Reason Morning Links: Obama Changes Nuke Strategy, Karzai Threatens to Join Taliban, Mine Blast in West Virginia



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  1. But two recent large-scale surveys of North Korean refugees conducted in China and South Korea suggest that privately held assessments of the regime are indeed highly negative. The surveys, of which I am a co-author, paint a picture of an atomized society where trust is scant and collective action negligible.

    IANAStatistician. Doesn’t this survey sample somewhat call into doubt any conclusions reached from it?

    1. He says in the next paragrpah “With the refugees having voted with their feet, it would of course be surprising if they did not hold the regime in low regard.” but says he used Statistical Kung Fu* to get “a unique glimpse into the Hermit Kingdom.”

      *actually he probably used the more more culturally appropriate Statistical Tae Kwan Do

      1. If this dude could help me correctly calculate, in excel, the standard deviation of a calibration curve, then I would gladly join his dojo of regression.

    2. I can’t read the rest of your comment because I’m hung up on your shortening “I am not a statistician” to “IANAStatistician” to save three letters. OK, three letters plus four presses of the spacebar.

      1. And adding three gratuitous Shift key uses. I’ll get over it.

  2. “For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.”

    This is beyond stupid. Even if you wouldn’t consider using a nuclear weapon in response to an attack like this, you don’t tell your enemies that.

    1. Let me be clear.

      You can believe me when I say things like this, because I never lie and I’m always right.

    2. I dunno, nuking someone for shutting down your porn distribution system seems like Na’vi level overkill.

      1. I agree with you about the cyberattack. But what about major biological or chemical weapons attack?

        1. My thought on what the policy should be:

          If we have declared war upon you (really declared it, not just some congressional authority of force), we will consider any and all means necessary to defeat you, up to and including, nuking your ass. If we have not declared war on you, we wont nuke you – except in retaliation of a nuke attack while in process of getting said declaration.

          1. What is this “declared war” of which you speak?

            1. Read you toilet paper next time you are in the congressional john. I think its mentioned there.

          2. If we have declared war upon you (really declared it, not just some congressional authority of force), we will consider any and all means necessary to defeat you, up to and including, nuking your ass.

            How about torturing and killing POWs? Massacring non-combatants directly and intentionally? Having your soldiers engage in systematic rape and pillage in enemy territory?

            The reason we have rules of war is to prevent true atrocities from occuring. If both sides can trust that their enemy will not engage in such activities unless they themselves do, it provides an incentive not to do so. Likewise, if, God forbid, we ever went to war with China, everyone would be better off if both sides did not use nukes.

            1. Fair enough. Does nuking someone violate any rule of war?

            2. I didnt say we would use the nukes, but bombing someone in a war is an option on the table. It would be best if us and China didnt nuke each other. But taking the option off the table is stupid. I dont see any difference, morally, between nukes and conventional bombs.

              I do agree that “any and all” means was poorly written. Feel free to add “within the bounds of rules of war”.

            3. With the population disparity between China(1.3 billion)& the USA(300 million). It would be very hard for the USA to win a war without using nuclear weapons.

              1. 4:1 kill ratio works out. I think we can handle that if they invade us and I dont know why we would ever invade them.

                1. robc,
                  I agree with you. I was just pointing out to Tupla that if we ever had a war with China. It wouldn’t be everyones best interest to not use nuclear weapons.

                  1. If we nuke them, they’re going to nuke us. Not in our best interests, obviously.

                    Now what you are saying might apply to a war with a populous non-nuclear country like Brazil or Indonesia.

              2. Really? What land border are they going to pour across? I don’t think a “Chinese Armada” would fare very well if American air power was kept up to snuff.

            4. Countries that have respect for the rules of war will never be across from each other on a battlefield. Less scrupulous countries, who often stir up the trouble that cause warfare, believe victory is achieved only when the enemy is vanquished using any means necessary.

              1. Countries that have respect for the rules of war will never be across from each other on a battlefield.

                [Citation needed]

                While the “rules of war” have changed over time, there have been plenty of instances of countries who obeyed them fighting each other.

                1. I wish I could cite examples in the future as well, but I concentrate my prediction powers on the PowerBall.

                  My point is more with the idea that fighting an enemy like Al Qaeda, Iran, or the Taliban means they will use nukes, chems, or bios against us if they are able to, they will not take prisoners and summarily execute our soldiers, and they will attack our civilian population. Countries respecting the rules of war usually encounter that kind of enemy. They see the rules of war as only a hindrance to liberating Allah’s land from the occupiers.

              2. “believe victory is achieved only when the enemy is vanquished using any means necessary.”

                That describes what war is to me.

              3. WW1 was fought among countries that respected the rules of war as they existed at the time.

                Nazi Germany respected the Geneva Conventions and such on the Western front of WW2.

            5. Nuclear Winter is the solution to AGW!

              Just pick your targets wisely.

          3. Nah, I think we should at least limit it to responses attacks on US territory or in response to an attack on ally where we have specifically agreed to nuclear retaliation (useful mainly to keep said ally from wanting stockpiles of their own).

            Just because Congress declares war on Goatfuckistan to distract people from their president having a gay affair doesn’t mean the poor Goatfucki bastards should have their bad luck compounded by getting nuked. Not that I think we would use nukes in that situation, but we might as well make it clear.

      2. But it’s not just for porn anymore.

    3. This is beyond stupid.

      So instead of MAD, we have…what? Mutually assured inconvenience?

    4. “”This is beyond stupid. Even if you wouldn’t consider using a nuclear weapon in response to an attack like this, you don’t tell your enemies that.””

      Seems standard US policy for the last 6 years or so. We told the Iraqis way in advance that we were about to surge troops. We’ve already put Kandahar on notice that we are coming in June.

      Telling the world your nuclear policy isn’t nearly as stupid as telling them troop movement prior to an operation.

      Besides, you don’t really think we’ll honor treaties if push comes to shove do you?

      1. No, I don’t think we would honor this treaty if we were attacked. That is one of the reasons I think this is stupid. The main reason I think this is stupid is you want your enemies to fear you. Even if we wouldn’t ever use nukes against them, you don’t tell them that. This is just stupid political posturing that really doesn’t gain any real political advantage for Obama.

        1. you want your enemies to fear you

          Uhm. I’d much rather that our enemies fear to “awake our sleeping sword of war” as the Bard would have it.


          Because I really, really want them to believe that there is a significant difference in their fate between letting us alone and getting us riled up.

          If they fear us in general—as opposed to fearing what we might get up to once pissed off—they have no pressing reason not to piss us off. I think that our foreign policy has sometimes lacked this distinction of recent decades.

        2. “”The main reason I think this is stupid is you want your enemies to fear you.””

          That’s a little short sighted. If they fear you all the time, they have justification for bigger and better arms in the name of defense. Including nukes.

          EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy has the right idea in my opinion.

  3. FDA Scientist Loses His Job For Saying Cancer Screenings Might Give You Cancer

    A chest CT scan has as much radiation as 400 chest X-rays. And according to Nicholas, between 1.5 percent and 2 percent of cancers are caused by CT scans. But agency managers ridiculed Nicholas for “raising the bugaboo of radiation.”

    So Nicholas and the others went straight to the division’s top director, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, last September, with their concerns. A month later, Nicholas was fired. “Scientific and regulatory review process for medical devices was being distorted by managers who were not following the laws,” he testified yesterday.

    1. Nicholas responded to his firing, saying “I got your bugaboo of radiation right here”, and proceeded to grab his private area. Afterword it was reported that while leaving he muttered “raise this, bitch” while extending his middle finger to the agency managers.

      1. Dr. Michael Swift studies ataxia telangiectasia, a serious developmental disorder. His research suggests that people who carry one copy of the gene are more sensitive to ionizing radiation. His sample of female carriers with breast cancer suggested the frequent mammograms in those women made them more likely to get breast cancer.

        1. From OMIM:
          Given that complementation analysis has demonstrated genetic heterogeneity in AT, the AT heterozygote frequency might fall between 0.68% and 7.7%, with 2.8% being a likely estimate.

          1. From National Cancer Institute.

            This estimate means that, if the current rate stays the same, women born now have an average risk of 12.7 percent (often expressed as “1 in 8”) of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives. On the other hand, the chance that they will never have breast cancer is 87.3 percent (expressed as “7 in 8”).

            I would submit the odds of getting regular mammograms far outweighs the risk of axial telangectagia.

            1. *telangiectasia

              1. I agree, only a tiny percentage of the population are AT carriers. However, if you are a carrier then you have a heightened chance of multiple screenings causing cancer.

