Hi there, !
Today Wed 02/19/2020 Tue 02/18/2020 Mon 02/17/2020 Sun 02/16/2020 Sat 02/15/2020 Fri 02/14/2020 Thu 02/13/2020 Archives
Rantburg
442254 articles and 1560861 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 55 articles and 254 comments as of 3:44.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Non-WoT        Politix    Posting Order
Switzerland Thwarts Major Islamic State Terror Attack
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 4: Opinion
18 23:14 Lex [277] 
5 16:23 g(r)omgoru [175] 
9 10:43 crazyhorse [317] 
3 15:31 Lex [157] 
6 15:22 magpie [173] 
2 06:40 Dale [144] 
2 17:15 swksvolFF [120] 
19 16:43 Besoeker [368] 
11 15:34 Papa Plugz [245] 
5 19:11 Skidmark [296] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
3 23:54 Knuckles Spavins2792 [203]
2 07:57 Frank G [146]
0 [122]
0 [118]
0 [88]
1 07:47 AlanC [95]
0 [77]
0 [90]
0 [91]
0 [70]
0 [115]
2 04:16 Woodrow [261]
0 [80]
0 [95]
0 [109]
Page 2: WoT Background
10 16:01 Frank G [221]
0 [108]
1 05:01 Woodrow [126]
0 [77]
3 10:30 Chris [143]
2 10:33 Chris [133]
5 09:41 Raj [193]
7 20:16 Lex [185]
Page 3: Non-WoT
1 17:16 Matt [104]
5 20:24 SteveS [131]
14 22:38 Lex [411]
6 17:59 Anomalous Sources [236]
2 08:02 b [104]
12 20:53 Thaith Elmeresing6163 [278]
10 18:53 Skidmark [224]
4 09:45 Raj [138]
3 12:51 ed in texas [145]
3 09:00 ranture [147]
1 11:27 ed in texas [198]
7 17:29 Abu Uluque [191]
3 08:09 b [127]
7 12:57 ed in texas [298]
1 04:44 Woodrow [143]
6 23:35 Lex [254]
Page 6: Politix
12 18:50 DarthVader [218]
2 10:38 M. Murcek [102]
0 [147]
15 20:59 Thaith Elmeresing6163 [386]
21 12:57 M. Murcek [475]
3 16:12 swksvolFF [133]
-Lurid Crime Tales-
Mccabe, Stone, Vindman and The Two-Tiered Justice System on Full Display
[American Thinker] This was not a banner week for the idea that justice is alive and blind in America.

Three separate stories converged to drive home the obvious truth that America has a two-tiered justice system: the Justice Department's decision to not indict the guilty-as-sin plotter Andrew McCabe, the attempt to give Roger Stone an outrageous jail sentence, and the Army's decision to shrug that one of its officers attempted to orchestrate the removal of his commander-in-chief.

Even in the unlikely scenario that the Barr-Durham investigations send the full stable of coup-plotters to jail for decades, it will not erase the obvious fact that it pays to be a Democrat if you are going to commit crimes, particularly if they are political.

There are a couple of simple reasons for this. The most obvious reason is that the entire federal bureaucracy is one giant Democrat machine. This cannot be repeated enough. Nearly every member of almost every single department is a Democrat.

How bad is it? Back in 2016, 95 percent of campaign contributions for the presidential race went to Her Royal Awfulness. The Justice Department overachieved, coming in at 97 percent.

Those are William Barr's employees, the ones who are cranking out the paperwork. Federal rules make it nearly impossible to fire any of these employees. When Barr gives direction, those 113K+ employees of his Department are the ones carrying it out in whatever creative, and often subversive, ways they can. They are the ones producing the staff work and recommendations that daily land on Barr's desk and in his inbox, if their directives even make it that far before being implemented.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 06:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [157 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The big problems are: 1. The growing power of the unelected bureaucracy, 2. That 90% of this unelected bloc tend to vote Dem, 3. Civil service and unions make it impossible to fire government employees, 4. The recent use of impeachment as a political weapon by Dems to try to get rid of a POTUS you hate, 4. Reluctance to prosecute those who engage in espionage, sedition and treason, 5. Little recourse outside of elections to get rid of Congress members who plot, create false crimes and who lie before us to support these phony narratives.
Posted by: Winky Brown2427 || 02/16/2020 10:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Draining the swamp takes time. First President Trump had to put in place judges and get through the Mueller investigation and impeachment farces, during which he accepted resignations/retirements throughout the bureaucracy and mostly did not replace them. Now he is starting to clear out entire swathes of moles, like the 70-something NSA analysts just returned to their home organizations and the four DOJ prosecutors who resigned about the Roger Stone sentence request.

There are plenty of crimes fo the criminals to be charged with, and the IG report and current investigations will provide the tools to do so.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/16/2020 14:44 Comments || Top||

#3  #2 Draining the swamp takes time.

Indeed. Patience. Patience, mi droogs.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 15:31 Comments || Top||


Army Secretary: ‘There's No Investigations' into LTC Sausage
[Breitbart] Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday that the service is not investigating Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council (NSC) staffer who was removed from his assignment last week after testifying during the impeachment inquiry.

Asked if the Army would be investigating or punishing Vindman, McCarthy said:
Col. Vindman was scheduled to come back to the Army ‐ he was detailed to the National Security Council ‐ by May, June timeframe, so we brought him back. So he’s got basically a bridging assignment for a couple of months within an [headquarters of the Department of the Army] assignment, and then he will be heading to a senior service college this summer. There’s no investigations into him.
President Trump was asked this week if he thought the military should punish Vindman, and he responded that it would "be up to the military."

"We’ll have to see. But if you look at what happened, they’re certainly going to, I imagine, take a look at that," he said.

Trump said that Vindman did not report his concerns about his July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president through his chain of command at the NSC and that he "leaked, did a lot of bad things."
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 03:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [368 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Of course there won't be an 'Army investigation.' He wasn't working for the Army, he hadn't been for many years.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 3:15 Comments || Top||

#2 
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 3:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Future promotions and assignments, however, are iffy.

Ever read an officer promotion order?

"Attention to orders: Headquarters, Department of the Army, The president of the United States has reposed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of [NAME]. In view of these qualities and his/her demonstrated potential for increased responsibility, [NAME] is promoted to [NEW RANK] with a date of rank of [DATE]."

...when hell freezes over.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 7:23 Comments || Top||

#4  BTW, the promotion list is a 'recommendation' by the board through the Secretary to the WH. The White House submits it to Congress for approval. Anyone who can recall Tailhook knows that is not automatic.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 7:26 Comments || Top||

#5  “Chow Thief” – Rangers Wanted Alexander Vindman Removed from Ranger School

Despite not having the respect of his peers, Vindman was pushed through due to his language proficiency.

Grooming ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 7:31 Comments || Top||

#6  Track down his sponsors. Let them know they chose poorly.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/16/2020 7:51 Comments || Top||

#7  His own ideological and political bent got the best of him or he was following instructions. Of course it could have been a combination. In any case, all of those years of training and development wasted. His utility as a political-military asset are now totally fok'd. I suppose the obvious next question is.....will there be a book deal ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 8:01 Comments || Top||

#8  will there be a book deal ?

As only lefties would buy / read it "US Military for Dummies."
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/16/2020 8:15 Comments || Top||

#9  Book deals are so 20th Century. Now it's a Netflix deal.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 8:26 Comments || Top||

#10  He was pissed Trump didn't recite his talking points in his phone call with Zelensky
Posted by: Frank G || 02/16/2020 8:34 Comments || Top||

#11  Q. Isn't the whole family: one high banking executive and two LTC's; a bit too successful for first generation emigrants?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 8:40 Comments || Top||

#12  Q. Isn't the whole family: one high banking executive and two LTC's; a bit too successful for first generation emigrants?

The Vindmans were Soviet Jews, so no.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/16/2020 12:35 Comments || Top||

#13  Next assignment? I see a staff position directing the prototype NextGen Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
On To Retirement!
Posted by: ed in texas || 02/16/2020 12:55 Comments || Top||

#14  #12 Lots of ex Soviet Jews in USA - how many have comparable results?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 13:03 Comments || Top||

#15  Lots of ex Soviet Jews in USA - how many have comparable results?

The group bifurcated — some, like the Vindmans, have done quite well, while others languished in low-paid jobs, never properly assimilated to their new home. The trailing daughters were friends with the son of Soviet Jewish immigrants in the second group. The parents, though educated, ended up divorcing because the husband could not keep a job, while the wife finally left Cincinnati to become a cook in Las Vegas. The two older daughters achieved comfortable, middle class lives after university, while the son, like so many of his American age mates, is just climbing out of the post-college Bro stage.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/16/2020 15:45 Comments || Top||

#16  ^International banker + 2 field grade officers is not middle class TW. I've relatives in Brighton Beach myself - Vindmans ARE atypical. Makes one wonder, who/what Semyon was in Soviet Union and what he brought from there?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 15:57 Comments || Top||

#17  /\ I believe we may have some notions about those interesting connections g(r)om. Unfortuately, I've yet to see many in the media make much mention of it.

Alex Vindman also has an older brother named Leonid Simon Vindman.

Leonid Simon Vindman is the “Founder and Managing Partner, Tungsten Capital Advisors” and “has approximately thirty years of experience in the financial markets,” his company website states.

“During the past twenty five years, he has been focusing predominantly on Central Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia where he completed some of the biggest investment and advisory transactions in the region,” according to the website. “He also completed transactions in the Middle East, and traveled extensively in Asia and Africa.”

The page continues: “Prior to founding Tungsten he was a Managing Director responsible for investment banking origination and client coverage activities for Russia and CIS region at UniCredit Group – the largest international bank in Central and Eastern Europe at that time. Previously he worked as a Vice President Investment Banking at JPMorgan Chase, Principal Banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD), Senior Associate at Bankers Trust and Manager at Central Europe Trust.”

Leonid Vindman “received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business,” his company website says.

The company’s founding and managing partner Maria Starkova-Vindman is described as “an art historian and art advisor” who previously “worked at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow as an assistant keeper and curator, and taught on the Courtauld MA course on global contemporary art.”


Link
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 16:05 Comments || Top||

#18  And what kind of dealings, if any, did Tungsten have with Burisma?
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 02/16/2020 16:14 Comments || Top||

#19  Meet Leonid Vindman.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 16:43 Comments || Top||


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Chinese doctors say Wuhan coronavirus can lead to 'sudden death' from heart failure
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) ‐ It’s possible to get infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a second time, according to doctors on the frontline in China’s city of Wuhan, leading to death from heart failure in some cases.

The claim is made by doctors working in the Hubei Province capital that is at the center of the epidemic, which has to date infected 64,201 people and killed 1,487. One of the doctors reached out to a relative living in the United Kingdom, who then informed Taiwan News.

Both the relative and doctors asked to remain anonymous, out of consideration they might face retribution from the Chinese authorities. The doctor, Li Wenliang (李文亮), who first raised warnings about the Wuhan virus, was rebuked by the authorities before succumbing to the devastating disease himself earlier this month.

According to the message forwarded to Taiwan News, "It’s highly possible to get infected a second time. A few people recovered from the first time by their own immune system, but the meds they use are damaging their heart tissue, and when they get it the second time, the antibody doesn’t help but makes it worse, and they die a sudden death from heart failure."

The source also said the virus has "outsmarted all of us," as it can hide symptoms for up to 24 days. This assertion has been made independently elsewhere, with Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan (鍾南山) saying the average incubation period is three days, but it can take as little as one day and up to 24 days to develop symptoms.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 07:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [175 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Suddenly a spike of 'heart failure' deaths in the stats.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 8:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Both the relative and doctors asked to remain anonymous

Then why narrow the field of investigation by reporting how the information made its way to the West?
Posted by: gorb || 02/16/2020 8:27 Comments || Top||

#3  "Hubei Doctors Warn Of Even-Deadlier Coronavirus Reinfection Causing Sudden Heart Attacks…" So this news spreads. Twists and turns. So the body is in weakened state. Round two begins or perhaps round three and four. Then with the elderly the inability to survive reoccurring on-slot.
Posted by: Dale || 02/16/2020 8:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Then why narrow the field of investigation by reporting how the information made its way to the West?

Perhaps a correlation between getting sick a second time and Hong Kong/Anti-Government activities?
/foil hat
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/16/2020 15:58 Comments || Top||

#5  The former Party Secretary for Hubei being the first such victim?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 16:23 Comments || Top||


Economy
China Has ‘Global Chokehold' on Medicine, Can Shut Down Our Pharmacies, Hospitals in Months
[Breitbart] China could effectively shut down America’s healthcare system within months given the one-party state’s "global chokehold" on the manufacturing of medicines and medical supplies, explained Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.

Gibson, senior adviser at the Hastings Center, offered her remarks on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin.

Mansour noted how the coronavirus outbreak in China has exposed America’s dangerous dependence on Chinese production of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for domestic drug production.

Gibson said, "If China shuts the door on exports of medicines and the ingredients to make them, within a couple of months our pharmacies would be empty. Our healthcare system would cease to function. That’s how dependent we are."
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 06:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [173 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Alternate heading "Why Economics are bullsh*t"
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 6:57 Comments || Top||

#2  "If China shuts the door on exports of medicines and the ingredients to make them, within a couple of months our pharmacies would be empty. Our healthcare system would cease to function. That’s how dependent we are."

And the moment that happens, business returns to America. It's not like a production base hasn't existed elsewhere.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 7:28 Comments || Top||

#3  I've been on Losartan for 15 years. It has become hard to get due to a carcinogenic impurity in one of the ingredients. It comes from India not China. The solution that the FDA came up with is to let the tainted medications thru. Your gummint at work.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/16/2020 7:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico
Posted by: Frank G || 02/16/2020 8:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Seems like the standard globalization play:

1) Let's make it over there! It's cheaper
2) Yay, it's cheaper... but now we are vulnerable to our single source. Oh noes!
3) New sellers enter the market, local production begins -> more resilience. Yay!
Posted by: SteveS || 02/16/2020 12:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Years ago I was surprised when I noticed that the 55-gal drum of food additive, sodium ascorbate (Vitamin C) IIRC, was 'Made In China'. To be added to every gallon of milk pasteurized ... yummy.
Posted by: magpie || 02/16/2020 15:22 Comments || Top||


Europe
Swiss Crypto AG spying scandal shakes reputation for neutrality
[BBC] It's hard to exaggerate just how much the Crypto AG scandal has shaken Switzerland.

For decades, US and German intelligence used this Swiss company's encoding devices to spy on other countries, and the revelations this week have provoked outrage.
Outrage!
From the Cold War into the 2000s, Crypto AG sold the devices to more than 120 governments worldwide. The machines were encrypted but it emerged this week that the CIA and Germany's BND had rigged the devices so they could crack the codes and intercept thousands of messages.

Rumours had circulated in the past but now everybody knows.

WHY SWISS NEUTRALITY MATTERS
There are only a handful of countries on the planet that have chosen neutrality; Austria is one, Sweden another. But no country has made a status symbol out of neutrality like the Swiss.

Now that the Crypto AG scandal has emerged in all its tawdry detail, there's not a newspaper or broadcaster in the country that is not questioning Switzerland's neutrality.

"It's shattered," is a common phrase.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 08:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As is commonly said I da burgh (Pittsburgh) as an expression of feigned incredulity, "Git aht!"
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/16/2020 8:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Like most Europeans, they can't stand to be on the same side with Americans. They think the wrong side won the Cold War.
Posted by: Herb McCoy || 02/16/2020 9:22 Comments || Top||

#3  They weren't too happy when we asked what happened to all those German Jews' bank accounts after the war.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 10:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Swiss "neutrality" is more than a little coy. Their dominant industry hides behind the US-dominated global financial system and its interbank transfer mechanisms.

Without this support from the US, Swiss international banks would collapse.

Of course they're going to help us when and where we require it - discreetly, of course...
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 11:01 Comments || Top||

#5  From the article:

But still, every few years it seems the Swiss get a wake-up call about their neutrality.

They have to learn all over again that it's not a shining beacon of hope at the heart of Europe. Rather it is a pragmatic and often grubby survival tactic in a continent with a very bloody history.


A more interesting question to me is why this was suddenly revealed now — and why this time it is conceded rather than brushed off as similar rumours have been in the past.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/16/2020 13:04 Comments || Top||

#6  They have to learn all over again that it's not a shining beacon of hope at the heart of Europe. Rather it is a pragmatic and often grubby survival tactic in a continent with a very bloody history.

This. I've been to Switzerland three times. In fact, I've visited the Italian, German, and French speaking parts of the country - and even sat idly on the stone steps of an ancient Church listening to old men smoke nasty French cigarettes and speak Romanish to one another. So I know something of the cold, calculating soul of the Swiss people.

So here's the thing about being an American in Switzerland: they're richer than you are, more cultured than you are, and they look down on you. Period. Picture you're a rural Mexican from some place like Morelos, and your cousin brings you Chicago to help him run his food truck in the financial district. How do people treat that guy? That's how the Swiss will treat you... even when you're shelling out a cool ten grand as a tourist.

It's not personal. They look down on the Italians even more than they look down on you. And everyone else too. But here's their thing: they've got it good up there in the mountains, looking down on everyone and everything. It's nice and safe. They've read their history books, and they know that Europe is and always will be a never-ending cluster-you-know-what punctuated by periods of calm (like right now). So they stay apart literally and figuratively, but make themselves useful to the Powers That Be without ever formally joining anything. If that's the Nazis, British, Catholic Church, the Soviets, or the United States; well, it's all the same to them. They want to be left alone, and their willing to play the games that must be played to accomplish that.

A likable people? No. Practical and cynical? Yes. Do they live long and well for the most part? Why, yes; yes they do.
Posted by: Secret Master || 02/16/2020 13:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Excellent synopsis SM. Ha, and I thought I was the only one who felt that way.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 14:06 Comments || Top||

#8  ^ Me 3. The Swiss have it about as good as anyone on earth.

Directly because they're:
-cultured
-disciplined
-well-educated
-ferociously independent
-well-trained in the art of self-defense
-free of can't and virtue-signaling
-proud of who they are and what makes them different.

Wish there were a way that our confused, self-hating, addled society could profit from their example.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 15:38 Comments || Top||

#9  * free of cant [= pious, obviously insincere virtue-signaling/bullshit]
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 15:39 Comments || Top||

#10  Minding your own business and steering clear of Euro entanglements and War for 700 years. There does not appear to be a downside.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 15:51 Comments || Top||

#11  I would love to be fortunate enough to live in such a society.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 15:56 Comments || Top||

#12  The French Revolutionary armies invaded and occupied. Rechristened the place as the Helvetic Republic. They looted the banks.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 16:04 Comments || Top||

#13  Interesting how much of what Orwell praised about the virtues of English hypocrisy in "The Lion and the Unicorn" also applies to the Swiss -- see marked boldface passages below and substitute "Swiss" for "English" and see whether it's not still fundamentally correct:

One is that the English [the Swiss] are not gifted artistically. They are not as musical as the Germans or Italians, painting and sculpture have never flourished in England [Switzerland] as they have in France.

