Posted by: subadei | August 25, 2007

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    Posted by: subadei | July 7, 2007

    On Our Finest Ally

    Consider this a belated Independence Day post. Via Helen at Chicago Boyz (and, er, Girlz) post regarding the 4th (and British anti-USism) this striking bit left in the commentary by “Veryretired.”

    “My oldest and dearest friend and I have been estranged from time to time over the course of our lives, and we rarely say anything to each other that doesn’t contain one of those insults that guys use to kid each other, but if I was up against it, he would be there, and I hope he knows the same would apply in reverse.

     And so it is in many ways between our two countries. Thank you for your kind sentiments, and I too will be looking forward to your expanded analysis of these problems. But, don’t worry—when the chips are down, we know very well who our friends are, and who can truly be counted upon to stand by our side.

    I am afraid that those times are coming along, far and away more serious and important than we can grasp at this point. And, then, similar to that which the gospel parable describes, we shall see in which soil the seed fell upon good ground, and which was stony and filled with thistles.

    The ongoing story of the endless series of battles to preserve the rights of the individual against those who would destroy them will soon open another chapter. My considered opinion is that the definitive future history of that battle will be written in english, and subjected to the vigorous criticism and debate that free minds so relish, and require.

    If I am wrong, then the long night that Churchill spoke of and fought against during his life may very well descend a century later to darken the future of mankind. But, even in that dire case, the light that the ideas of July 4th lit in our hearts and minds will not be extinguished, and, as the dawn always comes eventually, even to the darkest and stormiest of nights, so too will the rights of man once again flare forth to illuminate the path to liberty and freedom.

    Please pardon an old man for becoming maudlin and sentimental. As I watch my children set out to live their lives, I tremble for the challenges they will face, even as I admire the courage and steadfastness of their minds and hearts.

    The glory of truly free men and women is that they simply cannot, ever, settle for being anything less. And that, I think, may in the end be the salvation of all.”

    Good stuff.

    Posted by: subadei | July 6, 2007

    Incarcerex: Soon to be followed by Gunnifex.

    Via The Metropolis Times this bit from The Drug Policy Alliance:

    The “War on Drugs” is without a doubt the largest initiative to create crime that the US has embarked upon. I’ll reiterate: When considering gun control or immigration reform remember well the War on Drugs. When you legislate something to be illegal you create both immediate crime (the possession or existence of the drug/gun/illegal alien him/itself) and residual crime; the marketplace born of the initial law (gun/drug trade and human smuggling.) Both feed quite effectively upon each other and consequentially grow very quickly beyond the means of policing.

    Posted by: subadei | July 5, 2007

    On Sir Salman The Weary.

    (AP Photo:BK Bangash)
    Screaming for vengeance.

    Shortly after publishing his fourth book, The Satanic Verses, novelist Sir Salman Rushdie was victimized by an Islamic “judgement” or fatwa issued by the late Ayatollah Khomeini that found him guilty of blasphemy and suggested that Sir Salman’s sins be atoned through death.

    In 1998 the fatwa was “lifted” as the Iranian government decided it would no longer uphold their previous death sentence. “Coincidentally,” the Iranian President at the time was moderate Mohammad Khatami. Given a new lease on life without threat of death from primeval idiots, Rushdie crawled out of the effective “spiderhole” he’d resigned himself to and got a taste of free will again.

    Last month saw the novelist formerly known as Salman Rushdie become, as Queen Elizabeth waved a sword shoulder to shoulder and bode him “stand,” Sir Salman Rushdie. Knighted for his contribution to literature Rushdie should be looking forward to enjoying his new status and publishing his next book. Instead the audacity of the British government to knight such a scourge as Rushdie whose “Satanic Versus” dared paint the prophet Muhammad in a negative fashion has resulted in the “renewal” of the previous fatwa. What’s the literary offense that begot Sir Salman’s troubles? From Wikipedia:

    “The title refers to a Muslim tradition that is related in the book. According to it, Muhammad (Mahound in the book) added verses (sura) to the Qur’an accepting three goddesses that used to be worshipped in Mecca as divine beings. According to the legend, Muhammad later revoked the verses, saying the devil tempted him to utter these lines to appease the Meccans (hence the Satanic verses). However, the narrator reveals to the reader that these disputed verses were actually from the mouth of the Archangel Gibreel. The book was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities.”

    Not exactly Piss Christ, but never the less enough to invite both mass banning within the Muslim world and invite the Ayatollah Khomeini to issue the fatwa demanding Rushdie’s death that was “let go” in 1998 and recently re-endorsed by Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami shortly after Rushdie received his honor.

