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Op/Ed

Donald Trump, Tragic Hero

got my morning coffee and finishing off this cream cheese bagel, and of course i headed on over to NRO to see what my man victor hanson is talking about this week — Donald Trump, Tragic Hero

The very idea that Donald Trump could, even in a perverse way, be heroic may appall half the country. Nonetheless, one way of understanding both Trump’s personal excesses and his accomplishments is that his not being traditionally presidential may have been valuable in bringing long-overdue changes in foreign and domestic policy.

Tragic heroes, as they have been portrayed from Sophocles’ plays (e.g., Ajax, Antigone, Oedipus Rex, Philoctetes) to the modern western film, are not intrinsically noble. Much less are they likeable. Certainly, they can often be obnoxious and petty, if not dangerous, especially to those around them. These mercurial sorts never end well — and on occasion neither do those in their vicinity. Oedipus was rudely narcissistic, Hombre’s John Russell (Paul Newman) arrogant and off-putting.

Tragic heroes are loners, both by preference and because of society’s understandable unease with them. Ajax’s soliloquies about a rigged system and the lack of recognition accorded his undeniable accomplishments are Trumpian to the core — something akin to the sensational rumors that at night Trump is holed up alone, petulant, brooding, eating fast food, and watching Fox News shows.

Outlaw leader Pike Bishop (William Holden), in director Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, is a killer whose final gory sacrifice results in the slaughter of the toxic General Mapache and his corrupt local Federales. A foreboding Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), of John Ford’s classic 1956 film The Searchers, alone can track down his kidnapped niece. But his methods and his recent past as a Confederate renegade make him suspect and largely unfit for a civilizing frontier after the expiration of his transitory usefulness. These characters are not the sorts that we would associate with Bob Dole, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, or Mitt Romney.

The tragic hero’s change of fortune — often from good to bad, as Aristotle reminds us — is due to an innate flaw (hamartia), or at least in some cases an intrinsic and usually uncivilized trait that can be of service to the community, albeit usually expressed fully only at the expense of the hero’s own fortune. The problem for civilization is that the creation of those skill sets often brings with it past baggage of lawlessness and comfortability with violence. Trump’s cunning and mercurialness, honed in Manhattan real estate, global salesmanship, reality TV, and wheeler-dealer investments, may have earned him ostracism from polite Washington society. But these talents also may for a time be suited for dealing with many of the outlaws of the global frontier. Continue…

just finished reading the whole thing, and one thought continued to stick around in the back of my mind the whole time… trump + hero + tragic?

hmmmm… might be a little too deep for my poor brain this early in the day i think. lol

#emmmmmmmmm  #coffee

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Op/Ed

Left’s Modern Muckrakers

Where Are the Left’s Modern Muckrakers?

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was an epic fight of so-called muckrakers — journalists and novelists such as Frank Norris, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida Tarbell, along with trust-busting politicians like Teddy Roosevelt — against rail, steel, and oil monopolies. Whatever one thought of their sensationalism and often hard-left socialist agendas, they at least brought public attention to price fixing, product liabilities, monopolies, and the buying of politicians.

No such progressive zealotry exists today in Silicon Valley and its affiliated tech spin-offs. And the result is a Roman gladiatorial spectacle with no laws in the arena.

In the last two elections, Facebook has sold its user data to Democratic and, apparently more controversially, Republican campaign affiliates. Google, Twitter, and Facebook have often been accused of censoring users’ expression according to their own political tastes. Civil libertarians have accused social-media and Internet giants of violating rights of privacy, by monitoring the shopping, travel, eating, and entertainment habits of their customers to the extent that they know where and when Americans travel or communicate with one another.

Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook are the world’s five largest companies in terms of stock value. Together they have market capitalization of about 3 trillion dollars, about the net worth of the entire country of Switzerland.

another good one from victor, as usual… especially since it touches on so many topics and worries — government and political parties working with huge mega-corporations to sway public opinion… data mining, people’s privacy information being used in ways they’re probably not aware of and might not agree with… etc etc.

PS. finally broke down and bought a keurig last week, and g’damn i love this thing… usually just run out in the morning and get some coffee, but not anymore… on my second cup… delicious.

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Op/Ed

The Confederate Mind

time to sit down with a hot cup of coffee and see what victor hanson is writing about this week — The Confederate Mind

Senator Elizabeth Warren has doubled down on her insistence that she is Native American.

