Brussels Bombing – Airport and Subway At Least 28 Dead

I think I’m going to take a day off from looking at climate crap.

There has been “Yet Another Bombing” YAB, or perhaps YAMB or YAIB… in the EU. After rounding up the guy involved with the Paris attack, this is likely either “retribution” (for enforcing the law against murder?) or a “move up” of planned attacks for fear of being outed by Dear Leader or Cell Comrade.

There’s a load of news listed here:

and I don’t feel the need to quote it here, it is being “4 walled” on all major news channels.

At the moment, I’m just a bit pissed about it all. I know it isn’t my country, not even my continent, but evil and aggression are just offensive to me. Wrapping it up in a veneer of “religion” makes it worse, not better. If your religion says to come kill me, then my religion says to exterminate you first. (No, not any formal religion, religion ‘writ large’ as ‘core values’).

So one “outside the PC mind prison box” idea:

AFTER building The Wall and putting in place full on border control (WITH fingerprint scan on entry / exit…) how about a very simple “tit for tat”? WHEN, and it is a “when”, not an “if”, the Jihadi Nutcases pull their next stunt, you look at the video tape archive of every Mosque on the continent. (Yes, ALL of them need 24 x 7 all weather monitoring with recording in both visual and IR and maybe even millimeter wave cameras, from all 4 sides plus overhead.) Then any Mosque they visited, you check the recordings / reports from inside said Mosque. Anything “inciting” and that Mosque is declared a non-religious site, and a terrorist haven. It gets bulldozed to the ground and any / all “clergy” connected to it get a one way ticket to Mecca… Then it’s their problem to deal with those folks. (Though I could see maybe sending the Sunni to Tehran and the Shia to Mecca…) Then, just to make the point, an area of 10 km per person killed around each such mosque is zoned for 0 mosques. Those that are already in that circle get a year to pack up and leave.

Basically, you don’t play well with others, you get sent to your room and your playhouse is taken away.

I suspect that in pretty short order the “Good Muslims” would start rejecting the Jihadi Muslims and ratting them out. If not, well, they can always move to some other place with a mosque…

Is This “Hate Speech”?

IMHO the whole concept of “hate speech” is broken. I don’t like folks who blow their cigarette smoke in my face. Is it ‘hate speech’ to say they are idiots and mean and need to be spanked? No. It is a statement of reality. Tobacco killed my Dad (lung cancer, Camel Cigarettes, unfiltered…) and it IS idiotic to smoke. Not having the decency to “take it somewhere else” IS mean and they DO need a ‘whack upside the head’ to ‘get it’.

So how is it any different to say “These folks directly state their desire to kill us. Maybe we ought to recognize that and kick them out before they succeed.” There’s a long rich history of just what Islam means in terms of the infidel. From the invasions of North Africa on across to Spain and from the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the final halt at Romania (from which we get the Dracula stories after the guy who actually did put heads on pikes… Muslim invader heads.) This movie has been playing since about 800 A.D. and the plot has not changed. Get a clue.

My basic philosophy is to “Be a mirror”. Nice behaviour toward me gets nice responses. Evil gets reflected back. It is not ME being mean, vindictive, or hateful. It is only me “being the mirror”. I also usually have an “at first, be a lossy mirror” rule for anything negative. In that mode, I think it is pretty clear that exchanging a building for 28 dead is a much nicer and lower “hate” response than going “head for head”. “You kill us, we shun you” is a pretty tepid response and not very “hateful” at all.

The simple fact is that I don’t hate Muslims. I’ve worked at a Muslim dominated company. I’ve managed and been managed by Muslims. Most of them really don’t have much of a political orientation. Like most of us, they just try to be good people and haven’t read most of The Book, or their book. I’d happily do it again, too. Were Islamists not trying to kill us and force us to adopt their rules, I’d have no issue with any Muslims. Live and let live, believe what you want just leave me alone. I’m fine with that.

Yet what is clearly a problem is an asymmetrical war against the west waged in the name of Islam. That needs to be reflected back (be the mirror…) and when “they” make civilians casualties they are saying that their own civilians can be made casualties. Again, a “get out” order is far far less than a “bomb for bomb” response. I can’t see any “hate” in saying “reflect their rules to them, but soften it greatly”. THEY are calling the shots here, to say we can’t respond due to some PC Crap about us not singing Kumbaya together while we mourn the dead is just being “Bag Of Rocks Stupid”.

So no, it isn’t “hate speech”, it is “mirror and soften” and a “modest proposal” about how to start approaching the active cultural and physical war being waged by Islam upon the west and Christianity. One simple first step is just to halt the 5th column invasion and attacks by removing the places where it is advocated and where there is safe haven for the perpetrators.

And, IMHO, it isn’t an “attack on religion”. When an organization advocates and condones attacks on civilians it is no longer a house of worship or a religious act, it is a 5th Column Cell. When an organization advocates for breaking the law with violence, it is a criminal enterprise, not a religious one. So call it what it is and take the appropriate action for that thing.

There is nothing wrong with saying “Clean up your own house or we will clean it up for you” to a criminal operation from a house.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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29 Responses to Brussels Bombing – Airport and Subway At Least 28 Dead

  1. vuurklip says:

    I agree with much of this – but, how do you factor in the WMD war against Iraq?

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    A soft way to “harden” the Airports:

    Speed up the damn lines.

    The “target” size is inversely proportional to line speed (or directly proportional to line length) getting through the security screening process.

    Just stop backing people up into a giant queue in front of security. Add a few more stations and a few more people and accept that you may have idle folks during slow times as there is no line.

    Were there NO line, there would be a target of about 1/2 dozen folks (the security guards) and that isn’t a very attractive target.

    In short, stop treating the security checkpoint as a “cost center” to be minimized and stop treating passenger time in queue as “free”. See passenger time in queue as a giant “security cost” and look at the security screening as both improving the passenger experience AND keeping them alive.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    I don’t know what a “WMD war against Iraq” is. Daddy Bush’s war? Baby Bushes war? Obama’a retreat and subsequent chaos?

    Personally, I don’t see any connection between any of them and Brussels, but maybe the Belgium folks had a large army involved and I didn’t notice… .

  4. omanuel says:

    Thanks, E.M. Smith.

    I share your concerns. We live in a strange, strange world today that nobody understands completely. Here’s a tentative list of critical events in the timeline, from Saturday, June 13, 1936 (four months before I was born on the opposite side of the globe):

    13 June 1936: Aston presented a lecture on nuclear energy at the Imperial University of Tokyo while visiting Japan to view a total solar eclipse. Aston presented a summary of his 1922 Nobel Lecture with a great promise and a dire warning about nuclear energy. A talented 19-year student – Kazuo Kuroda – took detailed notes and committed his life to understanding the source of solar energy and the origin of the elements.

    [Kazuo Kuroda completed his PhD degree and became a faculty member at the Imperial University of Tokyo helping his country develop
    nuclear energy.

    6 Aug 1945: Allied forces vaporized Hiroshima by releasing energy from the cores of uranium atoms.

    9 Aug 1945: Allied forces bombed the city of Nagasaki by releasing energy from cores of plutonium atoms,

    ~11 Aug 1945: Japan exploded its own atomic bomb off the east coast of Konan, Korea.

    Later Aug 1945: Stalin’s USSR troops captured Japan’s successful atomic bomb plant at Konan, Korea.

    Later Aug 1945:Stalin’s troops shot down and captured the crew of an American B29 bomber over Konan, Korea.

    Aug-Sept 1945:The American B29 crew were held for negotiations that led to

    24 Oct 1945: Nations and national academies of sciences were inited under UN control to hide the source of energy in atomic bombs from the public.

    1946-2016: The integrity of science and constitutional limits on formerly national governments eroded as national Academies of Sciences directed research funds and awards to advance UN’s Agenda 21 plans for global rule of the world.

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes some simple proactive methods would help a lot, for example travel to Syria during time of war, never return to Europe or America, it is a self inflicted black ball rating. Make it public and let them self select who gets banished to their old haunts.

    You will have to run this item through google translate, but it has surveillance camera image of suspected suicide bombers at the air port. Interesting note to file away in your situational awareness folder about taking note of folks only wearing one glove on their left hands.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    Guardian noted how close the subway attacks were to the headquarters of the EU.
    Was this attack a directed operation to send a message to the EU leadership or did they just pick this subway station at random.

    Image came off twitter not sure if all can see it.

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    By way of explanation of the above item about gloved hands, Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge on twitter video clip, explained the gloved hands. She explained that the trigger switch is typically taped to the persons hand so it cannot be dropped and is usually of a dead man switch design. The gloves are used as cover for the dead man switch. If they lose their grip on that cart, the trigger would set off the device, even if they were shot or taken down by security.

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    Quick summary of current info: as of 11:00 mountain daylight time 3/22/16

    At least 34 people were killed and more than 230 injured in bomb attacks on Brussels’ Zaventem airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital on Tuesday morning. Twenty people died as a result of the explosion at the Maelbeek metro station and 14 from the two blasts at the airport.

  9. Julian Jones says:

    … a Gladio B type operation ?

    “projecting U.S. power in the former Soviet sphere of influence to access previously untapped strategic energy and mineral reserves for U.S. and European companies; pushing back Russian and Chinese power…”

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    A note on modern Islam.

