Saturday, August 26, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

God help us, but Peak Stupid is not here: the eclipse was racist. Make Eclipses Great Again!

Conservatives are repulsed by so-called right wing radicals. Liberals admire their left-wing radicals.

Actual resistance: the Venezuelan legislature refuses to accept Maduro usurpers of their law-making powers.

The Democrats' "green on blue" problem. Heh.

Finally! A universal statue that nobody can find offensive and everyone can love!
Let a hundred statues bloom!

We elected a clown for president (which is still better than having the corrupt Clinton in charge) and the media has self-clowned in response. This is exactly why it is easy to side against the media in their jihad against the president (and more importantly, the president's "deplorable" supporters). yeah, I miss journalism, too. But I've missed it for more than three decades now. And I bet people older than me have missed it even longer. Tip to Instapundit.

I don't trust the Internet of Things.

I respect Graham Allison from my time as a political science major (half of my bachelor's degree). And while his article on brinksmanship is useful, I don't see Trump as practicing that art and I certainly don't see Trump, as Allison begins his essay, as "desperate, erratic and even irrational[.]" I don't see any of that in what the president has done or said. Zero. I see seriousness. What gives?

I eagerly await the expansion of the scope of the unproductive Russia investigation to include Confederate hacking of the 2016 election. If you wonder how the Salem Witch trial hysteria developed, take notes now.

On this blog, I have a most complete record on the Obama presidency. Trump has just begun and I started during the Bush 43 presidency. My sum total of complaints about Obama's victory is in this post. Policies I would complain about (and some I supported). Of course. But they were in the context of an America-born, Christian, legitimately elected leader. Contrast that to the seething hatred of Trump, his election, all he does, how he looks, what he eats, and all his supporters, that the most vocal Trump haters on the left have displayed 24/7 and dialed to "11.". Yet they are open minded and I'm a close-minded conservative--possibly with special dog hearing to discern all those awful "Ist"-y messages Trump sends out.

Huh. What's with that "Canada is a country of laws" stuff that distinguishes between legal and illegal immigration? Oddly, Canada didn't inscribe their immigration statutes on the CN Tower. I suspect racism until proven otherwise. Keep this up and Trump backers will be wondering if Trudeau can be our president.

Is the House IT indictment designed to fail?

A pro-Trump assassination attempt on Democratic legislators would be talked about constantly by our media even years after the fact (as the Giffords murder attempt is still wrongly assigned to Republicans many years after the fact). But two months later, the Bernie-fan attempted murder of Republican Congressmen is already down the media memory hole.

Talk about outrageous fact-challenged presidential Tweets!

Democratic Representative Ellison stepped in it by rolling his eyes over a Native American complaining about him saying America is a "nation of immigrants." Far be it for me to get in the way of blue on blue conflict, but technically, even "Native" Americans fall into this category--just beating the Mayflower types by a whole lot.

Russia says that support for a new ceasefire in the Donbas is "decisive." Why a new and improved ceasefire will work when Russia could have made the old one work by, you know--ceasing their fire--is beyond my un-nuanced mind. My view is that not enough Russian troops are dying to really motivate Russia to stop attacking Ukraine.

I weep when evidence piles up that we have yet to reach Peak Stupid: "Announcer Named Robert Lee Off UVa Game To Avoid Offending Idiots." I truly hope to God this can't be true. In one sense it seems "too good to be true," but given the stupid that has been swirling around our country, I can totally buy it. Even if ESPN simply thought audiences would be reminded of slavery with that announcer, that is still stupid. And if ESPN thought that Lee was at risk from stupid people who couldn't distinguish between an Asian Lee 21st century broadcaster and a 19th century Confederate general, well, that's really sad. No justification makes ESPN look good. In case the best-case scenario is true, as a service to media people everywhere, The Dignified Rant suggests you check your name against this list and change your name if necessary, to avoid the baying hounds of the stupidity pack roaming our lands.

A Strategypage tour of the Philippines.

Stratfor gives India the air advantage in the border disputes on display recently, because of India's superior air base infrastructure; and gives China the edge in missiles, air defenses, command and control, and artillery. India's edge in air power would be fragile since China can replace losses more easily. And oddly no mention was made of the balance in ground forces. I understand why naval forces aren't mentioned because I doubt China would try to project naval power into the Indian Ocean. But land power will be what stands on the ground in dispute.

So we can believe predictions of A because predictions of completely unrelated B are accurate? Ah, the scientific mind! I assume predictions of C-Z are also accurate because of B, too, by that logic.

I know liberals like to point to the Crusades as evidence of Western hate equivalent to Islamist terror today. One, the Crusades ended many centuries ago when everyone was pretty brutal, while terror is going on right now. Two, that moral equivalence crap ignores that the Crusades were a two-century counterattack that recaptured areas taken by force by Islamic armies. And three, doesn't that incorrect liberal interpretation mean that the jihadi slaughters in Spain are as fully justified as Islamic resistance to the Crusader states? After all, the Crusader states lasted two centuries. Is the fact that the Spanish ejected the Moslem states from their territory five centuries ago just mean they are merely (so far!) more successful crusaders?

On Wednesday I listened to CNN journalists without the slightest sense of their nonstop effort turned to 11 since the November election to paint Trump as too stupid, racist, and dangerous to continue in office complain that Trump's Tuesday condemnation of the press could incite violence against journalists. No word about why "antifa" thugs are assaulting reporters.

I find it kind of funny that liberals mocked religious fans of Tim Tebow in the NFL despite Tebow's failure to make it in the league; yet liberals are rallying around Colin Kaepernick despite his inability to make it in the NFL on his abilities.

