Chaos Manor View, Monday, November 23, 2015
We had a panel Saturday for the Greater Los Angeles Writers Association. Larry, John DeChancie, Barbara Hambly, and I, pretty well free form writer’s class. I said that Niven having got 2/3 of the way through the mail-order – this was before anyone ever thought of the Internet or “on-line – Famous Author’s School for Writers, which got a laugh, but in fact John and Barbara actually teach writing. I was the only one there who never taught writing or took any kind of writing class. I even got excused from freshman comp and bonehead English – the Christian Brothers were really thorough in my high school – so I had no idea of what they taught in those classes.
I really didn’t have a lot to say, and since I hadn’t brought the Surface Pro 3 (with Pro 4 keyboard) I couldn’t read them my decades old essay How To Get My Job which tells all the secrets I know about being a professional writer. They still bought me dinner and gave me a badge that says I am a lifetime member of GLAWA, and a ribbon that proclaims me an AUTHOR, so I guess now I am one.
The news continues. The President insists he has a winning strategy in the war on terror. We will cut off all the money and destroy the Caliphate without sending any – well not many – troops, mostly by air bombardment and encouraging other people to fight and die for the United States. We will also accept refugees, and no, there won’t be any terrorists lurking among them; and the Governors who reject having them settle in their states are just mean spirited and don’t know who the true Americans are, and I have a pen and a phone and I don’t need to pay attention to Congress. And if Congress tries to shut down the funds for importing refugees, they are just being mean and as President I’ll just spend it anyway, because I won, and if Congress tries to cut my funds I have a veto, and if they have the votes from traitor Democrats to pass it over my veto I’ll shut down the government. That will defeat ISIS or Daesh or The Caliphate or whoever they are.
That is a parody of his position, of course, but it actually sounds like he thinks it is a policy.
It isn’t a policy, and many of his advisors know it; as do some of the Democrats in Congress. The Caliphate can be destroyed, but only by taking away its claim to govern by the Will of Allah; and that can be done by owning the land they claim to govern.
“You may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, and wipe it clean of life -but if you desire to defend it, protect it, and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman Legions did – by putting your soldiers in the mud.”
T.R. Fehrenbach. “This Kind of War” .
Mr. Obama has never learned that lesson, and I think he has no advisors with the courage to tell him – if they know it, as increasingly few of them do.
The Senate grinds on; and the President has made it clear that he rules, with or without the consent of the governed.
Intelligence and the Paris attacks
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
John Dvorak observes that there was a complete absence of chatter before the latest round of attacks.
This implies, perhaps, that our intelligence agencies are looking in the wrong places for terrorists and are not successfully detecting the most sinister groups via electronic surveillance; it appears we are going to need old-fashioned HUMINT infiltration. Perhaps the refugees may be of use? They speak the language, have friends and cousins in the area, and moreover have a deep and abiding grudge against ISIS.
But can we assume the refugees are genuine refugees? Deception and false flags are allowed under the Koran
Intelligence and the Paris attacks
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
I would be surprised if ISIS *wasn’t* attempting to infiltrate terrorists through that vector. Surely they wouldn’t waste the opportunity?
Be that as it may, I doubt they are all that big a percentage of the overall refugee flow. ISIS is fighting a conventional war to establish a nation-state, after all. So I suspect they are already using the bulk of their riflemen types as precisely that; riflemen. The pool of candidates who can successfully infiltrate the west and carry out a terror action must be much smaller.
It also is in their interest to push out other brands of Muslims, such as Kurds, as well as Yazidis and Christians. So I suspect most of the refugees are exactly what they appear to be; frightened people with no special hatred of the west and a great deal of hatred for the people who drove them out.
Also, while refugees are a potential vector for terrorism, it is by no means the only one nor, perhaps, the most likely. Of the attackers in Paris, just as with the 9/11 attackers, none appear to be refugees. Rather, they appear to be raised in the west, and perhaps became bored.
The most dangerous threat, I suspect, is not from first-generation refugees but from second- and third- generation descendants who grow up in the west and become radicalized by Saudi propaganda, or perhaps by social media.
Not to mention, the people who have done the gravest damage to American national security in this decade — Edward Snowden and Manning — are neither Islamic nor refugees.
