Archive for January 2008

Donald Duck from WWII

January 30, 2008

This is an interesting example of how Hollywood was for the war in WWII, due to the fact that there was no reason to be against Hitler, given Hitler’s betrayal and attack on Soviet Stalin.

It is an entirely different ball game now a days.

Aikido with Target Focus Training:Martial Artists Argue

January 26, 2008

There was an interesting forum thread I came across, concerning Target Focus Training and Aikido. Check it out, since it’s an interesting comparison between those that have attended TFT seminar live training and those that haven’t, but are practicing martial arts.

If you know me, then you will know that I just had to write a response. Even though the thread was written a full year ago.

One’s techniques MIGHT not work. If you are not used to that and do not practice this way… then well… your training situation is too different from what might actually happen.

TFT is able to train people in a short time because they don’t use your limitations. They handle the fact that your techniques might not work by… not focusing on techniques. What might happen is as numerous as the stars in the sky. What will happen when you are attacking and injuring an enemy is much more limited.

Techniques are learned through practice, and competition sport techniques are learned through practicing competition style tournaments and fights. Since TFT is only designed to injure and kill criminals, there is no way to “practice” unless it is cooperative practice. And since they are not teaching techniques, they do not need sparring as much as competitive sports do.

Different priorities results in different products.

TFT is designed for students and clients with zero experience in violence and martial arts. Thus, it has to be more than just something for people with belts in martial arts. Because their system is the way it is, the way they treat successive strikes is also very different from what competitive sports produce.

The theory of chain comboing attacks remains a theory until it is applied. It is just that the applications differ depending upon who you are asking. A lot of things may be obvious to people in the abstract, but it is the application and the details that separates the crowd out.

If a person with zero training sees this TFT website, takes some seminars/videos/trains for couple of months and this builds up confidence. That confidence could vey well get HIM killed.

It could, which might be why the US Special Forces and SEALs used the exact same training principles, and even instructor, as TFT uses. They needed to be sure that, confident or not, in armor or not, tired or not, with ammo or not, that the first time they use it is the first time that it works.

That’s a crime. And that’s lying to people.-J

Of what use are hypotheticals and wild guesses to the subject of life and death? It’s a crime just because you visualized a mental scenario and assume that it is what is going on? Is such a thing the key to victory, do you think?

I mean to me that’s yucky and I wouldn’t want to bite anyone in the world of today nor I would not want to practice it but they have their thing down!-J

Unless you can bite through a person’s carotid and jugular, what is the point? It’s much easier to just claw out the eyes. Then you’re certain you’ve injured the enemy, whereas with a bite, you might have to rely on taste and other subjective senses to determine what you got.

I would love to spar your wife and her friends (LOL) with let’s say… groin protection and goggles and boxing gloves.

Do you really believe you can “train” for a life and death situation by fighting a guy with groin protectors, goggles, and boxing gloves?

Anyway I can not see why not implement resistance training.-J

Because that kind of training is “play”. It might give someone confidence that they can hit and perhaps push back an assailant, but in reality, when they don’t get the reaction that they saw in practice for real life, they will hesitate and die.

soft spots and yes that might shy away an unconfident rapist but that’s not the point is it?-J

Indeed, since the point is getting an injury, not playing around with people armored up.

As I’ve learned from a reliable source: Superior speed, will power and technical knowledge is all taken away by a thumb driven through the eyeball, and I mean right through to the back of the eye socket. YUK!-Original Post Author

Even an Abrams tank can get taken down if you shoot at its weakest point. If simple small arms fire can’t get through, then it is time to put out the heavy firepower. The nuclear package even.

How do YOU know? How do YOU know it works for YOU?-j

Because as someone with high endorphine and adrenaline aids for pain and injury, I still need time to “psyche up” and I don’t have that time if someone puts his elbow and 150 pounds of force into my throat. What applies to me also applies to any other human being. Being dead is the only objective criteria in determining who has won, in war or in duels or in free for alls. If you are dead, you are definitely the loser. And it doesn’t really matter who disputes that.

Can you still fight with a crushed throat? Maybe. Can you still fight with a ruptured testicle? Perhaps for some. Can you still fight with a broken neck? Some guy with a gun in hand can still fire it even with a broken neck, I can certainly admit that.

None of that matters. If you still have the capacity to launch attacks and injure the other guy, go and do it. And just the same, I will damage my enemy to the point where I Am Confident that he won’t be getting up, no matter how fanatical or pumped up with endorphines/drugs he is. Confidence? I am confident that so long as I am alive and conscious, I can kill and destroy my enemies. Victory is never guaranteed, that is why we still have wars.

