Destroying Donald Trump

I’m no fan of Donald Trump.

Just putting that up there nice and clear before the hate mail starts coming in. “Don’t @ me”. Save your pixels; save your bandwidth.

I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton either, mind. I think she’s a dreadful woman and a terrible excuse for a politician; one who has just got very lucky in who she’s been put up against in this ridiculously binary race for (one of) the most powerful positions on the planet. Hobson’s choice. Take Trump out of the equation and compare HRC with anyone else out there, and you’ll see what I mean.

Except it seems that you can’t take Donald Trump out of the equation. He’s undestroyable. So many have tried – look:

Some yellow cartoon people:
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Evening TV show host “Jon” Oliver:
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Evening TV show host Stephen Colbert:
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Er… Evening TV show host Bill Maher:
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Evening TV show host Seth Myers:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092350-am-bmp

Actual Evening TV show Last Week Tonight:
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A rapper:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092450-am-bmp

An old actor:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092618-am-bmp

A Scottish author of kids books:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092638-am-bmp

Drone-bomber in chief and current President of the USA, AND “a Nicaraguan-born American Republican strategist and political commentator for various news outlets” – bilingually nogal!:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092658-am-bmp

An American actress, author, poet, and film director:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092812-am-bmp

Hillary’s husband, briefly:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-092829-am-bmp

Barack’s wife, emotionally:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-100311-am-bmpAn entire social media platform:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-100349-am-bmpAnother rapper:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-100415-am-bmpAnother evening TV show host (after analyzing and explaining):fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-100433-am-bmpAuthor, philosopher, and neuroscientist Sam Harris:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-100451-am-bmpAnd a previous reality show “star”:fullscreen-capture-2016-10-17-100509-am-bmp

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. This outpouring of enthusiastic (yet apparently utterly futile) attempted destruction by showbiz stars and other public figures is interesting and – depending on your political and/or moral standpoint, I guess – very worthy, but perhaps tells us more about the hyperbole of modern media than anything else.

Because even though Donald Trump has been “destroyed” countless times (and not least by his own big mouth and seemingly unending stream of stupid comments), he’s still just three or four points behind Clinton at this point.

Let’s face it – look at his completely unprepared, slipshod campaign, lurching from one disaster to the next and you’ll see that there’s no-one more surprised than Donald Trump that he’s actually got this far.

And, as we’ve mentioned above, given that Clinton is an utterly horrendous proposition and the American public are a bit daft, you’d be wise not to write off Donald just yet. Because if he’s still going after this guy had a go:

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…then you know that he’s still got every chance of winning next month’s election.

[Deity] help us all.

¡Qué sorpresa!

“What a surprise!”

Recently, I had a discussion about the competitiveness of the English Premier League in comparison to Spain’s La Liga.

I don’t deny that in European competition, Spain has definitely had the edge of late. English teams have been disappointing. But I feel no weird nationalistic shame because of this, much as I take no weird nationalistic pride when Man U or Liverpool (and did Chelsea get one too recently?) win anything in Europe. I’m not a fan of European football. I only watch it for the Heineken adverts, to be honest.
No, that’s not what I was talking about, not the inter-competitiveness of the two leagues; I was referring to the intra-competitiveness. The weekly bread and butter stuff that gets those teams into Europe in the first place.

And for that, there’s – if you’ll excuse the expression – no contest. Because each and every week in Spain looks like this:

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Barca, Real and Atletico winning by four, five and six clear goals respectively. “¡Qué sorpresa!”.
Unless of course you like that kind of thing. If 3 matches each week with lots of goals but wholly predictable results are your thing, then great: La Liga is your church. But some of us want more than just wondering who’s going to finish fourth each year.

Yes, the EPL had its “Big 4”, but it’s now actually a “Quite Large 6” and it could even be extended to an “Above Average Size 7 or 8”. None of those 7 or 8 clubs is guaranteed to beat any other on any given day. Especially not by 37 goals or anything. That’s what makes it so exciting. 