THE NEW ONE-DROP FIXATION

In her past incarnations, she probably used that yarn in hopes of helping her win a law professorship at Harvard, which touted her as the law school’s first indigenous-American professor (and others apparently referenced her as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color”). She has refused to back down (and also refused to take a DNA test), even after Native American genealogists disputed her claim.

But what if indeed the pink and blond Warren were found to have 1/32nd or even 1/16th Native American “blood”? Why would that artifact magically make her “Indian,” much less a victim of something or someone, or at least outfitted with a minority cachet?

Does she have an idea of the absurdity of current progressive race obsessions and their creepy pedigrees? In wartime Western Europe, one of the justifications for making Jews wear yellow stars was that it was otherwise impossible to determine whether they were Jews at all, which of course made the entire Nazi edifice of supposed overt racial inferiority a nightmarish joke.

The Fascist and anti-Semitic French novelist Lucien Rebatet explained why the stars were needed for hard-to-identify Jewish citizens: “The yellow star rectifies this strange situation in which one human group that is radically opposed to the people of white blood, and which for eternity is unassimilable to this blood, cannot be identified at first glance.”

What is the moral of this sad reversion to the failed racist systems of the past? Warren is harkening back to the old South’s “one drop rule” of “invisible blackness.” Supposedly any proof of sub-Saharan ancestry, even one drop of “black blood,” made one black and therefore subject to second-class citizenship.

good — if not a bit heavy — stuff as always… i try to steer clear of most politics these days, since it can be just so damn tiring… like this never-ending mental exhaustion of sorts… but i have always found it rather interesting to note the roots and history of the democratic party here in the states.

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Op/Ed

Lessons From Germany’s ‘Spring Offensive’

Lessons from Germany’s ‘Spring Offensive,’ 100 Years Later

One hundred years ago this month, all hell broke loose in France. On March 21, 1918, the German army on the Western Front unleashed a series of massive attacks on the exhausted British and French armies.

German general Erich Ludendorff thought he could win World War I with one final blow. He planned to punch holes between the French and British armies. Then he would drive through their trenches to the English Channel, isolating and destroying the British army.

The Germans thought they had no choice but to gamble.

The British naval blockade of Germany after three years had reduced Germany to near famine. More than 200,000 American reinforcement troops were arriving each month in France. (Nearly 2 million would land altogether.) American farms and factories were sending over huge shipments of food and munitions to the Allies.

Yet for a brief moment, the war had suddenly swung in Germany’s favor by March 1918. The German army had just knocked Russia and its new Bolshevik government out of the war. The victory on the Eastern Front freed up nearly 1 million German and Austrian soldiers, who were transferred west.

Germany had refined new rolling artillery barrages. Its dreaded “Stormtroopers” had mastered dispersed advances. The result was a brief window of advantage before the American juggernaut changed the war’s arithmetic.

The Spring Offensive almost worked. Within days, the British army had suffered some 50,000 casualties. Altogether, about a half million French, British, and American troops were killed or wounded during the entire offensive.

But within a month, the Germans were sputtering. They could get neither supplies nor reinforcements to the English Channel. Germany had greedily left 1 million soldiers behind in the east to occupy and annex huge sections of conquered Eastern Europe and western Russia.

The British and French had learned new ways of strategic retreat. By the summer of 1918, the Germans were exhausted. In August, the Allies began their own (even bigger) offensive and finally crushed the retreating Germans, ending the war in November 1918.

What were the lessons of the failed German offensive?

good stuff on a friday morning, as always… i’ve always especially liked his more historical leaning articles.

PS. got a dental appointment later, and not look’n forward to it.

#sigh

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Op/Ed

The Rapid ‘Progress’ of Progressivism

The Rapid ‘Progress’ of Progressivism

Not long ago I waited for a flight to board. The plane took off 45 minutes late. There were only two attendants to accommodate eleven passengers who had requested wheelchair assistance.

Such growing efforts to ensure that the physically challenged can easily fly are certainly welcome. But when our plane landed — late and in danger of causing many passengers to miss their connecting flights — most of the eleven wheelchair-bound passengers left their seats unassisted and hurried out. It was almost as if newfound concerns about making connections had somehow improved their health during the flight.

