Several Things – December 6 2019


Joe Biden   I keep saying that Joe Biden is IMO a nasty bully masquerading as a benevolent, highly experienced and wise curmudgeon with deep roots in the Labor Unions.  He is none of those things.  In evidence of that he yesterday advanced menacingly toward a man who had the audacity to challenge the "Joe Biden" show and narrative.  This was in Iowa.  The man told him he (Biden)  was too old to be president (He is). The man questioned the probity of Joe's narcotics addled son''s appointment to the board of directors of  a corrupt enterprise in Ukraine.  Joe was visibly enraged and it seemed for a minute that he would attack this citizen.  Really, Democrats?  Really?  Him?  Bloomberg? Hilly?  Booker?  Castro? Warren?

Jobs.  The Labor Department employment report released today states that the US economy added 266,000 new jobs in November rather then the expected 186,000.  The unemployment rate fell to 3.5 %.  This is full employment because there is a certain amount of structural unemployment inherent in any economy.  "Impeachment?" What's that?

St. Nancy the hypocrite a reporter asked Pelosi yesterday if she acts from hatred of Trump.  She responded that having been raised as a Catholic she does not hate anyone because we are taught to hate the sin and love the sinner. Well, pilgrims, Catholics are expected to practice their religion through both faith and deeds and to accept the teaching of the Church.  In spite of the hopes of some, this is not a cafeteria operation.  One does not pick and choose among the Church's teachings. If you can't accept them, you leave.  Pelosi is in spiritual rebellion against the Church's teaching on abortion.  Catholic teaching is that abortion is murder plain and simple.  There are some Catholic politicians who claim to compartment their personal beliefs and actions from their responsibility to their non-Catholic constituents.  I do not challenge that having done much the same as a government servant but that is not the case with St. Nancy who is an ardent advocate for abortion.  BTW if the US government had sought to require me to do something immoral I would have refused and taken the consequences.

Riots in Paris  I like France, the French language, their wine, their cheese, their women and their style of life, but I am not blind to the faults of the French.  One of these is a tendency to take to the streets over grievances or perceived grievances  in society.  France has a highly regulated economy that does not particularly favor growth of the kind now being experienced in the US.  "Bureaucracy" as a word is French in origin.  At the same time the welfare state is massive and all pervasive.  In fact the welfare state with its early retirements and cradle to grave benefits is just too big to be sustained by the economy of the country.  This conflict of means and ends is strangling the country's ability to function.  Macron knows this and has been trying over the last year or so to "whittle down" the outputs enough to have them align with the inputs in the economy.  The result has been the "Yellow Sweaters" street riots and now a new wave of riots resisting attempts to change retirement laws.  This street activity will burn itself out but the  riots are likely to be prolonged. 

 The Shooting In Pensacola  A Saudi military trainee went shahiid (berserk)today and killed three people.  The naval aviation center there routinely trains foreign aviators.  There was nothing unusual in the man's presence on base.  He had been in training for a year.  King Salman sent his condolences supposedly saying to Trump that he and the Saudi people love the US and the American people.  Well, pilgrims, I lived in The Kingdom for several years and have visited many times and I do not remember indications of their love for us.  It will be interesting to learn if the student just ran amok crying Allahu Akbar! or couldn't make it in class or both.  pl


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123 Responses to Several Things – December 6 2019

  1. D White says:

    I find it interesting that before he was elected, Trump complained that the employment figures were fudged. Not so much now.

  2. J says:

    Probably a course washout who couldn’t face that reality and what was in store for him when he got back home.

  3. turcopolier says:

    D White
    Do you think the employment statistics are fake, and, if so, who faked them?

  4. oldman22 says:

    There has been a steady “revision” of the basis for unemployment statistics, for many years. The main factor which is manipulated is the determination that those who have quit actively seeking jobs are no longer counted as unemployed. In fact there are many who have become discouraged and “given up” for sensible reasons.
    Dean Baker and some other economists suggest that the more meaningful figure is ration of employed to population “EPOP”.
    Dean Baker’s latest review of the employment statistics is very favorable:
    “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 266,000 jobs in November. While this figure is inflated by the return of roughly 50,000 striking GM autoworkers, upward revisions to the prior two months’ data brought the three-month average to a solid 205,000. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5 percent, returning to a 50-year low.
    . . .
    The data in the household survey was generally positive. The overall employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) remained at a recovery high of 61.0 percent for the third straight month. The EPOP for prime-age workers (ages 25 to 54) also remained at its recovery high of 80.3 percent. The EPOP for prime-age men edged up 0.2 percent to 86.7 percent, a high reached in March, while the EPOP for women slipped 0.1 percentage point to 74.1 percent, which is still a full percentage point above its year-ago level.”

  5. SAC Brat says:

    How does a foreign national obtain a handgun in the US? What kind of visa was Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani in the US with?

  6. J says:

    Interesting….the connections between the Epstein case and the Weinstein case……Israeli Intelligence. Epstein and Maxwell’s daughter Ghislaine ran an Israeli Intelligence Honey Trap blackmail operation, designed to blackmail U.S. Politicians. And Weinstein activity was scrubbed by Mossad connected Black Cube, using pressure and intimidation against witnesses and investigative journalists.
    Every Israeli Intelligence Asset operating on U.S. soil needs to be neutralized one way or another.

  7. JamesT says:

    Ari Ben-Menashe, who wrote an unauthorized book detailing his time in the Mossad (which Mossad officials claim isn’t true), is saying that he helped recruit Jeffrey Epstein, that Epstein was a Mossad agent, and that Epstein was running a blackmail operation for Mossad:

  8. Norbert M Salamon says:

    It is in the interest of OECD governments to claim low unemployment rates, this includes the US. Result, lower payments to those not working, rosier picture of national economy, etc.
    The way to achieve such low rates is to regularly redefine what is the meaning of the term “UNEMPLOYED PERSON” – by the respective government.
    Here in Canada this term is defined as a person who was looking for a job in the previous 4 weeks. My son in law is not unemployed since he did not apply for a low playing service job – his trade for the last 20+ years involved oil/gas drilling – that area of employment is rather limited now days. I know of electricians who were without job for many months, they were not unemployed.
    Without doubt, I can explain the low inflation rate claimed by both US and Canada – which rate is completely divergent from that experienced by the average family [courtesy of hedonic adjustments, forced substitutions to lower quality, etc.]

  9. srw says:

    I take issue with your statement, “St. Nancy who is an ardent advocate for abortion”. From what I can read she does not advocate for abortions, but believes it is between the woman, her conscience, and doctor on whether or not to get an abortion; but that abortion should be legal under certain criteria. In this regard she is in company with the majority of Americans including Catholics.
    In an Aug. 12, 2019 phone interview with Catholic News Service: “Catholics “mirror the rest of the country pretty closely, particularly white Catholics,” she (Natalie Jackson, director of research for the Public Religion Research Institute), added. Fifty-three percent of white Catholics believe most or all abortions should be legal compared to 40% who say most or all should be illegal, Jackson noted, “so they’re right in line” with the majority of Americans.” Those Catholics who attend church every week show a higher percentage who view abortions should be illegal.

  10. upstater says:

    re. French early retirements… Does working 30 years at the SNCF (railroad) or Post Office (rain or snow or sleet or hail) teaching incorrigibles in the banlieues not entitle those workers for retirement? None of those jobs are easy.
    The US military and most public safety workers in the US can retire after 20 years — age 38! What is the carrying cost of THAT? We have plenty of welfare of the corporate sort and a health care “system” that costs double of France’s with worse outcomes. I suggest the US has major problems that make France’s look trivial.