Of course people have also taken accidental shots to the groin and were unable to continue the fight BUT people have also been able to continue right away (the referee was at the blind angle) recover and reverse the fight.-J

Are you under the delusion that TFT says “hit these 5 critical targets, and you win”?

In that situation, in my opinion, no one is going to land EVERY strike exactly where they want it. If you are well trained in TFT then yes, you have a good chance of landing a shot to a critical zone and ending the conflict. But like everything else, don’t preach that when I’m attacked it’s going to be this “1 strike bad guy fall down hype” either.
-Michael O’Brien

Tim Larkin specifically has already said that they teach you to select targets and then go to the next ones, because targeting is not 100% absolute guaranteed.

Violence doesn’t use strength or speed as a means of domination? I would venture to say that a violent act is MUCH MORE easily thwarted if it wasn’t fueled by strength, speed, aggressiveness, and killer instinct.

Guy who planted the IED that killed Majors in the US Army just did it cause he needed to feed his family. Strength? IED Guy is malnutrioned. Speed? Can’t be too fast planting explosives or too slow. Aggressiveness? Sneak attacks are sneak attacks because someone learned that violence didn’t need “aggressiveness”. Killer instinct? IED guy doesn’t have a specific American he wants to see dead.

So which person does the United States have more trouble killing, the guy with “killer instinct” meaning Al Qaeda, or the average Iraqi that just wants a living wage?

1. How do you train shoving a finger up to 2nd knuckle in someones eyesocket?

They use a trick off of the OODA cycle used for military live fire training.

1. Look at the target. Touch the target. Transfer load (Your body weight will be sufficient).-OP author

Observe, orientate, decide, and act. Find the eye socket, orientate to your hands or other weapon attachments, decide which finger to use, and then use that finger to scoop the eye out.

This is replicated in a non-damaging practice through having the Finger, whichever that might be, touching and then applying force to an opponent’s eyebrows or cheek or other spot near the eyes. The cooperative partner then moves his head, as you slowly apply force. Or he moves his head without any pressure on your part. Regardless of the details, you get the benefit of seeing the reaction you would get in real life, getting the feeling in your fingers that you would get in real situations, approximately, and doing exactly the same thing you would do if you wanted to scoop out the other guy’s eyes. Except in practice, you don’t injure the other guy. In real life, you just position your finger over his eye, push it in, and when your finger is all in the way in, the force of your blow causes his head to turn away.

By training your body to respond correctly to the correct stimuli, you bypass the OODA problems that would crop up in “tap out situations”. Situations where you do something different than what you practiced for, and suddenly your brain initiates an OODA loop. Like this. Observe that something wrong has occured, orientate to what is going on, decide on how to correct it, and then act. Just before “Act”, you have lost the initiative and are now being the one injured, like the martial artist that accepted a tap out, due to his OODA loop initiating without his knowledge, and got stabbed.

What this does is that even if your attempt to attack is foiled, due to whatever, your OODA loop is still shorter than the other guy’s. Thus this acts as a force multiplier in violent situations, giving you an edge. Why is your OODA loops shorter and fewer than the other guy’s? Because the other guy has at least two OODA loops after your failed attack on his eyes. He has observed that your attack failed, he has orientated to the situation that he still has both his eyes, he has decided that he no longer needs to continue defending his eyes, and then he decides to look at you and decide on how to attack. Then another loop starts, which is he observes you, orientates to your body, decides to attack you with fists, then acts.

But, remember that while he has to worry about adequately defending himself and also worry about attacking you somewhere, the only thing you are thinking of is finding a new target. This is why attackers have the initiative, until their fuel runs out of their tanks that is. By the time you get tired or your fuel runs out, the fight should be over.
Jorgen Matsi is of course, J. Much of what he says is reflected in TFT, but because Jorgen has a different set of philosophical beliefs, contrary to TFT *like cooperative practice being null in MA meaning that it is null and void in TFT too*, thus making him opposed to TFT. If only because of ignorance. Seeing is believing, so if you wish, you can watch this free fight video clip TFT put up.
On another note, Grim Beorn has two killer articles about human nature here. Go read, now.

The Smell of Death

Contrary Clown

Grim is great with titles. Remember one of his pieces at Blackfive “On the Virtues of Killing Children”? Won’t find that title duplicated on Google by another author!

The Difference between Winning and Losing

January 21, 2008

People have been talking about the Vietnamese war since decades ago. About how it was the US supporting a corrupt South Vietnam against a National Vietnamese movement and all that jazz. The thing is, everything that people accuse S Vietnam of, is also true for S Korea. But why don’t people say the same things about South Korea that they do about South Vietnam?

