War! What Is It Good For? Quite A Lot, Actually…

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This argument keeps getting repeated because it sounds complex – but it’s actually simplistic bullshit. You can’t blame everything on some power conspiracy and the media.

Hitler needed to die. Saddam needed to be spanked. ISIS needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth.

Someone a lot smarter than me once said that ‘war is politics by other means’ – that at some point all the pretty words and good intentions will mean absolutely fuck all and that violence is the only way to achieve a better world.

To think anything else is childish and naive.

There are monstrous people and entities out there in the world that will not listen to reason… will not answer the call to be civilized… will not value human life and dignity – and the only way to fix the problem is to forcefully remove them from their positions of power since no megalomaniac will just step aside when you ask nicely.

Let’s examine my three examples from above.

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Adolf Hitler.

Yes… in many ways Hitler was the almost unavoidable result of the restrictions and penalties that were slapped upon Germany at the conclusion of The Great War (World War 1) – which in itself was a wholly avoidable conflict that sprung from complex and nefarious machinations by a several political entities… but it was a war that happened all the same, and Germany was by far the worst offender.

In short, the Allies reaped the whirlwind.

But… but… Hitler used this excuse to further his own agenda by co-opting the anger and destitution of the entire German population so that he could “cleanse” the world of people he did not care for: primarily the Jews, but also Gypsies, Negroes, homosexuals, those with mental or physical handicaps, etc etc etc.

Terrifyingly, Hitler and his Nazi pals would have succeeded if it hadn’t been for two things… a major blunder on his part, and something happening on the other side of the planet that he had no control over.

At the start of hostilities, Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviets – essentially promising Stalin that Nazi forces wouldn’t attack bona fide Russian territory as long as the USSR stayed out of Germany’s way.

It sounded nice on paper, full of flowery language that established Nazi Germany and the USSR as best of pals – but as with all promises, it didn’t carry a whole lot of weight with one of the parties: Adolf engineered the pact for the express purpose of gaining territory without worrying about Soviet resistance… and when the Nazis had conquered pretty much all of Europe, they tore up the pact and attacked Russia with everything they had.

During The Great War, the Russians had lost something like 14 million fighters – which lured Hitler into thinking that Russia would be easy pickings, but he failed to understand how much the Soviets loved their snow-ridden country, and how they would muster 12 million more soldiers to fight for their Motherland (8 million of which who would die).

Also in World War 2, the Nazis were allied with Imperial Japan – so much so that the two countries were constantly swapping gold reserves to prop up each others economies… despite the fact that Hitler held a great deal of disdain for Asians of all colours.

Unfortunately for Hitler, the Japanese decided to attack the U.S. of A. four years into his battle for world domination – which only enraged the Americans and brought them into World War 2 properly (they had supplied weapons to Britain and its allies for quite some time).

It became quickly clear that the Nazis were going to be fighting wars on both the Western front (the British, the Americans, the Canadians, etc.) and the Eastern front (the very angry Russians, who had more fighting men/women than the entire Third Reich) – which was a tactical situation grave enough to give any leader a moment of pause… but not Hitler: he doubled down on all fronts because he was not going to give up any of his ill-gotten territory, nor was he willing to give up the opportunity to commit genocide.

In the face of daily briefings by the German Wehrmacht that Nazi forces were getting their asses handed to them by the Allies, Hitler refused to accept reality – and it was at this point that it became clear that Hitler needed to die.

Hell, even members of his own Nazi party wanted Adolf dead – trying on a few occasions to do it themselves.

Thankfully, Hitler himself did humanity that favor by blowing his brains out after his wife Eva had poisoned herself – but only after realizing that the war was truly lost… which had been made evident by Allied forces breaching Germany’s pre-WW2 borders.

Could the bloody, wholesale violence of the WW2 conflict have been avoided? No chance whatsoever.

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Saddam Hussein.

Let me say from the outset that Saddam didn’t need to die – so I’m going to restrict this section to the First Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991) and not the latter Gulf War II that eventually lead to his capture and execution.

The First Gulf War was really the end result of the cessation of American-Russian Cold War posturing when the former Soviet Union collapsed.

You see, throughout the Cold War, countries in the Middle East were used as pawns by the American and Russian governments – sometimes to great effect, but mostly it was a draw… maintaining a power balance between Communism and The West.

For example, the Americans armed Iran with the best weapons the U.S.A. could export – that is until the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Iranian royal family (The Shah) in favor of strict Islamic rule.

Fun fact: to this day, the Iranian Air Force still flies F-14 Tomcats that were gifted to the Shah – despite that the Americans retired the aircraft from service a number of years ago, which means there are no new spare parts to keep those planes flying once they break down… not that the Americans would ever let Iran buy said parts.

Anyhow, Saddam’s Iraq vacillated back and forth between the Americans and the Soviets – essentially choosing whoever would give him the most toys for his military… which in the end was the Soviets: there used to be a running joke that Iraq had more Russian-made T-38 tanks than the USSR did.

By choosing to accept the Soviet “philanthropy”, Iraq alienated itself from The West – and the The West made good on this by drastically slashing the amount of oil Saddam was allowed to sell on the open market (yes… Iraq sold a lot of oil to their Russian benefactors, but Soviet currency wasn’t worth a whole lot).

When the Cold War drew to a close, The West continued to see Saddam as a nuisance and thusly kept the oil embargo in place.

At this point, Iraq was the equivalent of the spoiled brat who throws a tantrum when nobody pays them enough attention – despite their having every toy in the Sears Wishbook.

Seeing that he had more tanks than any of his neighbours, Saddam decided to invade Kuwait – not really for the territory, but for the oil wells that the Kuwaitis possessed… oil wells that produced a good deal of the crude that made the world run.

His reasoning was pretty simple: by controlling the Kuwaiti oil, Saddam could pressure OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – but you can call them the Oil Cabal) into lobbying their Western patrons for lifting of the embargo on Iraqi oil exports.

If Kuwait hadn’t had any oil, it’s highly unlikely that there would have been a military intervention by The West… but Kuwait did have oil, and that oil went towards powering big American SUVs, European diesels, Italian sports cars – while also being turned into the plastics Asian nations turned into manufactured goods.

With OPEC charging more money for less oil, a military coalition was formed to free Kuwait.

At this point, the war was still avoidable.

Saddam could have seen reason and pulled his forces back into Iraq – but he had surrounded himself with “yes men” by executing anyone who disagreed with him… which meant that there was nobody in his cabinet to point out that all his Soviet-made military hardware had a glaring flaw: The West had spent decades developing weapons and tactics designed specifically to destroy the Soviet military.

And so, Saddam needed to be spanked… to be forcibly shown the error of his ways.

Oh… and just in case you’re asking why Western forces didn’t warn Saddam about his out-of-date military, let me assure you that they made that very clear before shipping a single HUMVEE to the Middle East – warnings that fell on self-assured, deaf ears.

The rest is history: within 6 months, Iraq’s military was blown to bits… its military morale shattered… and its forces driven back inside Iraqi borders.

Despite being thoroughly beaten, Saddam was still defiant… ordering his war chiefs to mount continual attacks with what little armaments that they had left – and to set fire to the very oil wells that Iraq had invaded for in the first place.

If you can’t win the war, you might as well punch Mother Nature in the cunt, right?

It took a further month to negotiate an end to hostilities – and by that time, the Iraqi forces were pretty much stuck with throwing rocks at Coalition troops.

Was it all about oil? No: Saddam had shown the world his willingness to commit genocide by using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels in Iraq’s northern territories – but it was mostly about oil… and Saddam’s monumental ego.

Of my three examples, the First Gulf War was the most avoidable… and the Second Gulf War was a crime committed by the American Republican Party (for which nobody was punished, by the way).

If Saddam had had a single, discordant voice of reason in his political cabinet, he might have been convinced that invading Kuwait was pure folly.

If the world hadn’t entrusted the pricing of oil to the OPEC Oil Cabal, there would have been less impetus for squabbling over Iraq’s seizure of the Kuwait oil fields.

However, we must also take into account the feelings of Kuwaiti citizens – who were, for the most part, overlooked in the conflict: a Kuwaiti person had every right to refuse Iraqi rule… the right of every sovereign nation to be free of harassment by foreign powers.

So, in the end, the war had to happen.

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Finally, we have ISIS.

The rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh was a foregone conclusion – the direct result of the Second Gulf War… which, as I stated above, I think was wholly avoidable.

By the very nature of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, rogue Islamic groups were not allowed to form in Iraq – since they would be seen as a threat to the ruling Baathist party… which necessitates the destruction of said Islamic movements by the elite Republican Guard.

There’s probably no way to determine how many Islamic factions were put down by the Iraqi government – what with most of its leadership dead and all – but with all that violence, a particular type of anger began to fester in one extremist vein of Islam… and unfortunately, it was the most dangerous.

You see, groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban are all about strict adherence to Islamic tenets – but a very narrow interpretation of Islamic texts that can be lumped into a catch-all called Sharia Law.

While the implementation of Sharia Law is both brutal, inhuman, and anachronistic – the jihadis that follow Al Qaeda and the Taliban have a fairly well-defined end game: possess a territory and rule it.

Yes, expansion of that territory is always an option – but global conquest isn’t the driving force, regardless of how much Osama bin Laden called for the death of Western infidels.

This is where ISIS differs: while they have the same adherence to Sharia Law, ISIS also wishes to conquer the entire planet… just so that they can usher in Ze End Of Ze World.

Yes, folks: ISIS is a Doomsday Cult Of The First Order – but this time around, the bad guys want the entire planet to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid.

When asked, an Al Qaeda jihadi fanatic will tell you that ISIS is much too fanatical for their tastes: while 72 virgins in Heaven sounds like a good idea, how are they supposed to get those virgins if the entire human race is dead?

And because of this fundamental goal… the whole foundation of their existence… it will be forever impossible to negotiate with ISIS: your desire to keep living is incompatible with their desire to kill you and everyone you love.

Fun fact: ISIS has taken possession of territory from other Islamic nations – and then proceeded to destroy Islamic historical sites located therein… purely because ancient Islam wasn’t Islam enough (which is a form of logic so preposterous as to defy explanation: Mohammed, source of all things Islam, wasn’t tough enough – despite ISIS waging war in his name).

Want another fun fact? ISIS agents specifically recruit mentally handicapped persons to employ as suicide bombers.

And of course, there’s all the raping and murder of children… but who’s counting? Certainly not the liberal Peaceniks who think these ISIS animals can be reasoned with.

I’m not a bloodthirsty guy.

If a sensible peace can be arrived at through non-violent means, I will always vote for that – but if you take away any hope for that kind of pie-in-the-sky resolution, then by His Noodliness, I’m 100% for shooting every single last ISIS jihadi in the face… or bombing their encampments into a fine, bloody paste.

Yes, we are reaping the whirlwind that the Second Gulf War set in motion… but that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and let these savages have their way with the world because some of you out there lack the intestinal fortitude.

That’s the thing about war: it happens whether you agree with it or not… especially when it’s for the simple right to exist.

Paris after the ISIS attack

Do I agree with all wars?

No.

There have been some really tragic, drawn-out conflicts that were mostly avoidable – mainly Korea and Vietnam.

Those two conflicts were such drawn-out affairs because of the Cold War… proxy battles between the United States and the Soviet Union (via its fellow Communist nation, China).

Let me be clear: the wars themselves were unavoidable as both the South Koreans and South Vietnamese had the right to defend themselves against the newly aggressive and Communist North, but the wars could have remained regional without international involvement.

However, The West didn’t see things that way: Communism was too dangerous to let spread, so major offensives were required to drive it back… with such large military operations only able to be waged by a military that built solely for that purpose – and The West had been predicting Communist invasions of Continental Europe pretty much since the end of World War 2, and therefore had a surplus of troops and weapons.

I should take a moment to point out that the Korean War was fought with weapons not much advanced from WW2, and hence the combat dragged out for years just as before – but this time, there was the real threat of nuclear exchange hanging in the air.

In the end, no real peace was attainable – and so the Koreans have been managing a cease-fire for sixtyish years… with the threat of war resuming being quite real.

Vietnam, however, was its own thing: military hardware had advanced (we humans never tire in our wish to kill each other more efficiently – right on up from the first caveman to use a club instead of throwing rocks, to the team who first conceptualized the MIRV nuclear warhead) and the Cold War had reached its most deeply entrenched period where both sides had developed firmly seated ideologies that dictated war being fought by third parties on behalf of The West and Communist nations.

The problem with the South Vietnamese was that the financially poor sub-nation wasn’t really equipped to fight Communism at a level of vigor the United States found acceptable – which, at least in the beginning, meant that France, Biritain, and America subsidized the South Vietnamese with weapons and professional soldier training.

But, in an effort to screw Atheistic Communism as hard as Jesus demanded, American boys were eventually drafted for Vietnam to fight a war that America hadn’t spent 20 years preparing for – which essentially turned the conflict into a meat grinder that chewed through 60,000 U.S. soldiers before it was realized that winning was not a possible outcome without using nuclear weapons.

And while Jesus hated Communism, Americans wouldn’t support Nuclear Armageddon – and honestly, they should have said “enough is enough” a lot sooner than their elected officials.

Yes… the tie-dyed, LSD-imbued, and Bob Dylan-powered hippy movement was a direct result of the Vietnam War – but, ultimately, guitars do not beat bombs.

(But rock guitars did win the Cold War – and to argue the point with Americans will just garner you a dismissive eye roll)

Born-US-Bruce-Springsteen

The fact that ‘Born In The USA’ was anti-war is lost on American good ol’ boys.

So, yeah… war isn’t a simple concept.

People who blindly regurgitate anti-war sentiments are the same ones who are anti-gun – which is just as infantile as a mantra, but that’s an article that I’ve already written before.

The world is a big, ugly place.

It’s a place where there are far too many skin colours, religions, political ideologies, and even genders for there to ever be true peace.

Everyone – and I mean everyone – hates somebody… whether they want to admit it or not.

And with hatred comes war.

We’ve gone an amazing 70 years without a truly global conflict.

How much longer do you think that will last? Honestly?

And for the last goddamn time: War is good for business… Peace is good for business. Two sides of the same coin.

Boeing makes more money on airliners than it does on fighter jets.

A Flame War With Dumb Americans

Below, you will find transcriptions of a back-and-forth that’s taking place betwixt myself and some good ol’ ‘Murican boys on a YouTube video – and it really does shed a light on how ill-suited Americans are to the global influence they wield abroad.

NOTE: The video on which we are commenting is someone’s copy of a National Geographic video about an Ohio-class ballistic submarine (SSBN), whereas the video is titled in such a way as to make you think it’s about a Los Angeles-class attack submarine (SSN) – which has raised the ire of people familiar with naval assets like myself.

— Here… we… go! —

Grandpa The Grey: However, when they launch their Trident Multiple Warhead Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, they’re ATTACKING someone… right? So in reality, even a boomer is used as an ATTACK sub. lol

Stormcastle: Boy… that’s some special kind of stupid. No wonder this internet is getting dumber.

John Ruggles: @Grandpa The Grey, let’s educate you a little bit. The US Navy (not combined with the Army as in the title of this video) currently has 3 types of submarines yet only 2 COMMON names for them. they have SSN, SSBN and SSGN. The letters stand for (in order as listed prior) Submersible Ship Nuclear, Submersible Ship Ballistic Nuclear, and Submersible Ship Guided-missile Nuclear. SSN’s, being the smallest are referred to as Fast Attack because compared to their big brother, they are small and agile like an attack dog. The SSBN and SSGN are called Boomers because the weapon they carry on board, in the past, made very big booms at very long ranges. The SSGN is the new type converted from older SSBN’s and refitted to carry a different type of weapon but since they are still the same type of hull, they keep the name.

Stormcastle: Or just make it simple for the ignoramus: if it’s named after a U.S. state, it’s a boomer… if it’s named after a U.S. city, then it’s probably a 688 fast attack… if it’s named anything else, it’s probably a Seawolf or Virginia – which, being small and agile, are ‘faster’ fast attack subs that can patrol shallower waters. I guess that wasn’t as simple as I figured in my head, LOL

Michael Rocker: Whatever the size of the Submarines in the fleet are they are still very capable of kicking the shit out of any ones Navy especially the Russians. Our tracking capabilities are second to none.