  11. Upstate NY'er says:

    Pensacola shooting:
    According to TV news, the shooter was brought down by a SWAT team from the local Sheriff’s Office.
    Does the Navy treat security with the same “priority” as ship handling?
    Marine security guards?

  12. Eric Newhill says:

    Congress, at least the Democrat side of it, appears to not be as controlled by Israel and Wall St as some think it is. More like the Democrats are imitating the French street rioters.

  13. d74 says:

    I am French. And I love this site, always well informed.
    The French situation resists any comfortable simplification.
    Personally, I think our social and economic system was one of the best. It was evolving and sustainable. The State had an important redistributive role and it was moral. It remains an enviable goal. This is not socialism. I repeat: nothing to do with socialism. Fifteen years ago, the Navy Chief of Staff was able to write that there was an air of freedom in every village in France that was unknown elsewhere. I don’t think he could write it again. The total level of taxation (unduly complex) was high, but so was the redistribution. Over the past 15 years, taxes have increased and redistribution has fallen sharply.
    French capitalism has always been deficient. Its followers are not entrepreneurs or directors. This is why the role of the State in the industrial sector was so important. This role, which was carried out without any problems, was rather beneficial. In all this, there is an original French way of doing things that escapes comfortable “isms”. We continue to live on his legacy, squandered more or less quickly. Capitalism dilapidation, of course. Our industrial base has almost been destroyed .
    We have a cancer in France: the French-American Young Leader organization (created in 1972). For the past 15 years, all rulers have gone through this institution of intellectual rectification. Even a captain commanding a SNLE (a nuclear submarine firing nuclear missiles-13000t 16 missiles-6 stealth warheads-120 Megatonnes per head) Hello, defence all azimuths. This may not be true (that he betrays) but there is suspicion.
    My main criticism of this institution is that it denationalizes its students and does not give them moral courage. They already had so few. The lack of political courage is our main weakness, as is well known.
    In total, it is a brainwashing that keeps the Young Leaders away from French issues. Their concern is to please their US masters and imitate them. It’s a disaster because they are emulating. This is not different from what the Colonel says in “Bureaucrats Versus Artists”.
    The Yellow Vests reflect this dissatisfaction. In my opinion, they are here to stay.
    One detail: I have heart disease. All consultations and medicines related to this “long-term illness” are free of charge to me. But I pay 220 Euro per month for supplementary insurance. In fact, I don’t make the gesture of paying, this amount is withdrawn from my retirement without my being able to do anything about it. I accept it without any problem. The cost of this illness is less than 220 Euro per month. It is a collective insurance, a flow not a stock, with a social vocation of solidarity, something modern time cannot accept.

  14. Seamus Padraig says:

    The official figures on employment, inflation and much else are a total joke and have been for decades now. Follow Paul Craig Roberts or John Williams (ShadowStats) for more details.

  15. turcopolier says:

    seamus padraig
    If you say so, boss.

  16. turcopolier says:

    Oui, on sait que vous etes Francais. Bienvenue.

  17. turcopolier says:

    Those Catholics who favor abortion are also in rebellion against Church teaching.

  18. turcopolier says:

    A service member retiring at 38 is usually an NCO, frequently from the ground combat arms with a lot of ohysical problems from skeletal damage, prolonged exposure, etc. His retired pay is 55% of base pay. In metro areas you cannot live on that at enlisted grades. Would you prefer to do away with 20 years retirements and have 60 year old infantrymen?

  19. turcopolier says:

    The general opinion is that the employment.economic data is a fraud? That sounds like anti-Trump bias to me.

  20. Vegetius says:

    What do you think of Guillaume Faye?

  21. Vegetius says:

    I cannot understand how any Democrat who is interested in winning in 2020 can think that Biden is their best candidate. Similarly, I do not understand how any neoliberal can think that backing Biden will save their positions in the party apparatus. If Biden is nominated and is badly beaten, the dinosaurs now running the party will not be able to simultaneously hold off the prog left while also holding the party together. But they seem bent on repeating the same mistake the GOP made in 2012 with Romney.
    If Biden had a better answer – or any answer – regarding Hunter, that would be one thing. Like Kamala Harris’s inability to respond to attacks on her Weed-For-Me-But-Not-For-Thee stance, the media shield surrounding Borg-ists does not help them when they are unable to avoid questions about actually existing reality.
    Questions about his crackhead son is an obvious trigger, and all Biden is doing is telegraphing this opening to Trump. The President, who never got the memo that the job of conservatives is to lose gracefully and repeatedly so long as the tax cuts flowed, will not shrink from using this the way a loser like Romney would.

  22. Norbert M Salamon says:

    With respect Colonel:
    for another view on CURRENT unemployment RATE in any country compare the job participation rate over reasonable length of time. In the case of USA from the peak to present the decline is approximately 5% at the same time that the unemployment rate also declined. So obviously there is some manipulation – this also applies to Canada and probably to other OECD countries, thus negating any reference to pro vs. anti Trump bias.

  23. Dwight says:

    I understand the general opinion to be that the President Trump is citing the “U3” rate of unemployment, and that the U6 rate or the labor participation rate would better reflect unemployment and economic distress in our citizenry. This criticism applies to prior administrations as well, and was likely the argument made by Trump during the Obama administration. It’s fair for Trump to cite improvement in the U3 rate, and biased to argue he shouldn’t make that comparison with U3 under Obama. It would be nice if he could also say that he wants to improve the U6 or labor participation rate, which would be consistent with his criticism prior to be elected.

  24. Eric Newhill says:

    It’s not a fraud.
    Naysayers, Rather than repeating what some commie operative with severe TDS says and thinking you know it all, it is instructive to go right to the Bureau of Labor site –
    The site clearly explains how the figures and calculated, how terms are defined, etc
    BTW..The Obama and Bush Jr admins were subject to the same definitions and calculations. So it apples to apples and their economy stunk compared to Trumps.

  25. Outrage Beyond says:

    Yes, the employment data is fake, due to ongoing redefinition of the terms.
    This has been both true and well-known since long before Trump.

  26. Fred says:

    When do SCNF or postal workers get called into combat or deployed at sea or overseas at months at a time? Have you looked at municipal or school system employee pay, benefits and retiree compensation in the US? It varies greatly across states and municipalities. Yves Smith at nakedcapitalism blog has been excoriating the California pension board for their incompetence and malfeasance for years. Illinois and the city of Chicago are almost as bad.
    The tax burdens to perpetuate those payments to unionized workers past and present are driving many people away many from those areas. The recent bankruptcy of Detroit is a foreshadowing of what is to come. That did not, however, prevent the city council from giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax abatements to the Illichs,owners of two sports teams, a casino and a pizza chain, so they could build a hockey arena. Similar tax abatements were given to the owners of quicken loans and other companies for other redevelopment projects. You can argue the price tag, but it is having a positive effect on the city. AOC torpedoed such plans in her district which effectively sank Amazon’s moving there. I’m sure her enlightened leadership will bring good jobs at good wages there; someday.

