Thursday, March 31, 2016

What? You want to punish people?

Jeez, the spin is so furious you could be thrown into outer space.

Bad enough to make it illegal.

But you want to actually punish people?

You mean, like they did before Roe?

And like they do now in nearly all countries where it's illegal?

How shocking.

How utterly outrageous and barbaric.

We are appalled.

And so on.

Hey, who knew the pro-lifers were all such cowards this universal blowback could happen?

They are all insisting they would never even consider punishing women.

Oh, no.

Women who have abortions are victims.

It's the providers who are the baby-killers.

Donald Trump's abortion remarks have caused the biggest crisis of his campaign

The Donald has already surrendered to the PC onslaught.

It took him about two or three hours.

Looks like he gained little or nothing by the quick cave-in, anyway.

Wow. What a crock of excrement.

List this dreck under "consequences of the 19th Amendment."

Trump the Barbarian

Trump attack on Geneva conventions denounced by ex-officers and advocates

Why play along with such savagery?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ryan is available?

And Romney, too, to be annointed in Cleveland.

So says Chris Matthews, and Trump agrees.

Did Bernie just lose?

Ill considered remarks in an interview with Rachel M, appearing to slight the importance of Trump's position - or positions - announced today on punishing women for getting abortions.

Positions that Hillary responded to with considerable heat and evident sincerity expressly disavowing what Rachel said was Bernie's dismissal of the matter as just Trump's latest stupid off-hand comment.

Did he lose Wisconsin and maybe the whole ball game?

Hillary, by the way, absolutely pounced on Trump's position on our alliances and nuclear proliferation, conceding some allies are not fully paid up and herself urging NATO and Europe need to focus more and get better at dealing with terrorism.

Bernie said if he's the nominee and wins the White House he'll ask Obama to withdraw Garland's nomination so he can fill that slot.

Hillary rejected that flatly and completely, insisting there is "no daylight" between her and Obama, who remains the real president all the way to the end of his term, and she will give no hint of support to the Republican effort to pretend he is not still and all the way to his last day the one and only, fully functional President of the United States.

Rachel is a fair interviewer and is fairly reporting what Bernie said and did.

He or his campaign will damn her, tomorrow.

Update,  041416.

Hillary was right about this and Bernie was was wrong.

Does that prove she has better judgment?

A more immediate threat than maybe you thought?

World leaders wrestle with chilling prospect of extremists unleashing a nuclear attack on a major Western city

Harvard researcher warns ISIS may be on the brink of using nuclear weapons

Terrorism In Brussels Shadowed By Dirty Bomb Plans

ISIS May Be Closer to Nuclear Weapons Than You Think

Is it really time for us to drop out of the established international network of alliances?

Time to be OK with proliferation?

Who says this is mostly about race?

It’s Only Trump

Ann Coulter admits the GOP is demographically doomed.

Does she want to keep America as white as possible so Republicans will have a shot, or does she want Republicans to win to keep America as white as possible?

Chicken, egg?

The only question for Republicans is: Which candidate can win states that Mitt Romney lost?

Start with the fact that, before any vote is cast on Election Day, the Democrats have already won between 90 and 98 percent of the black vote and 60 to 75 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote. 

Unless Republicans run the table on the white vote, they lose.

. . . .

What’s impossible is for any Republican candidate, other than Trump, to win a single state Romney lost. 

Ted Cruz’s corny speaking style is creepy to anyone who doesn’t already agree with everything he says. 

He’s the less likable, more hard-edged version of Romney. 

Every other Republican is, one way or another, a less attractive version of Romney.

Maybe 50 years of Third World immigration means it’s too late, and even Trump can’t win. But it’s an absolute certainty that any other Republican will lose.

Trump blurts and then backtracks

Asked whether his pro-life position meant he thinks women who have abortions should themselves be punished he, pressed hard for an answer, said yes.

Almost immediately afterward his campaign officially walked that back and adopted what is apparently universally today's wholly incoherent pro-life view.

They released a statement in which he said that although abortion is without doubt morally on a par with murder women who have abortions are in no case criminals and in no case deserving of punishment.

Abortion providers are to be punished.

The women who have abortions are victims, he said.

Trump Backtracks On Comments About Abortion And 'Punishment' For Women

But this is also Trump's America, Robert

Just another lefty living in a dream world.

Robert Reich predicts a People's Party will rise in 2020 to challenge the political establishment

Tennis seems to like assholes.

Like politics, it makes stars out of them.

Nick Kyrgios rants at umpire: tennis is 'biased' and 'ruined'

Who thinks the US military is running itself?

Pentagon to restore Obama's troop cuts in Europe to address Russian aggression

Who thinks this sort of policy move does not emanate from the White House?

The Guardian, apparently.

Big Pharma does it again

Stepped on it, dragged it through glass.

Americans pay 300% more for this prostate cancer drug than much of the rest of the world

It's as if they were trying to make socialism sound good.

Trump news today. A bit of Bernie and Hillary. Internationalism/cosmopolitanism vs isolationism/nationalism.

Trump rescinds pledge to back Republican nominee; Cruz, Kasich refuse to commit support

Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would no longer honor his pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee for president, while fellow candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich refused to say whether they would back the party's pick.

All three GOP contenders appeared at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee one week before Wisconsin's April 5 primary.

Trump: ‘I Hate Proliferation’ But It Would Be Better if Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea Had Nuclear Weapons

As usual, his syntax was a mess, but the points he made were that proliferation is irresistible and it would be better for America if Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea got their own nukes and so could take care of their own defense needs, without us.

We are getting financially soaked, he said in substance, providing for the defense of far too many rich countries from which we get little or nothing back, including (for example) Germany.

And anyway we are not going to use nukes to defend all these folks.

All this is of a piece with his previous remarks about NATO being obsolete and a gyp benefiting Europe at America's expense.

This is Pat Buchanan's foreign policy and, no matter what he might say, it most certainly isn't Ronald Reagan's or, for that matter, Richard Nixon's.

It is the policy Antiwar.com has been recommending for decades.

It is the policy of people like Ron Paul and, if I am not mistaken, Rand Paul.

Pat Buchanan and those same others, most definitely including The Donald, oppose not only NATO and (of course) the UN but the EU and most volubly Europe's continuing policy of allowing rapid, mass immigration of Muslims and black Africans.

They used the Greek financial crisis against the EU and now support Brexit.

They say they support a Europe of the Nations, but it's not far from being just a Europe of the Skinheads.

Internationalists like most of the GOP and a bigger most of the Democratic Party see Buchananism as a path to chaos driven by the emergence of so many additional nuclear flash-points at wholly independent and uncoordinated centers of power, able to make local conflicts much worse and more dangerous globally.

They remain committed to the UN, to NATO, to the EU, and to the system of US alliances in the Far East and Oceania as essential elements of peace and order in a very disorderly and unpeaceful world.

