Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Some Thoughts

Some interesting things in the news. Let's discuss.

World War III(A) Cancelled: The media is selling the narrative that we are headed toward World War III with Putin. The narrative is that Putin is a sly monster who wants to dominate the world and is intent on doing so no matter the cost, and Trump is a bumbler with a small dick who doesn't know how dangerous Putin in. This is wrong.

I could have believed a war at the end of Obama's term simply because of the actions Putin took -- calling back Russians from abroad (including diplomat's kids), sending troops to several hot spots, testing US ship defenses, cancelling communications with US military commanders, sending bombers into British air space, rounding up political opponents, and seemingly hugging our enemies (Iran, Venezuela, China). But not now.

After Trump bombed Syria, Putin placed a cruiser between us and Assad and screamed that he would stop Trump even if it meant war. Trump called his bluff and Putin promptly announced he would not shoot down our missiles. He's also been suspiciously quiet in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe, even as US troops moved into the region. And he's withdrawn naval forces. To me, this confirms that Putin is unwilling to even come close to risking a war. I think he's afraid of Trump, honestly, because he thinks Trump doesn't bluff.

World War III(B) Delayed: Interesting stuff in Korea. The Chinese have become increasingly worried there will be a war between North Korea and pretty much everyone else. They've even gone so far now as to (1) send 150,000 troops to the Korean border to "manage refugees," which I think translates into "move in and seize the country when things start", (2) warn very vocally that US threats are not bluffs, and (3) stop criticizing efforts to finally muzzle North Korea. I think they are worried that North Korea is particularly unstable at the moment and they reached the same conclusion as Putin on Trump: he means it. So they have decided to become our friends. To his credit, Trump is asking for their help too.

For its part, North Korea seems to be responding with whining. Like a child, they are basically saying it's not fair that we are preparing to take them down. I suspect they are planning to backtrack fast.

Gays Move Right... oui oui: I told you all after the election that gays would leave the left because they got what they wanted and they have no reason to remain loyal to an ideology that doesn't truly fit their lifestyles. I said that some would move right, some would drop out of politics, and some would stay on the left. There's been lots of suggestive evidence of this too. Anyways, it's happening quite openly in France now and the reason is Islam. Apparently, gays have become some of the biggest supporters of Marine Le Pen, and the reason is that they don't like the kind of anti-gay world Islamists are bringing and which the left is turning a blind eye toward. The left is shocked and horrified because they have always pushed the idea that the right is anti-gay, but apparently, gays are smart enough to see through that to the real danger.

Not Gay Enough: As an aside, I think the effort to find a transsexual issue to use to keep gays unified on the left is doomed. There just aren't very many transsexuals (estimates range between 200,000 and one million), and their issues are not as unified as "gay marriage" was for gays. Transsexual issues are complex and nuanced with different people having different ideas of what is important and what they want -- one size does not fit all. That makes this almost impossible to use as a tool for unifying a broad group. Moreover, I've never seen any evidence that gays are sympathetic to transsexuals. So while all this screaming about bathroom laws may play on the straight left, it doesn't really work to hold the gays in the coalition.

Sexy: Anybody remember when Trump got elected how all the leftist designers raced out to tell us they would no dress Melania? The left then attacked her for how much her clothes costs and re-cutting one dress and whatever else they could think of. They wailed that she's no fashion icon like Michelle Obama! Harrumph! Well, now it turns out that the European royals are starting to copy her style because it's super glamorous. That's something no one did with Michelle... who dressed like she got her clothes at KMart. Huge win for Melania.

Smell My Pointy Finger: Hillary keeps laying the blame on everyone but herself for her loss. She has now blamed (1) the FBI and Director Comey, (2) Wikileaks (multiple incidents -- the DNC, John Podesta), (3) Humma-Weiner, (4) Obama's lack of effort, (5) Bernie Sander's opposition, (6) sexism, (7) Bill's wangdoodle/Bill's ego, (8) the media for covering her with less than absolute pro-Clinton bias, (9) the media for not destroying Trump hard enough, (10) Breitbart, (11) Russia/Putin, (12) the Koch Brothers, (14) whoever was responsible on her campaign for polling white Hillbillies, (15) the Electoral College, (16) etc. Between this and the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that worked to sabotage Hillarycare and hook Bill on interns, Hillary seems just a tad paranoid... or is she simply incapable of accepting responsibility? You decide.


tryanmax said...