  27. Diana C says:

    Thank you for commenting on NP’s little show of piety. It actually seemed really insincere to me.
    I was taught to “live” my Christianity. In other words, I had to live according to my beliefs or I could not be considered sincere in my beliefs.
    During my senior year, the push to approve abortion was at its height. Our Social Studies teacher asked the entire class to state how each of us believed in that regard. The entire class–except my best friend and I–said they thought abortion should be legal. My best friend was actually pregnant at the time. She had her child and raised her child. I knew her decision to keep deliver the baby and keep it, and I supported her in that, as I knew I would have made the same choice–though I also knew I would not allow myself to get into that situation.
    I refused to take puff on the joints being passed around while I was in college. I was considered a prude. But I kept fast to the belief that my body is the temple of my soul.
    Nancy is a fraud as a Christian, no doubt about it. Thank you for making that clear.
    As for the shooter, I was thinking he was acting in revenge for the death of the leader of ISIS. I have never liked our close political relationship with Saudi Arabia. I’ve met too many people studying here from SA. Not that I truly trust what they say, but several have expressed a dislike of their form of government, though they don’t say that loudly in large groups.

  28. d74 says:

    Funny (comique). Ein Himmelkomiker.
    These ‘intellectuals’ are wasting our time.
    I don’t understand why these people are of interest to non-French speakers.
    A Christian would say they are our cross and our curse.
    Here, we easily forget them. It is a question of intellectual and moral hygiene. It’s also a question of glands and good reflexes.
    So, dying was the best thing he did.

  29. Terence Gore says:

    “According to the New York Times, three of the Saudis were filming the attack. It is unknown whether they were students at the base, or whether they are connected to the gunman.”
    I keep heating Iran is the greatest sponsor of terrorism but why are they always Saudis?

  30. J says:

    Sounds like up-stater has never worn a uniform.
    Maybe he needs a basic course in carrying a ruck with all its trimmings for miles up inclines and down slopes that only a mountain goat dares to go, not to mention other assorted toys necessary for work in a combat environment and to accomplish one’s mission.
    Maybe he needs a basic course in jumping out of an aircraft with full gear and hope his knees don’t explode when he lands on the ground. There is always an ow Sh*t factor that blows out airborne knees.
    Maybe up-stater needs a basic in all the toys that special operations may require to meet the mission’s goals, and how ‘light and fluffy’ they are to carry,
    Maybe he needs a basic course in hand to hand combat with a very skilled adversary, each one seeking to gain the upper hand on their opponent, as their continued breathing and life, not to mention the mission depends on it.
    You mentioning skeletal damage issues, is just a starter.
    Mr. up-stater has no clue as to what uniformed combat personnel have to endure for their retirements (both Officer and NCO)!
    Our knees, backs, shoulders, arms and hands never talk to us do they.
    And I haven’t even scratched the surface of what flyers and underwater types bodies have to endure as well. One hour flying time equals 8 hours hard labor on the body, just as one example.
    Now I’ll have a bourbon and reminisce.

  31. Factotum says:

    d74, who exactly are the Americans in the French-American Young Leader organization? What are they teaching the young French, and to be what kinds of leaders?.
    How is this operation controlled by Americans – using funding, extortion, bribery or sex, drugs and rock and roll. Is it an extension of our US deep state ‘ foreign aid” programs? What is the quid pro quo that allows this American domination of French thought.
    BTW: in our US Medicare system we also have approx $200 taken out of our monthly social security for very basic “free health care” plus the need to pay up to $200 more per month tor coverage of most other senior health care services, plus meeting a deductible or co pay. This is after paying into the Medicare system every paycheck during our working lives.
    I suspect France does not have the same rapacious medical-malpractice legal system that has distorted US “health care” delivery beyond all recognition and even usefulness. The saying goes “you get sued for what you don’t do; not what you do”.

  32. Eliot says:

    The French are poor because of labor restrictions, and the heavy financial burden of the welfare state. Increased social spending won’t make jobs easier to come by. It won’t result in higher wages. And people will continue to live paycheck to paycheck.
    – Eliot

  33. Factotum says:

    My guess is Democrats know they can’t win in 2020, so they will sacrifice their most expendable and/or most annoying.
    Biden earned this 2020 shot by sheer longevity in the system, but since he will be a 2020 loser, why not put him in this unenviable position as the DNC nominee. John McCain served a similar purpose in 2008 – when no GOP had a chance after GW Bush.
    No one wanted the job, so falling on his sword with some sense of duty John McCain stood up as best he could. He goosed the entire operation with his addition of Sarah Palin which opened up new legions of GOP voters.
    And exposed the hypocrisy of the Left at the same time – no one was more anti-women than the Democrats who attacked both Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin with unrestrained venom.

  34. Factotum says:

    As to the Sauid shooter, I want to know why it takes three years in the US to “learn english and fly a plane”. I suspect we are a babysitting dumping ground for disaffected young Saudi royals who use their protected time here to live out their playboy fantasies they could not engage in at home. We need more information about this program and this particular individual – it may not be just terrorism. Who exactly are we letting into this privileged program.

  35. Babak Makkinejad says:

    If you look at Croatia, since its independence, their leaders sold everything to foreigners, largely Western European monied interests.

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    French standard of living, as you must be aware, is in part based on real concrete siphoning of wealth from French Africa. That is why those Senegalese try to get into Africa, you have not left them anything.

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In regards to French Government Corporations, you also must know very well that they are bloated jobs programs: for the well-educated as well as for the common people. Why does Electricite de France need so many layers of management, for example?

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In Spain, under Conservative or Socialist governments, the number of small enterprises has fallen steadily. Socialists are against them, per their economic doctrines of large nationalized industries and Conservatives since they favor large private corporations. Neither one cares one whit about how those small shops have supported families

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Franco was better than either of them.

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    For many women, abortion is a form of birth control.

  41. Sbin says:

    Someone should be taking Joe Biden’s car keys away not trying to give him an important government position.
    His mental acuity was never above average seems to have degraded significantly.
    Pity the corrupt DNC can not allow the likes of Gabbard or Yang to shine more brightly.

  42. b says:

    AOC prevented that Amazon would receive $1.5 billion in New Yorker tax incentives for setting up a large office.
    Guess what happened next. Amazon sets up a large office in New York WITHOUT receiving New Yorker tax incentives.
    Amazon will open a new office in New York City by 2021

    The company will lease 335,000 square feet of new office space in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards neighborhood, it said Friday.
    The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
    Amazon’s New York expansion comes less than a year after abandoning plans to build part of its highly anticipated “HQ2” in nearby Long Island City.

    Amazon won’t receive those benefits for its new office on 10th Avenue, which will open in 2021 and house more than 1,500 employees from its consumer and advertising teams. The online retailer currently employs more than 8,000 people in New York City, including through its customer fulfillment centers.

  43. Eric Newhill says:

    The report is thorough. Read it. It accounts for everyone.And in doing so, still shows an improvement.
    “In November, 1.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by
    432,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were
    not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job
    sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
    not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
    Among the marginally attached, there were 325,000 discouraged workers in November, down
    by 128,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
    are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for
    them. The remaining 921,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in November
    had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
    (See table A-16.)”

  44. J says:

    No one so far has identified who the Pensacola shooter’s were. Were they his fellow Saudis, or U.S. training personnel?
    Looks like the Saudi Lieutenant was in his initial academic’s phase, before he actually took to the flying part of his training.

