Military NOT wearing uniforms in public – there is method to the apparent madness.

There was a big deal made on CTV by Craig Oliver about requiring the military to not wear their uniforms in public. Craig declared this wrong and that soldiers should be proud of their uniforms. He is right they should be proud of their uniforms, but should also be aware that the public wearing of such uniforms not only identifies them as members of the military, but has knock on effects  to those around them.

Back in the day I was a reservist in the British Army and we were forbidden to wear our uniforms off base. Not only because it made us easy to target, but because it easy for anyone observing us to identify us and also places where we tended to congregate – pubs, restaurants etc. This in turn would allow the bad boys to form a schedule of our activities and plan an attack carefully – bomb with remote, bomb with timer or just a hit and run shooting. But it wouldn’t just be us who would suffer, all the others in the area would suffer too and it was for the protection of those lives that the order not to wear uniforms in public was given and adhered to.

Our job was to protect our fellow country people, not put them in harms way because of our pride.

If terror attacks become as widespread here as they did doing the troubles in N Ireland era in the UK, then I would expect such an order to be given and obeyed for just the same reason me and my fellow soldiers obeyed it back then. Pride should not come into it when others are at risk.

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Harpers has bought into the “Power of Nightmares” playbook on ISIS

And it looks like we are going to fall for that neo-Con bullshit once more.

They are lying and it appears we are perpetually wetting our pants over stuff that is only as scarey as our imaginations let it be.

The links to all three episodes are here.

Yes I know it is dated and doesn’t include ISIS, but it really still has a lot to tell us about what is happening and also about our cowardly approach to life.

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So a General who has fought terror advises us to do the opposite to that which a doughy chickenhawk has committed us to doing.

Figures hey?

The Hon Stephen Harper of the 101st Chairborne Warriors has decided that action is required, something that General Shaw of the British Army has declared to be wrong headed and just what Da’esh want us to do. Why the General asks

“What possible advantage is there to Isil of bringing us into this campaign?” asked Gen Shaw. “Answer: to unite the Muslim world against the Christian world. We played into their hands. We’ve done what they wanted us to do.”

Something our mailroom boy of a PM really should have thought about before he did as the US told him.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that civil oversight of the military is a requirement in any democracy but ignoring the views of a man like General Shaw who

retired from the Army after a 31-year career that saw him lead a platoon of paratroopers in the Battle of Mount Longdon, the bloodiest clash of the Falklands War, and oversee Britain’s withdrawal from Basra in southern Iraq. As Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, he specialised in counter-terrorism and security policy.

Strikes me as spectacularly stupid. But consultation has never been Harper’s way and certainly not if it doesn’t just reinforce his preconceived views on what has to be done.

The sooner this jumped up little idiot is relieved of his duties the better for Canada, he has no leadership skills and his ego is wrecking everything that made Canada a wonderful place to live in. This time it’ll probably cost thousands of innocents their lives and put our troops in unnecessary danger in an action that will undoubtedly only make things worse.

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Da’esh – When will we learn that our enemy’s enemy are not always our friends?

When the USSR rolled over the border into Afghanistan back in the 1980s what did the West do? We armed and trained the locals to fight the Soviets. These locals won and morphed into the Taliban. The Taliban set up a hugely oppressive regime that murdered and subjugated many for being just who they were. They also allowed other radical Islamists to train in Afghanistan and 911 was planned there. So we then attacked Afghanistan and created more radicals keen to fight the invader, but instead of focusing on that goal the brain trust that was overseeing things decided to divide their forces after listening to lies from the self interested and we invaded Iraq. While doing this all semblance of civil authority was dismantled and many more radicals came out of the woodwork. We armed some of them and they turned on us, but more importantly the new radicals were even more extreme than al Qaeda.

So every time we have tried to do something in the Middle East/ Central Asia not only have we failed miserably, but we have invariably created more extreme versions of the extremists we went to fight and also ensured that they gained possession of our extremely sophisticated weaponry.

Why should this escapade be any different? Especially given the calibre of our leadership and the run down nature of our military.

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Scotland Referendum

Despite the nationalists insisting on a simple majority and extending the franchise to 16 year old kids, they were beaten.

Sanity prevails and ideology and the politics of ethnic supremacy and populist cheap tricks fails.

Salmond and his familiar Sturgeon should resign and do something useful with their lives. We don’t need more division and hatred, we need to ensure that the UK is run for the people not the 1%.

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Unrealistic expectations in grading – a problem in Western Gaming and Education

Angry Jim takes the intellectually stunted behind the woodshed for a slap. (STRONG LANGUAGE ALERT)

And the rabid loons who berate the reviewers have a lot in common with the modern, western students in tertiary education. Here is the grading system for the University of Alberta and here is how those grades are arrived at from the mark given to any assignment.

  • 58% – 69% illustrates a satisfactory performance. Here is where most students should expect to find themselves when being graded. This is the peak on the distribution curve that denotes the average mark.
  • 70% – 81% is for good work – there should be more occurrences in this range if you submit better than average work. Certain students with no life or an aptitude for the topic can expect to find that they receive quite a few grades in this zone.
  • 82% and above are excellent – excellent means just that; it must be stunning work. there should not be many of these unless everyone is a genius and to expect an excellent grade for every assignment is totally unreasonable.

But do schools, Colleges and Universities grade according to their own guidelines? Nope they don’t and that is where we fail the students. They are so used to getting 80% for average work that they have no idea what excellence is. Don’t believe me? Then be honest and grade your next assignment honestly. But if you do be prepared for tears, shouting, calls from parents, a summons to the departmental chair’s office and some rum feedback on the anonymous forms at the end of the course.

Students, like gamer fanboys, should be aware that good actually is good and that satisfactory means that you exhibited enough of a grasp of the subject matter to be passed as satisfactory. Nobody, and I mean nobody can reasonably expect to be graded as excellent in everything they do. At best a great student should expect a grade that is excellent occasionally in their academic training. Straight A students should not exist, ever.

But that’s just a little too much reality for most students and most faculty at every layer of education.

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The Scottish Referendum on independence – when did the left become obsessed with nationalism and basing a country’s borders on ethnicity rather than civil values?

I wasn’t going to write anything on this but the current trend amongst progressives/leftists to push the politics of patriotism and nationalism has caused me to rethink that position.

I always thought that progressives valued people as people and not because they thought that birthplace was the foundation for drawing boundaries and instituting governments and government policy. I thought internationalism and inclusion were progressive values and an appeal to blood and soil were the tools of the oppressors of the ordinary person. Race politics is abhorrent, but not in the case of Scotland it seems; this is an exception to that rule.

In their hurry to poke an Imperial Power (even though that ended a long time back) in the eye and in order emancipate a romantic version of what they think the Scots are, a lot of left leaning Canadians are embracing ethnicity and nationalism and claiming that this is somehow progressive.

In doing so they may be trying to create a socialist utopia in Scotland for its 4 million or so inhabitants, but they will definitely be consigning 45 million or so people in the rest of the UK to rule by a right wing government for the foreseeable future. Togetherness seems to be forgotten by these leftists in this case, solidarity be damned in fact. Most of these progressives pushing this ethnicity based effort are pro trades union, but have failed to apply the principles of solidarity and internationalism that they would espouse with their union caps on to the situation in the UK. Why?

Well I’m buggered if I know. Maybe it’s the desire to see the break up of the UK, maybe it’s a desire to create a socialist Utopia for a fleeting moment, maybe it’s out of some misty eyed romantic vision of what Scotland should be. But I can tell you that they are quite prepared to use the people of Scotland as a means to their ends what ever they are. Most of these progressive cheerleaders would abhor the statements of the likes of the UKIP and their reasons for wanting “independence” from Europe, but don’t see the double standard they are applying when it comes to Scotland.

If some of these cheerleaders for a step into the unknown were to pledge to go and live in Scotland and live the life that they are willing upon those people, I’d have more time for them. But they won’t; they’ll just cheer them on and when it goes pear-shaped, and it fucking will, watch as they decry the politics of division that they excused now, tear apart that lovely place.

I’m absolutely stunned that people who claim to be progressive have chosen to support a nationalist party that has no idea what it wants to do or how to do it, except that it wants a Scotland for the Scots. Sounds too much like another rallying cry “Nur fur Deutsche.” That’s the trouble with nationalist politics it’s inherently evil and it saddens me that progressives (whom I generally admire) appear to have forgotten this.

Tip Dawg and Simon

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