Another is that, as Europeans go, the English [the Swiss] are not intellectual. They have a horror of abstract thought, they feel no need for any philosophy or systematic “world-view”. Nor is this because they are “practical”, as they are so fond of claiming for themselves.

... they have a certain power of acting without taking thought. Their world-famed hypocrisy – their double-faced attitude towards the Empire, for instance – is bound up with this.

Also, in moments of supreme crisis the whole nation can suddenly draw together and act upon a species of instinct, really a code of conduct which is understood by almost everyone, though never formulated.

The phrase that Hitler coined for the Germans, “a sleep-walking people”, would have been better applied to the English. Not that there is anything to be proud of in being called a sleep-walker.

But here it is worth noticing a minor English trait which is extremely well marked though not often commented on, and that is a love of flowers [ the Swiss love of walking, of fresh air, of green space?]. This is one of the first things that one notices when one reaches England from abroad, especially if one is coming from southern Europe.

Does it not contradict the English indifference to the arts? Not really, because it is found in people who have no aesthetic feelings whatever. What it does link up with, however, is another English characteristic which is so much a part of us that we barely notice it, and that is the addiction to hobbies and spare-time occupations, the privateness of English [ Swiss ] life.

We are a nation of flower-lovers, but also a nation of stamp-collectors, pigeon-fanciers, amateur carpenters, coupon-snippers, darts-players, crossword-puzzle fans.

All the culture that is most truly native centres round things which even when they are communal are not official – the pub, the football match, the back garden, the fireside and the “nice cup of tea”.

The liberty of the individual is still believed in, almost as in the nineteenth century.

But this has nothing to do with economic liberty, the right to exploit others for profit.

It is the liberty to have a home of your own, to do what you like in your spare time, to choose your own amusements instead of having them chosen for you from above.

The most hateful of all names in an English ear is Nosey Parker. [ There must be a Swiss equivalent, but I don't know it. ]

It is obvious, of course, that even this purely private liberty is a lost cause. Like all other modern peoples, the English are in process of being numbered, labelled, conscripted, “co-ordinated”.

But the pull of their impulses is in the other direction, and the kind of regimentation that can be imposed on them will be modified in consequence. No party rallies, no Youth Movements, no coloured shirts, no Jew-baiting or “spontaneous” demonstrations. No Gestapo either, in all probability.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 16:12 Comments || Top||

#14  I like Secret Master's description but I can't bring myself to envy them. They can keep their mountains. I like beaches.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 02/16/2020 16:32 Comments || Top||

#15  I prefer my Rocky Mountains.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/16/2020 22:44 Comments || Top||

#16  OK, a proposition for debate (or a simple 1-2-3 vote). How do the a) contemporary US, b) contemporary (not Orwell's) UK, c) contemporary Switzerland and d) contemporary Hungary and Russia rate on these following dimensions of social/political attractiveness identified by Orwell 80+ years ago:

1. privateness of [ social / political ] life.

That is, does our "culture that is most truly native cent[er on] things which even when they are communal are not official..." -- for example, in the English mid-20c context, "the pub, the football match, the back garden, the fireside and the 'nice cup of tea'."

2. "The liberty of the individual is still believed in, almost as in the nineteenth century."

That is, "the liberty to have a home of your own, to do what you like in your spare time, to choose your own amusements instead of having them chosen for you from above."

3. Antithesis: Is it despised to be a busybody, interfering in others' affairs as opposed to leaving them alone -- to be what Orwell called, with scorn, a "Nosey Parker"?

4. Trend/Tendency: Is it the case that "the pull of [the people's] impulses is ... [toward] regimentation" -- that is, toward "party rallies, ... Youth Movements ... “spontaneous” demonstrations." or toward a Gestapo?

How does the contemporary US measure up vs the UK, Switzerland, and Hungary/Russia?

Vote now
and vote often
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 23:05 Comments || Top||

#17  I'll go first:

1. privateness of [ social / political ] life.
Best: US, Switzerland
Medium: Hungary, Russia
Worst: contemporary UK

2. "The liberty of the individual is still believed in, almost as in the nineteenth century."
(That is, "the liberty to have a home of your own, to do what you like in your spare time, to choose your own amusements instead of having them chosen for you from above.")

Best: Switzerland
Medium: Hungary, Russia, US
Worst: UK

3. Antithesis: Is it despised to be a busybody, interfering in others' affairs as opposed to leaving them alone -- to be what Orwell called, with scorn, a "Nosey Parker"?


Best: Switzerland, Hungary, Russia
Worst: US, UK [ the Twitter-sphere]

4. Trend/Tendency: Is it the case that "the pull of [the people's] impulses is ... [toward] regimentation" -- that is, toward "party rallies, ... Youth Movements ... “spontaneous” demonstrations." or toward a Gestapo?

Best: Switzerland
Medium: Hungary
Worst: US, UK, Russia

OVERALL:
Best (by far): Switzerland
Next-best: Hungary, then Russia
Bad: US
Awful: UK

Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 23:13 Comments || Top||

#18  #15 I prefer my Rocky Mountains.

OP, your neck of Colorado must resemble Switzerland. I envy you.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 23:14 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
The corruption of Barack Obama
[American Thinker] The national media are flabbergasted that Americans won't consent to President Trump's removal from office. How can so many of his compatriots be indicted and so many government bureaucrats condemn his behavior without giving them what they desire: self-assurance that they are "on the right side of history"?

If they ever wish to understand, the critical starting point in their education is not the current presidency, but the last one. Although there are numerous ways to describe the present divide in America, one of the simpler is thus: those Americans who take Barack Obama at his word that his presidency was historically "scandal free" and those Americans who see the unrelenting stream of Deep State attempts to take down President Trump as a continuing coup and the natural extension of an unethical, criminal, and at times unconstitutional Obama presidency.

For those of us in the latter camp, Barack Obama presided over a corrupt administration and used his historic election as the first non-white American president as a get-out-of-jail-free card to abuse his power while silencing his critics.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 06:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That once prolific graphic of the Soetoro-Saudi bow appears to be quietly making it's way to the media's historical editing room. It's now very difficult to locate on-line. Strange, strange indeed. Massive statuary and street names to soon follow.

(Graphic is of the Nelson Mandela statue on Signal Hill, Bloemfontein, SA)
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 8:11 Comments || Top||

#2  The Obama great transformation? Reads like a litany of Al Capone's crimes and more.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/16/2020 9:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Yes, but we owe him a debt of gratitude for adding seven states to the Union.
Posted by: Matt || 02/16/2020 9:30 Comments || Top||

#4  But they were Muslim states B.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/16/2020 9:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Corruption, hell. Bambi was born corrupted. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara || 02/16/2020 9:49 Comments || Top||

#6  #4 LOL, JQC
Posted by: Matt || 02/16/2020 10:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Omitted the 8-figure post=[residency Netflix sweetheart deal - a company whose entire rickety business model depends on favorable treatment by political appointees in Washington.

Also omitted the Obama-ordered campus rape tribunals / kangaroo courts which have destroyed the lives of scores of innocent young men.

Also does not go into detail on the offense for which this buffoon may yet land in prison, the conspiracy with Brennan to use foreign intelligence agents to spy on and create bogus charges against a political rival during and after the 2016 presidential election.

But it's a start.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 10:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Plus his, er, collusion with Medvedev and Putin in March 2012 for electoral gain ("I'll have more flexibility after the election"). Not criminal but, ironically, EXACTLY what he and his fellow conspirators falsely accused OrangeMan of doing.

Most corrupt era since the Robber Barons.
Led by a lazy and corrupt moron in a well-cut suit.
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 10:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Not to mention his arm twisting to get Chicago the Olympics for his friends who bought up property there to cash in.
Posted by: crazyhorse || 02/16/2020 10:43 Comments || Top||


Obama's Bird-Killing Death Machines Bad for Environment
[Free Beacon] Nearly all of President Barack H. Obama's "accomplishments" have been nullified by his physically and intellectually superior successor, Donald J. Trump. But while Obama's so-called legacy has been largely erased, majestic birds continue to suffer as a result of his bloodthirsty obsession with wind turbines.

The Obama administration, in the name of "climate justice," bent over backwards to install massive turbine farms across the country. As Obama's spinning death machines systematically dismembered countless bald eagles and other protected species, in what some have argued amounts to genocide, the Democratic administration granted waivers to exempt wind farms from federal laws prohibiting the murder of endangered birds. The slaughter continued.

Many have argued that, when it comes Obama's insatiable lust for bird flesh, the cruelty is the point. A recent Bloomberg report substantiates this assessment. Turns out the wind turbines aren't as environmentally sustainable as advertised. The massive fiberglass blades‐some as long as football fields‐need to be replaced after several years but can't easily be recycled or even transported. As a result, they're starting to pile up like the discarded corpses of murdered birds in landfills across the country, where they'll remain "forever," in the words of one expert:
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/16/2020 03:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [144 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Actually a huge problem. We have a lot of eagles here and if someone put up a mill, gone. As bad as those solar tower cookers. Save the planet, kill the birds.

By the way, why the hell not build them as vertical cylinders? Guessing costs.
Posted by: Woodrow || 02/16/2020 5:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Yes indeed, vertical cylinders. So much money has been allocated and insider deals a transition is ill timed. This is a problem as scrap piles grow or dead units are left standing.
Posted by: Dale || 02/16/2020 6:40 Comments || Top||


The Joe Biden Theory and the Ukrainian macguffin
The People's Cube via Instapundit
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my earlier Joe Biden theory is confirmed more and more every day. Let's start from the beginning.