  45. Acute observations. They could, almost all of them, apply equally well to England and I suppose across Europe.
    I would tentatively suggest that the analysis is incomplete. Tentatively because the French scene is extremely difficult for an outsider to get the hang of.
    Incomplete because it fails to distinguish between the various types of corporatism. Corporatism in one country is certainly undesirable but its effects are limited. When it becomes corporatism across borders than inevitably the effects of cheap labour arbitrage and regulatory arbitrage, if that term is permissible, are disastrous for the poor.
    I’d take issue with the observation that any European country is “politically literate.” There is no evidence that any of us here connect the predicament we all of us are in with the causes of that predicament. In that some at least in the States are streets ahead of us. We live in a state of “false consciousness” and have not as yet developed an adequate popular vocabulary in which we can discuss the true reality we live in. As we are discovering in England, it’s not just an old fashioned class war.
    The fears you express in your last paragraph are in England the current election fodder. We also are told that Trump is going to swoop down upon us. I doubt it but if so he’d better get a move on. In England our cronies are eyeing up the prey and have already feasted on a deal of it. If it’s done wrong privatisation merely means swapping the apparatchiks for the cronies and that’s an old tale for us.
    Neither you nor d74 above mention the great crisis for France as for all of us in Europe. Mass immigration. Is that because it’s a difficult subject to discuss in France?

  46. The Beaver says:

    For those who don’t know about the young leaders French-American Foundation, here is a wiki page FYI:
    Check some of the names and AFAIAC , de Juniac and Lauvergeon are “losers” without commenting on the “politiques” like Hollande or Juppé

  47. Fred says:

    The “working masses” weren’t running the US federal reserve when multiple rounds of “quantitative easing” were pumped into the financial system with, just like Ukraine’s military aid, no strings attached.
    Which part of France have people left to become colonists in Syria, Libya, Mali or Algeria? Did they offset all that “refugee” resettlement that has been going on, apparently with zero coverage in whatever media you have access to, for many years.

  48. turcopolier says:

    This is a matter of scale. The office that Amazon will open in Manhattan is nothing compared to what AOC threw away as a “service” to her constituents in Long Island. In Virginia we welcome amazon and are glad to have given subsidies against future revenues. In my town residential reas estates values have risen by $3ook since the announcement and we look forward to more. But then, you have never built a major industrial initiative as I have.

  49. Fred says:

    Total jobs in AOC’s district from this – zero. That looks like negative twenty-three thousand five hundred jobs for the state. You know, the ones that went elsewhere. Congradulations AOC and Mayor DelBrlasio.

  50. TonyL says:

    It has been going on for several administrations. The goverment always cite U3 unemployment rate, which is an incomplete figure. Basically, U6 unemployment rate is more accurate in that it also adds people who want to work but cannot find it, and marginally employed people who want to work full-time but could not find full-time works. At the moment, U6 is about 7%.
    So I’d say it is not faked, just propaganda.

  51. Factotum says:

    You expose the most obvious flaw in Schiff’s impeachment crusade. Trump did not need any “dirt” on Biden in order to win 2020. Biden will dig his own 6 feet under abode on his own, if he makes it to the DNC nomination.
    In fact, Trump would have gone out of his way to make sure Biden was the DNC pick. Which is why this entire impeachment charade continues to get no traction. It simply does not sound in fact. Regardless of the trumped up charges we are now being exposed to.
    The more realistic picture is Trump sweeping the path in front of Biden, with a broom like in a curling match, making sure Biden gets the DNC nod.

  52. turcopolier says:

    The U3/U6 distinction is one that suits your desire view of things.

  53. J says:

    U.S. Military Personnel were victims of the Saudi Air Force Lieutenant shooter.
    Joshua Watson a U.S. Naval Academy Graduate
    Mohammed “Mo” Haitham U.S. Navy was assigned to flight crew training

  54. turcopolier says:

    Elaora Danan
    You should read something other than leftist propaganda. The homeless in the US are mostly mentalli ill people who are not adequately cared for in cities that your leftist brethren control politically.

  55. Fred says:

    Changing the meaning of words to fit the propaganda need of the times. Got it.

  56. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ask Russians.

  57. Eric Newhill says:

    The figures are all right there at the official website for anyone to look at (something they should do before spouting off about it). That includes U6, which has been declining. You’d think the critics would be happy about that.
    U6 contains people who are working up to 35 hours a week, but want to work 40 or more. I wonder how many illegal aliens are falling into U6 (or any of the other Us for that matter). I also wonder how many recent high school and college grads that are just beginning to build a resume in the work force.
    People here are acting like U4 – U6 are some tragic secret hidden by a dishonest administration and the U1 – U3 figures are a hoax on the American people. That [leftist] myth is the real propaganda.

  58. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Globalization is a noun and not a human being making decisions. The post-Franco governments did nothing to soften the effects of global market on Spaniards. There lies the fault.

  59. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The could have refrained from joining EU. They could have resimpsed the tarrifs of Franco but the Spanish people were so eager to “occupy their coveted place at the Enlightenment Forum” that like moths they flew to the fire.

  60. Factotum says:

    Elora, you are getting a lot of very bad information about America. Take a look at the website “Transparent California” to see what teachers earn in this state including their very lavish benefits. Then see what pensions for life they also get for their nine-month working year.
    General Motors does not produce cars that people want to buy – this will lead to fiscal distress, mainly because their unions prevent workplace efficiencies and redesign.
    We no longer use the term ‘homeless”. They are the have nots; the cannots; and the will nots. The have nots get approximately $50,000 worth of goods, services and vouchers and it a temporary situation. These would be the working poor who do go back into the work place – or take advantage of free community colleges to obtain more productive skills.
    The can nots, those with permanent mental impairments, need to be placed in lock-down insitutional care settings but ACLU has prevented this for sereral decades so sadly they have been left to roam the streets -but as can nots they are not capable of any employment. Pilot programs to allow court guardianships are now underway in several California cities to get them placed into appropriate care settings.
    By far the largest and most visible sector are the will nots – the service resistent drunks and addicts who refuse any and all services or shelter. They choose to stay on the streets, camp in public spaces and panhandle for drugs and booze. No, they will not work and this is the population that is degrading many urban areas to the point of fiscal ruin.
    Work camps or jail are the only two options for the will-nots. The sooner we offer those two options the better because the quality of life for the rest of us should not be tyrannized by those who demand to take over our tax funded parks, downtowns and public spaces.
    It is easy to tell the difference between these three groups. Calling them all “homeless” is unproductive and badly outdated. America is about free will and choice; it is not about free rides at someone else’s expense. Time has run out for the will nots; options re opening for the cannots; and we already very generously take care of the have nots.

  61. Factotum says:

    For all children affected, abortion is murder.

  62. Factotum says:

    Abortion for some men is guaranteed relief from 18 years of child support. They obviously view it differently.

  63. TonyL says:

    Exactly. I’m pointing out that’s propaganda, because there is a real basis in it (i.e. U3). But U6 is a reality that many admistrations avoided at all cost.
    While we are at it, here is another issue that has been reported and then forgotten:
    “Roughly 1 in 7 working-age men in the U.S. aren’t employed, higher than before the 2008 housing crash.”
    I’m not saying it’s because of Donal Trump’s ecomomic policy. But he will have to own it as current POTUS.

  64. d74 says:

    “using funding, extortion, bribery or sex, drugs and rock and roll.”
    Thank you, I had a good laugh.
    By Rock & Roll, it’s obvious.
    listen to (and see at) this song:
    Addictive, isn’t it?
    What an explosion of sound violence (I dare not say musical) at
    1mn12s, 2mn30s, 4mn47s, 6mn19s, 6mn50s and 7mn37s.
    (Afterwards, until the end, he must be tired. Some attempts not realized)
    Imagine the effect on chaste ears fed with Debussy or Ravel. A weapon of mass destruction, no less.

