Malaysian Boeing: The Vanishing Point…

The news of the Malaysian Boeing that crashed in Ukraine have vanished from the media completely. Everything is so quiet… Is nobody interested in the results of the investigation? Or did the investigation and the events reconstruction discover some inconvenient truths?..

A reader led me to this fair assessment by former USAF and Boeing engineer Raymond Blohm: “With proper vectoring, a Su-25 need not be quite as fast as a Boeing 777 in cruise. It just has to get to a missile-firing position. Since the 777 was not maneuvering, it would be simple to pre-calculate when to get in a certain spot in the sky below the 777. From there, it’s the missile that has the speed and altitude capability to hit the 777. (The R-60 is a very capable missile.) After the missile takes out an engine, both the 777’s max speed and its max altitude are well within the Su-25 fighter’s speed & altitude capabilities. Then, the Su-25 can show off its cannon power.”

Pepe Escobar in his article “Vanishing point…” in Asia Times looks back at the disappearance of the MH370 aircraft and the “disappearance in progress” of the MH17. He says, “MH370 vanished as in a video game. MH17 was hit as in a video game. Now their respective narratives are being vanished.”

Read the full article: “Vanishing point…”

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When Russians honestly lay down their arms, the rest raise and take aim

Columnist of “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Dmitry Olshansky muses the question: when all Russian forces tried to be friends with the West, what was prepared as response to them by the “civilized world”?

There is a popular rhetoric (both Moscow and Kiev, the U.S., then everywhere): “We are not against Russia. And we are not against the Russians. We are against Putin. We are against Asian, brutal dictatorship. Against the power of the FSB. Against imperial aggression . Besides that – we are the best friends of the Russian people. ”

Reply to this needs to be the following.

Dear friends!

In Russia, during whole fourteen years – from spring 1985, when Chernenko died, and until the spring of 1999, when you started the famous “humanitarian activities” in Yugoslavia – it was all the way you wanted. Two presidents – Gorbachev and Yeltsin – seriously listened to you, believed you, and did almost anything you wanted from them. The empire, continuously retreating, gave away things for free, withdrew troops, gave independence and nearly washed with soap the feet of all free people. TV was full of liberal ideas, and millions of copies of magazines and newspapers filled up with “crimes of Stalin.” The government consisted largely of the same.

Yes, there was the most important thing – the country itself was exactly the way as you all wanted it – all of you, the Moscow’s Tel Aviv patriot, Kolomoyskyi’s fans, and the American ambassador. The whole country wanted “to be friends with America” and “be part of the civilized world.” Euro-integrated, as they say now.

So there you had it all.

And what was the answer of the “civilized world” to this splendor?

And the answer was:

We will not give money.

No “Marshall Plan.”

No neutral countries – everywhere where Russia leaves, NATO comes.

No “rights of Russians” (especially clear in Baltic republics).

No Crimean autonomy (and there was not yet even a trace of the “hand of Moscow”, Crimeans fought all by themselves then).

Ukraine – a country of Ukrainians and Russians, Kiev – the capital of two cultures? Not at all. Ukrainization, People’s Movement of Ukraine and Ukrainian National Assembly.

Transnistria?… -->

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A matter of attitude

I came accidentally across an article describing the habits of burglars today. The article was short and interesting with some fair advice on where (not) to hide your cash. Since I usually do not have any cash at home anyhow, that was not so exciting though. But one of the comments on the burglars and burglaries stood out and it deserves to be shared:

I don’t sweat it. I have a 110 lb pit bull and a .357 Magnum among other guns. I got out of the military recently and currently carry a weapon at work. If you want my flat screen or my loose change, come on in…I have 40 acres and a bulldozer. Nobody will miss you.

It is all a matter of attitude all right.… -->

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Quote of the day

I am not alone in thinking this and here is the quote to prove:

The scary thing about platforms is that there are always some that seem to outsiders to be fine, responsible choices and yet, like Windows in the 90s, will destroy you if you choose them. Java applets were probably the most spectacular example. This was supposed to be the new way of delivering applications. Presumably it killed just about 100% of the startups who believed that.

— Paul Graham

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Plato’s parable of the State

Reading this excellent book called “The Republic” written by Plato reportedly in circa 380 b.c. amuses me to no end. This passage is simply irresistible:

I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.  Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering –every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made

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Conceptual integrity

I always admire people that can summarize your thinking into a simple and elegant phrase. This is akin to software design, reflecting the beautiful harmony. Behold:

“I will contend that conceptual integrity is the most important consideration in system design. It is better to have a system omit certain anomalous features and improvements, but to reflect one set of design ideas, than to have one that contains many good but independent and uncoordinated ideas.”

–- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr, “The Mythical Man-Month”

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Quote of the day

Deep understanding of politics from the author of The Chronicles of Narnia:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron‘s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.
— C. S. Lewis

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