42 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-22-17

  1. Yesterday there was some talk of the ADL.

    My only comment on the matter is this. Be careful taking the word of groups with a monetary interest in public perception. They will steer that perception in the direction that brings them the most $, as is the case here.


    “In the week following the violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., on August 12, the Anti-Defamation League saw a 1,000% spike in donations compared to an average week, it says.

    The number of donations made online also rose 600% versus the average. More than half of the online donations came from first-time donors.

    The ADL declines to share dollar-amounts of its donations.”

    Of course they do. If people knew how much it was worth to the ADL to push a narrative, they might not trust them.


  2. Chas, We saw Eddie Arnold live in Atlanta in 1966. He told the story that he had a flat driving in and had to change a tire on the drive down from Tennessee.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More on that incident with the USS McCain. And it seems there have been some civilian issues as well.


    ““When you are going through the Strait of Malacca, you can’t tell me that a Navy destroyer doesn’t have a full navigation team going with full lookouts on every wing and extra people on radar,” said Jeff Stutzman, chief intelligence officer at Wapack Labs, a New Boston, New Hampshire, cyber intelligence service.

    “There’s something more than just human error going on because there would have been a lot of humans to be checks and balances,” said Stutzman, a former information warfare specialist in the Navy.”

    ““I don’t have proof, but you have to wonder if there were electronic issues,” Stutzman said.

    Todd E. Humphreys, a professor at the University of Texas and expert in satellite navigation systems, echoed a similar concern: “Statistically, it looks very suspicious, doesn’t it?”

    These irregularities are affecting the shipping industry too.

    In a little noticed June 22 incident, someone manipulated GPS signals in the eastern part of the Black Sea, leaving some 20 ships with little situational awareness. Shipboard navigation equipment, which appeared to be working properly, reported the location of the vessels 20 miles inland, near an airport.

    That was the first known instance of GPS “spoofing,” or misdirection.

    Much more serious than jamming, spoofing interferes with location even as computer screens offer normal readouts. Everything looks normal – but it isn’t.

    “We saw it done in, I would say, a really unsubtle way, a really ham-fisted way. It was probably a signal that came from the Russian mainland,” Humphreys said.

    Such spoofing once required expensive equipment and deep software coding skills. But Humphreys said it can now be done with off-the-shelf gear and easily attainable software.”


  4. Country music has become a caricature of itself. The Luke Bryan song in the link is why people hate country music. Its worse than a boy band.

    Country music is popular in south west Ontario. Living a block from an arena, I frequently see country music fans come for concerts. I often wonder if they wear the boots, belt buckles, hats, plaid, and denim mini-skirts only for concerts. They look extremely out of place in my blue collar city which favours punk music about the horrors of the system and the usual dress is any clothes without stains that cover most of the necessary parts.

    I grew up listening to Johnny Cash. Punk music celebrates Cash as the original punk/rebel whereas I think the kids going to a Luke Bryan concert have no idea who Cash is.

    Here’s Cash at his punk rebel best;

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok I give up — I was trying to post Johnny Cash San Quentin Live from Prison.

    AJ — I’m amused. The left used to view the ADL as a right wing group for their unwavering support of Israel. And now they are donating money to them. Superficial politics.


  6. Johnny Cash is one of the very few country singers I can listen to, and even then, not too much. But listening to music with bad or inane lyrics is like listening to a bad sermon: I fidget until I can make my getaway. But I can listen to almost anything in the classical genre.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. AJ@11:04 I just heard about the spoofing on the news this morning. I was wondering if our military has been experiencing some kind of cyber-attack. It would not be surprising if this is the new face of a cold war of sorts. It sure highlights the need for homegrown, loyal IT personnel.


  8. Debra — it also points to invest more heavily in education. Currently the US (and Canada to a certain extent) steal the best and the brightest of the world by accepting them into graduate studies in university. The latest PISA (15-16 year old international tests) scores place the US in 40th of math, 25th in science and 24th in math. If you want homegrown IT, you need to invest in public education.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. HRW, yes we must invest in education. But if we don’t stop dumping our IT workers out of their jobs and making them train their foreign replacements, no one in their right mind is going to spend their time educating themselves in IT. My own sons were ( and one still is) very proficient in computer languages but chose other fields of endeavor because the labor market for IT was so predatory.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. HRW,

    The ADL is well aware of who the anti-Jew players are in this. True, it’s the Klan and other like minded folks. But they completely left out Antifa, who just joined with one of the most anti-Semitic groups in existence, BDS for ridicule. ADL’s money comes from the left. They know this. So what other reason besides a financial one would they have for this oversight?


