July 22, 2018

Sunday Overnight Open Thread (7/22/18 )

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

daily-man-up-20150320-9.jpg

(My kind of Deplorable)


*****


The Quotes of The Day

Quote I

“Don’t lock me out just because I’m not a homeboy. You ought to be thankful that I care enough and I’m interested enough and passionate enough to want to make things better. I’m certainly permitted to do what I have done.” Carol Hafner, Democratic candidate for Congress.

Quote II

I haven’t counted to see how many Americans died as a result of Putin’s reacquiring Crimea—yes, I have! ZERO. Meanwhile, Mexican drug couriers kill more Americans every week than the Communist Soviet Union did when it shot down Korean flight 007 for flying into its airspace, almost starting a nuclear war. Ann Coulter


Quote III

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. Alexis de Tocqueville

Quote IV

“These documents are heavily redacted but seem to confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC were behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the court to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:07 PM Comments



Weekend Gun Thread

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

happy-hour-20150320-11.jpg

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 07:27 PM Comments



Food Thread: Salumi When You're Gloomy, Or When You're Feeling Roomy, 'Cause This Headline Threw Me

—CBD

Sakumi.jpg

When it comes to food and eating, the Italians get most things right, and salumi is no exception. It's just cured or preserved meat, much like French charcuterie or German Pökelfleisch (yeah, I had to look that up) and many other countries do the same sort of stuff.

But the Italian style stuff is, in my gluttonous opinion, the best of the lot. Notice I say "Italian style," because the stuff in that photo is a local version. The only imported meat on that platter is the prosciutto, and it was far inferior to the New Jersey salami and soppressata.

One of the nice things about putting together a platter like this one is that you get to try a bunch of different things without getting so stuffed that it is impossible to eat the rest of the meal. I got these meats sliced very thin, so each piece is a tiny taste, but with lots of surface area so it seems like it is a substantial taste.

And those olives? Castelvetranos, originally from Italy, which I think are superior to the famous Picholines from France.

The cheese is a Pecorino Romano, which is a sheep's milk cheese from, you guessed it, Italy! It has a nice sharp tang and a great texture. I like cutting it into those short sticks because you get the texture as well as the flavor.

The ramekins of olive oil and balsamic vinegar are optional, but they look cool, so what the hell.

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Posted by CBD at 04:00 PM Comments

Leftist Professor Advocates Incredibly Irresponsible Firearms Use, Because A: She Is Stupid and 2: It's Political, Not Rational

—CBD

Law Prof Suggests College Women can Kill Their Alleged Rapists

And here is Andrew Branca, Moron and an actual legal expert on the topic, ripping her a new one.

It is, of course, true that deadly defensive force is permitted to prevent an imminent forcible rape. What makes the statement controversial is that the purported law professor has omitted the key words "imminent" and "forcible."
This foolish woman displays the typical leftist ignorance of guns, gun culture in America, and most of all, the legal and moral responsibilities of a gun owner.

Posted by CBD at 02:22 PM Comments

Martin Niemöller Was Correct, And Anyone Who Doesn't Believe It Is A Fool

—CBD

Protesters Throw Feces at L.A. Kosher Cafe Because Owner Supports Trump
Why didn't they go after some Korean shop owner who was expanding? Because he would have called 50 of his friends and the protesters would have gotten their asses kicked. Jews are better targets for a few reasons, first of which is that American Jews have no history of fighting back, and in fact have a reputation for being conciliatory in the extreme. And let us not forget the historical hatred of Jews by the Left. Seemingly every leftist revolutionary struggle has demonized Jews, Judaism and Israel.

But when those revolutionary struggles run out of Jews to persecute, or they need to expand the class struggle, they move on to their next targets, the Catholic Church and devout Protestants.

Bernie Sanders makes Israel a regular target of his ire, and his idiot acolyte from NYC, Ocasio-Cortez chose Israel for one of her first public attacks.

That is the past. the present and the future of socialism, and anyone who doesn't understand it is a fool or a crypto-socialist.

Posted by CBD at 12:05 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 07-22-2018

—OregonMuse

Library of James Varney 2 525.jpg
Some Shelves From James Varney's Library (click to embiggen)


Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes. Oh, and we've got a new category of readers, escaped oafs and oafettes ('escaped oafs' is an anagram of 'Ace of Spades'). Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly compendium of reviews, observations, and a continuing conversation on books, reading, and publishing by people who follow words with their fingers and whose lips move as they read. Unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, which, even though they're ugly, at least they match.


Pic Note

You never know who's lurking on AoSHQ. James Varney sent me some library pics and permission to "out" him as a national correspondent for The Washington Times. Before he worked for the Times, he was a member of the New Orleans-based reporting team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for Hurricane Katrina coverage in 2006. You can see the Pulitzers on the right side of the third shelf, in front of the Tom Wolfe novels. He also sent me a close-up photo that you can see below the fold.

He says:

Love the feature; love the site. I'm grateful for the links J.J. has given my stories on the Morning Report

Just thought I'd pass that along.


It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

A ROORBACK is a false or slanderous rumour propagated for political purposes.

Usage: Room Full of Roorbacks: The White House Press Corps was an instant best-seller.

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Posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM Comments

EMT 07/22/18

—krakatoa

Wake me if anything happens.

Posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM Comments

Saturday Overnight Open Thread (7/21/18)

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

happy-hour-20180710-126.jpg


*****

The Saturday Night Joke

A young ventriloquist touring Norway puts on a show in a small fishing town. With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde jokes.

Suddenly, a blonde woman in the fourth row stands up and starts shouting, "I've heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype Norwegian blonde women that way? What does the color of a woman's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? It’s men like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community, and from reaching our full potential as people. It’s people like you that make others think that all blondes are dumb! You and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in general, pathetically all in the name of humor!"

The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, and the blonde interrupts yelling, "You stay out of this! I'm talking to that little shit on your lap."

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:01 PM Comments

Saturday Evening Movie Thread 07-21-2018 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison]

—OregonMuse

Robin Hood

So, let's talk about a movie no one remembers because it was pretty derisively received by critics and largely ignored by audiences: Ridley Scott's Robin Hood!

I can feel the excitement!

I bring it up because I think that when trying to talk about a director's work, it's a bit easier to focus on something that isn't universally considered great. Being able to balance between things that a director did well in a particular picture with things that he did not do well in that same picture provides a great view of what the man creates as an artist.

I am, of course, a Ridley Scott fanboy, but I don't love everything he's ever made. In fact, one of his movies that's most often held up as a jewel of his career (Gladiator) I find boring. I overall genuinely think that he's one of the most talented filmmakers working today. With that being said, let's dive into one of his more recent historical epics that I feel was unfairly maligned upon its release.


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Posted by OregonMuse at 07:12 PM Comments

Chess Thread 07-21-2018

—OregonMuse

The Chess Game - Boris Dubrov.jpg(Click for larger version)
The Chess Game
Boris Dubrov



As always, the chess/dress pr0n thread is an open thread, so there is no such thing as an off-topic comment.


Easier Problem - White To Play (722)

Every player knows (or ought to know) that you can't get a checkmate with only two knights, i.e. KNN vs. K is a draw. Yes, you can arrange the pieces on the board in a checkmate position, for example, starting with an empty board, put the black king on h8, place the white knights on f6 and g6, and put the White king on f7. That is, indeed, checkmate. But such a position can never be forced. Unlike, say, KBN vs. K where you can, step by step, inch by inch, force Black's king to the edge of the board and then waltz him into the corner for the checkmate. But you can't do this if all you have is two knights. The king will always be able to wiggle free.

Actually, that's a bit of a lie. You can do it if there are other black pieces on the board. Like the position below. The presence of the black pawn makes the mate with 2 knights possible. I put this one up as an 'Easy' problem because Black's king is almost completely restricted already, so it's not difficult to bring the other knight up and force the checkmate.

And you should be able to do it in 4 moves.


20180721 - Problem 1.jpg
8/5K1k/8/5N2/8/5p2/5N2/8 w - - 0 1


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Posted by OregonMuse at 05:15 PM Comments

Ace of Spades Pet Thread

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

Hot-Dogs.jpg


***


Good afternoon Pet Lovers! Welcome to the almost world famous Ace of Spades Pet Thread. Listen to the command. Sit, relax. Good Moron.

