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Abortion video used in fight against law change in Spain

UK Times global - Mon, 2038-01-18 22:14
A graphic video featuring aborted foetuses was shown to teenage pupils at a Catholic school as part of a campaign against the Spanish Government’s planned abortion reform.
Categories: GlobalWire, MediaTorrent

The Only Way To Win America’s Wars Is To End Them

Antiwar.com blog - 1 hour 5 min ago

Today, I saw another article on why America is losing its wars in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. The gist of this and similar articles is that America’s wars are winnable. That is, if we bomb more, or send more troops, or change our strategy, or alter our ROE (rules of engagement), or give more latitude to the generals, or use all the weapons at our disposal (to include nukes?), and so on, these wars will prove tractable and even winnable. This jibes with President Trump’s promises about America winning again, everywhere, especially in wars.

Nonsense. The U.S. military hasn’t won these wars since the wars themselves are unwinnable by US military action. Indeed, US military action only makes them worse.

Consider Iraq. Our invasion in 2003 and our toppling of Saddam kicked off a regional, religious, ethnic, and otherwise complicated civil war that is simply unwinnable by American troops. Indeed, the presence of (and blunders made by) American troops in Iraq helped to produce ISIS, much-hyped as the current bane of American existence.

Consider Afghanistan. Our invasion in 2001 toppled the Taliban, at least for a moment, but did not produce peace as various Afghan factions and tribes jostled for power. Over time, the US and NATO presence in the country produced instability rather than stability even as the Taliban proved both resilient and resurgent. US and NATO forces have simply become yet another faction in the Afghan power game, but unless we want to stay there permanently, we are not going to “win” by any reasonable definition of that word.

You could say the same of the US military’s involvement in similar conflicts like Yemen or Syria (look at the mess we made of Libya). We can kill a lot of “terrorists” and drop a lot of bombs, spreading our share of chaos, but we aren’t going to win, not in the sense of these wars ending on terms that enhance US national security.

This hard reality is one that the US military explains away by using jargon. Military men talk of generational wars, of long wars, of fourth generation warfare, of gray zones, of military operations other than war (which has its own acronym, MOOTW), and so on. A friend of mine, an Air Force captain, once quipped: “You study long, you study wrong.” You can say something similar of war: “You wage war for long, you wage it wrong.” This is especially true for a democracy.

America’s wars today are unwinnable. They are unwinnable not only because they are not ours to win: they aren’t even ours. We refuse to take ownership of them. At the most fundamental level, we recognize they are not vital to us, since we don’t bother to unify as a country to declare war and to wage it. Most Americans ignore them because we can ignore them. The Afghans, the Iraqis, the Syrians, and so on don’t have the luxury of ignoring them.

Trump, with all his talk of winning, isn’t going to change this. The more he expands the US military, the more he leans on “his” generals for advice, the more he’s going to fail. Our new commander-in-chief needs to learn one lesson: The only way to win America’s wars is to end them.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views. He can be reached at wastore@pct.edu. Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

The best guide to mechanical keyboard switches

BoingBoing - 1 hour 44 min ago

Like me, you may have taken an interest in mechanical keyboards only to uncover a world of baffling options. "Can I have a clicky one, please" is like asking for a drink in a pub: they'll stare at you for a moment then say "which one, mate?" Brandon West reminded me that Input.Club is the best guide to all the options available, so when someone asks you if you want your Cherry Yellow or a nice Lubed Zealio, you'll know to slap them hard across the chops and say, "How dare you. 55g Topre Realforce Linears or nothing."

Categories: Crunknet

Reform 'high stakes' primary tests, MPs urge

BBC UK Ed. - 1 hour 52 min ago
High pressure tests narrow the curriculum in England and cause stress in pupils, say MPs.
Categories: MediaTorrent

Biopic of "little old lady" folk artist a hit in theaters

BoingBoing - 1 hour 58 min ago

Canadian artist Maud Lewis lived in a tiny house covered in her paintings, which she sold door to door in Nova Scotia. A biopic of her life, Maudie, is a surprise hit in theaters, reports the BBC.

The film's success has also been spurred by a rather serendipitous find: an unknown Maud Lewis painting found in a thrift shop is being auctioned off for charity, with bids topping C$125,000 ($91,500, £70,685). The work was authenticated by Mr Deacon, a retired school teacher who is now somewhat of a Maud Lewis sleuth. ...

Typically characterised as a "folk artist", Lewis was self-taught and lived her whole life in poverty. Unable to afford things like canvas, she'd paint on anything from scraps of wood and plywood to thick card stock. Her subjects were the things she saw in her everyday life - fishermen, wildlife, flowers and trees. "Maud was not a person who travelled to other galleries or saw other art, so there's a kind of naivete to it," Noble told the BBC.