  11. AJ — The antifa lacks any organizational structure thus they couldn’t endorse the BDS or any other movement. Some antifa members may be anti-Zionist but as anti-fascists, members of antifa focus on fascist. If some also join other movements that is as individuals, there is no official antifa organization.

    ADL condemned the use of violence by antifa at Charlottesville. The ADL believe the antifa methods to be counterproductive and serve to energize the far right.

    “Following Saturday’s rally, Anti-Defamation League National Director Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted “Whether by #AltRight or #Antifa, no excuses for violence and, keep in mind, this is exactly the response that the bigots seek to provoke.”


    Another interesting fact from the same link;

    “According to a 25-year study by the Cato Institute, nationalist and right-wing terrorists have killed about 10 times as many people since 1992 as left-wing terrorists, which may or may not include those who identify with antifa.”

    Maybe the ADL is focusing on the right because its a greater threat…..


  12. @1:00 The link says that AntiFa doesn’t have a problem with violence against white supremacy groups. But taking the law into your own hands is always a slippery slope, and probably won’t end well. If I were to adopt their mindset, I would have no problem with those who would commit acts of violence against abortion doctors or employees of Planned Parenthood, since I could easily view those people as murderers for hire.

    AntiFa is not a praiseworthy organization or group of people. They should not be encouraged or mainstreamed. They are lawless and will encourage others to solve their problems with violence.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Again, the Cato study hwesseli alluded to is barely instructive of anything. It primarily measures number of people murdered by ideological adherents. It makes a big deal out of the following observations:

    “The chance of being murdered in a Nationalist or Right Wing terrorist attack was 1 in 33 million per year.”


    “[T]he annual chance of being murdered by a Left Wing terrorist was about 1 in 330 million per year.”

    As the study points out, the Oklahoma City bombing accounts for 77% of “Nationalist or Right Wing” murders. Remove that incident, then one’s odds of being murdered by “Nationalist or Right Wing” ideologues drops from 10 times, to about 2 times as likely as by a Left Wing terrorist. But why is Timothy McVeigh so readily associated with “right wing” politics? His politics were schizophrenic. Some of his most ardent opposition to government was stuff almost exclusively shared by “the left,” most notably, his opposition to U.S. involvement in Iraq.

    It’s hard to find the other sources the Cato author used, or how he used those sources. I’m going to assume he defines the Colorado Springs clinic murders as “Right Wing terrorism.” Anybody buy that? Anybody think that lone wolf loon’s political ideology motivated him to kill people? Hwesseli, what law enforcement methods targeting “Right Wing terrorism” should have been enacted to stop that guy before he killed?

    And the U.S. already spends enough, per student, on education. Moola not the problem there, by a long shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Debra. Here’s the article. https://www.cato.org/blog/terrorism-deaths-ideology-charlottesville-anomaly

    The author calls it a “post.” If you read through it, it’s really not accurate for the jpost.com of hwesseli’s link to call it a “25-year study.” It’s more just the author parsing 25 years’ worth of data he looked for.

    The author classifies Islamic terrorists as a distinct group, It is, by far, the most easily identifiable group specified in the study. In fact, the definition of the other groups is so arbitrary and vague as to be meaningless. The author identifies four classes of terrorist: Islamist; Nationalist and Right Wing; Left Wing; and unknown/other. We all agree Islamists have murdered the greatest number based on 9/11 alone.

    Regarding that “post,” consider the author’s “Findings”. The post is dated August 14, 2017. The author accumulates data from 1992 through the present. We’re 22 YEARS removed from Oklahoma City. When the author claims you’re ten times more likely to be murdered by Right Wing terror than Left, he’s including the 22 year old outlier event of Oklahoma City in those odds. He also makes this observation: “Left Wing terrorists killed only 23 people in terrorist attacks during this time [since 1992] but 13 since the beginning of 2016. Nationalist and Right Wing terrorists have only killed 5 since then, including Charlottesville.” So since the beginning of 2016, Left Wing terrorists have killed over TWICE as many people as Right Wing terrorists, according to this guy. Hmmmm.. Hmmmmmmm. Actually, not hmmmm, because the way these “studies” are done and terms defined and data collected, etc., and because the number of murders, however tragic they really are, is so relatively infinitesimal, IT’S NOT A HUGE ISSUE.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. It seems lame to me….however, if Leftys really believe it’s true, encouraging violence as legitimate means of addressing problems is not particularly bright, is it.

