Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

LinkSwarm for May 22, 2015

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Welcome to the beginning of the long Memorial Day weekend! Here in Texas, we’re going to celebrate the long weekend by building arks and gathering up two of every animal.

  • “Islamic State seizes Syria’s last border crossing with Iraq.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Obama’s toothless Iran deal is pushing the Saudis to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
  • Saudi convicted of keeping a sex slave refuses to attend a mandatory sex offender course, because Islam.
  • “If the Obama Administration loses [the King vs. Burwell ObamaCare case] in the Supreme Court, the political pain will fall almost exclusively on the President and his Party.”
  • Evidently Bill de Blasio has mistaken himself for Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
  • Coming soon: homebrew heroin.
  • Ted Cruz is the only republican arrogant enough to be President. (Though I have some disagreements with Spengler’s subsidiary foreign policy points.)
  • Democratic pollster Pat Caddell: Obama is more corrupt than Nixon. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “How To Spot And Critique Censorship Tropes In The Media’s Coverage Of Free Speech Controversies.”
  • The Stephanopoulos lies: worse than you think.
  • A good many of those Ferguson protestors were paid to protest. And now many say their paymasters refuse to cough up the dough. It’s sleazebags all the way down.
  • Slashdot post: Look at all this STEM sexism! Slashdot comments: Your link is garbage and you should stop talking out of your ass.
  • It’s another one of those New York Times pieces that seem designed to make you hate both rich Manhattanites and the writer equally, about how terribly, terribly isolating it is to be a rich woman on the Upper East Side. (File under: “Three people in New York make a trend.”)
  • By way of partial counterpoint (and, in some ways, almost equally annoying), here’s dating advice for Uptown divorcees from a few years ago. “Our biggest challenge, time and again, is matching up middle-aged divorcées in the ‘pre-realist’ stage, who have not realized that they have a choice of sex, money or companionship —but not necessarily all three in the same package.”
  • Good: List of speed-traps to avoid in Texas. Bad: Slideshow.
  • Police chief in small Texas town get’s drunk and starts hitting on another policeman’s soon-to-be-ex-wife. Beatdown ensues.
  • Dogs are Awesome.
  • Morsi Sentenced To Death in Egypt

    Sunday, May 17th, 2015

    Muslim Brotherhood leader and deposed President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to death, along with more than 100 other people.

    Most of the time, sentencing a popularly elected President ousted from power by the military would be a bad thing. This is not one of those times. Morsi tried to undermine Egypt’s democratic constitutional strictures (however weak and imperfect they were) in the name of turning the country into a radical Islamist state, following the classic African strongman blueprint of “One Man, One Vote, Once.” He lost an existential power struggle with the military and, in the long-standing traditions of the Arab world, he’ll be paying for losing with his life.

    Both Egypt, and the world, will be better for his death, and the ruthless suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    LinkSwarm for May 15, 2015

    Friday, May 15th, 2015

    I knew if I was just lazy enough, I could get the Friday LinkSwarm back to Friday!

  • “If Baltimore wants to get its economic act together, it has to get something else right first: policing.”
  • What the left says is the same thing the 9/11 hijackers told the passengers: “Stay quiet and you’ll be OK.”
  • ObamaCare exchanges are melting down across America.
  • Coalition airstrikes against ISIS are increasingly targeting frontline fighting positions.
  • ISIS list of states to be attacked strangely doesn’t include Texas. Gee, I wonder why…
  • Is Hillary the new Bob Dole? Without, of course, the war service or dry wit…
  • Real editorial, or masterful New York Times trolling? “Let Syrians Settle Detroit”.
  • Mark Halperin asks Ted Cruz to play “Babalu.”
  • This is America: You can go to the bookstore and buy yourself copies of everything from The Basketball Diaries to The Motorcycle Diaries to The Turner Diaries.”
  • On the other hand, the DEA can just take your money without a trial.
  • Verizon buying AOL. Remember when AOL was important enough to merge with Time Warner as an equal?
  • I chuckled:

