Friday, August 30, 2013

Professional Left Podcast #195

"Bailey runs a television station in Chicago. Travis is breeding guard dogs in New Mexico. Venus owns a clothing company called "Upwardly Mobile." Jennifer married and bought herself an entire island off the coast of Sardinia. Les Nessman? The Republican whip of the United States Senate!"

-- The Ghost of Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati 

Da' money goes here:


Anonymous said...

It's a good idea you guys all swear in your Cesca interview, because otherwise I'd never be able to tell this was a liberal radio show.

Anonymous said...

So we know that the ground invasion of Iraq was a complete disaster- that our military industrial complex was not up to the task of overthrowing an essentially non existent military and installing a new dictator with a stable government that can carry out US interests in the region, even though it had been in the planning stages for over 30 years. Strike one.

But remember that as Americans we have the right "to bomb the shit out of" any country that does not live up to our strict moral code.

We may decide to bomb the shit out of another country. We may decide not to bomb the shit out of another country. But remember this, our right to bomb another country back to the stone age is, in fact, a right and must be assumed by all.This fundamental fact that can never be questioned.

The only reason we should even consider not bombing another nation back to the stone age (maybe w/some napalm on the side) is because it might interfere with our ability to fund our tattered social safety net.

The people wearing "special glasses" are not Democrats or progressives. The ones wearing these "special glasses" who can't see the massive chasm between Democrats and Republicans live in Guantanamo Bay.They are the citizens of Iraq and Yemen. They are the terrorized citizens of Syria that are expecting American weapons of mass destruction may fall on them or someone they love sometime in the next few weeks. They are the ones who can't afford a bunker or a plane ticket to get the fuck out of "harm's way". Who sells these assholes your special glasses anyway? If these middle easterners could just see things clearly like we do in Illinois and Indiana...

So nobody is lying. Get the tomahawks. Maybe some phosphorus too. That i'll make the whole thing more telegenic. I've heard it burns a bit, but nobody has made a television with smell-o-vision, at least not yet...

And D.G., the Obama and America you describe is as imaginary as freedom unicorns. Good luck with that "world's most deliberative body" thing.

Anonymous said...

I like Cesca's work on this story a lot.
Too bad I won't be seeing any more of it, because the owner of his blog is a douchebag brit expat who might as well be one of the Greenwald brigade.

Stay independent my friend.

Oh and Chez was right...Ben is a dick.

Overclock speedy said...

What American weapons of mass destruction are going to drop on them? Nobody has proposed using CBN weapons on Syria at all, nobody is even entertaining that thought.

Those TLAMs are not going to carry nuclear warheads. White Phosphorus is the most effective smoke screen agent known to man, everyone uses it. It's also one of the best tracer and marking agents out there. The rules governing it's use against humans and the hows and whys are due to it being an incendiary weapon. You're allowed to shoot incendiary agents at targets that require them, you're not allowed to direct incendiaries at personnel for the specific goal of killing personnel.

Even still, there are a hell of a lot more nasty incendiary agents out there.

I swear, one of the greatest attacks against honest debate and the truth has been people lobbing about terms and discussing weapons systems that they lack the necessary background to understand. As someone who was in the military many of you often sound just as off base as drunk on the corner claiming that tin foil stops the CIA from reading your mind and floride is a communist plot.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Mine was the Frankenstein question, so thanks for answering.

Enjoy your weekend.

---Kevin Holsinger

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I guess we have a disagreement over terminology. Probably because I haven't been in the military and all...

Let's imagine Syria got its hands on a couple dozen Tomahawk missiles containing 1000 lb conventional warheads that have, a range of about one thousand five hundred miles.

Let's also imagine that the Syrian leader is a lunatic with no respect for human life, so he launches all the missiles at a city like Springfield, Illinois.

Several hours later, you, me and President Obama fly over Springfield to assess the damage caused by the butcher of Damascus.

I have no idea what you will see but you'll no doubt blather on about the rules that govern the use of TLAMs and how the Syrians are "allowed" to use them.

I can't imagine how Barack Obama would describe to the American people what he had seen. He might say something about "war crimes" and "this tragedy" not going unanswered. And nobody dying in "vain".

I will have witnessed a scene of mass destruction.

And the smell of burning flesh is hard when it hits on the nose.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

And the smell of burning flesh is hard when it hits on the nose.

while people killed by chemical weapons smell like pretty flowers? Do you speak from experience, mr. Anonymouse?

A few posts back, I made a joke about "Handwringing and Hyperbole" being a new Smiths album. And here we find someone has posted the lyric sheet.

