News Brief, The Great Salt Lake Edition

Non-bullet lists can be found over at The Conjecturer.

Defense & The War

  • Hahahaha, your contractors can be held legally accountable for their crimes it totes funny!
  • Is it 2009 yet?
  • Meanwhile, Singer laments the partisanship that’s infected the debate, and the, uhh, raging ignorance of the issue by the political leadership—especially Congress.
  • In case anyone was wondering, not a single local witness backs up Blackwater’s version of events.
  • I know the numbers aren’t comparable to Iraq, but did you know 155 Afghan civilians died in September (and NATO, pace Obama, killed nearly twice as many civilians in air strikes as the Taliban in suicide attacks)? Or that U.S. soldiers who are accused of firing indiscriminately into a crowd of civilians (even when they were, unlike those Blackwater guys on 9/16, actually attacked first), they are investigated by NCIS—a broken system considering how it handled the Pat Tillman case (among how many others I don’t know), but still a system of accountability that can be adjusted. Yet we can’t be bothered to investigate PMCs. Telling.
  • Maybe the Air Force acquisition team would stop going to jail and committing suicide if there was an ounce of integrity in how they conducted themselves.

Around the World

  • Michael Totten on the Kurds. I can’t say I’m on board making Kurdistan’s independence official—there are some angry neighbors to content with in the form of Turkey and Iran—but his portrait of an area free of extremism just miles away from where it is rampant is nevertheless worth reading. It always is.
  • Hugo and Fidel sittin’ in a tree. K-I-S-S-ewww!
  • Vladimir Putin, who is fronting like he’s defying death to travel to Iran and talk about monopolizing oil and gas, apparently has a thing for fluffy poodles.
  • A moving account of the assassination of a Washington Post stringer.
  • Huh. You’d almost think, with an uncontrollable border clearly run by drug lords and brigands in a region dominated by the restive Balochi minority, that sometimes finding weapons on the ground wouldn’t be too surprising. But saying so is “apologizing” for the regime, so let’s not jump the gun.

America Is a Silly Place

  • What Radiohead is teaching us about economics and commerce.
  • Also, why did NSA start the domestic spying program 7 months before 9/11? I won’t go bonkers and say it’s because they knew it was coming, but I will say the program has nothing to do with terrorism, and has a lot to do with breaking the law.
  • Heaven will punish me one day for posting this but I honestly couldn’t halp myself.
  • Drew Carey teams up with Reason and tackles traffic.
  • Ugh, I already have enough emotionless, robotic sex. Now they’re making robots to do that anyway? Talk about redundancy.
  • ZOMG Atreyu!
  • This makes me feel like I’ve been wasting my life by reading books instead of skimming rock faces at 100 miles per hour.
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