Archive for the ‘ISIS’ Category

Pascal’s Wager … applied to the ISIS threat.

March 25, 2016

One of the few things I remember from Philosophy 101 is Pascal’s Wager.

In a nutshell, it says that God may or may not exist … and we all have the choice to live righteously or sinfully.

Naturally, that creates a 2 X 2 matrix …

If you choose to live on the wild side and God exists … uh oh.

If you choose to live a clean life, you score big if God exists … and don’t have much downside if she doesn’t.

I often find Pascal’s Wager to be a practical decision-making prop.

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Let’s apply Pascal’s Wager to the current ISIS mess?

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Why don’t Europeans want to protect themselves more?

March 24, 2016

Once the horror of Brussels sank in, some pundits observed how unprepared Belgium seemed to be … and some pointed to Europeans minimal spending on intelligence, defense, and homeland security (their homelands not our’s).

That prompted me to finally read the Atlantic article on the “Obama Doctrine”.

I thought the article would just make me chuckle …  turned out that I found myself agreeing with some of Obama’s basic tenets …. and it helped explain why Europeans don’t want to protect themselves more.

Obama complains privately to friends and advisers that America’s allies in the Middle East are frustrating, high-maintenance countries,  that seek to exploit American “muscle” for their own narrow and sectarian ends.

“Free riders aggravate me. Europeans and the Arab states want to hold our coats while we do all the fighting.”

Recently, Obama warned that Great Britain would no longer be able to claim a “special relationship” with the United States if it did not commit to spending at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense. “You have to pay your fair share,” Obama told David Cameron.

Given its proximity to Libya, Obama expected the UK to step-up and take a lead role there. But, in a stunning development, the British Parliament denied David Cameron its blessing for an attack. John Kerry’s reaction: “Oops.”

Let’s look at some numbers ….

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True, the UK is only spending about 2% on defense (after all, it has to support its universal healthcare system) … but, it’s looks downright militaristic when compared to its European cronies.  Look down the list to find Belgium.

Let’s cut the numbers a couple of more ways …

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What’s up (or down) with oil prices?

December 22, 2015

I’m sure you’ve noticed that gas prices have come down at the pump.

If you follow the economy or the stock market, you’ve certainly noticed that oil prices have come down … a couple of years ago it was selling for over $130 per barrel … now it’s selling for under $35.

Most pundits chalk it up to slowing economic growth in China.

But, that sounded too simple to me, so I started asking some questions … why’s it happening? who’s getting helped or hurt?

 

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Here’s my current theory of the case …

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He finally said “ISIS” …

December 19, 2015

A couple of weeks, we posted: Why does he persist in calling it “ISIL”?

The central observation was that EVERYBODY else (including the Washington Post and New York Times) called the terrorist group ISIS, but Obama continued to use the more arcane term ISIL

According to  Wiki :

“The usage of the term “Levant” has been relegated to  academia in the fields of archeology and literature, but there is a recent attempt to reclaim the notion of the Levant as a category of analysis in political and social sciences.”

For a detailed explanation of the nuanced differences, see ISIS, ISIL,Islamic State, etc.

We asked “Why?” … and hypothesized that the President was playing a card right out of the “Power Personna” playbook.

Rule #3: Establish superiority through language, e.g.

“I’m way smarter than you are, so I’ll call it ISIL (especially since you don’t call it that and you’re stupid)”

Well, well, well …

At his press conference last Friday, President Obama finally broke down and called the terrorist group ISIS.

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Hmmm

Let’s recount the bidding ….

The HomaFiles takes the President to task for using arcane academic language to appear superior to the masses.

Days later, the self-proclaimed ‘gifted’ orator changes course and starts talking like all of rest of us folks … blurting out the phrase ISIS.

Coincidence?

What’s next “Radical Islamic Terrorists”?

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ISIS, ISIL,Islamic State, etc.

December 10, 2015

I got a few questions and comments after the post earlier this week asking about President Obama:

Why does he persist in calling it “ISIL”?

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Once again, let’s answer the question: what’s the difference among all those names?

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