Thoughts of the day
Incisive article on how the Left took over the Democratic party. (h/t) Also applies to the alt-Right and the GOP.
A synopsis of Blairism by Tony Blair.
Kyle Orton criticizes the Obama Doctrine. David Hazony's take on the "Mind of Obama". Michael Doran connects the dots on "Obama's Secret Iran Strategy".
Against the tide, Waltz and Woodrow Moss explain Five Reasons Why Cooperating With Moscow On Syria Is A Bad Idea at War on the Rocks. The problem is their 5 reasons assume a paradigm that's obviated by the stigma applied to OIF, which manifested the principles of American leadership of the free world that characterize their article. I tried to give the 'right of center natsec' faction the necessary key to re-lay the foundation of the political discourse so they could argue for everything else, but they 'blocked' my attempts to help them. Instead, they've conceded the demonstrably false keystone premise that fundamentally undermines their sophisticated arguments.
AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici captures iconic photographs of assassination of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov by Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas.
With the OIF paradigm cut off politically, Sam Heller implicates the feckless approach by the Obama administration and lays out the stark choices for the US "proxy war" with Syria. Faysal Itani offers a prescription to the Syria crisis that recalls the OIF Surge yet while skirting the direct military presence at the core of the OIF Surge.
Scott Cooper, Aaron Stein, and Aaron Taylor take liberties in minimizing the costs and risks and obscure the context of the UNSCR 688 no-fly zones with Iraq to work around OIF stigma in order to call for no-fly zones with Syria.
Tom Nichols criticizes the passive-aggressive "exit strategy" excuse for avoiding intervention with Syria. Like many other Syria intervention advocates, he tries to reinvent the UNSCR 688 enforcement model, which is quixotic unless the Iraq intervention is de-stigmatized.
Andrew Tabler's proposal to President Trump to grapple with the Syria crisis repurposes the 1990s enforcement measures employed against the Saddam regime.
Paul Miller advocates reviving American leadership of the free world while disclaiming OIF.
Michael Gerson calls for reviving American leadership of the free world and the liberal international order that was undermined by President Obama, beginning with his conscious deviation from President Bush, and may be further undermined by President Trump.
Austin Mackell notes stigmatization of the Iraq intervention, a mission which he opposed, prevents peace operations with Syria and Libya, which he advocates. Jamie Palmer notes the same.
This article by Andrew Peek and this article by Jordan Hirsch are infuriating. Two young GOP foreign policy academics have adopted the Russian disinformative conflation of Bush and Obama's foreign affairs and emotive denigration of the Iraq intervention. Peek is calling for Republicans to go with the flow and use the OIF stigma to throw out US liberal leadership of the free world, exactly as the Russian worldview would have it. Hirsch advocates that US "foreign-policy leaders must forswear further Iraqs but affirm U.S. primacy in the global order”. Brian Dunn shares my disgust with Hirsch.
To make the argument that Bush misled the US into OIF, Jonathon Chait relies on the misleading executive summary of the 2008 Senate report. My response is at May 19, 2015.
The US is circling back to the UNSCR 687 disarmament process with Assad and facing the same Russian-led obstacles we faced enforcing disarmament with Saddam.
Trump is the Kremlin's man according to John Schindler here and here. And Clint Watts here.
RAND: The Russian "Firehose of Falsehood" Propaganda Model. (h/t)
Richard Landes on own-goal journalism and cogwar. (h/t)
At War on the Rocks, Alex Weisiger and Keren Yarhi-Milo write What American Credibility Myth? How and Why Reputation Matters.
Jill Russell refers to NSC-68 to explain how the Korean War set the baseline for the US approach to the Cold War.
The cyber/information war is underrated, effective, and especially scary for technology unsophisticates.
Harvard law Professor Jack Goldsmith argues President Obama adopted President Bush's Iraq doctrine. However, I disagree with Goldsmith that the legal basis for OIF was preemptive defense. The legal basis for OIF was Saddam's breach of the Gulf War ceasefire, in which the defense element was baked into the ceasefire. Therefore, although preemptive defense can be cited as a policy rationale, it was not the legal procedural basis for the action.
