41 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-27-17

  1. So, I guess they are just now considering the possibility that many rebels without a cause in Syria will probably join ISIS. It’s too bad someone in DC didn’t think of that before we armed and trained them. Surely there are more productive ways to spend tax dollars….

    July 26, 2017 Irbid, Jordan—President Trump’s reported suspension of a covert CIA program to fund, arm, and train Syrian rebels is seen as signaling the end of US efforts to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the battlefield.

    But the cutting of US ties – and likely those of US allies who also provided the rebels material support – also calls into question the fate of thousands of armed fighters who have grown reliant on US support and direction.

    The move, which some commentators have characterized as appeasing Russia, Mr. Assad’s most powerful backer, has left thousands of mainstream rebels struggling to navigate a battlefield suddenly tipped against them, without a patron, without guidance – and for some – without a cause.

    Among the options for the rebels, looking to evolve to survive: join the US-led battle against the so-called Islamic State, or, for the fervently anti-Assad fighters, even join the ranks of jihadist and Islamist groups, which have retained their shadowy funding and supply lines.

    https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0726/Syria-pivot-Why-anti-Assad-rebels-dropped-by-CIA-could-land-with-jihadists

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  2. And speaking of better ways to spend our tax money, infrastructure spending will almost always be a better bet than overthrowing other people’s governments.

    I was reading of the drought problem in Madagascar linked below, and comparing it with Israel’s expanding ability to actually export clean drinking water despite being a desert country. One key reason Israel is able to export water is its investment in clean water technology.

    To me, that’s not so different than investing in healthcare infrastructure or highway or sea port infrastructure.

    We have to decide if we want to be more like Madagascar—lying on its back, helplessly waiting for NGO and UN donations to come to the rescue; or like Israel, a country that cares about its survival as a country, and invests accordingly. It’s up to us.

    https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2017/0725/Madagascar-skirted-famine-barely.-Now-it-s-boosting-resilience-before-drought-returns

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  3. This is an older article on Israel’s success in clean water production and export. I may have linked this several months ago, but the subject really fascinates me because it demonstrates so clearly that there is a way to solve the seemingly insolvable national problems *we* face, if we’re unified.

    Yet while most of the world suffers from the lack of clean water, there is one small country that overcame its water shortage and emerged as a net exporter of water. In many ways, the State of Israel is a microcosm of the rest of the world when it comes to water. Since achieving independence in 1948, the country’s population grew from 600,000 to over 8 million people. Despite 60 percent of Israel’s landmass consisting of desert and the country suffering from the worst drought in the Mediterranean in 900 years, Israel not only provides clean and drinkable water to its people but also exports surplus water to the neighboring Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Israel not only has more than enough water for the purposes of daily consumption, but also to supply its multi-billion-dollar agricultural export economy.

    Modern drip irrigation was developed in Israel by an engineer named Simcha Blass. In Israel, Blass found inspiration from a dripping faucet near a growing tree and applied his knowledge of micro tubing to create an improved drip method. Patented in 1959 in partnership with Kibbutz Hatzerim, the Blass Emitter became the first efficient method for drip irrigation. Drip irrigation has been instrumental in reversing the process of desertification, as well as ensuring almost no water is wasted in the process of growing crops.

    How was Israel able to accomplish such a miracle? Israeli advances in water technology can also be attributed to the efforts of the Jewish National Fund and its efforts to implement key infrastructure projects as well as major investments in research and development, which transformed Israel from a country on the verge of a water crisis, to a global leader in water conservation and recycling.

    JNF has led the way in making sure Israel stays at the forefront of water solutions. JNF’s efforts include the rehabilitation of 250 water reservoirs, which hold a total of 66 billion gallons of recycled water and flood runoff for agricultural use. These reservoirs provide more than half of the water used by Israel’s agricultural sector, as well as 4.4 million people a year. Israel reuses an astonishing 85 percent of its treated sewage for agriculture. By contrast, the United States only uses 5 percent of its wastewater for reuse. JNF has also played an instrumental role in cleaning Israeli rivers and streams.

    https://spectator.org/israel-is-the-key-to-solving-the-worlds-water-crisis/

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  4. Our construction/real estate President with a Manafort advisor, brings in Anthony ‘the Mooch’ Scaramucci, (with a hedge fund background, no less). Could we sound more mobbed up if we tried? Let’s break a few legs and see. :–)

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  5. We are not Israel. Does Israel have millions of its people living off of others by faking “disability”? Does Israel have huge numbers of its people sitting around in their homes killing themselves with opioids? Is Israel’s leader a demagogic imbecile? Was the defeated candidate in Israel’s last election as bad or worse than the demagogic imbecile?

    Debra, My point is that no one government program or 25 government programs are going to change America. However, a spiritual revival would result in millions of changed lives. Fakers would return to work, the drug takers would now have real meaning in their lives and our leaders could actually tell our people the truth about our problems, not the fairy tales and lies told by the likes of Trump and Bernie Sanders.

    Right now if we were unified, we would simply be a unified bunch of lazy, selfish, greedy people. Trump is doing his best to unify most Americans as Sanders supporters. That is not helpful.

