’ is back and J. uses it to highlight the fact that a recent poll identified that 92% of men in Helmand or Kandahar don’t know that 9/11 is the reason for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.  I can’t speak to that.  I would say that in the area around Bagram in 2003/2004 those numbers would have been much, much lower.  Of course we had a lot more Tajiks in the area who had affiliations with or membership in the Northern Alliance and so 9/11 was a bit of a godsend to them since it meant American help was coming.

Tom Ricks posted an article by a Marine who’s pretty upset, doesn’t buy the idea that we’re really an all-volunteer force, thinks we’re dangerously setting up the military as a supra-elite portion of our society and would like to see a return of national service.  It’s a raw, emotional argument that I agree with in principle but not in degree.  I really recommend it for its comment section which is quite robust and, in my opinion, contains a better discussion than the original post.

 

Kvick Tänkare

Mrs. TwShiloh is feeling a little bitter over the collective American swooning over the upcoming nuptials in the British royal family.   How come, she’d like to know, there’s wall to wall coverage of this but a virtual media blackout over the recent wedding by Sweden’s royal couple?

A tell-all article by a guy(?) who writes papers for students.  Apparently all levels and disciplines of our academic institution are infected with people who either don’t have the chops or the motivation to do their work and so pay ghost writers to do it for them.  Yeah, I’m not surprised that cheating occurs but jeez.  This article is long but you really should read it.

What’s better than Comrade Bear?  Pictures of Comrade Bear with cute animals

YT links to some hilarious videos of some dude called ‘Chinese Guy’ (oh, I guess he’s a comedian named Peter Chao).  Might not be for everyone but it might just be the cultural whipsaw you need to get those synapses firing.

FP is collecting political humor for an upcoming issue.  This teaser made me laugh out loud.

A Pole walking along the road happens to spy a lamp. He picks it up, and as it is covered in rust he gives it quick rub. Out comes a genie.

“I’m the genie of the lamp and I can grant you three wishes,” the genie says.

“OK,” says the Pole. “I want the Chinese Army to invade Poland.” Odd choice, the genie thinks, but nevertheless he grants the wish, and the Chinese Army comes all the way from China, invades, and goes back home.

“Right, second wish. Maybe something more positive,” says the genie.

“No,” replies the Pole, “I want the Chinese Army to invade again.” So the Chinese come all the way from China, lay waste to more of Poland, and then go home.

“Listen,” says the genie. “You have one last wish. I can make Poland the most beautiful and prosperous place on earth.”

“If you don’t mind, I want the Chinese army to invade one more time.” So the Chinese army comes again, destroys what’s left of Poland, and then goes home for the last time.

“I don’t understand,” says the genie. “Why did you want the Chinese army to invade Poland three times?”

“Well,” replies the Pole, “they had to go through Russia six times.”

Kvick Tänkare

There’s some hypothesizing that one reason dolphins have such big brains is because they have to keep track of a large number of really complex relationships.  More complex than any animal other than humans.

Male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) form tight bonds with friends and allies that are as intricate and devious as those of humans. Researchers already know, for example, that males team up as duos or trios—known as first-level alliances—so that they can mate with a female without her swimming away… But rival males will often try to steal the female, causing the duo or trio to join forces with other duos and trios in what’s known as a second-level alliance.

Now Connor and colleagues have found an even higher level of alliance. In the biggest fights, the team found, the second-level alliance may receive help from another group of male dolphins, forming what the researchers call a “third-level” alliance. Even among chimpanzees, scientists have not witnessed such sophisticated partnerships, where one group of animals receives help from another group in a fight.

Brian over at Gamecrafter’s Guild has taken the legend of the tomte and adapted it for 4th edition D&D rules.  First rule to remember…don’t piss off the tomte.

Great story from Sweden:

Swedish porn mogul Berth Milton has come up with an unusual business proposition for his next project: five-star hotels where guests can stay for free in exchange for having their indiscretions filmed and broadcast over the internet.

But hey, Mr. Milton wants you to know that if he builds one of these in your neighborhood, you needn’t worry about your property values falling.

“It has to be a hotel for non-swingers as well — not super-explicit where everybody’s running around naked. That takes the style and class out of it,” he said.

Oh…as long as they keep the style and class.

