Saturday, March 24, 2018

Weekend Data Dump

I'd be happier if schools were criminal-free zones before we focus on guns too much. Good Lord, how stupid are people with power? Tip to Instapundit.

It's good to see a focused effort to make infantry and other "close combat" troops more lethal and effective. The money is a drop in the bucket compared to the big ticket high-tech weapons usually given priority. And it will make infantry more survivable, of course, even without protective additions, by making them more effective and lethal.

The NATO southern flank wasn't pretty but ultimately it worked well enough to help win the Cold War.

Wait, did this "diplomatic staffer" work for France or for Russia?

To be fair, some people just need to be killed. Tip to Instapundit.

Canada will send peacekeepers to Mali. There is little peace to keep in that dangerous jihadi-infected place, so Canada's tough soldiers best recall their Afghanistan combat experience to accomplish their mission.

I did wonder if freeing American captives might be a condition of starting talks with North Korea.

Early in the week, the Assad victory at Ghouta looks like it is past the point of rebels being able to resist the conquest; yet Assad could face a bigger problem if Turkish control in the north allows Turkey to bolster non-Kurdish rebels there. Rememer, Kurds are not willing to spearhead a drive to overthrow Assad. Although Turkey threatens America's position (and those of the Kurds, of course) east of the Euphrates along the border.

Nigeria gained the release of "scores" of girls kidnapped by jihadis. Nigeria claimed no ransom was paid. But are these all of them? Well, all of the surviving girls. Those released say five died and know of one still in captivity. Boko Haram has a real weakness for waging war on girls.

It's different! Because ... shut up. Granted, I would have advised against congratulations, as I would have in 2012. Putin is dangerous. But I didn't criticize Obama then. And don't pretend Russia suddenly got worse between 2012 and 2018--it's just that Democrats suddenly perceived that Russia was working against them. Gosh, I'm so old that I remember when Pravda viciously slammed Romney's presidential bid. Flexibility is waay different than collusion.

But I'm repeatedly told that socialism means you care. Oddly, for a business that purports to explain things to us, "socialism" isn't even mentioned in the article. So the reason for oil-rich Venezuela's accelerating collapse remains a mystery.

Questions as yet without answers. What our government did in trying to get Hillary Clinton elected really is shameful, and heads should roll. Rule of law needs to mean something here. And for those who believe in the ability of the federal government to solve problems, consider that the vast resources of the federal government couldn't help Clinton defeat Donald Trump, of all people. Democrats should have been able to nominate a ham sandwich and get an Electoral College victory given their advantages.

North Korea says their offer to discuss getting rid of their nukes is a sign of strength and not weakness. Good to know. So there is no reason to ease sanctions on North Korea while the talks go on.

Why I always say check the "definitions" section. While the entire cost of an iPhone assembled in China is counted as part of China's trade surplus, only 3-6% is actually from China's part in the multinational supply chain that goes into the phone.

Effing Russians. But don't forget that the Russians got away with that because of the Obama administration's failures. Remember,  flexibility is waay different than collusion.

So a porn star passes a polygraph test about Trump? Years of experience faking orgasms on film makes that achievement less than persuasive. But perhaps I've shared too much. Although honestly it wouldn't be a huge shock if she is essentially telling the truth, eh?

CNN is heavily promoting their admiring series on Pope Francis. I'm sure the shift from seeing the Pope as the head of a vast pedophilia ring as a moral leader has nothing to do with having a pope who seems to have more faith in socialism and global warming than Catholic faith. Sheer coincidence, no doubt.

Israel admits the open secret it destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria back in 2007. You'll recall the mysterious Big Hole Incident that fingered Syria as the location for an Iran-North Korea nuclear transaction.

I'll note again that I deleted my Facebook account early last summer and never did join Twitter. Social media seems really anti-social.

I am woman! Hear me roar! Shut up!

I'm confused. Democrats were aghast that Trump was mean to Kim Jong-Un because it might start a nuclear war even though North Korea as yet has no nukes that can reach America. But Democrats are even more aghast that Trump isn't mean to Putin who has thousands of nukes that can reach America. I'm sure my nuance deficiency is the problem.

Democrats aren't the only side that can organize a Children's Crusade. Have our public schools been so successful at educating or kids that they can take a break from that obsolete job? Stop using children as props and cannon fodder for your cause. Tip to Instapundit.

