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Microsoft employees file protest over military contract for HoloLens

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Microsoft employees file protest over military contract for HoloLens

Nearly 200 Microsoft employees are demanding the tech giant drop its contract with the Pentagon to apply HoloLens technology for military purposes, claiming they “refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression.”

The letter, which was posted to Twitter, recognizes that even though nobody will be forced to work on the military project, there are those who have already contributed to the project before the contract was made public.

My Take

There are strange perspectives coming from both sides of the political aisle on this one. The left is cheering them on, joining in on the rant against Microsoft for having the gall to assist our military and help to make it stronger than the military forces of those who want to kill us. On the right, there are calls to fire them all.

Both of these perspectives are contrary to the ideologies they allegedly serve.

To the left, I would say advancements in America’s military technology is one of the most important things that prevent MORE wars from happening around the world. The notion that giving the United States a military advantage through technology will somehow kill or oppress more people is ludicrous. As out EIC noted:

To conservatives calling for these people to be fired, I would remind you of the need for discussions to happen outside of the organized labor arena. A group of employees’ ability to communicate their dissatisfaction with assignments, work use, and company direction is necessary to maintain a proper relationship. It’s when these relationships deteriorate that unions pop up, consolidating power and often holding companies hostage.

Moreover, this is an educational moment. To simply “fire everyone who doesn’t submit to the demands of their employer” may be well within Microsoft’s rights, but calling for it based on a letter in a Tweet is the type of lack of empathy that leftists often accuse conservatives of displaying. Let’s not play into their stereotypes.

It isn’t an unreasonable expectation for one’s work to not be used by the military, especially when the work was already done before the military contract was unveiled. Therefore, it’s up to Microsoft to work with these employees and make them understand the value of saving human lives that comes from such work. It’s contrary to their surface-level logic, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be taught to understand the situation with more clarity.

The U.S. military needs this technology to help keep us above the rest of the world. Microsoft is doing well to assist. Now they must educate their employees to the life-saving applications of their work instead of focusing on the risks involved.

 


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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Foreign Affairs

Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Military

With fall of the Islamic State’s last stronghold, the real war against them begins

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With fall of the Islamic States last stronghold the real war against them begins

The Islamic State was always destined to fall in the way that it has. If they ever got big enough to demand a more direct response from the military forces of the world, that would have happened. Instead, they were only able to become a regional power that caused widespread chaos and despair before the various forces pitted against them were able to back them into the final corner.

That corner just fell.

Now the real war against them begins.

What most Americans don’t know is that the Islamic State was never really about military conquest for land. That was the focus for most, including many within the ranks of the failed militant organization, but those in the know have realized for years the real threat they pose is on the ideological front. While it’s a great thing that they’ve been eliminated militarily according to most reports, there’s an unfortunate effect this will have. The final stronghold falling will inspire the expansion of their other fronts, most notably the terrorist activities of the various groups loosely affiliated with the Islamic State around the world.

Cyberterrorism, physical terrorism, and persecution against non-Muslims in Islamic majority regions will increase. This has been anticipated for over a year now by members of law enforcement in the United States and possibly in other nations. Now that the end is finally here for their direct military wing, the other factions, groups, and lone wolves are suddenly much more dangerous.

I’m keeping this short to get to the point before losing too many people. Now is not the time for much celebration. Let’s pat each other on the back and then move on to the next phase of the battle, one that has been raging for some time but has been overshadowed by the military successes and recent failures. Now, they’ll become top priority. Lest we forget, most of the top leaders of the Islamic State are still out there and active.

Don’t let your guard down for a moment. Remain diligent. Look for signs, such as those that preceded the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Be mindful that with the ISIS military gone, other threats are only going to be elevated.

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