Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup   13 hours 58 min ago

    True story.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   22 hours 37 min ago

    But if you see something that needs to be posted, please do so. It takes a village...

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   1 day 20 hours ago

    no matter how many carrots you have to wave around. I'm talking about projecting military power, in case you find that confusing. I know many reading this have had their fill of American Exceptionalism/Colonialism, and you can count me in your ranks. But I'm also not fond of absolutes, because they inevitably lead to more problems.

    Some truisms to start this conversation: 1) Seeking power over others is a common trait among our species. 2) Where there is a vacuum of authority, entities will emerge to take advantage of that (see Daesh). 3) People will suffer lost freedoms and lives as a result. 4) We cannot ignore that and hope it goes away.

    But we also cannot continue to invade countries, boots on the ground, in an effort to "manage" the situation. That is, at its core, Imperialist thinking and behavior. Even if our motives were pure (which they never have been), it simply doesn't work. Cultural, ideological, and often religious factors, make such management impossible. Our own revolutionary history is proof positive that colonialism is doomed to fail eventually, and it's long past time we learned that lesson.

    I think we can all agree on that, but let's talk about things on which we likely don't.

    While foreign countries don't need our (often hapless) occupations to right their wrongs, they do need us to be vigilant. They need to know we are watching, and that we will take action when necessary. Human rights are (or should be, anyway) universal, but there are always those who would wield what power they have to take them away.

    You would think in the 21st Century that genocidal thoughts and actions would be extinct, but they are not. When resources become scarce and hunger pervasive, "otherism" often emerges as a handy culprit. But our patently selfish preoccupation with "strategic interests" has often clouded our vision, allowing massacres like Rwanda to go unchecked. Such moral failures do not go unnoticed, and guarantee future human rights violations in their wake.

    So. Corrective action is sometimes necessary, and that includes military action, when you are dealing with non-state actors or rogue nations who cannot be "reasoned" with.

    Advanced technology has given us the ability to monitor activities across the globe, and to strike targets when that becomes necessary, to avert greater harm. I know how that sounds (the ends justify the means), but failure to act is an action unto itself. That often has fatal results, for those on the bottom rung of the power ladder. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) are (or can be) one of the best methods to do this, because the decision to strike can be delayed until the last minute. Or second. As opposed to launching a cruise missile, which, even though they have video telemetry that can be monitored, once launched they are going somewhere.

    But it's those last minute (or second) decisions that need to be addressed; who is making said decisions, the psychological condition of that person, and what led to the drone being launched in the first place. If there is no specific target in mind, the drone should not have become airborne yet. When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Even a wedding procession.

    In the absence of humint (human intelligence) or satellite reconnaissance detailing specific threats, those drones are searching for targets. And they will find something, that may have some of the attributes of a legitimate target, but that isn't enough. It isn't enough information, it isn't enough reasoning or contemplation, it isn't enough justification.

    And without those things, it isn't a tool to preserve human rights. It becomes the opposite.

  • Reply to: Saturday News: You've been served   2 days 18 hours ago

    Back in the day, Kokai was a second-rate AM radio guy in Chapel Hill. He Peter-principled his way to the bottom (how else can one describe any career at the Puppetshow?) and emerged as a spokesbot in the mold of every other Trump liar on earth.

  • Reply to: Saturday News: You've been served   2 days 18 hours ago

    There's really no comparison between the two parties, especially when public education is being discussed. They claim public schools are "failing," and then make sure funding decisions drive said failure.