Duke law professor Charles Dunlap, who pioneered the offensive concept of lawfare while serving with USAF JAG, criticized OIF counter-intuitively as too restrictive for humanitarian reasons thus contributing to conditions in Iraq that facilitated the subsequent terrorist insurgency.
University of Texas at Austin professor Will Inboden fisks Jean Edward Smith's propaganda-laden hit-piece biography of President Bush. Notably, Inboden overlooks France's long complicity with Saddam's breach of the Gulf War ceasefire, including assurances that France would prevent military enforcement of the ceasefire mandates, and Saddam's "regional and global terrorism" (IPP).
I'm disappointed that independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin doesn't understand the legal-factual basis of the Iraq intervention. I respond to McMullin.
"Conservatives Need to Defend the Iraq War" at The Buckley Club.
The Shoe judges OIF by the numbers.
Calling out French national security pundits and diplomats, gloating over the Chicot report, on French complicity with Saddam's breach of the Gulf War.
Iraq tag at the Institute for the Study of War blog.
Thought-provoking article by journalist Jon Foreman, Does US Foreign Aid Really Do Good.
Inconvenient Questions about complaints about the Trump campaign in the historical context by GMU economics professor Tyler Cowen at his blog, Marginal Revolutions.
Matt Continetti, citing this Edward Conard speech, puts his finger on the populist economic issue at the heart of voters' discontent.
My cautionary advice to NeverTrump and NeverHillary conservatives which I follow up here.
Professional publication advice from USN CDR Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong. (h/t) Follow-up.
Brian Dunn's contemporary reaction to the 9/11 attacks.
Comparison of the team culture of the Spurs, Heat, Lakers, and Rockets. Update: Duncan, the core of the Spurs' culture, retired and Wade abruptly left the Heat for the Bulls over a contract disagreement. Similarly, Durant, a "founding father" of the Thunder, unexpectedly left for the Warriors.
Tiger Woods is an introvert who's out of sync with the world around him and wants a synchronized vibe.
Insightful: "And that’s how shy introverts succeed – they perform."
A Gen-X perspective on social changes since the 1990s.
40 thoughts on turning 40. Tim Duncan retired at age 40.
An endorsement of strong, willfully obedient wives, which sounds like the captain, first-officer (first sergeant) model.
Interesting search and rescue page by an eclectic individualist.
Useful advice from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) about getting lost in the woods. Note the survival kit packing list. (h/t via h/t)
PhD candidate Zachary Foster makes fun of overwrought humanities academese, which is not like legalese.
Jeremy Lin is joining the Brooklyn Nets on a 3-year contract starting in 16-17, his age-28 (DOB: 23AUG88) season. Yes! Recalled and affirmed, my 2012 argument for Lin joining the Nets. Netsdaily round-up. A relatively long interview with Steve Serby in the NY Post. His advice to Asian-American fans resonates and whether he succeeds as the Nets starting point guard will be a milestone, good or bad for the rest of us.
BYU Vocal Point's 25th anniversary alumni mash-up special featuring the acting and appearance-wise pitch-perfect Sophia Osmond is impressive.
Alone on History channel is interesting. It's a contest version of Survivorman with 10 contestants who film themselves alone on an island. The longest lasting contestant wins. I've watched season 2 on Youtube. The 1st contestant to "tap out", Desmond, lasted only 5 hours on the first day before tapping out before nightfall. He panicked at the signs of bear scat. Mary Kate and Tracy tapped out on day 7. Mary Kate cut her hand deeply with her axe. Tracy was dismayed at her angry reaction to bears who came close to her encampment at night. Mike and Randy tapped out on day 21 because they were lonely and missed their families. Mike and Randy are interesting because they appear to have conquered the technical and physical challenge of the contest but were mentally or emotionally unable to continue further. It appears as though if they had been less skilled and thus been more preoccupied by the technical and physical challenge, they might have lasted longer. Larry seems distraught a lot and less skilled than Randy and Mike, but it appears that the greater personal challenge is keeping him in the contest longer. Dave seems to be about Larry's skill level and acknowledges he's motivated by the money, which none of the other contestants except Desmond has openly admitted. Jose seems like season 1 winner Alan with a strong skillset and a mindset suited to last a long time. Alan stayed 56 days because the 2nd place finisher Samuel tapped out at 55 days. It's difficult to judge Justin except that he's wry and motivated to help veterans.
