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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Geo-Politics, Soundcloud Scraper/Downloader, Apple Issues and More

- if you don't quite understand the difference between Western media and why some Russian media is branded as being propogandist watch some of the interviews of Putin and compare it with other news outlets. In general things are much more 'controlled', too 'coherent' (with regards to perspective), and at times it feels as though the questions and answers have been prepared before hand
Vladimir Putin 60 Minutes interview FULL 9-27-15 Vladimir Putin 60 minutes Interview Charlie Rose
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbuJsmDjrGc
Putin Speaks English for CNN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiFAeluRtao
Vladimir Putin: An Enigmatic Leader's Rise To Power - Best Documentary 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc_rfzffGcI
Vladimir Putin Rage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjrlTMvirVo
PUTIN TELLS THE NEW WORLD ORDER FU%$ OFF!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US20HV0maKI
Putin: Who gave NATO right to kill Gaddafi?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw5Ij_RFJ1Q 
Putin: We won't let anyone achieve military dominance over Russia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D83bNWxd6YM
Putin: America is a bully and threat to stability
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSY9JDSpAWM
Putin slams US in address to nation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiPmqRi_OuA
Putin on US Foreign Policy Elite
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wkoPlKKMQc
Putin: Quit lecturing Russia on democracy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7PlQaV7Iro
Putin talks NSA, Syria, Iran, drones in exclusive RT interview (FULL VIDEO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33oIF-ggK5U
'Do you realise what you've done?' Putin addresses UNGA 2015 (FULL SPEECH)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q13yzl6k6w0
Vladimir Putin: "KGB Spymaster"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0cHfq4P0EU
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Vladimir+Putin%3A+%22KGB+Spymaster%22
- I think a lot of people underestimate Putin. They know that he's attempting to look after Russia's (and his) best interests but the thing I'm wondering is whether or not they realise how far he's willing to push back and how multi-faceted he really is. It's clear that he can come off as a thug but look at the USSR's history. Their is no way that he look after Russia's best interests without at least projecting strength. I'm not sure he could have lasted long within the KGB/FSB if we was a pure thug/'gansta' as seems to be portrayed by some people
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/vladimir-putin-russian-president-60-minutes-charlie-rose/
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/preview-russian-president-vladimir-putin-interview-with-charlie-rose-60-minutes/
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/vladimir-putin-taunts-pres-obama-failure-stop-islami-article-1.2376545
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/searching-for-the-roots-of-russias-aggression/2015/09/25/eede14a4-5713-11e5-b8c9-944725fcd3b9_story.html
http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/alexei-bayer-putins-unexpected-heir-399241.html
https://theintercept.com/2015/10/03/one-day-after-warning-russia-of-civilian-casualties-the-u-s-bombs-a-hospital-in-the-war-obama-ended/
http://www.afr.com/opinion/vladimir-putin-should-be-countered-not-cooperated-with-20151004-gk0vee
http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/13802116.Who_should_be_world_s_policeman_/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/putin-asked-obama-what-is-the-meaning-of-state-sovereignty/5479684
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/609757/Putin-ISIS-Islamic-State-Syria-Raqqa-troops-soldiers-air-strike-jets-military
- at times, I look at Putin's reactions and it feels as though there was some tacit agreement to have him bring it back to a position of global strength. Hearing some stories about him (and other heads of state of Russia as well as other USSR member states) it feels as though every time Russia has has tried to help the West, the West has not returned the favour (the truth is probably somewhere in the middle). This is especially the case with perceived lack of  enough investment into Russia, the expansion of NATO, and Western interests close to and inside of former USSR states (all of this going against earlier documented promises). Many Westerners have been booted out of former USSR states for appearing to want to interfere with internal politics. The problem is that if this is true, Putin will feel as though he's being pushed into a corner from which he has no option except to react forcefully. The irony is that this time the West isn't dealing with a pure politician. As stated previously I feel he's far more intelligent and multi-faceted than that. Think carefully; with the moves that he's currently making in the Middle East, some of his other moves in other USSR states as well as in the East any possible new Eurasian Union (if it comes off) is much stronger (and better prepared) as a (China's influence and future success is a different issue altogether...) power bloc to challenge the current Western powers
