Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

LinkSwarm for January 30, 2014

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Already the end of January? How did that happen?

Some links:

  • Mitt Romney is not running for President in 2016. Good. Now the media can stop sucking all the oxygen out of the race running will-he-or-won’t-he stories.
  • In a way-too-early poll, Scott Walker is within three points of Hillary.
  • And speaking of Scott Walker: “In America, it is one of the few places left in the world where it doesn’t matter what class you were born in to. It doesn’t matter what your parents do for a living. In America the opportunity is equal for each and every one of us but in America the ultimate outcome is up to each and every one of us individually.” Liberal critic: “That’s racist!”
  • Swedish reporter assaulted while wearing a kippah to test attitudes toward Jews.
  • Mark Steyn: “Extending special privilege to Islam corrodes free speech.”
  • America has no strategy in the Middle East. Or much of anywhere else…
  • Actual New York Times headline: “Bomb Blast at Shiite Muslim Mosque in Pakistan Kills 56.” As opposed to all those Shiite Christian Mosques?
  • Union leader found guilty of “extortion, racketeering and conspiracy.”
  • “It’s not enough to punish men for things they haven’t done. Women must be kept away from men, for their own good, because of the crimes those men haven’t committed.”
  • Jonathan Chait is shocked, SHOCKED to discover liberals opposing free speech.
  • “I fought for women to be anything, but also for women to choose to be a stay-at-home mom.”
  • Russian bonds cut to junk grade.
  • Apple posts the largest quarterly profit in the history of the world.
  • Governor Abbott declares February 2 Chris Kyle Day.
  • Andrew Sullivan to stop blogging, an event almost as tragic as the cancellation of Cop Rock.
  • Related Iowahawk tweet:

  • Sports Illustrated lays off all its photographers. Maybe they should change the name to just Sports. Personally I stopped reading the online version when Peter King decided his column would be a fine place to pimp for gun control…
  • There was a rally in Austin for school choice:

  • I LOLed:

  • Gunman Forces Dutch News Off the Air

    Thursday, January 29th, 2015

    Dutch news agencies reported on Thursday that a man with a gun had entered the offices of the national broadcaster NOS and was demanding to go on air.

    The RTL press agency reported that a building belonging to NOS was being cleared. An 8 p.m. (2.00 p.m. EST) NOS broadcast displayed a message reading “In connection with circumstances, no broadcast is available at this time”.

    Could be a lone nut. Or it could be a member of a certain religion that’s not Christianity, Buddhism or Judaism…

    Update: Seeing reports he’s been arrested.

    Update 2: Sky News confirms gunman’s arrest.

    Pat Condell: “Jews are being driven out of Europe by Muslim anti-Semitism”

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

    Once again, Pat Condell cuts right to the heart of the matter progressive multiculturalists desperately seek to obfuscate.

    Samples:

    “Not all Muslims hate Jews, but crucially the religion of Islam does hate them.”

    “Every anti-Israel rally that’s full of Muslims quickly turns into an anti-Jewish hate fest. Pointing this out does not make me or anyone else a racist. However, denying it in the face of the evidence does make you a coward and a liar, especially if you call yourself a journalist.”

    “Yet we in Europe are busy importing this mentality wholesale as part of our multicultural rainbow coalition of suicidal stupidity and moral cowardice.”

    “The number of Jews leaving France for Israel is doubling every year.”

    “In fact Jews are the new Jews. Muslims are the new Nazis.”

    Watch the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)

    Far-Left Syriza Wins Huge Victory in Greece

    Sunday, January 25th, 2015

    Greece’s far left-wing Syriza Party has won a big victory there, claiming about half the seats in Parliament.

    What does it mean? I took a stab at analyzing it before. Even with a majority, there’s a good chance Syriza will have to continue meeting the EU’s demands (which means pretending to impose austerity measures) if they want mean old Aunt Angela to keep loaning them money. Remember: Greece has never practiced real austerity. Not once since the European Debt Crisis hit has Greece balanced its budget, and its deficit for 2014 was 12.2% of GDP.