        2. missed in Bolivia

          1. j’ai laiss? la derni?re note

    2. Screening for colon cancer with CT scan has got to be one of the worst fucking ideas I’ve ever heard. You can screen for colon cancer for six dollars with a few fecal occult blood test cards, or, for another two magnitudes more money, a scope. Radiologists are always trying to invent a new use for their toys, whether it makes sense or not.

      1. Using a GUIAC is not indicative of CC.

        Colonoscopy with polyp excisional loop biopsy is a determinant test of CC.

        CT scan is an interesting idea, along the lines of a PET, but is cost prohibitive.

      2. Wrong wrong wrong.

        You need to do a colonoscopy and take a biopsy. You can’t always get to the intended location during a colonoscopy. It may require a general anaesthetic. Then there are the issues with compliance …

        1. Ugh, must reload more often.

    3. Shining a flashlight on someone for 10 minutes exposes them to as much radiation as 400 x-rays, too.

      Needless to say, not all radiation is equally dangerous.

      1. In this context, the fact that it’s ionizing radiation is a given, smartass. Why you feel compelled to show everyone you took high school physics is beyond me.

      2. Going to go out on a limb and say that the fact that x-rays are so high-frequency makes them much more dangerous.

        1. Nevermind, tacos scooped me more eloquently.

  4. Lesbian Mississippi student tricked into attending fake prom.

    I’m getting the impression that Mississippi isn’t as classy as I once thought it was.

    1. They do show some understanding of “freedom of association”.

      1. Freedom of association does not apply to government schools.

        1. This is why I didn’t go to prom. Not because I’m a lesbian or anything, but because I would have been one of the five other people they sent to “fake prom” (plus, I didn’t have a tuxedo).

          1. Are you sure you are not a lesbian trapped in a svelt military man’s body?

            Just sayin!

            1. I suppose I can’t rule out the possibility…

          2. No high schooler has a tuxedo. We rented them. You should have gone to my high school. It was amazingly integrated in every possible way and there were a total of three fights in the four years I was there. I credit The Pot.

          3. That’s what the U-Haul party in the parking lot was for.

        2. Did you read the article? It sounds like the party the lesbian missed out on was not sponsored by the school, and that the “fake” prom she did attend was associated with the school.

          1. Oh, yeah, that makes up for *everything else* the school did.

        3. It applies to private functions.RTFA

          Mississippi understands freedom of association better than you.

    2. April Fool!!

    3. Yep, Mississppi is worser than us!

  5. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”

    Excellent rationalization.

  6. “Lesbian Mississippi student tricked into attending fake prom”

    Sort of a dick move, but it was a private party, not a real school function. So either way, she would have been attending a “fake” prom. Even if the school district had been compelled to hold a prom, the lesbian and the special kids would have been at the official one, and everyone else would have been at the other one. And, since the intolerant were acting by excluding themselves, it’s perfectly legit.

    Are we now going to say that the feds get to police parties for appropriate diversity? Can we get a government department to assign everyone a token black friend or two, while we’re at it?

    1. The feds are going to have to round up a bunch of black folks if all the white folks in the Dakotas are going to be issued official black friends.

      Oh, and they might have to chain their new best friends up at night to keep them from running away. But that is the price of diversity.

      1. When Louisville had forced busing, white kids were bussed two years, black kids something like 8 or 10. So, in fact, they did round up a bunch of black folk and ship them out to my neighborhood.

        (I was only bussed once, in 3rd grade. 8th grade was my 2nd busing year, but my middle school was “racially balanced” naturally.)

        1. Oh, and irony of ironies, In 3rd grade I was bussed to the deep west end of Louisville and there were ZERO black kids in my class, they were all being bussed out to suburbia.

          1. You’ll be able to relive it all soon. About 5 documentary projects on Louisville busing are circling our film archives like buzzards.

            1. Dear Archivist,

              I are duing a flim on busssing. Here are my shot list… find them:
              -angry rednecks
              -very angry rednecks
              -angry rednecks spittin’ and cussin’
              -blond 3rd grade girl wiping snot under bus seat
              -a sense of deep cultural malaise

              Oh, and I need them clips tomorrow.

