Sunday, March 05, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

A Dutch frigate will join an American carrier strike group. Note that this is a benefit of NATO that allows America to work with allies despite different equipment. And the Dutch gain the logistical tail of our Navy that allows their ship to deploy on distant missions.

Then it isn't science:  "Science is facing a 'reproducibility crisis' where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests."

That science problem above is okay, because a lot of Americans believe science-like pronouncements--like microaggressions.  You know what you call aggressions so small that you need PhDs to tell you they exist? Nonexistent. Possibly fantasy. Or maybe projection. Mind you, sometimes people are rude. Sometimes they say bigoted things. And sometimes some people are just too damned sensitive for their own good.

The head of PACOM wants Army fires assets to be used in an anti-ship role. While I am not philosophically opposed to such a capability, given that the Army once had a coastal defense role; the Marines also had that role and are already meshed with the Navy. And the Navy has their own ground component, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). So I'd rather the Navy exploit opportunities with those organizations first, given the Army missions around the world with a small force. UPDATE: Ah, this is why there is sudden talk of Army coastal defense: ATACMS now has an anti-ship capability. But why can't the Navy or Marines buy these, too, if the Navy is eager to have this capability?

Turkey may buy Russian S-400 air defense missiles. I'm worried enough about Turkey flipping to Russia--however unwise that may be--so Turkey reassuring NATO that Greece also has Russian missiles (the S-300) doesn't comfort me.

I'm perplexed. I keep hearing that Europe with its low birth rate needs immigrants--regardless of how well assimilated they can become--to work in Europe. Yet Italy, with one of the lowest birthrates in the world, has a crisis with a youth (18-25) unemployment rate of  36%. I'm surely too deficient in nuance to appreciate how all those things can be true at once.

Contrary to my complaint in the last weekend data dump, is America not backing the Tripoli government and excluding Hiftar and others in the east? I ask because the American AFRICOM commander said that the factions must be brought together. Is that new or am I just newly aware of that?

While I often annoyed at the French government, because I am not an inherently cruel man I would never wish this form of revenge on the French.

Russia is weaker than America. But Russia is stronger than their western neighbors who are our friends and allies. So Russia has the initial advantage until NATO can react. Moving American power to the region is the best way to make correcting that imbalance easier. I'm on board (see my article in that issue) with that notion.

CNN and the NYT don't root for any president? I suppose accepting Barack Obama as your personal Lord and Savior doesn't count as "rooting." Tip to Instapundit.

Every Republican is forced by reporters to reject the views of the reprehensible David Duke, who could never organize a rally sufficient to fill a phone booth (kids, ask your parents what that was); but no reporters will ever ask Democratic leaders to renounce a convicted terrorist, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, who along with other radicals and Maoists wants to organize a more aggressive women's march in opposition to Trump. Again, tip to Instapundit.

Famine threatens in South Sudan, Somalia, northern Nigeria, and Yemen. This has nothing to do with borders drawn by others. Not that the author claimed that. But it is a common complaint to shift blame. Somalia is an artificial state unofficially broken apart; Nigeria is a binary state that took a bloody civil war to hold together despite religious and tribal divisions that still support conflict; South Sudan was actually split from Sudan to correct one of those externally drawn borders; and Yemen was unified to correct another of those externally drawn borders. The author is still a partisan idiot, conflating a lack of compassion for failing to help (under the Obama administration) with Trump's executive order that rightly admits that the chaos in Yemen and South Sudan make people coming from there potential threats. Also, the author puts some of the blame for South Sudan in part on the failure of the UN to impose an arms embargo. Which is nonsense. Recall that a UN arms embargo just managed to screw Bosnian Moslems in the 1990s.

Recently, the news came out that American life expectancy dipped in 2015. It is just one year and is small, so may be a blip. But I do find it humorous that as Democrats defend Obamacare as such a wondrous thing, that the dip followed the introduction of Obamacare policies in 2014. A coincidence, I'm sure.

