We’re living a sequel to “The Proteus Operation”

“The Proteus Operation” is a time travel/alternate history novel by James P Hogan.  The basic plot- History through World War I proceeds as normal.  In the aftermath, though, it really becomes the war to end all wars.  Peace and prosperity is established worldwide by 2020.

Spoilers for the overall plot of the book, though few highly specific details.
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The Free Speech implications of Dawkins being disinvited from NECSS

Woman Whose Gut Makes Its Own Alcohol Escapes Drunk-Driving Charges | IFLScience

This is something I’m not sure how to feel about.
Certainly, since her BAC was not at all her fault and prior to the arrest she had no reason to suspect something like this might happen, dropping the charges was absolutely the right thing to do.
But while she might not have felt tipsy, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t impaired.
Should she be allowed a drivers license at all? This might not be her fault, but if you cannot drive safely, you shouldn’t be doing it. It sucks, but road safety is kind of important. Can a battery of tests be devised to see if her alcohol tolerance actually is good enough that she’d be safe to drive?
I wouldn’t be shocked if she has an extreme tolerance to alcohol- if you make it internally all the time, it’s going to build tolerance. And if she never noticed an issue, genetic factors helping tolerance are probably breaking in her favor. But is it high enough that she’d be consistently safe to drive, or low enough that she’d notice when she isn’t safe to drive?

Source: Woman Whose Gut Makes Its Own Alcohol Escapes Drunk-Driving Charges | IFLScience

BREAKING: Grand Jury Brings No Charges Against Officers in Tamir Rice Shooting | Mediaite

Source: BREAKING: Grand Jury Brings No Charges Against Officers in Tamir Rice Shooting | Mediaite

This is ridiculous.
Tamir posed no actual threat.
Granted, the officers might have thought he did, and they didn’t get the full report from the 911 dispatcher, but here’s what they probably should have done.
Approach, figure out whatever direction Tamir would be most likely to hurt innnocent bystanders if he fired. Park maybe 20 feet away in that direction. Kill the engine, get on the loudspeaker and order Tamir to drop the weapon and put his hands up.
Given the reality of the situation, Tamir would have dropped the gun, put his hands up, and then the officers could yell at him a bit for waving the gun around and scaring people and all would be well.
And in the bizzarro world where Tamir was a threat, they’d be safe, they’d have protected innocent bystanders, and with a little distance they’d have time to possibly come up with a plan to bring him in alive.
Nearly running him over and opening fire before the door is even fully open should be reserved as a desperation move to take down someone ALREADY FIRING. That strategy removed the possibility of taking him alive, put the responding officers and anyone missed shots or richochets might hit at additional risk. This was an utter failure of an idea under these circumstances no matter how you look at it.
Those cops should be fired for incompetence. Then, if there was no evidence they were out to kill when they got the call, second degree murder charge, first degree if there was such evidence. They were incredibly reckless at best.
This grand jury is bullshit.

The Pentagon Has A Zombie Apocalypse Emergency Plan -What about aliens?

Unlikely this plan would ever be used, though some aspects are probably useful for general civil disorder.
I wonder what contingency plans exist for alien invasion? While we can’t be certain, that might actually be a possible threat. It would be hard to plan for.
Zombies can safely be assumed to have some subset of human capabilities, with additional resistance to injury and disease. Aliens? That’s wide open. Their physical and mental capabilites are an open book, and how far their weapons tech has advanced alongside the obviously much more advanced space travel might be impossible to predict.
The alien plan would be fertile grounds for research into rapid gathering and analysis of technical intelligence. How quickly we can do that could determine whether or not humanity goes extinct.

Of course, the aliens could arrive with hideously powerful weapons that just are not suitable for engaging humans or for use on Earth. I’m not talking something as ridiculous as Signs where the water allergic aliens invaded a planet that’s mostly water, but more subtle things like their rifles(or equivalent weapon) jamming a little bit more often than ours do.  That could give us an edge, possibly decisive if similar issues exist with all the alien tech.  It might turn out to just not be a serious threat when they turn up.

It’s just really hard to say with aliens, but still, it might be useful to work up some contingency plans for planning practice as well as developing intelligence capabilities.

Source: The Pentagon Has A Zombie Apocalypse Emergency Plan | IFLScience

Greece Must Pass Massive Austerity Reform Bill by Tonight Or Else – RYOT News

Greece Must Pass Massive Austerity Reform Bill by Tonight Or Else – RYOT News.

Of course, harsh austerity, can’t have the Greek government spending money in ways that might stimulate the economy, rebuild the tax base, and lead to increased revenues.  Even George W Bush accepted that sometimes you have to spend a shitload of money to get out of a situation like this.

Their economy is wrecked, they have to borrow, they can’t pay it back on time so they have to borrow more at higher interest, which makes it harder to pay back, driving up interest rates again… This is a death spiral.

I saw an analysis recently suggesting that this will eventually work- after the Greek economy gets even worse, so that they cannot afford any imports to speak of.  Money will stop leaving the country, but some will still come in via exports.  Things should start improving when that point is reached.

But if that’s the plan, it would probably be a lot better to just suspend all aid(except maybe food if it gets that bad) and let the Greek economy collapse immediately.  The recovery would be able to start a lot sooner that way.

Giuliani: U.S. Could Take Out ISIS in Just ‘6 Months’ | Mediaite

Giuliani: U.S. Could Take Out ISIS in Just ‘6 Months’ | Mediaite.

Could the US take out ISIS in 6 months?  Probably.

But look at the last time we created a power vacuum in the region, what did it lead to?  Oh, that’s right, ISIS.

The only time the US was at all successful in nation building was the Phillipines, and that took holding on to them for about half a century.  That’s the sort of commitment we’d be looking at if we were to just go in and smash ISIS and hope for anything resembling a realistic chance of it working out well.

And all the other countries in the region might get nervous about their land borders with a long term US occupation, which wasn’t an issue in the Phillipines. And the Phillipines was taken after a war more easily digested as legitimate both here and abroad, reducing the global outcry over our occupation.  The situation would be much more dangerous for a long term occupation in the middle east.

This is one where we really need to leave the bulk of the solution to local powers.  It’s conceivable that it would be a good idea to put more boots on the ground to help, but local powers really need to take the lead on sorting this out.  Things don’t go well when we come in and impose solutions.