Anonymous said...

zombie rotten,
I actually think the decision to use google maps to destroy all the gas stations was a good one considering the Syrian's have such a limited arsenal. The secondary explosions filled the people of Springfield full of "awe" and will temporarily limit the supply of fuel in the area. Of course, destroying all the electrical sub stations was a no brainer.

The decision to hit the post office during a peak operating hours is a bit less defensible. Is a post office really a "military installation"? But even here, I do give the Syrians credit for the inconvenience factor and limiting communications.

The decision to go after the madrasas (I mean schools) is the least defensible. First, think of all the children that were diligently mesmerizing their sums. Tragic. Second, I just don't see any true military objective here. I mean destroying schools surely sends a message but so does destroying the water system.

What are ya gonna do? Choices have to be made. I'm just glad I'm not the president of Syria. I'm not sure i'd be up to making these kinds of tough choices.

Anonymous said...

Two things.

First, Mr. Glass... the first season of "Babylon 5" was "kind of" bad?!? It was fucking horrible. I have lent the DVD's to people, with the warning, "Season one is the most godawful shit you will ever see. But it gets good." The answer is always, "You were kind."

I also think you should try to get Bluegal to watch it. While the "Get off my lawn!" speech was a bit anticlimactic, there was some beautiful writing. Practically any monologue by Andreas Katsutas is worth hearing at least twice. (He has one of the best narration voices I've ever heard.) I would also love to hear Bluegal's thoughts on his "What is truth, and what is God?" monologue.

Second, the mention of Snowden and Bluegal mentioning his promise to stop his shenanigans to stay in Russia. I have asked before, and I still ask:

Glenn Greenwald is gay. He's a big old poof. His husband, also, is in all likelihood a big old gay homo poof. I doubt there is anyone who does not presume that there are many bracing rounds of the game "Hide the Sausage" being played on the Greenwald Estate.

To quote David Brooks, "All of these realities are true."

Now... Russia's "anti-homosexuality propaganda" laws are so strict that foreign nationals have been arrested for wearing rainbow accessories. Citizens are treated much, much worse, but that is not at point, here. What is at point is that the man Snowden thought was his benefactor is now the albatross around his neck. If Snowden says something about Greenwald's help, and in the same conversation says anything about Greenwald's personal life, which has now been made very, very public by Greenwald's legally married husband being detained for carrying Snowden's secrets across international borders, Snowden can be arrested for committing "pro-homosexual propaganda". And Snowden can be arrested. And Snowden's property can be confiscated.

Snowden effectively cannot mention the Miranda incident, even though Miranda was carrying Snowden's own stolen secrets.


Overclock speedy said...


Well for starters there is no 1000lb conventional warhead for a TLAM. They don't actually do all that much damange compared to bombs dropped from planes.

TLAMs are extremely expensive, but that's mostly guidance and network network systems, not stuff to go boom.

So TLAMs are really good at say hitting the radar tower, power plant, and individual planes on the runway of an airport if cost is no object. They're really bad at turning the entire mess to rubble, you'd need manned aircraft for that.

We can't really discuss what's going on when you don't understand the military hardware involved, we also can't discuss them when you are making up bizarre hypothetical situations made all the more hyperbolic by your ignorance of the items involved.

Carmelo Clandestine said...

The rise of "progressive" militarism and jingoism reminds me of how the first-generation neoconservatives began as liberals, or even Marxists.

Meanwhile, a surprising number of conservatives are rediscovering their faction's ancient suspicion of foreign wars.

The old order of USAmerican politics seems to be dissolving. Perhaps a new order will evolve along interventionist-vs.-isolationist lines?

Anonymous said...

Some propaganda from the intertubes:

The Tomahawk family of missiles includes a number of variants carrying different warheads. The RGM/UGM-109C (Block III TLAM-C) is a conventional unitary variant carrying a 1,000lb class warhead. The RGM/UGM-109D (Block III TLAM-D) is a sub-munitions dispenser variant armed with 166 combined-effects bomblets.

These two variants of Tomahawk cruise missile are distinguished by their warhead; TLAM-C has a conventional unitary warhead, and TLAM-D has a conventional submunitions (dispense bomblets) warhead.

Tomahawk has two warhead configurations: a 1,000-lb. blast/fragmentary unitary warhead and a general-purpose submunition dispenser with combined effect bomblets. Because of its long range, lethality, and extreme accuracy Tomahawk has become the weapon of choice for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Warhead Conventional: 1,000 lb (450 kg) Bullpup, or submunitions dispenser with BLU-97/B Combined Effects Bomb, PBXN, or a 200kt (840 TJ) W80 nuclear device (retired)
mechanism FMU-148 since TLAM Block III, others for special applications

Length:5.55 m (without booster)
Diameter:0.5172 m
Launch Weight:1,315 kg (without booster)
Payload:454 kg
Warhead:HE/fragmentation unitary, various submunitions
Range:1,600 km
In Service:1983

Anonymous said...