"The Resistance" is nothing like the Tea Party, even though Democrats like to compare their new movement to the Tea Party. (Tip to Instapundit.) Which is odd, considering how the Democrats demonized the Tea Party. Yes, the Tea Party was a revolt against debt and business as usual that focused on the Republican Party to reform it to slow down federal spending. The Resistance is only like the Tea Party in that they both focused on the Republican Party. So The Resistance is just another public face of the same old left-wing forces going back to at least that demonize Republicans.

I hope the media points out the fake news from President Trump that we've spent $6 trillion dollars on the Middle East this century. The figure is utter nonsense. You'd have to assume that virtually all defense spending in that time was for the Middle East.

While our fossil fuel production has been key in dropping prices despite the relatively marginal amount, just the ability through fracking to keep supply higher than demand despite OPEC supply changes helps with the price. But the article also notes that this price relief does not mean we can walk away from the Middle East's problems. If our allies and trading partners lose access to that oil, they will crash and burn and we will suffer too.

The 50 Cent Army has come to the Obamacare Facebook page to defend the act.

As I noted in this recent post, don't root against Germany's Merkel given her rivals.

Hey, I don't live there. I say California should feel free to set up a single-payer system for health care.

Yes, I remember leading a small group of soldiers through land navigation to reach a destination, plus finding a spot on a map using grid coordinates and providing grid coordinates for a position on a map. It's a good skill to have just in case.

With America, China, Afghanistan, India, Russia, and even a good chunk of Pakistan's people upset with Pakistan's support of jihadis, explain to me again how that support advances Pakistani security?

In true Soviet-style "if you disagree with us you must be crazy" approach to dissent, Bill Nye wants science to explain why "deniers" don't think that the climate changers are right from trends, to causes, to solutions. Maybe it is because people like Bill Nye are on their side and really don't act like scientists who know what they talk about. Note that Nye bothered to brush up on Tucker Carlson's family size more than the science Carlson asked Nye about--to no avail. There is real science being conducted. But when Nye says our climate would be like it was in 1750 without human activity, that runs counter to the science I've read that says human emissions have only been great enough to affect the climate since 1950. Nye is exactly the sort of man who would make a great kangaroo court judge.

From the intersection of Echelon Above Reality and Good God You've Got to Be Kidding Me.

The Russians are working to regain influence in their old stomping grounds in the Balkans.

Yes, it is an odd dictator who responds to a flawed court ruling over an executive order by revising the order to conform to their concerns.

Oh good grief. The proper response to someone who says "ouch" in class is not to say "oops," but to glare, urge them to "bugger off" and continue your point. Truly, Putin must wonder how Russia lost the Cold War to America. To be fair, those types aren't the ones likely to join the pointy end of our stick. Tip to Instapundit.

A French artist emerged from a rock after a week? Big deal. An American journalist emerged from a bubble after 8 years. 'Merica.

China continues their strategy of talking to ASEAN nations to buy time for their unilateral efforts to exert control over the South China Sea continues.

Liberals are ragingly upset that Trump saluted a Navy SEAL who died in battle, with his widow at Trump's speech to Congress? I have one thing to say: the Khan Gold Star family at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Democrats took the fallen soldier's parents on a week-long partisan ride. I didn't blog about it once out of respect to the soldier and out of respect for the loss by the family.

I'm a basically happy man and I am rarely bored. So I guess I'm not vulnerable to becoming an outrage junkie. And when you don't have real outrages, you just make them from nothing (tip to Instapundit).

American aircraft launched an air strike on al Qaeda in Yemen. And then there was another wave. And a third. Yet the January 29th ground raid that likely provided the intelligence for these strikes is called "botched" in that last article. Okey dokey.

People upset that the American presidency has become so powerful should reconsider their support for Congressional term limits. Congress is the only conceivable check on presidential power and if that is gutted by weakening the legislative branch, we'll make control of the presidency--as an elected autocrat--even more important. Which will make partisan divisions far worse.

