Saturday, July 15, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

Yeah, I don't trust the social sciences anymore. They simply don't know what they don't know because of their bias.

Grant me this is funny. To be fair, the Left isn't against a national socialist government. They're against someone other then the Left controlling it. Tip to Instapundit.

The Iranians are still trying to get nuclear and missile technology. Fancy that. It's almost as if the Obama Iran deal is a sham.

Effing up a wet dream.

So basically, Senator Bernie Sanders admitted that 9/11 was bad rather than a natural reaction to why they hate us. I really am a glass half full kind of man.

"Reality-based community," indeed. Tip to Instapundit.

If you hear the dog whistle, you're the dog.

I think I liked it better when postal employees went on shooting sprees.

If Democrats and the media hate Russia so much (and so suddenly), why are they leaking information that helps Russia? Collusion, indeed.

The West is superior and worthy of defending. If not, why have liberals who claimed they'd flee Trump's America not even gone to Canada (which is defended by America) let alone Kenya? Or Egypt? Or Nigeria? Or Cuba? Or even Mexico which is just as close as Canada?

China's new Type 55 cruiser-sized warship is a potent weapon. Obviously, to be fully exploited China must be able to mesh the ship in a task force with well trained crews. But don't assume our training and experience advantage is--or always will be--decisive.

Colluding with the Russians is so awful (no argument there) that talking to a Russian who said she had information about Hillary Clinton colluding with the Russians is unacceptable? Got it. Say? Remember when the New York Times listened to the Russians? That was different, I assume. Listening to the Russians is no crime. Opposition research is too common if distasteful for me to get worked up over. Actual collusion to commit crimes would upset me bigly, of course. I can't rule out that we have something ugly. But I think this is routine--if unpleasant--in today's Washington, D.C. And I don't know how you legislate it away without undermining freedom of speech.

Actual collusion by a far-liberal politician and his party with our main enemy the USSR. I'm sure nobody on the left is--or was--upset. And Russian-Green collusion to stop fracking. Tip to Instapundit.

Cyber-punching back twice as hard.

Mexico is worrisome as drug cartel violence rages. Could it seriously spill over our border? But I worried about Mexican stability when President Obama came into office. Is Mexico moving toward instability or do I underestimate Mexico's ability to function with this kind of violent instability? Colombia functioned despite decades of narco-Marxist terrorists deprived Colombia of effective control of large portions of their country, after all.

Spoiled brats. In the long history of this blog, you will not find even a hint of the raging lunacy about President Obama that the current Resistance displays every day. And they are proud of their tantrum rather than ashamed.

This is cool. China doing it makes it less cool.

Well that's a darn shame. A lot of people who feel morally superior because of their food choices (of all things) will be hardest hit. And it happened under the Obama administration, too. Sad.

Again, torture works. What doesn't work is routine torture of large numbers of people caught in security sweeps. In that case you end up with a lot of people who know nothing but will confess to anything to stop the torture. So you get lots of bad information and you alienate a lot of people. But torture will get people to talk, and if you know the person you are torturing knows something (from other verified information), they will talk. Not that I am advocating torture. I don't think we should do it. But don't start with a false premise, at least. And accept that the definition of what is torture is difficult to nail down. And remember that we also don't need to get caught up in defining torture precisely because we can rule out anything as an interrogation method, including mild tickling and stern looks if we wish.

President Trump says his son did nothing wrong. I tend to think this meeting with a Russian lawyer lies somewhere between bad judgment and really bad judgment. I do not defend it. I also get the impression that this is business as usual in Washington, D.C. where opposition research is a big business, except that the experienced politicians know enough to have an intermediary attend such meetings to avoid fingerprints. Or were no Democrats near the whole fake Trump Dossier fiasco? Please. I didn't cry "treason" for what Democrats peddled from foreign sources. I could be wrong, of course. But so far there has been nothing more than hysterical shrieks of "Russia!" from Democrats.

Holy cow!  More administration locker room talk and behavior. Alert the feminists, please.

You know what confirmed collusion there was in the 2016 election? Hillary Clinton working with the DNC and elements of media to screw over Bernie Sanders in the rigged Democratic primary. Enjoy!

I support birthright citizenship. It would be far worse to deny people born in America citizenship and create a cohort of people who are indistinguishable from Americans but lack the status of Americans. If you want to cut down on "foreigners" being born here, control the border. I'm fine with that. But if you are born here regardless of how you got here, I think it would harm America in the long run to create an under-class like that.