As to my bizarre hypothetical situations, I anticipated that their value would be lost on you. Here's something that's not hypothetical:
"I am honored to be a part of the ceremony marking the 2,000th combat launch for the Tomahawk cruise missile; for this is indeed a great day for our Navy," said Grosklags. "Reaching 2,000 combat expenditures is a significant Navy force projection milestone. This shot was one of more than 200 successful Tomahawk missions conducted during the Libyan operation off of five U.S Naval platforms."
The missile is capable of being launched from more than 140 U.S. Navy ships and submarines, including the Ohio Class cruise missile submarine (SSGN). Precise and efficient, Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles have been used in every major U.S. combat operation since Operation Desert Storm in 1991, solidifying the weapons lethality against enemy targets in operations such as Operation Southern Watch (1992), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) and Operation Odyssey Dawn.

"All of you here do our Nation's work, and you do it well," said Grosklags. "You support a noble mission, and you should be proud of your efforts. Continue to set high standards. Continue to draw on lessons learned. Continue to demand quality. Continue to be good stewards of this force that guarantees peace and freedom. May God bless our Fleet, our Navy, and our Nation.

All I can say is Amen

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for so many posts in a row, but as I was just getting ready to do some cooking I came across a TLAM video that's made me a convert:

God, I love that soundtrack!
Good Night, and Good Luck.

Overclock speedy said...

Your hypothetical was bad because it was insane and had utterly no context in it. Hypotheticals can be good arguments, you had a really fucking bad one. Furthermore what you have posted about the amount of cruise missiles has very little to do with the situation. I'm well aware of the amount of TLAMs we launched, TLAMs used to be part of my job function and strike operations are listed on my military papers and linkedin.

You haven't done anything but screw up facts (and the public specs on the internet for military weapons systems aren't entirely correct, and I can't get further into this for clearance issues), make up bizarre hypotheticals, and then go "USA bad" over a bunch of standard military mission nonsense the brass farts out every mission while nobody else gives a fuck.

I'll do you a solid, I'll show you a proper hypothetical.

I'm in the METRO Washington DC area, it's my home. We are in the middle of a civil war and it's bloody. Someone releases nerve gas into my hood or one of the ones close by. All signs point to Obama and the Pentagon doing it, people are dying left and right.

If, in this situation, some outsider decides to start lobbing cruise missiles at military targets, how would I feel? The answer is, depends what they hit. Blowing planes off Andrews, slugging convoys, blasting radar stations, I'd probably be fine with that. Blowing up apartment complexes and schools I'd throw a fit.

But we don't know what they might shoot. Because nobody has shot anything yet. I can make an educated guess as to what they will shoot at, having been in the Navy and seen this song and dance before. I can also say that from that experience you'd rather the Navy shot at targets with TLAMs than get hit by an air campaign. The air campaign is less accurate and that's when you really start getting into 1000lb and 2000lb weapons and even greater.

Don't mistake the fact that I'm not lighting my hair on fire and predicting WW3 for my approval of the situation or whatever may happen. I'm just aware enough from prior experience through involvement in this sort of thing that it's often really limited. You blast a bunch of arty, a few planes on runways, some weapons stores, an anti aircraft center or two and then call it a day.

Cruise missile strikes are nothing like air strikes.

Anonymous said...

@Overclock speedy

Thanks for the illuminating hypothetical.

As a former member of the submarine design world, I have always been appreciative of you guys at the pointy end of the spear. I know just enough about operations to grok how important it is to keep your head when the situation gets tense.

Some people say that cold rationality is the sign of a heartless killer, but I find it a useful corrective when people start running around screaming like so many hysterical ninnies.

Anonymous said...

Jesus H Fucking Christ on a drone..... Cesca? Really? This is some epic hackery on display. Enjoy your new home in Obotlandia. I'm sure your economic masters will do as they've always done and reward your groveling obsequiousness with complete and utter disdain. Morons. Oh yeah, fuck Cesca.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:26 is a different Anonymous, who might be happier over at where the hysterical ninny is revered as the King of the Yahoos in Brodie's Report.

I loves me some Borges.

Fritz Strand said...

I am not completely sure that your thesis of bureaucratic paralysis would lead people to keep from coloring outside the lines. My experience in the federal bureaucracy was that people are less restricted by rules and more driven to just do what they are told.

For example there are recent infamous examples of whistle blowers being strung up by their agencies for simply following the rules (listen to Sam Seder's 8/30/13 podcast). On the other hand there were multiple examples from the Bush administration of intelligence agencies tailoring reports because not doing do would ruin a career.