Terrorism Epidemic


Rudy Giulani screams “They are coming to kill us!”

Marcus Lutrell intones “The war is here.”

Lt General Michael Flynn caps off, “This is the last stand.”

I’ll have fruit loops for breakfast.

#RNC2016

The Threat Is Already Inside

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/09/america-cia-nsa-chief-general-michael-hayden-china-catastrophic-for-world

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/10/barack-obama-interview-middle-east-drone-strikes-atlantic

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The Good King


#TywinLannister: What kind of king do you think you’ll be?

Tommen Baratheon: A good king?

Tywin: I think you will. You have the right #temperament. But what makes a good king? What is a good king’s single most important quality?

Tommen: #Holiness?

Tywin: Baelor the Blessed was holy. And pious. He built this sept. He also named a six-year-old boy High Septon because he thought the boy could work miracles. He ended up fasting himself into an early grave because “food was of this world, and this world was sinful.”

Tommen: #Justice?

Tywin: A good king must be just. Orys the First was just. Everyone applauded his reforms, nobles and commoners alike. He was murdered in his sleep after less than a year, by his own brother. Was that truly just of him, to abandon his subjects to an evil he was too gullible to recognize?

Tommen: No. … What about #strength?

Tywin: Yes. Strength. King Robert was strong. He won the rebellion and crushed the Targaryen Dynasty and he attended three small council meetings in seventeen years. He spent his time whoring and hunting and drinking until the last two killed him. So, we have a man who starves himself to death; a man who lets his own brother murder him; and a man who thinks that winning and ruling are the same thing. What do they all lack?

Tommen: #Wisdom!

Tywin: Yes!

Tommen: Wisdom is what makes a good king.

Tywin: But what is wisdom? Hmm? A house with great wealth and fertile lands asks you for your protection against another house with a strong navy that could one day oppose you. How do you know which choice is wise and which isn’t? You’ve any experience of treasuries and granaries or shipyards and soldiers?

Tommen: No.

Tywin: No. Of course not. A wise king knows what he knows and what he doesn’t. You’re young. A wise young king listens to his counselors and heeds their advice until he comes of age. And the wisest kings continue to listen to them long afterwards.

#GameOfThrones #DonaldTrump
Donald Trump: I consult myself on foreign policy, ‘because I have a very good brain’

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/17/donald-trump-i-consult-myself-on-foreign-policy-be/
“What I think is scary is a president who doesn’t know their stuff and doesn’t seem to have an interest in learning what they don’t know.” – Barack Obama


Trump aspires to be #Tywin, projecting strength and a pragmatic “common sense” worldview, but he’s actually much closer to #Joffrey, a cruel, narcissistic, ignorant boy, who has never mentally “come of age”:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=doY0IjisBlk

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Asset Trump


The history of covert political influence abroad goes way back … before James Bond was James Bond, there was Her Majesty’s Service’s Sidney Reilly, fomenting Russian domestic unrest in attempts to topple Lenin’s still fragile, post-October Revolution (1917), Bolshevik party.


Long before Vladimir Putin was Russian President, he was a young KGB intelligence agent working in Germany. Shouldn’t be a surprise he is versed in the arts of disinformation but also, more interestingly, honed an appreciation for how popular disillusionment can be mobilized to topple political establishments:

“The experience …. left him with a huge anxiety about the frailty of political elites, and how easily they can be overthrown by the people.

“Putin had arrived in Dresden in the mid-1980s for his first foreign posting as a KGB agent. The German Democratic Republic or GDR – a communist state created out of the Soviet-occupied zone of post-Nazi Germany – was a highly significant outpost of Moscow’s power, up close to Western Europe, full of Soviet military and spies.

“Putin had wanted to join the KGB since he was a teenager, inspired by popular Soviet stories of secret service bravado in which, he recalled later, “One man’s effort could achieve what whole armies could not. One spy could decide the fate of thousands of people.”

“Initially, though, much of his work in Dresden was humdrum. Among documents in the Stasi archives in Dresden is a letter from Putin asking for help from the Stasi boss with the installation of an informer’s phone.