Britain takes a step toward Brexit. I'm cynical about this whole thing. Remainers are determined to undermine the process of leaving the EU and stop it. My opinion is that Britain has to leave fast and deal with the repercussions; or risk being stuck in the web of regulations they are trying to untangle rather than cut. The Brezhnev Doctrine wasn't nearly as effective, eh?

I feel similarly to Obamacare as I do about Brexit. Cut the cord and get it over with, dealing with the problems later. Otherwise you risk that a Democrat with better aim and better sense to target the Senate where the absence of one or two Republicans--even temporarily--would end the ability to drive a stake through the heart of that legislation.

While I want NATO to heavy up forces to counter Russia's heavy armor, I seriously doubt there is much of a threat of many Armata tanks entering the Russian army any time in the near future--even if it works as the Russians claim.Which might be a first for Russian military equipment claims. Notwithstanding my quibbling, the advocacy for more rapidly updating American heavy brigades is welcome.

Something is going on in Transnistria, the remnant of Soviet territory between Romania and Ukraine. Do I assume too much to think Romania and Ukraine are trying to pry Russian control off of this region through covert means?

Facilitating talks with a Russian lawyer as Trump's son did is treasonous? Wait. What?

I know there is a line of argument that defeating ISIL and other jihadis in Syria is a gift to Assad. While there is some point to that, it only goes so far. Defeating ISIL would also benefit the rebels. One, rebels wouldn't be attacked by jihadis like in this big suicide bombing attack. Second, rebels who drift to the jihadi groups because they are effective would have to move toward the non-jihadis if rebellion is still their thing. If these non-jihadi rebels continue to get help, they'll eventually pose as much of a threat as the existing jihadi/non-jihadi combintation. And third, they'd be more effective because Assad wouldn't have the "support me or the jihadis win" argument.

Moving beyond David Brooks' column about social barriers to upward mobility is a piece on how people without any skills can make the move simply because they can surpass the social barriers. Instapundit notes that Barack Obama is not named in that piece. Which brings it full circle to David Brooks whose man crush on Obama seemed centered around Obama's perfectly creased pant as signaling a man who could be president. As an aside, I've never been intimidated by people who know of Italian hams that I've never encountered. If I ever ran into such a snob, the response writes itself (well, thanks to Churchill, it does): "That's great. Now I know what soppresata is. What can you learn to stop being an a-hole?"

US forces helicoptered in Somali special forces to hit the jihadi group al Shabab in Somalia. It seems like American special forces were on the ground to provide advice and backup if things went wrong. Things went right. I assume the purpose was more to gather information than to kill jihadis and free captives. No word if the helicopters were based locally, staged from Djibouti, or perhaps a Navy ship offshore. The AFRICOM Queen could certainly play a role in coming from unexpected directions. 

If Russia "hacked" our election, planting fake news all across the country (but especially in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania?) to sway the election, why would Russia even need to "collude" with the Trump campaign? Just what could Trump add to the diabolically clever Russian information war? 

Finally! We have a president that the French leaders get along with! Just roll naked and sweaty in the lovely nuance! Erm, perhaps I've inadvertently shared too much. 

China has plenty of problems they have to overcome to challenge American primacy. So talk of a Thucydides Trap that compels a power-transition-inspired war is premature. I strongly disagree with the notion that pre-World War II Japan's rise (to 10% of America's GDP) should be included in a study of power transitions. Nor do I think pre-war Europe should be analyzed in that framework. Note too that most wars in the set were from countries close to each other where the impact of a power transition would have a greater impact. Distance between America and China reduces the potential friction. Also, as I've noted, even an America weaker than China still has more free power to project overseas than China, surrounded by foes and potential foes with a lot of power, could. UPDATE: A critique that the Thucydides Trap analysis is too narrow. Which is another issue altogether.

We killed the ISIL commander in Afghanistan. Nome of them seem to stay alive long enough to vest in their retirement plan. Keep going. 

Social justice warrior child abuse. The sons are the biggest victims. But the woman has deprived herself of the joy of parenthood (with a son and a daughter, I've had nothing but pride and happiness) in her bitter ideology. I almost feel sorry for her, too. But just almost.

I read The Defence of Duffer's Drift many decades ago. It's worth your time. Especially if you are in uniform.