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Typical American bullshit: there are quite a few subs out there that could sail through the middle of a USN carrier group and never be noticed – a Russian-made Kilo, for example. FFS, y’all need to stop being so full of yourselves. Also, unless you’re in the trade, don’t make grandiose comments you know nothing about save for what you’ve seen from watching The Hunt For Red October on Netflix.

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – essentially saying diesel/electric boats are crap, which is why American boats are better]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, You don’t know what you don’t even know – and yet, you still like to spout off. While, yes, diesel/electrics have a range that’s somewhat limited compared to a nuke – “extremely limited” is pure stupidity on your part: a Kilo (which is pretty much the gold standard for the type, and is why I make note of it again) has a submerged, non-snorkel range of about 800 kilometers at prowling speed. You think I’m anti-American? No… I like you lot just fine when you’re not acting like you’re the greatest country on Earth – which just happens to be 99% of the time.

Yeah… your military tends to have most of the nicest toys – but there are areas where other countries will gladly hand you your asses on a platter.

I mean… you’ve lost in both Iraq and Afghanistan because all of your high tech weapons were beaten by cavemen who haven’t progressed much beyond the Bronze Age.

So, please… put your Yankee Doodle soapbox away and go back to the vids about deep frying turkeys and NASCAR where you belong.

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – asking where I live and what makes it so great – before assuring us he knows everything about naval matters because he has a “relative” in the service]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, Someplace without rampant racism… someplace with top-notch education (America doesn’t even rank in the Top 20)… someplace with free healthcare that doesn’t require citizens to sell their cars just because they have a broken leg… somewhere where cops are 95% less likely to outright murder people in the street… someplace where there aren’t more people in prison than there are people in school… someplace that has proud military traditions while also spending money on being actually human… someplace with a clean environment… someplace where corporations aren’t people nor can they effect the government… someplace that isn’t #1 in preventable child poverty.

Where could that be? Oh… about 20 or so countries around the world.

You have a “relative” in the USN? That’s nice. Apparently, I have a long-lost uncle who’s a Nigerian prince who needs someone to launder millions of dollars for him. Would you help?

+xc5647321 xc5647321: [comment removed by author – asking why I’m scared to say where I’m from if it’s so great]

Stormcastle: @+xc5647321 xc5647321, Not scared at all: CANADA… I was just pointing out that there are many places better than the U.S. of A. as far as quality of living is concerned. Yes, you Yanks have just about everybody outgunned – except for the Chinese, of course… and Americans gladly subsidize the Chinese military by shopping at Walmart. But, what’s the point of having the best military when it guards a shit way of life?

You asked why people move to America? To get rich, of course – as that’s what you export to the world, and is also why so many groups want you all dead: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness money.

Personally, I love all your military toys… but I just wish they were at the disposal of someone with a better sense of what it is to be human.

If – somehow – y’all elect Donald Trump as president, my point will be proven: given your “freedom”, the majority of Your Fellow Americans chose a greedy, racist, dumb-as-a-brick, narcissistic douchenozzle to have his finger on the launch button.

I only love your military because it generally keeps the worse guys in check – except for when there’s nothing for the U.S. to gain… like when Russia invaded Georgia (the country, not the state) or the Ukraine.

But, by God, if either of them had oil to make gasoline for your SUVs, y’all would have thrown a nice little war for each.

So, yeah… I love the U.S. Navy… just not a fan of the country from which it sails until you fix all of your problems.

motorcop505: @Stormcastle, The envy of the US is real with you. You rant and rave about others in an attempt to belittle them without success. BTW, if you ever actually traveled to Afghanistan or Iraq (or most 3rd world countries), you’d see how the people in those countries are so thankful for the US ejecting dictators like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and for the billions of dollars of equipment, food, and assistance we provide them with. That would actually entail putting your ass on the line to help others, and we all know that isn’t about to happen. Stick to your hockey and… Sorry, my mistake. I thought there was something else Canada was famous for (you know, like how the US created the Internet), but there isn’t anything.

Stormcastle: @motorcop505, To “belittle” would mean I was being less than honest – but I was being 100% truthful.

America is: someplace with rampant racism… someplace without top-notch education (America doesn’t even rank in the Top 20)… someplace without free healthcare – practically requiring citizens to sell their cars just because they have a broken leg… somewhere where cops are 95% more likely to outright murder people in the street… someplace where there are more people in prison than there are people in school… someplace that has proud military traditions while not spending money on being actually human… someplace without a clean environment… someplace where corporations are people and unfairly affect the government… someplace that is #1 in preventable child poverty.

If you disagree with any of those things, you’re both delusional and a moron.

I’m all for you having the best military, though… really I am.

Please, continue spending more than half of every tax dollar on warfare while your children starve and whole section of your society are legally mistreated.

Us here in Canuckistan will play our hockey and then go to the hospital and have 100s of tests done just for shits and giggles – before going back to school and learning more than any Murican who doesn’t have a diamond-encrusted trust fund.

Make fun of Canada all you want – it really doesn’t bother us in the slightest since we know our lives are better than yours.

Seriously… I came here to talk about subs, but man, y’all got me sidetracked with your JESUS LOVES ‘MURICA bumper stickers.

Michael Rocker: @KriegProductions [who’s tried to get the thread back on track a few times] What Stormy Boy leaves out about Canuck health care is that if you need surgery they can make you wait for months and a great deal of Cunucks come south of the border for health care if they can’t wait and their government will pay for it. One reason is if they need a transplant they would get put on the same list as an American rather than not get one at all up there. They also don’t have the same quality of surgeons like we have here.

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Someone’s been drinking the GOP koolaid, LOL. About 5 years back, I was in a motorcycle accident and broke my left leg in 6 places – which required 2 rods and a whole Home Depot worth of screws… and within 2 hours of reaching the ER, I was in surgery getting it done. Being the curious sort, I looked up how much the whole ordeal (including tests, x-rays, MRI, etc) would have cost in the U.S…. and it topped $400,000!

In 2 hours flat, I had a surgery done that would have cost you nearly half a million dollars – and I never had to pay a red cent… not even for the ambulance ride.

Yeah… Canadians do travel to the U.S. for EXPERIMENTAL treatments that haven’t been scientifically proven to 100% deal with whatever issues they have.

And, yes, some Canadians do have to wait for specialized surgeries as there are shortages of some types of surgeons because the unethical medical types prefer to make millions of dollars in the U.S. instead of helping the people where they were born (as I pointed out up-thread, greed is your #1 export).

Nothing you can say about Canada hurts our feelings (we can have those checked by a medical professional for free, after all).

Well… you CAN poke at our Navy and it might smart a bit – leaky British subs and all – but it’s nothing we don’t know, and we generally accept it as a trade off for not being born into debt like our ‘Murican neighbors.

We’re healthier, smarter, and happier… while we read about American cities that are being straight up poisoned by their city officials just to save $100/day – and whose elected government in Washington won’t help them because most of the people in Flint and other similar places are black.

By all means, keep the marching band going and salute the Stars & Bars while thanking Jesus for your iPad (made in China).

I’ll sit here and cheer your Navy on as it stares down the Iranians. Oh, wait… the Iranians can just grab your guys whenever they want.

KriegProductions: I’m quite pleased with myself. 5/10, +2 for unintentional troll.

Stormcastle: @KriegProductions, Oh, I know. I do hate being suckered into this sort of thing – but patriotism isn’t just for Americans 🙂

KriegProductions: @Stormcastle, Eh. I was in the US Army. Interesting, but it wasn’t that spectacular. In fact, you could pretty much say it inspired certain criticisms that I have with it’s command structure.

Michael Rocker: @Stormcastle, Give it a break Stormy. Canada is not exactly perfect. First off Sorry that you fell off you bicycle and got hurt but the job of any hospital is to get you in and treated in a timely matter. I was talking about people who need transplants or who have cancer as well as knee or hip replacements. I know a couple of people who died while waiting for cancer surgery or a transplant because it wasn’t a medical priority. I was in an accident in my car when a guy with a Harley was on my side of the road going around a curve and if I tried to get out of his way I would not be here right now and over the side of a mountain. I wasn’t hurt but the guy who hit me lost his left foot. My car insurance paid for his surgery and amputation of his left foot. His leg was also broken in 3 places and he needed a ton of hardware CT’s and MRI as well as X-rays and I saw the medical bill sent to the insurance company and it was just a bit over $50,000 and nowhere near the $400,000 you were talking about.

