We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, August 15. 2021
We Once Waltzed in Kabul: The U.S. abandoned my friends. Now they are trapped in Afghanistan and hiding from the Taliban.
Please Don’t Feed the Businesses: Ending crony capitalism requires understanding the difference between a pragmatic, pro-market dispensation and a dogmatically pro-business one.
'Easy money': How international scam artists pulled off an epic theft of Covid benefits: Russian mobsters, Chinese hackers and Nigerian scammers have used stolen identities to plunder tens of billions of dollars in pandemic aid, officials say.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
re Sasse knocks 'Trump-Biden doctrine of weakness' as situation deteriorates in Afghanistan
Of course he is saying that. The inference here is that if Ben's Ass was POTUS, all would be right with the world. He'd fix everything and we would all live happily ever after.
Never Trumper's gonna never Trump. Glad to see the 300,000 Afghan army members who won't fight for their own government are not to blame.
re Still in the game: Will Durham's report throw a slow curveball at key political players?
Shock: Savior John Durham Only Considering Prosecuting Some "Low-Level FBI Employees"
Durham: I'd love to see it, but it's still jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today.
The USA needs to institute a "Junk Yard Tech Guy" program. Initiate a bounty program on these scammers, and also 'pill mills' and EBT/welfare/unemployment scammers.
ONLY requirements: technical proficiency with cyber work, clean record, and USA Native-born who can pass a background check.
Skip the "underserved" and "intersectional" and 'womyn' set-asides. Competency only. And, no foreign-born residents/citizens allowed.
Not a slam on naturalized citizens. But, too many have been pushed through the system who are NOT loyal to the USA, nor honest (by our rules - which includes NOT 'helping' your relatives game the system).
News Flash, 2051:
John Dunham is expected to release his findings within the next few days. Few indictments expected as most involved have already died.
So now the ‘True Cons’ are trying to lay the mess of Afghanistan at Trumps’ feet? Trump-Biden doctrine of weakness? Give me a break. Trump has nothing to do with the horrors going on in Afghanistan. Trump rightfully called for the withdrawal, which should have been accomplished 15 years ago. No one outside a RINO\democrat or a ‘True-Con’ believes that a withdrawal under Trump would be this disastrous. Why isn’t any of this Bush’s fault? Obama’s fault? I suppose the acceleration of the economic misery in America is also because of the Trump-Biden doctrine?
Trump is not a predictable wobbly wuss and it's hard to see him ever abandoning leverage. I doubt Trump would have been as reckless, but don't forget that the Deep State undermined him, sabotaged his effort to withdraw from Syria, and fed him bogus drawn down reports.
The intelligence agencies don't appear to want to take the blame so who initiated and executed this plan? Or, was Biden set up to be the patsy? Cui bono?
What you say about the ‘intelligence’ agencies is true.
Hat Tip to Ace of Spades: How Bush Ruined Everything
I don’t agree with everything in the article, but this is true: “ When Trump correctly criticized neocons for their fruitless wars, they became enraged. Until Trump, the pseudo-intellectual near-imperialists wrapped themselves in a protective costume of patriotic rhetoric. Then Trump said the obvious truth that nobody dared speak: these wars are bad for American interests abroad and at home. The Bush Republicans became Hillary Clinton supporters.”
I've not read the Ace commentary, and I didn't like going into the Middle East, but I am not prepared to blame Bush. On September 12th 2001, the PTB realized they had 330million+ soft targets. I know it is counter intuitive but defensive wars may be more costly then offensive wars. Think about defending everyone, everywhere, 24/7 and the costs involved in hardening every potential target. Consider the resources and mental energy it would consume and multiply that exponentially by the lost opportunity costs, just as you would for an offensive war. No one has the wealth to sustain that indefinitely. In the USA , there are tens of thousands of public and private infrastructure targets, thousands of entry points, and multiple means of attack ( dirty bombs, biologicals, poison gas, planes, IEDs), to create havoc and economic disruption. Then there is the human cost, child hostages, plagues, contaminating a reservoir, attacking major bridges, public spaces, terminals, LNG tankers. We live in a completely interdependent world. And.....we were dependent on OPEC's good will. Maybe' I'm giving the Bush administration too much credit but didn't they in a way create a Honey Pot defense?
