hankrules2011

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Archive for December, 2018

Cool – My Newest LinkedIn Connection

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 31, 2018

As I’ve written about a few times this year, I’ve spent the year building my LinkedIn network in both quantity and quality, but focusing on quality in particular. At this point, I now have 15,500 connections, about 50% of whom are senior executives. I have the top executives at most major corporations in virtually every commercial industry that exists, as well as numerous high-level executives throughout the US military & federal government, including virtually every major agency, Congress, and the White House, as well as hundreds of international companies, dozens of international militaries and governments, as well as NATO, the UN, etc. And I have some pretty famous and some pretty influential connections. I don’t say all this to brag — it’s merely factual, and I’m setting up what I’m about to write.

I received several new connections today, one of whom is uber famous, a household name (in the US), and one of the most influential and powerful connections I now have: (Ret.) General David Petraeus, who also served as Director of the CIA! Cool, right??? I have probably over 100 connections who are generals, admirals, etc, even members of the Joint Chairs, and a few Assistant Secretary of Defense connections. But even though they’re important people, they’re not necessarily household names like General Patraeus. So I just wanted to share my enthusiasm, and I’m posting a screenshot to prove it.

LI-Patraeus-Connection-12-31-18

 

See? Wasn’t making it up. And you might notice we share over 500 mutual connections. Also cool.

In addition, I just received my much-anticipated copies of China’s National Defense University’s “The Science of Campaigns – Volume 2,” The Academy of Military Sciences of the People’s Liberation Army of China’s classic, “The Science of Military Strategy,” and the one I’m most excited about, PLA Col. Qiao Liang & PLA Col. Wang Xiangsui’s formally “secret” classic, “Unrestricted Warfare (China’s Master Plan To Destroy America),” and I’m very excited! I can’t wait to dive into these. Straight from the CCP’s mouths (no matter what the official story)…. Frankly, I don’t anticipate learning a great deal of new information, so much as just adding additional confirmation to certain things.

Finally, have a great New Year’s Eve and a great New Year’s!!!

 

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My Year In Books: 2018

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 29, 2018

Every year, I participate in the Goodreads annual Reading Challenge. At the beginning of each year, you set a goal for how many books you’ll read that year. Goodreads keeps track of your running total and then lets you know how you’ve done and what percentage of your goal you met. You can also see other participants in the Reading Challenge. Every year until now, they’ve provided an end of year webpage, showing your stats, how you did, etc. For some reason, this year they did not. I am very irritated by this, so I’m doing the next best thing. I’ve taken a few screenshots of 1) what they show as your “Year in Books,” a similar webpage showing how many books, pages, etc, you read that year, the average length of the book, etc., 2) my 2018 Reading Challenge results, and 3) my Reading Challenge results for the last five years. I’m going to post these screenshots for you to see. If you want to see the actual books I read this year, you can go to my Goodreads profile and see the section on the left middle part of the page. You can find my Goodreads page here.

And now, a few screenshots of my year in books and my reading challenge(s)!

 

Goodreads-2018-Reading-Challenge-Results

Goodreads-Alltime-Results-Reading-Challenge

 

My-Year-In-Books-Goodreads-2018

 

That’s it! If you participated in the Reading Challenge, let me know how you did. Also, what is your 2019 goal? Cheers, everyone!

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Book Review: The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy: How America’s Civil Religion Betrayed the National Interest

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 17, 2018

The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy: How America's Civil Religion Betrayed the National InterestThe Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy: How America’s Civil Religion Betrayed the National Interest by Walter A. McDougall

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn’t like this book. And my criticisms are probably unfair, because the author most likely accomplished what he set out to do. I think I merely misinterpreted or misunderstand the primary thrust of where the thesis was going. I had been hoping for a general history of America’s “civil religion” over the years through the present, but especially focusing on the Reagan years through the present, and I guess I expected some analysis which would frankly be somewhat critical of the present situation.