    The politically correct and Progressive left are in deep denial about what Islam is and what they are facing in this new age of terrorism. They make assertions which are complete nonsense, such as asserting that saying something negative about the current brand of radical Islam is “racist”.
    That is pure unadulterated rubbish. Islam is not a race, it is a belief system only part of which is what modern westerners could consider a religion. In fact even Muslims will tell you it is a complete philosophy of life, that covers all aspects of life. Viewed in its historical context it is clearly a dogma of conquest and dominance and the modern Salafi interpretation is a totalitarian philosophy of destruction and total dominance of other civilizations. This sort of violent interpretation has existed in the past and is inherent in the canonical texts of Islam, if literally interpreted. It is irrelevant if you think it is a religion of peace, what counts is what the extreme radical Islamists believe, and they believe they are on a divine mission to conquer the world. All the wishful thinking a word play in the world in someones living room will not have any influence at all on their belief system.

    Like any cultural system it cannot simply be crushed with military actions. You can blunt its more kinetic manifestations like ISIS in Syria but the root cause is the philosophy.

    How do you fight that? You can’t as a non-Muslim, but you can enable those Muslims who have an alternative modern reformationist live and let live view of Islam.,terrorism-and-jihad/muslims-must-confront-islamist-terror-ideologically–an-islamic-reformation-required/d/100918

    Go to the root cause, stop the PC nonsense and openly discuss the real problem, a perverted violent strain of Islam that has overtaken the Muslim world in the last 100 years.

    Until people and governments openly accept they are dealing with a diseased version of Islam that even many Muslims reject we cannot ever hope to stop this chain of violence and reprisal. Unchecked like the black plague this version of Islam will ravage the world for a century or more.

    The last time Europe was confronted with violent Islam and a doctrine of conquest it took 500 years to throw off the chains of never ending war.

  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    Like a DDOS attack on a computer network, the terrorist cells have overwhelmed the police and intelligence infrastructure throughout Europe and have essentially uncontested access to Europe.

  12. beththeserf says:


    I like yr mirror,
    it’s trial and error
    evolutionary behavior.
    Whereas top-down-
    au-contraire, involve
    no feed-back, it’s all
    non-hammurabi rule,
    no need to sleep beneath
    the bridge that you create.
    Brussels? Decisions imposed
    by unelected bureaucrats indisposed
    to recognize leadership’s responsibility,
    that yr first duty’s to protect the realm
    and all the citizens within.


  13. RobL says:

    You are effectively advocating a form of Sippenhaft (kin liability)

    I wholeheartedly agree. This approach is the only way to deal with suicidal terrorists who don’t value their own lives. You have to go after the things they do care about (their friends and relatives and perhaps mosques – though I am less sure about that given their basic nihilism they could probably rationalise their way past that). That is the only way to make their community care about policing their behaviours.

    Sippenhaft is the methodology that enabled empires to be built and controlled in all times before the 20th century. Historically tiny police forces could keep control over huge conquered populations using such methods. And it is also how the Israelis stopped the 2nd intifada – bulldozing bombers family homes etc. Also arguably how the Brits beat the IRA in the 70’s/80’s with ‘irregulars targeting of the bombers communities to remove their support.

    Of course it is an ugly approach to punish ‘innocents’ and has been effectively foresworn by ‘morally evolved’ west after WWII, but ultimately (as in history) it saves lives to kill a few ‘innocents’ in a short conflict vs a long protracted campaign – and the financial costs of extra policing inevitably cost lives by lowering productivity, and sapping govt and personal money from better uses.

    It would work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria too with much shorter conflicts and ensured ongoing stability and peace over the generation or two it takes for their societies to develop a respect and expectation for the rule of law. It is how all oppressive states function – because it works even if the population hates the rulers.

    DNA samples of everyone in ME would cost maybe a few hundred billion. After which you will be able to create a complete family tree and identify and track origins and possibly associates of all combatants even after death.

  14. Ian W says:

    Larry Ledwick says: 22 March 2016 at 4:24 pm

    No I don’t believe that was random. It seems the train was between Schumann and Maelbeek the two metro stops for the EU offices that are all along Rue de La Loi and at rush hour. The trains would have been full of Eurocrats. Remember, many of the group held Belgian passports and live(d) only a short distance away in the Molenbeek district.
    (I used to work in Rue de La Loi and lived in Zaventem – I know the area quite well)

    I second E.M.Smith’s call for no lines at security checkpoints; crowds are targets and insecure. I spend a lot of time in those security lines and I may be the only one in the line that feels apprehensive. Security lines are targets particularly at the end of the line entering security where the security guards and crowds are close.

  15. philjourdan says:

    I no longer care if it is called Hate speech. And a large portion of the country is getting the same way. Trump may not win the election, but he has exemplified the Peter Finch quote. And the pendulum is swinging back. The problem with any reaction is it is directly proportional to the action. And that will probably be a lot farther than anyone now wants. But perhaps it is necessary.

