Sunday, June 10, 2018

Weekend Data Dump

ISIL may not have a caliphate to rule, but as long as they have civilians to slaughter, they'll be content enough for now.

I suspect Iran is sending their messenger boy Assad to North Korea ("'I am going to visit the DPRK and meet HE Kim Jong Un,' Assad said on May 30, North Korea's KCNA news agency reported[.]") to urge them not to spill their secrets on the Iran-North Korea nuclear missile links. And how woke is Assad to emphasize Kim's preferred gender pronoun?!

Big bada boom.

Don't be fight evil. And if our strikes on bloody jihadis are less effective because of this action, killing more innocents, those same employees can protest America even more, demonstrating how much they truly care.

I suspect that this isn't remotely "science," but is just guilt-stricken Western liberalism applied to the cosmos. I find it odd that the "study" assumes humans will be on the giving end of that killing imperative. Tip to Instapundit.

The recent Lebanon election strengthened pro-Hezbollah factions. After the election, the Saudis insisted on--and got--a purge of pro-Hezbollah elements in one party, Future Movement. That would certainly help mute Lebanon's official reaction to a possible Saudi-backed Israeli operation to gut Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It's really a darned shame that Americans never lived up to President Obama's lofty expectations.

I know there has been some mocking of about the reports of the "narrow" 7-2 Supreme Court ruling in favor of a baker in the "gay" cake case, but the "narrowness" was in the scope and not the size of the vote. The baker was treated unfairly, the court said, without making this a case of broad application (or was it?). And as I've said before (in this data dump), I'd rather this be a matter for private decisions and not be a case for the law. But if it is to be a case for the law, I think the baker should be compelled to bake for all. And on that score, I eagerly await a gay couple's attempt to get an observant Moslem baker who opposes gay relationships to bake their wedding cake. The battle for supreme victimhood status will be delightful to watch.

Yeah, this has always been a problem for me. As I get older, I think I'm better at identifying those dangerously under the slope of the line. But perhaps I've shared too much.

Good Lord, is New Zealand really untrustworthy on intelligence sharing because of Chinese influence? How is that even possible for a free democracy far from China?

Putin says he isn't trying to divide and weaken the European Union. I believe him.

The federal government will borrow $1 trillion this fiscal year. This has to end. I didn't oppose the tax cut because the deficit always seems to reach staggering levels whether or not revenue surges or crawls ahead. Better to have a deficit with Americans keeping more of their money, I figure. But eventually spending growth needs to be cut below the level of tax revenue increases.

Russia has some of the dud missiles we fired at Syria's chemical weapons assets. One can hope we launched weapons that were not as advanced as the ones we'd use in a great power war.

Yeah, my view has been that "evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud." It seems more like a religious rite designed to make people feel superior to those who don't. I take part in the city "single stream waste process." I hear it is popular in Japan. Really, just disregard anyone who claims we are running out of landfill space because they have no idea how that works.

Were there "unprecedented" violations of Iraqi election law and practice in the recent parliamentary election? Or is this more an excuse by the government to retain power? I suppose the healing power of "and" is required. If America hadn't left Iraq prematurely in 2011 we might be further along in helping the Iraqis build democracy and rule of law. Let's work the problem, people, or bullets rather than ballots will be the means Iraqis use to settle political disputes. The next step will apparently be a manual recount. I hoped this would be an opportunity to identify fraud and not just have a new round of fraud. Silly me, thinking those were the only choices: the ballot box storage site went up in flames.

If "reality doesn't exist until we measure it" doesn't that support the notion that we live in a simulation where areas of the world we don't directly see aren't generated until we look at that area?

A fascinating discussion of the presidential pardon power. Funny how the nuance of the issue disappeared since then. I have no informed opinion on the issue. I just note it.

Democrats claim Trump wants the national anthem issue alive to motivate his base in the fall elections. But the only reason this is an issue is if the Democrats oppose him. Democrats should simply say "The anthem is a symbol of Americans pursuing our ideals--even when we haven't achieved them--and we should all celebrate a country that allows everyone to pursue their potential and strive for our ideals." That would disarm the issue as a Trump weapon. But Democrats won't do that.

Details on America's parallel air war in Yemen targeting jihadis with the intent to strike America. America also supports the Saudi-led coalition to defeat the Iran-backed side in the civil war, but the strike campaign is separate.

North Korea may very well just be trying to scam goodies without giving up anything significant on their nuclear program, buying time to get nuclear weapons in the meantime during the talks. But if the Trump administration is serious about striking North Korea to prevent them from going nuclear, there is no better symbol of making military force "the last option" than a Trump-Kim meeting. Can anybody say that America didn't try all measures before using force if North Korea doesn't agree to something good, verifiable, and fast in the summit?

If Kim Jong-Un is that worried, America should offer to give him 100 "antifa" thugs for his personal bodyguard. And buh bye commie cadet. We should have given him to the North Koreans to lead the "antifa" guards. North Korea could keep them all as a lovely parting gift even if the Singapore talks don't work out.

It does seem if the dominant European culture is all about waiting for Europe to deservedly die. If Europeans don't want to defend the advanced democracy they built, somebody will take the prize by force--whether from within or by invasion. Right now I think the Brussels-based European Union is the biggest threat to democracy in Europe. We've seen from the difficult Brexit issue that cheese regulations are more powerful than Russian tanks in holding an empire together.

So we don't have to impoverish the world starting last week if global warming takes place enough to be dangerous? Huh.

Wonderful. Jihadis in South America. I missed that story about thwarting ISIL in Trinidad and Tobago earlier in the year. At this point I'm just going to assume jihadis are in Venezuela where the state is in the process of collapsing.

Hamas continues its civilian shield border assault. If Israel didn't resist, this wouldn't be the first time that civilians were used to assert control by marching across a border.

I'm not even going to pretend to understand this reason--unless it is 5-dimension chess. I assume it was a joke. Which is fairly funny.

The Marines have reorganized and reequipped their squads. It seems like it is related to preparing to fight big rather than small wars.

We lost a special forces soldier in Somalia to an enemy mortar attack. While that isn't near the border, with Kenyan and Somali troops involved, it sounds like there was an operation along the common border to hunt jihadis.

America and Turkey came to a deal over Manbij, Syria, west of the Euphrates River where what I've called a Deconfliction Line (DCL) is getting more firmly defined. I think basically we were unwilling to fight for the Kurds west of the Euphrates but didn't want to abandon the Kurds to be hit by the Turks. 

It is odd that the Taliban would approve a short ceasefire during their "spring offensive" in the "fighting season," isn't it? I don't trust a three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan. Could the Taliban just be repositioning troops for another try to take Farah? Could it be to help their fighters massed for the prior failed attack scatter back to their points of origin? Or something not related to Farah, of course.

We have grounded our B-1 bombers over a faulty ejection seat hatch. I'm always suspicious when something like this happens because it could be a cover for readying more of the force for surge combat missions. If the Singapore talks fail, would we tell Kim Jong-Un at the end of that meeting that while he is obviously free to go wherever he wants, that flying back to North Korea would be inadvisable until our just-beginning bombing campaign on his nuclear facilities ends?

Ah, Hell, this is sad.

China stole naval missile data from us. We minimized the value of the data stolen. Even as I fear what China could do with this kind of information, I always hope in these cases that the information lost is information we want China to have.