Patriotism, Or Racism and/or Xenophobia?

I do find it mystifying that love of your country is a GOOD thing, unless the Lover is not a PoC (Person of Color).

The thing is, EVERYONE is biased towards the values and culture of the country in which they grew up. We recall the sights and smells and sounds of our life in that country (in a Proustean way), and have a rush of emotion that supersedes any intellectual overlay. That love taps into the primitive parts of our brain, and is not easily dislodged.

When I remember the America of my childhood, it was rich in ethnic languages, non-WASPy faces, and smells of the cuisine of foreign lands.

For, I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, a time in which the refugees of the world eagerly rushed in. With them, they brought their cultural heritage, their food and clothing, and their stories of their beloved country of exile.

In time, their children became wholly American. Many of them spoke only a few dimly remembered words of the old language. They were eager to wear the clothing of America, dance and sing to its songs, and become enmeshed in its popular culture. By the time they became parents, little remained of the heritage of their ancestors.

And, such has been a common experience in our country. Many of the newly arrived settled in, initially in nationality-tight enclaves. As time went on, they moved out into the suburbs, where their children grew up surrounded by people who spoke and read English, who followed the American cultural norms, and who expected to be able to benefit from the American Dream in their own lives.

The kids became truly Americans. And, in the process, broke the connections with the ancestral heritage of their families.

Such a process was known as Assimilation. And, at that time, it was considered a Good Thing.

Those kids, having dipped into the American Dream, felt free to date and marry other Americans, regardless of their ethnicity. That included people who had grown up with different religions. And, those who didn’t share a skin color.

The thing such couples had in common was a common love for this country and its traditions.

New Topic:

Apparently, there is some credible talk about China having built containerized missiles, that they plan to ship in on regular shipping vessels (it is likely a violation of international law).

The scheme is really interesting; it’s quite flexible, as it can be transported via ship, truck, or rail. It also has the advantage of hiding in plain sight.

Now, is it a LIKELY scenario?

China may try it. They may even manage to get some of the container missiles inside the USA. Perhaps in high-value target locations.

But, without regular maintenance, such missiles are unlikely to be useful beyond a relatively short period.

They need to be checked and serviced. The software needs to be checked regularly. The hardware is vulnerable to local weather conditions. Ethnic Chinese going in and out of storage locations will be a red flag to observers.

But, the idea has some merit, I will acknowledge.

For us.

I’d suggest the military throw some good engineers at the problem of fabricating those delivery systems – hell, we have battalions of them available in the military – and put them to working out some designs that use off the shelf components, can be fitted into standard containers readily available, will be insulated and weather-proofed, and can be serviced – both remotely, more often, and in-person, less regularly. And, have mechanical backup, should the EMP disaster happen.

Store them outside of major cities/transportation hubs on the West Coast and near overseas air bases controlled by friendlies (Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, et al). NOT in the boonies. The point of such missiles is to get them near the targets.


    • Toastrider on December 8, 2021 at 1:37 PM

    Be very watchful of who’s talking up Chinese capabilities. There’s even odds it’s a mouthpiece of one of the major defense contractors, angling for a fresh round of bids.
    Which is not to say that the Chinese aren’t a threat, but one needs to keep in perspective they had to commit wholesale technology theft just to try and reach some parity. And they have some severe vulnerabilities; if, say, the Three Gorges Dam gives out they are hosed for a good long time.

    • Linda Fox on December 9, 2021 at 10:43 AM

    Which is why I favor off-the-shelf engineering. What is commonly called back-of-the-envelope, Redneck Engineering.
    The goal in such projects is to get a no-frills, workable prototype out there, ASAP. NOT one mired down in individually crafting each component, lengthily testing the product, and gouging for dollars at every point.
    Just a simple description of what the product needs to do. And, if a prototype doesn’t measure up, back to the drawing board, at THEIR expense. No leisurely process. No big payoff at the end. Just the ability to turn out those barebones missile launchers (for off-the-shelf missiles) at a SMALL markup over cost.
    And, no input from the elected ones, who will jockey to put the company’s production plants in THEIR constituents’ backyards.

    • NITZAKHON on December 11, 2021 at 8:33 AM

    IIRC the Russians, too, have worked on similar.
    For way too long people have thought that world trade would be the solution.  Not so.  Nations don’t have friends, nations have interests, and ideology takes precedence over the bottom line for most.  E.g., I used to work for a company whose products were made in China (prompting my trip to China a few years ago).  Everyone was friendly, helpful, hard-working… and I had no doubt that if it came down to a choice between the company’s interests and their nation’s interests, they’d choose the latter.

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