The balance of this post is NSFW

Even better story from West Virginia.  Police reports tend to be pretty dry and boring affairs.  Still, when there’s a good story it can shine through even the most boring official lingo.  And anytime a police report includes a quote like this you know there’s a doozy of a story attached:

“Somebody is going to eat my pussy or I’m going to cut your fucking throat.”

Oh, and it gets even better.  This story has everything…a marriage on the rocks, a motor lodge, two half naked buddies, and a crazy lady with a knife.  (h/t Balko)

Kvick Tänkare

The Department of War Studies at Kings College has started a podcast…I haven’t given it a listen yet but it’s in my Zune queue now.

Nice beaver!! Brandenburg is experiencing a beaver boom and the it’s causing problems according to Spiegel.  I know it’s juvenile but I can’t pass up on some of these (unintentionally?) great lines (I’m channeling my inner Beavis and Butthead)  :

“A beaver doesn’t have any business being at a dike,”

“hunting beavers just doesn’t work at all.”

“You can live with beavers; you just have to want to.”

In order to prevent beavers from penetrating the lower parts of the dikes…

Looks like Sweden is going to send officials to Greece to help out with their influx of asylum seekers.

Evolutionary venom resistance among King Cobras, squirrels and others…

The TSA continues to be confused over its mission at airports.  It acts as if its primary mission is to elicit compliance from travelers rather than security (maybe they see the two as synonymous)?

…the effectiveness of pat-downs does not matter very much, because the obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation [back scatter scanners] over the low-tech ball check [newly invasive, yet still ineffective pat downs].

Would you rather look cool or ride comfortably?

 

Kvick Tänkare

Even though it was a long, long time ago, I still remember the day I was sworn into the Army and shipped out to my basic training.  Lots of trepidation and anxiety that I can only imagine is only a fraction of what Russian conscripts go through when they’re called up.  With rampant hazing of new soldiers I’m pretty sure I’d do whatever I could do get out of military duty there.

Still…at least they get jugglers.

Have you seen this ad by the Citizens Against Government Waste (uh, apparently except when the government wastes on them)?  It takes us into a dystopian future of the Chinese dominated world.  We peer into a Chinese university campus where the professor explains how great powers fall.  And there, surrounded by pictures of Mao (indicating the Communist Party is still doing pretty good in 2030) we hear what caused the mighty U.S.A. to fall:

  1. government stimulus spending
  2. big changes in its health care systems
  3. public intervention in major industries

The message is clear.  We need to be more like those danged Chinese who are cleaning our clock by being so darned economically adaptive (and let’s face it, their willingness to imprison and execute those who question if their country isn’t the bestest, greatest country every bestowed upon mankind is pretty great too).  We could continue to be masters of the world if only we followed their lead and, for example, embraced their free market principles of:

  1. government stimulus spending
  2. big changes in its health care systems
  3. public intervention in major industries

While the commercial is slick and well done it’s misunderstanding of history is staggering.  Rome fell because it turned its back on its principles?  It lasted (depending on how you count it) for about 800 years and probably ‘abandoned its principles’ 500 years before it fell.

The Swedish city of Malmö has a sniper who’s been targeting immigrants lately.  The Swedish press is referencing an earlier shooter from the 1990s known as the ‘Laser Man‘.  It also appears that even though they haven’t identified any suspects authorities are assuming this is a lone gunman.

Perhaps they should review the Beltway Sniper case to see how relying too much on unexamined assumptions can hinder investigations.

 

Kvick Tänkare

Finnish wolf populations are crashing.  Apparently too much illegal hunting and a less than adequate conservation plan.

Does this count as stimulus?  New York City spends about $100 million a year paying people for NYPD excesses.

Russian governor finds a worm on his salad plate during a state dinner at Moscow and tweets it.  Not a good idea to mess with Comrade Bear:

The Kremlin’s top foreign policy adviser, Sergei Prikhodko, took Zelenin to task on Wednesday, saying that a law should be introduced allowing for governors to be subject to “termination for imbecility.” He added: “I won’t even comment on irresponsibility and foolishness.” Zelenin quickly removed the Twitter post and photo.

I have a nook but Amazon has a great idea with their new ‘singles‘ idea.

The company believes that some of the best ideas don’t need to be stretched to more than 50,000 words in order to get in front of readers, nor do they need to be chopped down to the length of a magazine article.

I’ve read more than a few books that had an interesting central idea but clearly had been padded to get to ‘book length’.

I guess I’m not that observant but I really dig how Kings of War categorize their posts.

The world according to San Francisco: