Category Archives: Political Commentary

Disagreeing With DC Conventional Wisdom

isn’t a crime, let alone an impeachable offense. It is time to rethink NATO, perhaps past time.

NATO and the EU have been free riding for a long time. It was an organization for a different era and power structure. Putin’s Russia doesn’t have the resources to conquer Europe, especially if they start getting serious about their own defense.

The FBI And Its Media Accomplices

Are the walls closing in? I hope so, but I’ve been disappointed before.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More from Debra Heine:

Most people, except a few paid trolls and Democrats with political axes to grind, have figured out there is no “there” there. Mueller is reportedly preparing to show his hand, and it’s almost certain to be “anti-climatic,” sources close to the investigation say.

It’s all over but the crying.

And liberal tears will indeed flow if Mueller’s final report comes out and it contains no bombshells and is unable to prove that President Trump colluded, conspired, schemed, or plotted with the Russians to win the 2016 election. It’s also unlikely that he’ll be accused of obstruction for firing Comey, an absurdly weak pretext for an investigation if ever there was one…

…Meanwhile, the inspector general’s investigation looking into the deep state’s surveillance abuse before the election continues apace, and a secret grand jury has been investigating former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for months. The OIG revealed last month that it was unable to recover a number of vital Strzok/Page text messages from the special counsel’s office because Mueller’s records officer had scrubbed them. That almost looked like a warning shot from the OIG to the special counsel.

Again, let’s hope.

America’s Shutdown Indifference

It is hard to work up sympathy for people who seem indifferent to the plights of the people in flyoverland who pay their salaries:

I mention these anecdotes not because I think the present record-setting shutdown is good or sane policy but because I am trying to illustrate why I and other Americans have a hard time caring much about it. In the popular imagination — and sometimes in dozens of little-read memos from the inspectors general of various departments — the average federal employee appears to be lazy, incompetent, performing meaningless tasks for too much pay, with an enviable array of benefits and other amenities (I still roll my eyes in disgust whenever I am reminded that there exist special credit unions for federal employees, whose pay and job security would be the envy of a hundred million other Americans). Government employees, at both the state and federal level, are among the only workers in the United States who continue to be represented by powerful unions, despite the fact that by definition they’re not bargaining against capital but against their fellow citizens.

This is to say nothing of the vast assortment of contractors, consultants, and hangers-on whose “work” has been temporarily interrupted by the shutdown. Their grotesque salaries have blighted the landscape with McMansions and driven housing prices in Maryland and northern Virginia to a level beyond what most families with children will ever be able to afford. So the people whose job it is to bid up the price of useless airplanes or dream up rival marketing schemes for some “cloud” project while our nation’s capital lacks a functional public transit system are going to have .05 percent fewer billable hours for the year? Boo hoo.

There is a lot of damage being done to space activities, though. Tethers Unlimited just had to do a 20% layoff due to contract delays. It’s only a partial shutdown, but NASA is part of it. There were a lot of papers not presented last week in San Diego because NASA employees weren’t allowed to attend the conference. Fortunately, people working Commercial Crew are “essential,” though they are working without pay. JPL may have to do layoffs if this continues into February.

[Via Glenn, who writes] “Coal miners lose their jobs for good and it’s ‘you’re obsolete, learn to code!’ Federal workers have a few paychecks delayed and the press is in heartstring-tugging mode.”

[Update a couple minutes later]

Roger Simon: The shutdown should go on forever:

That mysterious Trump official is also correct in saying that the shutdown should be about much more than the wall and border security. Serious as they may be, they are what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” The real issue is the function of government itself — what’s important and what’s not. A shutdown can serve as a living laboratory for examining the question of what is actually worthwhile that is missing because of that event. I daresay that most outside the Beltway would be hard pressed to find anything. (A fair number of these people can get around the National Parks by themselves, especially in the days of GPS.)

Both sides fear shutdowns not just because of that nauseatingly tedious inter-party blame game, but more importantly because it exposes this bloat and who caused it (i.e., who paid for what). This is the Deep State in action, in the off-chance anyone hasn’t noticed. What has been created by our government over decades is a self-preservation machine immune to the normal capitalist processes of creative destruction that have largely improved society over centuries, enriching almost everyone and extending life expectancy.

Yup.

[Update a few minutes later]

More good news: The IRS will issue refunds, but not do audits, during the shutdown.

Gillette

Thoughts on their attempt to get woke, go broke:

Gillette has learned that in [current year], it’s not enough for a company to make a product that people want. It’s not enough to make them feel inadequate about themselves, and then sell them the supposed cure for that inadequacy. Consumers, men in particular, must be made to feel worthless. They have to be reminded that their needs and desires are wrong under any circumstances, that their instincts are loathsome, that their very existence is a malignancy, and that they’re responsible for all the world’s ills whether they want to admit it or not.

Now give them your money, you piece of garbage.

There are a lot of alternatives.

[Update a few minutes later]

Wow, they’ve even turned Piers Morgan into a men-rights activist.

[Wednesday-morning update]

The toxic mission to re-engineer men.

[Late-morning update]

More thoughts from Lileks:

The first half of the ad is stupid – all these guys staring in the mirror, wondering “Am I a straw man who actually laughed at that ‘Married with Children’ episode in 1999?” The clueless, fatal association of grilling with indifferent lunkhead men, the sort of detail that could only come from men who write long essays for Medium about how they feel alienated from grilling and always get nervous sweat when they have to go to a backyard party, because there are like, these dudes, standing over the fire? And it’s so, like, primal? god none of these people ever listen to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me you can just tell but I guess I can stand here and joke while I drink this beer because airquotes it’s what guys do airquotes

Here’s the thing, though. I am not completely outraged. Take care of your kids, set a good example, don’t catcall – sure. Yes. Men who do these things will surely agree. Men who do not are unlikely to be moved to behave otherwise. But men who do these things already will not find the commercial supportive; they’re more likely to be irritated that someone presumes they have to be told these things.

Yes.

Peter Jackson’s Restored WW I Footage

provides a contrast with today:

In the span of 100 years, Britain has gone from producing men who were so eager to fight and die for their country that 16-year-olds lied about their age to enlist when the minimum age was 19, to teaching primary school boys that they can have periods just like girls and offering feminine hygiene products in boys’ bathrooms. This phenomenon isn’t unique to the U.K. U.S. colleges, like the University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, and Brown University offer menstrual products in their men’s rooms, in the name of “menstrual equity” and as a sop to a miniscule “transgender” population.

We’re doomed.