              1. Pretty much.

            2. Do you have any clips of the Klan march a block from my house?

              1. Nothing comes up. What year was it?

                1. Nothing comes up. What year was it?

                  1975. July or August. The year busing started and I started 1st grade. A neighbor took me and her grandson over to watch it, she wanted us to see evil up close (I dont think it was worded that way, but the impression I got).

                  It was on Preston Hwy in front of Southern HS.

                  Later that evening, I think a car got burned and some other stuff happened, and traffic leaving clogged our street, in a way I never saw again. My dad stepped outside on the front porch and got hit by a gust of tear gas (diluted by the distance, but that only made it stronger, right?).

                  1. Ah, that explains it. ’72-’77 is a black hole in the collection. WAVE was using U-Matic videotapes at the time for on-site reporting and they were erasing them after they broadcast to re-use them as a cost saving measure. And the ’77-’80 tapes they did keep are suffering from a manufacturing flaw exacerbated by poor storage conditions (sticky shed) that makes them unusable as well.

                    Most of my dealings with that collection is telling people what we don’t have.

                    1. 1975 is the key for the documentarians. Without it, the documentary is going to suck. No WHAS or WLKY tapes?

                    2. We only have the late-60s film for both. ’75 is when almost everyone switched to U-matic, and those just didn’t make it.

    2. People should be free to associate with whomever they choose but, how fucking stupid would one have to be to set up an entire ersatz prom because of one lesbian couple? Really? If all it takes, as in the minds of these troglodytes, is seeing two girls holding hands to descend into moral degeneracy, then there is a reality perception problem somewhere.

      1. “” If all it takes, as in the minds of these troglodytes, is seeing two girls holding hands to descend into moral degeneracy, then there is a reality perception problem somewhere.””

        We are talking about Mississippi.

        1. Plus they are fat and ugly.

          1. I can’t wait for them to have my gay children.

    3. The story makes me sad.

      There doesn’t seem to be any real talk of regulating private parties, here, so I think you guys can put your libertarian away. It’s mostly the story of an entire school fucking with a lesbian girl.

      Yeah, I’m just going to be sad about this.

      1. The saddest part of all is that this was all caused by parents and administrators, not the immature cruelty of teenagers. Nothing surprising to this libertarian.

        1. It sounds like everyone, administrators, parents and students, were in on keeping the queers and retards from going to prom.

          1. Seems to me if you were excluding the developmentally disabled from attending a party in Mississippi you would have to import pary guests from out of state.

            1. AlmightyJB, very worthy of your title.

          2. Yeah, those outcasts are going to be damaged. If I went to a prom and there were only six other people there, I’d want some butts!

          3. Were the short bus types actually excluded, or did they just go to the wrong prom?

            It seems like they wound up in the wrong place, but it maybe worked out for the better… ???

    4. Sort of? It was a Super Dick move.

      I remember my prom. Well, sort of. Well, I have pictures. Everybody there was either falling down drunk, or whacked out of their minds. Nobody at my table ate anything, except maybe a couple of ludes. Nobody should be deprived of that right of passage.

      1. I don’t think you got the right rite. Either that, or you didn’t get the rite right.

        1. No, that’s Scottish Rite, or Shop-Rite, or Dun-Rite Plumbing. I have the right to get falling down druck.

  7. “Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday.”

    Can someone remind me what exactly we are suppose to be accomplishing in Afghanistan?

    1. Uh … No?

    2. Dude, where the hell have you been? You get ’em over there before they get us over here. That, and now O looks super duper tough. And he’s gonna drill and save us from oil dictators.

    3. Hope and Change motherfucker. We are accomplishing Hope and motherfucking Change!!!!

    4. “”Can someone remind me what exactly we are suppose to be accomplishing in Afghanistan?””

      Forcing the Taliban to had over OBL.

      1. hand over OBL

        1. That guy’s going to die of kidney failure a free man.

      2. I don’t think it’s working.

        1. I’m not sure it was ever set up to work since we put Afghans between OBL and Pakistan.

    5. We are protecting the world’s heroin supply. Geeze, where you been?

      1. If that’s the case, I want a price break on smack, just like I want a price break on oil. Fuck altruism, if we’re spending billions we should get discounts, or at the very least, a frequent shoppers card.

        And since the .mil can’t have the smack, more for us!