OMG! I could punch myself in the face. There's a strain of talk going around saying the Trump/Putin bromance is over. Because they can't let go of the idea that there never was one! This same bunch are also insisting that investigation continues into election hacking, so at least there's some conspiratorial consistency, but still.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the problem with so many people these days. They refuse to be wrong. If the facts don't fit their theory, they just spin them until they do. If they can't figure out how to spin it far enough, they go into conspiracy mode to wipe out the fact.

AndrewPrice said...

As an off topic aside, I had to laugh. This racist black chick wrote an article about visiting IHOP in Los Angeles. She was disturbed to see no blacks working there. So she suspected racism! She called the manager over and demanded to know how many blacks work for them. He said 4 in 24 employees. Clearly, that's not enough! And she told him she liked to see faces that mirror the community and she didn't, so why doesn't he hire more? He said they hire through the website and anyone can apply, but blacks don't apply because they don't want to work.

Now, that's not what he said, that is her paraphrase of what he said. Of course, she was outraged. Surely blacks want to work, but they don't get the chance because racists would rather hire Mexicans and she's sick of the fact that everyone accuses you of racism when you point out that they are giving black jobs to Mexicans.

First of all, 4 in 24 is 15%. Blacks make up 11% of the population nationwide and only 7.2% of the population in California. So the guy already hired twice as many blacks as he should have to mirror the population. The racism claim is crap.

Secondly, how is he supposed to hire more if they don't apply?

Third, does no one else see the stinging racism in her anti-Mexican positions? She clearly doesn't, but as she tries to accuse this manager of racism, the only real racist in the story is her.

Fourth, who calls a manager over to complain that the racial mix of their restaurant doesn't suit them?!

LL said...

"...It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers−out of unorthodoxy." - Orwell, 1984

Critch said...

I don't think the Russians want a fight over Syria and China sure as Hell doesn't want to fight us over North Korea...Putin is trying to figure out how to extricate himself from a bad situation. When you lose in Russia, even if the Commies are gone...well, you may lose your job.

Anthony said...

1) Nobody serious thought striking Syria risked war with Russia. The military scenario that worried(s) most people (including Trump, not so long ago) is Syria becoming an Iraq style quagmire which wastes resources (most importantly the lives of soldiers).

That is why Trump is promising the attacks are a one-off which were purely in relation for the chemical weapons usage and is vowing he will not send soldiers into Syria.

2) I think China is telling the truth when they claim they have soldiers on the border to manage refugees. Having half of Korea a dirt poor hellhole headed by a mad despot suits them just fine (certainly much better than a united, prosperous, democratic Korea). They don't want the madman to trigger a war, but his existence allows China to be one of the good guys and keeps a regional rival from getting much stronger (thought the short and medium term impacts of unification would be very negative for S. Korea).

3) Gays moving right in France is very interesting, but not too surprising. Le Pen (who hasn't yet won office) has denounced her father and his hatred of gays and has surrounded herself with gay advisers so anti-gay Muslims are now the biggest threat to gays in France.

I remember a lot of pre-election talk about such a shift happening in the US, though after the election only liberals talked about the exit polls, and they claim gay support for Trump was actually lower than it was for Romney, McCain or Bush. Strikes me as counterintuitive, but I haven't come across a conservative site which says different.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, I think you're absolutely right on Syria and worries about quagmire. When people drag up Trump tweets from 2013 or comments on the campaign trail, they overlook the obvious context that he was condemning the actions likely to be taken by either Obama or Hillary. Is there any doubt that either of them would have pursued a course of action in Syria that resembles other recent courses of action in the Middle East?

Along with condemning more-of-the-same style intervention, Trump has also been adamant that, if he were in charge, he'd do it differently. Well, now he's in charge. And at least in this early stage, he looks to be doing something different.

As an aside, I think the media that was just a bit too gleeful that Trump struck Syria will turn sour when they realize that there won't be daily body counts to run at the bottom of the screen.

tryanmax said...

On China, I don't see the Chinese marching into N. Korea, but I don't take them at their word that 150,000 troops are there just to block refugees. Something's up.

Kit said...


NBC, siting sources within the military, is claiming that is not true.

Kit said...

Or maybe not.

Kit said...

A point on the old Trump tweets: Becoming President and seeing how complex and dangerous the world is changes you.

Kit said...

Also, before I leave:
-A Le Pen victory would be a colossal disaster for US interests. She is viciously anti-American like her father.
-Bannon is likely going out.

tryanmax said...

Kit, I think it's less to do with being in the driver's seat. A major part of Trump's campaign message was that he'd do things differently, not that he wouldn't do them at all. Trump pulled a Nixon in regards to Syria and the Middle East: he criticized his opponent's plan while refusing to reveal his own. Ironically, it looks more and more like Obama tried to pull a Nixon of his own. In the future, all presidents will be heirs to Nixon. We may see Nixon's face on a banknote, yet!

