Saturday, June 16, 2018

Weekend Data Dump

I don't understand how those on the Left can insist that Trump is a racist bent on enabling overt racism in America. Where is it? I don't see any form of government discrimination or government toleration of discrimination going on around me. Bizarrely, the Left insists that Trump keeps sending "dog whistle" racist comments to his deplorable backers. This is perplexing. If Trump is the dictator who can do what he wants, why would he bother with mere "dog whistles" to give his supporters a giggle? And if Trump is capable of putting a racist government in place, why would his so-called racist supporters be satisfied with mere "dog whistles?" I'm honestly perplexed.

All things considered, Iran should probably focus less on nuclear missile technology and more on water desalinization technology.

Ethiopia says it will withdraw from territory (around Badme) granted to Eritrea by an arbitrator some 20 years after Eritrea went to war with Ethiopia over territorial disputes. At some point, struggling for small scraps of land aren't worth the price even if you win it.

I'm not sure what is going on with the Brexit talks, but the British need to formally get out of the EU even if the terms aren't ideal, and work on fixing it from the outside. Don't let pursuit of a good exit be the enemy of an exit. Because of this effort fails, no British government will be foolish enough to ask the British their opinion on the issue ever again.

The 2018 Ramadan spike in the murder count by jihadis. I'm so old I remember when liberals said that out of respect for Islam, America should suspend offensive operations during Ramadan in the campaign against the Taliban following the 9/11 attacks.

It indeed appears as if Iran is backing the Taliban in western Afghanistan where Taliban from all around Afghanistan massed 2,800 fighters in the failed attempt to take Farah. But the reports of how bad the government's position there are confusing given that the Taliban assault on Farah did actually fail. And the Taliban did apparently have to draw in forces far from Farah. I admit I'm worried. I just don't know if I have a reason to worry.

A brief tour of China-related issues, including Dystopian State 1.0, North Korea's growing fear of China that may be outweighing North Korea's desire for China's protection, and the state of the Philippines' project to get resources from the competing Chinese and Americans.

California may have to severely limit how much water people can use. But don't worry! The progressive government that cares so much about the poor will allow those with swimming pools, spas, and "other water features" to use what they need to maintain them. Woe to those who want to fill a tiny inflatable pool for their over-heated tots on a summer day. Physical inspections  ("site visits") will ferret them out! But the wealthy with even vague "water features" will be just fine. I'm sure they'll invite the sweating tots of the California underclass to cool off in whatever those are. But I'm sure the left-wing fully woke tech oligarchs will be more than happy to pay the bills that their open virtue and compassion require.

Maybe it is just me, but I never watched mafia mob movies and thought, "We really need to keep those dirty Italians out of America." Apparently for the fully woke, you can't hate Hispanic animal killers and criminals. Even in a work of fiction. Perhaps we are running out of upper class English villains. Well, perhaps not.

Apparently, we are no longer allowed to look at Miss America contestants, with the death of the swimsuit competition. The purpose of the competition is now: "To prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women." Apparently that involves making sure nobody in the world wants to tune in to watch those women who bother to "compete" (is that still allowed?).

Is California large enough that the declining Republicans and growing independents could form a new party to provide an alternative to the increasingly left-wing progressivism of California Democrats who dominate the "jungle" primary system California has? Normally you'd figure they couldn't avoid being absorbed into the national Republican party. But California has the population and donation base to perhaps support a long-speculated viable third party within their state's borders alone. Could it be a power broker in leadership elections in Congress, pulling both parties to the center? Such a California regional party would forfeit roles in presidential debates, but how much of a role does California have now? Republicans write it off and Democrats run up the vote there. And would a California Democratic Party free to be as left wing as it wants forfeit its role in pulling the national party left by being just too far left? Or would that enable more pulling? Would a new center-right (and even moderate liberals with a working relationship with reality, really) party with a strong base in California then spread to other states? Remember, our two-party system has been pretty stable. But there is nothing that enshrines either the Republicans or Democrats as one of the two parties. Could one or both die if a California center-right party that succeeds in their home state expands to other states to eventually become a national party? Just speculating.

Surely, this is Peak Stupid. Can't we start with banning assault straws so people can still have the right to home hydration?

Remember that despite the hyper-ventilating about Trump starting "trade wars," that Trump wants an even playing field--at a lower level--and not barriers that prevent trading partners from exporting to America. On average, I've read, our tariffs are lower on imports than our exports face abroad. That was acceptable when our economy dominated the world and our allies needed to export to America in order to recover from World War II. But times change and just because our allies have had the advantage for so long doesn't mean it has to remain that way. Naturally they defend the status quo. We don't have to. I expect the end of this path viewed with panic by some will be a more even playing field at lower levels of tariffs, and not recession-inducing trade barriers.

Have they moved too far to the what? I don't think that word "center" means what they seem to think it means. Tip to Instapundit.

Just go and sign to make PAINCOM a reality!

Some Basques are agitating for independence from Spain. And the European Union smiles.

Unless Egypt plans to bomb the dams, they don't really have much of a choice but to accept Ethiopia's pledge not to screw with Egypt's Nile River water flow. Now what Sudan, which is between those two, might do is another question, I suppose.

Unless Romanians are happy to lag behind the prosperous West they joined, corruption really has to be stamped out to bolster rule of law. And being strong enough to resist Russia would be another benefit of defeating corruption. I don't have the background to judge the anti-corruption protesters versus the government sponsored anti-corruption judge protests, but I suspect the former are the good guys here.

So is Trump the price liberals paid for supporting Bill Clinton's sexual appetites?

It was a bit over 9 years ago that President Obama went to Cairo, Egypt, and gave his much anticipated and much cheered (by the media) "outreach" speech to the Moslem world. Is anybody really surprised that the soaring words that moved liberal pundits so much had no effect on the Islamists fighting the West in the Long War on terror?

Michigan's public universities have a level of autonomy unique in the country, sometimes being called the "fourth branch" of state government. But that doesn't make them immune to obeying the United States Constitution's First Amendment. Good. Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition University of Michigan’s bias response team.

Or is it proof God is trying to get us drunk to trick us?

Oh great. Given how broadly the F-35 is being exported, this is rather inevitable given enough time. I really hope America keeps a lot back in the export models.

I do find it frustrating that Obama claims he had a scandal-free administration. That isn't true and we aren't done discovering what was done. Tip to Instapundit. (Although I'm not sure there is a Benghazi criminal "scandal" as much as there was a shameless political lie told by the Obama administration to benefit his reelection campaign--and the public did not punish Obama for the political deceit in the 2012 election when it had the chance. My interest has always been in knowing why no American forces in Europe began to move toward Benghazi during the crisis given that we had no idea how long it would last at the time.) What is true is that the media ignored, explained away, and moved on from any revelations in solidarity with the administration. And our government didn't investigate itself. Rule of law matters. We should all value it, and it shouldn't require a change of party control in WDC to get it.

As I recently revealed, I didn't vote for Trump in 2016. I remain eternally grateful that he defeated Clinton--whose epic corruption would have been deeply destructive to American rule of law. Not that I expected Road Warrior ruin--but beneath the facade of normality, corruption would have been strengthened to our long-term detriment in the world and in regard to our democracy at the federal level. But Republicans should draw the line on supporting Congressional candidates just because they claim superior loyalty to Trump regardless of their sometimes awful shortcomings on policy or as people. Yes, I wish the Congress we had would have used its control to pass legislation while it had the majority. I complained bitterly about the idea that it was safe to wait after the 2018 elections and do more after. One result is that control of Congress is so much more vital that too many Republicans are willing to tolerate flawed candidates to maintain that control. But no Democrat at the Congressional level is as bad for our future as Hillary would have been. We should risk loss of control of one or both houses of Congress to reject some of those candidates who shield their nature with pledges of loyalty. And damn Congressional Republicans for failing to exploit their control while they had it. Democrats are going nuts by driving hard to the left where antifa, communists, and anarchists thrive. Republicans should not try to trump that level of power hunger.

May Daniel Ortega finally pay a price for being a communist SOB.

Apparently, North Korea will "destroy" an ICBM engine test facility. This wasn't included in the statements of intent signed at Singapore.

This is why so many Americans have contempt for the professor class rather than respect for their education and advice.