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 03:00 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: Night and Day [KT]

—Open Blogger

Brookgreen-Gardens peacock.jpg

Happy Saturday, Gardeners and Friends of Gardeners! Well, the Monsoon Season is here in the San Joaquin Valley, which generally means humidity, a few clouds and high temperatures, typically without the threat of flooding common in Arizona and Nevada this time of year. Miserable. It's enough to make me think about gardening at night. The photo above is from another place where it is hot and humid in summer, Brookgreen Gardens near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Looks like a great place to visit.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 12:47 PM Comments

Thread before the Gardening Thread: Art, Not Gardening [KT]

—Open Blogger

notgardening.jpg

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Okay, a pile of dirt is involved, but this does not qualify as urban gardening. It is called 'Resistencia'. Video below the fold. David Thompson posted a longer video of a similar performance here. You might like to take a look through the comments.

You see, Ms Lopez describes her mission as nothing less than "expanding the consciousness of human beings." As will doubtless become clear.

She seems to like the pose above. Dirt, water, who knows which medium will inspire her, and us, next? You may need to scroll past some other works of art to reach her interaction with water.

By way of contrast, in case you missed it earlier, VDH discusses the history of The Good Populism in ancient Greece and beyond. (H/T Maggie's Farm) He notes the importance of middle class agrarians to the emergence of democracy. Agrarians who produced something more tangible than the art featured today. When nature cooperated, anyway. Farmers, gardeners, those types.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:45 AM Comments

Weird News Dump

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

G'mornin' 'Rons & Ettes. Let's take a peek at a few things that didn't get their fair share of attention at the AoSHQ this past week.

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 08:32 AM Comments

EMT 07/21/18

—krakatoa

Those power outage blues. 60 mph gusts tend to leave a mark.

Posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM Comments

The ONT Has Landed

—WeirdDave

Tonight's ONT is going to rock on


electric ave.jpg

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Posted by WeirdDave at 09:50 PM Comments

I Was Wrong. James Gunn Was a Scalp-Hunting SJW Himself.

—Ace of Spades

I had guessed earlier that, having a history of and appreciation for shock humor, James Gunn wouldn't be the type to support Outrage Firings over other people's tweets.

It would be hypocritical and suicidal to do that.

Well, he's just another liberal who had this baggage in his past but figured The Rules Don't Apply to Liberals.

Enjoy your early retirement, asshole.



Posted by Ace of Spades at 07:45 PM Comments

Mueller Subpeonas... A NYC Madame Who Might be Connected to Roger Stone?

—Ace of Spades

Was Mueller given authority to investigate a specific defined matter, or has he illegally been granted authority to investigate the Deep State's enemies for any possible crime until it finds one?

Seems like the latter.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 06:25 PM Comments

Report: James Gunn Fired from Guardians of the Galaxy

—Ace of Spades

Looks like this is true. From the Hollywood Reporter:

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday.

On Thursday, Gunn tweeted in response to the tweets being resurfaced, "Many people who have followed my career know, when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humor."

He added: "It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."

The offensive tweets came to light after conservative website The Daily Caller dug up the social media posts, which were mostly posted in 2008 and 2009. Soon after, conservative personalities were tweeting to followers to confront Gunn at Comic-Con. Gunn had been expected to be at Sony's presentation on Friday. Insiders say Gunn is not expected to be part of the panel now.

I don't feel great about that, if true, given that he was fired due to fake rage over what seems to be nonsense.

But then, sometimes you have to take a scalp just to demonstrate to the scalp-takers that you can respond in kind.



Posted by Ace of Spades at 04:53 PM Comments

Maxine Waters Calls for a Little Muscle Over Here to Stop a Protest at Her Offices

—Ace of Spades

Unceasing, 24/7 harassment for you; but a demand that even my congressional office not be protested.

The Oath Keepers had planned to protest Maxine Waters' congressional office. But when Maxine Waters called, essentially, for a little muscle over here, they talked with police and decided not to show up.

But her muscle did show up -- one carrying a baseball bat over his shoulder -- and they decided that not even people merely videotaping them were permitted to be present on the street. Oh, and they also burned an American flag.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 03:21 PM Comments

Marvel/Disney Director James Gunn in Twitter Flap

—Ace of Spades

Here's Mike Cernovich on the tweets, which have now been mass deleted.

Here's the Business Insider recap.

"An Open Secret" is really pushing the tweets.

The tweets make a lot of taboo jokes, about the Holocaust and, especially, pedophilia.

I honestly do not have a problem with any of the jokes. They're edgy -- yes. But... so what?

What gives this more juice than it would otherwise have is the exchange at the end of Cernovich's post. There, a post to him says "You might enjoy this video," and links to a video calling itself "100 pre-pubescent girls touch themselves." Gunn responds, "Enjoy it? I came all over my face!"

But that's clearly a joke. As to the video itself, though no one dares click on it (as that would technically make you a sex criminal, assuming it was a pedo video), people are telling Ethan Van Sciver that 4chan people say they've clicked on it, or know what it is, and it's a misleadingly titled video that's supposed to be a joke. The claims is that it's a video of 100 schoolgirls singing the DiVinyl's "I Touch Myself" or something (which itself is kind of questionable, but... not pedophilia).


I'm not clicking on anything titled that either, so I can't say what the truth is.

What complicates this, of course, is that Disney fired Roseanne Barr for making a joke that the left claimed was racist, but will not, I assume, fire James Gunn for making pedophilia jokes.

Incidentally, I believe both Roseanne Bar and James Gunn. I think Roseanne Barr did not know Valerie Jarrett was black for a simple reason: Because I didn't know that myself.

She says she assumed Jarrett was Iranian; I believe that, because I assumed that too. I always heard of Valerie Jarrett's family's close relations to Iran; I assumed that meant they were Iranian.

I also think James Gunn was just making a lot of edgy jokes.

But Disney did fire Barr -- so should Gunn be spared the Social Justice whip?

Although one might say two wrongs don't make a right, let me explain the wrong I care about avoiding: the wrong in which liberals are permitted to say whatever they like without consequence, but where I will be fired and hounded out of civil society for saying the same sort of thing.

I will not put up with that, and yeah, I think I'll demand a bullshit firing of James Gunn, because I will insist on the #SameRules applying to both liberals and myself.

So yeah, fire this pedo-normalizing monster.


Posted by Ace of Spades at 01:47 PM Comments

Breaking: A Secret Recording of a Trump Phone Call With His Lawyer Recorded Him Discussing Legal Payments to a Woman Which He Says Never Wound Up Happening

—Ace of Spades

Apparently it's illegal, for some people, to pay what appears to be blackmail.

They're going to claim it's a "campaign expense" which "should have been disclosed in campaign filings." Yeah.

Meanwhile, Mueller has given yet another Hillary Clinton associate immunity, because Hillary Clinton associates are never prosecuted for crimes, only given immunity for them. Only people running against Hillary are prosecuted.

Because: How Dare They.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson reported exclusively on Thursday night that Robert Mueller has offered Tony Podesta, the brother of a longtime friend to Hillary Clinton, immunity to testify against his business partner, Paul Manafort.
Posted by Ace of Spades at 12:43 PM Comments

The Morning Rant

—OregonMuse

talking ape.jpg
"Ever since the election, I see these women on the news marching up and down and wearing their pink pussy hats and hollering obscenities and I think, what are they going to tell their daughters? They'll have stories about the evil Trump and how awful everything was, and how he was Voldemort and Sauron and Satan all rolled into one, and their daughters will ask, well then, what did you do to fight this great evil, did you join the army or take up arms like they did in the American Revolution, or what? And the mothers will say, no, I jumped up and down and shouted that Trump was a Nazi while dressed as a giant twat."



Meanwhile, Across the Pond:

UK hate crimes.jpg

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Posted by OregonMuse at 11:20 AM Comments

Mid-Morning Open Thread

—CBD

Repin Kerensky.jpg

Alexander Kerensky
Ilya Yefimovich Repin

Kerensky died in exile, only because the Bolsheviks were not quite as well organized as they would be later on.

Isn't socialism grand?