  • It’s not enough to believe in climate change, you must also abjure cost-benefit analysis of how to tackle it.
  • George Stephanopoulos: It’s conflict of interest all the way down. What, did you expect Renfeld to actually serve any other master? (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “The vile dishonesty of the Democrat-Media Complex is exceeded only by the vile hypocrisy of the Democrat-Media Complex.”
  • Ben Carson gets to pandering early.
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said UT must turn over requested documents to its own regent Wallace Hall. So why haven’t they?
  • Bill to mandate E-verify for all Texas agencies moves forward.
  • Psychologist discusses porn and video game addition and a discussion of modern manhood’s discontents breaks out.
  • Seattle pizza shop closes due to minimum wage hike.
  • So former Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan is going to form a tranny wrestling league? The proposal seems as ill-conceived as his entire post-Melon Collie career…
  • Greece Debt Crisis Update for May 14, 2014

    Thursday, May 14th, 2015

    Greece managed to make its scheduled IMF loan repayment of around €750 million ($837 million) which “buys the country a few more weeks to reach a deal with creditors on fresh financing.”

    Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said “Greece must escape the ‘strictness trap’ of budget measures that might hurt the economy and so prevent the country from reducing its debt mountain to manageable levels.” In other words: “We absolutely refuse to stop spending other people’s money to prop up our welfare state.”

    So the farce will continue on a little longer, at least.

    In other Greek debt news:

  • Greece is “back” in recession. Assuming you believe it ever actually left it.
  • Europe wants €3 billion in budget cuts from Greece.
  • “The German Finance Ministry is supporting the idea of a vote by Greek citizens to either accept the economic reforms being sought by creditors to receive a payout from the country’s bailout program or ultimately opt to leave the euro.” Hmm, recognize economic reality or exit the Euro. Decisions…
  • And if you thought Greece had abandoned their stupid “German war reparations” idea, think again: “Archival video footage highlighting Nazi atrocities in Greece is being shown to commuters on the Athens subway as part of a campaign demanding war reparations from Germany.” I’m sure that will get them on Angela Merkel’s good side.
  • The Two Greeces: “Official Greece is dysfunctional; unofficial Greece works quite well. The official, theoretical Greece has checks and balances. The unofficial, reality-based Greece turns a blind eye when people break rules and dodge taxes.” I’m not nearly as positive as the author that the corrupt one can be swept away, or that Syriza wants to.
  • The Ghost Factories of Greece.
  • UK Rioters: Nothing Says Classy Like Defacing a WWII Monument

    Sunday, May 10th, 2015

    Evidently the UK hard left is having a giant hissy fit in London over the fact they got their asses kicked by the Tories in this week’s election.

    Also, here’s a helpful hint: When you start throwing things at police, you’re no longer part of a “protest,” you’re part of a “riot.”

    And what says “Class” like defacing a World War II Monument?

    “Hey greatest generation: Screw all of you! Defeating Hitler means nothing unless we can keep increasing the size of the welfare state!”

    All the left’s temper tantrum will accomplish is reminding voters why they gave the Tories a clear majority in the first place.

    Another Greece Update: Back to the Shell Game

    Friday, May 8th, 2015

    And the Greece shell game over implementing reform (or, since it’s Greece, “reform”) continues.

    Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (who’s evidently still doing the negotiating, reports to the contrary notwithstanding) has handed the Eurocrats a proposal that doesn’t match what was discussed in negotiations. It’s like a cheap farce, or a con game to see how long they can keep string Europe along without actually agreeing to anything.

    Greece Syriza government has said to their creditors: Economic reality? We don’t need your stinking economic reality! “Greece defied its international creditors on Thursday, refusing to cut pensions or ease layoffs to meet their demands, dimming prospects of progress next week towards securing desperately needed financial aid.”

    Greece’s government also rehired public sector employees they previously laid off. What’s giving the engine a little more gas when you’re headed for the wall at full speed?