The Last Alaskans S02E08 Fire and Ice is beautifully edited, entrancing, finely weaving together the narrative threads of the stars of the show. It stands out as an award winner in an otherwise excellent show. 20-year-old Charlie Jagow, who joined the cast with the exit of Bob Harte, is charismatic and seems too capable to be real. Harte makes a cameo in the captivating ensemble climax of the episode. Apparently, the episode ends season 2.
All about Shawshank Redemption the movie.
Everest (2015) is a slick Hollywood telling of the 1996 tragedy that doesn't add much to the historical narrative given the glut of reported and 1st-person accounts and documentaries on the subject. A point of emphasis in the movie is that commercial guiding at Everest was only a few years old at the time, thus still in its trial-and-error stage, and Rob Hall pioneered it. Scott Fisher may have been killed by his lack of a business mindset clashing with the need to compete like a business in order to succeed. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) is made for fans with the assumption of background knowledge, such as the Battle of Jakku, from stories and games outside of the film canon. Without that knowledge, the character motives and narrative reasons are unclear for what happens in the movie. It mimics the simple but compelling narrative framework, tone, and style from the original Star Wars film. Carrie Fisher, as General Organa, looks and sounds odd. On its own merits, the movie doesn't seem to warrant the high praise it has received.
The 33 (2015) is okay. Its best feature is showcasing the inherent strength of traditional patriarchal culture. Toxin (2015) is just awful. I guess Danny Glover and Vinnie Jones needed the work. I wonder what Toxin director Jason Dubek thinks of his crappy product.
Wild (2014), adapted from the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, is an arresting story of self-recovery. It's an intriguing option. In the Heart of the Sea (2015) is loosely based on the true story that inspired Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851), the sinking of the Nantucket whaling ship Essex in 1820. The movie is light fare but it indicates a fascinating story, nonetheless. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) has some emotional resonance saying good-bye to familiar young characters in a 4-movie series, but the war in the told but not shown backdrop implied a much more interesting epic than Katniss's story, which is essentially a tween girl's self-centered fantasy.
The Peanuts Movie (2015) was something wonderful to watch. The movie captured the spirit of the classic cartoons based on Charles Schulz's comic. Going in, I dreaded a modern-day politically correct makeover and was pleased that, aside from a spare few modern touches and the 3D rendering, the movie was faithful to the spirit of the classic Charlie Brown. Apparently, Charles Schulz's son and grandson retained artistic control of the project. The story reminded me of Moonrise Kingdom. The mysterious little red-haired girl was an idealized Madonna who inspired Charlie Brown to strive to become a better man to win her love, like Suzy inspired Sam. It was insightful of my perspective on the issue. The moral of the story was don't quit because you may have more potential than you know, but you may have to endure a lot of failure and discouragement to realize it. Can't argue with the importance of persistence in the face of adversity. However, the feel-good Hollywood ending in which the little red-haired girl affirms to an agonized self-doubting Charlie Brown that she has seen through his bumbling, insecure, wishy-washy exterior to his admirable traits and is thus rewarding his efforts with the assurance of a summer pen-pal friendship, which recalled the platonic pair-bonding process in Moonrise Kingdom, was a fictional balm rather than a real solution. It stood out for me that her clinically cool response doesn't match his romantic ardor, but a boy who's infatuated for the first time probably wouldn't notice the disparity. When I tried the plain confrontation with girls that Charlie Brown did in the conclusion, I also received some platonic praise and even assurances of continued communication, but I wasn't rewarded with my desire reciprocated and the precious communication with my love was withdrawn in short order. That being said, Charlie Brown is undertaking the first step of his learning curve, and at this stage, her sterile platonic admiration is enough. The positive feedback from his love would be life-changing. It won't be enough when he's older, but right now, he's only starting to learn mastery of his life. She gave him a critical gift and he can yet afford for her to disappoint him later.