    It is the political correctness (of which “hate speech” is merely a symptom) that is directly responsible for the ease and frequency of the Islamic terrorism succeeding. How long will the citizens continue to abide the stupidity of left in their effort to destroy the west in the name of PC? From the looks of it, not much longer. The demonstrations in Germany, Le Pen in France, Trump in the US. The backlash has started. Is it in time?

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    A detailed look at Europe at war.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Julian Jones:

    Interesting link (and person). Had not heard of that one. It’s about at the edge of my “grand conspiracy limit”, though. Threads of truth in it, but likely “spun” and expanded a lot…


    Per Islam note: That’s about the conclusion I came to, a while back. Better stated, though. Until the PC Crap is out of the way and Europe, North & South America, Asia and Sub Saharan Africa all accept that “peace” under Islam means “subjugation and / or death”, nothing will improve. After they do, it will be worse for a while, then a whole lot better…

    Per the location of the attack: Never forget the advantage of a ‘two-fer’ or a ‘three-fer’. These folks love to do a ‘double tap’ with bombs. This one was a triple tap. Two at the airport, one on the subway. As one guy was in jail and his bomb left home, the subway was likely supposed ot be a ‘double tap’ too. Now look at targets. You have all three of NATO, EU Headquarters, and US Brand targets in the same place. So I’d vote for “all three”.


    Nicely done.

    Yes, Be The Mirror has several advantages. It is “adaptive” and without a lot of think time required. It is simple to implement, and generally works rather well. It does not depend on “understanding” either by the ‘other side’ or by you. You need not spend months learning their motivations, culture, et. al. Just if they pick up the salad fork with the left hand, so do you, and if they all stand up when some guy in a funny hat enters the room, so do you; and if they blow up your friends, you blow up their friends… Usually they stop quickly…

    I came up with Be The Mirror while working on a psych ward. I watched a nurse shouting at an inmate, then go back to calmly talking to the Doctor. Asking, I was informed that the patient would not understand the words, only the ‘tone’, so she needed to speak in a way that they would understand. So first clue: You must speak in a language and at a level the other party can receive. For folks who’s mode of ‘speech’ is violence, that is violence in return. Period, full stop.

    The rest of the philosophy of Be The Mirror evolved out of that over time. The “start off one level back” as a way to avoid accidental escalations. (Two folks both doing this might have an 0.1% mis-leveling on the other guy and you end up in a feed back loop… so put in some hysteresis). The “end more that way if needed” prevents a stalemate. The old “They bring a knife, you bring a gun.”.

    It also has the advantage that mirroring another’s facial expression tends to foster a sense of empathy and acceptance. When someone is frowning, a smaller frown and “Are you all right?” is helpful. A big smile and “How’s it going!” not so much. Smiles to smiles, frowns to frowns, gut punches to raised fists… The adaptive mirror…

    Having a self anointed top down behaviour edict just gets things going open loop until someone loses and everyone is annoyed.


    Didn’t know the name for it, thanks.

    I tend to think of it not as attacking ‘kin’ so much as providing motivational feedback where it will work. The folks who have the information to end this behaviour are the folks in their Mosque. They presently are motivated to shut up (both out of a misplaced sense of group identity and out of a fear of retribution – either by the terrorists or by their peers in the group). This gives a countervailing fear of retribution that takes the first one off the table, and it gives ‘peer pressure’ to protect their shared values in the Mosque. IF that isn’t enough, it has the added advantage of slowly purging Mosques from the afflicted area.

    BTW, I’d have 2 ‘exclusion zones’. One around any Mosque they had attended. One around each site where folks were killed. Eventually you end up covering the whole country in short order, or they stop the attacks. Either one is OK with me. ( 3000 dead at The World Trade Center would be a 30,000 km radius, so the USA would now be Mosque Free…). I’d also have the zoning be permanent. It can never be rescinded or changed. A permanent memorial to the slain.

    A small event causes a 10 km memorial zone. Takes a lot of those to cover a nation. One large Aw Shit and it’s over, though… so a nice proportional edge to it. By making it a radius, you also have a multiplicative area effect. That ‘hysteresis in response’ thing in The Mirror…


    “Reality Just Is. -E.M.Smith”. A core belief.

    The reality is that these folks wish us dead, as evidenced by their behaviours. The reality is that their religion and philosophy want us dead or enslaved, as evidence read the Koran and any of the various mullahs and imams announcements (Hadith et. al.) where they say it openly. One either embraces that truth, or is psychologically deranged and in denial or ignorance.

    I don’t like that reality, but I don’t have to like it to know it.

    I would like the world to be a happy cotton candy world, but it isn’t.

    I would like to embrace all my Muslim Brothers and Sisters in peace, but since they are wearing suicide belts that’s not going to work out so well…

    I would really rather not “shoot them at a distance”, but if they don’t stop at the checkpoint for a pat down, that’s their choice.

    So it goes until such time as they give up their murderous quest for world domination and death to the infidel.

    IFF they antagonize The West (or the East) enough, eventually tolerance wears thin. Eventually “the nice peaceful folks with fine Christian charitable forgiveness values” will demand that the military just make everything from Morocco to Indonesia glow in the dark. Two subs ought to be enough, so any of: {Britain, France, The USA, Russia, China, India, …} and maybe one or two more can “make it so”.

    How many people must change their attitudes? About 51% is needed, I think the present level is about 25%. IF each person killed has a (normal / typical) circle of 100 family, friends, and workmates, then for the USA, you need about 25% of 340,000,000 / 100. I make that about 850,000 killed or injured. Given that this event was about 200 to 300 such, we have a long ways to go. OTOH, a lot of folks are ‘getting it’ by second hand via TV and media, so maybe not that many more needed… It may be non-linear with event size. World Trade Center was 3000 folks, and after that Iran got scrubbed (along with a few other countries… Libya anyone?…) So maybe at the 10,000 level we might get the subs let loose… Personally, I suspect just after the first nuke or dirty bomb is set off, or an 18 Wheeler sized truck bomb in an urban center, the balloon goes up on the subs.

    (Why subs? Hard to say who’s sub launched ’em…)

    BTW, NONE of that ought to be construed as my “desire”. My desire is for a peaceful coexistence with neither side coercing the other and with mutual respect and acceptance. The above is simply the result returned by my internal modeling engine for what I think the world does do, since what I want is not relevant to the world…

    I long long ago gave up wanting to make the world do what I wished. Now I’m happy if I can just predict what (usually bat shit stupid) things it will do. It is my considered projection that this ends in a Regional Nuclear War. Most likely with Pakistan and India going at it, perhaps with a European fuse first. Plausibly in about 3 to 5 years with an Iranian EMP over the USA and we ‘do the deed’ of wiping everything from Iran to Iraq to Pakistan off the map. Potentially right after an Iranian nuke goes off near Israel and they answer back (and it spreads…) The hardest bit is figuring out which of these places goes up first. The end game is fairly clear.

    The “long shot” is that Europe, the USA, Russia, and Israel all just suffer along for another 50 years and nothing significant changes in the balance of power or Global Jihad. The nearly impossible is that Islam has a reformation and everybody makes nice all of a sudden. Oddly, that last one is what The Powers That Be think is the best most likely outcome. Go figure. Maybe lead in their wine glasses for too long?…

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    Be the mirror = variation of tit for tat with occasional be generous.

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting quote from that ‘at war’ link:

    What, then, is to be done? Admitting the extent of this threat is the necessary first step, albeit one that the EU’s political class seems congenitally unable to address. Instead, the public is treated to the now-customary clichés about religion having “nothing to do with terrorism,” combined with ritual admonitions about “Islamophobia.” One wonders how much more of this organized dishonesty the European public can take.

    I simply ask: “Where are all the Jewish terrorists bombing Europe?” and “Where are all the Protestant Terrorists bombing the USA?”

    The simple unavoidable fact is that from central Africa (Boco Haram) to East Africa (Somalia), to Europe, to Asia (Chechins) to the Philippines and Indonesia and on to the USA: It is Muslims who are the terrorists and creating mayhem. Primarily at their interface to non-Muslim neighbors. Often with the stated goal of Islamification of the targets. Sometimes with the stated goal of “revenge” (for what is often unclear… and why legal means of redress are inadequate always absent).

    “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith” and that IS the reality.

    Put all the lipstick on that pig you want, it is still a pig.

    There are only four paths once you realize that reality.

    1) Things suffer on like this as they have for the last 1300 years.

    2) Islam dominates the world.

    3) Islam is erased from the world.

    4) Islam ‘reforms itself’ and abolishes the evil that causes them to act this way.

    TPTB in The West are all sure it will be #4 and to speak otherwise is grounds for ejection from the choir (and / or public ridicule and calls of “racist” even thou Islam is not a race and Muslims come in all races). If that doesn’t work, various other character assassination efforts will be sallied forth.

    IMHO, the #4 path has zero chance of success.

    The Jihadis think #2 is the big winner. While it is far more likely than #4, it is next to last IMHO. Why? Well, that whole “2 nuclear subs and everything from Morocco to Indonesia glows in the dark” issue. Make things bad enough, that balloon goes up, and it is a necessary consequence of ‘world domination’ by Islam that things ‘get bad enough’ for the west at some point before the fall.

    Which brings us to #3. IMHO the more likely outcome. The Jihadis push it hard enough that “things get bad enough”, and then the big broom cleans the floor… Though perhaps with a precursor of “Traditional Forces” (though if it is ‘bad enough’ there likely are not enough ‘traditional forces’…)

    Finally, #1: It’s the “almost as likely” outcome. We are in an oscillator that has Islam “play nice” for a few generations, then a militant fulminative streak hits and they invade Europe (now to include the Americas). This works “for a while” then when it’s finally looking bleak enough, the Europeans go all Berzerker on them and drives them back to the desert. Wash and repeat. Cycle time looks to be a few hundred years. (Call it 4 generations?) Suleiman, Charlemagne, whoever, Vlad The Impaler, King and Queen Whatzit of Spain, Ottoman Empire, British Empire, etc. etc.