Now before you jump on me to tell me that that is exactly what happened in this book, let me admit that I gave up and stopped reading before I got too far in. So if the author did what I expected, it’s my own fault for giving up. However, I literally have hundreds of books here waiting to be read, and I’m in the middle of reading over 100 at the present, so I really don’t have the time or patience for authors who micromanage their topics to death, particularly when a layman’s book is being somewhat treated as an academic book. Because this was detailed freaking history starting in the 1600s, going excruciatingly slow, unbelievably boring, and to be honest, while it’s fine for historical authors to be objective and not have an agenda, on the whole, the very title of this book implied a definite agenda, one with which I’d probably agree. Yet, for the life of me, I couldn’t tell what the author felt, believed, perceived, was advocating — nothing!!! — as he proceeded to regale the reader with amazingly boring trivial shit! And trust me, I don’t claim to be the smartest person around, but I’m not entirely dumb either. For instance, I’m presently reading books in fields such as public policy, nuclear engineering, religion (especially the primary theistic ones), atheism, philosophy, history, business, blockchain technology, network engineering, espionage, biographies, science, fiction, poetry, cryptography, culture, international relations, think tanks, hardware, software development, health, machine learning, AI, electronic warfare, limited nuclear warfare, radar signal processing, management consulting, quantum mechanics & quantum computing, among other topics. Trust me — I can handle details, I can handle boredom, I can handle a lot of “difficult” material. Sometimes I want to quit reading a couple of these other book — one nuclear engineering book is killing me, and one book on microwave RF design is boring — but I rarely have any questions as to the thesis of the books, the authors’ stances or where they stand on issues, what their agendas are, etc. And while I obviously know sometimes you have to work hard to reach certain points, this damn book simply seemed pointless to me. Mere American religious and political history. Ho hum. Pretty much know those fields already. By heart. I thought this would be a little more cutting edge, and again, perhaps it is, but dammit, give me a reason to reach the point in your book where you venture into uncharted territory! Otherwise, I’ve got better, more educational, more stimulating, more challenging books to read — piles of them. So for those of you who read this book in its entirety and came away impressed, please enlighten me as to why I am mistaken in my response to the book. In any event, I can’t possibly recommend this book. I’m sure there are alternatives that do a much better job. I’m extremely disappointed. Two stars.

View all my reviews

 

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Certain Comments For China-Watchers

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 13, 2018

I published a new article on LinkedIn today and some of you may find it interesting, particularly those interested in foreign relations, and most especially China.

What has gotten the Chinese government so anxious, so upset about Michael Pillsbury’s controversial book, The Hundred-Year Marathon,​ published several years ago, that they would publish an op-ed last week attacking it and defending themselves?

I’m going to print the URL for the article here, and make it a hyperlink. Obviously, I would be grateful if anyone read it, and ideally, liked it and/or commented on it. Thanks so much!

Certain Comments For China-Watchers

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/certain-comments-china-watchers-scott-holstad/?published=t

 

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Important! Quantum Computing

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 9, 2018

This is a brief post about a very important subject. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really know just how important it is, let alone know anything about it at all.

Listen please! This is a very important & urgent topic. I strongly support US government-funded research in quantum science & quantum computing. And perhaps most importantly, encryption capable of reliably standing up to the power of those using such computers against others, etc. Quantum computing is technically here. And it’s unreal! Current encryption standards are about to become obsolete & useless to those who possess this technology. As this article states, “Quantum computers pose a significant risk to encrypted devices & communications. Due to many current encryption methods being based on a complex series of math equations, encryption becomes more vulnerable to quantum computers which can process up to 100 million times faster than a traditional computer. As such, even quantum computer prototypes have the ability to invalidate many forms of cybersecurity.” And while the technology is already here, & as it’s likely to be broadly available in the next 5-10 years, the truly worrisome thing is that most experts feel that sufficient security technology to protect against such systems is 20 years away. By then, it won’t even matter anymore. Please educate yourselves on this crucial topic & support serious research. It’s truly critical.

A brief, reader friendly article that addresses this can be found here:  https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/419810-the-united-states-needs-better-quantum-science-as-a-national-policy.

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Tom Wilson Is A Hypocritical Pansy!