Posted by CBD at 09:30 AM Comments

The Morning Report 7/20/18

—J.J. Sefton

muellerfish.jpg

Good morning kids. Friday and the weekend's here. In fact, today marks week 78 of the Trump presidential era - exactly 18 months of some of the most incredible accomplishments that are sadly marred by the ugliest, most dangerous time in our nation's history since at least the 1960s and perhaps the 1860s. And as is always the case, the danger is wholly caused by the Democrat party and the anti-American, Socialist Leftist movement that owns it. I believe that the times and the response to challenges during same are the measure of true leadership, and all things being equal, President Trump is on the path to becoming one of the most consequential (in a positive way) presidents of the past 50-100 years, if not ever.

Look at the week that has passed. And every Friday it feels like deja-vu all over again because I'd swear I've written that same sentence at the end of the previous week. The latter began with the ginned-up hatred of Brett Kavanaugh at the outset only to be supplanted at the end by the arrogance and altogether weird performance art of Deep State hack Peter Strzok and his Greek chorus of Democrat stooges before the House Intel committee. And with their faces still glistening with meringue and feces from the pies and poo that were flung, a fresh batch was already being prepared for the President's Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin.

The Democrat-Left-Media Complex along with their Renfields in the Coup-Cucks-Clan warned him not to go. That is, they threatened him not to go or else. Of course, he ignored them and they all went insane, with cries of 'treason" irresponsibly hurled from all quarters for being conciliatory to a man who stole the 2016 election. Naturally, with the Mueller "investigation" into Russian "collusion" with PDT its main target only increased the insanity to eleventy-leven. In any case, had President Trump blasted ol' Vladdy in front of the world, the Left would've ripped him a new one for creating an international incident. And now comes the news that PDT has invited Mr. Putin for a state visit in the fall, perfectly timed for just before the midterms sot the voters can see the Left go insane before casting their ballots.

If you put all of that aside, in normal terms the summit was quite successful. Mr. Putin is a thug who has political opponents liquidated, bordering nations (formerly Soviet or not) invaded and/or destabilized and submissive and has turned the Russian economy into his own business enterprise. Plus, they have nukes. We know what happened when Dubya looked into Putin's soul and saw a man he could trust, or some such idiocy. And of course, Obama's and Hillary's eagerness to sell America down the river. Trump's not stupid. He knows with whom he is dealing. And "dealing" is the operative word. We learned yesterday that Texas alone is now the world's third largest petroleum producer (plus PDT ripped Merkwurdige Merkel a new one for the secret gas pipeline to Russia) and the Syria/Iran situation is no doubt hammering and sickle-ing ol' Vladdy as well. And the Chi-Coms issuing an official warning to Moscow that the Trump Administration won't be around forever means that they're worried about the prospect of Russo-American rapprochement. So behind closed doors there could be some very interesting geopolitical maneuvering that we're not privy to, Deep State State Dept. leakers notwithstanding.

And this leads into our top story this morning. From Matthew Vadum's excellent piece at Frontpage Mag:

...Before November 2016 Democrats "never met a communist they didn't like or a Russian they didn't want to embrace, Walsh wrote.

Not surprisingly, Comrade Sanders' ties to Russia are much more substantial than any ties President Trump may have.

Bernie's top 2016 presidential campaign strategist Tad Devine is mentioned 16 times in a list of 500 newly disclosed potential exhibits that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may use in former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's upcoming trial for failing to register as a foreign agent and related offenses. According to the emails in evidence, at one point Devine was in regular contact with Russian intelligence agents. Devine was a lobbying business partner of Manafort and previously worked for the pro-Kremlin president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Devine also previously worked for Sanders in the 1990s and as an aide to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis on their respective presidential campaigns.

Bernie himself has been around Russians and Soviet-era communists a long time...

Bernie may seem like a farschimmelt, meshugina alta-cocker with a rumpled suit, geriatric funk and halitosis, but make no mistake; he's dangerous, as is his acolyte Dem-Socialite Occasional-Cortex. Too many people listen to them and nod their empty heads in agreement. In any case, I have not scanned the headlines of the Dem-Agitprop media this morning but something tells me that this story will be nowhere to be found, and certainly buried somewhere in the classifieds, if at all.

Meanwhile, as Paul Manafort rots in jail for all intents and purposes as an actual, dictionary-definition political prisoner, Obama, Clinton and all of their underlings and henchman who sabotaged America and American interests to Russia and others ideologically or for monetary gain are free as a bird, their praises sung on TV, newspapers, film and in the classroom. Feh. In fact, James Clapper, Obama's DNI and one of the key operatives of the current coup against President Trump, admitted that it was Obama who effectively set up the entire Mueller investigation. And in a not wholly unrelated piece, as it redounds to the attack on PDT for not defending his intel and LE agencies, we have a golden oldie of Clapper declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a secular organization that has renounced terrorism. TOP. MEN. Aside from that Adam Schiff is a grandstanding, pencil-necked little worm.

Moving along to other topics, in the Civil War 2.0 category, a planned protest at Maxine "Polluted" Waters' LA HQ by the Oath Keepers had to be cancelled as counter-protesters (read: Black Panther goon squads) showed up and starting making threats and burning the US flag. I guess we have to trash America in order to save it. A group of miscreants is trying to interfere with Trump's private business concerns by having the liquor license revoked at one of his hotels, the Left's obsession with images (so far) of beheadings, a couple of excellent essays on the nature of "Progressive" tactics including Mark Levin who does the deep-dive into history and calls out the "Progressives" for what they are: tyrants.

In politics, a look at a potential Dem field for 2020, an Alaskan Dem candidate for the House has never even been to the state (hey, open borders!), the Dems are now officially the party of open borders, and as the last link warns us, now the party that will reject any and all electoral losses as evidence of cheating and rigging. What was sown in 2000 and 2004 has now metastasized to 2016 and beyond. It's a lead pipe cinch that if (now more likely when) the GOP crushes the Dems in the midterms, this will be the battle cry. You think Waters et al are bad now, you ain't seen nothing yet. And related to that, Limbaugh has now doubled-down on his prediction that eventually, the Dems will call for an abolition of elections. Maybe sooner than we think even.

On the international scene, Secretary of State Pompeo is set to deliver a major speech on Iran which is seen as the announcement of policy vis a vis support of those in country seeking to oust the mullahs. With that, there is some discord in the administration of exactly what that support will look like. Also, there is news of an arrest being made of a Brit who was plotting to assassinate Theresa May. Evidently his co-conspirators were FBI agents.

Domestically, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Weekly unemployment claims are at the lowest level since 1969 and PDT has signed an EO authorizing a major apprenticeship program for the private sector. On the down side, the President is pissed that the Fed is going to raise interest rates, supposedly to stem inflation but more likely to throw a wrench into the booming economy. And while Mick Mulvaney has done wonders taking a tomahawk to Fauxcahontas' CFPB politburo, Labor Secretary Acosta has been a failure at his job, to the joy of Leftists.

But, over in enviro-communism news, a federal judge has tossed NYC's/DeBolsheviks insane anti-oil company lawsuit and Tom Steyer's green energy ballot initiative in Arizona may get dumped because of signature gathering fraud on the petition. That said, this carbon tax bill is gaining support from RINOs and Cuckservatives. I hope PDT calls it out as DOA.

From hither and yon, as the NFL decides to continue to commit social justice suicide, the Miami Dolphins have announced fines and suspensions for kneelers. Too little too late, IMHO, and I can't see Goodell letting that stand anyway. Obama screwed the pooch before eating it in South Africa, some schmuck Disney filmmaker is a racist and homophobe but of course gets a pass, and New Jersey governor Murphy evidently treats the players on the soccer team he owns like abject crap... "For the People!"

Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:37 AM Comments

Gloomy ONT

—WeirdDave

So, what kind of an evening is it going to be?

Bike jump.jpg


Oh, so it's going to be that kind of night? Fine. So be it.

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Posted by WeirdDave at 09:07 PM Comments

Congratulate the Soon-To-Be #3 Oil Producer in the World: Texas

—Ace of Spades

Fracking amazing.

Hmm, #3 oil producer with a lot of land and a strong economy...? Why, you'd think such a small-s state could almost be its own capital-S independent State.

The future charter state of New America will pass Iran in oil production, and will be second only to Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Sexton points out that if another accounting of total US oil production is credited as right, the US is already the number 2 producer. Already.

By the way: The anti-fracking agitprop designed to stop America from becoming the world's biggest oil producer is of course funded by Russia, "interfering" in our domestic politics and influencing elections, trying to get candidates elected who would outlaw fracking.

Why doesn't CNN ever talk about that, he asked rhetorically.