Not to mention that the more independent and uncoordinated centers of power there are with nukes in their hands, the greater the chance of genuine horrific WMDs getting into the hands of Jihaders or other crazies.

(For similar reasons, by the way, it would clearly be contrary to the public safety for ever larger numbers of ordinary civilians to routinely go about carrying loaded firearms, ready and probably far too many of them itching for a shootout.)

I have myself from time to time been persuaded by the Buchananite view, but I have to admit that the presence in the race this year of somebody who seems, if genuinely committed to anything, genuinely committed to exactly that has, by making the thing more real, made it more stunning and even appalling.

[Update 12212016. I am far from agreeing with the above 3 paragraphs, now.]

MSNBC just now said Marco Rubio, officially out of the race, is making an unprecedented attempt to retain control of his delegates going into the convention.

Normally, his delegates would be redistributed among remaining candidates before the convention, so Trump would be helped toward getting a majority before the opening day.

It appears from the video that The Donald's campaign manager being charged with simple assault against a journalist is both bogus and politically motivated, and all his enemies are using that incident to raise the level of alarm in the public mind about Trump and his candidacy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The 20th Century

Whatever those shithead Europeans say, it wasn't us that went bonkers, head over heels for Fascism, and then Nazism, and then by God for f-ing Communism.

Remember that when they bitch to you about how awful Americans are, and America.

What a load of ballocks.

Reading Scott Fitzgerald.

The Beautiful and the Damned.

Spoken like a Republican, yes I know.

Or a Democrat.

Pay no attention to whatever they may say in an election season.

And pay no attention to the fringy dufusses.

A Democrat is just a Republican who isn't rich.

And a Republican is just a Democrat who is.

The Silent Girls

Eric Rickstad is a gifted writer whose book attacks the moral views of pro-life activists from the moral viewpoint of the most thoroughbred pro-choicer.

The book is a fine procedural based on a viewpoint I can only call depraved, cruel, heartless, and murderous.

On the whole, my sympathies are with the pro-lifers who see themselves as engaged in a struggle morally analogous to that of the abolitionists.

That may be a very unfashionable, and unexpected, thing for an atheist - indeed, an amoralist and a nihilist - to say.

But there it is.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Not buying Bernie's, or the Republicans', smears

This may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest

Good piece worth reading, given attacks on her not only by Republicans but also by Sanders and perhaps worst of all his supporters.

Does Trump think Europe doesn't need to be wary of Russia?

True enough, the Europeans should pay more and we should pay less, and perhaps even leave the alliance.

But it's absurd to suppose Europe doesn't need to offset Russian power with an alliance.

And that needn't prevent Europe and the US cooperating with Russia (and anyone who can help) against Islamism, Jihaders, and Muslim terrorism.

Trump doubles down on 'America First' foreign policy slogan as he says 'NATO is obsolete'

Hillary, Bernie, and money

Bernie Sanders calls George Clooney's Hillary Clinton fundraiser 'obscene'

$33,400 to get in the door.

$353,400 to sit at the head table with the Clooneys and Clintons.

It's about being rich.

Bill and Hillary have always wanted to be rich and, in a measure, actually are.

They like rich people and have no problems with them.

Bernie resents the rich, resents not only their disproportionate political clout but simply their wealth and their happiness to have it.

Think of the differences, personal and political, among the big four candidates in the election of 1912.

Taft and Roosevelt were both progressives and both relatively well off, and wanted to cushion capitalism and not get rid of it.

The progressive Wilson was not especially rich but definitely not a working mug, and also far from a socialist.

Gene Debs was born to the working class and was frankly and aggressively out to get rid of capitalism and replace it with socialism.

Of these, Bernie's hero is Gene Debs.

Not for nothing does he call himself a socialist.

Not for nothing has he for all these years refused affiliation with the Democrats, always running as an independent and always claiming to be not a Democrat but a socialist.

If he pushes too hard Hillary may well push back against socialism, though I don't doubt for a moment she would dread losing his voters in the general.

Clinton Aide To Sanders: Change Your 'Tone' If You Want Another Debate

When asked by CNN's Kate Bolduan about a potential New York debate, Clinton chief strategist Joel Benenson instead pivoted to what he said were Sanders' plans to hit Clinton with negative ads.

"I think what was notable this weekend wasn't so much that, but in my mind was the Washington Post story with his own campaign talking about how they're poll testing more negative attacks on Hillary Clinton. 

"They're talking about running harsher negatives now," he said, referring to a Washington Post report saying Sanders' campaign was looking into new ways to contrast the Vermont senator with Clinton.

"This is a man who said he'd never run a negative ad ever," Benenson later added. 

"He's now running them. They’re planning to run more. Let's see the tone of the campaign he wants to run before we get to any other questions."

Cruz doing nothing to make it easier for senate Republicans to embrace him

Republican establishment caught between fear of Trump and loathing of Cruz

Why the demographic difference?

Donald Trump is beating the Republican elite at its own game

Donald Trump Hates Women

Hillary fighting sexism

There are two reasons white women are more supportive of the Democrats.

One is Hillary and the other is abortion.

There is one reason white men are more supportive of the Republicans.

That is the left's war against men.

There is one reason white people are more supportive of the Republicans.

That is the left's war against whites.

Are these real dangers or is the talk just people trying to sell papers?

Sanders Backs Away From Potential Support For Hillary

Asked five times if he will support Hillary and if there are conditions for his support, he evades every time.

Two questions, assuming Hillary gets the nomination.

Would he run for the White House as an independent?

Would he help get his supporters to come out for Hillary?

Juan Williams: Dems must pay price to keep Sanders sweet

But if Sanders is not to be made the prospective veep, Democrats will have to find something else to give him. 

After all, he has exceeded all expectations during the primary season. 

The depth of his support was underlined by his three strong victories on Saturday in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington. 

And Democrats live in fear of a him mounting a third-party run along the lines of the populist campaign run by Ralph Nader in 2000 that arguably gave the White House to George W. Bush.

The heart of this troublesome political puzzle for Democrats is how to get Sanders’s passionate supporters to line up behind Clinton. 

In early March, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found a third of the people voting for Sanders saying they “cannot see themselves voting for Hillary Clinton in November.”

The Nation magazine, a leading voice of the left, reported recently that “nearly 60,000 people have signed the ‘Bernie or Bust’ pledge,” vowing to remain loyal to him even if Clinton wins the nomination.

Is Kerry as dumb as Trump?

'I don't think that Europe is a safe place' - Donald Trump

[Trump said ]"When you look at Brussels, when you look at the way they've handled things from law enforcement standpoints, when you look at Paris, when you look at so many other places, no, it's not (safe)".

The comments made by the billionaire businessman were echoed by John Kerry, the US secretary of state, who told CBS's Face The Nation that US citizens should "avoid a crowded place" if they were travelling to Europe, because "you have no control over who may be there".

