Saturday, January 06, 2018

Weekend Data Dump

Science deniers.

I'm all for ending sexual harassment in the workplace, but what does making Human Resources departments "proactive" mean? Will HR staff become the political commissars of American companies enforcing goodthought? People should be capable of being polite on their own. Pity that isn't the case. Pity HR departments may become weaponized.

How civilians die. Spoiler alert: the Nazis were very bad but not the worst, assurances from random antifa thugs (and college professors) to the contrary.

Strategypage's January review of wars and conflicts, with a look at the imperial impulses. Always useful. Although I don't think it can be said that the Syrian multi-war is over; although Assad clearly passed a point of maximum danger based on Russian intervention and the American coalition's defeat of ISIL (along with Iranian and Hezbollah support).

I'm again hearing liberals defend handing over pallets of cash to Iran as part of the atrocious Iran nuclear deal as simply "returning Iran's money to them." Meanwhile the same liberals say it is a crime against humanity to cut taxes and take less of their own money from Americans. Huh.

India votes against Israel and America on the embassy issue in the UN; Palestinians repay India by meeting with Mumbai massacre mastermind. India needs to realize that these people are not friends of India. They never will and never will be. Will India never learn? Tip to Instapundit.

Obama people have no standing to criticize Trump reactions to Iran protests given the past administration's record of empowering Iranian oppression at home and regional aggression, support for terrorism, and paving the way for Iran's mullah rulers to get nuclear weapons. Trump may not have more success in getting a responsible Iran, but at least it isn't morally damning as the Obama approach of propping up thugs in cloaks in the hope they'll voluntarily change their tune. So I don't want to hear one damn word of criticism from the Obama dotards. They still seem to honestly believe they are brilliant.

America is threatening to reduce aid to Pakistan if they don't stop playing their double game of supporting terrorists while attacking other terrorists.  A regional strategy needs more cooperation from Pakistan. But our supply lines still go through Pakistan. Luckily we have few enough troops in Afghanistan that it isn't the same scale of a worry as during the Obama surges. And I'll say that a friendly Iran would make it easier to pressure Pakistan.

People unclear on the concept of "figurative." I'm not sure whether the problem is with AP or their readership.

Iran finally has their new land route from Iran to Syria and Lebanon (near the end of the long post at the December 16, 2017 entry). I suppose the question is whether Iraq will interrupt it--and whether the protest in Iran will end the starting point of the terror highway.

People unclear on the concept of "hyperbole." I'm not sure whether the problem is with CNN or their audience. Honestly, CNN used to call Bannon a white supremacist. Now they think he is a legal scholar providing controlling legal authority. They find this more compelling than growing unrest in Iran. Seriously, this is all they are talking about since I turned it on a half hour ago.

Collusion 2.0. Bigger! Badder! More collusiony! At this point these accusations are either perceptively persistent or bizarrely delusional. And it seems like 99% chance of latter.

Global warming will destroy chocolate in 30 years? I'm not worried, GMOs will fix the problem. Which the global warming types also oppose. The hysteria is amusing, at some level. And sad, of course.

So there were irregularities in the Obama administration investigation of the Clinton email scandal? As Jonah Goldberg has often exclaimed in utter frustration at the density of the Hillary email crime,  the private server is the smoking gun!

Jesus Christ, people, enabling failure is not compassionate! Stop destroying children's lives while pretending you are helping them! And it was financially rewarding for school employees to pretend they were educating children. Thank God many were willing to publicly expose the charade. Sigh. Democrats always claim Republican policies will destroy the lives of children. But it is their bastions that do the most damage every day, it seems.

Did Russia provide Israel with information to compromise the air defense missiles Russia sold Iran?

If you think presidential Tweets will provoke North Korea to nuclear war you are essentially saying that the North Korean leadership is not rational enough to deter. And softer tones got us to North Korea being on the cusp of nuclear threats to American territory, don't forget. And in completely unrelated news, North Korea has reopened the border hotline with South Korea. When you are doing a good cop/Trump cop routine, somebody has to play the role of Trump.

Naturally, socialist and oil-rich Venezuela has run out of gasoline. Socialism can eff up a wet dream. The "reality-based community" never seems to catch on to that basic fact. Tip to Instapundit. No doubt Maduro's regime will start finding and executing "wreckers and hoarders" who have sabotaged Venezuela.