I guess sometimes Russian Interference in Our Precious Democracy is a good thing. As long as it's in service of Russia's actual allies in the US, the socialist/Democrat left.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 07:06 PM Comments

Judge Jeneane Pirro Thrown Off "The View" by a Hysterical Whoopi Goldberg

—Ace of Spades

Ana Navarro and her stinky Barney-Rubble peasant feet was part of the lynching, of course.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 05:29 PM Comments

What? "Intelligence Community" Leaks Existence of "Top Secret" Mole in Putin's Inner Circle, Just To Throw a Minor Jibe at Trump?

—Ace of Spades

Either one of two things is true:

Either the "Intelligence" community is lying, again, to advance its sectarian interests, or the "intelligence" community, which claims it is forced to violate its oaths and protocols to contain the traitor Trump, has just outed the existence of a top-level spy in the Kremlin to make minor hay about Trump.

So which is it?

The NYT piece continues:

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Now we truly have a scandal on our hands. Someone in the intelligence community (or a former intelligence official) has apparently now revealed that the United States has a "top-secret source close to Mr. Putin." The apparent disclosure of incredibly sensitive intelligence information like this could surely put clandestine operatives' lives in jeopardy. This also sows doubt in the narrative being promulgated by the media that we must blindly trust the intelligence community's findings. If the information is to be believed, such a leak has come from someone (or multiple people) in the intelligence community who prioritized taking shots at the president over the safety and security of the American people -- and their own operatives.

Sometimes spies will lie about the nature of their information so that they can reveal the information without revealing anything about the source. There's an old story, which I think is actually true, about the US chain of command lying to air base commanders about how they knew that the Luftwaffe would be attacking this or that target this or that day.

The truth was that we had broken their codes and were simply decoding the Luftwaffe's signals traffic.

But we didn't want to expose that to base commanders, so we claimed to lower-level commanders that we had an Italian spy near a Luftwaffe air field who would peek over the fence and note when planes were leaving the base and in what direction.

The funny bit of this story is that the higher-ups were flummoxed when a base commander asked them to have the spy take a look at the Nazis' fuel stores and record how often they were filled.

So anyway, it could be that the American services have some kind of surveillance capacity that lets them know what the Russians are up to, and they're lying about having a "top-secret source close to Putin."

And yeah, that could still be inexcusable lying to the public rather than the excusable type. Because a top-secret source close to Putin sure sounds conclusive. What if the true source of the information, which is being concealed, relies upon more inferences and deductions, all subject to doubt and questioning, than a "top secret source to Putin" does?

What if, as is the wont of people who don't like having their judgment questioned, they're claiming a higher level of confidence than they really have in order to shut pesky citizens (or Presidents) up with their insolent questions?

The media spins false narratives every day, and they seem, psychologically, to be close cousins of the "intelligence" community.

So either the "intelligence" community is now burning actual highest-level codeword-clearance spies just to leak some ammunition against Trump, or, more likely, they're lying about the source of their information.

And they're not necessarily lying on the square, even. They may be once again lying in a fashion that suits their own sectarian interests.


But you should trust them because College Guys With Guns.

While the New York Times, leftist media, and NeverTrump continues insisting that it's wrong for Trump or any American citizen to ever question the "intelligence" community, former acting head of the CIA Mike Morrell, a Hillary crony and Benghazi talking points editor, actually disagrees. And he's An Expert, right?

The former acting head of the CIA, Michael Morell, decided last year that it was time to get political. Concerned about the possibility that Donald Trump would become commander in chief, Morell wrote an August 2016 New York Times op-ed endorsing Hillary Clinton and calling Trump a "threat to our national security."

It sounds like he regrets it -- at least somewhat.

In a very worthwhile Q&A with Politico's Susan Glasser, Morell reflects upon the decisions made by himself and other previously nonpolitical top intelligence officials to weigh in against Trump. And he suggests that it was counterproductive in one key way.

Below is a lengthy excerpt, but it's all worth reading:

GLASSER: Okay, so, flash-forward a year [after the op-ed]. Was that a mistake?

MORELL: So, I don't think it was a mistake. I think there were downsides to it that I didn't think about at the time. I was concerned about what is the impact it would have on the agency, right? Very concerned about that, thought that through. But I don’t think I fully thought through the implications.

And one of the ways I’ve thought about that, Susan, is -- okay, how did Donald Trump see this? Right? And from -- it's very important -- one of the things we do as intelligence analysts is make sure that our guy --the president -- understands the other guy. Right?

So let's put ourselves here in Donald Trump’s shoes. So, what does he see? Right? He sees a former director of CIA and a former director of NSA, Mike Hayden, who I have the greatest respect for, criticizing him and his policies. Right? And he could rightfully have said, "Huh, what's going on with these intelligence guys?" Right?

GLASSER: It embroiders his narrative.

MORELL: Exactly. And then he sees a former acting director and deputy director of CIA criticizing him and endorsing his opponent. And then he gets his first intelligence briefing, after becoming the Republican nominee, and within 24 to 48 hours, there are leaks out of that that are critical of him and his then-national security adviser, Mike Flynn.

And so this stuff starts to build, right? And he must have said to himself, "What is it with these intelligence guys? Are they political?"

...

Then he becomes president, and he's supposed to be getting a daily brief from the moment he becomes the president-elect. Right? And he doesn't. And within a few days, there's leaks about how he’s not taking his briefing. So, he must have thought -- right? --that, "Who are these guys? Are these guys out to get me? Is this a political organization? Can I think about them as a political organization when I become president?"

So, I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political in that moment. So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it's something I didn't think about.

He might also have noted that before Trump took the oath of office, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, and other leave-behinds at the DOJ undertook a conspiracy to hide from the president the nature and existence of the probe into the alleged Trump-Russia conspiracy, and lie to him about it, resulting in Comey telling him three times that there was no investigation into Trump-Russia conspiracy, while the same people would simulataneously leak to the Times and Post that there was.

Why would Trump trust what these guys told him?

Even Mike Morrell, again, former acting head of the CIA, thinks that from Trump's point of view, it's perfectly understandable why Trump wouldn't trust them.

He's The Expert, right?

And yet the people who tell us every day to Trust the Experts also tell us to ignore this Expert's thoughts on the matter.

Almost as if they're selectively toggling the Trust the Experts light on and off as it suits their political agenda for the day.


Posted by Ace of Spades at 03:52 PM Comments

Trump Attacks a NATO Ally!!!

—Ace of Spades

That NATO Ally? Turkey, which is currently trying an American pastor for "terrorism," which is what Erdogan calls anything he feels threatens his political position.

U.S. President Donald Trump on July 19 urged his Turkish opposite Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter to help release an American pastor kept behind bars in Turkey since October 2016.

"A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long," Trump said.

"[Turkish President] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!" he added.

On July 18, a court in Turkey's Aegean province of İzmir ruled that Brunson, an American pastor being tried on terrorism and spying charges, will be kept in jail pending trial.

Flashback: Barack Obama previously hailed Erdogan as a role-model for Muslim leaders.


Was Obama a traitor? Was Obama a lover of autocrats?

Should he be arrested and tried for treason?

Just asking questions.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 02:12 PM Comments

Afternoon Open Thread

—Ace of Spades

I'm still trying to get my brain to start working.

Cap'n Bill wants to deny the troops whose lives he's serially imperiled a parade, just to show Trump:




Ahoy, cocksucker.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 12:56 PM Comments

The Morning Rant: J.V. Edition

—CBD

punk-monkey.jpg

This is idiocy on a grand scale. And cultural genocide. And part of the long game played by the Left. And there is a soupcon of marketing and virtue-signaling bullshit, since "Bonobos" is clearly not going to produce clothing that fits every "man," because that would include women who claim to be men, and that would needlessly complicate their supply chain, cutting into their profits. But mostly it is antithetical to reality and clear language.

If every man is defined as masculine, then the word will have no meaning, and that is certainly not the case. Not all men are masculine, and in fact, not all men are "men." The obvious goal here is to water down traditional roles and blur the lines between effete, cowardly, weak XY humans and those who rise to the historical (and probably genetic) role of the real man, which these fools conflate with their own dislike of masculinity, probably because they fall short of the traditional measures, and they talk like fags and their shit is all retarded.


