Sunday, April 02, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

Travel bans (that aren't actually bans) are racist, I'm told. But so is getting upset about them. Man, how do liberals even keep track of what they are supposed to be really upset about? Is there an app? Truly, the interstupidality is impressive.

I'm sure it is a toxic masculinity problem. It takes a child to raze a village, it seems.

American-backed militias fighting ISIL in Syria grabbed most of the Tabqa air base near Raqqa, which was the site of an Assad defeat that shook the regime's base of support. Those militias are also, I assume, anti-Assad rebels. So it will be interesting to see whether Assad orders an assault on the base and whether America will support the rebels to hold the base.

NATO is starting to notice Russian Arctic activities.  Operating in that environment requires special equipment and training just to survive there let alone fight and win there. I've long felt that we need a POLARCOM (Polar Command) as a separate regional unified command to address the threats and unique problems.

The X-37B robotic space plane (with a pickup truck-sized cargo bay) set an orbital duration record (for that craft) last month. There is a lot of speculation about the purpose of the craft, of course. Never say the Air Force doesn't aim high.

China will disband 5 of their 18 corps headquarters. The corps are 14, 16, 20, 27, and 47. I sincerely doubt that the 200,000 troops in those corps will be discharged. I assume this is just streamlining with the awareness that large-scale conventional warfare is unlikely in the near future and that 13 corps-level commands will suffice. Those troops might supply the manpower for China's announced dramatic expansion of their marine force, or paratroopers, as the article notes. There may also be a political angle.

Good God, these people are morons. Trump is certainly making them stupid. Tip to Instapundit.

China is nearing completion of interlocking radar and offensive and defensive capabilities in the South China Sea.

I was going to mock this plan to provide bedtime snacks for Army recruits by asking what's next, drill sergeants tucking in recruits at night in their bunks? But if it helps reduce casualties during basic training, I guess I won't whine too much about what it was like way back in 1988.

The ethnic Chinese community in France has learned from Moslem riots and car torching outings that this is the way to get attention, after French police called to deal with an altercation shot a Chinese man. How long before Iran get nukes and learns from China in this incident that Iran can call in a French ambassador to demand explanations for the shooting of a Moslem person in France?

Russia is concerned about United States Navy ships in the Black Sea because the Russians don't know what kind of missiles the ships carry. Note to Russia: They're the kind that explode. So don't buzz them in a dangerous manner.

Russia has a lot of problems, but don't assume that those problems will moderate or depose Putin. Bad regimes know how to endure.  And for real fun, if Putin goes, his successor could be much worse.

Kudos to United Airlines for resisting the fake outrage brigade that gathered to indict the company for preventing girls flying on virtually free tickets available through employees from boarding a plane because they failed to meet the dress code. I have some experience as a "non-rev" (non-revenue) passenger flying on a space-available basis. There was a dress code and a code of conduct with rules of engagement, too. You were expected to be quiet and not make requests of flight attendants who are busy serving paying customers. You can accept service or consumables if offered, but don't ask. But no, rather than understand the issue, the Outrage Brigade looking to recruit more victims for the unit opened fire on a company that did nothing wrong in a program that benefits employees.

The Democratic Party purge is on. Let's see if the party moderates in reaction to their long slide across America at the federal and state level, or whether the new DNC head decides it needs more cowbell and doubles down on leftist policies. An indicator will be if Green (a party of socialists who like to recycle, basically) presidential candidate Jill Stein joins the party, eh?

Russia continues to play spoiler in the Balkans, relying on Serbs as the anchor.  Trouble there is a potential distraction for NATO to holding the line against Russian advances in Ukraine and the Black Sea and in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Seriously? Reducing online privacy is a Republican priority?

Is America producing too much oil? A lot of time the impact of prices is focused on the effects on oil exporters and on the effect on alternative energy production. But a lot of countries import oil and the less affluent countries surely appreciate the relief on that burden. Is it possible that lower oil prices are the most effective anti-poverty program in the developing world? Drill baby, drill.

I don't know. I realize that I was just a Signal Corps REMF--and quite some time ago--but a third mechanical arm to hold a soldier's personal weapon looks stupid. Adjusting it to fire prone is one thing, but how do you hit the deck fast with that thing in front of you? Far better in the long run to have an exoskeleton to help lessen the burden of carrying and aiming a weapon, among other things, I think.

The British Prime Minister triggered the Brexit process formally. Good. Sometimes you have to escape the continent to emerge victorious. Let's hope the British aren't the only country to escape. The EU is no friend of America. We should not back a multi-ethnic anti-democratic imperial power that controls the continent west of Russia. Isn't one of those things in Europe problem enough?