  65. d74 says:

    Elora Danan, your 07/12/2019- 07:41, and Babak Makkinejad :
    Your views are quite right, I think. I forgot Brussels because EU does not impose what is happening. Governments are using EU to get the pill through. EU Scapegoat, as usual. Germany resists very well. Sie machen immer noch Dinge. Karlsruhe constitutional court is a good tool.
    But some specifics are not accurate.
    Unions are weak and spread out. The ‘base’ ( non-unionized workers) may impose actions and strikes. Unions are afraid of losing members and respect if they do nothing. In this sens, the primary reason is not our political literacy but their exasperation.
    ‘Neocolonial’ adventures are not really expensive: 1/250 of the state budget. On this side, our armed forces are highly efficient. They’re probably the best we’ve ever had. And they die very well. Public opinion accepts these losses relatively well. This is a good sign. The fight against terrorism is understood. Because it must be said frankly: we are not fighting for material gains. “neocolonialism” is a mistake. However, we have nothing to do in Lebanon and Libya has been a huge mistake, a crime.
    Rebuilding our destroyed and neglected infrastructure would be much more expensive but also spread over time. It is an academic view: it will not be done. We have lost. We are not alone in this topic. Nothing is definitive. Maybe our grandchildren…

  66. No no!  We seem to be fellow dissidents.  Our view of the problems in Europe is much the same, though as stated my own knowledge of those problems in a specifically French context is very  limited.  I don’t at all trust the French establishment and its neocon policies (you term it neo-colonial but it’s much the same) but that’s from seeing the results of those policies in the ME.  I would put the UK and the French as being the worst of the European countries when it comes to the responsibility for the devastation wrought there.
    We could be heading for more of the same in the ME and Africa. Lots more. I do fear that France and the UK, having the only significant armed forces in Europe, are looking to ditch the American alliance long term and are visualising Europe becoming a military power in its own right. In this context Brexit is irrelevant.  The UK, drawn in by joint defence contracts, is accelerating defence links with the EU outside NATO.  A European Army is no longer just talk.
    My view – the dumbest idea ever. Yours?

  67. Johnb says:

    There is a history of Catholic Thought on Abortion Colonel dating from St Augustine who declared it not to be homicide but a sin if it was intended to conceal fornication or adultery. The Church then considered a woman’s situation when judging abortion, and abortion was listed in Church canons as homicide only when the fetus was formed. St. Thomas Aquinas declared that a fetus first has a vegetative soul, then an animal soul, and finally a rational soul when the body was developed. Excommunication for sinners was introduced in 1750 and it was only as late as1965 that abortion was condemned as the taking of a life rather than a sexual sin. Pope Benedict XVI recognised that the moment of ensoulment is unknown but condemned abortion in all cases. Pope Francis has sustained Benedict but extended indefinitely the right of Catholic priests to forgive a woman the sin of abortion, a right previously reserved for Bishops. The Church offers Forgiveness for those who confess their sin. I trust I have understood.

  68. turcopolier says:

    You have not understood the state of PRESENT Church teaching which judges in all cases that abortion is murder and a mortal sin. Can sin be forgiven? Yes, always. We are not Calvinists.

  69. turcopolier says:

    I can visualize the armed force of Germany and France serving as the basis for a European army but the armed forces of the UK are now so small as to be more of an ornament and tourist attraction than anything else. Separation of the Scots post Bexit would further complicate the situation.

  70. turcopolier says:

    It is not clear to me how much the additional data in U6 really means anything as other than merely interesting fluff.

  71. J says:

    The Empire (Deep State/Establishment) Strikes Back
    ” Three Possible Outcomes
    The worst charge thus far alleged against President Trump is that he attempted to make $400 million in aid to Ukraine contingent on that country’s government investigating possible corruption by the Bidens. This is the much hoped for “smoking gun,” the “quid pro quo”—as if the foreign policy of any country in history has ever been borne aloft on the gentle vapors of pure altruism.
    The central question would appear to be this: suppose that charge were abundantly substantiated by witnesses and documents—as it is not by the telcon—would that be sufficient to convince a majority of Americans, and a supermajority of senators, that Trump should be removed from office? In the latter case, possibly—Republican senators tend to be wobbly, and many want Trump gone for reasons that have nothing to do with this specific allegation, which merely offers a convenient excuse.
    But in the former case, I don’t see it. Especially since a) no aid was actually withheld; b) no investigation was actually launched; c) the American people don’t care about Ukraine and would probably prefer to get their $400 million back; and d) they would inevitably ask: so were, in fact, Joe Biden and his son on the take from a foreign government? And if it looks like they might have been, why, exactly, was it improper for the president to ask about it?
    Trump’s enemies’ answer to the last question is: because the president was asking a foreign government to investigate a political opponent for purely personal gain. Really? Is potential corruption by a former vice president—and potential future president—and his family a purely private matter, of no conceivable import or interest to the public affairs of the United States? That’s what you have to insist on to maintain that the request was improper. That’s the line we can expect the Democrat-CLM axis to flog, shamelessly and aggressively. But will a majority of Americans buy it? Especially since career officials at the Department of Justice already determined, and anti-Trump witnesses appearing before Representative Adam Schiff’s secret star chamber reluctantly conceded, that nothing Trump did or is alleged to have done was technically, you know, illegal.
    It’s both infuriating and amusing to read the intellectual Left, led by the New York Times, pivot from Project 1619—that racist, white supremacist founding!—to founders-as-paragons-of-democratic-integrity, whose wise Constitution reserved impeachment just for such dire but foreseeable emergencies.
    Impeachment, we are often reminded, is a political, not a legal, measure. That’s true to the letter of the Constitution of course, but not to the way “impeachment” is being used now. If Trump’s enemies had sufficient political strength—which means the support of the people—they would have already impeached him. As it is, they’ve held but one narrowly procedural vote and are hinting that another may not happen until next year.
    They need—and they know they need—the intervening time to further the transformation of this fundamentally political assault into a legal matter, and to find, assert, or manufacture some technical violation of the law. At the end of the day, “high crimes and misdemeanors” means whatever you can get 218 representatives and 67 senators to vote for. So long as the phrase is understood politically, the latter threshold—at least—is out of reach. The hope is that forcing the public to accept a legal understanding will bring both within reach.
    And it might. It worked against Nixon. It almost worked against Reagan. But let’s be clear: if it works this time, there are only three possible outcomes:
    First, deplorable-Americans will meekly accept President Trump’s removal, in which case the country as a self-governing republic will be finished; the elite coup will have succeeded, their grip on power cemented. With all due respect to the vice president, this is not the way—these are not the people on the backs of whom—he should wish to enter the Oval Office. And I am confident he will not.
    Second, deplorable-Americans will revolt at the ballot box and punish the elites in a series of elections that put in power serious statesmen intent on rooting out corruption and reestablishing democratic accountability.
    Or, third, deplorable-Americans’ attempt to set their government aright via ballots will not avail, as it has not so often in the past; they will realize that it has not, conclude that it never will, and resolve by any means necessary to get out from under the thumbs of people who so obviously hate them and wish to rule them without their consent.
    Only one of these possibilities is healthy for the continued survival of republican government as currently constituted.
    Oh, and let’s also be clear about something else: if the Republicans “collude” with this sham and force the removal of a president whose approval rating within his party hovers north of 90%, and whose voters scarcely understand—much less agree with—the “case” against him, they will destroy the party forever. I don’t often make predictions, because I’m not good at it, but this one is easy. They will have removed all doubt that they are anything but ruling class apparatchiks, adjuncts, and flunkies of the administrative state from which they take orders.
    And let none of them dare gaslight us with the trite dismissal that Trump’s removal would not overturn the 2016 election results because the president’s replacement was also elected. Trump’s intraparty enemies hate him, and wish to be rid of him, precisely because he is not one of them, because he stands for, and represents, something fundamentally different. Getting rid of him is, for them, a way to get back to business as usual. But there is no going back. A few of them in safely anti-Trump states or districts may survive the president’s removal but the vast majority will not. A new party—a Trumpian populist-nationalist party—will arise from the Republican Party’s ashes. More blue collar in economic orientation and less in hock to coastal and financial elites, it will do a better job of attracting Democrats and independents—possibly pointing the way to the first real national majority coalition since the Reagan era. And that new party will not welcome the traitors, who will have to make do with contributorships on CNN and MSNBC. Assuming any slots are available.”