      2. That’s old, now we are protecting the Hashish supply.…..s/19421664

          1. Someone has to.

        1. I want a discount even more now.

  8. Re: Karzai

    “He said rebelling would change to resistance,”

    Dude, that’s just like here in the States. Dissent use to be patriotic, now dissent is racial hatred. You see, there’s progress being made in Afghaninam all the time.

  9. No link to the collateral murder video?

    1. I’m inferring there will be a post specifically on that topic later today.

      1. That would be the rational thing to infer. I for one blame the Kochtopus.

    2. Already watched it via Salon.

      So Reason better have a really good accompanying write-up to justify getting scooped by Salon.

      1. Reason is in a different time zone. I got it off the Daily Paul. Shit, I’m still waiting for the CFTC meeting bombshell.

        1. Reason is east coast. I don’t know where Salon is, but they typically post “today’s” news late last night.

  10. Seeing images of sick people may boost your immune system.

    More billboards and PSAs depicting jobless people, please.

  11. Somehow I don’t think the Taliban will indulge his taste in fancy hats.

    1. But they do wear eyeliner, which is just as glam.

  12. I’d make a shitty world diplomat. I’d be in contact with my general ordering to set a new world record for withdrawl of all troops from an occupation. I’m betting given a week planning and enough equipment you could remove all personnel, remove or destroy all capital, and be gone in a 48 hour period or less.

    I say we go for it.

    1. HE SHAVED, THAT IS HIM!!!!!

      Gotta yell when mentioning the Steve Smith, as it scares it and reduces one’s chance of being involuntarily penetrated*.

      Don’t say the R-word, it gets its hackles up.

      1. RUTABAGA!

    2. Oriental yeti, my ass!

      1. Imagine my disappointment to find it’s a quadruped.

        1. It’d be much worse if it was quadrupled.

          1. Ha ha, true. Maybe they do need to capture a mate for the beastie, though…

  13. What kind of sick, degenerate bastard would deliberately be mean to a couple of high school lesbians? Fuckers should be put in camps and left to die.

    1. Teenage lesbians should be performing for my cameras.

  14. All of my posts are being blocked as spam. Anybody know what is up with that? Length doesn’t seem to matter. (that’s what she said.)

    1. Extenze for your posts. It may make make them wider and you should be able to push them through the blocked area.

      1. That is also what she said.

  15. For some reason I read that as “Mississippi lesbian tricked into attending fake porn.”

    1. That’s because you have a dirty mind
      Dr. Teabagger.

    2. Tulpa, you know all the porn movies are real stories

      1. Lesbians actually do know how to fix the cable.

  16. OK, so I just now read part of the comments on the Commerce Clause article from last night. My cognitive ability has been permanently hampered by reading MNGs comments. I am not sure I can recover.

    BLOW me….a kiss!

    1. INCIF is your friend.

    2. Where has that Shit Facktory gone?

  17. I expected three-quarters of the comments would be MaunderingNannyGoat blathering about the coal mine explosion. I guess the union hasn’t issued a “fact sheet” yet.

    1. They were nice young fellas.

      1. I hope you at least questioned them before you opened the door. Steve Smith has used this tactic to lure more than a few inebriated hillfolk outside the safety of their dwellings.

        1. I learned, even inebriated, to differentiate his sub-human growl from human speech.

          My anus is very important to me.

          1. Jeepers Saccharin Man, that just begs for slashfic.

            1. Steve Smith is no laughing matter. At the edges of the civilized world, he waits. Where field becomes forest, he waits. In the darkness just beyond the pale yellow circle of the streetlight, he waits. Steve Smith is in every creaking closet, every rustle of shrubs outside your bedroom, and every pained howl of a neighborhood dog that is suddenly silenced.

              Guard you anus well, my friends. Guard it well indeed.

          2. In fact, remember the The Tale of Warty?

          3. Say what you will about Steve, but at least he respects the 4th Amendment. He won’t come inside your house and rape you unless invited.

    2. Heh heh…now that’s soused!

    3. He didn’t want to be DRUNK IN PUBLIC. And he wasn’t…until the cops helped him out of the bar. Then they arrested him.

  18. Sort of a dick move, but it was a private party, not a real school function. So either way, she would have been attending a “fake” prom.

    Yep. Free association at work.

    Because freedom applies to the assholes, too. If you can’t deal with that you may want to reconsider any commitment you think you have to being “libertarian”.

    But, damn, there are some assholes in this sorry world.

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