By the way, the front page of their website has only Black men as models. That is clearly racist, with the undeniable connection between bonobos (a species of great ape) and the models. Intentional or not it is a macro-aggression that should be addressed by the resignation of the CEO.

Continue reading


Posted by CBD at 11:05 AM Comments

Mid-Morning Open Thread

—CBD

Pierre Roy cauliflower.jpg

Le chou-fleur
Pierre Roy

Posted by CBD at 09:45 AM Comments

The Morning Report 7/19/18

—J.J. Sefton

tedgennady.jpg

Good morning kids. Thursday is here and of course it's never a slow day for your intrepid reporter so lez-be on our way. First up is of course the continued fall out from the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit. On the periphery some are crowing about the president supposedly walking back his comments about our intelligence community but, as evidenced from the link, he justifiably pulls no punches in his criticism of Brennan, Clapper, Comey et al. As stated yesterday, all of the reactions from the Dem-Left-Media complex and the smart-set elite Coup-Cucks-Clan in the New Deal wing of the GOP is all pre-chewed meat; canned outrage to be used as yet another pretext to throw him out of office, give the Dems Congress in November and derail his agenda. Funny how the Brett Kavanaugh nomination has all but disappeared from the headlines, but I guarantee you it will not be long before the President's "treasonous" behavior in Helsinki will be the pretext by which America must live up to its values and promise and reject that nomination, as well as every subsequent nomination going forward. Remember, "that's not who we are!" (*pukes*). Speaking of which, in a not unrelated link, the President's nominee to take over at the CFPB politburo is being grilled, not on her experience and acumen in matters relating to banking and lending but on immigration and Puerto Rico. Jeez, who let Occasional-Cortex into the room (more on her later)? But I digress.

Everyone's also going crazy because the President is talking about letting Russia interrogate persons linked to longtime Putin foe and critic Bill Browder. Browder you may (or may not) recall investigated and uncovered all kinds of corruption with Putin, and one of his allies, attorney Sergey Magnitsky was imprisoned for 11 months and ultimately died in custody. And that led to what is known as the Magnitsky Act intended to punish Putin for human rights violations that led to the act's namesake's death. I believe that that is a non-starter, although it might be nice to have Peter Strzok take a little involuntary fact-finding mission to the Lubyanka which doubtless would greatly improve his attitude and mien. But I digress yet again.

At the risk of being repetitive from yesterday's commentary, say what you will about PDT's manner or the way he speaks, but his actions speak louder than his words on Russia and on every other damn thing since he rode down that escalator nearly three years ago. And I went into an entire litany of the Democrat-Left-Media Complex's alliance with the Soviet Union and indeed every other country, regime and ideology that would lay America low and bring them to power. And since everyone of that bent is suddenly rushing like made to replace their Che t-shirts with the image of Tail Gunner Joe and hurling the word "treason" at our President, let's take a little trip down memory lane and throw a spotlight on one of their heroes - and someone who can arguably be labeled the most destructive American citizen in our history: Edward M. Kennedy.

In 1983, during the height of the Cold War, Teddy Kennedy, a sitting United States Senator, secretly went to Moscow to collude, in every real sense of that word, with them to undermine President Reagan's SDI initiative before the 1984 elections. Here's an excerpt from the link, with a quote from Paul Kengor, interviewed by Jamie Glazov in 2008 (what a year that was, in context).

According to (KGB Chief) Chebrikov, Kennedy was deeply troubled by the deteriorating relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, which he believed was bringing us perilously close to nuclear confrontation. Kennedy, according to Chebrikov, blamed this situation not on the Soviet leadership but on the American president---Ronald Reagan. Not only was the USSR not to blame, but, said Chebrikov, Kennedy was, quite the contrary, "very impressed" with Andropov.

The thrust of the letter is that Reagan had to be stopped, meaning his alleged aggressive defense policies, which then ranged from the Pershing IIs to the MX to SDI, and even his re-election bid, needed to be stopped. It was Ronald Reagan who was the hindrance to peace. That view of Reagan is consistent with things that Kennedy said and wrote at the time, including articles in sources like Rolling Stone (March 1984) and in a speeches like his March 24, 1983 remarks on the Senate floor the day after Reagan's SDI speech, which he lambasted as "misleading Red-Scare tactics and reckless Star Wars schemes."

Even more interesting than Kennedy's diagnosis was the prescription: According to Chebrikov, Kennedy suggested a number of PR moves to help the Soviets in terms of their public image with the American public. He reportedly believed that the Soviet problem was a communication problem, resulting from an inability to counter Reagan's (not the USSR's) "propaganda." If only Americans could get through Reagan's smokescreen and hear the Soviets' peaceful intentions.

So, there was a plan, or at least a suggested plan, to hook up Andropov and other senior apparatchiks with the American media, where they could better present their message and make their case. Specifically, the names of Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters are mentioned in the document. Also, Kennedy himself would travel to Moscow to meet with the dictator.

Time was of the essence, since Reagan, as the document privately acknowledged, was flying high en route to easy re-election in 1984.

You may also recall that Kennedy was the chief sponsor of the 1965 Hart-Celler Act which destroyed our orderly, legal immigration and naturalization process and flooded America with millions of illiterate, uneducated, third world indigents who had no interest really in assimilating but eagerly took everything and more Uncle Sugar could throw at them. All in exchange for forever more being loyal Democrat voters. And this is a major factor 50 years later in the dissolution of American identity and culture that we are witnessing and desperately fighting to this day.

Back to Ted Kennedy's actual dictionary-definition TREASON with the Soviets in 1983, when I read that article my blood was boiling. And these bastards have the f***ing unmitigated temerity to use the word "treason" agains this President?! The rest of my thoughts are redacted. In any case for the reasons sighted alone, let alone murdering Mary Jo Kopechne, I hope and pray that Teddy Kennedy is roasting in Hell.

In other news, on the immigration scene, Keith Ellison reveals the truth about the Dems, the Abolish Ice fiasco shows the Dems' true colors, if that were to happen blood would be running in the streets, immigration is the number one issue in a new Gallup Poll (stopping it for us, open borders for the terrorists), and VDH has a great take, as ever, on immigration and the grand plan of the Left.

On the political scene, the Democrat internal struggle with itself boils over as Joe-mentum Lieberman stumps for Crowley and the party establishment want to maintain control from the hardcore Maosits while Dem-Socialite Occasional-Cortex blasts those who call her anti-semitic as filthy Joo-occupiers, the Calexit bill gets roadblocked, and Fauxcahontas is trying to ram through a horrible casino deal so she can show off her high cheekbones and landlocked crab salad. Farbissiner goniff, that one.

On the international scene, PDT directly confronts Erdogan about a US priest being held hostage by the Turks, Nikki Haley slams the UN Human Rights Council and FBI Director Wray calls out the Chi-Coms as the greatest espionage threat here at home. Lastly, Denmark opens its eyes too late vis a vis the flood of "immigrants."

Interesting domestic news items, Maine governor LePage has vetoed a bill that bans gay-to-normal conversion counseling, a challenge to Texas fetal burial law could be a harbinger of a Roe v Wade battle at SCOTUS and the Janus ruling could really open the floodgates in kneecapping union political power.

Free speech news with the Facebook hearings, IBD not thrilled with the EU's Google fine, and in the UK muzzling the Muslim angle with Tommy Robinson and Rotherham.

From hither and yon, Dennis Rodman looks to take Kanye West to North Korea, comparing Lincoln and PDT and an SJW gets eaten by the tiger.

Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:49 AM Comments

Wednesday Overnight Open Thread (7/18/18 )

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

mother-nature-seldom-disappoints-20160617-117.jpg


*****


The Quotes of The Day

Quote I

"Once an election is over and you win, why are you still angry?" he said. "I think it’s a lack of maturity on her part, and a lack of political acumen, for her to be that petty. We as Democrats better figure out who the real enemy is. And it’s not each other." Rep. Lacy Clay (D., Mo.)


Quote II

“The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution. Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing,” Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts

Quote III

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not. Mark Twain

Quote IV

Ellison claimed in an interview with progressive activist Rabbi Michael Lerner that America’s “prosperity is based on the want that is experienced in other parts of the world” and complained that “people, regular people, cannot go back and forth across the border seeking out the highest wages.” Rep. Keith Ellison, (D-MN)


I guess the Koran doesn't address the 'Thou shalt not covet shit' thing.