Born in Debt. What a laugh. Canada is just as bad if not worse. Canada sends your tax money over to the UK to keep your Queen living high on the hog. The US took care of that during the revolution. Therefore the saying “No taxation without representation” came from. The UK didn’t represent us so why should we send our tax dollars there.

As far as the GOP Koolaid I don’t go anywhere near it. Why don’t you fix that province in your country that feels they don’t need to be a part of Canada and should only speak French. Most of the Francos like you hate the Anglo’s especially the ones from the US but never complain about taking US money which right now the USD is worth $1.40 and the CAD is only $0.72. Who is in Debt?

Your politicians are no better then anyplace else so don’t even think you are better than us. And who is this Jesus guy you are talking about? Is he your next door neighbor from Mexico?

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, Wow… you just had to go full retard, didn’t you? ZERO Canadian dollars go to Britain unless they’re in our pockets and we buy a chocolate bar at Heathrow. Canada has been a separate, sovereign nation since 1867 – but we remain part of the Commonwealth… and organization many countries continue to join even now.

We use a parliamentary system like Britain because it’s by far the most effective way to govern – and looking at your completely dysfunctional system only proves that by a factor of at least 100: your government can’t get anything done at all because of the constant Dem Vs GOP bullshit that’s caused how many government shutdowns in the past decade? Yeah… don’t throw stones since you live in a glass house.

An MRI alone costs $15,000 in the U.S. – and feel free to check that on your National Institutes Of Health website, where they track such things.

“Fix” Quebec? While, yes, they are a constant annoyance to the rest of Canada, they have every right to be here as much as us Anglophones – and that’s another way we’re better: we teach acceptance… where as Americans demand assimilation.

Exchange rates? Puhleeeeeze! That only affects us if we go to your side of the border, thanks… and we can do without Cheezits from Target (as we have all the Walmarts and Costcos we could ever need right here at home).

As for your insurance paying for surgeries, yeah… but who pays for the insurance? You! HMOs in your country are a nightmare to any civilized nation – as they’re happier when you’re dead. Oh… and how many millions of Americans don’t have any insurance thanks to idiot state governors refusing to use the evil Obamacare? How many are denied care because they’re poor (also a massive problem in the U.S. – no food stamps here, son).

Trying to assault the facts that I lay out just makes you look more stupid with every word you type.

Michael Rocker: @Stormcastle, Wow. Full Retard huh. I have never been called a retard more or less a Full Retard. Is that the best you can say. You sound like Pee Wee Herman saying I know you are but what an I.

So you have Walmart and Costco and now you are getting Loews Home Improvements just took over Rona. Now you have a new place to fix your leg.

LOL “Fix” Quebec? While, yes, they are a constant annoyance to the rest of Canada, they have every right to be here as much as us Anglophones – and that’s another way we’re better: we teach acceptance.” Is that why every year or so they want to vote to secede from the rest of Canada and be their own nation? The provinces east of Quebec have already have made plans to ask to become part of the US rather than having to drive through  Quebec because the only way they can make money is to charge outrageous tolls and taxes for truck driving through to go east or west.

You said it “we teach acceptance.

As far as taxes going to the UK

Queen costs us more than the Brits pay – Over the past 10 years, the Canadian cost of supporting the monarchy has more than doubled

http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/queen-costs-us-more-than-the-brits-pay/

Do I have your full on RETARD yet?

Stormcastle: @Michael Rocker, 1) Obviously, you’re not a movie buff – or you’d get the ‘full retard’ thing. 2) Still harping about the Quebec minority that wants to live with France? As I recall, there’s quite a vocal minority in Texas that thinks the state should leave the Union. 3) You didn’t read the Maclean’s article – or, if you did, you were unable to properly decode the English language used therein due to your inadequate education: it describes the cost of our parliamentary system that has offices duplicating the ones in Britain – which does indeed make it a trifle more expensive than theirs since Canada has a smaller population (37 million to the U.K.’s 64 million). The article does not indicate we pay for the monarchy – since we only do that when Queen Elizabeth is actually in Canada for state visits… something that even the U.S. does when she visits you.

Look, Mikey… don’t show up to a knowledge war when you’re woefully unarmed, mmkay?

This is why America is laughed at around the world: you think you know shit, but the stuff you know is *actually* shit.

For further proof, go over to Google and type in (with quotation marks for subject clarity) Ignorant American. Even Your Fellow Americans agree that the majority of you are idiots… even if they’re well-meaning idiots.

As I said pretty much all the way at the top of this flame thread, I like Americans just fine… just not when they pretend to have a brain. Y’all serve a purpose for us Canucks, after all: you kept the Ruskies from coming through Canada to get at you during the Cold War – which we really appreciate since nobody likes borscht.

****

Anyhow, I’m sure Michael Rocker will be back to spout more clueless ‘Murican jingoism, but I’m done battling someone with such an obvious handicap.

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Way Out There

That’s where our future lies.

Way the hell out there… beyond the moon… and beyond even Mars.

If you haven’t been paying attention to all the noise being stirred up by the global scientific community – specifically cosmologists and those fields relating to astronomy – and watching all the pleading videos on YouTube from the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, we Earthlings on this blue marble that circles the sun every 365 days are driving our species into the ground because we can’t be bothered to spend tax dollars on endeavors that will eventually lead us away from our home planet.

Every year, this situation gets more dire – especially in these lean years where governments have had to drastically slash their budgets.

You’ve heard of NASA, right?

Yeah, yeah… they were in that movie about the asteroid – they supposedly had a bunch of people just sitting around dreaming shit up!

Well… in reality, I’m sure there are a bunch of people at NASA whose job is to “dream shit up”, but the American agency’s main job has been – since the late 1950s – to further humanity’s understanding of the cosmos by sending humans and robotic probes out into the big black yonder.

In the beginning, there were the Mercury and Gemini rocket programs that put Americans into space after playing laggards to the Commie bastards in the USSR.

And then there was the Apollo program… the one NASA program that has accomplished a feat so complex and daring that nobody has been able to duplicate in 40+ years since: putting a living human being onto the surface of the moon.

Before any of you conspiracy wingnuts try and set the comment section ablaze down below with your lunacy (see what I did there?), be of the understanding that all comments have to approved by me – and not one word of how you think the lunar landings were faked will ever see the light of day on this blog.

Why am I so certain that NASA put Neil Armstrong and the astronauts that followed him onto the moon’s vast plains of regolith?

For one single reason: the Red Soviets never said that the Americans were fibbing.

Why would the Kremlin stand by and let the U.S. of A. boast about landing on the moon if it actually hadn’t happened? Especially when that kind of press made the Soviet space program – which was National Priority #1 during the 1960s – look like a total and utter failure?

It would have been in Moscow’s best interest to dispute the American’s claims if they had definitive proof that NASA was actually filming the moon footage on a soundstage somewhere – but the only thing that came down the wire from the Soviets was a begrudging congratulation.

What made them privy to the actuality of the Apollo capsules heading to the moon? (And no… they weren’t paid off as some nuts insist).

The Russians had deep space tracking facilities just as powerful as the Americans… radar facilities that could track anything in Earth orbit or beyond – all the way to the moon and past it

So, as the Apollo missions unfolded, the Soviets watched with detached fascination on their radar tracking scopes – probably cursing aloud and hoping that each trip to the moon would go horribly wrong so that they could (politely and in political terms) laugh at the American’s bungling of something that they could then claim was easy and that they were going to successfully carry out via their superior scientific apparatus.

But, like I wrote up above, that didn’t happen – and the Commies were forced to eat crow, quickly killing their own moon landing program before it had even gotten off the ground.

So, yeah… humans have walked on the moon… drove around on the moon… played golf on the moon… and looked at porn while on the moon.

If you need more proof, check out the Mythbusters episode regarding the so-called Moon Hoax: Adam and Jamie thoroughly debunked all the most popular “theories”.

Okay… I’m gonna get this blog entry back on track.

Like I was saying before I went off on the wingnuts, space exploration – and human space exploration specifically – has gone off the rails almost globally due to the lack of political will to spend big money on things Joe Public had begun to take for granted.

The average person out there – who hasn’t studied the various doings of NASA, the ESA, JAXA, and other space agencies around the world in any depth beyond the 20 second blurbs on the nightly news when a space shuttle launched – kinda assumes that human space flight is routine, fairly easy, and is already half-way to Mars.