    Other Greek debt crisis tidbits:

  • Greece introduces mandatory surcharges on tax withdrawals above €1,000 Euros.
  • Plus an 18% hotel and restaurant tax. Extra bonus: It will hit some tourists who have already prepaid for vacations. “It’s catastrophic.”
  • Living life under the threat of default. “I’ve got a bad feeling we’re not going to get a good ending.”
  • European “Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said that if Greece left the single currency area, the ‘Anglo-Saxon world’ would try everything to break it up.” Hey Jean Claude: Reality is doing a great job breaking up the Eurozone all by itself, between its unsustainable welfare state, its aging population, and the insistence of Euroelites on cutting those filthy commoners from having any say in the matter. And as for the “Anglo-Saxon world” trying to break up the Eurozone, have you seen whose in charge of things these days?
  • Greece’s Blazing Saddles act is wearing thin. (I seem to remember having made this exact comparison before…)
  • Tories Win Outright Majority in UK Elections

    Friday, May 8th, 2015

    David Cameron’s Conservative Party won an outright majority in parliamentary elections and will be forming the next government. Labour, after having managed to piss off almost everyone during last year’s vote on Scottish independence, was essentially wiped out in Scotland, all but one of their MPs replaced by candidates from the Scottish National Party, and right now is losing 26 seats. The Liberal Democrats were all but wiped out elsewhere, losing 48 seats, and UKIP managed nearly four million votes, but only a single parliamentary seat.

    These were not the results which most pollsters foresaw, none of which saw the Tories getting more than 285 seats. Between this and the Israeli election results, it’s almost as if media pollsters have a systematic bias in favor of the big government parties favored by media elites…

    Will Cameron govern more conservatively with an outright majority now that he no longer needs the rump of the Liberal Democrats in a coalition? Possibly. But if he reneges on his promise to hold a referendum on EU membership no later than 2017, expect to see a huge backlash against his leadership.

    Update: Final count is 331 Conservative MPs.

    LinkSwarm for May 5, 2015

    Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! My efforts to move the LinkSwarm back to it’s usual Friday position by posting early have failed, so I’m trying to get it there by letting it drift back one day later each time…

  • “Canadian Partnership Shielded Identities of Donors to Clinton Foundation.” Just in case you missed that. Because trying to keep up with all the sleazy bribery angles of the Clinton Foundation is like trying to drink from the firehose…
  • Speaking of which:

  • “Hillary may want to talk about inequality, but is there any better example of a couple who gorged at the trough of Wall Street and foreign autocrats, chose not to follow the rules, never could stop chasing more and more money and (in Hillary Clinton’s case) went to extraordinary lengths to destroy “personal” e-mails that might have pulled back the curtain on all that?” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Hillary hires Scott Hogan, an organizer of the failed “Everytown” gun-grabber astroturf to run her “Grassroots” campaign. Hopefully he’ll bring Hillary the same outstanding success he brought to gun control…
  • Russian stooges in Ukraine: “Soviet terror famine? No, that was all just a big misunderstanding!” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Islamic State murders 600 more Yezidis. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • The Islamic State also claimed post facto credit for the Garland attack.
  • Speaking of which, here’s an interview with Bosch Fawstin, the winner of the Draw Mohammed contest. (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.)
  • Emergency room visits up under ObamaCare.
  • Lefty lawyer Laurence Tribe calls Obama’s “force everyone to use green energy without congressional approval” plan unconstitutional. “After studying the only legal basis offered for the EPA’s proposed rule, I concluded that the agency is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority.”
  • Drug cartel violence heats up in Mexico: “Gunmen shot down a Mexican military helicopter Friday in the western state of Jalisco, killing three soldiers, and set fire to buses, blocked roads, and attacked banks and gas stations in a sharp escalation of violence against the government.” This is evidently the handiwork of the New Generation drug cartel.
  • Minimum wage hike hits San Francisco Comic Store.
  • When the Social Justice Warriors started attacking the company Protein World over their “Beach Ready” ad campaign, Protein World didn’t cave, they fought back. Result: They earned an additional $1 million in four days.
  • Not understanding that the Presidency is not an entry level job, and that the Republican field was already packed, Ben Carson joins the Presidential race.
  • Ditto Carly Fiorina, whose tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard was not an unqualified success, and whose 2010 California Senate race lost to Barbara Boxer by 16 points.
  • And evidently Mike Huckabee is going to run as well.
  • Texas Democrats are furious that a new ethics bill might keep them from scratching each other’s backs. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • The Austin American Statesman is moving printing and packing operations to San Antonio and Houston, resulting in about a 100 jobs lost in Austin. Previously. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Social Justice Warriors can’t even win elections at UCLA.
  • Austin’s Highland Mall closed on April 30th.
  • Greece Shuffles Deck Chairs

    Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

    Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has been demoted, evidently because the EuroCrats he was negotiating with hated his guts (a significant drawback when you’re trying to convince creditors to pour more money down the rathole that is the Greek economy).

    Will it make any difference to debt negotiations? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on which of two reasons he was fired for:

    Option 1.) Varoufakis was the designated Bad Cop in negotiations, and now he’s the symbolic sacrifice. “Golly, that Varoufakis guy was sure a jerk when he asked you to give us more loans without getting any reform in return! Now that I’m here as Mr. Good Cop instead, I’m sure you’ll give us give us more loans without getting any reform in return because we’re asking really, really nicely.”

    Option 2.) A lightbulb (or at least a dim, flickering candle) has finally gone off above the heads of the ruling far-left Syrizia Party that they will, in fact, actually have to implement real reforms if they want to shake more dough out of Mean Aunt Angela, and that implementing reform will only mean they’re really boned, while defaulting and leaving the Euro would mean they would be completely and utterly boned.

    Arguing for Option 2 is Reality and Logic, which have had very little to do with Syriza policy heretofore. Arguing against it is every single action of the Greek ruling class over the last five years. Best case, probably-too-optimistic scenario is that they’re going to try the God Cop Con first, then, when it fails (and it will), they may actually be dragged kicking and screaming to Option 2. Or at least appear to do so as part of the extend and pretend strategy that has characterized the entire Greek debt crisis since the beginning.

    None of it changes the underlying problem: The Greek welfare state is unsustainable, they’ve run out of other people’s money to pay for it, and they refuse to reform it, even at the point of impending national bankruptcy.

    LinkSwarm for April 26, 2015

    Monday, April 27th, 2015

    Did you miss the riots in Baltimore on Saturday? You know, the ones CNN and other media outlets didn’t cover because they were too busy covering the White House Correspondent’s Dinner? Because mere rioting by the uncouth peasantry must wait while the overclass is engaged in glad-handing celebration of itself.

    In other news:

  • This was a big story last week: Wisconsin Democratic prosecutors raid houses of those accused of Republicanism. And more on the same theme.
  • Q: What do you call a 13-year who was the victim of a Muslim pedophile sex ring? A: “Racist.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Lutfur Rahman, the corrupt muslim Labour Mayor of Tower Hamlets, was convicted of election fraud. The Labour crew behind Tower Hamlets became so notorious for rigging elections and turning in results late that they became a running joke in UK political circles. (Hat tip: Ditto.)
  • Three Muslims charged with killing a woman in Houston because she helped convert a relative to Christianity.
  • Boko Haram is now the Islamic State in West Africa.
  • “I would describe today’s meeting as a complete breakdown in communication with Greece.” Oh, I think Greece is communicating loud and clear: They’re completely broke, and they demand the right to continue spending other people’s money indefinitely without reforming their welfare state. What’s unclear?
  • And Greeks themselves are not so happy about capital controls. Well, Greeks voted for a government dedicated to the idea that the welfare state is far more sacred than the capitalism that underpins it, and now they’re starting to reap the rewards of that choice…
  • Tech stock growth: Positive or negative? Depends on whether you include Apple or not.
  • The Comcast/Time Warner merger is officially dead. Good. Perhaps both of them should consider offering customer service that ranks higher than “abysmal” now…
  • Michael Totten reviews ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.
  • Dwight Howard, gun collector.
  • Building an affordable survival rifle.
  • Actors quit play about Ferguson because the objective truth of the screenplay (based on the actual grand jury testimony) conflicts with their preexisting beliefs. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mayonnaise loyalty.
  • Pets looking at food. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)