Don’t let the generals dictate the war’s legacy, make them answer for it

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Andrew J Bacevich

“The armed forces of the United States have plainly failed in Afghanistan. They have not succumbed to outright defeat. But they have come nowhere near to accomplishing their assigned mission. To pretend otherwise is pointless. President Biden has wisely chosen to pull the plug on this misbegotten enterprise. That the United States retains a moral responsibility for what may come next is doubtless the case. … But the larger question remains: How did this happen? Why is America’s longest ever war ending on such an abysmal note? And why does such an eminently germane question go not only unanswered but also unasked?” (07/23/21)

For Department of Homeland Security Boss, Black Cuban Lives Don’t Matter

Source: Independent Institute
by K Lloyd Billingsley

“‘If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,’ proclaims Department of Homeland Security boss Alejandro Mayorkas, directing his remarks to Haitians, whose president Jovenel Moise was recently assassinated, and Cubans protesting the Communist regime. News reports on developments there have overlooked a few realities. … Cuba’s 800,000 African slaves were more than twice the number in the United States. Cuba did not abolish slavery until 1886 and there was no Cuban equivalent of the historically black colleges in the USA. By some estimates, only one-third of Cubans are whites, like the Castros and Miguel Diaz-Canel.” (07/23/21)

Is Democracy The Highest Value Or Not?

Source: Continental Telegraph
by Tim Worstall

“We get told, interminably, by those over to our left that we should have a truly democratic economy. The argument being, as I understand it, that voting on stuff is the highest value. Who does what, how, at what price, is something that should be determined by us all marking a piece of paper so as to determine what the collective view is. … democracy is not the highest value at all, is it? Something else is — liberty. We do indeed say that some things are not for the tyranny of the majority to decide. We tend to call these things civil rights, human rights, freedoms even. There are areas of life where what other people think of our actions, what other people get to do about, in what manner they get to restrict, mean bugger all.” (07/23/21)

Somalia: Regime postpones election again

Source: Digital Journal [Canada]

“Somalia has postponed elections that were due to start on Sunday after months of delays in the deeply unstable Horn of Africa country, officials told AFP. Indirect parliamentary and presidential polls were due to open on July 25 with four days of voting for the upper house by state delegates. The election cycle was due to end with a presidential poll on October 10. ‘Even though the plan was the upper house election to start around the various states today, there is a delay, the election may not take place as planned,’ a member of the electoral commission told AFP on condition of anonymity. The delay was due to the fact that federal regions were neither able to submit candidates’ lists in time, nor to form local committees to cast the ballots, the source added.” (07/25/21)

How to Lie While Telling the Truth: This Time on Vaccination Effectiveness

Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

“‘99% of COVID deaths are now of unvaccinated people, experts say’ … Such claims struck me as implausible. The estimated effectiveness of the vaccines used in the U.S. is about 95%. Since a majority of adults, and a large majority of those most vulnerable, are vaccinated, one would expect more than 5% of those dying to be vaccinated. It might be somewhat lower if more of the unvaccinated are located in areas with higher than average infection rates but it would be surprising if it was that much lower. The solution appears part way down the story under the headline: ‘In Texas, 99.5% of people who died from COVID from February through July 14 weren’t vaccinated’ … As of the beginning of February very few people had been vaccinated and deaths were running about ten times their current level. A calculation for a period starting then can be expected to greatly overestimate the current ratio of unvaccinated to vaccinated deaths.” (07/23/21)

Feds won’t probe three state regimes’ killings of nursing home patients

Source: Newsday

“The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on Friday said it will not open an investigation into any New York public nursing homes for ‘unlawful conditions’ after the state ordered them to accept residents that had been treated for COVID-19. In letters to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and three other governors who had ordered nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, the division said it would not pursue public nursing home investigations in New York and two other states. But the letter said it had opened a probe of two public nursing homes in New Jersey.” (07/23/21)

Review: Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Eric Fleischmann

“Sciabarra’s monograph (or ‘Homonograph’ as he likes to call it) Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation is best understood in a dialectical fashion; that is, to quote some words from Sciabarra himself, to look at it ‘from a variety of perspectives and levels of generality, so as to gain a more comprehensive picture of it[,]’ which ‘requires that we grasp the object in terms of the larger system within which it is situated, as well as its development across time.’ … Ultimately this piece was written with an Objectivist audience in mind—hence its more or less obvious right-wing flavor — but as described above, it is, at its core, a study of the subjective experiences of both LGBTQIA+ individuals and cisheterosexual individuals involved in the Objectivist movement in an effort to ascertain as close to the objective reality of the situation as possible.” (07/23/21)