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  6. Republicans are introducing a bill to require Twitter users to pass my one question Algebra word problem literacy test before being allowed to Tweet. Big Trump and Mini-Trump Scaramucci don’t have a chance of passing.

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  7. Leaders can always tell the truth; it’s part of being a real leader. If they don’t do so, it’s because they have a vested interest in the lie. Selfish, greedy people are at both the top and the bottom of the pile. But you are right in that there has already been too much corrupt unity—at least at the top, and with dire results. It’s one reason Trump was elected. He’s not the problem. He’s just the symptom that can not be ignored. Maybe that’s what it takes to drive everyone to their knees, where problems begin to be solved.

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  8. Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal told the truth. The people didn’t want to hear the truth. They wanted their ears to be tickled by the lies of Trump and Sanders.

    You are right about selfishness, laziness and greed being present at every level of society. At the top, you see it with the rich conning the poor using fake universities and stiffing them instead of paying for work that was done.

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  9. Forget healthcare. Forget Sessions. Today belongs to Scaramucci. He had a Trumpian level meltdown on CNN this morning while claiming he had just talked to Trump who authorized the whole thing.

    A few minutes later I switched to Morning Joe. Bret Stephens and another reporter had seen the CNN tape. They were really struggling not to laugh as they tried to make comments.

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  10. Ricky,

    Make up your mind.

    You’ve been on here for weeks telling us all, repeatedly, that Trump wasn’t doing his part in the healthcare fiasco. You said he wasn’t doing his part for the team, wasn’t using the President’s bully pulpit, etc….

    But now that he’s using his bully pulpit, threatens consequences for Murkowsi voting with Dems and not playing as a team member, you still bash him. He can’t win with you.

    The only way your conflicting messages makes sense is if you’re bi-polar. Or you have a severe case of TDS, which would call for you to be against anything Trump does, right or wrong.

    Sheesh, at least be consistent.

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  11. I was waiting all morning for the Trumpkin response to the latest self-immolation, but all we get is a deranged change of the subject.

    AJ, Do yourself a favor. Read a book on Reagan and Presidential leadership. I posted a pretty detailed study for you the other day. Hint: Reagan learned about issues, he educated the public and he never threatened Alaska.

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  12. Ricky,

    Sorry, but unlike you, I don’t worship at the feet of Reagan. To me he’ll never be anything more than the “I don’t recall” guy who let North take the fall for his illegal activities. You may celebrate that type of thing, but I don’t. Did he do some good things? Sure. But when it mattered, he had another man take the fall for his illegal activities.

    And he wasn’t that great of an actor, in Hollywood, or DC.

    But I agree with you that someone around here is deranged, but I’m pretty sure it’s the guy suffering with TDS.

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  13. So The Trump Cult now changes the subject to attack Reagan. You can do better than that. I will help you.

    First, today’s episode of The Trump Follies is all about Mini-Trump Scaramucci. Trump’s War on Alaska is just a minor distraction.

    I think The Trump Cult should investigate whether Mini-Trump is actually a Democrat mole or spy. He was an Obama donor and has been pro-perversion and pro-gun control. Maybe Hillary or Global GPS sent Scaramucci to Trump as a saboteur. Maybe Seth Rich knew about this. Maybe Don, Jr. is also a Clinton mole and a saboteur. Tune in to Hannity tonight to find out.

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  14. It’s hard to go wrong reading Dreher. When I agree with him, he’s usually stating something more elegantly than I could have. And when I disagree with him, he provides a sturdy backboard to bounce my argument off of. He says:

    A couple of paragraphs in Trueman’s piece deserve a long essay on their own (I hope we’ll see one from him). He says that the old arguments in favor of the traditional Christian teaching on sexuality do not work anymore, because young people have been formed by a culture of emotivism, not reason. Syllogisms are swords of spaghetti in this new environment. The real battlefield is in the imagination.

    I have always thought that it’s a mistake to pin all your rhetorical hopes on syllogisms. Reason is a human capacity, and as such, is meant to be warm-blooded–or at least not ice cold. It is much more than the ability to string logical sequences in a convincing fashion. The best reasoning is creative and captures both mind and imagination.

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  15. Carl Trueman @First Things wrote the piece Dreher is referencing, so I jumped over there to see where he went with it.

    We need a philosophy of undergraduate education that offers visions of beauty, that connects the fields of knowledge our modern world has torn apart and isolated, and that speaks to the human desire for meaning. A good start might be making the study of poetry, that medium which at its best makes human language carry almost more significance than it can bear, a compulsory course for freshmen. If the narrative and aesthetic of the world are gripping, then we must show that ours are more gripping, rooted as they are in real beauty and real truth.

    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/07/our-cultural-waterloo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is an interesting question.

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  17. I knew I should have copyrighted “Mini-Trump.”

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  18. This is a question some people have been thinking about since way before the election.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. DJ – Come back! It’s dangerous out there!

    Time to dive under the covers! Or maybe even under the whole bed! (Nope, too much stuff under there. And my cat Angel, who likes to hide out there, would not be amused.)

    Liked by 2 people

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