But this is just Trump.

Donald Trump has said that he believes Europe is "not a safe place" following the recent terror attacks.

The US Republican presidential front-runner was speaking five days after the two Brussels airport blasts and Metro bomb which killed at least 35 people, including three of the attackers.

He said Europe had lots of "very, very severe" problems and added that he did not even think America was a safe place for Americans.

Fidel, hero to some Americans, is wholly unreconstructed.

Who let him out of his room?

Fidel Castro blasts Obama's trip

Jihad in Pakistan


Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat ul-Ahrar says Christians were target of bomb that killed 72 and injuring 280 in park thronged with families.

A bodycount more than twice that in Brussels.

Reportedly, most of them are Christians though some Muslims are among the dead and injured.

Reportedly, perhaps half the dead are children.


The bombing of Lahore’s most popular park is the bloodiest attempt yet by a new Islamic extremist faction to establish itself as the most aggressive and violent of the many such groups active in Pakistan.

The target was the country’s long-beleaguered Christian community, according to a credible claim of responsibility from Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a group founded about two years ago after a split within the fragmented movement known as the Pakistan Taliban.

However, many Muslims were among the scores of victims when a suicide bomber detonated a nail-filled device near a children’s playground. This is unlikely to bother the perpetrators.

Extremist clerics have made sustained efforts to find theological justification for such casualties in recent decades and, though such arguments are contested by mainstream scholars, they are preached in hardline mosques and taught in many religious schools in Pakistan.

The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, like the broader Pakistan Taliban, follow an extremist branch of the rigorously conservative Deobandi strand of Islam which, along with equally intolerant schools of practice influenced by those in the Gulf, has made major inroads in Pakistan in recent years at the expense of more open-minded local traditions.

The group, based in a restive zone along Pakistan’s frontier with Afghanistan, has been responsible for a string of attacks, often on government workers or religious minorities, and has explicitly said it is at war against an “unbeliever state”.



Pakistan is sixth on the list of countries in which Christians are most at risk, compiled by Open Doors, a Christian organisation that monitors global persecution. 

The top five are North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Saturday Morning

Ahmad Jamal is awesome.

Immigration and terrorism in Europe

Ann Coulter writing about Brussels.

After multiculturalism struck this week, Vervoort said, “I would like to express my support to the victims of the attacks of this morning …” 

Twitter bristled with supportive hashtags, the Belgian flag and professions of solidarity. 

The Times editorialized: “Brussels, Europe, the world must brace for a long struggle against this form of terrorism.”

All this would be perfectly normal if we were talking about an earthquake or some other natural disaster — something humans have no capacity to prevent. 

But Muslims pouring into our countries and committing mass murder isn’t natural at all. 

It’s the direct result of government policy.

It’s as if the government were dumping rats in our houses, and then, whenever someone died of the plague, those same government officials issued heartfelt condolences . . .

So the liberal lesson is to be careful what you say?

Thing is, Trumpistas are likely to regard this as proof their guy is the right guy to deal with ISIS.

ISIS propaganda video celebrating Brussels attacks uses Trump’s voice and photo

Of course the liberal lesson is that Trump is wicked and his wickedness only increases the threat to Americans.

Wow. Don't lose your razor when you retire.

David Letterman.


Syrian army drives ISIS out of Palmyra

Syrian forces capture Palmyra city from ISIS

Barbarians totally misunderstood by David Brooks.

Happy Easter, by the way

A clerk at a McDonald's yesterday wished me and the wife a happy holiday.

Displaced PC, from Christmas to Easter?

Exceptional stupidity in a Republican

That is, an exceptional variety of stupidity.

This is not a manner in which Republicans are usually stupid.

David Brooks: I Have Spent The Last Week So Repulsed By Donald Trump, I Had Forgotten How Ugly Ted Cruz Could Be

DAVID BROOKS: As I said and as everyone says, the reason we have terrorism is not because the Prophet Mohammed came down and not because there is a religion called Islam.

MARK SHIELDS: That’s right.

DAVID BROOKS: The reason we have terror is that young men are alienated and feel they can wage war and a just war against societies that are racist and xenophobic and crushing toward them.

How would he have explained away the SS?

The Shining Path?

Atheism

Atheism is where you are left when the concept of a necessary being breaks down in the face of a unique and contingent actual world.

But even then it can seem unacceptable that an arbitrary one contingent world could alone exist, while all others do not.

And so we get David Lewis.

But if the idea is acceptable that all possible worlds exist, then there is no need to shipwreck the idea of a necessary being on the reef of an unaccountable choice.

What an interesting thought.

Well, at this hour, anyway.

Too bad the idea has always struck me as wrong.

Atheism

Atheism is where you are left when the concept of a necessary being breaks down in the face of a unique and contingent actual world.

But even then it can seem unacceptable that an arbitrary one contingent world could alone exist, while all others do not.

And so we get David Lewis.

But if the idea is acceptable that all possible worlds exist, then there is no need to shipwreck the idea of a necessary being on the reef of an unaccountable choice.

What an interesting thought.

Well, at this hour, anyway.

Too bad the idea has always struck me as wrong.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Perverse bullshit

HATH, Part 1, aphorism 104, Self-defense.

Ballocks.

Rot in prison forever, you perverse bastard.

The last thing a man's face needs is oil

Google pimples, blackheads, acne, or acne vulgaris.

And then ask yourself why men who learned to wet shave during or before the Vietnam War used or use alcohol based aftershave.

Friday, March 25, 2016

An emergency in North Carolina

State of North Carolina restores and guarantees the right to discriminate against LGBT folk.

Heads up from Rachel Maddow.

They called legislators back for an emergency session, and the governor waited up late in his office to sign emergency legislation immediately.

What was the emergency?

The city of Charlotte had just passed an ordinance against discrimination against LGBTs.

That had to be overturned immediately.

And more.

This is the Republican Party.

Trump on Jihaders: Torture them. Go after their families.

Torture always works on TV, mostly on cop shows where it exists side by side with the whole panoply of coercive, carrot or stick methods of law enforcement.

Think of plea bargains, prosecutorial use of excessive charges to coerce or diminished charges to reward criminals for providing information, the same sort of use of the death penalty, carrot and stick methods of getting information from witnesses, threats to charge or offers to benefit family members to elicit cooperation from witnesses or criminals, and on and on and on.

Are we really supposed to believe that torture alone amidst all of this perfectly routine stuff doesn't work?

When The Argument from the Bomb really applies I think we will revisit Trump's suggestions.

The left deals with torture these days as obsessively and absurdly as it has dealt with the death penalty or civilian gun ownership for some two hundred years.

A ridiculous discussion

"Hardball" Roundtable: Donald Trump Won't Rule Out Nuking ISIS, Entire World "Freaks Out"

Nobody pointed out that even small nukes are so destructive as to be incapable of counterforce use against ISIS anywhere in the world.