Slow Food Story (2013) bothered me because it pulled back the curtain of an appealing, seemingly benign social cultural movement to reveal a political socialist heart. Slow Food combines a nativist, traditional, green appeal, a cult of personality, and state-of-the-art activism and capitalist methods with a crypto-socialist agenda. I'm undecided whether to be wary of it.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), The Walk (2015), Grease (1978), The Revenant (2015), The Finest Hours (2016), Zoolander 2 (2016), The Big Short (2015), 13 Hours (2016), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016), Gods of Egypt (2016), Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015), Hail, Caesar! (2016), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016), The Last Man on the Moon (2014), Steak (R)evolution (2014), Hell or High Water (2016) is an overrated Coen brothers knock-off, Beyond the Edge (2013), The Shallows (2016), London Has Fallen (2016), Viral (2016).
Telltale makes emotionally engrossing videogame
I added a copyright notice with the CC license on the sidebar per this advice, using this site's format, then modified it per this advice. US Copyright Office FAQ.
This TechCrunch article is the closest source to a Twitter user guide I've come across.
Entropy. Everything breaks down. My desk HP laptop, purchased in 2007, is nigh unusable now, I don't know whether because of obsolete no-longer-updating software (Windows Vista) or old malfunctioning hardware. UPDATE: I unplugged the laptop from the HP xb3000 laptop expansion base, which I've used since purchase, and the laptop seems to work fine when separated from the expansion base; more function testing and diagnosis needed. The top broiler coil and timer of my Procter Silex toaster oven, also purchased in 2007, have stopped working. Now the bottom burner coils are starting to cross over each other like the broken top burner coil and the bottom burner buzzes suspiciously.
I'm chagrined that I didn't accomplish mission, but I'm also satisfied I made the right call last night. I was mid-way on a crosstown trek to buy groceries when my lower intestinal area started hurting. I decided to bear the discomfort at first because the week's sales circular included items I wanted: grape jam, sour cream, juice, crushed tomatoes. The hurt came and subsided and came again, worsening with each successive iteration. I felt sick and afraid I would have diarrhea, and realizing the long way there and longer way back ahead of me, I nixed the shopping trip. It was an uncomfortable walk home. I made it without an embarrassing accident in public. I suspected water I had sipped from one of several water fountains was to blame. Some urinary discharge indicated that the hurt was from a packed bowel. I sat on my toilet and stayed there a while until the blockage released, first hard chunks slowly then sludge more quickly. I guess I might not have had diarrheic discharge sooner because the hard chunks acted like a plug. I suspect the cause may be a recent increased ingestion of bannock and brownie and the assimilated flour packed together, combined with a decreased ingestion of fibrous roughage to bore-brush my GI tract and break up the flour packing together like cement. Insufficient hydration may have factored in, too. My lower intestinal area feels better after the discharge, but it doesn't feel normally calm yet. I'm cooking a 10-oz box of spinach right now, flavored with a 5-lb whole chicken, to ingest roughage, which hopefully will help bore-brush my GI tract. On episode 9 of Alone season 2, David increased his bull kelp intake because he was worried he wasn't having regular bowel movements and the fiber worked to make him regular again. Let's see whether the remedy will work for me.