Because South Vietnam lost the war. The night map of Korea is not just a testament to what happens when folks are on the wrong side of a war, but what happens when the war never ended and you are still on the wrong side of the war. Vietnam is a great example of what happens when you are on the winning side as well as the losing side. The losing side gets to talk about South Vietnamese corruption and “mistakes made”, assuming anybody on the losing side is still alive. The winning side gets bragging rights at Hanoi.

People talk about South Vietnam’s problems because it is pointless to talk about South Korea’s problems given how successful it is. Success in war matters more than any propaganda formed from words. Victory shuts people up more effectively than any angry yelling or protesting.

Courtesy of A Second Hand Conjecture

To Tie Everything Together

January 20, 2008

There was much talk about the blood debt of the media in relation to America’s loss in Vietnam and what the media is doing to America right now, over at Neo-Neocon’s blog. In order to paint a broader and more consistent picture, that ties things together, I am going to compose together a couple of blog posts I recently read.

I said in a comment at Neo’s blog that there is such a thing as a pyramid of useful idiotry. Where you had the Soviets at the top, making use of the Leftists, and the Leftists making use of the fake liberals of the Democrat party. When the Soviets left a vacancy, Arab and Persian children killers took it up.

Some people are under the impression that liberals, as of today, believe in human rights, American national security, and thus the equivalent things that the conservatives believe in. This fullfills the need to sit on the fence and excuse the media’s crimes against humanity by saying the media does it for “both sides” and that both sides are just as good or bad or anything else a person may think up to say. It also whitewashes Leftist activism and sabotage of America’s national security, by bringing up the claim that Leftists are extremists and don’t outnumber the so called “liberals” of the Democrat party.

To all of the excuses made for the media, the Left, the Democrats, and their other allies, this is my response.

By 1973, Arafat was a Soviet puppet (and would remain such until the fall of the USSR). His adjutants, including Mahmoud Abbas, were being trained by the KGB in guerrilla warfare, espionage, and demolition; and his ideologues had gone to North Vietnam to learn the propaganda Tao of Ho Chi Minh.

Arafat was particularly struck by Ho’s success in mobilizing left-wing sympathizers in Europe and the United States, where activists on American campuses, enthusiastically following the line of North Vietnamese operatives, had succeeded in reframing the Vietnam War from a Communist assault on the south to a struggle for national liberation. Ho’s chief strategist, General Giap, made it clear to Arafat and his lieutenants that in order to succeed, they too needed to redefine the terms of theirstruggle.

Giap’s counsel was simple but profound: the PLO needed to work in a way that concealed its real goals, permitted strategic deception, and gave the appearance of moderation: “Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights. Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”

Mitsu, a commenter at Neo-Neocon, notably made the claim that just because Democrats disagree about US national security, does not mean that the Democrats or “liberals” are helping our enemies. Since Leftists and their fake liberal allies are helping our enemies, it really doesn’t matter what fake liberals actually intended, now does it. Tools do not exist because they have an intent to do something either way.

Then we have this incident with the Left.

THE COURT: All right. Mr. Kelly, what have

7 you — Mr. Grodner, I understand that you’re

8 entering a plea of guilty — Let me see the

9 file — to the charge of criminal damage to

10 property.

11 That you knowingly damaged the property

12 of Michael McNulty; such property being a 2002

13 black BMW, located at 7631 North Eastlake Terrace,

14 without consent in that you rubbed along the

15 passenger side of the vehicle causing scratches.

16 Is that what you did?

17 THE DEFENDANT: (No response.)

18 THE COURT: Mr. Grodner, I’m talking to you.

19 Is that what you did?

20 THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Yes, we have a

21 stipulation to the facts, –

22 THE COURT: Is that what you did; yes or no?

23 THE DEFENDANT: Without the “knowingly”, yes.

24 THE COURT: Sir, I’m asking you did you

Page 6

1 knowingly cause damage to this car?

2 If you say “no”, then we’ll set it down

3 for a trial date.

4 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: You did. Thank you.

6 You realize that I could sentence you to

7 jail for up to one year. Fine you $2500. That by

8 pleading guilty, you’re waiving your right to a

9 jury trial. You’re not going to have a trial at

10 all.

11 Do you understand that?

12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I do.

13 THE COURT: You’re waiving your right to hold

14 the State to the burden of proving you guilty

15 beyond a reasonable doubt. You’re not going to be

16 able to cross-examine witnesses and to present

17 witnesses on your own behalf.

18 Do you understand that?

19 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I do.

20 THE COURT: Now, is there a stipulation to

21 those facts contained in the complaint?


23 THE COURT: Is that correct?

24 THE DEFENDANT: That’s correct.

Page 7

1 THE COURT: And, you have chosen to represent

2 yourself; even though, I continued this case once

3 for you to obtain an attorney. Is that right?