Continue reading


Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 09:51 PM Comments

Reminder: The Russians Targeted Republicans, GOP, and Trump Himself In Their Spearfishing and Hacking Schemes, Too

—Ace of Spades

The media and the sillies don't like admitting this, and Mueller doesn't draw much attention to it himself in his indictment. But he does mention it on page 13.

Don't expect to see this on CNN.

Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election wasn't as one-sided as Special Counsel Robert Mueller charges in his latest indictment.

...

"RNC emails were stolen through the same spearphishing scams used against Democrats," a senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the investigation told RealClearInvestigations. "In fact, prominent Republicans were targeted and similarly victimized by the disclosure of sensitive emails during the campaign."

The indictment acknowledges this on page 13: "The Conspirators also released documents they had stolen in other spearphishing operations, including those they had conducted in 2015 that collected emails from individuals affiliated with the Republican Party."

But that is the only mention of Russian attacks against Republicans in the 29-page indictment that focuses on the targeting and victimization of key Democrats...

In fact, U.S. intelligence officials say the attackers penetrated GOP organizations at both the national and state levels, as well as the individual level, and successfully "exfiltrate" Republican emails during the 2016 election cycle. They add that Trump officials themselves were targeted by Russian intelligence late in 2016, often by phishing schemes, in which fraudulent emails seemingly from trusted sources (e.g. the government, banks or Google) are sent to gain access to personal information.

Mueller's office would not say whether the criminal breaches of GOP organizations carried out by the same bad Russian actors were investigated by his team with the same level of forensic analysis and scrutiny as the Democrat-related cybercrimes.

"We'll decline to comment beyond the indictment," Special Counsel's Office spokesman Peter Carr said.

Yeah, I'll bet you decline to comment.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 08:08 PM Comments

The Ukraine Was a Test Case of American Foreign Policy Moralism Vs. American Foreign Policy Realism, and Realism Won in a Rout

—Ace of Spades

The basic tension in US foreign policy theorizing is between moralism and realism. Moralism is an idealistic position that urges that we bear any burden in support of liberty. Realism is a far less idealistic position that says we'll ask ourselves -- realistically -- how much of a burden we're willing to bear in support of liberty.

There is virtually no one who is a 100% moralist and virtually no one who is a 100% realist. Virtually everyone is a mix, somewhere on the spectrum between these two poles.

The disputes come not between absolute moralists, who don't exist in any large numbers, and absolute realists, who likewise don't exist in large numbers, but between those who urge a more moralistic foreign policy, and those who ure a more realistic one.

Though those urging for more moralism are still informed by realism and those urging realism are still animated by moralism.

It's a question of degree.

My diagnosis of the foreign policy establishment's and neocons' analysis of foreign policy is that they view things through an almost purely moral lens, as if it's dirty and grubby to even consider pesky little questions like "What realistically can be done to vindicate this moral right? What can reasonably be asked of the American people to vindicate this moral right?"

And I would argue that the foreign policy establishment, and the neocons who dominate the foreign policy establishment's right-hand wing, are far too devoted to a risibly moralistic concept of foreign policy that results in immoral and perverse outcomes.

Let's look at the Ukraine.

Ukraine has always been dominated by Russia. Russia colonized it. Russia annexed it. Russia suppressed Ukrainians' own language as well as its (Christian) church.

I've known some Ukranian-Americans, and they were flag-waving patriots of both America and their beloved Ukraine. They loved Reagan, because Reagan understood Soviet evil -- an evil Ukranians had been suffering under for their entire lives.

The Ukrainians have long wished for true freedom from the bullying (and worse) of their large, powerful, evil neighbor.

And they have every moral right to that freedom.

The trouble is, while they have every moral right, they do not have the physical might to be totally free of Russia's domination.

Ukraine, while formally an independent country since it broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, continued suffering under Russian domination. Technically they were independent -- but Russia acted as a cynical colonial power interfering in Ukrainian political decisions and thwarting the will of this long-oppressed people.

In 2013, the so-called Euromaidan Revolution began.

You can read up on that as you like, but the major thrust is that Ukraine wanted to join the EU. They wanted to align themselves with free Europe, and distance themselves from Russian control.

So they kicked out the Russian puppet president of Ukraine.

Russia didn't like that. And the threat of a Russian invasion loomed.

The EU and the United States had different reactions to the Ukraine's morally-righteous but politically-provocative actions.

The EU understood that it was a nation of self-interested pacifists who would not under any circumstances do much of anything -- apart from issuing communiques and the like -- to guarantee the Ukraine's political independence and territorial integrity. Basically, the EU counselled the Ukraine to go very slow and not upset too many Russian applecarts.

Cowardly? Maybe. But while they could be accused of physical cowardice they can't be accused of the cowardice of lying to themselves. They knew damn well they would not lift a finger to help Ukraine should Russia invade, and they said so pretty clearly.

So they told Ukraine to not do anything so provocative in declaring their independence from the Russian empire that the Russian empire would reassert its dominance.

They did not lie to themselves about their willingness to fight for Ukraine, and so they did not lie to the Ukraine, either.

On the other hand, there's Barack Obama. The man who would, by the very power of the charisms God granted him, cause the oceans to recede by the power of his arrogant gaze alone.

Remember Victoria Nuland's "Fuck the EU!" phone call that leaked?

Well, the "Fuck the EU" concerned the EU's cautious, go-slow urgings. The US chose to ignore misgivings about a possible Russian invasion and encouraged the Ukraine to get into a fight with Russia that they could not win.

Well, the Ukraine got into that fight -- presumably expecting help from the US, which had encouraged it to get into a fight with Russia.

And guess how much the US helped?

Almost none at all, of course. We did the same things the EU was prepared to do -- issue Stinging Rebukes and Harshly Worded Statements.

But when the Russians began sending mercenaries and special forces troops over the border to pretend to be "native Ukrainians fighting to stay aligned with their historical oppressor Russia," what did we do, beyond offering some sweet words of support?

Nothing. We sent in some medical aid and other non-military aid.

End result? Russian mercenaries and special forces operators faked an "indigenous uprising," killed a lot of Ukrainians, shot down a passenger jet, seized control centers in the Crimea, staged a "referendum" on whether Crimean wanted to stay in Ukraine or annex themselves to Russia.

Spoiler alert on how that turned out: Armed Russian mercenaries were manning the polling places. Do the math.

In the end, the Ukrainian rebellion was met with fire and slaughter and put down. Ukraine's subordinate position to the Russian empire was reinforced. And the most strategically important part of Ukraine decided to re-join Russia in a vote that was totally fair and free of coercion.

The Ukraine is in no better a position than it was before the Revolution, except that more Ukrainians are dead and that a major part of Ukraine is now Russia.

Here's a question: Between the EU response -- go slow, do not start a fight we are unwilling to help you in -- and the US response -- go fast, start a fight, we'll be with you all the way (except we won't be at all) -- which was the more "moral" response?

The EU response looks less moral at first glance. After all, they were basically telling the Ukraine to continue putting up with a substantial amount of Russian interference and domination.

The US response looks more moral, but only at first glance. We pushed for the Best of All Possible Worlds solution. Declare your independence from Russia and align yourself with the peaceful nations of Europe.

But when the perfectly-predictable happened -- when Russia invaded with professional troops pretending to be Ukrainian freedom fighters -- we let them get slaughtered and set them down a path where they actually came out of the conflict in a worse position than they had begun it.

So which was more moral? I know it must have felt super-good when Victoria Nuland said "Fuck the EU!" and urged Ukraine to fight for its independence.

But how did it feel in the months and years that followed, with Ukrainians being bombed and shot and passenger jets being shot from the sky?

A policy impulse -- I think "impulse" is the right word here, because I can't ascribe to it enough actual thinking to call it a "philosophy" -- that felt good when announced, that felt good when it cost nothing at all, actually wound up feeling not so good at all when people started getting killed and Ukraine looked to America for actual support, support that would actually cost America something, and America said, "Here's a sternly worded letter of reprimand for the Russian mercenaries murdering you."

That's not moral.

Morality comes after wisdom, and wisdom can only be had if someone is honest with themselves about what burdens they're actually willing to bear -- not just the burdens they're glad to rhetorically claim they'll bear -- and what costs they're willing to pay.

People who lie to themselves about what they're willing to do are not wise, and, because they're not wise, they also can't really be moral. And their ill-wisdom can often lead to immoral outcomes, as they promiscuously make promises they've never thought very hard about and therefore feel free to shed at earliest convenience.

