Recommended Reading (2010-02-06)

Members of the Indian Border Security Forces mounted on camel rehearse "Beating the Retreat" as part of preparations for Republic Day celebrations at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.


– Claude Berube makes the libertarian case for replacing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with “Didn’t Know, Don’t Care.”

– Basic services – paid for with taxes – become scams. This particular case is of a firefighting bill for $28,000. This trend started with rescue operations of hikers and outdoors-types getting lost, rescued by helicopter, and charged for their troubles. Now it’s a service whose very existence and purpose is funded by tax dollars (i.e., they exist just for this kind of accident). If the insurance companies and homeowners are equally pissed, that’s never a good sign (via Shloky).

– Apparently the sheer audacity of my writing this blog is weird for my generation. I love it when that happens (via Sullivan).

– Subversion is 85% of intelligence work (as opposed to intelligence-gathering). Sadly, whatever is happening to the US is not due to any outside power (or rather, any one targeted, concerted effort):

It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of [their] enemy.

…The next stage is destabilization … It only takes two to five years to destabilize a nation.

– Even if their convention is a racist warehouse devoid of intelligence and independent thought, the Teabaggers Partiers might just be on to something. John Robb makes a convincing argument that the Tea Party is a) open-source warfare, only politics, and b) that it’s a further sign pointing towards the hollowing out of the state. I think to an extent he’s right (mostly as to what their frustrations mean), but depending on the extent of ‘astroturfing’ and corporate funding, it may not be nearly as spontaneous as it looks. Certainly the convention isn’t.