Deep State, Brexit, Trump, and Paranoia

There has been lots of hot air expended about all the nonsense (fake news included) since Donald Trump won the presidency. I put my thinking hat on a while ago and came to my own conclusions. So did R.S. (The Other) McCain. They’re pretty much the same. Here some from his post yesterday.

There was a lot of weird craziness in Andrew McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview, including the hare-brained scheme to secretly record President Trump’s conversations and invoke the 25th Amenidment, but perhaps nothing was more revealing than when the fired FBI official said this:

“I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and just won the election for the presidency. And who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage,” McCabe said of the meeting with President Trump. “And that was something that troubled me greatly.”

This is paranoia. […]

Let’s talk a bit about geopolitical reality: China is an economic rival to the U.S., and has been making military moves in the South China Sea. In any long-term military/diplomatic strategy, protecting America’s allies and interests against Chinese aggression is a major consideration. Meanwhile, the regime in Iran is a destabilizing force in the Islamic world, sponsoring terrorism, threatening Israel, and working to obtain nuclear arms.

Given the seriousness of these geopolitical threats, why would McCabe speak of Russia as the greatest “adversary” to America?

In a word, Brussels.

Yup. That’s what I see as well. We like the British have a bunch of political operatives masquerading as civil servants (two lies for the price of one: they are neither civil nor do they think of themselves as servants, of God, let alone the British and American people).

Stacy gives an excellent thumbnail description of European (including Russian) diplomatic history, mostly since 1914, but the main thrusts go back at least to the Napoleonic era, and likely farther. In fact, they form the lynchpin of the Westphalian system.

That’s all very well, I can understand how Brussels and Moscow got to this point, but what on earth makes any of this of more than cursory interest of the United States, let alone the paramount one. But here is your explanation as to why all these years after the demise of the Soviet Union, NATO still exists and maintains a cordon sanitaire around Russia.

Many Americans have always had an inferiority complex vis a vis Europeans, thinking them cultural icons compared to our bumptious people. They may have a point. So did many Romans view Greece. Regardless, America has the power, Europe is simply struggling to control a pretty small sandbox, and in Brexit, they stand to lose their only world power.

Europe has become a backwater, jerkline continent, of no real account to history. It’s almost a continent-size theme park, although there is little reason to go to Germany, you can find equivalent violence in Chicago or Baltimore. It has become irrelevant.

The real action in the world for the foreseeable future will be in Asia. Against China in the east and against Iran in western Asia. Europe has opted to have no role in either of these, although a free Britain (along with the Commonwealth) will have a large one.

Stacy comments:

This obsession with preserving the European Union explains why the same people who hate Trump also oppose “Brexit,” because a re-assertion of British sovereignty threatens the E.U.-centric mentality of the elite, in quite the same way that Trump’s “America first” approach offends those who want to see the U.S. “lead from behind.” Even though Andrew McCabe was never elected or appointed to any post that would require him to have an opinion on U.S. foreign policy, it is obvious that the former deputy FBI director had absorbed the establishment elite’s worldview, including their paranoid fear of Russian influence.

And there he speaks an obvious, but not well known, truth.

Sir Walter Raliegh had a clear understanding of this when he wrote:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself’

Since 1588 the people that have exercised that power have been British and/or American. You’ll remember 1588 as the time that Britain broke Imperial Spain at sea as Spain attempted to conquer the island. We finished the job 300 years later at Manila Bay. Now Europe tries, as they’ve been doing from one direction or another since 1067, hasn’t worked yet, no reason it should now. Even less reason for the line of battle ship of America to follow in the wake of the cock-boat of Europe.

Advertisements

Endings

Well, you may have heard, AOC, or as we are inclined to call her, Occasional Cortex has with some help from her friends, cost New York City that new Amazon headquarters. I’m not a fan of government subsidies to get big businesses to move in, but it is what it is. via the New York Post:

“For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term,” the company said.

“While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”

According to the reports I’ve seen, that’s 25, 000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000 per year (Yes, I also think it either insane or obscene, but that’s life). That works out to $3,750,000,000 lost. That’ll leave a mark on tax revenues. And it doesn’t count the other jobs, janitors, food service people, road crews, even ambitious young female bartenders. Nice job, Alexandria.


Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is apparently dead. Science reporter Jacob Margolis told us Wednesday via PJ Media.

“She was bouncing along, doing well, until a massive dust storm engulfed all of Mars in June 2018, knocking out communications with the team on earth,” he explained. The team has not heard from Opportunity since and it is unclear exactly what happened, he said. “The last message they received was basically, ‘My battery is low and it’s getting dark.’ They hoped that the windy season would clear dust off the solar panels (if that was the problem). “

Since then they’ve been pinging her “again and again, every way they knew,” to no avail. “Winter is coming,” said Margolis. “The windy season, which runs from November – January has come to an end, ” which is bad news for the rover because it will be dark and temps could dip to -100 C. The only way she has to keep warm is to move around, so “If components haven’t broken already, the extreme cold will likely serve the final blow…. If the solar panels do start to sip energy from the sun and feed it to the battery, Oppy’s emergency heaters will kick in and it’ll spend that energy warming its little robot heart, which contains its most important components.”

“We have made every reasonable engineering effort to try to recover Opportunity and have determined that the likelihood of receiving a signal is far too low to continue recovery efforts,” said John Callas, manager of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project at JPL on Wednesday afternoon.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine officially declared Opportunity dead in a 2 p.m. EST tweet:

Someday mankind will walk on Mars, and some of the credit will go to #Oppy and the brilliant Americans who designed, built, and operated the rover. Bravo Zulu, guys and girls.

And there a lesson there, Oppy was American technology, designed and built by Americans, designed to operate somewhat autonomously in a known hazardous atmosphere for 90 Martian days and travel 1100 yards. Instead:

NASA said in a statement. “In addition to exceeding its life expectancy by 60 times, the rover traveled more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) by the time it reached its most appropriate final resting spot on Mars — Perseverance Valley.”

Margolis shared what was likely Opportunity’s last photograph:

Nobody does it better!

As Dr. Tanya Harrison, one of the rocket scientists at JPL Tweeted:

.

Time to Change Models

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Twitter’s algorithms and content monitoring on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie – RC1D5C3E3B60

When we talk about our freedoms, the ones enshrined in the Bill of Rights are critical ones that ensure the rest, and they are all interdependent. The second does defend the rest, but so does the first, and the seventh and so on. It’s an integral whole, none of which are subject to negotiation.

That said, they do apply in law only to the government, the prohibit the government from doing certain things. In themselves, they do not prohibit private entities from doing those same things. But they hold up the ideal.

A century or so ago, a system was set up, and yes, Theodore Vail had considerable to do with it, that the US Government wouldn’t interfere with certain monopolistic practices of the Bell Companies, and in return, they would strive to supply affordable, universal service. It worked quite well for bringing central station telephone service to even the remotest part of the nation -with an agreed tweak here and there.

But the other thing about the phone company is that they simply did not care what you said on their lines. You could attempt the overthrow of the president, you could threaten to kill those attempting to overthrow the president whatever, the phone company did not care. It was (is actually) a common carrier, if you had the money for the service, it would carry the message, no questions asked.

Now the government, with due process involving some of those amendments we spoke of above might record and use your statements in a court of law, but the key phrase is due process and government. Nobody ever got disconnected by Northwestern Bell for saying something the CEO didn’t like on the phone.

So why this history lesson? Some lessons have seemingly been lost. Ashe Schow in The Daily Wire tells us:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in an interview last week that the company could no longer “afford to take a neutral stance anymore.”

He made this statement after being asked by podcaster Sam Harris why Twitter’s bans and suspensions always seem to “reliably land[s] on one side of the political divide.”

He pointed out that progressive feminist Megan Murphy – who is no friend to conservatives – was banned for tweeting that “Men are not women” and asking, “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between men and transwomen?” yet unapologetic anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan is still allowed on the platform.

“I don’t believe that we can afford to take a neutral stance anymore. I don’t believe that we should optimize for neutrality,” Dorsey said immediately.

Later in the podcast, Dorsey mentioned the Murphy ban again, saying, “The case you brought up. I’m not sure what was behind that, but I certainly don’t believe it was that one tweet.” He added that most people who are punished by the platform were repeat offenders.