    But even the fake austerity imposed has been too much for the Greek people, who collectively want a cushy welfare state but don’t want to pay the sky-high taxes required to pay for it. Promising people something for nothing has been the left’s popular electoral strategy for more than a century, but reality can only be held off for so long. Germany is not due for a federal election, so it’s entirely possible Merkel might still underwrite another bailout or two if Syriza is willing to continue the farce. A Greece shorn of the Euro would still be broke and badly in debt, and newly Drachma-backed securities would likely be toxic investments for all but the most speculative of bond traders. (Perhaps Syriza should investigate how well that printing money thing is working out for Venezuela.) “Forgive our debts or we won’t let you give us more loans!” is a proposition Merkel would probably find quite easy to refuse, and I suspect the risk of a Greek exit from the Euro is already priced into European markets. If Syriza insists on anything more than (possibly) a token debt haircut, the EU will probably be willing to call their bluff.

    It’s generally best for the driver of a 1974 Ford Pinto to avoid engaging in a game of chicken with a Tiger tank…

    LinkSwarm for January 23, 2015

    Friday, January 23rd, 2015

    This week haw been incredibly busy, so enjoy a briefer-than-usual LinkSwarm:

  • Eric S. Raymond on how Social Justice Warriors use Kafkatrapping, which presumes you are guilty until you are proven guilty or admit your guilt.
  • Instapundit on why Jews are leaving France. “Because they don’t feel welcome, and because they don’t feel safe.”
  • More about Europe’s jihadist “no go” zones.
  • New York Assembly speaker and longtime Democratic Party power-broker Sheldon Silver arrested for taking over $4 million in bribes.
  • “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence” says billionaire who flew his family to Davos on his private plane.
  • I have nothing significant to say on the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Abdullah’s “reforms” were so small as to not be worth talking about, the Saudis are not our friends, they continue to export violent, backward Wahhabism, and they are occasionally useful but untrustworthy allies in a region where sometimes they are among the least horrible of possible alternatives.
  • Hillary Clinton Is George Costanza. Every decision she’s ever made in her entire life has been wrong.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Marco Rubio is in. (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.)
  • Boy does the liberal media hate American Sniper.
  • Related: Chris Kyle Derangement Syndrome.
  • Like father, like son.
  • Guess what happened at a concert against violence? Go ahead. Guess.
  • Dilbert via Twitter:

  • John Kerry Deploys James Taylor To Fight Jihad

    Friday, January 16th, 2015

    So how did John Kerry apologize for the Obama Administration not sending a representative to the most important anti-Jihad rally in history?

    He had James Taylor sing “You’ve Got A Friend.”

    No. Really. That’s an actual thing that actually happened:

    I’m trying to think of the last music performance that generated such cringe-worthy embarrassment for all involved. It may have been this:

    I’m trying to imagine a musical choice that would have been more pathetic and I’m failing. Sir-Mix-A-Lot singing “Baby Got Back” would be more head-scratching, but at least wouldn’t have called for a double facepalm.

    Well, I guess Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” would have been slightly more insulting.

    A few Twitter reactions:

    Thank God Kerry was never elected President…

    More Charlie Hebdo Fallout

    Saturday, January 10th, 2015

    So the Charlie Hebdo killers are dead, but the manhunt for a female accomplice implicated in the deaths of four people during the siege of a Kosher food store in Paris continues. Here are various reactions and pieces on the Charlie Hebdo attack:

  • Good news! Despite the many deaths, Charlie Hebdo is putting together their next issue. “It must come out next Wednesday, with 1 million copies to be printed, about 20 times their usual circulation.”

    A journalist explains that a crowdfunding campaign, spontaneously created on the Internet by strangers, has already collected 98,000 euros in less than 24 hours. Charlie’s survivors are inundated with subscription requests that they can’t handle at the moment. Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer, Richard Malka, speaks. “There’s money arriving from everywhere. Assistance, space, personnel to deal with requests …” “We have received support from lots of media sources,” echoes Christophe Thévenet, another lawyer for the newspaper. “There are donations, already 250,000 euros from the Press and Pluralism Association, the million euros pledged by Fleur Pellerin [the French Minister of Culture and Communication]. … You are going to have finances like never before at Charlie!”