    I have always admired Martin Luther King’s methodology of non-violent protests as the gold standard for social change. Unfortunately, it requires discipline, a willingness to suffer, and an ability to create coherent arguments. No one wants to suffer anymore. And arguments require deeper thought than twitter affords.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I used the Jpost and Cato article to confirm the ADL stats. Their stats are from the last ten years which is a better and fairer timeline. We can argue particulars but its undeniably that the right is far more inclined to violence than left.

    Citing mental illness is frequently used by the moderate right to depoliticize right wing violence — i.e. they aren’t anti-abortion they are insane. Even my students joke that when a black guy is shot its because he’s a thug, when a Muslim commits violence he’s a terrorist, but when a white guy does it he’s mentally ill and needs help before his entire future is ruined. When a Muslim commits a violent political act, we ask why the Muslim community isn’t taking responsibility, when a riot breaks out in a black neighbourhood we ask where are the modern MLKs, but when a white nationalists kill someone with a car, we talk about violence on both sides.

    Debra — the left is still for the most part non-violent. Standing Rock was non-violent except for police who employed armoured military vehicles, water cannon, pepper spray, etc. Definitely a demonstration of a willingness to suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “the right is far more inclined to violence than left.”

    When 84% of that statement is based on arbitrary definitions, it’s meaningless. But those arbitrary definitions are necessary to depict “the right” (which is who, exactly? Republicans? Conservative politicians? Who?) as somehow sympathetic with “white nationalists” when there’s no reason in the world to do so. The “both sides” aspect is only part of this issue because literally TWO prominent, repugnant “sides” emerged in Charlottesville: white supremacists and ANTIFA. You want to make the issue all about the former even when presented with all kinds of evidence that the latter really truly does engage in abhorrent behavior, which, by the way, bears no similarity at all to soldiers who stormed Normandy (as if!). If you’re not seeing that, you’re way blinded by your ideology.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. HRW, In the US, as far as I know, we do not acknowledge political prisoners, so violence for political purposes is still just violence. Your point about the characterization of some criminals as insane or mentally ill is well taken. However, I don’t think it is because of some desire to be soft on the crime or to help the criminal receive a lesser punishment. I think it is caused by a disgust and horror of the behavior and a rejection of it. Also it is an acknowledgment that the behavior has crossed the line of what is acceptable. But you are right that it is inaccurate and could have a softening effect, and furthermore, it is a disservice to the truly mentally ill.

    It is often the case that a group should acknowledge and repudiate members of the group who commit crimes—particularly if they do so in the name of the group as a whole. But every murder or crime does not call for a mea culpa from associated groups. However, I can tell you if killers were running around the globe murdering people, prefacing their kills with the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, you better believe I would publicly disassociate with any congregation or church or leader that associated with them or allowed them to associate or encouraged them. Some Muslims have properly done this, others have not.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. We can argue a few incidents here and there but the stats are undeniable. The right needs to take responsibility for an ideology which leads to violence.

    Charlottesville wasn’t universally condemned. Most people right of centre said the neo-Nazis were wrong but….. And Trump said there was some fine people on the Nazi side. Its easy to condemn the individual act but they need to condemn the ideology that led to such an act. Given the driver and alleged murderer was a registered Republican, Republicans should unequivocally disassociated themselves from the ideology not say some were fine people.

    ricky — I’m sure ESPN will claim Lee was always assigned to the other game — perhaps some right wing websites are looking for click bait.


  20. “Trump delivers angry, divisive speech in Phoenix” — Breaking News headline on CNN

    I missed it, I was walking my dogs in the State of Denial; was this editorializing?


  21. Ah, the Fox News web headline summed it up this way:

    “Trump goes on rampage against the media, sitting Arizona senators at Phoenix rally”

    Sounds like he was in his usual form. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

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