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JamesT
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Those gulfie water desalination plants seem like soft targets for me. Take them out and ... I'm guessing the foreign workers go home pretty quick, because money is nice but potable water is non-negotiable. Without foreign workers would UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar even function? All that hardship so they can stand in solidarity with Israel? How could the gulfie royals not jump on planes to London?
Lyttennnburgh What I was trying to say was "I think this is a smart approach and Putin is actually weeding out corruption despite the lying western press sayiing the opposite" ... but I guess I didn't express myself very well. Last time I was in Russia was 2010-ish and things were totally different. The place was MUCH more prosperous and I didn't have to unplug my phone from my wall to avoid constant solicitation phone calls.
I lived in Poland in 1997 and my best friend was Russian. We were planning a trip to Moscow and he was trying to get my visa sorted "the proper way" because I was young and Canadian and didn't believe in paying bribes. After a month of Russian officials messing his friends around he finally came to me and said "Can you just go to that travel agency and pay the extra money (which we all knew covered a bribe to Russian officials as well as a handling fee for the Polish travel agency) and get your visa that way?" Which of course I did. So - when I hear about Russian e-visas I think that they are taking people out of the loop in order to reduce corruption.
When you have the wealth inequality of central america you get the political corruption of central america - where all of the media outlets are controlled by competing clans and the infastructure of democracy (the federal police (FBI), the prosecutors, and in the worst case scenarios the judges) are working for competing oligarchical clans.
The best steak I've ever had was Argentinian. The beef in Alberta is noticeably better than what we get here in Ontario - but Argentian steak blows it out of the water.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2020 on NY Strip at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Fred, I wrote "immigration forms" when I should have written "customs forms". I believe there are quite a few Americans visiting for work, for tourism, and to do the "expats teaching English" thing. My quick Google search indicated that between January to September 2016 more than 1.66 million US nationals visited China.
Thanks for writing about this TTG - I was really hoping someone at SST would. If Radio Electronic Combat is going to be the best way of combating the drones, I am going to bet on the drones. Once you have your drones equipped with trained up AI models such that they don't need much instruction from home, I think that spread spectrum radio communications should solve the rest of the problems. The AI should also make it difficult to effectively 'bring down drones by jamming their GPS'. Drones + AI == a-very-big-deal ... but then we already knew that. I think that drones are doing for SAM complexes what the ATGM did for the tank.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2020 on The New Drone Wars - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
J, Do you really think that no Americans have ever lied on their immigration forms while going into China? If you want to strictly enforce the law when it comes to Chinese nationals in the US - that is fine. But if China starts strictly enforcing its laws please don't have a temper tantrum about it. I once got a note written into my passport by Canadian immigration professionals because I forgot to declare an apple. Again - lots of countries have laws, that if strictly enforced, can result in serious consequences for those (knowingly or unknowingly) failed to fill out some forms correctly.
Colonel, Obama managed to pull ALL of the troops out of Iraq (nominally, and as much as is humanely possible) despite the same types of subversion. Unless I am mistaken. Trump has not drawn troops down to zero in any country. I concede that Obama got lucky, and I recognize that fighting the borg is extremely difficult. It is precisely because fighting the borg is so difficult that I think it is unwise to put too much faith into any one individual. Except Tulsi - I would follow Tulsi to the ends of the earth.
Colonel, You have forgotten more about how the military works than I can ever hope to know, so I have to defer to you on this matter. But I cannot help but remain cynical.
EEngineer, Over how? His own party is against him. Fox has no real loyalty to him. He's had four years to pull the troops out of somewhere, anywhere - and has not done so. In terms of what he has actually done (pulling out of the JCOPA, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan heights) he has been a neocon wet dream. I don't see anything coming to an end.
You have great stories, Colonel.
Igor, I was just on the Telegram website and they boast "Our apps are open source and support reproducible builds". Wow. That is a big deal. This means that anyone can take a look at the source code and see how it works. This is a level of transparency that other apps would never provide to their users.
To follow up on my previous comment about possible EU membership for Belarus - while I think it would be very enticing for Belarussians, I am not sure that the EU will offer Belarus this because it could tilt the dynamics within the EU towards being less hostile to Russia. If a country within the EU is pro-Russia and wants good relations with Russia, that would push the EU towards being less hysterically hostile to Russia.
The numbers of protesters continues to increase. I am not so naive to not understand that western powers are involved in this, but I think that the Belarussians are also fed up with Lukashenko. Belarus is very much in play. My big question is - will Belarus be offered EU membership? This is the biggest card that Washington/Berlin have to play. As for "Moscow would have been perfectly happy with a neutral, independent and prosperous Ukraine" ... I don't think that is quite true. Before Maidan, Ukraine was being told *both* by the EU and by Russia that they had to choose ... they could have a free trade agreement with one or the other.
I am fascinated by the potential for AI in air-to-air missiles. My undestanding is that traditional air-to-air missiles are useless once they lose a lock on a target, or if they miss a target. This seems to me to be an artifact of rocket motors that accelerate the missile to top speed, then burn out and can no longer provide thrust. If instead a missile is powered by a ramjet engine (eg the Meteor), then it can be something more akin to a hunter killer drone than a simple missile. Hunter killer ATGMs are also possible. I think this is where AI can provide a lot of value - more so than AI powered fighters. If the missiles are smart, the vehicle that gets them to be "within range" can be relatively dumb.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2020 on AI In Warfare By Walrus. at Sic Semper Tyrannis
"Israel and the Gulf Arabs share hatred for Iran." Do they? The average Gulf Arabs are totally in line with their leadership are they? How do they feel about Nasrallah? I don't know - but I have some Israeli friends who go on and on about how much the Gulf Arabs hate Iran and now feel solidarity with Israel. My reaction is "have you ever actually met any (regular) Gulf Arabs"? I have not met any regular Gulf Arabs myself. I have no idea what they think.
Bill H If someone calls you on the phone and tells you they work for a polling company - you are going to be afraid? It seems I am going to be the anti-Travis for 2020 on SST. Travis was impressive as heck in his arguments and reasoning for how Trump was going to win in 2016. I think that my prediction that Trump will lose in 2020 will also be proven right - but I don't think I can argue for this prediction as eloquently as Travis did.
The polls in 2016 were off by 2-3 percent, but Trump is behind by a larger margin than that in the polls that I have seen. Covid has been a godsend for Biden. I think Biden is going to win in November, but these things tend to be closer than partisans on either side expect.
By charging him with murder and not manslaughter, the DA was intentionally putting Chauvin into a good position to get off. I'm no BLM supporter, but watch the tape and tell me that Chauvin is not guilty of manslaughter.
mcohen, Lumping together adult women engaging in prostitution with the sexual abuse of children is, in my opinion, not the most honest way of thinking about these issues. If Prince Andrew had spent a night with a 25 year old call girl that would have been entirely different than what he did.
Covid-19 sounds right to me.
Tyler had a lot of interesting things to say in 2016. I for one would be interested to hear what he is thinking this time around.
J, A Russian friend tells me that the Russians view Poland as being like a very small but very loudly barking dog who barks at you incessantly while hiding behind its owner.
I look forward to Biden becoming president so that I don't have to listen to my college educated white friends blame everything on Trump.