  72. turcopolier says:

    SAC Brat foreign nationals are not banned from buying firearms if they pass the federal background check. He probably had a residence address off base.

  73. turcopolier says:

    Elora Danan
    The Catholic Church IS a “religious dictatorship” and will remain that. Those who do not accept that have placed themselves outside the Body of Christ. Pelosi’s personal hypocrisy lies in citing her supposed Catholicism as defense of her attitude toward Trump. This has nothing whatever to do with her actions as a legislator or the secular nature of the US state. She chose to express outrage on the basis of her religion. She should not have done that.

  74. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are a funny people, abortion is muder but post birth, the hell with the individual: let him die from his medical condition if does not have the funds for a treatment.

  75. turcopolier says:

    I suppose you mean Americans rather than Catholics. You claim to live in Michigan and you should know that hospitals are paid by the federal government to treat indigent patients.

  76. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There you go again.
    What does it mean to be secular in Europe, and especially in Spain when your civilization is based on the three-year long ministry of one Jesus of Nazareth?

  77. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes but not the working poor without health insurance.

  78. kapimo says:

    What happens in France are not “riots” (not yet), but protests with a few incidents mainly due to the police forces new doctrine (coming from Israel): hurt and frighten peaceful protesters so they do not come back.
    Those protests are due to the fact that more and more french people are poor (90% of french had to share 18% of produced richness in 2017), but also to the fact that more and more french people understand that the political class is sold to corporate greed and doesn’t care about France.
    Pechiney, Alstom, Latecoere, Alcatel, Technip etc were successful french industrial corporations that were sold to US interests without any economical merits (sometimes in a Mafia like blackmail as was the case for Alstom).
    After having destroyed the industrial companies, the Corporations want the state to privatize health protection, pensions schemes etc so that the banksters and others can make money out of it, just like in the desastrous american system. To give numbers, the 2018 private part of the health protection system represents now about 13-14% (in value) of the total health services performed. Still, for those 14% of services, those private companies have management fees that are now superior to all the management fees perceived by the public system which provide 85% of the health services… A complete robbery. The financial situation of the french social protection system (including pensions) is good, but the french politicians keep reducing the level of mandatory social contributions so that they can pretend the system is going bankrupt. At the same time, they keep very high taxes level for small businesses and a lot of taxes rebates for the big corporations.
    Macron is a bankster, a traitor sold to international corporations, as are many french politicians: the french working class is resisting to international corporate greed, and rightly so.

  79. Factotum says:

    Trump asked Ukraine to investigate the 2016 Crowdstrike-missing DNC computer files fiasco. You just can’t make things up and argue for or against them.
    Anything related to the prior Burisma investigation that could ensnare Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s demand for a quid pro quo in 2016 was a side show.
    Yet again, Trump detractors refuse to even bring up the Crowdtrike “favor” to unlock the three long years of bogus Russia-gate hysteria.

  80. Factotum says:

    Where are you getting your facts, Babak. We spend the largest part of Medicare funding on the last 6 months of life. If anything, we do need to let more people die with dignity and not subject them to cash-extraction over-treatment during their final days. Seriously, where are you getting your cartoon anecdotal version of the US? An exception does not make a rule.

  81. Eric Newhill says:

    No one is dying for lack of available medical care in the US. That is Michael Moore/socialist propaganda. The mentally ill are a different story, but they are a challenging cohort to deal with.
    I don’t understand why anyone in this day and age needs an abortion. Birth control is readily available at Planned Parenthood and other organizations on sliding cost schedules. The “morning after pill” is readily available without prescription at most pharmacies in case in the heat of passion a potential mistake occurred.
    Who is it that has unprotected sex, gets pregnant and then three or four (or more)months later decides to abort? That makes no sense to me. I asked SWMBO about it and, as a woman, she doesn’t get it either.

  82. turcopolier says:

    iMO “Babak” is a multi person agitprop identity. the difference in English language ability among you is noticeable.

  83. Fred says:

    That is simply untrue. You apparently aren’t up to date with health care in Michigan.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not a true statement.
    I stand by what I wrote: Republicans are against abortion and against universal health care.

  85. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Mistakes happen, even in this day and age.

  86. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That large funds are spent in the last 6 months of life is not in dispute. But is does not detract from my point, which is you rail against abortion yet deny medical care to the working poor as a matter of course. A 37-year old ditch digger with a cardiovascular medical condition is condemned to an early death since he cannot afford the medicine that could prolong his life: acttual case.

  87. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Perhaps the United States, being a country of immigrants- both legal and illegal – cannot afford anything like UK’s NHS. But how is that UK or Spain or Sweden can deal with the costs of end-of-life care? They are poorer countries compared to US.

  88. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I recall when I needed it, I could not have it since I was unemployed. I imagine you were never in that situation, always being gainfully employed.

  89. J says:

    The three possible outcomes summation’s author of the article The Claremont Institute is a Conservative think tank based in Upland California.

  90. J says:

    The Navy on Saturday identified the three victims of the NAS Pensacola shooting as
    Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, of Coffee, Ala.;
    Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Fla.;
    and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Ga.

  91. Colonel – there is a great difference of opinion in the UK about the significance of the “European Army” and the UK’s place in it. Some reckon it’s not meant to be an ultimate replacement for NATO. Some think that the UK moves to integration with EU defence forces outside NATO are the thin end of the wedge.
    According to recent reports the German armed forces are reckoned to need ten to twenty years to get up to scratch. UK armed forces are too small and getting smaller but are still reckoned to be Tier 1. “Tier 1” seems to refer to the ability to send troops abroad. The French armed forces are substantial but tend to be focused more on the ME and Africa.
    From the little I know of military affairs it seems to me that talk of a “European Army” is pie in the the sky. That’s if it’s intended for anything serious. Tony Blair, of all people, is on record as stating recently that without the Americans Europe has no effective defence. That is a generally held view.
    But things can change and I believe it is intended that they should change. This is a seldom discussed subject, compared with other subjects that are getting discussed rather more in the UK at the moment, but the impression I get is that joint defence projects will be the glue that holds this embryonic European army together. That was confirmed a while ago by one of Mrs Mogherini’s officials who remarked that joint procurement was the starting point for integrated defence.
    Small countries need alliances if they are to have an effective defence. It is my view that the UK should not select its alliances on the basis of who can offer the best joint procurement opportunities.
    Might I ask, what is the American view on the value of European NATO and the possibility of it morphing into a separate European Army?

