Sunday, January 26, 2020

Weekend Data Dump

Gosh, I hate how Trump is alienating our traditional allies.

Sailors and Marines can be proud to sail on a ship--a carrier no less!--named to honor an actual hero. I'm still disgusted with the Navy for this decision. "Dorie" Miller previously had a frigate (originally a "destroyer escort"--a less capable version of a "destroyer") named in his honor. For those who say he just did his duty that day, recall that the Navy said his "duties" were limited to serving food. That man served his country that had yet to make good on its promise of equality for all. Give him credit for seeing that our country's founding demanded freedom and equality for people like him.

Jihadis and Iranian proxies at war with Israel--and Egypt. We tend only to notice when it flares up in a more obvious way to make the news.

Russia interfered in our 2016 election--as they have long done even when they were the USSR, to disrupt our country--and some Ukrainians did that, as well. It's not that complicated. I assume that Putin is still handing out bonuses for the crew that worked on America, given the House impeachment that resulted. Democrats essentially claim that Trump's denial of their baseless overwrought charges proves he's an agent of Putin. Nadler has actually circled back to the original fantasy long debunked. Good grief people, the Mueller inquiry had the time, budget, and anti-Trump staffers to manufacture evidence if they wanted to. Yet they came up with bupkis. Those Democrats have gone quite mad. One might say they are deplorable. Useful idiots, indeed.

In regard to this article's broaching of secession as a cure for our polarization, let me suggest an alternative: All states can have a soft secession from the federal government that has grown far more powerful and all-encompassing than our founders could have imagined. Reduce the federal government to truly national issues and otherwise use block grants to help the poorer states gain ground on the average. And let the states handle the issues that the federal government has stolen. Twitter is not the pulse of the nation. It's the pulse of the crazily intense political groupies. But I say if you are worried that the country could split into 2 countries, why not instead go back toward the time when we were numerous countries based on the states? Be 50 "countries" as we were intended to be. We can't go back to the era when Washington, D.C. was a sleepy seasonal swamp (literally) town. But we can restore a lot of the authority of the states that the federal government has taken over since the Civil War, which accelerated a lot after World War II. Restrict the federal government to truly national issues. On state-level issues I don't care if California wants to be California as long as they don't insist every other state be like California.

The US-monitored talks over the Nile River by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan continue.

Rabid violence-prone and probably racist haters concluded a large gun rights rally in Virginia without hate or violence. Despite a probable plant trying to instigate violence. Go figure. The media and the Virginia governor are probably deeply disappointed. Tip to Instapundit.


This is just another form of dictator worship. Actually, Putin is effing up royally.

Democrats have dialed their frothy Resistance up to 11 since before the 2016 election. Impeachment puts it to 12. What will they be like in October?

It is a good point that changing how we elect a president from a majority of the Electoral College to a majority of the votes cast still wouldn't have given Clinton the win in 2016. Surely, nobody wants a voting plurality to be sufficient given how that could promote multiple regional candidates resulting in one who could win with some ridiculously low percentage of the vote concentrated in one region.

The 70mm APKWS can hit small drones.

Russia is trying to leverage their role in Libya's civil war to pressure Europe by posing as the power with its hand on the migrant spigot. A couple weeks ago I mentioned that Turkey and Russia could use their roles in Libya for exactly that.

China has confirmed the spread of a SARS-like coronavirus. This is potentially a world health problem. China has to be worried for more than the health angle, because you never know what will end the Mandate of Heaven.

I don't care what Greta Thunberg thinks about the climate. As a father, I do feel sorry for her. I am concerned that she will end up an 80-year-old high school dropout still droning on about the imminent end of the world.

Jihadis smashed up a key humanitarian aid facility in northern Nigeria. Because, obviously, helping people eat and stuff like that is contrary to Mohammed's teachings. Remember, we victims of the jihadis don't deserve the hate that the jihadis embrace. Seriously, stop the self-hate.

Networking all of of a Navy's ships into a single air defense network able to allocate anti-missiles efficiently and in time is great. The Navy has been working on this Cooperative Engagement Capability for a long time. But even when fully in the fleet we still need more but smaller ships and we still need to be careful about approaching China where masses of anti-ship missiles could overwhelm our networked air defenses.

