Grab a bench, ribs are on the grill, they’ll be ready soon, pour me something if you would be so kind. Let’s talk about “doing the right thing.”
Now, this is a lead-in to discussions on several topics, because, as usual, a lot more things crossed my bow than I have time to write about. That said, here we go!
There’s an NPO that I strongly recommend you look into, called FIRE. “The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.” You can find their most recent statement here.
The reason I am a fan of these guys is that they don’t pick sides. The starting quote from the above linked site says it all: “FIRE has a long history of defending the free speech rights of all Americans. We are unapologetically nonpartisan and believe that freedom of speech does not belong to the left or to the right — but to each and every American.”
To that end, they’ve attacked South Carolina’s legislators with billboards due to the SC proposed law criminalizing discussions about abortion access. OK that’s an attack on the right, because the right in SC is trying to put gag orders on doctors. In their opinion and my own, that’s just wrong. (Abortion itself may be right, or it may be wrong, I feel that that is an individual’s call, between themselves, their partners, their doctors, and their faith. States have the say on state laws regarding this, but putting gag orders on doctors is solidly wrong.)
On the other hand, they’ve also threatened legal action against the UNC student body and administration for cutting funding “to any business or organization” advocating for pro-life causes. UNC backed down, rather than take a whipping in court.
Look, any time the government, or an organization says “this you can not say, this you can not know, this you must not hear” the result is tyranny and oppression. A person whose mind is controlled through the control of information is already halfway to being a slave. On the other hand, a person who has free access to knowledge, and the courage it takes to stand up for themselves, can not be enslaved. The most you can do is kill them. Now I would like to take credit for that little thought, but in truth, it’s a paraphrase of something Robert Heinlein said.
Then there’s China. Yes, you in the back, with your Che’ shirt, I’m beating on the ChiComs again. And I will continue to call them out until they change their ways, or we end up in a shooting war. They’ve pulled a couple of stunts lately worth talking about:
There’s their little set of exercises as a temper tantrum after Nancy P’s visit to Free China first off. I hate to say anything nice about that harridan but to paraphrase Churchill’s quote about Hitler and Satan: If the devil spoke out against the evils of China, I would find something nice to say about Hell on this page.
So, China, or more specifically Winnie the Xi, (He thinks they’re the same thing, I suspect he’s wrong there) had his knickers in a twist that Nancy had the audacity to visit his little “Province in Revolt” so he scheduled major military drills around Taiwan, to show his displeasure, and threaten Taiwan, as if holding these drills would cow them into saying “Oh, what the hell, the fucking you gave Hong Kong wasn’t all that bad, sure big daddy, come do us too!” This much, everyone who pays any attention at all to the world knows.
But what not everyone realizes is that while this gives China a chance to try and learn how to do “combined ops in a maritime environment,” (a very difficult evolution, as I and guest speakers have mentioned here before) it also gives our intel guys a chance to watch, and surveille through the electronic and acoustic spectrums all of their operational capabilities.
The big question is who learns more, them, or us? Well they’re starting from ground zero, so they will learn more initially, but much of what they learn will be “This is HARD” and due to the very heavy Top-Down nature of the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army, and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (Yes that’s their name, and we’re at Lehman’s laws of Politics #7: the more words meaning freedom in the name, the less freedom in the place.) I expect that a lot of lies will be told, and a lot of “simulations” will be had, to make the exercises look like a smashing success to Xi. This is a chronic problem for this type of organization, it’s a trap that Nazi Germany fell into, as did the USSR, and now Russia among many others. If your evaluators’ and commanders’ necks are on the line if they fail, you can not rely on their reports of capability and success. This is how things like “The 6 day War,” or the invasion of Ukraine happen. In both cases the leaders were assured that this would be a cakewalk, “we’ll be home in time for dinner.” That’s what the PRC learns, we on the other hand have been getting an up close and personal look at weapons, capabilities, training levels, communications codes, and frequencies, operational doctrine, the whole kit, and caboodle.