Dorsey, according to NewsBusters, also dodged a question about the First Amendment. Harris had asked him why Twitter couldn’t just ban actual violent speech, but allow all other forms of speech, even those many vehemently disagree with. Dorsey said Twitter’s policies follow “the spirit of” the First Amendment.

Read the rest but you get the gist of it. Twitter itself is taking sides.

US law has assumed that Twitter Facebook, Google, all the others, are like the phone company, simple carriers of information, common carriers that if you pay the fare, will carry the message. It’s a good proven model, but it is inaccurate. Dorsey just denied again that his company is a common carrier, and he’s right, it is selectively choosing messages it is willing to carry from chosen clients. That’s OK too, but it is a different model.

It’s the model of the editorial page of any newspaper, they can print what they want, supporting their opinion. It’s also the model we use here, I’m not required to be fair or balanced, this blog is basically my opinion, what news is here I try to make accurate, but no guarantees.

But there’s another factor here, Bell Tel as a common carrier has no responsibility for the messages they carry. The New York Times is responsible for every word printed on its editorial page.

And so it is time for the lawfare to begin. Doxxing people? – Twitter’s at fault, Threatening public figures? Twitter dunnit. On and on. Time to break these self-righteous protectors of snowflakes, soy boys, and other so-called people that oppose American freedom.

And you know, I suspect the world will be a better place when we have destroyed them, and their owners.

The Company One Keeps

My mother often told me, “You’ll be known by the company you keep”. Somehow it often came up when she didn’t really approve of one friend or another. Invariably, she was right. She was referring, of course, to Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

Well, not everyone had the advantage of my mother. the Democrats in Washington are one example. Fred Lucas at Fox News explains.

What a difference a year made for Joseph Alcoff.

On Monday, the 37-year-old has a court date in connection with charges he’s facing in Philadelphia that include aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation for allegedly being part of an Antifa mob in November that attacked two Marines, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, both Hispanic. Alcoff and two others charged in the attack have pleaded not guilty.

ANTIFA FIGURE CHARGED IN MARINE ATTACK

But while Democratic officials are distancing themselves from Alcoff now, until recently he was a well-connected, aspiring political player in Washington who may have even had a hand in key policy proposals.

His endorsement apparently mattered when several congressional Democrats in February 2018 issued press releases with his quote backing their bill on regulating payday lenders.

As the payday campaign manager for the liberal group Americans for Financial Reform, Alcoff participated in congressional Democratic press conferences, was a guest on a House Democratic podcast and met with senior officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2016 through 2018.

He was also pictured with now-House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Both committees oversee financial regulatory policies Alcoff was advocating.

Alcoff met with then CFPB Director Richard Cordray and other senior CFPB officials on April 2016, again in March 2017 and a third time in May 2017, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

During this time, he reportedly was an Antifa leader in Washington.

Alcoff’s former employer had little to say about the matter.

“As of December, Mr. Alcoff no longer works for AFR,” Carter Dougherty, spokesman for Americans for Financial Reform, told Fox News in an email.

Dougherty didn’t answer whether Alcoff had been fired or resigned. He also didn’t answer whether the organization was aware of Alcoff’s associations during his employment.

Alcoff was reportedly also an organizer for Smash Racism DC, the group responsible for gathering and shouting threats outside the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson in November and for heckling Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife Heidi at a Washington restaurant in September. Reports have not said Alcoff was directly involved in either incident; only that he was associated with the group.

Keep reading but there is no real surprise here. We’ve long known that the Dims have nothing but disrespect for those who wear our uniform, for those of different colors, for any of the myriad differences between us, that makes people so fascinating. For the Dims it is simply a crack to apply a crowbar to, to attempt to separate us and play us off, one against the other. They call it diversity politics or intersectionality, or some other made up word. I call it bullshit. The only difference that matters is character, and in that, Joseph Alcoff is entirely lacking. Those that associated willingly with him, Maxine Waters and Sherrod Brown, for example, are no better.

They too are known by the company they keep.

Sunday Funnies: State of the Union

Well, this has been quite the week, upside down inside out every which way. Let’s have a look.