Using them would be a conscious decision to slaughter vast numbers of captive civilians, far more numerous than the ISIS fighters who would be killed.

Chris's argument against their use was that they had only been used to destroy Nagasaki and Hiroshima and so it would be really, really bad and the world would not approve.

A Republican spokesman actually insisted Trump was right to leave their use on the table.

Update.

It is known that Muslim Jihaders would love to use weapons of mass destruction against the Occident.

Has it occurred to no one that using nukes, or even in such an indirect way threatening to use them, against Muslims might spur a much more determined effort by Jihaders to lay hands on WMD and use them against Western cities as soon as they possibly can?

The president's pragmatic progressivism

Their story headline is absurd, given the president is clearly arguing on pragmatic grounds for a capitalist economy harnessed to the public good, including the good of the least advantaged.

This is the progressive outlook in a nutshell.

And yet at various internet venues the right is retailing this as an embarrassment, as presidential mush, as proof that O is soft on communism and maybe even really a red.

Or something.

Obama: Forget The Difference Between Capitalism And Communism, "Just Decide What Works"

Noonan vs Beinart on immigration

Unite to defeat radical Jihadism

Her math is not absurd, but Jihadism is not much like Communism.

The idea of defeating Jihadism is silly.

Alienating Muslims will make things worse

The usual liberal claptrap about stopping Muslim immigration mixed with more utter bilge attributing the relative paucity of Muslim terrorism in the US in recent times to successful assimilation that would be jeopardized by such a move.

Cruz is wrong about policing Muslim neighborhoods, though.

Kristof on overreaction to terrorism

I rarely read and more rarely agree with NK.

But being partly right (but also seriously wrong) about our reaction to terrorism is not the same as being in any degree right about what our reaction to global warming should be.

All the same, being a little right is better than his usual.

Overreacting to Terrorism

But isn't electing people based on notions of how their policies would affect coastlines 10,000 years from now, er, odd?

And yet, making policy choices today on that basis is what he describes in this piece, repeatedly, as rational, in contrast to our behavior regarding terrorism, which he repeatedly describes as irrational.

[The more I think of it the more astonishingly stupid this appears.

We are supposed to actually believe that NK wants us, when making today's voter choices, to concern ourselves with suppositions about how those decisions will affect coastlines ten thousand years from now.

As though it was not utterly preposterous to even pretend to have a preference as to the shape of coastlines ten thousand years from now.

As though it was not all but incomprehensibly stupid to take such a thing into account and somehow weigh those utterly incredible preferences against everything that's - er - more pressing.

How is making your vote today depend at least partly on such a thing not far, far more loony than making it depend partly on your concerns about terrorism?

The idiocy of this leaves me gasping.]

He does note, but does not take at all to heart, that the underlying reason for taking Jihad far more seriously than would seem to be justified by the risks it currently poses in the West is that Jihaders want to obtain and use, perhaps only against the West, weapons of mass destruction.

All these years after 9/11, there we have it, still simmering in the background, The Argument from The Bomb.

If and when a plot to obtain or use a radiological or nuclear weapon for a terrorist attack, or biological or chemical weapons that deserve the label "weapons of mass destruction," people will knock off driveling that torture never works and tender concern for the civil rights of those on the wrong side, or the possibly offended feelings of Muslims, will and should simply evaporate.

Update.

A despairing thought is that NK is not in any degree right.

That people freak as much as they do at Muslim terrorism because they think that if this goes on long enough one day it won't be a nail bomb, it'll be sarin, or anthrax, a dirty bomb.

Or even, God forbid, a nuke.

And that's why they insist on anti-terrorism that really, truly, and effectively prevents terrorism, God dammit.

We're talking about somebody nuking fucking New York.

And that's why this is a despairing thought.

Jihad in Scotland

No kidding.

Glasgow mosque leader praises extremist killer

Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used the messaging platform WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

Qadri was hanged in February after murdering a local politician who opposed strict blasphemy laws.

The Jihad in Europe

Both France and Belgium have been busy.

Man accused of plotting French terror tied to 2015 Paris attacks ringleader

Reda Kriket, 34, was previously found guilty in absentia by a Belgian court and sentenced to 10 years in prison for being part of a jihadist network, the documents state.

Also convicted in that July 2015 decision was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged ringleader of the November terror attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people. 

Abaaoud was killed in a police raid on a Paris-area apartment days after the Paris attacks.

Kriket was arrested Thursday night in a raid in Argenteuil, near Paris.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the terror plot thwarted Thursday was in an "advanced stage" of planning.

. . . .

Since the start of the year, French authorities have arrested 75 people as part of the fight against terrorism. 

Those arrests have led to 37 people being placed under formal investigation and to 28 others being incarcerated, Cazeneuve said.

Brussels attacks: Explosion, gunfire in Belgian police operation

At least six people were arrested overnight in Belgium, while a man in France suspected of being in an "advance stage" of planning his own attack was also detained.

Investigators know of additional plots in Europe, in various stages of planning, linked to the same networks behind November's Paris attacks and the latest ones in Brussels that left 31 people dead and 300 more wounded, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials. 

Those terrorists are tied to ISIS, the Islamist extremist group that's taken over swaths of Syria and Iraq while also lashing out elsewhere around the world.

His government's police forces detained at least six people overnight in raids around Brussels -- the latest, but most likely not the last, such operations in the wake of Tuesday's attacks.

. . . .

Belgium, especially, has come under fire. Interior Minister Jan Jambon offered to resign after acknowledging missed opportunities to stop one of the suicide bombers, Ibrahim El Bakraoui. 

And Prime Minister Charles Michel said he talked with [US Secretary of State, John] Kerry about how "to do better (and) work together to be more efficient."

Michel added, "We need to accept that we need to improve the fight against terrorism in Europe and in Belgium."

The story reports this happened the day of the Belgian airport and subway bombings.

Secretary of State John Kerry vowed the same day that his government will "provide any assistance necessary" to Belgium in the investigation and their shared fight against terrorism.

"We will not be intimidated, we will not be deterred, and we will come back with greater resolve, with greater strength," Kerry said. 

"And we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of this Earth."

Really?

A BBC story says Europe needs to get its act together.

Ex-CIA director: EU 'gets in way' of security services

Who would be worse, Cruz or Trump?

Cruz is out to destroy the whole heritage of a century of progressivism, in the interests of plutocracy but also of Christian clericalism.

Trump is not.

Cruz is a more committed ally of Israel.

Cruz is more serious and reliable in his announced aims, Trump being in large part a windbag and a fraud.

Both are ethnic cleansers.

I don't know who would do less well against a Democrat.

Each is frightening.

Dogmatic and silly psychological hedonism

Nietzsche's stance in at least the early sections of the first part of HATH.