“But if the spy work wasn’t that exciting, Putin and his young family could at least enjoy the East German good life. Putin’s then wife, Ludmila, later recalled that life in the GDR was very different from life in the USSR. “The streets were clean. They would wash their windows once a week,” she said in an interview published in 2000, as part of First Person, a book of interviews with Russia’s new and then little-known acting president…

“He enjoyed very much this little paradise for him,” says Boris Reitschuster. East Germany, he says, “is his model of politics especially. He rebuilt some kind of East Germany in Russia now.”

“But in autumn 1989 this paradise became a kind of KGB hell. On the streets of Dresden, Putin observed people power emerging in extraordinary ways.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32066222

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30 years preparation for 3 seconds

I am not convinced that Donald Trump has spent the last 30 years with any reflection or introspection, whatsoever, to make a decision in 30 seconds with US nuclear codes, in a way that does not endanger our very country.
Nor would he listen to someone who has. The Donald listens to himself, he has a very good brain.

*****

“Hayden, who also served as director of the NSA and CIA under both Democratic and Republican presidents… explained that if a President Trump wanted to use nuclear weapons, he could use nuclear weapons. ‘It’s scenario-dependent,’ Hayden said. ‘But the system is designed for speed and decisiveness. It’s not designed to debate the decision.’

https://www.yahoo.com/tv/joe-scarborough-says-donald-trump-asked-three-171548781.html

*****


“I spent 30 years getting ready for that decision that took 30 seconds.” – General James Mattis, US Marines

“Your spiritual path is much … of your own choosing. Make sure you don’t dismiss this as something of idle interest or not that important… You can sometimes put things on the spiritual level behind you, and the problem is then we endanger our very country.”

https://www.usna.edu/Ethics/publications/lectures.php

“Our country takes very seriously any idea that we would violate the law of war or endanger innocent people without very, very high regard for their lives.”

32:40 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xIYkAAdAe8I&sns=fb

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First Kill All the Lawyers?

“Leah D. Frank is inaccurate when she states that when Shakespeare had one of his characters state ‘Let’s kill all the lawyers,’ it was the corrupt, unethical lawyers he was referring to. 
“Shakespeare’s exact line ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,’ was stated by Dick the Butcher in ”Henry VI,” Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.”

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/17/nyregion/l-kill-the-lawyers-a-line-misinterpreted-599990.html

This still gets to me, in a way that maybe Paris or Brussels resonates to more Americans.

Maybe it’s because even as an American born in Jersey, I spent 3rd grade through high school attending American schools abroad, and growing up in a multicultural environment, the common ways people self-identify here in the US is less relevant to me – whether that *tribal self-identification is primarily ethnic (Italian American?), regional (Bostonian?), religious (Baptist?), socio-economic, etc.

Instead, my self-identification has always seemed a bit more fluid, and settled on things that are trans-national, trans-racial, trans-ethnic, etc., and goes more directly to values which all the aforementioned identities may in some cases simply be assumed proxies for.

So as a lawyer who has spent brief but significant chunks of my life on Rule of Law issues, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan or more tangentially even in the United States, and who believes in the role of Law in maintaining civil society, I see the attack on these lawyers, of a different nationality, of a different religion, from a different culture, as an attack on my “tribe.”

—–

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/09/an-entire-generation-of-a-citys-lawyers-was-killed-in-pakistan/

Baluchistan is a place that desperately needs lawyers.

Pakistan’s largest province by area, it is the home of a decades-old separatist insurgency, fueled by real grievances over neglect and lack of political representation. It is also increasingly the target of Sunni extremists, who bomb and kill its Shiite minorities. What leaders the province has are widely considered corrupt. Dozens of local journalists have been kidnapped in the past few years. It is nearly impossible for foreign reporters to enter Baluchistan. Lawyers are almost all that give the province a semblance of justice.

About 60 of them were killed in one attack on Monday in Baluchistan’s capital, Quetta. They were packed into an emergency room where the body of a slain colleague lay, riddled with gunshot wounds. A widely circulated video showed lawyers milling about the hospital before an enormous explosion. A Pakistani Taliban offshoot claimed the attack, as did the Islamic State, though analysts say the latter’s claim is dubious.

A week earlier, another lawyer was fatally shot. In June, the principal of the province’s law college was, too.

A generation of lawyers has been wiped out in Quetta, and it will leave Baluchistan, in more ways than one, lawless.

On Tuesday, the Pakistani bar association called for an indefinite boycott of the courts. But so few lawyers are left in Baluchistan that it will be years, probably, until its legal community recovers.

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