Damn that Trump for spoiling our alliances to the point where allies won't help us!

Iraqi Sunni Arabs are worried about how a potential conflict between America and Iran could affect them. I'm not sure what they should do, but I think supporting our enemies like Saddam, al Qaeda, and ISIL as they did in the past when they got worried is not the answer. 

I think it is a mistake to let new documents be entered into the impeachment trial in the Senate. If allowed, it encourages fishing-expedition impeachments with no evidence being passed by the House to tie up the Senate in an endless examination of new documents. The House should have done its job and not passed on that job to the Senate.

I know we're supposed to be totally impressed with the media savvy of Representative ACK! But can we just admit she's dumb as a rock?

Sod off swampy, we'll not rescue you from your problems on the theory that we caused your economic collapse rather than your own stupid dictatorial socialist policies.

"The media are devoted to not covering the Biden family’s financial … shenanigans." I long for the simpler days of simpler exploitation of family politicians. That seems almost quaint, doesn't it?

How? Because it was too convenient to disbelieve the stories.

My view of this episode isn't that Sanders doesn't want to be president, but that he doesn't want to alienate the rabid early primary base by going after Democratic rivals for the nomination when those leftists expect 24/7 devotion to attacking the Orange Bad Man. Letting a subordinate stick the shiv into Biden while Sanders gets to loudly disavow the attack is just a safe way of watching Biden bleed out in the primary contest without leaving Bernie's fingerprints on the (figurative) murder weapon. 

Is she as dumb as she apparently thinks we are? Get real. Tips to Instapundit.

People like Weissgerber make lousy revolutionaries. But they do make perfectly adequate gulag guards when all they have to face are unarmed prisoners. So don't laugh at that example of evil. 

Trump can do anything! I began following defense and foreign affairs as a national issue in the early 1970s. I swear I never thought I'd hear Democrats, as Schiff did in the impeachment trial last week, earnestly claiming that they had to impeach Trump to defend America's core national security interests. I wasn't aware that Democrats even knew America had core national security interests let alone that they were determined to defend them!

ANSWER: Because you think it is okay to use children as human shields for your policy choices. We don't let minors sign legally binding contracts so I don't think I'll be taking advice from one over energy policy.

Blue check hack

Starving zoo lions in Sudan "spark global concern." Hundreds of thousand killed there in ethnic cleansing and civil war over the last couple decades spark ... nothing, for the most part.

I realize that Democrats are likely to disagree with my view that Schiff's opening statement in the impeachment speech was like fingernails on a chalk board, but their superlative praise of The Amazing Adam's speech could have been boiled down to "I loved it. It was much better than Cats."

Erdogan is alienating NATO ally America in favor of promoting friendship with long-time enemy Russia. And outside of Erdogan's fantasy world, Russia backs Syria's attacks in northwest Syria over Turkish objections--which continues to make progress in Idlib province--while Russia and Turkey are on opposite sides in the Libyan civil war. Brilliant!

This isn't satire, it's sociology. Now go and emit no more.

I did not know this. Ukraine isn't allowed to use US-supplied Javelin missiles in the Donbas confrontation. If Congress is so upset about a delay by Trump in shipping the missiles, why did they include that provision in the law providing that aid? But at some level it makes sense. It is a weapon best used against Russian tank attacks. And right now the fighting is low level on a static front. I think the front is largely unchanged since late in 2014. Really, that's why I just wasn't upset that the missiles were delayed despite knowing they fill a capabilities gap. If freed for use they'd be used by Ukrainian troops to smash bunkers and buildings, wasting Ukraine's supply of the missiles on targets that could be destroyed by other weapons rather than for the best anti-tank use in case Russia escalates the war to more overt attacks on Ukraine. But rather interesting. Both that fact itself and the fact that this was not revealed until now.

An ally of Soleimani, a local Basij commander in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province named Abdolhossein Mojaddami, was gunned down in his home town. Good. Who did it? Was it America? Israel? Saudi Arabia? Local Arabs unhappy with rule by Tehran? Regardless, there is one less Shia jihadi out there.