4 THE DEFENDANT: That’s right.

5 THE COURT: All right. And, –

6 THE DEFENDANT: My attorney –

7 THE COURT: — you are a licensed attorney

8 in –

9 THE DEFENDANT: I am, Your Honor.

10 THE COURT: — the State of Illinois; is that

11 right?

12 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I am.

13 THE COURT: All right.

14 MR. KELLY: Your Honor, the State would

15 stipulate to the facts, also.

16 THE COURT: There’s a factual basis for the

17 plea. There’s a finding of guilty –

18 MR. KELLY: May we read that into the record?

19 THE COURT: What?

20 MR. KELLY: May we read that into the record?

21 THE COURT: Read what?

22 MR. KELLY: The alleged facts in this case.

23 THE COURT: Yeah. I did already, Pat; but,

24 I’ll read them again. I’m more than happy to.

Page 8

1 MR. KELLY: Thank you.

2 THE COURT: “That on December 1, at 7631

3 North Eastlake Terrace, the Defendant, Mr. Grodner,

4 knowingly damaged the property of Michael McNulty;

5 such property being a 2002 black BMW, located at

6 7631 North Eastlake Terrace, without consent

7 rubbed along the passenger side of the vehicle

8 causing scratches in violation of 720 5/21-1(a) of

9 the Illinois Compiled Statutes, in the City of

10 Chicago, County of Cook.”

11 MR. KELLY: So stipulated, Your Honor.

12 THE DEFENDANT: So stipulated, Your Honor.

13 THE COURT: All right. Finding of guilty.

14 State, what was the agreement that you

15 worked out with Mr. Grodner?

16 MR. KELLY: Subject to the Court’s approval,

17 we would recommend one year of Court supervision.

18 THE COURT: Social Services –

19 MR. KELLY: Social Services. Reporting for

20 the payment of restitution only. The restitution

21 would be in the amount of $600, Your Honor. That’s

22 to be paid on or before January 19, 2008.

23 Those monies will be donated by Social

24 Services to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

Page 9

1 THE COURT: January 19th only gives him until

2 tomorrow. Is he able to pay it today?

3 MR. KELLY: That’s my error, Judge. I’m

4 sorry. The 25th.


6 THE COURT: January 25th?

7 MR. KELLY: That’s the probation. I looked at

8 the wrong one. It was January 25th of 2008.

9 Will you be able to pay it by then?

10 THE DEFENDANT: Suppose to be six months.

11 THE SHERIFF: Put your hands behind your

12 back.

13 THE DEFENDANT: Jesus Christ.

14 THE COURT: You’re the Defendant, sir. You’re

15 in custody. You have to behave as such.

16 Pat?

17 THE DEFENDANT: I’m trying to negotiate with

18 Counsel, Your Honor.

19 THE COURT: I know. Talk to him.

20 MR. KELLY: I’m sorry. That’s what I was

21 told. For the year.

22 THE COURT: Talk to him.



Page 10





5 THE COURT: Hey, if there is no agreement,

6 we’ll set it down for trial. I don’t have any

7 problem with that.

8 MR. KELLY: If we could just have one minute,

9 Your Honor?

10 THE COURT: Sure.

11 MR. KELLY: I believe we have — still have

12 an agreement, Your Honor.

13 THE COURT: All right. When is he going to

14 pay this money and what fund is it going to be

15 directed to?

16 MR. KELLY: It would be directed to the

17 Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, on College

18 Boulevard, in Oceanside, California.

19 It’s a fund that’s used to treat and

20 rehabilitate Marines and other Service Members who

21 were injured, either physically or psychologically,

22 in the conflict between the United States and Iraq.

23 THE COURT: When is that going to be paid by?

24 MR. KELLY: January 25, 2008.

Page 11

1 Is that doable for you?

2 THE DEFENDANT: I don’t know. I wasn’t put

3 in the — It wasn’t put –

4 THE COURT: It has to be paid January 25,

5 2008.

6 What was the other part of the agreement?

7 Anything else?

8 MR. KELLY: No, sir.

9 THE COURT: All right.

10 MR. KELLY: Am I missing anything?

11 THE COURT: One year — Any community

12 service? Any fees or fines?

13 MR. BUNTINAS: Judge, we’re not asking that

14 the Court waive the $50 per month probation fee –

15 or, Social Services fee.

16 THE COURT: You are or you are not?

17 MR. BUNTINAS: We are not.

18 THE COURT: No. The fees won’t be waived.

19 MR. BUNTINAS: Right.

20 THE COURT: Are there any additional court

21 fees and costs –

22 MR. BUNTINAS: None, Judge.

23 THE COURT: — that the State wants to asses?

24 MR. BUNTINAS: None, Judge.

Page 12

1 THE COURT: All right. Mr. Grodner, because

2 the State has agreed to this, this is what I will

3 sentence you to. One-year Social Service

4 supervision and that would terminate 1-16-2009;

5 and, $600 restitution to be paid –

6 MR. KELLY: May I interrupt the Court, Judge?

7 THE COURT: What?

8 MR. KELLY: The Defendant has indicated that

9 he’s going to need a month. So, we’re changing the

10 agreement, if the Court will so allow, to February

11 25th of ’08. One month.

12 THE COURT: Restitution to be paid 2-25-08.

13 Mr. Grodner, you have 30 days to withdraw

14 your plea. That motion must be in writing. It

15 must allege any error you deem to have occurred

16 during the course of these proceedings. Otherwise,

17 they’ll be waived on appeal.

18 Beyond that, you have 30 days to appeal

19 that. If you couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer, pay

20 for transcripts, we would provide them for you.

21 I need a signed Jury Waiver.




Page 13



3 You’re fortunate, Mr. Grodner, that you

4 made that agreement with the State. My

5 understanding is that you caused damage to this

6 young Marine sergeant’s car because you were

7 offended by his Marine Corps license plates.

8 I’m going to tell you something, Mr.

9 Grodner. The Marine Corps license plates do not

10 involve anything dealing with an ego. The proceeds

11 go to the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, which

12 provides scholarships for all children of all

13 Marines and Navy Corpsmen that fight and aide the

14 Marine Corps; and, a larger amount of money goes to

15 scholarships for those who have lost their lives.

16 You probably also wondered why there was

17 a whole crowd of people here today, Mr. Grodner.

The damage to the car was assessed to be around 2k. The family waived prosecuting for felony charges and wanted the case to go away as fast as can be. They didn’t want a trial and neither did Grodner. Grodner, as a lawyer, knew what could happen to him in a trial. Which is why he said he “knowingly damaged” the car, even though he was arguing first that he didn’t “knowingly” damage the car. When the judge said that if you say no, then it is going to trial, the lawyer acted like the man he was. Which was not a man at all and submitted.

Some people will try to downplay this as being just one incident where Matt of Blackfive couldn’t get the media to report on an injustice against a Marine for being a Marine. That the media does this against the Left too. Such excuses are just attempts to sit on the fence, hoping problems will go away. It doesn’t cover up the fact that the New York Times and other media propaganda apparatuses goes out of their way to attack the US military as being victims and dupes and homeless blokes. It is only when an actual case of injustice crops up, that the media suddenly must be forced and motivated to cover.

The biggest stunner is probably this youtube video. We’ve read about individual Leftists and foreigners conducting propaganda operations designed to target American citizens. Now we will see a government affiliated bureaucracy and “commission” put the boot heel on Canadian free speech. It puts paid to the fantasy that Leftists are not important because they are a minority. In fact, them being a minority allows them an easier way to control the majority of a nation’s populace. If they were a majority, they wouldn’t be nearly as unethical and anti-liberal, since majorities are hard to shift to extremism all at once.

Leftists have great power because they are small. To some people, with Leftist beliefs, this means that the Left are victims and should be helped along in life. I don’t think so. Nor are Leftists just like isolationists on the right.

The Wonderful World of Vista Upgrades

January 15, 2008

You can’t upgrade to 64 bit Vista from a 32 bit operating system. That kind of defeats the purpose of “Windows Anytime Upgrades” now doesn’t it.

The Capacity of Malignant Narcissists

January 13, 2008

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Kathy said…Lynn, about the escalation.

I think this common among Ns, because I too have seen them suddenly boost the intimidation and violence when the old, less forcing tactics no longer work. To incredible levels! In fact, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. I’d have never thought this person capable of such wild behavior.

So, thanks for the example. I don’t know this for sure, but I too feel that an N will go just as far as they think they need to (and can get away with) to get the job done.

If subtle mind-control tactics work, why risk landing in jail for physical violence? My guess is that this is the only consideration that normally holds them back from illegal acts and physical violence.

But that isn’t morality. The absence of physical violence does NOT mean that an N is incapable of it. It doesn’t mean the won’t someday (just like a three-year-old) instantly resort to it when frustrated.

I think that is one of the gravest dangers, because people get the idea that since their N doesn’t hit or do something as outrageous as guit his job or hit anyone, he or she isn’t as bad. Isn’t likely to ever do anything like that.

Then you are stunned when the day comes that the N needs to up the ante and he murders someone or does something else you’d never have dreamed him capable of. And he does it just as off-handly as he used to merely insult them before.

Because his pea shooter doesn’t work anymore, so he took out his canon. Ns are mental children, so they think like that.

That’s just my opinion, from my own shocked observations and from accounts of others. Which is why I always say that I think the only limit on what a N will do is what he thinks he can get away with.