Two passengers had boarded with two dogs each. No doubt the airlines’ policy of allowing an occasional dog on a flight is understandable. But now planes are starting to sound and smell like kennels.

Special blue parking placards were initially a long-overdue effort to help the disabled. But these days, the definition of “disabled” has so expanded that a large percentage of the population can qualify for special parking privileges — or cheat in order to qualify.

In California, 26,000 disabled parking placards are currently issued to people over 100 years of age, even though state records list only about 8,000 living centenarians.

Current crises such as homelessness and illegal immigration did not start out as much of a public concern.

Originally, progressive politicians felt that cities should bend their vagrancy laws a bit to allow some of the poor to camp on the sidewalks. Bathroom and public-health issues were considered minor, given the relatively small pool of so-called street people.

Few objected to illegal immigration in the 1960s and 1970s. Foreign nationals came unlawfully across the border in relatively small numbers — thousands, not millions. Fifty years ago, America was eager to assimilate even the few arrivals who arrived illegally. Not now. The melting pot gave way to the identity politics of the tribe that asks little integration of the newcomers.

Whether out of guilt or out of fear of being perceived as exclusionary by harder leftists, progressives cannot, or will not, draw realistic limits to illegal immigration or homelessness. Yet both cost the law-abiding public billions of dollars in social services, often at the expense of American poor.

This rapid spread of progressivism leads to an endless race for absolute equality and an erosion of prior rules. It also makes once-liberal positions seem passé, recasting those positions as dangerously reactionary. Continue…

another good read from victor hanson, as usual… but best while sitting back in your chair, sip’n on some hot fresh morning coffee :)

emmmmm… coffee……..

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Op/Ed

Kill Chic

been a little MIA of late… no particular reason, just been kinda busy and haven’t really been into blogging all that much of late… dunno why, but i’m usually just kinda “bleh” about it… might retire the blog or keep it around, not sure yet — either way, here’s the latest from victor hanson.

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom.

We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping flesh, as if it is some sort of macabre ballet. Rap music has institutionalized violence against women and the police — to the tune of billions in profits, largely as a way for suburban kids to find vicarious street authenticity. And this idea of metaphorically cutting, bleeding, or shooting those whom you don’t like without real consequences has seeped into the national political dialogue.

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.

In 2017, the obsessive hatred of Trump led, for instance, to many obscenities: Madonna told us she dreamed of blowing up the White House, comedian Kathy Griffin posed with a bloody facsimile of Trump’s head, Snoop Dog shot a Trump likeliness in a video, a Shakespearean company ritually stabbed Trump-Caesar every night on stage, Johnny Depp joked, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? … It has been a while, and maybe it is time.”

But such kill chic is hardly new — and hardly a result of Trump’s sometimes reckless tweets or undisciplined outbursts. Continue…

he’s got a point, as usual… worth reading the whole thing if you got the time and find it interesting… good stuff over some coffee and a bagel & cream cheese here ;)

PS. “kill chic” sounds like a cool movie title or something.

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Op/Ed

The North Korea Standoff

Who’s Really Winning the North Korea Standoff?

Kim Jong-un may seem to have the upper hand, but the U.S. is quietly proving otherwise.

There have been wild reports that the United States is considering a “bloody nose” preemptive attack of some sort on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Such rumors are unlikely to prove true. Preemptive attacks usually are based on the idea that things will so worsen that hitting first is the only chance to decapitate a regime before it can do greater damage.

But in the struggle between Pyongyang and Washington, who really has gotten the upper hand?

With its false happy face in the current Winter Olympics, North Korea thinks it is winning the war of nerves. Yet its new nuclear-missile strategy is pretty transparent. It wants to separate South Korea’s strategic interests from those of the United States, with boasts — backed by occasional nuclear-missile tests — that it can take out West Coast cities.

Pyongyang could then warn its new frenemy, Seoul, that the United States would never risk its own homeland to keep protecting South Korea. So it would supposedly be wiser for Koreans themselves, in the spirit of Olympic brotherhood, to settle their own differences. A failed but nuclear North Korea ultimately would dictate the terms of the relationship to a successful but non-nuclear South Korea. Continue…

yeah, i think most sane people would agree that any kind of preemptive attack on north korea would be downright nuts… i’m sure they’ve gone through every possible scenario and have plans drawn up for each of them… on the flipside, it’s just a shitty situation and nobody likes the idea of NK having nuclear weapons — nothing good will come of that.

PS. personally, was surprised to see NK at the winter olympics.

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Op/Ed

FISA-Gate > Watergate

FISA-Gate Is Scarier Than Watergate

The Watergate scandal of 1972–74 was uncovered largely because of outraged Democratic politicians and a bulldog media. They both claimed that they had saved American democracy from the Nixon administration’s attempt to warp the CIA and FBI to cover up an otherwise minor, though illegal, political break-in.

In the Iran-Contra affair of 1985–87, the media and liberal activists uncovered wrongdoing by some rogue members of the Reagan government. They warned of government overreach and of using the “Deep State” to subvert the law for political purposes.

We are now in the middle of a third great modern scandal. Members of the Obama administration’s Department of Justice sought court approval for the surveillance of Carter Page, allegedly for colluding with Russian interests, and extended the surveillance three times.

But none of these government officials told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the warrant requests were based on an unverified dossier that had originated as a hit piece funded in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign to smear Donald Trump during the current 2016 campaign. Continue…

i usually sit down and checkout the latest from victor over some coffee, but it’s been a hectic morning… hell, an overall hectic week to be honest… but alas, it’s fucking friday! hell yeah… just kinda wish that ‘Black Panther’ was out this weekend, but whatevs… just gives me something to look forward to for next weekend i guess.

anywho, victor is pretty much spot on here — as usual ;)

PS. hmmm, what should i grab for lunch today?

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Op/Ed

Geography of Power

Rethinking the Geography of Power

Where the seats of power are located matters. Given the populist revolt in the United States and Europe against the so-called global elite, it is time to refigure the geography of governmental and transnational power.

Take the United Nations. Much of the international body’s perceived negatives derive from being in the world’s richest and most visible city, New York. But what if U.N. elites did not have easy access to instant television exposure, tony Manhattan digs, and who’s-who networking?

Most of the world is non-Western. Many Western elites are apologetic over past sins of imperialism and colonialism.

So why not move the United Nations to Haiti, Libya, or Uganda? The transference would do wonders for any underdeveloped country, financially, culturally, or psychologically. U.N. officials without easy access to Westernized media and the high life might instead have more time to concentrate on global problems such as hunger, disease, and violence — and be personally enmeshed in the dangers they address.

Given the controversy over President Trump’s supposed disparagement of such countries as “sh**holes,” having an underdeveloped nation host the United Nations could refute such stereotyping. Relocating the U.N. to a capital such as Port-au-Prince, Tripoli, or Kampala would prove that such places are unduly underappreciated and surprisingly wonderful cities from which to conduct international governance.

Continue…

always fun to hop over to NRO and see what victor is talking about while sipping on my morning coffee… as far as the UN goes, i’m all for moving it.

#shrugs  #sh*tholes

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Op/Ed

California’s Next Stonehenge?

Will Unfinished Train Overpasses Become California’s Stonehenge?

Nobody quite knows who built Stonehenge some 5,000 years ago in southern England. The mysterious ring of huge stone monoliths stands mute.

Californians may leave behind similarly enigmatic monuments for puzzled future generations. Along a 119-mile pathway in central California, from Bakersfield to Madera, there are now huge, quarter-finished concrete overpasses. These are the totems of the initial segment of a planned high-speed-rail corridor.

Californians thought high-speed rail was a great idea when they voted for it in 2008. The state is overwhelmingly progressive. Silicon Valley reflects California’s confidence in new-age technology. Californians are among the highest-taxed citizens in the nation. They apparently are not opposed to borrowing and spending for ambitious government projects — especially to alleviate crowded freeways.

Planners assured voters that the cost for the first 520 miles was going to be an “affordable” $33 billion. The rail line seemed a good way to connect the state’s economically depressed interior with the affluent coastal corridor.

The segment from Madera to Bakersfield was thought to be the easiest to build. Rural land was cheaper to acquire in the interior of California. The route was flat, without the need to bore tunnels. The valley is considered seismically stable. Economically depressed counties welcomed the state and federal investment dollars.

But projected costs have soared even before one foot of track has been laid. The entire project’s estimated price, according to various projections, may have nearly doubled. The current cost for the easiest first segment alone has spiraled from a promised $7.8 billion in 2016 to an estimated $10.6 billion. There is no assurance that enough Central Valley riders will wish to use the line.