America has a limited appetite for war. Americans will go to war, but they do reach a point of exhaustion with war after some number of years.

It is silly to pretend this fact away in order to count oneself as "idealistic." People who ignore reality are not "idealistic;" they're just cowards afraid to face reality.

The fact is that Americans are tired of war and it is dangerous to write checks on America's war-fighting account that it might not be willing to cover.

The fact is that one of America's two main political parties is always willing to be part of a war at the Fun Part of the war -- the declaration of war part, the first-easy-victories part -- but which abandons every war it votes for when it sees any small political advantage in doing so.

Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and many other Democrat Senators voted for the War in Iraq. Within three years, they were screaming that Bush "lied us into war" and that we must withdraw immediately.

It is insane to pretend this away. If you know Democrats will give you initial support for a war they'll happily vote you into, when doing so grants them political advantage, and then savagely turn on that war the moment they get political advantage from that, it is lunacy to even count them as allies in war.

By the way: The NeverTrumpers who sometimes claim "At least Hillary Clinton would have been better on foreign policy?" Yes, of course. The same Hillary Clinton who voted for the War in Iraq to show how tough she would be as a president, and then agitated to abandon troops in the field when she realized that opposing the war would boost her chances of becoming president.

Yeah, we need that kind of patriot as President, rather than the unamerican, immoral Trump.

In 2008, Obama campaigned on the idea that he would somehow both withdraw from Iraq and yet also "win" Iraq by withdrawing.

I was incensed by this; it was so obviously, transparently a lie and a dodge. He wasn't planning to "win" anything; he just wanted to bug out. I was angry at the media for never challenging his "Win by Withdrawing" claims and pissed off at Americans for believing this bullshit.

But they voted him into office anyway, and by decent margins. I realized that Americans weren't really tricked by Obama; rather, Obama told them a lie that they knew was a lie but they wanted some "out" to pretend they were honoring the sacrifice of the already-dead while also bugging out of Iraq.

So Obama pretended he would "win" the war in Iraq, and the American public pretended to believe him.

They really didn't.

But they did want out of the war, one way or the other, either stated forthrightly or crabwalked dishonestly, and they voted for Obama, and they voted for the dishonest crabwalk way of abandoning Iraq.

And it was their right to make that choice. Every people has a right to decide how much of war's burdens it's willing to bear.

But they did make that choice, and we cannot pretend that they didn't, and we cannot pretend that Americans' appetite for war is as limitless as internet bloviators' capacity for self-aggrandizement.

When we think of war, we must assume that Democrats and therefore 45% of the country will turn on that war by the next midterm or presidential election. The war must therefore be either a very short one, all wrapped up before the Democrats execute their predictable turn against it, or slightly longer, but still short enough to keep the support of 55% of the public, most Republicans and most independents too, and the length of the war must not be so long as to cause that support to flee as well.

These are the realistic limitations we face on America's war-making capacity.

Again, it is not "idealistic" or "moral" to pretend these limitations away. Running from reality is like running from any other obstacle: a sign of cowardice (moral, intellectual, and psychological in this case), and not a sign of "idealism" and certainly not a sign of "courage."

Wars are not #Hashtag campaigns, with an almost non-existent cost but a big boost of dopamine for Retweeting Justice. They are not just another venue for Virtue Signalling on Twitter.

I tweeted support of Montenegro on Twitter. Look at what a #Braveheart I am.

Wars have real costs and therefore they have real limitations. We do not do our war-fighters or our fellow Americans any favors by ignoring those limitations and refusing to know ourselves, to know, realistically, what we are willing to do and what we are not willing to do, how long we're willing to fight for and when we're likely to bug out and leave our allies or even our soldiers in the field without support.

I'm not against moralism in foreign policy, but honesty is an important part of morality, and being honest with ourselves about what we're personally willing to do, and what we believe our fellow Americans are willing to do, is a critical part of the candid thinking necessary for a moral, and realistic, foreign policy. One that doesn't start a lot of wars and leave them half-finished.

Wars can be left half-finished, but the dead they leave behind are all-the-way dead. I'd like to avoid more half-finished wars and more all-the-way dead Americans.

And I think an important part of avoiding half-finished, lost wars is admitting that the years between 2003 and 2016 did in fact happen -- they weren't just a bad dream, I assure you -- and we have to heed the lessons that those years taught us.

Or that those years should have taught us, at least.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 06:39 PM Comments

Former Trump NSC Spokesman Michael Anton: Citizenship Should Not be a Birthright

—Ace of Spades

Not a cuck.

A Supreme Court confirmation fight always raises constitutional hopes and stokes constitutional fears. With one more justice, they'll repeal Obamacare! If they get one more justice, they'll overturn Roe v. Wade ! To arms!

These periodic, now-inevitable freak-outs are a sad by-product of our country's drift away from political rule and over-investiture of power in the judiciary. But happily, the most urgent constitutional challenge of our time needn't wait on a court ruling. Each political branch of government has the constitutional authority needed to fix it.

I refer, here, to ending birthright citizenship.

The notion that simply being born within the geographical limits of the United States automatically confers U.S. citizenship is an absurdity -- historically, constitutionally, philosophically and practically.

Constitutional scholar Edward Erler has shown that the entire case for birthright citizenship is based on a deliberate misreading of the 14th Amendment. The purpose of that amendment was to resolve the question of citizenship for newly freed slaves. Following the Civil War, some in the South insisted that states had the right to deny citizenship to freedmen. In support, they cited 1857's disgraceful Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which held that no black American could ever be a citizen of the United States.

A constitutional amendment was thus necessary to overturn Dred Scott and to define the precise meaning of American citizenship.

...

Some will argue that the Supreme Court has already settled this issue, establishing birthright citizenship in United States v. Wong Kim Ark. But this is wrong. The court has only ruled that children of legal residents are citizens. That doesn't change the status of children born to people living here illegally.

...

The problem can be fixed easily. Congress could clarify legislatively that the children of noncitizens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and thus not citizens under the 14th Amendment. But given the open-borders enthusiasm of congressional leaders of both parties, that's unlikely.

It falls, then, to Trump. An executive order could specify to federal agencies that the children of noncitizens are not citizens.

...

Birthright citizenship was a mistake whose time has gone.

Although the courts would surely rule such an EO unconstitutional, Anton seems to be proposing that Trump dare them to so rule it, and he also seems to be arguing that the President, who is a co-equal partner with the Courts, insist that his authority is just as strong as the courts', and basically take the Jacksonian position vis a vis the courts. (IIRC: "The courts have made their ruling; now let them enforce it.")

Seems a bit unlikely, but I like where his head's at.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 05:27 PM Comments

For Those Insistent That We Must Fight a Hypothetical Future War on Behalf of Montenegro, Because American Honor Demands It: You Know, It's Not Too Late to Declare War on Russia for the Ukraine

—Ace of Spades

Background: Sorry for not including this. Last night, Tucker Carlson asked Trump why his (Carlson's) son should die to protect new NATO signatory Montengero. Trump expressed a lot of doubt about going to war for Montenegro.

The usual neocon suspects -- Noah Rothman, David French, etc., as well as the suddenly gung-ho-to-kill-Russkies socialist left -- are foaming about even asking serious questions about what America would actually do if Russia invaded Montenegro.

While they fulminate and salivate, I can't help noticing that Russia did in fact invade another country that the US made security guarantees to, and the US did nothing much about it, and they themselves did not advocate for War in the Ukraine. Almost as if their mouths are writing a lot of checks their asses (and political viability) can't cover.

So I do think it's fair to ask what, realistically, the US is willing to do when faced with the possibility of a war with Russia.

One big problem I have with Trump's answer is that he's talking about a country we've already made a part of NATO. Not a wise decision -- but that ship has sailed. We already made that guarantee.

However, I do think it's worth talking about this question so that we stop making guarantees to everyone in the world, and maybe get more realistic about what we'd actually do if Russia invaded a country that wasn't a part of the core original treaty group of Western Europe. Our lack of resolve in the Ukraine suggests that the American foreign policy establishment likes making guarantees it has virtually no intention of ever honoring.

...

If we're going to be serious about treaty commitments, then we have to be serious about all treaty commitments -- the commitments where there's an actual invasion going on that legally requires US action, now, and not just those more-fun-to-chat-about hypothetical future invasions.

