Sunday, December 03, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus demonstrates it is merely the Hispanic Auxiliary of the Democratic Party by rejecting Republican applicant.

Is there a gathering storm near North Korea as America, our allies, and China prepare for potential military or covert action against that state to stop its nuclear weapons drive? I've assumed for several months now that America has presented China with the choice of doing something or having America lead our allies in doing something about North Korea sometime next year before North Korea gets missiles capable of reaching the United States.

ISIL fighters returning to their homes of origin after the fall of the territorial Islamic State is a problem for those nations, it is true. But it is also true that this development spreads out the problem and compels nations that would never send forces to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIL to fight ISIL at home. So in a way it adds to the anti-ISIL coalition. AFRICOM will be busy supporting these countries in that fight.

Did Nancy Pelosi just make sure Roy Moore in Alabama by defending John Conyers as an "icon" despite sexual harassment allegations? And is this aid to Moore deliberate to insulate a lot of Democratic legislators in her caucus in a similar situation who may have used taxpayer money as hush money?

Will the next recession be worse because of added consumer debt and because the Obama administration failed to correct problems revealed by the 2008 financial crisis? With a bonus on wealth inequality that is leaving the middle class shrinking and losing ground. There is a reason that non-Republican Trump took over the Republican party with his populist message and a reason that non-Democratic (and openly socialist) Sanders with his populist message nearly took over the Democratic party but for anti-democratic super delegates and old-fashioned rigging of the primary process by Hillary's people. I'm just glad the populist who doesn't want even more government failed. So I'll genuinely thank Hillary for one thing.

Despite the nearly complete ban of legal private firearms, gun crimes continue their multi-year trend of increasing in Britain. Fancy that. The British response is to ask people law abiding enough to obey such an order to turn in their firearms. No word if the people committing crimes using guns will be as cooperative. Tip to Instapundit.

The European bulwark, Chancellor Merkel, against populism in defense of the elite status quo is faltering just as Hillary Clinton's "blue wall" in the Electoral College across the American Midwest fell in 2016. Could the Germans openly debate the reasons for this faltering (energy, currency, and immigration problems) before someone dredged up from history openly--in defiance of the elite refusal to discuss problems or even admit they are problems--calls for dealing with the problems without regard to morality and decency? Also tip to Instapundit.

Don't forget that China peddles "fake news" as we now seem to call propaganda. I've noted this issue again and again and again.

The United States government didn't tell targets of Russian email hacking that they'd been targeted despite having that information for a year. Apparently they were too busy to act on their knowledge. But Trump colluded with the Russians? The FBI's reputation for professionalism and skill really is taking a hit. Russia doesn't need to collude with Americans to advance Russian interests--the Russians just need to exploit the inertia and incompetence of our large bureaucracies.

Despite the story that Assad has won the war that Assad, Iran, and Russia desperately want to promote in the aftermath of the defeat of ISIL in the east by American-supported forces, a lot of Syria is still in opposition hands, including large portions of the west. The amount of death that the minority Assad base of support has endured to get even this far should call into question how much more death and destruction Assad's supporters will sustain to keep Assad in the big chair in the big office.

Yes, counting on North Korea to collapse isn't likely to save us from dealing with North Korean nuclear weapons. The people need to be poor to be more easily controlled and as long as the elites and security services support the regime, collapse is unlikely. But that's the question. Will the elites in the government and security forces continue to support Rocket Man? And recall that there is a difference between state collapse and regime collapse. I did not criticize Obama for "strategic patience." I just thought the government would abandon that strategy as North Korean nuclear status became "imminent"--the left's previous gold standard for taking military action. But that didn't happen.

A leftist was elected president in Honduras, in an upset. That will hardly be good for Honduras. And as much as America has an interest in the region, a potential setback for America. Wait, the results aren't clear yet as the challenger's lead dissipates with further results still coming in. Let's hope the incumbent campaigned in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin! The count still goes on with unrest and an army-enforced curfew. The challenger has a slim lead with disputed votes enough to be decisive. This is rough.

I'm not going to comment on the inclusiveness training for the mouthful of an acronym "LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP." That's old news. What I will ask is how have lesbians managed to be at the head of that victim train even as it has added car after car?

Even though ISIL lost their bastion in Libya, ISIL is still active in Libya in the ungoverned spaces south of the coastal plain. So Libya may be the best Plan B ISIL has after the conquest of their proto-state that spanned Syria and Iraq.

The forces fighting the "war on women" lost a major asset as CBS fires Matt Lauer for "workplace misconduct." Alleged, of course.  It seems as if the leftist bastions long assumed conservatives had to be way worse than their own people clearly are, justifying the outrageous charge that Republicans waged a "war on women." Not that conservatives can't be equally scum-like. But conservatives have the undeserved reputation as being anti-woman while liberals have the undeserved reputation as being pro-women.

More on Yemen, where the Saudis lack the power on the ground to drive into the Shia-held northwest any time soon or to fully control their own areas where jihadis can roam with enough cash and tribal connections. Iran spends a lot more than the Saudi coalition. So while Saudi Arabia has the upper hand, it isn't a great situation. Which is at least better than having an Iranian victory. Which is why I believe in the encyclopedia for the "clusterfuck" entry there is a picture of Yemen. Bonus material on Qatar which is too close to Iran for the Saudi-led coalition against them. Of course, the rebels, whose alliance could be crumbling, aren't exactly the model of Prussian efficiency.

Was there a sonic incident in Uzbekistan similar to the Cuba incident and does it implicate Russia?

Artificial intelligence is fast but unable to do important tasks that any human can do. Will humans have to be in the loop is some way? Is the future AI-assisted human intelligence rather than fully autonomous AI? I mentioned that recently in regard to robotic pilots. At least for non-routine tasks, AI alone might not be able to replicate humans.

It isn't so much that the Russians lie--all governments will do that to some degree to advance their interests--but that the Russians do it so brazenly when it is obvious they are lying. They just don't seem to care. Because it is what they do. We shouldn't base our policies on proving they are lying before we act. And never assume Russia will help us.

The joint French-German dominance of the EU may not be enough to keep the EU together. Does the exit of Britain from the EU enhance the French-German ability to get their way in the absence of British power? Or does the example of Britain getting out of the EU inspire more successful resistance to the EU dominated by France and Germany?

To be fair, teacher unions are way more interested in protecting school staff than in protecting little girls being bullied. Tip to Instapundit.

Hey, have fun Iran. Unless Iran is practicing to set sail with a shorter-range missile mounted on one of their vessels, this trip to the western hemisphere is nothing to worry about and just propaganda intended for the home audience. The "fleet" will likely be a small warship and a larger supply vessel. I assume they've arranged for Cuba to tow their ships to port if they break down over here.

Whaaat? The Clinton crime family would threaten federal workers with consequences for trying to address Hillary's email security violations that included the very non-accidental setting up of a private email server to evade State Department security systems and procedures? Inconceivable.

Could the Philippines be the next location for jihadis to establish a caliphate? Could be. There is a long-running if faltering independence movement among Moslems in the south that will provide some help in setting up a sanctuary. And an early but mostly forgotten American military mission following 9/11 was directed at helping Filipino troops take down al Qaeda in the Philippines.

Better dead than rude, eh?

Members of Congress think that being elected is a license to print money. Why shouldn't they think being elected is a license to assault women? As is well known, it's good to be the king.

Defending a flaw in the voting system means you benefit from that flaw. Judge accordingly.

A reminder that North Korea has to resolve the technology of "re-entry, terminal stage guidance and warhead activation" before they can be said to have a nuclear ICBM. Although I remain unclear about whether North Korea has resolved those issues for shorter range missiles that don't undergo the same extreme conditions that a long-range missile does. I'm assuming the answer is 'no' because South Korea and Japan seem aligned with our threats to "do something" about North Korea if China doesn't halt that nuclear threat.

I took the European "tribe" test and not surprisingly came up as a "EU Rejecter." But the emotional description of "my tribe" was not matched by any of the questions that the conclusion is based on: "EU Rejecters are angry about politics and the EU. They are the least likely to think they have personally benefitted from the EU or to feel a sense of solidarity with their EU neighbours. They feel anger, disgust, fear or pessimism toward the EU." That seems rather judgmental. Of course, I'm an American. So it isn't really an accurate description of an American against the EU. Even "conservative" has a monarchical element over there that is absent in American conservatives, among other differences.

Saudi Arabia shot down under missile launched into Saudi Arabia from Yemen.

So Evan Hurst is saying there is something wrong with being a lesbian? Tip to Instapundit.

If Secretary of State Tillerson is stepping down in the new year as RUMORINT has it, I assume this is a signal to Russia that efforts to reach out to Russia and pry them off of their cherished path of being aggressive dicks is over. #WhyRussiaCan'tHaveNiceThings.

Former President Obama, contrasting Fox News with the New York Times, said he can understand why people who watched Fox wouldn't have voted for him. He thought it was "weird." If he had any self awareness he'd also understand that the fawning coverage of him by the Times and the rest of the media might explain why people who got their news from those sources would vote for him. Which I found mostly weird (voting for the first African American president was a good thing, even if I wish someone else had gotten that honor).

I used to watch Supergirl until the show went full leftist after the Trump election. The show clearly didn't care if it offended me with its condescending dismissal of conservative views. The virtue signalers were concealing lack of virtue, as it turns out.

Science is hard.

The West Coast, where the wealthy and criminal class are more equal than others. If you still wonder why Trump won.

On the East Coast, those who are wealthy criminals are more equal than others. So why exactly did the FBI frantically try to cover up a tarmac discussion about grandchildren?

Next up after this advance for Evergreen State College: separate drinking fountains! Because minorities should be able to drink water in peace "without it being overshadowed by the dark cloud that is living under white supremacy".

Still turning it to "11" over policy disputes. I can't even take them seriously. They're just nuts.