The real problem is that this environmentally friendly mass-transportation project is being undertaken in a state known for high taxes, litigiousness, chronic budget crises, Byzantine regulations, a dysfunctional one-party political system, and challenging geography.

Continue…

those numbers are pretty crazy… i mean, damn.

welcome to california, right?

California, America’s Poverty Capital

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Op/Ed

The Trillion-Dollar Chameleon

The Trillion-Dollar Chameleon

Twenty years ago, no one had heard of either Facebook or Google, neither of which existed yet. For that matter, no one knew much about social media or search engines in general.

Cell phones were still simply mobile, small, and expensive telephones. There was no concept of a phone as a handheld computer.

Today, five companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) — have a collective worth of more than $3 trillion. Yet such transnational companies remain mostly exempt from the sort of regulations and accountability faced by most other industries.

Major corporations understandably fear product-liability laws. Oil companies are hectored by class-action lawsuits and headline-grabbing attorneys badgering them to pay up for supposed climate change brought on by commuters filling up each week. Tobacco companies have paid out billions of dollars due to cigarettes’ contribution to lung cancer. Pharmaceutical corporations are often forced to pay millions in fines when their prescription drugs cause dangerous side effects.

Yet every year, nearly a half-million Americans are injured in traffic accidents due to distracted driving involving a cell phone. No one knows how many millions of people worldwide are addicted to the apps on their smartphones — a habit that can be harder to break than an opiate addiction and can leave addicted users in a similar zombie-like condition. Yet unlike Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Big Tobacco, Big Tech is rarely held responsible for the deleterious effects of its products on millions the world over. Continue…

hmmmm, well i suppose he does make a good / valid point about the big tech companies being more accountable… especially when compared to the big companies in other industries around the world — though i feel like the EU is probably a little better on this front… even if it’s obviously a double-edged sword.

PS. damn hipsters…

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Op/Ed

Trump vs. Palestinians

Trump Threatens to Deal Another Blow to the Palestinian Cause

By cutting off hundreds of millions in American aid to the Palestinian Authority, the president could radically alter the Middle East.

President Trump set off another Twitter firestorm last week when he hinted that he may be considering cutting off hundreds of millions of dollars in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinians. Trump was angered over Palestinian unwillingness to engage in peace talks with Israel after the Trump administration announced the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Given that the U.S. channels its Palestinian aid through third-party United Nations organizations, it’s unclear how much money Trump is talking about it. But in total it may exceed $700 million per year, according to reports.

A decade ago, the U.S. row with the Palestinian Authority would have been major news. But not now.

Why?

Continue…

at this point, i have a hard time keeping track of all the news or latest twitter shitstorm over Trump… to be honest, i didn’t realize we’ve been giving $700 million a year to the palestinians — so yeah, news to me.

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Op/Ed

The Legacy of Carl Vinson

Pearl Harbor and the Legacy of Carl Vinson

Seventy-six years ago on Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese fleet surprise-attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Japanese carrier planes killed 2,403 Americans. They sunk or submerged 19 ships (including eight battleships destroyed or disabled) and damaged or destroyed more than 300 planes.

In an amazing feat of seamanship, the huge Japanese carrier fleet had steamed nearly 3,500 miles in midwinter high seas. The armada had refueled more than 20 major ships while observing radio silence before arriving undetected about 220 miles from Hawaii.

The surprise attack started the Pacific War. It was followed a few hours later by a Japanese assault on the Philippines.

More importantly, Pearl Harbor ushered in a new phase of World War II, as the conflict expanded to the Pacific. It became truly a global war when, four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

Continue…

as usual, have to checkout what victor hanson is writing about this week… oddly enough, half the time i’m still peeling my eyeballs open and working on my first cup of coffee when i head over to NRO — amazing i understand a damn thing, to be honest.

#chuckle  #emmmmm  #coffee

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Op/Ed

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Former FBI director Robert Mueller was supposed to run a narrow investigation into accusations of collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government. But so far, Mueller’s work has been plagued by almost daily improper leaks (e.g., “sources report,” “it emerged,” “some say”) about investigations that seem to have little to do with his original mandate.

