Sinking a Wrong Idea, Again

What is the purpose of the military? Every since I joined twenty years ago, I have been reminded constantly that through execution of our core expertise our job is to break stuff and kill people. Others argue that our job is to serve America. 

Yes, we are capable of many tasks and a distinct core competency, which support our military’s sole purpose: to serve America, Americans, and American national interests.

Perhaps both views are correct:

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U.S. vs. Russia: What a war would look like between the world’s most fearsome militaries


America and Russia may not be fighting toe-to-toe in Ukraine and Syria, but we may be getting a preview of such a war if we ever transgressed a flash point.

America’s timid response to Russian aggression — both in Crimea and the the Donetsk and Luhansk regions — has done little to deter Moscow. In Ukraine Russia has revealed a new brand of “hybrid warfare,” one that mixes non-state proxy fighters, heavy armor and artillery, drones, electronic warfare and aggressive information operations to achieve battlefield victories.

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Cubicle Warrior’s Movie Review: The Martian

Full disclosure: as a science nerd, my favorite movies of the past couple years include “Gravity” and “Interstellar”. ” The Martian” is a science geek’s wet dream hybridization of those two movies, but with a better, albeit imperfect, adherence to science fact over science fiction. I went into this movie untainted by preconceived notions from the book by Andy Weir, because I did not read the books.

Astronaut/ botanist/ engineer Mark Watney discovers that with a NASA mission to Mars, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and he will need to science the **** out of the many problems he faces. Other than the massive wind storm he faces early in the movie, the science portrayed here is mostly accurate. Through his expository video logs, he explains the technical details to the audience while interlacing humor in order to keep geeks and normal humans engaged simultaneously. Not only is the science accurate, but also the NASA politics, international military-science politics, and human connection. If you liked “Interstellar”, you will love ” The Martian”, but there is plenty in this movie for non-geeks as well. 5/5 stars.

Cubicle Warrior’s Predictions: UFC 192 Cormier vs Gustafsson

Daniel Cormier (15-1) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (16-3)

Cormier vs. Gustafsson Tale of the Tape
Cormier Stats Gustafsson
16-1 W-L 16-3
6 KO/TKO 10
5 Submissions 3
5’11” Height 6’5″
72″ Reach 79″
48.39% Significant Strike Accuracy 37.33%
3.63 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute 4.06
64.44% Significant Strike Defense 47.73%
41.51% Takedown Accuracy 40%
77.78% Takedown Defense 86.67

Cormier is riding high after his recent submission victory over Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Meanwhile, Gustafsson nearly retired after his loss to Rumble. The Mauler can definitely control range, but DC is accustomed to being the smaller fighter. Cormier will win this in a decision or a late round submission.

Ryan Bader (20-4) vs. Rashad Evans (24-3-1)

Evans has not fought since the Jurassic Era and will likely be a bit rusty. Bader has become a more complete fighter after losing a couple thousand fights. I hope Bader gets a KO, but I will settle for a decision.

Shawn Jordan (18-6) vs. Ruslan Magomedov (13-1)

I have no idea who these guys are. ‘Murica! Jordan wins by whatever.

Joseph Benavidez (22-4) vs. Ali Bagautinov (13-3)

This should be a fast-paced fight, but I do not care who wins. I will go with Benavidez, only because I have seen him fight before.

Jessica Eye (11-3-1) vs. Julianna Pena (7-2)

Neither fighter is very flashy in their victories, with both fighters winning primarily by decision. I think Pena gets the decision in this one.

Yair Rodriguez (5-1) vs. Daniel Hooker (12-5) 

I have no idea who these fighters are. When in doubt, pick a Hooker.

Alan Jouban (11-3) vs. Albert Tumenov (15-2)

One of these fighters is going to make a name for himself in this fight. I will go with Tumenov by TKO in the early rounds.

Rose Namajunas (3-2) vs. Angela Hill (2-1)

I am a big fan of Namajunas, so I predict a good victory by decision. Rose should get in a few submission attempts and a few ground-and-pound highlights.

Adriano Martins (27-7) vs. Islam Makhachev (12-0)

There seem to be a lot of Russians in this event. I will go with the Russian-like fighter by decision.

Francisco Trevino (12-1) vs. Sage Northcutt (5-0)

Northcutt is too young and too pretty. Trevino by KO.

Chris Cariaso (17-7) vs. Sergio Pettis (12-2)

Pettis wins by decision as long as he stays away from Cariaso’s grappling and wrestling.

Derrick Lewis (12-4) vs. Viktor Pesta (10-1)

No idea who these fighters are. ‘Murica!

How to make sure nothing gets done at work

Have your bureaucrat coworkers been sabotaging your productivity using spy agency tactics?

Here are the eight tactics the Office of Strategy Services (OSS) recommended for tripping up an Axis agency from the inside:

Insist on doing everything through channels. Never permit short-cuts to be taken to expedite decisions.”

“Make speeches. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your ‘points’ by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.”

“When possible, refer all matters to committees, for ‘further study and consideration.’ Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.”

Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.”

Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, and resolutions.”

Refer back to a matter decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.”

Advocate ‘caution.’ Be ‘reasonable’ and urge your fellow conferees to be ‘reasonable’ and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.”

Be worried about the propriety of any decision. Raise the question of whether [it] lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.”

These tactics proved “incredibly subtle, and devastatingly destructive.” Alas, they still are. But “rooting out these corrosive behaviors isn’t so simple,” the authors note, because “they are often mutant excesses” of habits that are actually helpful, like involving coworkers in decisions that affect them.

Source: How to make sure nothing gets done at work

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team… at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

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Florida Gators 28, Tennessee Volunteers 27

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 5.52.29 AM
The Florida Gators eked out a win to extend their streak against Tennessee to 11 games. As usual, the Mighty Gators were hurt and helped by the referees, a few injuries, and spotty play from key players.

Will Grier was nearly perfect on 4th down and near the end of the game, but was downright atrocious on 1st through 3rd down. On a related note, he was 5-5 for 123 yards and 2 TDs in the fourth quarter. Florida’s offense is currently ranked #60 in the nation, and its defense is #36.
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