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/29/realists-beware-of-russians-making-deals-un-unga-united-nations-putin/
http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/russias-military-back-9181
http://blogs.cfr.org/davidson/2015/09/30/vladimir-putins-naval-ambitions-have-only-begun/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34368249
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/26/world/asia/limiting-security-breaches-may-be-impossible-task-for-us-and-china.html?_r=0
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-truth-behind-the-crisis-in-ukraine-us-covert-manipulation-and-the-resurging-cold-war/5372408
http://www.projectcensored.org/us-ngo-involvement-ukraine-uprising/
http://www.alternet.org/world/35-countries-where-us-has-supported-fascists-druglords-and-terrorists
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/24/are-china-and-russia-trying-to-undermine-the-us-dollar
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/29/us-un-assembly-china-idUSKCN0RS1Z120150929
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/pakistan-russias-new-best-friend-13945
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/land/weapons/2015/09/06/united-arab-emirates/32478125/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/14/pentagon-fears-it-s-not-ready-for-a-war-with-putin.html
http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/07/24/top-general-russia-existential-threat-to-u-s.html
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/04/john-mccain-russia-us-proxy-war-syria-obama-putin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belarus%E2%80%93United_States_relations
- this point is pivotal in the Syrian conflict. It also gives perspective of how the Chinese/Russians view the world and what they will do in future if they continue to get stronger
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/09/28/putin_to_obama_learn_the_lessons_of_soviet_history_the_export_of_revolutions_doesnt_work.html
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/pro-defense-farkas-wrightewing-214223
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/29/u-s-to-putin-welcome-to-the-isis-quagmire.html
http://www.smh.com.au/world/russias-air-strikes-not-targeting-islamic-state-areas-in-syria-us-official-20150930-gjykhi.html
http://warisboring.com/articles/the-u-s-military-is-far-from-entrenched-in-ukraine/
http://breakingdefense.com/2015/09/russians-in-syria-building-a2ad-bubble-over-region-breedlove/
http://nypost.com/2010/07/04/1000s-of-russian-spies-in-u-s-surpassing-cold-war-record/
http://www.smh.com.au/world/china-is-set-to-display-its-military-ambitions-to-the-world-this-week-20150830-gjazwp.html
- as stated previously, I don't think that any confrontation between the supposed Eurasian powers versus the West and it's allies is going to be as clear cut as some people say. In the past you could put this down to 'propoganda' but the fact is they have demonstrated their technologies and have footage of it. Nearly everything you've thought of both sides have also thought of on both sides as well. Estimates of how far China is behind the West in defense technology (on a broad basis) can vary anywhere between 5-30 years. My guess is that it's about 10-20 years (more likely towards the upper end with regards to development. Mass production and other issues are another problem entirely). Less, if they allocate resources correctly, increase their defense budget, gain further intelligence, and can make certain breakthroughs....
China's new YJ-18 missile: 'S'-shape movement at supersonic terminal speed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3taU59z05A
China Missile 中国导弹 WU-14 10 times sound speed can tear apart US anti-missile network
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0h6pGr-lPs
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/japan%E2%80%99s-atago-class-destroyer-vs-chinas-052d-who-wins-14000
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/01/china-also-developing-railguns-and.html
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2015/04/19/2003616267
http://thediplomat.com/2015/05/us-navys-deadly-new-gun-wont-be-ready-for-some-time/
http://missilethreat.com/china-also-developing-railguns-lasers-navy-will-first-modern-missile-cruiser-2017/
http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21598325-electromagnetic-launchers-hurling-objects-electrical-energy-giving
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_055_destroyer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_054A_frigate
http://defence.pk/threads/2014-china-new-057-class-frigate.304140/
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-south-china-sea-showdown-5-dangerous-myths-13970
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-china-cant-build-lethal-nuclear-powered-aircraft-13962
http://aviationweek.com/defense/pentagon-sees-f-35-having-air-superiority-30-years
