Thursday, November 26, 2015

Smug citation of precedent

For More Than 200 Years, America Has Shunned A 'War On Islam'

Both use of the expression and the actual thing.

The piece of the Treaty of Tripoli so often quoted only explains that the government of the US, being essentially secular and moved by essentially secular interests, would not go to war against the Barbary States or any Muslim power for any "pretext arising from religious opinions."

Article 11.

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

There is not a word in it about what might have moved Muslim states or Muslims at that time, much less to contradict the blatantly "religious pretexts" for so much Muslim violence today, most of it against other Muslims but some of it, from time to time, against the US or other non-Muslim states.

And of course, the Barbary Pirates didn't take out the biggest buildings in New York and blow up the Pentagon on the same day, killing more than 3,000 people, alleging as their key reason the religious opinion that the temporary stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia was sacrilegious.

If your allies are assholes and you are sworn to go to war for them . . . .

Putin Sends Air-Defense Missiles To Syria To Deter Turkey

This is a modest and not unreasonable response to the Turks deliberately shooting down a Russian plane with the flimsiest of stupid excuses.

The Turks are and have been pretty much AWOL from the war on ISIS, being far more concerned to get rid of Assad, whom they perceive as a client of Iran and friend of Shiites, than to crush ISIS, a Sunni state/organization.

The US and the Europeans are opposed to every form of Islamoextremism, of course, and pretty much nobody in the entire region shares those priorities, excepting maybe Israel, the government of Jordan, and (up to a point) the government of Egypt.

Did you need more proof we should have dropped out of NATO when the Soviet Union collapsed?

From the story.

Putin has dismissed Turkey's claim that the Russian warplane intruded its airspace [the media report it was in Turkish airspace for 9 seconds, crossing a sliver of Turkish territory on a routine flight - PV], voicing particular annoyance about Ankara turning to NATO instead of speaking to Russia, "as if it were us who shot down a Turkish plane."

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in turn said that the downing of the plane "highlights the need to strengthen mechanisms to avoid such incidents in the future."

"We should not sleepwalk into unintended escalation," he wrote in an op-ed that is to be published Thursday and was made available to The Associated Press.

Happy Thanksgiving

As for me, I didn't pardon the turkey.

The Grand Inquisitor

Why on Earth should D have presented this scornful attack on the RC Church as Ivan's?

Why, when Ivan is revealing his most intimate, personally crucial thoughts to his brother, Alyosha?

Karamazov, Dostoyevsky.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Resistance is futile

Australia trial for GM fruit fly

Mutant mosquitoes 'resist malaria'

How we fool Mother Nature.

How France honors liberty

Dieudonne sentenced for anti-Semitism

No, thank you.

Ivan rejects creation, refusing to pay with the tears of a single child for endless and infinite bliss for all others of mankind, even supposing it is not an unspeakable, mad, baseless cruelty that this price should be demanded.

Imagine what he would make of the Machiavellian principle.

Karamazov, Book 5, chapters 3 and 4.

The idiocy of voters is bottomless

Paris and the Presidential Election

To this day, stupid and vacuous bellicosity is what they want to hear.

Nobody has learned a thing from all the lunacy since 9/11.

Chicago police officer shoots a man 16 times

The man was in no way threatening the officer, as video shows, though he was armed with a knife and refused police demands to surrender.

The officer has been charged with first degree murder.

Meanwhile, police in Baltimore in very similar circumstances shot a man in the wrist and arrested him, after unsuccessfully trying to subdue him with a taser and bean bags.

In the last few days there have been several reports of police shooting knife-weilders dead.

Stop at nothing for "the greater good"

Blacklist, Minority Report, Limitless, Blind Spot, and Donald Trump continually raise the question of the acceptability to the American public of Machiavellian realism, that the state may and indeed sometimes must stop at nothing.