  • “One of the spontaneous social-media reactions to the Charlie Hebdo massacre today was the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (“I am Charlie”). It’s an admirable sentiment, resonant with the classic post-9/11 Le Monde cover ‘Nous sommes tous Americains.’ It’s also totally inaccurate.”

    So no, we’re all not Charlie—few of us are that good, and none of us are that brave. If more of us were brave, and refused to yield to the bomber’s veto, and maybe reacted to these eternally recurring moments not by, say, deleting all your previously published Muhammad images, as the Associated Press is reportedly doing today, but rather by routinely posting newsworthy images in service both to readers and the commitment to a diverse and diffuse marketplace of speech, then just maybe Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t have stuck out so much like a sore thumb. It’s harder, and ultimately less rewarding to the fanatical mind, to hit a thousand small targets than one large one.

  • Mark Steyn elaborates on the theme in “#JeSuisCharlie – But You’re Not.”

    The French establishment is co-opting these brave men’s deaths for their own purposes, and for the most part the world’s media are helping them get away with it. I spent much of Thursday on TV and radio, and my irritation with the dismal #JeSuisCharlie campaign increased as the day wore on. The self-flattering evasiveness of all those cartoonists around the world offering lame variations of “the pen is mightier than the sword” was especially feeble.

    Steyn also offers this sad, telling point:

    I can’t claim to have known Georges Wolinski, the 80-year-old cartoonist among the dead on Wednesday, but I met him briefly, a few years ago. Via Laura Rosen Cohen, I learn of the strange, circular journey of his life and death. His father was a Polish Jew who fled to Tunisia to lead a life free of pogroms. Georges was born there in 1934. Two years later, his dad was murdered, and the family moved again, this time to France.

    And on Wednesday, like his father, the son was killed.

    Wolinski père fled Jew-hate in Europe to be murdered in the Muslim world.

    Wolinski fils fled Jew-hate in the Muslim world to be murdered in Europe, by Muslims.

  • Anyone who really wants to say “I Am Charlie” should participate in Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
  • Richard Littlejohn expounds on how Social Justice Warriors and Victimhood Identity Politics help enable radical Islam:

    however. When it comes to appeasing militant Islam, my own trade is equally culpable.

    So is the entire apparatus of the State. We pussy-foot around anything which may cause offence to Muslims, partly out of good manners but primarily because we are worried about the potential backlash.

    The reason most of the media in the Western world steered clear of republishing the Danish cartoons of Mohammed wasn’t because they were not newsworthy but because of fears that men in balaclavas with machine-guns might march into the front office and start firing at random.

    Snip.

    Islam is just one of the New Establishment’s favoured client groups. Exciting ‘hate crime’ laws have been invented to grant them special privileges and punish their critics.

    So mad mullahs in Midlands madrassas can call for homosexuals to be stoned to death. But a Christian preacher who objects to gay marriage can expect to be arrested and given a criminal record.

    We have also created a ‘victim’ culture, which allows minority groups to justify any kind of bad behaviour on the grounds that they are being oppressed.

    You didn’t have to look far yesterday to find allegedly ‘respected’ voices prepared to blame the staff of Charlie Hebdo for bringing the wrath of the Islamists down on themselves. They shouldn’t have been so ‘provocative’.

  • “The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.”
  • A couple of years old, but quite relevant:

    (Hat tip: The Jawa Report.)

  • Some tweets:

  • 2,000 Dead in Boko Haram Assault on Africa?

    Thursday, January 8th, 2015

    “Boko Haram fighters burnt down almost the entire town on Wednesday, after over-running a military base on Saturday, Musa Alhaji Bukar said.

    “Bodies lay strewn on Baga’s streets, amid fears that some 2,000 people had been killed in the raids, he added.”

    Let’s hope those numbers are exaggerated, as early reports frequently are.