  92. Factotum says:

    The mistake was engaging in procreative act and pretending one did not understand the full consequences in the first place. Procreation is sacred. Treat it with all due respect; not lousy excuses after the fact or infantcide “by mistake”. C’mon. What are you really trying to say when you say a pregnancy is a “mistake”. You might need some basic anatomy and physiology course review.

  93. Factotum says:

    Babek, conservatives as myself do value life and consequently do not support abortion by choice, which is an intentional taking of a human life and
    I also do not feel “health care” (what ever that is) is a state funded human right supported by mandatory tax dollars. Health care is basically a commodity that is bought and sold, while emergency/trauma care is currently a social welfare service.
    I suspect your problem is you cannot define “health care” but demand we write a blank check and somehow make it free for everyone for everything. This is a vastly different proposition than what is called “socilallized” medicine. No one hands out unlimited, undefined “health care”. I think you are throwing unfounded conclusions around for some other agenda. Do you want to explain this?

  94. TonyL says:

    The personality is also different from the old Babak.

  95. turcopolier says:

    Not taken seriously except as a political gesture.

  96. Fred says:

    What is the name of the hospital which denied you emergency medical help due to lack of insurance or unemployment and what year was that.

  97. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yet the states demands that children attend schools and they be educated by tax dollars.
    In regards to health care, UK does it.

  98. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “Procreation is sacred”. That is a religious argument. What is the religious argument for letting those who cannot pay for medical care die?

  99. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Nah, I well am on my way of becoming a curmudgeon. I am modelling myself after Waltber Matthau in “Hello Dolly”.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And miscarriage is what?

  101. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Spain is the most decentralized state in EU. It is a very nice country and I feel quite comfortable there. But, like Bismarck said, she is also the strongest European country since every few decades it tries to destroy herself, like Iran.

  102. J says:

    Appears the Pentagon is a bit concerned that their message of fear everything Russian is not getting through to the troops.

  103. Factotum says:

    Babak, Miscarriage is not the intentional taking of a life; abortion is.

  104. Factotum says:

    Babek, In the US, we don’t. Can’t be all things to all people. Unfortunately we have medical malpractice and an overly burdened social welfare system along with international defense obligations that distort our cash flow differently than other countries you claim that can provide universal health care as a “right”.
    I would like to see us dismantle our current welfare system so there is more direct benefit fo those who pay into it. That is a major distortion right now, exacerbated by the floods of illegals who still keep coming here when obviously they would do so much better in all the countries you mentioned.
    Join me in getting the message out – illegals looking for free health care – don’t come to the US.

  105. Ah, that brings it all back to reality. Thank you for your reply, Colonel Lang.
    I hope the operation goes well and that the recovery is quick. Without wishing to be fulsome, this is the shrewdest and best informed site there is so I hope the labour of running it is not proving too irksome. If it does, well, this has been something of a pilgrimage for me and I’d guess many others. Thank you.

  106. Diana C says:

    As a retired teacher, I have to say that public school teachers now are paid quite well, especially given the number of hours per year that they report to work.
    My observations of new young teachers is that they know little about their subject area, do little lesson planning or grading of assignments. Many of them sign up immediately to earn extra money serving in some way as a coach. Doing so means that they often cut back on even assigning homework or grading homework or tests. In secondary schools they give a student hours of credit toward graduation by using them as student assistants who help grade tests and assignments, which are usually true or false tests or choose the answer a.B.c. tests and which can be graded by grading machines.
    They take easy education department online course to fulfill their requirement of adding courses to their transcripts in order to move over on the pay scale and earn amore money. These courses do nothing but teach them the education jargon and the new untested ideas about how to teach (such things as better ways to do seating charts, how to do group work which means less grading for the teacher, motivation techniques (which have no real testing behind them other than they were published in educational department journals by teachers who decided to share their experiences).
    If young teachers sign up to be assistant coaches or do some other service such as helping with administrative tasks, they rarely never have an administrator Observe their teaching and so get an easy pass, even though there is in reality no teaching being done in their classrooms.
    I was dumbfounded by the lack of knowledge many young teacher have of the subject matter. For example, one English teacher once complained about grading assigned essays because she is always confused about when to use “past” or “passed.” She was teaching “advanced” students.
    Never, never, never believe anything that comes from the NEA.
    And I always encourage parents to find private school, charter school, or homeschooling options. A little dirty secret now that those options are more available is that students in those programs always test higher on state tests and college admission tests.
    As afar as I can tell, high schools now are really just there to provide young people the chance to earn a sports-related scholarship. The valedictorians get something, but it’s never as much as a sports scholarship. (In the school in which I last taught, the valedictorian and the salutatorian were always of Asian background, since those cultures still value content knowledge.

  107. TonyL says:

    No, nobody here is “acting like U4 – U6 are some tragic secret hidden by a dishonest administration”. You are too partisan that you see The Left in anything that you disagree with. All we’re saying were U3 is incomplete, and U6 is the whole picture. If you can refute that then please state your case.

  108. J says:

    Who Spied on Julian Assange?
    There are many possible suspects
    by Philip Giraldi •

  109. A.I.S. says:

    As a Kraut reserve guy. To be the nucleus for a European army we Krauts would have to drop our brave soldier Sweijk act which we maintain in front of the Americans (and to a lesser extent the Russians). As our politicians dont have the cojones to say no to the transatlanticists (well, a lot of them are tansatlanticists), the only way to prevent German troops from being voluntold to the hotter lines of contact with the Russians is to publically appear so inept that no serious request is made by the “transatlantic community”.
    One can say no to Uncle Sam, but saying no in the way of “we could do as you want, but it would be stupid and criminal, therefor we are not going to do it”, carries costs while “we would love to follow your glorious and totally sane requests, but sadly our military is not as incredible as yours and as such we hope that valiant America will heroically carry the burden” works better and does not carry personal carreer trajectory costs for whoever says no.
    Essentially, the (rather soft in historical terms, the US is a fairly benign overlord from a european perspective, certainly more benign then a lot of European overlords were) vasallisation of the EU by the USA had the hardly unexecpected result of degrading European military capabilities (rule 101: if a vasall has a competent military, he will probably be demanding independence soon). It is no surprise that the countries who are least “vasallized by the US” in Europe maintain the most capable militaries (these being Russia, Turkey and France as well as GB. While GB is quite subordinate to the USA, they believe that they are allies rather then vasalls which improves their willingness to invest resources).
    From a strictly machieavellian perspective, why should Germany fund a large and capable standing army? Its utilization (for what German goal?) would be subject of the veto by the USA, and it could be utilized by the USA on issues that either dont matter to German interests or are actually against German interests, while Germany could in turn veto such utilizations, saying no to Uncle Sam carries a political/personal price. The “transatlantic community” never forgave Schröder for saying no to the Iraq invasion, even if the USA would have been massively better off listening to him on this issue, and even despite Schröder rock solid transatlanticist credentials (he was behind declaring article 5 over 9/11, and threatenened to resign if the greens did not agree to the German Afghanistan mission).
    We Germans are surrounded by nations that we are treaty bound to not invade, and that are treaty bound to not invade us. Much of the migration threat we face is due to ill advised military operations. Much of the “Russian threat” we face is due to also ill advised military expansion.