In other words, I suspect that malignant narcissists are capable of anything. I know many people can’t buy that and even some authorities disagree. And I don’t blame them. I myself wouldn’t have believed it till I saw it. I was always thinking, “Oh he’d never do this” or “She’d never do that.” And I was dead wrong in every case. It was only a matter of time till something happened to trip their trigger and shock you with what they IMPULSIVELY just did without the slightest compunction.

But should it be a surpise when we know they care only about one thing – getting what they want?

Nothing else is even a consideration to them. So why should doing a big evil be any harder for them than doing a little evil is?

I think it’s a mistake to keep assuming they think like normal people do. They don’t. They think like a spoiled three-year-old thinks. And you know what’s going to happen if you let a spoiled three-year-old carry a gun. The moment stomping her foot and screaming at her playmates doesn’t work, she will thoughtlessly whip it out.

Who thinks g over at Bookworm Room is a malignant narcissist? (raise hand) Enjoy the rest.

A Sona Opera

January 12, 2008

If you want some funny entertainment, watch this from Jimbo at Blackfive.

Team Fortress 2 Gameplay Vids

January 8, 2008

Here’s a guide on how to grief play. Really funny the first time around, and also a heads up for you if you ever encounter it in your game. Most of the satisfaction gained is through the manipulation of people who can’t fight back and don’t know what to do. So keep that in mind when you hear the comments in the video.

TF2 Heavies run down by a train. Short and to the point.

Here is the How to Play Demoman vid. I would also recommend the “How to Play” vids for the other classes as well. Sniper and Spy are very enjoyable, in which the aim is social competition.

Major Griefing sequel is an interesting study case on what narcissists do when they band together and come up with ways to manipulate people.

Here’s look at TF2’s distinctive artwork and graphics modeling.

Ancient History and Our Funny Ancestors

January 7, 2008

 [This is a comment in reply to Neo's post and the barrage of comments there. It is more user friendly than other things I have written on blogs given that I am not using any bolded quotes here. This is my personal attempt to sort of do a Grand Summarization of ancient history in terms of our modern trends.]

Some comments after reading the topic about Lawrence of Arabia. There are certain types of leaders, like Alexander, that knew how the tribal mind worked and functioned. They were able to lead Arabs and see the strength of the Arabic people precisely because they knew the weaknesses and strengths of the Arabs and Persians.

When such people, as Alexander, was empowered by their entire nation and civilization, great things can be accomplished. When they are not backed by their nation, then you can only get a TE Lawrence. Which in the end, will only filter down to us as legends and stories. Nothing fundamental will have changed.

The bedouin Arabs relying upon Desert Power is the same now as they were before in our ancient’s past. We have changed, they have not. And in this, we have found our salvation. Our Western culture is rotten at the core, for the core contains parasite inumerable. We need to purge such malcontents from our system in order to make it healthy once again, but where do we find our medicine? In the Arabic world where armies and legions have contested land and might for centuries. They will remind us of what it takes to survive and solve factionalism and tribalism in our own nation, or they will kill us. Simple as that. A harsh solution for a harsh world of corrupt bureacrats, child rapist/murderers, and politicians.

Islam, with the influx of oil wealth and Western weakness, is having a resurgence. Although technically, dead Empires like the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire are supposed to stay dead. Only their children may flourish. Arabic oil wealth and Western decadence may indeed bring about the resurrection of the Muslim conquests of Constantinople and renaming the Hagia Sophia, Emperor Justinian’s commissioned work, a Mosque for the Faithful. Instead of the Cathedral for Christianity it was meant to be.

Turks and Muslims are justifiably proud of the Hagia Sophia. It is a magnificent work. It was meant to be handed down to the descendants of the Eastern ROman Empire, of course, but inheritances don’t always come through. Because of estate taxes if nothing else.

They conquered it and so they keep it. That is the law of warfare and the laws of a vital world.

However, what one has taken can also be taken from them. That is part of the laws of warfare as well. Including the law of the jungle.

Empires fall because they grow weak, as the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphates did. And the Eastern Roman Empire with their capital in Constantinople and the Persian Empire of the Sassanids. Yet they can be resurrected by their children, at least in part.

Even Europe is attempting to get into the resurgent game of Empires. One of the EU commissioners said that the EU is the first non-colonial or expansionist Empire in the world. Another quiped that you had to be either French or God to understand.

500 years after the birth of Christ, Rome had fallen to the Barbarians with a Vatican sitting amongst their barbarian hordes. The beginnings of Islam was just about to stir. Now a few years after the 2 millenium mark, things are starting up once again.

Humanity is caught in this circle because we are mortal and we make mistakes. Weak Empires are replaced by those with a stronger sense of certainty and implacable will. That will be our fate should we prove unworthy. Just as it will be the fate of Islam should they prove unworthy.