There are problems in Middle Eastern culture that have held progress back. You can see the difference a changed culture makes by considering that Arabs in America have been successful by plugging into a Western culture that encourages progress.

Russia has offered the Libyans their help in unifying the western and eastern parts of Libya. Why we aren't trying to bring Hiftar into the government structure is beyond me. By all means, let the Russians succeed and return to Libya to support their position in the Black Sea-Eastern Mediterranean.

I've called feminists the women's auxiliary of liberalism. Apparently the feminists find that insufficiently left-wing as the feminists join ranks with the actual women's auxiliary to the communists. And the feminists say Trump has unsavory friends? Really? Tip to the Instapundit Borg.

A Strategypage overview of Afghanistan.

Draining the swamp in the federal government will require ending the Obama practice of using law suit settlements to fund liberal groups.  I've read that another form of this scam was to have liberal groups sue the federal government which the Obama administration--having encouraged the suit because it agreed--then settled in favor of the liberal group. This is corruption, straight up. And a way to bypass Congressional power of appropriation and legislation to advance executive objectives. That has to stop.

Europe opened their borders to Moslem refugees. Yet despite the clamor from the American Left that the Trumptatorship has descended in America, the EU signals (without any intention of going through with it) opposition to letting in any who flee America lest they be put in camps: "The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling on the European Commission to block U.S. citizen's visa-free travel to the EU."

In their best Crocodile Dundee accent, the Turks tell Trump, "That's not a wall. That's a wall."

Sweden has restored their Gotland Island garrison, reactivated coastal defenses, and now restores the draft. Although this appears to be only for the purpose of maintaining their too low paper strength rather than expanding their military.

Iran has lost a thousand men KIA in Syria so far? That is just Iranians? If so, the body count of the Shia foreign legion that Iran recruits and sends to be the shock troops for the Assad regime must be far larger. Or does that 1K include Iran-sponsored foreign recruits?

Strategypage looks at military innovations from the 20th century and those for this century.

I have no problem with Vice President Pence being punished under Indiana state law for risking state secrets because he used a private email account while governor as long as Hillary Clinton is punished under federal law for risking state secrets from setting up and using her private email server.

If Cul-de-sac Communists want to assault people on campus as they pretend they are in the vanguard of a revolution, perhaps they should be put in Gitmo for a bit to reflect on whether they really want to be unlawful combatants at war with America.  I don't really think that. But you have to admit that from their point of view, it makes sense. Tip to Instapundit.

There has been an apparent surge of Jewish cemetery vandalism and threats to Jewish targets. Which is awful. But I find it odd that Trump supporters are assumed by the press to be the guilty party when the Left and their Islamist allies have been the major forces of anti-Semitism these days.

Okay, this is really, really, really stupid. I guess all those beheading and atrocity videos that jihadis release online are just audition tapes. Tip to Instapundit.

Good grief, my American Express check took 11 and maybe even 12 days to make it to them. I know that isn't their fault, but come on. So they hit me with a late fee and interest. They did not remove that charge for being oddly two days late. One, I will pay over the phone from now on at the last minute. And two, I put that card away for the rest of the year. For one thing, I don't want to risk another ding in a short period despite my intentions that could get reported. So why take chances using the card? But just as important morale-wise, that protective measure will cost them much more than what they gained from the added charges I will pay. Mind you, I'll have gotten over this well before this posts. I don't cling to outrage like a precious possession. But how many decades have I been a customer, anyway? Sorry, this is just a personal rant. I always pay my bills in full and it really offends me to have added charges imposed. First World problem, of course!

Some Yale student radicals want their school to rename the Schwarzman Center because of the donor's financial support for Trump. Wait until those snow flakes find out who their entire school was named after! I suggest the school be renamed "Snow Flake U", the entire endowment be donated for reparations, and just cut to the chase on this slow descent into madness at SFU. Best and brightest, indeed.