Scared Stupid, the US in the post 9/11 world

Read the whole thing, if you can take the blood pressure spike:
Scared Tactics: Why America will be paying for decades for a foreign policy based on fear.

Prudence is a term often invoked by the fearful for doing too much or too little. But it shouldn’t obscure what is really happening. Our insecurity rather than our goals is too often playing too great a role in driving our actions. Whether this is a momentary anomaly or longer-term symptom common to declining nations that have lost confidence in important aspects of themselves remains to be seen.

Sorry to say it but every day I see more evidence of our craven collapse in the face of a dangerous but far from existential threat. Our whole damned political class has lost the ability to stand straight, speak straight, be straight. To understand fundamentals like human nature and human societies outside our bubble, economics, social dynamics, technology, etc except in the narrowest most self serving way.

One Two Three Four, We Could Get A Nuclear War

One Two Three Four, We Could Get A Nuclear War.

ARES a AWST blog….

“money quotes:”

Watts argued that many countries are no longer pursuing nuclear weapons as a direct counter to U.S. nuclear power, but to compensate for relatively weak conventional forces. That includes Russia, where Watts cites president Vladimir Putin’s emphasis on the importance of nuclear weapons, and post-Cold-War doctrinal writings that talk about using limited nuclear attacks as “demonstration and de-escalation” strikes, to deter or terminate a large-scale nuclear war.

…it’s like a police department whose only force option is to blow up the entire block where the perpetrator lives.

Indeed, U.S. extended deterrence is something that not enough people think about when they advocate further cuts in U.S. nuclear forces. The American “umbrella” covers nations such as South Korea, Japan and Turkey, which have the industrial and technological capability to go nuclear very quickly if they feel that they can no longer rely on the U.S.

Watts warns, “limited use of low-yield nuclear weapons will become the new normal and give rise to a second nuclear age whose dangers and uncertainties will dwarf those of the first.”



Thoughtful, useful, analysis of the NorK problem

From the Thin Pinstriped Line, a good read and some reasonable analysis of the reality facing the NorK regime and the world.

An extremely cogent point is how the current situation is pointing out the limited usefulness of Nukes in the long twilight between proven technical capability and getting beyond only having enough to commit (a messy) suicide.


Gun control as crime control is a pernicious fantasy

Joyce Lee Malcolm: Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control
After a school massacre, the U.K. banned handguns in 1998. A decade later, handgun crime had doubled. Australia same dynamic…result increased assaults and rapes. While the law abiding go to jail.

Wall Street Journal on British and Australian experience with banning fire arms both countries have essentially disarmed their populations, except you know for those who don’t care, or who see it as an opportunity for low risk thuggery.

In these countries suicide by gun has gone down but suicide by other means has gone up. Home invasions almost unheard of in the US have become a plague with criminals threatening revenge if the victims call the police.

The Top Ten Myths About Mass Shootings, James Alan Fox,

It needs to be remembered that while it seems otherwise, because of the laser like focus of the mass media on these events, that mass killings are if anything decreasing. Gun free zones are stupid, just assuring the killers that they have a safe hunting zone. Mass murderers do not snap they are planners who plot out the act and are not deterred by locked doors or the like. Any weapon will do, fire, knife, car airplane, fertilizer, poison, gas, bio agents….

Gun Control is about control, it is about fear of the other, it is also about magical thinking “if we close our eyes and wish hard enough the bad thing will go away.” Infantile thinking like this is a waste of everyone’s time, the reality is not every troubling event has a solution and laws are not magical spells that can affect humans whose minds have ‘broken bad.’