When irrational hatred is something you boast about. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is a crime against language that "liberal minded" is considered a synonym for "open minded." For far too many liberals, it is quite literally the opposite. But some are finally standing up to the mobs. These words are good. Let's see the actions that put the words into practice.

Just in time to remind me why I was ecstatic that Trump defeated Clinton: "This is not OK, I thought. It was the second presidential debate and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces." So decades of being married to a man who fell somewhere in the spectrum between serial groper and serial rapist didn't prepare her for Trump standing close? And now we know where she got her idea for a "reset" button for Russia: "It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, well, what would you do?" Oh yeah, Putin feared that woman in the Oval Office.

Lyft is worried about racist customers. When a short haircut can get you stabbed because someone perceives you as a Nazi, why would anyone use Lyft and risk being seen as a racist? Lyft: Official Transportation of the Thousand-Year Reich! Talk about brand suicide.

Republicans control all the branches of the federal government and have record levels of control at the state and local level. Yet somehow activist leftists think that government suppression of free speech is good? Nice to see how much the Left trusts Republicans to use that terrible power wisely, eh?The alternative explanation is that we are seeing weapons-grade stupid on the Left.

It is true that South Korea is a brake on American action against North Korea. That has been a fact of life with Seoul so close to North Korean conventional forces across the DMZ. But that brake can only be fully engaged when American cities are not under threat by North Korean nukes. Once North Korea can reliably threaten an American city, South Korea will no longer have a brake on American actions that put the survival of Seoul above the survival of Seattle.

The Left likes to believe that all deplorables are working class. Ahem. Send the Paddy Wagon, I say.

I recently saw the we are not Moslems Sikhs commercial. Nicely done, I'll say. Although it almost seems like throwing Moslems under the bus.

Ultimately, forward deployed Army units in Europe are better than rotating units in. I agree. But in the short run, the practice moving units from the continental United States is useful to relearn that Cold War skill.

Decades ago, there was a joke about a statue in Poland for a Pole who served in Stalin's USSR. The Poles were happy with the statue because no Pole killed more Russians than him. So why aren't the communists leading the charge on Confederate statues (while recognizing that the vast majority of those opposed to the statues are not communists and have legitimate reasons to want them gone) celebrating the soldiers who killed so many white Americans?

The victims of the jihadi Barcelona terror attacks are still being mourned and already some jackass is claiming the "real victims" of the terror attacks are Moslems who are very much alive. For some, the real crime is always the potential backlash and never the actual killing lash.

Will Turkey abandon their old ultimatum that Assad had to step down and abandon support for Syrian rebels in order to cut a deal with Iran to combat Kurds in Iraq our of fear of Kurds in Turkey and Iran rising up? (And what would Syria's Kurds do in those circumstances? Cut a deal with Assad and Turkey to stand aside as Kurds in northern Iraq are pummeled?)

Now that liberals have learned to love federalism, it is so nice that "states' rights" is no longer a dog whistle for racism!

This author says that the problems of Britain exiting the EU argue for remaining in the EU. I think the problems of exiting the EU argue for getting out now before the power of the EU is so entrenched that Britain will never be more than a remote frontier province of the empire.

What was the sonic device that seriously injured our diplomats (and Canada's) in Cuba? I assume it was a surveillance device of some sort, actually. It makes no sense to attack them. And while it might not have been Cuba doing this, they are responsible at the least for not protecting our diplomats there.

Ambulances take longer to arrive under Obamacare. Yeah, I remember the claim that emergency room visits would decline under the law. I doubted that would be true because I figured usage was based on convenience (and jobs that don't give time off for a doctor visit)  rather than lack of insurance. Ambulance time and emergency room visits aren't the same, of course. But they are surely related.

Ambassador Haley wants UN inspectors to have access to Iranian military bases to spot Iranian nuclear activities.  This points out that America doesn't inspect Iran despite the importance. The more easily intimidated UN does that. And the UN has different objectives than America has (although America has different motives than it did when Obama was president). The complaint also highlights that the deal allows Iran the ability to stop inspectors from visiting Iranian military bases. The section on inspecting nuclear facilities starts out by saying access shall be requested "in good faith, with due observation of the sovereign rights of Iran, and kept to the minimum necessary to effectively implement the verification responsibilities" under the deal. Under the terms of the deal, Iran can easily oppose the access that Haley wants.

As I understand it, short-range missile firings like these are all about propaganda and some useful training as North Korea lights up missiles getting too old even for them to consider part of the arsenal. Rather than throw them away, fire them off.

Condemning our announced strategy to win in Afghanistan by pointing to Vietnam and Iraq neglects that we won in both wars on the ground, losing Vietnam in the post-war by walking away and winning twice in Iraq after walking away in the post-war following the first win. Trump is simply refusing to walk away from Afghanistan after the gains we made during the Obama administration (and then partially lost as Obama began the long walk away). And I find it hilarious that the author seems particularly steamed by Trump seeing India as a better ally than Pakistan if Pakistan makes us choose between them.

Yawn. More terror attacks in London and Brussels. But not enough blood to get a Twitter hashtag or Facebook logo. At this point the only real question is whether they are "known wolves" already known to police authorities for their Islamist leanings.

I always assumed the answer to the question "is the pope Catholic" is "yes." I assume too much, clearly. If the Catholic Church won't be Catholic, how can its leaders expect members to be Catholic?

Yes, China has the edge in ground force transportation and logistics structure along the border compared to India. I've long noted India's effort to redress this deficiency. Which is a major reason I think India would be beaten if this escalates to a border war rather than a border incident level of fighting that India could conceivably win.