NPR reports that Robert M Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals has died at age 88.
Zen was eye opening and life changing, each time I read it. Lila felt like a work of obligation. While Lila had moments where the third person was used more powerfully than I had ever encountered it before, on the whole I found to book maddening. The quickest way to describe it is the difference between Socrates and Plato. In fact I would Liken Zen to the Apology and Lila to the Republic in regard to their approach to establishing ideas. I was over 10% younger than I am now when I read it and think I might take a gentler view should I read it again.
He was the first person to introduce me to the non-rational foundations of our value systems, every single one. I am grateful for this.
I hope he found the Quality he was looking for.
Rest In Peace Mr. Pirsig.
Military spending how does Russia compare with NATO European members? – SOF Magazine
While Russia is spending more than any individual European NATO nation, the total military spending by those NATO nations outpaces Russia by roughly 3 to 1. I have been concerned about the growing Russian threat. I think these data put this threat in a useful context.
In the article The Erdogan Enigma Daniel Pipes makes some interesting points.
I have no opinion on this. It is supposed to be an artillery unit with no front line roles. I’m hopeful that a few hundred Devil Dogs will make a difference.
I am surprised how little press this seems to be getting.
Syrian force a ‘few weeks’ from Raqqa, U.S. Marines deploy
I have my misgivings about Glen Greenwald. Sometimes he seems more like an activist than a reporter. However, this seems to fall within the bounds of investigative journalism.
Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism
This is not the first time I have heard of the FBI using these tactics. I am a huge fan of hunting down terrorists down. I believe we should put mad dogs down, but does poking a dog with a stick until he bares his teeth and then shooting him count as protecting us?
If the article is accurate then this practice needs to be stopped not just for reasons of justice and liberty but because it will piss off the people who will be the most likely to know of a threat. If they don’t trust the authorities they wont talk to them. This is not a new thought. It is a fundamental principle of law enforcement.
This is a cool article from the Atlantic.
The Many Ways to Map the Islamic ‘State’
sheeraf: Women Power MT @JoeWSJ: ISIS hate fighting female PKK because if a woman kills you, no heaven. http://t.co/uQWS2I1Wmi http://t.co/38ZCoCbLez
I don’t know if this is true, but it is a happy thought.
In the BBC’s Toronto Mayor Ford ‘threatened fellow school coach’ Ford has apparently not only used more than just crack, gone on drunken rants about killing people, made crude comments about oral sex at a press conference, and been accused of ordering a jail beating, he is NOW reported to have threatened a teacher and made “players roll in goose droppings.”
He was working as a volunteer school coach and was fired in 2013.
I like the part where he dismisses the documents from the school as “fictitious rumours and allegations.”
Apparently they can’t have him recalled.
Well, if he is re-elected, Toronto will truly have the government they deserve.
Shenanigans, Russia is back at it again.
“Ukraine to Fight Pro-Russian Forces” – The BBC
Sending in troops and armed men to stir up turmoil in Ukraine. What a wacky bunch of folks!
I guess the Ruskies got tired of the US having all the fun.
Is this the new style of invasion? Send in unmarked troops, hold a sham election, declare area Russian, rinse and repeat?
So is this going to turn into a civil war? Is this really just a conflict with Russia?
While my heart goes out to Ukraine, it is not their welfare that has me concerned but where these events will lead us.