For example, aphorism 103, Harmlessness of malice.

What eyewash.

Heroes for God

John Brown has lately become an official, mainstream liberal hero.

He was always a hero, and a personal acquaintance, to Thoreau and Emerson.

Eric Rickstad in his novel, The Silent Girls, paints devoted anti-abortion activists as much like him, calling them extremists and portraying them as vicious and full of menace.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cruz calls Trump a "sniveling coward" and a "train wreck" who will not be the Republican nominee.

The two are like wrestlers or boxers trying to pump up fans before a major fight.

MSNBC goes Islamophobe. Well, nearly.

MSNBC says the two bombers who died in the airport attacks had earlier put a tail on a nuclear scientist in Belgium and at one time had hoped to figure out how to make a radiological weapon, a so-called "dirty bomb."

Think Chernobyl.

Or Mayak.

That, of course, is the kind of thing that makes Muslim terrorism a much greater threat than ordinary crime or, indeed, the danger of accidental death in car or plane crashes, tub drownings, etc.

Idly watching the station while blogging, I note they just ran a story in a Moroccan/Iraqi/Syrian neighborhood of Brussels, saying the people there won't talk to journos and don't want to appear on TV because this is one of the areas where police have been conducting raids, hunting Muslim terrorists in the aftemaths of the last few attacks in France and Belgium.

Hey, if I lived there I would be more than merely annoyed at the behavior and attitude of the newsies, all too willing to direct suspicion onto the whole population of immigrants from Muslim lands and still raising as urgent and legitimate questions how authorities can step up surveillance of these whole areas in order to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Making these people, all of them, that scary is doing the work of the Trump and Cruz campaigns.

Remember Cruz's repeated urging of increased police patrols in and surveillance of American Muslim neighborhoods?

And don't even start with the false analogy of specially heavy policing in high crime neighborhoods.

So far as I know, in and around Pittsburgh, Muslim immigration has just brought us some pretty good Middle Eastern restaurants.

None of which is to deny the entirely valid point so often, and clearly not irrelevantly, made that the actual sacred texts and sacred history of Islam make it uniquely violence-prone.

Fundamentalist Christianity has a hard time avoiding pacifism.

Ditto Buddhism, and Hinduism comes close.

Fundamentalist Islam has a hard time avoiding Jihadism, and Muslim neighborhoods in the West in fact create and provide support for Muslim Jihaders, potentially much more dangerous than any non-Muslim terrorists have been.

The statistical and ideological outlier, Anders Breivik, does not refute this notion; much less do American anti-abortion loonies who are far fewer in number and whose far more limited and focused violence is downright trivial by comparison.

I still agree that we would do well to avoid continued and certainly large scale Muslim immigration.

All the same, we are not at war with the entire Muslim population of the globe and carpet bombing or nuking ISIS controlled or other Muslim areas would be an unprecedented and inexcusable horror.

Amusingly, at 3:15 pm EDT, MSNBC is running a live interview with the principal leader of the Ahmadiyyah community in Belgium, who urges (!) constant surveillance of the nation's mosques (nearly none of them the mosques of Ahmadiyyah Muslims and most, perhaps all, mosques of orthodox Sunnis) in order to detect and immediately put a stop to the process of radicalization that is in fact happening in some parts of the city.

Ahmadiyyah's are generally not regarded as Muslims at all by other Muslims.

Argentine Tango for the Obamas

How could anyone sufficiently healthy visit Argentina and not tango?

And, not to harp on the point, Barack Obama is not the president of Belgium.

Morning Joe Crew Frets Over Obama Dancing The Tango In Argentina

There is no more reason for O to interrupt his trip over this attack than there would be for him to do so in case of a plane crash killing as many people.

Actually, most plane crashes kill from two to ten times as many people as this attack did.

Isn't there a crash, somewhere in the world, about once a week, or so?

Or every couple of weeks?

Carpet bomb ISIS?

Obama: "Un-American" To Threaten To Carpet Bomb Middle East, Would Cause More Terror Attacks

"When I hear somebody saying we should carpet bomb Iraq or Syria, not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station. 

"That's not a smart strategy," Obama said Wednesday.

And I'm pretty sure it's illegal and in fact a war crime, or maybe a crime against humanity.

Who suggested any such thing?

Ah, Ted Cruz.

Why on earth would we intentionally attack the entire population of any part of Iraq or Syria - specifically, I suppose, the area controlled by ISIS?

All those civilians - men, women, children, all the people living there - are and should be regarded as captives and victims of the crazies.

Why the hell would we want to attack them?

I think the bare suggestion is very revealing.

It reveals key figures of the Republican Party and its mass of supporters are not just exaggerating, much less outright lying, for political effect when they suggest the view that we are at war with all of Islam.

They really just don't get it.

They really don't understand that the first and primary victims of Jihaders of all types are the other Muslim people they inflict almost all of their craziness on.

The primary target and the primary victim of Islamic fundamentalism is the entire Muslim world, upon which is vented nearly all of its violence and cruelty.

First and foremost and almost entirely, it's not about us.

Republicans and their supporters, on the other hand, seem honestly to see the Islamofascist problem as pitting the entire Muslim world against Europe, America, and in lesser measure everyone else.

That view is totally false.

The Islamofascist problem pits a tiny minority of violent extremists almost exclusively against the vast, non-violent, and non-extremist Muslim population of the world.

And most of those Muslims who are victims of Jihader violence or endangered by it very much want help from us in resisting that terrific Islamist onslaught.

As for attacks in Europe or in America, Muslim terrorism outside the Muslim world is the smallest of sideshows, blow out of all proportion by the most unscrupulous, one might almost say psychopathic, of frauds or the most deluded of fools.

Update.

Recall that Trump, talking about the entirety of the Islamic word, said Muslims around the world hate us, citing that supposed fact as indicative of the global threat to the US and the entire West of Muslim radicalism.

Cruz forces slut-shaming Trump's wife?

She was a model and posed nude in something or other.

Cruz supporters have an ad out featuring a nude pic and saying that's the next First Lady if you put Trump in the White House.

Welcome to the campaign of 2016.

Media mugging of Belgium

Since the bombs went off in the airport, media bigmouths have been denigrating the Belgian state, forces of order, police, security forces, and entire law enforcement apparatus.

All part of an effort to diminish the political fallout in Europe and America driven by fear?

Trump keeps nukes on the table for use against ISIS

MSNBC had a ribbon moments ago saying Trump says he'll nuke ISIS.

No confirmation anywhere, yet.

Also on that network the scoop is the GOP establishment is lining up behind Cruz, only a little behind Trump in craziness and the most hated man in the senate, but on money issues not just a conservative but a certifiable tea-bagger.

Update, OK, the ribbon was grossly misleading.