People like Berlatsky are revolting specimens of the human race. They should be shunned as the tyrant-loving fanatics they are.

Their mental health issues and delusions shouldn't be my problem.

Is the Democratic impeachment effort actually going to kill the Biden presidential bid in some hilarious collateral damage?

The Army will try out Spike NLOS missiles.

The silence of the lambs media fact checkers. Tip to Instapundit.

Is it really satire about how the left thinks when the left also claims you are Alt-right if you give the "okay" gesture or if you like the Betsy Ross flag? These unhinged people are (tip to Instapundit) simply seeing things that aren't there. So now Bernie Sanders must be a racist and anybody who supports him must be, too. Are we having fun yet? I know I finally am!

Those are exactly the questions I want answered from Warren and her ilk about student loan "forgiveness" and "free" college. And her answer isn't good for America. Does she want to encourage people to simply rely on the government and the politicians who decide who gets what? That was a rhetorical question, by the way. Screwing the people who plan ahead and try to stand on their own is all part of her plan. She does say she is the candidate of plans.

In his second term, Trump could do a lot of good for conservatism if he refuses to carry out policies by administrative rule--even if the policy enjoys broad bipartisan support--if it can be achieved by legislation. Make the legislative body legislate and tell Congress he'll sign what they pass.

After speaking with Iraq's president, Trump said Iraq is happy with America's troop presence. I did not think it was likely that Iraq would eject American troops.

Thirty-four American troops suffered from the concussions caused by the Iranian missile strikes on our two bases in Iraq. While the concussion of explosions is far better than maiming, it is a wound. And if that results in traumatic brain injury, that's a potentially serious wound. It is more than a headache. Still, the initial reports of no injuries is hardly a "lie" as some Democrats charge. Sometimes you just find out more information.

Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, after Russia ended cheap energy exports to Belarus at the end of 2019, accused Russia of trying to absorb Belarus and rejected that outcome: "'We have our own country, we're sovereign and independent. With our brains and hands, we earn what we can, we're building our own country. And we can't be a part of some other country,' Lukashenko said. 'I can't betray you and dissolve Belarus, even in the brotherly Russia.'" He's an unpleasant man, but we do not want Russia controlling Belarus.

Nadler and his ilk are just nuts. It's hard to argue with this observation: "If Trump were a dictator, all the people calling him one would be in unmarked graves. Or, more likely, sucking up to him." You don't have to like Trump to recognize that a dictator wouldn't have allowed leaks from his own administration (because he'd disappear the staff and their families), he wouldn't have allowed impeachments that fed on those leaks (because he'd suspend Congress or arrest the leaders), and he would not have allowed Democrats to take control of the House in the 2018 elections (because he'd have rigged that election the way he's accused of planning to rig the 2020 election). Seriously, these people are delusional.

You know, I never saw impeachment "fact checks" pop up on the Yahoo! news page until the Republicans started to make their defense case. Because the Democrats didn't misrepresent any facts, of course ... In related news, the networks reduced their live impeachment coverage. Of course they did. The Democrats made their case and the media sees no need to cover the Republican defense.


Fighting continues in Libya.

The American CENTCOM commander visited American troops deployed in Syria helping to train and protect the rebel SDF, letting them know that America's mission against ISIL there remains important.

And this funny for everyone (but keep Harry and Meghan away!):

The virus that began in Wuhan, China and which has infected Hong Kong, is mighty convenient for shutting down protests by limiting gatherings and travel. Schools in Hong Kong are shut down for two weeks. If I was the paranoid type I'd totally think China started this to smother the Hong Kong protests. But given the inability to control the virus and aim it at Hong Kong, I have to go with natural causes. Still, one can't overlook the possibility that the Chinese communists thought they could aim it and effed it up ...

How the B-52 lives on.

Israel retaliated for jihadis launching fire balloons from Gaza.

American forces in Syria defending oil fields for use by the SDF turned back without incident a Russian convoy heading that way. Had the Russian convoy gotten there they'd have dug in and dared us to eject them, no doubt. It's always better to hold the ground.

Lebanese anti-corruption protesters were out in force protesting the new cabinet as just the usual suspects returning to power.