1. At first Biden is reluctant to run. But in the spring of 2019 he gets wind of Trump investigating his corruption in Ukraine - and he immediately enters the race on 4/25/19. On the trail he looks old, tired, and his heart just isn't in it. Why do it then? Because it's about a lot more things than simply running for president.

2. If Trump isn't stopped, the entire Biden family's dirt will come out. At this point, the only way to avoid or at least to delay it is Biden being in the race: the news of his corruption can then be discredited as usual electioneering and Trump's dirty tricks.

3. Biden may not be the only one who took dirty money from Ukrainian oligarchs, plus Democrats used Ukrainian politicians to dig up dirt on Trump's team in 2016. Now their lives and careers depend on their ability to stop Trump's investigation and to muddle the issue. They also know they can't beat Trump in 2020, all they can do is try to impeach him in order to shut him up. They have loyal spies in the White House and wait for an opportune moment to pounce.

4. Trump's phone call with Ukraine becomes such a moment. The Dems quickly compose a play about a concerned whistleblower and stage it in the House. They charge Trump with exactly what they themselves have done - getting help from a foreign government in order to dig up dirt on a political rival, followed by a cover-up.

5. These charges only make sense if Biden is running against Trump in a general election, which he isn't. As a minimum, he must be a frontrunner in the primaries, and so the DNC throws him into the mix of candidates and artificially inflates his status. The entire impeachment scheme is predicated on Biden running and winning the primaries. Without him posing as Trump's rival, the Democrats won't be able to claim that Trump wanted to steal an election. So old Joe must make a good face and keep running even if he eventually collapses and pays with his life to save the swamp.

6. The Senate acquits Trump and the Dems switch to harassing him about Roger Stone. It no longer matters if Biden is a frontrunner, he has outlived his usefulness. The DNC pulls the plug and the sad old Joe is done, unless the Dems can use him later to cheat Bernie out of a win. His numbers are in the gutter.

7. What are the Dems covering up in Ukraine? It must be big if they staged an impeachment and risked their entire political capital over it. Otherwise they wouldn't have spied on Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine trying to tarnish his investigation and to besmirch him personally. They even identified Giuliani's two Ukrainian associates and had them arrested for exceeding a political campaign donation. If Michael Cohen's story is any indication, the men were likely threatened with imprisonment and then offered a deal in exchange for dirt on Giuliani and Trump.

8. Wouldn't you want to know what that Ukrainian macguffin really is? I have a theory about that, too, but that's a story for another time.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/16/2020 03:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [120 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's kind scary when People's Cube starts making sense.
Posted by: ed in texas || 02/16/2020 12:42 Comments || Top||

#2  The uranium to Iran via Russia trade laundering scheme?

Wonder if Russia invading Ukraine is somehow connected.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/16/2020 17:15 Comments || Top||


Struggling Biden Campaign Now Offering One Month Of Free AOL For Rally Attendance
[Babylon Bee] Joe Biden's campaign is struggling to motivate younger voters, but he has a plan: offering free AOL trials to anyone who shows up to his rallies.

"Come on by, say hi to uncle Joe, and grab one of our free AOL CDs," Biden says in an ad for his campaign tour. "You know, the great thing about AOL is that you get so many hours of internets. Only squares use Compuserve, Prodigy, or MSN. We're keen on America Online!"
"Gee, your hair smells terrific!"
The campaign has warned that it's first come, first served, so you'd better hurry if you want to experience the lightning-fast speeds of AOL's 56K dial-up service.

"I love America Online," Biden continued as he booted up his Windows 98 PC. "Every time I hear that grinding, beeping sound while trying to get on the internet, I just know that I'm about to experience the world wide web at a rate of one web page per hour."

His wife then screamed at him to get off the computer as she was expecting a call. "Well, I'd better go," Biden said, chuckling. "But remember, for the fastest interwebs in town, come see Uncle Joe. You won't regret it -- probably."

Rally attendees will receive their choice of a CD or 3.5" floppy disk good for a free trial of AOL dial-up service. Joe will then say hi and shake their hands "and maybe more if you're lucky."
*Sniff*
Posted by: Frank G || 02/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Joe's the admin for his own BBS!

So you know he can run America!
Posted by: charger || 02/16/2020 0:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Bullshit broadcasting system
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/16/2020 0:52 Comments || Top||

#3  "Gee, your hair smells terrific!"

Snark O' The Day Biden Era!
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 1:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Nailed you this time Bee. Better luck next time.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/16/2020 9:11 Comments || Top||

#5  AOL for a month to attend your rally. Piker. It's not worth it.