Donald Trump Won't Rule Out Using Nukes Against ISIS

In an interview with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of Bloomberg, the Republican presidential frontrunner refused to rule out using tactical nuclear weapons in the war against ISIS.

“I’m never going to rule anything out—I wouldn’t want to say. Even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,” he said.

No, not at all the same thing.

Weird enough and still a horror, but not the same thing.

It would be impossible to use nukes, even so-called tactical nukes, given they have more explosive power than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in a purely counter-force way against ISIS, anywhere in the world.

So this is just a ludicrous threat to annihilate not only ISIS Jihaders but all human beings, including entire civilian populations, in areas controlled by ISIS.

For instance, that entire swath of Syria and Iraq in which these Muslim madmen have set up their Islamic State.

And that would be a wholly senseless war crime far beyond anything seen since The Second World War.

A suggestion entirely typical of the mind of the man with the greatest and most profound support for the nomination of the Republican Party for the office of US President.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Injustice of the sexes

Women take tranquilizers and their health insurance pays.

Men drink.

Prohibition was a creation of women.

More liberalism!

HATH aphorism 88, Prevention of suicide.

How on-again, off-again.

He is totally wrong about this

It is exactly this disparity of view for which the great one is hated and blamed.

HATH, Part I,  aphorism 81, Misunderstanding between the sufferer and the perpetrator.

All his life

HATH, Part 1, aphorism 71, Hope.

He never entirely lost his deep affinity for Schopenhauer.

The unexpected Nietzsche

On the death penalty.

HATH, Part 1, Aphorism 70, Executions.

Did you expect a liberal?

From idiotic to insane

America has already squandered literally trillions of dollars in war in the Middle East since 9/11 and the result has been to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the destruction of several countries, all to make the problem of Jihader terrorism much, much worse.

Our record of total failure will continue unbroken, it seems, basing this judgment on what has been said about the latest Brussels attacks.

Drat

Last night I dropped the no-name butterfly DE razor my wife gave me some time back and one of the butterfly wings came off.

I tried for quite a while but I couldn't get it back on, so I threw the thing away.

Having liked the Baili I bought a while back, today I ordered a 3 piece Long Feng from ebay.


And also a 3 piece, long-handled Merkur 180 (23C).


Of course, at $2.19 the Chinese razor was considerably cheaper than the $22.99 German one.

Internet comment indicates the Long Feng is aluminum.

The Merkur is chrome finished steel.

Free shipping, of course.

Not buying from Amazon if I can help it.

Update.

The Merkur came today, 3/26.

That's one heavy razor. 

Update, 3/27.

Heavy razor, beautiful balance, beautiful shave.

The heft makes it a bit easier to control for my arthritic, sometimes shaky hands than the lighter Feather.

A shorter handle does that, too, like the one on the Baili.

Update 042316.

I used a Shark Chrome blade for a week with the Feather, my mildest razor, and then for a week with the Merkur, a little less mild and notably heavier.

Worked out better in the Merkur.

Today I began a week using a Shark Chrome in the Long Feng, which turns out to be much more aggressive than the German or Japanese razor.

Fewer strokes and passes to get an equally close shave, but a little bit more dangerous.

I have an old scar on my upper lip where I took a punch in a childhood fight, below the bottom edge of the mustache and where the lip covers an eye tooth.

That's a vulnerable spot and I did indeed nick it pretty well.

Used the styptic pencil for only the second or third time since I bought it.

Update 042416.

Benched!

On its second day with that Shark blade the Long Feng nicked me on the cheek and on the throat at the Adam's apple.

It will not be in the regular rotation.

Update, 042516.

The wife got a much better look at my neck and the edges of my cheeks than I can in a mirror.

Trifocals, you know.

She said it was nasty and urged me to throw away the offending razor.

So the Long Feng went into the recycle waste.

Update 9/22/16.

Having had more experience I now think a longer handle is safer for my shaky, arthritic hands.

And I find the pain and associated jumpiness are at their worst right away when I get up.

So I am shaving a little later, when possible - half an hour or so seems enough - and changing blades at my bureau, sitting on the bed, in the afternoon or evening.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Not the president of Belgium

Barack Obama.

Just a small reminder.

Crazy in the head

The list of bad things far more likely to happen to you than Muslim terrorism is very, very long, and none of it inspires such utter, batshit nonsense from journos, pundits, and politicians as a bit of high profile, downtown slaughter.

And the looniest of it all comes to you from the political right, where Cruz and Trump are outbidding each other in nutso.

US presidential candidates respond to attacks in Brussels

Perhaps it would help maintain a sense of proportion if politicians would knock off talking nonsense about us all being at war and speak of this as a crime issue, and by no means the most important in the world today.

Sure, in Syria, Iraq, and a number of other places, there is actual warfare.

But not in Europe and not in the Americas.

And whether or not ISIS is destroyed, governments can no more prevent terrorism than they can end rape and take back the night, as our radical feminist friends put it.

Phooey.

Some of these newsies are offensive

The stupidity and irresponsibility of some of their remarks and questions are really annoying.

Questions like can this happen here in the US and how can we stop this, eliminate the danger, and make America safe, and should the Europeans have used enhanced interrogation techniques on people arrested in connection with earlier attacks.

Jeez.

Another terror attack in Europe

Brussels attacks: 34 die in 2 explosions at Brussels Airport, 1 at subway station

TV now says 31 dead and more than 100 wounded, per some official at 1000 hrs EDT, mostly at the subway.

Cruz on Fox just now blamed "left wing moral relativism" and called for a halt in acceptance of Syrian refugees.

He attributed the attacks to a failed European immigration policy, blah, blah.

What a ghoul.

Trump has been bashing Democrats and the president and darkly insisting there are lots of people in America who hate us in the same way as the terrorists hate in Europe.

Hillary now making some degree of sense on MSNBC.

The guy who was picked up in Belgium just the other day has already admitted to police his network had been re-built since the November Paris attacks to include at least 30 cell members.

In Brussels the cops are finding lots of weapons and so on.

Obama to speak, I think.

Nobody has claimed responsibility but everybody is supposing this is an ISIS attack, including fans of ISIS living in Europe tweeting hurrahs.

I see in the morning's headlines that last night Trump blathered about the US needing to reconsider its role in NATO, where we are spending too much money on Europe's defense as Europeans spend too little.

In Brussels, a nuclear power plant has been evacuated of non-essential personnel, says the news.

Nobody knows what's up with that.

O speaking now in Cuba spoke briefly about the Brussels attacks and then moved into the speech he still had to give about Cuban-American relations.

As always, a very fine and responsible and presidential speech.

An excellent, extended, and vigorous defense of America and of American democracy and America's free market economy, urging the merits of these and the universal human rights they embody.

Nietzsche, incompatiblist

No one is responsible for his deeds, no one for his nature; to judge is to be unjust.

This he says after rejecting Schopenhauer's doctrine of intelligible freedom.