Which are safer to discuss politically, of course, because no US troops are currently demanded for the cause.

In the meantime, the unchastened neocons choose to selectively forget that the United States made security guarantees to Ukraine, promising to protect it in case of Russian invasion, and we have chosen to ignore those obligations.

And I don't hear the neocons squawking much about that. Because, to honor those obligations would require immediate US entry into a war against Russia, which would be incredibly unpopular.

So instead they jerk themselves off about fantasy future hypotheticals about Montenegro.

How about talking about the obligations we're currently in default of honoring, neocons?

The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances refers to three identical political agreements signed at the OSCE conference in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to the accession of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear powers, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland, and the United States Of America. China and France gave somewhat weaker individual assurances in separate documents.

The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

As a result, between 1994 and 1996, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons. Before that, Ukraine had the world's third largest nuclear weapons stockpile, of which Ukraine had physical if not operational control....

Following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, the US, Canada, the UK, along with other countries, stated that Russian involvement was a breach of its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, a Memorandum transmitted to the United Nations under the signature of Sergei Lavrov, amongst others, and in violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The US asked Ukraine to give up its huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons in exchange for guarantees that we would protect their independence and territorial integrity from Russian interference or invasion.

Russia has interfered and has, for all practical purposes, invaded.

So why aren't the neocons demanding a declaration of war against Russia?

Oh, for the usual reasons. They're not serious people. They like talking tough but they understand that their prescriptions are wildly unpopular, so they don't really push very hard for much action; they mostly just play the weakling's favorite game talking the toughest without actually trying to get into a fight.


One trick the necons are trying right now is arguing that by making guarantees that we will fight wars on behalf of people they know damn well we will not fight on behalf of, we will somehow actually avoid fighting on behalf of the people we're not going to fight on behalf of in any situation.

First of all, this more of Obama's Red Line strategy -- and the neocons are nothing at all like Obama, they'll assure you.

Claiming you have a "Red Line" which you will go to war to defend while knowing you will not go to war to defend that Red Line projects weakness, not strength.

Second, telling people to get on board with a treaty that requires them to go to war to defend another country actually reduces the chances of having to go to war at all fails, intentionally, to prepare the country for the idea that seriously, this treaty means you have to go to war if the other state invokes its rights under the treaty.

It's like getting someone to sign a contract and agree to a contract provision against their own interest by telling them that the contract provision will never actually be enforced, and is just required to be in the contract to "satisfy shareholders."

I've heard this bullshit personally. Pro-Tip: Any contract provision adverse to you should be read as really, really real, and you should only sign if you are very comfortable having that same adverse provision applied in full against you.

Merely hoping and praying it will never be used against you is a legally ruinous strategy.

That said: If the war salesmen are telling people the treaty guarantees will not be invoked, then how can you actually try to invoke them later?

The whole point of a contract -- or a treaty -- is to have a meeting of minds on key points, actual in-fact agreement as to the terms; the neocons' hucksterism in selling Americans on treaty obligations they claim Americans will never actually be obliged to honor is dishonest -- and the American people would rightly refuse to honor such an obligation if demanded later, noting, correctly, that the people pushing on this them told them that they'd never have to actually go to war if they signed this document saying they'd go to war.

Finally -- how does making such guarantees for Montenegro reduce the chances that Russia will actually invade Montenegro when Russia has actually invaded Ukraine and we're already currently dishonoring our obligations to come to Urkaine's defense?

If we're not serious about honoring our obligations in Ukraine -- which the tough-talking neocon Chairborne Rangers are quite happy to be unserious about -- why would Montenegro assume we're any more serious?

Why would Russia assume we're serious about Montenegro if not serious about Ukraine?

So get to agitating for full war, Neocons. Your Sacred Principles demand nothing less. The only way to insure peace for Montenegro in the future is to declare war in Ukraine in the now.

Finally, a little history lesson: the other thing the unchastened, never-learn-a-thing neocons are claiming is that the only defense against war is a series of defensive treaties in which we all guarantee to go to war on each other's behalf. This will prevent war, the theory goes, because the treaty system promises such incalculably dire consequences -- a whole world at war for invading Montenegro -- that no one would actually dare to set off the spark that sets the war on fire.

This is true -- sometimes. Sometimes, the threat of the whole world going to war over a small territorial dispute in a tiny Balkans state does in fact stay everyone's hand from taking the action that will plunge us into war.

On the other hand, sometimes a complex web of treaties and defensive alliances actually causes the entire world to go to war when Russia infringes upon the territorial integrity of a small Balkans region country.

It was called the Great War. World War One. People assumed that the web of treaties in which half of Europe pledged itself to defend the tiny Balkan region state of Serbia and the other half of Europe was pledged to assist the German Central Powers and Austro-Hungary in their attempt to punish Serbia for its role (whatever that might be) in the death of the Archduke Ferdinand.

So it's not quite true to say sprawling networks of alliances always prevent catastrophically large conflagrations. It's not even true of the Balkans region, or of countries sometimes known as Yugoslavia.

Sometimes you can forestall war by making war such an unimaginably large disaster that people refrain from war.

But sometimes this doesn't work, and instead the system of alliances and ententes delivers to you the same unimaginably large disaster you were using as a chit to scare people away from a much smaller war.

One last point: They say, correctly, that when you pass a law, you should accept the fact that this law is so critical that you are willing to empower agents of the state to straight-up shoot and kill people to enforce that law.

You should not have any illusions about this; a law is, unavoidably, Force and Coercion, and when you pass a law, you must make sure that it is important enough a thing to make the killing of citizens who may disagree with that law an acceptable casualty.

The same is obviously true of treaty obligations: One must ask, before entering a war alliance, if the interests to be advanced are actually worth killing a lot of people, and sacrificing a lot of our own countrymen.

And they should be sold to our countrymen as they actually are: as formal, legal, moral guarantees that we will sacrifice our own sons for the sake of the alliance.

And people need to be told that, and have it explained to them why this alliance really is that important, to require the sacrifice of our sons.

It is unserious to present war alliances as only proofs against war. A serious and honest commentator must also tell people that this obligation to go to war for another country may very well obligate us to go to war for another country.

Selling a war alliance as a clever method of avoiding all war is the work of a dishonest swindler selling unfavorable contract terms to someone by lying about what those terms actually are.

So sure: Let's have an honest discussion about which countries we are willing to go to war for, and which we are not.

We're apparently unwilling to go to war for Ukraine. Until Trump, we weren't even willing to provide Ukraine with lethal aid with which to defend themselves; but obviously, both before Trump and after Trump, we're not willing to go to actual war for them.

Which the self-righteous, we'll-fight-our-enemies-to-the-last-man-from-the-non-political-classes neocons are perfectly fine with (given that none of them utters a peep about honoring our Sacred Obligations in Ukraine).

Which other countries are we not willing to sacrifice the last non-DC-resident-life for? Any others? Or is it just Ukraine?

More: How About Turkey? Are We Willing to Really Go to War on Behalf of the Islamist Country and NATO Member Turkey?




Posted by Ace of Spades at 03:52 PM Comments

European Court Smashes Google With $5 Billion (With a B) In Fines; Also Directs Google to Stop Bundling Its Own Services in Android OS, or Face Even More Fines

—Ace of Spades

Steven Green thinks the last part is the most important:

As I wrote yesterday (linked above):
That Android phone in your pocket is a virtual spy, reporting back to Menlo Park on your every click, swipe, app, data, photo, email, physical location, etc. All in the name of showing you ads, which Google sells for a LOT of money. And it doesn't matter whether your phone is a Samsung, Huawei, LG, or one of Google's own Pixel phones. Because Google controls the default apps, which is what most people use.


Apple has spent the last couple of years touting (and improving upon) iOS's privacy features. Android phonemakers like Samsung have a hard time competing on privacy, because Google's default apps are, as I described yesterday, digital spies. But now Samsung, Huawei, LG, et al, can ditch Google's apps in favor of their own, and if they choose, take on Apple directly when it comes to protecting consumer privacy.

I'm not saying they necessarily will, but now at least they have the opportunity.

So this decision is a big win for Android OEMs, it heats up the competitive pressure on Apple (which has grown lackadaisical on some of its software quality), and gives Android owners the chance to perhaps take some of their personal privacy back from Google.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 01:58 PM Comments



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