How about some of that real Biden boodle from Ukraine or China?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/16/2020 9:16 Comments || Top||

#6  So he got rid of his Apple 11e ?
Posted by: crazyhorse || 02/16/2020 10:30 Comments || Top||

#7  He needs to offer a 56Kbaud modem to attendees
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/16/2020 12:04 Comments || Top||

#8  I still remember my awakening to a broader world when I bought a Novation Cat modem. 300 bits per second on a good day? It was like stepping above the top of an endless sea of grass, and seeing for the first time a (very) few other heads, also peering around, looking at a new world. Heady times, '78 or '79 maybe, on an Ohio Scientific computer. Now, 975 Mbps, and common.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 02/16/2020 12:25 Comments || Top||

#9  I still carry a cigarette pack size 56k modem in my "bag o tricks." It's fun asking kids to guess what it is.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 02/16/2020 13:29 Comments || Top||

#10  When hollywood made and entire movie using big names based solely on the novelty of receiving an electric message.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/16/2020 14:48 Comments || Top||

#11  #9 I still carry a cigarette pack size 56k modem in my "bag o tricks." It's fun asking kids to guess what it is.

Well, son of a bitch! That's a really big f---in' deal!
Posted by: Papa Plugz || 02/16/2020 15:34 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Flipping the Philippines: The Philippine government this week began the formal legal process of ejecting US forces from the country and ending the US-Philippine alliance.
[Zeihan] The Philippine government this week began the formal legal process of ejecting US forces from the country and ending the US-Philippine alliance. Chinese involvement in the decision isn't so much suspected as assumed. The few pundits who can tear themselves away from the American primary process are bemoaning another American strategic retreat.

Losing the Philippines isn't a death-blow, but it certainly is a step in the wrong direction – especially if the Americans get out of the business of doing the heavy-lifting for Asian security. Expect a flotilla of Japanese diplomacy, military assistance, tech transfers and outright bribes as Tokyo attempts to pick up what the Americans are dropping.
Me? Not so much.

The Philippines is one of those countries I normally have a hard time getting excited about. As a shattered archipelago it has a damn hard time holding itself together in anything that the rest of the world might recognize as a united nation-state. Secessionist struggles define the country's modern incarnation, and outside of the major island of Luzon, the place is a riot of different ethnicities and languages. Add in rugged, tropical terrain and it will never be a local, much less regional power.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Herb McCoy || 02/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  BINASH
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/16/2020 10:59 Comments || Top||

#2  ^clue please
Posted by: Mercutio || 02/16/2020 14:05 Comments || Top||

#3  BUT IT'S NOT A SHITHOLE
Posted by: Lex || 02/16/2020 15:41 Comments || Top||

#4  Paging Douglas M!
Posted by: Unosh Hupinelet8756 || 02/16/2020 17:32 Comments || Top||

#5  BINASH=but it's not a sht hole
Posted by: Skidmark || 02/16/2020 19:11 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
29[untagged]
7Sublime Porte
4Taliban
2Govt of Iraq
2al-Nusra
2Commies
1Islamic State
1Moslem Colonists
1Muslim Brotherhood
1Tin Hat Dictators, Presidents for Life,
1Antifa
1Govt of Iran
1Govt of Iran Proxies
1Hamas
1Houthis

Bookmark
E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Thugburg
Gulf War I
The Way We Were
Bio

Merry-Go-Blog
Hair Through the Ages










On Sale now!


A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
sherry
ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Gloria
Fred
Besoeker
Glenmore
Frank G
3dc
Skidmark
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2020-02-16
  Switzerland Thwarts Major Islamic State Terror Attack
Sat 2020-02-15
  Six Cartel Kidnappers Busted with Mexican Border City Victim in Trunk
Fri 2020-02-14
  US navy ship seizes 150 Iranian-manufactured anti-tank guided missiles after boarding a vessel in the Arabian Sea
Thu 2020-02-13
  Hafiz Saeed sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for terror financing
Wed 2020-02-12
  Sudan will hand over Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court
Tue 2020-02-11
  Russians bomb a joint Turkish & Jihadi column
Mon 2020-02-10
  Ehsanullah Ehsan sends greetings from Turkey, thumbs nose
Sun 2020-02-09
  Multiple US troops killed during shootout in eastern Afghanistan
Sat 2020-02-08
  Khalid Haqqani and Qari Saifullah banged in Kabul
Fri 2020-02-07
  Syria says its troops enter the strategic city of Saraqib in Idlib and begins ‘combing’ its neighborhoods
Thu 2020-02-06
  Hazim Al-Halafi, a senior commander of Saraya Al-Salam dead
Wed 2020-02-05
  Trump acquitted by Senate on articles of impeachment for abuse of power
Tue 2020-02-04
  8 Turkish personnel, 13 #Syrian troops killed in north Syria festivities
Mon 2020-02-03
  Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula claims December shooting at Florida naval base
Sun 2020-02-02
  Iraq’s President Barham Saleh assigns Mouhammed Tawfiq Allawi with forming a new government

Better than the average link...



Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
18.208.132.33
Paypal:
WoT Operations (15)    WoT Background (8)    Non-WoT (16)    (0)    Politix (6)