The Big Short and Dunning-Kruger Effect Concluded

Hard-working citizens have been forced to dip into their wallets to rescue the very people that destroyed so much of their personal economic futures. The downwardly mobile American electorate has, by and large, an intuitive understanding that they are being royally screwed by the Powers That Be even if they aren’t familiar with the particulars.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Part III

According to Fux News host, Obama used a raw onion to fake tears while talking about school kids dying. Recently, it was reported that―horror of horrors!―Obama doesn’t watch enough cable news, and therefore doesn’t understand the nation’s concerns about terrorism…Some would consider eschewing the manufactured reality of the cable news media-industrial-complex a feature and not a bug.

The Dunning Kruger Effect: Part II

To paraphrase Dunning-Kruger: Fools lack the tools to recognize their foolishness; i.e. their limitations. The alternative to this lack of self-awareness is to blame someone else for their failures; to wit, that secret Muslim-Kenyan commie illegally occupying the White House. Naturally, this illegal occupation trope is being sold to the gullible as a promise by certain GOP presidential candidates to repeal every piece of legislation, every executive order, signed into law by our illegitimate president. Because freedom!

Strategery Fail

An exmple of failed US Strategery

U.S. Soldier cradling a dead Iraqi child

I did not—repeat DID NOT—ghost write the Der Spiegel article referred to below, notwithstanding that it comports 100% with what I’ve written about the failed Iraq War strategery in various fora since 2002. (Strategery is a word coined by the writers at Saturday Night Live, enunciated by the actor Will Ferrell to satirize the cognitive foibles of our former Commander in Chief, George. W. What Me Worry Bush. Apologies to Mad Magazine‘s Alfred E, Neuman).

The highlights of the  article are presented by Huffington Post’ Matt Ferner in Monday’s article titled: Former Military Chief: Iraq War Was A ‘Failure’ That Helped Create ISIS, which begins:

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, former U.S. special forces commander in Iraq and Afghanistan who was the country’s highest ranking military intelligence official, says that the George W. Bush administration’s Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

“It was a huge error,” Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.

“As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him,” Flynn went on to say. “The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”

When told by Der Spiegel reporters Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark that the Islamic State would not “be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad,” Flynn, without reservations, said: “Yes, absolutely.”

Full disclosure: I am not a brilliant military analyst pulling down a hefty six figure salary to write position papers for a leftie think thank squirrelled away somewhere near Foggy Bottom with a view of the Pentagon. I never served in the military, nor do I have close confidants employed in the intelligence industrial complex. Though I have had a lifelong interest in the military and military strategy, beginning with my reading of Robin Moore’s The Green Berets and A General’s Story (about General Omar Bradley, General of the Army from D-Day to the end of WW 2) when I was in my early teens, all my studies and insights and been derived from the public record.

So, having someone with background of Michael Flynn confirm my critique of the USA’s military and foreign policy is heartening, to say the least. It actually gives me hope that, eventually, US policy makers will finally get a clue about the futility of trying to maintain worn out strategery tropes like:  Might makes right, Manifest Destiny, and American Exceptionalism.

Meanwhile, media networks and politicians continue to hire for their “expert” opinions many of the same thoroughly discredited hacks who helped lie our country into catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, wars directly responsible for today’s expanded conflicts. It’s like re-employing the surgeon who mistakenly amputated your healthy limb to amputate the actual diseased one. Sooner or later, he’s bound to get it right.

W's failed What Me Worry strategery

What, me worry?

 

From Their Apocalips to God’s Ears

isis-paris800
Last Tuesday, GOP presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, in response to the brutal terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Mali, called for the creation of federal agency to promote and propagandize Christian values. Not in front of a conservative, Evangelical gathering in Iowa, mind you, where some 33% of Iowa Republicans wants to criminalize Islam. But in front of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Even the pearl clutching Lindsey Graham mocked Kasich’s idea, stating that: “I don’t think we should be promoting Judeo-Christian values in the Arab world. I think that was the Crusades.” Boom! Well, it didn’t take long for Kasich to walk back his initial proposal, now claiming that we don’t need such an agency after all. Instead, he called for the rebirth of the Voice of America. Or something.

You’da thunk that Kasich would have learned from the lesson of George W. Bush, who immediately after 9/11, twice called for a “crusade” as part of an aggressive military strategy to punish the evil doers. Not only did W. ditch that needlessly provocative rhetoric, but to his credit, praised and defended Islam:

September 20, 2001

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.

Rather than highlight the differences between Christians and Muslims, let’s identify a key commonality instead; specifically, the belief by both that we have entered into an apocalyptic, end times. In the Christian tradition, the Book of Revelation describes a bloody, catastrophic conflict, culminating in the triumphant return of Christ, the Messiah, when peace and justice is restored.

In Muslim eschatology, the end times are foretold in the Hadith, a collection of teachings attributed to the Prophet Muhammed. The Hadith foretells the arrival of a fierce warrior, Muhammad al-Mahdi, (aka The Twelfth Imam, aka The Missing Imam) who vanquishes the wicked, and after a similarly bloody conflict, also brings peace and justice to the world. (The two main sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia, differ in their beliefs as to the origin and history of the Mahdi, but both recognize his indispensable, world transformative role.)

But here’s the kicker: Accompanying the Mahdi will be the Prophet Isa; aka the Prophet Jesus:

According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal(literally, the “false Messiah” or Antichrist).

So there you have it, a moment of harmonic convergence, if you will. Maybe the Mahdi and Isa should hold a joint press conference and tell this planet’s denizens to chill the hell out. (Hullo! Anybody up there?)

As The Urantia Book puts it:

You must first recognize man as your brother, and if you honestly desire to do by him as you would have him do by you, the commonplace dictates of justice, honesty, and fairness will guide you in the just and impartial settlement of every recurring problem of economic rewards and social justice.

TRUMPENSTEIN!

  In Mary Shelley’s classic sci-fi horror novel, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus (1818), her protagonist, the brilliant Dr. Viktor Frankenstein, allows his hubris to get the better of him by assuming the powers of the Creator. His monstrous faux human creation, without name or number in the original—let’s call him “Donald” for now– refers to himself initially as “the Adam of …

Seriously, America? This??

So it may be too soon to start showing America just what a Trump “presidency” will look like. After all, it was many of those same sorry fuckers who elected Ronald Reagan.