Germany is still around and so is Japan, but their defeats changed them as much as our victory changed us. Some for the better, some for the worse, but they are no longer world powers or military powers because they have lost the right to such. They can reclaim it, as the EU is trying to do for their former Imperial and Colonial historical glories, but as with all things, it requires effort. Incompetent and feckless effort on the part of the EU or bloodthirsty and suicidal effort on the part of the Islamic war on goodness.

There may not be such a thing as Divine Right behind the power of monarchs and dynasties, but there is certainly a score card kept by someone for entire nations, cultures, and civilizations.

Score too low and you’ll end up like Carthage.


Anti-Iraq war argument reply

January 1, 2008

I couldn’t post my reply to the article in question, so I’m going to post it here.

Iraq is Not a Model

By Jordan W.

Editor’s note: Reader and regular correspondent Jordan W. asked for my opinion on an anti-war essay he wrote. I think it is much more valuable and worth taking seriously than most — though I should note that my overall view is agnostic at this point, despite my initial support and my current approval of General Petraeus’s surge strategy. Jordan gave me permission to publish this, so I’ll let him tide you over while I work on my next long piece about Fallujah. If you don’t agree with the author, please be polite in the comments. Let’s see if a civil and educational discussion about this topic is possible. –MJT

The debate about the Iraq War is not internally consistent: there is no agreement on the proper parameters of judgment. Overlapping debates rage about momentum (whether we’re “winning”), the shape of our ultimate goals, “victory”, the importance of any current success or failure, and the accuracy and/or significance of various costs and benefits for Iraq’s inhabitants. Beneath this superficial confusion lies a deeper confusion, stemming from Iraq’s dual role as both its own war, and as a leading aspect of the Global War On Terror (GWOT). While a victory in the Iraq war can be judged by its final score, we can only judge the Iraq War as a GWOT victory by tallying its consequences from beginning to end. The GWOT’s ultimate metric is the prevention of terrorism, so an end state of decreased terrorism may not be a victory if it is preceded by an avoidable ten decades of increased terrorism.

General inability to separate these two dynamics leads to the confusion of a possible victory in the Iraq war with the vindication of Iraq as a model for the GWOT, perhaps along the lines of the National Security Strategy of “pre-emption.” While something that at least feels like victory in Iraq – to Americans, anyway – may be possible, it will not turn the Iraq War as a whole into an effective GWOT strategy. (The 2007 counterinsurgency doctrine may be extracted as a useful set of tactics, however).

Leave the WMD debate aside – Iraq was not a successful pre-emption of terrorism. Depending on your assessment of Iraq prior to 2003, the war serves as either a failed pre-emption that magnified the problems it wanted to solve, or else as the ex nihilo creation of a terrorism outbreak. Either way, the danger of terrorism from Iraq will be greater than before we started for the foreseeable future. A good metaphor for Iraq’s role in the GWOT is Hurricane Katrina’s role in the urban renewal of New Orleans. Decades later, the cause may be advanced, but that doesn’t make it a recommended way to get the job done. The metaphor has its limits – Iraq is worse. Hurricanes are not the human byproduct of bad decisions, and hurricanes do not self-replicate.

It doesn’t take a long look at the evidence to judge the Iraq Invasion’s effect on terrorism. Terrorism in Iraq began to rise as soon as we arrived. Iraq suffered zero suicide bombings in January 2003, four in April-June 2003, 20 in January-March 2004, 78 in January-March 2005. (“Suicide Terrorism in Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence”. Hafez, Mohammed. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 29, Issue 6. Figure 2.)

Two years later, we have killed some of the terrorists our invasion activated, bribed others into acquiescence, and appear to be slowly driving the remainder into hiding. A less violent Iraq is a victory for our soldiers over the alternative of a more violent Iraq. Eleven suicide bombings in October 2007 is a victory over seventy-eight in Q1, 2005 – but not a victory over zero suicide bombings in January 2003. And even if the number returned to zero and stayed there, we would not then break even; we have paid opportunity costs of unnecessary exposure and unnecessary risk.

The best reason that Iraq is no way to run a GWOT is as simple as asymmetry itself. We can’t effectively fight as many internal wars in Muslim countries as Al-Qaeda may start, and therefore every ‘optional’ internal war – like Iraq – is a bad risk. Some quick calculation suggests that Iraq represents 3% of the land surface of Muslim-majority nations, and less than 2% of their population. Yet the number of troops and duration of high-intensity combat required to suppress this one Al-Qaeda “base area” in Iraq has led the US Army to the edge of “breaking”, according to some experts. In combination with other overseas commitments, the percentage of total US ground forces deployed overseas in any year has edged towards 50%. The percentage of available deployed ground forces is much higher. And there’s still the other 98% of the world left for Al-Qaeda to fight from within.