Sorry, space cadets: humans have been stuck in low Earth orbit for the past fortyish years since the Apollo program concluded – the farthest we’ve gone off the face of the planet is to service the Hubble Space Telescope…  570 kilometers straight up, or 350 miles for our Imperial measurement friends.

The moon is  385,000 kilometers away.

In the waning years of his presidency, George W. Bush tried to build himself a legacy by commanding NASA to start planning for humankind’s return to the moon before foraging outwards to Mars – something that the American people could surely get behind in the way that they embraced John F. Kennedy’s vision of man going to the moon for the first time.

However, elections came to America.

At first glance, Barrack Obama was good for NASA since he was science-friendly… and maybe Bush’s Orion/Constellation program would have maintained forward momentum if a class of representatives hadn’t been elected to Congress that were more interested in nickel and diming important federal prorgams in order to service that 1% the Occupy movement loves to hate.

Unfortunately, NASA’s budget kept getting scaled back in the years that followed Dubya’s departure (and even while he was still Commander In Chief)… cut down so much that Obama was forced to take a scalpel to the American space program – paring away costly items that Congress just refused to pay for.

The costliest of these items being human space flight beyond Earth orbit – whether that be to the moon or to Mars.

On paper, not all is lost: Obama has endorsed sending humans to an asteroid or a Martian moon by the year 2030… by which time the Chinese Commies will have set up a permanent base on our own moon.

You see, only the Chinese are taking human space flight seriously in the here and now – aggressively pursuing space flight at a rate of speed that would almost put the 60s space race to shame.

Of course, the Chinese have more money than they know what to do with – we buy nearly all of our consumer goods from them, after all.

I suppose it also has to do with the fact that they don’t spend a dime on basic human needs – but I digress.

So, on top of building entire metropolitan cities from scratch for people who won’t move to them, Beijing has spent billions of yuan on building rockets, space capsules, and other space-related infrastructure that will put them on the moon within the next decade.

You might be saying “So what? What does that have to do with me?”

I’ll tell you what: humankind needs a new home… and that home will be out there – first amongst the planets in our own solar system, and then out among the stars you gaze at every night.

This isn’t some panicky prediction based on environmental concerns (though our rapid depletion of natural resources here on Earth is certainly making a good case for it) but simply based on the fact that Earth will eventually run out of space for our massive populations.

If we – as a species – want to continue growing our masses without check, then we are going to need new places to put our children/grandchildren/great grandchildren/etc. so that they can thrive in environments capable of supporting them.

…And we can’t allow the Communist Chinese to control that stellar high ground – not when the individual human lives under their control mean so little.

The last thing we need is abysmal-pay sweatshops on the moon.

No.

Just no.

We need to band together as a species on united human space exploration front so that all of the ground that humankind can travel to will be open and fair to all.

I know that may sound like a rehashed speech from a Star Trek episode, but it’s true: when humankind’s destiny is clearly out into the cosmos, we all need to get behind that destiny to make it happen.

We need to speak up and force the people we elect to office to spend tax dollars that will help us into the future… instead of spending money on the same old crap that we’ve done for a 100 years or more: big business and a military to pursue the interests of big business.

Big business is only interested in pacifying the masses with goods and services… and the military’s only interest is in how to kill the masses.

Those two things do nothing to preserve our species – a species that has barely existed for a million years… which is inconsequential when taken in context with the actual age of Planet Earth.

We will certainly be our own undoing if we don’t get ourselves off this planet – not all of us, of course… but a number that will ensure our survival in case something untoward should happen to our homeworld (cataclysm, environmental collapse, alien invasion, etc.).

The only way we will do this is by spending money on human space flight… no matter how small in scale it may seem at first.

The  313,286,000 people who live in the United States Of America (minus the native population) didn’t all arrive on the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria with Christopher Columbus – they got here by being the children of those who immigrated to North America in the years after Columbus “discovered” the New World – an expedition of discovery that was paid for with money from Spain’s tax coffers.

Exploration on a grand scale is done by nations (and currently with the help of private companies).

Those nations now need to spend the money necessary to send our species way out there.

It’s our only real chance to make sure our species… well… lives long and prospers.

Preoccupied With The Occupation Of Occupy Wall Street

Let me say this first: the Occupy movement has already failed.

In the first handful of days at the Occupy Wall Street event, there was something interesting going on – there was a hopefulness that a message could be made loud enough to catch the much-derided 1%’s attention at the top of the capital food chain.

It seemed like a situation that could spark to a sort of Arab Spring uprising that would force changes.

But… the message was quickly lost as everyone (and their dog) who had ever had a grievance with the system of capitalism showed up with a cardboard sign.

Immediately, the movement became a hodgepodge… a cohesive mess of the needy that lacked any sort of focus.

Just as quickly as the Occupy movement spread to other cities, this terminal protest disease spread out to the new locations… and nobody seemed to notice or was willing to do what was necessary to heal the organized group organism.

Instead of a single, collective voice calling on the rich to change their ways, the Occupy movement mutated into something that required not just the ears of bankers and investment brokers, but the attention of every sort of executive that had ever been in contact with money: bankers, investors, insurance agents, HMOs, Hollywood types, retirement fund operators, school board trustees, mayors, execs at restaurant chains, dental surgeons, toy makers, taxi operators, and the list goes on almost indefinitely.

In a few quick and easy steps, the Occupy movement had gone from relevant (good) to super relevance (bad).

To have an effective message, it has to be concise and to the point… something that can be carried by the masses with a unified voice.

The Arab Spring protests succeeded in overthrowing the governments of countries like Egypt because every person who picked up a stone to throw at the government’s forces in the streets wanted the same thing:  they wanted the ruling party and it’s corruption gone – end of story.

It’s a model that could have made the Occupy movement truly revolutionary and the Western world would be on it’s way to change.

But, instead, the Occupiers maintain an incredibly fractured front with nearly every person at these protests wanting a different form of change… and it’s that kind of behavior that those in power can effective ignore pretty much forever.

It’s sort of like someone on Facebook creating a group that sets out to draw attention to one thing that would seem very important – let’s say the abuse of raccoon dogs in China – and then proceeds to flood the group with links about Nike sweatshops in Thailand, the amounts of trans-fats in KFC chicken, and the failures of the American political system.

That Facebook user meant well, but is left wondering why he or she doesn’t have anyone joining their online cause and it’s simply because they couldn’t stay on message.

It’s the same in politics: the politician who’s most likely to win is the one who has a set number of priorities and then hammers away at them on the anvil of the public stage  – instead of jumping around from issue to issue as each voter mentions a problem during the campaign.

In fact, in the brief history of the Occupy movement, there’s only been one time that protesters got to the verge of getting some concessions made.

Several days ago, a group of Occupiers from the Los Angeles movement managed to shut down one of the United State’s most important ports by sealing off the entrance: trucks that would normally have picked up goods made in China and hauled them away to Walmarts across the nation couldn’t get in or out due to the mass of protesters standing in their way.

This ‘stand in’ lasted for about 4 hours before the Occupiers drifted away to their usual encampments… which is quite unfortunate.

Four hours may not seem like a long time, but when you take into account the amount of freight that goes in and out of the Port Of Los Angeles, even seconds of inefficiency cost shippers and receivers millions of dollars in lost revenue because those lost seconds propagate forward through time and can eventually turn into minutes and then hours.

So, when you make a four-hour stand, the collective sphincters of shipping magnates and the companies like Walmart or Target – who depend on their goods being delivered on time – clamp shut hard and then those execs start sweating as they start seeing the money they normally make slow down.

If those Occupiers had maintained their presence at the Los Angeles docks, and then got protesters from movements in other port cities to do the same, the very people who the Occupy movement is supposed to be targeting would become very uncomfortable – and would start thinking of ways to assuage the angry mobs.

Of course, that would depend entirely on the commitment of the people in the Occupy movement since those billionaire executives would put pressure on elected officials (that most assuredly received campaign contributions from companies controlled by said execs) to crack down on these protesters via legal means through the deployment of riot squads or military personnel.

If the Occupiers are willing to be arrested, pepper sprayed, tased, shot with high-speed bean bags, hit with sound cannons, bombarded with tear gas canisters, and beaten with billy clubs – all in sufficient numbers to completely overwhelm the legal mechanisms that were deployed on behalf of the 1% – then they could indeed successfully create change.