3 months, 3 weeks later, constipation with abdominal discomfort for about 4 or 5 days. Squeezed out some pellets with a lot of effort. Considered using my bottle of magnesium citrate. Finally gathered the best available natural remedies at hand: about 2 oz Dalmatia fig spread, a 8.45 oz Vita box of mango juice, 2.1 oz Isagenize Isalean packet with about 30 oz water, and a lot of water. It worked. I don't know which 1 or combination of remedies worked. I'm guessing the fig spread. Update: The problem lasted a few weeks, maybe just short of a month, and has resolved by itself. One subsequent event was sufficient to clog up the toilet so that regular plunging didn't work and required an augur. After the plunging failed, I tried hot water, bleach, and dishwashing soap in the bowl, which cleared the dirty water in the bowl, but didn't do anything for the clog, which logically it wouldn't given the winding curve of a toilet drain pipe. Based on the failed plunging and fruitless probing with a wire hanger, the clog was deep in the pipe, likely around the 2nd higher bend in the pipe, beyond the reach of any dissolvent in the bowl. I learned that a few mild pushes with a plunger should be enough to clear a normal clog. The toilet flush was slow after the augur, perhaps because of a residual clog in the pipe, but returned to normal after the next use, which clogged, and plunge.
Dreams are like being in a virtual reality simulation whose script I can't alter.
Counterintuitively, boiling meat, eg, pernil and chicken breast, makes for dry meat. Microwaving thawed chicken breast on high for 10 minutes resulted in succulently moist meat, while every other cooking method for chicken breast results in dry meat. Meanwhile, every other chicken part cooks versatilely. Micowaving pernil at 50% power for 10 minutes resulted in decent texture except no char.
I boiled the bones soft after I consumed a 5-lb chicken, then broke up the bones and baked the bone bits and marrow into bannock. It was quite good, crunchy and flavorable, and the marrow added protein body to the bannock. But apparently, lead and other poisons settle in the bones, so I may have poisoned myself by eating the bones. I maybe should stick to just the marrow from now on.
Spoiled raw chicken meat has a sickly sweet odor and flavor that retains when cooked. I defrosted a whole chicken for about a day too long and most of the chicken tasted normal, but some of it tasted and smelled gone over.
Buying and cooking a whole chicken is a working option, but different parts of the chicken cook differently. Chicken breast is the most sensitive part to cooking time and method, but also the tastiest part when cooked right. Chicken breast is tasty when cooked in the microwave but chicken thigh cooked in the microwave is a waste, practically disintegrating.
Picking at a whole chicken, chicken cooked on bannock pizza has tasted best. Chicken on bannock open-faced sandwich has been okay with various combos of sour cream, tomato slices, cooked spinach, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, mustard, seasoned salt, garlic&pepper Adobo seasoning. It's most utilitarian over rice.
Chicken pricing is interesting. Chicken breast on sale is 1.99/lb. Chicken breast with bone attached on sale is 1.29-1.79/lb. Thighs and legs separated on sale are .99-1.50/lb. Chicken quarters (thighs and legs together) on sale are .49-.79/lb. Chicken backs and chicharron (assorted bits) on sale are .99/lb. Whole chickens on sale are .99/lb.
I bought a whole chicken for $7.31 at .99/lb, which is large and expensive, because the chicken was pre-seasoned. The value was better than expected because the breasts, the most expensive cut of chicken, were unusually large. I cooked it in the Mirro and refrigerated it on the day of purchase. It lasted for a week+ with good flavor. The flavor degraded due to repeated reheating more than time. In contrast, the flavor of refrigerated, not frozen raw chicken spoils in about 5 days.
I'm undecided whether Turkey wing or turkey leg offers better value. Turkey wing meat surrounds a larger bone but turkey leg meat is interspersed and impeded by slats.
A thick-skinned, tough turkey leg may need too be boiled for 4+ hours to tenderize the meat, but the meat makes for a tasty bannock sandwich with sour cream (better yet, mayonnaise), crushed tomatoes, onion, hot sauce, and seasoned salt. Boiling for a long time countered the slightly spoiled odor of the turkey leg after letting it sit at room temperature too long to defrost.