Grantham, Lincolnshire, England has agreed to have a statue of their favorite daughter, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Good for them, although given that they are from the Labour party, they may be a bit halfhearted. But many, many people from Russia to America know better than they do.

As opposed to

I hear this time and again in talking with Britons.

 

And, of course

Mostly, but not all, from PowerLine (including comments) this week.

Venezuela, Corbyn, and Brexit

Dan Hannan, MEP for SE England, on Venezuela, via Conservative Home. Good Stuff.

To grasp the full extent of Venezuela’s tragedy, consider just one statistic. In 1959, GDP per head in Venezuela was 10 per cent higher than in the United States. That’s right. Venezuela wasn’t just the richest country in Latin America; it was one of the richest countries on the planet.

When I was growing up in Peru in the 1970s, Venezuela was the place people aspired to emigrate to. Not just from South America, either. People came in their tens of thousands from southern Europe in search of a better life.

One man, even during those plentiful years, fretted about the future. Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo, a former Venezuelan energy minister and a founder of OPEC, pronounced what now looks like a spookily apt prophecy in 1976: “Ten years from now, 20 years from now, you will see, oil will ruin us.”

In the event, he was out by 20 years: the ruin came in the 2000s. And for once the word “ruin” is literally accurate. Inflation in Venezuela is running at ten million per cent. There are verified deaths from malnutrition. Far from importing immigrants, the country has lost three million people since Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian revolution, the worst refugee crisis in the history of the Western hemisphere.

What caused a collapse on this scale? Was it the “resources curse”, the name economists give to Pérez Alfonzo’s theory that unearned wealth wrecks an economy? Was it, as Corbynistas are now claiming, external sabotage? Or was it something else?

It is certainly true that oil can have a devastating effect on a country’s political system. Think of Iraq, Iran, Nigeria or Russia. Politics becomes a scramble for what Pérez Alfonzo called “the devil’s excrement”. To be more precise, the politicians who can place themselves between oil reserves and oil companies can make such vast fortunes that they can buy elections with their loose change.

But the “resources curse” is not inevitable. It did not destroy democracy in, say, Norway or Alberta. Several Gulf states – perhaps because they are aware of Pérez Alfonzo’s gloomy thesis – are now careful to place some of their oil bonanzas in sovereign wealth funds, aimed at diversifying their economies.

In the case of Venezuela, the spike in the cost of a barrel of oil during the early Chávez years had the effect of temporarily masking the worst effects of his policies. “There are no good or bad presidents,” Venezuelans say, “only presidents when the oil price is high, and when it’s low”. Chávez, needless to say, did not use his oil bonus to diversify the economy or build up reserves. He used it to cover the massive costs caused by his imposition of price controls, nationalisation and exchange controls. Anything he had left over went to backing Leftist insurgents elsewhere in Latin America. It was during those early years that the international Left (not only Momentum types) lectured the rest of us about how the rest of us ought to copy the Venezuelan example.

When the oil boom ended, the calamity of the command economy caught up with Venezuela. Like every other socialist strongman in human history, Chávez had made people poorer. Much poorer. Stories of hunger and emigration spread, opposition groups were harassed or closed down, but overseas Leftists still wanted to support the regime. So they began to claim that US sanctions were to blame. In fact, the only US sanctions in place before August 2017 were asset freezes and travel bans aimed at a handful of Chavista politicians and their cronies. (Many of the children of Venezuela’s socialist élite have scandalised their countrymen with their conspicuous consumption at luxury resorts around the world, and Chávez’s daughter is said to be worth four billion dollars.) There is no way that such personalised micro-sanctions could conceivably have harmed the Venezuelan economy as a whole. Even after 2017, eight years into the economic crisis, the sanctions were extended only to a ban on buying government bonds or bonds in state-owned enterprises.

He goes on to show how Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party still worship at Maduro’s feet, it’s both true and sad. It’s also one reason that Teresa May remains Prime Minister, very few people can stomach the thought of Corbyn as PM, nor does anyone appear willing to take on May in the Tories. In short, they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Sad, not least because it functions as a spanner in the gears to properly negotiating Brexit as well. Yes, I know not everything is Brexit, and yet Brexit is so fundamental, to Britain moving forward, that almost everything is.

%d bloggers like this: