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News 7/11/2018

US News

Round-up of recent threats against Republicans Recently, a friend made a good point. She said “both sides have assholes who harass each other”. It’s certainly true. I will strongly condemn targeted harassment by anyone who does it, regardless of affiliation. Quite frankly, going up to random strangers and shouting at them for their political beliefs is a very, very bad idea, and it’s not because of courtesy (though that is a consideration). It’s because if you have so much anger and such poor self-control that you can’t stop yourself from screaming at a stranger, it’s very possible you will get worked up, lose what little self-control you have, and become violent. Or they will become violent because they are afraid, and justifiably so. People will say they’re in control, that they just wanted to scare someone, or whatever excuse they have. I am an angry person. I have worked my entire life to keep myself under control, with some success. I used to be exactly the kind of person who would accost a stranger and yell at them. Let me tell you a secret: when a harasser says they are in control? No they aren’t. Anyone who’s worked in law enforcement or psychology can tell you that tense situations can escalate out of control in seconds. And after someone throws that first punch, you aren’t in the driver’s seat anymore. Your anger is.

However, there is one difference between the Left and the Right. Organization. Most of the Left’s harassment of Republicans is planned, organized, and carried out by groups. There’s also a lot of Democrats openly  calling for violence and/or targeted harassment of their political opponents. This is unacceptable and very dangerous. Lone assholes with poor self-control will always be on both sides; just turn them into the cops when they act out and eventually they’ll learn. Organized harassment is far more dangerous. In the short term it’s safer, mainly because the protestors are calmer, and have a long-range goal in mind. In the long term, it’s more dangerous, because of two effects: 1, mob psychology, and 2, public harassment campaigns attract people who enjoy that sort of thing: angry, hateful people with low empathy. What happens when you get a bunch of those people together in a mob, get them all worked up, and fill their heads with the idea that their anger is noble and righteous? You get violence. It’s already happened. Remember Antifa?

Remember Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? The FBI lovebirds who couldn’t contain their hatred for Trump, even as they were investigating him? Page got subpoenad by the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees. Her lawyer announced that she will not comply. Someone has something to hide. Interestingly, Strzok already testified, and hid behind the “it’s classified, sorry!” defense. Smooth move. He managed to not say anything while avoiding taking the 5th, and he can say he appeared voluntarily. Page’s refusal to testify indicates something. Perhaps she’s afraid the committees have something non-classified to hit her with. Unknown at this point.

Federal government spends $2.9 million studying EDM Clubs At least it wasn’t studying the nature of white privelege. I guess that’s a plus.

Unions in deep trouble A recent Supreme Court ruling stated that non union members could not be forced to pay dues to unions. Not only that, but people are suing for back wages. There’s a class action suit underway in California that seeks to recover dues paid from up to 40,000 as far back as 2012. That’s going to hurt. And, once again, I am deeply enjoying the schadenfreude. That sound you hear in the background is me laughing maniacally.

“Abolish ICE” campaign gathers steam I think it’s a mistake for Democrats to pursue this, but they can’t avoid it. The radical wing of their party is excited, and the Democrats can’t tone them down, they need people excited for the Supreme Court fight. Ah, schadenfreude…..how I love you.

Hillary Clinton will speak at a conference for the American Federation of Teachers She’s courting the teacher’s union. Yep, she’s running again. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will also speak; I think we can assume all three are aiming for a presidential run in 2020.

Denial: not just a river in Egypt There’s been a popular hashtag on Twitter recently: #walkaway. It’s used by Democrats who are apparently still sane and are leaving their party over its radicalism. Well, the true believers are pretty upset by this, and are scrambling for some way to explain it other than the truth. So they’ve decided to blame the Russians again. Yes, there’s several posts out there about how #walkaway is a Russian propoganda operation or something. Of course, there is no proof whatsoever.

World News

Trump set to hit China with even more tariffs China has vowed to retaliate, of course. There’s a lot of rhetoric out there about “oh no! a trade war is bad! it’ll ruin the economy!” ….and yet the US stock market is doing great and employment numbers are way up. One of my rules for reading the news: look at actions, not words. A bunch of “experts” are loudly shouting one thing, and the millions of people involved in the markets are betting money that they’re wrong. I know which side I believe.

There’s more to this then a trade war. In my opinion, Trump’s tariffs against China are one part of a multidimensional but nonviolent attack. The tariff are the economic dimension; the military dimension is mostly off-stage, and involves preparation and repositioning; the political dimension is currently centered on North Korea. Put it all together and you have a US attempt to lessen Chinese influence in the Pacific Rim. Also of note is that none of this targets the middle east or central asia, which are a primary target of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Speaking of which: China pledges $20 billion in loans to the middle east This is becoming China’s standard operating procedure. Offer huge loans on generous terms; send in Chinese companies to build infrastructure in the target nation; fast-forward ten years and oops, China controls half your economy and you’re in debt to them up to your eyeballs. But good news, they’ll forgive some of the debt if you let them establish a couple of military bases in your country…..and so on.

US could become world’s top oil producer soon Have you thanked a fracker today? You should. They’re the ones responsible for the surge in production. It’s good for more then just our economy; if the US is an oil exporter, we can bail out of the godforsaken middle east (exception: Israel/Jordan/Kurdistan) and let the Chinese deal with it. I predict that, in 20 years or so, if the US leaves the middle east and China + Russia fill the vacuum, you’ll hear a lot of pining for the good ole days when the US was in charge. We have all these pesky hangups about “human rights” and “morality”; the Russians sure as hell don’t, and the Chinese don’t apply those to non-Chinese.

US cabinet members to meet with new Mexican President Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and presidential advisor Jared Kushner will be there, as will Mexico’s president; finance, economy and security ministers; and the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiator. That’s the important part: why would the NAFTA negotiator be there if they weren’t going to talk about NAFTA? It’s also indicative that Mexico’s new president, while he ran a strongly anti-Trump campaign, has made a lot of conciliatory noises since his victory. My guess is some serious discussions will take place. It’s possible there may be summit after this; who knows.

Why isn’t Trump there? He’s in Brussels yelling at NATO. And some members of NATO definitely need to be yelled at (Germany, I’m looking at you). NATO members are bound by treaty to spend a certain amount on defense, and only the UK, Poland, Estonia, and Greece meet that target. Every single other NATO member falls short. Furthermore, there’s reports that military readiness is collapsing, especially in Germany. There’s a lot of rude comments from the EU and Trump; fine with me. Anything that goes wrong will be blamed on Trump, but don’t buy it; This problem has been a long time coming.

Riots in French city of Nantes French police shot and killed an immigrant, igniting the riots. They’ve been going on for three days, but are tapering off now.

 

 

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