Democrats are looking forward to Wolff's book dishing dirt on Trump. Question: if Trump didn't expect to win the election, didn't want to win, and was in fact surprised he won, why would he "collude" with the Russians to try to win? I'm on the record as thinking he was surprised--as almost all of us were--that he won the election. And I do suspect he began his primary campaign to bolster brand Trump. But the "collusion" allegation nonsense just won't die even if Democrats celebrate Wolff.

Democrats are seeking novel ways to avoid paying more taxes with the cap on state and local tax deduction on federal taxes. I'm so old I remember when Pelosi said lowering your taxes was unpatriotic. Honestly, at some point haven't those people wealthy enough to lose that deduction made enough money?

It sure is depressing to have a president too careless to trust with the nuclear "button."

Fiddling while Rome burns. Well, I think the Pope wants a better class of Green followers, anyway.

Friendly fire. Yeah, there's always a chance you'll nuke yourself with ballistic missiles.

No. Way! This is actually shocking to some people.

No. Way! To be fair, lots of poor young single men from anywhere would probably have similar--if perhaps less pronounced--crime vectors, but just because the young men are from Moslem countries is no reason to avert your eyes from the problem.

So there were people truly worried Trump's "nuclear button" Tweet risked nuclear war? Oh good grief. Mind you, I'm worried that North Korea might launch nukes but I don't believe the president's Tweet had any bad effect on that question. I'd feel differently if this had happened in the midst of a US-Soviet crisis back in Cold War days, but this is a very different situation. Worry about the right things. The problem is North Korean nuclear status and not presidential Tweets in response to North Korean Tweets.

I tuned in to watch the new X-Files. I loved the original. Although the recent movie was disappointing. I didn't like how Scully and Mulder had evolved. I just didn't like them much. Still, I had to try the series. I actually turned it off with fifteen minutes to go. I just didn't care about the story and figured I'd just write off the 45 minutes I spent on that to keep the 15 I'd yet to waste. I wonder if my reaction is an outlier.

Evidence that North America was inhabited much earlier than the consensus says.  In the 1980s I knew a PhD student in archeology. He would tell me that there was a scientist mafia (my word, not his) that suppressed any evidence that contradicted the accepted model of migration to the Americas. He wasn't speaking of this new evidence, of course. But his stories did have a role in removing the awe we are supposed to hold scientists in as holders of "the truth." They are people like anyone else and not to be trusted to run our lives because they are scientists any more than monarchs should be trusted because God granted them authority.

Latvia is losing people.

The Chinese are trying to keep their own people from getting any dangerous ideas from the Iranian protesters.

France responded to terror attacks two years ago by putting police and troops on the streets. That state of emergency can't be carried on for long, I said. Well, French police are upset at being attacked by "youth." You need to reach the end of the long article to find that the "youth" causing problems are from immigrant neighborhoods. Holding the lid on a boiling pot even harder can only be a temporary solution to deal with the real problem of pressure increasing. Will France do that?

America plans a winter offensive in Afghanistan. I thought that plan was already established.

I did worry that Russia would closely watch our advanced aircraft operating over Syria and learn more than we'd like. Although my worst fear hasn't happened. But Russia (and China) might be storing that "treasure trove" of information away for later use. We gained valuable lessons operating against ISIL in Syria around Russian air defenses. But Russia learned a lot too. China wasn't operating there but Russia could have shared, or China could have learned some things from afar.

My concerns over the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terror attacks have always centered around why the military didn't send whatever forces were available toward Benghazi just in case we had time to intervene (remember we didn't know how long it would last until it was over). Prosecuting Clinton or anybody else was never on my mind. How the administration lied about the issue for so long and failed to act in time or to prevent the attack were issues for the voters to decide on in that year's election. Of course, the media worked hard to dismiss questions of how the administration acted which deprived the voters of information to evaluate suitable political punishment. Reason number X of why I don't trust our press corps. I've never read a good answer for why the military didn't head to the sound of the guns that day. Remember, that is exactly what the State Department's security people did. Why not the military?

The people have probability has spoken.

In what alternate universe is academic freedom a threat to minorities rather than a protection against a tyranny of the majority? I wouldn't mind really left-wing pampered college students so much if they weren't so darned stupid.