A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

January 24, 2018 | 4 Comments » | Topics: Answers


Why don’t other countries have military bases on U.S. soil, whereas we have many U.S. bases on foreign soil?

Because a foreign country having a base in the US wouldn’t serve any purpose. The US military is sufficiently powerful that it doesn’t need other countries to have bases there to provide security and deterrence in the same way US military bases provide these things to other countries (or the US itself).

I’m British, but I think it’s funny how people see the US military very unrealistically, especially here in Britain. We don’t care to admit how much we depend on the Yanks. There are dozens of countries whose security is directly or indirectly dependent on the US military. In fact, there are countries that exist today that wouldn’t exist were it not for the US military. Kuwait, South Korea etc..

Even relatively powerful countries often need the US to pick up the slack and provide capabilities that they don’t have. I remember reading that the entire European Union combined only has 1/10th of the military capabilities the US has. It’s funny how we criticise Americans for their militarism when it’s the US military’s power that allows us to be less militaristic. The US has had morally ambiguous military actions, but the fact remains that without the US the western world would much less secure. The US protects all of our interests and acts as the guarantee of western policies. When Britain talked tough against Serbia in the Balkans conflicts, it was actually the US that did all the work. If the US didn’t have bases in Europe, the genocide in Kosovo would either have been completed successfully or would still be happening now. Europe, despite its supposed strengths, couldn’t have hoped to stop the genocide without American support. The US basically did 99% of the work while European countries only provided a token gesture of participation even though the genocide was occurring in our own backyard.

– CorrodedToTheBone 




Basketball – not rules, but the positions, strategies, what to look for when watching?

Here are the 5 positions and descriptions in the NBA. Point Guard: Team’s best ball handler, passer, decision maker. This player must be able to effectively dribble up the court and initiate an offense when under extreme defensive ball pressure. As such, PG’s are usually the shortest players (there are plenty of exceptions, 6’9 Magic Johnson). They are quick and they must be able to see the entire floor while dribbling. They must be quick and agile and equally skilled at dribbling with either hand. Some PGs like Steve Nash (lakers) are pass-first point guards. They can get the ball to their teammates in optimal scoring positions without committing turnovers. Other PGs are score-first point guards, like Russel Westbrook (thunder). They use extreme agility and athleticism to penetrate opposing defenses and either finish at the rim or dish off to a teammate once the defense collapses on them.

Shooting Guard: Athletic, great at perimeter shooting or slashing. Think Kobe Bryant (lakers). 6’7, can dunk, can slash, can hit 3’s, explosive scorer.

Small Forward: Like a shooting guard, but slightly taller, slower, and stronger. Think Rudy Gay (raptors). I would say Lebron or Durant here, but they are physical freaks of nature. But let’s look at Durant. 6’10, can hit 3s like crazy, can post up and use size, can block shots, can get rebounds. Small forwards are usually 6’7 to 6’9 and are versatile/balanced.

Power Forward: Usually 6’8-6’11. Solid rebounder and defender. Can score from 0-18 feet from the basket. Think Chris Bosh (heat).

Center: Usually 6’10-7’7 (7’7 is max ever). Tallest player, usually worst ball handler and perimeter shooter. Asked to rebound and protect the rim from opposing guards. Offensively, they score on putbacks, post ups, and short shots.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Teams play different styles, especially in college. Some teams run and gun, that is, they grab your missed shot and push the ball up the court with a frenzy and try to get a quick shot before you can set up your defense. Other teams prefer a slower and more methodical pace where they can gradually grind you down and beat you in a war of attrition. Every possession is an intricate set of cuts, screens, and passes designed to eventually punish a defensive mistake.

The most popular offense in the NBA is a pick-n-roll. It is used nearly twice a minute in an nba game. Often, a team will run some other offense (you only have 24 seconds from the time your team gains control to attempt a shot, which must go in or touch the rim), but the defense will stop it. So with 8-10 seconds left on the clock, they will run a pick-n-roll. Their best slasher/scorer handles the ball, a big man sets a screen on his defender, and the slasher attacks. The defense must now decide very quickly how to handle it. Despite hours of practice, it is still very difficult to defend because often the two defenders (of the slasher and the big) end up switched, which causes two mismatches (a big slow guy guarding a skilled slasher and a small guard guarding a big tall guy rolling to the hoop).