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-should-america-do-the-south-china-sea-ask-fighter-pilot-13994
U.S. and Chinese Air Superiority Capabilities
An Assessment of Relative Advantage, 1996–2017
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9858z3.html
http://www.popsci.com.au/tech/aerospace/chinas-most-powerful-aircraft-engine-ever-takes-to-the-sky,400789
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/08/reports-of-improved-jet-engines-in.html
http://thediplomat.com/2015/06/why-chinas-air-force-needs-the-su-35/
http://warisboring.com/articles/stopping-china-would-take-23-of-u-s-air-power/
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russia-chinas-next-big-deal-building-aircraft-carriers-13732
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-china-cant-build-lethal-nuclear-powered-aircraft-13962
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/would-america-lose-the-great-naval-war-2020-china-13760 
- one of the things that I think Westerners generally mis-interpret is that freedom doesn't not necessarily require choice. If that were the case, the Middle East and many parts of Eurasia would have fallen apart a long time ago. Look at the way the Chinese government has handled their overheating sharemarket. In the West, investors and institutions would blame the government (for recent massive/drastic falls) but would understand that that is part of life. In China, interviews with some people is identical to the response that is given by a lot of former Soviet spies. Failure and betrayal are much more closely aligned
- people keep on arguing about how much they spend on defense and how spending equates to quality. The problem is that price doesn't necessarily equate to value. Anybody who has lived long enough knows this.... Who cares if it's cheap or expensive if it's effective in fulfilling it's goal?
- guess this answers my previous thought about how far the Chinese are willing to project out. With respect to the functioning of the UN it is fascinating to see how the persepectives of the Russian and Chinese will play in the future especially if they continue their pathway towards strong, sustainable economic growth. What has surprised me is how early (relatively) they've been to push out
https://www.rt.com/news/316705-china-syria-isis-fight/
https://www.rt.com/news/316592-russia-syria-islamic-state/
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/world/middleeast/un-general-assembly-syria-isis-refugees.html?_r=0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_aircraft_carrier_Liaoning
- people (any country) get hysterical at times in this discussion on who will 'lead the world' in future. Moreover, it is at this point that power projection and deterrance begin to take on bizarre dimensions. Think about how strange it sounds when the someone who projects power considers that it a deterrent against someone who considers an immobile object a deterrent
- I don't think China wants to win back Taiwan (or other contested territories) by having to have armed conflict. They want these territories to come back willingly to the 'motherland'. If they don't have that choice they want to have the exact same option that Russia has to it (with other former states of the USSR). Moreover, if they invade/take over contested territory they want their military to be strong enough such that they don't have to resort to nuclear weapons to intimidate others into backing down. They don't see it as that either. They see it as recovery of lost territory that has been documented (the same goes for other countries in the region though)
http://thediplomat.com/2013/09/surprise-japan-still-has-strongest-navy-air-force-in-asia/
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-should-america-do-the-south-china-sea-ask-fighter-pilot-13994
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/08/22/defense-official-china-grabs-50-percent-more-land-through-man-made-islands/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3257396/Russia-moves-deadly-new-weapons-equipped-thermobaric-warheads-Ukraine-world-s-attention-Syria.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/world/europe/nato-russia-warplane-turkey.html?_r=0
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-10-05/ukraine-has-no-choice-but-to-live-with-putin  
- with some of the moves of recent in the Middle East one has to wonder how much respect countries in that region actually has for the West?
http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2015/09/pentagon-scrambling-know-what-us-secrets-iraq-tells-russia/122372/
http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/amid-new-taliban-gains-u-s-military-favours-keeping-troops-in-afghanistan-1.2587706
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/bombs-away-russian-air-strikes-reveal-bankruptcy-us-policy-13984
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-02/russian-embassy-slams-suggestions-syria-motives-not-trustworthy/6824106
- turning local populations can take decades and even then they may still want you gone. This means choosing your battles (and scoping them) more carefully, staying there for the long haul, or ensuring that the side that you back will be able to take control. Ironically, this potentially means coming to an agreement with Russia on and having at least partial representation by former elements of Syria's current government. The Middle East is becoming more and more bizarre (and confusing) by the day. There are few if any clean hands in our world now
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/the-destructive-us-backed-campaign-yemen-13997
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34438993
http://www.nationalinterest.org/feature/the-neoconservatives-fairy-tales-about-syria-14003
http://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-cables-portray-saudi-arabia-as-a-cash-machine-for-terrorists/210038/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_state-sponsored_terrorism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State-sponsored_terrorism
http://warisboring.com/articles/al-qaidas-top-man-in-syria-hates-islamic-state-and-america/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-does-the-u-s-support-saudi-arabia-a-country-which-hosts-and-finances-islamic-terrorism-on-behalf-of-washington/5398408
https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE131801_a.html
https://wikileaks.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=state+sponsored+terrorism&go=Go
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russias-military-is-unlikely-to-turn-the-tide-in-syrias-war/2015/10/03/1b9fff04-686a-11e5-bdb6-6861f4521205_story.html
https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Embarrassment_for_MoD_as_anti-leak_guide_gets_leaked_on_to_the_internet
https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Unconventional_Warfare_in_the_21st_century_:_US_surrogates,_terrorists_and_narcotrafficers
http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2008/12/juarez-murders-shine-light-emerging-military-cartel
http://www.globalresearch.ca/putin-asked-obama-what-is-the-meaning-of-state-sovereignty/5479684
http://williamblum.org/essays/read/overthrowing-other-peoples-governments-the-master-list
http://williamblum.org/essays/read/how-the-us-provoked-the-soviet-union-into-invading-afghanistan-and-starting
http://williamblum.org/essays/read/hiroshima-last-military-act-of-world-war-ii-or-first-act-of-the-cold-war
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-syria-whose-side-is-the-united-states-on/2015/10/01/27163ec4-6875-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/united-states-billions-fail-to-sustain-foreign-forces/article7723317.ece
https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Final_Report_of_the_Commission_for_Truth_and_Friendship_Indonesia-Timor_Leste_2008
https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Perry_Fellwock
http://www.itwire.com/government-tech-news/govenrment-tech-policy/69691-tppa-urgent-push-to-sign-deal-over-weekend
http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/19/cia-admits-it-was-behind-irans-coup/
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/moscows-war-the-air-russia-sends-message-syria-13983
- if you've never heard of Chomksy his perspective on the world can come off incredibly paranoid if you've never heard too many other non-Western perspectives. It is interesting little (and how much at other times) separates many of us though
Bernie Sanders + Noam Chomsky: Deciphering Foreign Policy Jargon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvZRsdHgxgA
Noam Chomsky: US is world's biggest terrorist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRbnPA3fd5U
Noam Chomsky: US terrorism (2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=272vNvH0-jc
2014 "Noam Chomsky": Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mxp_wgFWQo
"Who does control the world?" - Noam Chomsky - BBC interview 2003
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqznqIpkZz0
Noam Chomsky: Rebel without a Pause - Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZJ-vd7ggrk 
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=noam+chomsky
- the more you read the more obvious it is why there are so many defecters from from the West rather than the other way around. While things are brutal in many non-Western countries they are more up front. In the West things are at a different level, often less obvious and often hidden in the shadows. Potential agents, employees only get an idea of what the 'real world' is like when they join the service/s. I guess this is also the reason why if there are non-Western defectors they are often based on idelogical grounds
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/senior-navy-intelligence-official-indicted-in-covert-weapons-deal/2015/10/02/6abc7a68-690f-11e5-9223-70cb36460919_story.html
- if you know enough about finance and economics you'll realise that most GDP figures are distorted since everyone chooses different constituent parts. It's not just an issue related to China alone. In fact, in the past there were stories about them under-reporting GDP figures because technically their measures were different
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-haft/donald-trump-wrong-china_b_8227680.html?ir=Australia

