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Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1017

I can only assume that you don't actually read the posts you respond to. At no point have I ever mentioned the Atlantic Wall, or insinuated that constructing coastal fortifications were a useful method of national defense in the 21st Century.

I covered why Russia was forced to *react* in Ukraine. Re-read my post. And that WaPo article tells us nothing. It links to another WaPo article ( ) with nuggets of ridiculousness such as:

IF ANY international norm can still be called uncontroversial, it is the stricture against cross-border aggression by one sovereign state against another. Certainly any failure to enforce it in one place invites violations elsewhere.


But given the global repercussions of this struggle, the United States and its allies cannot afford to let Mr. Putin break the rules.

This is the same Cold War "domino effect" logic that had us fighting in Vietnam for a decade. And the hypocrisy on display is clear as day. How many sovereign states have been on the receiving end of "cross-border aggression" from the US in this century alone? Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria..... "The Rules" basically boil down to "Do as the US says, or else."

Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1017

*Who's* national security is undermined?


Really? Show me the OPLAN (Operations Plan) of a plausible scenario, with a Commander's Intent, Mission, Purpose, End State, and Scheme of Maneuver, where the Russian military would engage in a conventional attack against the continental US. Otherwise this statement is false. This is why I rank Woodrow Wilson as the worst US President of All Time: He really put into practice this idea that "Europe's problems are America's problems", and it's saturated the minds of Americans ever since.

However, if Russia has cause to believe that the USA will not honor its commitments to NATO, that could tempt Russia to try to "take back" one or more of the East European countries it lost after the cold war (similar to the way it "took back" part of the Ukraine in 2014).

The Russians are deeply pragmatic. What would they have to gain by annexing the Baltic states? The Russian minorities are small and their economies, while decently developed, are small in the aggregate. They can only expect unplanned 2nd and 3rd-order effects of an invasion, and probably a costly insurgency, not to mention souring their relationship with the rest of Europe. Europe is still their primary customer for natural gas exports. Even in the shoddy condition of their military in the late 90's/early 00's, there were no indications they were even *thinking* of such a course of action. It's only been the constant expansion of NATO right up to their border, combined with the US's deployment of Anti-Ballistic Missiles on their doorstep, that has led to a belligerent reaction.

Russia's nuclear arsenal is the primary tool for assuring national survival, and US attempts to undermine the MAD balance are rightly taken as an extreme national security threat. Obama won't even discuss the ABM issue with Putin. ( ) The last time someone built a military alliance up to their Western doorstep, it cost the Russians 20 million+ lives to rectify the situation. Do you think they are willing to give us the benefit of the doubt and risk repeating such a nightmare? Re: Ukraine. Sevastopol is Russia's only warm-water port, which they had been leasing from Ukraine. It's a vital part of their national security strategy. Given the possibility of Ukraine slipping entirely into NATO/the EU, could they really risk hoping to maintain their base lease with a government totally hostile to them possibly in power? No. So they snatched up the whole peninsula, and with virtually-no casualties (theirs OR Ukrainian) in the process. The insurgency in the separatist eastern states is meant to a) keep some semblance of a buffer between Russia's official land border and the obviously-less-than-friendly NATO military alliance b) keep Ukraine as a whole unstable enough to make full NATO/EU integration unlikely, and a forward-deployment of NATO troops in the east even less so. It's entirely reactionary to the US's attempt to move Ukraine out of Russia's orbit (here's where Nuland affirms her quote about $5 billion spent in Ukraine "to promote democracy": http://iipdigital.usembassy.go... and here is her caught on tape playing kingmaker after the Maidan riots: ).

Russia was content with the status quo vis-a-vis Ukraine, for the most part. How would the US react if China quietly funded NGOs to "promote Communism" in Mexico, culminating in the Mexican government being overthrown and replaced with a single-party Communist state? How would the US react if the Chinese built anti-ballistic missiles in *Canada* to "protect against rogue Iranian warheads" (Note: this is the actual BS argument the US gave for putting missile sites in *POLAND*).

So let's imagine that Trump is elected, and then Russia bets that Trump won't bother to defend, say, Lithuania, and so Russia sends in their troops to "reclaim" Lithuania.

Again, this is my point: you are just taking it as a given that Russia will conduct an offensive operation to seize territory in the absence of provocation from the West. I'm saying there is no hard evidence to support this assertion. They have little to gain by doing so. In 2008 they could have easily occupied and annexed Georgia, if they wanted to. Russian forces had shattered the Georgian defensive lines and could have pushed to take the capital of Tblisi. The US and NATO were tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US had threadbare forces in Europe, and so were in even less of a position to counter-attack than now. And yet the Russians didn't gobble the country up.