Here's the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCJO6Ax_ev8

Categories: Crunknet

Path of the Rabbit, a free game where you lead a rabbit to water

BoingBoing - 2 hours 5 min ago

Path of the Rabbit is another simple, addictive, beautifully-pixelled game from Daniel Linssen. Lay down the land for your lapine friend to leap across: it'll follow whatever line leads from the spot it stands.

The trick is to arrange tiles to allow multiple leaps and to avoid the edge, from which the rabbit can't come back from, while keeping it regularly watered and occasionally beating up foxes to level up. It's surprisingly tough going, but I kept going back!

Categories: Crunknet

Barn Doors

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 16 min ago

Greg Riekens posted a photo:

A young girl skips past some doors at the annual Trader's Market show last year in Elko, Minnesota.

Categories: Minnesnota

Red Barn 1s

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 16 min ago

Greg Riekens posted a photo:

A red barn through the trees near Elko, Minnesota

Categories: Minnesnota

White Barn 1s

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 16 min ago

Greg Riekens posted a photo:

A barn near Elko, minnesota, on a sunny spring day.

Categories: Minnesnota

Are You Looking at Me 3s

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 16 min ago

Greg Riekens posted a photo:

A bison on a farm south of Shakopee, Minnesota looks on while being photographed.

Categories: Minnesnota

My Best Side 3s

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 16 min ago

Greg Riekens posted a photo:

A bison on a farm south of Shakopee, Minnesota, gives me the eye as I take his photo.

Categories: Minnesnota

5 things you know about pulp science fiction are wrong, or at least not always true

BoingBoing - 2 hours 18 min ago

Vintage Geek offers a list of miscconceptions people have about pulp-era science fiction, whose legacy has warped in the public imagination moreso even than Captain James T. Kirk's. [via MeFi]

“Pulp-Era Science Fiction was about optimistic futures.”
“Pulp scifi often featured muscular, large-chinned, womanizing main characters.”
“Pulp Era Scifi were mainly action/adventure stories with good vs. evil.”
“Racism was endemic to the pulps.”
“Pulp scifi writers in the early days were indifferent to scientific reality and played fast and loose with science.”

All these things are true, of course, but what better time to search for counterexamples than now? To be fair, science fiction was not a monolith on this. One of the earliest division in science fiction was between the Astounding Science Fiction writers based in New York, who often had engineering and scientific backgrounds and had left-wing (in some cases, literally Communist) politics, and the Amazing Stories writers based in the Midwest, who were usually self taught, and had right-wing, heartland politics. Because the Midwestern writers in Amazing Stories were often self-taught, they had a huge authority problem with science and played as fast and loose as you could get. While this is true, it’s worth noting science fiction fandom absolutely turned on Amazing Stories for this, especially when the writers started dabbling with spiritualism and other weirdness like the Shaver Mystery. And to this day, it’s impossible to find many Amazing Stories tales published elsewhere.

Categories: Crunknet

The Papers: Web firms 'must pay to police internet' and PM on tax

BBC UK Ed. - 2 hours 21 min ago
Some papers report that social media firms may be forced to pay the cost of policing the internet, while others focus on the PM's comments on tax.
Categories: MediaTorrent

Spring on the River

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 27 min ago

Lucie Maru posted a photo:

Minnesota spring landscape

Categories: Minnesnota

Spring on the River

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 27 min ago

Lucie Maru posted a photo:

Minnesota spring landscape

Categories: Minnesnota

Tony Blair's legacy 20 years on

BBC UK Ed. - 2 hours 35 min ago
Tony Blair came to power 20 years ago - how did he change the UK and what is his lasting legacy?
Categories: MediaTorrent

Building demolished in Changzhou

BoingBoing - 2 hours 35 min ago

Once the tallest building in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China, this tower went down in eight seconds on April 25.

This angle gives an excellent impression of the local government's appreciation of modern public safety standards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu2V1v_ZEV0

https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/857172436353138688/

Categories: Crunknet

Driving Range

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 35 min ago

Sam Wagner Photography posted a video:

A great cloudy spring afternoon as golfers hone their game.

The only thing to improve here would be a little more shutter blur in my foreground action, but even though I thought about it, I forgot my ND filter that day...

Categories: Minnesnota

Meadowrue

Minnesota Flickr - 2 hours 36 min ago

Brett Whaley posted a photo:

In Elm Creek Park Reserve.

Categories: Minnesnota

Black but beautiful? 'It's not a compliment'

BBC UK Ed. - 2 hours 50 min ago
Abeer Sinder is Saudi Arabia's first black beauty vlogger. But sometimes, she says, the compliments she receives aren't flattering.
Categories: MediaTorrent
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