So I think the refugees as they exist offer a potential pool of recruits, much as refugees from Castro’s Cuba or Czarist refugees from the old USSR did. I suggest we make use of that. Surely, of the 278 million or so American citizens, there is at least one person like Horace Hussein Al-Shamlan Bury from your Gripping Hand novel? Find that person, put him in charge of vetting. We don’t need very many, just one. And then that one recruits two or three, and those two recruit two or three, and eventually snowball to the point where they can act as an expeditionary force or as an intelligence group.
Of course vetting will fail and the bad guys will slip in one or two ringers; they’ve done that to us since Turing and his Cambridge associates spied for the Russians. But I’m given to understand that this is precisely why intelligence agencies use cells and need-to-know; so that a single turned operative does not compromise the entire network.
Looking at it from the other side, I’m sure ISIS has the same problem; no doubt the Russians , the Iranians, and everyone else are trying desperately to penetrate their organization, yet somehow they are able to maintain a credible threat despite potential infiltration.
That reminds me … The Russians DID manage to pacify Chechnya , didn’t they?
So the problems we face are not unsolvable; they merely require a determination to do what is necessary, and a willingness to see through the solution across multiple administrations. That’s why doomed Bush’s efforts; I think. The Awakening was a success before the Democrats pulled the plug on the whole thing, For this to work, it has to be something both parties will stick to beyond the election cycle.
*Thinks* Or perhaps done by career people outside of the election cycle altogether.
*Shrug* that’s my opinion anyway.
While I agree that the first requirement is the will to win and we don’t have that, the fact remains that the refugees are migrants who have not any intention of assimilating; an indigestible lump most of whom will require considerable public assistance for food, shelter, health care, and education; all of which would cost us less if it were delivered in the Middle East, not Iowa or Louisiana. And if we conquer oil producing lands we have land to settle them on. If they then want to come to the United States, they can go apply for visas like anyone else.
We are going to have to defeat the Caliphate, and having done that we will have considerable land we do not want – and refugees who want land. We will have oil that we do not need (after we have sold some to pay for our having to conquer the land). Sometimes problems solve themselves.
We tried nation building. We are no good at it. But we can apply other philosophies. Protectorates are cheaper than assimilating vast hordes who do not want to be assimilated, and have no claims upon us other than pity. Alas we have not time to train the refugees into a fighting force – assuming they would actually want that.
Stretched FBI braces for Islamic State holiday terror attacks
I think we need not add to their burden. This is war.
Muslims Take Over US City
It seems we have our very own Hamburg, Germany:
It’s traumatic for them,” said Majewski, a dignified-looking woman in a brown velvet dress, her long, silvery hair wound in a loose bun.
Around her at the Tekla Vintage store, mannequins showcased dresses, hats and jewelry from the mid-20th century, and customers fingered handbags and gawked at the antique dolls that line the store, which sits across the street from Srodek’s Quality Sausage and the Polish Art Center on Joseph Campau Avenue, the town’s main drag.
Majewski, whose family emigrated from Poland in the early 20th century, admitted to a few concerns of her own. Business owners within
500 feet of one of Hamtramck’s four mosques can’t obtain a liquor license, she complained, a notable development in a place that flouted Prohibition-era laws by openly operating bars. The restrictions could thwart efforts to create an entertainment hub downtown, said the pro-commerce mayor.
And while Majewski advocated to allow mosques to issue calls to prayer, she understands why some longtime residents are struggling to adjust to the sound that echos through the city’s streets five times each day.
“There’s definitely a strong feeling that Muslims are the other,” she said. “It’s about culture, what kind of place Hamtramck will become.
There’s definitely a fear, and to some degree, I share it.”
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
The joys of diversity?
Government As the Enemy
This is interesting:
Pew Research Center found that 27 percent of registered voters say they think of government as an enemy, up 8 points since 1996. The latest poll looked at general public opinion regarding the federal government.
The findings suggests that 57 percent of voters feel frustrated with the government, while 22 percent feel angry and 18 percent feel “basically content.”
The majority of Americans feel the federal government has room for serious improvement, with 59 percent saying the government needs “very major reform.” Only 37 percent of voters felt that way in 1997.
When asked what particularly makes the government problematic, congress and politics were cited most often. Thirteen percent mentioned Congress, while 11 percent named politics.
More than a third (35 percent) of Republicans believe the federal government is the enemy, while 34 percent of Independents believe the same. The poll found that half of all Democrats (50 percent) view the government as a friend and only 12 percent see it as the enemy.
