Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Through Thick and Thin

with 3 comments

Another week gone by. Two more days to the last and final debate between Romney and Obama. Both sides are pulling out all the stops. I’m more bored by the day. What’s this, the tenth election in a row billed as “the most important election ever?” I don’t think so. Might be the most screwed up election ever. Now that “both sides” have convinced their base that the only thing that matters is their narrow ideological stand on a  handful of of social  issues, there is zero chance that any of the real issues facing this country will be addressed. Climate change? What’s that? Our endless overseas wars? Don’t go there. Our every expanding security state? Fracking? GMOs? Forget about it. Nope, just legions of people who thinking they are saving babies or saving women by their respective vote for a dyed-in-the-wool agent of the 1%. Like in the previous election, I’m hoping that the Republican wins, because it might breath new life into the antiwar left, which Obama has effectively driven into a lobotomized coma. Yes, Obama has succeeded where Nixon and his generation only dreamed, he destroyed the antiwar movement. In any event, a few random notes on recent events, in no particular order:

A huge US led anti-mine drill in the Persian Gulf was a disaster. It was called the single largest naval drill in history, with more than 30 nations participating. Twenty nine simulated mines had been planted, the whole point of the exercise was to demonstrate the West’s effectiveness to find mines and keep the Straight of Hormuz open. Reportedly the drill was an abject failure, with less than half of the simulated mines being found. Not exactly sure what this signifies. I can’t see why the US would lie about something like this, maybe they want to encourage the Iranians to do something rash? Seems like sowing international doubt about our ability to keep the straight open wouldn’t be worth the damage it would do to the US’s credibility and efforts to prevent diplomacy with Iran. It’s certainly possible that we’re just that bad, a huge amount of military spending the past few decades has been about enriching the arms manufacturers, with limited attention paid to whether equipment will actually work under real world conditions. Who knows, curious though.

An interesting poll was just taken in Egypt. Apparently there is a trend towards support for Iran and Egypt acquiring nuclear weapons. And the military is still the most trusted institution in the country. Interesting for a number of reasons. I think it’s a good thing that Egyptians are turning away from the USA and the west and more interested in hewing their own path. It’s painfully clear at this point that the USA doesn’t give as rat’s a** about the people of the Middle East, and is only trying to maintain western and Israeli hegemony in the region. And it’s also painfully clear that the nuclear powers, declared and undeclared (cough Israel cough) have no intention of giving up nuclear weapons and are perfectly happy to have the current situation perpetuated forever. It was also interesting some of the reaction to the poll in the west. They saw it as a sign of the rise of extremism in Egypt. Yerp, people deciding they know what’s best for their countries and not wanting to be a satrap of the USA is extremism. The US and Israel keep reaping what they sow, and there seems like no end in sight.

Scientists have decided to send a paddle boat into space. Those crazy scientists, what will they think of next? OK, not space exactly, they want to send a paddle boat to Titan, a moon of Saturn. It’s actually a good idea, it will get to sample both the lakes and the atmosphere of Titan, and move around a bit to get more varied data. The plan is for it to last for six months to a year. The last Titan lander lasted 90 minutes. Considering it’s nearly 300F below zero that’s a tall order. I’m assuming it will be nuclear powered. In other space news someone stitched together the above panorama from shots taken by the new Curiosity rover on Mars. I love pics like this, really shows it  as the surface of a planet; add a few juniper bushes and it could have been taken in Nevada.

I have a number of dedicated posts I have been chipping away on. Hopefully I will get some of them out in the next week. Another week where I have a lot of work. that’s good, the wolves have been pushed back out the door at least. I hope everyone had a good weekend!

(The above image is public Domain under US copyright law. Credit and copyright: NASA. For the readers of coarser tastes so to speak, a stone penis was also recently discovered on Mars. I don’t think it’s going to give the Face on Mars a run for its money.)


Written by unitedcats

October 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Doug, I have to take exception with you that President Obama has succeeded where Nixon didn’t in destroying the anti-war movement. I believe that Reagan and the Bushes, particularly GW did that. GW used 9/11 to turn the majority of Americans into paranoid, islamafobiacs. Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld plus warmongering Generals steeped America in pro-war hysteria. Those are the people who took advantage of the weaker minded, red-neck, christian taliban. I’m not saying President Obama helped to change that but I seem to sense that you are blaming him for not doing more to turn it around than for his actions.

    Lee Whittaker

    October 22, 2012 at 7:13 am

    • I am not blaming him, I am pointing out that he got elected on an antiwar platform, and then expanded our wars and military posturing, leaving antiwar democrats with no voice in government at all. Many of them have indeed been co-opted into being pro-war liberals. I understand what Bush and company did after 9/11, Obama has accelerated their “war on terror,” not taken us back from the brink. —Doug


      October 22, 2012 at 7:38 am

      • Ok, I don’t usually get involved in a debate with people but here goes. Maybe we didn’t hear the same candidate when Obama ran for office. I heard him say that Iraq was a misstep and that he would end that engagement.. I also heard him say that he would take the war to Afghanistan and OSB in retribution for 9/11. Which he did and has set a draw down of troops there. I believe that the majority of Americans, including many liberals, felt that Afghanistan and OSB was what should be done. So far he hasn’t sent troops to Syria, Yemen or Iran. I hope any president can hold that ground but I am not hopeful. I am anti-war.I detest the drone strikes. I find it abhorrent and a waste of human lives. Wars always seem to be about putting money in a few peoples’ pockets while never serving the general population.
        All of that being said, it seems to me that the Libertarian party has usurped the anti-war message. The liberals have a quandary when it comes to the middle east. Maybe most don’t like war but they also find genocide and abuse to women, in particular, unacceptable.
        All I’m trying to say is that their is no pie in the sky candidate. But I will take President Obama any day over a party that would gladly turn this country into a thriving third-world
        theocracy and set progress back 50 years. .

        Lee Whittaker

        October 22, 2012 at 8:44 am

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