HATH, Part 1, aphorism 39.

See also Moralite larmoyante.

HATH, aphorism 91.

Ahead of his time? Still?

The Catholic Church had just dogmatically pronounced the pope infallible and the bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven.

Yet Nietzsche wrote,

Since man no longer believes that a God is guiding the destinies of the world as a whole . . . men must set themselves ecumenical goals, embracing the whole earth.

HATH, Part 1, aphorism 25.

Really?

No, not really.

Not at all.

Not on your life.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The thaw isn't really doing anything to encourage democratization, yet

But, hey, if we can have normal diplomatic and even economic relations with crazy Russia and Commie-run but capitalist China, why not Cuba?

The President visits Cuba.

So maybe it's not the economy, stupid?

Kevin Drum on Trump supporters.

I've been periodically making the case that Americans aren't really all that angry about the economy, which naturally implies that the economy isn't the reason for Donald Trump's success. 

This argument has taken several forms. 

First, in objective terms, the economy is in decent shape. 

Second, the number of people affected by globalization (lost jobs, reduced wages) isn't that large in absolute terms. 

Third, polls indicate that concern about the economy isn't especially high by historical standards. 

And fourth, polls also indicate that overall personal financial comfort is fairly strong.

. . . .

Trump actually does slightly worse with voters who are concerned with the economy than he does overall. 

This is yet more evidence that economic anxiety just isn't a big factor driving Trump's success. 

The bigger factor, by far, is immigration, and Winship argues persuasively that this is not primarily an economic concern.

Racism and nativism.

Better for them, maybe; but not for us

Today's talking heads are entertaining the idea that Ted Cruz is the new hero of the Republican establishment, though they hate him and he hates them, who will save the Party and America from Donald Trump.

Ted Cruz also favors ethnic cleansing and is beloved of the same pundits and professional conservatives as The Donald.

(Ryan favors legal status for the 11 million, but not citizenship. Bernie favors "a path to citizenship.")

People like Pat Buchanan.

Cruz is a bomb-thrower who supported government shutdowns and defaults in the constant battles with president Obama.

Imagine a clone of The Donald who wants to destroy Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and every trace of the regulatory state.

Imagine the most radical conservative in the senate, sitting in the Oval Office.

But he will save control of the party for the conservatives, though he isn't Wall Street's preferred guy, or the moderates' preferred guy, by a long ways.

So they prefer him to Trump.

Kasich is not conservative enough for this Republican Party establishment and not radical enough for the Trump and Cruz loving base.

Though he's still plenty conservative enough to want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

So it's a failure, then?

Josh Marshall

If you look around over the last week there are a number of highly sophisticated Republican voices arguing that Donald Trump is the sort of demagogue and potential strongman our political system was designed to prevent from gaining power in our country. 

Damn poor design, then, eh?

See this.

What if she's indicted?

The chaos scenario

First, there is no relevant provision of the constitution that would force her to drop out if indicted, tried, or even convicted.

One could only hope.

Anyway, what the author calls chaos is just an old-fashioned, messy convention.

Newsies are like politicians.

For them, it's always a constitutional crisis, America verging on destruction, and the sky definitely falling.

The Republican candidate is always a fascist and sometimes even a communist.

And nowadays a misogynst and a racist.

The Democratic candidate is always a red pandering to great crowds of people who hate white folks, if he doesn't hate us all himself.

The sky is falling.

First day of Spring

And it's snowing!

Nothing serious.

Flakes lazily drifting down more like ash than snow.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chinese press: Trump is an object lesson in what's wrong with democracy.

And who can say they are wrong about that?

Though their lesson that their Communist Party dictatorship is better than free republicanism in China would be is more than a stretch.

Democracy is a joke, says China – just look at Donald Trump

[. . . .] Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who, for China’s authoritarian rulers, has become the latest example of how allowing the masses a say in choosing their leaders is a bad idea.

“The rise of a racist in the US political area worries the whole world,” the party-controlled Global Times crowed this week ahead of of Trump’s victory in the latest round of primaries. 

“He has even been called another Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler by some western media.”

It added, darkly: “Mussolini and Hitler came to power through elections, a heavy lesson for western democracy.”

Trump, or “Chuanpu” as they call him in China, has been a gift to Communist party spin doctors paid to convince the country’s 1.4 billion citizens that rule of the people is a sure path to chaos and destruction.

. . . .

Chinese newspapers, which have previously pounced on the Arab Spring and Ukraine’s Maidan revolution as evidence of the dangers of democracy, have wasted no time in hyping the potential turmoil that Trump’s rise could bring.

An editorial in the Chinese-language edition of the Global Times noted with glee that fighting had broken out at Trump rallies in what was supposedly one of the world’s “most developed and mature democratic election systems”.

. . . .

An editorial on another government-run website claimed Trump had “humiliated” the US political system.

“He has turned the election into a prank,” it said.

Frank Gaffney, loon

Think Trump's an Islamophobe? Meet Ted Cruz's national security adviser

The man is an absolute menace.

250 Americans have joined ISIS

American regrets 'bad decision' to travel to ISIS stronghold

Ideological incompatibility or just that war is less fun than he thought it would be?

Trump, Garland, and "procedural radicalism"

As I have often pointed out, conservatives sort into moderates and radicals according to the different means they select to achieve their common ends.

The radicals are the government shutdown types; the moderates would not on their own choose to wreck the government, the country, or the global economy to get their way.

In general, the radicals propose nothing unlawful or unconstitutional, however.

Not every form of wickedness or folly is forbidden by the laws or the constitution.

Paul Waldman writes of a similar distinction, in special relation to the rise of Trump and the senate refusal to consider Garland.

How the Merrick Garland nomination explains the rise of Donald Trump

Yes, yes.

The time order is wrong.

But anyway.

Would Democrats riot?

Entirely possible.

Even likely.

And with the encouragement of Democrats.

ABC News Reporter Asks If 'Democrats Will Riot' If Trump Wins Election (Updated)

After all, who is raising all the hell at and outside Trump's rallies, even now?

How's that?

Can A threaten B while talking to C, out of B's hearing?

Man Plots To Overthrow Government; Gets Jail Time Instead

A West Virginia man who participated in a conference call to storm the state legislature has been convicted on one count of making terroristic threats.

Hmm.

I didn't think so, but maybe.

Threat

Threaten

Tomorrow it will be Spring

An extraordinarily mild winter is, perhaps, the upside of global warming.

It's an ill wind, as they say.

Dogwoods and magnolias are blooming around the neighborhood.




Daffodils and crocuses are nearing their peaks.



Lilacs are just budding.


Light snow expected today, tonight, and tomorrow.

No accumulation.

Then back to daytime highs in the 60s.

Kissinger said that?

Not a real surprise, I suppose.

BooMan quotes him from a 1999 interview.

The New Deal taught us that if you narrow the disparity between social classes, social stability will occur.