Governments that are freely and democratically elected have no stomach for bloodshed in the streets, especially at the behest of billion dollar corporations that could afford to lose some money if it meant that people’s lives would get better.

But, no.

The Occupy movement lacks that focus… that honest desire to change things.

The extensive camps across North America have become love-ins for the economically disenfranchised… meccas for every hipster, Gen X slacker, unemployed teacher, and general malcontent that doesn’t have anything better to do.

For these people, the message is the act… instead of the message leading to an act – which is why Occupy will eventually fail.

Media outlets focus on the Occupy movement mostly because it’s become a sideshow, but also because it provides some political drama as various city councils try to cope with the public disruptions.

In fact, the media are the only people honestly paying attention to the Occupy movement since the 1% have decided the Occupiers present no threat to themselves and their money-making empires.

So let me say this to you, Occupiers of the world: change your strategy or go home.

If you’re not actually interfering with the 1% by removing money from their pockets, you’re of no real consequence.

Gather up… firm up your resolve… solidify your message… and declare war on the 1%.

Block access to major ports.

Physically prevent people from shopping at major retailers.

Stop buying Starbucks coffee on your way to the Occupy camps.

Take your money out of the major banks and commit to a local credit union.

Honestly threaten the 1% by taking away their money… instead of being a bunch of dirty hippies standing around clapping each other on the back for a job well-done when you actually haven’t accomplished a single thing.

In the words of my progenitors: shit or get off the pot.

Or… in modern vernacular: get real or fuck off.

Occupy This

The Frayed Ends Of The Nuclear Cord

For all it’s faults (byproducts that have to be sequestered for half a million years, for instance), nuclear energy is amongst the best ways to generate electricity known to mankind at this time – discounting any future advances in fusion or solar power generation.

Nuclear doesn’t generate the greenhouse gases that spew forth from coal and natural gas power plants… isn’t effected by cloudy days or winter seasons like solar… has no problems when the air is still and fails to turn the windmills… and it doesn’t reroute entire aquatic ecosystems like hydroelectric dams.

But yes… there is that need to protect humankind and all our friends in the wild kingdom from the nuclear waste on scales of time that are longer than civilization has existed on the face of the planet.

Regardless, nuclear energy’s benefits are vast and every facility constructed to harness the power of the atom is a boon to society as it generally means there are less coal-burning plants toxifying the air we breath.

The problems with nuclear energy fall into two categories: environmental, which I’ve touched on above… and political, which I’m going to talk about below.

Nuclear reactors can be harnessed for electricity generation, yes… but they also can be used to create fissile material like plutonium or enriched uraniums that are necessary to create an atomic weapon.

Generally speaking, the technology required to build a nuclear power station is only affordable to nations that are more or less responsible enough to be trusted with any nuclear weapons that they might create – countries with governments that subscribe to the reality that deploying such weapons in anger would not be in their best interest.

Even the two most volatile neighbor countries that have nuclear weapons – India and Pakistan – realize that exchanging atomic potshots at each other would never be a small, localized engagement… that other nuclear powers greater than their own would most likely intervene with punishments of either military or political varieties.

With India being aligned with the Western superpowers like the United States, Great Britain, and France (don’t laugh… nukes can be dispatched from Parisian bunkers), a marginal country like Pakistan – who’s alliances aren’t clearly defined – would likely be struck with thermonuclear warheads carried by ICBMs or cruise missiles fired by New Delhi’s friends in the event Pakistan somehow came out on top.

The biggest check in the nuclear weapons business is that both the United States of America and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to end human civilization as we know it (or possibly altogether), with China, Great Britain, and France following behind them… and this is clearly enough to discourage smaller countries from developing any sort or atomic weapon.

There would assuredly be dire consequences for launching any sort of nuclear attack – no matter how much you hate the guy you’re pointing them at.

However, reality isn’t a universal concept in some corners of the globe.

There are a few governments that are so removed from society that they have become pariah states – the ones that nobody ever invites to the New Year’s celebrations at the United Nations, and ones that are perfectly happy with their status.

In the context of this discussion on smashing atoms, I’m focusing purely on the communist nation of North Korea and the middle eastern country of Iran.

Both countries eschew the global community (and the realities embraced by it) and have created unto themselves their own version of reality… one that generally places themselves at the center of the universe and deludes the ruling parties into thinking they’re untouchable/invincible.

In the case of North Korea, Kim Jong Il and his buddies (I use ‘buddies’ loosely since there isn’t a person in the country he wouldn’t shoot – including family members) rule the land in an almost empirical manner that really hasn’t been seen since the great dynasties of history: it’s taught to every North Korean child that Kim Jong Il is in fact a God.

In fact, North Korea barely qualifies as a communist state, and it can be argued – I’d imagine quite successfully – that it’s more in line with the leadership of Egypt’s pharaohs… just without the bountiful empire: North Korean citizens are probably the poorest out of any of the developed nations.

Kim Jong Il is so crazy that even his biggest (read: only) supporter at the United Nations, China, keeps him at arm’s length… and even then, they barely touch Pyongyang with their fingertips while wearing eight gloves on each hand.

The fact that this nutbar has access to nuclear weapons is entirely indigestible – and quite hard to fathom when you take into account that North Korea has no real money to speak of to pay for any sort of research program… but I suppose you can afford just about anything when you don’t actually have to pay the people who work for you.

Kim Jong Il is a god, remember? Don’t do what he wants and he’ll smite your ass… and probably your entire family while he’s at it.

If there’s any consolation, it’s that his atomic weapons are very basic and shoddily constructed: when testing them, they have a tendency to fizzle – more of a runaway nuclear chain reaction than an actual detonation.

These North Korean atomic bombs are barely in the same class as those deployed by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II… and nowhere near as advanced as even Pakistan’s.

But even the most rudimentary nuclear weapons are devastating… either through their explosive force (see photo below) or through the mass radioactive contamination of the target area.

Click Me

Click Me

In  terms of instability, North Korea is like the guy who was arrested for killing his neighbor because he though the neighbor was telepathically raping his wife.

Nothing said by Kim Jong Ill or his government makes any sense, and North Korea has no qualms about threatening anyone with total and complete destruction… promising a war that will end Western civilization – despite lacking any way to follow through on these threats, even when including the estimated 5 to 8 nuclear weapons that Pyongyang possesses.

The North Korean military may have one of the largest standing armies on the world when compared to it’s national population, but the equipment they are outfitted with is barely any more advanced than it was during the Korean War in the 1950s – at best, it’s equivalent to Soviet designs from the mid to late 70s.

This irrationality is alarming for two reasons:

1) Technically, North and South Korea are still in a defacto state of war since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire treaty – a truce that’s been in place ever since… if only barely on some occasions – and that war could pick up at any time, and that becomes more and more likely as North Korea becomes more and more impoverished.

2) Pyongyang has made no secret of it’s willingness to help political entities that have similar designs to destroy the West… and has routinely shipped weapons and military equipment to those ideological comrades, and it’s not a stretch of the imagination that North Korea would share nuclear weapons technology – or even a finished atomic bomb – with those same comrades.

The only silver lining in the North Korean situation is that ships leaving North Korean waters are some of the most scrutinized vessels afloat: any tub that can carry anything bigger than a refrigerator is fair game for random inspections by South Korean and American naval assets – which makes shipping nuclear weapons, fissile material, or technology to create either of those things by water not really a winning strategy.

This of course doesn’t rule out shipping illicit weapons by land or air…. but similar searches are carried out against trucks leaving North Korea by Chinese and Russian agencies (how effectively, nobody in the West can say for certain), and all air cargo from North Korea is thoroughly screened at airports abroad.

There is only one destination outside of North Korea that North Korean ships and aircraft are welcome – and it also happens to be the other rogue nation with nuclear ambitions: Iran.

I’m sorry, Tehran… were you hoping I’d forgotten you?

Nope.

In many ways, you’re worse than those nutjobs in Pyongyang – mainly because, even though you’re batshit crazy, you’re also very focused on the destruction of those you hold in ill regard.

In Iran’s case, that’s most notably Israel.

There isn’t a day that goes by that Iran’s puppet government and it’s religious masters don’t call for the total destruction of the Jewish state, and it works on a daily basis towards that goal by funding terrorist organizations that operate in Palestinian territories.

If that wasn’t problematic enough, the Ayatollah also sends money to terrorist outfits – including Al Qaeda – that attack other Western nations that are allied with Israel.

And while the Ayatollah isn’t necessarily as committed to destroying the West as Osama bin Laden was, his plans call for weakening the resolve of Israel’s allies by hopefully making it more bother than it’s worth to the United States, Britain, and others.

It’s this fanatical devotion to destroying every single Jew in the Middle East (and everywhere else in due time) that makes Iran more dangerous.

While North Korea is more reactive – as in it puffs itself up and makes threats when it perceives itself to be threatened – and can be calmed down with offers of candy (financial and food aid), Iran is completely proactive in it’s plans… spending nearly all it’s money on weaponry and armed forces.

It should be noted than Iran has a lot of money to use for it’s own military and the funding of terrorism around the globe, and that money comes from the export of oil to the countries that need it – both the export of Iran’s own oil assets, and money from neighboring countries’ oil sales who are agreeable to the Iranian way of things… primarily certain factions inside Saudi Arabia.

While Western nations don’t conduct a lot of oil business with Iran, countries like Russia and China don’t make that distinction and gladly take any oil Iran can send their way to fuel their own economies.

Russian and Chinese weapons technologies have also readily been made available to the Iranian government, and this is why the Iranian military possesses weaponry that’s equal to the West’s technology of the late 1980s to mid-1990s.

You may not think weapons circa 1989 to 1995 would be all that dangerous to Western targets using weapons made in this millennium… but keep in mind, those Iranian weapons are equivalent to what the U.S. defeated Saddam Hussein with in the first Gulf War – so they aren’t to be ignored by the wise.

With all that oil money, Iran has been able to afford a fairly modern nuclear energy program – one that Tehran insists is for purely peaceful purposes and that they’re not at all interested in making fissile material for making atomic weapons.

You know what? Put a kid in a room with both a dart gun and a target to shoot at, he’s going to shoot those darts at the target the second you turn your back – no matter how much you tell him not to, and how much he denies his intention to do so.

The fact of the matter is that Iran has far more centrifuge units required to enrich uranium than are needed for the modest civilian-purposed nuclear reactor that Tehran claims is the only beneficiary – and these enrichment facilities are spread far and wide throughout the country, with some of them located underground in hardened facilities that would be problematic to destroy.

If you’re producing far more enriched uranium than you could possibly use in your nuclear electricity generation reactor(s), then that surplus uranium has to go someplace… and the two options that come to mind aren’t acceptable: a covert weapons program, or for export to other political entities that also have covert nuclear ambitions – Al Qaeda, for example.

The nuclear situation in Iran puts Israel – and by extension it’s Western allies – in a bind: while Iran potentially acquiring nuclear weapons capability is completely unacceptable, unilaterally attacking Iran in a pre-emptive strike would be heavy-handed and most likely to ignite a war that would spread like wildfire across the entire Middle East – and the forces of the Western allies are already exhausted from a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Which leaves Israel to act on its own – and one must also keep in mind that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons of it’s own if the situation got out of hand.

However, while Israel might have enough thermonuclear devices to level Tehran and a few other Iranian cities, the fact is that Iran is the 2nd largest country in the region… and Israel is the smallest, and therefore extremely susceptible to being destroyed in a single nuclear strike.

There’s also the small matter of delivering those nuclear weapons to Iran as – as far as anyone in the West knows – all of Israel’s nuclear devices are in the form of gravity bombs and not mounted on long-range missiles, meaning that Israeli attack planes would have to fly through potentially hostile Lebanese, Syrian, Turkish, or Iraqi airspace before even getting to Iran.

The same holds out for any non-nuclear intervention raid Israel might want to stage against Iran in hopes of derailing the Iranian nuclear program like they did when they pounded Saddam Hussein’s atomic facilities into dust back in the 1980s – there’s just too much territory to cover from Israeli airfields to targets in Iran unless those Israeli pilots commit to a one-way suicide mission… and I wouldn’t put that past the Israeli people as they know the value of sacrifice and are a hardened people after decades of being under attack from all sides.

And yet… all the logistics of attacking Iran pale in comparison to the destructive potential of either the Islamic Republic Of Iran Army, The Army Of The Guardians Of The Islamic Revolution (the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard), or any other Iranian military body – or any paramilitary body the Ayatollah deems satisfactory enough to share with – possessing nuclear weapons when they are ideologically tuned towards destroying Israel and the Western world.

The situation is untenable and will need to be resolved prior to Iran developing nuclear weapons technology – and that time isn’t all that far into the future.

Am I being an alarmist?

No.

Everything I’ve said here is absolutely true and cannot be argued by anyone outside North Korea and Iran.

The world has been under the illusion up until now that only the big players could afford nuclear weapons, and to be honest, global opinions should have changed once India and Pakistan developed the Bomb.

But we’ve fooled ourselves into complacency again… that we can send strongly worded letters to Tehran and Pyongyang and they will simply throw up their hands with a smile, saying “Well…  it was worth a try, right?” before packing their whole nuclear infrastructure up in crates and shipping it to Russia for disposal.

Without total regime changes in North Korea and Iran, localized or global nuclear attacks aren’t just probable – they’re an almost forgone conclusion because both countries stand today as spiteful (in Pyongyang’s case), hateful (Tehran), and wholly irrational states.

Kim Jong Il and his son to follow him will continue to develop their primitive atom bombs into more effective hydrogen bombs by working their researchers to death at gunpoint while the citizens throughout North Korea – who depend on the government – starve to death in the streets (while Pyongyang’s resident god drinks Hennessy and collects expensive toys).

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss, the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will continue on their path to nuclear weapons while they continue to hate on the Jewish people and deny the Holocaust – which was the reason the state of Israel was formed in the first place from land ‘donated’ from the surrounding Arab states – in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

To me, that’s the sure sign of Tehran’s insanity and the reason they can’t be trusted: to completely deny the Holocaust when it was thoroughly documented by both the Allies when the camps were liberated, and by the Nazis themselves with their meticulous records of the methodical extermination of the Jews who they deemed as sub-human… and the continued existence of facilities like Auschwitz  and Dachau to remind humanity that the Holocaust was real.

It’s the equivalent of Ahmadinejad looking up and telling the world that the sky is in fact purple and that we’ve been duped by the Jews into thinking it’s blue… which I’m pretty sure he’s already claimed once or twice in his hateful stand-up comedy routines at the United Nations headquarters.

Folks… these are people who can not EVER be trusted with the nuclear genie.

You should be alarmed… you should feel a sense of panic.

These people aren’t going anywhere and won’t change their ways unless we make them.

And believe me… they’re not going to blink when we send them angry emails from the United Nations’ Gmail account.

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Invisible Planes & Your Shopping Cart

With the Canadian federal government once again chugging along after a year of elections on both the national and provincial levels, certain issues are coming up again from the previous edition of Parliament Hill.

Many of the issues are crime related… but there has been some renewal of opposition grumblings over the F-35 Stealth Fighter.

I’ve written all about the technological benefits of the F-35 previously, but I really didn’t touch too much on why we need a stealth fighter in the first place beyond the vague (but real) threat that Russia presents to our borders.

Currently – in the year 2011 – there is only one player in the global military arena that has a fully functional, deployable  stealth aircraft asset… and it’s to our benefit that we happen to be best friends with the U.S.A. and their F-22 Raptor squadrons.

However, other nation states around the world are progressing towards testing their own stealth aircraft – and those nations aren’t always on the up and up… and yes, I’m looking straight at China and the former Soviet Union.

With Russia, the situation is fairly predictable: just as in the days of the Cold War, Russia can be relied upon to act solely in it’s own best interests – even if those interests are counter to what the rest of the world finds acceptable.

One poignant example of this would be the Georgian War of a few years ago where Russian military forces invaded the territory of another sovereign nation… and then subsequently told the world it could collectively go fuck itself if we didn’t like it.

At the end of the Georgian conflict, it was practically the Cuban Missile Crisis all over again – except in microcosm – as American troops stood almost toe to toe against Russian counterparts as they brought aid and supplies to the stricken Georgia.

The only differences were that Georgia was a former Soviet communist state instead of Castro’s newly communist island, and there weren’t at least 3,000 nuclear weapons ready to be shot at the other side with the push of a button.

However, the situation was fairly typical when you study the long term behavior of Russian military commanders and their political overlords in Moscow – so, it’s not too far of a leap in logic that (when Sukhoi or MiG gets a stealth plane into full production) their behavior will change  much in the stealth era.

The only wrinkle in that observation is that Russia will export it’s military hardware to virtually anyone with deep enough pockets – and I would only assume that would apply to future stealth aircraft produced for the Kremlin.

Despite the appearances of – and the lip service towards – democracy, Russian politics is really the bastard son of Mr. Communism and Ms. Democracy… and has been placed into the foster care of Mr. & Mrs. Capitalist-Autocracy – and that autocracy needs money to pay out hush money as well as distribute infrastructure contracts to political allies.

This money comes from those sales of military hardware to the highest bidder.

You know who’s the main beneficiary of Russia’s sales of military hardware and technological know-how?

The People’s Republic of China.

Believe me when I say that this is a bad thing.

Why?

It’s not that big of  a secret that Beijing would like to fully control their political area of influence – essentially every island between Australia and Japan, and a few more going in the direction of India – and have been steadily building up their army, air force, and navy with hardware that was either manufactured in Russia, or designed there.

The most dangerous of these military assets are Kilo-class attack submarines… which are damn near impossible to detect in their newest configuration.

Why are they dangerous – aside from the obvious?

Because the Chinese have always intended for them to be a very real threat to American carrier groups – the very U.S. naval assets that keep China from unilaterally invading Taiwan… the island nation that Beijing maintains is Chinese territory and has simply been ‘misbehaving’ since the 1950s.

Ask your average Taiwanese citizen, and I’m sure they’d have a different opinion… and it’s that fact that the U.S. government counts on to maintain it’s political influence right off the coast of the world’s largest communist nation.

With these political tensions constantly at play, it’s very probable that the next global military conflict will start in the South China Sea – possibly by the sinking of a U.S. aircraft carrier by a Chinese Kilo using a conventional or nuclear torpedo.

What does this have to do with Canada?

The Chinese are developing a stealth fighter of their own, independent of Russian researchers.

And yet we in North America overlook all of these alarming facts because nearly everything at Walmart is made in China – so it’s not to our economical advantage to call China on it’s various sins… not least of which is Beijing’s abysmal record on human rights and dignities that allow for factories in China to pay their workers with dust bunnies and a few grains of rice so that Chinese manufactured goods are the cheapest.

Things are considerably more complicated for our American neighbors: a lion’s share of American debt is owned by Chinese banks, and if those debts were suddenly called in – and if Washington didn’t put up a fight – up to 25-30% of all sellable real estate in the U.S. would become Chinese owned… on top of  industrial land which is already owned by Chinese corporations.

All this means is that there are conflicts coming – and those conflicts will have air wars fought with stealth planes.

Even in small, isolated conflicts that will be resolved by NATO or the United Nations in the coming years could be fought with stealth air assets – and if you haven’t noticed, those type of wars are where Canada steps onto the word stage.

Libya’s skies were patrolled by Canadian warplanes this year.

We need the hardware that will allow men flying for the Royal Canadian Air Force to go forward into the future and not be held back by legacy military hardware designed with attitudes from the 1970s (which is where the CF-18 design originated) or the 1980s (where most attack jets available on the open market were designed).

The F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) is that tool – a plane designed for the 21st Century, and for the air combat of 2020 and beyond.

The Canadian opposition parties are saying we should buy the Eurofighter Typhoon or the SAAB Gripen to replace our aging and rapidly failing CF-18s – but those planes are legacy designs from the 70s/80s/early 90s.

Yes, the Typhoon and Gripen are fast and agile aircraft… but they simply don’t bring to bear the warfare technologies that will be required in the future.

So… when China is no longer satisfied with just being an industrial power – and that’s coming, whether we like it or not – which planes do you want Canadian fighter pilots screaming through the skies in?

I know that I personally want them up there kicking ass and chewing bubblegum… long after they’ve run out of bubblegum.

How about you?

A Decade After The Fall: 9/11/11

Bright and early tomorrow, New Yorkers will have a new destination to fill their idle time.

Monday September 12th, 2011 marks the opening of the WTC/September 11th Memorial that takes up roughly half the 16 hallowed acres that formerly – 10 short years (okay… long years if you’ve been doing a lot of air travel) ago – housed the previous incarnation of the World Trade Center for 10 hours of that fateful Tuesday before being turned into a pile of smoking wreckage.

Up until now, the public at large hasn’t had any access to the WTC site – unable to stand on the ground where 2,500+ normal, everyday people were killed in an orgy of violence and death set in motion by hateful, bearded men half a world away in a country that for the most part was ignored by everyone except the Russians in the 1980s.

Monday morning, New Yorkers have the opportunity to obtain some closure as they can physically travel to the footprints of the North and South towers – looking deep into the pits where they once stood – that are now the world’s largest man-made waterfalls.

But more than just a water feature, the square tower imprints are bordered by bronze rails inscribed with the names of every soul lost to 9/11: both those perishing in the towers, and those killed at the Pentagon and in that barren field outside Shanksville, PA… which, like the Vietnam Wall in D.C., gives a place to mourn those souls – a great number of which simply vanished into thin air as their bodies were torn, crushed, and incinerated.

These bronze rails give those families who never received any remains of their loved ones a place to visit… something tangible where nothingness and abstract concepts have shadowed their daily lives for a decade.

Yet… the cynic deep inside me (maybe not that deep) wonders how long it will be until some asshat kid spray-paints a graffiti tag onto some part of the memorial? I fear it’s only a matter of time… whether it be on the bronze name rails, or on the side of the waterfalls, or on a tree – maybe the ‘Survivor Tree’ that was the last living thing pulled from the WTC wreckage?

Perhaps 9/11 is a tragedy that will transcend the disrespect that the 4chan generation has honed – the types of kids who video themselves urinating on other monuments to fallen heroes.

But I digress…

The memorial plaza will also host a museum, but that won’t be open to the public for another year – but will be very much worth the wait: all manners of debris and relics retrieved from ‘The Pile’ will be on display for people to see and emotionally connect with, including smashed firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, twisted ‘impact steel’ (portions of the WTC tower’s iron outer shell that the two hijacked planes collided with), recovered uniforms of fallen first responders.

However, the two defining features of the museum will be both iconic and immense: two of the recovered steel tridents that were an architectural flourish in the design of the WTC towers, and the naked retaining wall that held back the Hudson river from flooding the Trade Center’s lower levels and adjoining subway station – still covered in the nubs of structural supports that held the towers to the bedrock.

I’m not going to go on about the various politics of 9/11 as I’ve done that previously in this blog on another anniversary of the murders, and that topic has also been covered to death by those much more learned that myself – so what could I possibly add now?

9/11 is a defining moment that will stain and reverberate through history – and personal human conscience for the 90 years or so until the last survivors and victim’s family members have gone on to whatever is after this life – like Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, and the Challenger explosion… all of these events are something that you can look back and say with certainty where you were when you heard the news.

We, as a civilized and caring society, feel the pain of those affected by 9/11… even when the vast majority of us had nothing directly invested in the tragedy – having not lost a son, daughter, mother, father, aunt, uncle, or grandparent.

To not feel the collective grief is something one should be alarmed by… and something to admit with a great deal of shame.

But that is the way of the world: hatred consumes and burns inside many people… even in ways that aren’t quite so obvious, or not directly related to terrorism.

The myriad of conspiracy theories that surround 9/11 is a glaring example of that sort of hatred.

Groups of people who have – for the lack of a better term – hijacked the events and memories of 9/11 to suit their own biases and hatreds toward parties and persons of all political stripes… and generating fantastical, improbable, highly insane plots as to why all those people were really murdered.

By doing this… by creating these conspiracies… these people deny the simple truths of 9/11 and do a great disservice to the victims who gave their lives for nothing more than being in the wrong place and the wrong time.

Disrespect for those murdered is something I can’t tolerate, and isn’t something you should abide either.

So, in that spirit, I present here a video that comes completely without any message or leaning other than what is communicated visually – you can even turn off the audio to mute the music I chose.

You, yourself can be the judge of what happened 10 years ago today since you were blessed with two eyes and a brain capable of making independent conclusions.

Of course… many of you won’t do that, and will continue to think what someone else has told you to think – and I will feel a great swell of pity for you.