Gringo Lost

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Friday Night Links…

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Stratfor explains the Pakistan-based Lashkar e-Taiba?

India picks a verbal confrontation with China.

U.S. gives Colombia the “thumbs up” on Human Rights.  Moves toward free trade agreement.

Gov. Rick Perry aims for the Jewish vote.

The burden to protect Somalia has cost $55 billion since 1991.

Ghanaian legislators fall under spell, try to protect the rights of witches.


Written by gringolost

September 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Posted in News

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The Braindead Megaphone in Congress

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George Saunders wrote an essay called “The Braindead Megaphone” in which he describes how media is making us stupid. Sadly, I would add that many of our elected officials are doing the same.

This post is the beginning of a series on those who trumpet the braindead megaphone to disseminate idiocy. As Saunders said, these are the people who “put an intelligence-ceiling on the party.”

For today’s installment, we have US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson (Dem.) of Texas’ 18th District.

Written by gringolost

July 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Posting posts from better blogs makes this blog better

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Here’s a roundup of some good blog posts from around the web.

From Dave Reidy at Demagogues and Dictators, “Corruption and Counter-Productive Policy

  • Reidy addresses the story of Guinea-Bissau, the small western African state which is becoming a regional drug-trafficking hub. The government of “Guinea-Bissau,” Reidy points out, “is either impotent to stop drug traffickers or is entirely complicit and enmeshed in illegal activities.” He goes on to extrapolate that developments in Guinea-Bissau reflect the growing nexus between crime and terrorism.

From Tim Stevens at Kings of War, “What Prospects for Cyberdeterrence?

  • Stevens discusses the potential for deterrence (think: Mutually Assured Dysfunction?) against cyber attacks. Some critical questions: How do you deter an act which cannot, with 100%, be attributed to a government or state actor? And if deterrence won’t work because of this, then what about cyber defenses? Consequently, what is the utility (or futility?) of cyber defenses? Conclusion: deterrence cannot serve as the dominant “strategic anchor” in cyber security as it did in Cold War nuclear security; and crusty old military structures must adapt to be more flexible, especially in the realm of cyber defense.

From Jeffrey Lewis at Arms Control Wonk, “Missile Defense and the Prague Treaty

  • Lewis, who is an expert in nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, discusses whether the New Start treaty will require the US to limit its ballistic missile defenses. Here’s my quick intro: the US loves its missile defenses and so does its European, Asian allies; Russia… not-so-much. So, although Russia and the US want to lower the amount of nuclear weapons in the world, they have slightly different views on how to go about it. Another basic essential: the US has a more defensive nuclear strategy, while Russia counts on tactical offensive nuclear weapons for its strategy. This offense-defense balance makes nuclear disarmament difficult.

Bonus blog post: The Data Blog at the Guardian UK has some great charts on world military spending.


Fear mongering for the day

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China is selling off U.S. Treasury bonds, perhaps spurring inflation. (Perhaps not.)

Diminishing supplies of rare earth elements could thwart innovation in high tech industry.

Tuna is dangerously close to being “threatened with extinction.”

Iran’s military is strange, powerful. (also, Life Magazine has jumped the shark)

Written by gringolost

February 18, 2010 at 9:19 am