This script is to facilitate automated retrieval of music from the website, http://www.soundcloud.com/ after it was found that existing website download programs such as Teleport Pro, HTTrack, and FlashGet were too inefficient. 

It works by reverse engineering the storage scheme of files on the website, the lack of need for registration and login credentials, and taking advantage of this so that we end up with a more efficient automated download tool.

Obviously, the script can be modified on an ad-hoc basis to be able to download from virtually any website. As this is the very first version of the program (and I didn't have access to the original server while I was cleaning this up it may be VERY buggy). Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.

https://sites.google.com/site/dtbnguyen/soundcloud-1.09.sh.zip

OS X: About OS X Recovery
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314
How to Make an OS X Yosemite Boot Installer USB Drive
http://osxdaily.com/2014/10/16/make-os-x-yosemite-boot-install-drive/
How to install Windows using Boot Camp
https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201468
How to Create a Windows 10 Installer USB Drive from Mac OS X
http://osxdaily.com/2015/06/22/make-windows-10-install-usb-drive-from-mac-os-x/

If all you want is to try a later version of Mac OS X then try virtualisation...
http://www.sysprobs.com/guide-install-os-x-10-9-mavericks-on-vmware-workstation-with-windows-7-or-windows-8
http://www.macbreaker.com/2014/05/os-x-mavericks-in-virtualbox-with-niresh.html

I can log into my iTunes account but can not access my account details, what's wrong?
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3971810?tstart=0

Came across a bizarre wireless bug recently on Mac OS X Snow Leopard
http://osxdaily.com/2012/11/30/resolving-stubborn-wi-fi-connection-problems-in-mac-os-x/
http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/144223/macbook-freezes-when-connected-connecting-to-new-wireless-router

This is a bunch of quotes that I've collected recently.

- Colonialism was neither romantic nor beautiful. It was exploitative and brutal. The legacy of colonialism still lives quite loudly to this day. Scholars have argued that poor economic performance, weak property rights and tribal tensions across the continent can be traced to colonial strategies. So can other woes. In a place full of devastation and lawlessness, diseases spread like wildfire, conflict breaks out and dictators grab power."
http://www.dailylife.com.au/dl-people/dl-entertainment/taylor-swifts-wildest-dreams-video-draws-backlash-for-racism-20150903-gjewvt.html
- The United States makes an improper division between surveillance conducted on residents of the United States, and the surveillance that is conducted with almost no restraint upon the rest of the world. This double standard has proved poisonous to the rights of Americans and non-Americans alike. In theory, Americans enjoy better protections. In practice there are no magical sets of servers and Internet connections that carry only American conversations. To violate the privacy of everyone else in the world, the U.S. inevitably scoops up its own citizens' data. Establishing nationality as a basis for discrimination also encourages intelligence agencies to make the obvious end-run: spying on each other's citizens, and then sharing that data. Treating two sets of innocent targets differently is already a violation of international human rights law. In reality, it reduces everyone to the same, lower standard.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/09/frances-government-aims-give-itself-and-nsa-carte-blanche-spy-world
- Australian actively managed global funds continue to deliver woeful returns, with 67 per cent performing worse than the S&P benchmark indexes, rising to 85 per cent over three years and almost 90 per cent over five years.

"On average, international equity funds posted a strong gain of 23.4 per cent in the past one-year period. However, the majority of funds in this peer group, at 67.3 per cent, underperformed the S&P Developed Ex-Australia LargeMidCap, which recorded a return of 25.5 per cent over the same period," Ms Luk said.

Every single Australian bond fund has underperformed the index this year, and the longer term results are not significantly more promising: 83.4 per cent underperformed over the last three years, and 86 per cent over five years.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/index-outperforms-most-active-funds--except-small-caps-20151002-gjztxp.html
- Thursday’s speech was not the first time the Pope has spoken out about the arms trade. He referred to it as “the industry of death” in a talk with Italian schoolchildren in May. “Why do so many powerful people not want peace? Because they live off war,” he said.

“This is serious. Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country,” he said. “The economic system orbits around money and not men, women. … So war is waged in order to defend money. This is why some people don’t want peace: They make more money from war, although wars make money but lose lives, health, education.”
https://theintercept.com/2015/09/24/pope-decries-shameful-culpable-silence-arms-sales-drenched-innocent-blood/
- A politics and solidarity that depend on demonizing others, that draws on religious sectarianism or narrow tribalism or jingoism may at times look like strength in the moment, but over time its weakness will be exposed. And history tells us that the dark forces unleashed by this type of politics surely makes all of us less secure. Our world has been there before. We gain nothing from going back
http://www.globalresearch.ca/putin-asked-obama-what-is-the-meaning-of-state-sovereignty/5479684
- The fall of Kunduz may also be a good time to look at whether the Afghan Army needs to shuffle assets around, he adds. In the immediate aftermath of the Taliban takeover, the government in Kabul rushed well-regarded Afghan commandos to the region, for example.

That’s to be expected, but “militarily, you want to make sure you know what the situation is before you throw a bunch of forces into it,” Barno notes. This includes assessing the level of training and capability of Afghan forces posted up there. “Are there enough forces, and were those forces trained and led properly?” he adds.

Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that up until this point, there have been essentially two models for dealing with non-governed spaces in the post-9/11 world, Scharre argues.