Now, there are leaks claiming that Mueller is going after former national-security adviser Michael Flynn for his business practices before he entered the Trump administration. Specifically, Mueller is reportedly investigating Flynn’s security assessment and intelligence work for the Turkish government and other Turkish interests. Yet possible unethical lobbying on behalf of a NATO ally was not the reason Mueller was appointed.

The Roman satirist Juvenal famously once asked how one could guard against marital infidelity when the moral guardians were themselves immoral. His famous quip, translated roughly as “Who will police the police?” is applicable to all supposedly saintly investigators.

Continue…

another good one from victor hanson on this fine friday morning… got my coffee & bagel… got my vape… yeah, time to relax and surf around for a bit, then get crank’n on some work for the day.

/super saiyan morning stretch

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Op/Ed

America’s Indispensable Friends

America’s Indispensable Friends

The world equates American military power with the maintenance of the postwar global order of free commerce, communications, and travel.

Sometimes American power leads to costly, indecisive interventions like those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya that were not able to translate superiority on the battlefield into lasting peace.

But amid the frustrations of American foreign policy, it is forgotten that the United States also plays a critical but more silent role in ensuring the survival of small, at-risk nations. The majority of them are democratic and pro-Western. But they all share the misfortune of living in dangerous neighborhoods full of bullies. Continue…

another good read from victor, as usual… goes down pretty good with this coffee and bagel ‘n cream cheese…. emmmm, good stuff…

#stretch  #yummy

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Op/Ed

Remembering Stalingrad

Remembering Stalingrad 75 Years Later

Seventy-five years ago this month, the Soviet Red Army surrounded — and would soon destroy — a huge invading German army at Stalingrad on the Volga River. Nearly 300,000 of Germany’s best soldiers would never return home. The epic 1942–43 battle for the city saw the complete annihilation of the attacking German 6th Army. It marked the turning point of World War II.

Before Stalingrad, Adolf Hitler regularly boasted on German radio as his victorious forces pressed their offensives worldwide. After Stalingrad, Hitler went quiet, brooding in his various bunkers for the rest of the war.

During the horrific Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted more than five months, Russian, American, and British forces also went on the offensive against the Axis powers in the Caucasus, in Morocco and Algeria, and on the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific.

Yet just weeks before the Battle of Stalingrad began, the Allies had been near defeat. They had lost most of European Russia. Much of Western Europe was under Nazi control. Axis armies occupied large swaths of North Africa. The Japanese controlled most of the Pacific and Asia, from Manchuria to Wake Island.

Stalingrad was part of a renewed German effort in 1942 to drive southward toward the Caucasus Mountains, to capture the huge Soviet oil fields. The Germans might have pulled it off had Hitler not divided his forces and sent his best army northward to Stalingrad to cut the Volga River traffic and take Stalin’s eponymous frontier city.

By the time two Red Army pincers trapped the Germans at Stalingrad in November, Russia had already suffered some 6 million combat casualties during the first 16 months of Germany’s invasion. By German calculations, Russia should have already submitted, just like all of the Third Reich’s prior European enemies except Britain. Continue…

oh yeah, these are the types of posts by victor hanson that got me hooked… always did like his more historical leaning articles, especially ones around WWII — almost feel like picking up the new Call of Duty… almost…

happy veterans day!

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Op/Ed

Who Gets to Have Nuclear Weapons?

Who Gets to Have Nuclear Weapons — and Why?

Given North Korea’s nuclear lunacy, what exactly are the rules, formal or implicit, about which nations may have nuclear weapons and which may not?

It is complicated.

In the free-for-all environment of the 1940s and 1950s, the original nuclear club included only those countries with the technological know-how, size, and money to build nukes. Those realities meant that up until the early 1960s, only Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States had nuclear capabilities.

Members of this small club did not worry that many other nations would make such weapons, because it seemed far too expensive and difficult for most.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States adhered to an unspoken rule that their losing Axis enemies of World War II — Germany, Italy, and Japan — should not have nuclear weapons. Despite their financial and scientific ability to obtain them, all three former Axis powers had too much recent historical baggage to be allowed weapons of mass destruction. That tacit agreement apparently still remains.

The Soviet Union and the United States also informally agreed during the Cold War that their own dependent allies that had the ability to go nuclear — including eastern-bloc nations, most Western European countries, Australia, and Canada — would not. Instead, they would depend on their superpower patrons for nuclear deterrence.

