Friday, February 28, 2014

The Audacity of Hubris

The Audacity of Hubris - My latest @ The National Review

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lee Rigby Beheading

I have two relevant thoughts.

1) The Police marksmen were highly professional and only used force when it became absolutely necessary (see video below). This is an important point that has been lost in the coverage - it challenges the false narrative generated by criticism of the Police during the Mark Duggan operation.

2) The killers were deliberate in their efforts to cultivate death for propaganda (my thoughts here) and followed in the tradition of Salafi Jihadism (my thoughts here).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Moazzam Begg, Syria and Guantanamo

Regarding the charging of Begg by British Counter-Terrorism prosecutors, here's my radio debate with Mr. Begg from a few months ago. We debate whether Guantanamo Bay should remain open (Mr. Begg was formerly detained at Guantanamo). Also might be of interest - my piece on why Syria is causing great concern for British Intelligence.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Debt Limit


One reason - ObamaCare. I explain below (admittedly from a couple of months back).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Iran Navy Patrol

Iran is claiming that it has sent a small flotilla on a patrol close to the US Atlantic border. 

No need for alarm.

1) The Iranians lack the naval power to threaten the United States in any significant way. While Iranian forces in the Gulf could cause problems in the event of a localized conflagration, the ships in question here do not represent a serious challenge. In fact, the Iranians may be lying about the entire deployment.

2) The flotilla will be monitored by the US Navy. There's no doubt that the US will keep a close eye on what the Iranians do. It's in this sense that US Navy forces will protect American interests and gather intelligence on Iranian naval tactics, strategic doctrine and capabilities.

3) There's an obvious domestic political component to this action. Iran's Navy wants to exert prestige and regime hardliners want to show the US that they retain significant influence. Moreover, the imagery and narrative of Iranian vessels off the US coast is a powerful one. At least in propaganda terms. Correspondingly, Iranian state media are using these claims as an opportunity to assert Iran's presentation on the international scene. Power politics rely upon successful presentation.

4) The main point - states have the right to patrol in international waters. Indeed, the USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group is currently on operations proximate to Iran. What's important is that naval powers behave responsibly. And not like China's Navy.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

London Transport Strike - What it says about Socialism

London's main transport union is presently on strike.


Because the union doesn't believe in modernity. Because they would rather have low-middle income Londoners subsidize their staffing levels and inefficiency than reform. Because, to be succinct, their boss is a thug who knows how to play the system.

This really isn't complex. Recognizing that widespread staffing of ticket offices is an anachronism in the 21st century, London's Mayor knows he has to change the system. After all, the consequence of not evolving will be a transport network that is starved of efficient resource allocation and technological advancement. 

Even then, while I lived in London (for 26 years), each ticket office seemed to have at least two staff members on a break at any particular time (sometimes 2/2). The ticket offices have always been a big joke. Just like the RMT (the union on strike). The simple truth is that London Underground is overstaffed and overpaid. It just is. And, incredibly, the network still closes at 12.30 each night. And because Londoners believe in keeping their mouths shut - and don't like to be seen as anti-union (a fact the unions well know) - it's been near impossible to enact necessary reforms.

Nevertheless, as I noted in regards to France, the shutdown of London's transport network might finally begin to move people away from socialist sympathy. This situation is absurd. While I'm happy that I no longer have to deal with the BS, I feel bad for my friends.