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 7, 2018

Here’s an article showing Ryan Reeves being discriminated against because the hypocritical cheap shot artist Washington Capitals and their fans complained about a photo of him standing on the ice looking down at poor Tom Wilson, laid out on the ice after a perfectly legal, but hard hit. Poor baby got a concussion and people feel sorry for that asshole! All he did was break Zack Aston Reece’s jaw in the playoffs against Pittsburgh last year, which was obviously intentional and premeditated and was shown to be a cheap shot, and that was only the 3rd or 4th time that year that he had been found guilty of trying — and succeeding — in injuring other players. This year, he’s been suspended too for injuring a player, I believe, even though he missed the first 14 games of the season for repeated illegal and injurious hits. And the damn Caps have the GALL to complain about this photo??? Here is a link to the story with the photo in it:

http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/25474313/ryan-reaves-autographed-photos-hit-tom-wilson-destroyed

Not only is Tom Wilson a cheap shot artist who intentionally tries to injure many other players, but the Caps endorse it with their culture. A couple of years ago, one of their defensemen, a former Penguin named Brooks Orpik, laid out another Pen in the playoffs — Oli Maata — with an obvious premeditated cheap shot to the head, resulting in a serious injury to Maata. Orpik was suspended for three games, but neither he nor his team apologized or made any entreaties to the effect that they were sorry about it. In fact, I recall their former coach, Barry T, routinely made excuses “justifying” the cheap shots and resulting injuries his players committed, not only endorsing them, but one must conclude, coaching them to do that. The fact that they actually got past the second round in the playoffs last year and became one of the last teams (in existence some failed 42 years) in the NHL to win its first Stanley Cup is an indication of what a consistent failure the coaches, players, and organization has been throughout the team’s history, and unfortunately shows that playing dirty can win. I recall Philly’s Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s…

Pittsburgh used to have a player like Tom Wilson a decade ago: Matt Cooke. Just like Wilson, Cooke was so notorious for cheap shots, big penalty minutes, injuring other players, that he was finally given an ultimatum by the league to clean up his game forever, or with one more suspension, he would be permanently banned from the NHL. And it worked! He became a damn angel for the rest of his career. Why the hell this hasn’t happened to Tom Wilson is beyond me, is not remotely fair, and indicates Washington ownership is either paying off, colluding, or providing taboo sexual favors to the leaders in the league office. Tom Wilson has been suspended for some 4-5 times in a little over a year, and has proven he hasn’t learned his lessons, doesn’t care about injuring people, doesn’t care about suspensions, has no intension of modifying his play, and needs to be given the same ultimatum Cooke was. The fact that the NHL has essentially outlawed serious fighting and enforcers with their new draconian laws circa 2005 to make the game more family friendly and marketable to pathetic Americans, yet puts up with this bullshit, proves the league is just as hypocritical as the Caps. Reaves is old school. He’s a former Penguin. He’s seen Wilson go after his teammates and he and Wilson have gone after each other before. I’ve been hoping that something like this would happen to Wilson this year, not only once, but for each time he’s done it to someone else, and more. It may be the only way to get it through his damn stupidass brain that maybe it’s time to make a change. I’m proud of Reaves and I bet at least 75% of the NHL players are elated and support him. And I’m hoping more tough guys around the league take out Wilson again throughout the year, because obviously his team endorses his criminal behavior, and the league won’t force him to stop, so it’s time for other players to “enforce” the law, just as in the old days, and make him pay for his cheap shot play. Frankly, the Pens owe Wilson a broken jaw, what he did to us in the playoffs last year, and I’m disappointed that our management apparently doesn’t believe in fighting or tough guys, having gotten rid of Reaves, Ian Cole, and some of our other bigger/tough guys, so it’s highly unlikely we’ll get payback against him, but I’m praying to the universe that somehow, some way one of the Pens will lay Wilson out just like Reaves did. He deserves that and more. And I love the fact that he can dish it out but can’t take it. Total pansy ass bitch! He sucks and the Caps suck! One of the biggest all time sports team chokes of all time. They were one of I think four NHL teams to have never won a Stanley Cup last year, and had been in existence infinitely longer than the other few. It took them some 42 years or so to actually win their first championship! Until last year, they were 1-9 all-time against the Pens in the playoffs, the same Pens who have won more Stanley Cups than any other post-Original 6 expansion team, the most successful, and winner of three Stanley Cups in eight years. They are the ultimate winning organization, unlike Washington. Go Pens! Yay Reaves!!!

 

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