Many teams isolate. That is, they clear out one side of the court, throw it to a talented 1-on-1 player and let him play a possession isolated against an inferior defender. NBA players are so good that some can score at will in this situation (Kobe, Melo, Bron, KD, CP3 on the dribble, Howard, Jefferson, Rose, etc). So to counter, the defense will send a second defender at the star (double team). So now, an offensive guy is open. So if the star is unselfish, he will swing the ball around to his teammates while the defense scrambles back into position. Sometimes they get a wide open shot, sometimes they get a blowby (defender runs at the shooter, shooter drives right by him), and sometimes the defense recovers. Then it becomes a numbers game. If the supporting cast cant score, they’re in trouble. If they’re hitting shots, then the defense really has a problem because it can’t guard the isolation and the others are hitting shots. It’s very interesting.

Some teams have no reliable bigs. Yes, they may have two 6’11 guys, but neither of them may have good post moves. Then, that team becomes a perimeter team: they shoot many 3’s. This is streaky. While some nights they may hit 15 3’s and just blow you out, other nights, those same shots don’t fall and they just die. Reliable post players are rare and valuable because they cause so many problems for the other team. Great shooters love playing with dominant big men (like Shaq) because the defense collapses on the Big and the Big can kick the ball out to the open shooters.

– zebraman7 



Do Police Officers Struggle With Becoming Bitter Toward the Public?

Yes. This is particularly a problem when the officer is dealing with a group who he perceives is always making work for him.

The city where I worked was a tourist destination with lots of money and liquor in the mix. It drew a disproportionate share of people who are now called “homeless” (we usually referred to them as “vagrants” or “drunks”) who would panhandle, buy, or otherwise acquire alcohol, and get drunk in parks and other public places. They had very low standards of hygiene, occasionally fought (not very effectively) with officers, and committed many petty offenses that took a great deal of time and resources to deal with.

It was very easy to depersonalize these people and essentially forget they were human. When I worked there, management didn’t make much of an effort to discourage this. The only time anyone would get into trouble over a drunk was when something truly over-the-top happened. For example, a two-officer team working the drunk wagon were loading up the drunks and then racing out of town 20 or 30 miles to the boonies, then dumping them at the side of the freeway. They got fired, but several attempts at trying them were all frustrated by witnesses who were either too drunk to testify or who just couldn’t be found when they were needed.

That same agency now has a homeless outreach program that is the model for other agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere. The sort of behavior that was common in my day is not tolerated now.

I think this is a low-intensity version of the dynamic that takes place with combat troops in war time, especially if the enemy is a different race or ethnicity than the troops. In past wars, enemies of the U.S. have been referred to as all kinds of slurs. It’s a lot easier to dehumanize someone if he or she doesn’t look or act like you do. Depersonalizing the opposition makes it easier to kill them without as much emotional baggage. You’re not shooting a person; you’re shooting a [insert ethnic slander here].

The problem can be further aggravated until the adversary becomes anyone who isn’t a cop. There is an old tongue-in-cheek summary of the stages of a police officer’s career:

The organizational culture of the law enforcement agency largely dictates how pervasive this sort of attitude is allowed to be. It’s not tolerated in some outfits, and it’s status quo in others.

– Tim Dees, retired cop and criminal justice professor, Reno Police Department:




What’s it like to get laid out in the NFL?

 It was like being in a car accident. Everything was fast, then it was suddenly slow motion. I was running down on punt coverage against Dallas last season, like I’ve done a thousands times before. I pushed off on my blocker. I turned to my left. I saw a white jersey.

Car crash.

I hit the ground, and I heard the sound you never want to hear. When you have a brush with death, people always say you see a light. Well, I didn’t see a light. I heard a noise. You know the noise I’m talking about — like when you were a little kid, bored at a family party, and you ran your finger around the top of your auntie’s wine glass. It’s that weird, far-off ringing sound. 

It was terrifying. I couldn’t hear the crowd. I couldn’t hear my teammates. That’s when I knew it was bad.

I was thinking, O.K., get up. Just get up.

But I couldn’t get up. My whole body was numb. I couldn’t move my arms. I couldn’t move my head. I couldn’t talk.

All I could do was move my eyes. I was thinking:

Am I deaf?

Am I paralyzed?

What is going on?

Am I about to die?

Please, somebody come help me.

In that moment, I was completely helpless. You know what it felt like? Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? Imagine you wake up from a dream early in the morning, and you can hear everybody in your house making breakfast and talking and laughing, but you can’t move. No matter how hard you try, you can’t actually get up. You’re stuck in between being asleep and being awake.

So you just lay there, trapped inside your own body while the world goes on around you. That’s exactly what it felt like, except I wasn’t in bed. I was at the 50-yard-line of Cowboys Stadium, surrounded by 90,000 fans.



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