Don't be too quick to dismiss the decision to take the battle to the enemy, it is a viable option. There are a lot of very good reasons for the saying “The best defense is a good offense.”
The question is are we any better off today? If what I suggest is a consideration, the Western democracies woulda, shoulda, coulda spent the time to harden potential targets and infrastructure, as well as beef up intelligence.
Key would be exploring ways to eliminate dependence on that region for oil. What kind of a grade would you give them.
This is what I can’t reconcile. The PTB obviously are eager to remain dependent on the ME and do what they can to diminish energy independence.
I don't have much trust in the PTB any more. I'm thinking that a lot of our 'political elite' are VERY heavily invested in maintaining a controllable status quo. That includes donations and kickbacks from ME countries so we stay dependent on energy from there so there's slow-walking nuclear construction plans (can't be free of ME energy) and spending hundreds of billions on green boondoggles like distributed solar and wind (the solar plants in the Mojave... sigh. If you can't make it work there, you're not going to be able to make it work ANYWHERE) and in places like NY and California shutting down working nuclear plants to appease environmentalists.
They look at their immediate payoffs (which can be fiscal, favors, of just a generally good feeling for having done something they think is 'right') - and never look at the long term.
Take a look at AGW. CO2 is bad! We must drop how much we put out! Fracking is bad! But that badness dropped US CO2 emissions well below the goals established in the Paris accords. It's just 'unfortunate' that China and India are still ramping up CO2 levels like crazy... and would more than make up the 'loss' if the US ceased producing CO2 entirely.
We have a bunch of very unserious people in high positions who don't have any idea what effects their great ideas have on the world as a whole, and who are basically controlled by people who hate the US in general.
Does anyone believe that Joey formulated any plan and had the chops to see it executed. I hear that Biden disregarded the input and warnings of the intelligence sources. Here's what's strange, if Biden was going against the advise of the Intelligence agencies, why did the DOD execute the plan? If it had been Trump, they would not have done so; they would have sabotaged it or slow walked it. What gives? Who benefits? What are we missing?
Re: We Once Waltzed in Kabul
I feel really badly especially for Afghan women, children, and elderly. On the other hand, it seems there are a lot of military age men who are trying to get away. For twenty years we tried to train their military and police. We poured money, equipment, and lives to try to build them up to be self sustaining and in the end, there were not enough of them who wanted the freedom we tried to help them maintain bad enough. It's terribly sad - and much worse than than.
In my view, we don't escape some responsibility. Our military leaders gaslighted us to think the Afghans were capable of taking care of themselves to some extent. They apparently did not convey to the Afghans that we were not going to be there forever. I blame the Afghan government (what government there was) for this also. Were they convinced of the need to stand on their own two feet, they might have gotten the courage to do so.
Of course, all this will also redound negatively for us too. Our military and political leadership has been shown to be obviously inept. Has Taiwan really been threatened already? We will be next and when that comes, will there be enough of us who have the courage, will, and skill to defend what we may be taking as our birthright and the natural order of things. With a military leadership that is concerned about "white rage" and soldiers walking in high heels, that may be more of an open question than we would like to admit.
They once waltzed in Kabul. We are still waltzing in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and DC. Will the time come when we are shocked that we can no longer dance?
Re: Durham Report
There have been few (any?) indictments so far and therefore very little motivation for underlings to rat out their bosses or pressure on the bosses to come clean.
Hope springs eternal, but given that Barr displayed obvious duplicity to the rule of law by not investigating voter fraud in 2020 as well as allegiance to the Deep State , it seems reasonable that Durham and his investigation is another part of that same allegiance.
I'd be ecstatic to be proved too cynical. I await evidence but I stopped holding my breath a LONG time ago.
For lifelong government employees and politicians and often both, it is unbearable to hold any fellow employee accountable much less hold any part of the institution accountable. Durham will likely follow Barr's lead and do whatever it takes to save the institutions and those in the administrative state. Not enough people are yet disgusted with government to start tearing numerous parts of it down along with dismissing its employees. But that time is not far away as we see more and more incompetence and outright evil emanate from the political sewers.