    Not to be outdone by their eastern counter-parts a handful of protester’s gathered in London to rant, rave, threaten and generally look and sound like a troop of lost time travelers from the 8th century as they chanted such niceties as “Death to Rushdie” and “Death to the Queen.” No word yet on any organized parties to rage against the Taliban’s use of Afghan civilians as human shields. Apparently the old saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” is taken very seriously by this bunch.

    Posted by: subadei | July 2, 2007

    On the 8 Random Facts Bit.

    I’ve been tagged by ZenPundit for the viral 8 random facts meme. And so, here they are:

    8. In the sixth grade I watched my best friend devolve into virtual insanity with the tacit assistance of the teachers and school.

    7. I once sat in the back of an LA County Sheriff cruiser and “rolled hot” (parlance of the officer driving) in order to rescue a friend stuck mid climb on Mugu Rock.

    6. I have slept off a drunken stupor in the basement of a “love hotel” in the Kabukicho.

    5. Pink Floyd is simply the finest in any aspect regarding music. Any opinion otherwise is wrong. Period.

    4. My favorite food, fish, (specifically tuna and salmon) is best consumed raw and on a rectangle of vinegared rice. My other favorite food, chicken and dumplings, is only to be prepared by Mom. Period.

    3. I have been booted from an izakaya because my Korean friends were “too loud.”

    2. In hitchhiking from a parking area to the actual site of the Rainbow Festival of 1992 my friend and I were picked up by a Time magazine photographer. He declined to take our picture but his press pass saved us miles of walking.

    1. Much of what you read here is conceived of while either murdering innocent paper targets with a hand gun or smacking balls around on a pool table. I find both to be something of a catharsis, clearing my mind of the heaviness of everyday existence.

    Now I enjoy the privilege of tagging others. They are:

    Moody Loner

    Politics and Soccer

    tdaxp

    Simulated Laughter

    PurpleSlog

    The Strategist

    Pacific Empire (either Phil or Luke or both)

    Sean Meade

    Posted by: subadei | June 27, 2007

    Why the Black Swan, Soob?

    Initially this post was to illustrate the fact that the Black Swan conflation with 5GW was fueled by the latest reading endeavor of Soob. That, as much as I’d like to imagine otherwise, the conjecture below didn’t simply erupt in my mind and fall unto the keyboard. Initially this post was to illustrate the intellectual motivation or inspiration for the below post. That being my recent endeavor into the philosophy of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “The Black Swan: The impact of the Highly Improbable.”

    Instead this post reveals the highly improbable event that not only have I recently delved into Taleb’s work but both Adrian and Arherring have done so as well. Each without neither the urging nor overt influence of the other.

    Perhaps (and Taleb would likely balk at this old adage) great minds do think alike!

    At any rate, Taleb’s work is the first since Barnett’s BFA that found me often looking up from the book and gazing off into oblivion in contemplation or reflection. Taleb challenges not only history, popular “philosophy” and scholastic convention but the lense through which we both understand and realize them. More to come in a full review upon completion.

    A side note: I’d certainly invite any and all to read, with an open mind, Taleb’s book. I’d specifically very much invite all of the D5GW theorists to do the same.

    Posted by: subadei | June 26, 2007

    Back Into 5GW and Embracing, Enacting the Black Swan

    A short, raw bit of conjecture regarding 5GW.

    My last post regarding 5GW entailed the necessity of mastering popular media for a successful 5GW initiative. In effect, the 5GW theory utilizes the non-kinetic approach of information manipulation and mastery as opposed to the “barbaric” kinetic or offensive approach engaged by it’s 4GW predecessors. Certainly the “insurgent” or “terrorist” tactic entails affecting media as was very apparent during the media blowback following the Tet offensive or, currently, as the “surge,” despite it’s partial implementation, is popularly regarded in terms of ineffectiveness or even abject failure. But utilizing media and mastering media are two completely different strategic elements.

    The 9/11 attacks have led to a litany of instances in which Al Qaeda used and continues to exploit the mainstream to further it’s message and philosophically reinforce it’s will. The mainstream, hungry for ratings, can’t wait to obtain and broadcast any evocation of Al Qaeda whether it be a crackling audio tape of Osama bin Laden or a hazy videotape of Ayman al Zawahiri. In this respect Al Qaeda very effectively utilizes the media even as it fails to master it. Despite the media’s willingness or hunger for Al Qaeda dispatches it doesn’t push the agenda, rather exploits and sensationalizes it for exposure and the financial profit that follows.

    Mastering the media means subverting and collecting it’s will, tossing it into your virtual ideological corner and then exacting your cause through it in an effort that ends in the general populace, or mainstream, conforming to and accepting your cause as “reality.” A hypothetical example of media mastery:

    The Global Warming “Fact” as presented by an ex-Vice President… I’ll let that hang a bit as I have more to say regarding this in the near future…

    In consideration of the above, mastering the mainstream seems to require a realistic pretense or a powerful event (or promise thereof) to shatter the usual homogenous banality that is “news.” One simply isn’t going to march into the New York Times offices, wave around a half frozen tuna in a threatening fashion and then commandeer the editors office so that they print X to meet the ends of initiative Y. So how does one first snag and then command the attention of a media that caters to what is, perhaps, of the most attention deficient populace on the planet?

    What of the cultural or national shock of the sudden and unexpected? Certainly giving the cultural framework that entails a nation a good solid shake will toss the useless glitterati that is Paris Hilton aside and invite a national conscience to actually focus? What of the unexpected left hook that sends all of our preconcieved notions flailing to the mat and ready for the ten (or even twenty) count? What of the Black Swan? Or, to simply define, the aforementioned left hook that nobody sees coming that rings our bell, sends our government into political turmoil and penetrates the perversely sheep like blind covenant that entwines the American people and popular culture and actually focuses national attention on a common cause. And then, and here’s some villany for you, builds and manifests itself upon this new collective.

    Ah, the Black Swan, that which shakes nations, because a national conscience typically relies on the past and the present for a comfortable pillow of reference and definition of what can or could or will be and refuses to see that uncertainty is as much a certainty as anything we claim to “predict” or “know.”

    So if mastering mainstream information and the how and why regarding it’s construct is paramount (in my vision) to enacting a 5GW initiative (which is much less an act of overt war and much more an act of mass philosophical and psychological subversion) then the catalyst could be found in either playing off an existing or causing and building upon a Black Swan. Shock the system and then build upon it’s new and popular collective.

    Posted by: subadei | June 25, 2007

    Hey Man, Nice Shot

    I’ve long been an opponent to kinetic or overt action regarding the state that could join the Core if it’d shed it’s theist driven government. Or, as we like to call it, Iran.

    The current regime, with the soon to be replaced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acting as chief mouthpiece, seems quite content to implode itself from within. The recent crackdown on dissent, parading itself as a crackdown on “unIslamic” behavior, is yet another nail in the coffin that is Iran’s decidedly confused theocracy. The mullahs are on the way out and they very much know it. Have a look at some photos, gleefully stolen from Gateway Pundit, of various “dissidents” having a good suck on the business end of what can only be described as a Persian ass washer.

    As if a good draft from an ass washer isn’t quite enough to deliver the message a sound beating follows.

    Long story short, the Bearded Sages and their “everyman” visage of a “President” are digging quite willingly the hole that may well be filled by the next Persian revolution. One entertains a romantic Khatami led revolution that finally brings Iran into the 21st century.

    Posted by: subadei | June 24, 2007

    Summer on the Lake


    043
    Originally uploaded by subadei

    I’ve been farting around with Flickr and exploring it’s blogging capabilities. Given that WordPress does not host images in the same fashion that Blogger does I’ll be relying on both photobucket and flickr for presenting any images at Soob II, or as I’ve taken to calling it, the Prototype.

    At any rate, the last week saw some time at my parents haven on the lake and Ma Soob was gracious enough to allow me to commandeer her camera and snap a few shots along the coast of Lake Champlain during a short trek along it’s shores. Short because several storm systems were wandering about and tossing lightning here and there.

    What your seeing in the above photo is a view across the lake at New York. What looks to be a freshly felled tree is actually a long ago fallen tree that managed to maintain it’s root structure and lives happily suspended in a horizontal fashion over the water.

    Posted by: subadei | June 24, 2007

    Painful

    Via MountainRunner this insight into the worthless bureaucracy that is our government as Afghanistanica sits down for a little Q and A with an apparently very qualified candidate for intelligence analyst in the US Army and yet was denied his chance to serve. Given that he’d turned down two rather lucrative jobs on the principle that his very own brother is toiling in al Anbar for, as he states, chicken shit, the guys got some serious moxy.

    At any rate, follow that link, read the story and then try not to imagine our government as a collective of helmeted, bibbed, drooling and glassy eyed idiots bumbling around various regions with a particularly large and powerful weapon.

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