Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Let's get real about ISIS

Some refreshing straight talk about the "axis of death" from the war nerd:

"They’re misogynistic swine, but they’re also really the most overrated, over-hyped bunch of hams this side of WWE. And when more people realize that, IS will lose their best weapon, their terror-propaganda. Without that, they show up as what they are: a mid-size Sunni militia with a knack for child-rape and no skills against anyone who doesn’t fall for their death-metal hype."

The whole article is well worth reading.

Relatedly, Gary Kasparov opines that Putin is more of a threat to the US than is ISIS. I agree, with the addendum that Putin isn't any real kind of threat either.

Hat tip to @noahpinion


Peter M said...

In my experience, a "refreshing take" is usually the correct one. It often takes a while for an alternate point of view to breach the veil of status quo propaganda, but when it does, it is quite refreshing indeed.

Jeff R. said...

I don't know enough to say whether he actually paints accurate pictures of past conflicts, but nonetheless I count myself a War Nerd fan. He writes some entertaining columns.

Pelsmin said...

ISIS is the only group who is active in the region, succeeding militarily, and wants to take out Iran. They are the only force who might prevent a clear and present danger to the US from achieving its goals.
Yet they are the only group in the region that we are attacking and trying to kill.

Don't get me wrong. They would cut our heads off if they could, and they're trying their darned best, they really are. But ISIS ain't going to develop a nuke and use it on Israel and the US.

Angus said...

Anon 4:24 AM. Your comment is being deleted for the personal attack on another commenter. Please repost in a more civil manner.

Hasdrubal said...

August, let me give you an example or two.

Friends of mine recently got a robotic milker. With 20 head of cattle, it would have been prohibitively expensive but with 200 head it pays for itself fairly quickly. It produces a marginal (but not trivial) increase in output due to better tracking and tuning for individual animals and a tremendous quality of life improvement for the people running the farm. But, you need a pretty big farm to have the revenue stream to pay for it.

Second, look at the shipping container. It's far more efficient to move things around in consistently sized lots: Transportation capital can be standardized, shipping costs are consistent, you have an entire industry based around moving just those things from point to point. Small, local distribution, requires far more man hours per item transferred making it much costlier. At the local farm level, you get the farmer filling up his pickup with produce and taking it to market, adding his opportunity costs to the transportation costs. It works for $200 a plate boutique restaurants willing to pay a couple dollars per tomato, but it really doesn't work for places with price sensitive consumers like Perkins.

Both of these situations are true regardless of the subsidies involved.

Hasdrubal said...

D'oh! Posted in the wrong thread.