Category Archives: War & Security

Dear NSA: I need a little help with this Obama/Putin Nobel Peace Prize post

Dear NSA.

You probably saw Russ’s piece yesterday on Vlad Putin being a possible for the Nobel Peace Prize. Yeah, I know, what a hoot, right? And you saw my comment on how they might as well give it to him because they jumped the shark when they gave it to Obama in 2009.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about doing a post on “Nobel committee jumps shark,” or somesuch. I mean, Obama hadn’t done dick at the time and since then his record has to have the Nobel folks wondering if there’s a way they can take it back. Enhanced interrogation, doubling down on every bad idea Bush ever had, the NSA mess, and now agitating for an invasion of Syria?

I recall writing about what a joke Obama’s Nobel was back when it was announced in October of ’09. I thought I had blogged it, but a search this morning reveals no such post. Which means it was instead a back-channel e-mail to our private S&R staff mailing list on Google groups. I’m damned if I save back e-mails for four years, but it occurred to me that you guys probably do.

So what I’m wondering is if you can do a quick search of my archive for October 2009 and find that e-mail for me? I can always do a post and say that “four years ago I said ___________,” but it’s a lot more effective if I can actually quote what I said.

If you can find five minutes to help a citizen out I’d be grateful. Hope you guys are doing well, and if I don’t hear from you today have a good weekend.

Sam

Bush III: Obama’s deteriorating legacy

Way back in March of 2008, as the campaign was running in high gear, I made clear that while I wasn’t in love with the Democratic frontrunners, the emerging alternative was worse: John McCain represented the third Bush presidency.

I was undoubtedly right. But… You knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?

Poppy. Dubya. And now Barack. I was right – the 2008 election gave us the third installment in the Bush Dynasty.

Perhaps we’ll get to see Colin Powell back in front of the UN again soon…

Honoring the men who made Memorial Day possible

Today is Memorial Day, the annual holiday where we pay tribute to those who gave their lives in service to their country.

As always, not enough attention is focused on the men who made those ultimate sacrifices possible. for example:

  • William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, whose baldfaced lies propaganda brand of yellow journalism sucked the US into the Spanish-American War.
  • “Give ‘Em Hell” Harry Truman, who decided that the best way to contain China and/or the Soviets was to get involved in Korea.
  • John F. Kennedy, who reviewed the American experience in Korea and concluded that it worked so well we should take the same show on the road to Vietnam.
  • Lyndon Johnson, who inherited Kennedy’s unsuited deuce/seven and saw an opportunity to go all-in.
  • Bush the First, who realized te importance of protecting democracy in Kuwait.
  • Bush the Second and his minions Rumsfeld, Powell and Cheney, who cocked up whatever “evidence” was necessary to get our brave young future Memorial Day honorees into Iraq where they could put an end to all those WMDs and snuff out al Qaeda, which was in Pakistan, which is in Iraq.

Continue reading Honoring the men who made Memorial Day possible

America gets divorced: what about custody of the energy and the nukes?

Part three in a series.

First look at this map:

Now this one, which indicates the location of US military installations: Continue reading America gets divorced: what about custody of the energy and the nukes?

Obama’s expanding crimes against our civil liberties: what if he’s right?

Much has been said and written about Mr. Obama’s distressing record on civil liberties. Many have gone so far as to argue that he’s worse than his predecessor, that he has assumed powers that are strictly forbidden by the Constitution, that he has begun acting more like a king than a president. These critics have a mountain of objective data from which to draw in making their case.

My mind never stops challenging, though, and this morning I woke up in a contrary mood. I find myself asking a simple what if: what if President Obama is, in fact, doing the right thing? What if his routine abrogations of the law are necessary? I’m not arguing that this is the case, but the question seems worth considering. Continue reading Obama’s expanding crimes against our civil liberties: what if he’s right?

Nature publishes instructions on how to make a Frankenstein monster

My doctoral dissertation addressed what I called the “Frankenstein Complex.” So guess why this story bothers me.

Today, a scientific journal published a study that some people thought might never be made public at all.

The paper describes experiments that suggest just a few genetic changes could potentially make a bird flu virus capable of becoming contagious in humans, and causing a dangerous pandemic. Continue reading Nature publishes instructions on how to make a Frankenstein monster

Obama is talking the talk. Must be campaign season…

Yesterday, on Facebook, one of my friends posted a graphic of the president and this recent quote, which is making the rounds:

I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare…

And today, over at the Great Orange Satan, msblucow has an interesting poll up aimed at gauging how likely voters are to support Obama’s reelection bid in 2012. More to the point, why they are likely to vote for him (or not)? If you click through to the poll, there’s a series of questions that asks if the president’s actions on a series of issues make you more likely to vote for him, less likely, undecided, or do his actions and policies have no effect. Continue reading Obama is talking the talk. Must be campaign season…

The lesson that bin Laden learned from Reagan

There is a particular narrative about Ronald Reagan and the end of the Cold War that has always struck me as compelling. I bought the argument at the time and I think I still do, to some extent, even though I’m hardly a Reagan fan.

The story goes like this: Reagan was able to finally win the Cold War and drive a stake through the heart of the Evil Empire because he realized that the Soviet economy was already badly overextended trying to prop up the war machine. All he had to do was accelerate the arms race, dramatically increasing military spending (while also amping up the sabre-rattling rhetoric) and that would force the Russkis to bankrupt themselves trying to compete. Continue reading The lesson that bin Laden learned from Reagan