    Also remember that the full name of Boko Haram is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad). Perhaps we could take up a collection for one of the learned members of our ruling class to fly over and explain to them how they’re not actually Islamic…

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

    LinkSwarm for January 5, 2014

    Monday, January 5th, 2015

    Time waits for no man, so here’s your first LinkSwarm of the new year:

  • ObamaCare’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
  • “Democrats are grappling with the reality that the Obama presidency is nearing its end, and they don’t know what to say about it.”
  • Pricks in the Democratic party continue to prick people to donate.
  • Grand juries that examine hard facts live in a different world from mobs who listen to rhetoric and politicians who cater to the mobs.”
  • Thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism, Venezuela ice cream shop closes due to lack of milk.
  • Just as everyone who wasn’t a socialist predicted, France’s 75% tax on the rich has been a miserable failure. “Even by its own standards, the tax was largely a failure — the watered-down version brought in minimal revenue and did little to tackle wealth inequalities.” But it did succeed in driving Gerard Depardieu to Russia and Johnny Depp to England.
  • The top ten Jihad news stories of 2014. Though personally I would have found room for the Peshawar school attack…
  • ISIS executed nearly 2,000 people over the last six months.
  • “The mobs in New York, Ferguson, and elsewhere are not calling for metaphorical murders of policemen, but literal ones.”
  • If you want to “young black men to stop being shot,” perhaps they should refrain from aiming guns at cops.
  • Evidence suggests that the “Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee” was behind the “Dead Cops” chant.
  • Teacher’s unions are very upset that home schooling has allowed children to escape their clutches.
  • Excess vodka consumption killing Russian men. Stop the freaking presses! But aren’t the deaths of thousands of Russian men a small price to pay for unlimited quantities of amusing YouTube fail videos? (NSFW)

  • You know who fought “rape culture” in the 19th and 20th centuries? The KKK. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “Lying for a good cause doesn’t mean that you care; It means you’re a liar.”
  • Greece Inches Closer to the Endgame

    Monday, December 29th, 2014

    Just because the European Debt Crisis hasn’t been in the headlines much as of late doesn’t mean it’s gone away.

    Greece’s government has fallen again and they’ll be holding general elections next month. “Opinion polls point to a victory by the radical leftist Syriza party, which wants to wipe out a big part of Greece’s debt, and cancel the terms of a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund that Greece still needs to pay its bills.”

    The problem is that Greece wants to continue spending other people’s money to prop up a bankrupt welfare state, and the rest of Europe has decided they would really prefer to stop pouring money down that particular rathole. Syriza is against “austerity,” which is to say they oppose the Greek government even pretending to practice fiscal restraint. Because pretending is all they’ve done.

    Remember, real austerity is reducing outlays until they match receipts. All those “austerity” street protests were over lowering Greece’s budget deficit from 9% of GDP to 7.5% of GDP. The rest of Europe didn’t ask them to stop digging their own grave, they just asked them to dig more slower. And this year, Greece’s budget deficit stood at 12.2% of GDP. Evidently even fake austerity is too much to ask of them; even the illusion of fiscal restraint is intolerable. This is why all news that Greece has “balanced” next year’s budget should be taken with several grains of salt.

    So we’ll see another election, and if Syriza wins we’ll see another round of demands for more bailouts and debt writedowns, with Greece threatening yet again to exit the Euro. We’ve seen this movie before. The most likely outcome is that another cabal of EU-phillic insiders in the Greek government will engineer a last-minute cave-in to demands from Brussels and Frankfurt, ram another toothless austerity measure through parliament in exchange for still more credit (and perhaps even a small symbolic measure of debt forgiveness), dissolve the government again following the inevitable public outrage, then have the Greek bureaucracy ignore even those woefully inadequate reforms, setting the stage for the farce to repeat itself in another 12-18 months, or until mean old Aunt Angela finally cuts up the credit card.

    Europe has had several years to acclimate itself to the fact the Greece might exit the Euro, and the possibility of a “grexit” has been priced into the markets for some time now. I do not pretend to understand the intricacies of the European banking system, but my impression is that much of the “stress testing” of European banks this year was to prepare for one or more of the PIIGS leaving the Euro. I suspect that the European elite have minimized their own exposure to a Greek default (which is really all they care about), and that the EU and the European Central Bank has found new, sneaky ways to put taxpayers on the hook for any possible sovereign defaults, strengthening the banking system without addressing Europe’s long-term economic problems (unsustainable levels of debt to support cradle-to-grave welfare states for shrinking populations).

    It would be great if Greece actually undertook real structural reforms of their bloated, dysfunctional government, but I see precious little evidence that they’ve actual done so. Expect more pain ahead, and at least one more bailout…