Compare that with Spain where there’s a massive gulf between the Big 3 clubs and everyone else: the last time anyone other than those three finished in the top trio was 5 years ago, when Valencia scraped into 3rd. It’s a three-way dominance which makes La Liga so very boring.
Look, I mean, I’ll watch it if I’m desperate. It’s still football, but jeez: I do actually have to be literally desperate. A live La Liga match will even lose out to Total Wipeout, and that’s shit. 

If you enjoy La Liga – aside from those six competitive matches they have each season – do you also take great joy in watching Germany playing Gibraltar and stuff like that? Pleasure in seeing Southend Girl Guides Second XI away at Bayern Munich? Rapture at anyone versus Sunderland – utter non-contests?
Why?

People are strange, hey?

Logos

Bit pressed for time, but need to write a blog post? Ludovico Einaudi has released a new video to promote his new Limited Edition Box Set.

It’s rather good (the video, but I’m sure the box set is worth a buy as well):

I love the clearly evident passion this guy has for his work, his music. I also like the fact that there’s a guy playing a violin like it’s a guitar just after 2 minutes in.
That’s actually the best way to play a violin – less invasive than with all that bowing.

Enter title here

With all the crap going on in the world – not least the huge issues that SA is facing right now – you might think you’ve had enough.

And then, news that just knocks you sideways, and succinctly puts those other things into perspective.

Now. Now I’ve had enough.

Inflatable Jets and Maskirovka

A great piece in the New York Times describes the ongoing Russian psychological warfare practice of Maskirovka (literally “Disguise”), and how it has been used for hundreds of years, merely being updated to provide a bespoke approach to each individual conflict in which they have been involved.

As Andrew E Kramer tells us, this strategy is merely an larger-scale, upgrade of the traditional camouflage:

The idea behind maskirovka is to keep the enemy guessing, never admitting your true intentions, always denying your activities and using all means political and military to maintain an edge of surprise for your soldiers. The doctrine, military analysts say, is in this sense “multilevel.” It draws no distinction between disguising a soldier as a bush or a tree with green and patterned clothing, a lie of a sort, and high-level political disinformation and cunning evasions.

That’s gone from taking Prague Airport in 1968 via soldiers arriving on a scheduled Aeroflot flight from Moscow, through to alleged humanitarian convoys heading into Crimea and Syria more recently.

And now: inflatable jet planes:

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Yep – that’s not a real MiG-31. It’s simply a MiG-31-shaped bouncy castle. But from space or from reconnaissance aircraft, it looks pretty much exactly the same as the real thing. In fact, here in the middle of this Russian field, it looks pretty convincing too. The idea being, of course, that enemy intelligence is fooled either by the positions or number of aircraft on the ground, prompting strategy based on incorrect information, prompting almost certain defeat (or something).

“If you study the major battles of history, you see that trickery wins every time,” Aleksei A. Komarov, the military engineer in charge of this sleight of hand, said with a sly smile. “Nobody ever wins honestly.”

And, ahead of the upcoming World War recently hinted at by crazy conspiracy sites and taken in, taken up and regurgitated by churnalists at even crazier tabloid newspapers, the Russian fake inflatable military equipment market is booming:

The company would not disclose how many inflatable tanks it made, because the numbers are classified, but Ms. Oparina said output had shot up over the past year. The contract forms one small part of Russia’s 10-year, $660 billion rearmament program that began in 2010. The factory now employs 80 people full time, most on the military side sewing inflatable weapons.

It’s a reminder that while we have the technology to spy on each other from hundreds of kilometres up, to guide bombs and missiles to targets with near pinpoint precision, there’s still a place in modern warfare for simple, basic tactics.

And they still work.

UPDATE: There’s actually a page on the Rusbal website where you can order these things.
“Price: negotiable”

So. Tempted…