As far back as Aristotle, at least, that notion has been part of republicanism, and of the inherited wisdom of what we would call "conservatism" if the name in America hadn't been captured by sadists and sociopaths for whom, respectively, the immiseration of the lower orders is an end in itself and a lack of empathy smooths the path of limitless greed.

My personal problems with Henry the K are (1) that he and RN reputedly sabotaged a deal LBJ was working on in Paris to end the American war in Vietnam before leaving office, (2) that after Nixon won the White House he and RN kept the war going so America would not, in Nixon's words, appear "a pitiful, helpless giant," and (3) that he threw the people of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge to please Mao and annoy the Russians.

Not the same list that was compiled by Christopher Hitchens in his red days and has since become dogma for the left.

I don't care about his war crimes.

The whole idea of war crimes is a mammoth fraud, a club to beat your enemies with.

War is war; that is, war is hell.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The real cause of global warming

Leaving it in the ground in America does the world absolutely no good and seriously harms Americans so long as the world's worst offender refuses to knock it off and showers the Occident with a torrent of attack propaganda whenever our officials mention the fact.

Always assuming, of course, that the warming trend, stalled for over a decade, is in significant measure the result of human production of "greenhouse gases," as is widely claimed and perhaps also believed.

Killing the coal industry is a bad idea the Democrats are wed to.

Trump will hammer them with that, too.

Fed backs away from the abyss. But not for long.

Fed announces interest rates will remain unchanged after talk of hike

Whose ox is to be gored?

In its statement, released at the end of its two-day March meeting, the Fed said that “global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks” and that “inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices”.

“Against this backdrop, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5%,” according to the statement. 

“The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2% inflation.”

Mine, this time.

Currently, inflation is running lower than that.

People who live by wages will be favored by this planned rise.

People who rely on savings will be hurt.

News of the jihad

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam shot and arrested in Brussels raid

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been shot and arrested in a police raid in the Molenbeek area of Brussels, after four months on the run and an international manhunt.

. . . .

The Belgian prosecutor’s office said Belka├»d was “more than likely” one of the key logistics operatives behind the Paris attacks who had been sought by police under the false name of Samir Bouzid.

. . . .

Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national who grew up in Brussels, fled Paris for Belgium by car hours after the 13 November attacks that killed 130 people.

Police believe he played a key role in the logistics of the Paris attacks and escorted the three suicide bombers who blew themselves up at the Stade de France as part of the coordinated attacks.

Investigators are also considering whether he planned to carry out his own suicide attack in the 18th arrondissement of the French capital, and perhaps backed out. 

His brother blew himself up and died at a Paris bar on Boulevard Voltaire during the attacks.

Two Republican views of Trump

Neocons Against

Kevin D. Williamson says he is a demagogue and would-be dictator.

Donald Trump, talked up endlessly by the likes of Hannity and Laura Ingraham, apologized for by Rush Limbaugh, and indulged far too deeply for far too long by far too many others, rejects conservatism. 

He rejects free trade. 


He rejects property rights. 


He rejects the rule of law. 


He rejects limited government. 


He advocates a presidency a thousand times more imperial than the one that sprung Athena-like from the brow of Barack Obama and his lawyers. 


He meditates merrily upon the uses of political violence and riots, and dreams of shutting down newspapers critical of him. 


He isn’t a conservative of any stripe, and it is an outright lie to present him as anything other than what he is.


David Harsanyi says the convention should not nominate a re-run of George Wallace who would lose badly and cost the seats of many senators and house members.

Voters don’t decide the nominations; delegates do — preferably in smoke-filled rooms where rational decisions about the future of a party can be hashed out. 

The Republican party is not a direct democracy.


And if the convention caves then a real conservative should run a third party candidacy and decent Republicans should support him.

Heather Mac Donald says his "riot" remarks show he is not qualified for the presidency.

Trump has achieved a level of vicious, personal invective, and wildly irresponsible public pronouncements that is unprecedented in recent memory. 

And I speak as someone who supports his immigration positions 100 percent and who takes a fiendish delight in his scourging of the Republican establishment and its open-borders ideology. 

But some things are more important than a stated willingness to enforce the immigration laws (especially when an alternative candidate exists who is equally committed to immigration enforcement), and the maintenance of civilized society is one of them. 

Ironically, Trump occasionally positions himself as the law-and-order candidate. 

But his recent threat of riots disqualifies him from that position and shows him to be clueless about the fragility of civil order and the profound responsibilities of a leader for maintaining that order. 

His self-indulgent, undisciplined pronouncements should disqualify him from the presidency as well.

Charles Krauthammer deplores the violence encouraged by the leader of the GOP's largest faction, today.

There’s an air of division in the country. 

Fine. 

It’s happened often in our history. 

Indeed, the whole point of politics is to identify, highlight, argue, and ultimately adjudicate and accommodate such divisions. 

Politics is the civilized substitute for settling things the old-fashioned way — laying your opponent out on a stretcher. 

What is so disturbing today is that suffusing our politics is not just an air of division but an air of menace. 

It’s being fueled on both sides: one side through organized anti-free-speech agitation using Bolshevik tactics; the other side by verbal encouragement and threats of varying degrees of subtlety. 

They may feed off each other but they are of independent origin. 

And both are repugnant, both dangerous, and both deserving of the most unreserved condemnation.

William Kristol agrees with Harsanyi.

Paleocons For

Ann Coulter says "Die, donor scum!"

It is no longer a question of what the party wants. 

The voters — remember them? — keep showering Trump and Cruz with Ceausescu-like percentages. 

The combined vote for Trump and Cruz is a ringing chorus of what this party wants: a wall, deportation, less immigration and no job-killing trade deals.

In other words, what the party wants is the diametric opposite of what the donor and consultant class wants. 

One would have to search the history books to find a party establishment so emphatically rejected by the voters as today’s Republican Party has been.

. . . .

The establishment laughed at us. 

They wanted our votes, but then ignored us. 

They lied to us about opposing amnesty while repeatedly conspiring to pass it.

Now we’re going into the presidential election with our 80 percent thunderous will of the people against immigration. 

I’m not sure someone who is more preacher than president is the most electable expression of that will, but whether Trump or Cruz, make no mistake about what the will is.

Pat Buchanan could not be more thrilled at the takeover of the party by the Trumpistas and says he is sure he would crush Hillary for NAFTA and amnesty.

The worst mistake Trump could make would be to tailor his winning positions on trade, immigration and intervention — to court such losers.

While Trump should reach out to the defeated establishment of the party, he cannot compromise the issues that brought him where he is, or embrace the failed policies that establishment produced. 

This would be throwing away his aces.

The Trump campaign is not a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. 

It is a rebellion of shareholders who are voting to throw out the corporate officers and board of directors that ran the company into the ground.

Only the company here is our country.