“First, you can send in 100,000 troops in and occupy and try to rebuild it – that’s a model that has costs millions in dollars and thousands in lives,” he says.

The other model is drones and air attacks, “which don’t seem to ever fully solve the problem,” Scharre adds. “In Syria, in Anbar, Iraq we’re grappling with this.”

Kunduz could underline the need to consider new models, he says – “one where US soldiers aren’t fighting, but some level of support is reasonable.”
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2015/0929/Taliban-topples-Kunduz-what-that-means-for-Afghanistan-s-security
- “Many military conflicts started with the silent connivance to the ideas of one people’s superiority over others. In this sense the modern ideologies of exceptionalism are extremely dangerous,” Naryshkin stated.
http://www.rt.com/politics/311146-third-world-war-would-be/
- In the heady days of the Cold War, Americans tended to view Soviet decision making as a black box: You know what goes in, you know what comes out, but you are clueless about what is happening inside. Soviet policy was thus believed to be both enigmatic and strategic. There was little room for personality or personal philosophy; understanding the system was the only way.
http://www.afr.com/opinion/worry-less-about-vladimir-putin-and-more-about-russias-coldwar-style-state-20150812-gixzvq
- There's a quote that's often attributed to Winston Churchill: "Russia is never as strong as you fear or as weak as you hope."
http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/09/08/437515197/in-russia-a-show-of-force-as-the-military-tries-to-modernize
- Both sides of the debate are correct—but neither side is telling the whole story. As a good friend on the Hill recently told me: “In political communications, facts are an interesting aside, but are completely irrelevant. What we do here is spin.” That’s exactly what’s happening here—both sides are selectively cherry picking facts to make their case—spin.
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/americas-f-35-vs-russia-or-chinas-best-fighters-who-wins-13802
- Danny Dalton: Some trust fund prosecutor, got off-message at Yale thinks he's gonna run this up the flagpole? Make a name for himself? Maybe get elected some two-bit congressman from nowhere, with the result that Russia or China can suddenly start having, at our expense, all the advantages we enjoy here? No, I tell you. No, sir! Corruption charges! Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365737/quotes
- Bryan Woodman: But what do you need a financial advisor for? Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365737/quotes
- “The ‘Russian’ attitude,” Isaiah Berlin wrote, “is that man is one and cannot be divided.” You can’t divide your life into compartments, hedge your bets and live with prudent half-measures. If you are a musician, writer, soldier or priest, integrity means throwing your whole personality into your calling in its purest form.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/opinion/david-brooks-the-russia-i-miss.html?_r=0
- Russia is a more normal country than it used to be and a better place to live, at least for the young. But when you think of Russia’s cultural impact on the world today, you think of Putin and the oligarchs. Now the country stands for grasping power and ill-gotten money.

There’s something sad about the souvenir stands in St. Petersburg. They’re selling mementos of things Russians are sort of embarrassed by — old Soviet Army hats, Stalinist tchotchkes and coffee mugs with Putin bare-chested and looking ridiculous. Of the top 100 universities in the world, not a single one is Russian, which is sort of astonishing for a country so famously intellectual.

This absence leaves a mark. There used to be many countercultures to the dominant culture of achievement and capitalism and prudent bourgeois manners. Some were bohemian, or religious or martial. But one by one those countercultures are withering, and it is harder for people to see their situations from different and grander vantage points. Russia offered one such counterculture, a different scale of values, but now it, too, is mainly in the past.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/opinion/david-brooks-the-russia-i-miss.html?_r=0
- 1) Xi removed over 28,000 officials in 2 years. This is old data from early 2015. Officials no longer go to high-end restaurants, wear luxury. Most senior officials who sent their kids and wives to foreign countries have recalled their kids and wives back. Those who didn't was told crystal clear that they will be sidelined. Can any other leader around the world do that, at such a large scale?

2) CCP turned itself from a communist dictatorship and autarky in 1978 to a capitalist technocratic oligarchy and largest trading country in 2015, gradually, without major political turmoil. (Viewed from today's color revolution standard, Tiananmen Square in 1989 is child's play.) Can any other polity in the world claim the same success?
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-china-russia-plan-crush-americas-stealth-aircraft-13708

Chinese Style Noodle Soup with Dumplings Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals: http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/09/sweet-chilli-chickenporkbeef-noodl...