    So why do I think it won’t be #1? Simple. Nukes. Too many in the west have them, and soon the Muslim World Nutters are going to have one. THEY will use it. At that point, it’s show time. So most likely Europe is going to be “a mess” of 5th Column Warfare for the next half dozen years, then Iran will do something stupid, the Muslim Mini-States inside Europe will go all Ra-Ra-Party-In-The-Streets and blow up a few more things in celebration and somebody is going to be P.O’s enough that their idea of Berzerker is to give their subs the okey-dokey

    The “plausible deniability” as to who’s sub did it, coupled with damn near everyone being pissed off enough so as to be more likely to congratulate the one who did it than ‘out’ them points strongly toward a “glow now, ask questions later” result. Russia could gain all the land to the Arabian Sea. The EU (France and UK have nukes) could gain all of north Africa and for England down through Somalia. Israel could just do it as a favor to Europe as long as nobody exposed them. Oh, and snack on a bit of Jordan and Syria … and maybe pick up a bit of Egypt and the canal… The USA? Well, if we did it, we’d immediately send over a few $Trillion of “aid” and “reeducation” funds… so best if we don’t ;-) Oh, and don’t forget India. They could get rid of that pesky Pakistan problem and make the rest ‘cover’ for it…. There are HUGE gains available to the one who “does the deed”, and big pain and suffering if they don’t. That’s an awful lot to hang on “morality and self restraint”; especially when you remember it is avaricious politicians we’re talking about…

    So that’s why my vote is for #3 as “most likely”.

    (Again, just a reminder: I’m not saying I want #3. I’m saying that I think it is the most likely reality. Though probably about a half decade to decade away. And there’s always a chance #1 might happen and politicians will not be greedy, self interested, power mad, prodded on by an angry mob of citizens and Really Really Pissed after their capitol is blown up… FWIW, what I want is #4. Yes, I want to dream the impossible dream. I’m just also aware of reality constraints…)

    In the end, it all comes down to one question, really:

    How long will The West be able to believe in fairy tales and self delusion when their home is being blown up?

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks for the link, but as Forbes will not let me in with my ad blocker on, and since I won’t turn it off, I’m Never Going To See A Forbes Article. So while the title / link is intriguing, and I’d love to have theoretical “validation” for what I’ve arrived at by personal experience:

    If you want me to actually see any of the article, post the quotes here in a comment.

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    I hope this formats okay, let’s see how smart word press is?

    Generous Tit for Tat is the name of the biologically most successful strategy for playing the prisoner’s dilemma. A wonderful piece of science that also seems intuitively right, the research that led to this conclusion is described in an episode of Radiolab that aired at the end of last year. A podcast of the full hour program can be downloaded here.

    For those who need it, a short refresher on the prisoner’s dilemma: Two guys are caught just as they are about to rob a bank and separated immediately. They didn’t know each other well before they were picked up by the police, and the cops are trying to sweat them, now that they can’t communicate. The detectives say to each, separately, look, if you give him up, you, as a helpful state’s witness, can go free, and he’ll get 10 years for being the mastermind. If he rats you out, you’ll get the 10 years, and he’ll go free. If you implicate each other, you’ll both be equally guilty and get five years apiece. If neither of you rats the other out, then we’ll nail you both on “loitering,” but you’ll only get six months.

    So, you have four possible outcomes: 10 years, five years, six months, and walk away. But two of those will be foreclosed by whatever choice your former partner makes. If he chooses the “screw” strategy, you’ll either get 10 years or five years. If he chooses the “good faith” strategy, you’ll either walk or get six months. The problem is, if you’re trusting and get screwed, you have the worst outcome, coupled with the worst “differential” (i.e., he gets the best outcome).

    The prisoner’s dilemma plays out every day in choices that we make. The Radiolab segment highlights how President Kennedy had a similar set of choices when dealing with Nikita Khrushchev with respect to the nuclear arms race. Build weapons because they may be doing so? Don’t build weapons and hope they’ll follow? What if we do? What if we don’t? In the end, the two sides chose, narrowly, to cooperate, and humanity squeaked by.

    Divorcing couples sometimes scorch the earth for each other out of spite, even though both are worse off for having made the screw choice.