How could we replicate the Iraq model – even the successful 2007 one – if Al-Qaeda had seeded three or four full-blown anti-government insurgencies at the same time? Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia – clearly we can’t. Instead we’ve done our best at containing conflicts that we have failed to control. No one from these conflicts has blown up an American shopping mall, so we don’t feel our attention to them is inadequate. But there’s no reason to assume Al-Qaeda elements in any of these “secondary” conflicts are less of a threat to directly attack the West then the ones we’re so flustered about in Iraq. Each of these conflicts constitutes a threat to U.S. citizens for every minute it continues to burn – and probably well beyond any cease-fire or de-escalation.

Some hawks suggest that “we’re fighting them in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them over here.” This appealing phrase is contradicted by evidence. In 2006, Al Qaeda fought in the slow-burning insurgency in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier and simultaneously planned from the same place to blow up as many as ten US airplanes. Nor did Al-Qaeda’s investment in growing Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) prevent major terrorist attacks in several countries between 2003 and 2005. On the contrary, Peter Nasser has documented the prominent role the invasion of Iraq played in motivating the Madrid bombers. (“Jihadism in Western Europe After the Invasion of Iraq: Tracing Motivational Influences from the Iraq War on Jihadist Terrorism in Western Europe”. Nesser, Peter. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. Volume 29, Issue 4, July 2006. Page 323-342. )

AQI has not attacked in America or Europe. However, the Radisson Hotel bombing conducted by AQI in Amman, Jordan was the highest-profile terrorist attack plotted from Iraqi soil in two decades. Neither the presence nor the anti-terrorism operations of US soldiers in a country eliminates the possibility of international terrorism plots from within. Even if the presence of US soldiers can help intercept a greater percentage of attacks, it may also prompt a higher number of those attacks. It’s far from clear that the overall result is enhanced safety.

The bottom line is that unfinished insurgencies in Muslim countries make terrorism incidents more likely, not less. Victory in a local conflagration may reduce the threat of terrorism from locals – but not below the risk level we would find, in some cases, if the war had never occurred. Terrorist groups are born of mass violence and revolutionary change. Nasser’s violent police state of Egypt fathered Al-Jihad, which fathered Ayman Al-Zawahiri. The USSR’s violent invasion of Afghanistan fathered Al-Qaeda. The violent split of India and Pakistan fathered Jaish-e-Mohammed. Israel’s Operation Peace of Galilee fathered Hizballah. Even when these organizations lose, even when they disband, they are not erased. Skills, equipment, veterans, and followers often survive – and some of them go on to lead the next bombing in America. The moral of the story is that mass violence, as the ‘gateway drug’ of terrorism, needs to be avoided. In many cases, this is not an easy objective to reconcile with our genuine need to deny Al-Qaeda freedom of action – such as in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is also hard to reconcile with an aggressive strategy to break down other terrorism indicators, such as dictatorship. Nevertheless Iraq, circa 2003, is an easy case: avoid optional wars and save capacity for unavoidable ones.

Optional wars? That’s like saying save your attacks for the optional girl in the gang, and go for the guys instead. Those that have learned something of fighting multiple targets in TFT, could probably visualize a situation where avoiding a target that was “optional” now becomes a mandatory target because you thought the target was “optional”. Optional in this case means leaving it alone. How do you expect people to leave you alone, if you don’t injure? It is not like they aren’t seeking our destruction here. That happened awhile ago.

Anyways, back to my reply. I knew of the article courtesy of Callimachus.

It’ll get you killed against those using real violence, of course.

The article, I mean.

It’s better to be the one doing the violence than the one having the violence done upon. The author believes that even if we attack an enemy’s vitals, he can still strikeback with club, knife, or gun in terrorist attacks that don’t succede. Well “don’t succede” is kind of the point, isn’t it.

The point about attacking those armed with a knife, club, or gun is not that you won’t get cut, smashed, or shot. Violence isn’t a safe thing to be around. The point is that you will win by attacking. And that’s all that matters. Nobody guarantees that attacking terrorists will absolutely prevent them from hitting us here at home. What it will do is to ensure that we only get hit once by the bullet, instead of multiple gunshots that will cripple and kill us.

There’s a statistically high chance of surviving one gunshot or stab wound. Statistics goes lower when you get multiple shots and stabs in your torso, piercing vital organs, veins, and arteries.

If the author of the article wants some kind of guarantee of acquiring the ultimate “self-defense”, then he’s going to get killed by those using real violence instead of social violence.

It’s a basic philosophical difference, really. Nothing will change that. No amount of facts, changes, or anything else will make the author’s philosophy compatible with my philosophy.


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