A 16 oz Jamestown hot sausage log is relatively cheap at $1.67. It's made from a cheap-tasting fatty pork that shrinks and produces a lot of grease. It's salty and its flavor is disappearing; it's disappointing mixed with canned salmon for example. However, it works as a ground meat replacement for bachelor meat sauce. I hadn't made bachelor meat sauce in a while because of the cost of ground meat. I browned about half a log or ~8 oz, mashed into small chunks in the Mirro, with chopped onions, carrots, and cut okra, added ~22 oz of crushed tomatoes from a Furmano's 28 oz can, vinegar with washed out peanut butter, about 3/4 cup uncooked rice for body filler, and for the last 20 minutes, elbow pasta, seasoned with oregano and salt. I used sour cream as a condiment. I could have added more water and rice to bulk it up. I omitted the spinach. As usual, the amount was deceptive as I ate it all in 1 night. It's filling comfort food. The sausage makes bachelor meat sauce a more viable option, but it's still a relatively expensive option since ~8 oz of sausage should last ~4 meals and a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes should last ~10 days.
Bachelor stew in contrast is made like bachelor meat sauce except with a whole turkey or chicken piece providing the meat flavor instead of ground meat, and often with crushed tomatoes omitted, but is significantly less satisfyingly filling.
Fancy open-faced bannock sandwich: chicken breast from the 7.31 lb whole chicken, Redpack diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano, raw kale leaf, raw onion, Polly-o mozzarella, mayonnaise.
Kale is fibrous and cooks best chopped up. Similar to okra, kale, especially kale stems, tastes better chopped up.
Tea flavored salmon tastes alright. The trick is finding strongly enough flavored tea. A concentrated 1st brewed packet of orange pekoe black tea with the leaf bits only produced a hint of tea flavor when mixed with the salmon. Orange pekoe black tea leaf bits, even unbrewed, don't work as a tea-flavored seasoning. The tea flavor must be brewed out of them.
I'm a fan of mayonnaise again. I've purchased 30 oz jars for $2 and $2.50, which is on par with sour cream on sale. I had been using sour cream as a mayonnaise substitute because they're both white and creamy, but they're different - egg white, vinegar, and soybean oil versus, well, sour cream. Mayonnaise has a distinct flavor and texture that is not interchangeable with sour cream. Mayonnaise works as a melted butter substitute with popcorn, which sour cream does not, because of the oil base.
Bannock made with mayonnaise or, similarly, corn oil mixed with the dough produces a pastry or pie crust-type consistency. Oil doesn't evaporate like water, so bannock with oil in the mix doesn't turn into a cracker as it cools like regular water-only bannock.
Libby's cream style sweet corn (14.75 oz can) contains bits of corn, not whole kernels. Not worth it. Make sure the label specifies whole kernels.
Polly-o whole milk mozzarella barely has taste. I bought 16 oz blocks on sale for $2 each. Its value is mostly in its texture when eaten uncooked.
I bought 24 oz cans of Hunt's mushroom and roasted garlic and onion pasta sauces on sale for .99 each because the store was sold out of .99-sale 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes. I couldn't taste the mushrooms at all and barely could tasted the garlic and onion flavor. Not worth it. Either buy glass jars of pasta sauce or cans of crushed tomato.
Baking Betty Crocker milk chocolate brownie using the pan in my bottom-burner-only toaster oven at 275° rather than the instructed 350° takes longer, a little over 10 minutes, but burns less. Pillsbury Dark Chocolate brownie tastes like burned oil when baked at 300° using the pan for about 7 minutes in the bottom-burner-only toaster oven, but bakes much better in the George Foreman grill at 4-5 minutes with good brownie texture and little-to-no burned oil flavor. Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge brownie and Milk Chocolate baked on the pan at 275° for 8 minutes in the bottom-burner-only toaster oven turned out well.
Brownie-mix ranger pudding with banana tastes good and, as batter, tastes okay when baked. Aunt Jemima artificial maple syrup replaces, not complements, the brownie flavor.
Soaking garlic powder in water removes all of its flavor. So if I spill garlic powder on the floor, trying to retain the garlic powder by soaking it in water to remove detritus doesn't work.
I scavenged 11 2.1-oz packs of Natural Berry Harvest Isagenix Isalean Shake Dairy-Free. It's an expensive product: a 14-pack box sells for about 40-50 dollars. One shake is filling enough for breakfast and lunch plus dinner, too, with bearing some hunger.