By the 1970s, realities had changed again. Large and/or scientifically sophisticated nations such as China (1964), Israel (1967), and India (1974) went nuclear. Often, such countries did so with the help of pro-Western or pro-Soviet patrons and sponsors. The rest of the world apparently shrugged, believing it was inevitable that such nations would obtain nuclear weapons. Continue…

yeah man, it really is a complicated mess… though i like how he broke it down so i can better wrap my head around it — especially on a friday morning when i’m still working on my first cup of coffee… damn.

#yawn  #strettttcccchhhhhhhhh

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Op/Ed

The Fate of ISIS

The Islamic State and the Limitations of Cruelty

The fate of ISIS reminds us that those who pose as superhuman savages often cannot stand up to payback by their outraged victims.

The Islamic State just lost its capital at Raqqa, and with it the last of the terrorist group’s fantasies of establishing a Middle East caliphate.

In recent years, ISIS has horrified global audiences with video clips of unspeakable atrocities. What sort of humans could behead, incinerate, drown, torture, and blow up innocent civilians, mock and record such horror, and then narrate their macabre videos for a world audience?

Continue…

been awhile since i’ve really heard much about ISIS, to be honest… then again, i’ve pretty much checked out on the news of late and don’t really keep tabs on it all that much anymore… on the one hand, i think it’s a good thing since it’s less stress & worry in my life — kinda crazy, since i didn’t even realize how much crap it added… but once i stopped watching the news on the daily, and reading all these articles and news postings, i found i had less to think / worry / stress on about… which i think is a good thing.

on the flipside, there’s been a few times where somebody says something like “hey, did you hear about _______?!??” and i’m like, “huh? what?”

so yeah, there’s that.

PS. personally, i still can’t believe we, as an international collective group, dropped the hammer on ISIS and are still talking about it years later… seriously, what the fuck.

#FuckYouISIS

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Op/Ed

It’s 1968 All Over Again

It’s 1968 All Over Again

Almost a half-century ago, in 1968, the United States seemed to be falling apart.

The Vietnam War, a bitter and close presidential election, antiwar protests, racial riots, political assassinations, terrorism, and a recession looming on the horizon left the country divided between a loud radical minority and a silent conservative majority.

The United States avoided a civil war. But America suffered a collective psychological depression, civil unrest, defeat in Vietnam, and assorted disasters for the next decade — until the election of a once-polarizing Ronald Reagan ushered in five consecutive presidential terms of relative bipartisan calm and prosperity from 1981 to 2001.

It appears as if 2017 might be another 1968. Recent traumatic hurricanes seem to reflect the country’s human turmoil. Continue…

ahhh victor victor victor… always fun — if not a little bit on the heavy side — to pull him up on NRO and see what he’s talking about on a friday morning… at this point, i’m not even sure when this habit of mine started, but i do know it’s been a few years now at the very least.

things do seem to have an alarming similarity to the late 60s… hmmm…

PS. emmmmmm… coffee……

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Op/Ed Sports

The Glass House of the NFL

time to peel back those eyelids over some strong friday morning coffee and see what victor hanson is writing about this week — The Glass House of the NFL

The league’s national significance is rapidly diminishing, due to hypocrisy and hyper-politicization in a once-loved American establishment.

The National Football League is a glass house that was cracking well before Donald Trump’s criticism of players who refuse to stand during the national anthem.

The NFL earned an estimated $14 billion last year. But 500-channel television, Internet live streaming, video games, and all sorts of other televised sports have combined to threaten the league’s monopoly on weekend entertainment — even before recent controversies.

It has become a fad for many players not to stand for the anthem. But it is also becoming a trend for irate fans not to watch the NFL at all.

Multimillionaire young players, mostly in their 20s, often cannot quite explain why they have become so furious at emblems of the country in which they are doing so well.

Their gripes at best seem episodic and are often without supporting data. Are they mad at supposedly inordinate police brutality toward black citizens, or racial disparity caused by bias, or the perceived vulgarity of President Donald Trump?
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oh man… yeah, feel like we’ve been hip deep in this one for awhile now, and like it or not — sure does seem like we’ll continue to be talking about young multimillionaire football players taking the knee for the national anthem.

i wonder what the reaction would be like over in europe if the football soccer players took a knee during their national anthems? i mean, can you imagine the reaction in the UK? France? Italy? Germany?

#hmmmmmmmmmm

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