Saturday, July 07, 2018

Weekend Data Dump

When the Royal Navy sends their new carriers and new F-35s abroad with proper escorts, will any ships be left to defend the homeland? Who will stop Russian subs streaming through the Greenland-Iceland-UK Gap to the North Atlantic? Heck, I wondered if the British could afford any escorts.

Sudan and South Sudan continue to bleed with little international outrage. Those Africans might well wonder how the Palestinians were crowned Queen of the Victim Prom all these decades.

I have very little stress over the state of America. I never do. But my pride in America doesn't depend on who is in the White House. Get a damn grip, people. Our president is basically a jerk. I freely admit that. But he is no dictator. And our domestic and foreign policies are basically fine, notwithstanding the panic-fest the media engages in every damn day. "Reality-based" community, indeed. Oh, and for added humor value, it really is true that the left's most dedicated opponents of Trump rely on his jerk status to exceed him in jerkiness.

Over 220 sometimes armed protesters have been killed in Nicaragua over the last couple months. Those people might well wonder how the Palestinians were crowned Queen of the Victim Prom all these decades.

After suggesting packing the Supreme Court after Democrats regain the White House, this professor suggests packing the Senate, too. Wait. What? Hitler will let the Democrats win?

I want to amend a statement I made last data dump that people throwing the Nazi charge at Trump and his supporters are historically ignorant and are themselves vile people. The former charge is basically true, but for small numbers who damn well know better. But a lot of people who don't have the historical knowledge sincerely--if grossly wrong--believe the accusation. Which is unfortunate. And as always, do remember that the most extreme voices we see online and in the media don't represent how all people on that side feel about "the other side." Most people are decent sorts. Even when I complain about "liberals" I really am complaining about the few and not the many. :-) As for social media? I'm far happier without participating in that. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

The California plantation. Tip to Instapundit.

But it is the Trump administration that is in "chaos?"

Democracy dies in darkness wokeness.

The Israelis are perplexed that we are delivering F-35s to Turkey. Me too. Unless the design of the widely exported plane is expected to fall into our enemies' hands (if that hasn't already happened online). I wonder if we turned off the data- sharing capability that makes the plane so dangerous to enemies? We might have given the Turks a Lamborghini body with the interior and engine of a VW "Bug." Surely, we know that a Turkish order for only 6 F-35s (noted in this long post) is basically enough to take them apart to learn how they work and turn that information over to our enemies--for a price--right?

There is a dispute over who the "useful idiots" are in that alliance.

Forget about wiping an inconvenient server. Swiping it is safer. Our friends the Pakistanis at work, it seems. Tip to Instapundit.

Leftist though he is, I wish Mexico's president all the best in fighting corruption.

This last Wednesday I was walking down the street and I thought I walked by Professor Jordan Peterson. Which seemed silly until I remembered 5 seconds later that I was on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. I don't have well formed thoughts on him apart from thinking he is a net good.

The question wasn't dumb. If we could have ended Venezuela's misery, would that have been so bad?  And we didn't "invade." So the misery continues.

I'm seriously not worried about a civil war here, despite the uptick in speculation.

Last summer I saw the Second City comedy show in Toronto and it emphasized an anti-Trump theme. Not the majority, but a constant source of bits that were not really funny, for the most part. Just angry. This year's show did not have such a focus and Trump was only "denounced" by the comics at the prompting of an American audience member. So that's progress in the Trump Hysteria Condition, isn't it?

Turkey is more of a problem. Strategypage notes that it is largely due to Erdogan who has ruled Turkey since 2004, with increasingly autocratic powers. But add in the growth of the number of more Islamic friendly (not Islamist) people who don't value a secular government. And remember that Erdogan had the support of President Obama who pinned his hopes on demonstrating how a "tame" Islamist could embrace Islam without the baggage of Islamist terrorists and their supporters tagging along.

Some segment of the American Left says ICE is a "terrorist" organization. I know they don't mean it, because that segment of the American Left makes any excuse they can think of for why actual terrorist groups kill Americans.

If I understand the issue correctly, some Republicans want Trump to fail and for Democrats to take over Congress to help that failure along because they worry Trump is so damaging the Republican brand that Republicans might fail in future elections to the point that Democrats would take over Congress. So Republicans must lose power now to avoid the chance of losing power later? Okay, I don't get that logic at all. I really am deficient in nuance.

America wants a quick trade deal with Britain after Brexit. Good. We need to help Britain prosper after escaping the grasp of continental wannabe autocrats.

I don't want a trade war. But I don't mind revising the terms of trade--especially if the existing terms are tilted against America. But you have to admit that pushing for revisions when we are adding jobs at a good rate lessens the ability of trading partners to hit us with tariffs that cost jobs here.

America has less than 5% of the world's population. The Left insists America is anti-immigrant because in 2017, for the first time since 1980, America didn't resettle more refugees in a year than the rest of the world combined. Yet even in 2017, America resettled a third of the refugees resettled despite having 1/20 of the world's population. Overall, since 1980, America has resettled 75% of the 4 million refugees resettled. What an odd way of being anti-immigrant. I'd rather address labor shortages that exceed the ability of wage increases to address with increases in legal immigration that selects for the skills employers need.

A highly flawed "study" based on the perceptions of unidentified "experts" says America is the tenth most dangerous country for women. So a BS study gives ammunition to those thug rulers who really do abuse women by undermining America--where women are truly free. But more importantly, how dare these study authors deny the tremendous progress America made in 8 years of Obama's hope and change! Ah, social science!

What the Hell is wrong with all you people convinced we are all doomed? Things keep getting better and you can't even see it! Why?

The Marines, who already have their own planes and armed helicopters for air support, are getting squad-level air power. The Army has opted for squad air power, too.

The story about the Army discharging immigrants is a BS hit piece. People who haven't even been to basic training yet are being discharged because they didn't pass their security checks, for the most part. Saying these recruits are being "quietly discharged" to imply secrecy is nonsense, too. It simply means the Army did its job and didn't issue a press release. I--and every other soldier finishing their term of service--was "quietly discharged" at the end of my service. Ooh. Scary. And the numbers are tiny compared to immigrants actually serving in the military. The American military actually has a long history of accepting immigrants and is not doing anything wrong.

President Trump is wrong to think deploying American troops overseas is too expensive. Here's an example. And if our troops weren't based overseas (and few combat brigades are these days), we'd need more air and sea lift to move them overseas in a crisis. Remember, we have to support our troops wherever they are based, and allies don't subsidize our troops in America.

Belgium folded their existing parachute and commando battalions into a new special operations regiment. I think I'd rather Belgium contribute several heavy brigades to NATO.