Letting “them” win.

US AlertThe “media” (rather than actual news) is all over the US State Departments general, extended travel warning. The warning is pretty useless, anyone paying attention should have assumed most of this already.

Despite the worldwide spying, intelligence, phone hacking, the NSA has carried out, this is the best they can come up with?

At the same time governments are using this as a reason to demand more intrusive technology, and less privacy for us. Remember, the French bombers did not use encryption… yet the cries to break or insert back doors into encryption grow daily.

I’m travelling anyway…  If two planes get blown up,  or 100 Americans killed,  that would be terrible, but you are still more likely to die of heart disease or a traffic accident,  or shot by a white guy with a legal gun in the cinema or at a school. The fact that 100,000 people every year are wounded  or killed in America by guns every year, puts the Paris tragedy into context.

The worst thing about these vague, generalized threats is they are being used as a justification for more war, even boots on the ground. There is no easy answer, but lets remember that the middle east is a western created mess going back over 100-years.

The US never really fixed Korea, or Vietnam, or for that matter Afghanistan. The memorial wall for the Vietnam soldiers alone killed in action contains some 58,000 names. Does anyone really think that letting in Syrian Refugees in would cost 58,000 lives? If you have kids, are you willing to let your kids be part of the draft?

It’s impossible to imagine we can fix the Middle East by bombing alone. [See this, and this].

Remember, if you have NOT been protesting the bombing done in our names, you have no right to protest the refugees.

Don’t be intimidated over travel, ask yourself,  what would chuck Norris do…  Otherwise you are letting them win…

Them being the war mongering American politicians,  and ISIS.

Diction, Eloquence, ISIS and The Big Lie

Growing up in the 60’s, and the brave new era of TV, I can remember with great fondness some of the eloquent, important speeches given by US Presidents. To an Englishman, the accent, and diction were fascinating. One of my favorites was this speech by Vice President Agnew about the Vietnam riots. I can remember distinctly hearing it, add to that the Robert Kennedy impromptu speech after the death of Martin Luther King.

That’s partly why I’m so disappointed with the current crop of GOP Presidential candidates. The way they say things, their speech patterns are disappointing. More importantly, in the last 10-years it’s what they say that infuriates me. GOP candidates seem to just make sh*t up. It’s like it’s the 1950’s and there is no way to fact check anything. Carly (desperately wants to be somebody) Fiorina is reported as recently saying

“Somebody once asked me, ‘What’s the difference between business and politics?'” Fiorina said at the event, which was hosted by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. “And here’s the difference: Politics is a fact-free zone. People just say things.”

I don’t know when this phenomenon of just making sh*t up first started, but I just had a discussion about ISIS and how President Obama caused ISIS. I didn’t have this to hand, and it took me 30-mins to find it, but next time someone blames the President for ISIS, ask them to listen to the following about Vice President Dick Cheney, and remind them that President Obama was elected on a promise to bring the troops home and that he did.

It’s from This American Life, Episode #303 David and Goliath. This is excatly the technique discussed by Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Chapter X. effectively a lie, so big, that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so much. In 1951, the US Army made a semi-documentary film called the Big Lie to heighten fear of Russia. You can watch it here[YouTube]..

What Cheney, then Vice President of the United States, and President Bush, by implication did was create a Big Lie as justification for the invasion of Iraq and to this day, despite numerous evidence to the contrary, Cheney maintains the Big Lie that ultimately gave us ISIS.

Yes, President Obamas’ withdrawal from Iraq left the country open for ISIS to thrive, it is worth noting though that the President campaigned and was elected on the basis of withdrawal, Cheney just made sh*t up and profited from it.

Update: 4:04pm added links for the US Army “The Big Lie”.