*sigh* One of the basic principles of warfare and military planning is understanding your enemy. To plan effectively you need to think about what the enemy might do, and *WHY*. In the US military, at the especially at the tactical level, we call this "turning the map around." In other words, looking at the battlefield from the enemy's perspective. Think about what they want to accomplish and how they could best achieve their objectives. Only then can you adequately develop a plan to counter their moves.

But normal people either don't understand this, or simply refuse to contemplate it. Everyone is just thinking "Well, I read on the Internet that The Other Guys are maniacal, mustache-twirling, warmongering villains, so all of our planning should reflect this basic fundamental truth." It's quite frustrating to witness.

Now what happens? Either Trump doesn't respond, in which case NATO is exposed a paper tiger, and Russia (and potentially others) now feel free to invade more countries when they want to;

So you want to continue playing world police? When are you enlisting? Can I put you on point during patrol, so you can eat the first Russian bullet? Or you just want "The other 1%" (aka the portion of the US population in the military) to keep dying to assuage your moral angst at what you perceive as injustices on the far side of the globe?

Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1017

Regardless of whether he intends to follow through on these statements or not, the mere fact that he's describing NATO in public as a protection racket instead of a treaty has already undermined national security.

*Who's* national security is undermined? There isn't a single nation-state that poses an existential threat to the US, short of a nuclear exchange. Even if the Russians were to sweep all the way to the French Atlantic coast.....the domestic citizens of the US would not be at risk. It's one of the advantages of having your continent-sized country separated from the rest of the world by giant oceans, patrolled by the world's largest Navy.

The "Russian threat" is largely trumped-up fearmongering by the military-industrial complex....and that's coming from someone who's been in said MIC for 13 years.

Hell, considering that the US is a net importer of foreign goods, a collapse of US-European trade due to a Russian conflict would probably be good for domestic US employment.....

In fact Trump is making it clear that there could be no point in signing a treaty with the United States at all.

The US's credibility for sticking to its word has long been on shaky ground, since we first invaded Iraq (we supported Saddam against Iran....then turned around and crushed him). Gaddafi made efforts to reconcile with the West ( ). But then he had the great idea of a gold-and-oil-backed Libyan/African dinar. That wasn't well-received in the land of fiat money, and he too found himself turned on by Western leaders who smiled in his face just a few years prior.

Unless you are willing to prostrate your economy before the implements of Western banking manipulating (IMF, etc...), you can't take anything Washington says at its word. Why else do you think regional powers that have had targets painted on them (Iran, North Korea) put so much effort into acquiring nukes? Why do you think Russia puts so much funding into the development and readiness of its Strategic Rocket Forces? Because if you disagree with the US's world order, MAD is the only system guaranteed to prevent a US invasion.

Comment Re:The basest, vilest (Score 1) 1017

But this is a major party nominee calling for another country to commit cybercrime and violate our national security for his own political gain.

For his own political gain, or so the electorate can actually know the truth about what sort of incompetence and shadiness their Democratic-party overlords have been getting up to?

Slashdotters are by and large in support of Snowden's whistleblowing. But when Trump asks of Russia "Hey, since you guys probably already stole this shit, do you mind sharing Clinton and the DNC's secrets with the rest of us?", now people want to hang a guy encouraging transparency from the lamp posts?

Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1017

So you think destabilization of international affairs, particularly against the larger more powerful competitor nations

Well we already screwed the pooch on that in 2007 when we put Anti-Ballistic Missiles in Poland (over Russia's protestations), and we've been doing our damnedest to threaten China's maritime resource lifeline using the SCS "freedom of navigation" excuse. Newsflash: ~85% of SCS shipping goes to/from China....

I'm not sure why you think Trump would make these relationships worse. I would describe the Trump-Putin relationship as "cordial" ( ) ( ), which is more than I can say for Obama-Putin or Bush Jr. - Putin.

I recently watched a video of Trump interviews over the years, and in one he talks about how the Chinese are ruthless business people who are taking us to the cleaners. He's willing to do business and engage with them, as long as we make sure we aren't getting ripped off. Seems a more honest assessment of how we should handle China than the Clinton approach that we saw in the 90's.

along with unnerving long-standing and even newer allies

The vast majority of which owe their national security to the US. Security which we are not properly compensated for. Trump will force our lazier "allies" to get their houses in order and shoulder more of the burden for protecting themselves.

Comment Re:sure glad they don't have nukes (Score 1) 141

But 24 million men, given rifles, uniforms and marching orders, will sure as shit make China's neighbors sit up and pay attention. Combine it with mechanization courtesy of their automated factories, and it's not even a "human wave" anymore. And as you hinted, it's a small enough portion of China's population they could lose all those men as casualties and barely notice, if they kept a lid on the media (which they do pretty well).