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Not to sound sexist, but I saw that on college campuses too. It seemed that many young women were particularly prone to groupthink and extreme anger at those who diverged from the group.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, My guess is that neither really wants a fight. Wars are dangerous, unpredictable things and dictators often die in them. It's better to back off and stay in power.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Except that media has been pushing this narrative of Trump risking real war with Russia.

On Korea, The only way I see it become a refugee issue is if the North Korean government collapses. If that happens, I think China will be on the ground picking the next leader.

On gays, you and I may not be surprised, but the talking head community in France is beyond shocked. As for NBC's exit polling, I put no faith in it because it suffers from the same flaws that predicted an easy Clinton victory and it doesn't address the number of gays who voted.

What I think you will see with gays is a large number drop out, some shift, and the leftists stay left. Over time, some of the dropouts will return on the right. Shifts like this don't happen at once.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm not sure what Trump has done differently than what Bush/Bush/Reagan would have done. This reminds me a lot of Clinton a couple times too at this point at least - fired at military targets and walk away.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I don't think Trump has changed at all. Trump's campaign was always a lot of hot air with heavy caveats. The anti-Trumps just chose to believe the hot air.

Everything he's done since has been in line with his caveats and fairly conventional policy.

Bannon going is good. His ideas are not governable.

Le Pen would not be a good thing, but I don't think she will win either.

Kit said...

Two more things:
-I'll say more later on the chance of war but for now remember that just b/c you don't want a war doesn't mean it won't happen.
-In France, I'm rooting for the socialist Bernie-lite over Le Pen.

Kit said...

Re France: Fillon, the center-right candidate, would be annoying and the Bernie Bro would be awful but Le Pen would be a disaster for NATO and the US.

Kit said...

I do like the changes in Trump's foreign policy (though I'll grumble on the Ex-Im). They are positive shifts toward enabling us to take on North Korea and Russia.

I'm with Matt K. Lewis, "I'm OK with Donald Trump flipping--so long as he doesn't flop back."

Kit said...

So, I'm approaching this new shift in Trump with cautious optimism —while enjoying the potential defenestration of Steve Bannon and all the wailing going on among the alt-right.

Critch said...

A female doctor in Michigan has been arrested for performing
female genital mutilation operations on at least two young got it, she's Muslim. This is the time to make an example out of someone, get their attention before they get complacent...the moms, and maybe dads, need to be in jail also.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I meant different in respect to the people Trump contrasted himself with, which was limited to Obama and Hillary. As far as I recall, he only explicitly talked about keeping US ground troops out and supporting the Kurds.

Anthony said...


Those parents ought to be jailed then deported. Unfortunately none of the articles I read on the subjected indicated they are facing charges, though the doctor will be hit with multiple felonies.

Critch said...

So I bought some Nova Scotia smoked salmon, capers, etc...I toasted the bagels, and spread cream cheese on both. then I put some of the ssalmon, some capers and sliced onion, a little salt and pepper....and that was awesomely will be a favorite around here from now on.

I was disappointed in Easter Vigil Mass last night...the church used to be packed for this...but now there are so many empty seats. The priest moved the choir up into the balcony behind everyone, and I hate it just wasn't like it used to be. There was no spark or pizzazz. I don't understand it.

But Happy Easter everyone...Happy Passover....

AndrewPrice said...

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Kwanzo everyone.

Those are very delicious, Critch!

AndrewPrice said...

So the Daily Mail is calling the Pope's Easter speech "impromptu." Does that make sense? Does the Pope really give impromptu Easter Speeches?

"Uh, yeah. So funny story... I was sitting in the Papal Palace watching a little NBA playoffs when I suddenly realized it was Easter. '*&#%!' I said. I didn't even have a speech prepared. So I'm going to wing this. Um. Be good. Don't crucify anyone. And if Jesus rises from the dead again, uh... call me. Peace out, folks. Go Cavs!"

I don't think so.

AndrewPrice said...

tyranmax, True. As an aside, I get the sense there has been a real change in our foreign policy for the first time since Reagan. It will be interesting to see how this all works. It should work quite well.

Critch said...

It would be screechingly funny if we did indeed hack that North Korean missile launch..wonder how many scientist he will kill for this boo-boo?

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I would be hilarious. And I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we did. As for how many he will kill... probably most of them.

BTW, I've got a Korean thing tonight I think you will enjoy. :)

Post a Comment