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Archive for the ‘news’ Category

End result: an Israeli F-16 is shot down after Syria launches a barrage of anti-aircraft missiles in response.

Well, there’s $30M down the drain. Bibi is apparently about to be indicted for corruption. So he needed a distraction. But this was one helluva risky distraction, and could have cost lives if the pilots hadn’t ejected when they couldn’t shake the missiles off their tail.

I wonder if the supposed Iranian drone was as real as the imaginary poison gas that Assad used against his own people?

– Badtux the Skeptical Penguin

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Turns out every Russian athelete was juiced to the gills. Go figure.

In other news, Vladimir Putin has announced that he is running for President. Wait, I thought he’d just finished running for President, and won back in November 2016?

Oh wait, that was when he won the Presidency of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. No, his current announcement is that he’s also going to run for the office of President of the Russian Federation too.

In charge of two nations at once? Cool beans, if you’re a vicious tyrant like Vladimir Putin. Not so cool for anybody who opposes his rule.

Best comment: “I am sure the voting boxes are already full and the votes ready to be counted.”

Heh. Yeah, that’s how Russian elections work, alright :). And, increasingly, American elections too. SIGH.

– Badtux the Not-Russian Penguin

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You may have seen this image going around social media:

True, or not?

Well, there was only one way to find out: sic some reporters on the story! Have them track the photos all the way back to the first person to post them and…

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Newspapers are having to install bullet-proof glass and high resolution video surveillance cameras to deal with the rise in Trump-encouraged terrorism against them for having the audacity to report that the Trumperor has no clothes. Seems that newspaper editors and reporters are receiving death threats on a regular basis due to the rise in Trump-encouraged terrorism against them for having the audacity to report news that His Fraudulency Donald the Trump doesn’t want reported.

This is new. I can’t remember any time in my lifetime when newspapers were regularly getting shot at by people opposed to their reporting. However, a study of history shows a prior politician who similarly advocated violence against newspapers and reporters who reported news that he didn’t want reported. And the Munich Post went down fighting, documenting all of Hitler’s atrocities up to the very day all of its reporters were arrested and sent to Hitler’s extermination camps.

The question is whether any U.S. newspaper editors would have that kind of courage under similar circumstances…

– Badtux the Journalism Penguin

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Fun movie, BTW. Well written. A lot of these superhero movies are really clunky, basically just an excuse for lots of fights and stuff. Okay, so there’s two terrific fight scenes that are so ridiculously over the top that they work on multiple levels, and the movie is self-aware to make fun of that on camera. And the writing… man, this thing was scripted tight. There’s a cab driver at the start of the movie. He appears again at the end of the movie. Not just a random plot point… there’s a reason.

Okay, enough of that. What about today’s news? Well, we found out that Trump’s $100M exercise in flexing his blubber managed to destroy five Syrian jets that were being repaired, and a few aircraft shelters and hangars. They were flying missions out of that airfield again today. That’s how effective it was. And the diplomatic effort? Who knows. Meanwhile, the nuclear option was invoked and we have a new Supreme Court judge, Justice It’s Not Illegal If The Executive Does It, who was appointed basically as a get-out-of-jail-free card for the President. Yay. And a second carrier task force is now cruising towards North Korea — remember, we already have a forward-deployed carrier task force in Japan that’s basically within striking range.

Basically, the only thing that would save the world right now would be if Mike Pence were indicted for something, forced to resign, replaced by someone sane, and then Donald Trump were impeached somehow and resigned and put that sane person in charge. Yeah, not happening. Fuck it. I’m watching Deadpool.

– Badtux the Eye-rolling Penguin

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War with Syria

Massive cruise missile attack against air force base used by Assad’s regime to launch chemical weapons attack.

Assad had promised to turn over all his chemical weapons back in 2013, and Russia promised to monitor that Assad had actually done so. Clearly Assad had not done so.

That said, this has all the hallmarks of a Mattis operation. It is limited to a strike at a military target. The target was coordinated with the Russians to make sure none of their assets were under the missiles. It is proportionate to the offense involved — the violation of an agreement to destroy chemical weapons. It has the possibility for a diplomatic aftermath where the US doubles down on demanding the destruction of chemical weapons, assuming that the State Department has anybody left who speaks Arabic and understands diplomacy. It is not, in other words, a full-scale declaration of war. It is not the 3ID and 4ID wading ashore at Tripoli to take a little jaunt down the highway to Damascus while the 101st Airborne roars in on choppers.

Whether the Trump Administration handles the diplomatic aftermath such that we don’t end up at war with Russia… we’ll find out, I guess.

– Badtux the News Penguin

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Why isn’t this front page news?

King of Thailand, who helped keep the country together for 70 years through war, coups, violence, riots, and Communist rebels, dies.

Thailand is no longer a third world nation. Most of the cheap vehicles for nations that *are* third world nations come from Thailand now, whether it’s small pickup trucks (like the infamous Toyota Hilux that is the vehicle of choice for 3rd world guerilla armies everywhere), motorcycles (my KLR-650 was made in Thailand for example), or bicycles. In addition, Thailand is where most hard drives for computers are made. While hard drives are going away for many uses thanks to SSD’s and flash memory, they’re still the main mass storage device used for backups and other bulk storage purposes. You like your Netflix? That’s all coming off of hard drives.

So anything that could lead to instability in Thailand is important to the world economy. So why aren’t we seeing more about this in the American news media?

Oh wait. Thais aren’t white.

Alrighty, then.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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