Note to Democrats: This is actual Resistance to a dangerous government.

I don't believe Senator Schumer's rage is any less calculated than his tears. But the rubes love it.

The top American general in Europe wants more aerial surveillance and a full heavy division permanently based there. I'd rather have a full corps (see p. 15), but a full division is a start.

US-backed rebels in southern Syria have gained control of territory that ISIL had controlled as the ISIL fighters pull back to defend Raqqa.

Modern feminists get outraged that so many women refuse to call themselves "feminists." The feminists point to the big battles won in the past without realizing that modern feminists basically focus on trivial bullshit given that the big battles are past--and won. Feminists are now just the women's auxiliary of leftism, as far as I can see. Tip to Instapundit.

It is bad enough that modern feminism is largely the women's auxiliary of leftism, but the auxiliary has a stupid wing that is mind boggling in its ignorance.

America is increasing support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Which should be good news for Democrats since this fight against Iranian influence there is an example of "leading from behind," no?

China is upset that Japan will promote civilian settlements on their East China Sea islands. China has a lot of nerve to complain about that relatively small effort.

"Although critics would later point out the simplicity of Bierut's final design—a blue 'H' containing a rightward facing red arrow—a lot of thought went in to creating it, according to the essay. 'I put together a three-person team: me, designer Jesse Reed, and project manager Julia Lemle,' Bierut wrote. 'We would work in secret for the next two months.'" Funny, I always thought the Hillary Clinton campaign logo looked like a prison door being slammed shut. Tip to Instapundit.

If Democrats are truly outraged at Russian/Soviet interference in our elections that finally targeted them, why haven't any of them in Congress introduced a declaration of war bill to strike back at Russia? No worries, their sudden outrage will dissipate as Russian hostility returns to traditional Republican targets.

A police chief is upset that too many veterans being hired under veteran preference rules derails diversity goals. The chief should look on the bright side by remembering that many don't survive going to war to get non-disabled veteran status. It could be worse, eh? So the chief has that going for him.

South America's geography curtails its potential to be influential in world affairs.

Heh: "So you drastically expand the definition of 'sexual harassment,' and then promote an ethic that says that all accusations must be believed, and then you’re shocked that workplace men don’t want to hang out with women? How stupid are you?" Actually it is no laughing matter.

Venezuela's socialist autocrat made his loyal judiciary the legislative branch. Amazingly, protests led the court to rescind their order. For now. Thank God no American liberals want to do the same thing here! Although the court kept in place Maduro's power to loot the oil industry. So he can starve the opposition into submission more easily.

A proposed overall 1.2% decrease in discretionary spending by the Trump administration is not "gutting" the budget. What liberal bias? As an optimist, I'm encouraged that back in the day, a simple slowdown in the rate of growth was considered "gutting" the budget.

Sure, Trump's coal action won't by itself reverse coal's decline. But at least the free market will do the job rather than being killed by a government decision that is final. And who knows, with coal no longer under death sentence by the government, perhaps a free market will find ways to make coal more acceptable and useful, saving it and the jobs required to mine it and adapt it. If coal dies off because it is inferior to alternatives, so be it. But if coal can adapt and survive, will you really be upset?

Because Hillary Clinton was so trustworthy as a steward of our nation's secrets.

You'd think scientists could manage to make more than 1% of their scientific papers follow the scientific method. Speaking of which, the Slope's Mannkey Trial drags on with Mark Stein fighting Mann's defense of his discredited creation of the hockey stick.

With the need for NATO states to project power into and through Poland during a potential crisis with Russia, Poland's purchase of Patriot air defense missiles is a welcome addition to Polish defense capabilities.

I still want to know why the American military didn't move toward Benghazi in 2012 the way our para-military forces did. Arguing that the consulate couldn't have been saved assumes we knew when the crisis would end. Until it ended we didn't know how long the crisis would last. I never focused on the lies about the video. As odious as that explanation was, that was a political spin issue that was best resolved by politics. The voters didn't punish that, so the political angle is over. But we had plenty of forces in Europe and they did not even begin to move. Why?

Useful summary of issues around Obama spying on and Russian involvement with Trump allegations.

I don't know if my personal concerns about General Mike Flynn are because he has been targeted for reputation destruction or not. But the pattern of the politics of personal destruction by Democrats has long been clear; and the growing politicization of disagreements is equally clear. So I don't assume that Flynn's offer to testify in exchange for immunity means that there is Trump-damning information as much as I assume it is general self defense in this disturbing era.