A tour of Algeria that had its bloody war on jihadis in the 1990s and is hopefully still too exhausted from that to be a jihadi battlefield any time soon.

The Navy wasted a lot of time and effort trying to make the wholly inappropriate Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) actually operate in the littorals (waters close to shores). It was too flimsy, too big, and too expensive to risk that close to vast numbers of land-based assets. Meanwhile an actual littoral warship--the Cyclone class--is getting worn out operating in the Persian Gulf with no replacement in sight.

If Republicans pass a spending bill like this when they have Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court, why do they imagine people will walk across broken glass to vote for them in November? What? They need Hollywood and college professors, too, before acting on their platform? Seriously, WTF? Republicans deserve to lose the House this fall if they can't use their majority to pass legislation. Sadly, America doesn't deserve to endure that development. Amazingly, President Trump would have been the voice of fiscal sanity if he had vetoed the bill. But he didn't. He says this is the last of this kind he will sign. We'll see. And we'll see if he'll even have a Republican Congress to send him better bills. What a clusterfuck.

Yeah, politics don't belong in entertainment. I mostly stopped watching any NFL game other than the Lions (I have issues, I know) and  Supergirl pushed me away despite a really pretty lead actress. Good grief, the reboot of X Files put me off on day one despite my eagerness to have that show again. I'm resigned to entertainment leaning left and overlook a lot. But lately it is getting too much.

The American-designed missile defense site in northern Poland that was supposed to be finished this year won't be ready until 2020.

And yes, McMaster is out. Bolton is fine but it is a shame there isn't room for both in the administration.

China spends on domestic security more than it spends on external security. Here's the data trend. If official data is to be trusted. This development is interesting when you consider that the Chinese Communist Party sees all threats as a continuum of threats to party control of China.

In an age when we're supposed to believe women on rape charges without question, what if the police had brought in some suspects based on her charge? Would they have gone to trial if she had "identified" them as the attackers? Being falsely accused of rape these hypothetical men would have faced tremendous danger to their lives and liberty. That woman should have been imprisoned with serious jail time to send a message about false reports. Rule of law is weakened when there is a "no harm, no foul" attitude about false accusations.

Global carbon emissions are up globally for 2017. No word on whether America, which pulled out of the Paris Accords, continues to show declines of green house gas emissions since the peak of 2007. I eagerly await the details to see if the rest of the world who remained in the farcical accord have reduced their emissions.

Guccifer 2.0 was apparently a Russian intelligence officer. Remember that the Obama administration quietly let Russia's efforts to disrupt our election slide. But don't call that collusion. It's waay different! Assuming the clue is real and not a plant to misdirect. I don't know enough to judge although the article assumes it is a clue.

A jihadi claiming ISIL affiliation was killed after the jihadi killed 3 in France. The jihadi demonstrated the link between Moslem criminals and jihadis. It's almost as if guilt over crime convinces the Moslem criminal to go on a personal jihad to redeem their sin-filled life. Which is fairly twisted, you must admit.

Thin reporting of a possible failed terror attack using a VBIED loaded with propane tanks at Travis Air Force Base in California. It had the ideal result--a dead terrorist. Although this report minimizes the possible terrorism angle. It was certainly deliberate if not terrorism.

ISIL used their brief caliphate period in Iraq to do what they do best--slaughter civilians. It is confirmed that 39 Indian construction workers were murdered by ISIL after taking Mosul in 2014.

I hope that the American presence in Manbij in northwest Syria west of the Euphrates River can keep this area free of Turkish-instigated conflict and free from Syrian control. Ideally, an unofficial deal of having no actual Kurdish troops in Manbij will be a deal good enough to prevent Turkey from expanding their buffer zone in Syria all the way to the Euphrates River.

Europeans are being surprisingly supportive of Britain in regard to the poisoning incident. Russia has the backing of Serbia and Venezuela. Russia couldn't even get Cuba or the rump Axis of Evil to say a good word? We'll see if Europeans (and America for that matter) seriously punish Russia for waging chemical warfare in a Western country. Russia accuses Britain of organizing a "hate campaign" against Russia, neglecting the obvious response that people actually should hate Russia.

"'It's a big discomfort for us to have unpredictable and aggressive counterparts. But this is the reality we have to live with,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the [RIA news] agency," regarding European reaction to the Skripal poisoning by Russia.