See, the trouble with this sort of exercise is that, if you don’t use the gear, doctrine, comms frequencies and codes, etc. that you will use in real life, you are wasting your time. This sort of exercise is meant to train your people, and to work out bugs. It’s like a practice game in football. If you don’t use the formations, and patterns you’re going to use in the actual game, you don’t really get much out of the practice. On the other hand, if you do use them, and someone sees you doing it, they know what to expect, and you have lost OPSEC. I promise you that we have submarines, satellites, and other electronic surveillance all over this area. Ukraine is an example of how good intel is vastly more important than sheer numbers of attackers. China was either handing us their playbook, or wasting their time, and spending a whole shit load of money on an exercise that taught them nothing. Which was it? I am not in the SCIF so I don’t know, but I’m betting that the guys in there do.
Not having had enough of it after the first time, they got huffy again when another set of Congressmen, led in this case by Senator Ed Markey (D Mass.) visited Taiwan on Monday. In the aftermath of that visit, the PRC embassy stated that “Members of the US Congress should act in consistence with the US government’s one-China policy,” continuing “The relevant visit once again proves that the US does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Straits and has spared no effort to stir up confrontation between the two sides and interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
This caused another round of military exercises and more of the same stuff that Nancy kicked off. China’s Defense Ministry stated: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference.”
This little bit is specifically interesting because they’re once again stating that Taiwan’s government doesn’t exist legally and that there is only one China… YET…
According to “Politico”: CHINA SANCTIONS TAIWANESE POLITICIANS: China imposed sanctions on Taiwanese politicians today by implementing visa bans that will bar them from visiting China, Macau, and Hong Kong, The Associated Press reported. The measures came the same day a U.S. congressional delegation met with the self-governing island’s president, TSAI ING-WEN.
-But wait, I thought it was “one China.” Since when do you need a Visa to visit another part of your nation?
-For that matter, I can’t possibly imagine that the President, the ambassador to the US, or any of the Taiwanese legislators would be foolish enough to put themselves within reach of the People’s Republic’s Ministry of State Security…
Look, the time has come (in point of fact, it came years ago) for the US to recognize Taiwan as a separate nation. The trouble with doing that is there are still idiots in the Taiwan Government that insist that “Yes, there is only one China, and WE are the legitimate government of it!” Now I understand how Taiwan came to be, (they were the loyalists that fled the mainland when Mao won his revolution, and things got sporty on the mainland.) But seriously guys, you don’t WANT that mess. They’re about a half step off of another purge, they have demographic problems that make the worst European nation’s troubles look like a minor cold by comparison, their economy is a house of cards… Just let them go to hell their own way, and stand by to pick up the pieces when the collapse comes. Like West Germany did.
Also on the list for China shenanigans, it seems that we just discovered that while President Biden’s CIA director was running a think tank, prior to getting his current post, he liked to employ Chinese Communist Party members… Full articlehere. You need to go and read this, it’s quite an eye opening…
How this didn’t come out during the senate approval process I am not sure, but damn… Look if you’re a Chinese national, and a member of the CCP, you are an intelligence operative, by definition. The Chinese “Thousand Grains of Sand” government policy requires it. The guy that didn’t figure out that these guys were party members now runs our civilian intelligence service? WHY IS HE STILL THERE?
Now let’s talk about unions, management, and hypocrisy. Look, I’m not now, nor have I ever been a fan of unions. Growing up with a father in the Teamsters, not by choice, as I recall, and watching the national trucker strike of 1970 from the perspective of a family that didn’t want to strike solidified my hate for unions. That said, there seems to be a significant amount of hypocrisy coming from the Left these days on unions. Two of the biggest left-wing companies in America are Amazon and Starbucks. The left is supposed to love unions; after all, it’s the workers seizing control of the means of production, and all that good communist bullshit. And Both Amazon and Starbucks have been big proponents of left-wing causes for decades…
But that was before they started getting THEIR oxen gored by unionization. Suddenly Starbucks and Amazon are pulling out all the dirty tricks once used by mine owners, and sweatshop management, to try and stop the unionization of their organizations. Among other things, Starbucks is filing complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, against, wait for it, the National Labor Relations Board.
