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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: Left Coast
Member since: Mon Oct 10, 2016, 07:19 PM
Number of posts: 10,008

About Me

A Reformed Republican who has seen evil and shook its hand. (Nixon) He now spends his time trying to change the world for the better.

Journal Archives

American zero-sum folly. The Express Tribune of Pakistan

This is a good look at our foreign policy from the other side, and shows why we are losing our influence in the world. The article is not behind any paywall, Feel free to read it in its entirety.


In international relations, the zero-sum game theory postulates that the gains of one side are totally at the cost of the other side — that there can be no win-win for both sides. American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War has been of pursuing this zero-sum approach in relations with other powers. Even as America’s sole superpower status waned since 2000 with the rise of China and Russia, the US has persisted with this approach through Bush’s “with us or against us” and Trump’s “America First” doctrines. The result has been growing international instability and disorder.

A clear manifestation of this American zero-sum folly is the recent controversy stirred up by the gratuitous criticism of CPEC by a US official, inviting a sharp rebuke by China and Pakistan. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. American attempts to contain and confront China – and Russia – cover the entire spectrum of global inter-state relations. The Trump administration’s national security strategy of treating China and Russia as “threats” to American security officially acknowledged US policies since the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations to ensure the continuum of the “Pax Americana” by preventing the emergence of any challenger. Such “hubris” became even more compelling with the disastrous campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq just as China and Russia emerged as serious competitors. Instead of cooperating with them, the US has chosen confrontation.

The American zero-sum policy has relied on what it thinks defeated the Soviet Union — democracy and free markets. In fact, Bush claimed it was America’s moral duty to project these values by persuasion where possible and by force where necessary. The “greater Middle East” was one such project. Using a combination of military force, financial inducements and intelligence operations, including through human rights and development agencies, the US has attempted a regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Georgia, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Lebanon. Socialist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba have also been targeted. More dangerously, instability is being stoked within China itself — in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, coupled with trade barriers and sanctions as well as an anti-China media blitz.


Unlike China, the US has not made any long-term investments towards Pakistan’s security or development. Even worse, its discriminatory policies of sanctions, denial of military and economic assistance and the full endorsement of India’s hegemonic ambitions, not only undermine Pakistan’s security but is a threat to the regional peace and stability.

In this environment of great power competition generated by America’s zero-sum approach, Pakistan needs to secure its interests by further strengthening its partnership with China. This does not imply that it should be hostile to the US, but it should certainly be realistic about its relations with America in which there is ever increasing divergence.

Top reason DFT must be convicted-- no Twitter in prison

He will be unable to spread his vile brand of poison when he's in the big house. That will help dispel the swarm of hate filed retoric coming from the far right.

Admittedly, there will be some issues of security. How will the SS protection work inside a penitentiary? Small price to pay for shutting off his vitriol.

DFT is whining about the Christianity Today op-ed piece

He's going totally off the rails here... I love it!

President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out after the country’s top evangelical Christian magazine called for his removal from office, appearing to suggest his eventual Democratic opponent in next year’s general election will be a “nonbeliever” who threatens Americans’ freedom of religion and gun rights.

“A far left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather … have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again!” he added, apparently employing the wrong initials for the publication’s title.

The Winter Solstice is next Saturday

Personally, I'm looking forward to more daylight. It gets dark to early in these northern latitudes.

Will there be any special binding ceremony for this occasion?

North Korea's Ghost Ships

Never started a thread in this group before, but after watching this video, I had to. After spending too many years working for Japanese and Korean companies, I have come to understand them better than they think. (if you know the languages...)

This is about all the (apparently) dead fishing vessels appearing on the Japanese West Coast that are coming from NK. It tells a sad story about impoverished NKs who stray further from NK to try and fulfill ever increasing quotas. Along the way, they run in to a natural barrier that exceeds the solidity of their fishing vessels.

There is a rather questionable researcher from JP, with an RU accent, who presents lots of info in the middle to end. Treat him with skepticism. (I did anyhow) This video came from Al Jazeera, and they see, to be a well researched media outlet.


Russia's only carrier, damaged in shipyard accident, now on fire

Source: Ars Technica

The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, caught fire today during repairs in Murmansk. While officials of the shipyard said that no shipyard workers were injured, Russia's TASS news service reports that at least 12 people (likely Kuznetsov sailors) were injured, some critically. In addition, three people, possibly including the third-rank captain in charge of the ship's repairs, are unaccounted for.

The Kuznetsov has had a long string of bad luck, experiencing fires at sea, oil spills, and landing deck accidents—including a snapped arresting wire that caused a landing Sukhoi Su-33 fighter to roll off the end of the deck and into the ocean. Its boilers belched black smoke during the ship's transit to Syria in 2016, and it had to be towed back home after breaking down during its return in 2017. Then last year, as it was undergoing repairs in a floating drydock in Murmansk's Shipyard 82, the drydock sank and a crane on the drydock slammed into the Kuznetsov, leaving a gash in the ship's hull. It looked like completion of repairs might be put off indefinitely because repair of the drydock would take over a year, and the budget for repairs had been slashed.

The fire was caused when sparks from welding work near one of the ship's electrical distribution compartments set a cable on fire. The fire spread through the wiring throughout compartments of the lower deck of the ship, eventually involving 120 square meters (1,300 square feet) of the ship's spaces.

In total, 12 victims were delivered to hospitals, 10 of them were saved during the fire. One is assessed as serious, and one suffered a head injury. Most received poisoning from combustion products, according to a report from TASS.

Read more: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/russias-only-carrier-damaged-in-shipyard-accident-now-on-fire/

It looks like Putin lost his only Aircraft Carrier, and it will be out of commision for some time.

Maybe Donny can loan him a few?

Rachel talks about Seoul being moved-- a DFT command

You gotta hear this shit for yourself to believe it.

Lawsuit forces CenturyLink to stop charging "Internet Cost Recovery Fee"


Thanks to our state AG, CenturyLink will have to stop billing WA residents for a bogus fee that is just part of the normal cost of doing business.

CenturyLink has agreed to pay a $6.1 million penalty after Washington state regulators found that the company failed to disclose fees that raised actual prices well above the advertised rates. CenturyLink must also stop charging a so-called "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" in the state, although customers may end up paying the fee until their contracts expire unless they take action to switch plans.

"CenturyLink deceived consumers by telling them they would pay one price and then charging them more," Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in an announcement yesterday. "Companies must clearly disclose all added fees and charges to Washingtonians."

Ferguson encouraged Washington residents "who believe they have received bills that include undisclosed fees to file a complaint" with the state.

Ferguson's office said it began investigating CenturyLink in 2016 "after receiving complaints from consumers that their actual bills were more than the advertised price, or the price that they were promised by sales representatives."

Bohemian Rhapsody

I spent the evening working on the surround sound wiring, EQ, etc. for our home theater system. Then I rewarded myself by putting on the 4k version of this.

Steve Rabel rocks!

Thanks to my lovely wife, she got the radio synced up to the Seahawks game on Fox TV.

So much better!
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