    A version of the prisoner’s dilemma was run as a simulation at University of Chicago when I was at the business school there in 1976. The test was administered to both undergrads and business school students. And wouldn’t you know, when undergrads were matched against each other, it was mostly Kumbaya, and when the business students played each other, it was generally Armageddon. Natch, when the business students were set upon the undergrads, the young idealists ended up doing the hard time while the cynics skated away.
    Recommended by Forbes

    The unifying theme of the Radiolab piece is altruism, and why anyone is altruistic when the consequences can be so deleterious. The segment goes all over the place, visiting Richard Dawkins, the famous atheistic biologist (or biological atheist, if you prefer), and Charles Darwin, the originator of the theory of natural selection. But the part that interests me is toward the end, where math, simulation, and computer programming come into it.

    In 1960, or thereabouts, Robert Axelrod, now a professor of political science at the University of Michigan, but then a high school student with access to the only computer at Northwestern University, was doing simulations of hypothetical life forms as part of a science project. In 1962, the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he set up a program to run the prisoner’s dilemma, except that instead of running it once, it was set to run many times, testing one strategy against another.

    So, think of negative outcomes as if they were decrements in “health points” in a modern video game. When you lose, you lose health, but you don’t die on the first run. You and your opponent play your strategies over and over again, and over time, one or the other of you prevails.

    Behind this inquiry was the highly relevant question: how can we get out of the arms race? We want to cooperate, but don’t want to get screwed.

    Axelrod invited professors and other luminaries who had written theoretical papers on the prisoner’s dilemma to compete in a computer tournament. They would write a computer program that embodied their strategy, and it would be run against each of the others 200 times. Points were given and taken away, and the winner would receive a plaque.

    Meet the Programs

    Here are a few samples of the algorithms the professors sent.

    Massive Retaliatory Strike — cooperate until the first screw, and then screw for the rest of the game.

    Tester — start by attacking; if retaliation is received, then back off and start cooperating for a while; then, throw in another attack; tester is designed to see how much it can get away with.

    If Tester plays Massive Retaliatory Strike, both do badly.

    Jesus — one line of code: always cooperate.

    Lucifer — one line of code: always screw.

    If Lucifer plays Jesus, evil prevails.

    Although Axelrod thought that the winning program would likely to be tens of thousands of lines of code, that turned out not to be the case. The best strategy was Tit for Tat, with only two.

    Tit for Tat — First line: be nice (never nasty first); 2nd line: do whatever the other guy did on the last move; Tit for tat retaliates only once, letting bygones be bygones.

    Tit for tat can swing both ways. It elicits cooperation if you’ve got any inclination, but doesn’t take any guff. When playing against Jesus, a virtuous cycle of cooperation prevails for all 200 rounds.

    Against Lucifer, Tit for Tat plays pretty good defense.

    And it wins, in evolutionary terms. In the evolutionary version of the tournament, Axelrod allowed winning programs to reproduce copies of themselves according to how well they did. The simulation was run for many generations.

    And the incredible thing is that (insert Don LaFontaine voice here) in a world where Lucifers dominate, a few Tit for Tat players can take back the night if there are enough of them to run into each other from time to time.

    The one remaining problem with Tit for Tat is that a match that sets Tit for Tat against Lucifer — or even an Aggressive Tit for Tat with a first line that initiates an attack — will result in horrible carnage. The massive retaliation echoes and echoes until nothing is left but dust.

    So, one little tweak to Tit for Tat optimizes the program. This is where we get Generous Tit for Tat. The second line of code (the one that says, do whatever the other guy did last time) gets modified to not always retaliate, but nearly always retaliate. Mathematically, that translates to not retaliating one in 10 times after sustaining an attack. This mod stops the echoes.

    “For every nine parts Moses, you need one part Jesus,” as the Radiolab hosts put it. “This is a strategy that just seems to be woven into the fabric of the cosmos. It works for computers. It works for people. It probably works for amoebas. It just works.”

    © 2011 Endpoint Technologies Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Twitter: RogerKay

  22. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now if we could get every presidential candidate, secretary of defense, secretary of state and every senior flag officer to understand this, a lot of the world’s problems would go away.

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    My “Be The Mirror, but reflect a bit less on negatives”. They are a binary decision version of it, while I’m an “analog proportional” approach (since people are not binary…).

    So someone gets in my grill, at first, I’ll politely by firmly ask them to get the hell out of my grill. They “push it”, I ramp up… Proportional with an exponent… but starting at generous.

    “Pardon, but did you realize you were eating my lunch? No, oh, OK, I’ll order another. Yes? Oh, OK, I’ll take yours then. Yes and keep my mitts off your plate? Are these your balls I’ve got a knife too?… ”

    Same idea, but with a slider…

    In my version: “For 8 parts Moses you need one part Jesus and one part Lucifer. IFF that doesn’t work, convert one Moses to another Lucifer. Repeat.”

