Here’s a brite: Man in Japan makes prosthetic fingers for retired members of the Yakuza

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He is able to make silicone pinkies that can seamlessly make the fingers look like a natural part of the hand, masking the amputation.

via Prosthetic fingers help ex-yakuza members get on with their lives – The Japan Daily Press.

 

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“…this is what comes of empire building.”

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Instead, after a decade, a trillion pounds,and more lives than anyone would want to count, we have helped tocreate a place, which sometimes looks like a corrupt and fragiledemocracy, and sometimes like a Shia rogue state – somewhere on ascale between Iran and Pakistan.

via Looking back on Iraq | Rory Stewart MP.

 

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Whatever the benefits of the war, skeptics argue, they are too meager to justify the costs: more than 150,000 Iraqis and 4,488 American service members killed, and an estimated cost of nearly $1 trillion not including long-term health and disability costs for some 32,000 wounded US soldiers.CommentsPerhaps this balance sheet will look different a decade from now, but at this point most Americans have concluded that the skeptics are right, and that thinking has influenced current US foreign policy.

via The Iraq War Ten Years Later by Joseph S. Nye – Project Syndicate.

Last Week’s News: Rage and the Marines

In the spirit of Internet immediacy, here is a review of what I was reading online last week.

  • Gail Collins of The Times brought up the “very specific cry of rage about the way intelligent, well-educated women were kept out of the mainstream of American professional life” via ‘The Feminine Mystique’ at 50 – NYTimes.com.
  • This rage will now occasionally be vented against foreign powers after the Pentagon lifted its not-really ban on women in combat. “The groundbreaking decision overturns a 1994 Pentagon rule that restricts women from artillery, armor, infantry and other such combat roles, even though in reality women have found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan…” via Pentagon Lifting Ban on Women in Combat – NYTimes.com.
  • College football programs are puzzling over why fan interest in the sport is seeming to wane. “What can’t you do in the rain? Text. So they stay inside.” via In era of technological, financial change, has college football peaked? – NCAA Football – CBSSports.com News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and BCS Rankings. It says here they should start with, College football kinda sucks.
  • Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A.’s president, seemed to agree when he called the conduct of the groups investigators “shocking…” via N.C.A.A. Admits Misconduct in Miami Investigation – NYTimes.com.
  • Here is something to think about as you prepare your tax documents. “IER estimated the worth of the government’s oil and gas technically recoverable resources to the economy to be $128 trillion, about 8 times our national debt.” via Institute for Energy Research | Federal Assets Above and Below Ground. It says here, Burn that stuff up now while we can.
  • Speaking of women: “Her old suite was searched and inside an old shoebox they found $247,200 in cash, mostly in $1,000 and $5,000 bills. They thought that was all of it until the following day, when a nurse tunneled a hand up Ida’s dress while she slept and retrieved an oilcloth pocket holding $500,000 in $10,000 bills.” via Everything Was Fake but Her Wealth | Past Imperfect.
  • I honestly did not know haggis was illegal in the United States. Sorry, but I didn’t. And I don’t feel dumb about it either. Many Americans think haggis is an animal, and they’re half right. Of course, I mean to say that real, Scottish-style haggis is illegal; there apparently are all sorts of half-assed (sorry) versions being sloshed out of kitchens whenever your back is turned. But, as they say: “Without the sheep’s lung it’s not authentic.” via BBC News – The offal truth about American haggis.
  • Am I the only one who is starting to think the United States is a super unsafe place to live? Like, “failed state” unsafe. Like, we should just chuck the laws and stuff and start over. I mean, holy crap. What else am I supposed to think when the vice president is giving advice like this: “Guess what? A shotgun will keep you a lot safer…” via Biden Addresses Preppers In Gun Debate | TPMDC.

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Wars That Never End

More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.

via A Veteran’s Death, the Nation’s Shame – NYTimes.com.

The Good News Is the Same as the Bad News

Lesson #1:  The United States lost. The first and most important lesson of Iraq war is that we didnt win in any meaningful sense of that term.

via Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War – By Stephen M. Walt | Foreign Policy.