It seems the NRLB (according to Starbucks) is helping the unions too much, giving them information about vote counts, and collaborating with the union to increase pro-union votes. (article here) Amazon has made similar claims. Funny how you get what you vote for, isn’t it? Can you hear the sympathy in my voice?
The NYT was very considerate the other day, they provided a nice little article letting us know exactly who the republicans that were supporting Biden’s agenda were, so we could campaign against them.
Now that’s not what they intended, of course, Leonhardt, the author of the piece, is somewhere on the spectrum between Che, and Lenin. He was listing these as “good republicans” IE the ones we shoot last come the glorious revolution! He was telling us all about how Biden and Congress were more capable and more competent than we’ve seen in years! (And, we’re back to they’re scared and desperate, and are saying anything they can, to try and turn the tide in the hopes that if they throw enough shit at the wall, something will stick.)
So, if you want to know who Leonhardt loves, here you go:
Voting for all five of the Democrat’s wish list of bad ideas is; Roy Blunt MO, Richard Burr NC, Bill Cassidy LA, Lindsey Graham SC, Mitch McConnell KY, Shelley Moore Capito WV, Rob Portman OH, and of course Susan Collins MA.
With four bills on the support list, we have; Lisa Murkowski Alaska, Thom Tillis NC, Roger Wicker MS, and Todd Young IND.
Finally, with three bills, we have; Kevin Cramer ND, Steve Daines MT, Joni Ernst Iowa, Deb Fisher NB, Chuck Grassley Iowa, John Hoeven ND, Jerry Moran KA, Mitt Romney Utah, and Dan Sullivan, Alaska.
He went on to tell us that Biden has been the most successful President in memory at getting his agenda passed, (who you going to believe, him, or your lying eyes?) we’re told that he has united the nation and the parties like no one else… Oh, and he was kind enough to mention that the serial killer that he was sure was a white racist hater, who was killing poor innocent Middle Eastern Muslims (of course he didn’t mention that this is what he had said earlier, he just threw out as a throwaway line, that) was in fact another Muslim from the same mosque, and that it looks like this was the standard Shiite V Suni crap that the Muslims in the ME have been killing each other over since the founding of the two sects.
While we are on politics, I have one last little thing to note: Someone has managed to do what I thought was impossible, they’ve found a candidate for the 24 election that I find even less desirable than Joe or the Ho. It seems that since Liz Cheney is out of a job effective at the next election, having gotten solidly trounced in the primary, the horrible bitch is now thinking she is going to run for the presidency. See here.
Seems she thinks that she can produce “a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents — and that’s what I intend to be part of.” Now I find that the very thought that she thinks she could get the nomination is laughable, but hey, it’s Liz Cheney, she still seems to think that the last name alone is a shew-in, like they’re the Republican Kennedys or something. She had the audacity to compare herself to Lincoln for gods’ sake. Now in a way I want to see her run, just because she will not get the nomination, then will probably run as an independent, and will split the party (not the Republican party, mind you but she will split the Democratic party if they are silly enough to run Biden or Harris.)
But all in all, Liz, go see a play.
Speaking of plays, (well, OK Movies, but it’s the modern version) went to see “Bullet Train.” As a family, we have a split decision on it. The wife loved it. I found that it had a few brilliant moments, but all in all, was the stupidest film I’ve seen this year. If you loved Big Trouble, you might love it… To me, it was every bit as silly as Big Trouble, without some of the redeeming qualities. There were fewer running jokes, and well, there wasn’t a Tim Allen. It was a total train wreck of a movie, and that was BEFORE the two train wrecks. I give it two bullets, Kiti gives it four, your mileage may vary.