  110. A.I.S.
    I am grateful for your insights into UK defence policy. You say –
    “While GB is quite subordinate to the USA, they believe that they are allies rather then vasalls which improves their willingness to invest resources).”
    1. In the earlier cold war period we “invested resources” in defence to the extent that it seriously unbalanced our economy. That was because the UK establishment was still hooked on “East of Suez” nonsense. We also invested greater resources in NATO by far than the continental European countries. That was because we were scared of the Soviet Union. There was also the desire of the establishment to hold on to the illusion that a small country on the edge of Europe was one of the “Big Three”.
    Whether it was foolish or not to invest resources in that way is here beside the point. The point is that we did not do so because the Americans were twisting our arms. In fact a glance at the history shows that the Americans were opposed to that first reason given above and indifferent to the third.
    Also worth noting is that during the Falklands War, behind all the diplomatic nonsense and political posturing, the Americans were solidly there when it came to logistic and other support. That contrasts with the attitude of the continental Europeans. It’s at such times that one finds out who one’s real friends are.
    Also worth noting – ich hoffe, ich langweile Sie nicht – that the NATO alliance is voluntary and flexible. The incorporation of the British armed forces into the as yet non-existent “European Army” that Mrs May was rushing through and that Mr Johnson may well continue with will be neither. Nor is it likely to serve as an effective defensive alliance.
    2. In any case you are seriously in error when you characterise the UK as an American vassal state. Close we are, and a damned good thing too, but our country is not run from Washington.
    At present it is increasingly run from Brussels. You may have noticed that many English seek to remedy this state of affairs. For the moment this attempt is hampered by politicians who are either singularly inept or quislings. That will not last for ever and then we shall be vassals to none.

  111. Keith Harbaugh says:

    So Michael Flynn instigated WaPo Afghanistan series! :
    “How The Post unearthed The Afghanistan Papers”

    The path to The Afghanistan Papers started with Michael Flynn.
    In the summer of 2016, as the retired Army general became renowned for his fervent support of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, The Washington Post received a tip that Flynn had given a lengthy unpublished interview railing about the war in Afghanistan.

  112. A.I.S. says:

    I actually fully appreciate that London prefers Washington as a Boss to Brussels as a Boss. I would probably do the same if I was a British patriot. Being the second in the 5 eyes is a better deal then being well, 4/5th in a Brussel centrix EU.
    I also think that we have different understandings of the word “vasall state”. Fundamentally, a Vasall is someone who contributes troops in return for protection. Vasall oaths differed considerably throughout time and space. British vasalls iirc generally vowed on harsher terms (meaning they were in worse positions vis a vis their lieges) then German vasalls.
    These things were considerably more complicated then people believe. While the HRE certainly had a clear hierarchy, in practice the emperor was more like a “Pater familias” in a mafia family. A strong emperor could enforce his will, but frequently powerfull sub family would ignore him or attempt to replace him.
    In Holy Roman Empire times, all polities within that confederation where, legally speaking, vasall states of the Emperor. In practice, they allied with foreign powers against the emperor, waged war against the emperor (sometimes with the added twist that the Emperor could only legally use his own household troops against them, rather then the additional hosts we was theoretically entitled to marshall as King of the Germans) and even elected the emperor. If you get a time travelling HRE emperor, he would proably be astounded about how comparably pliant americas vasalls are compared to the vasalls he was dealing with.
    We Krauts have a lot of experience with being vasalls, as before the end of the HRE, all of use were Habsburg vasalls. What we see in Nato fits quite comfortably into vasall/lord relations we are historically used to.

  113. Well, when Blücher came to our aid at Waterloo I’m not sure he came along as a vassal. Merely a bloke coming along to lend a hand, in his interests as well as ours.
    But I think I must be cautious here. I suspect irony in your comment and am therefore highly suspicious!
    Also, the last time I remarked that Wellington won Waterloo with Blücher’s help, a German relative broke in indignantly “What do you mean. Everyone knows that Blücher won Waterloo with Wellington’s help.”
    We could perhaps agree that Blücher was not only indispensable, he was also heroic, battling on to get his troops up after he’d been knocked about so much. That’s why so many pubs in England were named after him. We value friends like that.

  114. A.I.S. says:

    Pardon, but as Waterloo the HRE has been desolved for about a decade already, even if it was not, Prussia would have been a Habsburg, not a British vasall. One can make a case that Bluchers Prussia was a Russian vasall at this time, given that it was the Russians who were calling the shots, but the Russians themselfs figured it was unplausible to have Prussia as a vasall to them, and wanted Prussian cooperation when it was time to divide Poland, for its excessive Francophilia, yet again.
    Prussia was temporarily vasallized by France during the Napoleonic wars, and also kind of by Russia, during the Tauroggen convention, but it succcesfully rebelled from being a French vasall during the peoples battle of Leipzig and the Russians simply didnt think that maintaining their prerogatives was very realistic so they just dropped them.
    The alliance against Napoleon was an alliance between changing members of different strengths. Some of these members were trying to vasallize other members (it is not as if Prussia/Austria missed a beat in trying to get more control over other German states), other members performed classic quadrouple backstabbings and got away with it (Bavaria sure had some balls in that regard) doubling their territory in the process.
    The alliance also had 3 centers of power, London, Moscow and Vienna most of the time, so smaller members who felt uneasy about Londons or Moscows or Viennas dominance could appeal to the other 2 centers for support. Napoleons empire was emphathetically single pole and thus there were no internal checks and balances in it to balance Paris with something else. This increased the pull of Paris to reduce their “allies” autonomy and led to resentment by those allies. Napoleon after all had some willing allies, f.e. Denmark-Norway or Poland, and given the massive British perfidy against Denmark who could blame the Danes? The British essentially pearl harbored Kopenhagen without a declaration of war.

  115. Yeah well, Copenhagen.  That was a grudge match.  We hadn’t forgotten Lindisfarne.  And you can talk. Remind me about Schleswig-Holstein.
    OK, lets get down to brass tacks.
    Looks like Angie’s going to pinch Scotland and has got her eye on a few other bits and pieces.  We might end up as  the only maritime country on the planet to have its EEZ owned by someone else.
    Not complaining or anything, but could you let us have Hanover back?  Only fair.

  116. turcopolier says:

    J Ralph Northam is a spineless weakling but he knows that to seek use the Virginia National Guard against the citizens of Virginia for this purpose is to invites violence. In any event the president/commander in chief could call the guard into federal service thus eliminating the possibility.

  117. J says:

    For any politician to turn the broadsword of war (Military active, reserve, or guard) used as a weapon inward against the civilian citizenry, I find totally reprehensible.

  118. turcopolier says:

    I see that the Va NG has issued a statement proclaiming its loyalty to the constitution of the US and especially to the 2nd Amendment. Northam has wisely stated that none of his proposals includes trying to take guns away fom anyone. The governor commands the NG, not the legislature.

  119. J says:

    Another Pentagon bureaucrat trying to play unelected POTUS
    Ex-Pentagon Mideast Chief: Trump ‘Capitulated’ in Syria

  120. J says:

    An End to the World as We Know It?
    Congress and the White House compete in year-end stupidity sweepstakes
    Philip Giraldi

  121. J says:

    Virginia legislators are wasting no time in shafting your state’s citizens

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