What surprises me is that independents and republicans are close on this matter.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
When I was young, no one would have said the government is the enemy.
Gingrich on Obama
In pleasant surprise, I find myself agreeing with Gingrich:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Saturday that President Barack Obama is heading “the most dangerous national security administration in American history.”
“They’re totally wrong about the war on terror and they lie about what is going on,” he told Uma Pemmaraju on Fox News. “Secretary [John] Kerry suggested that there was justification for the attack on Charlie Hebdo. He said al-Qaida has been degraded, which is not true.
“The president has called ISIS the junior varsity,” Gingrich added, referring to the Islamic State. “He said just last week that they have been contained. This administration is out of touch with reality.”
He goes on to speak about a young woman being radicalized in France and blowing herself up; he says this Administration doesn’t understand what we face.
Gingrich did not get into details,but he’s referring to a girl who posted pictures of herself wearing cowboy hats and making suggestive faces. Then, you see pictures of her dressed with a hijab and making hand signs. She sounds like an impressionable girl who got the wrong impression and we know the rest.
Gingrich has a rational position in that we need to consider this, calmly, and cope with it.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Newt and I are no longer close, largely because I seldom get to Washington any more; but he remains a good friend. Given time to consider he often has excellent reasons for what he says. Do not forget that he led in restoring the House to the Republicans when everyone thought it was irretrievably lost.
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.;
Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq;
Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time;
Distinguished Expert, TV remote control;
Chef de Hot Dog Excellence; Avoider of Yard Work
Mafia Against Daesh
You may have read that Anonymous declared war on Daesh, even releasing a hacking for “noobs” (novices) tutorial. Now the Mafia is after
The son of a New York mob boss has given Islamic State a stark warning, saying if they are planning any attacks in New York, they will have to contend with the Sicilian mafia. The notorious crime syndicate say they want to do their bit to protect locals.
Giovanni Gambino, the son of a key figure in the Gambino mob organization, says the mafia is in a much better position than security bodies, such as the FBI or Homeland Security, to give New Yorkers the protection they need.
“They often act too late, or fail to see a complete picture of what’s happening due to a lack of ‘human intelligence,’” he said in an interview with NBC News, as cited by Reuters, adding that the mafia’s knowledge of individual movements and interaction with locals gives it the upper hand, even compared to the latest surveillance technologies.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Cosa Nostra has the Constitution to protect its soldier against the American forces of law. They can provide preventative protection; but at what costs? A Sicilian Committee of Vigilance?
Cushy, well-paid government jobs
Government employment isn’t just a “sweet gig” in the USA; it is also very much so in the UK – maybe even more so.
If I had kids and/or grandkids, which incidentally isn’t the case and isn’t going to be, I would strongly suggest a career in government as being better paid, far less stressful and more secure (and with far better pension arrangements) than private industry. I would be gritting my teeth while saying it, but I’d still say it.
But this only really applies to government paper-shufflers; when the occasional crackdown on expenditure happens it ALWAYS hits services and people who actually do useful jobs (which do exist in government service) first. This is, of course, because it’s the paper-shufflers who make the decisions, as you have repeatedly pointed out.
Also incidentally, all this applies to some of the more monopolist and cartel-oriented industries as well. Banking, for sure.
I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, but I think this is only going to change when someone like Thatcher or Reagan gets into power and that is highly unlikely in the near future. (Maggie Thatcher’s granddaughter is natural-born Texan, so there might be a chance in maybe 2030…) Someone who is going to respond to disdainful masters in the way Reagan responded to the air traffic controllers. (“You’re on strike? Very well, you’re fired.”)
short video interview about Paris attacks Sender Name : Kerry Liles
Sender Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry, have seen this interview with a young boy in the aftermath of the Paris attack? I urge you to watch it (less than 90 sec) – it is perhaps small proof there is some hope for humanity… Out of the mouth of babes…
‘They have guns, but we have flowers. So all will be well.”
I think I’d rather have the guns.
‘If true, this would date the fall of Troy itself to precisely 1188 BC.’
There was a time when this would have been enough to go over there and look. I have a number of theories about the Bronze Age at the dawn of history. This fits them rather well.
Lost Island of Ancient Greece Discovered in Aegean Sea.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.