News For Today (11/30/16)

Bogus News Story Of The Day

‘Alt-right’ online poison nearly turned me into a racist. This is a bogus news story done right. More background on the story here. Though obviously I can’t be sure that background information is true it sure reads like a parody.

In The News

Fire in Tennessee — Narrow Escape This is in the same general area of the country that Titi was in. The videos of the guy going through fire (supposedly without warning) are very scary. Some of the comments are interesting if you have time to read them.

This deadly flesh-eating parasite is invading the US for the first time in decades

Indiana official: Carrier deal is about federal contracts

Sen. Chris Coons Regrets Making Appointments Simpler to Confirm

Air Force Has Too Few Fighter Squadrons to Meet Commanders’ Needs Part of the problem is that the Air Force insists that all fighter pilots have to be full blown officers.

Not In The News But Should Be

Antarctic Ice Still a Mystery

Entertainment of the Day

Not the best thought out or best choreograph fight in existence. But it has to rank up there for making one of the most convincingly scary opponent in movie history.

News For The Day (11/29/16)

Bogus News Story Of The Day

Democrats won the most votes in the election. They should act like it. Scroll down to the correction at the end of the article. Be careful or you will miss it and go right on past it. Rarely has a correction more thoroughly debunked the premise of the article (remember, the title is that Democrats won more votes then Republicans and the article is not all about Hillary vs Trump). Apparently most of the people posting this article to Facebook don’t understand the significance of the Republicans winning 3 million more votes in the House of Representatives then the Democrats took.

In The News

Report: Trump ‘Furious’ at Kellyanne’s Romney Attack

Australia ceases multimillion-dollar donations to controversial Clinton family charities

Self-driving trucks will hit the road in Ohio.” Headline is misleading. Still, long haul trucks going from depot to depot are the best place to start using self driving vehicles.

Not In The News But Should Be

Europe’s Collateral Crunch

Entertainment of the Day

In the movies, often times it is the ugly people who have all the talent. It is a shame they don’t get to shine more. What follows is one of the best (if not the best) representation of the Scotch-Irish pride that runs so strongly in rural America.

News For Today (11/28/16)

Bogus News Story Of the Day

NPR Reporter Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator; Here’s What She Learned. The story is most likely true, although it reads like a naive reporter is being taken for a ride. But what makes the story bogus is the is the idea that “fake news” is a right wing thing exclusively. This is rich given how much public radio profited off of Mike Daisey. A more relevant example would be the huge traffic in fake hate crimes such as this.

In the News

Record number of car buyers ‘upside down’ on trade-ins

The Abolition of Money

Unsexy Infrastructure: Lock and Dam

Ideology & Human Development This is a long one and can be hard to follow. But it is a good overview of why communism was a disaster for Cuba from a left of center perspective. Shorter and not nearly as good perspective here (also left of center).

Not In The News But Should Be

The Little-Known Arms Race Threatening to Blow Up the South Caucasus

Entertainment of the Day

China’s civil service exam: Can you answer these questions? I don’t think this is really news worthy, but it is kind of fun to see what is expected out of them. Looks a lot more like a straight up IQ test then anything comparable here.

But if that is not your thing, here is some modern rock combined with traditional Mongolian music for your entertainment.

News for Today

Bogus News Story of the Day

The Washington Post smears a bunch of news sites as being stooges for the Russians. The Washington Post article is taken apart here.

My take: The Washington Post story is clearly bogus. There is no common thread between the far left, libertarian, conservative, and down right crazy web sites they have put on the list. The only thing they all have in common is that they have all reported on wiki-leaks revelations. It is possible that wiki-leaks is a front for Russian Intelligence. But that does not make you a Russian stooge to report on what wiki-leaks revealed about Hillary Clinton. Nobody was calling the mainstream media Russian stooges when wiki-leak revelations were used to make George Bush look bad.

In the News

Some thoughts about the reports of supposed evidence of election irregularities in MI, PA, and WI

A Pennsylvania recount for Hillary Clinton? A ‘nightmare scenario,’ explained

Appointing ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis to Lead the Pentagon Could Be Trump’s Best Decision. I am linking to this one not because I agree with the title but because it provides a good overview of the Mattis career. Personally, I don’t think he is enough of a politician to be an effective Sectary of Defense. But the rumor is that we are going to find out.

Not in the news but should be

First Brexit then Trump. Is Italy next for the west’s populist wave? Italy tops my list of future shocks to the euro zone. If the EU breaks up, it will be Italy that does it.

Entertainment of the Day

Since “Mad Dog” Mattis is in the news, we figured we would lead off with this clip from the TV series Generation Kill. What is being depicted here is the argument that lead to Colonel Dowdy being fired. To quote Wikipedia on the matter…

He also was noted for a willingness to remove senior leaders under his command at a time when the U.S. military seemed unable or unwilling to relieve under-performing or incompetent officers. During the division’s push to Baghdad, Mattis relieved Colonel Joe D. Dowdy, regimental commander of Regimental Combat Team-1, and it was such a rare occurrence in the modern military that it made the front page of newspapers. Despite this, Mattis declined to comment on the matter publicly other than to say that the practice of officer relief remains alive, or at least “We are doing it in the Marines.” Later interviews of Dowdy’s officers and men revealed that “the colonel was doomed partly by an age-old wartime tension: Men versus mission—in which he favored his men” while Mattis insisted on execution of the mission to seize Baghdad swiftly.

In the clip below, it is Mattis who is giving out the profane chewing out to Dowdy….

It is too simplistic to say that Mattis cared about the mission and Dowdy cared about the men. I think both men would have said they cared about both. The issue is that a rushed assault against defended urban positions often is a blood bath (Dowdy position/fear) but letting an enemy catch his breath and settle in can result in even more causalities (Mattis/fear position). Most great generals throughout the ages have had similar instincts to Mattis, but a lot of disasters have resulted from that mindset as well (Think Lee at Gettysburg or Grant’s entire wilderness campaign). For Mattis, it all worked out in the end so he is held to be a genius. But he did push his guys to do crazy dangerous things.

As a direct result of Mattis to keep advancing whatever the costs, Marines raced lightly armed humvees through a hostile city as is depicted in the clips below. It worked, but it was crazy dangerous.