  24. tom0mason says:

    Maybe it will occur to the EU bureaucrats that the Schengen visa requirements make it all to easy for the terrorists to travel through the EU once they have entered.
    Once in they are free to travel throughout Europe. Once in they can preach their doctrine of misery, communicate with or set-up other terrorist cells, move money around, etc., etc. And yes a visitor can only legally stay for 3 months — but after they have crossed a few borders who is checking this requirement? How can they check?
    Europe wishes to pretend to be a united states of Europe but these states have have many ports of entry which have many local and legal variations in many languages at entry (proposed unification is a little behind schedule see ) Also of note is the Kingdom of Belgium has three ‘official’ languages: Dutch, French, and German. Also it has a number of non-official, minority languages and dialects just to add to the difficulties of governing this Kingdom (Brabantian, Limburgish, Walloon, Picard, Champenois, Lorrain, Low Dietsch). As with the EU generally, this state of affairs has made for some fragmented and fractious law enforcement systems.

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    I tend pretty much toward the same way, and was surprised that my preferred strategy actually had proven merit.

    You do have to season it a bit depending on the personality involved, some folks are inciters who like to constantly test and push the limit, those get a more aggressive response and a faster escalation exponent than the folks who might be just careless or having a bad day.

    My older brother was a perpetual tester and would take a mile if you gave him an inch too often. It took me years to figure out being nice was not always productive with his personality type.

    Some folks, the sociopaths (about 3%) of the population, are just plain mean and have absolutely no conscience. Those only respond to teeth and claw, but will usually call a truce if those are used in a proportional fashion. The bad news is they don’t forget and will try to get even months or years later, when the other party is most vulnerable. You have to put them in the never trust category and never expose your belly or throat to them. A select few only respond properly to the bezerker response.

  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    One other item that they really need to deal with is the no-go zones. They need to start to take back those zones. That will take a mixture of bezerker tit for tat and face to face street patrols where they gradually conduct “freedom of passage” patrols and re-assert the governments right and duty to enter all community areas. Something like the street patrols US troops did in Iraq which eventually built up enough familiarity and trust to allow the awakening to happen. We pissed it all away later but cops have done the same thing in big cites for decades, but it takes will and persistence and a few street wise cops who know how to build a rapport with other power players.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    Beat up the thugs, in public and with an audience. Be polite to those who call you names but otherwise do nothing (if they hit you, break their chops). Help the weak but keep it quiet and always assure no one can intimidate or exact retribution on them (i.e. always a friend in private and always a protector).

    Full on Berzerker with the evil, ‘generous tit for tat’ with the middle ground, Generous with the downtrodden.

    Pretty soon the “weak” are all on your side and “dropping a dime” on all the Evil ones. The Evil ones have either been eradicated or have clue it’s a Very Bad Idea to piss on the cop… and the Middle Ground have felt both teeth and understanding, in balance, and lean toward “He’s OK”.

    I think that’s basic Street Cop Smarts…

  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    Name the opponent is the first step, recognize that they are at war with you even if you think you are not at war with them.

  29. David A says:

    Good discussion, interesting, and reminds me of a story from India about ahimsa, or nonviolence.

    “The instructive mosquitoes served for another early lesson at the ashram. It was the gentle hour of dusk. My guru was matchlessly interpreting the ancient texts. At his feet, I was in perfect peace. A rude mosquito entered the idyl and competed for my attention. As it dug a poisonous hypodermic needle into my thigh, I automatically raised an avenging hand. Reprieve from impending execution! An opportune memory came to me of one of Patanjali’s yoga aphorisms—that on ahimsa (harmlessness).

    “Why didn’t you finish the job?”

    “Master! Do you advocate taking life?”

    “No; but the deathblow already had been struck in your mind.”

    “I don’t understand.”

    “Patanjali’s meaning was the removal of desire to kill.” Sri Yukteswar had found my mental processes an open book. “This world is inconveniently arranged for a literal practice of ahimsa. Man may be compelled to exterminate harmful creatures. He is not under similar compulsion to feel anger or animosity. All forms of life have equal right to the air of maya. The saint who uncovers the secret of creation will be in harmony with its countless bewildering expressions. All men may approach that understanding who curb the inner passion for destruction.”

    “Guruji, should one offer himself a sacrifice rather than kill a wild beast?”

    “No; man’s body is precious. It has the highest evolutionary value because of unique brain and spinal centers. These enable the advanced devotee to fully grasp and express the loftiest aspects of divinity. No lower form is so equipped. It is true that one incurs the debt of a minor sin if he is forced to kill an animal or any living thing. But the Vedas teach that wanton loss of a human body is a serious transgression against the karmic law.”

    I sighed in relief; scriptural reinforcement of one’s natural instincts is not always forthcoming.”
    Islam has “dug a poisonous hypodermic needle” into many. At times “Man may be compelled to exterminate harmful creatures. He is not under similar compulsion to feel anger or animosity”

    The religious philosophy of what constitutes righteous war is actually quite profound and similar in Christianity and Hinduism.

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