Comment Re:frist post (Score 1) 569

Also, your premise is flawed. More guns = more murder.

Have you actually read the paper in your first link? Here's data from their Table 2:

Gun ownership 1.009 (1.004, 1.014) .001 For each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of household gun ownership, firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%
Percentage Black 1.052 (1.037, 1.068) .001 For each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of Black population, firearm homicide rate increased by 5.2%
Gini coefficient 1.046 (1.003, 1.092) .037 For each 0.01 increase in Gini coefficient, firearm homicide rate increased by 4.6%
Violent crime rate 1.048 (1.010, 1.087) .013 For each increase of 1/1000 in violent crime rate, firearm homicide rate increased by 4.8%
Nonviolent crime rate 1.008 (1.003, 1.013) .002 For each increase of 1/1000 in nonviolent crime rate, firearm homicide rate increased by 0.8%

Well, the proportion of households with firearms has been debated ( ). That article suggests that the proportion of firearms owners has been either constant or increased. Which, according to the study you linked, SHOULD increase firearms deaths, all other things being equal. Of course, things are not equal. But consider the changes in America over the past ~10 years:

-reduced economic security
-persistent high unemployment
-amplified racial tensions
-increased use/abuse of prescription drugs
All of these should ALSO contribute to higher firearms deaths. And yet the numbers have declined. How to do you reconcile this?

Some studies suggest that ownership rates are declining, yet firearms continue to sell because existing owners are stockpiling. ( ) A doubling of firearms from 4 to 8 is a huge proportional increase, but we haven't seen a commensurate rise in violent deaths within this gun-owning demographic, which is disproportionately rural, middle-class, white men. ( ) How do you explain this, given your assertion that more guns = more murder?

Let's concede that in an absolutely literal sense, firearms and deaths are positively the way that 0.00001 is technically a positive non-zero number.

From the table above, income inequality has 5x as much of an impact on violent deaths as firearms proliferation. Same for the pre-existing violent crime rate.

Taking steps to fix society's other ills will do more to reduce the violent death rate than purely controlling the number of firearms. Given that time and labor are limited resources, allocating them efficiently to solve problems is paramount. If the weapons proliferation alone is a small fraction of the cause of deaths in America as I've demonstrated above, then focusing our efforts here is a misallocation of our energy.

And this doesn't even touch on the logistical difficulty/inefficiency of trying to collect 300 million+ weapons from a country the size of a continent. If the US's War on Drugs is anything to go by, expect an abject failure in a weapons crackdown.

Comment Re:frist post (Score 2) 569

When your goal is to massacre as many people as possible before the police show up, reload times are very important.

The Orlando shooter killed ~50, wounded 50, over 3 hours. About 1 per 2 minutes, although the bulk were probably shot in the first ~20 minutes (my guess). Reload times increasing from 2-3 seconds (someone who has practiced speed reloading detachable magazines) to 5-10 seconds will not cause a significant decline in casualties during a mass shooting in a target-rich, enclosed environment.

You are planning to murder U.S. soldiers and law enforcement. You are a menace. Please turn yourself in right now.

I'm a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps, and I live in Japan. If you don't like the ideas I have for business products, feel free to make them illegal. For now, though, gatling guns and tactical bolt-action rifles are less of a menace than high fructose corn syrup or tobacco products.

Comment Re:frist post (Score 1) 569

Actually, I was looking for a rifle emoji last weekend. One of my friends was celebrating his birthday. I think he's originally from Florida, I've lived in Florida, and have a friend in Orlando who almost went to the nightclub where the shooting occurred. So I made a crack about his birthday fireworks being provided by the Orlando shooter. I typed "rifle"....but no rifle emoji popped up for selection.

Here's our (redacted) group chat on LINE, probably the most popular messaging app in Japan:

Part 1:
Part 2:

Comment Re:frist post (Score 1) 569

The term "assault rifle" was created in 1992 (I believe) by the anti-gun crowd (you know, Diane Feinstein, Charles Schumer and friends, the Brady Bill people) to attempt to categorize "scary-looking" guns with a "scary-sounding" name.

But the term literally did not exist until that drumbeat started after James Brady got in the way of the bullet intended for Ronald Regan.

Until then, there was NO SUCH THING as an "Assault Rifle", period. And there STILL isn't.


It's name is literally Assault Rifle 1944. With the term attributed to Hitler, of all people (it was originally classified as a Machine Pistol aka Sub-Machine Gun).

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